Agelastes meleagrides: BirdLife International
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Understanding geographic distributions of species is a crucial step in spatial planning for biodiversity conservation, particularly as regards changes in response to global climate change. This information is especially important for species of global conservation concern that are susceptible to the effects of habitat loss and climate change. In this study, we used ecological niche modeling to assess the current and future geographic distributional potential of White-breasted Guineafowl
... Guineafowl (Agelastes meleagrides) (Vulnerable) across West Africa. Methods: We used primary occurrence data obtained from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and national parks in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and two independent environmental datasets (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer normalized difference vegetation index at 250 m spatial resolution, and Worldclim climate data at 2.5′ spatial resolution for two representative concentration pathway emissions scenarios and 27 general circulation models for 2050) to build ecological niche models in Maxent. Results: From the projections, White-breasted Guineafowl showed a broader potential distribution across the region compared to the current IUCN range estimate for the species. Suitable areas were concentrated in the Gola rainforests in northwestern Liberia and southeastern Sierra Leone, the Tai-Sapo corridor in southeastern Liberia and southwestern Côte d'Ivoire, and the Nimba Mountains in northern Liberia, southeastern Guinea, and northwestern Côte d'Ivoire. Future climate-driven projections anticipated minimal range shifts in response to climate change. Conclusions: By combining remotely sensed data and climatic data, our results suggest that forest cover, rather than climate is the major driver of the species' current distribution. Thus, conservation efforts should prioritize forest protection and mitigation of other anthropogenic threats (e.g. hunting pressure) affecting the species.