The Chinese grouse Tetrastes sewerzowi is restricted to small mountain areas on the southeastern edge of Qinghai—Tibet plateau. Recent evidence indicates that the global climate has undergone rapid change. To assess the potential effects of climate change on Chinese grouse, we applied a maximum-entropy modeling (MaxEnt) method to predict the current and future distributions of this species for three time periods: 2020, 2050 and 2080 in two greenhouse-gas emissions scenarios (A2a and B2a), which assume a medium and a lower increase in CO2 emissions, respectively. Our modeling revealed that: 1) the size of suitable areas for grouse will decline over time, especially in emissions scenario A2a; 2) range shifts will happen at both latitudinal (northward shift) and elevational direction (upward). In addition, habitat expansion will be limited relative to loss, especially in the more distant future. Although the size of suitable area will not change greatly in the near future (e.g. 2020 and 2050), as predicted in the emissions scenario A2a in 2020, habitat will become more fragmented. Therefore, we suggest that the habitat fragmentation be considered with range shifts calculation while assessing the climate change threats. To cope with the ongoing climate change, either the protected area of the existing reserves should be expanded or new reserves should be established to accommodate range shifts. Reforestation and gouse population monitoring should also be conducted in the reserves to track response of grouse to climate change.
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