Areas of endemism for rare fauna in karst regions of Hays County, Texas
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An area of endemism contains many species restricted to the area and therefore it is rich in species diversity. Consequently, an area of endemism is an area of high conservation priority. An area of endemism is always determined with reference to a bigger landscape using various algorithms and mathematical approaches. Using parsimony analysis of endemicity (PAE) and endemism (NDM), this study analyzed distribution of 45 rare fauna -- aquatic and terrestrial salamanders and arthropods -- in karst regions of Hays county, Texas. PAE sought for the most parsimonious solutions heuristically by creating 97,216 trees. The method stored 16 best solutions from which a consensus was generated. NDM analyzed 285 potential areas of endemism. The area of endemism with highest endemicity score determined by NDM and the consensus tree generated by PAE select the identical geographic range as the best area of endemism. The two methods have many differences in the specifications of determining endemicity but have a common fundamental principle: determining geographic ranges with many species largely confined to it. The two methods select 12% of the karst region with species records as area of endemism, which has 64% of the total species, with 38-40% species being endemic to the area.