NA2RE is reliable but aims for improvement: an answer to Vamberger and Fritz (2018)
A recent paper has suggested that NA2RE, the New Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe, does not provide a reliable basis for ecological niche modelling studies due to errors flagging introductions and missing data for the native range of the pond turtle genus Emys. We point out that the original NA2RE paper already acknowledged that it was not aimed for fine-scale ecological distribution modelling and that it had the objective of stimulating research for improving the maps. New works now complement the Atlas in improving the coverage and providing new distribution maps for species within species complex. Moreover, we stress that the NA2RE web platform at present hosts only the distribution data compiled in 2014 from different sources, using the taxonomy adopted by the authors at the time. As with any large database, it is advisable that these data are carefully evaluated and quality-filtered before their use in scientific studies. We defend the reliability of the NA2RE web platform as the currently most comprehensive resource for the comparative chorological study of amphibians and reptiles in Europe, and encourage publication of updates and additions following the most recent taxonomic changes, to continuously improve this database and the Atlas.
KeywordsChorological data Ecological niche modelling Herpetological database Citizen data Online atlas
The authors thank the Societas Europaea Herpetologica for funding the NA2RE project. NS is supported by an IF contract (IF/01526/2013) from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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