Spatial distribution and conservation of terrestrial mammals in Canada

Poster session
Partie de:
vendredi 20 déc. 11:30 AM (1 heure)
Dîner   12:30 PM à 01:30 PM (1 heure)
Salle ABCD

As species diversity decreases toward the poles, poleward countries will contain the high-latitude range edge of many species. If range-edge populations are small, isolated or unproductive they may be particularly likely to be deemed nationally at risk. The conservation value of range-edge populations vs. more endemic taxa is controversial, but if nationally at-risk taxa occur where overall diversity is also high, there may be fewer conservation trade-offs. Using 153 of the 158 terrestrial mammal species in Canada, we tested how species’ distributions relate to their national conservation status and total vertebrate richness. 50% of ‘Canadian’ mammals had ≤20% of their range in Canada, and Canadian range area was significantly associated with national threat status: at-risk mammals had 42% smaller Canadian ranges than secure mammals. However, after accounting for range area, the extent to which taxa occurred as range-edge populations did not vary between at-risk and secure taxa. By overlaying distribution maps to calculate total mammal diversity in 1285 100x100 km grid cells, we show that hotspots of species-at-risk and of range-edge species (species that have 20% of their range in Canada) had 95% and 209% higher total mammal richness than non-hotspots. At-risk and edge taxa hotspots contained up to 44% of Canadian mammal diversity per grid-cell. Our results show that range area is strongly associated with conservation risk for ‘Canadian’ mammals but peripherality is not, and suggest that protecting areas with the most at-risk or edge species would simultaneously and efficiently protect habitat for species that are currently deemed secure.

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