Slide 4: Used in response to
We use species distribution modelling (SDM) in response to a number of factors:
increasing rates of habitat, and species loss due to human activities, both directly and indirectly.
spatial and temporal distribution info for a large number of taxa is usually complete (in some cases there may be no more than a few sightings, and these could be relatively discrete in time),
existing distribution data is generally collected in an ad hoc fashion, rather than systematically, which leaves a large number of unexplained gaps and holes in a simple distribution range that reduce its usefulness for planning purposes.
Conventional survey techniques are very time consuming, and there is always limited time available for gathering data, particularly at the moment, when species loss is accelerating and responses are required fast.
Atlasses such as the SA protea atlas are an invaluable data source. Although they are generally available for a very limited number of taxa, they are essential since they are the standard for model development and calibration.