Habitat suitability modeling of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) using ENFA (Ecological Niche Factor Analysis) in Golestan National Park

Document Type : Ecology


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


Investigation of the ecological characteristics of wildlife species and determination of their habitat suitability is one of the main goals for wildlife management and protection strategies. In this study, the autumn and winter habitat suitability of Roe Deer was investigated in Golestan National Park. Golestan National Park is one of the suitable habitats for Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus). For habitat suitability modeling, the Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) method was used. Ecogeographic factors were used as independent variables including altitude, slope, aspect, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), distances from roads, guard stations, villages, springs and rivers. Our result with 95 % of significance level showed that the best habitat for Roe Deer in autumn was in average altitudes 1009 m a.s.l., slope of 27%, south aspect, and distances of 1062 m far from the roads, 894 m from the rivers, 1019 m from the springs, 3216 m from the guard stations and 7385 m from the villages. In winter the altitudes 990 m a.s.l., slope of 23%, aspect of south, and distances of 1144 m away from the roads, 775 m from the rivers, 1097 m from the springs, 3083 m from the guard stations and 7172 m from the villages were preferred by Roe Deer. Subsequently these results showed this species has a narrow niche and a tendency to occupy marginal habitats.