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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

On-line version ISSN 2007-8706Print version ISSN 1870-3453


MORALES-DELGADO, Laura Marysol; FARIAS-GONZALEZ, Verónica  and  TELLEZ-VALDES, Oswaldo. Potential distribution of Leopardus wiedii in Mexican protected natural areas. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2021, vol.92, 923322.  Epub Nov 29, 2021. ISSN 2007-8706.

The margay (Leopardus wiedii) is a small felid endangered mainly by habitat loss. Natural protected areas (ANP) are important for margay conservation due to the felid’s preference for native vegetation with dense coverage. Our objective was to generate a potential distribution model for L. wiedii in México to identify ANP devoid of georeferenced records of margay and with suitable environmental conditions for its presence. We obtained 97 records with unique geographic coordinates from 1944 to 2015, to which a rarefaction analysis was done. We used MaxEnt version 3.4.0 to generate the potential distribution model (AUC = 0.8574) from 66 records without spatial nor environmental correlation and 8 climatic variables. The model was overlaid on digital maps of ANP and terrestrial ecoregions of México. Ecological niche modeling predicted high climatic suitability for margay’s presence in 17 ANP that did not present records with geographic coordinates. The model also concurred in 16 ANP with georeferenced records from which only 2 ANP presented high climatic suitability. The potential distribution model is an interpretation of the margay’s contemporary geographic distribution and may be applied as a guide to verify the species’ presence in the ANP.

Keywords : Endangered; Felidae; MaxEnt; Modelling; Ecological niche; Tigrillo.

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