Site description (1994 baseline):

Site location and context
These two adjacent reserves (Tandoureh National Park and Protected Area), 40 km north-north-east of Quchan, incorporate a section of the Kopet Dagh Mountains with a spectacular central valley flanked by impressive cliffs and containing a large perennial spring (Chehelmere). Most of the area consists of montane steppe with Juniperus woodland on steep slopes and some riverine thickets in the valleys. Principal habitats include Artemisia steppe and open scrub with scattered Juniperus in the central valley (930-1,500 m), steep rocky hillside with good montane steppe and stunted Juniperus (1,200-2,000 m), summit ridges and plateaus with well-watered montane steppe and some rocky outcrops (2,000-2,612 m), and spectacular cliffs, crags and gorges. There is a dense stand of riparian woodland in the gorge below Chehelmere spring.

Key biodiversity
See box for key species. Breeding birds include species characteristic of the montane steppes, Juniperus forest and high mountains of north-east Iran. Breeders not listed below include Melanocorypha bimaculata, Sylvia hortensis, Emberiza buchanani and E. bruniceps. At least 76 species have been recorded in the reserve.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V), Ursus arctos (rare), Panthera pardus (rare), Capra hircus aegagrus (rare) and Ovis ammon (rare).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
A Protected Region of 73,435 ha was established in 1968, and reduced to 53,780 ha but upgraded to National Park in the early 1970s. Later, 23,000 ha of the National Park were downgraded to Protected Area (erroneously given as 2,300 ha in IUCN 1991). Currently, the National Park stands at 35,000 ha and the Protected Area at 41,900 ha. No threats are known.

Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Tandoureh. Downloaded from on 24/09/2023.