Prediction of Iberian lynx road–mortality in southern Spain: a new approach using the MaxEnt algorithm

Garrote, G.  Fernández–López, J.  López, G.  Ruiz, G.  Simón, M. A. 

Abstract

In recent years, the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) has experienced a significant increase in the size of its population and in its distribution. The species currently occupies areas in which it had been extinct for decades and new road mortality black spots have been identified. Its conservation requires an intensive risk assessment of road–deaths in potential future distribution areas. Using the MaxEnt algorithm we aimed to identify the roads where there is a greater risk of road collision for the Iberian lynx. More than 1,150 stretches of road were evaluated in Andalusia (southern Spain). Both road–related and habitat variables were included in the model. A total of 1,395 km of the 7,384 km evaluated (18.9 %) were classified as high risk road. Our results could help plan future conservation strategies. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the MaxEnt algorithm has been used to provide spatially–explicit predictions about wildlife road mortality.

Key words

Road mortality, Iberian lynx, MaxEnt, Linear data

Reception date: 31 III 17 | Acceptation date: 23 IX 17 | Publication date: 29 XII 17

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