The site lies in an intermontane basin on the western edge of the Central Plateau, c.135 km north-west of Isfahan. About half is mountainous (peaks rising to 2,930 m) or rolling foothills (2,000-2,225 m), and the remainder comprises open plains in four valley regions (1,770-2,000 m). The dominant plant community throughout most of the site is tragacanthic steppe with Artemisia. Land ownership is public. Livestock are grazed.
See box for key species. The avifauna of the reserve is characteristic of the extensive semi-arid steppic plains which fringe the central desert basin of Iran. Other breeding species include Aquila chrysaetos, Falco tinnunculus, Pterocles orientalis (particularly common), Columba livia, Streptopelia decaocto, Athene noctua, Coracias garrulus, Upupa epops and Lanius excubitor (presumed). Passage migrants include Falco peregrinus, and F. pelegrinoides is an occasional visitor.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Capra hircus aegagrus (rare), Ovis ammon (rare, estimated 700–800 in 1970), Gazella subgutturosa (rare, c.5,000), Lynx lynx (rare), Canis lupus (V), Acinonyx jubatus (V; an occasional visitor in the mid- and late 1970s, but has not been observed in recent years).
Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mooteh Protected Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2021.