Habitat suitability modeling of Pika (Ochotona rufescens) 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 habitat suitability of them is one of the main goals for wildlife management and protection strategies. In this study, habitat suitability of Pika (Ochotona rufescens) was investigated in Golestan National Park. In order to habitat suitability modeling, the Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) method was used. Ecogeographic factors were also used as independent variables including altitude, slope, aspect, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), distances from the springs and the rivers.  Result with 95 % of significance level demonstrated that the best habitat for Pika was in average altitudes 1325 m a.s.l., slope of 21degrees, south aspect, and distances of 2291 m far from the rivers, 3216 m from the springs.The results of habitat suitability modeling indicated that pika favorite Habitat in Golestan National Park was mostly at rocky and mountainous areas with steppe cover, that this species has a median niche and a tendency to occupy marginal habitats.