Effects of Protected Areas and human pressure on range change of terrestrial mammals across biomes

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


In the last decades, global change has impacted the distribution of mammals worldwide, with spatial responses being driven by both intrinsic (e.g. body mass, reproductive rates) and extrinsic factors (e.g. climate change, habitat loss). Human development and growth in population density have reduced the extent and suitability of habitat for many species, and Protected Areas are becoming more and more essential in conserving considerable portions of their distribution range. However, the extent to which the presence of PAs and human pressures have influenced terrestrial mammal distribution at a global scale has not been estimated. Here we compare trends of range change for 315 terrestrial mammal species between 1970 and 2015. We use matching methods to identify areas that share similar landscape features but differ for the degree of protection and human impacts, and by comparing past and current distributions we assess the effects of PAs and human development on mammal range loss across biomes. Preliminary analyses show that most species in our sample experienced significant range contraction, correlated with loss of natural habitat owing to human expansions. We estimate that range contraction occurred mostly outside PAs, and that PAs reduced rates of loss in biomes characterized by high degrees of human development. Understanding spatial responses of terrestrial mammals to landscape management will help planning conservation actions to prevent further range loss.
Period14 Jun 202118 Jun 2021
Event title100th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists
Event typeConference
LocationUnited States
Degree of RecognitionInternational