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Geno Biosphere Reserve, Islamic Republic of Iran


The Geno Biosphere Reserve is situated to the very south of the Zagros Mountains, close to the Persian Gulf and the Hara Biosphere Reserve. Mountain ranges reach 3,000 m above sea level and separate the warm and humid Persian Gulf from the arid deserts of central Iran. Vegetation and microclimatic conditions vary with elevation throughout the biosphere reserve, while the valleys are home to several hot springs.


Designation date: 1976


Regional network: South and Central Asia MAB Network (SACAM)

Ecosystem-based network:



    Surface :
    81,582 ha

    • Core area(s) : 22,078 ha
    • Buffer zone(s) : 19,211 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 40,293 ha

    Location: 27°24’10”N – 56°37’41”E

    Administrative authorities

    Department of Environment - Hormozgan province office
    791453385, Azadi Blvd.
    Bandar Abbas

    Tel: +98 761-4613066

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The biosphere reserve is formed by the Geno Mountains, which rise above the Persian Gulf plains. Shallow slopes and plains surround the reserve to the south and east, while low hills are found in the north and west. The climate is arid, but becomes semi-arid and cold at elevations of 2,300 m above sea level.

    There are several endemic plant species, including: Zhumeria majdae, Wendelboi petrocephalus and acacia tortortilis. A high diversity of bird species are found in the reserve, including the bearded vulture (gypaetus barbatus) and the see-see partridge (Ammoperdix griseogularis), as well as endangered mammals such as the leopard (Panthera pardus) and grey wolf (Canis lupus).

    Socio-economic characteristics

    According to a 2006 census, there are eleven villages, 1,683 households and 7,581 people inside the reserve, comprising mainly indigenous communities of the Bandar Abbas tribe. The main activities of the villagers are farming, horticulture and animal husbandry. 

    There are eight religious shrines in the reserve. These sites are well respected and draw pilgrims from surrounding areas. The cultivation of fruit trees, such as apple, lemon, and palm, has created a pleasant environment, which attracts visitors for recreation.


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    Last updated: December 2018