WorldWideScience

Sample records for bird conservation region

  1. Bird Conservation Planning and Implementation in Canada's Intermountain Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilia Hartasanchez; Krista De Groot; Andre Breault; Rob W. Butler

    2005-01-01

    Bird conservation planning in British Columbia and Yukon has been carried out by each of the major bird initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to provide a status report of planning activities and to discuss how integration of the initiatives is being accomplished for efficient and effective implementation of bird conservation actions.

  2. A statistically rigorous sampling design to integrate avian monitoring and management within Bird Conservation Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlacky, David C; Lukacs, Paul M; Blakesley, Jennifer A; Skorkowsky, Robert C; Klute, David S; Hahn, Beth A; Dreitz, Victoria J; George, T Luke; Hanni, David J

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring is an essential component of wildlife management and conservation. However, the usefulness of monitoring data is often undermined by the lack of 1) coordination across organizations and regions, 2) meaningful management and conservation objectives, and 3) rigorous sampling designs. Although many improvements to avian monitoring have been discussed, the recommendations have been slow to emerge in large-scale programs. We introduce the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program designed to overcome the above limitations. Our objectives are to outline the development of a statistically defensible sampling design to increase the value of large-scale monitoring data and provide example applications to demonstrate the ability of the design to meet multiple conservation and management objectives. We outline the sampling process for the IMBCR program with a focus on the Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17). We provide two examples for the Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) in BCR 17 demonstrating the ability of the design to 1) determine hierarchical population responses to landscape change and 2) estimate hierarchical habitat relationships to predict the response of the Brewer's sparrow to conservation efforts at multiple spatial scales. The collaboration across organizations and regions provided economy of scale by leveraging a common data platform over large spatial scales to promote the efficient use of monitoring resources. We designed the IMBCR program to address the information needs and core conservation and management objectives of the participating partner organizations. Although it has been argued that probabilistic sampling designs are not practical for large-scale monitoring, the IMBCR program provides a precedent for implementing a statistically defensible sampling design from local to bioregional scales. We demonstrate that integrating conservation and management objectives with rigorous statistical

  3. A statistically rigorous sampling design to integrate avian monitoring and management within Bird Conservation Regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C Pavlacky

    Full Text Available Monitoring is an essential component of wildlife management and conservation. However, the usefulness of monitoring data is often undermined by the lack of 1 coordination across organizations and regions, 2 meaningful management and conservation objectives, and 3 rigorous sampling designs. Although many improvements to avian monitoring have been discussed, the recommendations have been slow to emerge in large-scale programs. We introduce the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR program designed to overcome the above limitations. Our objectives are to outline the development of a statistically defensible sampling design to increase the value of large-scale monitoring data and provide example applications to demonstrate the ability of the design to meet multiple conservation and management objectives. We outline the sampling process for the IMBCR program with a focus on the Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17. We provide two examples for the Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri in BCR 17 demonstrating the ability of the design to 1 determine hierarchical population responses to landscape change and 2 estimate hierarchical habitat relationships to predict the response of the Brewer's sparrow to conservation efforts at multiple spatial scales. The collaboration across organizations and regions provided economy of scale by leveraging a common data platform over large spatial scales to promote the efficient use of monitoring resources. We designed the IMBCR program to address the information needs and core conservation and management objectives of the participating partner organizations. Although it has been argued that probabilistic sampling designs are not practical for large-scale monitoring, the IMBCR program provides a precedent for implementing a statistically defensible sampling design from local to bioregional scales. We demonstrate that integrating conservation and management objectives with rigorous

  4. [Geographic distribution of birds in the Sierra Madre Oriental of San Luis Potosi, Mexico: a regional analysis of conservation status].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahagún Sánchez, Francisco Javier; Navarro, Jaime Castro; Reyes Hernández, Humberto

    2013-06-01

    The Sierra Madre Oriental region in the mexican state of San Luis Potosi is a relevant place for bird conservation at a country level. Therefore the main goal of this study was to analyze the geographic patterns of distribution and the conservation current state of the birds, to support the needs to expand the conservation areas in the future. Data was collected from various databases of zoological museums and collections, and field sampling methods conducted from January 2009 to May 2011. Potential distributions were modeled for 284 species using GARP software and then a map was developed to determine areas with favorable environmental characteristics for the distribution of species richness. Finally, the importance of conservation areas for the potential distribution of birds in the region was evaluated. A total of 359 species were recorded of which 71.4% are permanent residents, 19% are winter migrants and 4% are summer residents. From this total, 41 species were endemic, 47 were species at risk and 149 were neotropical migrants. The largest species richness correspond to oak forests, cloud forests, and tropical moist forests located at altitudes from 100m to 1 500m. Their potential distribution was concentrated towards the center and Southeast of the study area. Only 10% of areas with a high potential conservation was included in areas of priority for bird conservation (AICA) and just 3% of all potential areas were under some governmental category of protection. However, no conservation area has a management plan currently applied and monitored. The information generated is important for the development of management proposals for birds conservation in the region.

  5. Using regional bird density distribution models to evaluate protected area networks and inform conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    John D. Alexander; Jaime L. Stephens; Sam Veloz; Leo Salas; Josée S. Rousseau; C. John Ralph; Daniel A. Sarr

    2017-01-01

    As data about populations of indicator species become available, proactive strategies that improve representation of biological diversity within protected area networks should consider finer-scaled evaluations, especially in regions identified as important through course-scale analyses. We use density distribution models derived from a robust regional bird...

  6. Multiscale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...

  7. Birds of Conservation Concern

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — The 1988 amendment to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act mandates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to “identify species, subspecies, and populations of...

  8. Bird diversity in the Serra do Aracá region, northwestern Brazilian Amazon: preliminary check-list with considerations on biogeography and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio Henrique Borges

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available We inventoried the birds from Serra do Aracá region, state of Amazonas. The region encompasses a high diversity of vegetation types, including white sand forests and campinas, terra firme and flooded forests, montane forests and tepuis. We recorded 416 bird taxa in 69 families through captures with mist nets, tape recording of bird voices, and collection of voucher specimens. A large proportion of them (61% were recorded in a single vegetation type. Qualitative estimates suggest that approximately 580 bird species occur in the region. The avifauna of the Aracá region has a mixed biogeographic composition, with species typical of both margins of the Rio Negro occurring sympatrically. Additionally, species whose distributions are restricted to three areas of endemism for Amazonian birds (Imeri, Guiana and Pantepui were recorded in the region. Rare landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon are found in the Serra do Aracá region. Additionally, we recorded endemic and rare birds, highlighting the value of the region for conservation. The Serra do Aracá State Park officially protects montane forests, terra firme forests and tepuis. We suggest that the large extension of white sand campinas and igapó forests at the southern portion of Serra do Aracá should be also preserved in order to improve the representation of the rich natural heritage of the region.

  9. Defining the demands and meeting the challenges of integrated bird conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles K. Baxter

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the demands of integration bird conservation begins with a critical assessment of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative's (NABCI) goal."Regionally-based, biologically-driven, landscape oriented partnerships delivering the full spectrum of bird conservation across the entirety of North America."

  10. Bird diversity in northern Myanmar and conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-Xia; Kyaw, Myint; Li, Guo-Gang; Zhao, Jiang-Bo; Zeng, Xiang-Le; Swa, Kyaw; Quan, Rui-Chang

    2017-09-18

    We conducted four bird biodiversity surveys in the Putao area of northern Myanmar from 2015 to 2017. Combined with anecdotal information collected between 2012 and 2015, we recorded 319 bird species, including two species ( Arborophila mandellii and Lanius sphenocercus ) previously unrecorded in Myanmar. Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae), babblers (Timaliidae), pigeons and doves (Columbidae), and pheasants and partridges (Phasianidae) were the most abundant groups of birds recorded. Species richness below 1 500 m a. s. l. was higher than species richness at higher elevations. Our results suggest that the current protected areas in this region should be expanded to lower elevations to cover critical conservation gaps.

  11. Bird diversity in northern Myanmar and conservation implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-Xia; Kyaw, Myint; Li, Guo-Gang; Zhao, Jiang-Bo; Zeng, Xiang-Le; Swa, Kyaw; Quan, Rui-Chang

    2017-01-01

    We conducted four bird biodiversity surveys in the Putao area of northern Myanmar from 2015 to 2017. Combined with anecdotal information collected between 2012 and 2015, we recorded 319 bird species, including two species (Arborophila mandellii and Lanius sphenocercus) previously unrecorded in Myanmar. Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae), babblers (Timaliidae), pigeons and doves (Columbidae), and pheasants and partridges (Phasianidae) were the most abundant groups of birds recorded. Species richness below 1 500 m a. s. l. was higher than species richness at higher elevations. Our results suggest that the current protected areas in this region should be expanded to lower elevations to cover critical conservation gaps. PMID:29181901

  12. Regionalizing land use impacts on farmland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glemnitz, Michael; Zander, Peter; Stachow, Ulrich

    2015-06-01

    The environmental impacts of land use vary regionally. Differences in geomorphology, climate, landscape structure, and biotope inventories are regarded as the main causes of this variation. We present a methodological approach for identifying regional responses in land use type to large-scale changes and the implications for the provision of habitat for farmland birds. The methodological innovations of this approach are (i) the coupling of impact assessments with economic models, (ii) the linking of cropping techniques at the plot scale with the regional distribution of land use, and (iii) the integration of statistical or monitoring data on recent states. This approach allows for the regional differentiation of farmers' responses to changing external conditions and for matching the ecological impacts of land use changes with regional environmental sensitivities. An exemplary scenario analysis was applied for a case study of an area in Germany, assessing the impacts of increased irrigation and the promotion of energy cropping on farmland birds, evaluated as a core indicator for farmland biodiversity. The potential effects on farmland birds were analyzed based on the intrinsic habitat values of the crops and cropping techniques. The results revealed that the strongest decrease in habitat availability for farmland birds occurred in regions with medium-to-low agricultural yields. As a result of the limited cropping alternatives, the increase in maize production was highest in marginal regions for both examined scenarios. Maize production replaced many crops with good-to-medium habitat suitability for birds. The declines in habitat quality were strongest in regions that are not in focus for conservation efforts for farmland birds.

  13. Integrated bird conservation web site in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roxanne Bogart; Chris Eberly; Elizabeth Martin

    2005-01-01

    In working towards a vision of integrated bird conservation, scientists, conservationists, land managers, and administrators are faced with a variety of scientific, managerial, administrative, and logistical challenges and complexities. The broad scope of integrated bird conservation requires organizations to work together to conserve birds across taxonomic groups,...

  14. Bridging the gap between bird conservation and sustainable development : perceptions and participation of rural people in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bergh, van den M.

    2016-01-01

    The links between conservation and livelihood concerns remain much debated, and there is no agreement about the degree to which these concerns are linked, and how they should be tackled together. The main objectives of this study are to uncover the local values of birds, the environment and

  15. 76 FR 9529 - Migratory Birds; Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-18

    ...-1231-9BPP] RIN 1018-AX53 Migratory Birds; Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance AGENCY: Fish and... mail to: Attention: Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance; Division of Migratory Bird Management; U.S. Fish... implementing statutes including the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act...

  16. The migratory bird treaty and a century of waterfowl conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Michael G.; Alisauskas, Ray T.; Batt, Bruce D. J.; Blohm, Robert J.; Higgins, Kenneth F.; Perry, Matthew; Ringelman, James K.; Sedinger, James S.; Serie, Jerome R.; Sharp, David E.; Trauger, David L.; Williams, Christopher K.

    2018-01-01

    In the final decades of the nineteenth century, concern was building about the status of migratory bird populations in North America. In this literature review, we describe how that concern led to a landmark conservation agreement in 1916, between the United States and Great Britain (on behalf of Canada) to conserve migratory birds shared by Canada and the United States. Drawing on published literature and our personal experience, we describe how subsequent enabling acts in both countries gave rise to efforts to better estimate population sizes and distributions, assess harvest rates and demographic impacts, design and fund landscape-level habitat conservation initiatives, and organize necessary political and regulatory processes. Executing these steps required large-scale thinking, unprecedented regional and international cooperation, ingenuity, and a commitment to scientific rigor and adaptive management. We applaud the conservation efforts begun 100 years ago with the Migratory Bird Treaty Convention. The agreement helped build the field of wildlife ecology and conservation in the twentieth century but only partially prepares us for the ecological and social challenges ahead. 

  17. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael. J.; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  18. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Paula Goijman

    Full Text Available Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow

  19. Application of models to conservation planning for terrestrial birds in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Jane A.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Dettmers, Randy; Jones, Tim; Rustay, Christopher; Ruth, Janet M.; Thompson, Frank R.; Will, Tom; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Thompson, Frank R.

    2009-01-01

    Partners in Flight (PIF), a public–private coalition for the conservation of land birds, has developed one of four international bird conservation plans recognized under the auspices of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). Partners in Flight prioritized species most in need of conservation attention and set range-wide population goals for 448 species of terrestrial birds. Partnerships are now tasked with developing spatially explicit estimates of the distribution, and abundance of priority species across large ecoregions and identifying habitat acreages needed to support populations at prescribed levels. The PIF Five Elements process of conservation design identifies five steps needed to implement all bird conservation at the ecoregional scale. Habitat assessment and landscape characterization describe the current amounts of different habitat types and summarize patch characteristics, and landscape configurations that define the ability of a landscape to sustain healthy bird populations and are a valuable first step to describing the planning area before pursuing more complex species-specific models. Spatially linked database models, landscape-scale habitat suitability models, and statistical models are viable alternatives for predicting habitat suitability or bird abundance across large planning areas to help assess conservation opportunities, design landscapes to meet population objectives, and monitor change in habitat suitability or bird numbers over time.Bird conservation in the United States is a good example of the use of models in large-scale wildlife conservation planning because of its geographic extent, focus on multiple species, involvement of multiple partners, and use of simple to complex models. We provide some background on the recent development of bird conservation initiatives in the United States and the approaches used for regional conservation assessment and planning. We focus on approaches being used for landscape

  20. Priority setting for bird conservation in Mexico: the role of the Important Bird Areas program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma. del Coro Arizmendi; Laura Marquez Valdelamar; Humberto Berlanga

    2005-01-01

    Many species in Mexico are threatened and in need of protection. At least seventy species are considered to be globally threatened, yet conservation actions have been scarce and not coordinated. In 1996 BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas Program was initiated in Mexico to identify a network of the most important places in Mexico for birds, with the...

  1. Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Crimmins, Shawn M.; Pearce, Jennie

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale planning for the conservation of species is often hindered by a poor understanding of factors limiting populations. In regions with declining wildlife populations, it is critical that objective metrics of conservation success are developed to ensure that conservation actions achieve desired results. Using spatially explicit estimates of bird abundance, we evaluated several management alternatives for conserving bird populations in the Prairie Hardwood Transition of the United States. We designed landscapes conserving species at 50% of their current predicted abundance as well as landscapes attempting to achieve species population targets (which often required the doubling of current abundance). Conserving species at reduced (half of current) abundance led to few conservation conflicts. However, because of extensive modification of the landscape to suit human use, strategies for achieving regional population targets for forest bird species would be difficult under even ideal circumstances, and even more so if maintenance of grassland bird populations is also desired. Our results indicated that large-scale restoration of agricultural lands to native grassland and forest habitats may be the most productive conservation action for increasing bird population sizes but the level of landscape transition required to approach target bird population sizes may be societally unacceptable.

  2. Role of Brazilian zoos in ex situ bird conservation: from 1981 to 2005.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azevedo, Cristiano S; Young, Robert J; Rodrigues, Marcos

    2011-01-01

    Zoos may play an important role in conservation when they maintain and breed large numbers of animals that are threatened with extinction. Bird conservation is in a privileged situation owing to the extensive biological information available about this class. Annual inventories produced by the "Sociedade de Zoológicos do Brasil" in the years 1981, 1990, 2000, and 2005 were analyzed. Variables, such as the number of zoos per geographic region; number of birds held; number of bird species in each IUCN threat category; number of exotic and native bird species; number of potentially breeding bird species; number of bird species in each order; and number of threatened bird species breeding, were analyzed. Brazilian zoos kept more than 350 bird species. The number of bird species and specimens held by the Brazilian Zoos increased from 1981 to 2000, but decreased in 2005. The same pattern was observed for the number of species in each IUCN threat category. Results showed that the potential of the Brazilian zoos in bird conservation needs to be enhanced because they maintain threatened species but do not implement systematic genetic, reproductive, or behavioral management protocols for most species. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Conservation Priorities for Terrestrial Birds in the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth V. Rosenberg; Jeffrey V. Wells

    2005-01-01

    As part of the Partners in Flight (PIF) bird-conservation planning process, we assessed breeding land bird species according to seven categories of population vulnerability to derive a priority species pool in each of 12 physiographic areas that overlap the northeastern U.S. We then grouped species into the following habitat-species suites: (1) boreal-mountaintop...

  4. Terrestrial Birds and Conservation Priorities in Baja California Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricardo Rodriguez-Estrella

    2005-01-01

    The Baja California peninsula has been categorized as an Endemic Bird Area of the world and it is an important wintering area for a number of aquatic, wading and migratory landbird species. It is an important area for conservation of bird diversity in northwestern México. In spite of this importance, only few, scattered studies have been done on the ecology...

  5. Bird Habitat Conservation at Various Scales in the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew Milliken; Craig Watson; Chuck Hayes

    2005-01-01

    The Atlantic Coast Joint Venture is a partnership focused on the conservation of habitats for migratory birds within the Atlantic Flyway/Atlantic Coast Region from Maine south to Puerto Rico. In order to be effective in planning and implementing conservation in this large and diverse area, the joint venture must work at multiple spatial scales, from the largest ?...

  6. Integrated Bird Conservation along the Pacific Coast of North America: An Action Agenda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregg Elliott; Bob Altman; Wendy Easton; Ricardo Estrella; Geoffrey Geupel; Mary Chase; Ellie Cohen; Ann Chrisney

    2005-01-01

    Scientists and managers representing the continental bird conservation plans explored the status of conservation planning and implementation for birds along the Pacific coast of North America. The theme of the session, "using common currencies to advance bird conservation," emphasized the components of bird conservation shared among the major initiatives,...

  7. The role of the North American Breeding Bird Survey in conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Marie-Anne R.; Francis, Charles M.; Campbell, Kate J.; Downes, Constance M.; Smith, Adam C.; Pardieck, Keith L.

    2017-01-01

    The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) was established in 1966 in response to a lack of quantitative data on changes in the populations of many bird species at a continental scale, especially songbirds. The BBS now provides the most reliable regional and continental trends and annual indices of abundance available for >500 bird species. This paper reviews some of the ways in which BBS data have contributed to bird conservation in North America over the past 50 yr, and highlights future program enhancement opportunities. BBS data have contributed to the listing of species under the Canadian Species at Risk Act and, in a few cases, have informed species assessments under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. By raising awareness of population changes, the BBS has helped to motivate bird conservation efforts through the creation of Partners in Flight. BBS data have been used to determine priority species and locations for conservation action at regional and national scales through Bird Conservation Region strategies and Joint Ventures. Data from the BBS have provided the quantitative foundation for North American State of the Birds reports, and have informed the public with regard to environmental health through multiple indicators, such as the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Report on the Environment. BBS data have been analyzed with other data (e.g., environmental, land cover, and demographic) to evaluate potential drivers of population change, which have then informed conservation actions. In a few cases, BBS data have contributed to the evaluation of management actions, including informing the management of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa), and Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). Improving geographic coverage in northern Canada and in Mexico, improving the analytical approaches required to integrate data from other sources and to address variation in detectability, and

  8. Birds of the US-Mexico borderlands: Distribution, ecology and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Brush, Tim; Krueper, David J.

    2008-01-01

    The concept for this volume began as a scientifi c symposium at the North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC) in Veracruz, Mexico in October 2006. The symposium was entitled “Avian Distributional Change, Anthropogenic Challenges, and Recent Avian Research and Technological Advances within the US–Mexico Border Region,” and was cochaired by two of us (DJK and TB) along with Carol Beardmore (Sonoran Joint Venture) and Bill Howe (USDI Fish and Wildlife Service). In light of the importance of the borderland region for birds and bird conservation, and because of the great need for additional information about this poorly studied region, we have compiled this volume to present new information about bird distribution, ecology, and conservation.

  9. The ecology, status, and conservation of marine and shoreline birds on the west coast of Vancouver Island

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vermeer, K.; Butler, R.W.; Morgan, K.H.

    1992-01-01

    A symposium was held to combine various disciplines to provide a review of current knowledge about the marine biology of the west coast of Vancouver Island, with a particular emphasis on birds. Papers were presented on the physical and biological environment of the study region, the population and breeding ecology of marine and shoreline birds, the distribution of marine and shoreline birds at sea, the effects of oil pollution on the bird population, and the conservation of marine and shoreline birds. Separate abstracts have been prepared for two papers from this symposium

  10. Partners in flight bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.

    2001-01-01

    1 November 2001. Conservation of bird habitats is a major focus of effort by Partners in Flight, an international coalition of agencies, citizens, and other groups dedicated to 'keeping common birds common'. USGS worked on a planning team to publish a bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain ecoregion (PIF 16), which includes large portions of southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The conservation plan outlines specific habitat restoration and bird population objectives for the ecoregion over the next decade. The plan provides a context for on-the-ground conservation implementation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Forest Service, states, and conservation groups. Citation: Knutson, M. G., G. Butcher, J. Fitzgerald, and J. Shieldcastle. 2001. Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Plan for The Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16). USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in cooperation with Partners in Flight, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Download from website: http://www.blm.gov/wildlife/pifplans.htm. The Upper Great Lakes Plain covers the southern half of Michigan, northwest Ohio, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and small portions of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Glacial moraines and dissected plateaus are characteristic of the topography. Broadleaf forests, oak savannahs, and a variety of prairie communities are the natural vegetation types. A oDriftless Areao was not glaciated during the late Pleistocene and emerged as a unique area of great biological diversity. Priority bird species for the area include the Henslow's Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Bobolink, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, and Red-headed Woodpecker. There are many large urban centers in this area whose growth and sprawl will continue to consume land. The vast majority of the presettlement forest and

  11. Bridging the conservation design and delivery gap for wetland bird habitat maintenance and restoration in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, W.E.; Potter, B.; Soulliere, G.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's adoption of Strategic Habitat Conservation is intended to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of conservation delivery by targeting effort in areas where biological benefits are greatest. Conservation funding has not often been allocated in accordance with explicit biological endpoints, and the gap between conservation design (the identification of conservation priority areas) and delivery needs to be bridged to better meet conservation goals for multiple species and landscapes. We introduce a regional prioritization scheme for North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding which explicitly addresses Midwest regional goals for wetland-dependent birds. We developed decision-support maps to guide conservation of breeding and non-breeding wetland bird habitat. This exercise suggested ~55% of the Midwest consists of potential wetland bird habitat, and areas suited for maintenance (protection) were distinguished from those most suited to restoration. Areas with greater maintenance focus were identified for central Minnesota, southeastern Wisconsin, the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, and the shore of western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. The shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior accommodated fewer waterbird species overall, but were also important for wetland bird habitat maintenance. Abundant areas suited for wetland restoration occurred in agricultural regions of central Illinois, western Iowa, and northern Indiana and Ohio. Use of this prioritization scheme can increase effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and credibility to land and water conservation efforts for wetland birds in the Midwestern United States.

  12. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  13. Bird community conservation and carbon offsets in western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Richard; Martin, Tara G; Arcese, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Conservation initiatives to protect and restore valued species and communities in human-dominated landscapes face huge challenges linked to the cost of acquiring habitat. We ask how the sale of forest carbon offsets could reduce land acquisition costs, and how the alternate goals of maximizing α or β-diversity in focal communities could affect the prioritization land parcels over a range of conservation targets. Maximizing total carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential reduced land acquisition costs by up to 48%. Maximizing β rather than α-diversity within forest and savannah bird communities reduced acquisition costs by up to 15%, and when these solutions included potential carbon credit revenues, acquisition cost reductions up to 32% were achieved. However, the total cost of conservation networks increased exponentially as area targets increased in all scenarios. Our results indicate that carbon credit sales have the potential to enhance conservation outcomes in human-dominated landscapes by reducing the net acquisition costs of land conservation in old and maturing forests essential for the persistence of old forest plant and animal communities. Maximizing β versus α-diversity may further reduce costs by reducing the total area required to meet conservation targets and enhancing landscape heterogeneity. Although the potential value of carbon credit sales declined as a fraction of total acquisition costs, even conservative scenarios using a carbon credit value of $12.5/T suggest reductions in acquisition cost of up to $235 M, indicating that carbon credit sales could substantially reduce the costs of conservation.

  14. Birds and conservation significance of the Namib Desert's least ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -long Namib Desert and it remains the least known coastal wetland on a desert coast rich in shorebirds. Two surveys of the Baia dos Tigres region in 1999 and 2001 indicated a rich wetland bird diversity consisting of 25 species, with a total of ...

  15. Management strategies for the conservation of forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathleen E. Franzreb; Deborah M. Finch; Petra Bohall Wood; David E. Capen

    1999-01-01

    We recommend that managers of forest-associated bird species follow a five-step hierarchy in establishing and implementing management programs. In essence, a manager must evaluate the composition and physiognomy of the landscape mosaic in the context of the regional and subregional goals and objectives. Then he/she can explore alternatives that allow manipulation of...

  16. Conserving the grassland Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of southern South America: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian S. Di Giacomo; Santiago Krapovickas

    2005-01-01

    In the southern part of South America, knowledge about bird species distribution is still not used as a tool for land use planning and conservation priority-setting. BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is an appropriate vehicle for analyzing existing information about birds, and to generate new data where necessary. IBA inventories...

  17. The New York State Bird Conservation Area (BCA) Program: A Model for the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. F. Burger; D. J. Adams; T. Post; L. Sommers; B. Swift

    2005-01-01

    The New York State Bird Conservation Area (BCA) Program, modeled after the National Audubon Society?s Important Bird Areas Program, is based on legislation signed by Governor Pataki in 1997. New York is the first state in the nation to enact such a program. The BCA Program seeks to provide a comprehensive, ecosystem approach to conserving birds and their habitats on...

  18. Heat-conserving postures hinder escape: a thermoregulation–predation trade-off in wintering birds

    OpenAIRE

    Jennie M. Carr; Steven L. Lima

    2012-01-01

    Wintering birds may conserve body heat by adopting postures with minimal leg exposure or significant ptiloerection. However, maximally heat-conserving postures may hinder a bird's ability to escape attack, leading to a trade-off between predation risk and thermoregulation. Such a trade-off implies that birds should use the most heat-conserving postures only at very cold temperatures. Feeding in a relatively low-risk environment should also facilitate the use of such heat-conserving postures. ...

  19. Conservation of forest birds: evidence of a shifting baseline in community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chadwick D Rittenhouse

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying changes in forest bird diversity is an essential task for developing effective conservation actions. When subtle changes in diversity accumulate over time, annual comparisons may offer an incomplete perspective of changes in diversity. In this case, progressive change, the comparison of changes in diversity from a baseline condition, may offer greater insight because changes in diversity are assessed over longer periods of times. Our objectives were to determine how forest bird diversity has changed over time and whether those changes were associated with forest disturbance.We used North American Breeding Bird Survey data, a time series of Landsat images classified with respect to land cover change, and mixed-effects models to associate changes in forest bird community structure with forest disturbance, latitude, and longitude in the conterminous United States for the years 1985 to 2006. We document a significant divergence from the baseline structure for all birds of similar migratory habit and nest location, and all forest birds as a group from 1985 to 2006. Unexpectedly, decreases in progressive similarity resulted from small changes in richness (<1 species per route for the 22-year study period and modest losses in abundance (-28.7 - -10.2 individuals per route that varied by migratory habit and nest location. Forest disturbance increased progressive similarity for Neotropical migrants, permanent residents, ground nesting, and cavity nesting species. We also documented highest progressive similarity in the eastern United States.Contemporary forest bird community structure is changing rapidly over a relatively short period of time (e.g., approximately 22 years. Forest disturbance and forest regeneration are primary factors associated with contemporary forest bird community structure, longitude and latitude are secondary factors, and forest loss is a tertiary factor. Importantly, these findings suggest some regions of the United

  20. Conservation of forest birds: evidence of a shifting baseline in community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittenhouse, Chadwick D; Pidgeon, Anna M; Albright, Thomas P; Culbert, Patrick D; Clayton, Murray K; Flather, Curtis H; Huang, Chengquan; Masek, Jeffrey G; Stewart, Susan I; Radeloff, Volker C

    2010-08-02

    Quantifying changes in forest bird diversity is an essential task for developing effective conservation actions. When subtle changes in diversity accumulate over time, annual comparisons may offer an incomplete perspective of changes in diversity. In this case, progressive change, the comparison of changes in diversity from a baseline condition, may offer greater insight because changes in diversity are assessed over longer periods of times. Our objectives were to determine how forest bird diversity has changed over time and whether those changes were associated with forest disturbance. We used North American Breeding Bird Survey data, a time series of Landsat images classified with respect to land cover change, and mixed-effects models to associate changes in forest bird community structure with forest disturbance, latitude, and longitude in the conterminous United States for the years 1985 to 2006. We document a significant divergence from the baseline structure for all birds of similar migratory habit and nest location, and all forest birds as a group from 1985 to 2006. Unexpectedly, decreases in progressive similarity resulted from small changes in richness (<1 species per route for the 22-year study period) and modest losses in abundance (-28.7 - -10.2 individuals per route) that varied by migratory habit and nest location. Forest disturbance increased progressive similarity for Neotropical migrants, permanent residents, ground nesting, and cavity nesting species. We also documented highest progressive similarity in the eastern United States. Contemporary forest bird community structure is changing rapidly over a relatively short period of time (e.g., approximately 22 years). Forest disturbance and forest regeneration are primary factors associated with contemporary forest bird community structure, longitude and latitude are secondary factors, and forest loss is a tertiary factor. Importantly, these findings suggest some regions of the United States may

  1. Conserved syntenic clusters of protein coding genes are missing in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovell, Peter V; Wirthlin, Morgan; Wilhelm, Larry; Minx, Patrick; Lazar, Nathan H; Carbone, Lucia; Warren, Wesley C; Mello, Claudio V

    2014-01-01

    Birds are one of the most highly successful and diverse groups of vertebrates, having evolved a number of distinct characteristics, including feathers and wings, a sturdy lightweight skeleton and unique respiratory and urinary/excretion systems. However, the genetic basis of these traits is poorly understood. Using comparative genomics based on extensive searches of 60 avian genomes, we have found that birds lack approximately 274 protein coding genes that are present in the genomes of most vertebrate lineages and are for the most part organized in conserved syntenic clusters in non-avian sauropsids and in humans. These genes are located in regions associated with chromosomal rearrangements, and are largely present in crocodiles, suggesting that their loss occurred subsequent to the split of dinosaurs/birds from crocodilians. Many of these genes are associated with lethality in rodents, human genetic disorders, or biological functions targeting various tissues. Functional enrichment analysis combined with orthogroup analysis and paralog searches revealed enrichments that were shared by non-avian species, present only in birds, or shared between all species. Together these results provide a clearer definition of the genetic background of extant birds, extend the findings of previous studies on missing avian genes, and provide clues about molecular events that shaped avian evolution. They also have implications for fields that largely benefit from avian studies, including development, immune system, oncogenesis, and brain function and cognition. With regards to the missing genes, birds can be considered ‘natural knockouts’ that may become invaluable model organisms for several human diseases.

  2. Glade/woodland restoration in the St. Francis Mountain Bird Conservation Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    David A. Hasenbeck

    2007-01-01

    The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, and American Bird Conservancy, share goals to restore and manage high quality glade, savanna, and woodland habitats within the Saint Francis Bird Conservation Area. The partnership endeavors to maintain and enhance an ecosystem with native glade and...

  3. Conservation status and recovery strategies for endemic Hawaiian birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; David, Reginald E.; Jacobi, James D.; Banko, Winston E.

    2001-01-01

    of birds initially increase slowly even when habitat conditions are favorable. Consequently, even as habitat conditions begin to improve, small populations may disappear unless they are supplemented directly. Hawaiian bird conservation is also affected by social and legal factors, including hunting alien game species, commercial land use practices, and lawsuits and policies concerning endangered species and critical habitat. Influenced by this mixture of conflicting and competing issues, Hawaiian bird recovery programs range from management of single species and some components of their habitats to limited forms of community or ecosystem management. Although the effectiveness of most programs is difficult to evaluate because of monitoring limitations, several programs exemplify species and community management. Programs primarily intended to recover single species include Hawaiian Goose or Nene (Branta sandvicensis), Hawaiian Crow or ‘Alala (Corvus hawaiiensis), and Palila (Loxioides bailleui). Programs attempting to manage entire communities of forest birds include Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Hawai‘i, and Waikamoi Preserve, Hanawi Natural Area Reserve, and Haleakala National Park on Maui.

  4. Coordinating across scales: Building a regional marsh bird monitoring program from national and state Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shriver, G.W.; Sauer, J.R.

    2008-01-01

    Salt marsh breeding bird populations (rails, bitterns, sparrows, etc.) in eastern North America are high conservation priorities in need of site specific and regional monitoring designed to detect population changes over time. The present status and trends of these species are unknown but anecdotal evidence of declines in many of the species has raised conservation concerns. Most of these species are listed as conservation priorities on comprehensive wildlife plans throughout the eastern U.S. National Wildlife Refuges, National Park Service units, and other wildlife conservation areas provide important salt marsh habitat. To meet management needs for these areas, and to assist regional conservation planning, survey designs are being developed to estimate abundance and population trends for these breeding bird species. The primary purpose of this project is to develop a hierarchical sampling frame for salt marsh birds in Bird Conservation Region (BCR) 30 that will provide the ability to estimate species population abundances on 1) specific sites (i.e. National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges), 2) within states or regions, and 3) within BCR 30. The entire breeding range of Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed and Coastal Plain Swamp sparrows are within BCR 30, providing an opportunity to detect population trends within the entire breeding ranges of two priority species.

  5. Using occupancy models of forest breeding birds to prioritize conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Wan, A. A.; Sullivan, P.J.; Lembo, A.J.; Smith, C.R.; Maerz, J.C.; Lassoie, J.P.; Richmond, M.E.

    2009-01-01

    As urban development continues to encroach on the natural and rural landscape, land-use planners struggle to identify high priority conservation areas for protection. Although knowing where urban-sensitive species may be occurring on the landscape would facilitate conservation planning, research efforts are often not sufficiently designed to make quality predictions at unknown locations. Recent advances in occupancy modeling allow for more precise estimates of occupancy by accounting for differences in detectability. We applied these techniques to produce robust estimates of habitat occupancy for a subset of forest breeding birds, a group that has been shown to be sensitive to urbanization, in a rapidly urbanizing yet biological diverse region of New York State. We found that detection probability ranged widely across species, from 0.05 to 0.8. Our models suggest that detection probability declined with increasing forest fragmentation. We also found that the probability of occupancy of forest breeding birds is negatively influenced by increasing perimeter-area ratio of forest fragments and urbanization in the surrounding habitat matrix. We capitalized on our random sampling design to produce spatially explicit models that predict high priority conservation areas across the entire region, where interior-species were most likely to occur. Finally, we use our predictive maps to demonstrate how a strict sampling design coupled with occupancy modeling can be a valuable tool for prioritizing biodiversity conservation in land-use planning. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Tourism revenue as a conservation tool for threatened birds in protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Rochelle; Castley, J Guy; Buckley, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    Many bird populations worldwide are at risk of extinction, and rely heavily on protected area networks for their continued conservation. Tourism to these areas contributes to conservation by generating revenue for management. Here we quantify the contribution of tourism revenue for bird species in the IUCN Red List, using a simple accounting method. Relevant data are available for 90 (16%) of the 562 critically endangered and endangered species. Contributions of tourism to bird conservation are highest, 10-64%, in South America, Africa, and their neighbouring islands. Critically endangered bird species rely on tourism more heavily than endangered species (pmanagement budgets by promoting birdwatching tourism specifically.

  7. Maximizing species conservation in continental Ecuador: a case of systematic conservation planning for biodiverse regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa

    2014-01-01

    Ecuador has the largest number of species by area worldwide, but also a low representation of species within its protected areas. Here, we applied systematic conservation planning to identify potential areas for conservation in continental Ecuador, with the aim of increasing the representation of terrestrial species diversity in the protected area network. We selected 809 terrestrial species (amphibians, birds, mammals, and plants), for which distributions were estimated via species distribution models (SDMs), using Maxent. For each species we established conservation goals based on conservation priorities, and estimated new potential protected areas using Marxan conservation planning software. For each selected area, we determined their conservation priority and feasibility of establishment, two important aspects in the decision-making processes. We found that according to our conservation goals, the current protected area network contains large conservation gaps. Potential areas for conservation almost double the surface area of currently protected areas. Most of the newly proposed areas are located in the Coast, a region with large conservation gaps and irreversible changes in land use. The most feasible areas for conservation were found in the Amazon and Andes regions, which encompass more undisturbed habitats, and already harbor most of the current reserves. Our study allows defining a viable strategy for preserving Ecuador's biodiversity, by combining SDMs, GIS-based decision-support software, and priority and feasibility assessments of the selected areas. This approach is useful for complementing protected area networks in countries with great biodiversity, insufficient biological information, and limited resources for conservation. PMID:25360277

  8. Bird diversity, birdwatching tourism and conservation in Peru: a geographic analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liisa Puhakka

    Full Text Available In the face of the continuing global biodiversity loss, it is important not only to assess the need for conservation, through e.g. gap analyses, but also to seek practical solutions for protecting biodiversity. Environmentally and socially sustainable tourism can be one such solution. We present a method to spatially link data on conservation needs and tourism-based economic opportunities, using bird-related tourism in Peru as an example. Our analysis highlighted areas in Peru where potential for such projects could be particularly high. Several areas within the central and northern Andean regions, as well as within the lowland Amazonian regions of Madre de Dios and Loreto emerge as promising for this type of activity. Mechanisms to implement conservation in these areas include e.g. conservation and ecotourism concessions, private conservation areas, and conservation easements. Some of these mechanisms also offer opportunities for local communities seeking to secure their traditional land ownership and use rights. (Spanish language abstract, Abstract S1.

  9. Bird diversity, birdwatching tourism and conservation in Peru: a geographic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puhakka, Liisa; Salo, Matti; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E

    2011-01-01

    In the face of the continuing global biodiversity loss, it is important not only to assess the need for conservation, through e.g. gap analyses, but also to seek practical solutions for protecting biodiversity. Environmentally and socially sustainable tourism can be one such solution. We present a method to spatially link data on conservation needs and tourism-based economic opportunities, using bird-related tourism in Peru as an example. Our analysis highlighted areas in Peru where potential for such projects could be particularly high. Several areas within the central and northern Andean regions, as well as within the lowland Amazonian regions of Madre de Dios and Loreto emerge as promising for this type of activity. Mechanisms to implement conservation in these areas include e.g. conservation and ecotourism concessions, private conservation areas, and conservation easements. Some of these mechanisms also offer opportunities for local communities seeking to secure their traditional land ownership and use rights. (Spanish language abstract, Abstract S1).

  10. The Important Bird Areas Program in the United States: building a network of sites for conservation, state by state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey V. Wells; Daniel K. Niven; John Cecil

    2005-01-01

    The Important Bird Area (IBA) program is an international effort to identify, conserve, and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for bird populations. BirdLife International began the IBA program in Europe in 1985. Since that time, BirdLife partners in more than 100 countries have joined together to build the global IBA network. Audubon (BirdLife...

  11. Multi-scale associations between vegetation cover and woodland bird communities across a large agricultural region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Ikin

    Full Text Available Improving biodiversity conservation in fragmented agricultural landscapes has become an important global issue. Vegetation at the patch and landscape-scale is important for species occupancy and diversity, yet few previous studies have explored multi-scale associations between vegetation and community assemblages. Here, we investigated how patch and landscape-scale vegetation cover structure woodland bird communities. We asked: (1 How is the bird community associated with the vegetation structure of woodland patches and the amount of vegetation cover in the surrounding landscape? (2 Do species of conservation concern respond to woodland vegetation structure and surrounding vegetation cover differently to other species in the community? And (3 Can the relationships between the bird community and the woodland vegetation structure and surrounding vegetation cover be explained by the ecological traits of the species comprising the bird community? We studied 103 woodland patches (0.5 - 53.8 ha over two time periods across a large (6,800 km(2 agricultural region in southeastern Australia. We found that both patch vegetation and surrounding woody vegetation cover were important for structuring the bird community, and that these relationships were consistent over time. In particular, the occurrence of mistletoe within the patches and high values of woody vegetation cover within 1,000 ha and 10,000 ha were important, especially for bird species of conservation concern. We found that the majority of these species displayed similar, positive responses to patch and landscape vegetation attributes. We also found that these relationships were related to the foraging and nesting traits of the bird community. Our findings suggest that management strategies to increase both remnant vegetation quality and the cover of surrounding woody vegetation in fragmented agricultural landscapes may lead to improved conservation of bird communities.

  12. Setting practical conservation priorities for birds in the Western Andes of Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo-Peñuela, Natalia; Pimm, Stuart L

    2014-10-01

    We aspired to set conservation priorities in ways that lead to direct conservation actions. Very large-scale strategic mapping leads to familiar conservation priorities exemplified by biodiversity hotspots. In contrast, tactical conservation actions unfold on much smaller geographical extents and they need to reflect the habitat loss and fragmentation that have sharply restricted where species now live. Our aspirations for direct, practical actions were demanding. First, we identified the global, strategic conservation priorities and then downscaled to practical local actions within the selected priorities. In doing this, we recognized the limitations of incomplete information. We started such a process in Colombia and used the results presented here to implement reforestation of degraded land to prevent the isolation of a large area of cloud forest. We used existing range maps of 171 bird species to identify priority conservation areas that would conserve the greatest number of species at risk in Colombia. By at risk species, we mean those that are endemic and have small ranges. The Western Andes had the highest concentrations of such species-100 in total-but the lowest densities of national parks. We then adjusted the priorities for this region by refining these species ranges by selecting only areas of suitable elevation and remaining habitat. The estimated ranges of these species shrank by 18-100% after accounting for habitat and suitable elevation. Setting conservation priorities on the basis of currently available range maps excluded priority areas in the Western Andes and, by extension, likely elsewhere and for other taxa. By incorporating detailed maps of remaining natural habitats, we made practical recommendations for conservation actions. One recommendation was to restore forest connections to a patch of cloud forest about to become isolated from the main Andes. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  13. Public support for conserving bird species runs counter to climate change impacts on their distributions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundhede, Thomas; Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl; Hanley, Nick

    2014-01-01

    believing climate change to be man-made and people more knowledgeable about birds tended to have higher WTP for conservation of native species, relative to other people, whereas their preferences for conserving immigrant species generally resembled those of other people. Conservation investments rely...

  14. Distribución geográfica de la avifauna en la Sierra Madre Oriental de San Luis Potosí, México: un análisis regional de su estado de conservación Geographic distribution of birds in the Sierra Madre Oriental of San Luis Potosí, México: a regional analysis of conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Sahagún Sánchez

    2013-06-01

    aves en la región.The Sierra Madre Oriental region in the mexican state of San Luis Potosí is a relevant place for bird conservation at a country level. Therefore the main goal of this study was to analyze the geographic patterns of distribution and the conservation current state of the birds, to support the needs to expand the conservation areas in the future. Data was collected from various databases of zoological museums and collections, and field sampling methods conducted from January 2009 to May 2011. Potential distributions were modeled for 284 species using GARP software and then a map was developed to determine areas with favorable environmental characteristics for the distribution of species richness. Finally, the importance of conservation areas for the potential distribution of birds in the region was evaluated. A total of 359 species were recorded of which 71.4% are permanent residents, 19% are winter migrants and 4% are summer residents. From this total, 41 species were endemic, 47 were species at risk and 149 were neotropical migrants. The largest species richness correspond to oak forests, cloud forests, and tropical moist forests located at altitudes from 100m to 1 500m. Their potential distribution was concentrated towards the center and Southeast of the study area. Only 10% of areas with a high potential conservation was included in areas of priority for bird conservation (AICA and just 3% of all potential areas were under some governmental category of protection. However, no conservation area has a management plan currently applied and monitored. The information generated is important for the development of management proposals for birds conservation in the region.

  15. Recent records of birds of conservation concern in the extreme north of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fischer Barcellos dos Santos

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Our goal is to communicate the occurrence of conservation concern bird species in an Atlantic Forest area of Rio Grande do Sul, in the town of Iraí (27°11’49”S, 53°14’32”W. Compositional data was collected from September 2006 to September 2008 through 364h of field work effort. We registered 23 bird species of conservation interest: sixteen are threatened with extinction in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, four are Near Threatened worldwide (including two regionally threatened, other four are near threatened regionally, and one species is uncommon in the state with poor records. Bird composition in the area shows the importance of conservation and restoration of forests in Iraí, as well as others located in the extreme north of Rio Grande do Sul, since these areas could represent one of the last remaining refuges for a great number of threatened bird species in that region.

  16. Differences in knowledge about birds and their conservation between rural and urban residents of Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgar O. Vazquez-Plass; Joseph M. Wunderle

    2010-01-01

    People’s knowledge of birds and the opinions and perceptions about specific issues related to the conservation of birds were quantified in rural and urban communities in northeastern Puerto Rico. Data were collected using questionnaires in interviews with 131 citizens haphazardly selected within the study site. Our results indicate that urban residents had a...

  17. SUBMONTANE FOREST AT BANTIMURUNG BULUSARAUNG NATIONAL PARK: HOTSPOT OF BIRD DIVERSITY AND ITS MANAGEMENT CONSERVATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indra A.S.L.P. Putri

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Submontane forest is considered as one of the biodiversity hotspot.  Scientific information on bird diversity in this forest, however are lacking.  The aim of this research was to find out submontane forest bird diversity and its conservation management.  The research was carried out in three forests areas at Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park submontane forest.  Point Count method was used to observe bird population. Data were analyzed using Shannon-Weiner diversity index, Pielou Evenness index, Simpson dominance index, Margalef species richness index, and Sorensen Similarity index. The significance different between the number of individual bird was tested using Kolmogorov-Smirnov test.  The result showed that submontane forest at Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park is rich in bird diversity, bird endemic species and protected bird species.  There was a significant different on the number of individual bird at several human disturbance levels.  Based on these conditions, it is important to enhance understanding of the local people regarding zonation and develop cooperation with many stakeholders to increase the local community awareness concerning forest conservation. It is also necessary to ensure the sustainability of the National Park’s conservation program to maintain the submontane forest conservation.

  18. Influence of land use and climate on wetland breeding birds in the Prairie Pothole region of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forcey, G.M.; Linz, G.M.; Thogmartin, W.E.; Bleier, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    Bird populations are influenced by a variety of factors at both small and large scales that range from the presence of suitable nesting habitat, predators, and food supplies to climate conditions and land-use patterns. We evaluated the influences of regional climate and land-use variables on wetland breeding birds in the Canada section of Bird Conservation Region 11 (CA-BCR11), the Prairie Potholes. We used bird abundance data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, land-use data from the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, and weather data from the National Climatic Data and Information Archive to model effects of regional environmental variables on bird abundance. Models were constructed a priori using information from published habitat associations in the literature, and fitting was performed with WinBUGS using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques. Both land-use and climate variables contributed to predicting bird abundance in CA-BCR11, although climate predictors contributed the most to improving model fit. Examination of regional effects of climate and land use on wetland birds in CA-BCR11 revealed relationships with environmental covariates that are often overlooked by small-scale habitat studies. Results from these studies can be used to improve conservation and management planning for regional populations of avifauna. ?? 2007 NRC.

  19. Bird species and numbers of birds in oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region including effects of burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Hui Chen; Gerald J. Gottfried

    2011-01-01

    Oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region provide food, cover, and sites for nesting, roosting, and perching for a diversity of bird species. The results of a five-year (2003-2007) study of bird species, numbers of birds, and their diversities in the naturally occurring (unburned) oak savannas of the region are reported in this paper. Effects of cool-season...

  20. Networks of global bird invasion altered by regional trade ban.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reino, Luís; Figueira, Rui; Beja, Pedro; Araújo, Miguel B; Capinha, César; Strubbe, Diederik

    2017-11-01

    Wildlife trade is a major pathway for introduction of invasive species worldwide. However, how exactly wildlife trade influences invasion risk, beyond the transportation of individuals to novel areas, remains unknown. We analyze the global trade network of wild-caught birds from 1995 to 2011 as reported by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). We found that before the European Union ban on imports of wild-caught birds, declared in 2005, invasion risk was closely associated with numbers of imported birds, diversity of import sources, and degree of network centrality of importer countries. After the ban, fluxes of global bird trade declined sharply. However, new trade routes emerged, primarily toward the Nearctic, Afrotropical, and Indo-Malay regions. Although regional bans can curtail invasion risk globally, to be fully effective and prevent rerouting of trade flows, bans should be global.

  1. Bird diversity and conservation of Alto Balsas (Southwestern Puebla, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge E Ramírez-Albores

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the composition of the bird community in Alto Balsas (southwestern Puebla, Central Mexico is needed for management programs aiming at protection and conservation of bird species and their habitats I studied sites with tropical deciduous forest. Data were obtained during 1666 hours of field work in 238 days from March 1998 to September 2000. Six permanent transect (3.5 km long and 100 m wide; 30 to 40 ha in each transect were used to determine species richness in the study sites. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index was calculated for each site and Sorensen’s index was used to assess similarity between sites. One-way analysis of variance was used to test for differences between sites in species richness and diversity values. A total of 128 species were recorded, Tepexco (n = 75, H´= 3.76 and Puente Márquez (n = 61, H´= 3.62 were the sites that showed the greatest specific richness and diversity. However, species richness and diversity seasonally patterns were similar among sites (ANOVA p > 0.05, with highest diversity during the rainy season. Most species were resident; 42 were migrants. The avifauna was represented by 30 species associated with tropical deciduous forest and 12 from open habitats or heavily altered habitats. Insectivores were the best represented trophic category, followed by carnivores and omnivores. Rev. Biol. Trop. 55 (1: 287-300. Epub 2007 March. 31.Este estudio describe la diversidad avifaunística en sitios del Alto Balsas (suroeste de Puebla en el Centro de México y examina la variación en la diversidad de las especies de aves. El estudio fue llevado a cabo en sitios con presencia de bosque tropical caducifolio. Los datos fueron obtenidos durante 1666 horas de trabajo de campo en 238 días de Marzo 1998 a Septiembre 2000. Se realizaron seis transectos permanentes (de 3.5 km de longitud y 100 m de ancho; de 30 a 40 ha en cada transecto para determinar la riqueza de especies en los sitios de estudio. Se

  2. Tourism revenue as a conservation tool for threatened birds in protected areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochelle Steven

    Full Text Available Many bird populations worldwide are at risk of extinction, and rely heavily on protected area networks for their continued conservation. Tourism to these areas contributes to conservation by generating revenue for management. Here we quantify the contribution of tourism revenue for bird species in the IUCN Red List, using a simple accounting method. Relevant data are available for 90 (16% of the 562 critically endangered and endangered species. Contributions of tourism to bird conservation are highest, 10-64%, in South America, Africa, and their neighbouring islands. Critically endangered bird species rely on tourism more heavily than endangered species (p<0.02. Many protected areas could also enhance their management budgets by promoting birdwatching tourism specifically.

  3. Tourism Revenue as a Conservation Tool for Threatened Birds in Protected Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Rochelle; Castley, J. Guy; Buckley, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    Many bird populations worldwide are at risk of extinction, and rely heavily on protected area networks for their continued conservation. Tourism to these areas contributes to conservation by generating revenue for management. Here we quantify the contribution of tourism revenue for bird species in the IUCN Red List, using a simple accounting method. Relevant data are available for 90 (16%) of the 562 critically endangered and endangered species. Contributions of tourism to bird conservation are highest, 10–64%, in South America, Africa, and their neighbouring islands. Critically endangered bird species rely on tourism more heavily than endangered species (p<0.02). Many protected areas could also enhance their management budgets by promoting birdwatching tourism specifically. PMID:23667498

  4. Saving our shared birds: Partners in Flight tri-national vision for landbird conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlanga, Humberto; Kennedy, Judith A.; Rich, Terrell D.; Arizmendi, Maria del Coro; Beardmore, Carol J.; Blancher, Peter J.; Butcher, Gregory S.; Couturier, Andrew R.; Dayer, Ashley A.; Demarest, Dean W.; Easton, Wendy E.; Gustafson, Mary; Iñigo-Elias, Eduardo E.; Krebs, Elizabeth A.; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Rodriguez Contreras, Vicente; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Ruth, Janet M.; Santana Castellon, Eduardo; Vidal, Rosa Ma.; Will, Tom

    2010-01-01

    Landbirds are the most abundant and diverse group of birds in North America, with nearly 900 species distributed across every major terrestrial habitat. Birds are indicators of environmental health; their populations track changes in habitat, water, disease, and climate. They are providers of invaluable ecosystem services, such as pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination. As the focus of bird watching, they help generate billions of dollars for national economies. Yet, we are in danger of losing this spectacular and irreplaceable bird diversity: landbirds are experiencing significant declines, ominous threats, and shrinking habitats across a continent with growing human populations, increasing resource consumption, and changing climate. Saving Our Shared Birds presents for the first time a comprehensive conservation assessment of landbirds in Canada, Mexico, and the continental United States. This new tri-national vision encompasses the complete range of many migratory species and highlights the vital links among migrants and highly threatened resident species in Mexico. It points to a set of continent-scale actions necessary to maintain the landbird diversity and abundance that are our shared responsibility. This collaborative effort of Partners in Flight (PIF) is the next step in linking the countries of the Western Hemisphere to help species at risk and keep common birds common through voluntary partnerships—our mission since 1990. Saving Our Shared Birds builds upon PIF’s 2004 North American Landbird Conservation Plan, which presented science-based priorities for the conservation of 448 landbird species in Canada and the United States. Our three nations have expressed their commitment to cooperative conservation through numerous international treaties, agreements, and programs, including formation of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) a decade ago. The NABCI partnership recognizes that effective conservation requires a concerted

  5. Effects of vegetation, corridor width and regional land use on early successional birds on powerline corridors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert A Askins

    Full Text Available Powerline rights-of-way (ROWs often provide habitat for early successional bird species that have suffered long-term population declines in eastern North America. To determine how the abundance of shrubland birds varies with habitat within ROW corridors and with land use patterns surrounding corridors, we ran Poisson regression models on data from 93 plots on ROWs and compared regression coefficients. We also determined nest success rates on a 1-km stretch of ROW. Seven species of shrubland birds were common in powerline corridors. However, the nest success rates for prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor and field sparrow (Spizella pusilla were <21%, which is too low to compensate for estimated annual mortality. Some shrubland bird species were more abundant on narrower ROWs or at sites with lower vegetation or particular types of vegetation, indicating that vegetation management could be refined to favor species of high conservation priority. Also, several species were more abundant in ROWs traversing unfragmented forest than those near residential areas or farmland, indicating that corridors in heavily forested regions may provide better habitat for these species. In the area where we monitored nests, brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater occurred more frequently close to a residential area. Although ROWs support dense populations of shrubland birds, those in more heavily developed landscapes may constitute sink habitat. ROWs in extensive forests may contribute more to sustaining populations of early successional birds, and thus may be the best targets for habitat management.

  6. Conservation of disturbance-dependent birds in eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. Hunter; David A. Buehler; Ronald A. Canterbury; John L. Confer; Paul B. Hamel

    2001-01-01

    Populations of most bird species associated with grassland, shrub-scrub habitats, and disturbed areas in forested habitats (hereafter all referred to as disturbance-dependent species) have declined steeply. However, a widespread perception exists that disturbance-dependent species are merely returning to population levels likely found by the first European explorers...

  7. Radar ornithology and the conservation of migratory birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidney A. Gauthreaux; Carroll G. Belser

    2005-01-01

    It is possible to study with surveillance radar the movements of migrating birds in the atmosphere at different spatial scales. At a spatial scale within a range of 6 kilometers, high-resolution, 3-centimeter wavelength surveillance radar (e.g. BIRDRAD) can detect the departure of migrants from different types of habitat within a few kilometers of the radar. The radar...

