Biosphere Reserve & International Wetland
Having an area of 66933 ha, this Mazandarn Province-located region was designated protected area international wetland in 1969 and 1975, respectively. The unique characteristics of the area led to its promotion to a wildlife refuge in 1975 followed by its recognition as a biosphere reserve since 1976. Located 27 meters below sea level, this plain area has Mediterranean and temperate sub-humid climates, with 700 mm of annual precipitation and a mean annual temperature of 17 C.
Miankaleh consists of two unique ecosystems: Miankaleh-Gorgan Bay wetland and Miankaleh peninsula. The water of the wetland is brackish and is supplied by the Caspian Sea, the permanent river of Qarehsoo and a number of other seasonal rivers. The presence of coastal sandy lands, wetlands, ponds, forest lagoons and sand dunes adjacent to each other unique feature of the area.
179 plant species and 204 migratory and native bird species have been identified in the region. The main plant species include pomegranate, medlar tree alomond, hawthorn, Christ s thorn, poplar, tamarisk, nettle tree, elm, horsetail, raspberry, persicaria, saltwort, sedge and reed. The most important animal species of the region are wolf, jackal, wild boar, wild cat, cape here, seal, garganey, flamingo, godwit, osprey, white-throated divar, red-crested pochard, pygmy cormorant, horned grebe, bean goose, white-fronted goose, sandpiper, squacco heron, pheasant, stone curlew, black partridge, and some fish species such as carp, roach, southern Caspian kutum, mullet, pike perch, goby, asp, eel, and Caspian vimba.
Unique ecological conditions, high biodiversity, nestling of valuable native and migratory birds, untouched landscapes, proximity to population centers and proper access roads have enabled tourist attraction as well as research an educational activities.