Miandasht Wildlife Refuge

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Miandasht Wildlife Refuge is a reserve in northeastern Iran. It comprises 844 square kilometres of semi desert and shrub land and is home to the endangered Asiatic cheetah.

History and location[edit]

Miandasht Wildlife Refuge is situated in North Khorasan Province in northeastern Iran. It has been designated as a Wildlife Reserve by the Iranian Department of the Environment in 1973.[1] The reserve is located to the south of Golestan National Park, and to the east of Khar Turan National Park.

Landscape and vegetation[edit]

The reserve comprises 84.435 hectares of dry flat plains interrupted by rolling hills. Most of the reserve lies slightly below 1000 m, the highest point is reached at 1340 m above sea level. The mean annual precipitation is 150 mm. The Jajarm Kalshour River flows in the area . Around the reserve are some human settlements and during winter about 15.000 heads of livestock graze in the reserve. The desert-like landscape is covered with wormwood (Arthmisia sieberi), feather grass (Stipa), saltwort (Salsola), saxaul trees (Haloxylon) and tamarisk (Tamarix).[1]


An Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) in Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, Iran.

Miandasht Wildlife Refuge is home to the rare Asiatic cheetah. Other confirmed carnivore species include striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), wolf (Canis lupus), caracal (Caracal caracal schmitzi), wild cat (Felis silvestris), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and golden jackal (Canis aureus). Larger herbivores are represented by goitered gazelles, low numbers of wild sheep (Ovis), and

wild boars (Sus scrofa). Rodents and hares are abundant. The main raptors are the long-legged buzzard (Buteo ruffinus) and the golden eagle (Aquila heliaca).[1]


On Jan. 7, 2015, Director General of Environmental Protection Department in North Khorasan announced a sighting of a female Asiatic cheetah and her cub at Miandasht Wildlife Refuge. Motahari also maintained that two days prior to this sighting, three other adult cheetahs were sighted by the locals some kilometers to the eastern border of Miandasht, and immediately reported to Jajrom Department of Environment.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Mohammad S. Farhadinia, Bahman Shams Esfandabad, Mahmoud Karami, Fatemeh Hosseini-Zavarei, Hossein Absalan and Bagher Nezami: Goitered Gazelle Gazella subgutturosa Guldenstaedt, 1780: its habitat preference and conservation needs in Miandasht Wildlife Refuge, northeastern Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 46, 2009. PDF
  2. ^ Female Asiatic Cheetah, cub sighted in Miandasht

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°54′00″N 56°48′00″E / 36.9000°N 56.8000°E / 36.9000; 56.8000