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Contrasting use of habitat, landscape elements, and corridors by grey wolf and golden jackal in central Iran

Posted date: June 14, 2019
Publication Year: 
2019
Authors: Shahnaseri, Gilda; Hemami, Mahmoud-Reza; Khosravi, Rasoul; Malakoutikhah, Shima; Omidi, Maryam; Cushman, Samuel A.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Landscape Ecology. doi:10.1007/s10980-019-00831-w.

Abstract

Context: Increasing carnivore-human conflict has threatened the survival of many carnivore species, thus evaluating habitat requirements, landscape connectivity and the protection of biological corridors is critical to guide conservation of carnivores. Objectives: We evaluated the suitability of study landscape for grey wolf and golden jackal, assessed how well populations of each species are connected by movement corridors, and examined the feasibility of optimal multi-species conservation strategies based on intersection of habitat and connectivity areas of multiple species. Methods: We modeled the distribution of the two canids in central Iran based on an ensemble approach. The distribution predictions were used to estimate landscape resistance. We then used species occurrence data and the resistance layers to identify core habitats and corridors using the resistant kernel and factorial least-cost path methods. Results: Our results indicated high potential for large parts of the landscape to support the occurrence of the two canid species. However, the predicted connectivity networks were not very strong and extended. The strongest connections for both species were between western and eastern populations. Only a small shared linkage was detected for the two species with the highest numbers of LCPs. Conclusions: Our results provided critical information for the conservation of grey wolf and golden jackal in Iran and identified the most critical core areas and corridors that link them. Carnivore conservation in Iran should focus on safeguarding these key strongholds and improving the permeability, habitat quality and reducing mortality risk in the corridor linking them.

Citation

Shahnaseri, Gilda; Hemami, Mahmoud-Reza; Khosravi, Rasoul; Malakoutikhah, Shima; Omidi, Maryam; Cushman, Samuel A. 2019. Contrasting use of habitat, landscape elements, and corridors by grey wolf and golden jackal in central Iran. Landscape Ecology. doi:10.1007/s10980-019-00831-w.