Asiatic Cheetah's (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus Griffith, 1821) (Felidae: Carnivora) habitat suitability modeling in Iran


  • Bahman Shams-Esfandabad Assistant Professor, Department of Environment, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran
  • Bagher Nezami Associate Professor, Department of Natural Environment and Biodiversity, College of Environment, Karaj, Iran Research Group of Biodiversity and Biosafety, Research Center for Environment and Sustainable Development (RCESD), Department of Environment, Tehran, Iran
  • Negar Najafi Siavashan M.A. of Land Use Planning, Environmental Science Department, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural resources, Gorgan, Iran
  • Zeinab Asadi Department of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
  • Javad Ramezani Assistant Professor, Department of Marine & Freshwater Sciences, College of Environment, Karaj, Iran



Distribution, habitat suitability, Least-Cost path analysis, Maximum Entropy


Critically endangered Asiatic Cheetah faces a dramatic decrease in its abundance and distribution in recent decades, entailing the necessity for more severe conservation activities for the species in its last remaining habitats in Iran. Proper management of the target species is highly dependent on knowledge about its distribution and habitat requirements. The Maximum Entropy modeling approach was applied to achieve the species habitat suitability models using data collected from 2001 to 2018. We found that the most contiguous patch predicted as a suitable one has been reported from the country's central parts, which constitute around one-third of the country's predicted suitable habitats. However, only 36.3% of these habitats were shown to be located inside the borders of the country's protected area network. Naybandan Wildlife Refuge and Touran Biosphere Reserve incorporate 9661.7 (12.6%) and 8291 (10.8%) km2 of suitable habitats, respectively where can be regarded as the most critical areas in the species conservation programs. Least Cost Path analysis suggested two corridors with 262.5 and 192.5 km length connecting northern and southern suitable patches. Designing new protected areas or local community conserved areas and extending current borders of the protected areas are necessary to connect northern and southern habitats and increase the species viability.


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How to Cite

Shams-Esfandabad, B., Nezami, B., Siavashan, N. N., Asadi, Z., & Ramezani, J. (2021). Asiatic Cheetah’s (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus Griffith, 1821) (Felidae: Carnivora) habitat suitability modeling in Iran. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 5(1), 15–31.