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Harra Protected Area

Date of Submission: 05/02/2008
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization
State, Province or Region:
Hormozgan Province
Ref.: 5277
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Description

The reserve located in strait of Khuran, Persian Gulf; between Qeshm Island and the southern Iranian coasts. Much of reserve is taken up by Mehran delta which forms extensive Intertidal flats and has a marshy coastline and vast mangrove formation. There are numerous small islands, creeks and inlets. The climate is subtropical and summers are extremely hot with temperatures reaching 4j0c, rainfall is low with an annual total of 100- 300 mm, mainly falling November to April. The reserve contains the stand of grey mangrove (Avicennia marina) that named Harra in locally. This stand is largest one in all over the Persian Gulfcountries. This area is of major importance to breeding, wintering and migrant water birds. The main area of mangroves and mudflats with an area of 82,360 hectres was designated as a protected area in 1972. The entire area of mangroves, mudflats and creels was designated as Ramsar Site on 1975 as well as a biosphere reserve in 1976.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

This natural reserve is unique between mangrove habitats in west Asia because of vast area and adapted to hot weather and more saline sea water (over 40 ppt.). The Intertidal areas and mangrove zones provide a suitable habitat for abundant invertebrates, which form an important food source for wildfowl. The reserve supports more than 50,000 individual bird's habitat in more than 90 species. The reserve is an important breeding site for herons (Ardeidea), notably great Egret (Egretta alba), western reef heron (Egretta gularis), Indian pond heron (Ardeola grayii), goliath heron (Ardea goliath), Crab plover (Dromas ardeola) and atone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus). Numerous species of plover (Chharadriidae) pass through the area on migration. In winter the wetland area of reserve is of special importance as a feeding station for heron, plover and sandpipers (Scolopacidae) including grey heron (Ardea cinera), redshank (Tringa totanus), Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinereus), bar-tailed god wit (Limosa lapponica) and curlew (Numenius arquata). This site is more important for wintering flocks of Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) and greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber).

Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides), Hump-back dolphin (Sousa chinensis) and common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) find in site regularly. Green turtle, Dalmatian pelican, cab plover and curlew are endangered species of the reserve with global importance.

Life of local people depended to mangrove habitat by cutting foliage for feeding domestic livestock, catch fish in traditional way (named Moshta) and recreation services. This site take as a sample of balancing life of man and nature.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

In spite of hard using of mangroves as forage species, these ecosystems are alive and also are endangered.

Comparison with other similar properties

The reserve has regional importance in Persian Gulf area for bio-geographic importance, vast of terrestrial, shore and sea areas, uniqueness and rarity, critical habitat for fish stock and endangered species, biotic structure systems, high diversity, representativeness, physiognomy feature, natural characteristics, productivity, spawning, breeding and nursery grounds, integrity or self-sustaining ecological entity, economic importance for local people and human population dependency, recreational, educational and research importance.