Golestan Biosphere Reserve is located in the northern part of Iran at the border to Turkmenistan. It belongs to the Caucaso-Iranian highlands and is situated in-between the sub-humid and semi-arid Caspian regions. The biosphere reserve represents three biomes: temperate rain forest, cold (continental) winter and semi-deserts and mixed mountain and highland systems. A vast variety of habitats can be found, such as closed forests, open woodlands and shrubs, mountain meadows, steppes, halophytic, hygrophilous and aquatic communities. Golestan is also designated as a national park.
Golestan offers a great ethnic diversity. The 26,000 inhabitants (2000) of the biosphere reserve are Turk, Persian and Kurdish. Their main activities consist in agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture, industry, silk production and tourism. Adverse effects on the transition area come from traffic, overgrazing of rangelands and deforestation.
In the biosphere reserve, a nature museum and a research station have been put in place. Read more about this reserve on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves website.