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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Ardebil,Gilan
Central coordinates 48o 15.00' East  37o 59.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3
Area 31,044 ha
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description The site lies in the north-west Alborz (Elburz) Mountains c.50 km south of Astara and includes the entire watershed of the Lisar river from its source near the crest of the Alborz in the west to the Caspian shore in the east (c.30 km), and also part of the much drier western slope of the Alborz. There is a freshwater lake (Nur Gol or Neur Gol, 38°00'N 48°33'E) of c.200 ha with extensive sedge marshes in a depression at 2,300 m on the western slope of the divide. The lake drains north into a tributary of the Aras river and provides some breeding habitat for waterbirds, but is frozen for about half the year. There are many villages and farming areas at low elevations in the main valley, but the upper regions of the reserve remain sparsely populated and relatively undisturbed. The site includes the full range of Caspian forest types from lowland Alnus in the coastal zone to the tree limit, as well as alpine meadows on the Caspian slope of the divide, montane steppe on the dry western slopes and rocky crags near the summit (3,197 m). Land ownership is public.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The area supports a good variety of breeding species of Caspian forest and the high Alborz, including Pernis apivorus, Aquila pomarina, Phasianus colchicus, Oenanthe xanthoprymna and Phylloscopus trochiloides nitidus. Pandion haliaetus and Haliaeetus albicilla are resident in the coastal zone and presumably breed in the reserve. Ciconia nigra has been recorded at Nur Gol in summer and may breed. Tetraogallus caspius occurs on the high crags. Other breeding species include Falco tinnunculus, Alectoris chukar, Oriolus oriolus and Garrulus glandarius, and winter visitors include Rallus aquaticus, Emberiza citrinella and E. schoeniclus. At least 111 species have been recorded in the reserve.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Ursus arctos (rare), Lynx lynx (rare), Panthera pardus (rare), Capra hircus aegagrus (rare) and Ovis ammon (rare).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaeetus albicilla resident  1977  2 breeding pairs  good  A1, B2  Least Concern 
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus non-breeding  1977  present  B2  Least Concern 
Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides breeding  1977  common  B3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lisar Protected Area 31,044 is identical to site 31,044  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   major
Wetlands (inland)   1%
Grassland   major
Rocky areas   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
agriculture major
rangeland/pastureland minor
forestry major

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.

References Scott (1976b).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lisar Protected Area. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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