Data gathering for Master thesis – Biogeography & conservation of mammals in the Mediterranean ecoregion

Dear all,

As I will explain in this post, I am currently gathering spatial data of presence for all mammals in the Mediterranean ecoregion for my Master thesis. I am contacting a lot of different institutions such as NGOs, state boards, scientists. However, being myself very keen on tracking mammals, I am convinced that naturalists have large amounts of data. Please, find below a description of both my status and my project.

I am doing a master thesis focusing on conservation planning of terrestrial mammals within the Mediterranean Basin at the University of Stockholm, under the supervision of Prof. Anders Angerbjörn. Furthermore, I am currently working in the Global Mammal Assessment program (, which is a partner of the IUCN and which is led by Prof. Boitani and Dr. Rondinini (University La Sapienza of Rome). This group is in charge of assessing mammal extinction risks, refining distribution maps and forecast scenarios of mammal loss driven by global change. Prof. Stéphane Aulagnier is also collaborating on the project bringing his expertise of the Mediterranean ecoregion.
We have constructed both habitat suitability models (Rondinini et al. 2011) and species distribution models (Maiorano et al. 2011) for most of the mammalian species in the Mediterranean ecoregion. These models may be very useful to refine the species distribution ranges provided by the IUCN, and to inform conservation planning. My thesis specifically aims at comparing these two modeling approaches, and to investigate the extent by which their differences impact conservation planning within the Mediterranean Basin (evaluation of the current network of protected areas and suggestion of new areas).
We already took advantage of globally available data (GBIF, African Mammal Databank, European Atlas etc.) for model calibration. We are now seeking additional independent point locations for model evaluation. As a general observation, we lack data for rodents & insectivores (but all species are interesting, even the most common) and in the South & East part of the study area (Maghreb, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece). If you are willing to contribute to our study with your personal data or if you know people who can help, here is a more detailed description of what we are precisely looking for:
Type of data: geo-referenced presence records
Species: at this stage of the study all terrestrial mammals, including bats
Dataset/age: all points collected from 1940 on (preferentially from 1990)
Precision: exact coordinates are best, however, we are also willing to incorporate atlas data (degraded on grids such as 1x1km or more)
Collection protocol: no specific requirement; systematic surveys, opportunistic observations, roadkills, camera-trap data, species identified via diet analysis of carnivores are all useful
Quantity: few points can make a difference – so small contributions may also be important
Area: whole Mediterranean ecoregion
 (black=protected areas)

Any contribution to our study will of course be acknowledged in our subsequent report and expected paper. We will also develop a webpage on our website for data providers. Furthermore, we do not publish any row data and can establish official conventions if necessary. Unfortunately, we have a tight research agenda, which constrains us to close the data gathering to start the analyses by mid- to end-January.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Best wishes,

Nathan Ranc


  • Dan rosen

    The attached data is a little more than 10years old, but think it can help you.

  • nranc

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have had a look. It seems they are distribution ranges, and not exact points or atlases. So, it would be hard to make sure that the species is actually distributed in all the cells. Unfortunately, we cannot incorporate such data (and that’s a pity since it would have been great).

    But you are most welcome to share your observations, though.

    Thanks a lot,


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