An updated biogeographic evaluation of endemism and conservation of small mammals from Chile

Wendy C. Hernández-Mazariegos, Christian M. Ibáñez, R. Eduardo Palma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ecological factors such as temperature, precipitation, and vegetation type have been reported to influence biogeographic patterns (e.g., species distribution, richness, and endemism) in mammals. In Chile, these patterns only had been explored in selected mammal groups from certain localities. In this study, we describe and analyze biogeographic patterns for all small mammals (marsupials, armadillos, bats, rodents), reported until 2020, in different climatic and ecological regions from continental Chile. Using a compiled database of 89 species, we estimated their distributional similarity, described and characterized richness and areas of endemism using Bayesian and Parsimony Analysis of Endemism, and linked species distribution with conservation status according to the IUCN Red List. We found three similarity units of species distribution based on climate: Arid, Temperate, and Polar; higher richness and endemism in north and south-central Chile; two areas of endemism, one in north and one in south; and a hotspot in south-central Chile. Finally, species of greater conservation concern showed a similar and small distribution range. The concordance in the distribution of the species with Chilean climatic regions (as determined by precipitation and temperature) suggest that the spatial distribution of Chilean small mammals is influenced strongly by those abiotic factors. This also could explain the patterns of richness and endemism and, therefore species hotspots. Variations of climatic factors therefore should be considered in explaining biogeographic patterns and conservation plans of Chilean small mammal species, because species of greater concern tend to be associated and having similar distributional characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • biogeography
  • climate
  • conservation
  • endemism
  • richness
  • small mammals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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