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Area of habitat maps for amphibians and reptiles of Italy

Citation

Nania, Dario (2022), Area of habitat maps for amphibians and reptiles of Italy, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2547d7ws8

Abstract

Area of Habitat (AOH) maps reveal the distribution of the habitat available to the species within their geographic range. Information on the distribution of species’ habitats can help identify sites where viable populations of a species are found. We produced high resolution (100 m), freely accessible global area of habitat maps for 60 species of reptiles and amphibians distributed in Italy, which represent 60% of all Italian amphibian and reptile species. AOH maps can be used as a reference for conservation planning and can help monitoring habitat loss, which is known to be a major threat to many reptile and amphibian species in Europe.

Methods

Area of habitat (AOH) maps were produced based on a set of global distribution ranges obtained from the IUCN Red List database. We retrieved a total of 25 amphibian and 34 reptile distribution ranges of species occurring in Italy. Species were linked to their natural habitat using Copernicus Global Land Service Land Cover (CGLS-LC100) 2019 classes as a habitat surrogate. Species-Habitat associations and altitude limits were based on monographs on the biology of target species. A binary classification was compiled to link species habitat  to land cover classes. Furthermore, altitude limits (minimum and maximum) were compiled for each species. The CGLS-LC100 map was combined with altitude information to produce a base map. Each raster cell in the base map holds information on the land cover class and altitude data. We used IUCN species ranges to mask the area of the base map which is found out of the species range. Then, the base map was filtered according to species habitat requirements to produce the area of habitat maps.

Funding