Urmia Natural History Museum
The greatest museum of natural history in Iran was established in the northwest of the country in Urmia city, with approximately 5000m2 area and 3500m2 built-up area. It has been constructed in the entrance of the city (from Mahabad) and at the end of Ellarbaghi Park; this geographical location has made possible an easy access of public to this museum. West Azerbaijan province is one of the prominent regions of Iran in terms of different environmental indicators so that it enjoys a special climatic conditions in which there is a desert climate and sand dunes to the north, on the one hand, and the mountainous climate and oak forests to the south, on the other hand, which makes many various and unique environmental happenings between the two.
In addition, this province is the residence of 54 species of mammals such as gray bear, Persian lion, wild boar, ram, Armenian sheep, Persian yellow deer and wolf; 286 species of birds, 59 species of reptiles and amphibians and 26 species of fishes which are exhibited in this museum. Given to the climatic diversity of Iran leading it to be called “the seven-climates country” (Haft Eghlim), the species existed in the West Azerbaijan Province constitute 27.8% of Iran’s mammals, 55.64% of birds, 27.31% of reptiles and amphibians and 14.94% of aquatics of the country. Moreover, different animal species including 91 species of arthropods, 135 species of shells, 50 species of mammals, 22species of reptiles, 53 species of aquatics, 15 plant species and 165 bird species have been gathered, preserved using taxidermy method and exhibited to the public, researchers and students for scientific, educational and academic purposes. There are specific halls for animal species designed and constructed in four stories.
The specific halls for birds and mammals, reptiles, water ecosystems and seven climates of Iran an addition to the secondary halls for the library, conference, photo exhibition etc., are the main sectors of Urmia Natural History Museum. Generally, this is a museum specific for mammals, amphibians and reptiles which has made it a unique sample in all around the country that attracts many tourists, specialists and nature-lovers every year.