Reassessment of the conservation status and protected area coverage of Taiwanese birds: How distribution modelling can help species conservation

Tsai Yu Wu, Bruno A. Walther, Yi Hsiu Chen, Ruey Shing Lin, Pei Fen Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Summary Taiwan has 145 breeding bird species, but so far no comprehensive attempt has been made to model their distributions. For the first time, we bring together various datasets to model the distributions of the 116 bird species with sufficient sampling coverage. We improved on previous limited modelling efforts by using ensemble modelling, based on five well-performing modelling approaches: multiple discriminant analysis, logistic regression, genetic algorithm for rule-set production, ecological niche factor analysis and maximum-entropy. We then used these ensemble models to improve our knowledge of the status of each bird species by (1) calculating each species's coverage of Taiwan, (2) calculating each species's coverage by Taiwan's protected area network, and (3) comparing these two conservation-relevant measures with already established measures to highlight those species whose status may need to be reassessed. We categorised each species's coverage of the entire study area as measured by their modelled distributions into four quartiles, thus establishing a new measure of rarity called 'range quartile' which we used to highlight the 22 species with a limited distribution on mainland Taiwan. We also calculated that overall, 29.8% of the distribution ranges of the 116 modelled species are covered by Taiwanese protected areas. We then identified those species whose status may need to be reassessed because of possible conflicts between the respective conservation-relevant measures. Thus we identified 10 species which are first-quartile species <5% of whose distributions are protected, of which only five are considered threatened. We also identified another 12 species with limited distributions, 30 species with limited protection and 19 species whose status may need to be reassessed for various reasons. We recommend that range quartile and protected area coverage be incorporated into future assessments of the conservation status and protected area coverage of Taiwanese birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-238
Number of pages16
JournalBird Conservation International
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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