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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Fars
Central coordinates 51o 53.00' East  29o 34.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3
Area 59,784 ha
Altitude 853 - 3,219m
Year of IBA assessment 1994





Site description The site comprises the Arjan Protected Area lying 40-80 km west of Shiraz and incorporating a wide spectrum of Zagros habitats from spectacular high peaks at over 3,000 m, through rolling uplands, and down through the Quercus forest zone to the Acacia woodlands and date gardens of Iran’s southern coastal zone. Two very important wetlands are included, Dasht-e Arjan (29°37'N 51°59'E) at 2,000 m and Lake Parishan (29°31'N 51°48'E) at 850 m, only c.15 km apart. The physiography of the region is of great interest. Oligo-miocene ('Asmari') limestones form spectacular escarpments, generally aligned as parallel ridges enclosing broad valleys with open Quercus brantii woodland. The lower slopes are partially covered with steppic forest of Amygdalus, Crataegus, Celtis, etc. In much of the area, the shrub-like tree Amygdalus erioclada is conspicuous.

Dasht-e Arjan is a shallow freshwater lake with extensive Phragmites and Typha. The lake lies in an enclosed basin and drains through swallow-holes at its south-east corner. It reaches c.2,200 ha after wet winters but may shrink to several hundred hectares in drought years. Most of the basin dries out in summer, but two large springs on the west side maintain some permanent marsh. Much of the wetland freezes in winter, and deep snow is not unusual. Good rainfall in recent years has considerably expanded the area covered by tall reeds. Much of the surrounding plain has been overgrazed.

Lake Parishan, fed by permanent springs and seasonal watercourses, lies in an enclosed drainage basin in a broad valley and is brackish to saline, the salinity varying widely with the size of the lake. At maximum extent (c.4,000 ha), the lake is almost fresh. During the early 1970s, water levels were low, the lake was brackish to saline, marsh vegetation was confined to the western and eastern ends near freshwater inflow, and there were large areas of bare saltflats in the south-west bay. In recent years, however, water has remained high and is now almost fresh, and there is very extensive Phragmites and Typha in many parts. Salt-tolerant vegetation (principally Chenopodiaceae) is predominant around the lake and large areas of grassland are now under wheat. There is some reed-cutting at both wetlands, and the Department of the Environment plans to establish a Guest House and Visitor Centre overlooking Lake Parishan. Land ownership is public.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis resident  1977  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  1970-1977  25,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons winter  1987-1992  180 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Greylag Goose Anser anser winter  1977-1992  1,845-5,760 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea winter  1977-1992  3,820-4,180 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Gadwall Anas strepera winter  1977-1992  990-2,200 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope winter  1977-1992  5,000-5,610 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  1970-1977  14,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1970-1977  45,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  1976-1977  200-300 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  1987-1992  2,040-5,500 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1970-1977  20,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  1977  4 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Near Threatened 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1970-1977  150 individuals  good  A1, B1i, B2  Near Threatened 
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  1977-1992  200-2,520 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala breeding  1977  4 breeding pairs  good  B2  Endangered 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  1987-1992  17-455 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Endangered 
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis winter  1977-1992  150-330 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus breeding  1977  50-100 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus passage  1977  430 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus winter  1970-1977  300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis passage  1977  500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus passage  1977  9,800 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  1970-1977  7,080 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus breeding  1977  30-100 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus winter  1977-1992  200-930 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia breeding  1977  50-400 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris passage  1972  present [units unknown]  B2  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1977  100 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax winter  1970-1977  300 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1977  200 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea winter  1970-1977  255 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great Egret Casmerodius albus winter  1970-1977  370 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Little Egret Egretta garzetta breeding  1977  100 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Little Egret Egretta garzetta winter  1970-1977  350 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus winter  1970-1977  800 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus resident  1992  5-10 breeding pairs  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1987-1992  60-185 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  1977  10-15 breeding pairs  good  A1, B2  Least Concern 
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga winter  1977  5 individuals  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  1977  7 individuals  B2  Vulnerable 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1977-1992  24,300-172,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus winter  1977-1992  1,000-2,204 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus passage  1977  210 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus winter  1970-1977  100 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus winter  1970-1977  4,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  1970-1977  900 individuals  good  B1i  Near Threatened 
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus winter  1977-1992  3,400-4,300 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Sombre Tit Parus lugubris resident  1977  frequent [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida breeding  1977  common [units unknown]  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Plain Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus neglectus breeding  1977  common [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis breeding  1977  frequent [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Hume's Wheatear Oenanthe albonigra resident  1977  frequent [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
Pale Rock Sparrow Petronia brachydactyla breeding  1977  abundant [units unknown]  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1970-1977  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Arjan UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 52,800 protected area contained by site 52,800  
Arjan or Ajan and Parishan Protected Area 59,784 protected area contained by site 52,800  
Lake Parishan and Dasht-e-Arjan Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 6,200 protected area contained by site 6,200  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   minor
Grassland   minor
Wetlands (inland)   13%
Rocky areas   minor
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Shrubland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
fisheries/aquaculture major
hunting minor

Other biodiversity Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Ursus arctos (rare), Caracal caracal (rare), Panthera pardus (rare), Gazella subgutturosa (rare), Capra hircus aegagrus (rare) and Ovis ammon (rare). Panthera leo persica is known to have survived until c.1940.

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

References Argyle (1975), Carp (1980), Cornwallis (1968), Firouz (1974), Ramsar Convention Bureau (1993), Scott (1973d, 1976a,c, 1978a, 1980), Summers et al. (1987).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Arjan Protected Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/04/2014

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