  8. Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Grassland passerines were surveyed during summer 1995 on the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area in southwestern Minnesota to determine the relative influence of wind turbines on overall densities of upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands. Birds were surveyed along 40 m fixed width transects that were placed along wind turbine strings within three CRP fields and in three CRP fields without turbines. Conservation Reserve Program grasslands without turbines and areas located 180 m from turbines supported higher densities (261.0-312.5 males/100 ha) of grassland birds than areas within 80 m of turbines (58.2-128.0 males/100 ha). Human disturbance, turbine noise, and physical movements of turbines during operation may have disturbed nesting birds. We recommend that wind turbines be placed within cropland habitats that support lower densities of grassland passerines than those found in CRP grasslands.

  9. Multispecies benefits of wetland conservation for marsh birds, frogs, and species at risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozer, Douglas C; Steele, Owen; Gloutney, Mark

    2018-04-15

    Wetlands conserved using water level manipulation, cattle exclusion, naturalization of uplands, and other techniques under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan ("conservation project wetlands") are important for ducks, geese, and swans ("waterfowl"). However, the assumption that conservation actions for waterfowl also benefit other wildlife is rarely quantified. We modeled detection and occupancy of species at sites within 42 conservation project wetlands compared to sites within 52 similar nearby unmanaged wetlands throughout southern Ontario, Canada, and small portions of the adjacent U.S., using citizen science data collected by Bird Studies Canada's Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, including 2 waterfowl and 13 non-waterfowl marsh-breeding bird species (n = 413 sites) and 7 marsh-breeding frog species (n = 191 sites). Occupancy was significantly greater at conservation project sites compared to unmanaged sites in 7 of 15 (47%) bird species and 3 of 7 (43%) frog species, with occupancy being higher by a difference of 0.12-0.38 across species. Notably, occupancy of priority conservation concern or at-risk Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata), Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Sora (Porzana carolina), and Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) was significantly higher at conservation project sites compared to unmanaged sites. The results demonstrate the utility of citizen science to inform wetland conservation, and suggest that actions under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan are effective for conserving non-waterfowl species. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Determinants of bird conservation-action implementation and associated population trends of threatened species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luther, David A; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hayward, Matt W; Kester, Marieke E; Lamoreux, John; Upgren, Amy

    2016-12-01

    Conservation actions, such as habitat protection, attempt to halt the loss of threatened species and help their populations recover. The efficiency and the effectiveness of actions have been examined individually. However, conservation actions generally occur simultaneously, so the full suite of implemented conservation actions should be assessed. We used the conservation actions underway for all threatened and near-threatened birds of the world (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species) to assess which biological (related to taxonomy and ecology) and anthropogenic (related to geoeconomics) factors were associated with the implementation of different classes of conservation actions. We also assessed which conservation actions were associated with population increases in the species targeted. Extinction-risk category was the strongest single predictor of the type of conservation actions implemented, followed by landmass type (continent, oceanic island, etc.) and generation length. Species targeted by invasive nonnative species control or eradication programs, ex situ conservation, international legislation, reintroduction, or education, and awareness-raising activities were more likely to have increasing populations. These results illustrate the importance of developing a predictive science of conservation actions and the relative benefits of each class of implemented conservation action for threatened and near-threatened birds worldwide. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    During the past few decades numbers of some species of upland-nesting birds in North America have declined. Duck species such as mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), northern pintail (A. acuta) and blue-winged teal (A. discors) have declined since the early 1970s and have remained low since 1985 (Caithamer et al. 1993). Some grassland-dependent nonwaterfowl species also have declined since 1966, as indicated by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Robbins et al. 1986). For prairie-nesting ducks, population declines can be attributed mostly to low recruitment, partially as a result of low nest success. Klett et al. (1988) concluded that nest success (probability of ≥1 egg of clutch hatches) in much of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region was inadequate to maintain populations of the five most common upland-nesting duck species studied, and that predators were the most important cause of nest failure. Over the years, as grassland areas have been converted to cropland, ducks have concentrated their nesting in the remaining areas of available habitat, where predators such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and badger (Taxidea taxus) forage (Cowardin et al. 1983). The reasons for declining populations of grassland nonwaterfowl birds are not clear but the loss of suitable grassland-nesting habitat probably is an important factor. Currently, approximately 95 percent of the land in North Dakota is used for agricultural purposes, of which over 60 percent is used for annual crop production (Haugse 1990). Of the grassland that remains, 95 percent is used for livestock production. This probably had a severe impact on grassland bird species that seek idle grass cover for nesting. The 1985 and 1990 U.S. Farm Bills include provisions under the Food Security Act to fund a cropland-idling program called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Over 36 million acres have been enrolled nationwide in the CRP since 1985 (Osborn 1993), and up to 25 percent of

  12. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community. PMID:26966659

  13. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds. For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  14. Conceptual ecological model for management of breeding shrubland birds in the Mid-Atlantic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterjohn, Bruce G.

    2006-01-01

    While grassland birds have become the focus of increased conservation activities, the status of birds occupying shrubland habitats has received relatively little attention (Hunter et al. 2001). Yet, in eastern North America, shrubland birds exhibited consistent population declines during the past 40 years, based on data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (Pardieck and Sauer 2001). These population declines primarily reflect large-scale changes in land use patterns during the previous century (Lorimer 2001). Large areas of marginal farmland were abandoned and underwent secondary succession during the first half of the twentieth century, producing abundant successional habitats favored by shrubland birds. As these habitats matured, combined with strict fire-suppression policies (Hunter et al. 2001), shrublands succeeded into mature forests, and shrubland bird communities were replaced by woodland birds (Irland 1982; Askins 1993). For example, while nearly 29% of New England forests were classified as sapling stage in 1950, only 8% remained at that stage in the 1980s (Askins 1993). The trend towards forest maturation and loss of shrubland habitats continues, yet concerted conservation activities have not been directed to benefit declining shrubland bird populations. The National Park Service (NPS) could contribute to shrubland bird conservation in the Mid- Atlantic Region. The NPS maintains a number of historic sites and former battlefields managed for their cultural significance but also support wildlife populations. Many of these “cultural parks” maintain open landscapes, recreating land use patterns existing at the times of the historical events. While these open landscapes are frequently managed grasslands, some parks also support successional habitats that could be managed to benefit shrubland birds. In 2005, the NPS initiated a project exploring the potential of “cultural parks” to support significant breeding grassland and shrubland bird

  15. Results of the of wintering bird populations monitoring in the region of Nizhnee Prisurye

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina S. Preobrazhenskaya

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The monitoring of wintering bird populations in the region of Nizhnee Prisurie on the territory of Chuvash Republic was carried out in 1989–1990. From 2000 censuses were conducted on the territory of the nature reserve "Prisurskiy" and the National Park "Chavash Varmane". These regular censuses were called project "Parus" by the Menzbir Ornithological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The last ten years they were also included in the overall-Russian campaign "Euro-Asian Christmas Bird Counts" project from the Russian Birds Conservation Union. During these 20 years there were 44 bird species registered in the studied area. Eleven of them are marked by single or rare. Four species - Regulus regulus, Aegithalos caudatus, Spinus spinus and Carduelis carduelis – increased their abundance from 1990 till the middle 2000-s and then – decreased. Dendrocopos minor showed the opposite trend. The abundance of 13 species in the 1990-s was higher, sometimes significantly, than in the 2000s and 2010s. The reason may be searched in the differences between the censuses areas in 1990s and 2000s. However, the decreasing of the population densities is typical for other forest species, not only in Nizhnee Prisurie, but also in other model territories. In general, during the last 25 years we can see negative trends in the population dynamics of wintering bird species within the East European plain.

  16. Conservation status affects elevational gradient in bird diversity in the Himalaya: A new perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prakash Kumar Paudel

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding diversity patterns along altitudinal gradients, and their underlying causes are important for conserving biodiversity. Previous studies have focused on climatic, energetic, and geographic variables (e.g., mid-domain effects, with less attention paid to human-induced habitat modifications. We used published data of bird distributions along an elevational gradient (0–4900 m in the Nepalese Himalaya and interpolated species presence between elevational limits. The relationship between species richness and environmental variables was analyzed using generalized linear models. A low plateau relationship between bird richness and elevation was observed, with a main peak at intermediate elevations (2800 m. Across the total gradient, interpolated bird species richness had a unimodal relationship to maximum monthly precipitation and a linear response to seasonal variation in temperature, proportion of forest cover, and proportion of protected area. In lower elevations (0–2800 m, interpolated species richness had a positive and linear response to the proportion of Ramsar sites and a unimodal response to habitat heterogeneity. At higher elevations (2900–4900 m, interpolated bird richness had a positive linear response to monthly variation in temperature and a negative linear response to proportion forest cover. We conclude that factors related to human management are important drivers of elevational gradients in bird species richness. Keywords: Elevational gradient, Biogeography, Bird species richness, Conservation, Himalaya, Nepal

  17. A new conservation partnership: conserving the migratory birds of the Americas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack C. Capp; David Mehlman

    Over five billion birds move each year across the Americas, flying great distances over almost every location and habitat on the continents (Weidensaul 1999). Over 350 of the over 800 bird species in the United States migrate each year to Latin America and the Caribbean (Degraaf and Rappole 1995). Some fly each way over 4000 miles, chasing the seasons across oceans and...

  18. Bird Diversity, Birdwatching Tourism and Conservation in Peru: A Geographic Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Puhakka, Liisa; Salo, Matti; S??ksj?rvi, Ilari E.

    2011-01-01

    In the face of the continuing global biodiversity loss, it is important not only to assess the need for conservation, through e.g. gap analyses, but also to seek practical solutions for protecting biodiversity. Environmentally and socially sustainable tourism can be one such solution. We present a method to spatially link data on conservation needs and tourism-based economic opportunities, using bird-related tourism in Peru as an example. Our analysis highlighted areas in Peru where potential...

  19. Harmonizing outdoor recreation and bird conservation targets in protected areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pouwels, Rogier; Sierdsema, Henk; Foppen, Ruud P.B.; Henkens, René J.H.G.; Opdam, Paul F.M.; Eupen, van Michiel

    2017-01-01

    In protected areas managers have to achieve conservation targets while providing opportunities for outdoor recreation. This dual mandate causes conflicts in choosing between management options. Furthermore, the persistence of a protected species within the management unit often depends on how

  20. Conservation and Management for Fish-eating Birds and Endangered Salmon

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. D. Roby; K. Collis; D. E. Lyons

    2005-01-01

    A conflict involving piscivorous birds and salmonids in the Pacific Northwest pits the conservation of protected migratory waterbirds against the restoration of Columbia Basin salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) that are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Columbia River Avian Predation Project is a cooperative, collaborative research project...

  1. Large-scale range collapse of Hawaiian forest birds under climate change and the need 21st century conservation options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortini, Lucas B.; Vorsino, Adam E.; Amidon, Fred A.; Paxton, Eben H.; Jacobi, James D.

    2015-01-01

    Hawaiian forest birds serve as an ideal group to explore the extent of climate change impacts on at-risk species. Avian malaria constrains many remaining Hawaiian forest bird species to high elevations where temperatures are too cool for malaria's life cycle and its principal mosquito vector. The impact of climate change on Hawaiian forest birds has been a recent focus of Hawaiian conservation biology, and has centered on the links between climate and avian malaria. To elucidate the differential impacts of projected climate shifts on species with known varying niches, disease resistance and tolerance, we use a comprehensive database of species sightings, regional climate projections and ensemble distribution models to project distribution shifts for all Hawaiian forest bird species. We illustrate that, under a likely scenario of continued disease-driven distribution limitation, all 10 species with highly reliable models (mostly narrow-ranged, single-island endemics) are expected to lose >50% of their range by 2100. Of those, three are expected to lose all range and three others are expected to lose >90% of their range. Projected range loss was smaller for several of the more widespread species; however improved data and models are necessary to refine future projections. Like other at-risk species, Hawaiian forest birds have specific habitat requirements that limit the possibility of range expansion for most species, as projected expansion is frequently in areas where forest habitat is presently not available (such as recent lava flows). Given the large projected range losses for all species, protecting high elevation forest alone is not an adequate long-term strategy for many species under climate change. We describe the types of additional conservation actions practitioners will likely need to consider, while providing results to help with such considerations.

  2. Forest fragmentation and bird community dynamics: inference at regional scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulinier, T.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.; Sauer, J.R.; Flather, C.H.; Pollock, K.H.

    2001-01-01

    With increasing fragmentation of natural areas and a dramatic reduction of forest cover in several parts of the world, quantifying the impact of such changes on species richness and community dynamics has been a subject of much concern. Here, we tested whether in more fragmented landscapes there was a lower number of area-sensitive species and higher local extinction and turnover rates, which could explain higher temporal variability in species richness. To investigate such potential landscape effects at a regional scale, we merged two independent, large-scale monitoring efforts: the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and the Land Use and Land Cover Classification data from the U.S. Geological Survey. We used methods that accounted for heterogeneity in the probability of detecting species to estimate species richness and temporal changes in the bird communities for BBS routes in three mid-Atlantic U.S. states. Forest breeding bird species were grouped prior to the analyses into area-sensitive and non-area-sensitive species according to previous studies. We tested predictions relating measures of forest structure at one point in time (1974) to species richness at that time and to parameters of forest bird community change over the following 22-yr-period (1975-1996). We used the mean size of forest patches to characterize landscape structure, as high correlations among landscape variables did not allow us to disentangle the relative roles of habitat fragmentation per se and habitat loss. As predicted, together with lower species richness for area-sensitive species on routes surrounded by landscapes with lower mean forest-patch size, we found higher mean year-to-year rates of local extinction. Moreover, the mean year-to-year rates of local turnover (proportion of locally new species) for area-sensitive species were also higher in landscapes with lower mean forest-patch size. These associations were not observed for the non-area-sensitive species group. These

  3. Conserving the birds of Uganda's Banana-Coffee Arc: Land Sparing and Land Sharing Compared

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulme, Mark F.; Vickery, Juliet A.; Green, Rhys E.

    2013-01-01

    Reconciling the aims of feeding an ever more demanding human population and conserving biodiversity is a difficult challenge. Here, we explore potential solutions by assessing whether land sparing (farming for high yield, potentially enabling the protection of non-farmland habitat), land sharing...... (lower yielding farming with more biodiversity within farmland) or a mixed strategy would result in better bird conservation outcomes for a specified level of agricultural production. We surveyed forest and farmland study areas in southern Uganda, measuring the population density of 256 bird species...... explore how conservation and agricultural policies can be better integrated to deliver land sparing by, for example, combining land-use planning and agronomic support for small farmers....

  4. Assessing common birds' ecological requirements to address nature conservation in permanent crops: Lessons from Italian vineyards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assandri, Giacomo; Bogliani, Giuseppe; Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia

    2017-04-15

    Viticulture has contributed to shaping cultural landscapes in several regions across all continents. Recent farming intensification is causing landscape homogenization and biodiversity loss in several of those areas, but knowledge about the impacts on biodiversity in vineyards is still scarce. Simplified agro-ecosystems resulting from intensification host mainly generalist and common species, which still play a key role in the regulation of ecosystems and in the provision of ecosystem services. We assessed the abundance of 11 common bird species at 47 linear transects in a vineyard-dominated landscape in Trentino (NE Italy), in both spring and winter, and analysed abundance variation in relation to three independent groups of predictors: landscape, management, and topographic-climatic variables. In the majority of species (7), abundance was primarily or considerably affected by landscape attributes. However, an additional 5 species were largely affected by management practices, often with conspicuous seasonal differences. Overall, landscape and management heterogeneity positively affected the abundance of 6 species. Vineyard cover (and in particular the new spalliera trellising system) was negatively related with the abundance of 6 species, with the strongest impacts occurring in winter. On the contrary, the cover of marginal habitats had major positive effects over 8 species. Hedgerows, tree rows, and dry stone walls, as well as traditional pergola vineyards and landscape and management heterogeneity should be conserved or restored in viticultural landscapes to promote the abundance of common bird species. This strategy would ensure the maintenance of the ecosystem services they provide, while promoting the general sustainability of the agroecosystem. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Using a choice experiment and birder preferences to guide bird-conservation funding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Rochelle; Smart, James C R; Morrison, Clare; Castley, J Guy

    2017-08-01

    Conservation of biodiversity, including birds, continues to challenge natural-area managers. Stated-preference methods (e.g., choice experiment [CE]) are increasingly used to provide data for valuation of natural ecosystems. We used a CE to calculate birders' willingness to pay for different levels of bioecological attributes (threatened species, endemic species, and diversity) of birding sites with hypothetical entry fees. The CE was delivered at popular birding and avitourism sites in Australia and the United Kingdom. Latent-class modeling results revealed heterogeneous preferences among birders and correspondingly variable willingness to pay. Four clear groups were apparent: quantity-driven birders, special-birds seekers, confused respondents, and price-is-no-object birders. Quantity-driven birders were attracted to sites that deliver high levels of diversity and endemic species for which they were willing to pay $135 and $66 to visit, respectively, above what they were willing to pay to visit a site with low levels of diversity and few endemic and threatened species . Special-bird seekers valued threatened species and high levels of endemic species most (willingness to pay $45 and $46, respectively). Confused respondents' preferences were difficult to determine, but they were the most sensitive to the hypothetical entry fees, unlike the price-is-no-object birders, who were not at all sensitive to cost. Our findings demonstrate that birders are amenable to paying for their preferred birding experience. These payments could provide an alternative source of funding in some avitourism sites on both public and private land. Such alternative revenue streams should be explored and given full consideration in increasingly competitive conservation-financing environments. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  7. Constant and seasonal drivers of bird communities in a wind farm: implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzanna M. Rosin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background. One of the most difficult challenges for conservation biology is to reconcile growing human demands for resources with the rising need for protecting nature. Wind farms producing renewable energy have been recognised to be a threat for birds, but clear directives for environmental planning are still missing. Methods. Point counts were performed to study the relationship between eight environmental variables and bird populations in different parts of a year on the largest Polish wind farm between March 2011 and February 2013. Variables potentially related to species richness (Chao 1 estimator and the abundance of the entire bird community as well as five selected farmland species were analysed with the use of generalized linear mixed models. Results. Some associations between the studied variables and bird populations were season/year specific, while others had a constant direction (positive or negative across seasons and/or years. The latter were distance to the nearest turbine, field size, number of wind turbines, proximity of settlements and water bodies. Spatial autocorrelation and counting time were significantly correlated with bird population estimates but the directions of these relationships varied among seasons and years. Associations between abundance of individual species and environmental variables were species-specific. Conclusions. The results demonstrated a constant negative relationship between wind turbine proximity and bird numbers. Other environmental variables, such as field size, proximity of settlements and water bodies that also had constant associations with bird populations across seasons may be taken into account when minimizing adverse effects of wind farm development on birds or choosing optimal locations of new turbines.

  8. Constant and seasonal drivers of bird communities in a wind farm: implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosin, Zuzanna M; Skórka, Piotr; Szymański, Paweł; Tobolka, Marcin; Luczak, Andrzej; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    Background. One of the most difficult challenges for conservation biology is to reconcile growing human demands for resources with the rising need for protecting nature. Wind farms producing renewable energy have been recognised to be a threat for birds, but clear directives for environmental planning are still missing. Methods. Point counts were performed to study the relationship between eight environmental variables and bird populations in different parts of a year on the largest Polish wind farm between March 2011 and February 2013. Variables potentially related to species richness (Chao 1 estimator) and the abundance of the entire bird community as well as five selected farmland species were analysed with the use of generalized linear mixed models. Results. Some associations between the studied variables and bird populations were season/year specific, while others had a constant direction (positive or negative) across seasons and/or years. The latter were distance to the nearest turbine, field size, number of wind turbines, proximity of settlements and water bodies. Spatial autocorrelation and counting time were significantly correlated with bird population estimates but the directions of these relationships varied among seasons and years. Associations between abundance of individual species and environmental variables were species-specific. Conclusions. The results demonstrated a constant negative relationship between wind turbine proximity and bird numbers. Other environmental variables, such as field size, proximity of settlements and water bodies that also had constant associations with bird populations across seasons may be taken into account when minimizing adverse effects of wind farm development on birds or choosing optimal locations of new turbines.

  9. Effectiveness of conservation easements in agricultural regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braza, Mark

    2017-08-01

    Conservation easements are a standard technique for preventing habitat loss, particularly in agricultural regions with extensive cropland cultivation, yet little is known about their effectiveness. I developed a spatial econometric approach to propensity-score matching and used the approach to estimate the amount of habitat loss prevented by a grassland conservation easement program of the U.S. federal government. I used a spatial autoregressive probit model to predict tract enrollment in the easement program as of 2001 based on tract agricultural suitability, habitat quality, and spatial interactions among neighboring tracts. Using the predicted values from the model, I matched enrolled tracts with similar unenrolled tracts to form a treatment group and a control group. To measure the program's impact on subsequent grassland loss, I estimated cropland cultivation rates for both groups in 2014 with a second spatial probit model. Between 2001 and 2014, approximately 14.9% of control tracts were cultivated and 0.3% of treated tracts were cultivated. Therefore, approximately 14.6% of the protected land would have been cultivated in the absence of the program. My results demonstrate that conservation easements can significantly reduce habitat loss in agricultural regions; however, the enrollment of tracts with low cropland suitability may constrain the amount of habitat loss they prevent. My results also show that spatial econometric models can improve the validity of control groups and thereby strengthen causal inferences about program effectiveness in situations when spatial interactions influence conservation decisions. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Birdlime in Western Myanmar: Preparation, Use, and Conservation Implications for an Endemic Bird

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven G. Platt

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Birdlimes are adhesive entangling compounds that passively capture birds by binding them to a substrate and rendering flight feathers useless. We investigated birdlime use among indigenous Chin hunters during a wildlife survey of Natma Taung National Park (NTNP in western Myanmar (May-June 2011. We found that birdlime is prepared from the sap of various banyan trees (Ficus spp. collected during the annual dry season (December-May. Birdlime is prepared by boiling sap to remove water, and the finished product is a readily malleable and extremely adhesive compound known locally as nghet phan te kaw (“bird glue”. Hunters employ four principal strategies when using birdlime: 1 limed sticks are placed at waterholes and springs; 2 limed sticks are placed in fruiting trees or nocturnal roost sites; 3 limed sticks are positioned at prominent vantage points and hunters mimic vocalizations to attract birds; 4 small insects (possibly termites are affixed to a limed pole and serve as bait to attract birds. Large numbers (>200 of birds can reportedly be captured during a single day by hunters using birdlime. At least 186 (63.9% of 291 species of birds occurring in Natma Taung National Park are thought to be vulnerable to this non-selective hunting strategy. The endangered white-browed nuthatch (Sitta victoriae Rippon Sittidae, a poorly-studied endemic species restricted to high elevation Oak-Rhododendron forest in NTNP, is vulnerable to birdliming, although the impact of hunting on populations remains unclear. We recommend that future investigations determine the sustainability of the Chin bird harvest by relating hunter off-take to recruitment and survivorship of nuthatches. If conservation action is deemed prudent, management plans should be developed in close collaboration with local Chin communities.

  11. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  12. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan G Drum

    Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  13. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  14. Benefits to poorly studied taxa of conservation of bird and mammal diversity on islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslan, Clare; Holmes, Nick; Tershy, Bernie; Spatz, Dena; Croll, Donald A

    2015-02-01

    Protected area delineation and conservation action are urgently needed on marine islands, but the potential biodiversity benefits of these activities can be difficult to assess due to lack of species diversity information for lesser known taxa. We used linear mixed effects modeling and simple spatial analyses to investigate whether conservation activities based on the diversity of well-known insular taxa (birds and mammals) are likely to also capture the diversity of lesser known taxa (reptiles, amphibians, vascular land plants, ants, land snails, butterflies, and tenebrionid beetles). We assembled total, threatened, and endemic diversity data for both well-known and lesser known taxa and combined these with physical island biogeography characteristics for 1190 islands from 109 archipelagos. Among physical island biogeography factors, island area was the best indicator of diversity of both well-known and little-known taxa. Among taxonomic factors, total mammal species richness was the best indicator of total diversity of lesser known taxa, and the combination of threatened mammal and threatened bird diversity was the best indicator of lesser known endemic richness. The results of other intertaxon diversity comparisons were highly variable, however. Based on our results, we suggest that protecting islands above a certain minimum threshold area may be the most efficient use of conservation resources. For example, using our island database, if the threshold were set at 10 km(2) and the smallest 10% of islands greater than this threshold were protected, 119 islands would be protected. The islands would range in size from 10 to 29 km(2) and would include 268 lesser known species endemic to a single island, along with 11 bird and mammal species endemic to a single island. Our results suggest that for islands of equivalent size, prioritization based on total or threatened bird and mammal diversity may also capture opportunities to protect lesser known species endemic to

  15. 78 FR 25758 - Migratory Birds; Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance: Module 1-Land-Based Wind Energy, Version 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-02

    ...-FXMB123209EAGL0L2] RIN 1018-AX53 Migratory Birds; Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance: Module 1-- Land-Based Wind... Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia... Act (BGEPA) (16 U.S.C. 668-668c), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) (16 U.S.C. 703-12), and the...

  16. Biodiversity conservation in an anthropized landscape: Trees, not patch size drive, bird community composition in a low-input agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellink, Eric; Riojas-López, Mónica E; Cárdenas-García, Melinda

    2017-01-01

    One of the most typical agro-ecosystems in the Llanos de Ojuelos, a semi-arid region of central Mexico, is that of fruit-production orchards of nopales (prickly pear cacti). This perennial habitat with complex vertical structure provides refuge and food for at least 112 species of birds throughout the year. Nopal orchards vary in their internal structure, size and shrub/tree composition, yet these factors have unknown effects on the animals that use them. To further understand the conservation potential of this agro-ecosystem, we evaluated the effects of patch-size and the presence of trees on bird community composition, as well as several habitat variables, through an information-theoretical modelling approach. Community composition was obtained through a year of census transects in 12 orchards. The presence of trees in the orchards was the major driver of bird communities followed by seasonality; bird communities are independent of patch size, except for small orchard patches that benefit black-chin sparrows, which are considered a sensitive species. At least 55 species of six trophic guilds (insectivores, granivores, carnivores, nectivores, omnivores, and frugivores) used the orchards. Orchards provide adequate habitat and food resources for several sensitive species of resident and migratory sparrows. The attributes that make orchards important for birds: trees, shrubs, herb seeds, and open patches can be managed to maintain native biodiversity in highly anthropized regions with an urgent need to find convergence between production and biological conservation.

  17. Identifying Priority Areas for Conservation: A Global Assessment for Forest-Dependent Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Graeme M.; Donald, Paul F.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.

    2011-01-01

    Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species), we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000–2005) included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing Emissions from

  18. Identifying priority areas for conservation: a global assessment for forest-dependent birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme M Buchanan

    Full Text Available Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species, we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000-2005 included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing

  19. Identifying priority areas for conservation: a global assessment for forest-dependent birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Graeme M; Donald, Paul F; Butchart, Stuart H M

    2011-01-01

    Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species), we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000-2005) included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing Emissions from

  20. Implications of climate change for wetland-dependent birds in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steen, Valerie; Skagen, Susan K.; Melcher, Cynthia P.

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and food resources required to support breeding and migrant birds dependent on North American prairie wetlands are threatened by impending climate change. The North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) hosts nearly 120 species of wetland-dependent birds representing 21 families. Strategic management requires knowledge of avian habitat requirements and assessment of species most vulnerable to future threats. We applied bioclimatic species distribution models (SDMs) to project range changes of 29 wetland-dependent bird species using ensemble modeling techniques, a large number of General Circulation Models (GCMs), and hydrological climate covariates. For the U.S. PPR, mean projected range change, expressed as a proportion of currently occupied range, was −0.31 (± 0.22 SD; range − 0.75 to 0.16), and all but two species were projected to lose habitat. Species associated with deeper water were expected to experience smaller negative impacts of climate change. The magnitude of climate change impacts was somewhat lower in this study than earlier efforts most likely due to use of different focal species, varying methodologies, different modeling decisions, or alternative GCMs. Quantification of the projected species-specific impacts of climate change using species distribution modeling offers valuable information for vulnerability assessments within the conservation planning process.

  1. Assessing regional and interspecific variation in threshold responses of forest breeding birds through broad scale analyses.

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    Yntze van der Hoek

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Identifying persistence and extinction thresholds in species-habitat relationships is a major focal point of ecological research and conservation. However, one major concern regarding the incorporation of threshold analyses in conservation is the lack of knowledge on the generality and transferability of results across species and regions. We present a multi-region, multi-species approach of modeling threshold responses, which we use to investigate whether threshold effects are similar across species and regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We modeled local persistence and extinction dynamics of 25 forest-associated breeding birds based on detection/non-detection data, which were derived from repeated breeding bird atlases for the state of Vermont. We did not find threshold responses to be particularly well-supported, with 9 species supporting extinction thresholds and 5 supporting persistence thresholds. This contrasts with a previous study based on breeding bird atlas data from adjacent New York State, which showed that most species support persistence and extinction threshold models (15 and 22 of 25 study species respectively. In addition, species that supported a threshold model in both states had associated average threshold estimates of 61.41% (SE = 6.11, persistence and 66.45% (SE = 9.15, extinction in New York, compared to 51.08% (SE = 10.60, persistence and 73.67% (SE = 5.70, extinction in Vermont. Across species, thresholds were found at 19.45-87.96% forest cover for persistence and 50.82-91.02% for extinction dynamics. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Through an approach that allows for broad-scale comparisons of threshold responses, we show that species vary in their threshold responses with regard to habitat amount, and that differences between even nearby regions can be pronounced. We present both ecological and methodological factors that may contribute to the different model results, but propose that

  2. Assessing regional and interspecific variation in threshold responses of forest breeding birds through broad scale analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoek, Yntze; Renfrew, Rosalind; Manne, Lisa L

    2013-01-01

    Identifying persistence and extinction thresholds in species-habitat relationships is a major focal point of ecological research and conservation. However, one major concern regarding the incorporation of threshold analyses in conservation is the lack of knowledge on the generality and transferability of results across species and regions. We present a multi-region, multi-species approach of modeling threshold responses, which we use to investigate whether threshold effects are similar across species and regions. We modeled local persistence and extinction dynamics of 25 forest-associated breeding birds based on detection/non-detection data, which were derived from repeated breeding bird atlases for the state of Vermont. We did not find threshold responses to be particularly well-supported, with 9 species supporting extinction thresholds and 5 supporting persistence thresholds. This contrasts with a previous study based on breeding bird atlas data from adjacent New York State, which showed that most species support persistence and extinction threshold models (15 and 22 of 25 study species respectively). In addition, species that supported a threshold model in both states had associated average threshold estimates of 61.41% (SE = 6.11, persistence) and 66.45% (SE = 9.15, extinction) in New York, compared to 51.08% (SE = 10.60, persistence) and 73.67% (SE = 5.70, extinction) in Vermont. Across species, thresholds were found at 19.45-87.96% forest cover for persistence and 50.82-91.02% for extinction dynamics. Through an approach that allows for broad-scale comparisons of threshold responses, we show that species vary in their threshold responses with regard to habitat amount, and that differences between even nearby regions can be pronounced. We present both ecological and methodological factors that may contribute to the different model results, but propose that regardless of the reasons behind these differences, our results merit a warning that

  3. Trade-offs between cattle production and bird conservation in an agricultural frontier of the Gran Chaco of Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrangelo, Matias E; Gavin, Michael C

    2012-12-01

    Intensification of food production in tropical landscapes in the absence of land-use planning can pose a major threat to biological diversity. Decisions on whether to spatially integrate or segregate lands for production and conservation depend in part on the functional relations between biological diversity and agricultural productivity. We measured diversity, density, and species composition of birds along a gradient of production intensification on an agricultural frontier of the Argentine Chaco, where dry tropical forests are cleared for cattle production. Bird species diversity in intact forests was higher than in any type of cattle-production system. Bird species richness decreased nonlinearly as cattle yield increased. Intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems, those in which forest understory is selectively cleared to grow pastures of non-native plants beneath the tree canopy, produced 80% of the mean cattle yield obtained in pastures on cleared areas and were occupied by 70-90% of the number of bird species present in the nearest forest fragments. Densities of >50% of bird species were significantly lower in open pastures than in silvopastoral systems. Therefore, intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems may have the greatest potential to sustain cattle yield and conserve a large percentage of bird species. However, compared with low-intensity production systems, in which forest structure and extent were intact, intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems supported significantly fewer forest-restricted bird species and fewer frugivorous birds. These data suggest that the integration of production and conservation through intermediate-intensity silvopastoral systems combined with the protection of forest fragments may be required to maintain cattle yield, bird diversity, and conservation of forest-restricted species in this agricultural frontier. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. The relevance of the Mediterranean Region to colonial waterbird conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erwin, R.M.; Crivelli, Alain J.; Hafner, Heinz; Fasola, Mauro; Erwin, R. Michael; McCrimmon, Donald A.=

    1996-01-01

    data banks for seabirds, wading birds, ducks, and geese; (2) implementing a wetland inventory for many Countries with little quantitative data on wetlands; (3) improving habitat quality assessments; (4) improving relationships with industry, the private citizenry, and government officials to further an appreciation for the value of wetlands and waterbirds; (5) enhancing training efforts, especially in underdeveloped Countries; (6) evaluating the effects of hunting and other disturbances to nesting and feeding waterbirds in different regions; (7) setting up 'sister-reserve' (twinned) sites in Europe and Africa to foster international linkages and training; and (8) fostering local-regional conservation programs to preserve reed beds, wet woodlots, and other key habitats.

  5. Conserving migratory land birds in the new world: do we know enough?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faaborg, John; Holmes, Richard T; Anders, Angela D; Bildstein, Keith L; Dugger, Katie M; Gauthreaux, Sidney A; Heglund, Patricia; Hobson, Keith A; Jahn, Alex E; Johnson, Douglas H; Latta, Steven C; Levey, Douglas J; Marra, Peter P; Merkord, Christopher L; Nol, Erica; Rothstein, Stephen I; Sherry, Thomas W; Sillett, T Scott; Thompson, Frank R; Warnock, Nils

    2010-03-01

    population growth, acid deposition, climate change, and exotic diseases are global concerns with uncertain consequences to migratory birds and even less-certain remedies. Despite enormous gaps in our understanding of these birds, research, much of it occurring in the past 30 years, has provided sufficient information to make intelligent conservation efforts but needs to expand to handle future challenges.

  6. Conservation Action Based on Threatened Species Capture Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Richness in Breeding and Wintering Populations of Central Asian Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweizer, Manuel; Ayé, Raffael; Kashkarov, Roman; Roth, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Although phylogenetic diversity has been suggested to be relevant from a conservation point of view, its role is still limited in applied nature conservation. Recently, the practice of investing conservation resources based on threatened species was identified as a reason for the slow integration of phylogenetic diversity in nature conservation planning. One of the main arguments is based on the observation that threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree. However this argument seems to dismiss the fact that conservation action is a spatially explicit process, and even if threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree, the occurrence of threatened species could still indicate areas with above average phylogenetic diversity and consequently could protect phylogenetic diversity. Here we aim to study the selection of important bird areas in Central Asia, which were nominated largely based on the presence of threatened bird species. We show that although threatened species occurring in Central Asia do not capture phylogenetically more distinct species than expected by chance, the current spatially explicit conservation approach of selecting important bird areas covers above average taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of breeding and wintering birds. We conclude that the spatially explicit processes of conservation actions need to be considered in the current discussion of whether new prioritization methods are needed to complement conservation action based on threatened species. PMID:25337861

  7. Diversity, abundance and conservation of birds in an agroecosystem in the Ica desert, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letty Salinas

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Present work investigates the impact of the agricultural activity in the Peruvian coast on the biodiversity of birds. The study includes the monitoring of birds in asparagus and grapes farms of Ica valley, from January-2004 to January-2006. We evaluated eight types of habitats distributed in a total of 1288 has. Throughout the period of study we registered 93 species of birds. The abundance, richness and diversity were greater in the summers. The greater abundance happened in the habitats of land of asparagus, river brushwood and live fences. The greater richness and diversity happened in January-2006 in alfalfa cultures with huarangos and live fences. The most abundant species were the residents, as Zenaida meloda (6,6 ind./it has, Pygochelidon cyanoleuca (5,9 and the migratory Hirundo rustica (5,9. We registered 12 migratory species. From the conservationist point of view, the number of species catalogued in some degree of threat, at national and international level, is very high. We can emphasize the vulnerable Xenospingus concolor, the Peruvian endemic Colaptes atricollis and the species of desert Geositta peruviana, Sporophila simplex and Burhinus superciliaris. This study demonstrates the importance of agroecosystems in the conservation of the Peruvian Coastal Desert biodiversity, in particular if the enterprise carries out a policy of respect to environment.

  8. National Audubon society's technology initiatives for bird conservation: a summary of application development for the Christmas bird count

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathy Dale

    2005-01-01

    Since 1998, Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has been supported by an Internet-based data entry application that was initially designed to accommodate the traditional paper-based methods of this long-running bird monitoring program. The first efforts to computerize the data and the entry procedures have informed a planned strategy to revise the current...

  9. The Oak Woodland Bird Conservation Plan: A Strategy for Protecting and Managing Oak Woodland Habitats and Associated Birds in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve Zack; Mary K. Chase; Geoffrey R. Geupel; Diana Stralberg

    2005-01-01

    Over 330 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians depend on oak woodlands in California (fig. 1) at some stage in their life cycle (Barrett 1980; Verner 1980; Block and Morrison 1998). These woodlands are able to sustain such abundant wildlife primarily because they produce acorns, a high quality and frequently copious food supply. The birds of California?s...

  10. The U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory: an integrated scientific program supporting research and conservation of North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Gregory J.

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) was established in 1920 after ratification of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with the United Kingdom in 1918. During World War II, the BBL was moved from Washington, D.C., to what is now the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC). The BBL issues permits and bands to permittees to band birds, records bird band recoveries or encounters primarily through telephone and Internet reporting, and manages more than 72 million banding records and more than 4.5 million records of encounters using state-of-the-art technologies. Moreover, the BBL also issues bands and manages banding and encounter data for the Canadian Bird Banding Office (BBO). Each year approximately 1 million bands are shipped from the BBL to banders in the United States and Canada, and nearly 100,000 encounter reports are entered into the BBL systems. Banding data are essential for regulatory programs, especially migratory waterfowl harvest regulations. The USGS BBL works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop regulations for the capture, handling, banding, and marking of birds. These regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). In 2006, the BBL and the USFWS Division of Migratory Bird Management (DMBM) began a comprehensive revision of the banding regulations. The bird banding community has three major constituencies: Federal and State agency personnel involved in the management and conservation of bird populations that include the Flyway Councils, ornithological research scientists, and avocational banders. With increased demand for banding activities and relatively constant funding, a Federal Advisory Committee (Committee) was chartered and reviewed the BBL program in 2005. The final report of the Committee included six major goals and 58 specific recommendations, 47 of which have been addressed by the BBL. Specifically, the Committee recommended the BBL continue to support science

  11. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  12. Breeding Biology of Grassland Birds in Western New York: Conservation and Management Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J. Norment

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Declining grassland breeding bird populations have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality may be breeding success. Between 1994 and 2003 we gathered data on the nest fates of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorous, and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis in a series of fallow fields and pastures/hayfields in western New York State. We calculated daily survival probabilities using the Mayfield method, and used the logistic-exposure method to model effects of predictor variables on nest success. Nest survival probabilities were 0.464 for Eastern Meadowlarks (n = 26, 0.483 for Bobolinks (n = 91, and 0.585 for Savannah Sparrows (n = 152. Fledge dates for first clutches ranged between 14 June and 23 July. Only one obligate grassland bird nest was parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater, for an overall brood parasitism rate of 0.004. Logistic-exposure models indicated that daily nest survival probabilities were higher in pastures/hayfields than in fallow fields. Our results, and those from other studies in the Northeast, suggest that properly managed cool season grassland habitats in the region may not act as ecological traps, and that obligate grassland birds in the region may have greater nest survival probabilities, and lower rates of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, than in many parts of the Midwest.

  13. Conserving the birds of Uganda's banana-coffee arc: land sparing and land sharing compared.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark F Hulme

    Full Text Available Reconciling the aims of feeding an ever more demanding human population and conserving biodiversity is a difficult challenge. Here, we explore potential solutions by assessing whether land sparing (farming for high yield, potentially enabling the protection of non-farmland habitat, land sharing (lower yielding farming with more biodiversity within farmland or a mixed strategy would result in better bird conservation outcomes for a specified level of agricultural production. We surveyed forest and farmland study areas in southern Uganda, measuring the population density of 256 bird species and agricultural yield: food energy and gross income. Parametric non-linear functions relating density to yield were fitted. Species were identified as "winners" (total population size always at least as great with agriculture present as without it or "losers" (total population sometimes or always reduced with agriculture present for a range of targets for total agricultural production. For each target we determined whether each species would be predicted to have a higher total population with land sparing, land sharing or with any intermediate level of sparing at an intermediate yield. We found that most species were expected to have their highest total populations with land sparing, particularly loser species and species with small global range sizes. Hence, more species would benefit from high-yield farming if used as part of a strategy to reduce forest loss than from low-yield farming and land sharing, as has been found in Ghana and India in a previous study. We caution against advocacy for high-yield farming alone as a means to deliver land sparing if it is done without strong protection for natural habitats, other ecosystem services and social welfare. Instead, we suggest that conservationists explore how conservation and agricultural policies can be better integrated to deliver land sparing by, for example, combining land-use planning and agronomic

  14. The potential of military training areas for bird conservation in a central European landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bušek, Ondřej; Reif, Jiří

    2017-10-01

    European biodiversity has suffered from serious declines during the past few decades, with alterations of land use practices resulting in a loss of fine-scale habitat heterogeneity being a dominant driver. This heterogeneity was maintained by extensive landscape management, which has gradually been replaced by either intensive exploitation or land abandonment. It has been suggested that military training can generate habitat heterogeneity that may support the existence of species of conservation concern, but studies rigorously testing the real importance of military training areas for biodiversity are lacking. Here we address this issue by analyses of two datasets. First, we compared land cover classes between all large military training areas (MTAs) and surrounding control areas (CAs) of the same size in the Czech Republic using multivariate redundancy analysis. We found that the difference in land cover between MTAs and CAs was significant and represented the strongest gradient in land cover classes: from various farmland and artificial habitats typical for CAs to forest and scrubland-grassland mosaic typical for MTAs. Second, we selected one of these areas and compared bird species richness between the MTA and the nearby CA using generalized linear mixed effects models. We found that the number of species of conservation concern was significantly higher in the MTA than in the CA. With respect to habitats, bird species richness was significantly higher in the MTA than in the CA for open habitats, but not for forest habitats. Our results are thus consistent with the view that military training creates areas that are different from the surrounding landscape in terms of land cover, and that this difference translates to a suitability for species of conservation concern. It is remarkable that the positive influence of military training is confined to open habitats, which are subject to the most intensive military activities and also suffer the highest degree of

  15. Landscape-based population viability models demonstrate importance of strategic conservation planning for birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas W. Bonnot; Frank R. Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; D. Todd. Jones-Farland

    2013-01-01

    Efforts to conserve regional biodiversity in the face of global climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation will depend on approaches that consider population processes at multiple scales. By combining habitat and demographic modeling, landscape-based population viability models effectively relate small-scale habitat and landscape patterns to regional population...

  16. Using a systematic approach to select flagship species for bird conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veríssimo, Diogo; Pongiluppi, Tatiana; Santos, Maria Cintia M; Develey, Pedro F; Fraser, Iain; Smith, Robert J; MacMilan, Douglas C

    2014-02-01

    Conservation marketing campaigns that focus on flagship species play a vital role in biological diversity conservation because they raise funds and change people's behavior. However, most flagship species are selected without considering the target audience of the campaign, which can hamper the campaign's effectiveness. To address this problem, we used a systematic and stakeholder-driven approach to select flagship species for a conservation campaign in the Serra do Urubu in northeastern Brazil. We based our techniques on environmental economic and marketing methods. We used choice experiments to examine the species attributes that drive preference and latent-class models to segment respondents into groups by preferences and socioeconomic characteristics. We used respondent preferences and information on bird species inhabiting the Serra do Urubu to calculate a flagship species suitability score. We also asked respondents to indicate their favorite species from a set list to enable comparison between methods. The species' traits that drove audience preference were geographic distribution, population size, visibility, attractiveness, and survival in captivity. However, the importance of these factors differed among groups and groups differed in their views on whether species with small populations and the ability to survive in captivity should be prioritized. The popularity rankings of species differed between approaches, a result that was probably related to the different ways in which the 2 methods measured preference. Our new approach is a transparent and evidence-based method that can be used to refine the way stakeholders are engaged in the design of conservation marketing campaigns. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. Nest-site competition between invasive and native cavity nesting birds and its implication for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charter, Motti; Izhaki, Ido; Ben Mocha, Yitzchak; Kark, Salit

    2016-10-01

    Nesting cavities are often a limited resource that multiple species use. There is an ongoing discussion on whether invasive cavity nesting birds restrict the availability of this key limited resource. While the answer to this question has important conservation implications, little experimental work has been done to examine it. Here, we aimed to experimentally test whether alien cavity nesting birds affect the occupancy of cavities and the resulting breeding success of native cavity breeders in a large urban park located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over three breeding seasons, we manipulated the entry size of nest boxes and compared the occupancy and breeding success of birds in nest boxes of two treatments. These included nest boxes with large-entrance and small-entrance holes. The large-entrance holes allowed access for both the native and invasive birds (the two main aliens in the park are the common mynas and rose-ringed parakeets). The smaller-entrance boxes, on the other hand, allowed only the smaller sized native cavity breeders (great tits and house sparrows) to enter the boxes but prevented the alien species from entering. We found that the large-entrance nest boxes were occupied by five different bird species, comprising three natives (great tit, house sparrow, Scops owl) and two invasive species (common myna, rose-ringed parakeet) while the small-entrance boxes were only occupied by the two native species. The alien common mynas and rose-ringed parakeets occupied 77.5% of the large-entrance nest boxes whereas native species, mainly great tits, occupied less than 9% of the large-entrance boxes and 36.5% of the small-entrance boxes. When examining the occupancy of those cavities that were not occupied by the aliens, natives occupied both the small and large-entrance nest boxes equally. Three quarters (78%) of the great tits breeding in the large-entrance boxes were usurped by common mynas during the breeding season and as a result breeding success was

  18. Avian influenza virus wild bird surveillance in the Azov and Black Sea regions of Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Azov and Black Sea basins are transcontinental migration routes of wild birds from Northern Asia and Europe to the Mediterranean, Africa and Southwest Asia. These regions constitute an area of transit, stops during migration, and nesting of many migratory bird species with a very high level of ...

  19. Offsets and conservation of the species of the EU habitats and birds directives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regnery, Baptiste; Couvet, Denis; Kerbiriou, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Biodiversity offsets are intended to achieve no net loss of biodiversity due to economic and human development. A variety of biodiversity components are addressed by offset policies. It is required that loss of protected species due to development be offset under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives in Europe. We call this type of offset a species-equality offset because the offset pertains to the same species affected by the development project. Whether species equality can be achieved by offset design is unknown. We addressed this gap by reviewing derogation files (i.e., specific files that describe mitigation measures to ensure no net loss under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives) from 85 development projects in France (2009-2010). We collected information on type of effect (reversible vs. irreversible) and characteristics of affected and offset sites (i.e., types of species, total area). We analyzed how the type of effect and the affected-site characteristics influenced the occurrence of offset measures. The proportion of species targeted by offset measures (i.e., offset species) increased with the irreversibility of the effect of development and the conservation status of the species affected by development (i.e., affected species). Not all effects on endangered species (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List) were offset; on average, 82% of affected species would be offset. Twenty-six percent of species of least concern were offset species. Thirty-five percent of development projects considered all affected species in their offset measures. Species richness was much lower in offset sites than in developed sites even after offset proposals. For developed areas where species richness was relatively high before development, species richness at offset sites was 5-10 times lower. The species-equality principle appears to have been applied only partially in offset policies, as in the EU directives. We suggest the application of this principle

  20. 76 FR 11506 - Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Draft Land-Based Wind Energy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-02

    ...] RIN 1018-AX45 Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Draft Land-Based Wind... Impacts from Wind Turbines (Interim Guidance). As stated in the notice, the comment period on the draft... Minimizing Wildlife Impacts from Wind Turbines. We expect to issue final Guidelines for public use after...

  1. 77 FR 17496 - Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Final Land-Based Wind Energy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-26

    ...] RIN 1018-AX45 Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs; Final Land-Based Wind...) established the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee (Committee) under the Federal Advisory Committee... concern over certain issues such as the effects of wind turbine noise on wildlife, these issues have not...

  2. Ticks (Ixodidae) from passerine birds in the Carpathian region

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Spitalska, E.; Literák, I.; Sparagano, O. A .E.; Golovchenko, Maryna; Kocianová, E.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 118, 23/24 (2006), 759-764 ISSN 0043-5325 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Passerine birds * Ixodes ricinus * Borrelia * Rickettsia * Ehrlichia * Carpathians Subject RIV: EC - Immunology Impact factor: 0.804, year: 2006

  3. Avian Influenza in Migratory Birds : Regional Surveillance and ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Outbreaks may only occur after transmission from migratory species to domestic flocks through local amplification and secondary spread through the movement of poultry or people, as well as equipment or vehicles contaminated by sick birds. The Asia Partnership for Avian Influenza Research (APAIR) brings together ...

  4. Regional Forest Fragmentation and the Nesting Success of Migratory Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott K. Robinson; Frank R. Thompson III; Therese M. Donovan; Donald R. Whitehead; John Faaborg

    1995-01-01

    Forest fragmentation, the disruption in the continuity of forest habitat, is hypothesized to be a major cause of population decline for, some species of forest birds because fragmentation reduces nesting (reproductive) success. Nest predation and parasitism by cowbirds increased with forest fragmentation in nine midwestern (United States)landscapes that varied from 6...

  5. Large-Scale Range Collapse of Hawaiian Forest Birds under Climate Change and the Need for 21st Century Conservation Options [corrected].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas B Fortini

    Full Text Available Hawaiian forest birds serve as an ideal group to explore the extent of climate change impacts on at-risk species. Avian malaria constrains many remaining Hawaiian forest bird species to high elevations where temperatures are too cool for malaria's life cycle and its principal mosquito vector. The impact of climate change on Hawaiian forest birds has been a recent focus of Hawaiian conservation biology, and has centered on the links between climate and avian malaria. To elucidate the differential impacts of projected climate shifts on species with known varying niches, disease resistance and tolerance, we use a comprehensive database of species sightings, regional climate projections and ensemble distribution models to project distribution shifts for all Hawaiian forest bird species. We illustrate that, under a likely scenario of continued disease-driven distribution limitation, all 10 species with highly reliable models (mostly narrow-ranged, single-island endemics are expected to lose >50% of their range by 2100. Of those, three are expected to lose all range and three others are expected to lose >90% of their range. Projected range loss was smaller for several of the more widespread species; however improved data and models are necessary to refine future projections. Like other at-risk species, Hawaiian forest birds have specific habitat requirements that limit the possibility of range expansion for most species, as projected expansion is frequently in areas where forest habitat is presently not available (such as recent lava flows. Given the large projected range losses for all species, protecting high elevation forest alone is not an adequate long-term strategy for many species under climate change. We describe the types of additional conservation actions practitioners will likely need to consider, while providing results to help with such considerations.

  6. Linkage disequilibrium of evolutionarily conserved regions in the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Todd A

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The strong linkage disequilibrium (LD recently found in genic or exonic regions of the human genome demonstrated that LD can be increased by evolutionary mechanisms that select for functionally important loci. This suggests that LD might be stronger in regions conserved among species than in non-conserved regions, since regions exposed to natural selection tend to be conserved. To assess this hypothesis, we used genome-wide polymorphism data from the HapMap project and investigated LD within DNA sequences conserved between the human and mouse genomes. Results Unexpectedly, we observed that LD was significantly weaker in conserved regions than in non-conserved regions. To investigate why, we examined sequence features that may distort the relationship between LD and conserved regions. We found that interspersed repeats, and not other sequence features, were associated with the weak LD tendency in conserved regions. To appropriately understand the relationship between LD and conserved regions, we removed the effect of repetitive elements and found that the high degree of sequence conservation was strongly associated with strong LD in coding regions but not with that in non-coding regions. Conclusion Our work demonstrates that the degree of sequence conservation does not simply increase LD as predicted by the hypothesis. Rather, it implies that purifying selection changes the polymorphic patterns of coding sequences but has little influence on the patterns of functional units such as regulatory elements present in non-coding regions, since the former are generally restricted by the constraint of maintaining a functional protein product across multiple exons while the latter may exist more as individually isolated units.

  7. Ethno-ornithology and conservation of wild birds in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    The utilization of birds as pets has been recognized as one of the principal threats to global avifauna. Most of the information about the use and sale of birds as pets has been limited to areas of high biodiversity and whose impacts of anthropic actions have been widely broadcast internationally, for example for the Amazon Forest and forest remnants of Southeast Asia. The Caatinga predominates in the semi-arid region of Brazil, and is one of the semi-arid biomes with the greatest biological diversity in the world, where 511 species of birds exist. Many of these birds are used as pets, a common practice in the region, which has important conservationist implications but has been little studied. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to detail aspects of the use of birds as pets in a locality in the semi-arid region of Northeast Brazil. Information on the use of avifauna was obtained through interviews and visits to the homes of 78 wild bird keepers. A total of 41 species of birds were recorded, mostly of the families Emberizidae (n = 9 species), Columbidae (n = 7 species), Icteridae (n = 6 species) and Psittacidae (n = 3 species). The birds that were most often recorded were Paroaria dominicana (n = 79 especimens), Sporophila albogularis (n = 67), Aratinga cactorum (n = 49), Sporophila lineola (n = 36), Sicalis flaveola (n = 29) and Sporophila nigricollis (n = 27). The use of wild birds in the area studied, as an example of what occurs in other places in the semi-arid Northeast, demonstrates that such activities persist in the region, in spite of being illegal, and have been happening in clandestine or semi-clandestine manner. No statistically significant correlation were found between socioeconomic factors and keeping birds as pets reflects the cultural importance of this practice of rearing wild birds for pets in the region, which is widespread among the local population, independent of socioeconomic factors. Obviously

  8. Trade-offs between pasture production and farmland bird conservation: exploration of options using a dynamic farm model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatier, R; Teillard, F; Rossing, W A H; Doyen, L; Tichit, M

    2015-05-01

    In European grassland landscapes, grazing and mowing play a key role for the maintenance of high-quality habitats that host important bird populations. As grasslands are also key resources for cattle feeding, there is a need to develop management strategies that achieve the double objective of production and biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to use a modelling approach to generate recognisable patterns of bird dynamics in farms composed of different land use proportions, and to compare their production and ecological dimensions. We developed a dynamic model, which linked grassland management to bird population dynamics at the field and farm levels. The model was parameterised for two types of suckling farms corresponding to contrasting levels of grassland intensification and for two bird species of high conservation value. A viability algorithm was used to define and assess viable management strategies for production and ecological performance so as to draw the shape of the relationship between both types of performances for the two types of farms. Our results indicated that, at the farm level, there was a farming system effect with a negative and non-linear relationship linking performance. Improving bird population maintenance was less costly in extensive farms compared with intensive farms. At the field level, the model predicted the timing and intensity of land use, maximising either production or ecological performance. The results suggested that multi-objective grassland management would benefit from public policies that consider levels of organisation higher than the field level, such as the farm or the landscape.

