Assessing the impact of climate change on the habitat suitability of the Pronghorn through Climpact Data Science Toolbox SDM.
Pronghorn (Antilocapra Americana Ord) is considered an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN) Red List, with the least concern status due to the pressure of human activities on its habitat (land-use changes) and population (hunting and trapping). Climate change is also a factor that can influence the spatial distribution and survival of species such as pronghorn.
We present an application of a species distribution model (SDM) we developed to assess the potential effects of climate change on the suitable areas for pronghorn in the Chihuahuan Desert by 2050 and 2070 using the RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 scenarios provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The results show potential significant negative effects on the survival of the pronghorn population due to climate change, as well as a contraction of its current suitable areas and a shift of them in the northern part of the Chihuahuan Desert. It is forecasted that areas with 100% optimal conditions will shrink from 631,000 km2 in 2020 to 525,000 km2 in 2050 (-17%) and to 230,000 km2 in 2070 (-64%). The SDM can help identify suitable areas and strategic corridors for the conservation of this endangered species.
CDS Geoprospective Science