In its current issue, the Journal of Biogeography
has published an article whose authors use ecological niche modelling software to predict the distribution of Sasquatch in western North America. The authors write:
We were stimulated to write this piece as a tongue-in-cheek response to the increasing prevalence of ENMs in the literature and in papers presented at professional meetings. As in any rapidly developing field with the promise of exciting applications, there is the potential for the empirical acceptance of new approaches to outpace conceptual understanding. The point of this paper has been to point out how very sensible-looking, well-performing (based on AUC and threshold tests) ENMs can be constructed from questionable observation data.
The authors then created an ecological niche model for the black bear, Ursus americanus
, and discovered that the two models (for Bigfoot and black bear) were remarkably similar, leading them to conclude that "many Bigfoot sightings are, in fact, of black bears." (via New Scientist