Effects of anthropogenic pressure on large mammals in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran (Erasmus Mundus Action 2, 2015-2017)

The Hyrcanian forest in northern Iran is among the most important broadleaf forests in the northern hemisphere and is home to many endemic and threatened species. The mammal populations of the Hyrcanian forest are rapidly decreasing and suffering from habitat loss, fragmentation and poaching which trigger a cascade of extinctions. The project addresses present distribution, co-occurrence and population dynamics of four large mammal species (red and roe deer, brown bear and wild boar) of the Hyrcanian forest in relation to vegetation structure, and natural and anthropogenic impacts. Non-invasive, spatially explicit field surveys and robust analytical methods (e.g. occupancy modeling, presence-only analysis, priority mapping and zoning) are being used. Results will help understand the spatio-temporal status and trends of single species and multi-species assemblages in order to prioritize conservation needs and to guide conservation strategies in the region.

Participating researchers

Prof. Dr. Matthias Waltert, Prof. Niko Balkenhol, Prof. Emeritus Michael Mühlenberg, Prof. Bahram H. Kiabi (Shahid Beheshti University Iran), Dr. Igor Khorozyan, Arash Ghoddousi (PhD student)

Partner institutions
Iranian Department of Environment, University of Environment at Karaj, Shahid Beheshti University