  9. How conserved are the conserved 16S-rRNA regions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Martinez-Porchas

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The 16S rRNA gene has been used as master key for studying prokaryotic diversity in almost every environment. Despite the claim of several researchers to have the best universal primers, the reality is that no primer has been demonstrated to be truly universal. This suggests that conserved regions of the gene may not be as conserved as expected. The aim of this study was to evaluate the conservation degree of the so-called conserved regions flanking the hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Data contained in SILVA database (release 123 were used for the study. Primers reported as matches of each conserved region were assembled to form contigs; sequences sizing 12 nucleotides (12-mers were extracted from these contigs and searched into the entire set of SILVA sequences. Frequency analysis shown that extreme regions, 1 and 10, registered the lowest frequencies. 12-mer frequencies revealed segments of contigs that were not as conserved as expected (≤90%. Fragments corresponding to the primer contigs 3, 4, 5b and 6a were recovered from all sequences in SILVA database. Nucleotide frequency analysis in each consensus demonstrated that only a small fraction of these so-called conserved regions is truly conserved in non-redundant sequences. It could be concluded that conserved regions of the 16S rRNA gene exhibit considerable variation that has to be considered when using this gene as biomarker.

  10. Important bird areas of the Madrean Archipelago: A conservation strategy for avian communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vashti (Tice) Supplee; Jennie MacFarland

    2013-01-01

    The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a worldwide program through BirdLife International that identifies sites considered to provide important habitats for avian species. Criteria for designation are species abundance, diversity, and range restriction. As the United States Partner of BirdLife International, the National Audubon Society administers the IBA Program...

  11. Tracking Invasive Birds: A Programme for Implementing Dynamic Open Inquiry Learning and Conservation Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zion, Michal; Spektor-Levy, Ornit; Orchan, Yotam; Shwartz, Assaf; Sadeh, Irit; Kark, Salit

    2011-01-01

    Among potential topics in the new science of biodiversity, understanding the characteristics and impact of invasive birds is an attractive subject to include as part of junior high school biology studies. Birds are aesthetic and raise curiosity. Curiosity about birds, combined with field observations, can stimulate students to ask authentic…

  12. Do Farmers Using Conventional and Non-Conventional Systems of Agriculture Have Different Perceptions of the Diversity of Wild Birds? Implications for Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva-Andrade, Horasa Lima; de Andrade, Luciano Pires; Muniz, Lauana Souza; Telino-Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria

    2016-01-01

    Farmers' perceptions of birds' interactions with agricultural production systems are fundamental to species conservation efforts. In the present study, we evaluated the perceptions of birds held by farmers who engage in conventional and non-conventional agricultural production processes and the implications of potential differences in these perceptions on species conservation. To accomplish this, data were collected using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and other complementary sources of information gathered from 191 farmers in northeastern Brazil. Although some similarities were identified among the farmers in their perceptions and local ecological knowledge (LEK) of birds, differences existed between the conventional and non-conventional farmers in their attitudes toward, conflicts with, and usage of bird species. Compared to the conventional farmers, the non-conventional farmers could identify more bird species, possessed more favorable attitudes toward birds, and engaged in practices more beneficial to the conservation of avifauna. The perceptions that were identified were related to the type of agriculture practiced, and such perceptions may affect the conservation of bird species. Therefore, the adoption of certain agricultural practices has important implications for conservation. Our results indicate the need for investment in public policies, programs and actions that account for farmers' knowledge and perceptions. Such investments will contribute to the development and adoption of practices supporting wild bird conservation in agricultural areas.

  13. Do Farmers Using Conventional and Non-Conventional Systems of Agriculture Have Different Perceptions of the Diversity of Wild Birds? Implications for Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horasa Lima Silva-Andrade

    Full Text Available Farmers' perceptions of birds' interactions with agricultural production systems are fundamental to species conservation efforts. In the present study, we evaluated the perceptions of birds held by farmers who engage in conventional and non-conventional agricultural production processes and the implications of potential differences in these perceptions on species conservation. To accomplish this, data were collected using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and other complementary sources of information gathered from 191 farmers in northeastern Brazil. Although some similarities were identified among the farmers in their perceptions and local ecological knowledge (LEK of birds, differences existed between the conventional and non-conventional farmers in their attitudes toward, conflicts with, and usage of bird species. Compared to the conventional farmers, the non-conventional farmers could identify more bird species, possessed more favorable attitudes toward birds, and engaged in practices more beneficial to the conservation of avifauna. The perceptions that were identified were related to the type of agriculture practiced, and such perceptions may affect the conservation of bird species. Therefore, the adoption of certain agricultural practices has important implications for conservation. Our results indicate the need for investment in public policies, programs and actions that account for farmers' knowledge and perceptions. Such investments will contribute to the development and adoption of practices supporting wild bird conservation in agricultural areas.

  14. Climate Change, Northern Birds of Conservation Concern and Matching the Hotspots of Habitat Suitability with the Reserve Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051–2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species’ probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares (“hotspots”) in the four bird species groups in the period 1971–2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051–2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered. PMID:23700420

  15. Do Farmers Using Conventional and Non-Conventional Systems of Agriculture Have Different Perceptions of the Diversity of Wild Birds? Implications for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrade, Luciano Pires; Muniz, Lauana Souza; Telino-Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria

    2016-01-01

    Farmers’ perceptions of birds’ interactions with agricultural production systems are fundamental to species conservation efforts. In the present study, we evaluated the perceptions of birds held by farmers who engage in conventional and non-conventional agricultural production processes and the implications of potential differences in these perceptions on species conservation. To accomplish this, data were collected using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and other complementary sources of information gathered from 191 farmers in northeastern Brazil. Although some similarities were identified among the farmers in their perceptions and local ecological knowledge (LEK) of birds, differences existed between the conventional and non-conventional farmers in their attitudes toward, conflicts with, and usage of bird species. Compared to the conventional farmers, the non-conventional farmers could identify more bird species, possessed more favorable attitudes toward birds, and engaged in practices more beneficial to the conservation of avifauna. The perceptions that were identified were related to the type of agriculture practiced, and such perceptions may affect the conservation of bird species. Therefore, the adoption of certain agricultural practices has important implications for conservation. Our results indicate the need for investment in public policies, programs and actions that account for farmers’ knowledge and perceptions. Such investments will contribute to the development and adoption of practices supporting wild bird conservation in agricultural areas. PMID:27243222

  16. Design of forest bird monitoring for strategic habitat conservation on Kaua'i Island, Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos

    2011-01-01

    This report was commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The purpose was to develop a monitoring program for Kaua`i forest birds in the USFWS Strategic Habitat Conservation and adaptive management frameworks. Monitoring within those frameworks is a tool to assess resource responses to management and conservation actions, and through an iterative learning process improve our understanding of species recovery, effective management, and knowledge gaps. This report provides only the monitoring component of both frameworks, and we apply the monitoring program to the East Alaka`i Protective Fence Project.

  17. Birds and fish as bioindicators of tourist disturbance in springs in semi-arid regions in Mexico: a basis for management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Palacio-Núñez, J.

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Tourist disturbance in semi–arid springs was analysed; birds and fish were selected as bioindicators. Media Luna spring is the biggest and most spatially complex system in the region, with the highest biodiversity levels and tourist use. Areas with the highest bird species richness and abundances showed highest structural heterogeneity and least direct human impact. No differences in species richness of fish were observed between sectors and the most abundant species were found in the sectors least perturbed by human activity. Factors that explained the bird distribution were the species´ tolerance to the effects of direct tourism (noise and direct presence of people and habitat quality, mainly riparian vegetation. Aquatic vegetation condition was very important for fish. Six bird species and two fish species were relevant as indicators of the habitat quality related to human impact. Anthropic disturbance such as tree plantation favoured some bird species, whereas aquatic vegetation removal was favourable for some fish species, such as the endemic Cichlasoma bartoni, however, both types of disturbance were unfavourable for other species; riparian vegetation removal was negative for both groups. Controlled tourism promotes good conditions for C. bartoni establishment. Efficient conservation measures such as limiting touristic distribution are necessary for all species, especially for the fish community, in order to conserve biodiversity in general.

  18. Conservation value of a native forest fragment in a region of extensive agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarello

    2000-05-01

    A survey of mammals and birds was carried out in a semi-deciduous forest fragment of 150 ha located in a zone of intensive agriculture in Ribeirão Preto, State of São Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. Line transect sampling was used to census mammals and birds during six days, totalling 27.8 km of trails and 27.8 hours of observation. Twenty mammal species were confirmed in the area (except bats and small mammals), including rare or endangered species, such as the mountain lion (Puma concolor), the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), and the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). The brown capuchin monkey (Cebus apella) and the black-tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) were found frequently, suggesting high population density in the fragment. Regarding the avifauna, 49 bird species were recorded, most of them typical of open areas or forest edges. Some confirmed species, however, are becoming increasingly rare in the region, as for example the muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) and the toco toucan (Ramphastos toco). The results demonstrate that forest fragment of this size are refuges for native fauna in a region dominated almost exclusively by sugar-cane plantations. Besides faunal aspects, the conservation of these fragments is of great importance for the establishment of studies related to species preservation in the long term, including reintroduction and translocation projects, as well as studies related to genetic health of isolated populations.

  19. Assessing ecological correlates of marine bird declines to inform marine conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilchis, L Ignacio; Johnson, Christine K; Evenson, Joseph R; Pearson, Scott F; Barry, Karen L; Davidson, Peter; Raphael, Martin G; Gaydos, Joseph K

    2015-01-01

    Identifying drivers of ecosystem change in large marine ecosystems is central for their effective management and conservation. This is a sizable challenge, particularly in ecosystems transcending international borders, where monitoring and conservation of long-range migratory species and their habitats are logistically and financially problematic. Here, using tools borrowed from epidemiology, we elucidated common drivers underlying species declines within a marine ecosystem, much in the way epidemiological analyses evaluate risk factors for negative health outcomes to better inform decisions. Thus, we identified ecological traits and dietary specializations associated with species declines in a community of marine predators that could be reflective of ecosystem change. To do so, we integrated count data from winter surveys collected in long-term marine bird monitoring programs conducted throughout the Salish Sea—a transboundary large marine ecosystem in North America's Pacific Northwest. We found that decadal declines in winter counts were most prevalent among pursuit divers such as alcids (Alcidae) and grebes (Podicipedidae) that have specialized diets based on forage fish, and that wide-ranging species without local breeding colonies were more prone to these declines. Although a combination of factors is most likely driving declines of diving forage fish specialists, we propose that changes in the availability of low-trophic prey may be forcing wintering range shifts of diving birds in the Salish Sea. Such a synthesis of long-term trends in a marine predator community not only provides unique insights into the types of species that are at risk of extirpation and why, but may also inform proactive conservation measures to counteract threats—information that is paramount for species-specific and ecosystem-wide conservation. Evaluación de las Correlaciones Ecológicas de las Declinaciones de Aves Marinas para Informar a la Conservación Marina Resumen La

  20. The use of data and knowledge about bird numbers and population demography for the conservation and management of migratory birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David

    2011-01-01

    Flyway level assessment of changes in abundance is essential to assess the effectiveness of conservation and management. Additional data on demographic rates (reproduction and survival) is needed to underpin the causes of changes. Data on immigration or emigration are helpful but more difficult t...... to obtain. There should be more attention to the effects of hunting on population sizes. Much can be achieved if citizen science (counters are almost all volunteers!) is well organised but on the basis of good professional leadership to get the maximum out of it....

  1. Regional trends amongst Danish specialist farmland breeding birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heldbjerg, Henning; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    declining in all regions. Only Mew Gull Larus canus showed consistent increases in all regions, Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus and Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis showed increases in the East and West while Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica showed little change in abundance anywhere during...

  2. Advancing migratory bird conservation and management by using radar: An interagency collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Sojda, Richard S.; Dawson, Deanna K.; Diehl, Robert H.; Manville, Albert; Green, Michael T.; Krueper, David J.; Johnston, Scott

    2005-01-01

    Migratory birds face many changes to the landscapes they traverse and the habitats they use. Wind turbines and communications towers, which pose hazards to birds and bats in flight, are being erected or proposed across the United States and offshore. Human activities can also destroy or threaten habitats critical to birds during migratory passage, and climate change appears to be altering migratory patterns. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other agencies are under increasing pressure to identify and evaluate movement patterns and habitats used during migration and other times.

  3. Environmental disturbance and conservation of marine and shoreline birds on the west coast of Vancouver Island

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morgan, K.H.; Butler, R.W.; Vermeer, R.W.

    1992-01-01

    Loss of habitat and oiling of birds represent two major threats to marine and shoreline bird populations on Vancouver Island's west coast, since their effects are widespread and cumulative. Offshore tanker traffic and local inshore shipments of petroleum products expose the coast to high risks of oiling. Large numbers of birds are most at risk when concentrated in relatively small areas, such as highly productive feeding areas, at communal roosting sites, and around nesting colonies. Logging of mature and old-growth forests has led to destruction of the nesting habitat of marbled murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus), while industrial development of estuaries, mudflats, and spawning grounds of Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi) has diminished feeding habitats for other marine and shoreline birds. Fisheries operations, human disturbance of colonies, and introduced predators, notably the raccoon (Procyon lotor) and mink (Mustela vison), have impacted upon local populations. Management actions and research needs to mitigate these threats are addressed. 40 refs

  4. Biogeographic and conservation implications of revised species limits and distributions of South Asian birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rasmussen, P.C.

    2005-01-01

    Patterns of breeding species richness and endemism of South Asian birds are described and depicted. The impacts of a taxonomic revision on these patterns and on threat levels of the region’s avifauna are discussed.

  5. Developments in conservation tillage in rainfed regions of North China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, X.B.; Cai, D.X.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Oenema, O.; Perdok, U.D.

    2007-01-01

    Dryland regions in northern China account for over 50% of the nation's total area, where farming development is constrained by adverse weather, topography and water resource conditions, low fertility soils, and poor soil management. Conservation tillage research and application in dryland regions of

  6. Importance of regional variation in conservation planning: A rangewide example of the Greater Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Kevin E.; Evans, Jeffrey S.; Coates, Peter S.; Juliusson, Lara; Fedy, Bradley C.

    2016-01-01

    We developed rangewide population and habitat models for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) that account for regional variation in habitat selection and relative densities of birds for use in conservation planning and risk assessments. We developed a probabilistic model of occupied breeding habitat by statistically linking habitat characteristics within 4 miles of an occupied lek using a nonlinear machine learning technique (Random Forests). Habitat characteristics used were quantified in GIS and represent standard abiotic and biotic variables related to sage-grouse biology. Statistical model fit was high (mean correctly classified = 82.0%, range = 75.4–88.0%) as were cross-validation statistics (mean = 80.9%, range = 75.1–85.8%). We also developed a spatially explicit model to quantify the relative density of breeding birds across each Greater Sage-Grouse management zone. The models demonstrate distinct clustering of relative abundance of sage-grouse populations across all management zones. On average, approximately half of the breeding population is predicted to be within 10% of the occupied range. We also found that 80% of sage-grouse populations were contained in 25–34% of the occupied range within each management zone. Our rangewide population and habitat models account for regional variation in habitat selection and the relative densities of birds, and thus, they can serve as a consistent and common currency to assess how sage-grouse habitat and populations overlap with conservation actions or threats over the entire sage-grouse range. We also quantified differences in functional habitat responses and disturbance thresholds across the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) management zones using statistical relationships identified during habitat modeling. Even for a species as specialized as Greater Sage-Grouse, our results show that ecological context matters in both the strength of habitat selection (i

  7. Integration of Regional Mitigation Assessment and Conservation Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H. Thorne

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Government agencies that develop infrastructure such as roads, waterworks, and energy delivery often impact natural ecosystems, but they also have unique opportunities to contribute to the conservation of regional natural resources through compensatory mitigation. Infrastructure development requires a planning, funding, and implementation cycle that can frequently take a decade or longer, but biological mitigation is often planned and implemented late in this process, in a project-by-project piecemeal manner. By adopting early regional mitigation needs assessment and planning for habitat-level impacts from multiple infrastructure projects, agencies could secure time needed to proactively integrate these obligations into regional conservation objectives. Such practice can be financially and ecologically beneficial due to economies of scale, and because earlier mitigation implementation means potentially developable critical parcels may still be available for conservation. Here, we compare the integration of regional conservation designs, termed greenprints, with early multi-project mitigation assessment for two areas in California, USA. The expected spatial extent of habitat impacts and associated mitigation requirements from multiple projects were identified for each area. We used the reserve-selection algorithm MARXAN to identify a regional greenprint for each site and to seek mitigation solutions through parcel acquisition that would contribute to the greenprint, as well as meet agency obligations. The two areas differed in the amount of input data available, the types of conservation objectives identified, and local land-management capacity. They are representative of the range of conditions that conservation practitioners may encounter, so contrasting the two illustrates how regional advanced mitigation can be generalized for use in a wide variety of settings. Environmental organizations can benefit from this approach because it provides a

  8. Outbreak of type C botulism in birds and mammals in the Emilia Romagna region, northern Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defilippo, Francesco; Luppi, Andrea; Maioli, Giulia; Marzi, Dario; Fontana, Maria Cristina; Paoli, Federica; Bonilauri, Paolo; Dottori, Michele; Merialdi, Giuseppe

    2013-10-01

    Over a 7-day period beginning 8 August 2011, a large number of wild birds of several species were found dead or with neurologic clinical signs along the shore of Crostolo stream, in the Emilia Romagna region, Italy. Twenty-eight Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), two Hooded Crows (Corvus corone cornix), and three coypus (Myocastor coypus) were found moribund on the Crostolo stream bank, collected, and sent to Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Reggio Emilia Section. The cause of mortality was determined to be Clostridium botulinum type C toxin. The toxin was identified by a mouse bioassay for botulinum toxins and confirmed in bird sera and blowfly larvae (Lucilia caesar) collected from the stomachs of birds.

  9. Composition of Mix Species Foraging Flocks of Birds in Riverstan of Montane Region, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.G.D.D.M. Shermila

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Montane zone mixed-species bird flock system is distinct from that of low-land wet zone of SriLanka, although some species are present in both systems. The present study identified the mixed speciesflocks of birds in Riverstan at Knuckles Region, Sri Lanka. Monthly transect counts and opportunisticobservations were made between January and May, 2012. A total of 78 flocks and 27 bird species wereencountered at Riverstan during the study period. The flock size varied between 2 to 13 species and 4 to58 individuals. The mean number of species per flock was 6.03 ± 2.25 and the mean number ofindividuals in a flock was 18.41±9.87. The flock size was positively correlated with the number of speciespresent (r = 0.756, P <0.05. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher was the most abundant species (mean2.68±1.02 birds per flocks while Sri Lanka White-eye was the most frequent species (mean 5.69±3.92birds per flocks. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher and Sri Lanka Scimitar-babbler were the nuclear speciesin Riverstan. The leading species were Sri Lanka white-eye and Sri Lanka Yellow-eared Bulbul. Differentbird species used different heights within flocks.Keywords: Mixed-species flock, Nuclear species, Abundance, Foraging flocks

  10. Burn and they will come! The western regional birds and burns study examines bird responses to prescribed fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan Thompson; John Lehmkuhl

    2008-01-01

    Although prescribed fire is increasingly being used in ponderosa pine forests as a management tool to reduce the risk of future high-severity wildfire, its effects on wildlife habitat have rarely been examined. The Birds and Burns Network was created to assist managers in planning prescribed fire projects that will reduce fuels and enhance bird habitat. Researchers...

  11. Checklist of the birds of Kipini Conservancy, Lamu and Tana River ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We present here details of the birds we saw in an area whose avifauna has been ..... The absence of immatures suggests no breeding took place in recent years. Pair at base camp ..... Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus. Common ...

  12. The role of kopjes in bird species' conservation within an agricultural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Just west of the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem (GSE), an area defined by movements ... assumed that similar natural savanna habitat found inside the present GRE previously ..... the kopjes attracted Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea and White-fronted Barbet Lybius .... Birds of Africa South of the Sahara: Second Edition.

  13. Carrying capacity for species richness as context for conservation: a case study of North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew J. Hansen; Linda Bowers Phillips; Curtis H. Flather; Jim Robinson-Cox

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated the leading hypotheses on biophysical factors affecting species richness for Breeding Bird Survey routes from areas with little influence of human activities.We then derived a best model based on information theory, and used this model to extrapolate SK across North America based on the biophysical predictor variables. The predictor variables included the...

  14. French citizens monitoring ordinary birds provide tools for conservation and ecological sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiguet, Frédéric; Devictor, Vincent; Julliard, Romain; Couvet, Denis

    2012-10-01

    Volunteer-based standardized monitoring of birds has been widely implemented in Europe and North America. In France, a breeding bird survey is running since 1989 and offers keen birdwatchers to count spring birds annually during 5 min exactly on 10 fix points within a randomly selected square. The first goal of such breeding bird surveys is to measure temporal trends in order to detect possible species declines. Combining annual indices of species sharing ecological affinities or a protected/red list status further provides biodiversity indicators for policy makers. Because the sampling effort is similar among sites, and because the initial selection of monitored sites is random, the temporal trends can be considered representative of national trends, and spatial comparisons of the obtained metrics are possible. Species abundance, community richness but also community specialization and average trophic level can be estimated for each site and each year and further related to the wide range of habitat and landscape characteristics and to agricultural or forestry practices. The large number of sites allows overcoming the opposition between adaptive and passive monitoring, making such schemes fitted to adaptive monitoring. This provides opportunities to determine which type of management or practices favour biodiversity. The comparison of population fate or community dynamics across a wide range of climates and temperatures, e.g. from southern to northern Europe, revealed how European birds are already affected by climate change. Bird communities are shifting northwards, but at a slower rate than temperatures, while bird populations have larger growth rates away from their hot thermal limit. Finally, such large-scale long-term monitoring data on a complete taxonomic group (Aves) is original and offers the opportunity to compare different measures of biological diversity, such as taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity. Such a citizen science scheme is an

  15. [Altitudinal distribution, richness and composition of bird assemblages in a mountainous region in Southern Nayarit, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaime-Escalante, Nidia Gissell; Figueroa-Esquivel, Elsa Margarita; Villaseñor Gómez, José Fernando; Jacobo-Sapien, Edwin Alberto; Puebla-Olivares, Fernando

    2016-12-01

    Elevation gradient studies have strengthened the evaluation of changes in richness and composition of bird assemblages. They also provide information on environmental variables that determine bird distribution, and the variables that define their population structure. Our aim was to describe their variation through an elevational cline in Southern Nayarit, Mexico. To analyze the behavior of richness across the gradient, we gathered information through point counts in nine elevational intervals (300 m from each other) from sea level to 2 700 m of elevation. With a standardized sampling effort, we produced rarefaction curves and analyzed changes in species composition by hierarchical classification using the TWINSPAN technique. In order to identify variables associated with richness changes, we examined the effect of precipitation and habitat structure via regression trees. An analysis of nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) was implemented with the purpose to determine if the changes in composition correspond to changes in vegetation types. Species richness varied significantly across the gradient: high in the lower parts of the gradient, reached its peak in the middle, and decreased monotonically with elevation. Species responded to changes in the cline and were grouped in three elevational zones. Analyses suggest that changes in richness and species composition are influenced by vegetation, its structure and precipitation regime, as well as various aspects related to habitat features and disturbance. These aspects should be taken into account in order to design appropriate strategies for the conservation of the birds of Nayarit.

  16. Avian influenza virus wild bird surveillance in the Azov and Black Sea regions of Ukraine (2010-2011)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Azov and Black Sea basins are part of the transcontinental wild bird migration routes from Northern Asia and Europe to the Mediterranean, Africa and Southwest Asia. These regions constitute an area of transit, stops during migration, and nesting for many different bird species. From September ...

  17. 78 FR 19080 - Importation of Live Birds and Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Poultry Products From a Region in the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-29

    ..., meat, parts or products of carcasses, and eggs (other than hatching eggs) of poultry, game birds, or..., Poultry Meat, and Poultry Products From a Region in the European Union AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health... governing the importation of live birds and poultry and poultry meat and products from the APHIS-defined EU...

  18. Levels and profiles of persistent organic pollutants in resident and migratory birds from an urbanized coastal region of South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Sang Hee; Shim, Won Joon; Han, Gi Myung; Ha, Sung Yong; Jang, Mi; Rani, Manviri; Hong, Sunwook; Yeo, Gwang Yeong

    2014-02-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) levels in resident and migratory birds collected from an urbanized coastal region of South Korea were investigated. As target species, resident birds that reside in different habitats-such as inland and coastal regions-were selected and their POP contamination status and accumulation features evaluated. Additionally, winter and summer migratory species were analysed for comparison with resident birds. Black-tailed gull and domestic pigeon were selected as the coastal and inland resident birds, respectively, and pacific loon and heron/egret were selected as the winter and summer migratory birds, respectively. The overall POP concentrations (unit: ng/g lipid) in resident birds were 14-131,000 (median: 13,400) for PCBs, 40-284,000 (11,200) for DDTs, urban resident bird such as pigeon, an intentional intake of dust or soils during feeding is likely to be an additional route of exposure to POPs. Resident birds generally accumulated higher POPs concentrations than migratory birds, the exceptions being relatively volatile compounds such as HCB, PeCB and HCHs. © 2013.

  19. Non-invasive genetics outperforms morphological methods in faecal dietary analysis, revealing wild boar as a considerable conservation concern for ground-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oja, Ragne; Soe, Egle; Valdmann, Harri; Saarma, Urmas

    2017-01-01

    Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and other grouse species represent conservation concerns across Europe due to their negative abundance trends. In addition to habitat deterioration, predation is considered a major factor contributing to population declines. While the role of generalist predators on grouse predation is relatively well known, the impact of the omnivorous wild boar has remained elusive. We hypothesize that wild boar is an important predator of ground-nesting birds, but has been neglected as a bird predator because traditional morphological methods underestimate the proportion of birds in wild boar diet. To distinguish between different mammalian predator species, as well as different grouse prey species, we developed a molecular method based on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA that allows accurate species identification. We collected 109 wild boar faeces at protected capercaillie leks and surrounding areas and analysed bird consumption using genetic methods and classical morphological examination. Genetic analysis revealed that the proportion of birds in wild boar faeces was significantly higher (17.3%; 4.5×) than indicated by morphological examination (3.8%). Moreover, the genetic method allowed considerably more precise taxonomic identification of consumed birds compared to morphological analysis. Our results demonstrate: (i) the value of using genetic approaches in faecal dietary analysis due to their higher sensitivity, and (ii) that wild boar is an important predator of ground-nesting birds, deserving serious consideration in conservation planning for capercaillie and other grouse.

  20. Fungal conservation: Protected species of fungi in South Serbia region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadiković, D.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Protection and conservation of fungi has only recently became an issue of concern. Main motives for increased attention are uncontrolled, mass collecting of edible wild mushrooms and environmental pollution which leads to the rapid decline of their natural habitats, some of which are rich with rare and endangered species. By Serbian Nature Conservation Law 2010. there are 38 strictly protected fungal species of which 17 species are recorded in this paper. 11 of those recorded species are on European and/or National Red List of endangered fungal species. All investigated territories were in South Serbia region. This study is a contribution to conservation of protected and threatened fungi and their respective habitats in Serbia.

  1. Partnering for nature conservation NGO-farmer collaboration for meadow bird protection in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Runhaar, H.A.C.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/141942673; Polmans, Nico

    2018-01-01

    In order to reverse the trend of continuous decline in species diversity and abundance in agricultural landscapes, various governance arrangements have been implemented that promote, organise and finance nature conservation by farmers. The scientific literature predominantly focuses on

  2. Partnering for nature conservation NGO-farmer collaboration for meadow bird protection in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Runhaar, Hens; Polman, N.B.P.

    2018-01-01

    In order to reverse the trend of continuous decline in species diversity and abundance in agricultural landscapes, various governance arrangements have been implemented that promote, organise and finance nature conservation
    by farmers. The scientific literature predominantly focuses on

  3. Lessons from Transportation Agency Participation In Regional Conservation Initiatives

    OpenAIRE

    Lederman, Jaimee

    2017-01-01

    Transportation agencies struggle to maximize the benefits of transportation infrastructure while minimizing environmental harm. This dissertation examines institutional collaborations that integrate capital investments (e.g. highway and rail projects) with regional Habitat Conservation Plans (RHCPs) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It addresses ways of maintaining these collaborations over time. The ESA requires that public and private project developers mitigate any harm to endangered...

  4. Hot Spots and Hot Times: Wildlife Road Mortality in a Regional Conservation Corridor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrah, Evelyn; Danby, Ryan K.; Eberhardt, Ewen; Cunnington, Glenn M.; Mitchell, Scott

    2015-10-01

    Strategies to reduce wildlife road mortality have become a significant component of many conservation efforts. However, their success depends on knowledge of the temporal and spatial patterns of mortality. We studied these patterns along the 1000 Islands Parkway in Ontario, Canada, a 37 km road that runs adjacent to the St. Lawrence River and bisects the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks international conservation corridor. Characteristics of all vertebrate road kill were recorded during 209 bicycle surveys conducted from 2008 to 2011. We estimate that over 16,700 vertebrates are killed on the road from April to October each year; most are amphibians, but high numbers of birds, mammals, and reptiles were also found, including six reptiles considered at-risk in Canada. Regression tree analysis was used to assess the importance of seasonality, weather, and traffic on road kill magnitude. All taxa except mammals exhibited distinct temporal peaks corresponding to phases in annual life cycles. Variations in weather and traffic were only important outside these peak times. Getis-Ord analysis was used to identify spatial clusters of mortality. Hot spots were found in all years for all taxa, but locations varied annually. A significant spatial association was found between multiyear hot spots and wetlands. The results underscore the notion that multi-species conservation efforts must account for differences in the seasonality of road mortality among species and that multiple years of data are necessary to identify locations where the greatest conservation good can be achieved. This information can be used to inform mitigation strategies with implications for conservation at regional scales.

  5. CORAL: aligning conserved core regions across domain families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Jessica H; Marchler-Bauer, Aron

    2009-08-01

    Homologous protein families share highly conserved sequence and structure regions that are frequent targets for comparative analysis of related proteins and families. Many protein families, such as the curated domain families in the Conserved Domain Database (CDD), exhibit similar structural cores. To improve accuracy in aligning such protein families, we propose a profile-profile method CORAL that aligns individual core regions as gap-free units. CORAL computes optimal local alignment of two profiles with heuristics to preserve continuity within core regions. We benchmarked its performance on curated domains in CDD, which have pre-defined core regions, against COMPASS, HHalign and PSI-BLAST, using structure superpositions and comprehensive curator-optimized alignments as standards of truth. CORAL improves alignment accuracy on core regions over general profile methods, returning a balanced score of 0.57 for over 80% of all domain families in CDD, compared with the highest balanced score of 0.45 from other methods. Further, CORAL provides E-values to aid in detecting homologous protein families and, by respecting block boundaries, produces alignments with improved 'readability' that facilitate manual refinement. CORAL will be included in future versions of the NCBI Cn3D/CDTree software, which can be downloaded at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/cdtree/cdtree.shtml. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  6. Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslo, Brooke; Schlacher, Thomas A; Weston, Michael A; Huijbers, Chantal M; Anderson, Chris; Gilby, Ben L; Olds, Andrew D; Connolly, Rod M; Schoeman, David S

    2016-01-01

    Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km), encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and human use regimes in southeast Queensland, Australia. Of the 132 model nests deployed and monitored with cameras, 45 (34%) survived the experimental exposure period. Thirty-five (27%) were lost to flooding, 32 (24%) were depredated, nine (7%) buried by sand, seven (5%) destroyed by people, three (2%) failed by unknown causes, and one (1%) was destroyed by a dog. Clutch fate differed substantially among regions, particularly with respect to losses from flooding and predation. 'Topographic' exposure was the main driver of mortality of nests placed close to the drift line near the base of dunes, which were lost to waves (particularly during storms) and to a lesser extent depredation. Predators determined the fate of clutches not lost to waves, with the depredation probability largely influenced by region. Depredation probability declined as nests were backed by higher dunes and were placed closer to vegetation. This study emphasizes the scale at which clutch fate and survival varies within a regional context, the prominence of corvids as egg predators, the significant role of flooding as a source of nest loss, and the multiple trade-offs faced by beach-nesting birds and those that manage them.

  7. Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke Maslo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km, encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and human use regimes in southeast Queensland, Australia. Of the 132 model nests deployed and monitored with cameras, 45 (34% survived the experimental exposure period. Thirty-five (27% were lost to flooding, 32 (24% were depredated, nine (7% buried by sand, seven (5% destroyed by people, three (2% failed by unknown causes, and one (1% was destroyed by a dog. Clutch fate differed substantially among regions, particularly with respect to losses from flooding and predation. ‘Topographic’ exposure was the main driver of mortality of nests placed close to the drift line near the base of dunes, which were lost to waves (particularly during storms and to a lesser extent depredation. Predators determined the fate of clutches not lost to waves, with the depredation probability largely influenced by region. Depredation probability declined as nests were backed by higher dunes and were placed closer to vegetation. This study emphasizes the scale at which clutch fate and survival varies within a regional context, the prominence of corvids as egg predators, the significant role of flooding as a source of nest loss, and the multiple trade-offs faced by beach-nesting birds and those that manage them.

  8. Balance between climate change mitigation benefits and land use impacts of bioenergy: conservation implications for European birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meller, Laura; Thuiller, Wilfried; Pironon, Samuel; Barbet-Massin, Morgane; Hof, Andries; Cabeza, Mar

    2015-07-01

    Both climate change and habitat modification exert serious pressure on biodiversity. Although climate change mitigation has been identified as an important strategy for biodiversity conservation, bioenergy remains a controversial mitigation action due to its potential negative ecological and socio-economic impacts which arise through habitat modification by land-use change. While the debate continues, the separate or simultaneous impacts of both climate change and bioenergy on biodiversity have not yet been compared. We assess projected range shifts of 156 European bird species by 2050 under two alternative climate change trajectories: a baseline scenario, where the global mean temperature increases by 4°C by the end of the century, and a 2 degrees scenario, where global concerted effort limits the temperature increase to below 2°C. For the latter scenario, we also quantify the pressure exerted by increased cultivation of energy biomass as modelled by IMAGE2.4, an integrated land-use model. The global bioenergy use in this scenario is in the lower end of the range of previously estimated sustainable potential. Under the assumptions of these scenarios, we find that the magnitude of range shifts due to climate change is far greater than the impact of land conversion to woody bioenergy plantations within the European Union, and that mitigation of climate change reduces the exposure experienced by species. However, we identified potential for local conservation conflict between priority areas for conservation and bioenergy production. These conflicts must be addressed by strict bioenergy sustainability criteria that acknowledge biodiversity conservation needs beyond existing protected areas and apply also to biomass imported from outside the European Union.

  9. Effects of rainfall on bird reproduction in a semi-arid Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liana Monique Paiva Cavalcanti

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In semi-arid ecosystems, birds commonly use rainfall as a reliable environmental cue to adjust the timing and strength of their reproductive activity. Here we evaluate this hypothesis for a community of birds in the Caatinga (the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil, using brood patch information and nest abundance. Sampling occurred every 14 days between September 2012 and August 2013 (brood patch, and every three or four days during the reproductive period (nests. Abundance of brood patches and nests were correlated, and all brood patches were recorded between March and July (4.5 to 5.0 months. We recorded three peaks of brood patch abundance: the first 28 days after the first rains, the second 14 days after the second rainfall peak, and the third synchronously with the third rainy period. These results indicate that intra-annual variation in local rainfall has the potential to account for variations in the timing and intensity of reproduction in the studied birds.

  10. Insights into bird wing evolution and digit specification from polarizing region fate maps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towers, Matthew; Signolet, Jason; Sherman, Adrian; Sang, Helen; Tickle, Cheryll

    2011-08-09

    The proposal that birds descended from theropod dinosaurs with digits 2, 3 and 4 was recently given support by short-term fate maps, suggesting that the chick wing polarizing region-a group that Sonic hedgehog-expressing cells-gives rise to digit 4. Here we show using long-term fate maps that Green fluorescent protein-expressing chick wing polarizing region grafts contribute only to soft tissues along the posterior margin of digit 4, supporting fossil data that birds descended from theropods that had digits 1, 2 and 3. In contrast, digit IV of the chick leg with four digits (I-IV) arises from the polarizing region. To determine how digit identity is specified over time, we inhibited Sonic hedgehog signalling. Fate maps show that polarizing region and adjacent cells are specified in parallel through a series of anterior to posterior digit fates-a process of digit specification that we suggest is involved in patterning all vertebrate limbs with more than three digits.

  11. Addressing conservation needs of birds during the migratory period: problems and issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark S. Demarest Woodrey; Ernesto Ruela Inzunza

    2005-01-01

    The conservation of declining intercontinental landbird and shorebird migrants is complicated by the migratory nature of these organisms. Although debate over the causes of declines in most species will no doubt continue for some time, continued attention has focused largely on events associated with the breeding and wintering phases of the migrant's annual cycle...

  12. Applying species-energy theory to conservation: A case study for North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Bowers Phillips; Andrew J. Hansen; Curtis H. Flather; Jim Robinson-Cox

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystem energy is now recognized as a primary correlate and potential driver of global patterns of species richness. The increasingly well-tested species-energy relationship is now ripe for application to conservation, and recent advances in satellite technology make this more feasible. While the correlates for the species-energy relationship have been addressed many...

  13. Width of riparian buffer and structure of adjacent plantations influence occupancy of conservation priority birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roger W. Perry; T. Bently Wigley; M. Anthony Melchiors; Ronald E. Thill; Philip A. Tappe; Darren A. Miller

    2011-01-01

    Conservation of biodiversity on forest landscapes dominated by plantations has become an increasingly important topic, and opportunities to maintain or enhance biodiversity within these forests need to be recognized and applied. Riparian buffers of mature forest retained along streams in managed forest landscapes offer an opportunity to enhance biodiversity across...

  14. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 1 and 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. John Ralph; Terrell D. Rich

    2005-01-01

    These two volumes contain in part papers presented at the Third International Partners in Flight Conference: A Workshop on Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration, which was held 20-24 March 2002 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey, California. The conference gathered together researchers, educators, foresters, monitoring specialists, planners, and...

  15. Intestinal spirochaetes (genus Brachyspira) colonise wild birds in the southern Atlantic region and Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Désirée S; Mushtaq, Memoona; Johansson, Karl-Erik; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Waldenström, Jonas; Andersson, Dan I; Broman, Tina; Berg, Charlotte; Olsen, Björn

    2015-01-01

    The genus Brachyspira contains well-known enteric pathogens of veterinary significance, suggested agents of colonic disease in humans, and one potentially zoonotic agent. There are recent studies showing that Brachyspira are more widespread in the wildlife community than previously thought. There are no records of this genus in wildlife from the southern Atlantic region and Antarctica. Our aim was therefore, to determine whether intestinal spirochaetes of genus Brachyspira colonise marine and coastal birds in this region. Faecal samples were collected from marine and coastal birds in the southern Atlantic region, including sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica, in 2002, 2009, and 2012, with the aim to isolate and characterise zoonotic agents. In total, 205 samples from 11 bird species were selectively cultured for intestinal spirochaetes of genus Brachyspira. To identify isolates to species level, they were subjected to phenotyping, species-specific polymerase chain reactions, sequencing of partial 16S rRNA, NADH oxidase (nox), and tlyA genes, and phylogenetic analysis. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed. Fourteen unique strains were obtained from 10 birds of three species: four snowy sheathbills (Chionis albus), three kelp geese (Chloephaga hybrida subsp. malvinarum), and three brown skua (Stercorarius antarcticus subsp. lonnbergi) sampled on the Falkland Islands, Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, South Georgia, South Shetland Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Five Brachyspira strains were closely related to potentially enteropathogenic Brachyspira sp. of chickens: B. intermedia (n=2, from snowy sheathbills), and B. alvinipulli (n=3, from a kelp goose and two snowy sheathbills). Three strains from kelp geese were most similar to the presumed non-pathogenic species 'B. pulli' and B. murdochii, whereas the remaining six strains could not be attributed to currently known species. No isolates related to human strains were found. None of the tested

  16. Intestinal spirochaetes (genus Brachyspira colonise wild birds in the southern Atlantic region and Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Désirée S. Jansson

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The genus Brachyspira contains well-known enteric pathogens of veterinary significance, suggested agents of colonic disease in humans, and one potentially zoonotic agent. There are recent studies showing that Brachyspira are more widespread in the wildlife community than previously thought. There are no records of this genus in wildlife from the southern Atlantic region and Antarctica. Our aim was therefore, to determine whether intestinal spirochaetes of genus Brachyspira colonise marine and coastal birds in this region. Method: Faecal samples were collected from marine and coastal birds in the southern Atlantic region, including sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctica, in 2002, 2009, and 2012, with the aim to isolate and characterise zoonotic agents. In total, 205 samples from 11 bird species were selectively cultured for intestinal spirochaetes of genus Brachyspira. To identify isolates to species level, they were subjected to phenotyping, species-specific polymerase chain reactions, sequencing of partial 16S rRNA, NADH oxidase (nox, and tlyA genes, and phylogenetic analysis. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed. Results: Fourteen unique strains were obtained from 10 birds of three species: four snowy sheathbills (Chionis albus, three kelp geese (Chloephaga hybrida subsp. malvinarum, and three brown skua (Stercorarius antarcticus subsp. lonnbergi sampled on the Falkland Islands, Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, South Georgia, South Shetland Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Five Brachyspira strains were closely related to potentially enteropathogenic Brachyspira sp. of chickens: B. intermedia (n=2, from snowy sheathbills, and B. alvinipulli (n=3, from a kelp goose and two snowy sheathbills. Three strains from kelp geese were most similar to the presumed non-pathogenic species ‘B. pulli’ and B. murdochii, whereas the remaining six strains could not be attributed to currently known species. No isolates related to

  17. 76 FR 42595 - Importation of Live Birds and Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Poultry Products From a Region in the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-19

    ..., 94, 95, and 104 [Docket No. APHIS-2009-0094] RIN 0579-AD45 Importation of Live Birds and Poultry, Poultry Meat, and Poultry Products From a Region in the European Union AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health... as the APHIS-defined European Union poultry trade region and adding it to the list of regions we...

  18. Sexual segregation in marine fish, reptiles, birds and mammals behaviour patterns, mechanisms and conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wearmouth, Victoria J; Sims, David W

    2008-01-01

    Sexual segregation occurs when members of a species separate such that the sexes live apart, either singly or in single-sex groups. It can be broadly categorised into two types: habitat segregation and social segregation. Sexual segregation is a behavioural phenomenon that is widespread in the animal kingdom yet the underlying causes remain poorly understood. Sexual segregation has been widely studied among terrestrial mammals such as ungulates, but it has been less well documented in the marine environment. This chapter clarifies terms and concepts which have emerged from the investigation of sexual segregation in terrestrial ecology and examines how a similar methodological approach may be complicated by differences of marine species. Here we discuss the behavioural patterns of sexual segregation among marine fish, reptile, bird and mammal species. Five hypotheses have been forwarded to account for sexual segregation, largely emerging from investigation of sexual segregation in terrestrial ungulates: the predation risk, forage selection, activity budget, thermal niche-fecundity and social factors hypotheses. These mechanisms are reviewed following careful assessment of their applicability to marine vertebrate species and case studies of marine vertebrates which support each mechanism recounted. Rigorous testing of all hypotheses is lacking from both the terrestrial and marine vertebrate literature and those analyses which have been attempted are often confounded by factors such as sexual body-size dimorphism. In this context, we indicate the value of studying model species which are monomorphic with respect to body size and discuss possible underlying causes for sexual segregation in this species. We also discuss why it is important to understand sexual segregation, for example, by illustrating how differential exploitation of the sexes by humans can lead to population decline.

  19. Proactive conservation management of an island-endemic bird species in the face of global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, S.A.; Sillett, T. Scott; Ghalambor, Cameron K.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Graber, D.M.; Bakker, V.J.; Bowman, R.; Collins, C.T.; Collins, P.W.; Delaney, K.S.; Doak, D.F.; Koenig, Walter D.; Laughrin, L.; Lieberman, A.A.; Marzluff, J.M.; Reynolds, M.D.; Scott, J.M.; Stallcup, J.A.; Vickers, W.; Boyce, W.M.

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation in an era of global change and scarce funding benefits from approaches that simultaneously solve multiple problems. Here, we discuss conservation management of the island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis), the only island-endemic passerine species in the continental United States, which is currently restricted to 250-square-kilometer Santa Cruz Island, California. Although the species is not listed as threatened by state or federal agencies, its viability is nonetheless threatened on multiple fronts. We discuss management actions that could reduce extinction risk, including vaccination, captive propagation, biosecurity measures, and establishing a second free-living population on a neighboring island. Establishing a second population on Santa Rosa Island may have the added benefit of accelerating the restoration and enhancing the resilience of that island's currently highly degraded ecosystem. The proactive management framework for island scrub-jays presented here illustrates how strategies for species protection, ecosystem restoration, and adaptation to and mitigation of climate change can converge into an integrated solution. ?? 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.

  20. The Peculiarities of Territorial Distribution and Abundance of Birds of Prey in Kharkiv Region, Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav G. Viter

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the features of the spatial distribution and abundance of birds of prey in the Kharkov region, Ukraine. Investigations were carried out in 2003–2013 years. Totaly we found 1569 nest sites of Falconiformes. There are 29 species of raptors in avifauna of Kharkiv region. Nine of them are wintering species and 16 – nesting. The highest number of nest sites we found in agricultural landscapes – 677 pairs. However, population density here is low, and high number of nest sites can be explained by large extension of this type of habitat. Also significant populations of birds of prey inhabit forest-steppe areas of Central Russian Upland (East European Plain – 468 pairs, steppe areas of Central Russian Upland – at least 279 pairs (notable that the size of steppe areas are 4 times smaller then forest-steppe areas, and gully forests on the spurs of Donets Ridge – 205 pairs (the size of this habitat in Kharkiv region is no more than 3 000 km2. The other habitats includes highlands in the forest-steppe zone covered with oak forests – 431 pairs, and floodplain forests in the valley of river Siverskyi Donets – 148 pairs (with rather small area of this habitat. These last two habitats are refuge for local populations of Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennata and Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus because these areas held the most stable nest sites and the highest density of these two species. The same could be said about gully forests on the spurs of Donets Ridge. The estimate number of breeding pairs of Falconiformes in gully forests is around 290 pairs. In this study, we also assessed the total number of breeding Birds of Prey in Kharkiv region. Here are our estimates: Honey Buzzard – 142–156 pairs, Black Kite (Milvus migrans – 133–148 pairs, White-Tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla – 26–28 pairs, Montagu’s Harrier (Circus pygargus – 174–191, Marsh Harrier (C. aeruginosus – 344–359, Northern Goshawk

  1. Regional effects of agricultural conservation practices on nutrient transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anna Maria Garcia; Richard B. Alexander; Jeffrey G. Arnold; Lee Norfleet; Mike White; Dale M. Robertson; Gregory Schwarz

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), initiated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has the goal of quantifying the environmental benefits of agricultural conservation practices. As part of this effort, detailed farmer surveyswere compiled to document the adoption of conservation practices. Survey data showed that up to 38...

  2. Analysis of long-term forest bird monitoring data from national forests of the western Great Lakes Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Niemi; Robert W. Howe; Brian R. Sturtevant; Linda R. Parker; Alexis R. Grinde; Nicholas P. Danz; Mark D. Nelson; Edmund J. Zlonis; Nicholas G. Walton; Erin E. Gnass Giese; Sue M. Lietz

    2016-01-01

    Breeding bird communities in forests of the western Great Lakes region are among the most diverse in North America, but the forest environment in this region has changed dramatically during the past 150 years. To address concerns about loss of biodiversity due to ongoing forest harvesting and to better inform forest planning, researchers have systematically monitored...

  3. Identifying effective actions to guide volunteer-based and nationwide conservation efforts for a ground-nesting farmland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangeli, Andrea; Arroyo, Beatriz; Millon, Alexandre; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-08-01

    1. Modern farming practices threaten wildlife in different ways, and failure to identify the complexity of multiple threats acting in synergy may result in ineffective management. To protect ground-nesting birds in farmland, monitoring and mitigating impacts of mechanical harvesting is crucial. 2. Here, we use 6 years of data from a nationwide volunteer-based monitoring scheme of the Montagu's harrier, a ground-nesting raptor, in French farmlands. We assess the effectiveness of alternative nest protection measures and map their potential benefit to the species. 3. We show that unprotected nests in cultivated land are strongly negatively affected by harvesting and thus require active management. Further, we show that protection from harvesting alone (e.g. by leaving a small unharvested buffer around the nest) is impaired by post-harvest predation at nests that become highly conspicuous after harvest. Measures that simultaneously protect from harvesting and predation (by adding a fence around the nest) significantly enhance nest productivity. 4. The map of expected gain from nest protection in relation to available volunteers' workforce pinpoints large areas of high expected gain from nest protection that are not matched by equally high workforce availability. This mismatch suggests that the impact of nest protection can be further improved by increasing volunteer efforts in key areas where they are low relative to the expected gain they could have. 5. Synthesis and applications . This study shows that synergistic interplay of multiple factors (e.g. mechanical harvesting and predation) may completely undermine the success of well-intentioned conservation efforts. However, identifying areas where the greatest expected gains can be achieved relative to effort expended can minimize the risk of wasted volunteer actions. Overall, this study underscores the importance of citizen science for collecting large-scale data useful for producing science and ultimately informs

  4. Availability of food resources, distribution of invasive species, and conservation of a Hawaiian bird along a gradient of elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, P.C.; Oboyski, P.T.; Slotterback, J.W.; Dougill, Steve J.; Goltz, Dan M.; Johnson, L.; Laut, M.E.; Murray, T.C.

    2002-01-01

    Aim: We evaluated how an elevation gradient affects: (1) the availability of food required by a specialist seed-eater, Loxioides bailleui Oustalet (Drepanidinae), or pallia, and hence the distribution of this endangered Hawaiian bird, and (2) the distribution of alien threats to Loxioides populations, their primary foods, and their dry-forest habitat, and hence strategies for their conservation. Location: We worked throughout the subalpine forest that encircles Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawai'i Island, but we focused our studies mainly on the western slope between 2000 and 3000 m elevation, where the gradient of elevation was greatest and palila were most abundant. Methods: We determined phenology and productivity patterns of the endemic dry-forest tree species, Sophora chrysophylla (Salisb.) Seem. (Fabaceae), or ma??mane, which provides Loxioides with most of their food, and another common endemic tree, Myoporum sandwicense A. Gray (Myoporaceae), or naio, which provides some resources, along a 786-m elevation gradient at monthly intervals for 10 years (Sophora only). We also determined the availability each month of moth larvae (Lepidoptera) for that were important in the diet of nestling and adult palila. In addition, we documented the incidence of parasitism on moth larvae by several wasp (Hymenoptera) and fly (Diptera) species, and we determined the distribution of predatory wasps and ants (Hymenoptera), which potentially threaten insect prey of birds. Percentage cover of alien grass species that pose fire threats in palila habitat and other weeds were assessed during one survey. Small mammal abundance and distribution were determined by trapping during three (rodent) or five (carnivore) surveys. Results: Sophora flower and seed (pod) availability varied predictably along the elevation gradient, with about 4 months separating peaks in reproduction at high and low elevations. This, together with highly variable production of flowers and pods within elevation strata

  5. Blood lead concentrations in wild birds from a polluted mining region at Villa de La Paz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapa-Vargas, Leonardo; Mejia-Saavedra, Jose J; Monzalvo-Santos, Karina; Puebla-Olivares, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    This investigation was undertaken to determine the concentrations of lead in bird blood samples from a mining region in central Mexico and to compare concentrations among several different feeding guilds. The study took place in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi in a region known as "Villa de la Paz." This is one of the most intensely exploited mining regions in central Mexico and has been actively mined for over four centuries. Lead concentrations from bird blood samples taken from four polluted sites were significantly higher than those from a control, unpolluted site (F = 6.3, P birds from a highly polluted site were higher than those from a site that has intermediate pollution levels (P birds had significantly lower lead concentrations compared to granivores, frugivores-insectivores, and omnivores (F = 4.86, P = 0.004), and a large proportion of all individuals had blood lead concentrations indicative of low, sub-lethal toxic effects. Finally, in two polluted sites, remarkably small numbers of insectivore-frugivores, and granivores were trapped, and in one polluted site a large number of insectivores was trapped (X(2) = 29.9, P = 0.03), and no differences in proportions of migrants and non-migrants were found among sampling sites (X(2) = 0.6, P = 0.96). To date, it has not been determined to what extent constant exposure to these levels of pollution can influence health at the individual level, lifespan, and, therefore, population demography of birds from this region.

  6. Complex patterns of genetic and phenotypic divergence in an island bird and the consequences for delimiting conservation units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillimore, A B; Owens, I P F; Black, R A; Chittock, J; Burke, T; Clegg, S M

    2008-06-01

    Substantial phenotypic and genetic variation is often found below the species level and this may be useful in quantifying biodiversity and predicting future diversification. However, relatively few studies have tested whether different aspects of intraspecific variation show congruent patterns across populations. Here, we quantify several aspects of divergence between 13 insular populations of an island endemic bird, the Vanuatu white-eye (Zosterops flavifrons). The components of divergence studied are mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), nuclear DNA microsatellites and morphology. These different aspects of divergence present subtly different scenarios. For instance, an mtDNA phylogenetic tree reveals a potential cryptic species on the most southerly island in Vanuatu and considerable divergence between at least two other major phylogroups. Microsatellite loci suggest that population genetic divergence between insular populations, both between and within phylogroups, is substantial, a result that is consistent with a low level of interisland gene flow. Finally, most populations were found to be strongly morphologically divergent, but no single population was morphologically diagnosable from all others. Taken together, our results show that, although many measures of divergence are concordant in this system, the number of divergent units identified varies widely depending on the characters considered and approach used. A continuum of divergence and a degree of discordance between different characters are both to be expected under simple models of evolution, but they present problems in terms of delimiting conservation units.

  7. Forest bird monitoring protocol for strategic habitat conservation and endangered species management on O'ahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Island of O'ahu, Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Banko, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    This report describes the results of a pilot forest bird survey and a consequent forest bird monitoring protocol that was developed for the O'ahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, O'ahu Island, Hawai'i. The pilot survey was conducted to inform aspects of the monitoring protocol and to provide a baseline with which to compare future surveys on the Refuge. The protocol was developed in an adaptive management framework to track bird distribution and abundance and to meet the strategic habitat conservation requirements of the Refuge. Funding for this research was provided through a Science Support Partnership grant sponsored jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

  8. Fire mosaics and reptile conservation in a fire-prone region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, D G; Kelly, L T; Spence-Bailey, L M; Watson, S J; Taylor, R S; Clarke, M F; Bennett, A F

    2013-04-01

    Fire influences the distribution of fauna in terrestrial biomes throughout the world. Use of fire to achieve a mosaic of vegetation in different stages of succession after burning (i.e., patch-mosaic burning) is a dominant conservation practice in many regions. Despite this, knowledge of how the spatial attributes of vegetation mosaics created by fire affect fauna is extremely scarce, and it is unclear what kind of mosaic land managers should aim to achieve. We selected 28 landscapes (each 12.6 km(2) ) that varied in the spatial extent and diversity of vegetation succession after fire in a 104,000 km(2) area in the semiarid region of southeastern Australia. We surveyed for reptiles at 280 sites nested within the 28 landscapes. The landscape-level occurrence of 9 of the 22 species modeled was associated with the spatial extent of vegetation age classes created by fire. Biogeographic context and the extent of a vegetation type influenced 7 and 4 species, respectively. No species were associated with the diversity of vegetation ages within a landscape. Negative relations between reptile occurrence and both extent of recently burned vegetation (≤10 years postfire, n = 6) and long unburned vegetation (>35 years postfire, n = 4) suggested that a coarse-grained mosaic of areas (e.g. >1000 ha) of midsuccessional vegetation (11-35 years postfire) may support the fire-sensitive reptile species we modeled. This age class coincides with a peak in spinifex cover, a keystone structure for reptiles in semiarid and arid Australia. Maintaining over the long term a coarse-grained mosaic of large areas of midsuccessional vegetation in mallee ecosystems will need to be balanced against the short-term negative effects of large fires on many reptile species and a documented preference by species from other taxonomic groups, particularly birds, for older vegetation. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. RNA expression in a cartilaginous fish cell line reveals ancient 3′ noncoding regions highly conserved in vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest, David; Nishikawa, Ryuhei; Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Parton, Angela; Bayne, Christopher J.; Barnes, David W.

