Located in the Anatolian Iran deserts, the Touran Biosphere Reserve represents well the vegetation of arid and semi-arid deserts. It comprises salt, gypsum, mountainous, stone and sandy habitats and covers both clay lowlands and mountains with an altitude of more than 2,200 meters above sea level.
About 10,700 people live in the biosphere reserve (2000), depending mostly on agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture and carpet sewing. Major human impacts on the ecosystem arise from overgrazing especially by camels, illegal hunting and fuel wood harvesting. Read more about this reserve on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves website.