Habitat suitability and movement corridors of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Northern Pakistan

Kabir, M. and Hameed, S. and Ali, H. and Bosso, L. and Din, J.U. and Bischof, R. and Redpath, S. and Nawaz, M.A. (2017) Habitat suitability and movement corridors of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Northern Pakistan. PLoS ONE, 12 (11). e0187027. ISSN 1932-6203, DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187027.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187027


Habitat suitability models are useful to understand species distribution and to guide management and conservation strategies. The grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been extirpated from most of its historic range in Pakistan primarily due to its impact on livestock and livelihoods. We used non-invasive survey data from camera traps and genetic sampling to develop a habitat suitability model for C. lupus in northern Pakistan and to explore the extent of connectivity among populations. We detected suitable habitat of grey wolf using a maximum entropy approach (Maxent ver. 3.4.0) and identified suitable movement corridors using the Circuitscape 4.0 tool. Our model showed high levels of predictive performances, as seen from the values of area under curve (0.971±0.002) and true skill statistics (0.886±0.021). The main predictors for habitat suitability for C. lupus were distances to road, mean temperature of the wettest quarter and distance to river. The model predicted ca. 23,129 km2 of suitable areas for wolf in Pakistan, with much of suitable habitat in remote and inaccessible areas that appeared to be well connected through vulnerable movement corridors. These movement corridors suggest that potentially the wolf range can expand in Pakistan’s Northern Areas. However, managing protected areas with stringent restrictions is challenging in northern Pakistan, in part due to heavy dependence of people on natural resources. The habitat suitability map provided by this study can inform future management strategies by helping authorities to identify key conservation areas.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Research Council of Norway (Grant 204202/F20), Snow Leopard Trust
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals; Ecosystem; Geography; Models, Theoretical; Movement; Pakistan; Photography; Reproducibility of Results; Wolves
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Institute of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 03:41
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2018 03:41
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/19151

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