Ecological niche modelling and prioritizing areas for species reintroductions
Species reintroduction programmes, in prioritizing areas for reintroductions, have traditionally used tools that include measures of habitat suitability and evaluations of area requirements for viable populations. Here we add two tools to this approach: evaluation of ecological requirements of species and evaluation of future suitability for species facing changing climates. We demonstrate this approach with two species for which reintroduction programmes are in the planning stages in Mexico: California condor Gymnogyps californianus and Mexican wolf Canis lupus baileyi. For the condor, we identify three areas clustered in the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, Baja California; for the wolf, we identify a string of suitable sites along the Sierra Madre Occidental of western Mexico. We discuss the limitations of this approach, identifying ways in which the models illustrated could be made more realistic and directly useful to reintroduction programmes.(Published Online January 5 2007)
(Received March 16 2005)
(Revised December 8 2005)
(Accepted March 29 2006)
Key Words: California condor; Canis lupus baileyi; ecological niche modelling; Gymnogyps californianus; Mexican wolf; reintroduction.
c1 Correspondence: Natural History Museum, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, USA. E-mail email@example.com