email a friend
printable version
Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Mazandaran
Central coordinates 53o 0.00' East  36o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 1,600 ha
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description Located c.20 km north of Sari and 10 km from the Caspian shore at 36°44'N 53°00'E, the Seyed Mohalli and Zarin Kola comprise a 600-hectare complex of shallow, freshwater irrigation ponds (ab-bandans) surrounded by rice fields and maintained through the winter as private duck-hunting reserves. Much of the nearby Larim Sara plains (36°45'N 53°03'E, 1,000 ha) are now converted to agriculture but were formerly open and grassy with a central area of Salicornia flats subject to winter flooding. Freshwater areas have rich submerged, floating and emergent vegetation, including extensive Typha and Phragmites; there are also Salix thickets. Duck-trapping by dazzling in the 1970s reportedly accounted for up to a thousand ducks in a night.

Key Biodiversity See boxes for key species. The marshes are a very important wintering area for a wide variety of waterfowl, especially dabbling ducks (regularly over 100,000 in the 1970s), swans, Fulica atra and some shorebirds, as well as Circus aeruginosus (up to 60). It is a breeding area for five species of herons and egrets and for Chlidonias hybridus; Haliaeetus albicilla has also nested (see below) and Remiz pendulinus probably breeds. In the 1970s, the Larim Sara plains were an important wintering area for Phoenicopterus ruber, Anser erythropus and A. anser, and also supported a small breeding colony of Glareola pratincola, but much of the area has since been reclaimed for agriculture and most of these birds have disappeared. (Huge flocks of Anser erythropus are reported to have wintered in this area in the 1950s and early 1960s, along with much smaller numbers of Branta ruficollis.)

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  1970-1977  20,400 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus winter  1970-1977  359 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  1970-1977  16,200 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1970-1977  32,300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  1970-1977  12,850 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1970-1977  25,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1970-1977  86,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  1970-1977  4,435 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1977-1992  3,000-4,840 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  1977  185 individuals  good  A1, B1i, B2  Near Threatened 
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  1970-1977  2,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  1977-1992  2-27 individuals  good  A1  Endangered 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis passage  1977  120 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1977  250 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta passage  1977  300 individuals  good  B1i  Not Recognised 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1970-1977  100 individuals  good  A1, B2  Least Concern 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1970-1977  34,550 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus winter  1970-1977  1,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  1977  500 individuals  good  B1i  Near Threatened 
Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus winter  1977  400 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida breeding  1977  150-200 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1970-1977  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   minor
Artificial - aquatic   major
Grassland   minor
Shrubland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
hunting 38%
water management 38%

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

References Scott (1976a,c, 1978a).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Seyed Mohalli, Zarin Kola and Larim Sara. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife