In tropical montane cloud forests, climate change can cause upslope shifts in the distribution ranges of species, leading to reductions in distributional range. Endemic species with small ranges are particularly vulnerable to such decreases in range size, as the population size may be reduced significantly. To ensure the survival of cloud forest species in the long term, it is crucial to quantify potential future shifts in their distribution ranges and the related changes in habitat availability in order to assure the long-term effectiveness of conservation measures. In this study, we assessed the influence of climate change on the availability of forested habitat for the endemic El Oro parakeet. We investigated the future range shift by modelling the climatic niche of the El Oro parakeets and projecting it to four different climate change scenarios. Depending on the intensity of climate change, the El Oro parakeets shift their range between 500 and 1700 m uphill by the year 2100. On average, the shift is accompanied by a reduction in range size to 15% and a reduction in forested habitat to only 10% of the original extent. Additionally, the connectivity between populations in different areas is decreasing in higher altitudes. To prevent a population decline due to habitat loss following an upslope range shift, it will be necessary to restore habitat across a large elevational span in order to allow for movement of El Oro parakeets into higher altitudes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)