Nature of West Azerbaijan

Lake Urumieh, the largest inland water of the country, covers an area of about 5,000 km2, and lies in the west of the province. Because of the high salinity, plant and animal life is very limited in this lake. The Artemiasalina lobster is the only marine animal living in this lake, and attracts many birds, such as flamingoes and wild ducks, to this region, each year. Its water contains many minerals such as sodium chloride (238g/l), magnesium sulphate, magnesium chloride,  potassium chloride and calcium chloride. The mud around the lake is used for curing pains and diseases by masking the body in it. Kabudan Island, the major island in Lake Urumieh, is the habitat to extensive varieties of flora and fauna. Aras River, in the north of this province, forms a natural border between the province and the Republic of Nakhichevan. Other major rivers of this province are Zarinehrood, 302 km long, and Siminehrood, 173 km long, both of which flow into lake Urumieh. These two rivers are the habitat of different types of fish. West Azerbaijan also possesses a large number of mineral water springs, which are very popular with the tourists, the major springs are: Zendan-e-Soleyman (Prison of Soleyman) which lies in Miyandoab; Zanbil spring, northeast of Urumieh; Bukan spring, and Haft Abespring, 50 km southwest of the city of Urumieh. West Azerbaijan enjoys diverse flora and fauna. Forests, castles, preserved parks, hunting grounds, caves and meadows render special attraction to this province. The highest peaks of West Azerbaijan are Sheydan, 3,555 m high; Bursina, 3,480 m; Dalaper, 3,380 m and Khalil 3,100 m.