Reassessment of the extinction risk of endemic species in the Neotropics: How can modelling tools help us?

Occurrence data on geographic distribution for most endemic Neotropical plants are scarce and spatially biased, which interfereswith decisions on their conservation status. In this study we present a three-step approach applying: 1) Euclidean Environmental Distance models to search for unknown populations; 2) MaxEnt incorporating additional presence data to produce forecastsof the potential distribution and 3) coupling of convex hull methods with SDM. We studied Petunia mantiqueirensis, an Atlantic Forest endemic species. This approach enabled us to obtain new presence points, and to improve species distribution models. Finally, we identified and excluded environmental unsuitable areas inside the extent of occurrence, allowing us to reassess the conservation status of the species. These recommendations are important to crucial to establish, in a more assertive way, the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy of the species to determine proper strategies for conservation.

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Kamino, L.H.Y.; Siqueira, M.F.; Sánchez-Tapia, A. & Stehmann, J.R.


Natureza & Conservação 10(2):191-198, December 2012.