Andrew Milliken; Craig Watson; Chuck Hayes
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 ?...
Thogmartin, W.E.; Potter, B.; Soulliere, G.
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.
John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein
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...
...] 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...
...] 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...
Regnery, Baptiste; Couvet, Denis; Kerbiriou, Christian
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
Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko
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
Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos
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.
Steve Zack; Mary K. Chase; Geoffrey R. Geupel; Diana Stralberg
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...
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
Camp, Richard J.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Banko, Paul C.
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).
Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd
The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.
... Management Handbook. Noise: The Committee Recommendations do not include a discussion of noise impacts to... authorized. Increased energy demands and the nationwide goal to increase energy production from renewable... sensitive to habitat fragmentation.'' Adaptive Management: The Committee Recommendations used Adaptive...
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...
Kenneth V. Rosenberg; Jeffrey V. Wells
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...
Bruce G. Marcot
Habitat models address only 1 component of biodiversity but can be useful in addressing and managing single or multiple species and ecosystem functions, for projecting disturbance regimes, and in supporting decisions. I review categories and examples of habitat models, their utility for biodiversity conservation, and their roles in making conservation decisions. I...
Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared. Verner
Detailed information about the nesting habitats of birds, including those needed for successful nesting, can provide a better understanding of the ecological factors that permit coexistence of different species and may aid in conservation efforts. From 1989 through 1994, we studied the nesting habitat of secondary cavity-nesting birds in oak woodlands at the San...
Ryan T. DiGaudio
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.
David Anthony. Kirk
Full Text Available Many common bird species have declined as a result of agricultural intensification and this could be mitigated by organic farming. We paired sites for habitat and geographical location on organic and nonorganic farms in Ontario, Canada to test a priori predictions of effects on birds overall, 9 guilds and 22 species in relation to candidate models for farming practices (13 variables, local habitat features (12 variables, or habitat features that influence susceptibility to predation. We found that: (1 Overall bird abundance, but not richness, was significantly (p < 0.05 higher on organic sites (mean 43.1 individuals per site than nonorganic sites (35.8 individuals per site. Significantly more species of birds were observed for five guilds, including primary grassland birds, on organic vs. nonorganic sites. No guild had higher richness or abundance on nonorganic farms; (2 Farming practice models were the best (Î"AIC < 4 for abundance of birds overall, primary grassland bird richness, sallier aerial insectivore richness and abundance, and abundance of ground nesters; (3 Habitat models were the best for overall richness, Neotropical migrant abundance, richness and abundance of Ontario-USA-Mexico (short-distance migrants and resident richness; (4 Predation models were the best for richness of secondary grassland birds and ground feeders; (5 A combination of variables from the model types were best for richness or abundance overall, 13 of 18 guilds (richness and abundance and 16 of 22 species analyzed. Five of 10 farming practice variables (including herbicide use, organic farm type and 9 of 13 habitat variables (including hedgerow length, proportion of hay were significant in best models. Risk modeling indicated that herbicide use could decrease primary grassland birds by one species (35% decline from 3.4 to 2.3 species per site. Organic farming could benefit species of conservation concern by 49% (an increase from 7.6 to 11.4 grassland birds. An
M. F. Burger; D. J. Adams; T. Post; L. Sommers; B. Swift
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...
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.
David A. Hasenbeck
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...
Jeffrey V. Wells; Daniel K. Niven; John Cecil
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...
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.
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
Sprague, Terry; Harrington, M. Elizabeth; Krogh, Carmen M. E.
Bird kill rate and disruption of habitat has been reported when industrial wind turbines are introduced into migratory bird paths or other environments. While the literature could be more complete regarding the documentation of negative effects on birds and bird habitats during the planning, construction, and operation of wind power projects,…
Jack Ward Thomas; Richard M. DeGraaf; Joseph C. Mawson
Songbird populations can be related to habitat components by a method that allows the simultaneous determination of habitat requirements for a variety of species . Through correlation and multiple-regression analyses, 10 bird species were studied in a suburban habitat, which was stratified according to human density. Variables used to account for bird distribution...
Established in 2009, the Green Energy Act aims to increase the use of renewable energy sources including wind, water, solar and bioenergy in Ontario. The development of these resources is a major component of the province's plan, which aims to mitigate the contribution to climate change and to involve the Ontario's economy in the improvement of the quality of the environment. The Green Energy Act also considers as important the implementation of a coordinated provincial approval process, suggesting the integration of all Ministry requirements into a unique process during the evaluation of newly proposed renewable energy projects. The Ministry of the Environment's Renewable Energy Approval Regulation details the requirements for wind power projects involving significant natural features. Birds are an important part of Ontario's biodiversity and, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, their habitats are considered as significant wildlife habitat (SWH). The Renewable Energy Approval Regulation and this guideline are meant to provide elements and guidance in order to protect bird SWH during the selection of a location of wind power facilities. . 27 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs.
Chandler, R.B.; King, D.I.; DeStefano, S.
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.
Study conducted in the forested bitumen belt of Ode-Irele, Ondo state, Nigeria evaluated habitat use by birds using 20- minutes birds point count to a radius of 30 meters, carried out in six selected habitats. The vegetation cover was sampled using 5x5-meters and 1m2quadrants. Data collected were subjected to t-test of ...
Roshnath, Ramesh; Sinu, Palatty Allesh
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.
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.
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.
Using habitat stratification, birds were surveyed along transects in tidal and supralittoral sub-habitats using DISTANCE sampling protocol, and along the river by encounter rates to determine abundance and species richness. Indices of human activity as well as habitat structure parameters including ground cover, plant ...
McLaren, James D.; Buler, Jeffrey J.; Schreckengost, Tim; Smolinsky, Jaclyn A.; Boone, Matthew; van Loon, E. Emiel; Dawson, Deanna K.; Walters, Eric L.
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.
Roxanne Bogart; Chris Eberly; Elizabeth Martin
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,...
Banko, Paul C.; David, Reginald E.; Jacobi, James D.; Banko, Winston E.
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.
Scott H. Stoleson
Many birds that are experiencing population declines require extensive tracts of mature forest habitat for breeding. Recent work suggests that at least some may shift their habitat use to early-successional areas after nesting but before migration. I used constant-effort mist netting in regenerating clearcuts (4-8 years postcut) and dense mature-forest understories to...
Schuster, Richard; Martin, Tara G; Arcese, Peter
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.
Gauthreaux, Sidney, A.; Steven J. Wagner.
Gauthreaux, Sidney, A., and Steven J. Wagner. 2005. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS). Final Report. USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, Aiken, SC. 48 pp. Abstract: During the 1970's and 1980's a dramatic decline occurred in the populations of Neotropical migratory birds, species that breed in North America and winter south of the border in Central and South America and in the Caribbean. In 1991 an international initiative was mounted by U. S. governmental land management agencies, nongovernmental conservation agencies, and the academic and lay ornithological communities to understand the decline of Neotropical migratory birds in the Americas. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service - Savannah River (FS - SR) we began 1992 a project directed to monitoring population densities of breeding birds using the Breeding Bird Census (BBC) methodology in selected habitats within the Savannah River Site SRS. In addition we related point count data on the occurrence of breeding Neotropical migrants and other bird species to the habitat data gathered by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service and data on habitat treatments within forest stands.
Ilia Hartasanchez; Krista De Groot; Andre Breault; Rob W. Butler
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.
...-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...
Devries, J H; Clark, R G; Armstrong, L M
According to theory, habitat selection by organisms should reflect underlying habitat-specific fitness consequences and, in birds, reproductive success has a strong impact on population growth in many species. Understanding processes affecting habitat selection also is critically important for guiding conservation initiatives. Northern pintails (Anas acuta) are migratory, temperate-nesting birds that breed in greatest concentrations in the prairies of North America and their population remains below conservation goals. Habitat loss and changing land use practices may have decoupled formerly reliable fitness cues with respect to nest habitat choices. We used data from 62 waterfowl nesting study sites across prairie Canada (1997-2009) to examine nest survival, a primary fitness metric, at multiple scales, in combination with estimates of habitat selection (i.e., nests versus random points), to test for evidence of adaptive habitat choices. We used the same habitat covariates in both analyses. Pintail nest survival varied with nest initiation date, nest habitat, pintail breeding pair density, landscape composition and annual moisture. Selection of nesting habitat reflected patterns in nest survival in some cases, indicating adaptive selection, but strength of habitat selection varied seasonally and depended on population density and landscape composition. Adaptive selection was most evident late in the breeding season, at low breeding densities and in cropland-dominated landscapes. Strikingly, at high breeding density, habitat choice appears to become maladaptive relative to nest predation. At larger spatial scales, the relative availability of habitats with low versus high nest survival, and changing land use practices, may limit the reproductive potential of pintails.
Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Crimmins, Shawn M.; Pearce, Jennie
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.
Verônica S. da M. Gomes
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Restinga occurs as a narrow band of coastal habitats throughout the Atlantic Forest, although it presents considerable variation in vegetation structure, which likely contributes to heterogeneity in species inhabiting this endangered ecosystem. The goal of this study is to examine how variation in vegetation and abiotic conditions in the restinga ecosystem may contribute to heterogeneity of bird communities in Restinga de Jurubatiba, Brazil. Temperature, relative humidity, and vegetation structure were sampled to characterize four sites (dry forest, flooded forest, open scrub and closed scrub. Birds were sampled using observations, mist-netting and voice recordings. Results indicate that major differences of all variables occur between forest and scrub in both vegetation and birds. In addition, differences also exist within forests and within scrub, resulting in considerable heterogeneity among sampled areas. Scrub sites were richer in bird species (n = 58 than forest sites (n = 41, while closed scrub had the most species (n = 49. Also, 64% (47 of 73 of bird species were exclusive to forest or scrub habitats. Scrub habitats were more similar to each other than forest habitats. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI calculated from satellite images distinguished scrub sites and may be useful to monitor changes in vegetation patches through time. The restinga ecosystem is quite heterogeneous with considerable turnover in bird species composition and differences in vegetation structure. Forest strips may serve as connectors on the landscape and to help maintain species diversity and conservation of forest species. Also, this highly dynamic ecosystem, which includes a mosaic of habitat types, likely promotes resilience of bird populations under changing conditions.
Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.
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
Full Text Available The aim of this book is to give a holistic setting to the conservation of plants and animals. Instead of concentrating on species alone, the aim is to spread the concern to the physical and biological features; including humanity that make up...
Dawson, D.K.; Robbins, C.S.; Sauer, J.R.
We used mist nets and point counts to sample bird populations in 61 sites in Belize during January-March of 1987-1991. Sites were classified as forest, second growth, woody agricultural crops (citrus, mango, cacao, and cashew), or non-woody agricultural crops (rice and sugar cane). We evaluated patterns of occurence of wintering temperate migrant bird species in these habitats. Mist net captures of 22 of 31 migrant species differed significantly among habitats. Of these, 13 species were captured more frequently in the agricultural habitats. American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) were among the species captured most frequently in woody agricultural habitats; captures of Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Northern (lcterus galbula) and Orchard orioles (I. spur/anus) were highest in the non-woody agricultural sites. We relate these occurrence patterns to trends in breeding populations in North America. While count data provide a wide picture of winter habitat distribution of migrants, more intensive work is necessary to assess temporal and geographic variation of migrant bird use of agricultural habitats.
Wading birds that utilize coastal habitats may be at risk from increasing urbanization near their foraging and stopover sites. However, the relative importance of human disturbance in the context of other landscape and biological factors that may be influencing their distributio...
Full Text Available Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.
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
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
Ma. del Coro Arizmendi; Laura Marquez Valdelamar; Humberto Berlanga
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...
Sánchez-Oliver, J. S.; Rey Benayas, J. M.; Carrascal, L. M.
Afforestation programs such as the one promoted by the EU Common Agrarian Policy have contributed to spread tree plantations on former cropland. Nevertheless these afforestations may cause severe damage to open habitat species, especially birds of high conservation value. We investigated predation of artificial bird nests at young tree plantations and at the open farmland habitat adjacent to the tree plantations in central Spain. Predation rates were very high at both tree plantations (95.6%) and open farmland habitat (94.2%) after two and three week exposure. Plantation edge/area ratio and development of the tree canopy decreased predation rates and plantation area and magpie (Pica pica) abundance increased predation rates within tree plantations, which were also affected by land use types around plantations. The area of nearby tree plantations (positive effect), distance to the tree plantation edge (negative effect), and habitat type (mainly attributable to the location of nests in vineyards) explained predation rates at open farmland habitat. We conclude that predation rates on artificial nests were particularly high and rapid at or nearby large plantations, with high numbers of magpies and low tree development, and located in homogenous landscapes dominated by herbaceous crops and pastures with no remnants of semi-natural woody vegetation. Landscape planning should not favour tree plantations as the ones studied here in Mediterranean agricultural areas that are highly valuable for ground-nesting bird species.
William C. Hunter; David A. Buehler; Ronald A. Canterbury; John L. Confer; Paul B. Hamel
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...
Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.
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.
Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.
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.
Prakash Kumar Paudel
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
Verschuuren, J.M.; Laursen, K.
Almost the entire Wadden Sea area has been designated by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands as a Special Protection Area under the Wild Birds Directive and as a Special Area of Conservation under the Habitats Directive. The new Water Framework Directive will, eventually, also have consequences for
J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi
Full Text Available A survey on birds was conducted at St. Coombs Tea Estate, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the avifaunal diversity of a given tea plantation ecosystem. Bird populations were sampled in man-made habitats such as home garden, wetland, tea plantation, Eucalyptus plantation and small scale reservoir. Hundred-and-twenty counts were made for each habitat and in addition, activities of birds, feeding habits and food recourses were also observed. A total of 87 species, including 11 endemic and 11 migrant species of birds, was recorded, which included one globally threatened species, Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and 16 nationally threatened species. A majority of the bird species were observed in home gardens (75%, followed by reservoirs (57%, wetlands (48%, tea plantations (43% and in Eucalyptus plantations (23%. Home gardens support bird diversity while the species richness of endemic bird species increases thereby enabling these findings to be used as guidelines in long term conservational practices. Several conservation measures such as increasing plant diversity, introduction of shade trees and prevention of fire are recommended to conserve and enhance avifaunal diversity in tea plantations.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Farfán, M.A., E-mail: email@example.com [Biogea Consultores, Calle Navarro Ledesma 243, Portal 4, 3° C, 29010, Málaga (Spain); Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Duarte, J., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Ofitecma, Calle Colombia 5, 29400 Ronda, Málaga (Spain); Real, R. [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Muñoz, A.R., E-mail: email@example.com [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain); Departamento de Botànica, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Avda. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, Burjassot, Valencia (Spain); Fa, J.E., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Vargas, J.M. [Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos, 29071, Málaga (Spain)
Onshore wind farms remain one of the most widely used technologies for the production of renewable energy. These are known to affect birds through disturbance or collision. Most research focus on the impact of wind farms on raptors or other large bird species, especially those of conservation concern. However, limited information exists on the effect of wind farms on small birds. Recovery of large versus small bird populations impacted by wind farms is also largely unstudied. A reason for this is the lack of long-term datasets based on standardized, systematic assessments. We monitored birds in the vicinity of a wind farm in an upland habitat in southern Spain (Malaga province), immediately after installation and 6.5 years post-construction. During both study periods, we observed 11 raptor and 38 non-raptor species (including 30 passerines). We found differences in recovery rates between raptors and non-raptors. Raptors showed an upturn in numbers but non-raptor abundance fell significantly. Greater attention should be paid to the recovery of wildlife after initial impact assessments than at present. This study confirms that regulatory authorities and developers should consider the likely impacts of wind farms on small bird populations. Mitigation measures focused particularly on non-raptor species should be considered and implemented as a means to reduce these negative effects.
Farfán, M.A.; Duarte, J.; Real, R.; Muñoz, A.R.; Fa, J.E.; Vargas, J.M.
Onshore wind farms remain one of the most widely used technologies for the production of renewable energy. These are known to affect birds through disturbance or collision. Most research focus on the impact of wind farms on raptors or other large bird species, especially those of conservation concern. However, limited information exists on the effect of wind farms on small birds. Recovery of large versus small bird populations impacted by wind farms is also largely unstudied. A reason for this is the lack of long-term datasets based on standardized, systematic assessments. We monitored birds in the vicinity of a wind farm in an upland habitat in southern Spain (Malaga province), immediately after installation and 6.5 years post-construction. During both study periods, we observed 11 raptor and 38 non-raptor species (including 30 passerines). We found differences in recovery rates between raptors and non-raptors. Raptors showed an upturn in numbers but non-raptor abundance fell significantly. Greater attention should be paid to the recovery of wildlife after initial impact assessments than at present. This study confirms that regulatory authorities and developers should consider the likely impacts of wind farms on small bird populations. Mitigation measures focused particularly on non-raptor species should be considered and implemented as a means to reduce these negative effects.
Laura P. Ponce-Calderón Ponce-Calderón; Dante A. Rodríguez-Trejo; Beatriz C. Aguilar-Váldez; Elvia. López-Pérez
To assess the impact of different-severity wildfires on bird habitat, habitat quality was determined by analyzing the degree of richness association, abundance and diversity of bird species and vegetation structure (richness, abundance, diversity and coverage). These attributes were quantified with four sampling sites for birds and five for quadrant-centered points...
Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; Robert T. Brooks
Shrubland birds have experienced widespread declines in the eastern United States. Habitat for shrubland birds is typically dynamic, in which available habitat changes temporally and spatially in response to disturbance and succession. Despite widespread concerns among conservationists about shrubland birds, much is still poorly understood regarding fundamental...
Colleen Cassady St. Clair
Full Text Available Forest fragmentation and habitat loss may disrupt the movement or dispersal of forest-dwelling birds. Despite much interest in the severity of these effects and ways of mitigating them, little is known about actual movement patterns in different habitat types. We studied the movement of wintering resident birds, lured by playbacks of mobbing calls, to compare the willingness of forest birds to travel various distances in continuous forest, along narrow corridors (fencerows, and across gaps in forest cover. We also quantified the willingness of Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus to cross gaps when alternative forested detour routes were available. All species were less likely to respond to the calls as distance increased to 200 m, although White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis and Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus were generally less likely to respond than chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers (P. pubescens. Chickadees were as likely to travel in corridors as in continuous forest, but were less likely to cross gaps as the gap distance increased. The other species were less willing to travel in corridors and gaps relative to forest, and the differences among habitats also increased with distance. For chickadees, gap-crossing decisions in the presence of forested detours varied over the range of distances that we tested, and were primarily influenced by detour efficiency (the length of the shortcut relative to the available detour. Over short distances, birds used forested detours, regardless of their efficiency. As absolute distances increased, birds tended to employ larger shortcuts in the open when detour efficiency was low or initial distance in the open was high, but they limited their distance from the nearest forest edge to 25 m. Thus, chickadees were unwilling to cross gaps of > 50 m when they had forested alternatives, yet they sometimes crossed gaps as large as 200 m when no such choice existed. Our results suggest that
Luther, David A; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hayward, Matt W; Kester, Marieke E; Lamoreux, John; Upgren, Amy
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.
Edmund J. Zlonis
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
Gregg Elliott; Bob Altman; Wendy Easton; Ricardo Estrella; Geoffrey Geupel; Mary Chase; Ellie Cohen; Ann Chrisney
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,...
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...
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.
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.
Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.
The question of why animals choose particular habitats has important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of organisms in the wild and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. Habitats chosen by animals can influence fitness outcomes via the costs (e.g., predation risk) and benefits (e.g., food availability) of habitat use. Habitat preferences should therefore be under selection to favor those that confer fitness advantages (Clark and Shutler 1999). Indeed, prevailing theory suggests that the habitat preferences of animals should be adaptive, such that fitness is higher in preferred habitats (Hildén 1965, Southwood 1977, Martin 1998). However, studies have often identified apparent mismatches between observed habitat preferences and fitness outcomes across a wide variety of taxa (Valladares and Lawton 1991, Mayhew 1997, Kolbe and Janzen 2002, Arlt and Pärt 2007, Mägi et al. 2009). Certainly, one limitation of studies may be that assessment of “fitness” is typically constrained to fitness surrogates such as nest success rather than lifetime reproductive success or classic Fisherian fitness (Endler 1986). Nevertheless, important habitat choices such as nest sites influence the probability that temporarily sedentary, dependent young are discovered by enemies such as predators and parasites. We therefore expect, on average, to see congruence between evolved habitat preferences and relevant components of fitness (e.g., nest success). Here, we (1) review the prevalence of apparent mismatches between avian breeding-habitat preferences and fitness outcomes using nest-site selection as a focus; (2) describe several potential mechanisms for such mismatches, including anthropogenic, methodological, and ecological–evolutionary; and (3) suggest a framework for understanding the contexts in which habitat preferences represent adaptive decisions, with a primary focus on ecological information
Sidney A. Gauthreaux; Carroll G. Belser
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...
Whytock, Robin C; Fuentes-Montemayor, Elisa; Watts, Kevin; Barbosa De Andrade, Patanjaly; Whytock, Rory T; French, Paul; Macgregor, Nicholas A; Park, Kirsty J
Ecosystem function and resilience are compromised when habitats become fragmented due to land-use change. This has led to national and international conservation strategies aimed at restoring habitat extent and improving functional connectivity (i.e., maintaining dispersal processes). However, biodiversity responses to landscape-scale habitat creation and the relative importance of spatial and temporal scales are poorly understood, and there is disagreement over which conservation strategies should be prioritized. We used 160 years of historic post-agricultural woodland creation as a natural experiment to evaluate biodiversity responses to habitat creation in a landscape context. Birds were surveyed in 101 secondary, broadleaf woodlands aged 10-160 years with ≥80% canopy cover and in landscapes with 0-17% broadleaf woodland cover within 3000 m. We used piecewise structural equation modeling to examine the direct and indirect relationships between bird abundance and diversity, ecological continuity, patch characteristics, and landscape structure and quantified the relative conservation value of local and landscape scales for bird communities. Ecological continuity indirectly affected overall bird abundance and species richness through its effects on stand structure, but had a weaker influence (effect size near 0) on the abundance and diversity of species most closely associated with woodland habitats. This was probably because woodlands were rapidly colonized by woodland generalists in ≤10 years (minimum patch age) but were on average too young (median 50 years) to be colonized by woodland specialists. Local patch characteristics were relatively more important than landscape characteristics for bird communities. Based on our results, biodiversity responses to habitat creation depended on local- and landscape-scale factors that interacted across time and space. We suggest that there is a need for further studies that focus on habitat creation in a landscape
Hulme, Mark F.; Vickery, Juliet A.; Green, Rhys E.
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....
Michael J Anteau
Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T
Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Zhang, Ming-Xia; Kyaw, Myint; Li, Guo-Gang; Zhao, Jiang-Bo; Zeng, Xiang-Le; Swa, Kyaw; Quan, Rui-Chang
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.
Zhang, Ming-Xia; Kyaw, Myint; Li, Guo-Gang; Zhao, Jiang-Bo; Zeng, Xiang-Le; Swa, Kyaw; Quan, Rui-Chang
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
Bušek, Ondřej; Reif, Jiří
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
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
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
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
... Diego County Water Authority Natural Communities Conservation Program/Habitat Conservation Plan, San... meetings for the San Diego County Water Authority's (Water Authority/Applicant) draft Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP)/Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) prepared in application to us for an incidental take...
Ocampo-Peñuela, Natalia; Pimm, Stuart L
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.
Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.
We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.
Bruce E. Rieman; John D. Mclntyre
Elements in bull trout biology, population dynamics, habitat, and biotic interactions important to conservation of the species are identified. Bull trout appear to have more specific habitat requirements than other salmonids, but no critical thresholds of acceptable habitat condition were found. Size, temporal variation, and spatial distribution are likely to influence...
Victoria Saab; William Block; Robin Russell; John Lehmkuhl; Lisa Bate; Rachel White
This publication provides information about prescribed fire effects on habitats and populations of birds of the interior West and a synthesis of existing information on bird responses to fire across North America. Our literature synthesis indicated that aerial, ground, and bark insectivores favored recently burned habitats, whereas foliage gleaners preferred unburned...
Jorge E Ramírez-Albores
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
Chadwick D Rittenhouse
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
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
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
Singh, Minerva; Tokola, Timo; Hou, Zhengyang; Notarnicola, Claudia
Avian species persistence in a forest patch is strongly related to the degree of isolation and size of a forest patch and the vegetation structure within a patch and its matrix are important predictors of bird habitat suitability. A combination of space-borne optical (Landsat), ALOS-PALSAR (radar), and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data was used for assessing variation in forest structure across forest patches that had undergone different levels of forest degradation in a logged forest-agricultural landscape in Southern Laos. The efficacy of different remote sensing (RS) data sources in distinguishing forest patches that had different seizes, configurations, and vegetation structure was examined. These data were found to be sensitive to the varying levels of degradation of the different patch categories. Additionally, the role of local scale forest structure variables (characterized using the different RS data and patch area) and landscape variables (characterized by distance from different forest patches) in influencing habitat preferences of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red listed birds found in the study area was examined. A machine learning algorithm, MaxEnt, was used in conjunction with these data and field collected geographical locations of the avian species to identify the factors influencing habitat preference of the different bird species and their suitable habitats. Results show that distance from different forest patches played a more important role in influencing habitat suitability for the different avian species than local scale factors related to vegetation structure and health. In addition to distance from forest patches, LiDAR-derived forest structure and Landsat-derived spectral variables were important determinants of avian habitat preference. The models derived using MaxEnt were used to create an overall habitat suitability map (HSM) which mapped the most suitable habitat patches for sustaining all the
Full Text Available Munderikadavu is rich in avifaunal diversity. A total of 82 species of birds from 36 families belonging to 13 orders were recorded in the wetland including wetland dependant species. Lowland vegetation had the highest species richness (46 species followed by upland (41 species, aerial (38 species, emergent vegetation (22 species and paddy fields (21 species. Open water had the lowest species richness. Upland vegetation had the highest species diversity (H′-3.19 followed by aerial (H′-2.52. There was more species overlap between emergent and low land vegetations (Cm-0.7. The threats in Munderikadavu wetland were dumping of waste and conversion of cultivation land into shrimp farming area. Thus land use changes need to be regulated in order to conserve the wetland and bird community.
Downard, Rebekah; Frank, Maureen; Perkins, Jennifer; Kettenring, Karin; Larese-Casanova, Mark
Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake: a guide to identification, communities, & bird habitat is a wetland plant identification guide, resulting from collaborative research efforts about Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetland conditions and bird habitat. Dr. Rebekah Downard collected dissertation field data from GSL wetlands during 2012–2015, the majority of which informed this work. Dr. Maureen Frank contributed her guide to GSL wetland vegetation and how to manage native plants as high-quality habitat f...
De Wan, A. A.; Sullivan, P.J.; Lembo, A.J.; Smith, C.R.; Maerz, J.C.; Lassoie, J.P.; Richmond, M.E.
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.
