Jajroud Protected Area Complex is one of the main habitats of Alborz Red Sheep (Ovis gmelini × O. vignei) in Iran. Being close to Tehran, this habitat has been reduced and fragmented due to the human constructions. This study was designed with the aim of identifying the summer and fall habitat patches and the suitability of the matrix by means of Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA). Cost-distance function was then used to calculate the cost of moving among the patches and the corridors with the least cost was identified using Least-cost path analysis. Results showed that, in both seasons, the species inhabits a narrow niche and is very sensitive to habitat changes. Overall, a suitable habitat for this species is at an elevation of more than 1535 m, with a lower average temperature than average of the habitat, with suitable escape terrain, and away from villages. Military areas, based on their specific use, can have different effects on the habitat suitability. This species selects corridors which are close to escape terrain, with a slope of about 15 percent and low slope fluctuation.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 21, 2012
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