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Report No. 46

Vertebrates of the Wet Tropics Rainforests of Australia: Species Distributions and Biodiversity

Vertebrates Atlas
Stephen E. Williams
ISBN 0 86443 762 5

Foreword (adapted for website)

One of the most basic elements of ecology and conservation biology is knowing what species occur in what places. As conceptually simple as this may sound, it is an incredibly difficult and complex undertaking, although probably the single most important fact underpinning all of ecology.

It is impossible to make informed decisions about conservation management without some knowledge on the geographic distributions of species. In this report, Dr Steve Williams aims to provide readers with his best estimate of the distribution of as many species of rainforest vertebrates as possible at this time within the Wet Tropics bioregion. Understanding biodiversity necessitates understanding the factors that determine the distribution of each constituent species.

Approximately 350 species of vertebrates occur in the rainforests of the Wet Tropics bioregion, however, only about 153 species have their core distributions in the rainforest. In this report, Williams presents distribution maps of for the 177 species of Wet Tropics vertebrates where there was sufficient data to produce a useful map (the vast majority of true rainforest species), and twelve species richness maps based on overlaid distribution maps (Appendix B). The distribution maps represent a combination of bioclimatic modeling, habitat preferences, biogeographic distributions and expert knowledge. Also included is a comprehensive species list of all vertebrates in the Wet Tropics bioregion (Appendix A), with information on the conservation status, range size (of the mapped species), habitat specialisation and summaries of species richness by taxa both in spatially continuous maps and in tabulated form.

Download file is a PDF document that is designed to be printed using the duplex feature on your printer (i.e. double-sided). For ease of download, sections of this report have been extracted and may be downloaded separately:

Download Preliminary Pages (including Contents)
Download Colour Plates
Download Foreword and Acknowledgements
Download Index to Maps (Note, Index to Maps is hotlinked to individual species maps)
Download Chapter 1 Introduction
Download Chapter 2 Methods
Download Chapter 3 Results, Discussion and Maps
Download Chapter 4 References
Download Appendix A Full Species List of Vertebrates of the Wet Tropics
Download Appendix B Species Richness Maps and Species Distribution Maps (Note, see also Index to Maps, above)



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