ESTIMATION OF HABITAT SUITABILITY AREA OF ENDANGERED SPECIES USING MAXENT IN FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE, JAPAN
Keywords:MaxEnt, GIS, Endangered Species, Green Area
Fukushima Prefecture is the third largest area in Japan and which has diverse natural
environment such as Mt. Bandaisan, Lake Inawashiro, and the Bandai highlands with beautiful ponds and lakes.
However, since the valuable and rich nature and habitat for endangered species have been destroyed by rapid
urbanization and infrastructure development. Thus, the purpose of this research is to analyze the time-series
change of habitat area for four endangered species: the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), northern goshawk
(Accipiter gentilis), Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), and Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus). Maximum
entropy modeling (MaxEnt) software was used to model species distributions and to estimate the habitat
suitability area. As the result, it was concluded that the total suitable habitat area increased slightly for the
golden eagle, but the suitable habitat area for the other three species decreased. In addition, the potential
suitable habitat areas by multiplying the numerical values obtained from MaxEnt by the area also decreased by
3.57% for the Japanese macaque, by 7.44% for the northern goshawk, and by 1.92% for the black bear between
1976 and 2014. Thus, this research suggested the necessity of conservation of their habitat area.