Volume 1, Issue 2 (3-2013)                   2013, 1(2): 39-52 | Back to browse issues page

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Makki T, Fakheran S, Moradi H, Iravani M, Farahmand M. Ecological Impact Assessment of Isfahan’s West Ringway on Ghamishloo Wildlife Refuge Using Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP). Iranian Journal of Applied Ecology 2013; 1 (2) :39-52
URL: http://ijae.iut.ac.ir/article-1-185-en.html
Dept. of Environ. Sci., College of Natur. Resour., Isf. Univ. Technol., Isfahan, Iran.
Abstract:   (17964 Views)
Development of roads through protected areas and ecological sensitive regions can have catastrophic effects on wildlife. In Iran, road construction in sensitive habitats and protected areas has been expanding during the past decades. This study focuses on the ecological impacts of Isfahan’s west ringway, which passes through Ghamishloo wildlife refuge, I.U.C.N category IV, in Isfahan Province. The key affected species of the study area goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa subgutterosa), was considered for impact analysis. We used HEP (Habitat Evaluation Procedure) as a habitat-based impact assessment methodology which considers habitat quality and quantity. Habitat quality was measured as habitat suitability index for the species. By literature review and field observations (293 presence points), five effective variables in habitat suitability including vegetation cover, slope, elevation, distance to water and distance to road were identified, and habitat units (HUs) were derived from multiplying the HSI for goitered gazelle by the species habitat area at two times (before and after road construction). The results showed that due to the presence of the ringway, 7710 HUs for goitered gazelle have been lost. In addition, we used landscape ecology approach for quantifying landscape pattern change due to road construction and landscape metrics including NP (Number of Patches), MNN (Mean Nearest Neighbor) and CONTAG (Contagion). Our results provided quantitative data on habitat loss and landscape fragmentation in Ghamishloo wildlife refuge and indicated negative impacts of the ringway on goitered gazelle populations by restricting their movement between habitat patches in this region, which presents a concern for the conservation of this vulnerable species.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: General

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