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26 November 2019 Conservation of Pleske's Racerunner (Eremias pleskei) in a Changing Climate
Azita Farashi, Mohammad Alizadeh-Noughani
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Although reptiles are the most diverse group of terrestrial vertebrates, crucial data on their extinction risks are lacking. The reptile species assessed by IUCN are only a fraction of those at risk of extinction. Thus, conservation planning and management decisions are hindered by the lack of ecological information on the species' distribution patterns and their habitat requirements. Pleske's racerunner (Eremias pleskei) is a rare and critically endangered species known to occur exclusively in the eastern Anatolian Montane Steppe ecoregion. In this study, we used ten species distribution model algorithms and 62 climate change scenarios (from 19 global climate models under four representative concentration pathways) to predict future habitat suitability for Pleske's racerunner in the Anatolian Montane Steppe ecoregion. Our results indicate that this species may in future migrate from its current distribution range towards the central and western areas of the Anatolian Montane Steppe ecoregion. Our results also show that the variation in the temperature-related variables in suitable habitats will increase in future as compared with the current conditions. It seems that due to climate change, in future, deserts will be appropriate for this species. The same mechanisms, however, will make some of its current habitats unsuitable. Dealing with uncertainties in climate change and species distribution modeling is a major challenge when planning strategies for species' conservation. We recommend conservation measures to be implemented to make sure that E. pleskei's current habitats remain suitable for it also in future.

© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2019
Azita Farashi and Mohammad Alizadeh-Noughani "Conservation of Pleske's Racerunner (Eremias pleskei) in a Changing Climate," Annales Zoologici Fennici 56(1-6), 93-106, (26 November 2019).
Received: 12 June 2019; Accepted: 12 August 2019; Published: 26 November 2019

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