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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ficetola GF, Rondinini C, Bonardi A, Katariya V, Padoa-Schioppa E, Angulo A (2014) An evaluation of the robustness of global amphibian range maps. J Biogeogr 41:211–221. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12206
Gasc JP, Cabela A, Crnobrnja-Isailovic J, Dolmen D, Grossenbacher K, Haffner P, Lescure J, Martens H, Martínez Rica JP, Maurin H, Oliveira ME, Sofianidou TS, Veith M, Zuiderwijk A (1997) Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Europe. Collection Patrimoines Naturels 29, Societas Europaea Herpetologica and Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris
Jiménez-Valverde A, Peterson AT, Soberon J, Overton JM, Aragon P, Lobo JM (2011) Use of niche models in invasive species risk assessments. Biol Invas 13:2785–2797. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-011-9963-4
Kleewein A (2016) First genetic investigation into the occurrence of Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus, 1758) in Carinthia, Austria. Herpetozoa 29:90–92
Maldonado C, Molina CI, Zizka A, Persson C, Taylor CM, Albán J, Chilquillo E, Rønsted N, Antonelli A (2015) Estimating species diversity and distribution in the era of big data: to what extent can we trust public databases? Glob Ecol Biogeogr 24:973–984. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12326
Mizsei E, Jablonski D, Végvári Z, Lengyel S, Szabolcs M (2017) Distribution and diversity of reptiles in Albania: a novel database from a Mediterranean hotspot. Amphibia-Reptilia 38:157–173. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00003097
Mizsei E, Zinenko O, Sillero N, Ferri V, Roussos SA, Szabolcs M (2018): The distribution of meadow and steppe vipers (Vipera graeca, V. renardi and V. ursinii): a revision of the new atlas of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. Bas Appl Herpetol 32. https://doi.org/10.11160/bah.94
Pinya S, Carretero MA (2011) The Balearic herpetofauna: a species update and a review on the evidence. Acta Herpetol 6:59–80. https://doi.org/10.13128/Acta_Herpetol-9579
Raemy M, Fritz U, Cheylan M, Ursenbacher S (2017) Hybridisation between turtle subspecies: a case study with the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis). Conserv Gen 18:287–296. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-016-0901-y
Rocchini D, Hortal J, Lengyel S, Lobo JM, Jimenez-Valverde A, Ricotta C, Bacaro G, Chiarucci A (2011) Accounting for uncertainty when mapping species distributions: the need for maps of ignorance. Prog Phys Geogr 35:211–226. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309133311399491
Sillero N (2011) What does ecological modelling model? A proposed classification of ecological niche models based on their underlying methods. Ecol Model 222:1343–1346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.01.018
Sillero N, Oliveira MA, Sousa P, Sousa F, Gonçalves-Seco L (2014a) Distributed database system of the new atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Europe: the NA2RE project. Amphibia-Reptilia 35:33–39. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00002936
Sillero N, Bonardi A, Campos J, Corti C, Creemers R, Crnobrnja-Isailović J, Crochet P, Denoël M, Ficetola GF, Gonçalves J, Kuzmin S, Lymberakis P, De Pous P, Sindaco R, Speybroeck J, Toxopeus B, Vieites DR, Vences M (2014b) Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. Amphibia-Reptilia 35:1–31. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00002935
Speybroeck J, Beukema W, Crochet PA (2010) A tentative species list of the European herpetofauna (Amphibia and Reptilia) – an update. Zootaxa 2492:1–27
Szabolcs M, Mizsei E, Jablonski D, Vági B, Mester B, Végvári Z, Lengyel S (2017) Distribution and diversity of amphibians in Albania: new data and foundations of a comprehensive database. Amphibia-Reptilia 38:435–448. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00003126
Vamberger M, Fritz U (2018) Big data can cause big mistakes: using the Societas Europaea Herpetologica atlas by Sillero et al (2014), the distribution of Emys orbicularis will be misunderstood. Biologia 73:281–283. https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-018-0033-6
van Wilgen NJ, Roura-Pascual N, Richardson DM (2009) A quantitative climate-match score for risk-assessment screening of reptile and amphibian introductions. Environ Manag 44:590–607. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-009-9311-y
Wielstra B, Sillero N, Vörös J, Arntzen JW (2014) The distribution of the crested and marbled newt species (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Triturus) – an addition to the New Atlas of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. Amphibia-Reptilia 35:376–381. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-00002960
Wielstra B, Canestrelli D, Cvijanović M, Denoël M, Fijarczyk A, Jablonski D, Liana M, Naumov B, Olgun K, Pabijan M, Pezzarossa A, Popgeorgiev G, Salvi D, Si Y, Sillero N, Sotiropoulos K, Zieliński P, Babik W (2018) The distributions of the six species constituting the smooth newt species complex (Lissotriton vulgaris sensu lato and L. montandoni) – an addition to the New Atlas of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. Amphibia-Reptilia 39:252–259. https://doi.org/10.1163/15685381-17000128
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).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Sillero, N., Campos, J., Bonardi, A. et al. NA2RE is reliable but aims for improvement: an answer to Vamberger and Fritz (2018). Biologia 73, 1131–1135 (2018). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-018-0133-3
- Chorological data
- Ecological niche modelling
- Herpetological database
- Citizen data
- Online atlas