Potential distributional patterns of three wild ungulate species in a fragmented tropical region of northeastern Mexico
García Marmolejo, Gabriela
Chapa Vargas, Leonardo
Rosas Rosas, Octavio César
Martínez Calderas, Jesús Manuel
"In the northernmost American tropical forests of eastern Mexico, we analyzed the potential distribution of three ungulate species, Odocoileus virginianus, Mazama temama and Pecari tajacu, in response to several physical, climatic, biological, and anthropogenic variables, in order to identify environmental factors affecting distribution and potential key areas for ungulate conservation. Current presence records for these species were gathered, and potential distribution models were built using Maximum Entropy niche modeling (MaxEnt). Model suitability surfaces were used to calculate remaining potential habitat areas in the region, as well as the potential sympatric area and representation of these areas in Natural Protected Areas. Biological and anthropogenic variables were the best species distribution predictors. Landscape composition (the proportion of different land-use and land-cover classes: forest, agriculture, and pasture) within approximately 120 ha, was the most important variable for all models, influencing each species differently with respect to their tolerance of altered habitats. The remaining potential area of all three species is fragmented and has apparently been nearly lost in plains (<14% remaining). Distribution models allowed us to detect an important location in the western portion of our study area which may function as a large biological corridor in the Sierra Madre Oriental mastogeographic province, a region heavily transformed by land use change. In the context of habitat transformation, management promoting quality matrix at the landscape level promises to be a viable alternative for ungulate conservation in tropical regions of Mexico."
Knowledge areaCIENCIAS FÍSICO MATEMÁTICAS Y CIENCIAS DE LA TIERRA
Land use change