Plant Habitat Study of QaraDagh- Darbandikhan Area

Saman Abdulrahman Ahmad1,2, Nariman Salih Ahmad1, Sarbagh Salih2, Hana Ahmad Raza3 , Korsh Ararat3, 4 

1Crop Science Department, College of Agricultural Sciences, University of  Sulaimani,  Kurdistan Region, Iraq

2Kurdistan Botanical Foundation, Sulaimani, Kirkuk Main Road, The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

org; http://www.kurdistanbotanical.org

3Nature Iraq, Iraq, Sulaimani, Pak City, Block A2, Floor 1; 

org: http://www.natureiraq.org

4  Biology Department , College of Science,University of Sulaimani, Sulaimani,  Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Original: 30/12/2017, Revised: 31/01/2018, Accepted: 06/02/2018, Published online:

DOI Link:  https://doi.org/10.17656/jzs.10709


A study was conducted on the plant habitat structure and the endemic species of QaraDagh-Darbandikhan area. The distribution of vegetation composition in both locations was identified. All vegetation zones and their keystone species are described in this manuscript. Historical data was integrated within the current records based on software applications. A habitat map was created, based on the topographical distribution of the study site. A total of 380 plant species belonging to 65 families were recorded. Within this total number, 44 taxa were identified as endemic species distributed with their occurrence in both QaraDagh and Darbandikhan areas. The current habitat is also important for different threatened fauna, especially the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) and Wild Goat (Capra aegagrus) which according to IUCN Red List are Endangered and Vulnerable, respectively. Threatson the habitat assessed were overgrazing, random fires, road constructions/expansion, sign of urbanization expansion and pollution from the associated garbage and waste. In other locations, there are issues of agricultural expansion, reforestation of slopes by non-native trees and conversion of the natural habitat to vineyards and orchards, using different species of forest communities as firewood. The result of this study confirms the urgent need for plant habitat conservation in the study area for the sustainability of the living communities

Key Words: Plant habitat, biodiversity, endemic species, vegetation zone, Persian leopard, conservation 


[1] Thomas JW "Wildlife habitats in managed forests: the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington" (1979).

[2] Litvaitis JA, Titus K, Anderson EM "Measuring vertebrate use of territorial habitats and food" In Research and Management Techniques for Wildlife and Habitats. 5th edition. Edited by T.A. Bookhout. The Wildl. Soc., Bethesda, Md. (1994).

[3] Lande R. "Genetics and demography in biological conservation" Science. Vol. (241), No. 4872, pp. 1455-1460. (1988).

[4] Booy G, Hendriks R, Smulders M, Van Groenendael J, Vosman B. "Genetic diversity and the survival of populations" Plant biology. Vol. (2), No. (04), pp. 379-395. (2000).

[5] Galeuchet D, Perret C, Fischer M "Microsatellite variation and structure of 28 populations of the common wetland plant, Lychnis flos‐cuculi L., in a fragmented landscape" Molecular Ecology. Vol. (14), No. 4, pp 991-1000. (2005).

[6] Hooftman DA, Billeter RC, Schmid B, Diemer M "Genetic effects of habitat fragmentation on common species of Swiss fen meadows" Conservation Biology, Vol. (18), No. 4, pp.1043-1051. (2004).

[7] Lepš J. “Diversity and ecosystem function” Blackwell, Oxford; pp. 199-237. (2005).

[8] Godefroid S, Piazza C, Rossi G, Buord S, Stevens AD, Aguraiuja R, Cowell C, Weekley CW, Vogg G, Iriondo JM "How successful are plant species reintroductions?" Biological Conservation. Vol. (144), No. 2, pp. 672-682. (2011).

[9] Brummitt N, Bachman S "Plants under pressure a global assessment" The first report of the IUCN sampled red list index for plants. (2010).

[10] Nippert JB, Ocheltree TW, Skibbe AM, Kangas LC, Ham JM, Arnold KBS, Brunsell NA "Linking plant growth responses across topographic gradients in tallgrass prairie" Oecologia Vol. (166), No.4, pp.1131-1142. (2011).

