UNESCO has inscribed the Hyrcanian Forests to its World Heritage List in 2019. This is a natural attraction located at the north of the Alborz mountain range of Iran and south of the Caspian Sea.
The local people call the Hyrcanian Forests living fossil, the center of the world, the Caspian forests, the natural museum, etc. It’s a very valuable green zone in the north of Iran.
In antiquity, Hyrcania was an administrative region on the territory of the current Iranian provinces of several Iranian provinces as well as part of Turkmenistan. In classical antiquity, the Greeks and Persians called the Caspian the Hyrcanian Ocean.
The Hyrcanian forests are a strip of 800 kilometers long, extending from northwest to the northeast of Iran. The name of these forests originates from the old name of Gorgan, which was formerly called Hyrcan. Today, this city is the capital of Golestan province, at the southeast of the Caspian Sea. The biodiversity and originality of the region and its rare and unique species of vegetation and animals attract visitors.
This natural attraction, together with its natural diversity, has created an interesting variety in the cultural, social and economic conditions of its inhabitants. It increases the importance of the ancient Hyrcanian forests.
Hyrcanian Forests, extending from east to west, cover parts of five provinces of Iran:
North Khorasan Province
Located also in southeast Azerbaijan, this ecoregion includes the Lankaran Lowland and the Talysh Mountains.
The total area of Hyrcanian Forests has decreased from 3.6 million hectares in early of the current century to 1.9 million hectares. 1.85 million hectares of that is located in Iran.
Studies show that there are three climatic regions in Hyrcanian forests:
Humid subtropical, in middle altitude locations
Humid continental, in the mountains
The factors like the density of the forest, gradient, distance to the Caspian Sea are among the factors affecting the climate of the forests.
The maximum rainfall occurs in the spring and late fall and winter. The average temperature in the forests is between 15°C and 18°C.
The forests’ soils are productive and rich in minerals and organic matters.