Elham Nourani

Elham Nourani
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior · Department of Migration

PhD Environmental Science

About

40
Publications
19,332
Reads
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433
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on how species interact with their environment when moving for different purposes and how responding to environmental conditions has shaped optimal movement strategies. I am currently using remote tracking data to investigate the decisions that long-distance migratory raptors make about their route, flight mode, speed, etc. with regards to the environment that they are exposed to (mainly in terms of atmosphere and topography). I am also interested in macro-ecology and global change, particularly understanding and projecting how global change will influence biodiversity and how species and ecosystems will respond to such changes at various scales.
Additional affiliations
Position
  • ESL teacher
Position
  • Safir English Language Academy
Education
October 2014 - September 2017
Nagasaki University
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
September 2011 - September 2013
University of Tehran
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
September 2007 - August 2011
University of Tehran
Field of study
  • Environmental Science

Publications

Publications (40)
Preprint
Full-text available
Flying seabirds are adapted for windy environments 1,2 . Despite this, storms can cause widespread strandings and wrecks, demonstrating that these seabirds are not always able to avoid or compensate for extreme conditions 3,4,5,6,7 . The maximum wind speeds that birds can operate in should vary with morphology and flight style ⁸ , but this has been...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding how animals develop their ability to perform complex behaviors is fundamental to understanding their fitness and plasticity under global change. Migration can be a costly behavior in terms of time, energy, and mortality, and minimizing these costs is key to survival and reproduction. Thermal soaring birds rely on airflow to offset the...
Article
Full-text available
English is widely recognized as the language of science, and English-language publications (ELPs) are rapidly increasing. It is often assumed that the number of non-ELPs is decreasing. This assumption contributes to the underuse of non-ELPs in conservation science, practice, and policy, especially at the international level. However, the number of...
Article
Full-text available
The widely held assumption that any important scientific information would be available in English underlies the underuse of non-English-language science across disciplines. However, non-English-language science is expected to bring unique and valuable scientific information, especially in disciplines where the evidence is patchy, and for emergent...
Article
Full-text available
Flying over the open sea is energetically costly for terrestrial birds. Despite this, over-water journeys of many birds, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, are uncovered by bio-logging technology. To understand how these birds afford their flights over the open sea, we investigated the role of atmospheric conditions, specifically wind and uplif...
Preprint
Full-text available
The widely held assumption that any important scientific information would be available in English underlies the underuse of non-English-language science across disciplines. However, non-English-language science is expected to bring unique and valuable scientific information, especially in disciplines where the evidence is patchy, and for emergent...
Preprint
Full-text available
The open sea is considered an ecological barrier to terrestrial bird movement. However, over-water journeys of many terrestrial birds, sometimes hundreds of kilometers long, are being uncovered by bio-logging technology. To understand how these birds afford their flights over the open sea, we investigated the role of atmospheric conditions in subsi...
Article
Full-text available
Thermal soaring birds extract energy from the atmosphere to achieve energetically low-cost movement. When encountering regions that are energetically costly to fly over, such as open seas, they should attempt to adjust the spatio-temporal pattern of their passage to maximize energy extraction from the atmosphere over these ecological barriers. We a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Soaring birds extract energy from the atmosphere to achieve energetically low-cost movement. Species that fly over ecological barriers, such as open seas, need to adjust the spatio-temporal patterns of their passage to extract the highest possible energy from the atmosphere over the barrier. We introduce the concept of “energy seascapes...
Article
Full-text available
Flapping flight is relatively costly for soaring birds such as raptors. To avoid costly flight, migrating raptors generally avoid flying over water. As a result, all but one of the global raptor migration flyways are largely over land. The East Asian oceanic flyway for raptors is the exception. Raptor species using this flyway migrate by island-hop...
Article
Full-text available
Divergent evolution between Western Rock Nuthatch Sitta neumayer and Eastern Rock Nuthatch S. tephronota is widely recognised as the original case study of character displacement. However, in their contact zone in the Zagros Mountains, Iran, the morphological differences important for niche segregation between the two species remain unknown. We inv...
Article
We carried out an avifaunal survey of Sabzevar county, Khorasan-Razavi province, northeast Iran over seven years, March 2008–February 2014. We identified 143 bird species. Eight had not previously been observed in the county and three were new for northeast Iran. Our investigations of the Rud-i Jowin/Rud-i Kalshur IBA of Sabzevar county suggest tha...
Article
Full-text available
We developed a habitat suitability model for wintering populations of the Asian Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii in Iran and determined environmental variables affecting its occurrence. Our results indicate that various patches in central, western and eastern Iran provide the most suitable habitats for the Houbara. Annual precipitation, slope...
Article
