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Distribution, suitable areas and conservation status of the Felou gundi (Felovia vae Lataste 1886)
- Vale, Cândida G., Álvares, Francisco, Brito, José C.
- Mammalia 2012 v.76 no.2 pp. 201-207
- conservation status, deserts, disasters, drought, environmental factors, global warming, habitat destruction, habitats, models, mountains, rodents, Mali
- Felovia vae is an endemic rodent from West Africa with special conservation concern. Although the global range is relatively well known, the lack of knowledge on its local distribution patterns and ecological parameters resulted in the IUCN category of Data Deficient. This study identifies environmental factors related to the occurrence of Felovia vae, quantifies suitable areas of occurrence, and evaluates its conservation status. High-resolution presence data (1×1 km) were combined with environmental factors to derive ecological niche-based models of species occurrence. Ecological models predicted that Felovia vae occurs more frequently in areas with high slope and close to gueltas, bare areas and rocky deserts. The fine-scaled ecological models suggest eight suitable habitat patches, representing fragmented subpopulations located in the Mauritanian mountains and in the Bafing, Felou, Nioro, and Yelimane regions of Mali. Fieldwork observations and predicted suitable areas were used to evaluate conservation status. Felovia vae was categorised as Least Concern, given that values for all parameters analysed were above the thresholds of Threatened classification. The species may be susceptible to human-induced habitat loss, global warming and natural disasters, such as drought, given its reliance on water availability.