Global correlates of range contractions and expansions in terrestrial mammals

Pacifici, Michela, Rondinini, Carlo, Rhodes, Jonathan R., Burbidge, Andrew A., Cristiano, Andrea, Watson, James E. M., Woinarski, John C. Z. and Di Marco, Moreno (2020) Global correlates of range contractions and expansions in terrestrial mammals. Nature Communications, 11 (1). p. 2840. ISSN 2041-1723

s41467-020-16684-w.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


Understanding changes in species distributions is essential to disentangle the mechanisms that drive their responses to anthropogenic habitat modification. Here we analyse the past (1970s) and current (2017) distribution of 204 species of terrestrial non-volant mammals to identify drivers of recent contraction and expansion in their range. We find 106 species lost part of their past range, and 40 of them declined by >50%. The key correlates of this contraction are large body mass, increase in air temperature, loss of natural land, and high human population density. At the same time, 44 species have some expansion in their range, which correlates with small body size, generalist diet, and high reproductive rates. Our findings clearly show that human activity and life history interact to influence range changes in mammals. While the former plays a major role in determining contraction in species’ distribution, the latter is important for both contraction and expansion.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This study was designed during a visit funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions of the University of Queensland (Australia). MDM acknowledges support from the EU Marie Sklodowska‐Curie programme (H2020‐MSCA‐IF‐2017‐793212). We thank Matteo Ponzoni for helping with the maps, and Dino Biancolini and Maria Lumbierres Civit for their inputs on the revisions of the paper.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Range change, Mammals, Global change, Biodiversity conservation
Subjects: D300 Animal Science
D900 Others in Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2022 12:27
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2022 12:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics