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Therya

versión On-line ISSN 2007-3364

Resumen

MARTINEZ-CALDERAS, Jesús Manuel et al. Potential distribution of the ocelot ( Leopardus pardalis) in Northeastern Mexico. Therya [online]. 2015, vol.6, n.3, pp.545-558. ISSN 2007-3364.  http://dx.doi.org/10.12933/therya-15-304.

INTRODUCTION:

The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is a Neotropical cat which is threatened by illegal hunt and habitat destruction in the Mexican territory. Mexican and American authorities are interested in promoting their conservation. The MaxEnt algorithm allows modeling the potential distribution of elusive species, for instance, the ocelot. This has been based on trustable presence records and some other information about the habitat condition. This work was developed with the aim of generating important information about the species in Northeastern Mexico, especially, with the purpose of determining its potential distribution.

METHODS:

Our study was conducted in six physiographic subprovinces in the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí. Sixty-trhee recent records about the ocelot were obtained, 41 through literature and 22 from field surveys , between May 2006 to May 2009. In order to develop a prediction model which let us know the animal potential distribution, twenty-seven bioclimatic, topographic, vegetation and anthropic variables were used through the MaxEnt software.

RESULTS:

The model AUC was of 0.8221 ± 0.009. The most related variables about the ocelot presence were: precipitation of wettest month and quarter, vegetation cover, vegetation type, terrain elevation, precipitation of coldest quarter, terrain slope, human population density, and distance to roads. The potential distribution area overs 20.8 % of the study area. The physiographic subprovinces showing the highest potential distribution were: llanuras y lomerios (7.4 %), Carso Huasteco (4.8 %), Gran Sierra Plegada (4.5 %), and sierras and llanuras occidentales (3.4 %). The llanura costera Tamaulipeca subprovince showed lower potential distribution; meanwhile, llanuras de Coahuila y Nuevo Leon and sierras y llanuras del norte de Guanajuato were not suitable distribution for ocelot.

DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS:

In order to obtain the ocelot potential distribution model we use recent information collected through field work and surveys. Through this, we could achieve a robust model, where were relevant both bioclimatic and landscape variables. There are patches of habitat important in size and quality for ocelot. The physiographic subprovinces with the roughest landscape were the ones where the highest presence of the species. This study complements the ocelot distributional range in Northeastern Mexico and providing important information about the habitat quality in that portion of the country, as well as the difficulty to possible connectivity between Mexico and USA.

Palabras llave : camera trap; field survey; huasteca region; MaxEnt; neotropical cats.

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