Alexander Gavashelishvili

Alexander Gavashelishvili
Ilia State University | ISU · Institute of Ecology

PhD

About

46
Publications
16,160
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Citations
Introduction
Alexander Gavashelishvili currently works at the Institute of Ecology, Ilia State University. Alexander applies GIS-based methods and multivariate analyses to modeling the ecological niches of a wide spectrum of species. He also conducts studies in landscape genetics, phylogeny and phylogeography. His research experience includes wildlife studies using camera-trapping, satellite-received radio-telemetry, remote-sensing and morphometry. The most recent publication is 'Landscape Complexity in the Caucasus Impedes Genetic Assimilation of Human Populations More Effectively than Language or Ethnicity.'
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - present
Ilia State University
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
We studied the relationship between the variability and contemporary distribution of pelage phenotypes in one of most widely distributed felid species and an array of environmental and demographic conditions. We collected 672 photographic georeferenced records of the Eurasian lynx throughout Eurasia. We assigned each lynx coat to one of five phenot...
Article
Mountain ungulates around the world have been decimated to small, fragmented populations. Restoring these species often is limited by inadequate information on where suitable habitat is found, and which restoration measures would help to increase and link existing populations. We developed an approach to spatially target threat-specific restoration...
Article
Full-text available
This study clarifies the role of refugia and landscape permeability in the formation of the current genetic structure of peoples of the Caucasus. We report novel genome-wide data for modern individuals from the Caucasus, and analyze them together with available Paleolithic and Mesolithic individuals from Eurasia and Africa in order (1) to link the...
Article
This study attempts to link the distribution and movement rate of the critically endangered Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) to environmental and anthropogenic features, and to identify environmental constraints and priority areas for the recovery of leopard in Arabian Peninsula. Generalized linear and additive models were used to fit leopard...
Article
Full-text available
Mountain ungulates around the world have been decimated to small, fragmented populations. Restoring these species often is limited by inadequate information on where suitable habitat is found, and which restoration measures would help to increase and link existing populations. We developed an approach to spatially target threat-specific restoration...
Article
Full-text available
Our objective was to use Sentinel-2A multispectral data in order to cost-effectively detect change in forest cover in Georgia (the Caucasus). Generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to fit forest cover measures to Sentinel-2A spectral band values modified using different topographic correction methods. Canopy closure (calculated from upward-lo...
Article
Our objective was to use Sentinel-2A multispectral data in order to cost-effectively detect change in forest cover in Georgia (the Caucasus). Generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to fit forest cover measures to Sentinel-2A spectral band values modified using different topographic correction methods. Canopy closure (calculated from upward-lo...
Article
The Arabian Leopard Panthera pardus nimr, classified by IUCN as “Critically Endangered”, is Saudi Arabia’s flagship predator. The population of this species has declined to approximately 50 individuals and may become extinct in the Arabian Peninsula if threats are not addressed. In addition to habitat destruction, major threats include poaching and...
Data
ZIP-compressed map of the inferred biomes during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This map is in a raster Arc/Info binary format developed by ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute). The binary format, also known as an ARC/INFO GRID or ARC GRID, can easily be viewed, analyzed, processed and exported to different formats within ESRI programs...
Article
Information about the cave invertebrates of Georgia, Caucasus, is summarised, resulting in 43 troglo- and 43 stygobiont taxa reported from 64 caves. Species distribution analyses were conducted for 61 caves harbouring 58 invertebrate taxa, with the majority of caves (39) located in Apkhazeti (north-western Georgia). In 22 caves from central-west Ge...
Article
Aim: Populations of large ungulates are dwindling worldwide. This is especially so for wild sheep, which compete with livestock for forage, are disturbed by shepherds and their dogs, and are exposed to disease transmissions from livestock. Our aim was to assess spatial patterns in realized niche overlap between wild and domestic sheep to better und...
Article
Our research attempts 1) to link the distribution and abundance of eastern tur (Capra cylindricornis) to environmental variables varying in space and time, and 2) to identify environmental constraints that may have caused the geographic segregation of eastern tur from western tur (Capra caucasica). Our results suggest that 1) eastern tur are heat-s...
Article
Full-text available
The analyses of 15 autosomal and 23 Y-chromosome DNA STR loci in five rural populations from the Caucasus, namely four ethnically Georgian and one ethnically Armenian populations, indicated that two populations of Georgians - one from the west and the other one from the east of the Greater Caucasus Mountains - were both patrilineally and autosomall...
Article
AimOur research attempts to provide an explicit explanation of human-biome interactions during the last glacial period and how these have influenced current human population genetics at the global scale. Publications to date have not addressed this topic. LocationWorld-wide. Methods Using climate, terrain, hydrographic, fossil pollen and plant-macr...
Article
Full-text available
As the largest extant cat species in west Asia, the leopard (Panthera pardus) shows high morphological variation, which has led to the description of seven different subspecies in the region. Different investigations have tried to clarify its phylogenetic structure; however, sample size and spatial distribution insufficiently represent the Iranian...
Article
Full-text available
Publications that describe the human Y-DNA haplogroup composition in different ethnic or linguistic groups and geographic regions provide no explicit explanation of the distribution of human paternal lineages in relation to specific ecological conditions. Our research attempts to address this topic for the Caucasus – a geographic region that en...
