Context. Recently, the land use changes in Northern provinces of Iran have led to great damages to ecological systems and services provided by these areas. These changes effect on interconnectedness of green patches and habitats which enables animal movement and gene transfer.
Objectives. This study aimed to provide a model for planning to increase habitat quality and to improve the structure and function and conservation of biodiversity by applying the principles of landscape ecology, graph theory, and ecological network.
Methods. This study was performed on Phasianus colchicus in the part of north of Iran, where is the main habitat of this species. For this purpose, after extracting the ecological network of the highest quality habitats and the most important cores, corridors were determined to increase their function and structure. Finally, the habitats changes and corridors were anticipated in the future.
Results. The results show that the foothill regions of studied where link Hyrcanian forests, farmlands, and tea farmlands are among the highest priorities for pheasant habitat in this region. However, the small number of bridges as corridors connecting habitats in this ecological network, the large number of main components and the extremely high percentage of isolated patches indicates the high disintegration of these habitats and therefore the poor condition of the habitat of this species.
Conclusions. The methodology of this study can be used in different scale to identify potential corridors and manage them by taking long-term view and considering the continuation of the past trend.