Using Ecological Niche Modeling For Biodiversity Conservation Guidance In The Western Podillya (Ukraine): Amphibians

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Abstract

Maximum entropy niche modeling was employed as a tool to assess potential habitat suitability for 13 amphibian species and to map their potential distribution in the Western Podillya (Ukraine). The predictor variables used were of climate, topography and human impact (assessed by the Human Footprint). The “mean temperature of coldest quarter” and “isothermality” were two of the most important factors in predicting habitat suitability and distribution. Another profound contribution has been displayed by the Human Footprint, meaning that human infrastructure may benefit amphibians, a phenomenon that perhaps is much more widespread than thought. Areas have been distinguished that in the first place should be of interest to nature conservationists targeting amphibians (exemplified by Bombina variegata) and a map summarizing species richness was produced.

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