Tryjanowski, Piotr; Skórka, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H; Biaduń, Waldemar; Brauze, Tomasz; Hetmański, Tomasz; Martyka, Rafał; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Myczko, Łukasz; Kunysz, Przemysław; Kawa, Piotr; Czyż, Stanisław; Czechowski, Paweł; Polakowski, Michał; Zduniak, Piotr; Jerzak, Leszek; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Goławski, Artur; Duduś, Leszek; Nowakowski, Jacek J; Wuczyński, Andrzej; Wysocki, Dariusz
Bird feeding is one of the most widespread direct interactions between man and nature, and this has important social and environmental consequences. However, this activity can differ between rural and urban habitats, due to inter alia habitat structure, human behaviour and the composition of wintering bird communities. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km(2) each) in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 towns and cities across Poland (in each urban area, we surveyed 3 squares and also 3 squares in nearby rural areas). At each count, we noted the number of bird feeders, the number of bird feeders with food, the type of feeders, additional food supplies potentially available for birds (bread offered by people, bins) and finally the birds themselves. In winter, urban and rural areas differ in the availability of food offered intentionally and unintentionally to birds by humans. Both types of food availability are higher in urban areas. Our findings suggest that different types of bird feeder support only those species specialized for that particular food type and this relationship is similar in urban and rural areas.
Fagan, Matthew E; DeFries, Ruth S; Sesnie, Steven E; Arroyo-Mora, J Pablo; Chazdon, Robin L
Re-establishing connectivity between protected areas isolated by habitat clearing is a key conservation goal in the humid tropics. In northeastern Costa Rica, payments for environmental services (PES) and a government ban on deforestation have subsidized forest protection and reforestation in the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor (SJLSBC), resulting in a decline in mature forest loss and the expansion of tree plantations. We use field studies and graph models to assess how conservation efforts have altered functional connectivity over the last 25 years for four species of insectivorous understory birds. Field playback studies assessed how reforestation habitat quality affected the willingness of Myrmeciza exsul, Henicorhina leucosticta, Thamnophilus atrinucha, and Glyphorynchus spirurus to travel outside forest habitat for territorial defense. Observed travel distances were greatest in nonnative and native tree plantations with high understory stem density, regardless of overstory composition. In contrast, tree plantations with low stem density had travel responses comparable to open pasture for three of the four bird species. We modeled landscape connectivity for each species using graph models based on varying possible travel distances in tree plantations, gallery forests, and pastures. From 1986 to 2011, connectivity for all species declined in the SJLSBC landscape (5825 km 2 ) by 14% to 21% despite only a 4.9% net loss in forest area and the rapid expansion of tree plantations over 2% of the landscape. Plantation placement in the landscape limited their potential facilitation of connectivity because they were located either far from forest cover or within already contiguous forest areas. We mapped current connectivity bottlenecks and identified priority areas for future reforestation. We estimate that reforestation of priority areas could improve connectivity by 2% with only a 1% gain in forest cover, an impressive gain given the small area reforested
Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.
Barrow, Wylie C.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Randall, Lori A.; Pitre, John; Dudley, Kyle J.
This project was initiated to assess migrating and wintering bird use of lands enrolled in the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI). The MBHI program was developed in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, with the goal of improving/creating habitat for waterbirds affected by the spill. In collaboration with the University of Delaware (UDEL), we used weather surveillance radar data (Sieges 2014), portable marine radar data, thermal infrared images, and visual observations to assess bird use of MBHI easements. Migrating and wintering birds routinely make synchronous flights near dusk (e.g., departure during migration, feeding flights during winter). Weather radars readily detect birds at the onset of these flights and have proven to be useful remote sensing tools for assessing bird-habitat relations during migration and determining the response of wintering waterfowl to wetland restoration (e.g., Wetlands Reserve Program lands). However, ground-truthing is required to identify radar echoes to species or species group. We designed a field study to ground-truth a larger-scale, weather radar assessment of bird use of MBHI sites in southwest Louisiana. We examined seasonal bird use of MBHI fields in fall, winter, and spring of 2011-2012. To assess diurnal use, we conducted total area surveys of MBHI sites in the afternoon, collecting data on bird species composition, abundance, behavior, and habitat use. In the evenings, we quantified bird activity at the MBHI easements and described flight behavior (i.e., birds landing in, departing from, circling, or flying over the MBHI tract). Our field sampling captured the onset of evening flights and spanned the period of collection of the weather radar data analyzed. Pre- and post-dusk surveys were conducted using a portable radar system and a thermal infrared camera. Landbirds, shorebirds, and wading birds were commonly found on MBHI fields during diurnal
Charles K. Baxter
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."
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
Migratory bird needs must be met during four phases of the year: breeding season, fall migration, wintering, and spring migration; thus, management may be needed during all four phases. The bulk of research and management has focused on the breeding season, although several issues remain unsettled, including the spatial extent of habitat influences on fitness and the importance of habitat on the breeding grounds used after breeding. Although detailed investigations have shed light on the ecology and population dynamics of a few avian species, knowledge is sketchy for most species. Replication of comprehensive studies is needed for multiple species across a range of areas, Information deficiencies are even greater during the wintering season, when birds require sites that provide security and food resources needed for survival and developing nutrient reserves for spring migration and, possibly, reproduction. Research is needed on many species simply to identify geographic distributions, wintering sites, habitat use, and basic ecology. Studies are complicated, however, by the mobility of birds and by sexual segregation during winter. Stable-isotope methodology has offered an opportunity to identify linkages between breeding and wintering sites, which facilitates understanding the complete annual cycle of birds. The twice-annual migrations are the poorest-understood events in a bird's life. Migration has always been a risky undertaking, with such anthropogenic features as tall buildings, towers, and wind generators adding to the risk. Species such as woodland specialists migrating through eastern North America have numerous options for pausing during migration to replenish nutrients, but some species depend on limited stopover locations. Research needs for migration include identifying pathways and timetables of migration, quality and distribution of habitats, threats posed by towers and other tall structures, and any bottlenecks for migration. Issues such as human
Burley, J.B.; Hopkins, R.B.
Throughout western North Dakota the number of unreclaimed surface coal and coal-uranium mines might total over 1100. We examined the potential for enhancing the nongame bird habitat values of unreclaimed mine lands in the arid, western region of North Dakota. Generally, the greatest variety of birds occurred in natural and planted woodlands, while fewer birds occurred in unreclaimed mine lands, grasslands, shrublands and croplands. Deciduous woodland types supported more species of birds than coniferous types. Planted woodlands supported about the same number of bird species as some natural deciduous woodland types and more species than coniferous woods. Unreclaimed mine lands supported more species than grasslands and croplands, and about the same number of species as native shrublands. The highest bird densities were in planted woodlands. Bird diversity varied positively with habitat diversity. The bird fauna of unreclaimed mine lands can be enhanced by creating more diverse habitats. Seventeen guidelines to enhance unreclaimed mine lands for nongame birds are presented. These guidelines can be used in preserving habitats threatened by surface mining and reclaiming previously mined lands
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Marine Bird Habitats (F040) is one of a group of seven datasets related to Marine Birds from Coastal Alaska and Puget Sound Data (1975 -1978). Each dataset uses the...
Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco
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
Dan E. Chamberlain
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.
Zhou, Xi-Yin; Lei, Kun; Meng, Wei
Coastal zones are population and economy highly intensity regions all over the world, and coastal habitat supports the sustainable development of human society. The accurate assessment of coastal habitat degradation is the essential prerequisite for coastal zone protection. In this study, an integrated framework of coastal habitat degradation assessment including landuse classification, habitat classifying and zoning, evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation and coastal habitat degradation index has been established for better regional coastal habitat assessment. Through establishment of detailed three-class landuse classification, the fine landscape change is revealed, the evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation through internal comparison based on the results of habitat classifying and zoning could indicate the levels of habitat degradation and distinguish the intensity of human disturbances in different habitat subareas under the same habitat classification. Finally, the results of coastal habitat degradation assessment could be achieved through coastal habitat degradation index (CHI). A case study of the framework is carried out in the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, China, and the main results show the following: (1) The accuracy of all land use classes are above 90%, which indicates a satisfactory accuracy for the classification map. (2) The Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast is divided into 3 kinds of habitats and 5 subareas. (3) In the five subareas of the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, the levels of coastal habitat degradation own significant difference. The whole Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast generally is in a worse state according to area weighting of each habitat subarea. This assessment framework of coastal habitat degradation would characterize the landuse change trend, realize better coastal habitat degradation assessment, reveal the habitat conservation tendency and distinguish intensity of human disturbances. Furthermore, it would support for accurate coastal
Department of the Interior — Between spring 1976 and fall 1980 we studied the occurrence, abundance, and habitat use of birds over a 2000 km² segment of the northcentral Alaska Peninsula. During...
Wal, van der J.C.; Peña-Álvarez, B.; Arriaga-Weiss, S.L.; Hernández-Daumás, S.
We studied species, functional groups, and habitat preferences of birds in five classes of agroforestry systems: agroforests, animal agroforestry, linear agroforestry, sequential agroforestry, and crops under tree cover in Tabasco, Mexico. Sampling sites were >2 km from natural forest fragments.
Michelle A Labbe
Full Text Available Many species of mature forest-nesting birds ("forest birds" undergo a pronounced shift in habitat use during the post-fledging period and move from their forest nesting sites into areas of early-successional vegetation. Mortality is high during this period, thus understanding the resource requirements of post-fledging birds has implications for conservation. Efforts to identify predictors of abundance of forest birds in patches of early-successional habitats have so far been equivocal, yet these previous studies have primarily focused on contiguously forested landscapes and the potential for landscape-scale influences in more fragmented and modified landscapes is largely unknown. Landscape composition can have a strong influence on the abundance and productivity of forest birds during the nesting period, and could therefore affect the number of forest birds in the landscape available to colonize early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. Therefore, the inclusion of landscape characteristics should increase the explanatory power of models of forest bird abundance in early-successional habitat patches during the post-fledging period. We examined forest bird abundance and body condition in relation to landscape and habitat characteristics of 15 early-successional sites during the post-fledging season in Massachusetts. The abundance of forest birds was influenced by within-patch habitat characteristics, however the explanatory power of these models was significantly increased by the inclusion of landscape fragmentation and the abundance of forest birds in adjacent forest during the nesting period for some species and age groups. Our findings show that including factors beyond the patch scale can explain additional variation in the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. We conclude that landscape composition should be considered when siting early-successional habitat to maximize its
Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A
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.
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Breeding bird populations ranged from 3.35 to 3.48 individuals/ha over a 3-year study conducted from 1981 to 1983. Brewer's sparrows, sage sparrows, sage thrashers, and black-throated sparrows were numerically dominant. Horned larks and western meadowlarks were less common. Results are compared with bird populations in Great Basin sagebrush habitats elsewhere in the United States.
Jared D. Wolfe; Matthew D. Johnson; C. John Ralph; R. Mark Brigham
Nearctic-neotropic migrant birds need to replenish energy reserves during stopover periods to successfully complete their semiannual movements. In this study we used linear models to examine the habitat use of 11 migrant species in northeastern Costa Rica to better understand the influence of food and structural resources on the presence of birds during stopover...
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.
Adrian S. Di Giacomo; Santiago Krapovickas
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...
Jennie M. Carr; Steven L. Lima
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. ...
Full Text Available Evidence suggests that animal patterns (motifs function in camouflage. Irregular mottled patterns can facilitate concealment when stationary in cluttered habitats, whereas regular patterns typically prevent capture during movement in open habitats. Bird plumage patterns have predominantly converged on just four types—mottled (irregular, scales, bars and spots (regular—and habitat could be driving convergent evolution in avian patterning. Based on sensory ecology, we therefore predict that irregular patterns would be associated with visually noisy closed habitats and that regular patterns would be associated with open habitats. Regular patterns have also been shown to function in communication for sexually competing males to stand-out and attract females, so we predict that male breeding plumage patterns evolved in both open and closed habitats. Here, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account, we investigate ecological selection for bird plumage patterns across the class Aves. We surveyed plumage patterns in 80% of all avian species worldwide. Of these, 2,756 bird species have regular and irregular plumage patterns as well as habitat information. In this subset, we tested whether adult breeding/non-breeding plumages in each sex, and juvenile plumages, were associated with the habitat types found within the species’ geographical distributions. We found no evidence for an association between habitat and plumage patterns across the world’s birds and little phylogenetic signal. We also found that species with regular and irregular plumage patterns were distributed randomly across the world’s eco-regions without being affected by habitat type. These results indicate that at the global spatial and taxonomic scale, habitat does not predict convergent evolution in bird plumage patterns, contrary to the camouflage hypothesis.
Somveille, Marius; Marshall, Kate L A; Gluckman, Thanh-Lan
Evidence suggests that animal patterns (motifs) function in camouflage. Irregular mottled patterns can facilitate concealment when stationary in cluttered habitats, whereas regular patterns typically prevent capture during movement in open habitats. Bird plumage patterns have predominantly converged on just four types-mottled (irregular), scales, bars and spots (regular)-and habitat could be driving convergent evolution in avian patterning. Based on sensory ecology, we therefore predict that irregular patterns would be associated with visually noisy closed habitats and that regular patterns would be associated with open habitats. Regular patterns have also been shown to function in communication for sexually competing males to stand-out and attract females, so we predict that male breeding plumage patterns evolved in both open and closed habitats. Here, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account, we investigate ecological selection for bird plumage patterns across the class Aves. We surveyed plumage patterns in 80% of all avian species worldwide. Of these, 2,756 bird species have regular and irregular plumage patterns as well as habitat information. In this subset, we tested whether adult breeding/non-breeding plumages in each sex, and juvenile plumages, were associated with the habitat types found within the species' geographical distributions. We found no evidence for an association between habitat and plumage patterns across the world's birds and little phylogenetic signal. We also found that species with regular and irregular plumage patterns were distributed randomly across the world's eco-regions without being affected by habitat type. These results indicate that at the global spatial and taxonomic scale, habitat does not predict convergent evolution in bird plumage patterns, contrary to the camouflage hypothesis.
Nolet, B.A.; Gyimesi, A.; van Lith, B.
Keywords: food intake rate; giving-up density; habitat switch; parental costs; social dominance After reproducing successfully, birds with extended parental care form family groups. Despite being the dominant social unit, such family groups have been reported to switch to alternative habitat earlier
Vashti (Tice) Supplee; Jennie MacFarland
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...
Ian J. Winfield
Full Text Available The biodiversity of aquatic inland habitats currently faces unprecedented threats from human activities. At the same time, although much is known about the functioning of freshwater ecosystems the successful transfer of such knowledge to practical conservation has not been universal. Global awareness of aquatic conservation issues is also hampered by the fact that conditions under the water surface are largely hidden from the direct experience of most members of society. Connectivity, or lack of it, is another challenge to the conservation of freshwater habitats, while urban areas can play a perhaps unexpectedly important positive role. Freshwater habitats frequently enjoy benefits accruing from a sense of ownership or stewardship by local inhabitants, which has led to the development of conservation movements which commonly started life centred on the aquatic inland habitat itself but of which many have now matured into wider catchment-based conservation programmes. A demonstrable need for evidence-based conservation management in turn requires scientific assessments to be increasingly robust and standardised, while at the same time remaining open to the adoption of technological advances and welcoming the rapidly developing citizen science movement. There is evidence of real progress in this context and conservation scientists are now communicating their findings to environmental managers in a way and on a scale that was rarely seen a couple of decades ago. It is only in this way that scientific knowledge can be efficiently transferred to conservation planning, prioritisation and ultimately management in an increasingly scaled-up, joined-up and resource-limited world. The principle of ‘prevention is better than cure’ is particularly appropriate to most biological conservation issues in aquatic inland habitats and is inextricably linked to educating and/or nudging appropriate human behaviours. When prevention fails, some form of emergency
Sogge, M.K.; Sferra, S.J.; Paxton, E.H.
Exotic vegetation has become a major habitat component in many ecosystems around the world, sometimes dramatically changing the vegetation community structure and composition. In the southwestern United States, riparian ecosystems are undergoing major changes in part due to the establishment and spread of the exotic Tamarix (saltcedar, tamarisk). There are concerns about the suitability of Tamarix as habitat for birds. Although Tamarix habitats tend to support fewer species and individuals than native habitats, Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas data and Birds of North America accounts show that 49 species use Tamarix as breeding habitat. Importantly, the relative use of Tamarix and its quality as habitat vary substantially by geographic location and bird species. Few studies have examined how breeding in Tamarix actually affects bird survivorship and productivity; recent research on Southwestern Willow Flycatchers has found no negative effects from breeding in Tamarix habitats. Therefore, the ecological benefits and costs of Tamarix control are difficult to predict and are likely to be species specific and site specific. Given the likelihood that high-quality native riparian vegetation will not develop at all Tamarix control sites, restoration projects that remove Tamarix but do not assure replacement by high-quality native habitat have the potential to reduce the net riparian habitat value for some local or regional bird populations. Therefore, an assessment of potential negative impacts is important in deciding if exotic control should be conducted. In addition, measurable project objectives, appropriate control and restoration techniques, and robust monitoring are all critical to effective restoration planning and execution. ?? 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.
Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.
Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.
... Diego County Water Authority Natural Communities Conservation Program/Habitat Conservation Plan, San... the NCCP/HCP's conservation strategy. Covered Activities would include developing new water... permit application, and notice of public meetings. SUMMARY: The San Diego County Water Authority (Water...
...-N131; 80221-1112-80221-F2] Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, Habitat Conservation Plan and Possible Land Use Plan Amendment, Southern California: Environmental Impact Statement AGENCY: Fish and..., as amended, for the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The EIS will be a...
Moorman, C.E.; D.C. Guynn, Jr.
Research on the effects of creating group-selection openings of various sizes on breeding birds habitat use in a bottomland hardwood forest of the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Creation of 0.5-ha group selection openings in southern bottomland forests should provide breeding habitat for some field-edge species in gaps and habitat for forest-interior species and canopy-dwelling forest-edge species between gaps provided that enough mature forest is made available.
Full Text Available This paper focuses on using data mining technology to efficiently and accurately discover habitats and stopovers of migratory birds. The three methods we used are as follows: 1. a density-based clustering method, detecting stopovers of birds during their migration through density-based clustering of location points; 2. A location histories parser method, detecting areas that have been overstayed by migratory birds during a set time period by setting time and distance thresholds; and 3. A time-parameterized line segment clustering method, clustering directed line segments to analyze shared segments of migratory pathways of different migratory birds and discover the habitats and stopovers of these birds. Finally, we analyzed the migration data of the bar-headed goose in the Qinghai Lake Area through the three above methods and verified the effectiveness of the three methods and, by comparison, identified the scope and context of the use of these three methods respectively.
...] San Diego County Water Authority Subregional Natural Community Conservation Program/Habitat Conservation Plan, San Diego and Riverside Counties, CA; Final Environmental Impact Statement and Habitat... also announce the availability of the Water Authority's Subregional Natural Community Conservation...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.
Full Text Available Research on variation in bill morphology has focused on the role of diet. Bills have other functions, however, including a role in heat and water balance. The role of the bill in heat loss may be particularly important in birds where water is limiting. Song sparrows localized in coastal dunes and salt marsh edge (Melospiza melodia atlantica are similar in size to, but have bills with a 17% greater surface area than, those that live in mesic habitats (M. m. melodia, a pattern shared with other coastal sparrows. We tested the hypotheses that sparrows can use their bills to dissipate "dry" heat, and that heat loss from the bill is higher in M. m. atlantica than M. m. melodia, which would indicate a role of heat loss and water conservation in selection for bill size.Bill, tarsus, and body surface temperatures were measured using thermal imaging of sparrows exposed to temperatures from 15-37°C and combined with surface area and physical modeling to estimate the contribution of each body part to total heat loss. Song sparrow bills averaged 5-10°C hotter than ambient. The bill of M. m atlantica dissipated up to 33% more heat and 38% greater proportion of total heat than that of M. m. melodia. This could potentially reduce water loss requirements by approximately 7.7%.This >30% higher heat loss in the bill of M. m. atlantica is independent of evaporative water loss and thus could play an important role in the water balance of sparrows occupying the hot and exposed dune/salt marsh environments during the summer. Heat loss capacity and water conservation could play an important role in the selection for bill size differences between bird populations and should be considered along with trophic adaptations when studying variation in bill size.
Yumnam, Bibek; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Qureshi, Qamar; Maldonado, Jesus E; Gopal, Rajesh; Saini, Swati; Srinivas, Y; Fleischer, Robert C
Even with global support for tiger (Panthera tigris) conservation their survival is threatened by poaching, habitat loss and isolation. Currently about 3,000 wild tigers persist in small fragmented populations within seven percent of their historic range. Identifying and securing habitat linkages that connect source populations for maintaining landscape-level gene flow is an important long-term conservation strategy for endangered carnivores. However, habitat corridors that link regional tiger populations are often lost to development projects due to lack of objective evidence on their importance. Here, we use individual based genetic analysis in combination with landscape permeability models to identify and prioritize movement corridors across seven tiger populations within the Central Indian Landscape. By using a panel of 11 microsatellites we identified 169 individual tigers from 587 scat and 17 tissue samples. We detected four genetic clusters within Central India with limited gene flow among three of them. Bayesian and likelihood analyses identified 17 tigers as having recent immigrant ancestry. Spatially explicit tiger occupancy obtained from extensive landscape-scale surveys across 76,913 km(2) of forest habitat was found to be only 21,290 km(2). After accounting for detection bias, the covariates that best explained tiger occupancy were large, remote, dense forest patches; large ungulate abundance, and low human footprint. We used tiger occupancy probability to parameterize habitat permeability for modeling habitat linkages using least-cost and circuit theory pathway analyses. Pairwise genetic differences (FST) between populations were better explained by modeled linkage costs (r>0.5, p<0.05) compared to Euclidean distances, which was in consonance with observed habitat fragmentation. The results of our study highlight that many corridors may still be functional as there is evidence of contemporary migration. Conservation efforts should provide legal status
Full Text Available Even with global support for tiger (Panthera tigris conservation their survival is threatened by poaching, habitat loss and isolation. Currently about 3,000 wild tigers persist in small fragmented populations within seven percent of their historic range. Identifying and securing habitat linkages that connect source populations for maintaining landscape-level gene flow is an important long-term conservation strategy for endangered carnivores. However, habitat corridors that link regional tiger populations are often lost to development projects due to lack of objective evidence on their importance. Here, we use individual based genetic analysis in combination with landscape permeability models to identify and prioritize movement corridors across seven tiger populations within the Central Indian Landscape. By using a panel of 11 microsatellites we identified 169 individual tigers from 587 scat and 17 tissue samples. We detected four genetic clusters within Central India with limited gene flow among three of them. Bayesian and likelihood analyses identified 17 tigers as having recent immigrant ancestry. Spatially explicit tiger occupancy obtained from extensive landscape-scale surveys across 76,913 km(2 of forest habitat was found to be only 21,290 km(2. After accounting for detection bias, the covariates that best explained tiger occupancy were large, remote, dense forest patches; large ungulate abundance, and low human footprint. We used tiger occupancy probability to parameterize habitat permeability for modeling habitat linkages using least-cost and circuit theory pathway analyses. Pairwise genetic differences (FST between populations were better explained by modeled linkage costs (r>0.5, p<0.05 compared to Euclidean distances, which was in consonance with observed habitat fragmentation. The results of our study highlight that many corridors may still be functional as there is evidence of contemporary migration. Conservation efforts should
Kim, Jin-Yong; Lee, Sanghun; Shin, Man-Seok; Lee, Chang-Hoon; Seo, Changwan; Eo, Soo Hyung
Altitudinal patterns in the population ecology of mountain bird species are useful for predicting species occurrence and behavior. Numerous hypotheses about the complex interactions among environmental factors have been proposed; however, these still remain controversial. This study aimed to identify the altitudinal patterns in breeding bird species richness or density and to test the hypotheses that climate, habitat heterogeneity (horizontal and vertical), and heterospecific attraction in a temperate forest, South Korea. We conducted a field survey of 142 plots at altitudes between 200 and 1,400 m a.s.l in the breeding season. A total of 2,771 individuals from 53 breeding bird species were recorded. Altitudinal patterns of species richness and density showed a hump-shaped pattern, indicating that the highest richness and density could be observed at moderate altitudes. Models constructed with 13 combinations of six variables demonstrated that species richness was positively correlated with vertical and horizontal habitat heterogeneity. Density was positively correlated with vertical, but not horizontal habitat heterogeneity, and negatively correlated with migratory bird ratio. No significant relationships were found between spring temperature and species richness or density. Therefore, the observed patterns in species richness support the hypothesis that habitat heterogeneity, rather than climate, is the main driver of species richness. Also, neither habitat heterogeneity nor climate hypotheses fully explains the observed patterns in density. However, vertical habitat heterogeneity does likely help explain observed patterns in density. The heterospecific attraction hypothesis did not apply to the distribution of birds along the altitudinal gradient. Appropriate management of vertical habitat heterogeneity, such as vegetation cover, should be maintained for the conservation of bird diversity in this area.
Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of
Ian J. Winfield
The biodiversity of aquatic inland habitats currently faces unprecedented threats from human activities. At the same time, although much is known about the functioning of freshwater ecosystems the successful transfer of such knowledge to practical conservation has not been universal. Global awareness of aquatic conservation issues is also hampered by the fact that conditions under the water surface are largely hidden from the direct experience of most members of society. Connectivity, or lack...
McLaren, J.D.; Buler, J.J.; Schreckengost, T.; Smolinsky, J.A.; Boone, M.; van Loon, E.E.; Dawson, D.K.; Walters, E.L.
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
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To assess population persistence of species living in heterogeneous landscapes, the effects of habitat on reproduction and survival have to be investigated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a matrix population model to estimate habitat-specific population growth rates for a population of northern wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe breeding in farmland consisting of a mosaic of distinct habitat (land use types. Based on extensive long-term data on reproduction and survival, habitats characterised by tall field layers (spring- and autumn-sown crop fields, ungrazed grasslands displayed negative stochastic population growth rates (log lambda(s: -0.332, -0.429, -0.168, respectively, that were markedly lower than growth rates of habitats characterised by permanently short field layers (pastures grazed by cattle or horses, and farmyards, log lambda(s: -0.056, +0.081, -0.059. Although habitats differed with respect to reproductive performance, differences in habitat-specific population growth were largely due to differences in adult and first-year survival rates, as shown by a life table response experiment (LTRE. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that estimation of survival rates is important for realistic assessments of habitat quality. Results also indicate that grazed grasslands and farmyards may act as source habitats, whereas crop fields and ungrazed grasslands with tall field layers may act as sink habitats. We suggest that the strong decline of northern wheatears in Swedish farmland may be linked to the corresponding observed loss of high quality breeding habitat, i.e. grazed semi-natural grasslands.
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
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
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.
