Participatory revitalization of endangered rangeland plant species in the Lay Rudasht region of Gavkhouni wetland basin

Participatory revitalization of endangered rangeland plant species in the Lay Rudasht region of Gavkhouni wetland basin

This project aims at revitalizing 125 hectares of rangelands in northern Gavkhouni wetland, known as Lay Rudasht, which is one of the suppliers of Water Right for the Gavkhouni wetland. The revitalization is conducted with the use of multi-purpose pasture plant species and with the involvement of local communities and beneficiaries thus to be promoted as a sample area for other local communities with similar climates.

The study area includes Mahmoudiyeh village with geographic coordinates UTM 672933 3610860, Mehrabad village with geographic coordinates UTM 673399 3613640 in 130 km of east of Isfahan. The region’s rangelands are among steppe rangelands with dominant vegetation of Artemisia sieberi, and the average rainfall of about 100 mm, which in recent years has been dramatically affected by the climate change and the consequent droughts.      

To implement the project, at first, three workshops were held with the presence of local women, men, and youths to outline the objectives of the project and exchange views with the beneficiaries regarding the selection of endangered pasture species via the facilitations provided by Mrs. Azimpour and Dr. Mirseyedi.

After holding these three workshops, the following species were selected:

  • Ferula assa-foetid
  • Dorema ammoniacum
  • Bonium persicum
  • spg
  • Reum ribes

After selection of species in spring time, and in collaboration with local trustees from Mehrabad and Mahmoudiyeh villages, a focus group began identifying the habitats and vegetation foundations and collected the relevant seeds. Considering the 2-year timeline of the pilot project, only those plants were selected that in addition to having economic significance and consumption value their seeds could be harvested in the shortest possible time.

After that, the seeds were planted in special pots and were kept and irrigated by local volunteers to be transferred to the rangelands at the right time. The Prepared pots were transferred to the rangelands as the annual rainfalls started in autumn, and were allocated 400 seedlings per hectare. Planted area were irrigated manually once before the winter sleep. The monitoring of the species was performed at the end of the first year by all beneficiaries and community experts.

To reduce the risk of climate change and droughts, part of the harvested seeds was planted in the land vault to be transferred to the rangeland after seedlings. At the same time, other revitalization methods were used throughout the protected area, such as sow in drills, sow in pots, and sow direct.