Chapter

Countrywide Distribution Modelling of the Persian Leopard Potential Habitats on a Regional Basis in Iran

Authors:
  • Asian Leopard Specialist Society
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Abstract

This chapter is dedicated to assessing the Persian leopard potential distribution in Iran on a regional basis that aims to address four objectives and a null hypothesis. Objectives are concerning (1) estimation of the leopard potential distribution, (2) possibility of a major fragmentation in the Persian leopard range in Iran as first mentioned by Sanei et al. (2016), (3) prediction of landscape corridors which can improve the distribution pattern connectivity and (4) the main environmental variables that contribute to assessing the predictive maps. The null hypothesis addresses the variability of permutation importance of the environmental factors in accordance with the regional variability of environmental characteristics. Due to the variability of the environmental characteristics across the country and the leopard putative range which includes almost 30 provinces out of 31, the area has been innovatively divided into five significantly dissimilar regions as discussed in the previous chapter. Subsequently, MaxEnt modelling is conducted in a regional context using a total of 17 variables including 12 natural and 5 human factors together with more than 550 well distributed leopard occurrence data in all regions. Environmental variables have been tested for possible correlation prior to the modelling procedures. Area under the curve (AUC) was used to test the model fit to the data set. Jackknife test was performed to assess the contribution of environmental variables to the MaxEnt models. Fifteen replications with test percentage of 20% were used for validation. Additional evaluation of the predictive models was conducted by assessing the potential habitat distribution maps via the expert/local knowledge of 150 individuals from all five regions. Findings support that the Persian leopard range in Iran is in the process of a major fragmentation to the northern and the southern parts. Accordingly, two landscape corridors providing vital linkages to connect leopard potential habitats in a metapopulation scale are identified. Developed predictive maps in this chapter are a basis for the researches presented in Chaps. 5, 6 and 7. Authors believe that MaxEnt modeling on a regional basis has considerably improved the accuracy of the predictive maps that eventually formed the countrywide potential distribution of the Persian leopard potential habitats in Iran.

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... Iran has the highest distribution and population of this subspecies (Kiabi et al. 2002;Khorozyan et al. 2005;Sanei and Zakaria 2011;Sanei et al. 2016). Moreover, Iran has most of the core habitat of the Persian leopard with a high diversity of natural landscapes from semi deserts to high mountain areas, making Iran a stronghold for this subspecies (Ebrahimi et al. 2017;Bleyhl et al. 2022;Sanei et al. 2020b;Shahsavarzadeh et al. 2023). The Persian leopard has been categorized as an endangered (EN) species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Khorozyan 2016), and recently, this assessment does not appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because of lack of up-to-date information (Stein et al. 2020). ...
... We considered 16 human and environmental variables to model the spatial risk of livestock predation by the leopard according to previous studies Behdarvand et al. 2014;Kaboodvandpour et al. 2021;Khosravi et al. 2021;Poursalem et al. 2021;Sanei et al. 2020b;Vesali et al. 2017; Table 1). Layers of distance to villages and distance to roads (DoE 2018) were created using the Euclidean distance tool. ...
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This study was conducted in the Lorestan Province in the west of Iran with two objectives of identifying major environmental variables in spatial risk modeling and identifying spatial risk patches of livestock predation by the Persian leopard. An ensemble approach of three models of maximum entropy (MaxEnt), generalized boosting model (GBM), and random forest (RF) were applied for spatial risk modeling. Our results revealed that livestock density, distance to villages, forest density, and human population density were the most important variables in spatial risk modeling of livestock predation by the leopard. The center of the study area had the highest probability of livestock predation by the leopard. Ten spatial risk patches of livestock predation by the leopard were identified in the study area. In order to mitigate the revenge killing of the leopards, the findings of this study highlight the imperative of implementing strategies by the Department of Environment (DoE) to effectively accompany the herds entering the wildlife habitats with shepherds and a manageable number of guarding dogs. Accordingly, the identified risk patches in this study deserve considerable attention, especially three primary patches found in the center and southeast of Lorestan Province.
