عنوان مقاله [English]
Today, climate change and habitat loss are the biggest threats to wildlife. Therefore, accurate information on ecology and habitat requirements conserve species from these changes and identifying the most important factors to attract species and the development of habitat suitability maps can be considered a species protection process. After leopards and cheetahs, Caracal is the third biggest member of the cat family (Felidae) in Iran that has a key role in controlling of rodent populations and its habitat is mostly in arid areas. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to consider the effects of climate change on Caracal habitats and the distribution of the species under two climate scenarios RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 in the period of 2061 to 2080 in Iran by using the maximum entropy method. In this study, four groups of environmental variables are used: climat, topography, land cover, and land use. The results showed that distance from the conservation network, distance from sand dunes, and distance from dense forest areas had the greatest impact on the selection of suitable habitat for the Caracal at the present time and for the future time, the variables of mean temperature of warmest quarter and elevation had the highest importance on the distribution of Caracal. In addition, the study of Caracal's habitat suitability maps revealed that these species currently occupy only 13.2% of Iran, which have only 48.2% overlap with the current conservation network. While, in the future, the desired habitat rate of the species under the scenarios of RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 will be reached 30.9 and 27.4, respectively, and the amount of overlap with the current protected network will be reduced to about 66%, and the amount of overlap will have arrived at 17.8%.