Ngo, N. H., H. Q. Nguyen, T. Q. Phan, H. M. Tran, T. Q. Nguyen, T. Ziegler & D. Rödder

In Issues 2021

Vulnerability of an endemic Tiger Gecko (Goniurosaurus huuliensis) to climate change: modeling environmental refugia and implications for in-situ conservation. pp. 464-474 plus Supplementary material.

Abstract. Detailed information on potentially suitable habitats and forecasted alterations thereof under climate change scenarios are critical for the conservation planning of endangered taxa, in particular those with small distribution ranges. The Huu Lien Tiger Gecko, Goniurosaurus huuliensis, is a is a micro-endemic species in northern Vietnam. The species is listed in the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered and in CITES Appendix II due to habitat loss and overexploitation for the international pet trade. Climate change has been globally acknowledged to impact on many species and it likely has negative influences on G. huuliensis. In this study, an ensemble modeling technique is employed, trained with climate and vegetation cover conditions, to identify the contemporary potential distribution of this species and assess its alterations under different climate change scenarios. Our predictions suggest that the current potential distribution of G. huuliensis mostly covers the known sites of occurrence and their surroundings. These areas will narrow significantly and/or shift towards higher latitudes under novel climate conditions as can be expected according to future IPCC scenarios. To safeguard in-situ populations of G. huuliensis in the context of the potentially severe impacts, we provide a core refugia map that identifies key regions for priority conservation measures, including Lang Son Province and small sites in Bac Giang and Thai Nguyen Provinces, northern Vietnam. We highly recommend that the Huu Lien Nature Reserve be selected as a
“centre” to kick-off conservation actions for the target species.

Key words. Squamata, Eublepharidae, climate, core refugia, Ensembles of Small Models (ESMs), Huu Lien Nature Reserve, potential distribution, vegetation.

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