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Title

Evaluating rangeland capability and presenting a spatial plan for the mangement of Hendovan rangelands in Khoy, West Azerbayjan

Pages

 Start Page 787 | End Page 801

Abstract

 This research was aimed to investigate the ecological capability of Hendovan rangelands, located in Khoy, for animal grazing using Systemic module in Arc GIS 9. 3. Initially, the map of environmental units was integrated with the maps of geology, soil, geomorphology, isohyet, isothermal and water resources, and then the characteristics of each homogeneous units were extracted. Finally, given the ecological and environmental characteristics of each homogeneous unit and the criteria of evaluating rangeland capability for livestock grazing in semi-arid areas, the spatial plan for the management of rangelands was provided. According to the obtained results, 25 environmental units were detected at a scale of 1: 25, 000 in the region of which large parts have low capability in terms of livestock grazing. In this regard, 8. 21% of the land is considered as a protected ecosystem, mainly due to the geological structure especially sharp slope. The results of this study could be used to locate the range improvement programs as well as rangeland classification in terms of range management method. It is suggested that the suitability of each of the classes for livestock and wildlife grazing is determined considering the criteria affecting land suitability.

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