Understanding a species' distributional limits is a necessary step for developing conservation priorities. The olinguito (Procyonidae: Bassaricyon neblina) is a recently described, medium-sized carnivoran found in Northern Andean cloud forests. Here, we provide revised distributional estimates for this species using current ecological niche modeling methods (using Maxent and bioclimatic variables), taking into account sampling bias and using updated locality information including 9 photo-vouchered citizen science records that increased the original data set by 60%. Optimal models were selected via 2 approaches: Akaike's Information Criterion corrected for small sample size (AICc) and performance on withheld data. The AICc-optimal model aligned more closely with current knowledge of the species' elevational limits. This model improves on the previously modeled distribution map for the species, especially in terms of elevational discrimination in the Central Cordillera of Colombia, where high mountain peaks are considered unsuitable. Compared with the original map, the revised map suggests more extensive suitable area in northern Colombia, possibly due to the inclusion of new citizen science records, and highlights 6 priority areas for future sampling that have no olinguito records: the northern portion of the Western Cordillera of Colombia, southern portion of the Western Cordillera of Colombia, western slopes of the Andes in southwestern Colombia, both versants of the middle portion of the Central Cordillera of Colombia, western slopes of the Andes in central and southern Ecuador, and eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador. This study improves knowledge of the olinguito's range, increases our understanding of this species' natural and taxonomic history, and provides an example of modeling the distributions of poorly known species with small sample sizes.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2