Presentación en: The Chihuahuan Desert Conference

Assessing the impact of climate change on the habitat suitability of Antilocapra americana through Climpact Data

Dulce Heredia-Corral1, Gretel Capistran-Torres1, Guillermo Hinojos-Mendoza2, Ricardo Soto-Cruz2

1 Departamento de Inteligencia Geoespacial- ASES

2 Comité Científico y de Investigación- ASES

Background

The Chihuahuan Desert is considered unique due to its isolation. The spatial distribution of species in this sensitive habitat is threatened by climate change. Antilocapra americanais only found in North America, so its preservation is a main concern for USA and Mexico.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to assess how climate change should affect habitat optimal conditions of Antilocapra americana in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Methodology

ClimpactComplex was used to model actual and future (scenarios: 2050 and 2070, RCP8.5) spatial distribution. ClimpactComplex analyzes seven bioclimatic and four environmental variables, together with worldwide specie observation points to predict, in climate change context, optimal conditions throughout time. The area per percentage of optimal conditions was also calculated.

Results

Currently, suitable areas for Antilocapra americanaare virtually found across the entire desert. Nevertheless, optimal conditions for its distribution are predicted to decrease due to climate change, in 2050 especially in the Mexican states of Coahuila de Zaragoza and Durango. In 2070 optimal conditions are forecasted to be found only in the north.

It is forecasted that the area with 100% of optimal conditions will go from 631,307.52 km2in 2019 to 525,682.93 km2in 2050 (-16.73%) and to 230,028.44 km2 in 2070 (-56.24%).

Conclusion

Climate change will force pronghorns to adapt; the area in which 100% optimal conditions should be found is predicted to decrease 401,279 km2(63.56%) by 2070 regarding the current scenario