Fine scale approach to propose conservation areas for the endangered andean cat (Leopardus jacobita) in the chilean dry puna
One of the challenges of working with rare or elusive species is knowing their current distribution. Species distribution modeling (SDM) is a robust approach to estimate the distribution of a species where this information is unknown. The Andean cat (Leopardus jacobita) is an extremely rare and endangered carnivore living in the central Andes of South America. This study sought to determine priority areas for the conservation of the species in the dry puna of Chile using fine-scale SDM approaches. The potential distribution of the Andean cat was estimated through Maxent and random forest modeling algorithms. The predictive variables with the greatest contribution to the distribution models included three related to temperature, one to precipitation, one to the distance to wetlands and finally the topographic position index. The total suitable area predicted for the Andean cat was 923.4 km2, which showed a highly fragmented pattern. Based on the information generated by the distribution models, its threats and formal protection, four priority areas were defined. This information will be useful for guiding and prioritizing future actions towards the conservation of the Andean cat in northern Chile.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemJournal of Arid Environments 181 (2020) 104200
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