Habitat Modeling of Meriones Libycus as a Reservoir of Leishmaniasis in Iran

Document Type : Research Article


1 M.Sc. student, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of natural resources and environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of natural resources and environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of natural resources and environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran


Rodents are the largest order of mammals with a large population on the Earth, causing many economic and health losses. There are rodents as a reservoir of Zoonosis. Among these diseases, we can mention leishmaniasis. The aim of this study was to model the suitability of Libyan Jird habitats as a mixture of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Iran. For this purpose, 17 general habitat variables out of two topographic variables, seven climatic variables, and eight land use/land cover variables were used as habitat variables to accompany MaxEnt modeling. For this purpose, habitat variables (topography, climate variable, and land use/land cover variable) were entered into MaxEnt modeling as habitat variables. Based on the results of MaxEnt software modeling, the Libyan Jird habitats with an area of 432094 square kilometers, equivalent to 29% of Iran, were allocated as their suitable habitats. Also, two variables of distance from rural areas and slope had the greatest impact on the modeling process. The habitat suitability maps of the disease reservoir species showed that the highest habitat suitability were found in Hormozgan, Khuzestan, Bushehr and Khorasan Razavi provinces in this study. Considering the possible psychological and economic effects on leishmaniasis and the lack of effective vaccines and the presence of rodents in the disease cycle, it is necessary to identify the reservoirs and suitable habitat reservoirs of this disease in order to come up with good management measures.

Graphical Abstract

Habitat Modeling of Meriones Libycus as a Reservoir of Leishmaniasis in Iran


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  • Receive Date: 30 August 2021
  • Revise Date: 26 December 2021
  • Accept Date: 02 February 2022
  • First Publish Date: 02 February 2022