Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Frederic Zaidan III

Second Advisor

Dr. Teresa Patricia Feria

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank Dirrigl


Anthropogenic global climate change is a large scale threat to biodiversity. Species distribution models (SDMs) were created to assess the possible effects of climate change on the distribution of 12 Plestiodon lizards of Mexico. Species presence data was obtained from online databases, literature, and field data. Occurrences were correlated with 19 climatic variables from to model species' current suitable habitat. These models were then projected to future (2050) conditions for which bioclimatic information was downloaded from the CCAFS website. Forecasts were made using 4 General Circulatory Models, 2 IPCC scenarios, and the software MaxEnt. Models were replicated 10 times using the cross-validation option in MaxEnt, and evaluated using the AUC on a ROC plot. Findings showed AUC scores >0.9, demonstrating a robust level of accuracy for the models obtained from MaxEnt. Suitable habitat for most species will contract significantly. These findings may help establish sound conservation programs for these species.


Copyright 2014 Mayra Oyervides. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American