MNA – An increasing number of migratory birds have been found dead in the Miankaleh peninsula in Mazandaran province, northern Iran.
According to Hossein-Ali Ebrahimi, head of Mazandaran province’s department of environment, the corpses of some 8,000 birds of different species, including flamingos, have been collected in the peninsula since the unusual death of the birds was witnessed last week.
The official noted that a group of experts from Iran’s Department of Environment has been sent to Mazandaran province to investigate the cause of migratory birds’ death.
He said the DoE has banned hunting of migratory birds in the eastern parts of the province, where Miankaleh is located until the investigations are carried out, adding that in order to maintain human health, the sale of any migratory birds in the nearby cities would also be suspended until the exact cause of the deaths is revealed.
Miankaleh is a narrow and long peninsula situated in the extreme southeastern part of the Caspian Sea. It is spread over 68,800 hectares. Its wetland is a wildlife sanctuary and hosts a number of endangered species, particularly aquatic migratory birds who arrive at the site for laying eggs.
Miankaleh Peninsula was registered in 1969 as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. In 1979, the peninsula was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
The biosphere reserve’s ecological importance is highlighted by its hosting of 250,000 migratory birds, including pelican, flamingo, graylag and white-fronted geese, swan, red-breasted merganser and the white-headed duck, in winters.