... Variables identified in this study as important predictors of leopard distribution (after removing correlations >0.7) were Temperature Seasonality (BIO01), Maximum Temperature of Warmest Month (BIO05), Mean Temperature of Wettest Quarter (BIO08), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and Rugosity (Supplementary figure 1). SDMs constructed using these variables were able to accurately predict the range of P. pardus (Figure 4)this finding reflects the general consensus of other work on individual P. pardus subspecies and other members of the Panthera genus that has found rugosity and Leaf Area Index-related variables to be important (Atzeni et al., 2020;Ebrahimi et al., 2017;Jiang et al., 2015;Mondal et al., 2013;Rodríguez-Soto et al., 2011;Sanei et al., 2020;Zafar-ul Islam et al., 2021). Temperature variables are less commonly included in models, but they may have emerged in our analysis as important because the leopard is mainly found in warm equatorial regions, and we modelled its distribution on the whole of Africa and Eurasia, an area that covers a very wide range of temperatures. ...
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Aim: Species distribution modelling can be used to reveal if the ecology of a species varies across its range, to investigate if range expansions entailed niche shifts, and to help assess ecological differentiation: the answers to such questions are vital for effective conservation. The leopard (Panthera pardus spp.) is a generalist species composed of one African and eight Asian subspecies, reflecting dispersal from an ancestral African range. This study uses species distribution models to compare the niches of leopard subspecies, to investigate if they conserved their niches when moving into new territories or adapted to local conditions and shifted niche. Location: Africa and Eurasia Methods: We assembled a database of P. pardus spp. presences. We then associated them with bioclimatic variables to identify which are relevant in predicting the distribution of the leopard. We then constructed a species distribution model and compared the distribution predicted from models based on presences from all subspecies versus the ones built only using African leopards. Finally, we used multivariate analysis to visualise the niche occupied by each subspecies in the climate space, and to compare niche overlaps to assess ecological differentiation. Results: Niche comparisons and model predictions suggest a general lack of niche separation between all subspecies. Most Asian subspecies have overlapping niches and occupy subsets of the niche of the African leopard. Nevertheless, we found the Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor to have the most distinct niche, giving some evidence for niche expansion in more Northern Asian subspecies. Main conclusions: These results suggest little ecological differentiation among leopard subspecies and a lack of adaptation to novel climates after dispersal from Africa. This finding complements recent genetic studies in implying that the taxonomy of Asian leopards may not reflect biological differentiation, an issue that is important to resolve due to its relevance for the conservation of the species.
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Even though wildlife trafficking is considered as a serious wildlife threat worldwide, no concrete studies have been done so far on the severity of the illegal trade of the Iranian large carnivores. However, for the purpose of law enforcement aimed at prohibiting illegal trade of the specimens, readily recognizable part or derivate thereof, determination of conservation values of the target species is required. As such, an article in the first phase of the Persian Leopard National Conservation and Management Action Plan is dedicated to the relative valuation practices. Relatively, this study is to estimate Willingness to Pay (WTP) for leopard conservation in Iran and assessing the relative parameters according to a specialist conservation target group consisted of experts and staff of the Department of Environment across the leopard range in Iran. Subsequently, a study was conducted from May 2016 to February 2017 using contingent valuation method by applying dichotomous choice and two-dimensional questionnaires. In this regard, a total of 339 questionnaires were distributed among the target group across all provinces of Iran. The results demonstrated that WTP parameter was positive in 73% of the respondents. Yet, following by 1% increase in BID (maximum accepted proposed value), the probability of payment for leopard conservation is reduced up to 0.285%. According to the Logit model and maximum likelihood method and considering the sampling population (i.e., staff of the Department of Environment), the average WTP for annual leopard conservation is 136,263.5 IRR/per person equivalent to the annual total value of 887,893,454.9 IRR for the entire sampling population. The most important effective variables in this study include income and willingness to be a volunteer in non-governmental organizations. Conducting this research, the authors believe that conservation value of the Persian leopard is best evaluated only if a wide range of parameters and various sampling groups are involved in the assessment processes. Yet, the findings in this study suggest that the current penalty for illegal hunting of the leopards in Iran is less than the assessed value of WTP for leopard conservation as much as 87,893,454 IRR. Thus, results of this research could be used for the purpose of establishing appropriate penalties for illegal hunting and poisoning of the specimens as well as relative law enforcements concerning the cases of illegal trade.
