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Valuation of Forest Habitat Functions of Endangered Mammals Using Species Distribution Model

It is estimated that there is a total of approximately 100,000 species in Korea. However, the number is currently about 30,000 and only 16,027 species are listed in the ‘Species Korea’ (as of December, 2014). Of the listed species, 51 species are designated as the Endangered Species Class I while 195 species are in the Class II, totaling 246 endangered species including 20 mammals. Under the circumstances that development (e.g., roads) is increasingly threatening the persistence of endangered mammals, it is significant to identify and preserve suitable habitats for them. In this context, evaluating the values of the suitable habitat environment would serve as essential information for development decision making. This study estimated the values of endangered mammals’ forest habitats through spatialization of habitat services. In doing so, a species distribution model, Maximum Entropy Model (MaxEnt) was utilized for a group of endangered mammals including, mountain goat, wildcat, marten cat, and flying squirrel. To calculate the values per unit area, a benefit transfer method was used based on the point-estimate technique with the best available values estimated previously. The range of discount rate of 3.0 to 5.5 percent was applied taking the notion of social discount rate into account. As a result, the province with the highest values for endangered mammal habitats appeared to be Gangwon, followed by Gyeongbuk and Gyeongnam. The monetary values of the endangered mammal habitats were estimated to be 330 billion to 421 billion won per year.
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