Modeling the past and contemporary habitat suitability and distribution of the Levantine viper Macrovipera lebetinus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Ophidia: Viperidae)

Modeling the past and contemporary habitat suitability and distribution of the Levantine viper


  • Rasoul Karamiani Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran
  • Maryamalsadat Hosseini Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran



Blunt-nosed viper, Climate condition, Last interglacial, mid-Holocene


Evaluating the climate changes in the past and contemporary time, and the impact of those changes on the distribution range of the species have attracted research interest. The venomous snakes of the genus Macrovipera consisting of the recognized species M. lebetinus and M. razii are documented from Iran. In the study, we modeled the potential distribution areas and determined the suitable habitats in the past (the Last Interglacial [LIG], and mid-Holocene [MH]), and their present distribution for the Levantine viper M. lebetinus by MaxEnt. Models of the species indicated good fit operation by the average high area under the curve (AUC) values (LIG =0.979± 0.008, MH =0.968± 0.028, Contemporary =0.933± 0.036). Three important climate variables had significant contributions to the simulation of the LIG model distribution of M. lebetinus as mean temperature of the driest quarter of the year (43.8%), isothermality (26.9%), and mean temperature of the wettest quarter of the year (17.9%); maximum temperature of the warmest month (36.4%), mean temperature of the wettest quarter of the year (25.2%), and isothermality (21.2%) variables had significant contributions to the contemporary time and the MH model distribution the Levantine viper, respectively; Two important climate variables had immense contributions to the predication of the contemporary model distribution M. lebetinus as seasonal and annual precipitation (32.9%), and a topographic variable as slope (31.5%). Because it seems that they have sensitivity to temperature and precipitation levels of the seasons. The MH and the LGM models indicated a larger suitable area than the contemporary distribution, which it is concluded that these variables form a natural barrier for species dispersion.  


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How to Cite

Karamiani, R. ., & Hosseini , M. . (2023). Modeling the past and contemporary habitat suitability and distribution of the Levantine viper Macrovipera lebetinus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Ophidia: Viperidae): Modeling the past and contemporary habitat suitability and distribution of the Levantine viper . Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 8(1), 39–53.