|Location||Iran, Islamic Republic of, Tehran|
|Central coordinates||52o 10.00' East 34o 45.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A3, B2, B3|
|Altitude||700 - 2,015m|
|Year of IBA assessment||1994|
Site description The Kavir region lies near the north-west corner of Iran's vast, arid central basin and between the Dasht-i Kavir (Salt Desert) and Daryacheh Namak (Salt Lake). The centre of the Protected Area is c.110 km south-east of Tehran. A chain of low rocky mountains (rising to 2,015 m at Siah-Kuh) runs through the alluvial plains (700-1,000 m) which form the remainder of this region. During prolonged drought virtually the entire area appears to be barren, shrubs and perennial herbs being confined to wadis or other drainage features. However, winter rains and snow may trigger a profuse growth of grasses and flowering plants which carpet much of the area in spring. Open associations of 'tragacanthic' or other Astragalus species, together with some spiny Cousinia and Artemisia (mostly A. herb-alba), are prevalent above 1,500 m. At lower elevations, Artemisia species are the commonest shrubs, while salt-tolerant plants such as Alhagi, Salsola, Haloxylon, Suaeda, Zygophyllum and Seidlitzia dominate in the more saline valley basins. The region is within easy access of Tehran, and is ideally situated for the promotion of eco-tourism. An old caravanserai in the west-central portion of the National Park has been restored as a guest house and visitor centre. Land ownership is public.
Key Biodiversity See box for key species. The reserve supports the characteristic desert avifauna of Iran's central plateau, and is an important breeding area for Chlamydotis undulata. It is also one of the best areas in the country for Pterocles coronatus, with up to 600 gathering to drink at a spring in the centre of the reserve. Other notable breeding species include Buteo rufinus, Falco tinnunculus, Cursorius cursor, Ammomanes cincturus, Hirundo obsoleta, Scotocerca inquieta and Rhodopechys githaginea. Rhodopechys mongolica occurs in large flocks in winter, and Accipiter nisus and Circus cyaneus also winter. Aquila nipalensis is regular on passage, and many passerine night-migrants stop over briefly at the small springs in spring and autumn; other passage migrants include Ciconia ciconia, Circus aeruginosus, Coturnix coturnix and Grus grus. At least 121 species have been recorded in the reserve.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Gazella dorcas fuscifrons (V), Ovis ammon (rare), Capra hircus aegagrus (rare), Caracal caracal (rare), Lynx lynx (rare), Canis lupus (V). Equus hemionus (V) was fairly common in the 1970s, and Acinonyx jubatus (V) was occasionally reported, but these both seem to have disappeared.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus||resident||1977||frequent||-||B2||Near Threatened|
|Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor||breeding||1977||7 breeding pairs||good||A3||Least Concern|
|Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus||resident||1977||200 breeding pairs||good||A3||Least Concern|
|Pale Crag-martin Hirundo obsoleta||breeding||1977||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Greater Hoopoe-lark Alaemon alaudipes||resident||1977||common||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura||resident||1977||abundant||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta||breeding||1977||1-3 breeding pairs||good||A3, B2||Least Concern|
|Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha||resident||1977||uncommon||-||A3, B3||Least Concern|
|Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus||resident||1977||present||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Kavir||National Park||441,486||protected area contained by site||420,000|
|Kavir||Protected Area||245,112||protected area contained by site||250,000|
|Kavir||UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve||420,000||protected area contained by site||420,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.
References Firouz (1974), Firouz et al. (1970), Scott (1976b).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kavir region. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/03/2015
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