    2007-01-01

    We have established a cartilaginous fish cell line [Squalus acanthias embryo cell line (SAE)], a mesenchymal stem cell line derived from the embryo of an elasmobranch, the spiny dogfish shark S. acanthias. Elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) first appeared >400 million years ago, and existing species provide useful models for comparative vertebrate cell biology, physiology, and genomics. Comparative vertebrate genomics among evolutionarily distant organisms can provide sequence conservation information that facilitates identification of critical coding and noncoding regions. Although these genomic analyses are informative, experimental verification of functions of genomic sequences depends heavily on cell culture approaches. Using ESTs defining mRNAs derived from the SAE cell line, we identified lengthy and highly conserved gene-specific nucleotide sequences in the noncoding 3′ UTRs of eight genes involved in the regulation of cell growth and proliferation. Conserved noncoding 3′ mRNA regions detected by using the shark nucleotide sequences as a starting point were found in a range of other vertebrate orders, including bony fish, birds, amphibians, and mammals. Nucleotide identity of shark and human in these regions was remarkably well conserved. Our results indicate that highly conserved gene sequences dating from the appearance of jawed vertebrates and representing potential cis-regulatory elements can be identified through the use of cartilaginous fish as a baseline. Because the expression of genes in the SAE cell line was prerequisite for their identification, this cartilaginous fish culture system also provides a physiologically valid tool to test functional hypotheses on the role of these ancient conserved sequences in comparative cell biology. PMID:17227856

  10. The influence of local- and landscape-level factors on wetland breeding birds in the Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Shaffer, Jill A.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2017-08-17

    restored Federal wetlands. After adjusting for wetland size and the date and location of the surveys, our results demonstrated that incorporating wetland- and landscape-level factors in models can improve our ability to predict abundances of wetland birds in this region. The top model for eight of the nine focal species included wetland- and landscape-level factors, whereas the best model for Blue-winged Teal included only wetland-level attributes. Although local factors (for example, percent open water or emergent vegetation) in individual wetlands are important factors for some wetland breeding birds, it is important that natural resource managers consider landscape-level factors beyond the local factors in their conservation plans for wetland birds.

  11. Distribution and conservation of three important bird groups of the Atlantic Forest in north-east Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. A. Pereira

    Full Text Available Abstract The Pernambuco Endemism Center in north-east Brazil has the most fragmented forest cover and the largest number of threatened birds of the whole Atlantic Forest. We analyzed the distribution of three groups of bird species: forest-dependent, endemic and/or threatened using the interpolation method of Inverse Distance Weighting. We also checked the concentration of these birds in protected and unprotected areas, suggesting new sites that need to be protected. The richness concentration of forest-dependent, endemic and/or threatened birds in 123 sites were analysed. There was a greater concentration of the three groups in north Alagoas, south and north Pernambuco, and north and west Paraíba. The distribution of the three groups was almost regular in different vegetation types, although a lower concentration was found in the pioneer formation. There was a greater concentration of birds from all three groups between Pernambuco and Alagoas, and this must be due to the presence of more forest fragments with better structure and vegetation heterogeneity. The protected and unprotected areas hosted important records of endemic and/or threatened birds. We suggested some important places for implementation of new protected areas due to the larger concentrations of the target birds and because they are located within the boundaries of the Important Bird Areas.

  12. Distribution and conservation of three important bird groups of the Atlantic Forest in north-east Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, G A; Araújo, H F P; Azevedo-Júnior, S M

    2016-01-01

    The Pernambuco Endemism Center in north-east Brazil has the most fragmented forest cover and the largest number of threatened birds of the whole Atlantic Forest. We analyzed the distribution of three groups of bird species: forest-dependent, endemic and/or threatened using the interpolation method of Inverse Distance Weighting. We also checked the concentration of these birds in protected and unprotected areas, suggesting new sites that need to be protected. The richness concentration of forest-dependent, endemic and/or threatened birds in 123 sites were analysed. There was a greater concentration of the three groups in north Alagoas, south and north Pernambuco, and north and west Paraíba. The distribution of the three groups was almost regular in different vegetation types, although a lower concentration was found in the pioneer formation. There was a greater concentration of birds from all three groups between Pernambuco and Alagoas, and this must be due to the presence of more forest fragments with better structure and vegetation heterogeneity. The protected and unprotected areas hosted important records of endemic and/or threatened birds. We suggested some important places for implementation of new protected areas due to the larger concentrations of the target birds and because they are located within the boundaries of the Important Bird Areas.

  13. Birds of Sierra de Vallejo, Nayarit, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Figueroa-Esquivel, E.M.; Puebla-Olivares, F

    2014-01-01

    Sierra de Vallejo, is considered a priority region for conservation, and is strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures. The inventory of birds are refers to studies in near areas. This study is a concrete contribution of the birds of the mountain chain and north of it. We considered bibliographic records and databases available on the web with records of ocurrence and specimens of scientific collections. Also we perform point counts in different localities inside the...

  14. Landscape, Legal, and Biodiversity Threats that Windows Pose to Birds: A Review of an Important Conservation Issue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Klem Jr.

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Windows in human residential and commercial structures in urban, suburban, and rural landscapes contribute to the deaths of billions of birds worldwide. International treaties, federal, provincial, state, and municipal laws exist to reduce human-associated avian mortality, but are most often not enforced for bird kills resulting from window strikes. As an additive, compared to a compensatory mortality factor, window collisions pose threats to the sustainability and overall population health of common as well as species of special concern. Several solutions to address the window hazard for birds exist, but the most innovative and promising need encouragement and support to market, manufacture, and implement.

  15. SPECIES DISTRIBUTIONS, SURROGACY, AND IMPORTANT CONSERVATION REGIONS IN CANADA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation actions could be more efficient if there is congruence among taxa in the distribution of species. Patterns in the geographic distribution of species of six taxa were used to identify nationally important sites for conservation in Canada. Species richness and a meas...

  16. Optimal conservation of migratory species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara G Martin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Migratory animals comprise a significant portion of biodiversity worldwide with annual investment for their conservation exceeding several billion dollars. Designing effective conservation plans presents enormous challenges. Migratory species are influenced by multiple events across land and sea-regions that are often separated by thousands of kilometres and span international borders. To date, conservation strategies for migratory species fail to take into account how migratory animals are spatially connected between different periods of the annual cycle (i.e. migratory connectivity bringing into question the utility and efficiency of current conservation efforts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we report the first framework for determining an optimal conservation strategy for a migratory species. Employing a decision theoretic approach using dynamic optimization, we address the problem of how to allocate resources for habitat conservation for a Neotropical-Nearctic migratory bird, the American redstart Setophaga ruticilla, whose winter habitat is under threat. Our first conservation strategy used the acquisition of winter habitat based on land cost, relative bird density, and the rate of habitat loss to maximize the abundance of birds on the wintering grounds. Our second strategy maximized bird abundance across the entire range of the species by adding the constraint of maintaining a minimum percentage of birds within each breeding region in North America using information on migratory connectivity as estimated from stable-hydrogen isotopes in feathers. We show that failure to take into account migratory connectivity may doom some regional populations to extinction, whereas including information on migratory connectivity results in the protection of the species across its entire range. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that conservation strategies for migratory animals depend critically upon two factors: knowledge of

  17. Bird Movements and Behaviors in the Gulf Coast Region: Relation to Potential Wind-Energy Developments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrison, M. L.

    2006-06-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the possible impacts of wind development to birds along the lower Gulf Coast, including both proposed near-shore and offshore developments. The report summarizes wind resources in Texas, discusses timing and magnitude of bird migration as it relates to wind development, reviews research that has been conducted throughout the world on near- and offshore developments, and provides recommendations for research that will help guide wind development that minimizes negative impacts to birds and other wildlife resources.

  18. Aligning conservation goals: are patterns of species richness and endemism concordant at regional scales?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricketts, T. H.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation strategies commonly target areas of high species richness and/or high endemism. However, the correlation between richness and endemism at scales relevant to conservation is unclear; these two common goals of conservation plans may therefore be in conflict. Here the spatial concordance between richness and endemism is tested using five taxa in North America: butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. This concordance is also tested using overall indices of richness and endemism (incorporating all five taxa. For all taxa except birds, richness and endemism were significantly correlated, with amphibians, reptiles, and the overall indices showing the highest correlations (rs = 0.527-0.676. However, 'priority sets' of ecoregions (i.e., the top 10% of ecoregions based on richness generally overlapped poorly with those based on endemism (< 50% overlap for all but reptiles. These results offer only limited support for the idea that richness and endemism are correlated at broad scales and indicate that land managers will need to balance these dual, and often conflicting, goals of biodiversity conservation.

  19. Turning strategy into action: implementing a conservation action plan in the Cape Floristic Region

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gelderblom, CM

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available for conservation. These pressures are predicted to intensify, as the region acts as a magnet for settlement and development. This paper thus describes the development of a conservation action plan for the region, arising from the Cape Action Plan...

  20. Isolation and genetic characterization of avian influenza viruses from wild birds in the Azov-Black Sea region of Ukraine (2006-2011)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild bird surveillance for avian influenza virus (AIV) was conducted from 2006 to 2012 in a region of Ukraine known as being intercontinental (North-South and East-West) flyways. A total of 6,281 samples were collected from wild birds representing 27 families and 11 orders. From these samples, 69 ...

  1. Isolation and genetic characterization of avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds in the Azov-Black Sea Region of Ukraine (2001–2012)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild bird surveillance for avian influenza virus (AIV) was conducted from 2001 to 2012 in the Azov - Black Sea region of the Ukraine, considered part of the transcontinental wild bird migration routes from northern Asia and Europe to the Mediterranean, Africa, and southwest Asia. A total of 6281 sam...

  2. Using a distribution and conservation status weighted hotspot approach to identify areas in need of conservation action to benefit Idaho bird species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haines, Aaron M.; Leu, Matthias; Svancara, Leona K.; Wilson, Gina; Scott, J. Michael

    2010-01-01

    Identification of biodiversity hotspots (hereafter, hotspots) has become a common strategy to delineate important areas for wildlife conservation. However, the use of hotspots has not often incorporated important habitat types, ecosystem services, anthropogenic activity, or consistency in identifying important conservation areas. The purpose of this study was to identify hotspots to improve avian conservation efforts for Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the state of Idaho, United States. We evaluated multiple approaches to define hotspots and used a unique approach based on weighting species by their distribution size and conservation status to identify hotspot areas. All hotspot approaches identified bodies of water (Bear Lake, Grays Lake, and American Falls Reservoir) as important hotspots for Idaho avian SGCN, but we found that the weighted approach produced more congruent hotspot areas when compared to other hotspot approaches. To incorporate anthropogenic activity into hotspot analysis, we grouped species based on their sensitivity to specific human threats (i.e., urban development, agriculture, fire suppression, grazing, roads, and logging) and identified ecological sections within Idaho that may require specific conservation actions to address these human threats using the weighted approach. The Snake River Basalts and Overthrust Mountains ecological sections were important areas for potential implementation of conservation actions to conserve biodiversity. Our approach to identifying hotspots may be useful as part of a larger conservation strategy to aid land managers or local governments in applying conservation actions on the ground.

  3. Changes in early-successional hardwood forest area in four bird conservation regions across four decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonja N. Oswalt; Kathleen E. Franzreb; David A. Buehler

    2012-01-01

    Early successional hardwood forests constitute important breeding habitat for many migratory songbirds. Declines in populations of these species suggest changes in habitat availability either on the species’ wintering grounds or on their early successional breeding grounds. We used Forest Inventory and Analysis data from 11 states across four decades to examine changes...

  4. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megan Lang; Greg McCarty; Mark Walbridge; Patrick Hunt; Tom Ducey; Clinton Church; Jarrod Miller; Laurel Kluber; Ali Sadeghi; Martin Rabenhorst; Amir Sharifi; In-Young Yeo; Andrew Baldwin; Margaret Palmer; Tom Fisher; Dan Fenstermaher; Sanchul Lee; Owen McDonough; Metthea Yepsen; Liza McFarland; Anne Gustafson; Rebecca Fox; Chris Palardy; William Effland; Mari-Vaughn Johnson; Judy Denver; Scott Ator; Joseph Mitchell; Dennis Whigham

    2016-01-01

    Wetlands impart many important ecosystem services, including maintenance of water quality, regulation of the climate and hydrological flows, and enhancement of biodiversity through the provision of food and habitat. The conversion of natural lands to agriculture has led to broad scale historic wetland loss, but current US Department of Agriculture conservation programs...

  5. Can temporal and spatial NDVI predict regional bird-species richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Nieto

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the distribution of the species and its controls over biogeographic scales is still a major challenge in ecology. National Park Networks provide an opportunity to assess the relationship between ecosystem functioning and biodiversity in areas with low human impacts. We tested the productivity–biodiversity hypothesis which states that the number of species increases with the available energy, and the ​variability–biodiversity hypothesis which states that the number of species increases with the diversity of habitats. The available energy and habitat heterogeneity estimated by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI was shown as a good predictor of bird-species richness for a diverse set of biomes in previously published studies. However, there is not a universal relationship between NDVI and bird-species richness. Here we tested if the NDVI can predict bird species richness in areas with low human impact in Argentina. Using a dataset from the National Park Network of Argentina we found that the best predictor of bird species richness was the minimum value of NDVI per year which explained 75% of total variability. The inclusion of the spatial heterogeneity of NDVI improved the explanation power to 80%. Minimum NDVI was highly correlated with precipitation and winter temperature. Our analysis provides a tool for assessing bird-species richness at scales on which land-use planning practitioners make their decisions for Southern South America.

  6. Analysis of compliance and irregularity between Management Conservation and Director Plans: a case study of Birds Natural Park in the city of Rio das Ostras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adiane Conceição de Oliveira

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available In the presente work, the Director Plan of Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the Management Plan of a municipal Conservation Unit (CU named Birds Natural Park were investigated aiming at detecting possible territorial management conflicts, as well as pointing out potential of using these two regulations as tools for improving life quality and for developing sustainable local strategies. The study allowed for the inference of the need to review not only the Director Plans of mediumsized cities, but also the Managements Plans of the Conservation Units (CUs. Furthermore, Director Plans must be consistent in terms of articles and objectives, detailing sustainable projects for CUs by means of action plans, chronograms for the implementation of ecological corridors, and use and occupation of CUs buffer zone criteria.

  7. Phenological shifts conserve thermal niches in North American birds and reshape expectations for climate-driven range shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolar, Jacob B; Epanchin, Peter N; Beissinger, Steven R; Tingley, Morgan W

    2017-12-05

    Species respond to climate change in two dominant ways: range shifts in latitude or elevation and phenological shifts of life-history events. Range shifts are widely viewed as the principal mechanism for thermal niche tracking, and phenological shifts in birds and other consumers are widely understood as the principal mechanism for tracking temporal peaks in biotic resources. However, phenological and range shifts each present simultaneous opportunities for temperature and resource tracking, although the possible role for phenological shifts in thermal niche tracking has been widely overlooked. Using a canonical dataset of Californian bird surveys and a detectability-based approach for quantifying phenological signal, we show that Californian bird communities advanced their breeding phenology by 5-12 d over the last century. This phenological shift might track shifting resource peaks, but it also reduces average temperatures during nesting by over 1 °C, approximately the same magnitude that average temperatures have warmed over the same period. We further show that early-summer temperature anomalies are correlated with nest success in a continental-scale database of bird nests, suggesting avian thermal niches might be broadly limited by temperatures during nesting. These findings outline an adaptation surface where geographic range and breeding phenology respond jointly to constraints imposed by temperature and resource phenology. By stabilizing temperatures during nesting, phenological shifts might mitigate the need for range shifts. Global change ecology will benefit from further exploring phenological adjustment as a potential mechanism for thermal niche tracking and vice versa.

  8. Foraging behavior of selected insectivorous birds in Cauvery Delta region of Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Asokan

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the foraging behavior of five insectivorous birds, namely White-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis, Small Bee-eater Merops orientalis, Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis, Common Myna Acridotheres tristis and Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus in Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu, India. The birds used a variety of perch types for hunting insect prey; in general the electric power line was a common perch type used by all species except the Common Myna. The perching and foraging height used by birds were classified into 3 meter categories, up to 12m. Aerial feeding or hawking in Bee-eaters and ground feeding in Common Mynas were major feeding techniques, recorded 68% and 86% of the time respectively. The other three species used gleaning as a feeding technique. The highest niche overlap was recorded between Indian Rollers and Black Drongos and between White-breasted Kingfishers and Indian Rollers.

  9. Identifying effective actions to guide volunteer-based and nationwide conservation efforts for a ground-nesting farmland bird

    OpenAIRE

    Santangeli, Andrea; Arroyo, Beatriz; Millon, Alexandre; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Modern farming practices threaten wildlife in different ways, and failure to identify the complexity of multiple threats acting in synergy may result in ineffective management. To protect ground-nesting birds in farmland, monitoring and mitigating impacts of mechanical harvesting is crucial. Here, we use 6 years of data from a nationwide volunteer-based monitoring scheme of the Montagu's harrier, a ground-nesting raptor, in French farmlands. We assess the effectiveness of alternative nest pro...

  10. A COMPARISON OF TAXONOMIC DISTINCTNESS VERSUS RICHNESS AS CRITERIA FOR SETTING CONSERVATION PRIORITIES FOR NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS. (R825311)

    Science.gov (United States)

    AbstractIn choosing sites for a conservation reserve network, representation of the greatest number of species in the sites selected is a common objective. This approach implicitly assumes that all species have equal conservation value. An alternative objective is to ...

  11. Assessment of contemporary genetic diversity and inter-taxa/inter-region exchange of avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 in wild birds sampled in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Goraichuk, Iryna V.; Hicks, Joseph T.; Dimitrov, Kiril M.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.; Bahl, Justin; Afonso, Claudio L.

    2017-01-01

    BackgroundAvian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1) viruses are globally distributed, infect wild, peridomestic, and domestic birds, and sometimes lead to outbreaks of disease. Thus, the maintenance, evolution, and spread of APMV-1 viruses are relevant to avian health.MethodsIn this study we sequenced the fusion gene from 58 APMV-1 isolates recovered from thirteen species of wild birds sampled throughout the USA during 2007–2014. We analyzed sequence information with previously reported data in order to assess contemporary genetic diversity and inter-taxa/inter-region exchange of APMV-1 in wild birds sampled in North America.ResultsOur results suggest that wild birds maintain previously undescribed genetic diversity of APMV-1; however, such diversity is unlikely to be pathogenic to domestic poultry. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that APMV-1 diversity detected in wild birds of North America has been found in birds belonging to numerous taxonomic host orders and within hosts inhabiting multiple geographic regions suggesting some level of viral exchange. However, our results also provide statistical support for associations between phylogenetic tree topology and host taxonomic order/region of sample origin which supports restricted exchange among taxa and geographical regions of North America for some APMV-1 sub-genotypes.ConclusionsWe identify previously unrecognized genetic diversity of APMV-1 in wild birds in North America which is likely a function of continued viral evolution in reservoir hosts. We did not, however, find support for the emergence or maintenance of APMV-1 strains predicted to be pathogenic to poultry in wild birds of North America outside of the order Suliformes (i.e., cormorants). Furthermore, genetic evidence suggests that ecological drivers or other mechanisms may restrict viral exchange among taxa and regions of North America. Additional and more systematic sampling for APMV-1 in North America would likely provide further inference on viral

  12. Off-road sampling reveals a different grassland bird community than roadside sampling: implications for survey design and estimates to guide conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland bird species continue to decline steeply across North America. Road-based surveys such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS are often used to estimate trends and population sizes and to build species distribution models for grassland birds, although roadside survey counts may introduce bias in estimates because of differences in habitats along roadsides and in off-road surveys. We tested for differences in land cover composition and in the avian community on 21 roadside-based survey routes and in an equal number of adjacent off-road walking routes in the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada. Off-road routes (n = 225 point counts had more native grassland and short shrubs and less fallow land and road area than the roadside routes (n = 225 point counts. Consequently, 17 of the 39 bird species differed between the two route types in frequency of occurrence and relative abundance, measured using an indicator species analysis. Six species, including five obligate grassland species, were more prevalent at off-road sites; they included four species listed under the Canadian federal Species At Risk Act or listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii, Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii, the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus, and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii. The six species were as much as four times more abundant on off-road sites. Species more prevalent along roadside routes included common species and those typical of farmland and other human-modified habitats, e.g., the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia, and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus. Differences in avian community composition between roadside and off-road surveys suggest that the use of BBS data when generating population estimates or distribution models may overestimate certain common species and underestimate others of conservation

  13. Mitigation and Compensation under EU Nature Conservation Law in the Flemish Region: Beyond the Deadlock for Development Projects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Schoukens

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available For years, the predicament of many of the European protected habitats and species in the Flemish Region, as in many other Member States, passed relatively unnoticed. The lack of proper rules and clear implementation rules fuelled the impression amongst project developers and planning authorities that the impacts of project developments on biodiversity did not really warrant closer assessment. However, in the past ten years, strict national case law has significantly altered this view. Faced with tighter judicial scrutiny, the Habitats and Birds Directives were seen as an important obstacle to project development. Hence mitigation and compensation have now come up as novel approaches to better align spatial aspirations with the conservation of nature. In reality, mitigation was often used as a cover-up for projects that would not fit the strict requirements enshrined in the derogatory clauses. Interestingly, the Belgian Council of State showed itself quite cautious in reasserting the lax view of some planning authorities on mitigation and compensation. In reviewing the legality of several new approaches to mitigation and compensation, the Belgian Council of State, which was initially very cautious in quashing decisions that would actually jeopardise major infrastructure developments, has rendered some compelling rulings on the specific application of mitigation and compensatory measures in a spatial planning context. By letting the objectives of EU nature conservation law prevail in the face of economic interests, the recent case law of the Belgian Council of State can be seen as a remarkable example of judicial environmental activism.

  14. Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noteboom, H.P.

    1985-01-01

    The IUCN/WWF Plants Conservation Programme 1984 — 1985. World Wildlife Fund chose plants to be the subject of their fund-raising campaign in the period 1984 — 1985. The objectives were to: 1. Use information techniques to achieve the conservation objectives of the Plants Programme – to save plants;

  15. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of seven Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing the teacher and student with informational reading on various topics in conservation. The bulletins have these titles: Plants as Makers of Soil, Water Pollution Control, The Ground Water Table, Conservation--To Keep This Earth Habitable, Our Threatened Air Supply,…

  16. Birds of the Savannah Harbor Navigation Project, Dredged Material Disposal Areas, 19942012

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    These results are discussed in relation to the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and specifically to the South Atlantic Region, where birds...5 Composition of forested areas...isolated nesting habitat in the ocean environment. The island is maintained by the USACE Savannah District, and use of this island by nesting and roosting

  17. Environmental status of the Lake Michigan region. Volume 14. Birds of the Lake Michigan drainage basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallace, G.J.

    1977-07-01

    This report characterizes the bird life found in 100 counties of the four states peripheral to Lake Michigan. It discusses major habitats (the Lake Michigan shoreline, inland lakes, rivers and streams, marshes, fields and open spaces, and woodlots) and associates specific birds with habitats according to preferences for space and food. It also discusses the special attributes of state parks and lakeshores, refuges and sanctuaries, and other special areas which are attractive to avifauna. Patterns of historical occurrence and abundance, and the influence of pesticides and pollution, disease, and hunting pressure are explored to place present occurrence in a modern perspective. Migration patterns are discussed to explain increases and decreases which occur in nonresident avifauna of the Basin. The distribution and habits of birds that occur regularly in the Basin are described in an annotated list; a more complete list is presented in a table which encapsulates data for rapid and convenient reference. Separate sections deal with extinct, extirpated, and introduced species, and with endangered, threatened, and declining species.

  18. Variability or conservation of hepatitis C virus hypervariable region 1 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    in an agammaglobulinemic patient; Gastroenterology 10. 1072–1075. Lesniewsky R R, Boardway K M, Casey J M, Desai S M,. Devare S G and Leung T K 1993 Hypervariable region 5′- terminus of hepatitis C virus E2/NS1 encodes antigenically distinct variants; J. Med. Virol. 40 150–156. Li C, Candotti D and Allain J-P ...

  19. Variability or conservation of hepatitis C virus hypervariable region 1?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the E2 protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is highly heterogeneous in its primary sequence and is responsible for significant inter- and intra-individual variation of the infecting virus, which may represent an important pathogenetic mechanism leading to immune escape and persistent ...

  20. Towards conserving regional mammalian species diversity: a case ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1995-03-03

    Mar 3, 1995 ... Species richness maps were derived for the Transvaal region from two different databases, namely a primary point database based on ... of biological diversity is internationally supported, there is no agreement on the ..... example is that of the Rodentia. where greatest species diver- sity. based on survey ...

  1. Regional effects of agricultural conservation practices on nutrient transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Ana Maria.; Alexander, Richard B.; Arnold, Jeffrey G.; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J.; Robertson, Dale M.; Schwarz, Gregory E.

    2016-01-01

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  2. Regional Effects of Agricultural Conservation Practices on Nutrient Transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Ana María; Alexander, Richard B; Arnold, Jeffrey G; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J; Robertson, Dale M; Schwarz, Gregory

    2016-07-05

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  3. The Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Jean

    2001-01-01

    Students use a dead bird to learn about bird life, anatomy, and death. Students examine a bird body and discuss what happened to the bird. Uses outdoor education as a resource for learning about animals. (SAH)

  4. Virginia ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, and gulls...

  5. Molecular forensics in avian conservation: a DNA-based approach for identifying mammalian predators of ground-nesting birds and eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopken, Matthew W; Orning, Elizabeth K; Young, Julie K; Piaggio, Antoinette J

    2016-01-07

    The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a ground-nesting bird from the Northern Rocky Mountains and a species at risk of extinction in in multiple U.S. states and Canada. Herein we report results from a proof of concept that mitochondrial and nuclear DNAs from mammalian predator saliva could be non-invasively collected from depredated greater sage-grouse eggshells and carcasses and used for predator species identification. Molecular forensic approaches have been applied to identify predators from depredated remains as one strategy to better understand predator-prey dynamics and guide management strategies. This can aid conservation efforts by correctly identifying predators most likely to impact threatened and endangered species. DNA isolated from non-invasive samples around nesting sites (e.g. fecal or hair samples) is one method that can increase the success and accuracy of predator species identification when compared to relying on nest remains alone. Predator saliva DNA was collected from depredated eggshells and carcasses using swabs. We sequenced two partial fragments of two mitochondrial genes and obtained microsatellite genotypes using canid specific primers for species and individual identification, respectively. Using this multilocus approach we were able to identify predators, at least down to family, from 11 out of 14 nests (79%) and three out of seven carcasses (47%). Predators detected most frequently were canids (86%), while other taxa included rodents, a striped skunk, and cattle. We attempted to match the genotypes of individual coyotes obtained from eggshells and carcasses with those obtained from fecal samples and coyotes collected in the areas, but no genotype matches were found. Predation is a main cause of nest failure in ground-nesting birds and can impact reproduction and recruitment. To inform predator management for ground-nesting bird conservation, accurate identification of predator species is necessary. Considering

  6. Species of conservation concern and environmental stressors: Local, regional and global effects [Chapter 6] (Executive Summary)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven M. Ostoja; Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton

    2013-01-01

    Southern Nevada’s unique landscapes and landforms provide habitat for a diversity of plant and wildlife species of conservation concern including many locally and regionally endemic species. The high population density and urbanization of the Las Vegas metropolitan area is the source of many local and regional stressors that affect these species and their habitats:...

  7. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... and applications.?Good surrogates of biodiversity are necessary to help identify conservation areas that will be effective in preventing species extinctions. Birds perform fairly well as surrogates in cases where birds are relatively speciose, but overall effectiveness will be improved by adding additional data...... from other taxa, in particular from range-restricted species. Conservation solutions with focus on birds as biodiversity surrogate could therefore benefit from also incorporating species data from other taxa....

  8. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M; Akçakaya, H Resit; Burgess, Neil D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E

    2016-02-16

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird &Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments.

  9. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Burgess, Neil D.; Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C.; Rodrigues, Ana S.L.; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E.

    2016-01-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments. PMID:26881749

  10. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Burgess, Neil D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; Macsharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C.; Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E.

    2016-02-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments.

  11. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W; Mallory, Mindy L

    2012-04-24

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit-cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change-induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area.

  12. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W.; Mallory, Mindy L.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit–cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change–induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area. PMID:22451914

  13. Size dimorphism, molt status, and body mass variation of Prairie Falcons nesting in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenhof, Karen; McKinley, James O.

    2006-01-01

    Birds face challenges in how they allocate energy during the reproductive season. Most temperate zone species do not breed and molt at the same time, presumably because of the high energy demands of these two activities (Espie et al. 1996 and citations therein). However, representatives of at least four raptor genera are known to molt during the nesting season (Schmutz and Schmutz 1975, Newton and Marquiss 1982, Schmutz 1992, Espie et al. 1996). Molt strategies vary among raptor species depending on prey abundance, migration strategies, and the relative costs of reproduction. Sexually-dimorphic raptors typically have different roles in parenting, which result in different strategies for energy allocation. Male and female Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), for example, exhibit different molt patterns and mass changes during the breeding season (Village 1990). Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) are similar to Eurasian Kestrels in that males provide most of the prey to females and young during the first part of the nesting season (Holthuijzen 1990), but no published data exist on molt patterns or mass changes in Prairie Falcons. Reliable information about raptor molt and morphometrics has important implications for modeling energetics and for understanding the role of sexes in raising young. Such knowledge also has practical application for distinguishing sexes of raptors and for determining appropriate size limits of transmitters used for telemetry studies. In this paper, we report on morphometric characteristics useful in distinguishing sexes of Prairie Falcons captured during several breeding seasons in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), and we assess changes in mass and molt status through the nesting season.

  14. Making the Most of World Natural Heritage—Linking Conservation and Sustainable Regional Development?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina Conradin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Today, more than 1000 World Heritage (WH sites are inscribed on UNESCO’s list, 228 of which are natural and mixed heritage sites. Once focused primarily on conservation, World Natural Heritage (WNH sites are increasingly seen as promoters of sustainable regional development. Sustainability-oriented regions, it is assumed, are safeguards for conservation and positively influence local conservation goals. Within UNESCO, discussions regarding the integration of sustainable development in official policies have recently gained momentum. In this article, we investigate the extent to which WNH sites trigger sustainability-oriented approaches in surrounding regions, and how such approaches in turn influence the WNH site and its protection. The results of the study are on the one hand based on a global survey with more than 60% of the WNH sites listed in 2011, and on the other hand on a complementary literature research. Furthermore, we analyze the policy framework necessary to support WNH sites in this endeavor. We conclude that a regional approach to WNH management is necessary to ensure that WNH sites support sustainable regional development effectively, but that the core focus of WNH status must remain environmental conservation.

  15. The importance of agricultural lands for Himalayan birds in winter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsen, Paul R; Kalyanaraman, Ramnarayan; Ramesh, Krishnamurthy; Wilcove, David S

    2017-04-01

    The impacts of land-use change on biodiversity in the Himalayas are poorly known, notwithstanding widespread deforestation and agricultural intensification in this highly biodiverse region. Although intact primary forests harbor many Himalayan birds during breeding, a large number of bird species use agricultural lands during winter. We assessed how Himalayan bird species richness, abundance, and composition during winter are affected by forest loss stemming from agriculture and grazing. Bird surveys along 12 elevational transects within primary forest, low-intensity agriculture, mixed subsistence agriculture, and intensively grazed pastures in winter revealed that bird species richness and abundance were greatest in low-intensity and mixed agriculture, intermediate in grazed pastures, and lowest in primary forest at both local and landscape scales; over twice as many species and individuals were recorded in low-intensity agriculture than in primary forest. Bird communities in primary forests were distinct from those in all other land-use classes, but only 4 species were unique to primary forests. Low-, medium-, and high-intensity agriculture harbored 32 unique species. Of the species observed in primary forest, 80% had equal or greater abundance in low-intensity agricultural lands, underscoring the value of these lands in retaining diverse community assemblages at high densities in winter. Among disturbed landscapes, bird species richness and abundance declined as land-use intensity increased, especially in high-intensity pastures. Our results suggest that agricultural landscapes are important for most Himalayan bird species in winter. But agricultural intensification-especially increased grazing-will likely result in biodiversity losses. Given that forest reserves alone may inadequately conserve Himalayan birds in winter, comprehensive conservation strategies in the region must go beyond protecting intact primary forests and ensure that low-intensity agricultural

  16. Keeping Hawai’i’s forest birds one step ahead of avian diseases in a warming world: a focus on Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. A case study from the National Conservation and Training Center Structured Decision Making Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxton, Eben H.; Burgett, Jeff; McDonald-Fadden, Eve; Bean, Ellen; Atkinson, Carter T.; Ball, Donna; Cole, Colleen; Crampton, Lisa H.; Kraus, Jim; LaPointe, Dennis A.; Mehrhoff, Loyal; Samuel, Michael D.; Brewer, Donna; Converse, Sarah J.; Morey, Steve

    2011-01-01

    This report is a product of a one-week workshop on using Structured Decision Making to identify and prioritize conservation actions to address the threat of climate change on Hawaii‟s native forest bird community. Specifically, t his report addresses the issue of global warming ‟s likely role in increasing disease prevalence in upper elevation forests of Hawaii, negatively impacting native bird populations susceptible to the disease but currently disease - free because of the cooler temperatures at high elevations. 

  17. Birds of Sierra de Vallejo, Nayarit, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Figueroa-Esquivel, E.M.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sierra de Vallejo, is considered a priority region for conservation, and is strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures. The inventory of birds are refers to studies in near areas. This study is a concrete contribution of the birds of the mountain chain and north of it. We considered bibliographic records and databases available on the web with records of ocurrence and specimens of scientific collections. Also we perform point counts in different localities inside the reserve. We observed a richness of 261 birds species, the family Tyrannidae is the best represented. Of the species recorded, 177 are permanent residents (31 are endemic and 15 are quasi-endemics to Mexico and 73 are migratory; the remaining eleven records have other status. Also 43 species are in endangered categories. We include species that have not been recorded in the lists of the area and records of species expand their ranges at Nayarit. Due to the great diversity of birds observed, it is necesary to continue the research work about habitat use, abundance and monitoring, it will provides the basis for the conservation of birds of Sierra de Vallejo.

  18. Global conservation model for a mushy region over a moving substrate

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kyselica, Juraj; Šimkanin, Ján

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 276, March (2018), s. 60-67 ISSN 0031-9201 Institutional support: RVO:67985530 Keywords : solidification * binary alloy * mushy region * global conservation * boundary-layer flow Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 2.075, year: 2016

  19. Regional assessment of the status, distribution and conservation needs of cheetahs in southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Purchase, Gianetta; Marker, Laurie; Marnewick, Kelly; Klein, Rebecca; Williams, Samual

    2007-01-01

    A country by country assessment of the status, distribution and conservation needs for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus in the southern African region indicates that this area holds a significant proportion of the global population of cheetahs, at least 4 500 adults. The largest proportion of this regional population occurs in four range states, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe where it is under threat as a result of conflict with livestock and wildlife ranchers, removal of animals (both ...

  20. Assessment of bird populations in a high quality savanna/woodland: a banding approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmore, Sandra L.; Glowacki, Gary A.; Grundel, Ralph

    2005-01-01

    Between 1999 and 2004, Save the Dunes Conservation Fund's Miller Woods Bird Banding Program monitored migrating and breeding bird populations within a high quality black oak, dry-mesic sand savanna/woodland with ridge and swale topography. The objectives of this program were to collect consistent and reliable demographic and abundance data on the bird populations, to investigate long-term population trends, and to contribute to improved land management decisions at regional and national scales. The technique employed involved capturing birds in mist nets that were deployed for set periods of time at 17 net sites in two banding areas in Miller Woods.

  1. Two Birds with One Social Policy Stone: Youth Employment and Regional Skills Shortages in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, Joanne; Bertone, Santina; Grace, Marty; Broadbent, Robyn

    2007-01-01

    In June 2005, the Victorian State Government introduced the Regional Jobs Package (RJP)--a twelve-month pilot program that attempted to kill two social policy problems with one stone. The problems were youth unemployment and skills shortages in regional areas of Victoria, Australia. The intention of the RJP was to create a "win-win"…

  2. A trans-national monarch butterfly population model and implications for regional conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberhauser, Karen; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Diffendorfer, James E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Ries, Leslie; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Semmens, Brice

    2017-01-01

    1. The monarch has undergone considerable population declines over the past decade, and the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have agreed to work together to conserve the species.2. Given limited resources, understanding where to focus conservation action is key for widespread species like monarchs. To support planning for continental-scale monarch habitat restoration, we address the question of where restoration efforts are likely to have the largest impacts on monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus Linn.) population growth rates.3. We present a spatially explicit demographic model simulating the multi-generational annual cycle of the eastern monarch population, and use the model to examine management scenarios, some of which focus on particular regions of North America.4. Improving the monarch habitat in the north central or southern parts of the monarch range yields a slightly greater increase in the population growth rate than restoration in other regions. However, combining restoration efforts across multiple regions yields population growth rates above 1 with smaller simulated improvements in habitat per region than single-region strategies.5. Synthesis and applications: These findings suggest that conservation investment in projects across the full monarch range will be more effective than focusing on one or a few regions, and will require international cooperation across many land use categories.

  3. Alabama ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns...

  4. Maryland ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  5. Fast discovery and visualization of conserved regions in DNA sequences using quasi-alignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagar, Anurag; Hahsler, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Next Generation Sequencing techniques are producing enormous amounts of biological sequence data and analysis becomes a major computational problem. Currently, most analysis, especially the identification of conserved regions, relies heavily on Multiple Sequence Alignment and its various heuristics such as progressive alignment, whose run time grows with the square of the number and the length of the aligned sequences and requires significant computational resources. In this work, we present a method to efficiently discover regions of high similarity across multiple sequences without performing expensive sequence alignment. The method is based on approximating edit distance between segments of sequences using p-mer frequency counts. Then, efficient high-throughput data stream clustering is used to group highly similar segments into so called quasi-alignments. Quasi-alignments have numerous applications such as identifying species and their taxonomic class from sequences, comparing sequences for similarities, and, as in this paper, discovering conserved regions across related sequences. In this paper, we show that quasi-alignments can be used to discover highly similar segments across multiple sequences from related or different genomes efficiently and accurately. Experiments on a large number of unaligned 16S rRNA sequences obtained from the Greengenes database show that the method is able to identify conserved regions which agree with known hypervariable regions in 16S rRNA. Furthermore, the experiments show that the proposed method scales well for large data sets with a run time that grows only linearly with the number and length of sequences, whereas for existing multiple sequence alignment heuristics the run time grows super-linearly. Quasi-alignment-based algorithms can detect highly similar regions and conserved areas across multiple sequences. Since the run time is linear and the sequences are converted into a compact clustering model, we are able to

  6. WeederH: an algorithm for finding conserved regulatory motifs and regions in homologous sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pesole Graziano

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This work addresses the problem of detecting conserved transcription factor binding sites and in general regulatory regions through the analysis of sequences from homologous genes, an approach that is becoming more and more widely used given the ever increasing amount of genomic data available. Results We present an algorithm that identifies conserved transcription factor binding sites in a given sequence by comparing it to one or more homologs, adapting a framework we previously introduced for the discovery of sites in sequences from co-regulated genes. Differently from the most commonly used methods, the approach we present does not need or compute an alignment of the sequences investigated, nor resorts to descriptors of the binding specificity of known transcription factors. The main novel idea we introduce is a relative measure of conservation, assuming that true functional elements should present a higher level of conservation with respect to the rest of the sequence surrounding them. We present tests where we applied the algorithm to the identification of conserved annotated sites in homologous promoters, as well as in distal regions like enhancers. Conclusion Results of the tests show how the algorithm can provide fast and reliable predictions of conserved transcription factor binding sites regulating the transcription of a gene, with better performances than other available methods for the same task. We also show examples on how the algorithm can be successfully employed when promoter annotations of the genes investigated are missing, or when regulatory sites and regions are located far away from the genes.

  7. Energy Conservation and Development Plan. Southern Tier Central Region, New York

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1979-07-01

    A summary is presented of the work of 40 volunteers working with regional planners to imagine, assess, and prescribe for the development of local energy resources (wind, solar, biomass, and water) and for conservation of all forms of energy. The plan contains a brief summary of the process the citizens followed in formulating the plan, the plans themselves, and appendices which contain more detailed comments by citizens on the possible consequences of the development of each resource. The areas (Chemung, Steuben, and Schuyler counties) experienced severe natural gas curtailments during the winter of 1976-1977. The formulation of an emergency energy conservation plan is also presented.

  8. How well do regional or national Breeding Bird Survey data predict songbird population trends at an intact boreal site?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig S. Machtans

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available A study to monitor boreal songbird trends was initiated in 1998 in a relatively undisturbed and remote part of the boreal forest in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Eight years of point count data were collected over the 14 years of the study, 1998-2011. Trends were estimated for 50 bird species using generalized linear mixed-effects models, with random effects to account for temporal (repeat sampling within years and spatial (stations within stands autocorrelation and variability associated with multiple observers. We tested whether regional and national Breeding Bird Survey (BBS trends could, on average, predict trends in our study area. Significant increases in our study area outnumbered decreases by 12 species to 6, an opposite pattern compared to Alberta (6 versus 15, respectively and Canada (9 versus 20. Twenty-two species with relatively precise trend estimates (precision to detect > 30% decline in 10 years; observed SE ≤ 3.7%/year showed nonsignificant trends, similar to Alberta (24 and Canada (20. Precision-weighted trends for a sample of 19 species with both reliable trends at our site and small portions of their range covered by BBS in Canada were, on average, more negative for Alberta (1.34% per year lower and for Canada (1.15% per year lower relative to Fort Liard, though 95% credible intervals still contained zero. We suggest that part of the differences could be attributable to local resource pulses (insect outbreak. However, we also suggest that the tendency for BBS route coverage to disproportionately sample more southerly, developed areas in the boreal forest could result in BBS trends that are not representative of range-wide trends for species whose range is centred farther north.

  9. Regional Conservation Status of Scleractinian Coral Biodiversity in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe Richards

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Preventing the loss of biodiversity is a major challenge in mega-diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs where there is a critical shortage of baseline demographic data. Threatened species assessments play a valuable role in guiding conservation action to manage and mitigate biodiversity loss, but they must be undertaken with precise information at an appropriate spatial scale to provide accurate classifications. Here we explore the regional conservation status of scleractinian corals on isolated Pacific Ocean atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We compile an integrated regional species list based upon new and historical records, and compare how well the regional threat classifications reflect species level priorities at a global scale. A similar proportion of the 240 species of hard coral recorded in the current survey are classified as Vulnerable at the regional scale as the global scale using the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List criteria (23% and 20% respectively, however there are distinct differences in the composition of species. When local abundance data is taken into account, a far greater proportion of the regional diversity (up to 80% may face an elevated risk of local extinction. These results suggest coral communities on isolated Pacific coral reefs, which are often predicted to be at low risk, are still vulnerable due to the small and fragmented nature of their populations. This reinforces that to adequately protect biodiversity, ongoing threatened species monitoring and the documentation of species-level changes in abundance and distribution is imperative.

  10. Nepal’s National Red List of Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Inskipp

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The main objectives of the Nepal National Bird Red Data Book were to provide comprehensive and up-to-date accounts of all the bird species found in Nepal, assess their status applying the IUCN Guidelines at Regional Levels, identify threats to all bird species and recommend the most practical measures for their conservation.  It is hoped that the Bird RDB will help Nepal achieve the Convention on Biological Diversity target of preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status.  As population changes of Nepal’s birds have been studied for only a few species, assessments of species’ national status were mainly made by assessing changes in distribution.  Species distribution maps were produced for all of Nepal’s bird species except vagrants and compared to maps that were produced in 1991 using the same mapping system.  Of the 878 bird species recorded, 168 species (19% were assessed as nationally threatened. These comprise 68 (40% Critically Endangered species, 38 (23% Endangered species and 62 (37% Vulnerable species.  A total of 62 species was considered Near Threatened and 22 species Data Deficient.  Over 55% of the threatened birds are lowland grassland specialists, 25% are wetland birds and 24% tropical and sub-tropical broadleaved forest birds.  Larger birds appear to be more threatened than smaller birds with 98 (25% non-passerine species threatened and 67 (14% passerine species.  Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are the most important threats.  Other threats include chemical poisoning, over-exploitation, climate change, hydropower, invasive species, intensification of agriculture, disturbance, and limited conservation measures and research.  Measures to address these threats are described.  It was also concluded that re-assessments of the status of certain bird groups carried out every five years and the setting up of a national online system for storing and reporting

  11. Roles of the conserved cytoplasmic region and non-conserved carboxy-terminal region of SecE in Escherichia coli protein translocase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kontinen, V P; Yamanaka, M; Nishiyama, K; Tokuda, H

    1996-06-01

    SecE, an essential membrane component of the Escherichia coli protein translocase, consists of 127 amino acid residues. Only a part of the second putative cytoplasmic region comprising some 13 residues is essential for the SecE function as long as the proper topological arrangement is retained. The Trp84 and Pro85 residues of this region are conserved in all eubacterial SecE homologues. The conservation of positively charged residues corresponding to Arg80 and Lys81 is also substantial. We deleted or replaced these residues to assess their roles in the SecE function. Deletion of the Arg80-Lys81 dipeptide did not abolish the SecE function whereas that of Trp84 or Pro85 caused a loss of the function. Strikingly, however, replacement of Pro85 with either Gly, Ser, or Ala, and that of Trp84 with Lys did not abolish the SecE function. These results indicate that the strong conservation of these residues does not reflect their obligatory requirement for the SecE function. A chimeric SecE possessing the cytoplasmic region of the E. coli SecE and the following region of the Bacillus subtilis SecE was able to form the translocation machinery together with SecA, SecY, and SecG. Although a Leu to Arg mutation at position 108 has been thought to cause a loss of signal recognition fidelity and thereby suppress a signal sequence defect, the same mutation at position 111 caused a complete loss of the function. The levels of SecY and SecG in the secEcsE501 mutant, which expresses SecE at a decreased level and is sensitive to low temperature, increased upon the expression of functional SecE derivatives, irrespective of the site of mutation, suggesting that the levels of SecY and SecG are co-operatively determined by the level of functional, but not non-functional, SecE. Based on these results, the SecE function in the translocase is discussed.

  12. Motor fuel taxation, energy conservation, and economic development: A regional approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    England, Richard W.

    2007-01-01

    Combustion of motor fuels has a variety of environmental impacts on local, regional and global scales. Taxing motor fuels more heavily would mitigate those environmental impacts. However, many governments are reluctant to increase motor fuel taxes because they fear that the tax incidence will be regressive and that economic development will be impeded. Using data for the New England region of the United States, this paper argues that an oil-importing region can conserve energy, avoid regressive impacts and encourage economic development by taxing motor fuels more heavily and rebating the incremental revenues to owners of motor vehicles. (author)

  13. Conservation status of the American horseshoe crab, (Limulus polyphemus): A regional assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David R.; Brockmann, H. Jane; Beekey, Mark A.; King, Timothy L.; Millard, Michael J.; Zaldívar-Rae, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Horseshoe crabs have persisted for more than 200 million years, and fossil forms date to 450 million years ago. The American horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), one of four extant horseshoe crab species, is found along the Atlantic coastline of North America ranging from Alabama to Maine, USA with another distinct population on the coasts of Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo in the Yucatán Peninsula, México. Although the American horseshoe crab tolerates broad environmental conditions, exploitation and habitat loss threaten the species. We assessed the conservation status of the American horseshoe crab by comprehensively reviewing available scientific information on its range, life history, genetic structure, population trends and analyses, major threats, and conservation. We structured the status assessment by six genetically-informed regions and accounted for sub-regional differences in environmental conditions, threats, and management. The transnational regions are Gulf of Maine (USA), Mid-Atlantic (USA), Southeast (USA), Florida Atlantic (USA), Northeast Gulf of México (USA), and Yucatán Peninsula (México). Our conclusion is that the American horseshoe crab species is vulnerable to local extirpation and that the degree and extent of risk vary among and within the regions. The risk is elevated in the Gulf of Maine region due to limited and fragmented habitat. The populations of horseshoe crabs in the Mid-Atlantic region are stable in the Delaware Bay area, and regulatory controls are in place, but the risk is elevated in the New England area as evidenced by continuing declines understood to be caused by over-harvest. The populations of horseshoe crabs in the Southeast region are stable or increasing. The populations of horseshoe crabs in the Florida Atlantic region show mixed trends among areas, and continuing population reductions at the embayment level have poorly understood causes. Within the Northeast Gulf of Mexico, causes of population trends are

  14. Exploring spatial patterns of vulnerability for diverse biodiversity descriptors in regional conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vimal, Ruppert; Pluvinet, Pascal; Sacca, Céline; Mazagol, Pierre-Olivier; Etlicher, Bernard; Thompson, John D

    2012-03-01

    In this study, we developed a multi-criteria assessment of spatial variability of the vulnerability of three different biodiversity descriptors: sites of high conservation interest by virtue of the presence of rare or remarkable species, extensive areas of high ecological integrity, and landscape diversity in grid cells across an entire region. We assessed vulnerability in relation to (a) direct threats in and around sites to a distance of 2 km associated with intensive agriculture, building and road infrastructure and (b) indirect effects of human population density on a wider scale (50 km). The different combinations of biodiversity and threat indicators allowed us to set differential priorities for biodiversity conservation and assess their spatial variation. For example, with this method we identified sites and grid cells which combined high biodiversity with either high threat values or low threat values for the three different biodiversity indicators. In these two classes the priorities for conservation planning will be different, reduce threat values in the former and restrain any increase in the latter. We also identified low priority sites (low biodiversity with either high or low threats). This procedure thus allows for the integration of a spatial ranking of vulnerability into priority setting for regional conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. A method for evaluating land conservation value by means of a bird community analysis; Valutazione dell`integrita` ecologica del territorio mediante l`analisi di comunita` di uccelli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fornasari, Lorenzo; De Carli, Elisabetta; Bottoni, Luciana; Massa, Renato [Milan, Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Scenze dell`Ambiente e del Territorio

    1997-06-01

    The present planetary crisis of species extinction is mainly due to habitat loss. Therefore, for its mitigation, it is imperative to identify areas of major conservation concern. To this end, they analysed bird community data, by selecting samples randomly over a large study area. They subjected the samples collected to a cluster analysis to identify `a posteriori` bird communities to be indexed together with their habitats associated. They identified 15 bird community types and were able to characterise each of them by a community conservation index (CCI) taking into account three different components of rarity: habitat selectivity, geographical distribution and abundance. A cluster of four communities was associated with lowland farmland and woodland; another cluster of five was found at higher average altitudes and degree of urbanization; a third one of six showed a montane distribution. This third cluster showed much higher CCI in comparison with the first two. As a conservation tool, CCI points out the events in which selectivity is high and geographical distribution / abundance is restricted. In the study area (the whole of Lombardy) they found that the communities showing high CCI values are mostly associated with habitats of marginal value for human use.

  16. Development of a landscape integrity model framework to support regional conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walston, Leroy J; Hartmann, Heidi M

    2018-01-01

    Land managers increasingly rely upon landscape assessments to understand the status of natural resources and identify conservation priorities. Many of these landscape planning efforts rely on geospatial models that characterize the ecological integrity of the landscape. These general models utilize measures of habitat disturbance and human activity to map indices of ecological integrity. We built upon these modeling frameworks by developing a Landscape Integrity Index (LII) model using geospatial datasets of the human footprint, as well as incorporation of other indicators of ecological integrity such as biodiversity and vegetation departure. Our LII model serves as a general indicator of ecological integrity in a regional context of human activity, biodiversity, and change in habitat composition. We also discuss the application of the LII framework in two related coarse-filter landscape conservation approaches to expand the size and connectedness of protected areas as regional mitigation for anticipated land-use changes.

  17. The research on regional conservation planning of urban historical and cultural areas based on GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shangli; Xu, Jian; Li, Qian

    2017-06-01

    With the rapid economic development and the growth of population happening in the urban historical and cultural areas, heritage and historical buildings along with their natural and artificial surrounding environments are suffering constructive destruction. Due to the lack of precise partition of protection region and construction control region in the local cultural relics protection law, traditional regional conservation planning cannot engaged with the urban controllability detailed planning very well. According to the several protection regulations about heritage and historical buildings from latest laws, we choose Baxian Temple area to study on the improvments of traditional regional conservation planning. The technical methods of this study mainly rely on GIS, which can complete the fundamental work of each stage. With the analytic hierarchy process(AHP), the comprehensive architectural value assessments can be calculated according to the investigation results. Based on the calculation results and visual corridor analysis, the precise range of protection region and construction control region can be decided and the specific protection measures can be formulated.

  18. Global conservation model for a mushy region over a moving substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyselica, J.; Šimkanin, J.

    2018-03-01

    We study solidification over a cool substrate moving with a relative velocity with respect to the rest of the fluid. A mathematical model based on global conservation of solute is presented. The explicit solutions of the governing equations are found and analysed via the asymptotic methods. The assessment of how the boundary-layer flow influences the physical characteristics of the mushy region is given, together with the discussion of a possible connection with the solidification at the inner core boundary.

  19. Scrub-shrub bird habitat associations at multiple spatial scales in beaver meadows in Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, R.B.; King, D.I.; DeStefano, S.

    2009-01-01

    Most scrub-shrub bird species are declining in the northeastern United States, and these declines are largely attributed to regional declines in habitat availability. American Beaver (Castor canadensis; hereafter “beaver”) populations have been increasing in the Northeast in recent decades, and beavers create scrub-shrub habitat through their dam-building and foraging activities. Few systematic studies have been conducted on the value of beaver-modified habitats for scrub-shrub birds, and these data are important for understanding habitat selection of scrub-shrub birds as well as for assessing regional habitat availability for these species. We conducted surveys in 37 beaver meadows in a 2,800-km2 study area in western Massachusetts during 2005 and 2006 to determine the extent to which these beaver-modified habitats are used by scrub-shrub birds, as well as the characteristics of beaver meadows most closely related to bird use. We modeled bird abundance in relation to microhabitat-, patch-, and landscape-context variables while adjusting for survey-specific covariates affecting detectability using N-mixture models. We found that scrub-shrub birds of regional conservation concern occupied these sites and that birds responded differently to microhabitat, patch, and landscape characteristics of beaver meadows. Generally, scrub-shrub birds increased in abundance along a gradient of increasing vegetation complexity, and three species were positively related to patch size. We conclude that these habitats can potentially play an important role in regional conservation of scrub-shrub birds and recommend that conservation priority be given to larger beaver meadows with diverse vegetation structure and composition.

  20. CO2 emissions reduction using energy conservation measures: EPA Region IV's experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berish, C.; Day, R.; Sibold, K.; Tiller, J.

    1994-01-01

    EPA Region 4 concluded in a recent comparative environmental risk evaluation that global climate change could substantially impact the Southeast. To address this risk, Region 4 developed an action plan to promote cost-effective pollution prevention and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, The regional plan contains programs that aye specific to Region 4 as well as geographic components of the national Climate Change Action Plan. Sources of carbon dioxide emissions were targeted for pollution prevention based on an energy model that allows the user to create energy efficiency scenarios in four sectors: residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation. Activities were selected using the modeled information on sector reduction potentials and resource and cost-effectiveness criteria. Given the high level of uncertainty associated with climate change projections, the programs developed are all cost effective, prevent pollution and/or result in sound adaptation policies. Currently, policy makers at national, regional, and local levels are deciding on what types of energy efficiency programs to implement. The region's action plan is composed of several programs and approaches. The authors have developed implemented, and/or participated in the following: energy scenario model. EARTHWALK (residential energy conservation); energy conservation in affordable homes (new residences); Cool Communities Program (strategic tree planting and light colored surfaces); EPA's Green Lights Program; WAVE (water conservation), the Plant Protection Center; QUEST TO SAVE THE EARTH (outreach tools); energy and water use planning for the 1996 Olympic Games, and planning for sea-level rise. Reviewing the practices of the above programs will be the focus of this paper

  1. Setback distances as a conservation tool in wildlife-human interactions: testing their efficacy for birds affected by vehicles on open-coast sandy beaches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A Schlacher

    Full Text Available In some wilderness areas, wildlife encounter vehicles disrupt their behaviour and habitat use. Changing driver behaviour has been proposed where bans on vehicle use are politically unpalatable, but the efficacy of vehicle setbacks and reduced speeds remains largely untested. We characterised bird-vehicle encounters in terms of driver behaviour and the disturbance caused to birds, and tested whether spatial buffers or lower speeds reduced bird escape responses on open beaches. Focal observations showed that: i most drivers did not create sizeable buffers between their vehicles and birds; ii bird disturbance was frequent; and iii predictors of probability of flushing (escape were setback distance and vehicle type (buses flushed birds at higher rates than cars. Experiments demonstrated that substantial reductions in bird escape responses required buffers to be wide (> 25 m and vehicle speeds to be slow (< 30 km h⁻¹. Setback distances can reduce impacts on wildlife, provided that they are carefully designed and derived from empirical evidence. No speed or distance combination we tested, however, eliminated bird responses. Thus, while buffers reduce response rates, they are likely to be much less effective than vehicle-free zones (i.e. beach closures, and rely on changes to current driver behaviour.

