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Hara Forest ( Mangrove )

 

  • Hara forest ( Mangrove )

Perhaps the most unique attraction on Qeshm Island and the coasts of Persian Gulf for every domestic or foreign tourist is the floating Mangrove forests.

It spreads from strait of Hormoz to the east on Oman beaches and the Indian Ocean.

These widespread forests can be seen at the beaches of Persian Gulf around the Laft horbor at north of Qeshm Island and Khamir horbor.

Avesina, the great Iranian scientist, called the trees "Hara", which are called Timer in Sistan and Baluchestan and Toul in some southern parts of Iran.

Arabs call them Shoura and Azam. The Hara forest is the common name for Mangrove forest. 

Hara forest spreads at the latitude of 50-500m around the Qeshm Island. It bounds an area about 150 k m, a plot of land with an area of 8234 hectares.

The real and exact expansion of these forests is about 6012 hectares.

At the time of ebb (low tide), the trees and their sludgy beds come out of the water and present as widespread island. At the high tide, the water covers Hara forests and it disappears.

Basically the Hara tree grows in an area that high tide covers it, so at the higher sea beds any of these kinds of trees can't be seen.

The Hara tree grows to height of three to eight meters and has bright green leaves and twigs. The tree is the salt-water plant. It usually blossoms and bears fruit from mid-July to August, with yellow flowers and a sweet almond-like fruit. The seeds fall into the water, where wave action takes them to less moving parts of the sea. The Hara seeds become fixed in the soil layers of the sea and grow. Between Qeshm and Khamir horbor there is slow flow of waves, so most of the seeds stay there and grow.

The oval and long leaves with very narrow end-base, are not only appetizing but also have nutritious values for livestock and are equivalent to barley and alfalfa.

The roots of these kinds of plants are knee-form, aerial, sponge-like and usually external. The roots of Hara trees are higher than the ground level for their respiration (photosynthesis)
 
 
 
 

 The traditional stock breeders of Qeshm Island use the leaves of Hara for feeding their live stocks.

 The expansion of Hara forest has slow and decreasing growth.

In 1972 the Hara Protected Area was established to preserve suitable conditions for the growth and maintenance of the forest.

In the regions which are covered with Hara trees the depth of the water is about 3 m and they have briny soil.

This area is a very appropriate habitat for migratory birds in cold seasons because of its suitable ecological conditions.

These birds include seagulls, cormorants, flamingoes, storks, pelicans, eagles and. In other seasons the native birds which cannot find an appropriate place for living, come to these forests. The area is also a major habitat for reptiles, fishes and even some kinds of arthropoda and bivalvtes. Green turtles and venomous aquatic snakes are the specific animals of the ecosystem of Hara forests.