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1 May 2012 Assessing the Distributions and Potential Risks from Climate Change for the Sichuan Jay (Perisoreus internigrans)
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Abstract

The effects of global climate change have attracted increasing attention, especially concerning the Arctic, and Antarctic. However, montane/alpine areas are also quite sensitive to climate change. Animals endemic to these areas are distributed within restricted elevational ranges, and many of them are also reliant on the harsh climate, a change of which may affect them as disastrously as it may affect polar species. Here we used MaxEnt software to construct models and make predictions for the rare Sichuan Jay (Perisoreus internigrans), which is known only from isolated fragments of high-elevation coniferous forest on the Qinghai—Tibet plateau of west-central China. Our model suggests that potentially suitable areas are concentrated in northern Sichuan and southern Gansu provinces, and they are fragmented generally, because of the mountainous terrain. It also predicts severe risks from climate change, even more than for the other two species of the genus, P. canadensis and P. infaustus: (1) both of the extent of suitable habitat and the suitability of that habitat will decline significantly under climate change; (2) climate change will compel this bird to shift northward and upward, but areas left for such compensatory extension are quite limited, and (3) the suitable habitat will become much more fragmented, which may exacerbate the effects of climate change indirectly by slowing or halting gene flow and increasing the rate of extinction of isolated local populations.

© 2012 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions website, http://www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintInfo.asp.
Nan Lu, Yu Jing, Huw Lloyd, and Yue-Hua Sun "Assessing the Distributions and Potential Risks from Climate Change for the Sichuan Jay (Perisoreus internigrans)," The Condor 114(2), (1 May 2012). https://doi.org/10.1525/cond.2012.110030
Received: 16 February 2011; Accepted: 1 October 2011; Published: 1 May 2012
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