Potential geographic distribution and habitat suitability of the Greater horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) in Iran

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

10.22120/jwb.2019.35013

Abstract

We present a review of earlier records of the greater horseshoe bat distribution in Iran together with new distribution records of this bat obtained during recent years (2012–2016). The present study describes 41 new localities that increase the species known range mainly over Zagros and Elburz ranges at elevations between 27 - 2560 m above sea level. Moreover, based on these data potential geographic distribution of the greater horseshoe bat has been estimated using the Maximum Entropy modeling (MaxEnt). The MaxEnt model showed that the environmental variables including bio-12 (average annual precipitation), bio-6 (minimum temperature of the coldest month), and bio-19 (precipitation of the coldest quarter of the year) were the most important predictors of Rhinolophus ferrumequinum distribution. AUC values indicated an excellent power of MaxEent to create potential habitat map (AUC=0.845). The MaxEnt model predicted climate suitability to be high in Zagros and Elburz Mountains especially in northwest of Iran, low in some parts of south, east and southeast of Iran. Suitable habitat was absent in the two vast deserts (Dasht-e lut and Dasht-e Kavir) in the Iranian Plateau basin where there had not been any report of R. ferrumequinum.

Keywords


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