Iranian buffalo have a wide geographical distribution. Buffalo production is an important livestock sector, as a source of milk and meat. Knowledge of the genetic population of the buffalo is one of the main steps in breed conservation programmes and may have implications for future breeding strategies. Microsatellites are now widely used since they are numerous, randomly distributed in the genome, highly polymorphic and show co-dominance inheritance (Hillel et al., 2003). The objective of the present study is to determine and characterise the genetic diversity and the genetic structure of the Mazandaran buffalo population by using 13 polymorphic microsatellite markers.