Oh, Beverly Z L; Sequeira, Ana M M; Meekan, Mark G; Ruppert, Jonathan L W; Meeuwig, Jessica J
Fishing and habitat degradation have increased the extinction risk of sharks, and conservation strategies recognize that survival of juveniles is critical for the effective management of shark populations. Despite the rapid expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs) globally, the paucity of shark-monitoring data on large scales (100s-1000s km) means that the effectiveness of MPAs in halting shark declines remains unclear. Using data collected by baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) in northwestern Australia, we developed generalized linear models to elucidate the ecological drivers of habitat suitability for juvenile sharks. We assessed occurrence patterns at the order and species levels. We included all juvenile sharks sampled and the 3 most abundant species sampled separately (grey reef [Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos], sandbar [Carcharhinus plumbeus], and whitetip reef sharks [Triaenodon obesus]). We predicted the occurrence of juvenile sharks across 490,515 km 2 of coastal waters and quantified the representation of highly suitable habitats within MPAs. Our species-level models had higher accuracy (ĸ ≥ 0.69) and deviance explained (≥48%) than our order-level model (ĸ = 0.36 and deviance explained of 10%). Maps of predicted occurrence revealed different species-specific patterns of highly suitable habitat. These differences likely reflect different physiological or resource requirements between individual species and validate concerns over the utility of conservation targets based on aggregate species groups as opposed to a species-focused approach. Highly suitable habitats were poorly represented in MPAs with the most restrictions on extractive activities. This spatial mismatch possibly indicates a lack of explicit conservation targets and information on species distribution during the planning process. Non-extractive BRUVS provided a useful platform for building the suitability models across large scales to assist conservation planning across
Simon A. Tamungang
Full Text Available The wild Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus Linnaeus suffers from many habitat use challenges in the wake of extensive deforestation in its endemic range of West and Central African rainforests. To determine effects of these challenges on the bird species, seasonal densities of the Grey Parrot were determined using line transects in major heterogeneous vegetation types in the Korup Rainforest, south-western Cameroon. Results of the study highlight habitat preferences of this species on a seasonal base and under different situations of human activity intensity in the landscape. This information can be used to understand the causes of changes in the distribution and abundance of endangered species and also to determine sustainable conservation strategies. It is concluded that the parrot needs diverse vegetation types for survival in the wild state, as it depends on specific tree species for specific habitat resources such as food, roosts, security, and nests at specific periods of the year. Hence, the continuous survival of the Grey Parrot in the range states is not certain, if sustainable measures are not taken to conserve the parrot and its habitat resources both in and outside protected areas.
Full Text Available The Himalaya region of Nepal encompasses significant habitats for several endangered species, among them the brown bear (Ursus arctos pruinosus. However, owing to the remoteness of the region and a dearth of research, knowledge on the conservation status, habitat and population size of this species is lacking. Our aim in this paper is to report a habitat survey designed to assess the distribution and habitat characteristics of the brown bear in the Nepalese Himalaya, and to summarize a conservation action plan for the species devised at a pair of recent workshops held in Nepal. Results of our survey showed that brown bear were potentially distributed between 3800 m and 5500 m in the high mountainous region of Nepal, across an area of 4037 km2 between the eastern border of Shey Phoksundo National Park (SPNP and the Manasalu Conservation Area (MCA. Of that area, 2066 km2 lie inside the protected area (350 km2 in the MCA; 1716 km2 in the Annapurna Conservation Area and 48% (1917 km2 lies outside the protected area in the Dolpa district. Furthermore, 37% of brown bear habitat also forms a potential habitat for blue sheep (or bharal, Pseudois nayaur, and 17% of these habitats is used by livestock, suggesting a significant potential for resource competition. Several plant species continue to be uprooted by local people for fuel wood. Based on the results of our field survey combined with consultations with local communities and scientists, we propose that government and non-government organizations should implement a three-stage program of conservation activities for the brown bear. This program should: (a Detail research activities in and outside the protected area of Nepal; (b support livelihood and conservation awareness at local and national levels; and (c strengthen local capacity and reduce human-wildlife conflict in the region.
Steven, Rochelle; Castley, J Guy; Buckley, Ralf
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.
Sabatier, R; Teillard, F; Rossing, W A H; Doyen, L; Tichit, M
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.
Migration routes used by Nearctic migrant birds can cover great distances; they also differ among species, within species, and between years and seasons. As a result, migration routes for an entire migratory avifauna can encompass broad geographic areas, making it impossible to protect continuous stretches of habitat sufficient to connect the wintering and breeding grounds for most species. Consequently, ways to enhance habitats converted for human use (i.e. for pasture, crop cultivation, human settlement) as stopover sites for migrants are especially important. Shelterbelts around pastures and fields, if planted with species targeted to support migrant (and resident) bird species that naturally occupy mature forest habitats and that are at least partially frugivorous, could be a powerful enhancement tool for such species, if the birds will enter the converted areas to feed. I tested this approach for Nearctic migrant birds during the spring migration through an area in Chiapas, Mexico. Mature forest tree species whose fruits are eaten by birds were surveyed. Based on life form, crop size and fruit characteristics, I selected three tree species for study: Cymbopetalum mayanum (Annonaceae), Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) and Trophis racemosa (Moraceae). I compared the use of fruits of these species by migrants and residents in forest with their use of the fruits of isolated individuals of the same species in pasture and cropland. All three plant species were useful for enhancing converted habitats for forest-occupying spring migrants, although species differed in the degree to which they entered disturbed areas to feed on the fruits. These tree species could probably enhance habitats for migrants at sites throughout the natural geographic ranges of the plants; in other geographic areas for other target bird groups, other tree species might be more appropriate.
David I. King; Richard B. Chandler; Jeffrey M. Collins; Wayne R. Petersen; Thomas E. Lautzenheiser
Concern about declines in scrubâshrub bird populations has resulted in efforts to create and maintain habitat for these species. Vegetation within powerline corridors is managed to prevent contact of vegetation with transmission lines, and comprises approximately 2% of all of habitat for scrubâshrub birds in southern New England. Although previous studies have...
Stafford, J.D.; Kaminski, R.M.; Reinecke, K.J.
Worldwide, rice (Oryza sativa) agriculture typically involves seasonal flooding and soil tillage, which provides a variety of microhabitats and potential food for birds. Water management in rice fields creates conditions ranging from saturated mud flats to shallow (seed mass from North America ranging from 66672 kg/ha. Although initially abundant after harvest, waste rice availability can be temporally limited. Few abundance estimates for other foods, such as vertebrate prey or forage vegetation, exist for rice fields. Outside North America, Europe and Japan, little is known about abundance and importance of any avian food in rice fields. Currently, flooding rice fields after harvest is the best known management practice to attract and benefit birds. Studies from North America indicate specific agricultural practices (e.g. burning stubble) may increase use and improve access to food resources. Evaluating and implementing management practices that are ecologically sustainable, increase food for birds and are agronomically beneficial should be global priorities to integrate rice production and avian conservation. Finally, land area devoted to rice agriculture appears to be stable in the USA, declining in China, and largely unquantified in many regions. Monitoring trends in riceland area may provide information to guide avian conservation planning in rice-agriculture ecosystems.
Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A
Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.
Susannah B. Lerman; Keith H. Nislow; David J. Nowak; Stephen DeStefano; David I. King; D. Todd. Jones-Farrand
The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat...
Tracey B. Champlin; John C. Kilgo; Christopher E. Moorman
Few attempts have been made to experimentally address the extent to which temporal or spatial variation in food availability influences avian habitat use. We used an experimental approach to investigate whether bird use differed between treated (arthropods reduced through insecticide application) and control (untreated) forest canopy gaps within a bottomland hardwood...
Brian Kane; Paige S. Warren; Susannah B. Lerman
Trees in towns and cities provide habitat for wildlife. In particular, cavity-nesting birds nest in the deadand decayed stems and branches of these trees. The same dead and decayed stems and branches alsohave a greater likelihood of failure, which, in some circumstances, increases risk. We examined 1760trees in Baltimore, MD, USA and western MA, USA, assessing tree...
Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley
Models of habitat suitability in postfire landscapes are needed by land managers to make timely decisions regarding postfire timber harvest and other management activities. Many species of cavity-nesting birds are dependent on postfire landscapes for breeding and other aspects of their life history and are responsive to postfire management activities (e.g., timber...
Full Text Available Birds can be used indirectly or directly as a bioindicator of environment. Birds species living in six habitat types of PT Inhutani I Labanan Kalimantan Timur (namely, logged-over areas that has been exploited in 1976/1981 and 1981/1986, forested area that is being exploited in 1999/2000, primary forest that will be exploited in 2001/2002, Labanan Jaya Village inhabited in 1982/1983, and Segah-Malinau Transmigration Settlement inhabited in 1997/1998 were recorded with transect method (long of 3 km and within sighting distance of 25-50 m at 06.30-10.00 and 15.00-17.30 in both dry and rainy seasons. One hundred and two identified species belonging to 34 families and 6 unidentified species were found. Habitat types and seasons affect bird diversity (the number of species and abundance. Percent dissimilarity of birds between habitats ranged 0,53-0,95 in rainy season and 0,54-0,95 in dry season and between seasons ranged 0,50-0,80. Quantitative values have to be completed with qualitative consideration to assess habitat condition or changes.
Jesus, Shayana DE; Pedro, Wagner A; Bispo, Arthur A
Understanding the factors that affect biodiversity is of central interest to ecology, and essential to species conservation and ecosystems management. We sampled bird communities in 17 forest fragments in the Cerrado biome, the Central-West region of Brazil. We aimed to know the communities structure pattern and the influence of geographical distance and environmental variables on them, along a gradient of fragmented habitats at both local and landscape scales. Eight structural variables of the fragments served as an environmental distance measurement at the local scale while five metrics served as an environmental distance measurement at the landscape scale. Species presence-absence data were used to calculate the dissimilarity index. Beta diversity was calculated using three indices (βsim, βnes and βsor), representing the spatial species turnover, nestedness and total beta diversity, respectively. Spatial species turnover was the predominant pattern in the structure of the communities. Variations in beta diversity were explained only by the environmental variables of the landscape with spatial configuration being more important than the composition. This fact indicates that, in Cerrado of Goiás avian communities structure, deterministic ecological processes associated to differences in species responses to landscape fragmentation are more important than stochastic processes driven by species dispersal.
Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping
Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results
Roberto A. Moreno-García
Full Text Available Aim of study: Our objective was to find habitat associations at a microhabitat level for two endemic birds in a Chilean temperate forest (biodiversity “hotspots”, in order to integrate biodiversity into forest planning.Area of study: Nahuelbuta Range, Chile.Material and methods: The two birds studied were Scelorchilus rubecula (Chucao Tapaculo and Scytalopus magellanicus (Magellanic Tapaculo, both belonging to the Rhinocryptidae family. Presence or absence of the two species was sampled in 57 census spots. Habitat was categorized according to presence/absence results. We assessed the influence of abiotic variables (altitude, exposure, slope and vegetation structure (percentage of understory cover, number of strata using a statistical cluster analysis.Main results: The two bird species selected the habitat. Most frequent presence was detected at a range of 600-1100 masl, but Magellanic Tapaculo was associated to more protected sites in terms of vegetation structure (50-75% for understory cover and 2-3 strata. Slope was the most relevant abiotic variable in habitat selection due to its linkage to vegetation traits in this area.Research highlights: Our results can help managers to integrate biodiversity (endemic fauna species into forest planning by preserving certain traits of the vegetation as part of a habitat (at a microhabitat level selected by the fauna species. That planning should be implemented with both an adequate wood harvesting cuts system and specific silvicultural treatments.Key words: Chile; Nahuelbuta; rhinocryptidae; cluster analysis; rorest planning; vegetation structure.
Champlin, Tracey B.; Kilgo, John C.; Moorman, Christopher E.
Abstract. Few attempts have been made to experimentally address the extent to which temporal or spatial variation in food availability influences avian habitat use. We used an experimental approach to investigate whether bird use differed between treated (arthropods reduced through insecticide application) and control (untreated) forest canopy gaps within a bottomland hardwood forest in the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina, USA. Gaps were two- to three-year-old group selection timber harvest openings of three sizes (0.13, 0.26, and 0.50 ha). Our study was conducted during four bird use periods (spring migration, breeding, post-breeding, and fall migration) in 2002 and 2003. Arthropods were reduced in treated gaps by 68% in 2002 and 73% in 2003. We used mist-netting captures and foraging attack rates to assess the influence of arthropod abundance on avian habitat use. Evidence that birds responded to arthropod abundance was limited and inconsistent. In 2002, we generally captured more birds in treated gaps of the smallest size (0.13 ha) and fewer birds in treated gaps of the larger sizes. In 2003, we recorded few differences in the number of captures in treated and control gaps. Foraging attack rates generally were lower in treated than in control gaps, indicating that birds were able to adapt to the reduced food availability and remain in treated gaps. We conclude that arthropod abundance was not a proximate factor controlling whether forest birds used our gaps. The abundance of food resources may not be as important in determining avian habitat selection as previous research has indicated, at least for passerines in temperate subtropical regions.
Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.
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
Namgay, Rinchen; Wangchuk, Sangay
Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) is a vulnerable Red list species whose populations are declining. However, little is known about Black-necked Cranes' habitat requirements or the causes of their population decline. We identified Black-necked Cranes' winter roost and foraging preferences of Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan during the winter of 2013-2014. Black-necked Cranes' roosts were recorded using Garmin GPSmap 60CSx, while foraging preferences and threats to the birds were identified based on a survey of household heads (n = 107) residing within a 3 km radius of roost sites. We grouped the threats identified by the communities into four major categories, viz. biological, social, political and natural threats based on the relevance. Of the four major threats, communities residing within the roosting and foraging habitat of the Black-necked Crane reported biological threat as major. Biological threats as reported by communities include loss of habitat, food shortage and competition from other animals. We recommend the present roosting areas be designated as part of the conservation areas for Black-necked Crane wintering in Bumthang district. In addition to preserving these areas, government should also encourage farming in foraging habitats of Black-necked Crane, because they mainly feed on barley, wheat, paddy, potatoes and buckwheat, besides roots, tubers and insects in the wetlands.
Morgan, K.H.; Butler, R.W.; Vermeer, R.W.
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
Fortini, Lucas B.; Vorsino, Adam E.; Amidon, Fred A.; Paxton, Eben H.; Jacobi, James D.
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.
Kristen E. Dybala
Full Text Available https://doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2017v15iss1art5Riparian ecosystems provide important ecosystem services and recreational opportunities for people, and habitat for wildlife. In California’s Central Valley, government agencies and private organizations are working together to protect and restore riparian ecosystems, and the Central Valley Joint Venture provides leadership in the formulation of goals and objectives for avian conservation in riparian ecosystems. We defined a long-term conservation goal as the establishment of riparian ecosystems that provide sufficient habitat to support genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient bird populations. To achieve this goal, we selected a suite of 12 breeding riparian landbird focal species as indicators of the state of riparian ecosystems in each of four major Central Valley planning regions. Using recent bird survey data, we estimated that over half of the regional focal species populations are currently small (< 10,000 and may be vulnerable to extirpation, and two species have steeply declining population trends. For each focal species in each region, we defined long-term (100-year population objectives that are intended to be conservation endpoints that we expect to meet the goal of genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient populations. We then estimated the long-term species density and riparian restoration objectives required to achieve the long-term population objectives. To track progress toward the long-term objectives, we propose short-term (10- year objectives, including the addition of 12,919 ha (31,923 ac of riparian vegetation in the Central Valley (by planning region: 3,390 ha in Sacramento, 2,390 ha in Yolo–Delta, 3,386 ha in San Joaquin, and 3,753 ha in Tulare. We expect that reaching these population, density, and habitat objectives through threat abatement, habitat restoration, and habitat enhancement will result in improvements to riparian ecosystem function and
Full Text Available Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3 km surrounding the nest site. Identifying which factors affect nesting success will allow for targeted management efforts to ensure the long-term survival of SGHs both within and outside of protected areas. Habitat structure and diversity of the vegetation surrounding the nest were the most influential factors on SGH nesting success. SGHs require open grassy areas for foraging and areas with large trees for nesting. Savanna habitat drivers such as elephants and fire should be managed to ensure that sufficient large trees are able to establish in the landscape and to control for bush encroachment. This is especially important in areas earmarked for SGH reintroductions. Nest sites of SGHs should be monitored to mitigate any structural changes in the habitat surrounding the nests. Nests should be modified or artificial nest sites provided, where nests have been damaged or lost, to ensure the continued presence of these birds in African savannas. Conservation implications: Habitat structure and diversity surrounding Southern Groundhornbill nests has a significant impact on their nesting success. This highlights the importance of monitoring vegetation change in savanna habitats where they occur. Management of savanna areas should take factors that influence bush encroachment, such as fire and elephants, into account to ensure the long-term persistence of these birds.
Bonnington, Colin; Gaston, Kevin J; Evans, Karl L
Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK) we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.
Full Text Available Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.
Allen, Arthur W.; Vandever, Mark W.
The following bibliography presents brief summaries of documents relevant to Conservation Reserve Program relations to wildlife habitat, habitat management in agriculturally dominated landscapes, and conservation policies potentially affecting wildlife habitats in agricultural ecosystems. Because the literature summaries furnished provide only sweeping overviews, users are urged to obtain and evaluate those papers appearing useful to obtain a more complete understanding of study findings and their implications to conservation in agricultural ecosystems. The bibliography contains references to reports that reach beyond topics that directly relate to the Conservation Reserve Program. Sections addressing grassland management and landowner surveys/opinions, for example, furnish information useful for enhancing development and administration of conservation policies affecting lands beyond those enrolled in conservation programs. Some sections of the bibliography (for example, agricultural conservation policy, economics, soils) are far from inclusive of all relevant material written on the subject. Hopefully, these sections will serve as fundamental introductions to related issues. In a few instances, references may be presented in more than one section of the bibliography. For example, individual papers specifically addressing both non-game and game birds are included in respective sections of the bibliography. Duplication of citations and associated notes has, however, been kept to a minimum.
Lawrence E. Conole
Full Text Available Urban exploiters and adapters are often coalesced under a term of convenience as ‘urban tolerant’. This useful but simplistic characterisation masks a more nuanced interplay between and within assemblages of birds that are more or less well adapted to a range of urban habitats. I test the hypotheses that objectively-defined urban exploiter and suburban adapter assemblages within the broad urban tolerant grouping in Melbourne vary in their responses within the larger group to predictor variables, and that the most explanatory predictor variables vary between the two assemblages. A paired, partitioned analysis of exploiter and adapter preferences for points along the urban–rural gradient was undertaken to decompose the overall trend into diagnosable parts for each assemblage. In a similar way to that in which time since establishment has been found to be related to high urban densities of some bird species and biogeographic origin predictive of urban adaptation extent, habitat origins of members of bird assemblages influence the degree to which they become urban tolerant. Bird species that objectively classify as urban tolerant will further classify as either exploiters or adapters according to the degree of openness of their habitats-of-origin.
Azevedo, Cristiano S; Young, Robert J; Rodrigues, Marcos
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.
Franck A Hollander
Full Text Available In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio, as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human
Mellink, Eric; Riojas-López, Mónica E; Cárdenas-García, Melinda
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.
Extensive acreage loss of coastal sage scrub (CSS), isolation of surviving stands, and the federal listing of several animal species with obligate relationships to this plant community, particularly the threatened California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica), have led to attempts to create CSS to mitigate habitat lost to urban development and other causes. Many of these creations lie within habitat conservation plan (HCP) sites, and they could play a more prominent role by being repositories for plants taken from a single site having site-specific genetics. Among others, one technique that increases initial resemblance to natural stands uses digitized, to-scale photography, which has been ground-truthed to verify vascular plant associations, which appear as mosaics on a landscape. A combination of placing patches of salvaged, mature canopy plants within larger matrices of imprinted or container plant plots appears to significantly enhance immediate use by CSS obligate bird species, accelerate "spread" or expansion of CSS, and can also introduce many epiphytic taxa that otherwise would be slow or unable to occupy developing CSS creations. Reptile, amphibian, butterfly, and rodent diversity in a salvaged canopy restoration case study at the University of California, Irvine, showed CSS species foraging and inhabiting transplanted canopy patches. Using restoration techniques to expand existing CSS stands has more promise than creating isolated patches, and the creation of canopies resembling CSS mid-fire cycle stands is now common. Gnatcatchers and other birds use restorations for foraging and occasional nesting, and in some cases created stands along "biological corridors" appear to be useful to bird movement. Patches of transplanted sage scrub shrubs along habitat edges appear to break up linear edge effects. There are no data on which long-term survival, succession, or postfire behavior can be predicted for CSS restoration sites, and postfire community changes
Sauerbrei, Ralf; Aue, Birgit; Krippes, Christian; Diehl, Eva; Wolters, Volkmar
Biomass is increasingly used as an alternative source for energy in Europe. Woody material cut from hedges is considered to provide a suitable complement to maize and oilseed rape, which are currently the dominant biomass sources. Since shrubs and trees are also important habitats for birds, however, coppicing of hedges at the landscape scale may adversely affect the diversity of the avifauna. To evaluate this risk, we estimated the response of hedge birds to three management scenarios differing in cutting intensity and hedge selection. The analysis was done using hedge data of the Lautertal municipality (n = 339 hedges; Vogelsberg area, Hesse, Germany). It focused on 25 bird species, which are all listed in the hedge programme of the German Ornithological Stations. Information on the preferences of these birds for certain hedge features such as height or width was gathered by an extensive literature review. A cluster analysis on the consolidated literature data allowed us to identify three groups of birds according to their preference for certain hedge attributes. Two groups, which included Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella L.) (i) and Blackbird (Turdus merula L.) (ii), favoured trees located in hedges, but differed in their preference for hedge shape, with (i) being attracted by long and broad hedges and (ii) by high hedges. The third group, which included the Whitethroat (Sylvia communis L.), preferred small hedges with gaps and medium vegetation density. Spatially explicit suitability models based on these data allowed us to predict the status quo of hedge suitability for these species groups. Field surveys proved the accuracy of the predictions to be sufficient, since the hedge suitability predicted was significantly and positively correlated to the occurrence of 9 out of the 12 testable focal species. Our models predicted biomass extraction to almost always reduce hedge suitability for the three bird groups. Concerning the Yellowhammer and the Blackbird
Fernando Moreira Fernandes
Full Text Available Dimorphandra wilsonii Rizzini is a rare species. Although cited as endemic to the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, it has been recorded only for the municipalities of Paraopeba and Caetanópolis and therefore has not been extensively studied. This long-term, intensive survey, conducted from 2004 to 2012 in the central region of the state, was aimed at assessing its distribution, describing its habitat, and verifying its endemism, as well as assessing threats and determining its conservation status. Given the considerable size of the area to be studied and the difficulty of locating individuals of the species, we adopted popular participation as a complementary tool and we employed spatial distribution modeling. Communities were mobilized through the dissemination of print materials, and interviews were conducted. We visited 74 municipalities and addressed 900 people in search of this species. We found that D. wilsonii is endemic to the cerrado (savanna and Atlantic Forest in the central region of Minas Gerais, occurring in 16 municipalities. Is not present in any fully protected conservation area, and its population (fewer than 250 individuals is declining due to habitat destruction, caused mainly by agricultural/livestock and urban expansion, and its conservation status is "critically endangered".
Lundhede, Thomas; Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl; Hanley, Nick
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...
Thomas W. Bonnot; Frank R. Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; D. Todd. Jones-Farland
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...
Alexander-Vaughn, Louise B.; Collazo, Jaime A.; Drew, C. Ashton
The Eastern North Carolina/Southeastern Virginia Strategic Habitat Conservation Team (ENCSEVA) is a partnership among local federal agencies and programs with a mission to apply Strategic Habitat Conservation to accomplish priority landscape-level conservation within its geographic region. ENCSEVA seeks to further landscape-scale conservation through collaboration with local partners. To accomplish this mission, ENCSEVA is developing a comprehensive Strategic Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) to provide guidance for its members, partners, and collaborators by establishing mutual conservation goals, objectives, strategies, and metrics to gauge the success of conservation efforts. Identifying common goals allows the ENCSEVA team to develop strategies that leverage joint resources and are more likely to achieve desired impacts across the landscape. The Plan will also provide an approach for ENCSEVA to meet applied research needs (identify knowledge gaps), foster adaptive management principles, identify conservation priorities, prioritize threats (including potential impacts of climate change), and identify the required capacity to implement strategies to create more resilient landscapes. ENCSEVA seeks to support the overarching goals of the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) and to provide scientific and technical support for conservation at landscape scales as well as inform the management of natural resources in response to shifts in climate, habitat fragmentation and loss, and other landscape-level challenges (South Atlantic LCC 2012). The ENCSEVA ecoregion encompasses the northern third of the SALCC geography and offers a unique opportunity to apply landscape conservation at multiple scales through the guidance of local conservation and natural resource management efforts and by reporting metrics that reflect the effectiveness of those efforts (Figure 1). The Environmental Decision Analysis Team, housed within the North Carolina Cooperative
Edgar O. Vazquez-Plass; Joseph M. Wunderle
Peopleâs 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...
Indra A.S.L.P. Putri
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.
A trail census was conducted of the breeding birds found in three major habitats in the Field Irradiator Gamma area at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment, Pinawa, Manitoba. The area sampled was about 10.50 ha in size, and included 4.25 ha of upland forest, 4.75 ha of lowland conifers, and 1.50 ha of black spruce-tamarack bog. Forty-four species of birds were identified, of which 24 were considered to be resident in the study area. The highest population density was observed in the bog, followed by upland forest and lowland conifer respectively. In contrast, species diversity was greatest in the upland forest, while it decreased markedly in the relatively monotypic lowland conifer and bog habitats. (author)
... sizable portion of South Puget Sound Prairie habitat is located in the urban-rural interface and in the...-FF01E00000] Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan... permit application would be associated the South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan (Prairie...
Martin, Thomas E.
Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied.
Earnst, S.L.; Holmes, A.L.
Vegetation structure is considered an important habitat feature structuring avian communities. In the sagebrush biome, both remotely-sensed and field-acquired measures of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) cover have proven valuable in understanding avian abundance. Differences in structure between the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and native bunchgrasses are also expected to be important. We used avian abundance data from 318 point count stations, coupled with field vegetation measurements and a detailed vegetation map, to model abundance for four shrub- and four grassland-associated avian species in southeastern Washington shrubsteppe. Specifically, we ask whether species distinguish between bunchgrass and cheatgrass, and whether mapped, categorical cover types adequately explain species' abundance or whether fine-grained, field-measured differences in vegetation cover are also important. Results indicate that mapped cover types alone can be useful for predicting patterns of distribution and abundance within the sagebrush biome for several avian species (five of eight studied here). However, field-measured sagebrush cover was a strong positive predictor for Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli), the only sagebrush obligate in this study, and a strong negative predictor for two grassland associates, Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Likewise, shrub associates did not differ in abundance in sagebrush with a cheatgrass vs. bunchgrass understory, but grassland associates were more common in either bunchgrass (Horned Lark and Grasshopper Sparrow) or cheatgrass grasslands (Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus), or tended to use sagebrush-cheatgrass less than sagebrush-bunchgrass (Horned Lark, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis).
Cīrule, Dina; Krama, Tatjana; Krams, Ronalds; Elferts, Didzis; Kaasik, Ants; Rantala, Markus J.; Mierauskas, Pranas; Luoto, Severi; Krams, Indrikis A.
