Usefulness of species range polygons for predicting local primate occurrences in southeastern Peru

Palminteri, Suzanne, Powell, George, Endo, Whaldener, Kirkby, Chris, Yu, Douglas and Peres, Carlos A. ORCID: (2011) Usefulness of species range polygons for predicting local primate occurrences in southeastern Peru. American Journal of Primatology (73). pp. 53-61. ISSN 0275-2565

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Species distribution maps are widely used in predicting areas of conservation concern, particularly where species distributions are poorly known. However, the accuracy of range maps for regional/local planning is questionable. We compared published putative geographic range polygons of ten primate species to their actual occupancy at 23 survey sites in southeastern Peru to assess the fine-scale accuracy of these polygons for regional conservation planning. We analyzed the proportion of sites at which each species was detected, both inside and outside of its published NatureServe [Patterson et al., Digital distribution maps of the mammals of the western hemisphere. Version 1.0. Arlington, VA, 2003] and IUCN [2008; Red List, 2008] range polygons. There were mismatches between our line-transect survey data and range polygon boundaries for nine of the ten species (from 15 to 80% cases), including both false presences and false absences. Each published dataset overestimated the presence of seven primate species and the absence of four species, though errors varied among species. Occupancy patterns of species with larger geographic ranges were no more accurately predicted than those of more narrow-range species. Regional barriers to dispersal, such as rivers, and finer-scale ecological specialization may limit the applicability of range map polygons to regional-scale conservation priority setting, even for relatively well-studied taxa. Despite the risk of errors, range polygons are still used as baseline data in conservation planning. We suggest some measures that could reduce the error risk.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Biology
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Resources, Sustainability and Governance (former - to 2018)
Depositing User: Rachel Snow
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2011 12:40
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 00:09
DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20794

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