The Iranian portion of a large internal drainage basin, c.40 km from north to south and 20 km east to west, straddling the border with Afghanistan. The central part of the basin is occupied by bare saltflats which are subject to flooding during exceptional desert storms. This area is surrounded by a broad, sandy outwash plain with large areas of stabilized dunes and excellent desertic vegetation. The region is extremely arid, with no permanent water other than a few small springs at the base of the surrounding hills. The desertic steppe is dominated by Zygophyllum, and there is typical dune vegetation with scattered Tamarix, and some large patches of Tamarix scrub. The nearby stony hillsides are largely without vegetation. There may be some livestock grazing, but the area is very remote, very sparsely populated and far from any substantial supplies of fresh water.
See box for key species. The extensive Zygophyllum steppe probably supports a large population of Podoces pleskei; five birds were seen in a brief survey in June 1973. The breeding avifauna is characteristic of Iran’s central and eastern deserts, with Ammomanes cincturus particularly common.
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: Namakazar basin. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2021.