Animals normally respond to stressful environmental stimuli by releasing glucocorticoid hormones. We investigated whether baseline corticosterone (CORT), handling-induced corticosterone concentration(s), and body condition indices of members of willow tit ( Poecile montanus) groups differed while wintering in old growth forests and managed young forests in mild weather conditions and during cold spells. Willow tits spend the winter season in non-kin groups in which dominant individuals typically claim their priority to access resources, while subordinate individuals may experience greater levels of stress and higher mortality, especially during cold spells. We captured birds to measure baseline CORT and levels of handling-induced CORT secretion after 20 min of capture. Willow tits in the young forests had higher baseline CORT and a smaller increase in CORT in response to capture than individuals in the old forests. Baseline CORT was higher in females and juvenile birds compared to adult males, whereas handling-induced CORT secretion did not differ between birds of different ages. During cold spells, baseline CORT of willow tits increased and handling-induced CORT secretion decreased, especially in birds in young forests. Willow tits' survival was higher in the old forests, with dominant individuals surviving better than subordinates. Our results show that changes in CORT secretion reflect responses to habitat quality and climate harshness, indicating young managed coniferous forests as a suboptimal habitat for the willow tit.
Labbe, Michelle A.; King, David I.
Many species of mature forest-nesting birds (“forest birds”) undergo a pronounced shift in habitat use during the post-fledging period and move from their forest nesting sites into areas of early-successional vegetation. Mortality is high during this period, thus understanding the resource requirements of post-fledging birds has implications for conservation. Efforts to identify predictors of abundance of forest birds in patches of early-successional habitats have so far been equivocal, yet these previous studies have primarily focused on contiguously forested landscapes and the potential for landscape-scale influences in more fragmented and modified landscapes is largely unknown. Landscape composition can have a strong influence on the abundance and productivity of forest birds during the nesting period, and could therefore affect the number of forest birds in the landscape available to colonize early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. Therefore, the inclusion of landscape characteristics should increase the explanatory power of models of forest bird abundance in early-successional habitat patches during the post-fledging period. We examined forest bird abundance and body condition in relation to landscape and habitat characteristics of 15 early-successional sites during the post-fledging season in Massachusetts. The abundance of forest birds was influenced by within-patch habitat characteristics, however the explanatory power of these models was significantly increased by the inclusion of landscape fragmentation and the abundance of forest birds in adjacent forest during the nesting period for some species and age groups. Our findings show that including factors beyond the patch scale can explain additional variation in the abundance of forest birds in early-successional habitats during the post-fledging period. We conclude that landscape composition should be considered when siting early-successional habitat to maximize its benefit to
Oja, Ragne; Soe, Egle; Valdmann, Harri; Saarma, Urmas
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.
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.
Steven, Rochelle; Castley, J. Guy; Buckley, Ralf
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
Assandri, Giacomo; Bogliani, Giuseppe; Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia
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.
Kastner, Brandi; Christensen, Victoria G.; Williamson, Tanja N.; Sanocki, Chris A.
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is home to more than 50% of the migratory waterfowl in North America. Although the PPR provides an abundance of temporary and permanent wetlands for nesting and feeding, increases in commodity prices and agricultural drainage practices have led to a trend of wetland drainage. The Northern Shoveler is a migratory dabbling duck species that uses wetland habitats and cultivated croplands in the PPR. Richland County in North Dakota and Roberts County in South Dakota have an abundance of wetlands and croplands and were chosen as the study areas for this research to assess the wetland size and cultivated cropland in relation to hydrologic soil groups for the Northern Shoveler habitat. This study used geographic information system data to analyze Northern Shoveler habitats in association with Natural Resource Conservation Service soil data. Habitats, which are spatially associated with certain hydrologic soil groups, may be at risk of artificial drainage installations because of their proximity to cultivated croplands and soil lacking in natural drainage that may become wet or inundated. Findings indicate that most wetlands that are part of Northern Shoveler habitats were within or adjacent to cultivated croplands. The results also revealed soil hydrologic groups with high runoff potential and low water transmission rates account for most of the soil within the Northern Shoveler‘s wetland and cropland habitats. Habitats near agriculture with high runoff potential are likely to be drained and this has the potential of reducing Northern Shoveler habitat.
van Hees, S.R.W.
This article discusses two legal issues that relate to the conflict between the interest of protecting habitats and species under the Habitats and Birds Directives, versus the interest of promoting the use of innovative water-related renewable energy, with regard to the quota in the Renewable Energy
Randall A., Jr. Schultz; Thomas C., Jr. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen; Tracey S. Frescino
The ability of USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) generated spatial products to increase the predictive accuracy of spatially explicit, macroscale habitat models was examined for nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. One FIA-derived variable (percent basal area of aspen trees) was significant in the habitat...
Michelle M Jackson
Full Text Available North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP, a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of
Kirsten M. Parris
Full Text Available Roadside habitats are important for a range of taxa including plants, insects, mammals, and birds, particularly in developed countries in which large expanses of native vegetation have been cleared for agriculture or urban development. Although roadside vegetation may provide suitable habitat for many species, resident animals can be exposed to high levels of traffic noise, visual disturbance from passing vehicles, and the risk of collision with cars and trucks. Traffic noise can reduce the distance over which acoustic signals such as song can be detected, an effect known as acoustic interference or masking. Studies from the northern hemisphere show that the singing behavior of birds changes in the presence of traffic noise. We investigated the impact of traffic noise and traffic volume on two species of birds, the Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica and the Grey Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa, at 58 roadside sites on the Mornington Peninsula, southeastern Australia. The lower singing Grey Shrike-thrush sang at a higher frequency in the presence of traffic noise, with a predicted increase in dominant frequency of 5.8 Hz/dB of traffic noise, and a total effect size of 209 Hz. In contrast, the higher singing Grey Fantail did not appear to change its song in traffic noise. The probability of detecting each species on a visit to a site declined substantially with increasing traffic noise and traffic volume, with several lines of evidence supporting a larger effect of traffic noise. Traffic noise could hamper detection of song by conspecifics, making it more difficult for birds to establish and maintain territories, attract mates and maintain pair bonds, and possibly leading to reduced breeding success in noisy roadside habitats. Closing key roads during the breeding season is a potential, but untested, management strategy to protect threatened bird species from traffic noise and collision with vehicles at the time of year when they are most
Hudson, Marie-Anne R.; Francis, Charles M.; Campbell, Kate J.; Downes, Constance M.; Smith, Adam C.; Pardieck, Keith L.
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
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.
Tavernia, Brian G.; Lyons, James E.; Loges, Brian W.; Wilson, Andrew; Collazo, Jaime A.; Runge, Michael C.
Wetland managers benefit from monitoring data of sufficient precision and accuracy to assess wildlife habitat conditions and to evaluate and learn from past management decisions. For large-scale monitoring programs focused on waterbirds (waterfowl, wading birds, secretive marsh birds, and shorebirds), precision and accuracy of habitat measurements must be balanced with fiscal and logistic constraints. We evaluated a set of protocols for rapid, visual estimates of key waterbird habitat characteristics made from the wetland perimeter against estimates from (1) plots sampled within wetlands, and (2) cover maps made from aerial photographs. Estimated percent cover of annuals and perennials using a perimeter-based protocol fell within 10 percent of plot-based estimates, and percent cover estimates for seven vegetation height classes were within 20 % of plot-based estimates. Perimeter-based estimates of total emergent vegetation cover did not differ significantly from cover map estimates. Post-hoc analyses revealed evidence for observer effects in estimates of annual and perennial covers and vegetation height. Median time required to complete perimeter-based methods was less than 7 percent of the time needed for intensive plot-based methods. Our results show that rapid, perimeter-based assessments, which increase sample size and efficiency, provide vegetation estimates comparable to more intensive methods.
-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 ...
Kathleen E. Franzreb; Deborah M. Finch; Petra Bohall Wood; David E. Capen
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...
Tozer, Douglas C; Steele, Owen; Gloutney, Mark
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.
Lantz, Van; Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto
The traditional environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis postulates that environmental degradation follows an inverted U-shaped relationship with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We tested the EKC hypothesis with bird populations in 5 different habitats as environmental quality indicators. Because birds are considered environmental goods, for them the EKC hypothesis would instead be associated with a U-shaped relationship between bird populations and GDP per capita. In keeping with the literature, we included other variables in the analysis-namely, human population density and time index variables (the latter variable captured the impact of persistent and exogenous climate and/or policy changes on bird populations over time). Using data from 9 Canadian provinces gathered over 37 years, we used a generalized least-squares regression for each bird habitat type, which accounted for the panel structure of the data, the cross-sectional dependence across provinces in the residuals, heteroskedasticity, and fixed- or random-effect specifications of the models. We found evidence that supports the EKC hypothesis for 3 of the 5 bird population habitat types. In addition, the relationship between human population density and the different bird populations varied, which emphasizes the complex nature of the impact that human populations have on the environment. The relationship between the time-index variable and the different bird populations also varied, which indicates there are other persistent and significant influences on bird populations over time. Overall our EKC results were consistent with those found for threatened bird species, indicating that economic prosperity does indeed act to benefit some bird populations.
...-FXES11120800000F2-123-F2] Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Interim Operations of PacifiCorp's Klamath Hydroelectric Project on the Klamath River, Klamath County, OR, and... environmental assessment and proposed habitat conservation plan; request for comment. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish...
Liang, Jie; Gao, Xiang; Zeng, Guangming; Hua, Shanshan; Zhong, Minzhou; Li, Xiaodong; Li, Xin
Climate change and human activities cause uncertain changes to species biodiversity by altering their habitat. The uncertainty of climate change requires planners to balance the benefit and cost of making conservation plan. Here optimal protection approach for Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWfG) by coupling Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) and Marxan selection were proposed. MPT was used to provide suggested weights of investment for protected area (PA) and reduce the influence of climatic uncertainty, while Marxan was utilized to choose a series of specific locations for PA. We argued that through combining these two commonly used techniques with the conservation plan, including assets allocation and PA chosing, the efficiency of rare bird's protection would be enhanced. In MPT analyses, the uncertainty of conservation-outcome can be reduced while conservation effort was allocated in Hunan, Jiangxi and Yangtze River delta. In Marxan model, the optimal location for habitat restorations based on existing nature reserve was identified. Clear priorities for the location and allocation of assets could be provided based on this research, and it could help decision makers to build conservation strategy for LWfG.
Horn, Sabine; de la Vega, Camille; Asmus, Ragnhild; Schwemmer, Philipp; Enners, Leonie; Garthe, Stefan; Binder, Kirsten; Asmus, Harald
The determination of food web structures using Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) is a helpful tool to get insight into complex ecosystem processes. The intertidal area of the Wadden Sea is structured into diverse habitat types which differ in their ecological functioning. In the present study, six different intertidal habitats (i.e. cockle field, razor clam field, mud flat, mussel bank, sand flat and seagrass meadow) were analyzed using ENA to determine similarities and characteristic differences in the food web structure of the systems. All six systems were well balanced between their degree of organization and their robustness. However, they differed in their detailed features. The cockle field and the mussel bank exhibited a strong dependency on external imports. The razor clam field appeared to be a rather small system with low energy transfer. In the mud flat microphytobenthos was used as a main food source and the system appeared to be sensitive to perturbations. Bird predation was the most pronounced in the sand flat and the seagrass meadow and led to an increase in energy transfer and parallel trophic cycles in these habitats. Habitat diversity appears to be an important trait for the Wadden Sea as each subsystem seems to have a specific role in the overall functioning of the entire ecosystem.
Vandever, Mark W.; Allen, Arthur W.
Numerous studies document environmental and social benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This report offers a synopsis of findings regarding effects of establishing CRP conservation practices on the quality and distribution of wildlife habitat in agricultural landscapes. On individual farms, year-round provision of wildlife habitat by the CRP may appear relatively insignificant. However, considered from multi-farm to National scales, such improvements in habitat and wildlife response have proven to be extensive and profound.
Iovanna, Richard; Ando , Amy W.; Swinton, Scott; Hellerstein, Daniel; Kagan, Jimmy; Mushet, David M.; Otto, Clint R.; Rewa, Charles A.
Pollination services have received increased attention over the past several years, and protecting foraging area is beginning to be reflected in conservation policy. This case study considers the prospects for doing so in a more analytically rigorous manner, by quantifying the pollination services for sites being considered for ecological restoration. The specific policy context is the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which offers financial and technical assistance to landowners seeking to convert sensitive cropland back to some semblance of the prairie (or, to a lesser extent, forest or wetland) ecosystem that preceded it. Depending on the mix of grasses and wildflowers that are established, CRP enrollments can provide pollinator habitat. Further, depending on their location, they will generate related services, such as biological control of crop pests, recreation, and aesthetics. While offers to enroll in CRP compete based on cost and some anticipated benefits, the eligibility and ranking criteria do not reflect these services to a meaningful degree. Therefore, we develop a conceptual value diagram to identify the sequence of steps and associated models and data necessary to quantify the full range of services, and find that critical data gaps, some of which are artifacts of policy, preclude the application of benefit-relevant indicators (BRIs) or monetization. However, we also find that there is considerable research activity underway to fill these gaps. In addition, a modeling framework has been developed that can estimate field-level effects on services as a function of landscape context. The approach is inherently scalable and not limited in geographic scope, which is essential for a program with a national footprint. The parameters in this framework are sufficiently straightforward that expert judgment could be applied as a stopgap approach until empirically derived estimates are available. While monetization of benefit-relevant indicators of yield
Habitat-based frameworks have been proposed for developing Ecological Production Functions (EPFs) to describe the spatial distribution of ecosystem services. As proof of concept, we generated EPFs that compared bird use patterns among intertidal benthic habitats for Yaquina estu...
Yntze van der Hoek
Full Text Available Habitat thresholds are often interpreted as the minimum required area of habitat, and subsequently promoted as conservation targets in natural resource policies and planning. Unfortunately, several recent reviews and messages of caution on the application of habitat thresholds in conservation have largely fallen on deaf ears, leading to a dangerous oversimplification and generalization of the concept. We highlight the prevalence of oversimplification/over-generalization of results from habitat threshold studies in policy documentation, the consequences of such over-generalization, and directions for habitat threshold studies that have conservation applications without risking overgeneralization. We argue that in order to steer away from misapplication of habitat thresholds in conservation, we should not focus on generalized nominal habitat values (i.e., amounts or percentages of habitat, but on the use of habitat threshold modeling for comparative exercises of area-sensitivity or the identification of environmental dangers. In addition, we should remain focused on understanding the processes and mechanisms underlying species responses to habitat change. Finally, studies could that focus on deriving nominal value threshold amounts should do so only if the thresholds are detailed, species-specific, and translated to conservation targets particular to the study area only.
Wilson, T.L.; Johnson, E.J.; Bissonette, J.A.
There is debate among ecologists about whether total habitat area or patch arrangement contributes most to population and/or community responses to fragmented or patchy landscapes. We tested the relative effects of patch area and isolation for predicting bird occurrence in a naturally patchy landscape in the Bear River Mountains of Northern Utah, USA. We selected focal patches (mountain meadows) ranging in elevation from 1,920 to 2,860 m and in size from 0.6 to 182 ha. Breeding birds were sampled in each focal meadow during the summers of 2003 and 2004 using variable-distance point transects. Logistic regression and likelihood-based model selection were used to determine the relationship between likelihood of occurrence of three bird species (Brewer's sparrow, vesper sparrow, and white-crowned sparrow) and area, isolation, and proximity metrics. We used model weights and model-averaged confidence intervals to assess the importance of each predictor variable. Plots of area versus isolation were used to evaluate complex relationships between the variables. We found that meadow area was the most important variable for explaining occurrence for two species, and that isolation was the most important for the other. We also found that the absolute distance was more appropriate for evaluating isolation responses than was the species-specific proximity metric. Our findings add clarity to the debate between ecologists regarding the relative importance of area and isolation in species responses to patchy landscapes.
Full Text Available There is a lack of data on the population densities of birds breeding in a mosaic of typical urbanized habitats. This study was undertaken to partly fulfil this gap in our knowledge. Counts were conducted in 2008 by means of simplified territory mapping method in a fragment (1197 ha of a large Central European city (Wrocław, SW Poland. In total, 50 bird species were breeding in the study area in 2008. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, Common Swift Apus apus and Rock Dove comprised about 3/5 of all breeding pairs. The other group of species, each one with a density between 6 and 13 pairs per 100 ha, included seven species, namely the Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, House Martin, Delichon urbica, Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Great Tit, Parus major, Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus, and Jackdaw, Corvus monedula. They comprised together about 1/5. The remaining 40 species nested in a density between 0.1 and 3.5 pairs per 100 ha. The most numerous feeding guild were granivores (53.8% and insectivores (37.9 %. Birds nesting on buildings comprised together 74 % of all breeding pairs. For a few species (Luscinia megarhynchos, Saxicola torquata, Corvus cornix and Turdus pilaris an increase in their numbers in the last three decades has been evidenced.
Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.
Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.
Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.; Grace, James B.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Leu, Matthias
Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have been expanding their range across the intermountain western United States into landscapes dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) shrublands. Management actions using prescribed fire and mechanical cutting to reduce woodland cover and control expansion provided opportunities to understand how environmental structure and changes due to these treatments influence bird communities in piñon-juniper systems. We surveyed 43 species of birds and measured vegetation for 1–3 years prior to treatment and 6–7 years post-treatment at 13 locations across Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. We used structural equation modeling to develop and statistically test our conceptual model that the current bird assembly at a site is structured primarily by the previous bird community with additional drivers from current and surrounding habitat conditions as well as external regional bird dynamics. Treatment reduced woodland cover by >5% at 80 of 378 survey sites. However, habitat change achieved by treatment was highly variable because actual disturbance differed widely in extent and intensity. Biological inertia in the bird community was the strongest single driver; 72% of the variation in the bird assemblage was explained by the community that existed seven years earlier. Greater net reduction in woodlands resulted in slight shifts in the bird community to one having ecotone or shrubland affinities. However, the overall influence of woodland changes from treatment were relatively small and were buffered by other extrinsic factors. Regional bird dynamics did not significantly influence the structure of local bird communities at our sites. Our results suggest that bird communities in piñon-juniper woodlands can be highly stable when management treatments are conducted in areas with more advanced woodland development and at the level of disturbance measured in our study.
Benoit de Thoisy
Full Text Available Tropical forests with a low human population and absence of large-scale deforestation provide unique opportunities to study successful conservation strategies, which should be based on adequate monitoring tools. This study explored the conservation status of a large predator, the jaguar, considered an indicator of the maintenance of how well ecological processes are maintained. We implemented an original integrative approach, exploring successive ecosystem status proxies, from habitats and responses to threats of predators and their prey, to canopy structure and forest biomass. Niche modeling allowed identification of more suitable habitats, significantly related to canopy height and forest biomass. Capture/recapture methods showed that jaguar density was higher in habitats identified as more suitable by the niche model. Surveys of ungulates, large rodents and birds also showed higher density where jaguars were more abundant. Although jaguar density does not allow early detection of overall vertebrate community collapse, a decrease in the abundance of large terrestrial birds was noted as good first evidence of disturbance. The most promising tool comes from easily acquired LiDAR data and radar images: a decrease in canopy roughness was closely associated with the disturbance of forests and associated decreasing vertebrate biomass. This mixed approach, focusing on an apex predator, ecological modeling and remote-sensing information, not only helps detect early population declines in large mammals, but is also useful to discuss the relevance of large predators as indicators and the efficiency of conservation measures. It can also be easily extrapolated and adapted in a timely manner, since important open-source data are increasingly available and relevant for large-scale and real-time monitoring of biodiversity.
Lindegarth, M; Chapman, M G
The level of water was manipulated in a freshwater wetland, with the aim of enhancing abundances of benthic animals and, ultimately, improving habitat for feeding birds (Japanese Snipe, Gallinago hardwickii). We tested whether these actions had the predicted and desired effects on benthic animals, by contrasting changes in two managed locations to one control location which was left unmanipulated. The number of taxa and abundances of chironomids decreased strongly and significantly in the manipulated locations, while the abundance of oligochaetes appeared to vary in a seasonal manner. Temporal variability of the structure and composition of assemblages was also increased in manipulated locations. Such effects have previously been suggested to indicate stress in benthic assemblages. Therefore, in contrast to what was predicted, managerial actions made benthic fauna less abundant and thus, less suitable as habitat for feeding birds. Several general lessons can be learned from these results. (1) Effects of managerial actions like these are difficult to predict a priori and can only be reliably evaluated with an experimental framework. (2) Because abundances of animals vary naturally, evaluations of managerial actions must include appropriate spatial replication. (3) Sampling at hierarchical temporal scales is important, because abundances of animals may vary in an unpredictable manner at short temporal scales and because changes in temporal variability may be a symptom of stress. (4) Combined use of uni- and multivariate techniques provides a comprehensive set of tools to assess the effects of restoration and creation of new habitats. Finally, these results emphasise the need for clear predictions about desired outcomes and specific experimental plans about how to test whether the desired results were achieved, before managerial actions are taken. Although this is often very difficult to achieve in real situations, it is necessary for practices of management to evolve
Pomara, Lars Y; Cooper, Robert J; Petit, Lisa J
We examined the importance of mixed-species flock abundance, individual bird home range size, foraging height, and foraging patch characteristics in predicting the propensity for five Neotropical passerine bird species (Slaty Antwren, Myrmotherula schisticolor; Golden-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus; Slate-throated Redstart, Myioborus miniatus; Wilson's Warbler, Wilsonia pusilla; and Black-and-white Warbler, Mniotilta varia) to forage within flocks, rather than solitarily. We used study plots in primary mid-elevation forest and in shade coffee fields in western Panama. We expected that all species would spend as much time as possible flocking, but that the social and environmental factors listed above would limit compatibility between flock movements and individual bird movements, explaining variability in flocking propensity both within and among species. Flocking propensity was well predicted by home range size and flock abundance together, for four of the five species. While flock abundance was uniform across plots, home range sizes varied among species and plots, so that home range size appeared to be the principle factor limiting flocking propensity. Estimates of flock abundance were still required, however, for calculating flocking propensity values. Foraging height and patch characteristics slightly improved predictive ability for the remaining species, M. miniatus. In general, individual birds tended to join flocks whenever one was available inside their home range, regardless of a flock's specific location within the home range. Flocking propensities of individual species were lower in shade coffee fields than in forests, and probably vary across landscapes with variations in habitat. This variability affects the stability and species composition of flocks, and may affect survival rates of individual species.
Puhakka, Liisa; Salo, Matti; S??ksj?rvi, Ilari E.
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...
Pouwels, Rogier; Sierdsema, Henk; Foppen, Ruud P.B.; Henkens, René J.H.G.; Opdam, Paul F.M.; Eupen, van Michiel
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
Ruth, Janet M.; Brush, Tim; Krueper, David J.
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.
Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael. J.; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena
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
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
D. D. Roby; K. Collis; D. E. Lyons
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...
Full Text Available This study was aimed at preparing an inventory of the avifauna and to document the species composition of birds during winter in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Cachar District of Assam. Four habitat types, viz., tea plantation, ecotone zone, secondary growth forest and water bodies were selected within the tea estate and surveyed from mid-December 2010 (early winter to mid-April 2011 (late winter covering four months of survey. A total of 88 species were recorded during the survey period with the highest number of species in ecotone zone (n=63, followed by secondary forest (n=60, tea plantation (n=48 and water bodies (n=17. The species were further categorized into different feeding and habitat guilds to study the distribution of bird species in different habitat types according to various guilds.
Vepsaelaeinen, Ville [Finnish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 17, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki (Finland)
Here, I present the first comparison of the abundance of farmland birds in energy grass fields and in cereal-dominated conventionally cultivated fields (CCFs). I demonstrate that in boreal farmland, skylark (Alauda arvensis) densities were significantly lower in reed canary grass (RCG) (Phalaris arundinacea) fields than in CCFs. I found that during the early breeding season RCG fields and CCFs are equally good habitats, but over the ensuing couple of weeks RCG rapidly grows too tall and dense for field-nesting species. Consequently, RCG is an inferior habitat for skylark for laying replacement clutches (after failure of first nesting) or for a second clutch after one successful nesting. The results imply that if RCG cultivation is to be expanded, the establishment of large monocultures should be avoided in farmland landscapes; otherwise the novel habitat may affect detrimentally the seriously depleted skylark population, and probably also other field-nesting bird species with similar breeding habitats. (author)
Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E
In many parts of the neotropics, the original habitats are rapidly changing because of excessive logging, agriculture and livestock activity, with an often negative impact on bird communities. I present an analysis of the diversity and richness of birds in a fragmented landscape of the Central Chiapas Depression. Fieldwork was conducted from February 2003 to January 2004. Using point counts, a total of 35 families and 225 bird species were registered (164 residents and 61 migratory); 3% are abundant and 30% rare. Diversity, species richness and number of individuals were significantly higher in tropical deciduous forest (H'=3.41, 178 species ANOVA pbirds species in the study area.
A. Paige Fischer; John C. Bliss
Designing policies that harness the motivations of landowners is essential for conserving threatened habitats on private lands. Our goal was to understand how to apply ethnographic information about family-forest owners to the design of conservation policy for Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) in the Willamette Valley, Oregon (U.S.A.). We examined...
Banko, P.C.; Oboyski, P.T.; Slotterback, J.W.; Dougill, Steve J.; Goltz, Dan M.; Johnson, L.; Laut, M.E.; Murray, T.C.
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
Christopher J. Norment
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.
Luke T. Macaulay
Private land plays a crucial role in the conservation of biodiversity in California, yet these lands are the least protected and most prone to environmental degradation. In 1930, Aldo Leopold recognized the potential to better conserve private land by an incentive scheme where recreational users would pay landowners for access to conserved wildlife habitat. While...
Meller, Laura; Thuiller, Wilfried; Pironon, Samuel; Barbet-Massin, Morgane; Hof, Andries; Cabeza, Mar
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.
Steven, Rochelle; Smart, James C R; Morrison, Clare; Castley, J Guy
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.
Lovell, Peter V; Wirthlin, Morgan; Wilhelm, Larry; Minx, Patrick; Lazar, Nathan H; Carbone, Lucia; Warren, Wesley C; Mello, Claudio V
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.
