A portion of the east-central Alborz Mountains c.35 km north of Semnan, spanning the divide from semi-arid steppe at c.1,800 m on the southern slopes to the upper levels of the humid Caspian forest in the north, peaking at 3,888 m. A deep, rain-shadow valley runs east-west through the centre of the reserve, with spectacular cliffs and scree slopes and some of the finest Juniperus forest in the Alborz. Other habitats include humid and dry high alpine zones, and rolling semi-arid Artemisia steppe in the south. Land ownership is public.
See box for key species. The reserve contains a very good variety of alpine and Juniperus forest species, as well as Caspian forest and montane steppic species. It is one of the few known localities for Mycerobas carnipes in Iran. Other notable species include Melanocorypha bimaculata, Phoenicurus erythronotus, S. hortensis, Phylloscopus trochiloides nitidus, Serinus pusillus, Rhodopechys mongolica and Emberiza buchanani. At least 101 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).
Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Parvar Protected Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/01/2023.