Golestan National Park zoning re-evaluation based on higher species richness hotspots
Keywords:Gap analysis, habitat modeling, Park designing, Northern Iran forests
in recent decades, the rate of extinction of species has been increased continually all over the world and lack of effective and efficient conservation strategies will lead to extinction of a large number of species. Determination of habitat suitability is an essential necessity for management and conservation of wildlife. Suitable habitats play a crucial role in the survival and reproduction of species; therefore, paying more attention to these areas in wildlife management and conservation will result in more effective conservation. In this study, the locations of presence of large carnivores and herbivores in Golestan National Park have been recorded during 2014- 2015 to predict the presence of the species and determine the environmental parameters affecting their presence, also to specify species richness hotspots in this area. For this purpose, the modeling was performed by using the MaxEnt and Gap Analysis methods. The findings show that though the park’s conservative zones do not adequately overlap with suitable habitats of some species such as gazelle and wolf, fortunately, these zones cover a significant proportion of the park’s species richness hotspots. Certainly, modification and extension of the conservative coverage area of zones 1 and 2 to the park’s areas of species richness hotspots containing a richness of 4 to 9 species, also modifying and extending the limits of these zones in favor of species whose habitat suitability has lower overlap with zones 1 and 2 will lead to more efficient conservation in Golestan National Park; therefore, as a result of revising the zoning of Golestan National Park, this goal can be approached in near future.
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