Habitat desirabllity Evaluation of Capra aegagrus in golestan

Document Type: Ecology

Authors

1 Department of Environmental Assessment, Faculty of Environment, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch of Tehran, PO Box: 14515-775

2 Department of Biodiversity, Faculty of Environment, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch of Tehran, POBox: 14515-775

3 Department of Environment. Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch

4 Department of Environment, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Arak

Abstract

Understanding­­ habitatrequirements of species is of great importance in wildlife management. Wild goat (Capra aegagrus) is a highly threatened bovine in Iran, inhabiting Golestan province mountainous areas. In order to assess the current conservation status of species habitats in Golestan, we applied maximum entropy (Maxent) habitat suitability modeling approach. We related 58 occurrence records of wild goat in Golestan province in fall and winter of 2013-2014 to habitat variables representing topographic and anthropogenic conditions in the study area. Results indicated that elevation, slope and vegetation cover were the most effective variables and aspect was the least effective one in habitat selection by wild goat. Developed model predicted that less than 1 percent (0/6%) of the study area is suitable for the species. These habitats are situated between 1700 – 3000 m altitudes with a slope of more than 50 percent. However, only half of these suitable habitats for wild goat are currently protected. 

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