Quiñónez Camarilo, Ana
Modeling the potential distribution of Neotropical otters (Lontra longicaudis) in Honduras
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Fulbright Foreign Student Program
Todd Fuller and Timothy Randhir
The Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis) is the only otter species found in Honduras, where it remains unprotected. Even though the general distribution and preferences for certain habitat characteristics have been identified for this species, their presence is essentially unknown over large areas and population declines are not possible to identify; this lack of knowledge greatly hampers any conservation efforts. To fill this gap, I first will review literature related to methods/models used to map the distribution of any otter species, and then identify landscape variables significantly correlated with otter presence. Second, I will use this synthesis to select the most useful (and available) variables to model/map Neotropical otter presence in Honduras using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) and Geographic Information System (GIS). I will use a non-random approach to gather as much sighting data as possible for verification of the adequacy of the model prepared though GIS. This distribution map can be used to as a baseline for further study of the species and will serve as an important step in Neotropical otter research.
Page updated: December 12, 2016