The assessment of spatial distribution and population parameters are important elements for the conservation of spatially restricted and rare species. We evaluated the spatial distribution, demographic parameters, and mobility of Drucina championi Godman and Salvin, 1881, a highly localized butterfly in mountain habitats of Southern Chiapas, Mexico. We generated potential distribution maps for the species, by relating 19 layers (Worldclim) and data of occurrence arising from field surveys and entomological collections' records. Intensive field sampling was conducted at the Tacaná Volcano Biosphere Reserve, to delimit the elevation distribution, abundance, and detailed aspects on population demographic parameters regarding mobility, age, and sex data, as well as observations on adult behavior. A vegetation characterization and a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) analysis were used to relate the abundance values of the butterfly and habitat characteristics. Our results show that the potential distribution of D. championi is restricted to the northernmost area of the Central American pine-oak forests and the Central American mountain forests, comprising a total of 14,151 km2. It inhabits cloud forest habitats, ranging from 1,919 to 2,788 m a.s.l. (for a total elevation range of 869 m). Our assessment on the population status of this threatened butterfly suggests fairly good dispersal abilities of local populations but a limited immigration rate from surrounding populations. This research provides a rare case study of spatiotemporal dynamics of a threatened Neotropical butterfly, emphasizing the importance of using ecological information to provide management recommendations.
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