[11] Corlett RT, Westcott DA "Will plant movements keep up with climate change?" Trends in ecology & evolution. Vol. (28), No. 8, pp. 482-488. (2013).

[12] Summers DM, Bryan BA, Crossman ND, Meyer WS "Species vulnerability to climate change: impacts on spatial conservation priorities and species representation" Global Change Biology. Vol. (18), No. 7, pp. 2335-2348. (2012).

[13] Zhang MG, Zhou ZK, Chen WY, Cannon CH, Raes N, Slik J. "Major declines of woody plant species ranges under climate change in Yunnan, China" Diversity and distributions. Vol. (20), No. 4, pp 405-415. (2014)

[14] Guest E, Al-Rawi A. “Flora of Iraq. Introduction to the Flora, Vol. 1: an Account of the Geology, Soil, Climate and Ecology of Iraq with Gazetteer, Glossary and Biography” Iraq Ministry of Agriculture: University Press Glasgow. (1966).

[15] General Directorate of Horticulture "Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Agriculture" Cited from Geography of Iraq, English texts in the geography of Iraq, Department of Geography - University of Maysan. http://mesan.forumarabia.com/t13-topic. (2007).

[16] Nature Iraq “Key Biodiversity Areas of Iraq” Huntington Beach: Tablet House Publishing; (2017).

[17] Terrestrial Ecoregions "Temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands" Southwestern Asia: Northeastern Syria and northern Iraq. Retrieved from https://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/pa0812. (2017).

[18] UN-ESCWA and BGR "Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia. Beirut. Beirut" United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe. (2013).

[19] Townsend CC, Guest E. “Flora of Iraq Vol. 3” Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform of the Republic of Iraq. (1974).

[20] Townsend CC, Guest E, Omar SA “Flora of Iraq, Vol. 4 Part 1 and 2” Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform of the Republic of Iraq. (1980).

[21] Townsend CC, Guest E, Omar SA, Al-Khayat AH “Flora of Iraq, Vol. 8” Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform of the Republic of Iraq. (1985).

[22] Townsend CC, Guest E, Al-Rawi A. “Flora of Iraq, Vol. 9” Baghdad: Ministry of Agriculture. (1968).

[23] Townsend CC, Guest E, Al-Rawi A. “Flora of Iraq. Vol. 2” Baghdad: Ministry of Agriculture. (1966).

[24] Cottam G, Curtis JT "The use of distance measures in phytosociological sampling" Ecology, 37, No.3, pp. 451-460. (1956).

[25] Rinawati F, Stein K, Lindner A. "Climate change impacts on biodiversity-the setting of a lingering global crisis" Diversity. Vol. (5), No.1, pp.114-123. (2013).

[26] Ahmad S. "Vascular plants of Hawraman region in Kurdistan Iraq" Ph. D. dissertation, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Sulaimani University, Iraq, (2013).

[27] Ahmad SA, Rastegar A, Attar F. "Cousinia azmarensis (Asteraceae, Cardueae), a New Species from Kurdistan, Iraq" Harvard Papers in Botany. Vol. (22), No.1, pp. 71-73. (2017).

[28] Zarei G, Assadi M, Maassoumi A. "Introduction to the flora, life form, habitate and plant geographical distribution of Abarkooh Playa (Yazd)" In Natural Resources (2009).

[29] Asri Y. "Plant diversity in Mouteh Refuge" Iran. (2008).

[30] Mahmoudi J. "The study of species diversity in plant ecological groups in kelarabad protected forest" Iranian Journal of Biology. Vol. (20), No.4, pp. 353-362. (2008).

[31] Aksoy N, Uzun O. "Distribution and conservation significance of endemic plants in the Dzce province" International Journal of Physical Sciences. Vol. (6), No. 8, pp. 2143-2151. (2011).

[32] Khorozyan I. "Panthera pardus ssp. saxicolor" The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. eT15961A5334217 http://dxdoiorg/102305/IUCNUK2008RLTST15961A5334217en (2008).

[33] Raza HA, Ahmad SA, Hassan NA, Ararat K, Qadir M, Ali L. "First photographic record of the Persian leopard in Kurdistan, northern Iraq" Cat News. Vol. (56), pp. 34-35. (2012).