Identifying habitat cores and corridors for the Iranian black bear in Iran

Kamran Almasieh, Mohammad Kaboli, Paul Beier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The Iranian black bear (Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus; IBB) is a critically endangered subspecies. The IBB needs connectivity to access seasonally available foods and to provide gene flow among populations in the mountains of Kerman, Hormozgan, and Sistan and Baluchistan provinces of Iran. We identified IBB cores to be used as termini for modelled corridors. We mapped 31 habitat cores based on 200 IBB presence points from studies during 2008-2013, and 70 presence points from our own observations of IBB footprints and scats in 2014. We used MaxEnt on 101 spatially independent presence points to map areas of high-quality habitat. The largest population patch (approx. 8,700 km2) covered 4 protected areas. We used least-cost modelling to model habitat corridors among 31 habitat cores. We considered a corridor locally important if it helped join nearby cores into a cluster that would support a large demographically and genetically vigorous population. We considered a corridor regionally important if it could connect the clusters united by local corridors. The most important local corridors were the corridors creating 4 clusters in the southeast of Iran. Also, we identified the 2 important regional corridors that could connect the 3 most important clusters. Although the density of roads in all habitat corridors was low (18.51 m/km2), roads crossed many important corridors. Conservation of main habitat cores and corridors for the IBB in southeastern Iran should be considered by the Department of Environment in Iran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-30
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Iranian black bear
  • MaxEnt
  • Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus
  • habitat corridors
  • least-cost models
  • population patches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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