Author(s):
Rasoul Khosravi, Hamid Reza Pourghasemi, Roya Adavoudi, Leila Julaie, Ho Yi Wan
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Topic(s):
Fire Effects
Ecological - Second Order
Wildlife
Fire & Wildlife
Mammals

NRFSN number: 24316
FRAMES RCS Number: 65178
Record updated: March 7, 2022

Background: Humans have altered fire regimes across ecosystems due to climate change, land use change, and increasing ignition. Unprecedented shifts in fire regimes affect animals and contribute to habitat displacement, reduced movement, and increased mortality risk. Mitigating these effects require the identification of habitats that are susceptible to wildfires. We designed an analytical framework that incorporates fire risk mapping with species distribution modeling to identify key habitats of Ursus arctos with high probability of fire in Iran. We applied the random forest algorithm for fire risk mapping. We also modeled brown bear habitats and predicted connectivity between them using species distribution models and connectivity analysis, respectively. Finally, the fire risk map, critical habitats, and corridors were overlaid to spatially identify habitats and corridors that are at high risk of fire.

Results: We identified 17 critical habitats with 5245 km2 of corridors connecting them, 40.06% and 11.34% of which are covered by conservation areas, respectively. Our analysis showed that 35.65% of key habitats and 23.56% of corridors are at high risk of fire.

Conclusions: Since bears habitat in this semi-arid landscape rely on forests at higher altitudes, it is likely that shifting fire regimes due to changing climate and land use modifications reduce the extent of habitats in the future. While it is not well known how fire affects bears, identifying its key habitat where wildfires are likely to occur is the first step to manage potential impacts from increasing wildfires on this species.

Citation

Khosravi, Rasoul; Pourghasemi, Hamid Reza; Adavoudi, Roya; Julaie, Leila; Wan, Ho Yi. 2022. A spatially explicit analytical framework to assess wildfire risks on brown bear habitat and corridors in conservation areas. Fire Ecology 18:1.

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