Novel Regional Classification of Natural and Socioeconomic Characteristics for the Persian Leopard Research and Conservation Programs

  • Arezoo SaneiEmail author


To study the Persian leopard potential habitats, to assess conservation needs and priorities, and also to conduct relative conservation and management programs, considering extensive variability of natural and socioeconomic characteristics across the leopard range in Iran is essential. Iran is a vast country with wide range of the Persian leopard across almost all provinces. Failing to closely concentrate on the notable variability of aforementioned characteristics in each part of the leopard range across the country may negatively affect the species distribution modelling practices as well as many other research, conservation, and management programs. Accordingly, this chapter is dedicated to a novel classification addressing the leopard putative range in Iran for further relative programs. Subsequently, a total of nine natural and human variables including climate, topography, dry condition, vegetation, and elevation, also protected areas, human population, land use, and human poverty index were used to classify the area into the groups with the most similarities. This is conducted by the means of extracting inherent clusters in the dataset of aforementioned variables in all provinces without prior tagging of the cases. Afterwards, topography and climatology in each region are briefly discussed. Conducting the large scale research, conservation, and management programs on a regional basis as introduced in this chapter is recommended not only for the leopard, but also for other wide ranging species in Iran when the program is affected by the variability of natural and socioeconomic characteristics.


Persian leopard Regional classification Natural characteristics Socioeconomic factors Hierarchical clustering Conservation practices Iran Panthera pardus saxicolor 



I would like to acknowledge National Geographical Organization, Meteorological Organization, Statistical Center and Department of Environment of Iran for providing the necessary maps and information. Consultant and comments of Dr. Ali Seifzadeh and Dr. Mohamad Roslan Mohamad Kasim are highly appreciated.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asian Leopard Specialist SocietyTehranIran
  2. 2.Faculty of ForestryUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSelangorMalaysia

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