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Modelling the Species Distribution of Flat-Headed Cats (Prionailurus planiceps), an Endangered South-East Asian Small Felid

Wilting, Andreas and Cord, Anna and Hearn, Andrew J. and Hesse, Deike and Mohamed, Azlan and Traeholdt, Carl and Cheyne, Susan M. and Sunarto, Sunarto and Jayasilan, Mohd-Azlan and Ross, Joanna and Shapiro, Aurelie C. and Sebastian, Anthony and Dech, Stefan and Breitenmoser, Christine and Sanderson, Jim and Duckworth, J. W. and Hofer, Heribert (2010) Modelling the Species Distribution of Flat-Headed Cats (Prionailurus planiceps), an Endangered South-East Asian Small Felid. PLoS One, 5 (3), pp. 1-18. Public Library of Science (PLoS). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009612. ISSN 1932-6203.

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Official URL: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009612

Abstract

Background: The flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) is one of the world’s least known, highly threatened felids with a distribution restricted to tropical lowland rainforests in Peninsular Thailand/Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra. Throughout its geographic range large-scale anthropogenic transformation processes, including the pollution of fresh-water river systems and landscape fragmentation, raise concerns regarding its conservation status. Despite an increasing number of cameratrapping field surveys for carnivores in South-East Asia during the past two decades, few of these studies recorded the flatheaded cat. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we designed a predictive species distribution model using the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm to reassess the potential current distribution and conservation status of the flat-headed cat. Eighty-eight independent species occurrence records were gathered from field surveys, literature records, and museum collections. These current and historical records were analysed in relation to bioclimatic variables (WorldClim), altitude (SRTM) and minimum distance to larger water resources (Digital Chart of the World). Distance to water was identified as the key predictor for the occurrence of flat-headed cats (.50% explanation). In addition, we used different land cover maps (GLC2000, GlobCover and SarVision LLC for Borneo), information on protected areas and regional human population density data to extract suitable habitats from the potential distribution predicted by the MaxEnt model. Between 54% and 68% of suitable habitat has already been converted to unsuitable land cover types (e.g. croplands, plantations), and only between 10% and 20% of suitable land cover is categorised as fully protected according to the IUCN criteria. The remaining habitats are highly fragmented and only a few larger forest patches remain. Conclusion/Significance: Based on our findings, we recommend that future conservation efforts for the flat-headed cat should focus on the identified remaining key localities and be implemented through a continuous dialogue between local stakeholders, conservationists and scientists to ensure its long-term survival. The flat-headed cat can serve as a flagship species for the protection of several other endangered species associated with the threatened tropical lowland forests and surface fresh-water sources in this region.

Document Type:Article
Title:Modelling the Species Distribution of Flat-Headed Cats (Prionailurus planiceps), an Endangered South-East Asian Small Felid
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Wilting, AndreasLeibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
Cord, AnnaGerman Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Wessling, Germany
Hearn, Andrew J.Global Canopy Programme, Oxford, United Kingdom
Hesse, DeikeGerman Institute of Human Nutrition, Department of Experimental Diabetes, Potsdam- Rehbrücke, Germany
Mohamed, AzlanInstitute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Traeholdt, CarlCopenhagen Zoo, Department of Research and Conservation, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Cheyne, Susan M.Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Sunarto, SunartoDepartment of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States of America
Jayasilan, Mohd-AzlanDepartment of Zoology, Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
Ross, JoannaGlobal Canopy Programme, Oxford, United Kingdom
Shapiro, Aurelie C.Conservation Science Program, WWF-US, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America
Sebastian, AnthonyAonyx Environmental, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Dech, StefanGerman Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Wessling, Germany
Breitenmoser, ChristineIUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, c/o KORA, Muri b. Bern, Switzerland
Sanderson, JimSmall Wild Cat Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Network, Los Altos, California, United States of America
Duckworth, J. W.Wildlife Conservation Society Asia Program, New York, New York, United States of America
Hofer, HeribertLeibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
Date:March 2010
Journal or Publication Title:PLoS One
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:5
DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0009612
Page Range:pp. 1-18
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Status:Published
Keywords:Species distibution modeling, Maximum Entropy, Conservation, Land cover change
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Geowissenschaftl. Fernerkundungs- und GIS-Verfahren (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center
Deposited By: Anna Cord
Deposited On:14 Jun 2010 11:28
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:57

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