Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 arak university

2 , University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam

3 Department of Environment, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran

Abstract

Haftad-Gholleh National Park located in central Iran is inhabited by two prey species: the wild sheep (Ovis orientalis) and the wild goat (Capra aegagrus). Their main predator in the park area is the grey wolf (Canis lupus). We applied a maximum-entropy presence-only approach to model habitat suitability for these three species in the Haftad-Gholleh National Park. Moreover, we studied their niche breadth using ENMTools. Altogether seven environmental variables were incorporated into the final models including: percentage of vegetation cover, slope, aspect, elevation, distance from human activities, distance from water, and distance from road. Results indicated that habitat variables such as slope, aspect, and distance from water were the most important variables affecting the predictive power of the prey and predator species models. The Grey wolf has a distribution larger than that of the wild goat, but smaller than that of the wild sheep. Interestingly, niche-breadth analysis indicates that the grey wolf has a niche breadth half that of the wild sheep and twice that of the wild goat. Wild sheep have a relatively wide geographical extent and show a tendency to marginal and strictly protected habitats; the grey wolf chooses moderate areas fit for its moderate mobility of habitat variability and dependency to restricted natural habitats; and the wild goat has a relatively narrow geographical extent and shows a tendency to specific restricted natural habitats in the Haftad-Gholleh National Park.

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