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Using Range-Wide Abundance Modeling to Identify Key Conservation Areas for the Micro-Endemic Bolson Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus).

Ureña-Aranda CA, Rojas-Soto O, Martínez-Meyer E, Yáñez-Arenas C, Landgrave Ramírez R, Espinosa de los Monteros A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction.Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise.We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: División de Posgrado, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México; Biología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México.

ABSTRACT
A widespread biogeographic pattern in nature is that population abundance is not uniform across the geographic range of species: most occurrence sites have relatively low numbers, whereas a few places contain orders of magnitude more individuals. The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction. In this study we combined field burrows counts and the approach for modeling species abundance based on calculating the distance to the niche centroid to obtain range-wide abundance estimates. For the Bolson tortoise, we found a robust, negative relationship between observed burrows abundance and distance to the niche centroid, with a predictive capacity of 71%. Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise. We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Geographic distribution of Gopherus flavomarginatus.The thick black line delineates the polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, whereas the state borders are mark by the thin black lines. Red dots pinpoint the sites where the abundance data for the Bolson tortoises was recorded. The star indicates the location of the Mapimí field station.
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pone.0131452.g001: Geographic distribution of Gopherus flavomarginatus.The thick black line delineates the polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, whereas the state borders are mark by the thin black lines. Red dots pinpoint the sites where the abundance data for the Bolson tortoises was recorded. The star indicates the location of the Mapimí field station.

Mentions: Gopherus flavomarginatus (the Bolson tortoise) is endemic to a portion of the Mapimí Basin, in the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico (Fig 1). Widespread until the Pleistocene when it ranged from southern USA to central Mexico [22], several factors have brought the Bolson tortoise to the verge of extinction: climate changes in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, recent anthropogenic activities, including habitat destruction due to overgrazing and agriculture, overexploitation for wildlife trade [23–26], and low genetic variation [27].


Using Range-Wide Abundance Modeling to Identify Key Conservation Areas for the Micro-Endemic Bolson Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus).

Ureña-Aranda CA, Rojas-Soto O, Martínez-Meyer E, Yáñez-Arenas C, Landgrave Ramírez R, Espinosa de los Monteros A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Geographic distribution of Gopherus flavomarginatus.The thick black line delineates the polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, whereas the state borders are mark by the thin black lines. Red dots pinpoint the sites where the abundance data for the Bolson tortoises was recorded. The star indicates the location of the Mapimí field station.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4482574&req=5

pone.0131452.g001: Geographic distribution of Gopherus flavomarginatus.The thick black line delineates the polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, whereas the state borders are mark by the thin black lines. Red dots pinpoint the sites where the abundance data for the Bolson tortoises was recorded. The star indicates the location of the Mapimí field station.
Mentions: Gopherus flavomarginatus (the Bolson tortoise) is endemic to a portion of the Mapimí Basin, in the Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico (Fig 1). Widespread until the Pleistocene when it ranged from southern USA to central Mexico [22], several factors have brought the Bolson tortoise to the verge of extinction: climate changes in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, recent anthropogenic activities, including habitat destruction due to overgrazing and agriculture, overexploitation for wildlife trade [23–26], and low genetic variation [27].

Bottom Line: The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction.Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise.We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: División de Posgrado, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México; Biología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México.

ABSTRACT
A widespread biogeographic pattern in nature is that population abundance is not uniform across the geographic range of species: most occurrence sites have relatively low numbers, whereas a few places contain orders of magnitude more individuals. The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction. In this study we combined field burrows counts and the approach for modeling species abundance based on calculating the distance to the niche centroid to obtain range-wide abundance estimates. For the Bolson tortoise, we found a robust, negative relationship between observed burrows abundance and distance to the niche centroid, with a predictive capacity of 71%. Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise. We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus