Natural habitats are increasingly becoming isolated due to habitat fragmentation and landscape changes. Therefore, maintaining connections between core habitats through conservation of migration paths is a primary solution for mitigating the negative effects of habitat fragmentation. We aimed to evaluate core areas and migration corridors for gray wolf in Isfahan province, central Iran where there are about 30 protected areas, including five national parks, five wildlife refuges, seven protected areas, 12 no-hunting areas and one wetland covering an area of 107,000 Km2. We used 10 uncorrelated variables at a spatial resolution of 250-m to predict the potential distribution of the species using MaxEnt model. Resistant kernel algorithm was used to assess the landscape connectivity for wolf inside and outside of protected areas. An exponential function was used to convert habitat suitability model to resistance surface. Finally, factorial least-cost path modeling was used to identify corridors and areas that support long-distance movement between patches. The results show that the protected areas are still connected by a set of corridors that are permeable for species’ movements. Potential distribution of gray wolf appeared to be strongly influenced by prey density, moderate range-land density, roughness and village density. Wolf showed low level of plasticity to habitat disturbances, though its spatial niche breadth was not narrow. The highly suitable habitats and core habitats of wolf were widely distributed across the study area.
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