Using Ecological Niche Modeling for Biodiversity Conservation Guidance in the Western Podillya (Ukraine): Reptiles

Tytar, V., Sobolenko, L., Nekrasova, O. Mezhzherin, S.



Maximum entropy niche modeling was employed as a tool to assess potential habitat suitability for 10 reptile species and to map their potential distribution in the Western Podillya (Ukraine). We used climate, topography and human impact (assessed by the Human Footprint) as predictor variables. “Isothermality”, “temperature seasonality” and the “mean temperature of coldest month” were three most important factors in predicting habitat suitability and distribution. A profound contribution to the modeling has been displayed by the Human Footprint, meaning that human infrastructure may benefi t reptile species. Areas have been distinguished that in the fi rst place should be of interest to biodiversity conservationists targeting reptiles and maps summarizing predicted habitat suitability and species richness were produced for guiding conservation eff orts.