The Geckos of Pemba Island, Tanzania
Rodder, D., Hawlitschek, O. and Glaw, F. 2010. Environmental niche plasticity of the endemic gecko Phelsuma parkeri Loveridge 1941 from Pemba Island, Tanzania: a case study of extinction risk on flat islands by climate change. Tropical Zoology 23: 35-49.
Focusing on Phelsuma parkeri, an endemic gecko species native to the relatively flat (0 to < 100 m elevation) island of Pemba, Tanzania, Rodder et al. employed this approach by observing the species and providing information on its current spatial distribution in terms of both physical and environmental space, as well as its adaptability to habitat modification by humans. With respect to past climatic conditions, they employed simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum provided by the Community Climate System Model and the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, while with respect to the future, they employed climate change predictions based on three other models and the emission scenarios reported in the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The three researchers report that a comparison of current climatic conditions with those derived from model simulations for 21,000 years ago revealed that "no climate conditions analogous to those of today existed during the Last Glacial Maximum," noting that there were "decreases of between 1.4 and 2.8°C in the minimum temperature of the coldest month and of between 2.1 and 3.4°C in the maximum temperature of the warmest month throughout the island" compared to the corresponding temperatures of today. As for the future, the climate models they used suggested that "the minimum temperature of the coldest month may increase about 1.2 to 3.8°C and the maximum temperature of the warmest month by about 2.0 to 3.7°C."
In considering these findings, Rodder et al. say their results suggest that "P. parkeri is distributed over the largest part of the island, that it is well adapted to current land use, and that it is most likely not threatened by climate change."