Bates, Adam J.; Sadler, Jon P.; Grundy, Dave; Lowe, Norman; Davis, George; Baker, David; Bridge, Malcolm; Freestone, Roger; Gardner, David; Gibson, Chris; Hemming, Robin; Howarth, Stephen; Orridge, Steve; Shaw, Mark; Tams, Tom; Young, Heather
Moths are abundant and ubiquitous in vegetated terrestrial environments and are pollinators, important herbivores of wild plants, and food for birds, bats and rodents. In recent years, many once abundant and widespread species have shown sharp declines that have been cited by some as indicative of a widespread insect biodiversity crisis. Likely causes of these declines include agricultural intensification, light pollution, climate change, and urbanization; however, the real underlying cause(s) is still open to conjecture. We used data collected from the citizen science Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) to explore the spatial association between the abundance of 195 widespread British species of moth, and garden habitat and landscape features, to see if spatial habitat and landscape associations varied for species of differing conservation status. We found that associations with habitat and landscape composition were species-specific, but that there were consistent trends in species richness and total moth abundance. Gardens with more diverse and extensive microhabitats were associated with higher species richness and moth abundance; gardens near to the coast were associated with higher richness and moth abundance; and gardens in more urbanized locations were associated with lower species richness and moth abundance. The same trends were also found for species classified as increasing, declining and vulnerable under IUCN (World Conservation Union) criteria. However, vulnerable species were more strongly negatively affected by urbanization than increasing species. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain this observation: (1) that the underlying factors causing declines in vulnerable species (e.g., possibilities include fragmentation, habitat deterioration, agrochemical pollution) across Britain are the same in urban areas, but that these deleterious effects are more intense in urban areas; and/or (2) that urban areas can act as ecological traps for some vulnerable species of
Adam J Bates
Full Text Available Moths are abundant and ubiquitous in vegetated terrestrial environments and are pollinators, important herbivores of wild plants, and food for birds, bats and rodents. In recent years, many once abundant and widespread species have shown sharp declines that have been cited by some as indicative of a widespread insect biodiversity crisis. Likely causes of these declines include agricultural intensification, light pollution, climate change, and urbanization; however, the real underlying cause(s is still open to conjecture. We used data collected from the citizen science Garden Moth Scheme (GMS to explore the spatial association between the abundance of 195 widespread British species of moth, and garden habitat and landscape features, to see if spatial habitat and landscape associations varied for species of differing conservation status. We found that associations with habitat and landscape composition were species-specific, but that there were consistent trends in species richness and total moth abundance. Gardens with more diverse and extensive microhabitats were associated with higher species richness and moth abundance; gardens near to the coast were associated with higher richness and moth abundance; and gardens in more urbanized locations were associated with lower species richness and moth abundance. The same trends were also found for species classified as increasing, declining and vulnerable under IUCN (World Conservation Union criteria. However, vulnerable species were more strongly negatively affected by urbanization than increasing species. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain this observation: (1 that the underlying factors causing declines in vulnerable species (e.g., possibilities include fragmentation, habitat deterioration, agrochemical pollution across Britain are the same in urban areas, but that these deleterious effects are more intense in urban areas; and/or (2 that urban areas can act as ecological traps for some
Vikolainen, Vera; Bressers, Hans; Lulofs, Kris
The implementation of the EU Bird and Habitat Directives by the ports and dredging industry caused severe project disruptions across North-West Europe in the past. The prevalence of negative experience triggered a new approach, which aims to integrate site-specific ecosystem characteristics and
Moens, Michaël A J; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Paca, Anahi; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Aguirre, Nikolay; Pérez-Tris, Javier
Understanding how parasites fill their ecological niches requires information on the processes involved in the colonization and exploitation of unique host species. Switching to hosts with atypical attributes may favour generalists broadening their niches or may promote specialization and parasite diversification as the consequence. We analysed which blood parasites have successfully colonized hummingbirds, and how they have evolved to exploit such a unique habitat. We specifically asked (i) whether the assemblage of Haemoproteus parasites of hummingbirds is the result of single or multiple colonization events, (ii) to what extent these parasites are specialized in hummingbirds or shared with other birds and (iii) how hummingbirds contribute to sustain the populations of these parasites, in terms of both prevalence and infection intensity. We sampled 169 hummingbirds of 19 species along an elevation gradient in Southern Ecuador to analyse the host specificity, diversity and infection intensity of Haemoproteus by molecular and microscopy techniques. In addition, 736 birds of 112 species were analysed to explore whether hummingbird parasites are shared with other birds. Hummingbirds hosted a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of generalist Haemoproteus lineages shared with other host orders. Among these parasites, Haemoproteus witti stood out as the most generalized. Interestingly, we found that infection intensities of this parasite were extremely low in passerines (with no detectable gametocytes), but very high in hummingbirds, with many gametocytes seen. Moreover, infection intensities of H. witti were positively correlated with the prevalence across host species. Our results show that hummingbirds have been colonized by generalist Haemoproteus lineages on multiple occasions. However, one of these generalist parasites (H. witti) seems to be highly dependent on hummingbirds, which arise as the most relevant reservoirs in terms of both prevalence and
Shokri, Mohammad Reza; Gladstone, William
Increasing pressures on global biodiversity and lack of data on the number and abundance of species have motivated conservation planners and researchers to use more readily available information as proxies or surrogates for biodiversity. "Habitat" is one of the most frequently used surrogates but its assumed value in marine conservation planning is not often tested. The present study developed and tested three alternative habitat classification schemes of increasing complexity for a large estuary in south-east Australia and tested their effectiveness in predicting spatial variation in macroinvertebrate biodiversity and selecting estuarine protected areas to represent species. The three habitat classification schemes were: (1) broad-scale habitats (e.g., mangroves and seagrass), (2) subdivision of each broad-scale habitat by a suite of environmental variables that varied significantly throughout the estuary, and (3) subdivision of each broad-scale habitat by the subset of environmental variables that best explained spatial variation in macroinvertebrate biodiversity. Macroinvertebrate assemblages differed significantly among the habitats in each classification scheme. For each classification scheme, habitat richness was significantly correlated with species richness, total density of macroinvertebrates, assemblage dissimilarity, and summed irreplaceability. However, in a reserve selection process designed to represent examples of each habitat, no habitat classification scheme represented species significantly better than a random selection of sites. Habitat classification schemes may represent variation in estuarine biodiversity; however, the results of this study suggest they are inefficient in designing representative networks of estuarine protected areas.
Zuzanna M. Rosin
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.
Rosin, Zuzanna M; Skórka, Piotr; Szymański, Paweł; Tobolka, Marcin; Luczak, Andrzej; Tryjanowski, Piotr
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.
Otis, David L.; Crumpton, William R.; Green, David; Loan-Wilsey, Anna; Cooper, Tom; Johnson, Rex R.
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.
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.
Wayne Spencer; Heather Rustigian-Romsos; James Strittholt; Robert Scheller; William Zielinski; Richard Truex
An isolated population of the fisher (Martes pennanti) in the southern Sierra Nevada, California, is threatened by small size and habitat alteration from wildfires, fuels management, and other factors. We assessed the population’s status and conservation options for its habitat using a spatially explicit population model coupled with a...
Holland, John M.; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A.; Entling, Martin H.; Moonen, Anna Camilla; Smith, Barbara M.; Jeanneret, Philippe
Different semi-natural habitats occur on farmland, and it is the vegetation's traits and structure that subsequently determine their ability to support natural enemies and their associated contribution to conservation biocontrol. New habitats can be created and existing ones improved with
Rolland, C; Danchin, E; de Fraipont, M
Coloniality in birds has been intensively studied under the cost and benefit approach, but no general conclusion can be given concerning its evolutionary function. Here, we report on a comparative analysis carried out on 320 species of birds using the general method of comparative analysis for discrete variables and the contrast method to analyze the evolution of coloniality. Showing a mean of 23 convergences and 10 reversals, coloniality appears to be a rather labile trait. Colonial breeding appears strongly correlated with the absence of feeding territory, the aquatic habitat, and nest exposure to predators but was not correlated with changes in life-history traits (body mass and clutch size). The correlation of coloniality with the aquatic habitat is in fact explained by a strong correlation with the marine habitat. Unexpectedly, we found that the evolution toward a marine habitat in birds was contingent on coloniality and that coloniality evolved before the passage to a marine life. These results-along with the lack of transitions from the nonmarine to marine habitat in solitary species and the precedence of the loss of feeding territoriality on the passage to a marine life-contradict most of the hypotheses classically accepted to explain coloniality and suggest that we use a different framework to study this evolutionary enigma.
Dinesh BHATT, Kamal Kant JOSHI
Full Text Available The Indian subcontinent is amongst the biologically better known parts of the tropics and its bird fauna has been well documented. However, avian community composition and diversity along elevational gradients and amongst habitat types remains unclear in India. We attempted to estimate bird assemblages in terms of diversity, species composition, status and abundance in urban and forest habitats of Nainital district of Uttarakhand (350–2450 m asl; 29°N, Western Himalayas. We sampled different elevational gradients and to understand the effect of urbanization and season on avian community composition. Field studies were conducted during January 2005 to January 2007. Results indicated that the forest had more complex bird community structure in terms of higher species richness (14.35 vs 8.69, higher species diversity (Shannon’s index 4.00 vs 3.54, higher evenness (0.838 vs 0.811 and more rare species (17 vs 5 as compared to urban habitat. However, the abundance of 11 species was higher in urban habitats. Bird Species Richness (BSR varied considerably among study areas (91 to 113 species, was highest (113 species at mid elevation (1450–1700 m asl and decreased (22 species at high elevation (1900–2450 m asl. It seems that high BSR at mid altitudes is not caused by the presence of a group of mid altitude specialists but rather that there is an overlap in the distribution of low land and high elevation specialists at this altitude. BSR and Bird Species Diversity fluctuated across seasons but not habitat type [Current Zoology 57 (3: 318–329, 2011].
Vermeer, K.; Butler, R.W.; Morgan, K.H.
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
J. Ryan. Zimmerling
Full Text Available We estimated impacts on birds from the development and operation of wind turbines in Canada considering both mortality due to collisions and loss of nesting habitat. We estimated collision mortality using data from carcass searches for 43 wind farms, incorporating correction factors for scavenger removal, searcher efficiency, and carcasses that fell beyond the area searched. On average, 8.2 ± 1.4 birds (95% C.I. were killed per turbine per year at these sites, although the numbers at individual wind farms varied from 0 - 26.9 birds per turbine per year. Based on 2955 installed turbines (the number installed in Canada by December 2011, an estimated 23,300 birds (95% C.I. 20,000 - 28,300 would be killed from collisions with turbines each year. We estimated direct habitat loss based on data from 32 wind farms in Canada. On average, total habitat loss per turbine was 1.23 ha, which corresponds to an estimated total habitat loss due to wind farms nationwide of 3635 ha. Based on published estimates of nest density, this could represent habitat for ~5700 nests of all species. Assuming nearby habitats are saturated, and 2 adults displaced per nest site, effects of direct habitat loss are less than that of direct mortality. Installed wind capacity is growing rapidly, and is predicted to increase more than 10-fold over the next 10-15 years, which could lead to direct mortality of approximately 233,000 birds / year, and displacement of 57,000 pairs. Despite concerns about the impacts of biased correction factors on the accuracy of mortality estimates, these values are likely much lower than those from collisions with some other anthropogenic sources such as windows, vehicles, or towers, or habitat loss due to many other forms of development. Species composition data suggest that < 0.2% of the population of any species is currently affected by mortality or displacement from wind turbine development. Therefore, population level impacts are unlikely
Steven G. Platt
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.
Aslan, Clare; Holmes, Nick; Tershy, Bernie; Spatz, Dena; Croll, Donald A
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
Pindilli, Emily J.; Casey, Frank
This report is a primer on market-like and market-based mechanisms designed to conserve biodiversity and habitat. The types of markets and market-based approaches that were implemented or are emerging to benefit biodiversity and habitat in the United States are examined. The central approaches considered in this report include payments for ecosystem services, conservation banks, habitat exchanges, and eco-labels. Based on literature reviews and input from experts and practitioners, the report characterizes each market-based approach including policy context and structure; the theoretical basis for applying market-based approaches; the ecological effectiveness of practices and tools for measuring performance; and the future outlook for biodiversity and habitat markets. This report draws from previous research and serves as a summary of pertinent information associated with biodiversity and habitat markets while providing references to materials that go into greater detail on specific topics.
Full Text Available European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity. The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species' key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site, and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species' distribution. We take as a study case four steppe bird species in a lowland area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We also compare the performance of our resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species' occurrence and land-cover variables. Further, we use our resource-based approach to predict the effects that change in farming systems can have on farmland bird habitat suitability and compare these predictions with those obtained using the habitat-based models. Habitat suitability estimates generated by our resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models.
...-FXES11120800000F2-123-F2] Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander... animal, the threatened Central California Distinct Population Segment of the California tiger salamander (tiger salamander). The applicant would implement a conservation program to minimize and mitigate the...
Zingstra, H.L.; Kovachev, A.; Kitnaes, K.; Tzonev, R.; Dimova, D.; Tzvetkov, P.
This executive summary describes the methodology for assessing the favourable conservation status of N2000 habitats and species on site level in Bulgaria and gives guidelines for its application. The methodology was developed in the frame of the BBI/Matra project 2006/014 “Favourable Conservation
Ryan T. DiGaudio
Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0dn9f9b4In California’s Central Valley, grassland and oak savannah ecosystems provide multiple economic and social benefits, ecosystem services, and vital bird habitat. There is a growing interest in protecting, restoring, and managing these ecosystems, and the Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV provides leadership in the formulation of conservation goals and objectives. We defined a long-term goal of protecting, restoring, and managing Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems so that they are capable of supporting genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient wildlife populations. To measure progress toward this goal, we selected a suite of 12 landbird focal species that primarily breed in grasslands and oak savannahs as indicators of the state of these ecosystems on the Central Valley floor (primary focus area and in the Central Valley’s surrounding foothills (secondary focus area. Using data on current densities and habitat extent, we estimated that at least three of the focal species populations in the primary focus area and at least two of the focal species populations in the secondary focus area are currently small (<10,000 individuals and may be vulnerable to extirpation. Furthermore, at least two species appear to have steeply declining population trends. We defined long-term (100-year population objectives for each focal species that we expect to meet the goal of genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient populations. We then estimated corresponding short-term (10-year habitat objectives of 4,183 ha of additional grassland and 3,433 ha of additional oak savannah that will be required to make progress toward the long-term objectives. We expect that habitat restoration and enhancement efforts aimed at reaching these long-term conservation objectives will result in improvements to the function of Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems.
...-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...
Michael J Whitehouse
Full Text Available Previous studies of the consequences for breeding birds of climate change have explored how their populations may respond to increasing temperatures. However, few have considered the likely outcome of predicted extreme conditions and the relative vulnerability of populations in different habitats. Here, we compare phenology and breeding success in great tits and blue tits over a 10 year period, including the extremely harsh conditions during spring 2012, at three sites in eastern England--mixed deciduous woodland, riparian and urban habitat. Production, measured as brood biomass, was significantly lower in 2012 compared with the previous 9 years, with the decrease in productivity relatively greatest in woodland habitat. Production was related to hatch delay, i.e. birds not initiating incubation immediately after clutch completion, which was more common in 2012 than in previous years. The best predictor of hatch delay was daytime temperature (not nighttime minimum temperature and rainfall, which convincingly reflected low growth and activity of caterpillar prey. We found that birds breeding in riparian and urban habitats were less vulnerable to the extremes of weather than those breeding in mixed deciduous woodland.
...-FF03E00000] Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan Within Eight-State Planning... of comments pertaining to the development of the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat..., intend to prepare the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) under the...
Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.
The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 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. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.
Amos, Nevil; Harrisson, Katherine A; Radford, James Q; White, Matt; Newell, Graeme; Mac Nally, Ralph; Sunnucks, Paul; Pavlova, Alexandra
Loss of functional connectivity following habitat loss and fragmentation could drive species declines. A comprehensive understanding of fragmentation effects on functional connectivity of an ecological assemblage requires investigation of multiple species with different mobilities, at different spatial scales, for each sex, and in different landscapes. Based on published data on mobility and ecological responses to fragmentation of 10 woodland-dependent birds, and using simulation studies, we predicted that (1) fragmentation would impede dispersal and gene flow of eight "decliners" (species that disappear from suitable patches when landscape-level tree cover falls below species-specific thresholds), but not of two "tolerant" species (whose occurrence in suitable habitat patches is independent of landscape tree cover); and that fragmentation effects would be stronger (2) in the least mobile species, (3) in the more philopatric sex, and (4) in the more fragmented region. We tested these predictions by evaluating spatially explicit isolation-by-landscape-resistance models of gene flow in fragmented landscapes across a 50 x 170 km study area in central Victoria, Australia, using individual and population genetic distances. To account for sex-biased dispersal and potential scale- and configuration-specific effects, we fitted models specific to sex and geographic zones. As predicted, four of the least mobile decliners showed evidence of reduced genetic connectivity. The responses were strongly sex specific, but in opposite directions in the two most sedentary species. Both tolerant species and (unexpectedly) four of the more mobile decliners showed no reduction in gene flow. This is unlikely to be due to time lags because more mobile species develop genetic signatures of fragmentation faster than do less mobile ones. Weaker genetic effects were observed in the geographic zone with more aggregated vegetation, consistent with gene flow being unimpeded by landscape
Fornasari, Lorenzo; De Carli, Elisabetta; Bottoni, Luciana; Massa, Renato [Milan, Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Scenze dell`Ambiente e del Territorio
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.
... Library, 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Individuals wishing copies of the DEIS, Plan, or IA should... threatened (16 U.S.C. 1538). The term ''take'' means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap... significant habitat modification or degradation that actually kills or injures listed wildlife by...
... by any of the following methods: Mail: Address comments to: Lisa Roberts, NMFS, 1655 Heindon Road..., kill, trap, capture, or collect listed species, or attempt to engage in such conduct. ``Harm'' has been defined by FWS to include ``significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or...
Kas Dumroese; Jeremy Pinto; Deborah M. Finch
Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and other pollinating insects have garnered a lot of attention recently from federal and state wildlife officials. These two species and pollinators share dwindling sagebrush habitat in the western United States that is putting their populations at risk. Sagebrush...
This review identifies some intrinsic and extrinsic factors that tend to drive the destruction of habitat, game poaching and unsustainable utilization of plants products by communities surrounding many protected areas around the world, leading to wildlife and plant species decline. Intrinsic factors are basic needs of the locals; ...
Gomes, Verônica Souza da Mota; Correia, Maria Célia Rodrigues; de Lima, Heloisa Alves; Alves, Maria Alice S
Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation) is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1,680 net-hrs) and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis) in the present study
Buchanan, Graeme M.; Donald, Paul F.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.
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
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
Buchanan, Graeme M; Donald, Paul F; Butchart, Stuart H M
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
Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping
With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results indicated that our proposed method outperforms the existing baseline methods and was able to achieve good performance in habitat suitability prediction.
Jiguet, Frédéric; Devictor, Vincent; Julliard, Romain; Couvet, Denis
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
Vilchis, L Ignacio; Johnson, Christine K; Evenson, Joseph R; Pearson, Scott F; Barry, Karen L; Davidson, Peter; Raphael, Martin G; Gaydos, Joseph K
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
.... The degree to which a given species is affected by habitat fragmentation is dependent on the complex interaction of the habitat requirements of the species and the shape, size, and makeup of the fragmented habitat...
Urban marine habitats are often utilized by wildlife for foraging and other activities despite surrounding anthropogenic impact or disturbance. However little is known of the ecological factors that determine habitat value of these and other remnant natural habitats. We examine...
Peralvo, M.F.; Cuesta, F.; Van Manen, F.
We sought to identify priority areas for the conservation of Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus) habitat in the northern portion of the eastern Andean cordillera in Ecuador. The study area included pa??ramo and montane forest habitats within the Antisana and Cayambe-Coca ecological reserves, and unprotected areas north of these reserves with elevations ranging from 1,800 to 4,300 m. We collected data on bear occurrence along 53 transects during 2000-01 in the Oyacachi River basin, an area of indigenous communities within the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. We used those data and a set of 7 environmental variables to predict suitability of Andean bear habitat using Mahalanobis distance, a multivariate measure of dissimilarity. The Mahalanobis distance values were classified into 5 classes of habitat suitability and generalized to a resolution of 1,650-m ?? 1,650-m grid cells. Clusters of grid cells with high suitability values were delineated from the generalized model and denned as important habitat areas (IHAs) for conservation. The IHAs were ranked using a weighted index that included factors of elevation range, influence from disturbed areas, and current conservation status. We identified 12 IHAs, which were mainly associated with pa??ramo and cloud forest habitats; 2 of these areas have high conservation priorities because they are outside existing reserves and close to areas of human pressure. The distribution of the IHAs highlighted the role of human land use as the main source of fragmentation of Andean bear habitat in this region, emphasizing the importance of preserving habitat connectivity to allow the seasonal movements among habitat types that we documented for this species. Furthermore, the existence of areas with high habitat suitability close to areas of intense human use indicates the importance of bear-human conflict management as a critical Andean bear conservation strategy. We suggest that a promising conservation opportunity for this species is
Species-rich tropical forests are becoming increasingly fragmented, degraded and are declining due ... of birds for subsistence use (10%) only affected certain bird species. The age ..... Rural-urban residence, modernism and fertility. A study of ...
Full Text Available Francois' langur (Trachypithecus francoisi is an endangered primate and endemic to the limestone forests of the tropical and subtropical zone of northern Vietnam and South-west China with a population of about 2,000 individuals. Conservation efforts are hampered by limited knowledge of habitat preference in its main distribution area. We surveyed the distribution of Francois' langur and modeled the relationship between the probability of use and habitat features in Mayanghe National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China. The main objectives of this study were to provide quantitative information on habitat preference, estimating the availability of suitable habitat, and providing management guidelines for the effective conservation of this species. By comparing 92 used locations with habitat available in the reserve, we found that Francois' langur was mainly distributed along valleys and proportionally, used bamboo forests and mixed conifer-broadleaf forests more than their availability, whereas they tended to avoid shrubby areas and coniferous forests. The langur tended to occur at sites with lower elevation, steeper slope, higher tree canopy density, and a close distance to roads and water. The habitat occupancy probability was best modeled by vegetation type, vegetation coverage, elevation, slope degree, distances to nearest water, paved road, and farmland edge. The suitable habitat in this reserve concentrated in valleys and accounted for about 25% of the total reserve area. Our results showed that Francois' langur was not only restricted at the landscapes level at the regions with karst topography, limestone cliffs, and caves, but it also showed habitat preference at the local scale. Therefore, the protection and restoration of the langur preferred habitats such as mixed conifer-broadleaf forests are important and urgent for the conservation of this declining species.
Mastrangelo, Matias E; Gavin, Michael C
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.
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.
Puhakka, Liisa; Salo, Matti; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E
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).
LaGory, K.E.; Chang, Young-Soo; Chun, K.C.; Reeves, T.; Liebich, R.; Smith, K.
This report, conducted from May through July 2000, addressed the potential effect of compressor noise on breeding birds in gas-production areas administered by the FFO, specifically in the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area northeast of Farmington, New Mexico. The study was designed to quantify and characterize noise output from these compressors and to determine if compressor noise affected bird populations in adjacent habitat during the breeding season.
Combrink, Leigh; Combrink, Hendrik J.; Botha, André J.; Downs, Colleen T.
Habitat features can have a profound effect on the nesting success of birds. Savannas are often managed with predators and large herbivores as priority species, with little thought to the many bird species that management decisions could affect. Using a data set spanning seven breeding seasons, we examined how nesting success of Southern Ground-hornbills (SGHs) Bucorvus leadbeateri in the Kruger National Park varied as a result of various environmental and habitat factors within a radius of 3...
Stephen N. Matthews; Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Matthew P. Peters
Mounting evidence shows that organisms have already begun to respond to global climate change. Advances in our knowledge of how climate shapes species distributional patterns has helped us better understand the response of birds to climate change. However, the distribution of birds across the landscape is also driven by biotic and abiotic components, including habitat...
Full Text Available Studies were carried out in 2010 by mean of simplified version of the mapping method. The study area (395 ha was located close to the city centre. It comprised a mosaic of urbanized habitats, with a clear dominance of green areas, such as parks (41.1 ha, gardens, cemeteries and tree clumps. A total of 48 breeding bird species were recorded in the whole study area. The most common (<25 pairs/100 ha were Passer domesticus, Passer montanus, Sturnus vulgaris, Parus caeruleus, Parus major, Apus apus and Columba livia. Numerous (7-15 pairs/100 ha were also the following species: Columba palumbus, Turdus pilaris, Sylvia atricapilla, Serinus serinus, Turdus merula and Pica pica. Insectivorous birds were the most common birds constituting 63.3%, and granivorous -32.6% of all pairs recorded. Most birds nested in tree holes (39.3%, in/on buildings (30.2% and in trees/shrubs (25.6%. Distribution of breeding pairs of 23 bird species was presented on maps. Population trends for 17 species were documented. Rapid increase in numbers of Turdus pilaris, Corvus cornix and Phoenicurus phoenicurus and decrease of Pica pica were recorded.
Schweizer, Manuel; Ayé, Raffael; Kashkarov, Roman; Roth, Tobias
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
Habitat conservation plans (HCPs) permitted under Section 10(A) of the federal Endangered Species Act, have been increasingly used to overcome conflicts between urban development and species conservation. This article profiles one such HCP, the Coachella Valley (CA) Fringe-Toed Lizard Habitat Conservation Plan. The second HCP officially approved by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Coachella Valley case is frequently cited as a model for resolving conservation and development conflicts. The article begins with a discussion of the use of HCPs, and then provides a detailed discussion of Coachella Valley experience, its history, specific provisions, and success to date. A final section examines whether Coachella Valley does in fact represent a positive model. It is argued that the HCP has been less than fully successful and leaves unresolved a series of fundamental ethical and policy questions concerning the protection of endangered species.
Pérot, Aurore; Villard, Marc-André
Ecological traps and other cases of apparently maladaptive habitat selection cast doubt on the relevance of density as an indicator of habitat quality. Nevertheless, the prevalence of these phenomena remains poorly known, and density may still reflect habitat quality in most systems. We examined the relationship between density and two other parameters of habitat quality in an open-nesting passerine species: the Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla). We hypothesized that the average individual bird makes a good decision when selecting its breeding territory and that territory spacing reflects site productivity or predation risk. Therefore, we predicted that density would be positively correlated with productivity (number of young fledged per unit area). Because individual performance is sensitive to events partly determined by chance, such as nest predation, we further predicted density would be weakly correlated or uncorrelated with the proportion of territories fledging young. We collected data in 23 study sites (25 ha each), 16 of which were located in untreated mature northern hardwood forest and seven in stands partially harvested (treated) 1-7 years prior to the survey. Density explained most of the variability in productivity (R(2)= 0.73), and there was no apparent decoupling between density and productivity in treated plots. In contrast, there was no significant relationship between density and the proportion of territories fledging >or=1 young over the entire breeding season. These results suggest that density reflects habitat quality at the plot scale in this study system. To our knowledge this is one of the few studies testing the value of territory density as an indicator of habitat quality in an open-nesting bird species on the basis of a relatively large number of sizeable study plots.
