Habitat Suitability Modelling of wild Goat (capra aegagrus) In Ghamishloo National Park Using Artificial Neural Networks

Document Type: Animal environment


1 Department of Natural and Biodiversity, Faculty of Environment, DOE, Karaj, p.o.box: 31746-118

2 Department of Environment, Faculty of Fisheries and Environment, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Iran


A species distribution model evaluates the relationship between distribution of species and environmental factors and therefore gives a better understanding of future management plans. Artificial neural network is one of these modeling tools which in these days have become a very important gadget for decision making. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Capra aegagrus is one of the venerable species in Iran and it categorizes in VI Section. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to model Capra aegagrus Habitat suitability in Ghomishloo national park using artificial neural network. Different variables which used in this study are altitude,
slope, vegetation, distance from the main roads and water resources. In order to analyze the data, multilayer perceptron network have been used and MATLAB R2015b was used for the calculations. The results show that the most important variables which effects on Capra aegagrus distribution are altitude, species distance from water resources, slope, the distance from the main roads and vegetation, respectively. And the results also indicate that the most suitable habitat for Capra aegagrus in Ghamishlo national park is in the areas with an altitude of more than 2200 meters and an area of 3982 hectares which includes 12.36 percent of this national park.


  1. Acevedo, P.; Cassinello, J.; Hortal, J. and Gortázar, C., 2007. Invasive exotic aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) as a major threat to native Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica): a habitat suitability model approach. Diversity & Distributions. Vol. 13, No. 5, pp: 587-597.
  2. Alados, C.L. and Escos, J., 1988. Parturition dates and mother-kid behavior in Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica) in Spain. Journal of mammalogy. Vol. 69, No. 1, pp: 172-175.
  3. Anderson, M.C.; Watts, J.M.; Freilich, J.E.; Yool, S.R.; Wakefield, G.I.; Mccaulery,J.F. andFahnestock,
    A., 2000.
    Regression-tree modeling of desert tortoise habitat in the centeral Mojave Desert. Ecological application. Vol. 10, pp: 890-897.
  4. Bangs, P.D.; Krausman, P.R.; Kunkel, K.E. and Parsons, Z.D., 2005. Habitat use by female desert bighorn sheep in the Fra Cristobal Mountains, New Mexico, USA. European Journal of Wildlife Research. Vol. 51, No. 2, pp: 77-83.
  5. Elith, J.; Leathwick, J.R. and Hastie, T., 2008. A working guide to boosted regression trees. Journal of Animal Ecology. Vol. 77, No. 4, pp: 802-813.
  6. Gross, J.E.; Kneeland, M.C.; Reed, D.F. Reich, R.M., 2002. GISBased Habitat Models for Mountain Goats. Journal of Mammalogy. Vol. 83, No. 1, pp: 218-228.
  7. IUCN. 2017. IUCN red list of threatened species, from: www.iucnredlist.org.
  8. Jahani, A.; Feghhi, J.; Makhdoum, M.F. and Omid, M., 2016. Optimized forest degradation model (OFDM): an environmental decision support system for environmental impact assessment using an artificial neural network. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. Vol. 59, No. 2, pp: 222-244.
  9. Liu, C.; Berry, P.M.; Dawson, T.P. and Pearson, R.G., 2005. Selecting thresholds of occurrence in the prediction of species distribution. Ecography. Vol. 28, pp: 385-393.
  10. Mahmoudabadi, A. and Seyedhosseini, S.M., 2012. Time risk tradeoff of hazmat routing problem in emergency situation. In Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Istanbul, Turkey. pp: 344-351.
  11. Maleki, S., 2007. Study habitat factors wild sheep (Ovis orientalis isfahanica) in refuge moteh by GIS. MS.C thesis. Tehran University. 120 p.
  12. McShea, W.J.; Underwood, H.B. and Rappole,J.H., 1997. The science of overabundance: deer ecology and population management. Washington, DC. Smithsonian Institution Press. 402 p.
  13. Morovati, M.; Karami, M. and Kaboli, M., 2014. Desirable areas and effective environmental factors of wild goat habitat (Capra aegagrus). International Journal of Environmental Research. Vol. 8, No. 4, pp: 1031-1040.
  14. Morrison, M.L.; Marcot, B.G. and Mannan, R.W., 1992. Wildlife-habitat relationships: Concepts and applications. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
  15. Naderi, G.; Riazi, B.; Aref, N.; Khalatbrari, M.; Mohammadi, S.; Lahoot, M. and Kamran, M., 2013. Habitat preferences of Bezoar wild goats (Capra aegagrus) in Agh-Dagh protected area, Iran. North-western Journal of Zoology. Vol. 9, No. 1, pp: 99-102.
  16. Rushton, S.P.; Ormerod, S.J. and Kerby, G., 2004. New paradigms for modelling species distributions? Journal of applied ecology. Vol. 41, No. 2, pp: 193-200.
  17. Salas, E.A.L.; Seamster, V.A.; Boykin, K.G.; Harings, N.M. and Dixon, K.W., 2017. Modeling the impacts of climate change on Species of Concern (birds) in South Central US based on bioclimatic variables. AIMS Environ. Sci. Vol. 4, pp: 358-385.
  18. Saltelli, A.; Ratto, M.; Andres, T.; Campolongo, F.; Cariboni, J.; Gatelli, D.; Saisana, M. and Tarantola,
    S., 2008.
     Global sensitivity analysis: the primer. John Wiley and Sons.
  19. Shams, B.; Hemami, M.; Karami, M. and Riazi, B., 2010. Habitat associations of wild goat in central Iran: implications for conservation. European Journal of Wildlife Research. Vol. 55, No. 6, pp: 883-849.
  20. Ziaie, H., 2008. A field guide to mammals of Iran, 2nd edn. Wildlife Center Publication, Iran.