Large-scale habitat association modeling of the endangered Korean ratsnake (Elaphe schrenckii).
ABSTRACT We used radio-telemetric monitoring and statistical models to investigate habitat associations of the endangered Korean ratsnake (Elaphe schrenckii) in a mountain region of Woraksan National Park based on the data collected from July 2007 to April 2009. We evaluated a priori models at landscape scales that incorporated natural and artificial variables to explain ratsnake presence and absence using geographic information system (GIS) databases. We generated models using logistic regression combined with Akaike's information criterion (AIC) to determine which variables are most important. The best-ranked model predicted that the ratsnakes are likely to use areas with high annual solar radiation and that they are closer to streams, coniferous and mixed forests, farmland, houses, and barren ground. We next evaluated the model by applying it to an internal and an external dataset, where the model showed high power of prediction and discrimination on the internal dataset with estimated mean probability of 94% while showing suitability as a predictive model on the external dataset with 64% probability. The present study suggests that a created habitat model can provide valuable contributions to conservation and management efforts directed towards ratsnake populations.
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ABSTRACT: The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.Science 01/2005; 306(5702):1783-6. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We used field surveys and statistical models to investigate habitat associations of the endangered gold-spotted pond frog (Rana chosenica). The characteristics of its habitat are of great importance for effective conservation for this declining species in western South Korea. We evaluated a priori models that incorporated biotic and abiotic variables at the pond and landscape scales. The best-ranked model predicts that gold-spotted pond frogs will be more abundant at sites with fewer introduced American bullfrogs (Rana [= Lithobates] catesbeianus) and greater coverage of shallow, vegetated water. Our study leads us to conclude that limiting the spread and abundance of bullfrogs has the potential to aid conservation of the gold-spotted pond frog in our region.ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 05/2010; 27(5):396-401. · 1.08 Impact Factor