Full Text Available Conservation of habitats is a major approach in the implementation of biodiversity conservation strategies. Because of limited resources and competing interests not all habitats can be conserved to the same extent and a prioritization is needed. One criterion for prioritization is the responsibility countries have for the protection of a particular habitat type. National responsibility reflects the effects the loss of a particular habitat type within the focal region (usually a country has on the global persistence of that habitat type. Whereas the concept has been used already successfully for species, it has not yet been developed for habitats. Here we present such a method that is derived from similar approaches for species. We further investigated the usability of different biogeographic and environmental maps in our determination of national responsibilities for habitats. For Europe, several different maps exist, including (1 the Indicative European Map of Biogeographic Regions, (2 Udvardy’s biogeographic provinces, (3 WWF ecoregions, and (4 the environmental zones of Metzger et al. (2005. The latter is particularly promising, as the map of environmental zones has recently been extended to cover the whole world (Metzger et al. in press, allowing the application of our methodology at a global scale, making it highly comparable between countries and applicable across variable scales (e.g. regions, countries. Here, we determined the national responsibilities for 71 forest habitats. We further compared the national responsibility class distribution in regard to the use of different reference areas, geographical Europe, Western Palearctic and Palearctic. We found that the distributions of natural responsibility classes resembled each other largely for the different combinations of reference area and biogeographic map. The most common rank in all cases was the “medium” rank. Most notably, with increasing size of the reference area, a shift
Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to establish a habitat-suitability assessment model for Gallinula chloropus, or the Common Moorhen, to be applied to the selection of the most suitable farm pond for habitat conservation in Chiayi County, Taiwan. First, the fuzzy Delphi method was employed to evaluate habitat selection factors and calculate the weights of these factors. The results showed that the eight crucial factors, by importance, in descending order, were (1 area ratio of farmlands within 200 m of the farm pond; (2 pond area; (3 pond perimeter; (4 aquatic plant coverage of the pond surface; (5 drought period; (6 coverage of high and low shrubs around the pond bank; (7 bank type; and (8 water-surface-to-bank distance. Subsequently, field evaluations of 75 farm ponds in Chiayi County were performed. The results indicated that 15 farm ponds had highly-suitable habitats and were inhabited by unusually high numbers of Common Moorhens; these habitats were most in need of conservation. A total of two farm ponds were found to require habitat-environment improvements, and Common Moorhens with typical reproductive capacity could be appropriately introduced into 22 farm ponds to restore the ecosystem of the species. Additionally, the habitat suitability and number of Common Moorhens in 36 farm ponds were lower than average; these ponds could be used for agricultural irrigation, detention basins, or for recreational use by community residents. Finally, the total habitat suitability scores and occurrence of Common Moorhens in each farm pond were used to verify the accuracy of the habitat-suitability assessment model for the Common Moorhen. The overall accuracy was 0.8, and the Kappa value was 0.60, which indicates that the model established in this study exhibited high credibility. To sum up, this is an applicable framework not only to assess the habitat suitability of farm ponds for Common Moorhens, but also to determine whether a particular location may
Maarten J. van Strien
Full Text Available Worldwide, the expansion of settlement and transport infrastructure is one of the most important proximate as well as ultimate causes of biodiversity loss. As much as every modern human society depends on a network of settlements that is well-connected by transport infrastructure (i.e., settlement network, animal and plant species depend on networks of habitats between which they can move (i.e., habitat networks. However, changes to a settlement network in a region often threaten the integrity of the region's habitat networks. Determining plans and policy to prevent these threats is made difficult by the numerous interactions and feedbacks that exist between and within the settlement and habitat networks. Mathematical models of coupled settlement and habitat networks can help us understand the dynamics of this social-ecological system. Yet, few attempts have been made to develop such mathematical models. In this paper, we promote the development of models of coupled settlement and habitat networks for biodiversity conservation. First, we present a conceptual framework of key variables that are ideally considered when operationalizing the coupling of settlement and habitat networks. In this framework, we first describe important network-internal interactions by differentiating between the structural (i.e., relating to purely physical conditions determining the suitability of a location for living or movement and functional (i.e., relating to the actual presence, abundance or movement of people or other organisms properties of either network. We then describe the main one-way influences that a settlement network can exert on the habitat networks and vice versa. Second, we give several recommendations for the mathematical modeling of coupled settlement and habitat networks and present several existing modeling approaches (e.g., habitat network models and land-use transport interaction models that could be used for this purpose. Lastly, we elaborate
Sajjad, Muhammad; Li, Yangfan; Tang, Zhenghong; Cao, Ling; Liu, Xiaoping
Worldwide, humans are facing high risks from natural hazards, especially in coastal regions with high population densities. Rising sea levels due to global warming are making coastal communities' infrastructure vulnerable to natural disasters. The present study aims to provide a coupling approach of vulnerability and resilience through restoration and conservation of lost or degraded coastal natural habitats to reclamation under different climate change scenarios. The integrated valuation of ecosystems and tradeoffs model is used to assess the current and future vulnerability of coastal communities. The model employed is based on seven different biogeophysical variables to calculate a natural hazard index and to highlight the criticality of the restoration of natural habitats. The results show that roughly 25% of the coastline and more than 5 million residents are in highly vulnerable coastal areas of mainland China, and these numbers are expected to double by 2100. Our study suggests that restoration and conservation in recently reclaimed areas have the potential to reduce this vulnerability by 45%. Hence, natural habitats have proved to be a great defense against coastal hazards and should be prioritized in coastal planning and development. The findings confirm that natural habitats are critical for coastal resilience and can act as a recovery force of coastal functionality loss. Therefore, we recommend that the Chinese government prioritizes restoration (where possible) and conservation of the remaining habitats for the sake of coastal resilience to prevent natural hazards from escalating into disasters.
... impacts, as described in the applicant's habitat conservation plan (plan). We request data, comments, and..., the Carroll Canyon Preserve on the east and south, and aggregate mining operations on the west. The... compliance with all applicable California Department of Education School Development Guidelines (guidelines...
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...
Salt marshes are valuable resources, which provide numerous ecosystem services, including flood protection, fish nursery habitat, and nesting habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species. At the present time, due primarily to coastal development and sea level rise,...
Smith, Gregory J.
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
...-FF03E00000] Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan Within Eight-State Planning... our planning partners, intend to prepare the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation... decommissioning of wind energy facilities within all or portions of the eight-State planning area. Activities...
Sahagún Sánchez, Francisco Javier; Navarro, Jaime Castro; Reyes Hernández, Humberto
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.
Verônica Souza da Mota Gomes
Full Text Available Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1 680 net-hrs and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis in the
Erin E Poor
Full Text Available Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process. We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.
Poor, Erin E; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L
Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent) and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process). We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM) and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.
Nohner, Joel K.; Lupi, Frank; Taylor, William W.
Lakes provide valuable ecosystem services such as food, drinking water, and recreation, but shoreline development can degrade riparian habitats and lake ecosystems. Easement contracts for specific property rights can encourage conservation practices for enhanced water quality, fish habitat, and wildlife habitat, yet little is known about the easement market. We surveyed inland lake shoreline property owners in Michigan to assess supply of two conservation easements (in riparian and in littoral zones) and identified property and property owner characteristics influencing potential enrollment. Respondents were significantly less likely to enroll in littoral easements if they indicated there was social pressure for manicured lawns and more likely to enroll if they had more formal education, shoreline frontage, naturally occurring riparian plants, ecological knowledge, or if the lake shoreline was more developed. Enrollment in easements in the riparian zone was significantly less likely if property owners indicated social pressure for manicured lawns, but more likely if they had more formal education, naturally occurring riparian plants, or shoreline frontage. When payments were low (conservation outcomes for water quality and habitat.
Webb, Matthew H; Terauds, Aleks; Tulloch, Ayesha; Bell, Phil; Stojanovic, Dejan; Heinsohn, Robert
The distribution of mobile species in dynamic systems can vary greatly over time and space. Estimating their population size and geographic range can be problematic and affect the accuracy of conservation assessments. Scarce data on mobile species and the resources they need can also limit the type of analytical approaches available to derive such estimates. We quantified change in availability and use of key ecological resources required for breeding for a critically endangered nomadic habitat specialist, the Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor). We compared estimates of occupied habitat derived from dynamic presence-background (i.e., presence-only data) climatic models with estimates derived from dynamic occupancy models that included a direct measure of food availability. We then compared estimates that incorporate fine-resolution spatial data on the availability of key ecological resources (i.e., functional habitats) with more common approaches that focus on broader climatic suitability or vegetation cover (due to the absence of fine-resolution data). The occupancy models produced significantly (P increase or decrease in the area of one functional habitat (foraging or nesting) did not necessarily correspond to an increase or decrease in the other. Thus, an increase in the extent of occupied area may not equate to improved habitat quality or function. We argue these patterns are typical for mobile resource specialists but often go unnoticed because of limited data over relevant spatial and temporal scales and lack of spatial data on the availability of key resources. Understanding changes in the relative availability of functional habitats is crucial to informing conservation planning and accurately assessing extinction risk for mobile resource specialists. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.
Barletta, M; Jaureguizar, A J; Baigun, C; Fontoura, N F; Agostinho, A A; Almeida-Val, V M F; Val, A L; Torres, R A; Jimenes-Segura, L F; Giarrizzo, T; Fabré, N N; Batista, V S; Lasso, C; Taphorn, D C; Costa, M F; Chaves, P T; Vieira, J P; Corrêa, M F M
Fish conservation in South America is a pressing issue. The biodiversity of fishes, just as with all other groups of plants and animals, is far from fully known. Continuing habitat loss may result in biodiversity losses before full species diversity is known. In this review, the main river basins of South America (Magdalena, Orinoco, Amazon and Paraná-La Plata system), together with key aquatic habitats (mangrove-fringed estuaries of the tropical humid, tropical semi-arid and subtropical regions) are analysed in terms of their characteristics and main concerns. Habitat loss was the main concern identified for all South American ecosystems. It may be caused by damming of rivers, deforestation, water pollution, mining, poor agricultural practice or inadequate management practice. Habitat loss has a direct consequence, which is a decrease in the availability of living resources, a serious social and economic issue, especially for South American nations which are all developing countries. The introduction of exotic species and overfishing were also identified as widespread across the continent and its main freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems. Finally, suggestions are made to find ways to overcome these problems. The main suggestion is a change of paradigm and a new design for conservation actions, starting with integrated research and aiming at the co-ordinated and harmonized management of the main transboundary waters of the continent. The actions would be focused on habitat conservation and social rescue of the less well-off populations of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Energy and freshwater demands will also have to be rescaled in order to control habitat loss.
Beardmore, C.J.; Hatfield, J.S.; Bonney, Rick; Pashley, David N.; Cooper, Robert; Niles, Larry
Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos are Neotropical migratory birds that are federally listed as endangered. Recovery plans for both species advise the use of viability modeling as a tool for setting specific recovery and management targets. Population and Habitat Viability Assessment workshops were conducted to develop population targets and conservation recommendations for these species. Results of the workshops were based on modeling demographic and environmental factors, as well as discussions of management issues, management options, and public outreach strategies. The approach is intended to be iterative, and to be tracked by research and monitoring efforts. This paper discusses the consensus-building workshop process and how the approach could be useful to Partners in Flight. Population and Habitat Viability Assessments (PHVA) were used to develop population targets and conservation recommendations for Golden-cheeked Warblers (Dendroica chrysoparia) and Black-capped Vireos (Vireo atricapillus). This paper explains what PHVAs are, discusses how they are conducted, describes the general results that are produced, and suggests how Partners in Flight (PIF) might use a similar process for bird conservation planning. Detailed results of the assessments are not discussed here; however they can be found elsewhere (U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996a, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996b). PHVAs were considered for Golden-cheeked Warblers and Black-capped Vireos because they are controversial, endangered species, and the species? recovery plans list PHVAs as tools to develop recovery recommendations. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) realized that the data needed to perform PHVAs for these species is limited, but that various conservation efforts, such as the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan and other endeavors, were proceeding without benefit of the biological summarization and guidance that a PHVA could provide.
Stevens, Patricia; Walters, Katie D.
Some of the biggest challenges facing wildlife today are changes to their environment from both natural and anthropogenic causes. Natural resource managers, planners, policy makers, industry and private landowners must make informed decisions and policies regarding management, conservation, and restoration of species, habitats, and ecosystem function in response to these changes. Specific needs include (1) a better understanding of population status and trends; (2) understanding of species’ habitat needs and roles in supporting ecosystem functions; (3) the ability to assess species’ responses to environmental changes and predict future responses; and (4) the development of innovative techniques and tools to better understand, minimize or prevent any unintended consequences of environmental change.
Veríssimo, Diogo; Pongiluppi, Tatiana; Santos, Maria Cintia M; Develey, Pedro F; Fraser, Iain; Smith, Robert J; MacMilan, Douglas C
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.
White, Joseph D.; Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela
Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation type, topography, and roads. We selected 3 focal species, Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), and Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus), that had a range of probabilities of occurrence for our study area. Our simulations projected increases in relative probability of bird occurrence in shrubland and decreases in grassland and Yucca spp. and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) vegetation. Generally, the relative probability of occurrence of all 3 species was highest in shrubland because leaf-area index values were lower in shrubland. This high probability of occurrence likely is related to the species' use of open vegetation for foraging. Fire suppression had little effect on projected vegetation composition because as climate changed there was less fuel and burned area. Our results show that if future water limits on plant type are considered, models that incorporate spatial data may suggest how and where different species of birds may respond to vegetation changes.
McManamay, Ryan A. [ORNL; Griffiths, Natalie A. [ORNL; DeRolph, Christopher R. [ORNL; Pracheil, Brenda M. [ORNL
Accurately mapping freshwater habitats and biodiversity at high-resolutions across the globe is essential for assessing the vulnerability and threats to freshwater organisms and prioritizing conservation efforts. Since the 2000s, extensive efforts have been devoted to mapping global freshwater habitats (rivers, lakes, and wetlands), the spatial representation of which has changed dramatically over time with new geospatial data products and improved remote sensing technologies. Some of these mapping efforts, however, are still coarse representations of actual conditions. Likewise, the resolution and scope of global freshwater biodiversity compilation efforts have also increased, but are yet to mirror the spatial resolution and fidelity of mapped freshwater environments. In our synopsis, we find that efforts to map freshwater habitats have been conducted independently of those for freshwater biodiversity; subsequently, there is little congruence in the spatial representation and resolution of the two efforts. We suggest that global species distribution models are needed to fill this information gap; however, limiting data on habitat characteristics at scales that complement freshwater habitats has prohibited global high-resolution biogeography efforts. Emerging research trends, such as mapping habitat alteration in freshwater ecosystems and trait biogeography, show great promise in mechanistically linking global anthropogenic stressors to freshwater biodiversity decline and extinction risk.
Charter, Motti; Izhaki, Ido; Ben Mocha, Yitzchak; Kark, Salit
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
Norris, D Ryan; Flockhart, D T Tyler; Strickland, Dan
A comprehensive understanding of how natural and anthropogenic variation in habitat influences populations requires long-term information on how such variation affects survival and dispersal throughout the annual cycle. Gray jays Perisoreus canadensis are widespread boreal resident passerines that use cached food to survive over the winter and to begin breeding during the late winter. Using multistate capture-recapture analysis, we examined apparent survival and dispersal in relation to habitat quality in a gray jay population over 34 years (1977-2010). Prior evidence suggests that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of conifers on territories because of their superior ability to preserve cached food. Although neither adults (>1 year) nor juveniles (conifer territories, both age classes were less likely to leave high-conifer territories and, when they did move, were more likely to disperse to high-conifer territories. In contrast, survival rates were lower on territories that were adjacent to a major highway compared to territories that did not border the highway but there was no evidence for directional dispersal towards or away from highway territories. Our results support the notion that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of coniferous trees on territories and provide the first evidence that high-mortality highway habitats can act as an equal-preference ecological trap for birds. Reproductive success, as shown in a previous study, but not survival, is sensitive to natural variation in habitat quality, suggesting that gray jays, despite living in harsh winter conditions, likely favor the allocation of limited resources towards self-maintenance over reproduction.
Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd
Bird surveys were conducted in the Bukit Kepala Gajah limestone area in Lenggong, Perak from July 2010 to January 2011. The study area was divided into three zones: forest edge, forest intermediate and forest interior. A point-count distance sampling method was used in the bird surveys. The study recorded 7789 detections, representing 100 bird species belonging to 28 families. Pycnonotidae, Timaliidae and Nectariniidae were the dominant families overall and showed the highest number of observations recorded in the study area whereas Motacillidae showed the fewest observations. The bird species were grouped into three feeding guilds: insectivores, frugivores and others (omnivores, carnivores, nectarivores and granivores). The species richness of insectivorous birds differed significantly among the forest zones sampled (Kruskal-Wallis: α=0.05, H=10.979, d.f.=2, p=0.004), with more insectivorous birds occurring in the forest interior. No significant differences were found among the zones in the species richness of either the frugivore guild or the composite others guild.
Holland, John M; Bianchi, Felix Jja; Entling, Martin H; Moonen, Anna-Camilla; Smith, Barbara M; Jeanneret, Philippe
Different semi-natural habitats occur on farmland, and it is the vegetation's traits and structure that subsequently determine their ability to support natural enemies and their associated contribution to conservation biocontrol. New habitats can be created and existing ones improved with agri-environment scheme funding in all EU member states. Understanding the contribution of each habitat type can aid the development of conservation control strategies. Here we review the extent to which the predominant habitat types in Europe support natural enemies, whether this results in enhanced natural enemy densities in the adjacent crop and whether this leads to reduced pest densities. Considerable variation exists in the available information for the different habitat types and trophic levels. Natural enemies within each habitat were the most studied, with less information on whether they were enhanced in adjacent fields, while their impact on pests was rarely investigated. Most information was available for woody and herbaceous linear habitats, yet not for woodland which can be the most common semi-natural habitat in many regions. While the management and design of habitats offer potential to stimulate conservation biocontrol, we also identified knowledge gaps. A better understanding of the relationship between resource availability and arthropod communities across habitat types, the spatiotemporal distribution of resources in the landscape and interactions with other factors that play a role in pest regulation could contribute to an informed management of semi-natural habitats for biocontrol. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.
Endemic species are most closely dependent on continuous forest cover. However, some montane species did not show any clear habitat associations and thus can be viewed as local habitat generalists. This study shows that many restricted-range species (including endangered endemics) are able to live in fragmented ...
DAVE CURRIE; JOSEPH M. WUNDERLE JR.; DAVID N. EWERT; MATTHEW R. ANDERSON; ANCILLENO DAVIS; JASMINE TURNER
We studied winter avian distribution in three representative pine-dominated habitats and three broadleaf habitats in an area recently designated as a National Park on Andros Island, The Bahamas, 1-23 February 2002. During 180 five-minute point counts, 1731 individuals were detected (1427 permanent residents and 304 winter residents) representing 51 species (29...
Kleist, Nathan J; Guralnick, Robert P; Cruz, Alexander; Francis, Clinton D
Birds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes select nest sites by cueing in on a variety of factors from landscape features and social information to the presence of natural enemies. We focus on determining the relative impact of anthropogenic noise on nest site occupancy, compared to amount of forest cover, which is known to strongly influence the selection process. We examine chronic, industrial noise from natural gas wells directly measured at the nest box as well as site-averaged noise, using a well-established field experimental system in northwestern New Mexico. We hypothesized that high levels of noise, both at the nest site and in the environment, would decrease nest box occupancy. We set up nest boxes using a geospatially paired control and experimental site design and analyzed four years of occupancy data from four secondary cavity-nesting birds common to the Colorado Plateau. We found different effects of noise and landscape features depending on species, with strong effects of noise observed in breeding habitat selection of Myiarchus cinerascens, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Sialia currucoides, the Mountain Bluebird. In contrast, the amount of forest cover less frequently explained habitat selection for those species or had a smaller standardized effect than the acoustic environment. Although forest cover characterization and management is commonly employed by natural resource managers, our results show that characterizing and managing the acoustic environment should be an important tool in protected area management. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
Gillig, Dhazn; McCarl, Bruce A.; Jones, Lonnie L.; Boadu, Frederick
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.
Bernazzani, Paola; Bradley, Bethany A; Opperman, Jeffrey J
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are an important mechanism for the acquisition of land and the management of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. HCPs have become a vital means of protecting endangered and threatened species and their habitats throughout the United States, particularly on private land. The scientific consensus that climate is changing and that these changes will impact the viability of species has not been incorporated into the conservation strategies of recent HCPs, rendering plans vulnerable biologically. In this paper we review the regulatory context for incorporating climate change into HCPs and analyze the extent to which climate change is linked to management actions in a subset of large HCPs. We conclude that most current plans do not incorporate climate change into conservation actions, and so we provide recommendations for integrating climate change into the process of HCP development and implementation. These recommendations are distilled from the published literature as well as the practice of conservation planning and are structured to the specific needs of HCP development and implementation. We offer nine recommendations for integrating climate change into the HCP process: (1) identify species at-risk from climate change, (2) explore new strategies for reserve design, (3) increase emphasis on corridors, linkages, and connectivity, (4) develop anticipatory adaptation measures, (5) manage for diversity, (6) consider assisted migration, (7) include climate change in scenarios of water management, (8) develop future-oriented management actions, and (9) increase linkages between the conservation strategy and adaptive management/monitoring programs.
Diehl, Robert Howard
The challenge for migratory bird conservation is habitat preservation that sustains breeding, migration, and non-breeding biological processes. In choosing an appropriately scaled conservation arena for habitat preservation, a conservative and thorough examination of stopover habitat use patterns by migrants works back from the larger scales at which such relationships may occur. Because the use of stopover habitats by migrating birds occurs at spatial scales larger than traditional field techniques can easily accommodate, I quantify these relationship using the United States system of weather surveillance radars (popularly known as NEXRAD). To provide perspective on use of this system for biologists, I first describe the technical challenges as well as some of the biological potential of these radars for ornithological research. Using data from these radars, I then examined the influence of Lake Michigan and the distribution of woodland habitat on migrant concentrations in northeastern Illinois habitats during stopover. Lake Michigan exerted less influence on migrant abundance and density than the distribution and availability of habitat for stopover. There was evidence of post-migratory movement resulting in habitats within suburban landscapes experiencing higher migrant abundance but lower migrant density than habitats within nearby urban and agricultural landscapes. Finally, in the context of hierarchy theory, I examined the influence of landscape ecological and behavioral processes on bird density during migratory stopover. Migrant abundance did not vary across landscapes that differed considerably in the amount of habitat available for stopover. As a result, smaller, more isolated patches held higher densities of birds. Spatial models of migrant habitat selection based on migrant proximity to a patch explained nearly as much variance in the number of migrants occupying patches (R2 = 0.88) as selection models based on migrant interception of patches during
Bieri, Joanna A.; Sample, Christine; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Earl, Julia E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Federico, Paula; Flockhart, D. T. Tyler; Nicol, Sam; Semmens, Darius J.; Skraber, T.; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Mattsson, Brady J.
Many metrics exist for quantifying the relative value of habitats and pathways used by highly mobile species. Properly selecting and applying such metrics requires substantial background in mathematics and understanding the relevant management arena. To address this multidimensional challenge, we demonstrate and compare three measurements of habitat quality: graph-, occupancy-, and demographic-based metrics. Each metric provides insights into system dynamics, at the expense of increasing amounts and complexity of data and models. Our descriptions and comparisons of diverse habitat-quality metrics provide means for practitioners to overcome the modeling challenges associated with management or conservation of such highly mobile species. Whereas previous guidance for applying habitat-quality metrics has been scattered in diversified tracks of literature, we have brought this information together into an approachable format including accessible descriptions and a modeling case study for a typical example that conservation professionals can adapt for their own decision contexts and focal populations.Considerations for Resource ManagersManagement objectives, proposed actions, data availability and quality, and model assumptions are all relevant considerations when applying and interpreting habitat-quality metrics.Graph-based metrics answer questions related to habitat centrality and connectivity, are suitable for populations with any movement pattern, quantify basic spatial and temporal patterns of occupancy and movement, and require the least data.Occupancy-based metrics answer questions about likelihood of persistence or colonization, are suitable for populations that undergo localized extinctions, quantify spatial and temporal patterns of occupancy and movement, and require a moderate amount of data.Demographic-based metrics answer questions about relative or absolute population size, are suitable for populations with any movement pattern, quantify demographic
Troy I. Wellicome
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
Full Text Available The butterfly fauna of the high-altitude desert of Northern Chile, though depauperate, shows high endemism, is poorly known and is of considerable conservation concern. This study surveys butterflies along the Andean slope between 2400 and 500 m asl (prepuna, puna and Andean steppe habitats as well as in high and low altitude wetlands and in the neoriparian vegetation of agricultural sites. We also include historical sightings from museum records. We compare abundances between altitudes, between natural and impacted sites, as well as between two sampling years with different precipitation regimes. The results confirm high altitudinal turnover and show greatest similarity between wetland and slope faunas at similar altitudes. Results also underscore vulnerability to weather fluctuations, particularly in the more arid low-altitude sites, where abundances were much lower in the low precipitation sampling season and several species were not observed at all. Finally, we show that some species have shifted to the neoriparian vegetation of the agricultural landscape, whereas others were only observed in less impacted habitats dominated by native plants. These results suggest that acclimation to novel habitats depends on larval host plant use. The traditional agricultural environment can provide habitat for many, but not all, native butterfly species, but an estimation of the value of these habitats requires better understanding of butterfly life-history strategies and relationships with host plants.
Wessely, Johannes; Hülber, Karl; Gattringer, Andreas; Kuttner, Michael; Moser, Dietmar; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Schindler, Stefan; Dullinger, Stefan; Essl, Franz
Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation represents a major obstacle to species shifting their range in response to climate change. Conservation measures to increase the (meta-)population capacity and permeability of landscapes may help but the effectiveness of such measures in a warming climate has rarely been evaluated. Here, we simulate range dynamics of 51 species from three taxonomic groups (vascular plants, butterflies and grasshoppers) in Central Europe as driven by twenty-first-century climate scenarios and analyse how three habitat-based conservation strategies (establishing corridors, improving the landscape matrix, and protected area management) modify species' projected range size changes. These simulations suggest that the conservation strategies considered are unable to save species from regional extinction. For those persisting, they reduce the magnitude of range loss in lowland but not in alpine species. Protected area management and corridor establishment are more effective than matrix improvement. However, none of the conservation strategies evaluated could fully compensate the negative impact of climate change for vascular plants, butterflies or grasshoppers in central Europe.
Poodat, Fatemeh; Arrowsmith, Colin; Fraser, David; Gordon, Ascelin
Connectivity among fragmented areas of habitat has long been acknowledged as important for the viability of biological conservation, especially within highly modified landscapes. Identifying important habitat patches in ecological connectivity is a priority for many conservation strategies, and the application of 'graph theory' has been shown to provide useful information on connectivity. Despite the large number of metrics for connectivity derived from graph theory, only a small number have been compared in terms of the importance they assign to nodes in a network. This paper presents a study that aims to define a new set of metrics and compares these with traditional graph-based metrics, used in the prioritization of habitat patches for ecological connectivity. The metrics measured consist of "topological" metrics, "ecological metrics," and "integrated metrics," Integrated metrics are a combination of topological and ecological metrics. Eight metrics were applied to the habitat network for the fat-tailed dunnart within Greater Melbourne, Australia. A non-directional network was developed in which nodes were linked to adjacent nodes. These links were then weighted by the effective distance between patches. By applying each of the eight metrics for the study network, nodes were ranked according to their contribution to the overall network connectivity. The structured comparison revealed the similarity and differences in the way the habitat for the fat-tailed dunnart was ranked based on different classes of metrics. Due to the differences in the way the metrics operate, a suitable metric should be chosen that best meets the objectives established by the decision maker.