Migratory birds can be adversely affected by climate change as they encounter its geographically uneven impacts in various stages of their life cycle. While a wealth of research is devoted to the impacts of climate change on distribution range and phenology of migratory birds, the indirect effects of climate change on optimal migratory routes and f...
Article
Atmospheric currents influence the choice of migratory routes and flight characteristics of birds as well as their decisions regarding migration onset and stopovers. Among long distance avian migrants, soaring birds are particularly dependent on wind and updrafts to help them complete their journeys. This review focuses on the behavioral adaptation...
Article
This paper introduces user-friendly atmospheric data, so-called objective analysis data, for ornithological studies. The data have been interpolated onto grid points distributed at a regular interval in space and time, and are suitable for analyzing using computer data analysis software. Data assimilation techniques, which are basically the applica...
Article
Latifi’s Viper (Montivipera latifii), an endemic viper in the Alborz mountain chains in Iran, is facing serious threats within its last stronghold, the Lar National Park. The little information available on the distribution, population dynamics, and ecology of this scarce species, as well as its major threats, has hampered effective conservation pl...
Article
Classifying the status of threatened species using tools such as the IUCN Red List is a critical step for identifying at-risk species, and for conservation planning at global and sub-global levels. The requirement for data on population trends, geographic ranges and population sizes has proved challenging to carry out at the national level, especia...
Article
Migratory raptors rarely fly over stretches of water larger than 25 km, although different species undertake water crossings of varying lengths, depending mainly on their wing morphology. Oriental Honey-buzzards fly c. 680 km over the East China Sea in autumn from breeding areas in Japan to wintering areas in Southeast Asia, but avoid this long wat...
Article
Full-text available
We determined the effects of past and future climate changes on the distribution of the Montivipera raddei species complex (MRC) that contains rare and endangered viper species limited to Iran, Turkey and Armenia. We also investigated the current distribution of MRC to locate unidentified isolated populations as well as to evaluate the effectivenes...
Article
Full-text available
Latifi’s Viper (Montivipera latifii), an endemic viper in the Alborz mountain chains in Iran, is facing serious threats within its last stronghold, the Lar National Park. The little information available on the distribution, population dynamics, and ecology of this scarce species, as well as its major threats, has hampered effective conservation pl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The network of wetland systems in Iran provides valuable staging and wintering areas for Waterfowl (Anatidae; ducks, geese and swans) in the African-Western Eurasian flyways. Limited data on the status and threats facing this group of birds in Iran has hampered conservation activities for decades. In this study, we determined population trends for...
Article
Full-text available
Migration of birds involves long hours of flight interspersed with time spent at stopover sites. Identification and conservation of stopover sites is crucial for the conservation of migratory bird populations. We set out to investigate the passage migrant avifauna of Sarakhs county, northeastern Iran, to determine the importance of this region for...
Article
Full-text available
Sarakhs is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Iran, encompassing an elevational span of 250-2500m, and 5472 km2 and high habitat diversity. Sarakhs also is geographically isolated form central Iran by Hezar Masjed and Mazdoran Mountain in south. A Sarakhs region is contact zone between West and east Palaearctic avifauna. During More th...
Article
Full-text available
Melanism is not considered a typical characteristic in wolves of Iran and dark wolves are believed to have originated from crossbreeding with dogs. Such hybrid individuals can be identified with the combined use of genetic and morphological markers. We analyzed two black wolves using a 544 base pairs (bp) fragment of the mtDNA control region and 15...
Article
Full-text available
The network of wetland systems in Iran provides valuable staging and wintering areas for waterbirds in the African-Western Eurasian flyways. The West Siberian/Caspian/Nile populations of Anatidae (ducks, geese and swans) regularly overwinter and stop over in Iran, and are considered an economically and culturally important group of birds in the c...
Article
Full-text available
Predictive models of species denning habitat are useful for understanding distribution of core use areas and identifying areas with potential conflicts. Wolf den site selection in unmanaged areas with dominance of agriculture-lands and human disturbance is not completely understood. We used a GIS multivariate model based on the Mahalanobis distance...
Article
A 2-year study of the food habits of the Persian leopard was conducted in Sarigol National Park in northeastern Iran, North Khorasan Province. Based on an analysis of 52 leopard scats, the principal prey was wild sheep (Ovis orientalis: prey frequency of occurrence = 61.5%; prey relative frequency of occurrence = 47.05%; relative biomass = 53.96%),...
Article
Full-text available
The Gray Wolf is a wide ranging carnivore in Iran, absent only in the central deserts and Dasht-e Lut. This study was carried out to verify whether, despite their high mobility, individual wolves belonging to different populations show morphological variations in the skull. We collected 48 skulls from various regions of Iran and measured 24 variabl...
Article
Full-text available
Jajroud Protected Area Complex is one of the main habitats of Alborz Red Sheep (Ovis gmelini × O. vignei) in Iran. Being close to Tehran, this habitat has been reduced and fragmented due to the human constructions. This study was designed with the aim of identifying the summer and fall habitat patches and the suitability of the matrix by means of E...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Archived project
Archived project
This project focuses on the effects of current and future climate and weather conditions on the migratory route and flyways of two East Asian raptor migrants; the Oriental honey-buzzard and the Grey-faced buzzard.