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Touran Biosphere Reserve

Date of Submission: 05/02/2008
Criteria: (x)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourisme Organization
State, Province or Region:
Semnan Province
Ref.: 5275

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Touran Biosphere Reserve covers area 1,464,992 hectares. The Reserve presents a variety of habitats, including three extensive plains at different altitudes, varying from 700 to 1400 square meters, a saline river system, three mountain systems rising to a maximum of 2200 meters and 200000 hectares of sand including moving dunes, and a vast expanse of barren playa. This area was first established as a Protected Region in 1976, but because of importance of the area in having a high endemic plant species and large mammals especially presence of Acinonyx jubatus, Panthera pardus, Felis catus, F. margarita, Gazella subgutturosa, G. dorcas and Equus hemionus was listed as a Biosphere Reserve by Man and Biosphere Program (MAB) since 1977.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

X. This area is gifted with a rich variety of endemic jlora like Astragatus Kavirensis, A. touranicus, A.ulothrix, Cousinia Mashhedensis, C. Lasiandra, Eremoschys, Hyoscamoides, Hymenocratorer Oxyyodontus and Iranian specific fauna like Deer and Zebra.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

This area has some endemic plant species e.g. Astragalus kavirensis, A.touranicus, A. ulothrix, Cousinia mashhedensis, C. lasiandra, Eremostachys hyoscamoides, Hymenocrater oxyodontus, and Persian unimal species, i.e. Gazella subgutturosa and Equus hemionus.

Enjoying a great variety of endemic flora, there exist some types of Iranian Fauna like zebra, ram, ewes as well as some predators like panther and wild cat. In North West of today Ghar village some remainings of a buried city has been excavated. The ancient ruins of Kharazm reveal that the area was populated during the first half of the 11th  century of Islam. Discovering of industrial centers and impure metal alloys, handy files and metal forms in southern part of Touran all reveal some active copper mills. Discovered potteries in Khartouran and other findings prove that the history of the area dates back to Sasanid Era.

Comparison with other similar properties

Iran does not have an area with similar features.