  2. Rewilding the tropics, and other conservation translocations strategies in the tropical Asia-Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louys, Julien; Corlett, Richard T; Price, Gilbert J; Hawkins, Stuart; Piper, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    Alarm over the prospects for survival of species in a rapidly changing world has encouraged discussion of translocation conservation strategies that move beyond the focus of ‘at-risk’ species. These approaches consider larger spatial and temporal scales than customary, with the aim of recreating functioning ecosystems through a combination of large-scale ecological restoration and species introductions. The term ‘rewilding’ has come to apply to this large-scale ecosystem restoration program. While reintroductions of species within their historical ranges have become standard conservation tools, introductions within known paleontological ranges—but outside historical ranges—are more controversial, as is the use of taxon substitutions for extinct species. Here, we consider possible conservation translocations for nine large-bodied taxa in tropical Asia-Pacific. We consider the entire spectrum of conservation translocation strategies as defined by the IUCN in addition to rewilding. The taxa considered are spread across diverse taxonomic and ecological spectra and all are listed as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ by the IUCN in our region of study. They all have a written and fossil record that is sufficient to assess past changes in range, as well as ecological and environmental preferences, and the reasons for their decline, and they have all suffered massive range restrictions since the late Pleistocene. General principles, problems, and benefits of translocation strategies are reviewed as case studies. These allowed us to develop a conservation translocation matrix, with taxa scored for risk, benefit, and feasibility. Comparisons between taxa across this matrix indicated that orangutans, tapirs, Tasmanian devils, and perhaps tortoises are the most viable taxa for translocations. However, overall the case studies revealed a need for more data and research for all taxa, and their ecological and environmental needs. Rewilding the Asian

  3. Genes involved in complex adaptive processes tend to have highly conserved upstream regions in mammalian genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohane Isaac

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent advances in genome sequencing suggest a remarkable conservation in gene content of mammalian organisms. The similarity in gene repertoire present in different organisms has increased interest in studying regulatory mechanisms of gene expression aimed at elucidating the differences in phenotypes. In particular, a proximal promoter region contains a large number of regulatory elements that control the expression of its downstream gene. Although many studies have focused on identification of these elements, a broader picture on the complexity of transcriptional regulation of different biological processes has not been addressed in mammals. The regulatory complexity may strongly correlate with gene function, as different evolutionary forces must act on the regulatory systems under different biological conditions. We investigate this hypothesis by comparing the conservation of promoters upstream of genes classified in different functional categories. Results By conducting a rank correlation analysis between functional annotation and upstream sequence alignment scores obtained by human-mouse and human-dog comparison, we found a significantly greater conservation of the upstream sequence of genes involved in development, cell communication, neural functions and signaling processes than those involved in more basic processes shared with unicellular organisms such as metabolism and ribosomal function. This observation persists after controlling for G+C content. Considering conservation as a functional signature, we hypothesize a higher density of cis-regulatory elements upstream of genes participating in complex and adaptive processes. Conclusion We identified a class of functions that are associated with either high or low promoter conservation in mammals. We detected a significant tendency that points to complex and adaptive processes were associated with higher promoter conservation, despite the fact that they have emerged

  4. Conservation in metropolitan regions: assessing trends and threats of urban development and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, J. H.; Santos, M. J.; Bjorkman, J.

    2011-12-01

    Two global challenges to successful conservation are urban expansion and climate change. Rapid urban growth threatens biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, while climate change may make currently protected areas unsuitable for species that exist within them. We examined three measures of landscape change for 8800 km2 of the San Francisco Bay metropolitan region over 80 years past and future: urban growth, protected area establishment, and natural vegetation type extents. The Bay Area is a good test bed for conservation assessment of the impacts of temporal and spatial of urban growth and land cover change. The region is geographically rather small, with over 40% of its lands already dedicated to protected park and open space lands, they are well-documented, and, the area has had extensive population growth in the past and is projected to continue to grow. The ten-county region within which our study area is a subset has grown from 1.78 million people in 1930, to 6.97 million in 2000 and is estimated to grow to 10.94 million by 2050. With such an influx of people into a small geographic area, it is imperative to both examine the past urban expansion and estimate how the future population will be accommodated into the landscape. We quantify these trends to assess conservation 'success' through time. We used historical and current landcover maps to assess trend, and a GIS-based urban modeling (UPlan) to assess future urban growth impacts in the region, under three policy scenarios- business as usual, smart growth, and urban redevelopment. Impacts are measured by the amount of open space targeted by conservation planners in the region that will be urbanized under each urban growth policy. Impacts are also measured by estimates of the energy consumption projected for each of the scenarios on household and business unit level. The 'business as usual' and 'smart growth' scenarios differed little in their impacts to targeted conservation lands, because so little

  5. An evolutionarily conserved intronic region controls the spatiotemporal expression of the transcription factor Sox10

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavan William J

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A major challenge lies in understanding the complexities of gene regulation. Mutation of the transcription factor SOX10 is associated with several human diseases. The disease phenotypes reflect the function of SOX10 in diverse tissues including the neural crest, central nervous system and otic vesicle. As expected, the SOX10 expression pattern is complex and highly dynamic, but little is known of the underlying mechanisms regulating its spatiotemporal pattern. SOX10 expression is highly conserved between all vertebrates characterised. Results We have combined in vivo testing of DNA fragments in zebrafish and computational comparative genomics to identify the first regulatory regions of the zebrafish sox10 gene. Both approaches converged on the 3' end of the conserved 1st intron as being critical for spatial patterning of sox10 in the embryo. Importantly, we have defined a minimal region crucial for this function. We show that this region contains numerous binding sites for transcription factors known to be essential in early neural crest induction, including Tcf/Lef, Sox and FoxD3. We show that the identity and relative position of these binding sites are conserved between zebrafish and mammals. A further region, partially required for oligodendrocyte expression, lies in the 5' region of the same intron and contains a putative CSL binding site, consistent with a role for Notch signalling in sox10 regulation. Furthermore, we show that β-catenin, Notch signalling and Sox9 can induce ectopic sox10 expression in early embryos, consistent with regulatory roles predicted from our transgenic and computational results. Conclusion We have thus identified two major sites of sox10 regulation in vertebrates and provided evidence supporting a role for at least three factors in driving sox10 expression in neural crest, otic epithelium and oligodendrocyte domains.

  6. Evolutionarily conserved regions of the human c-myc protein can be uncoupled from transforming activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarid, J.; Halazonetis, T.D.; Murphy, W.; Leder, P.

    1987-01-01

    The myc family of oncogenes contains coding sequences that have been preserved in different species for over 400 million years. This conservation (which implies functional selection) is broadly represented throughout the C-terminal portion of the human c-myc protein but is largely restricted to three cluster of amino acid sequences in the N-terminal region. The authors have examined the role that the latter three regions of the c-myc protein might play in the transforming function of the c-myc gene. Several mutations, deletions and frameshifts, were introduced into the c-myc gene, and these mutant genes were tested for their ability to collaborate with the EJ-ras oncogene to transform rat embryo fibroblasts. Complete elimination of the first two N-terminal conserved segments abolished transforming activity. In contrast, genes altered in a portion of the second or the entire third conserved segment retained their transforming activity. Thus, the latter two segments are not required for the transformation process, suggesting that they serve another function related only to the normal expression of the c-myc gene

  7. Plant diversity and conservation status of Himalayan Region Poonch Valley Azad Kashmir (Pakistan).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Muhammad Azam; Khan, Mir Ajab; Hussain, Mazhar; Mujtaba, Ghulam

    2014-09-01

    The plant diversity of Himalayan region has been reduced to greater extent due to environmental degradation and human exploitation. Anthropogenic disturbance was the major factor responsible for fragmentation of forest vegetation into small patches. Little research has been conducted in the Himalayan region of Poonch Valley of North eastern Pakistan with reference to plants biodiversity and its conservation. The present research was carried out to provide a checklist of vegetation for biodiversity conservation. A total of 430 vascular and 5 nonvascular plant species with 5 species of Bryophytes (5 families), 13 species of Pteridophytes (6 families), 4 species of Gymnosperms (1 family) and 413 species of angiosperms (95 families) were enumerated from the Poonch valley Azad Kashmir. The genera were classified into three categories according to the number of species. 25 plant communities with phytosociological parameters and diversity indices were reported. Present study revealed that there were 145 threatened, 30 endangered, 68 vulnerable and 47 rare species. It is recorded that extensive grazing, uprooting of plants and soil slope erosion intensify the environmental problems. Since there is maximum exploitation of vegetation, the valley showed a decline in plant diversity. The study was also indicated that the main threats to the biodiversity are expansion of settlement and army installations in the forest area of the valley. For sustainable use In-situ and Ex-situ conservation, controlled harvesting and afforestation may be the solution. Moreover, forest area should be declared prohibited for settlements and army installations.

  8. Screamy Bird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tarby, Sara; Cermak, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016.......Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016....

  9. Building on IUCN regional red lists to produce lists of species of conservation priority: a model with Irish bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Una; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J; Brown, Mark J F

    2007-10-01

    A World Conservation Union (IUCN) regional red list is an objective assessment of regional extinction risk and is not the same as a list of conservation priority species. Recent research reveals the widespread, but incorrect, assumption that IUCN Red List categories represent a hierarchical list of priorities for conservation action. We developed a simple eight-step priority-setting process and applied it to the conservation of bees in Ireland. Our model is based on the national red list but also considers the global significance of the national population; the conservation status at global, continental, and regional levels; key biological, economic, and societal factors; and is compatible with existing conservation agreements and legislation. Throughout Ireland, almost one-third of the bee fauna is threatened (30 of 100 species), but our methodology resulted in a reduced list of only 17 priority species. We did not use the priority species list to broadly categorize species to the conservation action required; instead, we indicated the individual action required for all threatened, near-threatened, and data-deficient species on the national red list based on the IUCN's conservation-actions template file. Priority species lists will strongly influence prioritization of conservation actions at national levels, but action should not be exclusive to listed species. In addition, all species on this list will not necessarily require immediate action. Our method is transparent, reproducible, and readily applicable to other taxa and regions.

  10. Characterization of chromosomal regions conserved in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and lost by Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pouillot, Flavie; Fayolle, Corinne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-10-01

    The transformation of the enteropathogenic bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis into the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis, has been accompanied by extensive genetic loss. This study focused on chromosomal regions conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and lost during its transformation into Y. pestis. An extensive PCR screening of 78 strains of the two species identified five regions (R1 to R5) and four open reading frames (ORFs; orf1 to orf4) that were conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and absent from Y. pestis. Their conservation in Y. pseudotuberculosis suggests a positive selective pressure and a role during the life cycle of this species. Attempts to delete two ORFs (orf3 and orf4) from the chromosome of strain IP32953 were unsuccessful, indicating that they are essential for its viability. The seven remaining loci were individually deleted from the IP32953 chromosome, and the ability of each mutant to grow in vitro and to kill mice upon intragastric infection was evaluated. Four loci (orf1, R2, R4, and R5) were not required for optimal growth or virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis. In contrast, orf2, encoding a putative pseudouridylate synthase involved in RNA stability, was necessary for the optimal growth of IP32953 at 37 degrees C in a chemically defined medium (M63S). Deletion of R1, a region predicted to encode the methionine salvage pathway, altered the mutant pathogenicity, suggesting that the availability of free methionine is severely restricted in vivo. R3, a region composed mostly of genes of unknown functions, was necessary for both optimal growth of Y. pseudotuberculosis at 37 degrees C in M63S and for virulence. Therefore, despite their loss in Y. pestis, five of the nine Y. pseudotuberculosis-specific chromosomal loci studied play a role in the survival, growth, or virulence of this species.

  11. Conserved regions of ribonucleoprotein ribonuclease MRP are involved in interactions with its substrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esakova, Olga; Perederina, Anna; Berezin, Igor; Krasilnikov, Andrey S

    2013-08-01

    Ribonuclease (RNase) MRP is a ubiquitous and essential site-specific eukaryotic endoribonuclease involved in the metabolism of a wide range of RNA molecules. RNase MRP is a ribonucleoprotein with a large catalytic RNA moiety that is closely related to the RNA component of RNase P, and multiple proteins, most of which are shared with RNase P. Here, we report the results of an ultraviolet-cross-linking analysis of interactions between a photoreactive RNase MRP substrate and the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNase MRP holoenzyme. The results show that the substrate interacts with phylogenetically conserved RNA elements universally found in all enzymes of the RNase P/MRP family, as well as with a phylogenetically conserved RNA region that is unique to RNase MRP, and demonstrate that four RNase MRP protein components, all shared with RNase P, interact with the substrate. Implications for the structural organization of RNase MRP and the roles of its components are discussed.

  12. The bioenergy potential of conservation areas and roadsides for biogas in an urbanized region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Meerbeek, Koenraad; Ottoy, Sam; De Meyer, Annelies; Van Schaeybroeck, Tom; Van Orshoven, Jos; Muys, Bart; Hermy, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We assessed the bioenergy potential of conservation areas and roadsides in Flanders. • An area of 31,055 ha produces 203 kton DM of herbaceous biomass annually. • The associated biomass supply chain was optimized with OPTIMASS in four scenarios. • The net energy balance of the studied systems was 7 GJ ha −1 in the 2020 scenarios. • We show that this biomass can play a role to meet the increased biomass demand in 2020. - Abstract: In many urbanized areas the roadside and nature conservation management offers a biomass-for-bioenergy resource potential which is barely valorized, because of the fragmented biomass production sites and the scarcity of accurate data on the spatial availability of the biomass. In this study, a GIS based assessment was performed to determine the regional non-woody biomass-for-bioenergy potential for biogas from conservation areas and roadsides in Flanders, Belgium. These systems, with an area of 31,055 ha, have an annual herbaceous biomass production of 203 kton dry matter. The full associated biomass-to-bioenergy supply chain was optimized in four scenarios to maximize the net energy output and the profit. The scenario analysis was performed with OPTIMASS, a recently developed GIS based strategic decision support system. The analysis showed that the energetic valorization of conservation and roadside biomass through anaerobic digestion had a positive net energy balance, although there is still much room for improvements. Economically, however, it is a less interesting biomass resource. Most likely, the economic picture would change when other ecosystem services delivered by the protected biodiversity would be taken into account. Future technical advances and governmental incentives, like green energy certificates, will be necessary to incorporate the biomass into the energy chain. By tackling the existing barriers and providing a detailed methodology for biomass potential assessments, this study tries to

  13. An evolutionary model for protein-coding regions with conserved RNA structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jakob Skou; Forsberg, Roald; Meyer, Irmtraud Margret

    2004-01-01

    in the RNA structure. The overlap of these fundamental dependencies is sufficient to cause "contagious" context dependencies which cascade across many nucleotide sites. Such large-scale dependencies challenge the use of traditional phylogenetic models in evolutionary inference because they explicitly assume...... components of traditional phylogenetic models. We applied this to a data set of full-genome sequences from the hepatitis C virus where five RNA structures are mapped within the coding region. This allowed us to partition the effects of selection on different structural elements and to test various hypotheses......Here we present a model of nucleotide substitution in protein-coding regions that also encode the formation of conserved RNA structures. In such regions, apparent evolutionary context dependencies exist, both between nucleotides occupying the same codon and between nucleotides forming a base pair...

  14. LINKING THE COMMUNITY IN THE MIGRATORY RAPTOR BIRDS COUNTS (BIRDS: FALCONIFORM IN EASTERN CUBA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naylien Barreda-Leyva

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Through interviews, workshops, conferences and sociocultural meeting, is carried out the linking of three communities from the high area of Gran Piedra to the studies and counts of migratory raptors birds developed in the east of Cuba. These small communities are near to one of the two points of count of migratory raptors of the region. During the interviews we could verify that some residents possessed basic knowledge on the raptors birds, but didn't know about the migration of these birds. 100 % of the interviewees coincided in that the main local problematic is the loss of birds of pen due to the attack of raptors, specifically the endemic Cuban threatened Accipitter gundlachi. The workshops were able to create spaces of exchange and reflection about the importance of the raptor’s conservation in the region. This linkage of cooperation and increasing awareness, allow an approaching between the communitarians and the researchers and volunteers that work in the counts of raptor birds in Cuba and the feedback of the scientific knowledge with the popular knowledge.

  15. Isolation and Genetic Characterization of Avian Influenza Viruses Isolated from Wild Birds in the Azov-Black Sea Region of Ukraine (2001-2012).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muzyka, Denys; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Spackman, Erica; Smith, Diane; Rula, Oleksandr; Muzyka, Nataliia; Stegniy, Borys

    2016-05-01

    Wild bird surveillance for avian influenza virus (AIV) was conducted from 2001 to 2012 in the Azov - Black Sea region of the Ukraine, considered part of the transcontinental wild bird migration routes from northern Asia and Europe to the Mediterranean, Africa, and southwest Asia. A total of 6281 samples were collected from wild birds representing 27 families and eight orders for virus isolation. From these samples, 69 AIVs belonging to 15 of the 16 known hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes and seven of nine known neuraminidase (NA) subtypes were isolated. No H14, N5, or N9 subtypes were identified. In total, nine H6, eight H1, nine H5, seven H7, six H11, six H4, five H3, five H10, four H8, three H2, three H9, one H12, one H13, one H15, and one H16 HA subtypes were isolated. As for the NA subtypes, twelve N2, nine N6, eight N8, seven N7, six N3, four N4, and one undetermined were isolated. There were 27 HA and NA antigen combinations. All isolates were low pathogenic AIV except for eight highly pathogenic (HP) AIVs that were isolated during the H5N1 HPAI outbreaks of 2006-08. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the HA genes revealed epidemiological connections between the Azov-Black Sea regions and Europe, Russia, Mongolia, and Southeast Asia. H1, H2, H3, H7, H8, H6, H9, and H13 AIV subtypes were closely related to European, Russian, Mongolian, and Georgian AIV isolates. H10, H11, and H12 AIV subtypes were epidemiologically linked to viruses from Europe and Southeast Asia. Serology conducted on serum and egg yolk samples also demonstrated previous exposure of many wild bird species to different AIVs. Our results demonstrate the great genetic diversity of AIVs in wild birds in the Azov-Black Sea region as well as the importance of this region for monitoring and studying the ecology of influenza viruses. This information furthers our understanding of the ecology of avian influenza viruses in wild bird species.

  16. Challenges of transfrontier conservation areas: Natural resources nationalism, security and regionalism in the southern African development community region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswell Rusinga

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs initiatives in the Southern African Development Community (SADC region offer hope for providing a mechanism for resolving political tensions and conflicts which are not only related to environmental issues but to security concerns as well. The geopolitical implications of TFCAs in the SADC region cannot be overemphasised with regard to international relations and regional integration. The SADS region is characterised by histories of contested military balance of power and geopolitical rivalries which have a potential to degenerate into military confrontation. Although there is a strong belief in multilateral co-operation among SADC member countries, most of them often engage the international community at the bilateral level. Moreover, there is disharmony in constitutional applications of the rule of law, respect of human rights and good governance. However, TFCAs initiatives in Southern Africa have been seen as offering an opportunity to heal the wounds of pre- and post-independence wars of destabilisation through the encouragement of inter-state collaboration and co-operation by giving governments an opportunity for mutual action on issues of common interest.

  17. [Preparation and characterization of mouse polyclonal antibody against conserved region of human FOXO3].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lei; Lyu, Dan

    2017-06-01

    Objective To purify the recombinant protein specific to conserved region of forkhead box O3 (FOXO3) and prepare mouse anti-human FOXO3 polyclonal antibody. Methods The DNA fragment (aa290-472) encoding conserved domain of FOXO3 was amplified by PCR, and subsequently cloned into pET28a vector. Following transformation into E.coli BL21, the soluble fusion protein His-FOXO3 was induced by IPTG and purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purified protein was used to immunize BALB/c mice to generate polyclonal antibody. The characteristics of the polyclonal antibody were assessed by ELISA, Western blotting and immunoprecipitation assays. Results We successfully prepared the expression vector pET28a-FOXO3 (aa290-472) and expressed the purified fusion protein in a soluble form. By immunizing mice with the fusion protein, we obtained anti-human FOXO3 polyclonal antibody. ELISA and Western blotting showed that the mouse antibody could recognize specifically the endogenous FOXO3 protein. Conclusion The polyclonal antibody against conserved domain of FOXO3 can identify the endogenous FOXO3 protein. It can be used to analyze the endogenous FOXO3 expression level.

  18. Federal Conservation Units in Brazil: The Situation of Biomes and Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Pacca Luna Mattar

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Federal conservation units (FCU are areas legally established by the government, in order to meet the needs of protection and sustainable exploitation of biodiversity. A way to ensure the efficiency of public management is to systematize data. Therefore, the present study grouped and analyzed public data about FCU. Brazil has 309 federal conservation units, which represent 9.06% of the national territory and 45305 residents households. The Northern Region covers 84.80% of these families and 79.20% of its area belongs to FCU. The Amazônia biome has 14.57% of its territory occupied by FCU; on the other hand, Pantanal has only 0.98% of its area protected. There is a higher concentration of public agents in the FCU of the Southeastern region and in the Mata Atlântica biome. The analysis of this information reveals significant differences between the biomes and the federation units, a fact that reflects the importance of the organization of public data.

  19. Local knowledge of the flora of a region: implications in biodiversity conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria da Conceição Pereira

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The flora of a region is important in aesthetic, environmental and economic terms. Academic degree holders are fundamental for the sustainable development of a geographically isolated region such as the Azores, the University of Azores (UAc contributing to that goal. We assessed the perception of the UAc students about the origin and the importance of the Azorean flora for conservation, culture and economy, by applying a questionnaire to 309 students in different scientific areas, addressing origin, symbolic importance, economic importance, and environmental functions. Students showed some knowledge about the concepts of endemic, native, introduced and invasive species, but often failed to connect those to specific plant taxa. Most species cited as symbolic were animals, and the plants mentioned were mainly exotic/invasive. Respondents had a sense of the most important crops and forest species, and attributed several functions related to biodiversity and environmental conservation to the flora. Despite the many actions already implemented, more initiatives are required to increase the connection between Azoreans and Azorean flora.

  20. Rational sub-division of plant trypanosomes (Phytomonas spp.) based on minicircle conserved region analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturm, Nancy R; Dollet, Michel; Lukes, Julius; Campbell, David A

    2007-09-01

    The sequences of minicircle conserved regions from various plant trypanosomatids have been determined and analyzed. The goal of this study was to add another tool to the arsenal of molecular probes for distinguishing between the different trypanosomatids occurring in plants: systemic trypanosomatids multiplying in the sap, those from the laticiferous tubes, and those developing in fruits, seeds or flowers but not in the plant itself and that are frequently considered as opportunistic insect trypanosomatids. As some plant intraphloemic trypanosomatids are the causative agents of important diseases, a clear definition of the different types of trypanosomatids is critical. The conserved region of the mitochondrial minicircle provides several specific features in a small sequence region containing three functionally elements required for minicircle replication. Trees generated from the analysis recapitulated trees drawn from analyses of isoenzymes, RAPD, and particular gene sequences, supporting the validity of the small region used in this work. Three groups of isolates were significant and in accordance with previous work. The peculiarity of phloem-restricted trypanosomatids associated with wilts of coconut and oil palm in Latin America - group H - is confirmed. In agreement with previous studies on their biological and serological properties the results highlighted this group called 'phloemicola'. It always differentiated from all other latex and fruit isolates or opportunistic trypanosomatids, like insect trypanosomatids. We can assert that phloemicola is the only well-defined taxon among all plant trypanosomatids. A group of non-pathogenic latex isolates from South American euphorbs (G), and a heterogenous group (A) including one fruit, one possible latex and one insect isolate are clearly distinct groups. The group of Mediterranean isolates from latex (D), even with a low boostrap, stood out well from other groups. The remainder of the isolates fell into a

  1. Temporal bird community dynamics are strongly affected by landscape fragmentation in a Central American tropical forest region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blandón, A.C.; Perelman, S.B.; Ramírez, M.; López, A.; Javier, O.; Robbins, Chandler S.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered the main causes of species extinctions, particularly in tropical ecosystems. The objective of this work was to evaluate the temporal dynamics of tropical bird communities in landscapes with different levels of fragmentation in eastern Guatemala. We evaluated five bird community dynamic parameters for forest specialists and generalists: (1) species extinction, (2) species turnover, (3) number of colonizing species, (4) relative species richness, and (5) a homogeneity index. For each of 24 landscapes, community dynamic parameters were estimated from bird point count data, for the 1998–1999 and 2008–2009 periods, accounting for species’ detection probability. Forest specialists had higher extinction rates and a smaller number of colonizing species in landscapes with higher fragmentation, thus having lower species richness in both time periods. Alternatively, forest generalists elicited a completely different pattern, showing a curvilinear association to forest fragmentation for most parameters. Thus, greater community dynamism for forest generalists was shown in landscapes with intermediate levels of fragmentation. Our study supports general theory regarding the expected negative effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on the temporal dynamics of biotic communities, particularly for forest specialists, providing strong evidence from understudied tropical bird communities.

  2. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio A Balaguera-Reina

    Full Text Available Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius, defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU and regional research priorities (RRP for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2 and Venezuela (919 km2, which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius' potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries. Caño Guaritico (Creek and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species

  3. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa-Blanco, Ariel S.; Morales-Betancourt, Mónica A.; Seijas, Andrés E.; Lasso, Carlos A.; Antelo, Rafael; Densmore, Llewellyn D.

    2017-01-01

    Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius), defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU) and regional research priorities (RRP) for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM) to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2) and Venezuela (919 km2), which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius’ potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon) exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries) where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia) and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries). Caño Guaritico (Creek) and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species is

  4. Wound-healing ability is conserved during periods of chronic stress and costly life history events in a wild-caught bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuRant, S E; de Bruijn, R; Tran, M N; Romero, L M

    2016-04-01

    Chronic stress, potentially through the actions of corticosterone, is thought to directly impair the function of immune cells. However, chronic stress may also have an indirect effect by influencing allocation of energy, ultimately shifting resources away from the immune system. If so, the effects of chronic stress on immune responses may be greater during energetically-costly life history events. To test whether the effects of chronic stress on immune responses differ during expensive life history events we measured wound healing rate in molting and non-molting European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) exposed to control or chronic stress conditions. To determine whether corticosterone correlated with wound healing rates before starting chronic stress, we measured baseline and stress-induced corticosterone and two estimates of corticosterone release and regulation, negative feedback (using dexamethasone injection), and maximal capacity of the adrenals to secrete corticosterone (using adrenocorticotropin hormone [ACTH] injection). After 8days of exposure to chronic stress, we wounded both control and chronically stressed birds and monitored healing daily. We monitored nighttime heart rate, which strongly correlates with energy expenditure, and body mass throughout the study. Measures of corticosterone did not differ with molt status. Contrary to work on lizards and small mammals, all birds, regardless of stress or molt status, fully-healed wounds at similar rates. Although chronic stress did not influence healing rates, individuals with low baseline corticosterone or strong negative feedback had faster healing rates than individuals with high baseline corticosterone or weak negative feedback. In addition, wound healing does appear to be linked to energy expenditure and body mass. Non-molting, chronically stressed birds decreased nighttime heart rate during healing, but this pattern did not exist in molting birds. Additionally, birds of heavier body mass at the start of

  5. Status and conservation of old-growth forests and endemic birds in the pine-oak zone of the Sierra Madre occidental Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Lammertink, J.M.; Rojas-Tome, J.A.; Casillas-Orona, F.M.; Otto, R.L.

    1996-01-01

    The pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental, a mountain range in NW Mexico, have recently been recognized as an area of high endemism and biodiversity. Selective logging threatens three bird species endemic to this habitat, who depend on standing dead trees (snags). This report is based on an 11 month field survey that aimed to locate oldgrowth remnants and to assess the status of the endemic birds. Old-growth is defined here as a forest that has never been logged mechanically. Old-gr...

  6. 45 CFR 670.20 - Designation of native birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of native birds. 670.20 Section 670.20... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.20 Designation of native birds. The following are designated native birds: Albatross Black-browed—Diomedea...

  7. Interactive effects of climate change with nutrients, mercury, and freshwater acidification on key taxa in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkney, Alfred E.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Evers, David C.; Hooper, Michael J.; Horan, Jeffrey; Jones, Jess W.; Lazarus, Rebecca S.; Marshall, Harold G.; Milliken, Andrew; Rattner, Barnett A.; Schmerfeld, John J.; Sparling, Donald W.

    2015-01-01

    The North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative LCC (NA LCC) is a public–private partnership that provides information to support conservation decisions that may be affected by global climate change (GCC) and other threats. The NA LCC region extends from southeast Virginia to the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Within this region, the US National Climate Assessment documented increases in air temperature, total precipitation, frequency of heavy precipitation events, and rising sea level, and predicted more drastic changes. Here, we synthesize literature on the effects of GCC interacting with selected contaminant, nutrient, and environmental processes to adversely affect natural resources within this region. Using a case study approach, we focused on 3 stressors with sufficient NA LCC region-specific information for an informed discussion. We describe GCC interactions with a contaminant (Hg) and 2 complex environmental phenomena—freshwater acidification and eutrophication. We also prepared taxa case studies on GCC- and GCC-contaminant/nutrient/process effects on amphibians and freshwater mussels. Several avian species of high conservation concern have blood Hg concentrations that have been associated with reduced nesting success. Freshwater acidification has adversely affected terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the Adirondacks and other areas of the region that are slowly recovering due to decreased emissions of N and sulfur oxides. Eutrophication in many estuaries within the region is projected to increase from greater storm runoff and less denitrification in riparian wetlands. Estuarine hypoxia may be exacerbated by increased stratification. Elevated water temperature favors algal species that produce harmful algal blooms (HABs). In several of the region's estuaries, HABs have been associated with bird die-offs. In the NA LCC region, amphibian populations appear to be declining. Some species may be adversely affected by GCC through higher temperatures

  8. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Maltchik

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (~280 000km², and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from differrent ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.

  9. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltchik, Leonardo; Dalzochio, Marina Schmidt; Stenert, Cristina; Rolon, Ana Silvia

    2012-03-01

    The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (approximately 280 000km2), and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera) in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from different ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.

  10. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  11. Evaluating the impact of water conservation on fate of outdoor water use: a study in an arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qaiser, Kamal; Ahmad, Sajjad; Johnson, Walter; Batista, Jacimaria

    2011-08-01

    In this research, the impact of several water conservation policies and return flow credits on the fate of water used outdoors in an arid region is evaluated using system dynamics modeling approach. Return flow credits is a strategy where flow credits are obtained for treated wastewater returned to a water body, allowing for the withdrawal of additional water equal to the amount returned as treated wastewater. In the return credit strategy, treated wastewater becomes a resource. This strategy creates a conundrum in which conservation may lead to an apparent decrease in water supply because less wastewater is generated and returned to water body. The water system of the arid Las Vegas Valley in Nevada, USA is used as basis for the dynamic model. The model explores various conservation scenarios to attain the daily per capita demand target of 752 l by 2035: (i) status quo situation where conservation is not implemented, (ii) conserving water only on the outdoor side, (iii) conserving water 67% outdoor and 33% indoor, (iv) conserving equal water both in the indoor and outdoor use (v) conserving water only on the indoor side. The model is validated on data from 1993 to 2008 and future simulations are carried out up to 2035. The results show that a substantial portion of the water used outdoor either evapo-transpires (ET) or infiltrates to shallow groundwater (SGW). Sensitivity analysis indicated that seepage to groundwater is more susceptible to ET compared to any other variable. The all outdoor conservation scenario resulted in the highest return flow credits and the least ET and SGW. A major contribution of this paper is in addressing the water management issues that arise when wastewater is considered as a resource and developing appropriate conservation policies in this backdrop. The results obtained can be a guide in developing outdoor water conservation policies in arid regions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Status and conservation of old-growth forests and endemic birds in the pine-oak zone of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lammertink, J.M.; Rojas-Tomé, J.A.; Casillas-Orona, F.M.; Otto, R.L.

    1996-01-01

    The pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental, a mountain range in NW Mexico, have recently been recognized as an area of high endemism and biodiversity. Selective logging threatens three bird species endemic to this habitat, who depend on standing dead trees (snags). This report is based on

  13. The Avian Knowledge Network : A partnership to organize, analyze, and visualize bird observation data for education, conservation, research, and land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall Iliff; Leo Salas; Ernesto Ruelas Inzunza; Grant Ballard; Denis Lepage; Steve Kelling

    2009-01-01

    The Avian Knowledge Network (AKN) is an international collaboration of academic, nongovernment, and government institutions with the goal of organizing observations of birds into an interoperable format to enhance access, data visualization and exploration, and scientifi c analyses. The AKN uses proven cyberinfrastructure and informatics techniques as the foundation of...

  14. Exploring Conservation Options in the Broad-Leaved Korean Pine Mixed Forest of the Changbai Mountain Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Ma

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The broad-leaved Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis mixed forest (BKPF is one of the most biodiverse zonal communities in the northern temperate zone. Changbai Mountain in northeastern China contains one of the largest BKPFs in the region. The government of China has established a network of 23 nature reserves to protect the BKPF and the species that depend on it for habitat, including the endangered Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica. This study used the conservation planning software C-Plan to calculate the irreplaceability value of each unit to assess how efficiently and comprehensively the existing conservation network supports biodiversity and to identify gap areas that, if integrated into the network, would expand its protection capability. Results show a number of high-conservation-value planning units concentrated along certain ridges. The existing conservation network is structured such that the habitats of only 24 species (out of a total of 75 achieve established conservation targets. Of the other 51 species, 20 achieve less than 50% of their conservation targets. However, expanding the network to include high-conservation-value gap areas could achieve conservation targets for 64 species and could provide different degrees of protection to the other 11 species. Using C-Plan software can guide decision-making to expand the conservation network in this most precious of mountainous ecological zones.

  15. How to maximally support local and regional biodiversity in applied conservation? Insights from pond management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmens, Pieter; Mergeay, Joachim; De Bie, Tom; Van Wichelen, Jeroen; De Meester, Luc; Declerck, Steven A J

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity and nature values in anthropogenic landscapes often depend on land use practices and management. Evaluations of the association between management and biodiversity remain, however, comparatively scarce, especially in aquatic systems. Furthermore, studies also tend to focus on a limited set of organism groups at the local scale, whereas a multi-group approach at the landscape scale is to be preferred. This study aims to investigate the effect of pond management on the diversity of multiple aquatic organism groups (e.g. phytoplankton, zooplankton, several groups of macro-invertebrates, submerged and emergent macrophytes) at local and regional spatial scales. For this purpose, we performed a field study of 39 shallow man-made ponds representing five different management types. Our results indicate that fish stock management and periodic pond drainage are crucial drivers of pond biodiversity. Furthermore, this study provides insight in how the management of eutrophied ponds can contribute to aquatic biodiversity. A combination of regular draining of ponds with efforts to keep ponds free of fish seems to be highly beneficial for the biodiversity of many groups of aquatic organisms at local and regional scales. Regular draining combined with a stocking of fish at low biomass is also preferable to infrequent draining and lack of fish stock control. These insights are essential for the development of conservation programs that aim long-term maintenance of regional biodiversity in pond areas across Europe.

  16. Economic efficiency and cost implications of habitat conservation: An example in the context of the Edwards Aquifer region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillig, Dhazn; McCarl, Bruce A.; Jones, Lonnie L.; Boadu, Frederick

    2004-04-01

    Groundwater management in the Edwards Aquifer in Texas is in the process of moving away from a traditional right of capture economic regime toward a more environmentally sensitive scheme designed to preserve endangered species habitats. This study explores economic and environmental implications of proposed groundwater management and water development strategies under a proposed regional Habitat Conservation Plan. Results show that enhancing the habitat by augmenting water flow costs $109-1427 per acre-foot and that regional water development would be accelerated by the more extreme possibilities under the Habitat Conservation Plan. The findings also indicate that a water market would improve regional welfare and lower water development but worsen environmental attributes.

  17. Bird guard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Dana M [Armour, SD

    2010-03-02

    The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.

  18. Bird use of organic apple orchards: Frugivory, pest control and implications for production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna M Mangan

    Full Text Available As the largest terrestrial biomes, crop and pasturelands can have very large positive or negative impacts on biodiversity and human well-being. Understanding how animals use and impact agroecosystems is important for making informed decisions that achieve conservation and production outcomes. Yet, few studies examine the tradeoffs associated with wildlife in agricultural systems. We examined bird use of organic apple orchards as well as how birds influence fruit production positively through control of an economically important insect pest (codling moth (Cydia pomonella and negatively through fruit damage. We conducted transect surveys, observed bird frugivory and assessed bird and insect damage with an exclosure experiment in small organic farms in western Colorado. We found that organic apple orchards in this region provide habitat for a large number of both human-adapted and human-sensitive species and that the species in orchards were relatively similar to adjacent hedgerow habitats. Habitat use did not vary as a function of orchard characteristics, and apple damage by both birds and C. pomonella was consistent within and across apple blocks that varied in size. A small subset of bird species was observed foraging on apples yet the effect of birds as agents of fruit damage appeared rather minor and birds did not reduce C. pomonella damage. Our results demonstrate that organic apple orchards have the potential to provide habitat for diverse bird communities, including species typically sensitive to human activities, with little apparent effect on production.

  19. [Radar as imaging tool in ecology and conservation biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matyjasiak, Piotr

    2017-01-01

    Migrations and dispersal are among the most important ecological processes that shape ecosystems and influence our economy, health and safety. Movements of birds, bats and insects occur in a large spatial scale - regional, continental, or intercontinental. However, studies of these phenomena using classic methods are usually local. Breakthrough came with the development of radar technology, which enabled researchers to study animal movements in the atmosphere in a large spatial and temporal scale. The aim of this article was to present the radar imaging methods used in the research of aerial movements of birds, bats and insects. The types of radars used in research are described, and examples of the use of radar in basic research and in conservation biology are discussed. Radar visualizations are used in studies on the effect of meteorological conditions on bird migration, on spatial and temporal dynamics of movements of birds, bats and insects, and on the mechanism of orientation of migrating birds and insects. In conservation biology research radars are used in the monitoring of endangered species of birds and bats, to monitor bird activity at airports, as well as in assessing the impact of high constructions on flying birds and bats.

  20. Landsat classification of surface-water presence during multiple years to assess response of playa wetlands to climatic variability across the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manier, Daniel J.; Rover, Jennifer R.

    2018-02-15

    To improve understanding of the distribution of ecologically important, ephemeral wetland habitats across the Great Plains, the occurrence and distribution of surface water in playa wetland complexes were documented for four different years across the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) region. This information is important because it informs land and wildlife managers about the timing and location of habitat availability. Data with an accurate timestamp that indicate the presence of water, the percent of the area inundated with water, and the spatial distribution of playa wetlands with water are needed for a host of resource inventory, monitoring, and research applications. For example, the distribution of inundated wetlands forms the spatial pattern of available habitat for resident shorebirds and water birds, stop-over habitats for migratory birds, connectivity and clustering of wetland habitats, and surface waters that recharge the Ogallala aquifer; there is considerable variability in the distribution of playa wetlands holding water through time. Documentation of these spatially and temporally intricate processes, here, provides data required to assess connections between inundation and multiple environmental drivers, such as climate, land use, soil, and topography. Climate drivers are understood to interact with land cover, land use and soil attributes in determining the amount of water that flows overland into playa wetlands. Results indicated significant spatial variability represented by differences in the percent of playas inundated among States within the GPLCC. Further, analysis-of-variance comparison of differences in inundation between years showed significant differences in all cases. Although some connections with seasonal moisture patterns may be observed, the complex spatial-temporal gradients of precipitation, temperature, soils, and land use need to be combined as covariates in multivariate models to effectively account for

  1. A distribution-oriented approach to support landscape connectivity for ecologically distinct bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, José M; Alagador, Diogo; Salgueiro, Pedro; Mira, António

    2018-01-01

    Managing landscape connectivity is a widely recognized overarching strategy for conserving biodiversity in human-impacted landscapes. However, planning the conservation and management of landscape connectivity of multiple and ecologically distinct species is still challenging. Here we provide a spatially-explicit framework which identifies and prioritizes connectivity conservation and restoration actions for species with distinct habitat affinities. Specifically, our study system comprised three groups of common bird species, forest-specialists, farmland-specialists, and generalists, populating a highly heterogeneous agricultural countryside in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula. We first performed a comprehensive analysis of the environmental variables underlying the distributional patterns of each bird species to reveal generalities in their guild-specific responses to landscape structure. Then, we identified sites which could be considered pivotal in maintaining current levels of landscape connectivity for the three bird guilds simultaneously, as well as the number and location of sites that need to be restored to maximize connectivity levels. Interestingly, we found that a small number of sites defined the shortest connectivity paths for the three bird guilds simultaneously, and were therefore considered key for conservation. Moreover, an even smaller number of sites were identified as critical to expand the landscape connectivity at maximum for the regional bird assemblage as a whole. Our spatially-explicit framework can provide valuable decision-making support to conservation practitioners aiming to identify key connectivity and restoration sites, a particularly urgent task in rapidly changing landscapes such as agroecosystems.

  2. Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in birds of prey from the Chesapeake Bay region, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen Da, E-mail: chen@vims.ed [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Hale, Robert C. [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Watts, Bryan D. [Center for Conservation Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (United States); La Guardia, Mark J.; Harvey, Ellen [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Mojica, Elizabeth K. [Center for Conservation Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (United States)

    2010-05-15

    Compared to organochlorines, little is known about polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) contamination of birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S. This study examined and compared PBDE contamination in eggs of osprey, double-crested cormorant, brown pelican and peregrine falcon from this area. Several legacy persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs and DDE were also investigated. The level of urbanization of the landscape appeared to influence the level of PBDE exposure. PBDE congener distribution patterns varied between piscivorous and terrestrial-feeding birds. This suggests individual congeners may be subject to differences in bioaccumulation, biomagnification or metabolism in the aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Biomagnification of PBDEs was studied in the Bay aquatic food chains for the first time. A biomagnification factor of 25.1 was estimated for SIGMAPBDEs for the fish - osprey egg food chain. Hazard quotients, applied as a preliminary evaluation, indicated that PBDEs may pose a moderate hazard to ospreys and peregrine falcons through impairment of reproductive performance. - Birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay (USA) exhibited species-specific PBDE accumulation patterns.

  3. Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in birds of prey from the Chesapeake Bay region, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Da; Hale, Robert C.; Watts, Bryan D.; La Guardia, Mark J.; Harvey, Ellen; Mojica, Elizabeth K.

    2010-01-01

    Compared to organochlorines, little is known about polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) contamination of birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S. This study examined and compared PBDE contamination in eggs of osprey, double-crested cormorant, brown pelican and peregrine falcon from this area. Several legacy persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs and DDE were also investigated. The level of urbanization of the landscape appeared to influence the level of PBDE exposure. PBDE congener distribution patterns varied between piscivorous and terrestrial-feeding birds. This suggests individual congeners may be subject to differences in bioaccumulation, biomagnification or metabolism in the aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Biomagnification of PBDEs was studied in the Bay aquatic food chains for the first time. A biomagnification factor of 25.1 was estimated for ΣPBDEs for the fish - osprey egg food chain. Hazard quotients, applied as a preliminary evaluation, indicated that PBDEs may pose a moderate hazard to ospreys and peregrine falcons through impairment of reproductive performance. - Birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay (USA) exhibited species-specific PBDE accumulation patterns.

  4. 2nd East Africa Regional Workshop Report: Conservation Agriculture in AFRICA - Analysing and Foreseeing its Impact - Comprehending its Adoption

    OpenAIRE

    Apina, T.; Mkomwa, S.; Mutai, W.; Njeri, A.

    2011-01-01

    This resource provides a summary of the 2nd East Africa Sub-regional workshop held in Nanyuki, Kenya, on 28-30 March 2011. Attendees included the African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT), Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute (TSBF/AFNET), Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), LEIBNIZ-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) UYOLE, SELIAN Agricultural Research Institute (SARI-MAFC), Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Agr...

  5. Extension of landscape-based population viability models to ecoregional scales for conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas W. Bonnot; Frank R. III Thompson; Joshua Millspaugh

    2011-01-01

    Landscape-based population models are potentially valuable tools in facilitating conservation planning and actions at large scales. However, such models have rarely been applied at ecoregional scales. We extended landscape-based population models to ecoregional scales for three species of concern in the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region and compared model...

  6. Identification of conserved regions and residues within Hedgehog acyltransferase critical for palmitoylation of Sonic Hedgehog.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A Buglino

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Sonic hedgehog (Shh is a palmitoylated protein that plays key roles in mammalian development and human cancers. Palmitoylation of Shh is required for effective long and short range Shh-mediated signaling. Attachment of palmitate to Shh is catalyzed by Hedgehog acyltransferase (Hhat, a member of the membrane bound O-acyl transferase (MBOAT family of multipass membrane proteins. The extremely hydrophobic composition of MBOAT proteins has limited their biochemical characterization. Except for mutagenesis of two conserved residues, there has been no structure-function analysis of Hhat, and the regions of the protein required for Shh palmitoylation are unknown.Here we undertake a systematic approach to identify residues within Hhat that are required for protein stability and/or enzymatic activity. We also identify a second, novel MBOAT homology region (residues 196-234 that is required for Hhat activity. In total, ten deletion mutants and eleven point mutants were generated and analyzed. Truncations at the N- and C-termini of Hhat yielded inactive proteins with reduced stability. Four Hhat mutants with deletions within predicted loop regions and five point mutants retained stability but lost palmitoylation activity. We purified two point mutants, W378A and H379A, with defective Hhat activity. Kinetic analyses revealed alterations in apparent K(m and V(max for Shh and/or palmitoyl CoA, changes that likely explain the catalytic defects observed for these mutants.This study has pinpointed specific regions and multiple residues that regulate Hhat stability and catalysis. Our findings should be applicable to other MBOAT proteins that mediate lipid modification of Wnt proteins and ghrelin, and should serve as a model for understanding how secreted morphogens are modified by palmitoyl acyltransferases.

  7. Conserving the Greater Sage-grouse: A social-ecological systems case study from the California-Nevada region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvall, Alison L; Metcalf, Alexander L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2016-01-01

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA) continues to serve as one of the most powerful and contested federal legislative mandates for conservation. In the midst of heated debates, researchers, policy makers, and conservation practitioners champion the importance of cooperative conservation and social-ecological systems approaches, which forge partnerships at multiple levels and scales to address complex ecosystem challenges. However, few real-world examples exist to demonstrate how multifaceted collaborations among stakeholders who share a common goal of conserving at-risk species may be nested within a systems framework to achieve social and ecological goals. Here, we present a case study of Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) conservation efforts in the “Bi-State” region of California and Nevada, United States. Using key-informant interviews, we explored dimensions and drivers of this landscape-scale conservation effort. Three themes emerged from the interviews, including 1) ESA action was transformed into opportunity for system-wide conservation; 2) a diverse, locally based partnership anchored collaboration and engagement across multiple levels and scales; and 3) best-available science combined with local knowledge led to “certainty of effectiveness and implementation”—the criteria used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate conservation efforts when making listing decisions. Ultimately, collaborative conservation through multistakeholder engagement at various levels and scales led to proactive planning and implementation of conservation measures and precluded the need for an ESA listing of the Bi-State population of Greater Sage-grouse. This article presents a potent example of how a systems approach integrating policy, management, and learning can be used to successfully overcome the conflict-laden and “wicked” challenges that surround at-risk species conservation.

  8. The North Sea Bird Club

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doyle, P.A.T.; Gorman, M.L.; Patterson, I.J.; Howe, S.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the creation of a club for the purpose of encouraging oil and gas workers to watch birds may not at first seem a viable proposition. To the layperson, birds offshore conjures up an image of hundreds of seagulls following fishing boats, and very little else. Also, the act of birdwatching is not seen as a typical offshore worker's activity. Anyone who has worked on an installation offshore and who has any interest in wildlife will be aware of the occasional presence of land-birds. Two decades ago, prompted by some keen offshore workers, a single oil company set up a monitoring program, which quickly became popular with a number of its employees. Birds seem offshore were recorded on data forms and collected together. At this stage the club was purely another recreation facility; however, when the data were collated it was soon realized that installations offshore were being used as staging posts by birds on migration, and that the information being collected would be of great interest in the study of bird movements. All over Britain, at strategic points on the coastline, there are bird observatories which record the arrival and departure of migrating birds. The presence of several hundred solid structures up and down the North Sea, which are used by birds en route, represents a huge, unique bird observatory, capable of uncovering facts about bird migration which have long eluded land-based scientists. Eleven years ago, the North Sea Bird Club began, composed of eight member companies, a recorder from Aberdeen University and a representative from the Nature Conservancy Council. The club received data from 41 installations, and the recorder collated these on Aberdeen University's computer and produced an annual report of sightings

  9. Association between adjuvant regional radiotherapy and cognitive function in breast cancer patients treated with conservation therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shibayama, Osamu; Yoshiuchi, Kazuhiro; Inagaki, Masatoshi; Matsuoka, Yutaka; Yoshikawa, Eisho; Sugawara, Yuriko; Akechi, Tatsuo; Wada, Noriaki; Imoto, Shigeru; Murakami, Koji; Ogawa, Asao; Akabayashi, Akira; Uchitomi, Yosuke

    2014-01-01

    Although protracted cognitive impairment has been reported to occur after radiotherapy even when such therapy is not directed to brain areas, the mechanism remains unclear. This study investigated whether breast cancer patients exposed to local radiotherapy showed lower cognitive function mediated by higher plasma interleukin (IL)-6 levels than those unexposed. We performed the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) and measured plasma IL-6 levels for 105 breast cancer surgical patients within 1 year after the initial therapy. The group differences in each of the indices of WMS-R were investigated between cancer patients exposed to adjuvant regional radiotherapy (n = 51) and those unexposed (n = 54) using analysis of covariance. We further investigated a mediation effect by plasma IL-6 levels on the relationship between radiotherapy and the indices of WMS-R using the bootstrapping method. The radiotherapy group showed significantly lower Immediate Verbal Memory Index and Delayed Recall Index (P = 0.001, P = 0.008, respectively). Radiotherapy exerted an indirect effect on the lower Delayed Recall Index of WMS-R through elevation of plasma IL-6 levels (bootstrap 95% confidence interval = −2.6626 to −0.0402). This study showed that breast cancer patients exposed to adjuvant regional radiotherapy in conservation therapy might have cognitive impairment even several months after their treatment. The relationship between the therapy and the cognitive impairment could be partially mediated by elevation of plasma IL-6 levels

  10. Conserved Binding Regions Provide the Clue for Peptide-Based Vaccine Development: A Chemical Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernando Curtidor

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic peptides have become invaluable biomedical research and medicinal chemistry tools for studying functional roles, i.e., binding or proteolytic activity, naturally-occurring regions’ immunogenicity in proteins and developing therapeutic agents and vaccines. Synthetic peptides can mimic protein sites; their structure and function can be easily modulated by specific amino acid replacement. They have major advantages, i.e., they are cheap, easily-produced and chemically stable, lack infectious and secondary adverse reactions and can induce immune responses via T- and B-cell epitopes. Our group has previously shown that using synthetic peptides and adopting a functional approach has led to identifying Plasmodium falciparum conserved regions binding to host cells. Conserved high activity binding peptides’ (cHABPs physicochemical, structural and immunological characteristics have been taken into account for properly modifying and converting them into highly immunogenic, protection-inducing peptides (mHABPs in the experimental Aotus monkey model. This article describes stereo–electron and topochemical characteristics regarding major histocompatibility complex (MHC-mHABP-T-cell receptor (TCR complex formation. Some mHABPs in this complex inducing long-lasting, protective immunity have been named immune protection-inducing protein structures (IMPIPS, forming the subunit components in chemically synthesized vaccines. This manuscript summarizes this particular field and adds our recent findings concerning intramolecular interactions (H-bonds or π-interactions enabling proper IMPIPS structure as well as the peripheral flanking residues (PFR to stabilize the MHCII-IMPIPS-TCR interaction, aimed at inducing long-lasting, protective immunological memory.

  11. Neutralizing activities of caprine antibodies towards conserved regions of the HCV envelope glycoprotein E2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Shenawy Reem

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Anti HCV vaccine is not currently available and the present antiviral therapies fail to cure approximately half of the treated HCV patients. This study was designed to assess the immunogenic properties of genetically conserved peptides derived from the C-terminal region of HVR-1 and test their neutralizing activities in a step towards developing therapeutic and/or prophylactic immunogens against HCV infection. Antibodies were generated by vaccination of goats with synthetic peptides derived from HCV E2. Viral neutralizing capacity of the generated anti E2 antibodies was tested using in vitro assays. Goats immunized with E2 synthetic peptides termed p412 [a.a 412-419], p430 [a.a 430-447] and p517 [a.a 517-531] generated high titers of antibody responses 2 to 4.5 fold higher than comparable titers of antibodies to the same epitopes in chronic HCV patients. In post infection experiments of native HCV into cultured Huh7.5 cells anti p412 and anti p 517 were proven to be neutralizing to HCV genotype 4a from patients' sera (87.5% and 75% respectively. On the contrary anti p430 exhibited weak viral neutralization capacity on the same samples (31.25%. Furthermore Ab mixes containing anti p430 exhibited reduced viral neutralization properties. From these experiments one could predict that neutralization by Abs towards different E2-epitopes varies considerably and success in the enrichment of neutralization epitope-specific antibodies may be accompanied by favorable results in combating HCV infection. Also, E2 conserved peptides p517 and p412 represent potential components of a candidate peptide vaccine against HCV infection.