Chapter
Species potential habitats predicted via various techniques, e.g. MaxEnt modelling in case of the current research, provide helpful information in terms of conservation and management programs, prioritization of limited resources and relative decision makings. Previous chapter was concerned with the modelling of the distribution of the Persian leopard potential habitats across the entire country in a regional context. Aside from the evaluation techniques to assess the modelling procedures which were done in the last chapter, validating the modelling outcomes according to the field data is essential. Thus, this chapter is dedicated to the ground validation of the predictive maps in selected study areas to ensure the accuracy for further conservation and management activities. For this purpose, three provinces in northeast (region 1), northwest (region 4) and south (region 3) of Iran with different environmental characteristics are selected to conduct camera trapping, field visits and indirect sign surveys, obtaining expert and local people knowledge via questionnaire surveys, group discussions and interviews. Three threshold methods including equal training sensitivity and specificity (A), maximum training sensitivity plus specificity (B) and minimum training presence (C) were selected for the purpose of binary classification of the predictive maps developed earlier using the MaxEnt software. The results indicated more accuracy of the sensitivity and specificity based threshold rules rather than the minimum training presence. Yet, intersection of the validated binary maps leads to the final conclusion of the habitat suitability rate of 0.3 on the predictive maps as a value to safely identify the actual potential habitats where importance for leopard conservation planning is confirmed.
Chapter
East Azarbaijan Province in northwest of Iran contains considerable areas of trans-boundary habitats that connect the Persian leopard areas in this region to those in South Caucasian countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia Republics. This connection supports leopard presence in South Caucasus via trans-boundary movements of the Persian leopard individuals. Accordingly, the current short communication followed by the studies presented earlier in Chaps. 4 and 5 provides an understanding to the clusters of potential habitats with the relative suitability rates. A total of 37 distinct habitats with suitability of more than 23% for the leopard presence are identified. This study suggests that while the most suitable areas for the leopards are distributed in the northern parts of the province, potential leopard areas in southern and southwestern parts of the province are much scattered and isolated. We also propose several linear corridors that connect these habitat clusters. Poaching of prey species, excess of livestock, alternation of pasture to cultivation lands, development of road network and habitat destructions are among the factors threatening the leopard in this zone. Trans-boundary conservation practices among neighboring countries as well as improvement in protection status of several identified key areas are recommended in this chapter.
Chapter
Even though the Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor is an endangered subspecies with the main population inhabiting in Iran (Khorozyan and Abramov, Zool Middle East 41:11–24, 2007; Kiabi et al., Zool Middle East 26(1):41–47, 2002), earlier studies (Sanei et al., Assessment of the Persian leopard mortality rate in Iran. In: Proceedings from UMT 11th International Annual Symposium on Sustainability Science and Management (pp. 1458–1462, 2012). Terengganu, Malaysia: Universiti Malaysia Terengganu) demonstrated that the majority of leopard mortalities are recorded to be as a result of intentional hunting, revenge killing, and poisoning of the specimens. To mitigate livestock–carnivore conflicts and reduce the subsequent revenge killings, an innovative model including a medium and a long-term insurance schemes together with awareness raising, trust building, and participatory conservation strategies is designed. Accordingly, the medium term insurance scheme addresses three main subjects of (1) improving conservation practices in the areas of leopard mortality hot spots, (2) medical payments and wergild for possible human injuries/maim/death because of human–leopard conflicts and (3) recompensing livestock depredation. Also, since the wolf Canis lupus distribution is comparable with the leopard range in the country, because of conservation concerns, damages caused by wolf depredation are also planned to be recompensed partially in the first type (i.e. medium term) insurance scheme and fully recompensed in the long term (i.e. second type) insurance program. Introducing sessions about the relative regulations and instructions were conducted for provincial wildlife wardens and DoE staff who are well familiar with wildlife sign surveys and have a quick access to the habitats in each region. Subsequently, they took the responsibility for identification of wildlife species in livestock–carnivore conflicts. Improvements in husbandry practices, linking the payments to the acceptable husbandry enhancements and participation in reducing risk of damages by local people are some of the instructions considered in the model to improve the efficacy and outcomes. So far, Department of Environment of Iran together with a private insurance company has partially launched the short term insurance scheme since 2016 and launching other sections of this model is in progress.