Full Text Available Seagrass meadows of the Venice lagoon (Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy are spatially heterogeneous systems, with attributes such as degree of coverage and plant assemblages varying along multiple environmental gradients. They play a particularly relevant role in conservation of fish diversity, since they provide vital habitats for pipefish and seahorse species (family Syngnathidae. Aim of the study was to investigate the diversity of syngnathid assemblages in the Venice lagoon and link species distributions to habitat characteristics, in order to evaluate the importance of seagrass meadows of the lagoon for the conservation of these species. The analyses of this work are based on eight years of fish data collected between 2001 and 2014 in 186 shallow water sites across the entire lagoon. Water parameters, presence of macroalgae, seagrass presence and coverage, as well as meadows species composition, were considered as predictors in a modelling framework, to explain the distribution of each species. Overall, two species of seahorses and seven species of pipefishes including the Adriatic endemism Syngnathus taenionotus were found. Three species (S. abaster, S. typhle and Nerophis ophidion were the most abundant, together accounting for 98% of total individuals caught. Both seagrass presence and its coverage resulted significant predictors, with densities of S. abaster, S. typhle, N. ophidion and Hippocampus guttulatus being positively associated with higher percentages of seagrass cover. In addition, some evidences suggested a different functionality of different meadow types in supporting both S. typhle and N. ophidion. The study highlighted the role of Venice lagoon as biodiversity hotspot for syngnathids, since it supports nine out of the 10 species known in the Mediterranean (with only S. phlegon being absent. Results also suggested the importance of habitat management, which should aim at compensating for seagrass habitat loss and therefore
Casparus J. Crous
Full Text Available In South Africa, much of the forest biome is vulnerable to human-induced disturbance. The forest-dwelling butterfly Charaxes xiphares occidentalis is naturally confined to a small forest region in the south-western Cape, South Africa. Most of the remaining habitat of this species is within a fragmented agricultural matrix. Furthermore, this geographical area is also heavily invaded by alien plants, especially Acacia mearnsii. We investigated how C. x. occidentalis behaviourally responds to different habitat conditions in the landscape. We were particularly interested in touring, patrolling and settling behaviour as a conservation proxy for preference of a certain habitat configuration in this agricultural matrix. Remnant forest patches in the agricultural matrix showed fewer behavioural incidents than in a reference protected area. Moreover, dense stands of A. mearnsii negatively influenced the incidence and settling pattern of this butterfly across the landscape, with fewer tree settlings associated with more heavily invaded forest patches. This settling pattern was predominantly seen in female butterflies. We also identified specific trees that were settled upon for longer periods by C. x. occidentalis. Distance to a neighbouring patch and patch size influenced behavioural incidences, suggesting that further patch degradation and isolation could be detrimental to this butterfly. Conservation implications: We highlight the importance of clearing invasive tree species from vulnerable forest ecosystems and identify key tree species to consider in habitat conservation and rehabilitation programmes for this butterfly. We also suggest retaining as much intact natural forest as possible. This information should be integrated in local biodiversity management plans.
Marcelo Fischer Barcellos dos Santos
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.
Zion, Michal; Spektor-Levy, Ornit; Orchan, Yotam; Shwartz, Assaf; Sadeh, Irit; Kark, Salit
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…
Silva-Andrade, Horasa Lima; de Andrade, Luciano Pires; Muniz, Lauana Souza; Telino-Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria
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.
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.
Dale R. Seip
Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in British Columbia inhabit a wide variety of forest ecosystems. Numerous research projects have provided information that has been used to develop caribou habitat management recommendations for different areas. Recently, the province has implemented guidelines to protect biodiversity that are based on an ecosystem management strategy of mimicking natural forest conditions. There is a great deal of similarity between caribou management recommendations and biodiversity recommendations within different forest types. In mountain caribou habitat, both approaches recommend maintaining a landscape dominated by old and mature forests, uneven-aged management, small cutblocks, and maintaining mature forest connectivity. In northern caribou habitat, both approaches recommend maintaining some older stands on the landscape (but less than for mountain caribou, even-aged management, and a mosaic of large harvest units and leave areas. The ecosystem management recommendations provide a useful foundation for caribou habitat conservation. More detailed information on caribou and other management objectives can then be used to fine-tune those recommendations.
Patrick K. MALONZA
Full Text Available The Sagalla caecilian (Boulengerula niedeni is an endangered amphibian endemic to Sagalla Hill in the Taita Hills. This burrowing worm-like species prefers soft soil with high moisture and organic matter. The major threats to the Sagalla caecilian are soil erosion caused by steep slopes, bare ground and water siphoning/soil hardening from exotic eucalyptus trees. The purpose of this study was to get a better understanding of the local people's attitude towards this species and how they can contribute to its continued conservation through restoration of its remaining habitat. In this study, it was found that 96% of Sagalla people are aware of the species, its habits and its association with soils high in organic matter. It was also found that 96% of Sagalla people use organic manure from cow dung in their farms. Habitat restoration through planting of indigenous plants was found to be ongoing, especially on compounds of public institutions as well as on private lands. Although drought was found to be a challenge for seedlings development especially on the low elevation sites, destruction by livestock especially during the dry season is also a major threat. In this study, it was recommended that any future habitat restoration initiative should include strong chain-link fencing to protect the seedlings from livestock activity. Recognizing that the preferred habitats for the species are in the valleys, systematic planting of keystone plant species such as fig trees (Ficus creates the best microhabitats. These are better than general woodlots of indigenous trees.
Recent scientific studies suggest that the carbon sequestered and stored in coastal wetlands (specifically mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass meadows) is an important, previously not well-recognized service provided by these ecosystems. Coastal wetlands have unique characteristics that make them incredibly efficient, natural carbon sinks with most carbon stored belowground in soils. Based on this new scientific evidence, there is growing interest in leveraging the carbon services of these habitats (termed 'blue carbon') to develop new policy opportunities to protect and restore coastal wetlands around the globe. The overall goal is to take full advantage of the carbon services of these habitats in order to ensure and maintain the many benefits provided to society by these habitats - including natural climate, food security, and storm protection benefits - and to enhance the resiliency of coastal communities and economies around the world. This presentation will give an update on some of the policy opportunities including: (1) examining how the implementation of U.S. federal policies can be expanded to include carbon services of ecosystems in order to improve management and decision making; (2) developing an international blue carbon community of science and practice to provide best practice guidance for protection and restoration of blue carbon habitats; and (3) developing innovative financing mechanisms for coastal conservation including carbon market credits for wetlands. Finally, the presentation will conclude by highlighting some of the most pressing blue carbon scientific gaps that need to be filled in order to support these developing policies.
K Malonza, Patrick
The Sagalla caecilian (Boulengerula niedeni) is an endangered amphibian endemic to Sagalla Hill in the Taita Hills. This burrowing worm-like species prefers soft soil with high moisture and organic matter. The major threats to the Sagalla caecilian are soil erosion caused by steep slopes, bare ground and water siphoning/soil hardening from exotic eucalyptus trees. The purpose of this study was to get a better understanding of the local people's attitude towards this species and how they can contribute to its continued conservation through restoration of its remaining habitat. In this study, it was found that 96% of Sagalla people are aware of the species, its habits and its association with soils high in organic matter. It was also found that 96% of Sagalla people use organic manure from cow dung in their farms. Habitat restoration through planting of indigenous plants was found to be ongoing, especially on compounds of public institutions as well as on private lands. Although drought was found to be a challenge for seedlings development especially on the low elevation sites, destruction by livestock especially during the dry season is also a major threat. In this study, it was recommended that any future habitat restoration initiative should include strong chain-link fencing to protect the seedlings from livestock activity. Recognizing that the preferred habitats for the species are in the valleys, systematic planting of keystone plant species such as fig trees (Ficus) creates the best microhabitats. These are better than general woodlots of indigenous trees.
Reif, J.; Marhoul, P.; Čížek, O.; Konvička, Martin
Roč. 20, č. 14 (2011), s. 3645-3662 ISSN 0960-3115 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic(CZ) SP/2D3/153/08 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : abundance * bird * disturbance Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.238, year: 2011
An, Li; Liu, Jianguo; Linderman, Marc A. [Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 13 Natural Resources Building, 48824 East Lansing, MI (United States); Lupi, Frank [Departments of Agricultural Economics and Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 213F Agriculture Hall, 48824 East Lansing, MI (United States); Huang, Jinyan [Wolong Nature Reserve Administration, Wenchuan County, 623002 Sichuan Province (China)
Despite its status as a nature reserve, Wolong Nature Reserve (China) has experienced continued loss of giant panda habitat due to human activities such as fuelwood collection. Electricity, though available throughout Wolong, has not replaced fuelwood as an energy source. We used stated preference data obtained from in-person interviews to estimate a random utility model of the choice of adopting electricity for cooking and heating. Willingness to switch to electricity was explained by demographic and electricity factors (price, voltage, and outage frequency). In addition to price, non-price factors such as voltage and outage frequency significantly affect the demand. Thus, lowering electricity prices and increasing electricity quality would encourage local residents to switch from fuelwood to electricity and should be considered in the mix of policies to promote conservation of panda habitat.
An, Li; Liu, Jianguo; Linderman, Marc A.; Lupi, Frank; Huang, Jinyan
Despite its status as a nature reserve, Wolong Nature Reserve (China) has experienced continued loss of giant panda habitat due to human activities such as fuelwood collection. Electricity, though available throughout Wolong, has not replaced fuelwood as an energy source. We used stated preference data obtained from in-person interviews to estimate a random utility model of the choice of adopting electricity for cooking and heating. Willingness to switch to electricity was explained by demographic and electricity factors (price, voltage, and outage frequency). In addition to price, non-price factors such as voltage and outage frequency significantly affect the demand. Thus, lowering electricity prices and increasing electricity quality would encourage local residents to switch from fuelwood to electricity and should be considered in the mix of policies to promote conservation of panda habitat
Full Text Available The integration of ecological and evolutionary data is highly valuable for conservation planning. However, it has been rarely used in the marine realm, where the adequate design of marine protected areas (MPAs is urgently needed. Here, we examined the interacting processes underlying the patterns of genetic structure and demographic strucuture of a highly vulnerable Mediterranean habitat-forming species (i.e. Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826, with particular emphasis on the processes of contemporary dispersal, genetic drift, and colonization of a new population. Isolation by distance and genetic discontinuities were found, and three genetic clusters were detected; each submitted to variations in the relative impact of drift and gene flow. No founder effect was found in the new population. The interplay of ecology and evolution revealed that drift is strongly impacting the smallest, most isolated populations, where partial mortality of individuals was highest. Moreover, the eco-evolutionary analyses entailed important conservation implications for P. clavata. Our study supports the inclusion of habitat-forming organisms in the design of MPAs and highlights the need to account for genetic drift in the development of MPAs. Moreover, it reinforces the importance of integrating genetic and demographic data in marine conservation.
The Grey-headed Parrot Poicephalus fuscicollis suahelicus has a widespread distribution in sub-Saharan Africa yet is uncommon in its natural range. In some areas seasonal movements are recorded. This study, conducted in north-eastern South Africa, showed that habitat use varied seasonally between two sites, Levubu ...
Susan K. Skagen; Rob Hazlewood; Michael L. Scott
Riparian forests have long been considered important habitats for breeding western landbirds, and growing evidence reinforces their importance during the migratory period as well. Extensive modification of natural flow regimes, grazing, and forest clearing along many rivers in the western U.S. have led to loss and simplification of native riparian forests and to...
Šálek, Martin; Havlíček, J.; Riegert, J.; Nešpor, M.; Fuchs, R.; Kipson, M.
Roč. 24, č. 1 (2015), s. 10-16 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Central Europe * Dairy farms * Granivorous birds * Habitat preferences * Poultry keeping * Winter period Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.220, year: 2015
Croak, Benjamin M.; Crowther, Mathew S.; Webb, Jonathan K.; Shine, Richard
A detailed understanding of how extensively animals move through the landscape, and the habitat features upon which they rely, can identify conservation priorities and thus inform management planning. For many endangered species, information on habitat use either is sparse, or is based upon studies from a small part of the species’ range. The broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) is restricted to a specialized habitat (sandstone outcrops and nearby forests) within a small geographic range in south-eastern Australia. Previous research on this endangered taxon was done at a single site in the extreme south of the species’ geographic range. We captured and radio-tracked 9 adult broad-headed snakes at sites in the northern part of the species’ distribution, to evaluate the generality of results from prior studies, and to identify critical habitat components for this northern population. Snakes spent most of winter beneath sun-warmed rocks then shifted to tree hollows in summer. Thermal regimes within retreat-sites support the hypothesis that this shift is thermally driven. Intervals between successive displacements were longer than in the southern snakes but dispersal distances per move and home ranges were similar. Our snakes showed non-random preferences both in terms of macrohabitat (e.g., avoidance of some vegetation types) and microhabitat (e.g., frequent use of hollow-bearing trees). Despite many consistencies, the ecology of this species differs enough between southern and northern extremes of its range that managers need to incorporate information on local features to most effectively conserve this threatened reptile. PMID:23613912
Benjamin M Croak
Full Text Available A detailed understanding of how extensively animals move through the landscape, and the habitat features upon which they rely, can identify conservation priorities and thus inform management planning. For many endangered species, information on habitat use either is sparse, or is based upon studies from a small part of the species' range. The broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides is restricted to a specialized habitat (sandstone outcrops and nearby forests within a small geographic range in south-eastern Australia. Previous research on this endangered taxon was done at a single site in the extreme south of the species' geographic range. We captured and radio-tracked 9 adult broad-headed snakes at sites in the northern part of the species' distribution, to evaluate the generality of results from prior studies, and to identify critical habitat components for this northern population. Snakes spent most of winter beneath sun-warmed rocks then shifted to tree hollows in summer. Thermal regimes within retreat-sites support the hypothesis that this shift is thermally driven. Intervals between successive displacements were longer than in the southern snakes but dispersal distances per move and home ranges were similar. Our snakes showed non-random preferences both in terms of macrohabitat (e.g., avoidance of some vegetation types and microhabitat (e.g., frequent use of hollow-bearing trees. Despite many consistencies, the ecology of this species differs enough between southern and northern extremes of its range that managers need to incorporate information on local features to most effectively conserve this threatened reptile.
Wearmouth, Victoria J; Sims, David W
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.
The study of bird species diversity and richness in Dagona-Waterfowl sanctuary was carried out in early wet and late dry ... conservation of important species that rural inhabitants ... wetland of international importance on waterfowl habitat,.
Eugene S. Morton; Bridget J. M. Stutchbury
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...
Full Text Available In biodiversity conservation, habitat corridors are assumed to increase landscape-level connectivity and to enhance the viability of otherwise isolated populations. While the role of corridors is supported by empirical evidence, studies have typically been conducted at small spatial scales. Here, we assess the quality and the functionality of a large 95-km long forest corridor connecting two large national parks (416 and 311 km2 in the southeastern escarpment of Madagascar. We analyze the occurrence of 300 species in 5 taxonomic groups in the parks and in the corridor, and combine high-resolution forest cover data with a simulation model to examine various scenarios of corridor destruction. At present, the corridor contains essentially the same communities as the national parks, reflecting its breadth which on average matches that of the parks. In the simulation model, we consider three types of dispersers: passive dispersers, which settle randomly around the source population; active dispersers, which settle only in favorable habitat; and gap-avoiding active dispersers, which avoid dispersing across non-habitat. Our results suggest that long-distance passive dispersers are most sensitive to ongoing degradation of the corridor, because increasing numbers of propagules are lost outside the forest habitat. For a wide range of dispersal parameters, the national parks are large enough to sustain stable populations until the corridor becomes severely broken, which will happen around 2065 if the current rate of forest loss continues. A significant decrease in gene flow along the corridor is expected after 2040, and this will exacerbate the adverse consequences of isolation. Our results demonstrate that simulation studies assessing the role of habitat corridors should pay close attention to the mode of dispersal and the effects of regional stochasticity.
Haines, Aaron M.; Leu, Matthias; Svancara, Leona K.; Wilson, Gina; Scott, J. Michael
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.
Newmark, William D; Stanley, Thomas R
Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.
...] Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the City of Santa Cruz Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant... grasshopper (Trimerotropis infantilis), and will address associated impacts and conservation measures for the... lawful activities associated with the operation and maintenance of the existing Graham Hill Water...
Frank R. Moore; Mark S. Woodrey; Jeffrey J. Buler; Stefan Woltmann; Ted R. Simons
The development of comprehensive conservation strategies and management plans for migratory birds depends on understanding migrant-habitat relations throughout the annual cycle, including the time when migrants stopover en route. Yet, the complexity of migration makes the assessment of habitat requirements and development of a comprehensive...
Rodrigues, V. B.
Full Text Available We evaluated the effect of anthropogenic disturbance on nest predation in Brazilian Atlantic forest. Artificial nests were distributed in fragments with distinct degrees of anthropogenic disturbance. We found a higher proportion of egg predation on the ground and in the fragments classified as ‘high’ and ‘medium’ disturbance than in the fragments classified as ‘low’ degree of disturbance. The higher egg predation is probably linked to low structural complexity of vegetation and high accessibility of these areas to opportunistic predators. We suggest that forest fragments with high vegetation complexity and low human activity should be preserved in order to maintain the biodiversity of bird species.
The positive association between habitat heterogeneity and species diversity has been well-documented for many taxa at various spatial and temporal scales, and the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity in agricultural landscapes has been promoted as a key strategy in efforts to conserve biodiversity....
de Andrade, Luciano Pires; Muniz, Lauana Souza; Telino-Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria
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
Jason A. Hubbart
Full Text Available Attribution of in-stream biological impairment to anthropogenic activities and prioritization for restoration and/or conservation can be challenging in contemporary mixed-land-use watersheds. Critical information necessary to improve decision making can be costly and labor intensive, and thus unobtainable for many municipalities. A reduced cost, rapid stream physical habitat assessment (rPHA can yield information that, when paired with land use data may reveal causal patterns in aquatic physical habitat degradation, and thus assist targeting sites for restoration. However, a great deal of work is needed to reduce associated costs, and validate the potential of rPHA for documenting fine-scale incremental change in physical habitat conditions in complex contemporary watersheds. The following commentary serves to draw attention to rPHA challenges and research needs including (but not limited to field-based validation and optimization of new remote sensing technologies, evaluation of the accuracy and representativeness of rapid vegetation survey methods, refinement of analytical methods, and consideration of legacy land use impacts and hydrologic system evolution in rPHA results interpretation. Considering the value of rPHA-generated data for improvement of watershed resource management, such challenges constitute timely, high-impact research opportunities for investigators wishing to advance complex, contemporary aquatic ecosystem management.
K. Anne-Isola Nekaris
Full Text Available Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.
Reif, J.; Sedláček, O.; Hořák, D.; Riegert, J.; Pešata, M.; Hrázský, Záboj; Janeček, Štěpán
Roč. 78, č. 1 (2007), s. 31-36 ISSN 0030-6525 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520; CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : species richness * community * conservation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.353, year: 2007
Gomes, L.G.L.; Oostra, V.; Nijman, V.; Cleef, A.M.; Kappelle, M.
In view of the continued decline in tropical forest cover around the globe, forest restoration has become a key tool in tropical rainforest conservation. One of the main - and least expensive - restoration strategies is natural forest regeneration. By aiding forest seed influx both into disturbed
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
Saunders, M. I.; Baldock, T.; Brown, C. J.; Callaghan, D. P.; Golshani, A.; Hamylton, S.; Hoegh-guldberg, O.; Leon, J. X.; Lovelock, C. E.; Lyons, M. B.; O'Brien, K.; Mumby, P.; Phinn, S. R.; Roelfsema, C. M.
Sea level rise (SLR) over the 21st century will cause significant redistribution of valuable coastal habitats. Seagrasses form extensive and highly productive meadows in shallow coastal seas support high biodiversity, including economically valuable and threatened species. Predictive habitat models can inform local management actions that will be required to conserve seagrass faced with multiple stressors. We developed novel modelling approaches, based on extensive field data sets, to examine the effects of sea level rise and other stressors on two representative seagrass habitats in Australia. First, we modelled interactive effects of SLR, water clarity and adjacent land use on estuarine seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland. The extent of suitable seagrass habitat was predicted to decline by 17% by 2100 due to SLR alone, but losses were predicted to be significantly reduced through improvements in water quality (Fig 1a) and by allowing space for seagrass migration with inundation. The rate of sedimentation in seagrass strongly affected the area of suitable habitat for seagrass in sea level rise scenarios (Fig 1b). Further research to understand spatial, temporal and environmental variability of sediment accretion in seagrass is required. Second, we modelled changes in wave energy distribution due to predicted SLR in a linked coral reef and seagrass ecosystem at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. Scenarios where the water depth over the coral reef deepened due to SLR and minimal reef accretion, resulted in larger waves propagating shoreward, changing the existing hydrodynamic conditions sufficiently to reduce area of suitable habitat for seagrass. In a scenario where accretion of the coral reef was severely compromised (e.g. warming, acidification, overfishing), the probability of the presence of seagrass declined significantly. Management to maintain coral health will therefore also benefit seagrasses subject to SLR in reef environments. Further
Dalleau, Mayeul; Andréfouët, Serge; Wabnitz, Colette C C; Payri, Claude; Wantiez, Laurent; Pichon, Michel; Friedman, Kim; Vigliola, Laurent; Benzoni, Francesca
Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been highlighted as a means toward effective conservation of coral reefs. New strategies are required to more effectively select MPA locations and increase the pace of their implementation. Many criteria exist to design MPA networks, but generally, it is recommended that networks conserve a diversity of species selected for, among other attributes, their representativeness, rarity, or endemicity. Because knowledge of species' spatial distribution remains scarce, efficient surrogates are urgently needed. We used five different levels of habitat maps and six spatial scales of analysis to identify under which circumstances habitat data used to design MPA networks for Wallis Island provided better representation of species than random choice alone. Protected-area site selections were derived from a rarity-complementarity algorithm. Habitat surrogacy was tested for commercial fish species, all fish species, commercially harvested invertebrates, corals, and algae species. Efficiency of habitat surrogacy varied by species group, type of habitat map, and spatial scale of analysis. Maps with the highest habitat thematic complexity provided better surrogates than simpler maps and were more robust to changes in spatial scales. Surrogates were most efficient for commercial fishes, corals, and algae but not for commercial invertebrates. Conversely, other measurements of species-habitat associations, such as richness congruence and composition similarities provided weak results. We provide, in part, a habitat-mapping methodology for designation of MPAs for Pacific Ocean islands that are characterized by habitat zonations similar to Wallis. Given the increasing availability and affordability of space-borne imagery to map habitats, our approach could appreciably facilitate and improve current approaches to coral reef conservation and enhance MPA implementation.
Rodney B. Siegel; Peter Pyle; James H. Thorne; Andrew J. Holguin; Christine A. Howell; Sarah Stock; Morgan W. Tingley
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...
Johnson, Brian J.; Munafo, Kristin; Shappell, Laura; Tsipoura, Nellie; Robson, Mark; Ehrenfeld, Joan; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.
This study investigated the impacts of urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments on the transmission dynamics of West Nile virus (WNV) within the state of New Jersey (USA). A working hypothesis was that urban wetlands decrease the local prevalence of WNV through the dilution effect from increased bird diversity, and through relative reductions in the numbers of competent avian host and mosquito species commonly associated with WNV. Surveys of mosquito and bird communities were undertaken at six urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments over two seasons (2009, 2010). The community compositions of both avian and mosquito species differed significantly across habitats, and over relatively short geographical distances. Residential areas contained significantly higher proportions of WNV-competent mosquito species (31.25±5.3 %; e.g. Culex pipiens and Culex restuans), and WNV-competent avian host species (62.8±2.3 %, e.g. House Sparrow and American Robin) when compared to adjacent urban wetlands (13.5±2.1 %; 35.4±2.1 % respectively). Correspondingly, WNV infection rates within local Culex spp. populations indicate that WNV was more prevalent within residential areas (28.53/1000) compared to wetlands (16.77/1000). Large urban wetlands (>100 ha) produced significantly lower weekly WNV infection rates in local Culex spp. (6.67±2.84/1000) compared to small (urban wetlands contained significantly more species than small wetland patches. These results confirm that the community compositions of mosquito and avian hosts are important drivers in WNV infections, and that the ecological conditions that favor transmission are more strongly associated with urban residential environments than with adjacent urban wetlands. PMID:25484570
Athira, K; Reddy, C Sudhakar; Saranya, K R L; Joseph, Shijo; Jaishanker, R
Spatially explicit approach is essential to prioritise the ecosystems for biodiversity conservation. In the present study, the conservation status of 20 protected areas of the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, was analysed based on long-term changes in forests (1975-1985-1995-2005-2013), landscape level changes in fragmentation and forest fires (2005-2015). This study has shown that a significant forest loss occurred in protected areas before declaration. Idukki is one of the major protected areas which showed a drastic reduction (18.83%) in its forest cover. During 1985-1995, Periyar tiger reserve had lost 24.19 km 2 core 3 forest area followed by Peppara (18.54 km 2 ), Parambikulam (17.93 km 2 ), Chimmony (17.71 km 2 ), Peechi-Vazhani (12.31 km 2 ) and Neyyar (11.67 km 2 ). An area of 71.33 km 2 of the protected area was affected by fires in 2014. Overall protected area-wise decadal analysis indicates Periyar has the highest number of fire incidences followed by Wayanad, Kurinjimala, Silent Valley and Eravikulam. Disturbances in the form of fires and fragmentation still exist and may have significant conservation threat to flora and fauna. Among protected areas, many are having a probability to go under threat or dynamic stage. Chinnar, Thattekkad and Kurinjimala sanctuaries are representing high levels of vulnerability, or they are near to decline stage. Habitat level monitoring of the anthropogenic disturbances can be efficiently useful for the strategic conservation planning. The present study has provided geospatial database on spatial patterns of deforestation, fragmentation and forest fires in protected areas of Kerala. Conservation prioritization approach based on these parameters will be useful for the strategic planning in the state of Kerala.
Fox, Anthony David
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....
Xiaofeng, Luan; Yi, Qu; Diqiang, Li; Shirong, Liu; Xiulei, Wang; Bo, Wu; Chunquan, Zhu
The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is one of the world's most endangered species. Recently, habitat fragmentation, food scarcity and human hunting have drastically reduced the population size and distribution areas of Amur tigers in the wild, leaving them on the verge of extinction. Presently, they are only found in the north-eastern part of China. In this study, we developed a reference framework using methods and technologies of analytic hierarchy process (AHP), remote sensing (RS), geographic information system (GIS), GAP analysis and Natural Break (Jenks) classification to evaluate the habitat and to set the conservation priorities for Amur tigers in eastern areas of Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces of northeast China. We proposed a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) incorporating 7 factors covering natural conditions and human disturbance. Based on the HSI values, the suitability was classified into five levels from the most to not suitable. Finally, according to results of GAP analysis, we identified six conservation priorities and designed a conservation landscape incorporating four new nature reserves, enlarging two existing ones, and creating four linkages for Amur tigers in northeast China. The case study showed that the core habitats (the most suitable and highly suitable habitats) identified for Amur tigers covered 35,547 km(2), accounting for approximately 26.71% of the total study area (1,33,093 km(2)). However, existing nature reserves protected only (7124 km(2) or) 20.04% of the identified core habitats. Thus, enlargement of current reserves is necessary and urgent for the tiger's conservation and restoration. Moreover, the establishment of wildlife corridors linking core habitats will provide an efficient reserve network for tiger conservation to maintain the evolutionary potential of Amur tigers facing environmental changes. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
Bartels, Duane G.
