DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2013.00207

Asian Herpetological Research 2013/4:3 PP.207-213

Environmental Suitability and Distribution of the Caucasian Rock Agama, Paralaudakia caucasia (Sauria: Agamidae) in Western and Central Asia

Predictive potential distribution modeling is crucial in outlining habitat usage and establishing conservation management priorities. In this paper we provide detailed data on the distribution of the Caucasian rock agama Paralaudakia caucasia, and use species distribution models (MAXENT) to evaluate environmental suitability and potential distribution at a broad spatial scale. Locality data on the distribution of P. caucasia have been gathered over nearly its entire range by various authors from field surveys. The distribution model of P. caucasia showed good performance (AUC = 0.887), and predicted high suitability in regions mainly located in Tajikistan, north Pakistan, Afghanistan, southeast Turkmenistan, northeast Iran along the Elburz mountains, Transcaucasus (Azerbajan, Armenia, Georgia), northeastern Turkey and northward along the Caspian Sea coast in Daghestan, Russia. The identification of suitable areas for this species will help to assess conservation status of the species, and to set up management programs.

Key words:Western Asia, Paralaudakia caucasia, distribution, Maxent modeling, Agamidae

ReleaseDate:2014-07-21 17:00:18