Arash Ghoddousi

Arash Ghoddousi
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | HU Berlin · Department of Geography

28.77
 · 
PhD

About

78
Publications
24,163
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463
Citations
Introduction
My research interests lie in understanding the interaction of ecological and social factors in natural systems and how they impact the effectiveness of conservation interventions. The focus of my research is in understanding and improving the effectiveness of protected areas and law enforcement mechanisms, offering insight into human-wildlife conflict and poaching, as well as, improving methods in monitoring large mammals. I am particularly interested in the conservation of big cats and mountain ungulates with a special focus on southwest Asia and the Caucasus. My current project (PArCS) focuses on understanding the effects of socioeconomic and political shocks on protected area effectiveness in the Caucasus.
Education
October 2012 - September 2016
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Field of study
  • Biodiversity & Ecology
October 2009 - September 2010
Imperial College London
Field of study
  • Conservation Science
September 2002 - February 2007
Shahid Beheshti University
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
Full-text available
Livestock predation by big cats, i.e., lion (Panthera leo), tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), jaguar (Panthera onca), snow leopard (Panthera uncia), puma (Puma concolor), and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), creates conflicts with humans which challenge biodiversity conservation and rural development. Deficiency of wild prey biomass is...
Article
Full-text available
Overexploitation of wildlife for meat is a widespread phenomenon, which drives populations of many species toward extinction and may in turn affect large carnivores. Therefore, human hunters may compete with large carnivores over food resources and threaten their survival. In this study, we assessed the trophic competition of endangered Persian leo...
Article
Poaching is cryptically but rapidly driving many species towards extinction. Knowledge of population trends of exploited species and incentives for poaching is necessary to inform appropriate conservation measures. We estimated the abundance of four ungulate species in Golestan National Park, Iran, the country's oldest protected area, where poachin...
Article
Full-text available
Context - Many large carnivores depend on habitat patches outside protected areas, as well as safe corridors between them. However, corridor assessments typically ignore potential conflicts between carnivores and people, which can undermine corridor effectiveness and thus conservation success. Objectives - We identified safe dispersal corridors and...
Article
Full-text available
Brazil, home to one of the planet’s last great forests, is currently in trade negotiations with its second largest trading partner, the European Union (EU). We urge the EU to seize this critical opportunity to ensure that Brazil protects human rights and the environment. Brazil’s forests, wetlands, and savannas are crucial to a great diversity of I...
Article
Full-text available
During a camera trapping survey to assess the population of Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in Bamu National Park BNP, a caracal Caracal caracal was captured by camera trap for the first time. This is the first confirmed report of the caracal from Bamu. The closest locality where the species is known to occur is almost 60 km (aerial dista...
Article
Full-text available
1.Illegal hunting of ungulates can reduce the prey base of carnivores, which can increase human‐carnivore conflict (HCC) through livestock depredation. However, the relationship between ungulate poaching, wild prey abundance and livestock depredation has rarely been empirically studied. 2.We surveyed 18 sites across the Hyrcanian forest in northern...
Article
Full-text available
Large carnivores are among the most threatened species in the world because of their natural low densities and need for expansive habitats. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is the largest carnivore in the southwestern Asia, and faces threats in much of its range from conflict with humans over shared resources and shrinkage of habitat. In this study, w...
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...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Globally, land-use change and infrastructure development are causing habitat fragmentation, making corridor planning an increasingly important tool for the conservation of wide-ranging species. Several approaches now allow for the top-down identification of corridors, however, the functionality of these corridors on the ground has been rarely inves...
Article
This paper addresses the role of ecotourism in promoting biodiversity conservation in Golestan National Park (GNP), located in northeastern Iran. Three communities living close to GNP were selected as a case study. A questionnaire survey to local residents revealed that most respondents (80%) have economic benefits from the national park. However,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Livestock depredation by large carnivores and consequently, retaliatory persecution by humans, are among the oldest interactions between humans and wildlife in agricultural landscapes. Such conflicts are anticipated to increase in the future as more landscapes around the globe become human-dominated due to agricultural expansion and intensification...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Human-wildlife conflict causes socioeconomic losses to people and leads to wildlife killing, both of which undermines conservation success. Important improvements regarding our understanding of the ecological, socioeconomic, and psychological factors involved in leading to conflicts or promoting coexistence between people and carnivores have recent...
Article
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Qualitative methods are important to gain a deep understanding of complex problems and poorly researched areas. They can be particularly useful to help explain underlying conservation problems. However, the significance in choosing and justifying appropriate methodological frameworks in conservation studies should be given more attention to ensure...
Article
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We opportunistically collected and analyzed 80 scats of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) from den entrances and other areas at 2 sites within Hormozgan Province, Iran, from March 2010 to February 2011. We identified 27 food items dominated by cultivated date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fruit, oriental hornet (Vespa orientalis), and Christ's...
