Chefaoui, R. M., Hortal, J. & Lobo, J. M. (2005) Potential distribution modelling, niche characterization and conservation status assessment using GIS tools: a case study of Iberian Copris Biological Conservation, 122, 327-338. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2004.08.005
Dung beetle populations, in decline, play a critical ecological role in extensive pasture ecosystems by recycling organic matter; thus the importance of their conservation status. Presence data available for Copris hispanus (L.) and Copris lunaris (L.) (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) in Comunidad de Madrid (CM), and BIOMAPPER, a GIS-based tool, was used to model their environmental niches. The so derived potential distributions of both species were used to exemplify the utility of this kind of methodologies in conservation assessment, as well as its capacity to describe the potential sympatry between two or more species. Both species, distributed along a Dry-Mediterranean to Wet-Alpine environmental conditions gradient, overlap in areas of moderate temperatures and mean annual precipitations in the north of CM. Copris are poorly conserved in the existing protected sites network, but protection provided by new sites included in the future Natura 2000 Network will improve the general conservation status of these species in CM.