Abstract # 3004 Event # 116:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:15 AM-10:30 AM: Session 16 (Salon F (Sixth Floor)) Oral Presentation


VALIDATION OF POTENTIAL DISTRIBUTION MODELS OF HOWLER MONKEYS (ALOUATTA PIGRA & ALOUATTA PALLIATA) IN TABASCO, MEXICO

F. Vidal-Garcia1 and J. C. Serio-Silva2
1Posgrado del Instituto de Ecologia AC., Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, 2Red Biología y Conservación de Vertebrados, Instituto de Ecología AC, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
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Two species of howler monkeys live in the tropical rainforest of southeastern Mexico: the mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana) and black howler monkey (A. pigra). Both species are endangered because their habitat is declining rapidly. Modeling of potential distribution is a tool for estimating habitat suitability of species and then, their presence or absence. The purpose of this study was to develop potential distribution models for howler monkeys in Mexico, to identify areas with different levels of habitat suitability and validate it. We validated the models in the state of Tabasco, Mexico, it is an important zone for these species because both are distributed there and, in some places, live sympatrically. We validated presence-absence of howler monkeys in 87 localities without previous records, randomly selected, and covering an area of 24758 km2. The models were evaluated using Kappa-Cohen factor and levels of sensibility, specificity and predicted power for each. The models have been good predictors of presence of monkeys. They have 35.6 and 47.1% errors of commission, and 10.3 and 2.2% errors of omission, for A. pigra and A. palliata, respectively; this indicates that the models predict presence better than absence for both species. This research has improved knowledge about the distribution and sympatric zones of howler monkeys in Tabasco, and will enable us to develop a strategy for validating their distribution throughout Mexico.