Ecological Niche Modeling of Fifteen Species of Treeshrews (Scandentia: Tupaiidae: Tupaia)

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Eric Sargis
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Treeshrews (order Scandentia) are among the many vertebrates that occupy three biodiversity hotspots in Southeast Asia: Sundaland, Indo-Burma, and the Philippines. To compare the susceptibility of several treeshrews to anthropogenic factors, ecological niche models were created for fifteen species of Tupaia. The models were produced in MaxEnt, using georeference data from museum specimens and environmental data from WorldClim and Anthropogenic Biomes of the World. Two models were created for each species - one using only climate data and the other using climate plus anthropogenic data. Comparisons of the two types of models show reductions in predicted species ranges when anthropogenic factors are added for all but two species. Additionally, several species are more strongly affected than others, and many show common range reductions in central Borneo. Conservation measures should take the dual approach of protecting areas shared by many treeshrews and ensuring that there are refuges for those with small ranges. As most treeshrew species prefer minimally disturbed forest, refuges that protect treeshrews will also provide habitat for many other endemic species.