(Persia Digest) - The Hyrcanian forests were inscribed as the second Iranian natural heritage on the UNESCO World Heritage List at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee with the approval of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Hyrcanian broad-leaved forests are the only survivals of the ice age in the world, the largest of which are about two million hectares in Iran. Also, a small part of the Hyrcanian forests which are about 20,000 hectares are located in Azerbaijan. In addition, there are also very small patches of these forests in Europe. The Hyrcanian forests located in northern Iran are named after a tribe called Hyrcan which was located in Golestan Province.

53 percent of Iran's Hyrcanian forests are located in Mazandaran, 26 percent in Guilan and 21 percent in Golestan. Moreover, Hyrcanian forests can be spotted in places like Golestan National Park, Alimestan Forest in Haraz, Afratakhteh Forest, Abr [cloud] Forest in Shahrood, Arasbaran Forests, Bibi Yanlu Forest Park and Naharkhoran Forest Park in Gorgan. Bula, Vaz Forest, Kojur region in Noshahr, Palangdarreh, Chaharbagh in Chalous, Khoshkdaran Forest, Gasht-e Rudkhan, Siah Rudbar in Gilan and the Lisar Protected Area are among these old forests.

Photo: Mehdi Tirani

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