Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Conservation of Viperids in North-West Africa Using Ecological GIS

When one thinks of the wilderness of Africa, one of the first concerns that comes to mind is the presence of venomous snakes.  Scientists are also extremely interested in the locations of these snakes, and in conserving them and their habitats.  They are now beginning to implement High-Resolution GIS imagery into their methods of determining the environments of these snakes.

As you can see in this first image, the use of raster data is crucial in the determination of the landscape of various regions in this section of NW Africa.  This map also includes vector data of the points at which the various species of snakes are located.  These two types of data are combined to create the map below, which shows the different species of snakes along with the likely overlap of species in the various regions.

The knowledge of the density and variety of viperids in the various biomes of NW Africa is instrumental in their conservation.  Knowing the variety and density of viperids in each type of habitat allows conservation biologists to tailor the conservation programs to the individual scenarios that occur.

    • Brito et al., 2011
    • J.C. Brito, S. Fahd, P. Geniez, F. Martínez-Freiría, J.M. Pleguezuelos, J.-F. Trape
    • Biogeography and conservation of viperids from North-West Africa: an application of ecological niche-based models and GIS. Journal of Arid Environments, 75 (11) (2011), pp. 1029–1037

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