  12. Molecular analyses reveal an abundant diversity of ticks and rickettsial agents associated with wild birds in two regions of primary Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Hermes Ribeiro; Faccini, João Luiz Horacio; McIntosh, Douglas

    2017-06-01

    Brazilian wild birds are recognized as frequent and important hosts for immature stages of more than half of the 32 recognized species of Amblyomma ticks recorded in that country. Several species of Amblyomma harbor rickettsial agents, including members of the spotted fever group (SFG). Most studies on this topic relied primarily on morphological characterization and reported large portions of the collected ticks at the genus rather than species level. Clearly, this factor may have contributed to an underestimation of tick diversity and distribution and makes comparisons between studies difficult. The current investigation combined morphological and molecular analyses to assess the diversity of ticks and rickettsial agents associated with wild birds, captured in two regions of native Atlantic rainforest, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A total of 910 birds were captured, representing two orders, 34 families and 106 species, among which 93 specimens (10.2%), were parasitized by 138 immature ticks (60 larvae and 78 nymphs), representing 10 recognized species of the genus Amblyomma; together with two reasonably well classified haplotypes (Amblyomma sp. haplotype Nazaré and Amblyomma sp. strain USNTC 6792). Amplification by PCR and sequencing of rickettsial genes (htrA, gltA, ompA and ompB), demonstrated the presence of Rickettsia DNA in 48 (34%) of the ticks. Specifically, Rickettsia bellii was detected in a single larva and a single nymph of A. aureolatum; R. amblyomatis was found in 16 of 37 A. longirostre and was recorded for the first time in three nymphs of A. calcaratum; R. rhipicephali was detected in 9 (47%) of 19 Amblyomma sp. haplotype Nazaré ticks. The remaining ticks were infected with genetic variants of R. parkeri, namely strain ApPR in 12 A. parkeri and seven Amblyomma sp. haplotype Nazaré ticks, with the strain NOD found in two specimens of A. nodosum. Interestingly, a single larvae of A. ovale was shown to be infected with the emerging

  13. Passive seismic experiment in the Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli region (Ngorongoro Conservation Area), Northern Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parisi, Laura; Lombardo, Luigi; Tang, Zheng; Mai, P. Martin

    2017-04-01

    The Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli basins, located within the Ngorogoro Conservation Area (NCA), are a cornerstone for understanding the evolution of early humans and are two paleo-antropological excavation sites of global importance. NCA is located at the boundary between the Tanzanian Craton and East African Rift (EAR), in the vicinity of Ngorongoro Crater and other major volcanic edifices. Thus, understanding the geology and tectonics of the NCA may shed light onto the question why early Hominins settled in this region. Environmental and geological conditions in the Olduvai and Laetoli region that promoted human settlement and development are still debated by geologists and paleo-anthropologists. Paleo-geographical reconstructions of the study area of the last 2 million years may take advantage of modern passive seismology. Therefore, we installed a dense seismic network covering a surface of approximately 30 x 40 km within the NCA to map the depth extent of known faults, and to identify seismically active faults that have no surface expression. Our ten seismic stations, equipped with Trillium Compact 120 s sensors, started to operate in June 2016 and will continue for a total of 2 years. At the end of the first year, other 5 stations will densify our network. Here we analyse data quality of the first four months of continuous recordings. Our network provides good quality 3-C waveforms in the frequency range of 0.7-50 Hz. Vertical component seismograms record frequencies reliably down to 8 mHz. Preliminary results of the seismicity obtained with standard location procedures show that NCA is characterised by frequent tectonic seismicity (not volcano-related) with Ml between 0.5 and 2.0. Seismic activity is more frequent in the South (Laetoli region) where major fault systems have not been recognised at the surface yet.

  14. Modeling detection probability to improve marsh bird surveys in southern Canada and the Great Lakes states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Marsh birds are notoriously elusive, with variation in detection probability across species, regions, seasons, and different times of day and weather. Therefore, it is important to develop regional field survey protocols that maximize detections, but that also produce data for estimating and analytically adjusting for remaining differences in detections. We aimed to improve regional field survey protocols by estimating detection probability of eight elusive marsh bird species throughout two regions that have ongoing marsh bird monitoring programs: the southern Canadian Prairies (Prairie region and the southern portion of the Great Lakes basin and parts of southern Québec (Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. We accomplished our goal using generalized binomial N-mixture models and data from ~22,300 marsh bird surveys conducted between 2008 and 2014 by Bird Studies Canada's Prairie, Great Lakes, and Québec Marsh Monitoring Programs. Across all species, on average, detection probability was highest in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region from the beginning of May until mid-June, and then fell throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was lowest in the Prairie region in mid-May and then increased throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was highest during darkness compared with light; and did not vary significantly according to temperature (range: 0-30°C, cloud cover (0%-100%, or wind (0-20 kph, or during morning versus evening. We used our results to formulate improved marsh bird survey protocols for each region. Our analysis and recommendations are useful and contribute to conservation of wetland birds at various scales from local single-species studies to the continental North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Program.

  15. Preliminary methodology to assess the national and regional impact of U.S. wind energy development on birds and bats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diffendorfer, James E.; Beston, Julie A.; Merrill, Matthew D.; Stanton, Jessica C.; Corum, Margo D.; Loss, Scott R.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Erickson, Richard A.; Heist, Kevin W.

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a methodology to assess the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife; it is a probabilistic, quantitative assessment methodology that can communicate to decision makers and the public the magnitude of these effects on species populations. The methodology is currently applicable to birds and bats, focuses primarily on the effects of collisions, and can be applied to any species that breeds in, migrates through, or otherwise uses any part of the United States. The methodology is intended to assess species at the national scale and is fundamentally different from existing methods focusing on impacts at individual facilities.

  16. A unique genomic sequence in the Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome [WHS] region of humans is conserved in the great apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarzami, S T; Kringstein, A M; Conte, R A; Verma, R S

    1996-10-01

    The Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is caused by a partial deletion in the short arm of chromosome 4 band 16.3 (4p 16.3). A unique-sequence human DNA probe (39 kb) localized within this region has been used to search for sequence homology in the apes' equivalent chromosome 3 by FISH-technique. The WHS loci are conserved in higher primates at the expected position. Nevertheless, a control probe, which detects alphoid sequences of the pericentromeric region of humans, is diverged in chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan. The conservation of WHS loci and divergence of DNA alphoid sequences have further added to the controversy concerning human descent.

  17. Nesting tree characteristics of heronry birds of urban ecosystems in peninsular India: implications for habitat management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roshnath, Ramesh; Sinu, Palatty Allesh

    2017-12-01

    Wetland ecosystems, particularly the mangrove forest, are the primary wild habitat of heronry birds. However, urban ecosystems have become a favorite breeding habitat of these birds. To provide inputs into the habitat management for conservation of these birds, we investigated the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of nesting trees of heronry birds in the urban environment of the North Kerala region of peninsular India. Census on nesting trees was done in 3 major microhabitats of the urban ecosystem: avenues of national highways and towns, nonresidential plots, and residential areas apart from the mangrove islets in the peri-urban locality. The study found that 174 trees of 22 species hosted 1,928 heronry bird nests in the urban habitats; mangrove forests, although plentiful in the study area, hosted only about 20% of the total nests encountered in the study. Rain trees Samanea saman (43.7%) were the most available nesting tree. The greatest number of nests and nesting trees were encountered on the roads of urban areas, followed by nonresidential areas and residential areas. The differences in the observed frequencies of nesting trees in 3 microhabitats and in 3 types of roads (national highways > state highways > small pocket road) were significant. Canopy spread, girth size, and quality of the trees predicted the tree selection of the heronry birds in urban environments. Therefore, we recommend proper management and notification of the identified nesting trees as protected sites for the conservation of herorny birds.

  18. Using Christmas Bird Count data in analysis of population change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, J.R.; Link, W.A.

    2002-01-01

    The scientific credibility of Christmas Bird Count (CBC) results depend on the development and implementation of appropriate methods of statistical analysis. The key to any successful analysis of CBC data is to begin with a careful review of how the limitations of the data are likely to influence the results of the analysis, then to choose methods of analysis that accommodate as much as possible the limitations of the survey. For our analyses of CBC data, we develop a flexible model for effort adjustment and use information from the data to guide the selection of the best model. We include geographic structuring to accommodate the regional variation in number of samples, use a model that allows for overdispersed poisson data appropriate for counts, and employ empirical Bayes procedures to accommodate differences in quality of information in regional summaries. This generalized linear model approach is very flexible, and can be applied to a variety of studies focused on factors influencing wintering bird populations. In particular, the model can be easily modified to contain covariates, allowing for assessment of associations between CBC counts and winter weather, disturbance, and a variety of other environmental factors. These new survey analysis methods have added value in that they provide insights into changes in survey design that can enhance the value of the information. The CBC has been extremely successful as a tool for increasing public interest in birding and bird conservation. Use of the information for bird conservation creates new demands on quality of information, and it is important to maintain a dialogue between users of the information, information needs for the analyses, and survey coordinators and participants. Our work as survey analysts emphasizes the value and limitations of existing data, and provides some indications of what features of the survey could be modified to make the survey a more reliable source of bird population data. Surveys

  19. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia: regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Lyngdoh

    Full Text Available The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2 globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur, Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus, argali (Ovis ammon and marmots (Marmota spp. The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation.

  20. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia): regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyngdoh, Salvador; Shrotriya, Shivam; Goyal, Surendra P; Clements, Hayley; Hayward, Matthew W; Habib, Bilal

    2014-01-01

    The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2) globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), argali (Ovis ammon) and marmots (Marmota spp). The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation.

  1. Urban Bird Feeding: Connecting People with Nature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel T C Cox

    Full Text Available At a time of unprecedented biodiversity loss, researchers are increasingly recognizing the broad range of benefits provided to humankind by nature. However, as people live more urbanized lifestyles there is a progressive disengagement with the natural world that diminishes these benefits and discourages positive environmental behaviour. The provision of food for garden birds is an increasing global phenomenon, and provides a readily accessible way for people to counter this trend. Yet despite its popularity, quite why people feed birds remains poorly understood. We explore three loosely defined motivations behind bird feeding: that it provides psychological benefits, is due to a concern about bird welfare, and/or is due to a more general orientation towards nature. We quantitatively surveyed households from urban towns in southern England to explore attitudes and actions towards garden bird feeding. Each household scored three Likert statements relating to each of the three motivations. We found that people who fed birds regularly felt more relaxed and connected to nature when they watched garden birds, and perceived that bird feeding is beneficial for bird welfare while investing time in minimising associated risks. Finally, feeding birds may be an expression of a wider orientation towards nature. Overall, we found that the feelings of being relaxed and connected to nature were the strongest drivers. As urban expansion continues both to threaten species conservation and to change peoples' relationship with the natural world, feeding birds may provide an important tool for engaging people with nature to the benefit of both people and conservation.

  2. Hawaii ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered waterbirds and passerine birds, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, gulls and terns,...

  3. Seeing red to being red: conserved genetic mechanism for red cone oil droplets and co-option for red coloration in birds and turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twyman, Hanlu; Valenzuela, Nicole; Literman, Robert; Andersson, Staffan; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2016-08-17

    Avian ketocarotenoid pigments occur in both the red retinal oil droplets that contribute to colour vision and bright red coloration used in signalling. Turtles are the only other tetrapods with red retinal oil droplets, and some also display red carotenoid-based coloration. Recently, the CYP2J19 gene was strongly implicated in ketocarotenoid synthesis in birds. Here, we investigate CYP2J19 evolution in relation to colour vision and red coloration in reptiles using genomic and expression data. We show that turtles, but not crocodiles or lepidosaurs, possess a CYP2J19 orthologue, which arose via gene duplication before turtles and archosaurs split, and which is strongly and specifically expressed in the ketocarotenoid-containing retina and red integument. We infer that CYP2J19 initially functioned in colour vision in archelosaurs and conclude that red ketocarotenoid-based coloration evolved independently in birds and turtles via gene regulatory changes of CYP2J19 Our results suggest that red oil droplets contributed to colour vision in dinosaurs and pterosaurs. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Performance of 12 DIR algorithms in low-contrast regions for mass and density conserving deformation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeo, U. J.; Supple, J. R.; Franich, R. D.; Taylor, M. L.; Smith, R.; Kron, T.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Deformable image registration (DIR) has become a key tool for adaptive radiotherapy to account for inter- and intrafraction organ deformation. Of contemporary interest, the application to deformable dose accumulation requires accurate deformation even in low contrast regions where dose gradients may exist within near-uniform tissues. One expects high-contrast features to generally be deformed more accurately by DIR algorithms. The authors systematically assess the accuracy of 12 DIR algorithms and quantitatively examine, in particular, low-contrast regions, where accuracy has not previously been established.Methods: This work investigates DIR algorithms in three dimensions using deformable gel (DEFGEL) [U. J. Yeo, M. L. Taylor, L. Dunn, R. L. Smith, T. Kron, and R. D. Franich, “A novel methodology for 3D deformable dosimetry,” Med. Phys. 39, 2203–2213 (2012)], for application to mass- and density-conserving deformations. CT images of DEFGEL phantoms with 16 fiducial markers (FMs) implanted were acquired in deformed and undeformed states for three different representative deformation geometries. Nonrigid image registration was performed using 12 common algorithms in the public domain. The optimum parameter setup was identified for each algorithm and each was tested for deformation accuracy in three scenarios: (I) original images of the DEFGEL with 16 FMs; (II) images with eight of the FMs mathematically erased; and (III) images with all FMs mathematically erased. The deformation vector fields obtained for scenarios II and III were then applied to the original images containing all 16 FMs. The locations of the FMs estimated by the algorithms were compared to actual locations determined by CT imaging. The accuracy of the algorithms was assessed by evaluation of three-dimensional vectors between true marker locations and predicted marker locations.Results: The mean magnitude of 16 error vectors per sample ranged from 0.3 to 3.7, 1.0 to 6.3, and 1.3 to 7

  5. Species of conservation concern and environmental stressors: Local regional and global effects [Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven M. Ostoja; Mathew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton

    2013-01-01

    Species conservation has traditionally been based on individual species within the context of their requisite habitat, which is generally defined as the communities and ecosystems deemed necessary for their persistence. Conservation decisions are hampered by the fact that environmental stressors that potentially threaten the persistence of species can operate at...

  6. 9 CFR 95.30 - Restrictions on entry of products and byproducts of poultry, game birds, or other birds from...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... byproducts of poultry, game birds, or other birds from regions where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI... THE UNITED STATES § 95.30 Restrictions on entry of products and byproducts of poultry, game birds, or other birds from regions where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N1 exists. (a...

  7. Designing conservation strategies to preserve the genetic diversity of Astragalus edulis Bunge, an endangered species from western Mediterranean region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Peñas

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Astragalus edulis (Fabaceae is an endangered annual species from the western Mediterranean region that colonized the SE Iberian Peninsula, NE and SW Morocco, and the easternmost Macaronesian islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Although in Spain some conservation measures have been adopted, it is still necessary to develop an appropriate management plan to preserve genetic diversity across the entire distribution area of the species. Our main objective was to use population genetics as well as ecological and phylogeographic data to select Relevant Genetic Units for Conservation (RGUCs as the first step in designing conservation plans for A. edulis. We identified six RGUCs for in situ conservation, based on estimations of population genetic structure and probabilities of loss of rare alleles. Additionally, further population parameters, i.e. occupation area, population size, vulnerability, legal status of the population areas, and the historical haplotype distribution, were considered in order to establish which populations deserve conservation priority. Three populations from the Iberian Peninsula, two from Morocco, and one from the Canary Islands represent the total genetic diversity of the species and the rarest allelic variation. Ex situ conservation is recommended to complement the preservation of A. edulis, given that effective in situ population protection is not feasible in all cases. The consideration of complementary phylogeographic and ecological data is useful for management efforts to preserve the evolutionary potential of the species.

  8. Designing conservation strategies to preserve the genetic diversity of Astragalus edulis Bunge, an endangered species from western Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñas, Julio; Barrios, Sara; Bobo-Pinilla, Javier; Lorite, Juan; Martínez-Ortega, M Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    Astragalus edulis (Fabaceae) is an endangered annual species from the western Mediterranean region that colonized the SE Iberian Peninsula, NE and SW Morocco, and the easternmost Macaronesian islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura). Although in Spain some conservation measures have been adopted, it is still necessary to develop an appropriate management plan to preserve genetic diversity across the entire distribution area of the species. Our main objective was to use population genetics as well as ecological and phylogeographic data to select Relevant Genetic Units for Conservation (RGUCs) as the first step in designing conservation plans for A. edulis. We identified six RGUCs for in situ conservation, based on estimations of population genetic structure and probabilities of loss of rare alleles. Additionally, further population parameters, i.e. occupation area, population size, vulnerability, legal status of the population areas, and the historical haplotype distribution, were considered in order to establish which populations deserve conservation priority. Three populations from the Iberian Peninsula, two from Morocco, and one from the Canary Islands represent the total genetic diversity of the species and the rarest allelic variation. Ex situ conservation is recommended to complement the preservation of A. edulis, given that effective in situ population protection is not feasible in all cases. The consideration of complementary phylogeographic and ecological data is useful for management efforts to preserve the evolutionary potential of the species.

  9. Assessing the relative importance of isolated Ficus trees to insectivorous birds in an Indian human-modified tropical landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matthews, Thomas J.; Cottee-Jones, H. Eden W.; Bregman, Tom P.

    2017-01-01

    The destruction of forest for agricultural expansion has created a vast estate of human-modified land in tropical regions. One group of organisms that are particularly vulnerable to the loss of forest habitat are insectivorous birds. Despite this, few conservation strategies have been identified...... for this group in human-modified landscapes. We survey the use of 104 isolated trees by insectivorous birds in rural Assam, India. We used an information theoretic model comparison approach to determine the important variables driving insectivorous bird diversity within these isolated trees. Our work...... demonstrates that the conservation of large trees in human-modified landscapes may play an important role in maintaining bird diversity and ecological function beyond the forest edge. More specifically, we found that isolated Ficus trees hold assemblages with particularly high insectivore abundance, richness...

  10. Birding for and with People: Integrating Local Participation in Avian Monitoring Programs within High Biodiversity Areas in Southern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto Berlanga

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Biological monitoring is a powerful tool for understanding ecological patterns and processes, implementing sound management practices, and determining wildlife conservation strategies. In Mexico, regional long-term bird monitoring has been undertaken only over the last decade. Two comprehensive programs have incorporated bird monitoring as the main tool for assessing the impact of human productive activities on birds and habitats at local and regional levels: the Integrated Ecosystem Management (IEM and the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor Mexico (CBMM. These programs are implemented in supremely important biodiverse regions in the southern and southeastern states of Mexico. Bird monitoring activities are based on the recruitment and participation of local people linked to sustainable productive projects promoted by the CBMM or IEM. Through a series of training workshops delivered by specialists, local monitors receive equipment and coordinate to become part of a large monitoring network that facilitates regional covertures. This data currently being obtained by local people will enable the mid- and long-term assessment of the impacts of sustainable human productive activities on birds and biodiversity. Community-based bird monitoring programs are a promising opportunity for enhancing scientific knowledge, improving sustainable practices, and supporting wildlife conservation in areas of high biodiversity.

  11. Management of the Regional Lymph Nodes Following Breast-Conservation Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer: An Evolving Paradigm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warren, Laura E.G. [Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Punglia, Rinaa S.; Wong, Julia S. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Bellon, Jennifer R., E-mail: jbellon@lroc.harvard.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)

    2014-11-15

    Radiation therapy to the breast following breast conservation surgery has been the standard of care since randomized trials demonstrated equivalent survival compared to mastectomy and improved local control and survival compared to breast conservation surgery alone. Recent controversies regarding adjuvant radiation therapy have included the potential role of additional radiation to the regional lymph nodes. This review summarizes the evolution of regional nodal management focusing on 2 topics: first, the changing paradigm with regard to surgical evaluation of the axilla; second, the role for regional lymph node irradiation and optimal design of treatment fields. Contemporary data reaffirm prior studies showing that complete axillary dissection may not provide additional benefit relative to sentinel lymph node biopsy in select patient populations. Preliminary data also suggest that directed nodal radiation therapy to the supraclavicular and internal mammary lymph nodes may prove beneficial; publication of several studies are awaited to confirm these results and to help define subgroups with the greatest likelihood of benefit.

  12. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

    Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

  13. Bird Responses to Lowland Rainforest Conversion in Sumatran Smallholder Landscapes, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabowo, Walesa Edho; Darras, Kevin; Clough, Yann; Toledo-Hernandez, Manuel; Arlettaz, Raphael; Mulyani, Yeni A; Tscharntke, Teja

    2016-01-01

    Rapid land-use change in the tropics causes dramatic losses in biodiversity and associated functions. In Sumatra, Indonesia, lowland rainforest has mainly been transformed by smallholders into oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) monocultures, interspersed with jungle rubber (rubber agroforests) and a few forest remnants. In two regions of the Jambi province, we conducted point counts in 32 plots of four different land-use types (lowland rainforest, jungle rubber, rubber plantation and oil palm plantation) as well as in 16 nearby homegardens, representing a small-scale, traditional agricultural system. We analysed total bird abundance and bird abundance in feeding guilds, as well as species richness per point count visit, per plot, and per land-use system, to unveil the conservation importance and functional responses of birds in the different land-use types. In total, we identified 71 species from 24 families. Across the different land-use types, abundance did not significantly differ, but both species richness per visit and per plot were reduced in plantations. Feeding guild abundances between land-use types were variable, but homegardens were dominated by omnivores and granivores, and frugivorous birds were absent from monoculture rubber and oil palm. Jungle rubber played an important role in harbouring forest bird species and frugivores. Homegardens turned out to be of minor importance for conserving birds due to their low sizes, although collectively, they are used by many bird species. Changes in functional composition with land-use conversion may affect important ecosystem functions such as biological pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. In conclusion, maintaining forest cover, including degraded forest and jungle rubber, is of utmost importance to the conservation of functional and taxonomic bird diversity.

  14. Bird Responses to Lowland Rainforest Conversion in Sumatran Smallholder Landscapes, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clough, Yann; Toledo-Hernandez, Manuel; Arlettaz, Raphael; Mulyani, Yeni A.; Tscharntke, Teja

    2016-01-01

    Rapid land-use change in the tropics causes dramatic losses in biodiversity and associated functions. In Sumatra, Indonesia, lowland rainforest has mainly been transformed by smallholders into oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) monocultures, interspersed with jungle rubber (rubber agroforests) and a few forest remnants. In two regions of the Jambi province, we conducted point counts in 32 plots of four different land-use types (lowland rainforest, jungle rubber, rubber plantation and oil palm plantation) as well as in 16 nearby homegardens, representing a small-scale, traditional agricultural system. We analysed total bird abundance and bird abundance in feeding guilds, as well as species richness per point count visit, per plot, and per land-use system, to unveil the conservation importance and functional responses of birds in the different land-use types. In total, we identified 71 species from 24 families. Across the different land-use types, abundance did not significantly differ, but both species richness per visit and per plot were reduced in plantations. Feeding guild abundances between land-use types were variable, but homegardens were dominated by omnivores and granivores, and frugivorous birds were absent from monoculture rubber and oil palm. Jungle rubber played an important role in harbouring forest bird species and frugivores. Homegardens turned out to be of minor importance for conserving birds due to their low sizes, although collectively, they are used by many bird species. Changes in functional composition with land-use conversion may affect important ecosystem functions such as biological pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. In conclusion, maintaining forest cover, including degraded forest and jungle rubber, is of utmost importance to the conservation of functional and taxonomic bird diversity. PMID:27224063

  15. Bird Responses to Lowland Rainforest Conversion in Sumatran Smallholder Landscapes, Indonesia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walesa Edho Prabowo

    Full Text Available Rapid land-use change in the tropics causes dramatic losses in biodiversity and associated functions. In Sumatra, Indonesia, lowland rainforest has mainly been transformed by smallholders into oil palm (Elaeis guineensis and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis monocultures, interspersed with jungle rubber (rubber agroforests and a few forest remnants. In two regions of the Jambi province, we conducted point counts in 32 plots of four different land-use types (lowland rainforest, jungle rubber, rubber plantation and oil palm plantation as well as in 16 nearby homegardens, representing a small-scale, traditional agricultural system. We analysed total bird abundance and bird abundance in feeding guilds, as well as species richness per point count visit, per plot, and per land-use system, to unveil the conservation importance and functional responses of birds in the different land-use types. In total, we identified 71 species from 24 families. Across the different land-use types, abundance did not significantly differ, but both species richness per visit and per plot were reduced in plantations. Feeding guild abundances between land-use types were variable, but homegardens were dominated by omnivores and granivores, and frugivorous birds were absent from monoculture rubber and oil palm. Jungle rubber played an important role in harbouring forest bird species and frugivores. Homegardens turned out to be of minor importance for conserving birds due to their low sizes, although collectively, they are used by many bird species. Changes in functional composition with land-use conversion may affect important ecosystem functions such as biological pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. In conclusion, maintaining forest cover, including degraded forest and jungle rubber, is of utmost importance to the conservation of functional and taxonomic bird diversity.

  16. Columbia River ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns in...

  17. East Africa's diminishing bird habitats and bird species

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    foreign exchange earnings for each national exchequer. However, recent national census records have .... Dar-es-. Salaam: Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania. Bennun, L & Njoroge, P. 1999. Important Bird Areas in Kenya, Nairobi: East Africa Natural. History Society. Byaruhanga, A, Kasoma, P. & Pomeroy, D. 2001.

  18. Estimating the mercury exposure dose in a population of migratory bird hunters in the St. Lawrence River region, Quebec, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duchesne, J.-F.; Levesque, B.; Gauvin, Denis; Braune, Birgit; Gingras, Suzanne; Dewailly, E.

    2004-01-01

    St. Lawrence River hunters (Quebec, Canada) are exposed to the pollutants, especially mercury, that contaminate birds and fish. However, the health risks of this have remained unclear because of a lack of information about the hunters' duck, geese, and sportfish consumption habits. A nutritional survey was set up to characterize waterfowl and sportfish consumption in St. Lawrence River duck hunters and to estimate their daily exposure to mercury. During the winter of 2000, 512 hunters selected from the Canadian Wildlife Service database completed a self-administered questionnaire. Daily exposure to contaminants was measured using data from the Canadian Wildlife Service (waterfowl) and available data on St. Lawrence River sportfish. The annual average consumption was 7.5 meals of ducks and geese and 8.7 meals of sportfish. The daily exposure to mercury related to waterfowl consumption was below the Canadian tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.47 μg/kg body wt/day for all participants. The daily mercury intake associated with fish consumption was greater than the TDI in 2 duck hunters. The daily exposure to mercury was higher than the TDI in 4 participants when both waterfowl and fish consumption were combined. Our results suggest that fish consumption (especially freshwater fish) represents the main source of exposure to pollutants in duck hunters

  19. DisoMCS: Accurately Predicting Protein Intrinsically Disordered Regions Using a Multi-Class Conservative Score Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiheng Wang

    Full Text Available The precise prediction of protein intrinsically disordered regions, which play a crucial role in biological procedures, is a necessary prerequisite to further the understanding of the principles and mechanisms of protein function. Here, we propose a novel predictor, DisoMCS, which is a more accurate predictor of protein intrinsically disordered regions. The DisoMCS bases on an original multi-class conservative score (MCS obtained by sequence-order/disorder alignment. Initially, near-disorder regions are defined on fragments located at both the terminus of an ordered region connecting a disordered region. Then the multi-class conservative score is generated by sequence alignment against a known structure database and represented as order, near-disorder and disorder conservative scores. The MCS of each amino acid has three elements: order, near-disorder and disorder profiles. Finally, the MCS is exploited as features to identify disordered regions in sequences. DisoMCS utilizes a non-redundant data set as the training set, MCS and predicted secondary structure as features, and a conditional random field as the classification algorithm. In predicted near-disorder regions a residue is determined as an order or a disorder according to the optimized decision threshold. DisoMCS was evaluated by cross-validation, large-scale prediction, independent tests and CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction tests. All results confirmed that DisoMCS was very competitive in terms of accuracy of prediction when compared with well-established publicly available disordered region predictors. It also indicated our approach was more accurate when a query has higher homologous with the knowledge database.The DisoMCS is available at http://cal.tongji.edu.cn/disorder/.

  20. Quantifying the National Significance of Local Areas for Regional Conservation Planning: North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Travis Belote

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Conservation scientists recognize that additional protected areas are needed to maintain biological diversity and ecological processes. As regional conservation planners embark on recommending additional areas for protection in formal ecological reserves, it is important to evaluate candidate lands for their role in building a resilient protected areas system of the future. Here, we evaluate North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures with respect to their (1 ecological integrity, (2 role in connecting existing core protected areas, (3 potential to diversify the ecosystem representation of reserves, and (4 role in maintaining hotspots of biologically-rich areas that are not well protected. Mountain Treasures represent a citizen inventory of roadless areas and serve as candidates for elevated levels of conservation protection on U.S. federal lands. We compared Mountain Treasures to other candidate lands throughout the country to evaluate their potential national significance. While the Mountain Treasures tended to be more impacted by human modifications than other roadless areas, they are as important as other roadless areas with respect to their role in connecting existing protected areas and diversifying representation of ecosystems in conservation reserves. However, Mountain Treasures tended to have a much higher biodiversity priority index than other roadless areas leading to an overall higher composite score compared to other roadless areas. Our analysis serves as an example of how using broad-scale datasets can help conservation planners assess the national significance of local areas.

  1. Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, James D.; Buler, Jeffrey J.; Schreckengost, Tim; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A.; Boone, Matthew; van Loon, E. Emiel; Dawson, Deanna K.; Walters, Eric L.

    2018-01-01

    With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne migrants and lead to collisions with structures, but might also influence selection of migratory stopover habitat and thereby acquisition of food resources. We demonstrate, using multi-year weather radar measurements of nocturnal migrants across the northeastern U.S., that autumnal migrant stopover density increased at regional scales with proximity to the brightest areas, but decreased within a few kilometers of brightly-lit sources. This finding implies broad-scale attraction to artificial light while airborne, impeding selection for extensive forest habitat. Given that high-quality stopover habitat is critical to successful migration, and hindrances during migration can decrease fitness, artificial lights present a potentially heightened conservation concern for migratory bird populations.

  2. A Regional Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on In-stream Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, A. M.; Alexander, R. B.; Arnold, J.; Norfleet, L.; Robertson, D. M.; White, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), initiated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has the goal of quantifying the environmental benefits of agricultural conservation practices. As part of this effort, detailed farmer surveys were compiled to document the adoption of conservation practices. Survey data showed that up to 38 percent of cropland in the Upper Mississippi River basin is managed to reduce sediment, nutrient and pesticide loads from agricultural activities. The broader effects of these practices on downstream water quality are challenging to quantify. The USDA-NRCS recently reported results of a study that combined farmer surveys with process-based models to deduce the effect of conservation practices on sediment and chemical loads in farm runoff and downstream waters. As a follow-up collaboration, USGS and USDA scientists conducted a semi-empirical assessment of the same suite of practices using the USGS SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) modeling framework. SPARROW is a hybrid statistical and mechanistic stream water quality model of annual conditions that has been used extensively in studies of nutrient sources and delivery. In this assessment, the USDA simulations of the effects of conservation practices on loads in farm runoff were used as an explanatory variable (i.e., change in farm loads per unit area) in a component of an existing a SPARROW model of the Upper Midwest. The model was then re-calibrated and tested to determine whether the USDA estimate of conservation adoption intensity explained a statistically significant proportion of the spatial variability in stream nutrient loads in the Upper Mississippi River basin. The results showed that the suite of conservation practices that NRCS has catalogued as complete nutrient and sediment management are a statistically significant feature in the Midwestern landscape associated with phosphorous runoff and delivery to downstream waters

  3. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Cordelia H.; Radford, Ben T.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Stewart, Romola R.; Watts, Matthew E.; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J.; Harvey, Euan S.; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-08-01

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia-a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation.

  4. AlignMiner: a Web-based tool for detection of divergent regions in multiple sequence alignments of conserved sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claros M Gonzalo

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Multiple sequence alignments are used to study gene or protein function, phylogenetic relations, genome evolution hypotheses and even gene polymorphisms. Virtually without exception, all available tools focus on conserved segments or residues. Small divergent regions, however, are biologically important for specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction, genotyping, molecular markers and preparation of specific antibodies, and yet have received little attention. As a consequence, they must be selected empirically by the researcher. AlignMiner has been developed to fill this gap in bioinformatic analyses. Results AlignMiner is a Web-based application for detection of conserved and divergent regions in alignments of conserved sequences, focusing particularly on divergence. It accepts alignments (protein or nucleic acid obtained using any of a variety of algorithms, which does not appear to have a significant impact on the final results. AlignMiner uses different scoring methods for assessing conserved/divergent regions, Entropy being the method that provides the highest number of regions with the greatest length, and Weighted being the most restrictive. Conserved/divergent regions can be generated either with respect to the consensus sequence or to one master sequence. The resulting data are presented in a graphical interface developed in AJAX, which provides remarkable user interaction capabilities. Users do not need to wait until execution is complete and can.even inspect their results on a different computer. Data can be downloaded onto a user disk, in standard formats. In silico and experimental proof-of-concept cases have shown that AlignMiner can be successfully used to designing specific polymerase chain reaction primers as well as potential epitopes for antibodies. Primer design is assisted by a module that deploys several oligonucleotide parameters for designing primers "on the fly". Conclusions AlignMiner can be used

  5. Regional estimates of ecological services derived from U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkner, Stephen P.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Waddle, Hardin; Keeland, Bobby D.; Walls, Susan C.; James, Dale; Moorman, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) is the Nation?s largest floodplain and this once predominantly forested ecosystem provided significant habitat for a diverse flora and fauna, sequestered carbon in trees and soil, and stored floodwater, sediments, and nutrients within the floodplain. This landscape has been substantially altered by the conversion of nearly 75% of the riparian forests, predominantly to agricultural cropland, with significant loss and degradation of important ecosystem services. Large-scale efforts have been employed to restore the forest and wetland resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) represent some of the most extensive restoration programs in the MAV. The objective of the WRP is to restore and protect the functions and values of wetlands in agricultural landscapes with an emphasis on habitat for migratory birds and wetland-dependent wildlife, protection and improvement of water quality, flood attenuation, ground water recharge, protection of native flora and fauna, and educational and scientific scholarship.

  6. Change Points in the Population Trends of Aerial-Insectivorous Birds in North America: Synchronized in Time across Species and Regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam C Smith

    Full Text Available North American populations of aerial insectivorous birds are in steep decline. Aerial insectivores (AI are a group of bird species that feed almost exclusively on insects in flight, and include swallows, swifts, nightjars, and flycatchers. The causes of the declines are not well understood. Indeed, it is not clear when the declines began, or whether the declines are shared across all species in the group (e.g., caused by changes in flying insect populations or specific to each species (e.g., caused by changes in species' breeding habitat. A recent study suggested that population trends of aerial insectivores changed for the worse in the 1980s. If there was such a change point in trends of the group, understanding its timing and geographic pattern could help identify potential causes of the decline. We used a hierarchical Bayesian, penalized regression spline, change point model to estimate group-level change points in the trends of 22 species of AI, across 153 geographic strata of North America. We found evidence for group-level change points in 85% of the strata. Change points for flycatchers (FC were distinct from those for swallows, swifts and nightjars (SSN across North America, except in the Northeast, where all AI shared the same group-level change points. During the 1980s, there was a negative change point across most of North America, in the trends of SSN. For FC, the group-level change points were more geographically variable, and in many regions there were two: a positive change point followed by a negative change point. This group-level synchrony in AI population trends is likely evidence of a response to a common environmental factor(s with similar effects on many species across broad spatial extents. The timing and geographic patterns of the change points that we identify here should provide a spring-board for research into the causes behind aerial insectivore declines.

  7. Structure-sequence based analysis for identification of conserved regions in proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemla, Adam T; Zhou, Carol E; Lam, Marisa W; Smith, Jason R; Pardes, Elizabeth

    2013-05-28

    Disclosed are computational methods, and associated hardware and software products for scoring conservation in a protein structure based on a computationally identified family or cluster of protein structures. A method of computationally identifying a family or cluster of protein structures in also disclosed herein.

  8. The Bird Community Resilience Index: a novel remote sensing-based biodiversity variable for quantifying ecological integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, N. L.; Wilsey, C.; Burkhalter, C.; Trusty, B.; Langham, G.

    2017-12-01

    Scalable indicators of biodiversity change are critical to reporting overall progress towards national and global targets for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Aichi Targets) and sustainable development (SDGs). These essential biodiversity variables capitalize on new remote sensing technologies and growth of community science participation. Here we present a novel biodiversity metric quantifying resilience of bird communities and, by extension, of their associated ecological communities. This metric adds breadth to the community composition class of essential biodiversity variables that track trends in condition and vulnerability of ecological communities. We developed this index for use with North American grassland birds, a guild that has experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild, in order to evaluate gains from the implementation of best management practices on private lands. The Bird Community Resilience Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird Community Resilience Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and arid land birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional diversity metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., climate). We present an analysis of bird community resilience across ranches in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. As predicted, Bird Community Resilience was higher in lands implementing best management practices than elsewhere. While developed for grassland birds, this metric holds great potential for use as an Essential Biodiversity Variable for community composition in a variety of habitat.

  9. Small mammals of the Mongolian mountain steppe region near Erdensant: insights from live-trapping and bird pellet remains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne L. Isaac

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Relatively little is known of the distribution, abundance and ecology of small mammals in Mongolia and as a result there is scant knowledge of the effects of environmental and anthropogenic factors on small mammal populations. The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of small mammals in mountain steppe habitat from live-trapping and analysis of mammal remains from raptor pellets and below nests. During live-trapping, root voles ( Microtus oeconemus were the most commonly caught species accounting for 47.5 % of captures, striped hamsters ( Cricetulus barabensis and pika ( Ochotona hyperborea accounted for 30 % and 22.5 % of captures respectively. Temperature influenced trapping success, with small mammals appearing to avoid being active at temperatures over 20 ̊C. The three species caught on the trapping grid appeared to avoid competition for resources through both temporal and spatial differences in the use of available habitat. Mammals identified from raptor pellets and other remains included the grey hamster ( Cricatulus migratorius , Siberian marmot ( Marmota sibirica , red fox ( Vulpes vulpes , long-tailed souslik ( Citellus undulatus and the Daurian mole ( Myospalax aspalax. Results are discussed in terms of their relevance to the conservation of mammals in Mongolia and their co-existence with livestock and humans.

  10. 78 FR 75321 - Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-11

    ... the taking of migratory birds and the collection of their eggs, by the indigenous inhabitants of the... particular land ownership, but applies to the harvesting of migratory bird resources throughout Alaska. A... ensure an effective and meaningful role for Alaska's indigenous inhabitants in the conservation of...

  11. Ticks on birds from Cerrado forest patches along the Uberabinha river in the Triângulo Mineiro region of Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khelma Torga

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We herein describe ticks parasitizing birds in forest fragments along the Uberabinha River, a major watercourse that cuts through patches of remnants of Brazilian savannah in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Overall 352 birds from 62 species, overwhelmingly, Passeriformes, were captured with mist-nets. The most abundant bird species was Basileuterus hypoleucus (n=36, followed by Lanio penicillata (n=24 and Thalurania furcata (n=23. Thirty one birds, all Passeriformes, were found infested with 56 ticks from which 12 were larvae and 44 nymphs, all from the Amblyomma genus. Highest infestation prevalence was found on Taraba major (66.6%, Thamnophilus pelzeni (60% and Saltator maximus (50%. The mean intensity of tick infestation was low (1.8 tick per infested bird with most of the parasites located on the neck (60% of birds, followed by the head (20%. All larvae were attached to the skin around the eyes of birds. Amblyomma nodosum was the most numerous tick species found attached to birds (n=23 nymphs, 52.3% of nymphs followed by Amblyomma longirostre (n=5, 11.4% of nymphs. Ecological relationships are discussed.

  12. Mapping global diversity patterns for migratory birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Somveille

    Full Text Available Nearly one in five bird species has separate breeding and overwintering distributions, and the regular migrations of these species cause a substantial seasonal redistribution of avian diversity across the world. However, despite its ecological importance, bird migration has been largely ignored in studies of global avian biodiversity, with few studies having addressed it from a macroecological perspective. Here, we analyse a dataset on the global distribution of the world's birds in order to examine global spatial patterns in the diversity of migratory species, including: the seasonal variation in overall species diversity due to migration; the contribution of migratory birds to local bird diversity; and the distribution of narrow-range and threatened migratory birds. Our analyses reveal a striking asymmetry between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, evident in all of the patterns investigated. The highest migratory bird diversity was found in the Northern Hemisphere, with high inter-continental turnover in species composition between breeding and non-breeding seasons, and extensive regions (at high latitudes where migratory birds constitute the majority of the local avifauna. Threatened migratory birds are concentrated mainly in Central and Southern Asia, whereas narrow-range migratory species are mainly found in Central America, the Himalayas and Patagonia. Overall, global patterns in the diversity of migratory birds indicate that bird migration is mainly a Northern Hemisphere phenomenon. The asymmetry between the Northern and Southern hemispheres could not have easily been predicted from the combined results of regional scale studies, highlighting the importance of a global perspective.

  13. Possible conservation units of the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) in Sarawak based on variation of mtDNA control region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onuma, Manabu; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Ohtaishi, Noriyuki

    2006-11-01

    The mitochondrial DNA control region of the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) was sequenced using 21 DNA samples collected from confiscated sun bears to identify conservation units, such as evolutionarily significant units and management units, in Sarawak, Borneo Island. A total of 10 haplotypes were observed, indicating the presence of at least two lineages in the sun bear population in Sarawak. Presumably, these two lineages could represent evolutionarily significant units. However, the geographical distributions of the two lineages remained unknown due to the lack of information regarding the exact capture locations of the confiscated sun bears. It is essential to elucidate the geographical distributions of these lineages in order to create a proper conservation plan for the sun bears in Sarawak. Therefore, further studies examining the haplotype distributions using DNA samples from known localities are essential.

  14. The geography of hotspots of rarity-weighted richness of birds and their coverage by Natura 2000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albuquerque, Fábio Suzart de; Gregory, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    A major challenge for biogeographers and conservation planners is to identify where to best locate or distribute high-priority areas for conservation and to explore whether these areas are well represented by conservation actions such as protected areas (PAs). We aimed to identify high-priority areas for conservation, expressed as hotpots of rarity-weighted richness (HRR)-sites that efficiently represent species-for birds across EU countries, and to explore whether HRR are well represented by the Natura 2000 network. Natura 2000 is an evolving network of PAs that seeks to conserve biodiversity through the persistence of the most patrimonial species and habitats across Europe. This network includes Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), where the latter regulated the designation of Special Protected Areas (SPA). Distribution maps for 416 bird species and complementarity-based approaches were used to map geographical patterns of rarity-weighted richness (RWR) and HRR for birds. We used species accumulation index to evaluate whether RWR was efficient surrogates to identify HRRs for birds. The results of our analysis support the proposition that prioritizing sites in order of RWR is a reliable way to identify sites that efficiently represent birds. HRRs were concentrated in the Mediterranean Basin and alpine and boreal biogeographical regions of northern Europe. The cells with high RWR values did not correspond to cells where Natura 2000 was present. We suggest that patterns of RWR could become a focus for conservation biogeography. Our analysis demonstrates that identifying HRR is a robust approach for prioritizing management actions, and reveals the need for more conservation actions, especially on HRR.

  15. The Neutron-Moisture Meter in Studies of the Effect of Fallow on Water Conservation in Arid Regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oezbek, Nurinnisa; Aksoy, Tevfik; Celebi, Gurkan [Radiophysiology and Soil Fertility Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ankara, Ankara (Turkey)

    1967-11-15

    For a long time it has been a common practice for the Central Anatolian farmers to leave half the land fallow the whole year in order to increase the amount of water conserved. The main object of these studies was to ascertain whether fallow has an effect on moisture conservation in soils of this region and if so what was its degree of efficiency on a yearly basis. In view of the intensity and distribution of rainfall Ankara, Konya and Eski$ehir were selected for moisture-measurement areas. Altogether 60 holes were dug and 60 access tubes were used for moisture measurements by a neutron- moisture meter, and they were placed at six different locations on either state farms or a dry-farming experimental station. In each location the first group of access tubes were placed in fallow soil, the second in a wheat field and the third in a wheat field after harvest. Each treatment had three replicates. In all holes the moisture measurements were made at five different depths at intervals of either 15 days or one month. At the beginning of the moisture measurements a separate calibration curve was prepared for each location and for each treatment. The measurements were begun in 1964 and are continuing, but with some variations in the sampling technique. Some physical properties of the soils that were sampled from measurement areas, such as texture, field capacity and wilting point, were determined. Some bulk-density measurements were also made by gamma-ray transmission. The results obtained are averaged and illustrated in tables and figures. Necessary calculations and comparisons were made to show the efficiency of the fallow system in the moisture conservation in this dry soil. The results can be summarized as follows: (1) The total amount of water conserved in the soil down to a depth of 1.80 cm was higher in fallow soil than in the other two cases. This was true for all locations over a period of two years. (2) The amounts of water conserved by the effect of fallow

  16. Molecular studies of Callithrix pygmaea (Primates, Platyrrhini based on transferrin intronic and ND1 regions: implications for taxonomy and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tagliaro Claudia Helena

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional classifications of Platyrrhini monkeys, based mainly on morphological features, are being contested by recent molecular data. The subfamily Callitrichinae (Platyrrhini, Primates consists of a diverse group of species, many of them considered endangered. Our analysis of two DNA regions, a mtDNA gene (ND1 and a nuclear gene (intronic regions of the transferrin gene, suggests that Callithrix pygmaea may have sufficient variability to justify the existence of subspecies or even separate species. Phylogenetic dendrograms based on the ND1 region show that this species is more closely related to Amazonian than to Atlantic forest marmosets. These results reopen the discussion about diversity and conservation programs based exclusively on traditional classifications.

  17. A computational method for identification of vaccine targets from protein regions of conserved human leukocyte antigen binding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Lars Rønn; Simon, Christian; Kudahl, Ulrich J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Computational methods for T cell-based vaccine target discovery focus on selection of highly conserved peptides identified across pathogen variants, followed by prediction of their binding of human leukocyte antigen molecules. However, experimental studies have shown that T cells often...... target diverse regions in highly variable viral pathogens and this diversity may need to be addressed through redefinition of suitable peptide targets. Methods: We have developed a method for antigen assessment and target selection for polyvalent vaccines, with which we identified immune epitopes from...... variable regions, where all variants bind HLA. These regions, although variable, can thus be considered stable in terms of HLA binding and represent valuable vaccine targets. Results: We applied this method to predict CD8+ T-cell targets in influenza A H7N9 hemagglutinin and significantly increased...

  18. 9 CFR 93.104 - Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds. 93.104 Section 93.104 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... (INCLUDING POULTRY) AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN...

  19. Marginal/peripheral populations of forest tree species and their conservation status: report for Atlantic region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin T. Kelleher

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This report is a synthesis of information from the national reports, prepared as part of the COST Action FP1202 Strengthening conservation: a key issue for adaptation of marginal/peripheral populations of forest trees to climate change in Europe (MaPFGR. The individual national reports can be found as part of the supplemental data to the COST action. The data compiled in this report indicate that the Atlantic area has sufficient resources in terms of knowledge and capacity to assess the potential impact of climate change on marginal and peripheral (MaP sites within the area. Maps of vegetation, soil, climate and climatic predictions are publicly available for most countries and often are of high quality and resolution. These can be utilized to help identify MaP sites and populations in the Atlantic area. In addition, some species have been characterized genetically and the genetic data can also be utilized to identify and characterize sites. However, genetic data is not universally available and in particular may be absent for peripheral sites. There are many data sources for phenotypic traits, such as data from provenance trials but these have not been assessed for MaP populations. There may not be sufficient legislative capacity for the conservation of MaP populations in comparison to, for example, annex habitats of the EU Habitats Directive. Although some of the MaP sites lie within Natura 2000 boundaries, many are not in protected areas. If MaP populations are not characterized and conserved there is a risk of losing traits that may be of potential in adaptation to climate change. A detailed spatial analysis incorporating all of the data is needed to give a comprehensive assessment of the potential threats to MaP populations in this area.

  20. Conservation of Repeats at the Mammalian KCNQ1OT1-CDKN1C Region Suggests a Role in Genomic Imprinting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos De Donato

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available KCNQ1OT1 is located in the region with the highest number of genes showing genomic imprinting, but the mechanisms controlling the genes under its influence have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, we conducted a comparative analysis of the KCNQ1/KCNQ1OT1-CDKN1C region to study its conservation across the best assembled eutherian mammalian genomes sequenced to date and analyzed potential elements that may be implicated in the control of genomic imprinting in this region. The genomic features in these regions from human, mouse, cattle, and dog show a higher number of genes and CpG islands (detected using cpgplot from EMBOSS, but lower number of repetitive elements (including short interspersed nuclear elements and long interspersed nuclear elements, compared with their whole chromosomes (detected by RepeatMasker. The KCNQ1OT1-CDKN1C region contains the highest number of conserved noncoding sequences (CNS among mammals, where we found 16 regions containing about 38 different highly conserved repetitive elements (using mVista, such as LINE1 elements: L1M4, L1MB7, HAL1, L1M4a, L1Med, and an LTR element: MLT1H. From these elements, we found 74 CNS showing high sequence identity (>70% between human, cattle, and mouse, from which we identified 13 motifs (using Multiple Em for Motif Elicitation/Motif Alignment and Search Tool with a significant probability of occurrence, 3 of which were the most frequent and were used to find transcription factor–binding sites. We detected several transcription factors (using JASPAR suite from the families SOX, FOX, and GATA. A phylogenetic analysis of these CNS from human, marmoset, mouse, rat, cattle, dog, horse, and elephant shows branches with high levels of support and very similar phylogenetic relationships among these groups, confirming previous reports. Our results suggest that functional DNA elements identified by comparative genomics in a region densely populated with imprinted mammalian genes may be

  1. The non-conserved region of MRP is involved in the virulence of Streptococcus suis serotype 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quan; Fu, Yang; Ma, Caifeng; He, Yanan; Yu, Yanfei; Du, Dechao; Yao, Huochun; Lu, Chengping; Zhang, Wei

    2017-10-03

    Muramidase-released protein (MRP) of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2) is an important epidemic virulence marker with an unclear role in bacterial infection. To investigate the biologic functions of MRP, 3 mutants named Δmrp, Δmrp domain 1 (Δmrp-d1), and Δmrp domain 2 (Δmrp-d2) were constructed to assess the phenotypic changes between the parental strain and the mutant strains. The results indicated that MRP domain 1 (MRP-D1, the non-conserved region of MRP from a virulent strain, a.a. 242-596) played a critical role in adherence of SS2 to host cells, compared with MRP domain 1* (MRP-D1*, the non-conserved region of MRP from a low virulent strain, a.a. 239-598) or MRP domain 2 (MRP-D2, the conserved region of MRP, a.a. 848-1222). We found that MRP-D1 but not MRP-D2, could bind specifically to fibronectin (FN), factor H (FH), fibrinogen (FG), and immunoglobulin G (IgG). Additionally, we confirmed that mrp-d1 mutation significantly inhibited bacteremia and brain invasion in a mouse infection model. The mrp-d1 mutation also attenuated the intracellular survival of SS2 in RAW246.7 macrophages, shortened the growth ability in pig blood and decreased the virulence of SS2 in BALB/c mice. Furthermore, antiserum against MRP-D1 was found to dramatically impede SS2 survival in pig blood. Finally, immunization with recombinant MRP-D1 efficiently enhanced murine viability after SS2 challenge, indicating its potential use in vaccination strategies. Collectively, these results indicated that MRP-D1 is involved in SS2 virulence and eloquently demonstrate the function of MRP in pathogenesis of infection.

  2. Evolution of the hippocampus in reptiles and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Striedter, Georg F

    2016-02-15

    Although the hippocampus is structurally quite different among reptiles, birds, and mammals, its function in spatial memory is said to be highly conserved. This is surprising, given that structural differences generally reflect functional differences. Here I review this enigma in some detail, identifying several evolutionary changes in hippocampal cytoarchitecture and connectivity. I recognize a lepidosaurid pattern of hippocampal organization (in lizards, snakes, and the tuatara Sphenodon) that differs substantially from the pattern of organization observed in the turtle/archosaur lineage, which includes crocodilians and birds. Although individual subdivisions of the hippocampus are difficult to homologize between these two patterns, both lack a clear homolog of the mammalian dentate gyrus. The strictly trilaminar organization of the ancestral amniote hippocampus was gradually lost in the lineage leading to birds, and birds expanded the system of intrahippocampal axon collaterals, relative to turtles and lizards. These expanded collateral axon branches resemble the extensive collaterals in CA3 of the mammalian hippocampus but probably evolved independently of them. Additional examples of convergent evolution between birds and mammals are the loss of direct inputs to the hippocampus from the primary olfactory cortex and the general expansion of telencephalic regions that communicate reciprocally with the hippocampus. Given this structural convergence, it seems likely that some similarities in the function of the hippocampus between birds and mammals, notably its role in the ability to remember many different locations without extensive training, likewise evolved convergently. The currently available data do not allow for a strong test of this hypothesis, but the hypothesis itself suggests some promising new research directions. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Polymerase chain reaction assay for verifying the labeling of meat and commercial meat products from game birds targeting specific sequences from the mitochondrial D-loop region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, M; González, I; Pavón, M A; Pegels, N; Hernández, P E; García, T; Martín, R

    2010-05-01

    A PCR assay was developed for the identification of meats and commercial meat products from quail (Coturnix coturnix), pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), partridge (Alectoris spp.), guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), pigeon (Columba spp.), Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), and song thrush (Turdus philomelos) based on oligonucleotide primers targeting specific sequences from the mitochondrial D-loop region. The primers designed generated specific fragments of 96, 100, 104, 106, 147, 127, and 154 bp in length for quail, pheasant, partridge, guinea fowl, pigeon, Eurasian woodcock, and song thrush tissues, respectively. The specificity of each primer pair was tested against DNA from various game and domestic species. In this work, satisfactory amplification was accomplished in the analysis of experimentally pasteurized (72 degrees C for 30 min) and sterilized (121 degrees C for 20 min) meats, as well as in commercial meat products from the target species. The technique was also applied to raw and sterilized muscular binary mixtures, with a detection limit of 0.1% (wt/wt) for each of the targeted species. The proposed PCR assay represents a rapid and straightforward method for the detection of possible mislabeling in game bird meat products.

  4. Bactericidal activity of M protein conserved region antibodies against group A streptococcal isolates from the Northern Thai population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pruksachatkunakorn Chulabhorn

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most group A streptococcal (GAS vaccine strategies have focused on the surface M protein, a major virulence factor of GAS. The amino-terminus of the M protein elicits antibodies, that are both opsonic and protective, but which are type specific. J14, a chimeric peptide that contains 14 amino acids from the M protein conserved C-region at the carboxy-terminus, offers the possibility of a vaccine which will elicit protective opsonic antibodies against multiple different GAS strains. In this study, we searched for J14 and J14-like sequences and the number of their repeats in the C-region of the M protein from GAS strains isolated from the Northern Thai population. Then, we examined the bactericidal activity of J14, J14.1, J14-R1 and J14-R2 antisera against multiple Thai GAS strains. Results The emm genes of GAS isolates were sequenced and grouped as 14 different J14-types. The most diversity of J14-types was found in the C1-repeat. The J14.1 type was the major sequence in the C2 and C3-repeats. We have shown that antisera raised against the M protein conserved C-repeat region peptides, J14, J14.1, J14-R1 and J14-R2, commonly found in GAS isolates from the Northern Thai population, are able to kill GAS of multiple different emm types derived from an endemic area. The mean percent of bactericidal activities for all J14 and J14-like peptide antisera against GAS isolates were more than 70%. The mean percent of bactericidal activity was highest for J14 antisera followed by J14-R2, J14.1 and J14-R1 antisera. Conclusion Our study demonstrated that antisera raised against the M protein conserved C-repeat region are able to kill multiple different strains of GAS isolated from the Northern Thai population. Therefore, the four conserved "J14" peptides have the potential to be used as GAS vaccine candidates to prevent streptococcal infections in an endemic area.

  5. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Maltchik

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (~280 000km², and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from differrent ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.La selección de áreas prioritarias es un enorme desafío para la conservación de la biodiversidad. Métodos biogeográficos se han utilizado para identificar áreas prioritarias para la conservación, como la panbiogeografía. Este estudio tuvo como objetivo el empleo de herramientas panbiogeográficas, para identificar los patrones de distribución de los géneros de insectos acuáticos, en los sistemas de humedales de una extensa área de la región Neotropical (~280 000km², y así comparar la distribución de las

  6. Private lands habitat programs benefit California's native birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan T. DiGaudio

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available To address the loss of wetlands and riparian forests in California, private lands habitat programs are available through U.S. federal and state government agencies to help growers, ranchers and other private landowners create and enhance wildlife habitat. The programs provide financial and technical assistance for implementing conservation practices. To evaluate the benefits of these programs for wildlife, we examined bird use of private wetlands, postharvest flooded croplands and riparian forests enrolled in habitat programs in the Central Valley and North Coast regions of California. We found that private Central Valley wetlands supported 181 bird species during the breeding season. During fall migration, postharvest flooded croplands supported wetland-dependent species and a higher density of shorebirds than did semipermanent wetlands. At the riparian sites, bird species richness increased after restoration. These results demonstrated that the programs provided habitat for the species they were designed to protect; a variety of resident and migratory bird species used the habitats, and many special status species were recorded at the sites.

  7. Northwest power gamble: Washington utilities go for broke on nuclear; region's citizens make conservation bid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brummer, J.