Chapter
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Chapter
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Allometric relationships for estimating the biomass of the crown of Lebanon oak (Quercus libani Oliv.) have been developed through using biometric parameters such as the diameter at breast height, tree height, crown length, and crown width. The study was conducted in Ar­mardeh forests in Iran’s northern Zagros mountains; for a long time the local people have been pollarding the crown of oak trees in these forests for their traditional uses. After the local people entirely cut the crowns of 48 sample trees, the weight of the crowns and their constitut­ing components (leaves and branches) were measured. The results showed that the amount of the crown biomass of Lebanon oak at the stand level is about 4.98±0.81 tons ha (95% confidence interval), 79% of which are branches and the rest are leaves. All the equations, representing the relationships between biometric parameters and the biomass of the crown or its com­ponents, were highly significant (p
Chapter
To study the Persian leopard potential habitats, to assess conservation needs and priorities, and also to conduct relative conservation and management programs, considering extensive variability of natural and socioeconomic characteristics across the leopard range in Iran is essential. Iran is a vast country with wide range of the Persian leopard across almost all provinces. Failing to closely concentrate on the notable variability of aforementioned characteristics in each part of the leopard range across the country may negatively affect the species distribution modelling practices as well as many other research, conservation, and management programs. Accordingly, this chapter is dedicated to a novel classification addressing the leopard putative range in Iran for further relative programs. Subsequently, a total of nine natural and human variables including climate, topography, dry condition, vegetation, and elevation, also protected areas, human population, land use, and human poverty index were used to classify the area into the groups with the most similarities. This is conducted by the means of extracting inherent clusters in the dataset of aforementioned variables in all provinces without prior tagging of the cases. Afterwards, topography and climatology in each region are briefly discussed. Conducting the large scale research, conservation, and management programs on a regional basis as introduced in this chapter is recommended not only for the leopard, but also for other wide ranging species in Iran when the program is affected by the variability of natural and socioeconomic characteristics.
Chapter
To ensure persistence of a viable population of the Persian leopard in its wide range across Iran wherein also supports trans-boundary movements of the leopards to adjacent areas, the Iranian Department of Environment together with the Asian Leopard Specialist Society embarked on preparation of a species specific conservation and management action plan. Therefore, relative need assessments, stakeholder analysis, and required studies were conducted since 2012. To address the actual status of the Persian leopard in Iran an appropriate participatory planning model has been developed and subsequently, planning activities were conducted during several workshops and sessions by involvement of a wide range of participants from all over the country. A total of 45 internal and external main categories of stakeholders were recognized which also include various governmental and non-governmental organizations. Relatively, questionnaire surveys have been sent out to 60 universities and 220 NGOs with relative field of activities to identify the potential capabilities for implementation of the operations. These five annual action plans cover main topics of awareness raising, training and empowerment; habitat, media, veterinary and disease, rehabilitation centers, trans-boundary habitats and international co-operation, genetic conservation, compensation and insurance program, Persian leopard national network; research, evaluation and monitoring, protection units and wildlife wardens together with relative laws and regulations. This chapter briefly introduces this national document which was officially endorsed in early 2016 for implementation.
Chapter
Species potential habitats predicted via various techniques, e.g. MaxEnt modelling in case of the current research, provide helpful information in terms of conservation and management programs, prioritization of limited resources and relative decision makings. Previous chapter was concerned with the modelling of the distribution of the Persian leopard potential habitats across the entire country in a regional context. Aside from the evaluation techniques to assess the modelling procedures which were done in the last chapter, validating the modelling outcomes according to the field data is essential. Thus, this chapter is dedicated to the ground validation of the predictive maps in selected study areas to ensure the accuracy for further conservation and management activities. For this purpose, three provinces in northeast (region 1), northwest (region 4) and south (region 3) of Iran with different environmental characteristics are selected to conduct camera trapping, field visits and indirect sign surveys, obtaining expert and local people knowledge via questionnaire surveys, group discussions and interviews. Three threshold methods including equal training sensitivity and specificity (A), maximum training sensitivity plus specificity (B) and minimum training presence (C) were selected for the purpose of binary classification of the predictive maps developed earlier using the MaxEnt software. The results indicated more accuracy of the sensitivity and specificity based threshold rules rather than the minimum training presence. Yet, intersection of the validated binary maps leads to the final conclusion of the habitat suitability rate of 0.3 on the predictive maps as a value to safely identify the actual potential habitats where importance for leopard conservation planning is confirmed.
Chapter
East Azarbaijan Province in northwest of Iran contains considerable areas of trans-boundary habitats that connect the Persian leopard areas in this region to those in South Caucasian countries of Azerbaijan and Armenia Republics. This connection supports leopard presence in South Caucasus via trans-boundary movements of the Persian leopard individuals. Accordingly, the current short communication followed by the studies presented earlier in Chaps. 4 and 5 provides an understanding to the clusters of potential habitats with the relative suitability rates. A total of 37 distinct habitats with suitability of more than 23% for the leopard presence are identified. This study suggests that while the most suitable areas for the leopards are distributed in the northern parts of the province, potential leopard areas in southern and southwestern parts of the province are much scattered and isolated. We also propose several linear corridors that connect these habitat clusters. Poaching of prey species, excess of livestock, alternation of pasture to cultivation lands, development of road network and habitat destructions are among the factors threatening the leopard in this zone. Trans-boundary conservation practices among neighboring countries as well as improvement in protection status of several identified key areas are recommended in this chapter.
