Uphill distributional shift of an endangered habitat specialist

  • Jakub Horák
  • Karel Chobot
  • Radim Gabriš
  • Jaroslav Jelínek
  • Ondřej Konvička
  • Stanislav Krejčík
  • Ondřej Sabol


The rove beetle Emus hirtus (Linnaeus, 1758) is an endangered habitat specialist, which occurs in long-term cattle pastures where it forages on cattle dung. We studied this species’ historical and recent altitudinal distribution and habitat requirements in the centre of its distributional range in the Czech Republic. The species had experienced a sharp decline and was for nearly 20 years considered as regionally extinct within the Czech Republic. Nowadays, Emus hirtus is present and occurs in relatively high population densities. However, the beetle has shown an uphill shift and is distributed at significantly higher altitudes in sun-exposed localities in foothills and mountains compared to its historical distribution in the lowlands. Emus hirtus is one of many organisms that seem to indicate the openness of the pastured woodland landscape in the past. The main reason for its uphill shift could be habitat loss in densely populated and intensively managed lowlands and restoration of grazing at higher elevations due to agricultural subsidies.


Agricultural landscape Altitudinal distribution Coleoptera Emus hirtus Habitat requirements and loss Pasture management Rove beetles Staphylinidae 



We would like to thank to J. Boháč and P. Kočárek for providing the literature, P. Boža, B. Mocek, P. Moravec, M. Ouda and I. Boščík for kindly providing the data, M. Mantič, V. Hula, M. Boukal, J. Šuhaj, K. N. A. Alexander, A. Smetana for discussion, J. Ferrier for correcting the English, J. Hortal and T. Shreeve for valuable suggestions. The comments of two anonymous referees greatly helped to improve the manuscript. This study was supported by a grant from the CZ Ministry of Environment, No. MSM 6293359101.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jakub Horák
    • 1
  • Karel Chobot
    • 2
  • Radim Gabriš
    • 3
  • Jaroslav Jelínek
    • 4
  • Ondřej Konvička
    • 5
  • Stanislav Krejčík
    • 6
  • Ondřej Sabol
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Biodiversity IndicatorsSilva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental GardeningPrůhoniceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech RepublicPrague 4Czech Republic
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyPalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic
  4. 4.ChoceňCzech Republic
  5. 5.CHKO Bílé KarpatyLuhačoviceCzech Republic
  6. 6.Meloidae.comHorní MěstoCzech Republic
  7. 7.Ostrava—Nová BěláCzech Republic

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