Designing Wild Sheep Migration Corridors in Varjin Protected Area

Document Type : مقاله کوتاه


1 Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran

2 Department of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources, Environment University,Karaj


Nowadays, climate change, drought and habitat fragmentation threaten biodiversity throughout the world. Beside of natural incidents, anthropogenic factors are the most important reasons for disconnecting genetic flow between habitat patches. Hence establishing suitable habitat corridors is very vital for migratory species or wide-ranging animals. Such animals need to migrate repeatedly to their recognized home ranges, but are often faced with many natural physical barriers or man-made obstacles in their habitats which resulted stress and forced dispersion of animal groups. If a suitable habitat is not provided, wildlife groups will inevitably become scattered and we will be faced with isolated meta-populations and biodiversity degradation over the long-term and this event may lead to species extinction in the future. In this research, at first four factors including topographic position, digital elevation model (DEM), distance to road and land cover layers were selected to assign habitat suitability. At the next step, habitat patches were extracted through weighting these factors and their characteristics into the GIS environment. Then, the suitability and ecological resistance maps were used to calculate the cost-distance factor to extract potential habitat corridors with considering the least distant-cost path criterion. These alternative corridors were then corrected for accuracy by field visits and consideration of probable land-use conflicts and desired corridors were finally selected. In the end, the selected corridors were ranked Considering annual allocated budget for installing and priority of corridors.


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