Desirable Areas and Effective Environmental Factors of Wild goat Habitat (Capra aegagrus)

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Environmental Science, Graduate School of the Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Environment, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

Abstract

Capra aegagrus is one of the most highly-valued animals of Iran. This species is also considered
as one of the main food sources for the Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, which are critically endangered.Seasonal
habitat use of wild goat was studied from January 2011 to September 2012 in Dareh Anjir Wildlife Refuge,
Yazd, Iran. We developed Maximum Entropy models in three seasons.This study aims to determine the
habitat desirability and factors affecting wild goats using a maximum entropy algorithm. Environmental
variables used in modeling the three seasons of winter, spring, and summer include elevation classes, slope,
direction, vegetation, distance to water sources, distance to the rocky substrate, distance to roads (asphalt,
soil), and distance to mines. The results show that the most important factors affecting habitat desirability of
the wild goat in winter, spring, and summer include the ratio of distance variable to the rocky cliffs, slope, and
distance to water resources. According to the predictions, wild goats are most likely to be found in the
northern, central and southeastern areas of the Dareh Anjir Wildlife Refuge, which are considered the most
desirable habitats of the species and its associated predator (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) over the three
seasons.The results of this study can be used as a valuable tool in implementing conservation and management
strategies in order to enhance the desirable habitats in the province of Yazd (Dareh Anjir Wildlife Refuge).

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