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Volume 81, Issue 3


The Persian squirrel of Kurdistan Province, western Iran: what determines its geographic distribution?

Maedeh Sadeghi / Mansoureh Malekian
Published Online: 2016-04-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0166


Here, we used the maximum entropy (MAXENT) method to predict habitat distribution of the Persian squirrel in oak forests of Kurdistan Province, western Iran. We used 70 points with known occurrence of the species and 17 environmental variables (climatic variables represented annual trends in temperature and precipitation, seasonality and extreme or limiting environmental factors) to map the species distribution. The MAXENT model showed high performance. Using a 0.5 logistic probability threshold, the models suggested about 16,783.5 ha of the study area to have high suitability for the Persian squirrel. These areas were thus estimated as “good” habitats. Amongst the environmental variables, land cover had the greatest role in the Persian squirrel’s distribution. Precipitation and temperature were the two major climatic factors that affected the Persian squirrel’s distribution. Gap analysis showed that many parts of the species habitat have remained unprotected what can threaten the survival of the studied species in the region. These findings can be used to develop conservation management plans and boost the network of protected areas in the region.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: habitat suitability; maximum entropy; oak forest; Persian squirrel; Zagros


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About the article

Received: 2015-10-17

Accepted: 2016-03-18

Published Online: 2016-04-23

Published in Print: 2017-05-01

Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 81, Issue 3, Pages 309–314, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0166.

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