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ESR 20:1-18 (2013)  -  DOI:

Is there room for all of us? Renewable energy and Xerospermophilus mohavensis

Richard D. Inman1, Todd C. Esque1,*, Kenneth E. Nussear1, Philip Leitner2, Marjorie D. Matocq3, Peter J. Weisberg3, Tomas E. Dilts3, Amy G. Vandergast4

1U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, United States Geologic Survey, Las Vegas Field Station, Henderson, Nevada 89074-8829, USA
2California State University Stanislaus, Endangered Species Recovery Program, One University Circle, Turlock, California 95382, USA
3University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, Reno, Nevada 89557, USA
4U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, San Diego Field Station, San Diego, California 92101, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Mohave ground squirrels Xerospermophilus mohavensis Merriam are small ground-dwelling rodents that have a highly restricted range in the northwest Mojave Desert, California, USA. Their small natural range is further reduced by habitat loss from agriculture, urban development, military training and recreational activities. Development of wind and solar resources for renewable energy has the potential to further reduce existing habitat. We used maximum entropy habitat models with observation data to describe current potential habitat in the context of future renewable energy development in the region. While 16% of historic habitat has been impacted by, or lost to, urbanization at present, an additional 10% may be affected by renewable energy development in the near future. Our models show that X. mohavensis habitat suitability is higher in areas slated for renewable energy development than in surrounding areas. We provide habitat maps that can be used to develop sampling designs, evaluate conservation corridors and inform development planning in the region.

KEY WORDS: Mohave ground squirrel · Renewable energy · Habitat suitability · Maximum entropy

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Cite this article as: Inman RD, Esque TC, Nussear KE, Leitner P and others (2013) Is there room for all of us? Renewable energy and Xerospermophilus mohavensis. Endang Species Res 20:1-18.

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