The Miankaleh Biosphere Reserve is located at the south-eastern part of the Caspian Sea. Major habitats include wetlands, inter-tidal mud with sandy shore, shallow marine waters, forested peat lands, raspberry shrub forests, tamarix forests and agricultural areas.
Miankaleh was designated a Ramsar site in 1975. About 109,200 Turkmen and Iranians live in the biosphere reserve on a seasonal basis (2000). Their main sources of income come from agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, handicrafts, carpet weaving, traditional poultry farming and tourism. Major problems facing the biosphere reserve today are overgrazing, illegal hunting, sailing, fishing, deforestation, and the spread of villages without management planning. Read more about this reserve on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves website.