Arasbaran Forests

Arasbaran is a large mountainous area stretching from the Qūshā Dāgh massif, south of Ahar, to the Aras River in East Azerbaijan Province of Iran. Arasbaran Protected Area is the 9th Biosphere Reserved in Iran which covers an area of 12 hectares. Due to the importance of the area in having a rich flora (about 1000 taxa) and fauna specially presence of rare species such as Lyurus mlokosiewiczi in 1971 was conserved and UNESCO was listed it as a wildlife refuge since 1976.

Arasbaran is home to 215 species of birds, notably the Caucasian black grouse, grey partridge, black francolin, and common pheasant, 29 species of reptiles, 48 species of mammals, notably wild goat, wild boar, brown bear, wolf, lynx, and leopard, and 17 species of fish. The local flora include hornbeam, sumac, and Berberis. Mikandi valley, Aynali forests and Babak Castle are the sites that have the highest potential for ecotourism. These three sites are located alongside the road connecting Kaleybar to Asheqlu.

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