Chapter
Cumulative effect of various land use and land cover variables that eventually affect suitability level of set/sets of habitats is a main concern in wildlife habitat conservation efforts. Even though, there have been various methodologies to identify the factors that influence probability of species persistence, survival, or occurrence in a particular habitat, no research has been conducted to assess the cumulative effects of LU/LC variations on the Persian leopard regional persistence (e.g., in several provinces, regions). Innovative formulation of the species and area specific regional indices, sub-indices, and threshold levels was carried out concerning the Persian leopard persistence in various regions of Iran (see chapter 3 for classification of regions). Regional and provincial values were assessed for the density of several variables including protected area, national park, wildlife reserve, forest, range lands, dry farming and irrigated farming, city, main and sub roads, village and human population. Principle Component Analysis and regression curve estimation techniques are the main analysis methods used in this study. Developing two types of empirically fitted models allows for adjusting the density of land use and land cover variables in a way to ensure that leopard persistence is not affected by the cumulative effect of the variables. Accordingly, current status of all provinces of Iran in relation to the cumulative effects of land use and land cover variables comparing to the corresponding threshold values together with relative conservation strategy is demonstrated in this chapter. Also, the findings support that the Persian leopard range in Iran is in the process of a major fragmentation into the northern and southern parts. Furthermore, this approach provides an insight to the managers and decision makers in order to identify wildlife friendly solutions in LU/LC and development planning. Since the leopard is an umbrella species, this model could be used to improve conservation status of the other co-existed species in leopard habitats (e.g., gray wolf, brown bear, wild goat, wild sheep, red deer, roe deer, etc.). Due to the fact that this innovative approach is on the basis of the data assessed about the Persian leopard in a regional context in Iran, the models are considered to be species and region specific. However, the same technical procedures can be modified using the area specific data for the leopard or other species in other countries and regions.
Chapter
Similar to the other big cats of Iran (i.e., the Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica and the Caspian tiger Panthera tigris virgata that are extinct in the region), the Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor has a unique importance in the Iranian art, history, and literature. Symbolization of these species over centuries to emphasize on strength, intelligence, and bravery of the kings and national heroes indicates the significance of the big cats including the leopard, for the Iranian society. The Persian leopard has been also the center of attention for several local and nationwide researches in Iran since 2002. Seeing this introductory chapter of the book mainly consisted of an overview to the prior knowledge about the subspecies, the cultural importance, results of an assessment to determine the leopard conservation requirements in various regions of Iran as well as problem trees addressing habitat-related issues (e.g., habitat destruction and degradation) and high leopard mortality rate.
Book
This book is different from most textbooks on statistical techniques. One difference is the wide range of techniques and subjects covered. The subjects in this book vary from classic techniques like analysis of variance and multiple regression to reliability and agreement analysis, matrix algebra, factor analysis, loglinear modelling and logistic regression. Another difference is that we refrained from focussing in detail on mathematical aspects. We tried to emphasize how statistical techniques are related to the kind of conceptual problems a language researcher has to face in empirical research. © 1993 by Walter de Gruyter & Co., D-1000 Berlin 30. All rights reserved.
Chapter
How do companies design a suitable market research plan? We explore how you can plan, start, and identify the research question that will best guide your market research. Identifying the “right” question is difficult, but we provide several strategies and suggestions to help you quickly identify and formulate a market research process. In addition, we provide a practical overview of the different types of research, including exploratory, descriptive, and causal research; the different research goals and the needs they fulfil, and discuss their different uses and potential research outcomes. We offer guidelines that will help you determine the optimal match between the research question and the type of research design.
Article
Because rare and cryptic species can be difficult to locate, distribution maps for such species are often inaccurate or incomplete. Bog Turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) are emblematic of this challenge. Conducting surveys of known, historical, and potential Bog Turtle habitat is a specific need stated in the Bog Turtle Northern Population Recovery Plan and in most Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies of states in the southern population. To address this need, we constructed a species distribution model for the southern population of Bog Turtles and ground-validated the model to assess its ability to locate suitable Bog Turtle habitat. Our final model identified 998,325 ha of potentially suitable habitat. On-the-ground evaluation of habitat identified as potentially suitable was carried out at 113 wetlands in Georgia and 83 in South Carolina. Of these, only nine wetlands met criteria for suitable Bog Turtle habitat in Georgia and 13 in South Carolina. Trapping efforts at the nine Georgia sites and eight of the South Carolina sites showed Bog Turtles to be present at two of the Georgia sites. This ground-validation effort demonstrates that the species distribution model greatly over-predicts the amount of suitable habitat for Bog Turtles. Nonetheless, this manner of searching for rare and cryptic species does avoid the typical biases of haphazard searches and helps identify habitat on private property. Given these findings, the model is most useful when the area of interest is small, such as a county within the range of a species that currently has no known occurrence records.
