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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

Proposed key sites (yellow polygons) for the conservation of the Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus.The red line delineates the current protected polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve. Sierra del Diablo (A) and Sierra Mojada (B) represent putative high abundance sites; nonetheless, these are low priority areas due to their natural isolation and low human population density.
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pone.0131452.g004: Proposed key sites (yellow polygons) for the conservation of the Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus.The red line delineates the current protected polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve. Sierra del Diablo (A) and Sierra Mojada (B) represent putative high abundance sites; nonetheless, these are low priority areas due to their natural isolation and low human population density.

Mentions: Based on our results we identified four high-abundance areas, contiguous to the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve polygon, worthy of considering for legal protection (Fig 4). According to our results, the most convenient sites for this purpose are Areas III (236 Km2; 26.88°N, -103.59°W) and IV (291 Km2; 26.68°N, -103.44°W) in the state of Coahuila because these two areas hold very low human population and road densities, especially Area III. Area I (528 Km2; 26.79° N, -104.29°W), and II (575 Km2; 27.01° N, -103.98° W) in Chihuahua are the largest, but they are the most populated and intensively used areas for human activities, given its closeness to Lake Palomas. Additionally, Sierra del Diablo (27.63° N, -104.15°W), and Sierra Mojada (27.37° N, -103.11°W), located in the states of Chihuahua and Coahuila respectively, represent important regions in terms of the expected abundance. Currently, these regions are not subjected to any type of protection; however they might be considered of least concern because they are relatively isolated, and human population density is very low (and currently is declining).


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)

Proposed key sites (yellow polygons) for the conservation of the Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus.The red line delineates the current protected polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve. Sierra del Diablo (A) and Sierra Mojada (B) represent putative high abundance sites; nonetheless, these are low priority areas due to their natural isolation and low human population density.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0131452.g004: Proposed key sites (yellow polygons) for the conservation of the Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus.The red line delineates the current protected polygon of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve. Sierra del Diablo (A) and Sierra Mojada (B) represent putative high abundance sites; nonetheless, these are low priority areas due to their natural isolation and low human population density.
Mentions: Based on our results we identified four high-abundance areas, contiguous to the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve polygon, worthy of considering for legal protection (Fig 4). According to our results, the most convenient sites for this purpose are Areas III (236 Km2; 26.88°N, -103.59°W) and IV (291 Km2; 26.68°N, -103.44°W) in the state of Coahuila because these two areas hold very low human population and road densities, especially Area III. Area I (528 Km2; 26.79° N, -104.29°W), and II (575 Km2; 27.01° N, -103.98° W) in Chihuahua are the largest, but they are the most populated and intensively used areas for human activities, given its closeness to Lake Palomas. Additionally, Sierra del Diablo (27.63° N, -104.15°W), and Sierra Mojada (27.37° N, -103.11°W), located in the states of Chihuahua and Coahuila respectively, represent important regions in terms of the expected abundance. Currently, these regions are not subjected to any type of protection; however they might be considered of least concern because they are relatively isolated, and human population density is very low (and currently is declining).

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