Knowing the distribution of endangered species is of substantial importance for conservation. We considered a useful approach for modeling species distribution when managing information from atlases and museums but when absence data is not available. By modeling the distribution for Graellsia isabelae, a threatened moth species, we assessed its current conservation status and identified its most relevant distribution explanatory variables using Geographic Information System and Generalized Linear Models. The distribution model was built from 136 occurrence records and 25 digitized explanatory variables at a 10 × 10 km resolution. Model predictions from logistic-regressed pseudo-absences, obtained from a presence-only method (Ecological-Niche Factor Analysis), explained 96.23% of the total deviance. We found that the best predictor variables were summer precipitation, aridity, and mean elevation. With respect to host plants, the presence of G. isabelae associated mainly with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Austrian pine (P. nigra). The finding of 8 areas, exclusively in the eastern Iberian territory, and a larger unoccupied habitat in the western Iberian Peninsula indicates that this species is probably not in equilibrium with its environment by historical factors. Sites of Community Importance under protection do not seem sufficient to maintain current populations, necessitating the protection of suitable neighboring habitats. Our methodology is useful to manage the conservation status of species for which reliable absence data is not available. It is possible to determine those variables that most affect the distribution of species as well as the potential suitable areas with the purpose of evaluating protected areas, connectivity among populations, and possible reintroductions.
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Vol. 71 • No. 8