An extensive region of high mountain ridges and steep-sided valleys with spectacular limestone crags and pinnacles at the extreme north-west end of the Zagros chain, north of the small town of Nowsud and c.30 km south-south-east of Marivan. No site boundaries are yet determined. The region contains a broad spectrum of Zagros habitats: luxuriant riverine forest of Quercus, Juglans and Populus in the valley bottoms; mature Quercus forest, scrubby Quercus woodland and terraced wheat cultivation on the lower slopes; rocky hillsides with tragacanthic steppe and scattered Pistacia trees on the higher slopes; and rocky outcrops and alpine tundra at the summits, peaking at 2,984 m. Snow patches linger on the highest ridge until at least mid-July.
See box for key species. The region has a characteristic Zagros avifauna, including most species typical of the Zagros Quercus forest as well as most of the high montane species. Other notable breeding species include Dendrocopos medius, Lanius nubicus, Pyrrhocorax graculus, Montifringilla nivalis and Emberiza buchanani.
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: Western Zagros north of Nowsud. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2021.