Locating corridor construction routes for leopard (Panthera Pardus) in Golestan National Park

Document Type : Animal environment


Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Fisheries and Environment, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, P.O. Box:49138-15739, Gorgan, Iran


Roads intensify threat factors for wildlife and causes habitat degradation as use of corridors (underpass or overpass) are one of the most effective approaches to prevent these threats and problems. A highway crossing the Golestan National Park is threatening wildlife like leopard (Panthera pardus). Leopard is as endangered species in the IUCN Red List. The purpose of this paper is presenting the results of a study on locating suitable routes for overpass and underpass to reduce leopard road kill in Golestan National Park. For this, we applied the least cost path analysis. We created two friction surface layers, accumulated cost surface and start and end points as input data. We determined five paths to link habitat patches in the northern and southern parts of the Golestan National Park. The identified paths comparison and leopard road kill records along the highway were acceptable. The results of this study provided a means of concentrating on the most important locations for corridor construction for leaopard and its efficient management.