Distribution of Persian Squirrel (Sciurus anomalus) as an invasive species in Alborz and Qazvin provinces using maximum entropy model
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Persian squirrel recently in the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains of Iran, Especially the provinces of Qazvin and Alborz are seen abundantly; the influx of Persian squirrels has caused economic and ecological damage to the region and has become a major public concern. The present study was conducted to model the future distribution of squirrels in the region and to protect desirable areas where invading squirrels have not yet entered. In this study, in order to model the distribution of squirrel infestation in the region, MaxEnt software was used, which uses the maximum entropy model for modeling. Dependent variables included the presence points of the invading Persian squirrel species in the region and the independent variable includes 14 environmental variables consisting of habitat and climatic variables affecting the habitat suitability of Persian squirrel species. The results of the model show that the variables; land use (Regional garden floors, urban and agricultural areas), mean diurnal range (Bio 2) and vegetation (irrigated farming floors and orchards and tree canopy) are the most important variables affecting the habitat suitability of squirrel species. The model output results showed, Regional gardens, urban areas, agriculture and ecologically sensitive areas such as conservation areas (Central Alborz, Bashgol, Alamut, and Taleghan no-hunting area that the invading squirrel has not attacked it is a habitat suitability for this invasive species and has been exposed to the future invasion of this species. Therefore, there is a need for preventive measures to prevent irreparable economic and ecological damage to native species.