Using Ecological Niche Modeling for Biodiversity Conservation Guidance in the Western Podillya (Ukraine): Reptiles

V. Tytar 1 , L. Sobolenko 2 , O. Nekrasova 1  and S. Mezhzherin 1
  • 1 Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology NAS of Ukraine, vul. B. Khmelnytskogo, 15, Kiev, 01030 Ukraine
  • 2 Pavlo Tychyna Uman’ State Pedagogical University, Sadova str., 2, Uman’, 20300 Ukraine

Abstract

Using Ecological Niche Modeling for Biodiversity Conservation Guidance in the Western Podillya (Ukraine): Reptiles. Tytar, V., Sobolenko, L., Nekrasova, O. Mezhzherin, S. - Maximum entropy niche modeling was employed as a tool to assess potential habitat suitability for 10 reptile species and to map their potential distribution in the Western Podillya (Ukraine). We used climate, topography and human impact (assessed by the Human Footprint) as predictor variables. “Isothermality”, “temperature seasonality” and the “mean temperature of coldest month” were three most important factors in predicting habitat suitability and distribution. A profound contribution to the modeling has been displayed by the Human Footprint, meaning that human infrastructure may benefit reptile species. Areas have been distinguished that in the first place should be of interest to biodiversity conservationists targeting reptiles and maps summarizing predicted habitat suitability and species richness were produced for guiding conservation efforts.

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