The Natural Heritage of Tabas Geopark

Tabas Geopark is located in the center of Iran and in the northwest of South Khorasan province. This region has a desert ecosystem with a hot and dry climate and is mainly made up of vast plains and deserts. However, there are several mountainous regions in this area of Iran, whose presence next to the plains and deserts has led to the emergence of a unique flora and fauna. Different types of desert and mountain trees, medicinal plants (more than 60 types), and a wide range of mammals, reptiles, and birds are also found in this area of Iran.

Geosite of Naybandan Wildlife refuge
The geosite of Naybandan Wildlife Refuge with an area of 1.516.994 hectares, located around 200 km south of Tabas, is the largest wildlife refuge in Iran. This area, which has been under protection since 1994, is one of the most important habitats of the Asian cheetah. Tectonic activities such as folding and faults have created different heights and topographies from 600 m to about 3 thousand m in this area.  These activities have created various topography in this region, including plains, ridges, sand dunes, high mountains, and vast salt marshes. This topographic variety has made this area a suitable host for a wide range of plant and animal species, as a result of which 177 plant species, including  Amygdalus Lycioides Spech , bitter almond, wild fig,  Tamarix,  Haloxylon recurvum ,  Atraphaxis ,  Artemisia,  Zygophyllum, Ferula,  Citrullus colocynthis  and  Aizoaceae are found in the area, along with animals such as Asian cheetah, leopard, caracal, wild cat,  chinkara, ram and sheep,  wild goat, hyena,  Blanford’s fox,  Rüppell’s  fox, common fox, and jackal.

Geosite of Senou Forest Habitat
Geosite of Senou forest habitat is located in the north of Sorond & Moudar village with an area of over 9 thousand acres, on the slopes of the Shotori mountain range in Chehrestu and Boghuz region. Senou with the scientific name Fraxinus persica, is a species of ash trees and one of the most important plant species of the Zagros Mountain range in western Iran, whose presence in this region is very interesting. The most important factor for the spread of this valuable species in this geosite is the lithology similarity of the Shotori mountain range with the Zagros Mountain range and its height, acting like a big barrier against air and rain currents and leading to more precipitation in this area of Tabas Geopark. The presence of this forest in the middle of Lut Desert and Dasht-e-Kavir, along with all kinds of animal and plant species such as Junipers, fig, Prunus scoparia, Pistacia atlantica, Rosa canina, Amygdalus salicifolia, Cotoneaster, Shotori Mountains and high mountainous landscapes, deep valleys and various rocks of the first and second geological era are other attractions of this habitat.

Chah Peyshou Rivas Plain
Chah Peyshou is a well-known region in the eastern part of Tabas, which lies at the slopes and heights of Shotori Mountains. A vast plain with rhubarb plants in this place is one of its most important attractions, and every year many eco-tourists and climbers visit it in different seasons. Furthermore, the existence of several large seasonal cascades -which originate from Shotori peaks- and the peerless mountainous nature are considered of the area’s attractions. Deyhuk area is also one of the rhubarb habitats in the southeast of the Tabas city, where every year its pleasant produces are sent to other parts of Iran.

Koma Plant (Anghuze)
Anghuze plant (Ferula assa foetida L) is monocarpic, so that it blooms only once during growing time, and then its vegetative period ends. The plant produces and stores a special sap, which can be extracted by scarifying its roots. Anghuze plant has wide medicinal properties and various medical and industrial uses – aromatics – and grows in 400,000 hectares of Iranian rangelands, and the city of Tabas possesses the half of its habitat. Naturally, there are two types of bitter and sweet Anghuze in the world and Tabas’s is the sweet type and has the highest quality in the world.

Mountain Almond (Badmeshk)
Mountain almonds (with the scientific name of Amygdalus scoparia), which are called “Badmeshk” in the local dialect, are native to Tabas and are from a group of evergreen plants that grow in vast expanse of mountainous areas and plains. The scope of the species is over 400 thousand hectares that can be seen from the northernmost point of Tabas to its southernmost point. Its fruit is used by humans and for feeding the livestock, and its thin stems were used to make handicrafts in the past, and its wood was used for the provision of charcoal. Badmeshk white flowers in the spring, with a dense cover which they formed in some places -surrounding the villages of Sorond, Mauder and Deh Mohammad- have created a very picturesque and unforgettable landscape in the region.