TEHRAN – Kani Barazan wetland, being lost by 70 percent, has been revived by releasing water from the Mahabad River and is once again ready to host migratory birds.
Located in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, Kani Barazan, was once recorded as the first bird-sighting site in the country and birdwatchers call it Iran’s bird paradise.
Stretching to 907 hectares, Kani Barazan wetland is home to various bird species including, flamingo, little cormorant, great white pelican, stilt, sternidae, great crested grebe, graylag goose, lesser white-fronted goose, heron, common shelduck and etc.
So far, 75 species of water birds belonging to 11 families have been identified in this wetland, which will reach more than 180 species counting terrestrial species, Mehr reported on Sunday.
Drought and lack of water rights caused the loss of 70 percent of the wetland, causing negative environmental effects with the beginning of the bird migration season.
In recent weeks, with the release of 2.5 million cubic meters of water from the Mahabad River, the wetland survived being wiped out, however, due to low rainfall, the wetland is still under threat.
Omid Bonabi, head of the wetland protection and rehabilitation department of West Azarbaijan’s department of environment said that the annual water right of Kani Barazan wetland is 16.7 million cubic meters, which is provided through dam release and precipitation.
Due to the pesticides and agricultural fertilizers in the past years, this wetland was contaminated, although this problem has not been completely solved, efforts have been made to manage this issue, he added.
Two natural and artificial lagoons (with an area of one hectare and a depth of one meter) have been created in Kani Barazan wetland for improving water quality and rehabilitating the wetland, he explained.
Bonabi went on to note that creating a culture to reduce the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers by using sustainable agriculture in the upstream lands of Kani Barazan wetland can play an important role in reducing pollution.
In line with tourism, for the first time, comprehensive studies have been carried out in Kani Barazan wetland, and now the studies have been completed and are ready to attract investors, he further stated.