Assessing the vulnerability and adaptation strategies of wild camel to climate change in the Kumtag Desert of China



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Global Ecology and Conservation




Adaptive conservation strategies, Climate refuge, Habitat corridors, MaxEnt model, National park, Suitable habitat


Climate change has been regarded as one of the major threats to endangered species, and offers a wide variety of challenges to current conservation strategies. Assessing species’ vulnerability to climate change is a critical initial step for improving in-situ conservation planning. In this study, we used MaxEnt to predict the impacts of climate change on habitat suitability for wild camel (Camelus ferus) in the Kumtag Desert both during the current period and projected into the 2050 s. Our results showed that (i) suitable habitat for wild camel was predicted to decrease by 43.81% by the 2050 s; (ii) currently established nature reserves protected 57.86% of currently suitable habitat; (iii) 44.15% of currently suitable habitat was predicted to be vulnerable to future climate change, with a minor increase in newly suitable habitat by the 2050 s; (iv) climate refuge areas amounted to 21,601 km2 and were mainly located in the core area of the desert. Given these results, we propose conservation implications to mitigate the impacts of climate change on wild camel, including intergrating the suitable habitat into the planning of a proposed national park, constructing habitat corridors, restoring water sources, and implementing long-term monitoring.

Open Access