Modelling the distribution of the distribution of the European Polecat Mustela putorius in a Mediterranean Agricultural Landscape


The aims of the present work are 1) to evaluate the distribution of the Polecat (Mustela putorius) in an area of Southern Portugal, identifying the major environmental descriptors upon which it depends; and 2) to compare the results of two different approaches to model species distribution. Two methods were used; one utilizing presence/absence data in a logistic regression (LR) model, and the other using presence-only data by means of ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA). The results clearly show that, as in other parts of Europe, the Polecat’s presence in Portugal is closely connected to humid habitats and dense vegetation cover. Overall, the environmental descriptors that most infl uence Polecat distribution are main water course length, the number of scrubland patches, the Shannon Wiener landscape diversity index and the number of water surface patches. The two methods we used generated significant differences in their predictions. LR predicts a broader area for the presence of the Polecat.


Mestre F., Ferreira J.P., Mira A. (

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