Khar Turan National Park, located southeast of the Iranian city of Shahrud, is believed to be the second largest biosphere reserve in the world. With an area of around 1.5 million hectares, it is the world’s second largest biosphere reserve after Africa’s Serengeti, says the park’s Chief Ranger Ali Akbar Ghorbanloo.
Shahrud’s Khar Turan, in the province of Semnan, is also home to the world’s last remaining Asiatic cheetah in captivity called Delbar (meaning enchanting in Persian).
Photos: A Lone Persian Cheetah at Turan National Park
The area has one of the richest diversities in terms of mammal species in the country, and has the largest population of onager in Iran as well as a good number of the two species of gazelles, wild sheep and wild goat, which ensure cheetah survival.