Habitat Suitability Index of Pheasant on Miankaleh Wildlife Sanctuary, North of Iran
- In regard to ecological and behavioral pheasant species (phasianuscolichicus), the speciesis of special importance at global and national level. Miankaleh Biosphere Reserve is considered one of the most important habitats of pheasant species in the coastal strip of Caspian Sea. It is worth noting that since spring is a critical season in the life cycle of pheasants to breed, it was chosen for the present study in order to assess pheasant habitatin Miankaleh International Wetland.For pheasant habitat assessment in the spring in Miankaleh International Wetland, four biological variables—frequency of artificial watering places, percentage of cumulative density for the plant species, raspberry (rubus) and juncus, percentage of rubusspeciesvegetation density, and frequency of livestock farming , which has an effect on pheasant habitatassessment in the spring—have been identified and determined in the study area. Afterward, the study area was divided into eight regions based on its eight vegetation populations, and the mean of Suitability Index (SI) for each of four biological variables under consideration was calculated in each of 8 determined regions in the study area, and then the overall mean of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) of pheasant species was estimated in each of the eight determined regions at Miankaleh International Wetland level by means of HEP technique. Subsequently, the eight regions were ranked in terms of level of suitability for habitat of pheasant species. In the end, the overall mean of pheasant species SI was determined at Miankaleh International Wetland level, based on the result of which Miankaleh International Wetland has good suitability for habitat of pheasant species.
Keywords- Habitat Suitability Index, Phasianuscolchicus, Miankaleh International Wetland.