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Modelling suitable breeding habitat and GAP analysis for the endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus: implications for conservation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2021

WENYU XU
Affiliation:
School of Life Sciences, Jilin Engineering Laboratory for Avian Ecology and Conservation Genetics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China.
DIANA SOLOVYEVA
Affiliation:
Institute of Biological Problems of the North FEB RAS, 685000, Portovaya Str., 18, Magadan, Russia.
SERGEY VARTANYAN
Affiliation:
North-East Interdisciplinary Scientific Research Institute FEB RAS, 685000, Portovaya Str., 16, Magadan, Russia.
HAIFENG ZHENG
Affiliation:
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, 130102, China.
VLADIMIR PRONKEVICH
Affiliation:
Institute of Water and Ecological Problems FEB RAS, Khabarovsk, Russia.
YE GONG
Affiliation:
School of Life Sciences, Jilin Engineering Laboratory for Avian Ecology and Conservation Genetics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China. Jilin Key Laboratory of Animal Resource Conservation and Utilization, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China.
HAITAO WANG
Affiliation:
School of Life Sciences, Jilin Engineering Laboratory for Avian Ecology and Conservation Genetics, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China. Jilin Key Laboratory of Animal Resource Conservation and Utilization, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China.
Corresponding

Summary

The Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus is a globally ‘Endangered’ species breeding in north-east Asia. Limited by information on the geographic distribution of suitable habitat, the conservation management programme has not been comprehensive or spatially explicit for the breeding population. This study combines potentially important environmental variables with extensive data on species occurrence to create the first species distribution model for the breeding Scaly-sided Merganser, followed by a GAP analysis to highlight the unprotected areas containing suitable habitat. The predictive map showing the most suitable breeding habitat for the Scaly-sided Merganser covered broad-leaved deciduous forest distributed in six provincial regions in south-east Russia, north-east China, and North Korea. The conservation GAP, i.e. 90% (38,813 km2) of highly suitable habitat, is mainly concentrated in the Sikhote-Alin and Changbai mountain ranges. This study suggests that prioritizing conservation of unprotected broad-leaved deciduous riverine forests within the above two mountainous regions should be included in international conservation planning, and the remaining suitable patches need to be preserved to allow range expansion in future. This predictive map improves the expert global assessment of breeding Scaly-sided Merganser distribution and provides a basic reference for establishing conservation areas or implementing conservation actions for the breeding Scaly-sided Merganser in north-east Asia.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of BirdLife International

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Modelling suitable breeding habitat and GAP analysis for the endangered Scaly-sided Merganser Mergus squamatus: implications for conservation
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