The site comprises cultivated lowland plains near the town of Parsabad, c.160 km north of Ardabil in extreme north-east Azarbayjan. The area is bordered in the north-west by the Aras river and in the north-east by the frontier with Azerbaijan. At this point, the Aras river flows in a broad valley c.1.5-2.0 km wide and 10 m below the level of the adjacent plains; it is wide and meandering, with many braided channels and shingle banks. The riverine habitats include stagnant pools with emergent marsh vegetation, open Tamarix scrub (mainly on the many small islands) and grassy areas. The plains are densely populated, with many small villages, and are almost entirely cultivation with cotton and wheat, though there are some areas of short grassland and Artemisia steppe in the east and Populus stands around the villages. There is some livestock grazing. Land ownership is public.
See box for key species. An important wintering area for geese and ducks; one of the best areas in Iran for Anser albifrons. The goose flocks feed at dawn and dusk on the cultivated plains of the Dasht-e-Moghan and spend much of the day loafing on shingle banks in the river. Small numbers of Mergus merganser occur along the river, and Phalacrocorax carbo also winters.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.
Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dasht-e-Moghan. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2021.