Book
Environmental economics, which used to be on the periphery of the economics discipline, is fast becoming mainstream as concern for the environment grows. Practitioners in other disciplines (e.g. engineering, science, natural resource management, social sciences) are increasingly faced with environmental problems that have an economic component. This invaluable book fills an important gap in the literature by teaching both economists and non-economists how to use economic tools to address environmental problems. The book is divided into three parts. Part I introduces theoretical concepts, including chapters on ecological economics and basic microeconomics for the non-specialist. Part II introduces tools for environmental policy analysis, while Part III discusses global environmental issues. The material is presented in an engaging manner with extensive use of graphs and diagrams to explain the key concepts. Exercises and an extensive bibliography are provided at the end of each chapter. © 2005 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
Three Persian leopards ( Panthera pardus saxicolor) that died from car accidents in Golestan National Park, Iran, were examined for Toxoplasma gondii and rabies virus infection. Acute T. gondii infection was diagnosed in two Persian leopards but no rabies virus was detected. Acute toxoplasmosis may be one of the factors leading to Persian leopard road kills.
Article
Wolves (Canis lupus) were once common throughout North America but were deliberately exterminated in the lower 48 United States, except in northeastern Minnesota, primarily because of depredations on livestock. Wolves remained abundant in areas with few livestock such as most of Canada and Alaska. Sixty years after being nearly exterminated, the gray wolf was listed under the United States Endangered Species Act (Act) in 1974. The combination of natural recovery in NW Montana, and reintroduction in central Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone area (NW Wyoming, eastern Idaho, and SW Montana) has resulted in an expanding wolf population (Bangs et al. 1998). In this paper we discuss our attempts to minimize conflicts between wolves and livestock and to build human tolerance for restoring wolf populations.
Article
Groundwater can be used directly or indirectly and any decline in its quality or quantity may negatively impact the environment. Through groundwater valuation, people are made aware of the fact that groundwater is not free of charge and therefore the significance of groundwater preservation is established. In this study, groundwater quality preservation value has been estimated for the city of Yazd based on the contingent valuation method (CVM). The methodology used consisted of field study and library research. After determining the sample size using Cochran's formula, the distributed questionnaires were filled by the inhabitants of the city of Yazd. Thereafter, the results were analysed using Excel and EViews. Finally, people's willingness to pay for the preservation of Yazd groundwater quality was estimated to be US$18.5 annually per capita, which is a remarkable value. Hence, it was determined that groundwater quality preservation was of great value to the inhabitants of Yazd.
Article
The objective of this study was to estimate the population size of common leopard (Panthera pardus) in Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve in Selangor, Malaysia. Long term survival of leopard population in this area is threatened due to small size of the forest, isolation and presence of various disturbances in the habitat. However, no estimates are available on the number of leopard in the study area. We used unsupervised classification of pugmarks that allows clustering of the data sets based on their inherent similarities. Study was conducted during February to November 2008. Linear measurements of front and hind tracks and strides (n = 124) were classified using hierarchical cluster and discriminant analysis which indicated that at least four individuals of leopard were present in the study area of 1,411 ha. Despite the small size of the forest, the area is still rich in both fauna and flora. The leopard being the predator, has an important role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem. Therefore, the population size of the leopard could be used as indicator of sustainable conservation and management of the species in the area.
Book
In this chapter, we present a literature review about geosimulation characteristics and its difference with the traditional methods. It is not our intention to restate the basic foundations of each particular methodology; nevertheless it is essential to provide a comprehensive explanation of the basics of the Cellular Automata model, the Markov Chain Model, the Cellular Automata Markov approach and the Logistic Regression Model. This is helpful to deal with their strengths and weaknesses. Thus, this chapter will first introduce the ABM system in contrast with the aforementioned traditional methodologies. Then we present an overview about the current and existing toolkits to design an agent-based model and their capability to create a geosimulation environment.