Located in the north of Persian Gulf in the Khuzestan Province, this wetland area was designated wildlife refuge in 1972 and was later registered as an international wetland in 1975. Level to open seas, the region has an an area of 328926 ha. Mean annual precipitation and temperature of 218 mm and 26 C, respectively, giving it a warm extra-arid climate in the region. The northern part of the wetland has freshwater whereas the middle and southern parts have brackish and brine water thanks to their neighboring with coastal marshes. The depth of the wetland does not exceed a few meters. The Jarrahi River is the main water supply feeding the wetland. The main plant species of the region are cypress grass, cat’s tail, water lily, sedge and saltwort.
The wetland is a perfect habitat for a great numberof resident and migratory threatened birds such as marbled teal, dalmation pelican, goliath heron, squacco heron, Indian pond heron, little bittern, scaup, ferruginous duck and imperial eagle. Wild boar, jackal, commo fox, Indian crested porcupine, cape hare, teal, green-headed duck, white stork, tufted duck, partridge, godwit, sandpiper ribbon snake, Montpellier snake, and checkered cat snake also live in the wetland and its surroundings. Due to providing a suitable place for living and growth of various species of fish and birds, Shadegan wildlife refuge is of great importance in terms of preserving genetic reserves.
Over the past few years, man-made developments have resulted in various problems and pollutions especially oil pollution in the region. The existence of diverse bird species and novel landscapes attracts nature lovers and researchers to the region.