Two for one: Protect mountain tapirs by protecting cloud forest

Using GBIF-mediated occurrences, researchers modelled the distribution of the critically endangered mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque), restricted to cloud forest and alpine tundra ecosystems between 1,400 and 4,700 meters above sea level in Colombia, Ecuador and northeastern Peru.

Data resources used via GBIF : 20 species occurrences

The critically endangered mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) is restricted to cloud forest and alpine tundra ecosystems between 1,400 and 4,700 meters above sea level in Colombia, Ecuador and northeastern Peru. Using GBIF-mediated occurrences, researchers modelled the tapir’s distribution in Ecuador, evaluating the effects of future climate change scenarios on its habitats. The results reveal a general pattern of shifts toward higher elevations, reductions in area occupied by the animals, and, in some cases, complete loss of suitable habitat, and human activities may further imperil T. pinchaque. This study highlights the importance of informing the designation of protected areas that conserve unique and irreplaceable natural habitats.

Citations

Ortega-Andrade HM, Prieto-Torres DA, Gómez-Lora I and Lizcano DJ (2015) Ecological and Geographical Analysis of the Distribution of the Mountain Tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in Ecuador: Importance of Protected Areas in Future Scenarios of Global Warming. PLOS ONE. Public Library of Science (PLoS) 10(3): e0121137. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0121137.

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