Hotspots of geographic range change for eight charismatic carnivores in the Neotropics

14 September 2023 9:00 AM
Leipzig, Germany


In this study, we aim to assess the changes in the geographic range distribution of eight charismatic Neotropical carnivores using Integrated Species Distribution Models (ISDM). To do this, we combined presence-absence and presence-only data and modelled the species’ distributions at two time periods (2000-2013 and 2014-2021) using a Bayesian model based on a Poisson point process in JAGS. The model integrates the different data sources and accounts for sampling effort and spatial autocorrelation. Our results reveal that the modelled geographic ranges differ from the current distribution range maps from IUCN. We show the geographic range differences for the species between the two periods and map the hotspots of range change, highlighting areas where contractions and expansions are accumulating. Our study demonstrates that ISDMs can be used to model the dynamics of the geographic range of species in Latin America over the last two decades, despite the data deficiencies. Our modelling framework can be applied to assess other species and regions that also lack high-quality data, providing a promising solution to overcome the issue of high-quality data scarcity in the study of range dynamics.

Florencia Grattarola
Florencia Grattarola
Postdoc Researcher

Uruguayan biologist doing research in macroecology and biodiversity informatics.