SGCN Distribution

Predictive habitat models for SGCN were created by the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project (SWReGAP) and identify areas that are likely suitable habitat for a species but which may or may not be occupied (see Approach chapter for greater details). Examples of predicted species distributions in New Mexico are provided in Figure 4-2 through 4-4. A linkl to the predictive habitat models (distribution models) for all terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate SGCN in New Mexico are located on NMDGF website (http://wildlife.state.nm.us/). Species distribution models for the five state region modeled by SWReGAP are located at the following website: http://fws-nmcfwru.nmsu.edu/swregap. Spatial depictions of suitable habitats for molluscs, crustaceans, and other arthropods in New Mexico are not currently available. Since many of these species are endemics and only occur in one mountain range or in some cases on one mountain, spatial scale issues make modeling fine scale habitats difficult. Further, there are currently no useful data sources that depict ephemeral habitats or marsh, springs, seeps, or cienegas, or perennial ponds.

Areas within New Mexico that host the greatest predicted number of terrestrial and aquatic SGCN occur where multiple ecoregions and habitat types converge. For example, the "boot heel" region of southwestern New Mexico has the highest predicted number of terrestrial and aquatic SGCN taxa, which reflects the variation in elevations and the merging of the northern Rocky Mountains, the Madrean Archipelago, neotropical regions of Mexico, the Chihuahuan Desert, and influences from the Sonoran Desert. Another species rich area in New Mexico is in the southeastern part of the state where habitats from the Pecos River, Guadalupe and Sacramento Mountains, the shortgrass prairie and the Chihuahuan Desert converge (Table 4-3, Fig 4-5). Further, the Rio Grande and Pecos drainages in New Mexico traverse many ecoregions and habitat types, and have high SGCN richness.

Figure 4-2

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Figure 4-2. (Left) Predicted distribution of the Sacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) in New Mexico.

Figure 4-3

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Figure 4-3. (Right) Predicted distribution of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki virginalis) in New Mexico.

Figure 4-4

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Figure 4-4. (Left) Predicted distribution of Arizona Myotis (Myotis occultus) in New Mexico.

Figure 4-5

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Figure 4-5. (Right) Terrestrial and aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need richness (number of SGCN taxa) in New Mexico. Darker areas indicate greater number of SGCN taxa present.