Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Species distribution models and conservation status of threatened bats in the Tumbesian region of Ecuador and Perú
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Extent of occurrence; threatened species; MaxEnt; seasonally dry tropical forests; endemism
Extensión de ocurrencia; species amenazadas; MaxEnt; bosques tropicales estacionalmente secos; endemismo.

How to Cite

Avila, C., Griffith, D. ., & Espinosa, C. I. . (2024). Species distribution models and conservation status of threatened bats in the Tumbesian region of Ecuador and Perú. Revista De Biología Tropical, 72(1), e54459.


Introduction: Biodiversity is being lost at an accelerating rate as a result of global change. In regions where human disturbance is widespread and ecological research limited, tools such as species distribution models (SDMs) have been widely used to improve knowledge about species’ conservation status and help develop management strategies. SDMs are especially important for species with restricted distributions, such as endemic species. Objectives: Our objectives were to (i) determine the extent to which the potential distribution predicted by SDMs for eight threatened bat species differed from the distribution maps reported by the IUCN; (ii) infer the area of distribution and state of endemism of each species; and (iii) evaluate the importance of the Tumbesian region for the conservation of these species. Methods: Based on global range presence records for the species, we used SDMs to assess the conservation status of these eight threatened bat species in the Tumbesian region of Ecuador and Peru. Results: Our results showed that the areas estimated by SDMs were 35–78 % smaller for four species (Eptesicus innoxius, Lophostoma occidentale, Platalina genovensium and Lonchophylla hesperia), and 26–1600 % larger for three species (Amorphochilus schnablii, Promops davisoni and Rhogeessa velilla) than those reported by IUCN. In the case of Tomopeas ravus, the area estimated by the SDM and IUCN was similar but differed in spatial distribution. SDMs coincided with the areas of endemism reported by previous authors for E. innoxius, R. velilla and T. ravus, but were different for A. schnablii, P. genovensium, P. davisoni and L. hesperia, due in part to projected distributions for most of these species in dry inter-Andean valleys according to the SDMs. Conclusions: The Tumbesian region represents a significant portion (40–96 %) of the predicted distributions of seven of the species studied, underscoring the importance of this region for bat conservation. Our results show likely distributions for these species and provide an important basis for identifying research gaps and proposing conservation measures for threatened bats of this little studied region.
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