Arasbaran Forest includes a vast green area extended from Ahar City to Aras River. Having lots of rich environmental and natural sources, this forests have been inscribed on UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, as one of the biosphere reserves of Iran.
Many historic documents have confirmed the existence of such region in the southern margin of Aras River. For example, Ebn Howqal, the 4th century AH geographer, has mentioned to the name of these forests in his book, Masalek ol-Mamalek; he has also referred that one generation of Turk people live here. Moreover, Yaqut al-Homawi has also called these forests Baz in his introduction on the character of Babak Khorramdin.
Arasbaran has played a vital role especially in political equations. Abbas Mirza, the regent of Qajars, who chose Ahar as the battlefield for confronting Russian forces, was extremely supported by Arasbaran nomads. They have also played an important role in constitutional movement. Sattar khan, one of the leaders in constitutional movement, known also as National Commander (Sardar-e Melli), was also from this region.
Today, Arasbaran region is restricted to Tabriz and Marand, from the west, to Meshkin Shahr and Muqan, from east and to Sarab, from South. UNESCO inscribed more than 72000hectares of the region’s grounds as the biosphere reserve. Being included a wild texture and the existence of different plant and animal species in the neighborhood of the border line between Iran, Azerbaijan and Armenia, was of the main causes of UNESCO experts’ paying attention to Arasbaran.
The weather in this region is Mediterranean and Caucasian because it is located in the Caspian weather area and the existence of mountains with approximately 2201meters height at the heart of the semi-arid plains, makes the ecosystem of this region quit unique.
The economic activities such as agriculture, husbandry, gardening, handicrafts and tourism are highly popular among the nomads and locals of this region because of the good weather.
The fauna of the protected area of Arasbaran is highly various. Interesting in this respect are 220 species of birds, 38 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibian and 48 species of mammals. It should be said that Maral (red deer) was of the extinct species of Arasbaran which have been revived and released through moving several heads from Golestan National Park to Aynalo.
The flora of the region, also, follows a certain rule; so that, the southern hillsides are covered by grassland and the northern ones, especially above the heights of 200 to 800meters, are full of forests. In addition to oak and hornbeam, there also exist species like maple, sumac, barberry, wild pomegranate, wild apple and pear, raspberry and blueberry in this region.