Habitat suitability and modelling the potential distribution of the Plateau Snake Skink
Species distribution models estimate the relationship between species occurrences and environmental and spatial characteristics. Herein, we used maximum entropy distribution modelling (MaxEnt) for predicting the potential distribution of the Plateau Snake Skink Ophiomorus nuchalis on the Iranian Plateau, using a small number of occurrence records (i.e. 10) and environmental variables derived from remote sensing. The MaxEnt model had a high success rate according to test AUC scores (0.912). A remotely sensed enhanced vegetation index (39.1%), and precipitation of the driest month (15.4%) were the most important environmental variables that explained the geographical distribution of O. nuchalis. Our results are congruent with previous studies suggesting that suitable habitat of O. nuchalis is limited to the central Iranian Plateau, although mountain ranges in western and eastern Iran might be environmentally suitable but not accessible.