Article
Given sufficient time and limited gene flow, evolutionary lineages tend to transform into separate species. Mechanisms preventing assimilation during repeated gene-flow events include divergent adaptations and the development of pre- or postzygotic isolation. We analysed the morphological and genetic boundaries of three species of the rock lizard c...
Article
Capsule Juvenile and immature Cinereous Vultures from the Caucasus move large distances across undeveloped open-dry habitats in response to snowfall or high summer temperatures. Aim To study local and long-range movements of Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), and investigate the influence of environmental variables on spatial and temporal distr...
Article
Spatial and temporal constraints on dispersal explain the absence of species from areas with potentially suitable conditions. Previous studies have shown that post-glacial recolonization has shaped the current ranges of many species, yet it is not completely clear to what extent interspecific differences in range size depend on different dispersal...
Article
We compared the distributions, abundances and ecological requirements of parthenogenetic lizard Darevskia ‘dahli’ and its bisexual progenitors, D. portschinskii and D. mixta, in Georgia. We developed a regression model relating the species abundances with the distribution of climates. Darevskia portschinskii lives in warmer and drier climates than...
Article
Full-text available
The distribution of the Near Threatened Caucasian grouse Tetrao mlokosiewiczi, endemic to the Caucasus, was examined to model the species’ nesting habitat, and thus facilitate its conservation and the identification of Key Biodiversity Areas in the Caucasus. The species’ occurrence was defined by field surveys and radio-telemetry. Data were managed...
Article
The taxonomic status of brown bears in the Caucasus remains unclear. Several morphs or subspecies have been identified from the morphological (craniological) data, but the status of each of these subspecies has never been verified by molecular genetic methods. We analysed mitochondrial DNA sequences (control region) to reveal phylogenetic relations...
Article
Syrian spadefoot toads (Pelobates syriacus) are found from Balkan Peninsula throughout the Caucasus, Middle East, and Northern Iran. However, the range of this species is sufficiently mapped only in Balkans. Based on the detailed mapping of the species in Georgia, we analysed the environmental factors influencing species occurrence and produced spa...
Article
Full-text available
The Eurasian black vulture (Aegypius monachus) has experienced a severe decline during the last two centuries and is globally classified as near-threatened. This has led to the extinction of many traditional breeding areas in Europe and resulted in the present patchy distribution (Iberian and Balkan peninsulas) in the Western Palearctic. In the pre...
Article
Full-text available
The Caucasian salamander (Mertensiella caucasica sensu lato) is an endemic taxon of the western Lesser Caucasus, classified as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List. Two isolated evolutionary lineages occur within its range - one in the Black Sea basin, and the other in the basin of the Caspian Sea. We identified and described 51 locations throughout the...
Article
Summary • Top predators are seen as keystone species of ecosystems. Knowledge of their habitat requirements is important for their conservation and the stability of the wildlife communities that depend on them. The goal of our study was to model the habitat of leopard Panthera pardus in west and central Asia, where it is endangered, and analyse the...
Article
Full-text available
Factors influencing the response of griffon Gyps fulvus, cinereous Aegypius monachus and bearded Gypaetus barbatus vultures to carcass appearance were studied in the Republic of Georgia by observing 100 new carcasses for 10 days. It was observed that 92–97% of the time cinereous (n=25) and griffon (n=47) vultures fed on carcasses within 4 days of t...
Article
Full-text available
Occupied and unoccupied sites of bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus and Eurasian griffon Gyps fulvus were located in the Caucasus (mainly Georgia). Habitat variables related to nest-site characteristics, climate, terrain, human disturbance and food availability were used to construct predictive models of vulture breeding site selection by using a ge...
Article
Occupied and potential nesting areas of Near Threatened cinereous vulture Aegypiusmonachus in the Republic of Georgia were examined to model its nesting habitat. The intention is to support its conservation within the context of the ongoing establishment of a system of protected areas. Data were manipulated and analysed using a geographical informa...
Article
Habitat selection by East Caucasian tur (Capra cylindricornis), a species of global conservation concern, was examined in relation to terrain, climate and degree of human disturbance using a Geographical Information System and logistic regression. The study area was in the part of the Greater Caucasus of Georgia, where the species protection was no...
Article
Full-text available
The practice of trapping migratory sparrowhawks Accipiter spp. for falconry and the indiscriminate hunting of other migratory raptors, together with an alleged trade in raptors, were investigated in the eastern Black Sea coastal region of the Republic of Georgia in 1998. Falconry and hunting are deeply rooted in Georgian tradition, exacerbated...
Book
Full-text available
SUMMARY The present-day Western Route Export oil pipeline (Sangachal – Supsa), that extends over 960 km, is of paramount importance to Georgia and Azerbaijan in many ways. It is going to be the main route for the export of Caspian oil until the Baku-Jeihan oil route starts to function. However, most of this pipeline will be used even when Baku-Jei...
Article
Full-text available
Recent declines in vulture populations on the Indian sub-continent have caused great concern among researchers and conservationists. However, there is little information on the status of vultures in adjacent regions of Asia. Such information is particularly pertinent because rapid social change has altered the environmental and social systems on wh...
Article
Full-text available
The work was undertaken as part of a broad response to the large-scale poisoning of Gyps vultures in south Asia. It shows that birds from the Caucasus travel to Iran, and that Iran may be important in conservation efforts. We fitted four Eurasian Griffon Vultures, Gyps fulvus with satellite-received transmitters (PTTs) in Georgia and Armenia in 200...