Zoological Studies

Vol. 45 No. 2, 2006

Predictive Distribution of Hynobiid Salamanders in Taiwan

Pei-Fen Lee1, Kuang-Yang Lue2, and Shan-Huah Wu1,*

1Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
2Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan 106

Pei-Fen Lee, Kuang-Yang Lue, and Shan-Huah Wu (2006) The distribution patterns of hynobiid salamanders in Taiwan, based on species and species complex, i.e., Hynobius arisanensis, the H. formosanus-sonani complex, and Hynobius sp. 1 (an undescribed species), were studied using a wildlife distribution database and an environmental factor database with univariate statistics and discriminant function analysis (DFA). The distribution maps suggested that these salamanders are restricted to certain regions and show distribution patterns distinct from each other. The H. arisanensis population has the largest range of distribution, while the H. formosanus-sonani complex was only found in the southwestern corner of Taroko National Park (in the Hehuanshan area) and in the center of Yushan National Park. Distributions of H. arisanensis and the H. formosanus-sonani complex overlapped in the center of Yushan National Park. Additionally, Hynobius sp. 1 was only found in the northern part of the range of the H. formosanus-sonani complex, mostly localized in the Shei-pa and Taroko National Park regions. Although both H. arisanensis and Hynobius sp. 1 are found in Shei-pa National Park, they show differences in microhabitat use with each other. The only overlapping site of these 2 species is located in the Hehuanshan region. The predictive DFA model has 82% classification accuracy with 5 predictive variables, including total precipitation in the dry period (Oct.-Mar.), and proximity to major roads, the coastline, rivers, and areas above 3000 m. We applied the classification rules to predict the potential distributions of salamanders in Taiwan and discussed the viability of the salamanders with respect to their population distributions and conservation.

Key words: Hynobius, Conservation, GIS, Discriminant function analysis.

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-2-23623501. Fax: 886-2-23686750. E-mail: shwu2@ntu.edu.tw