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Keywords:

  • Consensus methods;
  • ENFA;
  • ensemble model;
  • jaguar conservation;
  • Mahalanobis Distance;
  • Maxent

Abstract

Aim  The jaguar, Panthera onca, is a species of global conservation concern. In Mexico, the northernmost part of its distribution range, its conservation status, is particularly critical, while its potential and actual distribution is poorly known. We propose an ensemble model (EM) of the potential distribution for the jaguar in Mexico and identify the priority areas for conservation.

Location  Mexico.

Methods  We generated our EM based on three presence-only methods (Ecological Niche Factor Analysis, Mahalanobis distance, Maxent) and considering environmental, biological and anthropogenic factors. We used this model to evaluate the efficacy of the existing Mexican protected areas (PAs), to evaluate the adequacy of the jaguar conservation units (JCUs) and to propose new areas that should be considered for conservation and management of the species in Mexico.

Results  Our results outline that 16% of Mexico (c. 312,000 km2) can be considered as suitable for the presence of the jaguar. Furthermore, 13% of the suitable areas are included in existing PAs and 14% are included in JCUs (Sanderson et al., 2002).

Main conclusions  Clearly much more should be carried out to establish a proactive conservation strategy. Based on our results, we propose here new jaguar conservation and management areas that are important for a nationwide conservation blueprint.