    1981-01-01

    The Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) is asking for a reactor construction moratorium in an effort to get fast relief from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which is authorized to guarantee power purchases from new power plants. Supporters of nuclear power plants as well as those of the soft energy path are watching to see how BPA will handle its mandate against acquiring new thermal plants until conservation and renewable energy potentials are exhausted. BPA can subvert the Pacific Northwest Power Act with 20-year contracts based on conventional forecasts despite evidence that new plants are unneeded. There is also evidence that the public rejects the idea of a moral obligation to bail out nuclear power cost overruns at taxpayer expense. The negotiations involve not only WPPSS and BPA, but Moody's Investor Service and environmental groups

  8. Ecological Sustainability of Birds in Boreal Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Niemi

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available We review characteristics of birds in boreal forests in the context of their ecological sustainability under both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. We identify the underlying ecological factors associated with boreal bird populations and their variability, review the interactions between boreal bird populations and disturbance, and describe some tools on how boreal bird populations may be conserved in the future. The boreal system has historically been an area with extensive disturbance such as fire, insect outbreaks, and wind. In addition, the boreal system is vulnerable to global climate change as well as increasing pressure on forest and water resources. Current knowledge indicates that birds play an important role in boreal forests, and sustaining these populations affords many benefits to the health of boreal forests. Many issues must be approached with caution, including the lack of knowledge on our ability to mimic natural disturbance regimes with management, our lack of understanding on fragmentation due to logging activity, which is different from permanent conversion to other land uses such as agriculture or residential area, and our lack of knowledge on what controls variability in boreal bird populations or the linkage between bird population fluctuations and productivity. The essential role that birds can provide is to clarify important ecological concerns and variables that not only will help to sustain bird populations, but also will contribute to the long-term health of the boreal forest for all species, including humans.

  9. Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesus; Mendoza-Quijano, Fernando; Bolaños, Federico; Cháves, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2008-06-01

    We present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles of the San Vito de Coto Brus region, including the Las Cruces Biological Station, in southern Costa Rica, which is the result of a survey of the herpetofauna occurring in mountain forest fragments, pastures, coffee plantations, and other disturbed areas. We found 67 species, included 26 species of amphibians and of 41 of reptiles. We describe the distribution patterns of the community on the basis of the life zones, elevation, fragmentation, and degree of anthropogenic impact. We also provide some nouvelle data on the systematics of some select taxa, their geographical ranges, microhabitats, activity, and other relevant ecological and natural history features. Finally, we comment on the present conservation status of the herpetofauna in the region. Previous literature and collection records indicate a higher number of species occurring in this area, which suggests that some declines have occurred, especially of amphibians, in last decades.

  10. Conserved peptides within the E2 region of Hepatitis C virus induce humoral and cellular responses in goats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El Shenawy Reem

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The reason(s why human antibodies raised against hepatitis C virus (HCV E2 epitopes do not offer protection against multiple viral infections may be related to either genetic variations among viral strains particularly within the hypervariable region-1 (HVR-1, low titers of anti E2 antibodies or interference of non neutralizing antibodies with the function of neutralizing antibodies. This study was designed to assess the immunogenic properties of genetically conserved peptides derived from the C-terminal region of HVR-1 as potential therapeutic and/or prophylactic vaccines against HCV infection. Goats immunized with E2-conserved synthetic peptides termed p36 (a.a 430–446, p37(a.a 517–531 and p38 (a.a 412–419 generated high titers of anti-p36, anti-p37 and anti-P38 antibody responses of which only anti- p37 and anti- p38 were neutralizing to HCV particles in sera from patients infected predominantly with genotype 4a. On the other hand anti-p36 exhibited weak viral neutralization capacity on the same samples. Animals super-immunized with single epitopes generated 2 to 4.5 fold higher titers than similar antibodies produced in chronic HCV patients. Also the studied peptides elicited approximately 3 fold increase in cell proliferation of specific antibody-secreting peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC from immunized goats. These results indicate that, besides E1 derived peptide p35 (a.a 315–323 described previously by this laboratory, E2 conserved peptides p37 and p38 represent essential components of a candidate peptide vaccine against HCV infection.

  11. Heterogeneous Landscapes on Steep Slopes at Low Altitudes as Hotspots of Bird Diversity in a Hilly Region of Nepal in the Central Himalayas

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Basnet, T. B.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Bhattarai, B. P.; Münzbergová, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 3 (2016), č. článku e0150498. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : species richness * elevational gradient * habitat heterogeneity * insectivorous birds * forest birds * vegetation structure * protected areas * lowland Nepal * communities * patterns Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  12. Insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States—A regional synthesis to support biodiversity conservation in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Wolfe, William J.

    2016-08-11

    In the southeastern United States, insular ecosystems—such as rock outcrops, depression wetlands, high-elevation balds, flood-scoured riparian corridors, and insular prairies and barrens—occupy a small fraction of land area but constitute an important source of regional and global biodiversity, including concentrations of rare and endemic plant taxa. Maintenance of this biodiversity depends upon regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, incorporating factors such as soil surface temperature, widely fluctuating hydrologic conditions, fires, flood scouring, and episodic droughts that may be subject to alteration by climate change. Over several decades, numerous localized, site-level investigations have yielded important information about the floristics, physical environments, and ecological dynamics of these insular ecosystems; however, the literature from these investigations has generally remained fragmented. This report consists of literature syntheses for eight categories of insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States, concerning (1) physical geography, (2) ecological determinants of community structures including vegetation dynamics and regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, (3) contributions to regional and global biodiversity, (4) historical and current anthropogenic threats and conservation approaches, and (5) key knowledge gaps relevant to conservation, particularly in terms of climate-change effects on biodiversity. This regional synthesis was undertaken to discern patterns across ecosystems, identify knowledge gaps, and lay the groundwork for future analyses of climate-change vulnerability. Findings from this synthesis indicate that, despite their importance to regional and global biodiversity, insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States have been subjected to a variety of direct and indirect human alterations. In many cases, important questions remain concerning key determinants of ecosystem function. In particular, few

  13. An interactive database for setting conservation priorities for western neotropical migrants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael F. Carter; Keith Barker

    1993-01-01

    We develop and explain a species ranking system for the states and physiographic regions of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program's West Working Group. The ranking criteria attempt to measure characteristics of species which make them vulnerable to extirpation, as well as assess the relative importance of different geographic and/or political areas...

  14. A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, Myla F J; La Sorte, Frank A; Nilon, Charles H; Katti, Madhusudan; Goddard, Mark A; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Warren, Paige S; Williams, Nicholas S G; Cilliers, Sarel; Clarkson, Bruce; Dobbs, Cynnamon; Dolan, Rebecca; Hedblom, Marcus; Klotz, Stefan; Kooijmans, Jip Louwe; Kühn, Ingolf; Macgregor-Fors, Ian; McDonnell, Mark; Mörtberg, Ulla; Pysek, Petr; Siebert, Stefan; Sushinsky, Jessica; Werner, Peter; Winter, Marten

    2014-04-07

    Urbanization contributes to the loss of the world's biodiversity and the homogenization of its biota. However, comparative studies of urban biodiversity leading to robust generalities of the status and drivers of biodiversity in cities at the global scale are lacking. Here, we compiled the largest global dataset to date of two diverse taxa in cities: birds (54 cities) and plants (110 cities). We found that the majority of urban bird and plant species are native in the world's cities. Few plants and birds are cosmopolitan, the most common being Columba livia and Poa annua. The density of bird and plant species (the number of species per km(2)) has declined substantially: only 8% of native bird and 25% of native plant species are currently present compared with estimates of non-urban density of species. The current density of species in cities and the loss in density of species was best explained by anthropogenic features (landcover, city age) rather than by non-anthropogenic factors (geography, climate, topography). As urbanization continues to expand, efforts directed towards the conservation of intact vegetation within urban landscapes could support higher concentrations of both bird and plant species. Despite declines in the density of species, cities still retain endemic native species, thus providing opportunities for regional and global biodiversity conservation, restoration and education.

  15. A global analysis of the impacts of urbanization on bird and plant diversity reveals key anthropogenic drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, Myla F. J.; La Sorte, Frank A.; Nilon, Charles H.; Katti, Madhusudan; Goddard, Mark A.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Warren, Paige S.; Williams, Nicholas S. G.; Cilliers, Sarel; Clarkson, Bruce; Dobbs, Cynnamon; Dolan, Rebecca; Hedblom, Marcus; Klotz, Stefan; Kooijmans, Jip Louwe; Kühn, Ingolf; MacGregor-Fors, Ian; McDonnell, Mark; Mörtberg, Ulla; Pyšek, Petr; Siebert, Stefan; Sushinsky, Jessica; Werner, Peter; Winter, Marten

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization contributes to the loss of the world's biodiversity and the homogenization of its biota. However, comparative studies of urban biodiversity leading to robust generalities of the status and drivers of biodiversity in cities at the global scale are lacking. Here, we compiled the largest global dataset to date of two diverse taxa in cities: birds (54 cities) and plants (110 cities). We found that the majority of urban bird and plant species are native in the world's cities. Few plants and birds are cosmopolitan, the most common being Columba livia and Poa annua. The density of bird and plant species (the number of species per km2) has declined substantially: only 8% of native bird and 25% of native plant species are currently present compared with estimates of non-urban density of species. The current density of species in cities and the loss in density of species was best explained by anthropogenic features (landcover, city age) rather than by non-anthropogenic factors (geography, climate, topography). As urbanization continues to expand, efforts directed towards the conservation of intact vegetation within urban landscapes could support higher concentrations of both bird and plant species. Despite declines in the density of species, cities still retain endemic native species, thus providing opportunities for regional and global biodiversity conservation, restoration and education. PMID:24523278

  16. Aspen in the Sierra Nevada: Regional conservation of a continental species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul C. Rogers; Wayne D. Shepperd; Dale L. Bartos

    2007-01-01

    Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) a common species in North America, is a minor species in the Sierra Nevada of California. However, the limited coverage of aspen in this area appears to carry a disproportionate biodiversity load: numerous species are dependent on the unique components of aspen forests habitat. Land managers in the region...

  17. 75 FR 59143 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Regional Fishery Management Councils...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-27

    ... collection-of-information requirements contained in this rule may be submitted to Alan Risenhoover, Director... basis for salary of Council executive directors be put on par with that of NMFS Regional Administrators... broadened and clarified to include any income, grant, or other monetary or in-kind remuneration received by...

  18. An overview of the floristic richness and conservation of the arid regions of northern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Arriaga; Elizabeth Moreno; Claudia Aguilar

    2005-01-01

    The arid and semiarid regions of Northern Mexico harbor diverse, highly endemic, and geographically complex ecosystems. These share topographic and biogeographic similarities that can be used as an analytical framework to assess biodiversity patterns. This study presents the current status of vascular plant inventories for Mexican Aridamerica. The spatial distribution...

  19. Conservation of indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants of Western Himalayan region Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Sajjad; Murtaza, Ghulam; Mehmood, Ansar; Qureshi, Rizwana Aleem

    2017-05-01

    The aim of present was to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants traditionally used by inhabitants of Rawalakot Azad Kashmir and to screen selected medicinal plants for their antibacterial potential. Several field surveys were conducted to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants through interviews from local inhabitants during 2010-2013. During the study, 58 plant species, belonging to 37 families, were identified and their medicinal uses were recorded. Ethnobotanical data indicates that inhabitants of Rawalakot use medicinal plant mainly for the treatment of stomach, liver and sexual disorders. Usually fresh plant materials were used for medicinal preparations and administrated orally. Among all the species studied, three most frequently used medicinal plants Achillea millefolium, Berberis lycium and Zanthoxylum armatum were screened for their antibacterial potential by using disc diffusion method. The crude aqueous, petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts were found to be very active against selected bacterial strains. The present study contributes significantly to the medicinal plant knowledge and shows that medicinal plant knowledge is deteriorating among younger generations. Therefore, further research is needed to document indigenous knowledge, to find conservation status of medicinal plant species and to find antimicrobial compounds for more sophisticated usage of medicinal plants in future.

  20. Elevational Gradients in Bird Diversity in the Eastern Himalaya: An Evaluation of Distribution Patterns and Their Underlying Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Bhoj Kumar; Sanders, Nathan J.; Vijayan, Lalitha; Chettri, Basundhara

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding diversity patterns and the mechanisms underlying those patterns along elevational gradients is critically important for conservation efforts in montane ecosystems, especially those that are biodiversity hotspots. Despite recent advances, consensus on the underlying causes, or even the relative influence of a suite of factors on elevational diversity patterns has remained elusive. Methods and Principal Findings We examined patterns of species richness, density and range size distribution of birds, and the suite of biotic and abiotic factors (primary productivity, habitat variables, climatic factors and geometric constraints) that governs diversity along a 4500-m elevational gradient in the Eastern Himalayan region, a biodiversity hotspot within the world's tallest mountains. We used point count methods for sampling birds and quadrats for estimating vegetation at 22 sites along the elevational gradient. We found that species richness increased to approximately 2000 m, then declined. We found no evidence that geometric constraints influenced this pattern, whereas actual evapotranspiration (a surrogate for primary productivity) and various habitat variables (plant species richness, shrub density and basal area of trees) accounted for most of the variation in bird species richness. We also observed that ranges of most bird species were narrow along the elevation gradient. We find little evidence to support Rapoport's rule for the birds of Sikkim region of the Himalaya. Conclusions and Significance This study in the Eastern Himalaya indicates that species richness of birds is highest at intermediate elevations along one of the most extensive elevational gradients ever examined. Additionally, primary productivity and factors associated with habitat accounted for most of the variation in avian species richness. The diversity peak at intermediate elevations and the narrow elevational ranges of most species suggest important conservation implications

  1. Conservation of the primary structure, organization, and function of the human and mouse β-globin locus-activating regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moon, A.M.; Ley, T.J.

    1990-01-01

    DNA sequences located in a region 6-18 kilobases (kb) upstream from the human ε-globin gene are known as the locus-activating region (LAR) or dominant control region. This region is thought to play a key role in chromatin organization of the β-like globin gene cluster during erythroid development. Since the human β-globin LAR is functional in mice, the authors reasoned that critical LAR sequence elements might be conserved between mice and humans. They therefore cloned murine genomic sequences homologous to one portion of the human LAR. They found that this murine DNA fragment (mouse LAR site II) and sequences homologous to human LAR sites I and III are located upstream from the mouse β-like globin gene cluster and determined that their locations relative to the cluster are similar to that of their human counterparts. The homologous site II sequences are 70% identical between mice and humans over a stretch of ∼800 base pairs. These results suggest that primary structural elements endash and the spatial organization of these elements endash are important for function of the β-globin LAR

  2. Conserved regional patterns of GABA-related transcript expression in the neocortex of subjects with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Takanori; Bazmi, H Holly; Mirnics, Karoly; Wu, Qiang; Sampson, Allan R; Lewis, David A

    2008-04-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia exhibit disturbances in a number of cognitive, affective, sensory, and motor functions that depend on the circuitry of different cortical areas. The cognitive deficits associated with dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex result, at least in part, from abnormalities in GABA neurotransmission, as reflected in a specific pattern of altered expression of GABA-related genes. Consequently, the authors sought to determine whether this pattern of altered gene expression is restricted to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or could also contribute to the dysfunction of other cortical areas in subjects with schizophrenia. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to assess the levels of eight GABA-related transcripts in four cortical areas (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and primary motor and primary visual cortices) of subjects (N=12) with schizophrenia and matched normal comparison subjects. Expression levels of seven transcripts were lower in subjects with schizophrenia, with the magnitude of reduction for each transcript comparable across the four areas. The largest reductions were detected for mRNA encoding somatostatin and parvalbumin, followed by moderate decreases in mRNA expression for the 67-kilodalton isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase, the GABA membrane transporter GAT-1, and the alpha 1 and delta subunits of GABA(A) receptors. In contrast, the expression of calretinin mRNA did not differ between the subject groups in any of the four areas. Because the areas examined represent the major functional domains (e.g., association, limbic, motor, and sensory) of the cerebral cortex, our findings suggest that a conserved set of molecular alterations affecting GABA neurotransmission contribute to the pathophysiology of different clinical features of schizophrenia.

  3. Low Carbon Footprint Routes for Bird Watching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Ta Fang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Bird watching is one of many recreational activities popular in ecotourism. Its popularity, therefore, prompts the need for studies on energy conservation. One such environmentally friendly approach toward minimizing bird watching’s ecological impact is ensuring a reduced carbon footprint by using an economic travel itinerary comprising a series of connected routes between tourist attractions that minimizes transit time. This study used a travel-route planning approach using geographic information systems to detect the shortest path, thereby solving the problems associated with time-consuming transport. Based on the results of road network analyses, optimal travel-route planning can be determined. These methods include simulated annealing (SA and genetic algorithms (GA. We applied two algorithms in our simulation research to detect which one is an appropriate algorithm for running carbon-routing algorithms at the regional scale. SA, which is superior to GA, is considered an excellent approach to search for the optimal path to reduce carbon dioxide and high gasoline fees, thereby controlling travel time by using the shortest travel routes.

  4. Birds in Anthropogenic Landscapes: The Responses of Ecological Groups to Forest Loss in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Carlos Morante-Filho

    Full Text Available Habitat loss is the dominant threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in terrestrial environments. In this study, we used an a priori classification of bird species based on their dependence on native forest habitats (forest-specialist and habitat generalists and specific food resources (frugivores and insectivores to evaluate their responses to forest cover reduction in landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. From the patch-landscapes approach, we delimited 40 forest sites, and quantified the percentage of native forest within a 2 km radius around the center of each site (from 6 - 85%. At each site, we sampled birds using the point-count method. We used a null model, a generalized linear model and a four-parameter logistic model to evaluate the relationship between richness and abundance of the bird groups and the native forest amount. A piecewise model was then used to determine the threshold value for bird groups that showed nonlinear responses. The richness and abundance of the bird community as a whole were not affected by changes in forest cover in this region. However, a decrease in forest cover had a negative effect on diversity of forest-specialist, frugivorous and insectivorous birds, and a positive effect on generalist birds. The species richness and abundance of all ecological groups were nonlinearly related to forest reduction and showed similar threshold values, i.e., there were abrupt changes in individuals and species numbers when forest amount was less than approximately 50%. Forest sites within landscapes with forest cover that was less than 50% contained a different bird species composition than more extensively forested sites and had fewer forest-specialist species and higher beta-diversity. Our study demonstrated the pervasive effect of forest reduction on bird communities in one of the most important hotspots for bird conservation and shows that many vulnerable species require extensive forest cover to persist.

  5. Birds in Anthropogenic Landscapes: The Responses of Ecological Groups to Forest Loss in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Faria, Deborah; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Rhodes, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the dominant threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in terrestrial environments. In this study, we used an a priori classification of bird species based on their dependence on native forest habitats (forest-specialist and habitat generalists) and specific food resources (frugivores and insectivores) to evaluate their responses to forest cover reduction in landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. From the patch-landscapes approach, we delimited 40 forest sites, and quantified the percentage of native forest within a 2 km radius around the center of each site (from 6 - 85%). At each site, we sampled birds using the point-count method. We used a null model, a generalized linear model and a four-parameter logistic model to evaluate the relationship between richness and abundance of the bird groups and the native forest amount. A piecewise model was then used to determine the threshold value for bird groups that showed nonlinear responses. The richness and abundance of the bird community as a whole were not affected by changes in forest cover in this region. However, a decrease in forest cover had a negative effect on diversity of forest-specialist, frugivorous and insectivorous birds, and a positive effect on generalist birds. The species richness and abundance of all ecological groups were nonlinearly related to forest reduction and showed similar threshold values, i.e., there were abrupt changes in individuals and species numbers when forest amount was less than approximately 50%. Forest sites within landscapes with forest cover that was less than 50% contained a different bird species composition than more extensively forested sites and had fewer forest-specialist species and higher beta-diversity. Our study demonstrated the pervasive effect of forest reduction on bird communities in one of the most important hotspots for bird conservation and shows that many vulnerable species require extensive forest cover to persist.

  6. Plastic ingestion in aquatic-associated bird species in southern Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicastro, Katy R; Lo Savio, Roberto; McQuaid, Christopher D; Madeira, Pedro; Valbusa, Ugo; Azevedo, Fábia; Casero, Maria; Lourenço, Carla; Zardi, Gerardo I

    2018-01-01

    Excessive use of plastics in daily life and the inappropriate disposal of plastic products are severely affecting wildlife species in both coastal and aquatic environments. Birds are top-predators, exposed to all threats affecting their environments, making them ideal sentinel organisms for monitoring ecosystems change. We set a baseline assessment of the prevalence of marine plastic litter affecting multi-species populations of aquatic birds in southern Portugal. By examining 160 stomach contents from 8 species of aquatic birds, we show that 22.5% were affected by plastic debris. Plastic was found in Ciconia ciconia, Larus fuscus and L. michahellis. Ciconia ciconia ingested the highest amount (number of items and total mass) of plastic debris. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS, silicones) was the most abundant polymer and was recorded only in C. ciconia. Plastic ingestion baseline data are of crucial importance to evaluate changes through time and among regions and to define management and conservation strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Role of forest conservation in lessening land degradation in a temperate region: the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo-Delgado, Lilia; López-García, José; Alcántara-Ayala, Irasema

    2014-06-01

    With international concern about the rates of deforestation worldwide, particular attention has been paid to Latin America. Forest conservation programmes in Mexico include Payment for Environmental Services (PES), a scheme that has been successfully introduced in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. To seek further evidence of the role of PES in lessening land degradation processes in a temperate region, the conservation state of the Cerro Prieto ejido within the Reserve was assessed by an analysis of changes in vegetation cover and land-use between 1971 and 2013. There were no changes in the total forest surface area, but the relative proportions of the different classes of cover density had changed. In 1971, closed and semi-closed forest occupied 247.81 ha and 5.38 ha, 82.33% and 1.79% of the total area of the ejido, respectively. By 2013, closed forest had decreased to 230.38 ha (76.54% of the ejido), and semi-closed cover was 17.23 ha (5.72% of the ejido), suggesting that some semi-closed forest had achieved closed status. The final balance between forest losses and recovery was: 29.63 ha were lost, whereas 13.72 ha were recovered. Losses were mainly linked to a sanitation harvest programme to control the bark beetle Scolytus mundus. Ecotourism associated with forest conservation in the Cerro Prieto ejido has been considered by inhabitants as a focal alternative for economic development. Consequently, it is essential to develop a well-planned and solidly structured approach based on social cohesion to foster a community-led sustainable development at local level. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Elevational distribution and extinction risk in birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel L White

    Full Text Available Mountainous regions are hotspots of terrestrial biodiversity. Unlike islands, which have been the focus of extensive research on extinction dynamics, fewer studies have examined mountain ranges even though they face increasing threats from human pressures - notably habitat conversion and climate change. Limits to the taxonomic and geographical extent and resolution of previously available information have precluded an explicit assessment of the relative role of elevational distribution in determining extinction risk. We use a new global species-level avian database to quantify the influence of elevational distribution (range, maximum and midpoint on extinction risk in birds at the global scale. We also tested this relationship within biogeographic realms, higher taxonomic levels, and across phylogenetic contrasts. Potential confounding variables (i.e. phylogenetic, distributional, morphological, life history and niche breadth were also tested and controlled for. We show that the three measures of elevational distribution are strong negative predictors of avian extinction risk, with elevational range comparable and complementary to that of geographical range size. Extinction risk was also found to be positively associated with body weight, development and adult survival, but negatively associated with reproduction and niche breadth. The robust and consistent findings from this study demonstrate the importance of elevational distribution as a key driver of variation in extinction dynamics in birds. Our results also highlight elevational distribution as a missing criterion in current schemes for quantifying extinction risk and setting species conservation priorities in birds. Further research is recommended to test for generality across non-avian taxa, which will require an advance in our knowledge of species' current elevational ranges and increased efforts to digitise and centralise such data.

  9. Rice Cellulose SynthaseA8 Plant-Conserved Region Is a Coiled-Coil at the Catalytic Core Entrance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rushton, Phillip S.; Olek, Anna T.; Makowski, Lee; Badger, John; Steussy, C. Nicklaus; Carpita, Nicholas C.; Stauffacher, Cynthia V. (NEU); (Purdue)

    2016-11-22

    The crystallographic structure of a rice (Oryza sativa) cellulose synthase, OsCesA8, plant-conserved region (P-CR), one of two unique domains in the catalytic domain of plant CesAs, was solved to 2.4 Å resolution. Two antiparallel α-helices form a coiled-coil domain linked by a large extended connector loop containing a conserved trio of aromatic residues. The P-CR structure was fit into a molecular envelope for the P-CR domain derived from small-angle X-ray scattering data. The P-CR structure and molecular envelope, combined with a homology-based chain trace of the CesA8 catalytic core, were modeled into a previously determined CesA8 small-angle X-ray scattering molecular envelope to produce a detailed topological model of the CesA8 catalytic domain. The predicted position for the P-CR domain from the molecular docking models places the P-CR connector loop into a hydrophobic pocket of the catalytic core, with the coiled-coil aligned near the entrance of the substrate UDP-glucose into the active site. In this configuration, the P-CR coiled-coil alone is unlikely to regulate substrate access to the active site, but it could interact with other domains of CesA, accessory proteins, or other CesA catalytic domains to control substrate delivery.

  10. Covalent protein modification with ISG15 via a conserved cysteine in the hinge region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika N Bade

    Full Text Available The ubiquitin-like protein ISG15 (interferon-stimulated gene of 15 kDa is strongly induced by type I interferons and displays antiviral activity. As other ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls, ISG15 is post-translationally conjugated to substrate proteins by an isopeptide bond between the C-terminal glycine of ISG15 and the side chains of lysine residues in the substrates (ISGylation. ISG15 consists of two ubiquitin-like domains that are separated by a hinge region. In many orthologs, this region contains a single highly reactive cysteine residue. Several hundred potential substrates for ISGylation have been identified but only a few of them have been rigorously verified. In order to investigate the modification of several ISG15 substrates, we have purified ISG15 conjugates from cell extracts by metal-chelate affinity purification and immunoprecipitations. We found that the levels of proteins modified by human ISG15 can be decreased by the addition of reducing agents. With the help of thiol blocking reagents, a mutational analysis and miRNA mediated knock-down of ISG15 expression, we revealed that this modification occurs in living cells via a disulphide bridge between the substrates and Cys78 in the hinge region of ISG15. While the ISG15 activating enzyme UBE1L is conjugated by ISG15 in the classical way, we show that the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme Ubc13 can either be classically conjugated by ISG15 or can form a disulphide bridge with ISG15 at the active site cysteine 87. The latter modification would interfere with its function as ubiquitin conjugating enzyme. However, we found no evidence for an ISG15 modification of the dynamin-like GTPases MxA and hGBP1. These findings indicate that the analysis of potential substrates for ISG15 conjugation must be performed with great care to distinguish between the two types of modification since many assays such as immunoprecipitation or metal-chelate affinity purification are performed with little or no

  11. Desalination as Groundwater Conservation: The Cost of Protecting Cultural and Environmental Resources in Chile's Region II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, E. C.; Cristi, O.; Libecap, G. D.

    2012-12-01

    of the empirical work, the theoretical development provides an important perspective into groundwater management and the important role of understanding the physical system in water marketing. Worldwide, subsidized and scarce water is allocated to farmers for social and political reasons. The losses from this type of allocation are often ignored or marginalized. The Chilean case demonstrates that the losses due to economically inefficient allocation are real, because the alternative is greater consumption of other resources (fossil fuels in this case), not conservation. The Chilean case also demonstrates the difficulty of adequately defining water rights for efficient markets due to the physical properties of hydrologic systems. Because groundwater and surface water systems are linked and water is partially recycled, water markets may over allocate water to consumptive users or those with preferable extraction locations. This paper provides a theoretical exposition of how water rights that fail incorporate important properties of the physical system may lead to inefficient water markets.

  12. New Comparative Experiments of Different Soil Types for Farmland Water Conservation in Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiben Cheng

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Irrigated farmland is the main food source of desert areas, and moisture is the main limiting factor of desert farmland crop productivity. Study on the influence of irrigation on desert farmland soil moisture can guide the agricultural water resource utilization and agricultural production in those regions. At present, the efficiency of irrigation water usage in Northwest China is as low as approximately 40% of the irrigated water. To understand the response of farmland soil moisture in different soil types on irrigation in the Ulan Buh Desert of Inner Mongolia of China, this experimental study takes advantage of different infiltration characteristics and hydraulic conductivities of sand, clay, and loam to determine an optimized soil combination scheme with the purpose of establishing a hydraulic barrier that reduces infiltration. This study includes three comparative experiments with each consisting of a 100 cm thick of filled sand, or clay, or loam soil underneath a 50 cm plough soil, with a total thickness of 150 cm soil profile. A new type of lysimeter is installed below the above-mentioned 150 cm soil profile to continuously measure deep soil recharge (DSR, and the ECH2O-5 soil moisture sensors are installed at different depths over the 150 cm soil profile to simultaneously monitor the soil moisture above the lysimeter. The study analyzes the characteristics of soil moisture dynamics, the irrigation-related recharge on soil moisture, and the DSR characteristics before and after irrigation, during the early sowing period from 2 April to 2 May 2017. Research results show that: (1 Irrigation significantly influences the soil moisture of 0–150 cm depths. The soil moisture increase after the irrigation follows the order from high to low when it is in the order of loam, sand, and clay. (2 Irrigation-induced soil moisture recharge occurs on all three soil combinations at 0–150 cm layers, and the order of soil moisture recharge from high to low

  13. Brominated flame retardant trends in aquatic birds from the Salish Sea region of the west coast of North America, including a mini-review of recent trends in marine and estuarine birds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Aroha [Department of Applied Biology, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Elliott, John E., E-mail: John.Elliott@ec.gc.ca [Science and Technology, Environment Canada, Delta, BC V4K 3N2 (Canada); Elliott, Kyle H.; Guigueno, Mélanie F. [Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 3K7 (Canada); Wilson, Laurie K. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada, Delta, BC V4K 3N2 (Canada); Lee, Sandi [Science and Technology, Environment Canada, Delta, BC V4K 3N2 (Canada); Idrissi, Abde [Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3 (Canada)

    2015-01-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) increased in many matrices during the 1990s and early 2000s. Since voluntary restrictions and regulations on PBDEs were implemented in North America circa early 2000s, decreases in PBDEs have occurred in many of these same matrices. To examine temporal trends in the North Pacific, we retrospectively analysed PBDEs and eight non-PBDE flame retardants (FR) in eggs of two aquatic bird species, great blue herons, Ardea herodias, and double-crested cormorants, Phalacrocorax auritus, collected along the British Columbia coast, Canada from 1979 to 2012. Increasing PBDE concentrations were observed in both species followed by significant decreases post-2000 for all dominant congeners and ΣPBDE. Non-PBDE FRs were generally undetected in cormorant eggs, or detected at very low levels in heron eggs, except for hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD). HBCDD, currently unregulated in North America, was not detected in early sampling years; however low concentrations were observed in both species in recent sampling years (2003–2012). Dietary tracers (δ{sup 13}C and δ{sup 15}N) did not change significantly over time, indicating that temporal changes in PBDEs are likely caused by implemented regulations. A comparison with recently published temporal trends of ΣPBDE in marine birds from North America and Europe is given. - Highlights: • Seabird eggs have been used to monitor POPs on the west coast of Canada since 1979. • Samples of these eggs were analysed retrospectively for PBDEs and HBCDD. • Regulations exist in North America to control PBDEs, but not HBCDD. • PBDEs decreased significantly since regulations were applied. • HBCDD was not detected pre-2003, but is now found in low concentrations.

  14. Energy conservation programs of Pemex exploration and production, south region; Programas de ahorro de energia en Pemex exploracion y produccion, region sur

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Milla, Guillermo; Garcia Juarez, Francisco; Alarcon Aleman, Jose Mauricio [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Cuernavaca (Mexico)

    1999-12-31

    The technological developments of energy economizing equipment constitute a powerful tool for the conservation and saving of the electric energy in new or existing installations. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploration and Production initiated in 1997 a program for energy economizing in the South region, for which the Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, through its Unit for the Use of Energy, collaborated performing energy assessments in 115 buildings of the above mentioned region. This paper describes the employed methodology to carry on the energy assessment, which consisted in an analysis of each building and different options for energy economizing were presented, which was accompanied with cost-benefit studies. The results obtained show that the air conditioning equipment and lighting represent the most important loads permanently connected, therefore the study was concentrated in these two loads [Espanol] Los desarrollos tecnologicos de equipos ahorradores de energia constituyen una poderosa herramienta para la conservacion y el ahorro de energia electrica en instalaciones nuevas o existentes. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploracion y Produccion inicio en 1997 un programa para el ahorro de energia en la region sur, para lo cual el Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, a traves de la Unidad de Uso de Energia, colaboro realizando diagnosticos energeticos en 115 edificios de dicha region. En este documento se describe la metodologia utilizada para realizar el diagnostico energetico, el cual consistio en un analisis de cada edificio y se presentaron diversas opciones para ahorrar energia, lo cual se acompano de estudios de costo-beneficio. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que los equipos de aire acondicionado e iluminacion representan la parte mas importante de las cargas conectadas permanentemente, por lo que el estudio se concentro en estas dos cargas

  15. Energy conservation programs of Pemex exploration and production, south region; Programas de ahorro de energia en Pemex exploracion y produccion, region sur

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Milla, Guillermo; Garcia Juarez, Francisco; Alarcon Aleman, Jose Mauricio [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Cuernavaca (Mexico)

    1998-12-31

    The technological developments of energy economizing equipment constitute a powerful tool for the conservation and saving of the electric energy in new or existing installations. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploration and Production initiated in 1997 a program for energy economizing in the South region, for which the Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, through its Unit for the Use of Energy, collaborated performing energy assessments in 115 buildings of the above mentioned region. This paper describes the employed methodology to carry on the energy assessment, which consisted in an analysis of each building and different options for energy economizing were presented, which was accompanied with cost-benefit studies. The results obtained show that the air conditioning equipment and lighting represent the most important loads permanently connected, therefore the study was concentrated in these two loads [Espanol] Los desarrollos tecnologicos de equipos ahorradores de energia constituyen una poderosa herramienta para la conservacion y el ahorro de energia electrica en instalaciones nuevas o existentes. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploracion y Produccion inicio en 1997 un programa para el ahorro de energia en la region sur, para lo cual el Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, a traves de la Unidad de Uso de Energia, colaboro realizando diagnosticos energeticos en 115 edificios de dicha region. En este documento se describe la metodologia utilizada para realizar el diagnostico energetico, el cual consistio en un analisis de cada edificio y se presentaron diversas opciones para ahorrar energia, lo cual se acompano de estudios de costo-beneficio. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que los equipos de aire acondicionado e iluminacion representan la parte mas importante de las cargas conectadas permanentemente, por lo que el estudio se concentro en estas dos cargas

  16. Are women in the MENA region really that different from women in Europe? Globalization, conservative values and female labor market participation.

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Justina AV; Aydıner-Avşar, Nursel

    2015-01-01

    This article aims to compare women in the MENA region with women in Europe as to how globalization affects their conservative values and attitudes, and, thereby, their labor market participation. The authors define conservative values as both religious values and socio-political attitudes relating to family issues and leadership. Using micro data from the World Values Survey covering over 80 countries between 1981 and 2014, we employ three distinct indicators of globalization that reflect, fi...

  17. Drug metabolism in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huo Ping; Fouts, James R.

    1979-01-01

    Papers published over 100 years since the beginning of the scientific study of drug metabolism in birds were reviewed. Birds were found to be able to accomplish more than 20 general biotransformation reactions in both functionalization and conjugation. Chickens were the primary subject of study but over 30 species of birds were used. Large species differences in drug metabolism exist between birds and mammals as well as between various birds, these differences were mostly quantitative. Qualitative differences were rare. On the whole, drug metabolism studies in birds have been neglected as compared with similar studies on insects and mammals. The uniqueness of birds and the advantages of using birds in drug metabolism studies are discussed. Possible future studies of drug metabolism in birds are recommended.

  18. Heterogeneous Landscapes on Steep Slopes at Low Altitudes as Hotspots of Bird Diversity in a Hilly Region of Nepal in the Central Himalayas

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Basnet, T. B.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Bhattarai, B. P.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 3 (2016), s. 1-19, č. článku e0150498. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP13-10850P Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : bird diversity * steep slopes * altitude Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  19. Avian Alert - a bird migration early warning system

    OpenAIRE

    van Gasteren, H.; Shamoun-Baranes, J.; Ginati, A.; Garofalo, G.

    2008-01-01

    Every year billions of birds migrate from breeding areas to their wintering ranges, some travelling over 10,000 km. Stakeholders interested in aviation flight safety, spread of disease, conservation, education, urban planning, meteorology, wind turbines and bird migration ecology are interested in information on bird movements. Collecting and disseminating useful information about such mobile creatures exhibiting diverse behaviour is no simple task. However, ESA’s Integrated Application Promo...

  20. Predicted effect of landscape position on wildlife habitat value of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program wetlands in a tile-drained agricultural region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otis, David L.; Crumpton, William R.; Green, David; Loan-Wilsey, Anna; Cooper, Tom; Johnson, Rex R.

    2013-01-01

    Justification for investment in restored or constructed wetland projects are often based on presumed net increases in ecosystem services. However, quantitative assessment of performance metrics is often difficult and restricted to a single objective. More comprehensive performance assessments could help inform decision-makers about trade-offs in services provided by alternative restoration program design attributes. The primary goal of the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is to establish wetlands that efficiently remove nitrates from tile-drained agricultural landscapes. A secondary objective is provision of wildlife habitat. We used existing wildlife habitat models to compare relative net change in potential wildlife habitat value for four alternative landscape positions of wetlands within the watershed. Predicted species richness and habitat value for birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles generally increased as the wetland position moved lower in the watershed. However, predicted average net increase between pre- and post-project value was dependent on taxonomic group. The increased average wetland area and changes in surrounding upland habitat composition among landscape positions were responsible for these differences. Net change in predicted densities of several grassland bird species at the four landscape positions was variable and species-dependent. Predicted waterfowl breeding activity was greater for lower drainage position wetlands. Although our models are simplistic and provide only a predictive index of potential habitat value, we believe such assessment exercises can provide a tool for coarse-level comparisons of alternative proposed project attributes and a basis for constructing informed hypotheses in auxiliary empirical field studies.

  1. Conserved region at the COOH terminus of human immunodeficiency virus gp120 envelope protein contains an immunodominant epitope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palker, T.J.; Matthews, T.J.; Clark, M.E.

    1987-01-01

    A highly immunogenic epitope from a conserved COOH-terminal region of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gp120 envelope protein has been identified with antisera from HIV-seropositive subjects and a synthetic peptide (SP-22) containing 15 amino acids from this region (Ala-Pro-Thr-Lys-Ala-Lys-Arg-Arg-Val-Val-Gln-Arg-Glu-Lys-Arg). Peptide SP-22 absorbed up to 100% of anti-gp120 antibody reactivity from select HIV + patient sera in immunoblot assays and up to 79% of serum anti-gp120 antibody reactivity in competition RIA. In RIA, 45% of HIV-seropositive subjects had antibodies that bound to peptide SP-22. Human anti-SP-22 antibodies that bound to and were eluted from an SP-22 affinity column reacted with gp120 in RIA and immunoblot assays but did not neutralize HIV or inhibit HIV-induced syncytium formation in vitro, even though these antibodies comprised 70% of all anti-gp120 antibodies in the test serum. In contrast, the remaining 30% of SP-22 nonreactive anti-gp120 antibodies did not react with gp120 in immunoblot assays but did react in RIA and neutralized HIV in vitro. Thus, ≅ 50% of HIV-seropositive patients make high titers of nonneutralizing antibodies to an immunodominant antigen on gp120 defined by SP-22. Moreover, the COOH terminus of gp120 contains the major antigen or antigens identified by human anti-gp120 antibodies in immunoblot assays

  2. Short Communication: An apospory-specific genomic region is conserved between Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.) and Pennisetum squamulatum Fresen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche; Cong; Chen; Hanna; Gustine; Sherwood; Ozias-Akins

    1999-07-01

    Twelve molecular markers linked to pseudogamous apospory, a form of gametophytic apomixis, were previously isolated from Pennisetum squamulatum Fresen. No recombination between these markers was found in a segregating population of 397 individuals (Ozias-Akins et al. 1998, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 95, 5127-5132). The objective of the present study was to test if these markers were also linked to the aposporous mode of reproduction in two small segregating populations of Cenchrus ciliaris (= Pennisetum ciliare (L.)Link), another apomictic grass species. Among 12 markers (sequence characterized amplified regions, SCARs), six were scored as dominant markers between aposporous and sexual C. ciliaris genotypes (presence/absence, respectively). Five were always linked to apospory and one showed a low level of recombination in 84 progenies. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were observed between sexual and apomictic phenotypes for three of the six remaining SCARs from P. squamulatum when used as probes. No recombination was observed in the F1 progenies. Preliminary data from megabase DNA analysis and sequencing in both species indicate that an apospory-specific genomic region (ASGR) is highly conserved between the two species. Although C. ciliaris has a smaller genome size to P. squamulatum, a higher copy number for markers linked to apospory found in the former may impair the progress of positional cloning of gene(s) for apomixis in this species.

  3. The conservation status and trends of raptors and owls in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burfield, Ian J

    2008-09-01

    To conserve biodiversity efficiently, an international framework is needed to ensure that national priorities take into account regional and global priorities. BirdLife International has published five comprehensive assessments of the global status of the world's birds and two evaluations of the status of Europe's birds at a continental level. This paper analyzes the results of these assessments in relation to Europe's 56 species of raptors and owls, 18% of which are of global conservation concern, and 64% of which have an unfavorable conservation status in Europe. The European Union (EU) holds half of the total estimated European breeding population of raptors and owls, and European Russia supports another third, but every European country has a responsibility for at least two species of European conservation concern. During the 1990s, more raptors increased than decreased in most EU member states, but the opposite was true in eastern Europe, where many of the most threatened species are concentrated. Given the popularity of these species with the public, and the political commitment to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010, much more action is needed to monitor and conserve birds of prey.

  4. What Have I Learned about Broadleaf Forest Migrants from Long-term Attendance at Migrant Bird Symposia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Faaborg

    2005-01-01

    Our understanding of the ecology and conservation of migratory birds has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. In the Smithsonian symposium of 1977, scientists shifted from the idea of North American birds invading the tropics to that of tropical birds using the temperate zone, with little mention of conservation. By the Manomet meeting of 1989, declines on the...

  5. Bird sexing by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Gerald; Bartels, Thomas; Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth; Koch, Edmund

    2010-02-01

    Birds are traditionally classified as male or female based on their anatomy and plumage color as judged by the human eye. Knowledge of a bird's gender is important for the veterinary practitioner, the owner and the breeder. The accurate gender determination is essential for proper pairing of birds, and knowing the gender of a bird will allow the veterinarian to rule in or out gender-specific diseases. Several biochemical methods of gender determination have been developed for avian species where otherwise the gender of the birds cannot be determined by their physical appearances or characteristics. In this contribution, we demonstrate that FT-IR spectroscopy is a suitable tool for a quick and objective determination of the bird's gender. The method is based on differences in chromosome size. Male birds have two Z chromosomes and female birds have a W-chromosome and a Z-chromosome. Each Z-chromosome has approx. 75.000.000 bps whereas the W-chromosome has approx. 260.00 bps. This difference can be detected by FT-IR spectroscopy. Spectra were recorded from germ cells obtained from the feather pulp of chicks as well as from the germinal disk of fertilized but non-bred eggs. Significant changes between cells of male and female birds occur in the region of phosphate vibrations around 1080 and 1120 cm-1.

  6. Strategic Plan for the North American Breeding Bird Survey: 2006-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary The mission of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is to provide scientifically credible measures of the status and trends of North American bird populations at continental and regional scales to inform biologically sound conservation and management actions. Determining population trends, relative abundance, and distributions of North American avifauna is critical for identifying conservation priorities, determining appropriate conservation actions, and evaluating those actions. The BBS program, jointly coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey and Environment Canada?s Canadian Wildlife Service, provides the U.S. and Canadian Federal governments, state and provincial agencies, other conservation practitioners, and the general public with science-based avian population trend estimates and other information for regional and national species' population assessments. Despite the demonstrated value of the BBS for furthering avian conservation across North America, its importance is often underappreciated, and it is underfunded compared with many other government-supported programs that report on status of the environment. Today, BBS resources, adjusted for inflation, are below the amount allocated in the 1970s and are still only sufficient to support two biologists. Yet the number of routes, participants, data, and data requests has quadrupled. Data and information management and delivery requirements and security concerns, non-existent in 1966, impose further demands on BBS resources. In addition, the Mexican expansion of the BBS offers new hope for a truly continental approach to avian conservation, but also brings additional challenges. Meeting the goals of this plan will take cooperation among myriad stakeholders; yet, even with collaboration, most objectives of this plan will be unattainable if BBS program support is not increased. The BBS developed this strategic plan to help set priorities and identify resources required for the

  7. Avian Alert - a bird migration early warning system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gasteren, H.; Shamoun-Baranes, J.; Ginati, A.; Garofalo, G.

    2008-01-01

    Every year billions of birds migrate from breeding areas to their wintering ranges, some travelling over 10,000 km. Stakeholders interested in aviation flight safety, spread of disease, conservation, education, urban planning, meteorology, wind turbines and bird migration ecology are interested in

  8. Seasonal variation in diversity and abundance of understorey birds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our findings suggest that in a situation where there is no natural forest, an exotic plantation with suitable indigenous understorey cover can help in protection of birds, including endemic and near-endemic species. Keywords: birds, conservation, Eastern Arc Mountains, plantation, seasonal altitudinal migration, seasons, ...

  9. Integrating and interpreting the Habitats- and Birds Directives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kistenkas, F.H.

    2005-01-01

    The Birds Directive of 1979 and the Habitats Directive of 1992 might be seen as the two major EU nature conservation directives, both protecting a habitats network throughout Europe and species. The transposition of both the Habitats and Birds Directive (HBD) into domestic national or subnational

  10. A national geographic framework for guiding conservation on a landscape scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millard, Michael J.; Czarnecki, Craig A.; Morton, John M.; Brandt, Laura A.; Briggs, Jennifer S.; Shipley, Frank S.; Sayre, Roger G.; Sponholtz, Pamela J.; Perkins, David; Simpkins, Darin G.; Taylor, Janith

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the global conservation community, has recognized that the conservation challenges of the 21st century far exceed the responsibilities and footprint of any individual agency or program. The ecological effects of climate change and other anthropogenic stressors do not recognize geopolitical boundaries and, as such, demand a national geographic framework to provide structure for cross-jurisdictional and landscape-scale conservation strategies. In 2009, a new map of ecologically based conservation regions in which to organize capacity and implement strategic habitat conservation was developed using rapid prototyping and expert elicitation by an interagency team of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey scientists and conservation professionals. Incorporating Bird Conservation Regions, Freshwater Ecoregions, and U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic unit codes, the new geographic framework provides a spatial template for building conservation capacity and focusing biological planning and conservation design efforts. The Department of Interior's Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are being organized in these new conservation regions as multi-stakeholder collaborations for improved conservation science and management.

  11. Research and management priorities for Hawai‘i forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxton, Eben H.; Laut, Megan; Vetter, J.P.; Kendall, Steve J.

    2018-01-01

    Hawai‘i’s forest birds face a number of conservation challenges that, if unaddressed, will likely lead to the extinction of multiple species in the coming decades. Threats include habitat loss, invasive plants, non-native predators, and introduced diseases. Climate change is predicted to increase the geographic extent and intensity of these threats, adding urgency to implementation of tractable conservation strategies. We present a set of actionable research and management approaches, identified by conservation practitioners in Hawai’i, that will be critical for the conservation of Hawaiian forest birds in the coming years. We also summarize recent progress on these conservation priorities. The threats facing Hawai‘i’s forest birds are not unique to Hawai‘i, and successful conservation strategies developed in Hawai‘i can serve as a model for other imperiled communities around the world, especially on islands.

  12. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  13. Active farmsteads are year-round strongholds for farmland birds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Bažant, M.; Żmihorski, M.

    (2018) ISSN 0021-8901 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : biodiversity * birds * conservation * farmland * farmsteads * hotspots * landscape structure * red-listed species * species richness Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 5.301, year: 2016

  14. In Silico Design and Experimental Validation of siRNAs Targeting Conserved Regions of Multiple Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahmoud ElHefnawi

    Full Text Available RNA interference (RNAi is a post-transcriptional gene silencing mechanism that mediates the sequence-specific degradation of targeted RNA and thus provides a tremendous opportunity for development of oligonucleotide-based drugs. Here, we report on the design and validation of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs targeting highly conserved regions of the hepatitis C virus (HCV genome. To aim for therapeutic applications by optimizing the RNAi efficacy and reducing potential side effects, we considered different factors such as target RNA variations, thermodynamics and accessibility of the siRNA and target RNA, and off-target effects. This aim was achieved using an in silico design and selection protocol complemented by an automated MysiRNA-Designer pipeline. The protocol included the design and filtration of siRNAs targeting highly conserved and accessible regions within the HCV internal ribosome entry site, and adjacent core sequences of the viral genome with high-ranking efficacy scores. Off-target analysis excluded siRNAs with potential binding to human mRNAs. Under this strict selection process, two siRNAs (HCV353 and HCV258 were selected based on their predicted high specificity and potency. These siRNAs were tested for antiviral efficacy in HCV genotype 1 and 2 replicon cell lines. Both in silico-designed siRNAs efficiently inhibited HCV RNA replication, even at low concentrations and for short exposure times (24h; they also exceeded the antiviral potencies of reference siRNAs targeting HCV. Furthermore, HCV353 and HCV258 siRNAs also inhibited replication of patient-derived HCV genotype 4 isolates in infected Huh-7 cells. Prolonged treatment of HCV replicon cells with HCV353 did not result in the appearance of escape mutant viruses. Taken together, these results reveal the accuracy and strength of our integrated siRNA design and selection protocols. These protocols could be used to design highly potent and specific RNAi-based therapeutic

  15. International Trade of CITES Listed Bird Species in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  16. International trade of CITES listed bird species in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  17. Adaptation of bird communities to farmland abandonment in a mountain landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Lopes Guilherme

    Full Text Available Widespread farmland abandonment has led to significant landscape transformations of many European mountain areas. These semi-natural multi-habitat landscapes are important reservoirs of biodiversity and their abandonment has important conservation implications. In multi-habitat landscapes the adaptation of communities depends on the differential affinity of the species to the available habitats. We use nested species-area relationships (SAR to model species richness patterns of bird communities across scales in a mountain landscape, in NW Portugal. We compare the performance of the classic-SAR and the countryside-SAR (i.e. multi-habitat models at the landscape scale, and compare species similarity decay (SSD at the regional scale. We find a considerable overlap of bird communities in the different land-uses (farmland, shrubland and oak forest at the landscape scale. Analysis of the classic and countryside SAR show that specialist species are strongly related to their favourite habitat. Farmland and shrubland have higher regional SSD compared to oak forests. However, this is due to the opportunistic use of farmlands by generalist birds. Forest specialists display significant regional turnover in oak forest. Overall, the countryside-SAR model had a better fit to the data showing that habitat composition determines species richness across scales. Finally, we use the countryside-SAR model to forecast bird diversity under four scenarios of land-use change. Farmland abandonment scenarios show little impact on bird diversity as the model predicts that the complete loss of farmland is less dramatic, in terms of species diversity loss, than the disappearance of native Galicio-Portuguese oak forest. The affinities of species to non-preferred habitats suggest that bird communities can adapt to land-use changes derived from farmland abandonment. Based on model predictions we argue that rewilding may be a suitable management option for many European mountain

  18. Vulnerability of birds to climate change in California's Sierra Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    Rodney B. Siegel; Peter Pyle; James H. Thorne; Andrew J. Holguin; Christine A. Howell; Sarah Stock; Morgan W. Tingley

    2014-01-01

    In a rapidly changing climate, effective bird conservation requires not only reliable information about the current vulnerability of species of conservation concern, but also credible projections of their future vulnerability. Such projections may enable managers to preempt or reduce emerging climate-related threats through appropriate habitat management. We used NatureServe's Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to predict vulnerability to climate change of 168 bird species that breed i...

  19. Birds and music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Amini

    2009-03-01

    Through research in old mythological narrations, and literary texts, one could assume an intrinsic relationship between music and such sweet-singing mythological birds as phoenix, sphinx, Song-song, holy birds like Kership-tah, and other birds including swan and ring dove.

  20. Birds Kept as Pets

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... your pet’s health Visit a veterinarian who has experience with pet birds for routine check-ups to keep your bird healthy and prevent infectious diseases. If your bird becomes sick or dies within a month after purchase or adoption: Contact your veterinarian. Inform the pet ...

  1. Audubon Bird Study Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    Included are a student reader, "The Story of Birds," a leaders' guide, a large colored Audubon bird chart, and a separate guide for the chart. The student reader is divided into eleven sections which relate to the various physical and behavioral features of birds such as feathers, feeding habits as related to the shape of bills and feet, nests,…

  2. Teaching Bird Identification & Vocabulary with Twitter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallman, Tyler A.; Robinson, W. Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Species identification is essential to biology, conservation, and management. The ability to focus on specific diagnostic characteristics of a species helps improve the speed and accuracy of identification. Birds are excellent subjects for teaching species identification because, in combination with their different shapes and sizes, their plumages…

  3. Fallout radionuclide based techniques for assessing the effectiveness of soil conservation measures in different eroded regions of China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Hanqing; Li Yong; Liu Guoqiang; Li Junjie; Nguyen, M.L.; Funk, R.

    2012-01-01

    Using fallout radionuclide techniques (FRN), we investigated the extent of soil erosion and to quantify the beneficial effects of soil conservation measures at four sites (Xichang city in the Yangtze upriver, Yan'an in the Loess Plateau, Fengning in the wind erosion region of northern China, and Baiquan in black soil region of north-eastern China) extending from South West (SW) to North East (NE) China. At the Xichang site of SW-China, the combined use of FRN 137 Cs and 210 Pbex measurements demonstrated that the effectiveness of vegetation species in reducing soil erosion decreased in the following order: shrubs > trees with litter layer > grasses > trees without litter layer. At the Yan'an site of Loess Plateau, sediment production estimated by 137 Cs declined by 49% due to terracing and by 80% due to vegetated (with grass forest) compared to the cultivated hillslopes. Vegetated hillslope with grasses and forest increased soil organic matter (SOM) by 255%, soil available N (AN) by 198%, and soil available P (AP) by 18% while terracing increased SOM by 121%, soil AN by 103%, and soil AP by 162% compared with the entire cultivated hillslope. Both terracing and vegetating hillslopes were found to enhance soil porosity as shown by a decrease in soil bulk density (1.6% and 6.4%, respectively). At the Fengning site, data from 7 Be measurements indicated that four years of no tillage with high crop residues (50 ∼ 56 cm depth) reduced soil erosion by 44% and no tillage with low residues (25 cm depth) reduced soil erosion rates by 33% when compared with conventional tillage practices. At the Baiquan site in NE-China, soil loss as measured by 137 Cs tracer, decreased by 14% due to terracing and by 34% due to contoured tillage. Our results suggested that shrub cover and composite structure of forest and grass are the effective practices to control hillslope erosion in SW-China, while terracing forest-grass structure can greatly reduce soil erosion and improve soil quality

  4. A practical study for Treatment and Conservation a group of Silver Coins from Dhamar Regional Museum, Dhamar, Yemen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed M. Megahed

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available A big group of silver coins{35 coins} was discovered in Banawa excavation , Dhamar , season 2002, and now it is situated in Dhamar Regional Museum ,Yemen. They were covered with a thin grey and black corrosion layers that disfigured them and hid their figures and inscriptions , also Some coins miss parts and others lost their circular.The aims of this work are identified the metallic composition of the coins , investigate the nature of corrosion grown during the long-term burial and identify its products that will help us to understand the corrosive factors and the degradation mechanisms , cleaning the group of coins from the superficial dirt and the corrosion products in order to discover as much as possible the surface topography, and to reveal the surfaces details , finally to establish them against further deterioration .To achieve that samples from the coins were examined by Metallographic Microscope {ME} , Scanning Electron Microscope {SEM}, the corrosion products were analyzed by X-ray diffraction{XRD} , and X-ray fluorescence { XRF} was used to determine the coins metallic constituents. Chemical cleaning was chosen for treating the coins and they were isolated to preserve them against further attack. After treatment and conservation, the coins figures and inscriptions that could be identified showed that this group of coins dates back to Umayyad period , exactly the reign of caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan{ 65- 86 A.H}{685-705A.D} and his descendants till 106 A.H. 

