Having been protected since 1973, this region was promoted to wildlife refuge in 1975. Located in East Azarbaijan Province, the region has an area of 96952 ha and limited plain lands. The Aras border river forms the northern limit of the area. The altitude range of 540 to 341 m, and mean annual precipitation and temperature of 336 m and 11 C, respectively, have led to a temperate semi-arid climate in the region.
A vast area of the region is covered with herbal vegetation especially xerophyte species. Some of the plant species of the region include Turk terebinh pistache, juniper, berberry, prickly thrift, milfoil, camel’s thorn, pagoda green bier, astragal, wormseed, beet, bean caper, ziziphora, dog rose, iris, borage, cow parsnip, and thyme. Wild goat is the major animal species of the region. Other animal species include Armenian sheep, leopard, brown bear, Eurasian lynx, wild boar, Caspian snowcock, golden eagle, lesser kestrel, bearded vulture, and different crap fish. Permanent high-flow rivers, beautiful cliffs, novel landscapes, high biodiversity and proximity to a number of cities have facilitated research and tourist activities in the region.