عنوان مقاله [English]
Human population growth and the required infrastructure without regard to the principles of sustainable development may cause biodiversity loss, among other consequences. Nations have thus taken steps to establish protected areas to combat nature’s downgrading and biodiversity loss. The economic and political implications can be serious and reserves can be selected from low grade areas or even lose their protected status when they prove to be economically valuable. As a result, reserves tend to be concentrated on land that, at least at the time of establishment, had not been important economically. Another reason for the inappropriate location of reserves is simultaneous consideration of many reasons for reserve establishement. Therefore, the selection of protected areas requires a systematic method that considers important aspects of nature protection and selects the best set of areas towards ensuring integrity of the selected ecosystems. In Iran, in some cases the selection of the protected areas has been based on unsystematic methods relying heavily on expert judgements. Different software tools have been developed for the systematic conservation planning in the past twenty years. Analysis of protection gaps is one such method of systematic selection of conservation areas that is used for large areas and defines the current gaps in protection. In this method, distribution of plant communities and habitat requirements are used to complete and improve animal distribution maps. Then, the predicted distribution is compared with existing protected areas and sites located outside the established areas are identified and suggested for inclusion. In the present paper we demonstrate the application and analysis of deficiencies to prioritize and select appropriate areas for protection using zonation software.