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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Mazandaran
Central coordinates 51o 30.00' East  36o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, B2, B3
Area 410,790 ha
Altitude 0 - 4,540m
Year of IBA assessment 1994





Site description The central Alborz (Elburz) region extends from the forested foothills near the Caspian Sea east of Chalus to the summits north of Tehran (4,540 m), some of the highest peaks in the Alborz range. The site is bounded in the west by the main Karadj to Chalus road across the Alborz. It includes the full spectrum of habitat types on the northern slope of the Alborz, including the various types of Caspian forest from sea-level to the treeline, cleared areas on the lower slopes with grassland, cultivated plots and hedgerow communities, stands of Cupressus forest in rain-shadow areas at mid-elevations, Juniperus forest and alpine meadows on the upper slopes, spectacular cliffs and crags at high elevation, and alpine tundra and permanent snow fields on the mountain tops. The region is rather densely populated, especially at lower elevations in the north, with numerous small villages and many roads. Land ownership is public.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The reserve supports a very good variety of high Alborz species, including a large population of Tetraogallus caspius, and probably the full complement of Caspian forest species, including high densities of Phasianus colchicus. The region is rich in birds of prey (see box). Other notable species are Phoenicurus erythronotus, Phylloscopus trochiloides nitidus, Ficedula semitorquata, F. parva, Tichodroma muraria, Pyrrhocorax graculus, Montifringilla nivalis, Serinus pusillus, Emberiza leucocephalos and E. buchanani. At least 174 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
Caspian Snowcock Tetraogallus caspius resident  1977  15 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  1977  common  A1, B2  Least Concern 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca breeding  1977  1 breeding pairs  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina breeding  1977  uncommon  B2  Least Concern 
Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus resident  1977  1 breeding pairs  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus resident  1977  7 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus breeding  1977  2 breeding pairs  good  B2  Endangered 
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus breeding  1977  1 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Alborz-e-Markazy Protected Area 410,790 is identical to site 410,790  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Forest   major
Grassland   major
Rocky areas   major

Land use

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

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

References Firouz et al. (1970), Scott (1976b), Scott and Howell (1976).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Alborz-e Markazi Protected Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/05/2015

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