Habitat quality assessment of wildlife to identify key habitat patches using landscape ecology approach

Document Type : Research Paper


environmetal Dep. faculty of Natural resource and environment. Malayer university. malayer. Iran



Biodiversity as one of the life support ecosystem services has a great impact on the ecosystem's sustainability. The main challenge of land management is to allocate efficient resources to conservation natural resources and maximize the value of biodiversity. Therefore, spatial assessment of biodiversity values is a crucial tool in identifying key areas for conservation and setting conservation priorities. In this study, the habitat quality of species having conservation value in Hamedan province including wild sheep (Ovis orientalis), wild goat (Capra aegagrus), brown bear (Ursus arctos) and Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) were modeled applying land use/cover data and using InVEST software as the study area biodiversity indicators. In the next step, Using the Zonal Land Suitability analysis in the IDRISI environment, the most suitable areas for conservation were determined and Finally, the conservation zones were prioritized applying landscape criteria. The results showed that approximately, 35% of the province has high suitability for target species habitats, which mainly involves the central and southern part of the province, including 39, 74, 16 and 15 habitat zones for wild goat, wild sheep, brown bear and Eurasian lynx respectively. Landscape metrics analysis also revealed that, patches having more contiguity, density and fractal dimension involve a higher conservation value. The results of this study, indicate the high capability of landscape metrics in conservation patches prioritization.


Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 26 April 2023