Gavkhooni Wetland

Geographical location

Batlaq-e-Gavkhuni (Gavkhoni Wetland or swamp)   is located in 140 km south-east of Isfahan and 30 km from historic city Varzaneh. This wetland is located in the southeast of Bon Rood section and Varzaneh and in northeast of Jarghouyeh section and in the southwest of Nayin city and west of Nodoushan area of Yazd province and northwest of Abargou Desert.

Its height from the sea level is 1,470 meters and is shown in a triangular state, its maximum width is about 50 kilometers and its maximum length is 25 kilometers.

The depth of water in most of its points is shallow and is about one meter, which varies according to the amount of water entering the wetland throughout the year.


Gavkhoni wetland complex includes a considerable diversity of habitats such as Dandruff and saline water, rivers, estuaries, shores, seasonal ponds, sandy and windy hills and the mountain in the northwest and east. In the past, this area has been a good habitat for deer, ewe, ram, zebra, and cheetah. In these area reptiles such as gooseberries, lizards and many snakes and marsh frogs have been abundant. The wetland has been hosting hundreds of thousands of aquatic birds for many years. One of the most interesting and attractive features of the wetland is the migration of migratory birds over the winter.

Gavkhoni in the present

On the one hand, due to uncontrolled fishing and pollution and the sharp drop in water as a result of the entry of sewage and on the other hand,  due to the construction of the Zayandehrood dam the number of wild birds has decreased day by day and has reached a complete elimination stage.

To make the problem worse Increased water exploitation of Zayandeh Rood River, For agriculture, industry and drinking purposes- for instance, the enormous water supply project in Yazd- has led to a dramatic drop in entering water of the wetland and has caused the ecosystem of wetland to be subjected to gradual death. Due to the drought in recent years, excessive use of Zayandeh river water and the severe heat of the air, there have been fires that destroyed the vast vegetation of the area.

Gavkhoni in the past

In terms of diversity of vegetation and aquatic and wildlife, Gavkhoni is far richer than now and animals like zebra, deer, cheetah, pigs and birds like flamingos, ducks, Ruddy shelduck, Common shelduck , gray goose and … have been abundant there. The red and beautiful color of the wetland is due to the life of a hard skin called “Artemia salina”. There are more than thirty vegetation types in the wetland, including Haloxylon, Tamarix, Coroxylon dendroides , Astragalus, Callistemon, Pteropyrum aucheri , Zygophyllum and etc. And now only Tamarix and canebrake in the desert are visible.

The Importance of Gavkhoni wetland

Gavkhoni wetland is one of the rarest wetland in terms of geographical environment and three factors including Hydrological, biological and ecological factors. Besides,  in the wetland area (Varzaneh and Bin Rood area), there are  Many ancient works of art such as Qaleh-Khargooshi(Caravanserai), The Citadel of Ghurtan (the second largest citadel of Iran after the Bam), Abbasid caravansaries, water mills, Grand Mosque of Varzaneh and other mosques and historical bridges. In 30 km of wetland, there is the city of Varzaneh, which is considered as the whitest city in Iran. Because the first thing that catches the attention of each passerby is the white Chador (long scarf) of Women and girls, instead of usual black Chadors of Iranian women. Some believe that wearing a white Chador is due to the severe summer heat. Some people also believe that since Varzaneh has been farming and cultivating cotton products, it was easy to make a white Chador out of cotton yarn. The sandy hills are located in a short distance from Varzaneh and south of the wetland, which is known as Shahsarba. This city, known among the inhabitants as Rigsara, is a massive mass of sands which has about 50 Kilometers length and 20 kilometers width. The city is extended along the western, eastern border between Varzaneh, Hasan Abad Jarghouyeh, and Gavkhouni Wetland and it also stretched along the Zayandeh Roud River; therefore, it is in the southeast of Varzaneh and southwest of Gavkhuni wetland.

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