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versão On-line ISSN 2007-3364


FLORES-ZAMARRIPA, Félix J.  e  FERNANDEZ, Jesús A.. Predictive species distribution model of two endemic kangaroo rats from Mexico: Dipodomys ornatus and D. phillipsii (Rodentia: Heteromyidae). Therya [online]. 2018, vol.9, n.3, pp.237-246. ISSN 2007-3364.

Predictive species distribution models (SDMs) allow identifying suitable areas for the conservation of populations of endangered species. Dipodomys ornatus and D. phillipsii are two Nearctic rodents endemic to Mexico that inhabit arid and semiarid environments. Endemic species have a restricted distribution, making it difficult to monitor their distribution and conservation status. Therefore, it is important to understand the interactions between these species and the environmental/ecological variables in their local habitat. In this study, we constructed SDMs for these two rodents using MaxEnt (Maximum Entropy model). Also, we defined the areas with the suitable ecological characteristics for the preservation of the species. In order to construct an SDM for each species, we used MaxEnt at a national scale (Mexico), with a resolution of 30 arc-sec (1 km2). To this end, 91 presence data (63 for D. ornatus and 28 for D. phillipsii) reported in the literature and data bases were used, along with 27 climatic and ecological variables. Maps with a high predictive capability (Area under a Receiver Operating Characteristic [ROC] Curve = AUC > 0.9) were obtained for both species. Principal Component Analyses were carried out, resulting in 11 PCs that accounted for 95% of variability of the original environmental variables. The D. ornatus SDM is defined mainly by PC2, PC11 and PC1. PC4, PC2 and PC6 are the most influential variables in predicting the SDM of D. phillipsii. Sites with suitable environmental conditions for D. ornatus are located in the States of Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosí, and Guanajuato, whereas the best environmental conditions for D. phillipsii were found in Puebla, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, and Hidalgo. As these species have a restricted distribution and field sampling is difficult, determining their conservation status is a complex issue; however, SDMs are a useful tool to identify areas with ideal characteristics to conduct surveys aimed at determining their conservation status or that could be used as future natural protected areas.

Palavras-chave : conservation; desert; endemic; species distribution model; habitat; rodents.

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