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Carrasco G, Briones R.2015. Using LIDAR Remote Sensing for identifying suitable habitat for a critically endangered carnivore in Nahuelbuta Range in South-Central Chile. PeerJ PrePrints3:e1387v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.1387v1
The range of Nahuelbuta has an outstanding biogeographic importance and high endemism of flora and fauna. In this range, the Valdivian temperate forest extends north along the maritime watershed, while the sclerophyllous forest extends south along the continental slope and northern coastal plain. The L. fulvipes that inhabits this habitat is considered at high extinction risk due to both demographic and ecological factors, such as disease, predation by cougars or other fox species. Our study was conducted in Caramávida using camera traps (N = 84) during October 2011-March 2012 to observe L. fulvipes, this information was correlated with LIDAR data to generate: elevation model, forest height; and the raw data were used to estimate the vertical vegetation coverage for seven different layers of height, cover, leaf area index and vertical complexity index. Our results indicate the presence of 17 positive results with L. fulvipes watch. The values of occupancy, occupancy corrected for detectability, and detectability, indicate that the proportion of stations where the species was recorded was 20%, but the actual ratio would reach 25% after correcting for detectability. The presence data and vegetation analyzes indicate correlations with tree cover larger than 20 meters high and with a high diversity of vegetation in the vertical profile, which may propose the presence of sites with potential presence and corridors for this species. We conclude that this methodology can generate highly accurate and relevant vegetation variables that may provide some guidance regarding which are the areas where a species is potentially distributed and the design of corridors that may enrich their habitat.
Submitted for peer review to PeerJ. Our original manuscript is "Using LIDAR remote sensing for identifying suitable habitat for a critically endangered carnivore in Nahuelbuta Range in South-Central Chile". This research was focused on the carnivore species Lycalopex fulvipes, currently considered Critically Endangered according to IUCN. We worked on one of the two continental populations of the species, we used LIDAR remote detection and monitoring data from camera traps to evaluate their potential habitat in Nahuelbuta Range. Although it is considered that this canid dwells in this core patch, our results show that this species may potentially use just one part of this surface, being the landscape heterogeneity, the vertical structure of vegetation and understory important variables to be taken into account in the habitat management plans for this species.
Dataset cameras trap and variables derived from LIDAR dataset