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Assessing conservation priorities: the African Vertebrates Databank (AVD). Luigi Boitani Dept. Animal Biology, University of Rome. Istituto di Ecologia Applicata Via L.Spallanzani, 32 00161 Rome ITALY email: iea @mclink.it. Participating Institutions. IUCN/SSC

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assessing conservation priorities the african vertebrates databank avd

Assessing conservation priorities: the African Vertebrates Databank (AVD)

Luigi Boitani

Dept. Animal Biology, University of Rome

Istituto di Ecologia Applicata

Via L.Spallanzani, 32

00161 Rome ITALY

email: [email protected]

participating institutions
Participating Institutions
  • IUCN/SSC
  • Conservation International - CABS
  • Natural History Museum – London
  • University of Cambridge
  • Natural History Museum – Copenhagen
  • Birdlife International
  • Istituto di Ecologia Applicata
  • University of Rome
project goals
Project goals
  • Produce a continental scale conservation tool for African vertebrates
  • This major goal is achieved by:
    • building a data bank on African vertebrates with the aim of providing the raw data for future applications and analyses on conservation options and priorities
    • modeling actual and potential species distribution
conservation needs
Conservation Needs
  • Broad scale planning (eventually global)
    • Metapopulation approach
    • Identification of core areas and corridors
    • ….

which implies

    • Detailed knowledge on actual species distribution
    • Extensive data on species ecology and biology
    • Spatially explicit predicting tools
gis modeling
GIS modeling
  • Cost effective approach
  • Maximizes the information obtainable from the few data sets available
  • Updateable distributions
  • Repeatable approach
three four pieces of information
Three (four) pieces of information
  • Species Extent of Occurrence
  • Environmental variables
  • Species-environment relationship

+

  • Validation data set and procedures
other projects with similar approach
Other projects with similar approach:
  • African Mammal Databank (1999)
  • Ecological Network for the Italian Vertebrates (current)
  • Asian Mammal Databank (submitted to the EU)
distribution modeling
Distribution modeling
  • AVD integrates two (maybe three) levels:
    • "Blotch" distribution
    • Categorical-Discrete distributions obtained through a deterministic approach based on GIS overlay procedures

and maybe

    • Probabilistic-Continuous distribution models based on statistically supported GIS overlay procedures.
categorical discrete model validation
Categorical Discrete ModelValidation
  • The AMD project was validated with field work carried out in four selected countries in Africa
    • Botswana, Cameroon, Morocco, Uganda
  • 427 plots were allocated at random within the four countries
  • The presence/absence of each species at each of the predetermined points was verified by:
    • direct observation
    • in loco collection of publications and scientific reports
    • interviews with local experts/authorities/inhabitants
  • In each country a team composed by a researcher from a local Institution and one IEA staff member carried out the field work
categorical discrete model validation1

Validation parameters

Valid plots = all plots falling inside the Extent of Occurrence + all other plots in which the species was found during field work

Index of Accordance = Percentage of valid plots in accordance with the Categorical Discrete model

Categorical Discrete ModelValidation
categorical discrete model validation2
Categorical Discrete ModelValidation
  • The AVD limited budget resources will prevent direct field work
    • Similar scheme will be implemented using known species locations from bibliography
categorical discrete model products1

Fragmentation indexes of the Area of Occupancy (all suitable and moderately suitable areas) of the cheetah (Acinoyx jubatus)

Categorical Discrete ModelProducts
categorical discrete model products2

Efficacy of protected areas for the species

Vulnerable (VU: A1d+2d,C1) as A. jubatus

Endangered (EN: C2a, D1) as A. j. hencki NW African cheetah

Categorical Discrete ModelProducts
management tools
Management tools
  • The different types of distribution models produced can be included in management tools of increasing information content:
    • Blotch distribution
      • hot spots identification
      • effectiveness of protected areas
    • Categorical Discrete Distribution Model
      • population fragmentation
      • management strategies for conservation
    • Probabilistic Continuous Distribution Model
      • metapopulation PVA
      • corridors identification
mammals biodiversity hotspots
Mammals biodiversity hotspots

281 species of large mammals

mammals biodiversity hotspots1
Mammals biodiversity hotspots

281 species of large mammals

amd products
AMD Products
  • a printed volume containing for each of the 281 species:
      • Taxonomic notes
      • IUCN threat category
      • Available ecological information
      • Bibliography
      • Extent of Occurrence (“Blotch”)
      • Categorical Discrete Model
      • Probabilistic Continuous Model
      • Comments and conservation issues
  • set of 10 CD-ROM with the digital version of all the above information
  • web site with all data sets:
    • www.gisbau.uniroma1.it/amd
avd where we are
AVD: where we are ?
  • Mammals:
    • Rodents
    • Bats
    • Insectivores
    • Others…
  • Birds
  • Amphibians
  • Herps
    • Snakes
    • Lizards
    • Others ?
  • Fishes ??
why modeling and how
Why modeling? And how
  • Purpose of distribution maps
    • ….
    • ….
    •  conservation: maps must be current and at the appropriate resolution/scale for each taxon
  • Maps ARE models !!
  • Increasing distribution information:
    • Points (if qualified: date, accuracy, species biology) (good for transformation into blotches and/or for inductive modeling and/or for model validation)
    • Polygons (if qualified)
    • Grids (if all cells are qualified)
    • Models (if validated)
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