Article
Full-text available
The maral red deer Cervus elaphus maral, once widespread throughout the whole Hyrcanian and Caucasus forests in southwest Asia, has undergone a dramatic decline due to heavy poaching and habitat transformation. Maral is now extinct in the wild in western and northwestern Iran, but still persists in the Caspian montane forests of northern Iran, also...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass regression models and associated correction factors derived from feeding trials are essential to convert frequency of prey occurrence from scats into biomass and numbers of prey individuals consumed by carnivores. These dietary analyses form a substantial part of many research projects on predator–prey relationships and human–carnivore conf...
Article
Full-text available
Human-carnivore conflicts over livestock depredation are increasingly common, yet little is understood about the role of husbandry in conflict mitigation. As shepherds and guarding dogs are most commonly used to curb carnivore attacks on grazing livestock, evaluation and improvement of these practices becomes an important task. We addressed this is...
Data
Information on 39 attacks of leopards (Panthera pardus) on sheep and goats in villages around Golestan National Park, Iran
Article
Full-text available
The elusive Caspian red deer Cervus elaphus maral lives at low densities in rugged forest habitats of the Caucasus and the south Caspian region, and its declining population requires urgent attention. We here address the precision and reliability of dung counts (fecal standing crop approach FSC) and camera trapping (random encounter model REM) for...
Thesis
Poaching is a global environmental threat, which drives populations of many species toward extinction. Current levels of poaching are unsustainable, causing substantial impacts on ecosystems and wildlife. By poaching, humans also limit the prey resources of large carnivores. Therefore, human hunters may compete with large carnivores over food resou...
Article
Full-text available
Ranger stations are essential to combat poaching in protected areas and the distance from ranger stations is sometimes used as a proxy for poaching levels and law enforcement intensity. However, the influence of the spatial distribution of ranger stations on wildlife abundance and population structure has rarely been investigated. We evaluated the...
Data
Accumulation curve of prey species diversity in leopard scat samples. (PDF)
Data
Domestic sheep and goat numbers, reported killed numbers by leopard and satisfaction with veterinary services in the villages <2.5 km from Golestan National Park borders. (XLSX)
Data
Line transect sampling data on wild boar in Golestan National Park. (XLSX)
Data
Top four prey species of leopard from scat sampling [29] and the pooled data with this study. (XLSX)
Data
Interview surveys with shepherds in conflict villages. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Livestock is represented in big cat diets throughout the world. Husbandry approaches aim to reduce depredation, which may influence patterns of prey choice, but whether felids have a preference for livestock or not often remains unclear as most studies ignore livestock availability. We assessed prey choice of the endangered Persian leopard (Panther...
Poster
Full-text available
- Robust monitoring is crucial for evaluation and guidance of conservation efforts, but is often missing in rugged landscapes. We assessed the feasibility of various methods to improve traditional practices of ungulate monitoring in north-eastern Iran and updated the population status of four species. We found that all methods tested had some short...
Article
Full-text available
Human-carnivore conflicts over livestock predation threaten biodiversity conservation and rural development, but the impact of climate and its change on such conflicts is insufficiently studied. The effect of climatic factors on diseases of predation-prone domestic animals and then on conflicts is unstudied, but potentially significant. This empiri...
Article
Full-text available
Human-carnivore conflicts challenge biodiversity conservation and local livelihoods, but the role of diseases of domestic animals in their predation by carnivores is poorly understood. We conducted a human-leopard (Panthera pardus) conflict study throughout all 34 villages around Golestan National Park, Iran in order to find the most important conf...
Article
Full-text available
After four years of field work and widespread studies, the Asiatic Black Bear project in Hormozgan province in southern Iran has developed a strategic plan for conservation of the species, based on IUCN guidelines. Hormozgan province in southern Iran is the westernmost global distribution of the Asiatic Black Bear (ABB). The ABB is listed globally...
Article
Full-text available
Livestock depredation by leopards is one of the key conservation issues in landscapes with limited resources worldwide. Any attempts to mitigate human–leopard conflict and conserve the species in conflict should be based on an unequivocal understanding of the conflict patterns. A household survey was conducted with an intention to quantify livestoc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Iran is the westernmost distribution extent of the critically endangered subspecies of Asiatic black bear (ABB); the Baluchistan black bear (Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus), which occurs in hot and arid mountainous regions of three provinces: Hormozgan, Kerman and Sistan-Baluchistan. Bear killing due to human-bear conflict and capturing cubs for ille...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the use of camera-trapping with capture-recapture, occupancy and visitation rate modelling to study the size, demographic structure and distribution of the Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in Bamu National Park, southern Iran. A total sampling effort of 1,012 trap-nights yielded photo-captures of four adults, two subadult indiv...
Poster
Full-text available
Status of bear species in Iran
Article
Full-text available
The current status and distribution of caracal Caracal caracal in Bahram'gur Protected Area (BPA), southern Iran, were studied using different methods for 12 months. Direct observations were restricted to spotlighting at night, a method which produced three caracal observations. Twelve photos of a male caracal were taken with camera traps. The main...