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VAN SCHINGEN, M., IHLOW, F., NGUYEN, T. Q., ZIEGLER, T., BONKOWSKI, M., WU, Z. & RÖDDER, D. (2014)

Potential distribution and effectiveness of the protected area network for the crocodile lizard, Shinisaurus crocodilurus (Reptilia: Squamata: Sauria).

SALAMANDRA 50 (2): 71-76.

Abstract:

The crocodile lizard, Shinisaurus crocodilurus Ahl, 1930, is a monotypic taxon, restricted in occurrence to southern  China  and  northern  Vietnam.  Wild  populations  are  presently  suffering  tremendous  declines,  mainly  due  to  illegal poaching,  habitat  destruction,  and  fragmentation,  which  already  led  to  the  extinction  of  populations  in  Guangxi  and Hunan provinces in China. In order to accelerate the discovery of so far unknown populations of S. crocodilurus and to identify suitable priority areas for conservation strategies, we determined the species’ potential distribution using correlative species distribution models (SDMs) based on locality records and a set of satellite-based  environmental predictors.

In addition, we evaluated the coverage of the species’ potential distribution with designated protected areas according to IUCN standards. The resulting SDM revealed potentially suitable habitats to be scattered and disconnected while being very small in size. Moreover, present coverage with nature reserves is extremely poor, underlining the urgent need for improved habitat protection measures and potential population restoration of S. crocodilurus.
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