  5. Osmostress induces autophosphorylation of Hog1 via a C-terminal regulatory region that is conserved in p38α.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inbal Maayan

    Full Text Available Many protein kinases require phosphorylation at their activation loop for induction of catalysis. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs are activated by a unique mode of phosphorylation, on neighboring Tyrosine and Threonine residues. Whereas many kinases obtain their activation via autophosphorylation, MAPKs are usually phosphorylated by specific, dedicated, MAPK kinases (MAP2Ks. Here we show however, that the yeast MAPK Hog1, known to be activated by the MAP2K Pbs2, is activated in pbs2Δ cells via an autophosphorylation activity that is induced by osmotic pressure. We mapped a novel domain at the Hog1 C-terminal region that inhibits this activity. Removal of this domain provides a Hog1 protein that is partially independent of MAP2K, namely, partially rescues osmostress sensitivity of pbs2Δ cells. We further mapped a short domain (7 amino acid residues long that is critical for induction of autophosphorylation. Its removal abolishes autophosphorylation, but maintains Pbs2-mediated phosphorylation. This 7 amino acids stretch is conserved in the human p38α. Similar to the case of Hog1, it's removal from p38α abolishes p38α's autophosphorylation capability, but maintains, although reduces, its activation by MKK6. This study joins a few recent reports to suggest that, like many protein kinases, MAPKs are also regulated via induced autoactivation.

  6. Osmostress induces autophosphorylation of Hog1 via a C-terminal regulatory region that is conserved in p38α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maayan, Inbal; Beenstock, Jonah; Marbach, Irit; Tabachnick, Shira; Livnah, Oded; Engelberg, David

    2012-01-01

    Many protein kinases require phosphorylation at their activation loop for induction of catalysis. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are activated by a unique mode of phosphorylation, on neighboring Tyrosine and Threonine residues. Whereas many kinases obtain their activation via autophosphorylation, MAPKs are usually phosphorylated by specific, dedicated, MAPK kinases (MAP2Ks). Here we show however, that the yeast MAPK Hog1, known to be activated by the MAP2K Pbs2, is activated in pbs2Δ cells via an autophosphorylation activity that is induced by osmotic pressure. We mapped a novel domain at the Hog1 C-terminal region that inhibits this activity. Removal of this domain provides a Hog1 protein that is partially independent of MAP2K, namely, partially rescues osmostress sensitivity of pbs2Δ cells. We further mapped a short domain (7 amino acid residues long) that is critical for induction of autophosphorylation. Its removal abolishes autophosphorylation, but maintains Pbs2-mediated phosphorylation. This 7 amino acids stretch is conserved in the human p38α. Similar to the case of Hog1, it's removal from p38α abolishes p38α's autophosphorylation capability, but maintains, although reduces, its activation by MKK6. This study joins a few recent reports to suggest that, like many protein kinases, MAPKs are also regulated via induced autoactivation.

  7. c-Abl phosphorylation of Yin Yang 1's conserved tyrosine 254 in the spacer region modulates its transcriptional activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daraiseh, Susan I; Kassardjian, Ari; Alexander, Karen E; Rizkallah, Raed; Hurt, Myra M

    2018-05-25

    Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is a multifunctional transcription factor that can activate or repress transcription depending on the promotor and/or the co-factors recruited. YY1 is phosphorylated in various signaling pathways and is critical for different biological functions including embryogenesis, apoptosis, proliferation, cell-cycle regulation and tumorigenesis. Here we report that YY1 is a substrate for c-Abl kinase phosphorylation at conserved residue Y254 in the spacer region. Pharmacological inhibition of c-Abl kinase by imatinib, nilotinib and GZD824, knock-down of c-Abl using siRNA, and the use of c-Abl kinase-dead drastically reduces tyrosine phosphorylation of YY1. Both radioactive and non-radioactive in vitro kinase assays, as well as co-immunoprecipitation in different cell lines, show that the target of c-Abl phosphorylation is tyrosine residue 254. c-Abl phosphorylation has little effect on YY1 DNA binding ability or cellular localization in asynchronous cells. However, functional studies reveal that c-Abl mediated phosphorylation of YY1 regulates YY1's transcriptional ability in vivo. In conclusion, we demonstrate the novel role of c-Abl kinase in regulation of YY1's transcriptional activity, linking YY1 regulation with c-Abl tyrosine kinase signaling pathways. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Regional management units for marine turtles: a novel framework for prioritizing conservation and research across multiple scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Bryan P; DiMatteo, Andrew D; Hurley, Brendan J; Finkbeiner, Elena M; Bolten, Alan B; Chaloupka, Milani Y; Hutchinson, Brian J; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bourjea, Jerome; Bowen, Brian W; Dueñas, Raquel Briseño; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B C; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Godfrey, Matthew H; Hamann, Mark; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Musick, John A; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B

    2010-12-17

    Resolving threats to widely distributed marine megafauna requires definition of the geographic distributions of both the threats as well as the population unit(s) of interest. In turn, because individual threats can operate on varying spatial scales, their impacts can affect different segments of a population of the same species. Therefore, integration of multiple tools and techniques--including site-based monitoring, genetic analyses, mark-recapture studies and telemetry--can facilitate robust definitions of population segments at multiple biological and spatial scales to address different management and research challenges. To address these issues for marine turtles, we collated all available studies on marine turtle biogeography, including nesting sites, population abundances and trends, population genetics, and satellite telemetry. We georeferenced this information to generate separate layers for nesting sites, genetic stocks, and core distributions of population segments of all marine turtle species. We then spatially integrated this information from fine- to coarse-spatial scales to develop nested envelope models, or Regional Management Units (RMUs), for marine turtles globally. The RMU framework is a solution to the challenge of how to organize marine turtles into units of protection above the level of nesting populations, but below the level of species, within regional entities that might be on independent evolutionary trajectories. Among many potential applications, RMUs provide a framework for identifying data gaps, assessing high diversity areas for multiple species and genetic stocks, and evaluating conservation status of marine turtles. Furthermore, RMUs allow for identification of geographic barriers to gene flow, and can provide valuable guidance to marine spatial planning initiatives that integrate spatial distributions of protected species and human activities. In addition, the RMU framework--including maps and supporting metadata--will be an

  9. The conserved structures of the 5' nontranslated region of Citrus tristeza virus are involved in replication and virion assembly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gowda, Siddarame; Satyanarayana, Tatineni; Ayllon, Maria A.; Moreno, Pedro; Flores, Ricardo; Dawson, William O.

    2003-01-01

    The genomic RNA of different isolates of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) reveals an unusual pattern of sequence diversity: the 3' halves are highly conserved (homology >90%), while the 5' halves show much more dissimilarity, with the 5' nontranslated region (NTR) containing the highest diversity (homology as low as 42%). Yet, positive-sense sequences of the 5' NTR were predicted to fold into nearly identical structures consisting of two stem-loops (SL1 and SL2) separated by a short spacer region. The predicted most stable secondary structures of the negative-sense sequences were more variable. We introduced mutations into the 5' NTR of a CTV replicon to alter the sequence and/or the predicted secondary structures with or without additional compensatory changes designed to restore predicted secondary structures, and examined their effect on replication in transfected protoplasts. The results suggested that the predicted secondary structures of the 5' NTR were more important for replication than the primary structure. Most mutations that were predicted to disrupt the secondary structures fail to replicate, while compensatory mutations were allowed replication to resume. The 5' NTR mutations that were tolerated by the CTV replicon were examined in the full-length virus for effects on replication and production of the multiple subgenomic RNAs. Additionally, the ability of these mutants to produce virions was monitored by electron microscopy and by passaging the progeny nucleocapsids to another batch of protoplasts. Some of the mutants with compensatory sequence alterations predicted to rebuild similar secondary structures allowed replication at near wild-type levels but failed to passage, suggesting that the 5' NTR contains sequences required for both replication and virion assembly

  10. Regional Management Units for Marine Turtles: A Novel Framework for Prioritizing Conservation and Research across Multiple Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Bryan P.; DiMatteo, Andrew D.; Hurley, Brendan J.; Finkbeiner, Elena M.; Bolten, Alan B.; Chaloupka, Milani Y.; Hutchinson, Brian J.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bourjea, Jerome; Bowen, Brian W.; Dueñas, Raquel Briseño; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B. C.; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H.; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Hamann, Mark; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Mortimer, Jeanne A.; Musick, John A.; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B.

    2010-01-01

    Background Resolving threats to widely distributed marine megafauna requires definition of the geographic distributions of both the threats as well as the population unit(s) of interest. In turn, because individual threats can operate on varying spatial scales, their impacts can affect different segments of a population of the same species. Therefore, integration of multiple tools and techniques — including site-based monitoring, genetic analyses, mark-recapture studies and telemetry — can facilitate robust definitions of population segments at multiple biological and spatial scales to address different management and research challenges. Methodology/Principal Findings To address these issues for marine turtles, we collated all available studies on marine turtle biogeography, including nesting sites, population abundances and trends, population genetics, and satellite telemetry. We georeferenced this information to generate separate layers for nesting sites, genetic stocks, and core distributions of population segments of all marine turtle species. We then spatially integrated this information from fine- to coarse-spatial scales to develop nested envelope models, or Regional Management Units (RMUs), for marine turtles globally. Conclusions/Significance The RMU framework is a solution to the challenge of how to organize marine turtles into units of protection above the level of nesting populations, but below the level of species, within regional entities that might be on independent evolutionary trajectories. Among many potential applications, RMUs provide a framework for identifying data gaps, assessing high diversity areas for multiple species and genetic stocks, and evaluating conservation status of marine turtles. Furthermore, RMUs allow for identification of geographic barriers to gene flow, and can provide valuable guidance to marine spatial planning initiatives that integrate spatial distributions of protected species and human activities. In addition

  11. The effects of climate change on terrestrial birds of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    David King; Deborah M. Finch

    2013-01-01

    A discussion of avian responses to climate change is of interest for a number of reasons. First, because birds are relatively easy to identify and measure and their responses to environmental perturbation are relatively well known, they are useful as indicators of ecological change (1). Furthermore, birds are of conservation interest in their own right. Bird...

  12. Birds' nesting parameters in four forest types in the Pantanal wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JB Pinho

    of the Pantanal. If this local pattern also occurs in other regions of the Pantanal, the use and management of Cambará forests might prove to be important for the conservation of forest birds of this biome. However, conflicting results with other taxonomic groups show that conservation measures for these forests and land use policies should be based on a more complete biodiversity evaluation of the region.

  13. Birds' nesting parameters in four forest types in the Pantanal wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, J B; Marini, M A

    2014-11-01

    Pantanal. If this local pattern also occurs in other regions of the Pantanal, the use and management of Cambará forests might prove to be important for the conservation of forest birds of this biome. However, conflicting results with other taxonomic groups show that conservation measures for these forests and land use policies should be based on a more complete biodiversity evaluation of the region.

  14. Salvage treatment for local or local-regional recurrence after initial breast conservation treatment with radiation for ductal carcinoma in situ

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Solin, Lawrence J.; Fourquet, Alain; Vicini, Frank A.; Taylor, Marie; Haffty, Bruce; Strom, Eric A.; Wai, Elaine; Pierce, Lori J.; Marks, Lawrence B.; Bartelink, Harry; Campana, Francois; McNeese, Marsha D.; Jhingran, Anuja; Olivotto, Ivo A.; Bijker, Nina; Hwang, Wei-Ting

    2005-01-01

    The present study evaluated the outcome of salvage treatment for women with local or local-regional recurrence after initial breast conservation treatment with radiation for mammographically detected ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; intraductal carcinoma) of the breast. The study cohort consisted of

  15. 5 Is the Bird Population in the Hadejia-Nguru.cdr

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    Jigawa State, Nigeria. 2. Nigerian Conservation Foundation/Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands Conservation Project, .... Nigeria's inland fish catch with a market value of nearly US$ 300 ...... In Nigeria, the. BirdLife partner is assisting wetland restoration.

  16. Assessing the effect of agricultural land abandonment on bird communities in southern-eastern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakkak, Sylvia; Radovic, Andreja; Nikolov, Stoyan C; Shumka, Spase; Kakalis, Lefteris; Kati, Vassiliki

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural land abandonment is recognized as a major environmental threat in Europe, being particularly pronounced in south-eastern Europe, where knowledge on its effects is limited. Taking the Balkan Peninsula as a case study, we investigated agricultural abandonment impact on passerine communities at regional level. We set up a standard methodology for site selection (70 sites) and data collection, along a well-defined forest-encroachment gradient that reflects land abandonment in four countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece. Regardless the different socio-economic and political histories in the Balkans that led to diverse land abandonment patterns in space and time, rural abandonment had a consistent negative effect on bird communities, while regional-level analysis revealed patterns that were hidden at local level. The general trends were an increase of forest-dwelling bird species at the expense of farmland birds, the decline of overall bird species richness, as well as the decline of Species of European Conservation Concern (SPECs) richness and abundance. Many farmland bird species declined with land abandonment, whereas few forest species benefited from the process. In conclusion, our results support CAP towards hampering rural land abandonment and preserving semi-open rural mosaics in remote upland areas, using a suite of management measures carefully tailored to local needs. The maintenance of traditional rural landscapes should be prioritized in the Balkans, through the timely identification of HNV farmland that is most prone to abandonment. We also suggest that coordinated transnational research is needed, for a better assessment of conservation options in remote rural landscapes at European scale, including the enhancement of wild grazers' populations as an alternative in areas where traditional land management is rather unlikely to be re-established. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. At the Crossroads: Does the Configuration of Roadside Vegetation Affect Woodland Bird Communities in Rural Landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Mark; Nimmo, Dale; Bennett, Andrew F.

    2016-01-01

    In agricultural regions worldwide, linear networks of vegetation such as hedges, fencerows and live fences provide habitat for plant and animal species in heavily modified landscapes. In Australia, networks of remnant native vegetation along roadsides are a distinctive feature of many rural landscapes. Here, we investigated the richness and composition of woodland-dependent bird communities in networks of eucalypt woodland vegetation along roadsides, in an agricultural region in which >80% of native woodland and forest vegetation has been cleared. We stratified sites in a) cross sections and b) linear strips of roadside vegetation, to test the influence on woodland birds of site location and configuration in the linear network (the ‘intersection effect’). We also examined the influence of tree size at the site, the amount of wooded vegetation surrounding the site, and the abundance of an aggressive native species, the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala. Birds were surveyed at 26 pairs of sites (cross section or linear strip) on four occasions. A total of 66 species was recorded, including 35 woodland species. The richness of woodland bird species was influenced by site configuration, with more species present at cross sections, particularly those with larger trees (>30 cm diameter). However, the strongest influence on species richness was the relative abundance of the noisy miner. The richness of woodland birds at sites where noisy miners were abundant was ~20% of that where miners were absent. These results recognise the value of networks of roadside vegetation as habitat for woodland birds in depleted agricultural landscapes; but highlight that this value is not realised for much of this vast vegetation network because of the dominance of the noisy miner. Nevertheless, roadside vegetation is particularly important where the configuration of networks create nodes that facilitate movement. Globally, the protection, conservation and restoration of such linear

  18. At the Crossroads: Does the Configuration of Roadside Vegetation Affect Woodland Bird Communities in Rural Landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Mark; Nimmo, Dale; Bennett, Andrew F

    2016-01-01

    In agricultural regions worldwide, linear networks of vegetation such as hedges, fencerows and live fences provide habitat for plant and animal species in heavily modified landscapes. In Australia, networks of remnant native vegetation along roadsides are a distinctive feature of many rural landscapes. Here, we investigated the richness and composition of woodland-dependent bird communities in networks of eucalypt woodland vegetation along roadsides, in an agricultural region in which >80% of native woodland and forest vegetation has been cleared. We stratified sites in a) cross sections and b) linear strips of roadside vegetation, to test the influence on woodland birds of site location and configuration in the linear network (the 'intersection effect'). We also examined the influence of tree size at the site, the amount of wooded vegetation surrounding the site, and the abundance of an aggressive native species, the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala. Birds were surveyed at 26 pairs of sites (cross section or linear strip) on four occasions. A total of 66 species was recorded, including 35 woodland species. The richness of woodland bird species was influenced by site configuration, with more species present at cross sections, particularly those with larger trees (>30 cm diameter). However, the strongest influence on species richness was the relative abundance of the noisy miner. The richness of woodland birds at sites where noisy miners were abundant was ~20% of that where miners were absent. These results recognise the value of networks of roadside vegetation as habitat for woodland birds in depleted agricultural landscapes; but highlight that this value is not realised for much of this vast vegetation network because of the dominance of the noisy miner. Nevertheless, roadside vegetation is particularly important where the configuration of networks create nodes that facilitate movement. Globally, the protection, conservation and restoration of such linear

  19. North Slope, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls and terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl for the North Slope of Alaska....

  20. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anahí E Formoso

    Full Text Available The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli, the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32 °S and ~49 °S. Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic "space" currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future.

  1. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formoso, Anahí E.; Martin, Gabriel M.; Teta, Pablo; Carbajo, Aníbal E.; Sauthier, Daniel E. Udrizar; Pardiñas, Ulyses F. J.

    2015-01-01

    The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli), the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32°S and ~49°S). Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic “space” currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future. PMID:26203650

  2. [Analysis of soil respiration and influence factors in wheat farmland under conservation tillage in southwest hilly region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Sai; Zhang, Xiao-Yu; Wang, Long-Chang; Luo, Hai-Xiu; Zhou, Hang-Fei; Ma, Zhong-Lian; Zhang, Cui-Wei

    2013-07-01

    In order to investigate the effect of conservation tillage on soil respiration in dry cropping farmland in southwest purple hilly region, the LI6400-09 respiratory chamber was adopted in the experiment conducted in the experimental field in Southwest University in Beibei, Chongqing. The respiration and the hydrothermal and biotic factors of soil were measured and analyzed during the growth period of wheat in the triple intercropping system of wheat/maize/soybean. There were four treatments including T (traditional tillage), R (ridge tillage), TS (traditional tillage + straw mulching) and RS (ridge tillage + straw mulching), which were all in triplicates. The results indicated that the soil respiration rate changed in the range of 1.100-2.508 micromol x (m2 x s)(-1) during the reproductive growth stage of wheat. There were significant differences in soil respiration rate among different treatments, which could be ranked as RS > R > TS > T. The soil temperature in the 10cm layer was ranked as T > R > TS > RS. The relationship between soil respiration and soil temperature fitted well with an exponential function, in which the Q10 values were 1.25, 1.20, 1.31 and 1.26, respectively. The soil moisture in the 5cm layer was ranked as TS > RS > T > R. The best fitting model between soil moisture and soil respiration was a parabolic curve, indicating the presence of soil moisture with the strongest soil respiration. The response threshold of wheat to soil moisture was 14.80%-17.47% during the reproductive stage. The dominant groups of soil animals were Collembola and Acarina, which were correlated with soil respiration to some extent. The correlation was high in the treatments T and R, ranged from 0.669-0.921, whereas there was no remarkable correlation in the other treatments.

  3. Birds of Sabaki Birds of Sabaki

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    CJ

    2005-02-25

    Feb 25, 2005 ... covers approximately 250ha.The area encompassed by this study extends from Mambrui to the north, the sea to the east, the opposite bank of the estuary to the south and the Sabaki bridge and Malindi-Garsen road to the west. The area is defined as an Important Bird Area(IBA) by BirdLife International in ...

  4. Conservation of Sand Dune Vegetation in Coastal areas of the Valencian Region (Spain); Estado de conservacion de la vegetacion dunar en las costas de la comunidad Valenciana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albertos, B.; San Miguel, E.; Draper, I.; Garilleti, R.; Lara, F.; Varela, J. M.

    2010-07-01

    The state of conservation of the coastal dune vegetation in Valencia region has been assessed within a survey of the vegetal communities present in these systems.The conservation status has been evaluated through a qualitative scale which integrates criteria such as dune extension, structure and diversity of the vegetal communities, level of ruderalization, presence of invasive species, and floristic rarity. Special attention has been paid to the usual aggressions to this type of ecosystem and the situation of the most aggressive invasive plants. (Author) 15 refs.

  5. The conserved 12-amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region of BET family proteins functions as a nuclear localization signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukazawa, Hidesuke; Masumi, Atsuko

    2012-01-01

    The bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family is a group of chromatin-binding proteins characterized by two bromodomains, an extraterminal (ET) domain, and several other conserved regions of unknown function. In humans, the BET family consists of four members, BRD2, BRD3, BRD4 and BRDT, that all normally localize to the nucleus. We identified a 12-amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region that is perfectly conserved among the BET family members. We deleted these residues and expressed the mutant proteins in HEK293T cells to investigate the function of this motif. We found that the deletion of this motif alters the localization of BET proteins. Mutated BRD3 and BRD4 were excluded from the nucleus, and BRDT was found to be diffused throughout the nucleus and cytoplasm. Although the mutant BRD2 remained predominantly in the nucleus, a punctate distribution was also observed in the cytosol. It has been reported that a conserved motif between the second bromodomain and the ET domain serves as a nuclear localization signal for BRD2. Nevertheless, BET mutants lacking the reported nuclear localization signal motif but retaining the 12-amino acid stretch resided in the nucleus. Furthermore, these mutants were diffused throughout the cytoplasm when the 12 residues were removed. These results indicate that the conserved amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region of the BET family functions as a nuclear localization signal.

  6. Review of the Diversity, Ecology, and Conservation of Elasmobranchs in the Azores Region, Mid-North Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diya Das

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available A vulnerable species group, such as, the elasmobranchs, in a data-deficient context presents a complicated management problem. Evidence suggests that the Azores islands, a remote archipelago on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, serve essential functions in the life-history of species across taxa. The diversity of marine resources within its EEZ are exploited by local to international fleets, and the full extent of fishing pressure can often be underestimated. Although sharks and rays appear to be of minor importance in the fishery, the possibilities of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing raises concerns about these threatened species. However, this group has failed to attract management attention, visible in the lack of regional studies focused on biodiversity, ecology, or threats of elasmobranchs. Our work attempts to review and update the information on elasmobranchs of the Azores and identify potential threats, mainly by the local fisheries. We aim to highlight knowledge gaps that require further research and conservation actions. We (1 update the annotated checklist of elasmobranch species, (2 compare species distribution across a biogeographically similar section of the North Atlantic, and (3 analyze the interaction of elasmobranch species with local fisheries. We confirm 61 chondrichthyan species for the Azores (39 sharks, 17 rays, and 5 chimaeras, adding 19 species to the previous annotated checklist of 1997. The Azores elasmobranch species assemblage most resembles Madeira, the neighboring Macaronesian archipelago. Biogeographic affinities between the chosen regions of the North Atlantic are reflected in the taxonomic structure of families. Although underestimated in the local fisheries, elasmobranchs constitute a regular but highly variable portion of total landings. Misreporting and misidentification is perhaps the greatest concern in the local fisheries records, further aggravated by few existing catch regulations for elasmobranchs

  7. Vulnerability of birds to climate change in California's Sierra Nevada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodney B. Siegel

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In a rapidly changing climate, effective bird conservation requires not only reliable information about the current vulnerability of species of conservation concern, but also credible projections of their future vulnerability. Such projections may enable managers to preempt or reduce emerging climate-related threats through appropriate habitat management. We used NatureServe's Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI to predict vulnerability to climate change of 168 bird species that breed in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA. The CCVI assesses species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change within a defined geographic area, through the integration of (a species' range maps, (b information about species' natural history traits and ecological relationships, (c historic and current climate data, and (d spatially explicit climate change projections. We conducted the assessment under two different downscaled climate models with divergent projections about future precipitation through the middle of the 21st century. Assessments differed relatively little under the two climate models. Of five CCVI vulnerability ranking categories, only one species, White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura, received the most vulnerable rank, Extremely Vulnerable. No species received the second-highest vulnerability ranking, Highly Vulnerable. Sixteen species scored as Moderately Vulnerable using one or both climate models: Common Merganser (Mergus merganser, Osprey (Pandion haliaetus, Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus, Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus, Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius, Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa, Black Swift (Cypseloides niger, Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana, American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, American Pipit (Anthus rubescens, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis, Pine Grosbeak

  8. Quantifying the relative irreplaceability of important bird and biodiversity areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Marco, Moreno; Brooks, Thomas; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Fishpool, Lincoln D C; Rondinini, Carlo; Smith, Robert J; Bennun, Leon; Butchart, Stuart H M; Ferrier, Simon; Foppen, Ruud P B; Joppa, Lucas; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Knight, Andrew T; Lamoreux, John F; Langhammer, Penny F; May, Ian; Possingham, Hugh P; Visconti, Piero; Watson, James E M; Woodley, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    World governments have committed to increase the global protected areas coverage by 2020, but the effectiveness of this commitment for protecting biodiversity depends on where new protected areas are located. Threshold- and complementarity-based approaches have been independently used to identify important sites for biodiversity. We brought together these approaches by performing a complementarity-based analysis of irreplaceability in important bird and biodiversity areas (IBAs), which are sites identified using a threshold-based approach. We determined whether irreplaceability values are higher inside than outside IBAs and whether any observed difference depends on known characteristics of the IBAs. We focused on 3 regions with comprehensive IBA inventories and bird distribution atlases: Australia, southern Africa, and Europe. Irreplaceability values were significantly higher inside than outside IBAs, although differences were much smaller in Europe than elsewhere. Higher irreplaceability values in IBAs were associated with the presence and number of restricted-range species; number of criteria under which the site was identified; and mean geographic range size of the species for which the site was identified (trigger species). In addition, IBAs were characterized by higher irreplaceability values when using proportional species representation targets, rather than fixed targets. There were broadly comparable results when measuring irreplaceability for trigger species and when considering all bird species, which indicates a good surrogacy effect of the former. Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has convened a consultation to consolidate global standards for the identification of key biodiversity areas (KBAs), building from existing approaches such as IBAs. Our results informed this consultation, and in particular a proposed irreplaceability criterion that will allow the new KBA standard to draw on the strengths of both threshold- and

  9. Aves de três remanescentes florestais do norte do Estado do Paraná, sul do Brasil, com sugestões para a conservação e manejo Birds from three forest remnants in the North of Paraná State, South of Brazil, with suggestions for conservation and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Ricardo Bornschein

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available One hundred eighty species in a preliminary inventory were identified. From these, 166 were in an area of 832.5 ha (Mata São Francisco State Park, 84 in another of 9.7 ha (Manoel Júlio de Almeida Municipal Forest and 99 in the third remnant, briefly sampled, of 218 ha (Mata São Paulo. Comparing these numbers to inventories of nearby sites was considered that the larger area is poor in number of bird species, and believe this to be mainly due to the high degree of environmental degradation. Was considered that the smaller area is rich in birds, but its proximity (375 meters to the third remnant certainly exeits strong influence. This paper presents the list of birds by site and with their relative frequency of occurrence. A new record for Paraná (Scarlet-headed Blackbird Amblyramphus holosericeus, two new ones for the interior of the state (Uniform Crake Amaurolimnas concolor and Yellow-lored Tody-flycatcher Todirostrum poliocephalum and several other important records are commented (e.g. Red-legged Seriema Cariama cristata, Vinaceous Parrot Amazona vinacea, and Black-banded Owl Ciccaba huhula. Locally extinct species are discussed (e.g. Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja, as well as the ones that colonized landscapes created by men (e.g. pastures, agricultural areas. When discussing Atlantic Forest endemism, some species were shown not to be endemic to this biome. Because the north of Paraná is almost totally deforested, the presence of the forest remnants by itself conter them great importance for conservation, besides the existence of species endemic to the Atlantic Forest and considered to be under the threat of extinction. Conservation and management measures are also proposed.

  10. Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina

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    Matthew L. Clark

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial pattern of ecosystem services is important for effective environmental policy and decision-making. In this study, we use a geospatial decision-support tool (Marxan to identify conservation priorities for habitat and a suite of ecosystem services (storage carbon, soil retention and water yield in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest from Misiones, Argentina—an area of global conservation priority. Using these results, we then evaluate the efficiency of existing protected areas in conserving both habitat and ecosystem services. Selected areas for conserving habitat had an overlap of carbon and soil ecosystem services. Yet, selected areas for water yield did not have this overlap. Furthermore, selected areas with relatively high overlap of ecosystem services tended to be inside protected areas; however, other important areas for ecosystem services (i.e., central highlands do not have legal protection, revealing the importance of enforcing existing environmental regulations in these areas.

  11. Red states, blue states, and divorce: understanding the impact of conservative Protestantism on regional variation in divorce rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Jennifer; Levchak, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Why do states with larger proportions of religious conservatives have higher divorce rates than states with lower proportions of religious conservatives? This project examines whether earlier transitions to marriage and parenthood among conservative Protestants (known risk factors for divorce) contribute to this paradox while attending to other plausible explanations. County-level demographic information from all 50 states is combined from a variety of public data sources and merged with individual records from the National Surveys of Family Growth to estimate both aggregated county and multilevel individual models of divorce. Results show that individual religious conservatism is positively related to individual divorce risk, solely through the earlier transitions to adulthood and lower incomes of conservative Protestants. However, the proportion of conservative Protestants in a county is also independently and positively associated with both the divorce rate in that county and an individual's likelihood of divorcing. The earlier family formation and lower levels of educational attainment and income in counties with a higher proportion of conservative Protestants can explain a substantial portion of this association. Little support is found for alternative explanations of the association between religious conservatism and divorce rates, including the relative popularity of marriage versus cohabitation across counties.

  12. Effects of reintroduced beaver (Castor canadensis) on riparian bird community structure along the upper San Pedro River, southeastern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Glenn E.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Chapter 1.—We measured bird abundance and richness along the upper San Pedro River in 2005 and 2006, in order to document how beavers (Castor canadensis) may act as ecosystem engineers after their reintroduction to a desert riparian area in the Southwestern United States. In areas where beavers colonized, we found higher bird abundance and richness of bird groups, such as all breeding birds, insectivorous birds, and riparian specialists, and higher relative abundance of many individual species—including several avian species of conservation concern. Chapter 2.—We conducted bird surveys in riparian areas along the upper San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona (United States) and northern Sonora (Mexico) in order to describe factors influencing bird community dynamics and the distribution and abundance of species, particularly those of conservation concern. These surveys were also used to document the effects of the ecosystem-altering activities of a recently reintroduced beavers (Castor canadensis). Chapter 3.—We reviewed Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) nest records and investigated the potential for future breeding along the upper San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona, where in July 2005 we encountered the southernmost verifiable nest attempt for the species. Continued conservation and management of the area’s riparian vegetation and surface water has potential to contribute additional breeding sites for this endangered Willow Flycatcher subspecies. Given the nest record along the upper San Pedro River and the presence of high-density breeding sites to the north, the native cottonwood-willow forests of the upper San Pedro River could become increasingly important to E. t. extimus recovery, especially considering the anticipated effect of the tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) on riparian habitat north of the region.

  13. Ranching and conservation in the Santa Cruz River Region, Sonora: Milpillas Case Study (Ganaderia y Conservacion en la Region del Rio Santa Cruz, Sonora: El Caso del Grupo Milpillas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar

    2006-01-01

    The Sonoran Institute (SI) is a non-profit organization working with people toward common conservation goals. Two objectives guide the work of the Sonoran Institute in the Santa Cruz River Region in Sonora, Mexico: to establish projects with community participation that can result in tangible and long-lasting benefits to the environment, and to ensure success by...

  14. Diseases Transmitted by Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levison, Matthew E

    2015-08-01

    Although many people these days actually work very hard at leisure time activities, diseases are most commonly acquired from birds during the course of work in the usual sense of the term, not leisure. However, travel for pleasure to areas where the diseases are highly endemic puts people at risk of acquiring some of these bird-related diseases (for example, histoplasmosis and arbovirus infections), as does ownership of birds as pets (psittacosis).

  15. Conservation value of clustered housing developments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenth, Buffy A; Knight, Richard L; Gilgert, Wendell C

    2006-10-01

    Traditionally, exurban lands in Colorado have been subdivided into a grid of parcels ranging from 2 to 16 ha. From an ecological perspective, this dispersed pattern of development effectively maximizes the individual influence of each home on the land. Clustered housing developments, designed to maximize open space, are assumed to benefit plant and wildlife communities of conservation interest. They have become a popular alternative for rural development despite the lack of empirical evidence demonstrating their conservation benefits. To better inform rural land-use planning, we evaluated clustered housing developments by comparing their spatial pattern with that of dispersed housing developments and by comparing their conservation value with that of both dispersed housing developments and undeveloped areas in Boulder County, Colorado. We used four indicators to assess conservation value: (1) densities of songbirds, (2) nest density and survival of ground-nesting birds, (3) presence of mammals, and (4) percent cover and proportion of native and non-native plant species. Clustered and dispersed housing developments did not differ on the majority of variables we examined. Both types of housing development had significantly higher densities of non-native and human-commensal species and significantly lower densities of native and human-sensitive species than undeveloped areas. More rigorous ecological guidelines and planning on a regional scale may help create clustered developments with higher conservation value.

  16. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  17. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for pelagic birds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gulls, terns, and passerine birds in Guam and the...

  18. Overseas seed dispersal by migratory birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viana, Duarte S; Gangoso, Laura; Bouten, Willem; Figuerola, Jordi

    2016-01-13

    Long-distance dispersal (LDD) promotes the colonization of isolated and remote habitats, and thus it has been proposed as a mechanism for explaining the distributions of many species. Birds are key LDD vectors for many sessile organisms such as plants, yet LDD beyond local and regional scales has never been directly observed nor quantified. By sampling birds caught while in migratory flight by GPS-tracked wild falcons, we show that migratory birds transport seeds over hundreds of kilometres and mediate dispersal from mainland to oceanic islands. Up to 1.2% of birds that reached a small island of the Canary Archipelago (Alegranza) during their migration from Europe to Sub-Saharan Africa carried seeds in their guts. The billions of birds making seasonal migrations each year may then transport millions of seeds. None of the plant species transported by the birds occurs in Alegranza and most do not occur on nearby Canary Islands, providing a direct example of the importance of environmental filters in hampering successful colonization by immigrant species. The constant propagule pressure generated by these LDD events might, nevertheless, explain the colonization of some islands. Hence, migratory birds can mediate rapid range expansion or shifts of many plant taxa and determine their distribution. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica

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    Georgina Santos-Barrera

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available We present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles of the San Vito de Coto Brus region, including the Las Cruces Biological Station, in southern Costa Rica, which is the result of a survey of the herpetofauna occurring in mountain forest fragments, pastures, coffee plantations, and other disturbed areas. We found 67 species, included 26 species of amphibians and of 41of reptiles. We describe the distribution patterns of the community on the basis of the life zones, elevation, fragmentation, and degree of anthropogenic impact. We also provide some nouvelle data on the systematics of some select taxa, their geographical ranges, microhabitats, activity, and other relevant ecological and natural history features. Finally, we comment on the present conservation status of the herpetofauna in the region. Previous literature and collection records indicate a higher number of species occurring in this area, which suggests that some declines have occurred, especially of amphibians, in last decades. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (2: 755-778. Epub 2008 June 30.En este artículo se presenta un inventario de los anfibios y reptiles de la región de San Vito de Coto Brus incluyendo la Estación de Biología Las Cruces, en el sur de Costa Rica. Se llevó a cabo una evaluación de las poblaciones de anfibios y reptiles presentes en los parches de bosque, potreros, cafetales y otras áreas perturbadas de la región. Como resultado de esta evaluación se registraron 26 especies de anfibios y 41 de reptiles lo que suma un total de 67 especies. Asimismo se describen los patrones generales de distribución de las especies basándose en los tipos de vegetación así como en la altitud, fragmentación y grado de perturbación antrópica en el área. Se proporcionan algunos datos sobre la sistemática de las especies, su distribución geográfica, el microhábitat que ocupan, su actividad y otros datos ecológicos y biológicos relevantes. Finalmente, se presenta una breve

  20. Risks to Birds Traded for African Traditional Medicine: A Quantitative Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Vivienne L.; Cunningham, Anthony B.; Kemp, Alan C.; Bruyns, Robin K.

    2014-01-01

    Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species), Falconiformes (45 species), and Coraciiformes (24 species), and the families Accipitridae (37 species), Ardeidae (15 species), and Bucerotidae (12 species). The Barn owl (Tyto alba) was the most widely sold species (seven countries). The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to “morphospecies”, and using Sørensen's index), which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%), but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa) were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's “7 forms of rarity” model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size) indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action. PMID:25162700

  1. Risks to birds traded for African traditional medicine: a quantitative assessment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivienne L Williams

    Full Text Available Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species, Falconiformes (45 species, and Coraciiformes (24 species, and the families Accipitridae (37 species, Ardeidae (15 species, and Bucerotidae (12 species. The Barn owl (Tyto alba was the most widely sold species (seven countries. The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to "morphospecies", and using Sørensen's index, which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%, but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's "7 forms of rarity" model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action.

  2. Using landscape ecology to test hypotheses about large-scale abundance patterns in migratory birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flather, C.H.; Sauer, J.R.

    1996-01-01

    The hypothesis that Neotropical migrant birds may be undergoing widespread declines due to land use activities on the breeding grounds has been examined primarily by synthesizing results from local studies. Growing concern for the cumulative influence of land use activities on ecological systems has heightened the need for large-scale studies to complement what has been observed at local scales. We investigated possible landscape effects on Neotropical migrant bird populations for the eastern United States by linking two large-scale inventories designed to monitor breeding-bird abundances and land use patterns. The null hypothesis of no relation between landscape structure and Neotropical migrant abundance was tested by correlating measures of landscape structure with bird abundance, while controlling for the geographic distance among samples. Neotropical migrants as a group were more 'sensitive' to landscape structure than either temperate migrants or permanent residents. Neotropical migrants tended to be more abundant in landscapes with a greater proportion of forest and wetland habitats, fewer edge habitats, large forest patches, and with forest habitats well dispersed throughout the scene. Permanent residents showed few correlations with landscape structure and temperate migrants were associated with habitat diversity and edge attributes rather than with the amount, size, and dispersion of forest habitats. The association between Neotropical migrant abundance and forest fragmentation differed among physiographic strata, suggesting that land-scape context affects observed relations between bird abundance and landscape structure. Finally, associations between landscape structure and temporal trends in Neotropical migrant abundance were negatively correlated with forest habitats. These results suggest that extrapolation of patterns observed in some landscapes is not likely to hold regionally, and that conservation policies must consider the variation in landscape

  3. Ecological and economic services provided by birds on Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, Jherime L; Johnson, Matthew D; Stercho, Amy M; Hackett, Steven C

    2008-10-01

    Coffee farms can support significant biodiversity, yet intensification of farming practices is degrading agricultural habitats and compromising ecosystem services such as biological pest control. The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is the world's primary coffee pest. Researchers have demonstrated that birds reduce insect abundance on coffee farms but have not documented avian control of the berry borer or quantified avian benefits to crop yield or farm income. We conducted a bird-exclosure experiment on coffee farms in the Blue Mountains, Jamaica, to measure avian pest control of berry borers, identify potential predator species, associate predator abundance and borer reductions with vegetation complexity, and quantify resulting increases in coffee yield. Coffee plants excluded from foraging birds had significantly higher borer infestation, more borer broods, and greater berry damage than control plants. We identified 17 potential predator species (73% were wintering Neotropical migrants), and 3 primary species composed 67% of migrant detections. Average relative bird abundance and diversity and relative resident predator abundance increased with greater shade-tree cover. Although migrant predators overall did not respond to vegetation complexity variables, the 3 primary species increased with proximity to noncoffee habitat patches. Lower infestation on control plants was correlated with higher total bird abundance, but not with predator abundance or vegetation complexity. Infestation of fruit was 1-14% lower on control plants, resulting in a greater quantity of saleable fruits that had a market value of US$44-$105/ha in 2005/2006. Landscape heterogeneity in this region may allow mobile predators to provide pest control broadly, despite localized farming intensities. These results provide the first evidence that birds control coffee berry borers and thus increase coffee yield and farm income, a potentially important conservation incentive for producers.

  4. An evolutionary conserved region (ECR in the human dopamine receptor D4 gene supports reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from the rat cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Detecting functional variants contributing to diversity of behaviour is crucial for dissecting genetics of complex behaviours. At a molecular level, characterisation of variation in exons has been studied as they are easily identified in the current genome annotation although the functional consequences are less well understood; however, it has been difficult to prioritise regions of non-coding DNA in which genetic variation could also have significant functional consequences. Comparison of multiple vertebrate genomes has allowed the identification of non-coding evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs, in which the degree of conservation can be comparable with exonic regions suggesting functional significance. Results We identified ECRs at the dopamine receptor D4 gene locus, an important gene for human behaviours. The most conserved non-coding ECR (D4ECR1 supported high reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from neonate rat frontal cortex. Computer aided analysis of the sequence of the D4ECR1 indicated the potential transcription factors that could modulate its function. D4ECR1 contained multiple consensus sequences for binding the transcription factor Sp1, a factor previously implicated in DRD4 expression. Co-transfection experiments demonstrated that overexpression of Sp1 significantly decreased the activity of the D4ECR1 in vitro. Conclusion Bioinformatic analysis complemented by functional analysis of the DRD4 gene locus has identified a a strong enhancer that functions in neurons and b a transcription factor that may modulate the function of that enhancer.

  5. Habitats and landscapes associated with bird species in a lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem

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    Edmund J. Zlonis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human-induced effects on lowland conifer forests in hemiboreal regions are increasing because of expanded use of these northern ecosystems for raw materials, energy, and minerals as well as the potential effects of climatic changes. These forests support many breeding bird species across the Holarctic and allow the persistence of several boreal bird species in hemiboreal and even temperate regions. These bird species are of particular conservation concern as shifting patterns northward in forest composition caused by climate change will likely affect their populations. However, effective management and conservation options are limited because the specifics of these species' breeding habitats are not well understood. We modeled and mapped habitat suitability for 11 species of boreal birds that breed in the lowland conifer forests of the Agassiz Lowlands Ecological Subsection in northern Minnesota and are likely to have reduced breeding habitat in the future: Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis, Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus, Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris, Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus, Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis, Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum, and Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis. Sets of 7 to 16 potential environmental covariates, including both stand-level and landscape attributes, were used to develop individual species models. Within this lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem, we found significant selection for specific forest and landscape characteristics by all but one of these species, with the best models including between one and nine variables. Habitat suitability maps were developed from these models and predictions tested with an independent dataset. Model performance depended on species, correctly predicting 56-96% of

  6. Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird flu (avian influenza) Overview Bird flu is caused by a type of influenza virus that rarely infects humans. More than a ... for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seasonal influenza is responsible for ... heat destroys avian viruses, cooked poultry isn't a health threat. ...

  7. Nanoscale magnetoreceptors in birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... field, by a bird....

  8. Understanding how birds navigate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Schulten, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye.......A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye....

  9. [Identification of new conserved and variable regions in the 16S rRNA gene of acetic acid bacteria and acetobacteraceae family].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravorty, S; Sarkar, S; Gachhui, R

    2015-01-01

    The Acetobacteraceae family of the class Alpha Proteobacteria is comprised of high sugar and acid tolerant bacteria. The Acetic Acid Bacteria are the economically most significant group of this family because of its association with food products like vinegar, wine etc. Acetobacteraceae are often hard to culture in laboratory conditions and they also maintain very low abundances in their natural habitats. Thus identification of the organisms in such environments is greatly dependent on modern tools of molecular biology which require a thorough knowledge of specific conserved gene sequences that may act as primers and or probes. Moreover unconserved domains in genes also become markers for differentiating closely related genera. In bacteria, the 16S rRNA gene is an ideal candidate for such conserved and variable domains. In order to study the conserved and variable domains of the 16S rRNA gene of Acetic Acid Bacteria and the Acetobacteraceae family, sequences from publicly available databases were aligned and compared. Near complete sequences of the gene were also obtained from Kombucha tea biofilm, a known Acetobacteraceae family habitat, in order to corroborate the domains obtained from the alignment studies. The study indicated that the degree of conservation in the gene is significantly higher among the Acetic Acid Bacteria than the whole Acetobacteraceae family. Moreover it was also observed that the previously described hypervariable regions V1, V3, V5, V6 and V7 were more or less conserved in the family and the spans of the variable regions are quite distinct as well.

  10. The Political Economy of Conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda: Between Local Deprivation, Regional Sustainability, and Global Public Goods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Vedeld

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a case study from Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda, examining and deepening an understanding of direct incomes and costs of conservation for local people close to protected areas. In the early 1990s, collaborative arrangements were introduced to Mount Elgon National Park to improve people-park relations and enhance rural livelihoods after a period of violent evictions and severe resource access restrictions. In areas with such arrangements – including resource access agreements, Taungya farming, and beekeeping schemes – we observe a marginal increase in annual incomes for involved households. Other incomes accrue from tourism revenue sharing schemes, a community revolving fund, and payments for carbon sequestration. However, these incomes are economically marginal (1.2% of household income, unevenly distributed and instrumentally used to reward compliance with park regulations. They do not necessarily accrue to those incurring costs due to eviction and exclusion, crop raiding, resource access restrictions and conflicts. By contrast, costs constitute at least 20.5 % of total household incomes, making it difficult to see how conservation, poverty alleviation and development can be locally reconciled if local populations continue to bear the economic brunt of conservation. We recommend a shift in policy towards donor and state responsibility for compensating costs on a relevant scale. Such a shift would be an important step towards a more substantive rights-based model of conservation, and would enhance the legitimacy of protected area management in the context of both extreme poverty and natural resource dependence.

  11. Review of the breeding status of birds in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni N. Maurício

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Information on the breeding biology of birds is essential for improving avian life-history theory and implementing sound management and conservation actions for these organisms. Comprehensive reviews of this kind of information are lacking for most Neotropical regions, including Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost Brazilian state. Aiming to update the knowledge on the reproductive status of birds in Rio Grande do Sul, we reviewed breeding records of all potential breeding species recorded in the state using a set of predefined, restrictive criteria for accepting breeding evidences as effective. Data satisfying our criteria were available for 165 species in the literature. We also collected novel breeding information obtained in the state for an additional 126 species, including observations for several species whose reproductive biology is poorly known. Among these are birds previously unknown to breed in Brazil. This new data and the critical review of the previous information resulted in a total of 291 species for which breeding evidences are accepted as effective. This corresponds to 54.7% of the 532 species considered either confirmed or potential breeders in the state. In addition to providing information on nesting dates, clutch size, nest architecture and breeding behavior of south Brazilian birds, our review serves as a benchmark for the adequate assessment of avian breeding records elsewhere. We hope to stimulate observers to rigorously document breeding events, especially for taxa for which basic information is lacking.

  12. Concentrations and compositions of organochlorine contaminants in sediments, soils, crustaceans, fishes and birds collected from Lake Tai, Hangzhou Bay and Shanghai city region, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakata, Haruhiko [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555 (Japan)]. E-mail: nakata@sci.kumamoto-u.ac.jp; Hirakawa, Yuko [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555 (Japan); Kawazoe, Masahiro [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555, (Japan); Nakabo, Tetsuji [Kyoto University Museum, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Arizono, Koji [Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Kumamoto Prefectural University, 3-1-100 Tsukide, Kumamoto 862-8502 (Japan); Abe, Shin-Ichi [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555 (Japan); Kitano, Takeshi [Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555 (Japan); Shimada, Hideaki [Faculty of Education, Kumamoto University, 2-39-1 Kurokami, Kumamoto 860-8555 (Japan); Watanabe, Izumi [Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 3-5-8 Saiwai-cho, Fuchuu-city, Tokyo 183-8509 (Japan); Li Weihua [Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research, 2140 Xie Tu road, Shanghai 200032 (China); Ding Xucheng [Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research, 2140 Xie Tu road, Shanghai 200032 (China)

    2005-02-01

    Contamination by persistent organochlorines (OCs), such as DDTs, hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordane compounds (CHLs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were examined in sediments, soils, fishes, crustaceans, birds, and aquaculture feed from Lake Tai, Hangzhou Bay, and in the vicinity of Shanghai city in China during 2000 and 2001. OCs were detected in all samples analyzed, and DDT and its metabolites were the predominant contaminants in most sediments, soils and biota. Concentrations of p,p'-DDT and ratio of p,p'-DDT to {sigma}DDTs were significantly higher in marine fishes than those in freshwater fishes. While the use of DDTs has been officially banned in China since 1983, these results indicate a recent input of technical DDTs into the marine environment around Hangzhou Bay. Comparison of organochlorine concentrations in fishes collected from Lake Tai and Hangzhou Bay suggests the presence of local sources of HCHs, chlordanes and PCBs at Lake Tai. Higher proportions of penta- and hexa-PCB congeners in fishes at Lake Tai may suggest the use of highly chlorinated PCB product, such as PCB{sub 5}, around this lake. To our knowledge, this is a first comprehensive study to examine the present status of organochlorine contamination in various environmental media, such as sediments, soils and wildlife, in China. - Elevated concentrations of DDTs were detected in sediments, soils, and wildlife collected from China.

  13. Breeding bird populations in Missouri Ozark forests with and without clearcutting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank R., III Thompson; William D. Dijak; Thomas G. Kulowiec; David A. Hamilton

    1992-01-01

    Concern has arisen that forest management practices that create edge (such as clearcutting) are contributing to regional declines in neotropical migrant birds that inhabit forest interiors. Consequently, we studied breeding bird populations in an extensively forested region of southern Missouri to determine if the numbers of breeding birds differed between areas (n = 9...

  14. Biodiversity funds and conservation needs in the EU under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lung, Tobias; Meller, Laura; van Teeffelen, Astrid J A; Thuiller, Wilfried; Cabeza, Mar

    2014-07-01

    Despite ambitious biodiversity policy goals, less than a fifth of the European Union's (EU) legally protected species and habitats show a favorable conservation status. The recent EU biodiversity strategy recognizes that climate change adds to the challenge of halting biodiversity loss, and that an optimal distribution of financial resources is needed. Here, we analyze recent EU biodiversity funding from a climate change perspective. We compare the allocation of funds to the distribution of both current conservation priorities (within and beyond Natura 2000) and future conservation needs at the level of NUTS-2 regions, using modelled bird distributions as indicators of conservation value. We find that funding is reasonably well aligned with current conservation efforts but poorly fit with future needs under climate change, indicating obstacles for implementing adaptation measures. We suggest revising EU biodiversity funding instruments for the 2014-2020 budget period to better account for potential climate change impacts on biodiversity.

  15. Culture Development Planning in the Special Region of Yogyakarta (Management Planning of Cultural Heritage in Kotagede District based on Community Empowerment Conservation Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eko Suryanti

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Special Region of Yogyakarta is a cultural rich city with excellent cultural resources. Yogyakarta should manage their assets with long-term planning to keep the sustainability. There is a very unique planning process due to a combination of political, technocratic, participatory, top down and bottom up approaches. This planning process is comprehensive or integrated because its involved many actor from multisectoral, multidisciplinary, multi regulatory, and multi planning documents, etc. Local wisdoms have been coloring the planning documents. This study describe and analyze the cultural development planning in Yogyakarta especially on the Management Planning in Kotagede Cultural Heritage District. We used qualitative descriptive approach methods and Miles and Huberman analysis methods. Participation of community and Non Governmental Organization (NGO in conservation planning of cultural heritage in this area is very significant in simplify the government task because people have been more literate in planning, have database of cultural assets, and capable of making their own decisions for the future of the region. Participatory rural appraisal (PRA dan Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA were integrated in the planning process of Kotagede Heritage District management, thus it becomes a model of cultural heritage with community empowerment-based conservation. Keywords: culture development planning, comprehensive planning, heritage cultural district, community empowerment-based conservation.

  16. Effects of Long-term Conservation Tillage on Soil Nutrients in Sloping Fields in Regions Characterized by Water and Wind Erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Chunjian; Cao, Xue; Yuan, Shuai; Wang, Weiyu; Feng, Yongzhong; Qiao, Bo

    2015-12-01

    Conservation tillage is commonly used in regions affected by water and wind erosion. To understand the effects of conservation tillage on soil nutrients and yield, a long-term experiment was set up in a region affected by water and wind erosion on the Loess Plateau. The treatments used were traditional tillage (CK), no tillage (NT), straw mulching (SM), plastic-film mulching (PM), ridging and plastic-film mulching (RPM) and intercropping (In). Our results demonstrate that the available nutrients in soils subjected to non-traditional tillage treatments decreased during the first several years and then remained stable over the last several years of the experiment. The soil organic matter and total nitrogen content increased gradually over 6 years in all treatments except CK. The nutrient content of soils subjected to conservative tillage methods, such as NT and SM, were significantly higher than those in soils under the CK treatment. Straw mulching and film mulching effectively reduced an observed decrease in soybean yield. Over the final 6 years of the experiment, soybean yields followed the trend RPM > PM > SM > NT > CK > In. This trend has implications for controlling soil erosion and preventing non-point source pollution in sloping fields by sacrificing some food production.

  17. Sequence analysis of the L protein of the Ebola 2014 outbreak: Insight into conserved regions and mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayub, Gohar; Waheed, Yasir

    2016-06-01

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak was one of the largest that have occurred; it started in Guinea and spread to Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Phylogenetic analysis of the current virus species indicated that this outbreak is the result of a divergent lineage of the Zaire ebolavirus. The L protein of Ebola virus (EBOV) is the catalytic subunit of the RNA‑dependent RNA polymerase complex, which, with VP35, is key for the replication and transcription of viral RNA. Earlier sequence analysis demonstrated that the L protein of all non‑segmented negative‑sense (NNS) RNA viruses consists of six domains containing conserved functional motifs. The aim of the present study was to analyze the presence of these motifs in 2014 EBOV isolates, highlight their function and how they may contribute to the overall pathogenicity of the isolates. For this purpose, 81 2014 EBOV L protein sequences were aligned with 475 other NNS RNA viruses, including Paramyxoviridae and Rhabdoviridae viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of all EBOV outbreak L protein sequences was also performed. Analysis of the amino acid substitutions in the 2014 EBOV outbreak was conducted using sequence analysis. The alignment demonstrated the presence of previously conserved motifs in the 2014 EBOV isolates and novel residues. Notably, all the mutations identified in the 2014 EBOV isolates were tolerant, they were pathogenic with certain examples occurring within previously determined functional conserved motifs, possibly altering viral pathogenicity, replication and virulence. The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that all sequences with the exception of the 2014 EBOV sequences were clustered together. The 2014 EBOV outbreak has acquired a great number of mutations, which may explain the reasons behind this unprecedented outbreak. Certain residues critical to the function of the polymerase remain conserved and may be targets for the development of antiviral therapeutic agents.

  18. A computational method for identification of vaccine targets from protein regions of conserved human leukocyte antigen binding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Lars Rønn; Simon, Christian; Kudahl, Ulrich J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Computational methods for T cell-based vaccine target discovery focus on selection of highly conserved peptides identified across pathogen variants, followed by prediction of their binding of human leukocyte antigen molecules. However, experimental studies have shown that T cells ofte...... or proteome using human leukocyte antigen binding predictions and made a web-accessible software implementation freely available at http://met-hilab.cbs.dtu.dk/blockcons/....

  19. The Significance of Mating System and Nonbreeding Behavior to Population and Forest Patch Use by Migrant Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugene S. Morton; Bridget J. M. Stutchbury

    2005-01-01

    Migratory birds are birds of two worlds, breeding in the temperate zone then living as tropical birds for most of the year. We show two aspects of this unique biology that are important considerations for their conservation. First, habitat selection for breeding must include their need for extra-pair mating opportunities. Second, non-breeding distributions in tropical...

  20. Filling the gaps: Using count survey data to predict bird density distribution patterns and estimate population sizes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sierdsema, H.; van Loon, E.E.

    2008-01-01

    Birds play an increasingly prominent role in politics, nature conservation and nature management. As a consequence, up-to-date and reliable spatial estimates of bird distributions over large areas are in high demand. The requested bird distribution maps are however not easily obtained. Intensive