Site description (1994 baseline)
Semi-desertic and wooded plains at the base of the eastern Zagros Mountains, c.65 km south-south-west of Jiroft. Much of the centre and south of the reserve is occupied by a broad belt of excellent Prosopis woodland with scattered Tamarix. This gives way to open Tamarix woodland with a grassy understorey in the north, and sandy plains with Salsola, Haloxylon and scattered Tamarix shrubs along the northern boundary. To the south is a boulder-strewn outwash plain and a range of barren, rocky hills. There are several small villages in the reserve, with some irrigated cultivation. The Bandar Abbas to Jiroft road passes along the north-west boundary of the reserve. Cultivated areas (mostly in the south of the reserve) comprise date gardens and irrigated wheat fields.
See box for key species. The avifauna is characteristic of the coastal lowlands of south-east Iran, with common breeders including Francolinus pondicerianus, Hypocolius ampelinus, Hippolais rama, Turdoides caudatus, Lanius vittatus and Petronia xanthocollis. The reserve lies in the zone of hybridization between Dendrocopos syriacus and D. assimilis, with hybrid types predominating. A brief survey in May 1975 recorded 32 species in the reserve.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: the very rare Baluchistan race of Selenarctos thibetanus (V) is known to have occurred in the 1970s. Other mammals include Vulpes rueppellii (K) and Gazella dorcas fuscifrons (V).
Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mehrouyeh Wildlife Refuge. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/mehrouyeh-wildlife-refuge-iba-iran-islamic-republic-of on 02/10/2023.