The projects outlined in detail on the attached project reports were implemented from calendar year 2000 through 2002 in the Pataha Creek Watershed. The Pataha Creek Watershed was selected in 1993, along with the Tucannon and Asotin Creeks, as model watersheds by NPPC. In previous years, demonstration sites using riparian fencing, off site watering facilities, tree and shrub plantings and upland conservation practices were used for information and education and were the main focus of the implementation phase of the watershed plan. These practices were the main focus of the watershed plan to reduce the majority of the sediment entering the stream. Prior to 2000, several bank stabilization projects were installed but the installation costs became prohibitive and these types of projects were reduced in numbers over the following years. The years 2000 through 2002 were years where a focused effort was made to work on the upland conservation practices to reduce the sedimentation into Pataha Creek. Over 95% of the sediment entering the stream can be tied directly to the upland and riparian areas of the watershed. The Pataha Creek has steelhead in the upper reaches and native and planted rainbow trout in the mid to upper portion. Suckers, pikeminow and shiners inhabit the lower portion because of the higher water temperatures and lack of vegetation. The improvement of riparian habitat will improve habitat for the desired fish species. The lower portion of the Pataha Creek could eventually develop into spawning and rearing habitat for chinook salmon if some migration barriers are removed and habitat is restored. The upland projects completed during 2000 through 2002 were practices that reduce erosion from the cropland. Three-year continuous no-till projects were finishing up and the monitoring of this particular practice is ongoing. Its direct impact on soil erosion along with the economical aspects is being studied. Other practices such as terrace, waterway, sediment
Full Text Available We are developing a geospatial inventory tool that will guide habitat conservation, restoration and coastal development and benefit several stakeholders who seek mitigation and adaptation strategies to shoreline changes resulting from erosion and sea level rise. The ESRI Geoportal Server, which is a type of web portal used to find and access geospatial information in a central repository, is customized by adding a Geoinventory tool capability that allows any shoreline related data to be searched, displayed and analyzed on a map viewer. Users will be able to select sections of the shoreline and generate statistical reports in the map viewer to allow for comparisons. The tool will also facilitate map-based discussion forums and creation of user groups to encourage citizen participation in decisions regarding shoreline stabilization and restoration, thereby promoting sustainable coastal development.
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
Espinosa-Blanco, Ariel S.; Morales-Betancourt, Mónica A.; Seijas, Andrés E.; Lasso, Carlos A.; Antelo, Rafael; Densmore, Llewellyn D.
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
Sonja N. Oswalt; Kathleen E. Franzreb; David A. Buehler
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 speciesâ 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...
Copplestone, D.; Wood, M.D.; Bielby, S.; Jones, S.R.; Vives, J.; Beresford, N.A.; Zinger, I.
In the UK, research funded by the Environment Agency/English Nature has provided a tool for calculating doses received by biota in coastal, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The approach uses the reference organism concept where the organism of interest (feature organism) is equated to a particular reference organism (based on its physical geometry and ecology). The exposure of the reference organism, and consequently the feature organism, to different radionuclides and dose rates can be assessed using a spreadsheet-based mathematical tool. This assessment tool was developed in 2001 and provided an internationally recognised starting point from which more refined assessment tools could develop. As the need for conducting specific assessments under the UK Habitat Regulations became apparent, it was recognised that some targeted refinement of the assessment tool was required. One of the major problems with the tool related to a lack of species-specific data and a lack of information on certain radionuclides appearing in discharges that may be impacting on sites/species to be protected. A second research and development project was therefore undertaken to reduce the uncertainties associated with the assessment tool by collating additional species-specific data, developing a mathematical system for ensuring that the most appropriate reference organism was selected and extending the range of radionuclides included in the assessment. This specific expansion to the assessment tool was directed towards ensuring that species at Natura 2000 sites (Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)) were adequately protected. The species targeted (feature species) for this assessment were species protected under the EC Habitats Directive and those that are characteristic of habitats protected under the Directive. The paper will show how typical dimensions of each feature species are collated and each feature species mathematically aligned with the
Breed, M F; Ottewell, K M; Gardner, M G; Marklund, M H K; Stead, M G; Harris, J B C; Lowe, A J
Habitat fragmentation has been shown to disrupt ecosystem processes such as plant-pollinator mutualisms. Consequently, mating patterns in remnant tree populations are expected to shift towards increased inbreeding and reduced pollen diversity, with fitness consequences for future generations. However, mating patterns and phenotypic assessments of open-pollinated progeny have rarely been combined in a single study. Here, we collected seeds from 37 Eucalyptus incrassata trees from contrasting stand densities following recent clearance in a single South Australian population (intact woodland=12.6 trees ha−1; isolated pasture=1.7 trees ha−1; population area=10 km2). 649 progeny from these trees were genotyped at eight microsatellite loci. We estimated genetic diversity, spatial genetic structure, indirect contemporary pollen flow and mating patterns for adults older than the clearance events and open-pollinated progeny sired post-clearance. A proxy of early stage progeny viability was assessed in a common garden experiment. Density had no impact on mating patterns, adult and progeny genetic diversity or progeny growth, but was associated with increased mean pollen dispersal. Weak spatial genetic structure among adults suggests high historical gene flow. We observed preliminary evidence for inbreeding depression related to stress caused by fungal infection, but which was not associated with density. Higher observed heterozygosities in adults compared with progeny may relate to weak selection on progeny and lifetime-accumulated mortality of inbred adults. E. incrassata appears to be resistant to the negative mating pattern and fitness changes expected within fragmented landscapes. This pattern is likely explained by strong outcrossing and regular long-distance pollen flow. PMID:23188172
Kirol, Christopher P; Beck, Jeffrey L; Huzurbazar, Snehalata V; Holloran, Matthew J; Miller, Scott N
Conserving a declining species that is facing many threats, including overlap of its habitats with energy extraction activities, depends upon identifying and prioritizing the value of the habitats that remain. In addition, habitat quality is often compromised when source habitats are lost or fragmented due to anthropogenic development. Our objective was to build an ecological model to classify and map habitat quality in terms of source or sink dynamics for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Atlantic Rim Project Area (ARPA), a developing coalbed natural gas field in south-central Wyoming, USA. We used occurrence and survival modeling to evaluate relationships between environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple spatial scales and for all female summer life stages, including nesting, brood-rearing, and non-brooding females. For each life stage, we created resource selection functions (RSFs). We weighted the RSFs and combined them to form a female summer occurrence map. We modeled survival also as a function of spatial variables for nest, brood, and adult female summer survival. Our survival-models were mapped as survival probability functions individually and then combined with fixed vital rates in a fitness metric model that, when mapped, predicted habitat productivity (productivity map). Our results demonstrate a suite of environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple scales that were predictive of occurrence and survival. We created a source-sink map by overlaying our female summer occurrence map and productivity map to predict habitats contributing to population surpluses (source habitats) or deficits (sink habitat) and low-occurrence habitats on the landscape. The source-sink map predicted that of the Sage-Grouse habitat within the ARPA, 30% was primary source, 29% was secondary source, 4% was primary sink, 6% was secondary sink, and 31% was low occurrence. Our results provide evidence that energy development and avoidance of
Luciane R. da Silva Mohr
Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus (Gmelin, 1788, is a globally vulnerable icterid endemic to grasslands and open areas, and a priority species for research and conservation programs. This contribution provides information on the population size, habitat, behavior, breeding biology and nest success of X. flavus in two conservation units (CUs in Viamão, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: the Environmental Protection Area Banhado Grande, and the Wildlife Refuge Banhado dos Pachecos, classified as an “Important Bird Area”. Searches for X. flavus were carried out mainly in open areas, the type of habitat favored by the species. Outside the breeding season individual behavior was recorded by the ad libitum method; during the breeding season, selected X. flavus pairs were observed following the sequence sampling method. The research areas were visited once a month, totaling approximately 530 hours of observations (September 2014 to June 2016 over 84 days, which included two breeding seasons. The species was observed across all months (not necessarily within the same year and several X. flavus flocks were encountered, some with more than one hundred individuals (range = 2-137. Additionally, the behavior and feeding aspects, habitat use and breeding information on X. flavus were recorded. Two breeding colonies were found, and eleven nests were monitored. The estimated nesting success was 10% in Colony 1, but zero in Colony 2, where all eggs and nestlings were predated. Saffron-cowled Blackbirds were recorded in mixed flocks, mostly with Pseudoleistes guirahuro (Vieillot, 1819, P. virescens (Vieillot, 1819 and Xolmis dominicanus (Vieillot, 1823, the last also a globally endangered species. The collected information highlights the importance of CUs for the maintenance of X. flavus populations in the region. Maintenance of proper areas for feeding and breeding is necessary and urgent. Information from current research is being
Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Jiménez, Juan
One speaks of ecological substitutes when an introduced species performs, to some extent, the ecosystem function of an extirpated native species. We suggest that a similar case exists for habitats. Species evolve within ecosystems, but habitats can be destroyed or modified by natural and human-made causes. Sometimes habitat alteration forces animals to move to or remain in a suboptimal habitat type. In that case, the habitat is considered a refuge, and the species is called a refugee. Typically refugee species have lower population growth rates than in their original habitats. Human action may lead to the unintended generation of artificial or semiartificial habitat types that functionally resemble the essential features of the original habitat and thus allow a population growth rate of the same magnitude or higher than in the original habitat. We call such areas substitution habitats and define them as human-made habitats within the focal species range that by chance are partial substitutes for the species' original habitat. We call species occupying a substitution habitat adopted species. These are 2 new terms in conservation biology. Examples of substitution habitats are dams for European otters, wheat and rice fields for many steppeland and aquatic birds, and urban areas for storks, falcons, and swifts. Although substitution habitats can bring about increased resilience against the agents of global change, the conservation of original habitat types remains a conservation priority. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
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.
Hitchman, Sean M; Mather, Martha E; Smith, Joseph M; Fencl, Jane S
Conserving native biodiversity depends on restoring functional habitats in the face of human-induced disturbances. Low-head dams are a ubiquitous human impact that degrades aquatic ecosystems worldwide. To improve our understanding of how low-head dams impact habitat and associated biodiversity, our research examined complex interactions among three spheres of the total environment. i.e., how low-head dams (anthroposphere) affect aquatic habitat (hydrosphere), and native biodiversity (biosphere) in streams and rivers. Creation of lake-like habitats upstream of low-head dams is a well-documented major impact of dams. Alterations downstream of low head dams also have important consequences, but these downstream dam effects are more challenging to detect. In a multidisciplinary field study at five dammed and five undammed sites within the Neosho River basin, KS, we tested hypotheses about two types of habitat sampling (transect and mosaic) and two types of statistical analyses (analysis of covariance and path analysis). We used fish as our example of biodiversity alteration. Our research provided three insights that can aid environmental professionals who seek to conserve and restore fish biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems threatened by human modifications. First, a mosaic approach identified habitat alterations below low-head dams (e.g. increased proportion of riffles) that were not detected using the more commonly-used transect sampling approach. Second, the habitat mosaic approach illustrated how low-head dams reduced natural variation in stream habitat. Third, path analysis, a statistical approach that tests indirect effects, showed how dams, habitat, and fish biodiversity interact. Specifically, path analysis revealed that low-head dams increased the proportion of riffle habitat below dams, and, as a result, indirectly increased fish species richness. Furthermore, the pool habitat that was created above low-head dams dramatically decreased fish species richness
Hitchman, Sean M.; Mather, Martha E.; Smith, Joseph M.; Fencl, Jane S.
Conserving native biodiversity depends on restoring functional habitats in the face of human-induced disturbances. Low-head dams are a ubiquitous human impact that degrades aquatic ecosystems worldwide. To improve our understanding of how low-head dams impact habitat and associated biodiversity, our research examined complex interactions among three spheres of the total environment. i.e., how low-head dams (anthroposphere) affect aquatic habitat (hydrosphere), and native biodiversity (biosphere) in streams and rivers. Creation of lake-like habitats upstream of low-head dams is a well-documented major impact of dams. Alterations downstream of low head dams also have important consequences, but these downstream dam effects are more challenging to detect. In a multidisciplinary field study at five dammed and five undammed sites within the Neosho River basin, KS, we tested hypotheses about two types of habitat sampling (transect and mosaic) and two types of statistical analyses (analysis of covariance and path analysis). We used fish as our example of biodiversity alteration. Our research provided three insights that can aid environmental professionals who seek to conserve and restore fish biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems threatened by human modifications. First, a mosaic approach identified habitat alterations below low-head dams (e.g. increased proportion of riffles) that were not detected using the more commonly-used transect sampling approach. Second, the habitat mosaic approach illustrated how low-head dams reduced natural variation in stream habitat. Third, path analysis, a statistical approach that tests indirect effects, showed how dams, habitat, and fish biodiversity interact. Specifically, path analysis revealed that low-head dams increased the proportion of riffle habitat below dams, and, as a result, indirectly increased fish species richness. Furthermore, the pool habitat that was created above low-head dams dramatically decreased fish species
Jason G Estes
Full Text Available The approximately 300 (298, 95% CI: 152-581 elephants in the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo are a priority sub-population for Borneo's total elephant population (2,040, 95% CI: 1,184-3,652. Habitat loss and human-elephant conflict are recognized as the major threats to Bornean elephant survival. In the Kinabatangan region, human settlements and agricultural development for oil palm drive an intense fragmentation process. Electric fences guard against elephant crop raiding but also remove access to suitable habitat patches. We conducted expert opinion-based least-cost analyses, to model the quantity and configuration of available suitable elephant habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan, and called this the Elephant Habitat Linkage. At 184 km(2, our estimate of available habitat is 54% smaller than the estimate used in the State's Elephant Action Plan for the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (400 km(2. During high flood levels, available habitat is reduced to only 61 km(2. As a consequence, short-term elephant densities are likely to surge during floods to 4.83 km(-2 (95% CI: 2.46-9.41, among the highest estimated for forest-dwelling elephants in Asia or Africa. During severe floods, the configuration of remaining elephant habitat and the surge in elephant density may put two villages at elevated risk of human-elephant conflict. Lower Kinabatangan elephants are vulnerable to the natural disturbance regime of the river due to their limited dispersal options. Twenty bottlenecks less than one km wide throughout the Elephant Habitat Linkage, have the potential to further reduce access to suitable habitat. Rebuilding landscape connectivity to isolated habitat patches and to the North Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (less than 35 km inland are conservation priorities that would increase the quantity of available habitat, and may work as a mechanism to allow population release, lower elephant density, reduce
Li, Renqiang; Xu, Ming; Powers, Ryan; Zhao, Fen; Jetz, Walter; Wen, Hui; Sheng, Qingkai
Conservationists strive for practical, cost-effective management solutions to forest-based species conservation and climate change mitigation. However, this is compromised by insufficient information about the effectiveness of protected areas in increasing carbon storage, and the co-benefits of species and carbon conservation remain poorly understood. Here, we present the first rigorous quantitative assessment of the roles of giant panda nature reserves (NRs) in carbon sequestration, and explore the co-benefits of habitat conservation and climate change mitigation. Results show that more than 90% of the studied panda NRs are effective in increasing carbon storage, with the mean biomass carbon density of the whole NRs exhibiting a 4.2% higher growth rate compared with lands not declared as NRs over the period 1988-2012, while this effectiveness in carbon storage masks important patterns of spatial heterogeneity across the giant panda habitats. Moreover, the significant associations have been identified between biomass carbon density and panda's habitat suitability in ~85% NRs and at the NR level. These findings suggest that the planning for carbon and species conservation co-benefits would enhance the greatest return on limited conservation investments, which is a critical need for the giant panda after its conservation status has been downgraded from "endangered" to "vulnerable".
Piatt, John F.; Wetzel, J.; Bell, K.; DeGange, A.R.; Balogh, G.R.; Drew, G.S.; Geernaert, T.; Ladd, C.; Byrd, G.V.
The short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) is a rare and endangered seabird that ranges widely over the northern North Pacific. Populations are slowly recovering but birds face several threats at sea, in particular the incidental capture of birds in long-line fisheries. Conservation efforts are hampered by a lack of information about the at-sea distribution of this species, especially knowledge of where it may predictably co-occur with long-line fishing effort. During 18 years of transiting the Aleutian Islands Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on a research vessel, we observed short-tailed albatross on 65 occasions. They were consistently observed near Ingenstrem Rocks (Buldir Pass) in the western Aleutians and near Seguam Pass in the central Aleutians. Based on the oceanographic characteristics of the locations where we saw most of the birds, we hypothesized that short-tailed albatross “hotspots” were located where tidal currents and steep bottom topography generate strong vertical mixing along the Aleutian Archipelago. As a test of this hypothesis, we analyzed a database containing 1432 opportunistic observations of 2463 short-tailed albatross at sea in the North Pacific. These data showed that short-tailed albatross were closely associated with shelf-edge habitats throughout the northern Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. In addition to Ingenstrem Rocks and Seguam Pass, important hotspots for short-tailed albatross in the Aleutians included Near Strait, Samalga Pass, and the shelf-edge south of Umnak/Unalaska islands. In the Bering Sea, hotspots were located along margins of Zhemchug, St. Matthews and Pervenets canyons. Because these short-tailed albatross hotspots are predictable, they are also protectable by regulation of threatening activities at local spatial scales.
Cyrus M. Kavwele
Full Text Available Savannah ecosystems are currently facing a biome shift that changes grasslands to woody dominated landscapes, attributable to habitat degradation. In Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC, Euclea divinorum, an unpalatable and invasive woody species, is expanding to former savannah ecosystems with potential effects on herbivores key resources, wildlife species diversity, composition, and habitat use. We investigated wildlife species diversity, composition, and habitat preference or avoidance by wildlife in the conservancy. Infrared camera traps were deployed at the centroids of 2 km by 2 km, 50 cm above ground surface for 14 days and nights with 9 camera traps in each habitat type. Shannon wiener index revealed that wildlife species diversity was highest in E. divinorum dominated habitats and lowest in open grassland. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis revealed level of similarity in wildlife species composition between E. divinorum and mixed bushland. Jacobs index revealed that E. divinorum and mixed bushland were avoided by all guilds; however E. divinorum was significantly avoided while A. drepanolobium and open grassland were both preferred by all guilds. However, A. drepanolobium dominated habitats were significantly preferred compared to open grasslands. The findings are useful in management of sustainable ecosystems.
...] Kellaway Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail, San Luis Obispo... species in the community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California. The applicants would implement a... Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, California. The applicants are requesting a permit for take of Morro...
Lammertink, J.M.; Rojas-Tomé, J.A.; Casillas-Orona, F.M.; Otto, R.L.
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
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.
The conservation status and trend of rare species groups should be better in landscapes with more forest cover due to the presence of quantitatively more habitat, and in the case of aquatic species,qualitatively better habitat. Arkansas provides habitat for 97 species of plants and animals considered critically imperiled globally or imperiled globally.T hese 97 species...
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
King, James G.; King, Mary Lou
Southeast Alaska's birds and wetlands are the subject of this elementary school teacher's guide and student workbook. Included are classroom activities and field investigations which address: (1) bird identification, habitats, adaptation, and conservation; and (2) the inhabitants, ecology and value of estuaries. Workbook activities involve the…
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 ...
Andrew J. Hansen; Linda Bowers Phillips; Curtis H. Flather; Jim Robinson-Cox
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...
John D. Alexander; Jaime L. Stephens; Sam Veloz; Leo Salas; Josée S. Rousseau; C. John Ralph; Daniel A. Sarr
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...
Xiang, Zuo-Fu; Huo, Sheng; Xiao, Wen
As anthropogenic habitat changes are often considered a threat to natural ecosystems and wildlife, a sound understanding of the effects of habitat alteration on endangered species is crucial when designing management strategies or performing conservation activities. Black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are categorized as endangered on the IUCN Red List and are endemic to the trans-Himalayas in China. At present, there are only 15 groups and 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild, and they are facing intense habitat degradation with selective logging for house building and firewood. Habitat deterioration through wood extraction is occurring at Xiaochangdu, Tibet, where one stable group of R. bieti lives in a marginal habitat in the northernmost part of the species' distribution. To understand the species' response to selective logging in an extremely marginal habitat, data on habitat preference and diet composition of a group of R. bieti were collected at Xiaochangdu from 2003 to 2005. The monkeys used different habitats nonrandomly during the year. The selection index for secondary conifer forest (SC), where selective logging has occurred, was the highest of all habitat types (>1), suggesting that the groups strongly preferred SC. The monkeys fed more on buds/leaves, more on flowers/fruit/seeds, and less on lichen in SC than in primary conifer forest (PC). Dietary diversity was significantly higher in SC than in PC. These results indicate that over the short term, low-intensity disturbances may result in increased foliage diversity that enable groups of R. bieti to survive in this marginal habitat. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Lee, Sang-Im; Lee, Hyunna; Jablonski, Piotr G; Choe, Jae Chun; Husby, Magne
Urban environments present novel and challenging habitats to wildlife. In addition to well-known difference in abiotic factors between rural and urban environments, the biotic environment, including microbial fauna, may also differ significantly. In this study, we aimed to compare the change in microbial abundance on eggshells during incubation between urban and rural populations of a passerine bird, the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica), and examine the consequences of any differences in microbial abundances in terms of hatching success and nestling survival. Using real-time PCR, we quantified the abundances of total bacteria, Escherichia coli/Shigella spp., surfactin-producing Bacillus spp. and Candida albicans on the eggshells of magpies. We found that urban magpie eggs harboured greater abundances of E. coli/Shigella spp. and C. albicans before incubation than rural magpie eggs. During incubation, there was an increase in the total bacterial load, but a decrease in C. albicans on urban eggs relative to rural eggs. Rural eggs showed a greater increase in E. coli/Shigella spp. relative to their urban counterpart. Hatching success of the brood was generally lower in urban than rural population. Nestling survival was differentially related with the eggshell microbial abundance between urban and rural populations, which was speculated to be the result of the difference in the strength of the interaction among the microbes. This is the first demonstration that avian clutches in urban and rural populations differ in eggshell microbial abundance, which can be further related to the difference in hatching success and nestling survival in these two types of environments. We suggest that future studies on the eggshell microbes should investigate the interaction among the microbes, because the incubation and/or environmental factors such as urbanization or climate condition can influence the dynamic interactions among the microbes on the eggshells which can further determine the
... that will ensure the best possible approach to wildlife, plant, and habitat conservation, while...; ``* * * for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds.'' 16 U.S...
Mairota, P.; Buckley, P.; Suchomel, C.; Heinsoo, K.; Verheyen, K.; Hédl, Radim; Terzuolo, P. G.; Sindaco, R.; Carpanelli, A.
Roč. 9, AUG 2016 (2016), s. 560-568 ISSN 1971-7458 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity * habitats directive * forest habitat types Subject RIV: GK - Forestry Impact factor: 1.623, year: 2016
Habitat fragmentation is among the most serious threats to species and biological diversity. Highways can divide wildlife habitat into smaller patches, reducing or prohibiting necessary wildlife movement between core habitat areas for foraging, mating, and other life functions. Defenders of Wildlife reviewed all 50 states to identify those that are working to address habitat connectivity in the context of transportation planning. The goal of these plans is to facilitate interagency c...
Tryjanowski, P.; Hartel, T.; Báldi, A.; Szymański, P.; Tobolka, M.; Herzon, I.; Goławski, A.; Konvička, Martin; Hromada, M.; Jerzak, L.; Kujawa, K.; Lenda, M.; Orłowski, G.; Panek, M.; Skórka, P.; Sparks, T. H.; Tworek, S.; Wuczyński, A.; Zmihorski, M.
Roč. 46, č. 1 (2011), s. 1-12 ISSN 0001-6454 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : landscape ecology * habitat * matrix Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.229, year: 2011
Full Text Available The Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster is a cervid distributed from the eastern to the western Himalayas of Nepal. The species is listed as endangered in appendix I of IUCN Red data, and protected in Nepal under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1973. Musk deer occupy the middle to the higher mountain regions, which cover 12 protected areas of Nepal (6 national parks, 5 conservation areas, 1 hunting reserve. However, of the 30177.19 km2 potential habitat, only 19.26% (5815.08 km2 is inside the protected areas and the remaining 80.73% falls outside the protected areas. Consequently, poaching, habitat destruction, livestock grazing and forest fire in the musk deer habitat are important challenges for the conservation of musk deer in the country. A thorough status survey in and outside the protected areas should be carried out and a species-focused conservation action plan should be prepared and implemented properly. A program for increasing awareness and enhancing livelihood of the local populations be launched in the poor and poaching risk zones of Nepal.
Lehikoinen, Petteri; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Mikkola-Roos, Markku; Jaatinen, Kim
Human actions have led to loss and degradation of wetlands, impairing their suitability as habitat especially for waterbirds. Such negative effects may be mitigated through habitat management. To date scientific evidence regarding the impacts of these actions remains scarce. We studied guild specific abundances of breeding and staging birds in response to habitat management on 15 Finnish wetlands. In this study management actions comprised several means of vegetation removal to thwart overgrowth. Management cost efficiency was assessed by examining the association between site-specific costs and bird abundances. Several bird guilds exhibited positive connections with both habitat management as well as with invested funds. Most importantly, however, red-listed species and species with special conservation concern as outlined by the EU showed positive correlations with management actions, underlining the conservation value of wetland management. The results suggest that grazing was especially efficient in restoring overgrown wetlands. As a whole this study makes it clear that wetland habitat management constitutes a feasible conservation tool. The marked association between invested funds and bird abundance may prove to be a valuable tool for decision makers when balancing costs and impact of conservation measures against one another.
Kent, Flora E.A.; Mair, James M.; Newton, Jason; Lindenbaum, Charles; Porter, Joanne S.; Sanderson, William G.
Horse mussel reefs (Modiolus modiolus) are biodiversity hotspots afforded protection by Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the NE Atlantic. In this study, horse mussel reefs, cobble habitats and sandy habitats were assessed using underwater visual census and drop-down video techniques in three UK regions. Megafauna were enumerated, differences in community composition and individual species abundances were analysed. Samples of conspicuous megafauna were also collected from horse mussel reefs in Orkney for stable isotope analysis. Communities of conspicuous megafauna were different between horse mussel habitats and other habitats throughout their range. Three commercially important species: whelks (Buccinum undatum), queen scallops (Aequipecten opercularis) and spider crabs (Maja brachydactyla) were significantly more abundant (by as much as 20 times) on horse mussel reefs than elsewhere. Isotopic analysis provided insights into their trophic relationship with the horse mussel reef. Protection of M. modiolus habitat can achieve biodiversity conservation objectives whilst benefiting fisheries also. - Highlights: • Communities of conspicuous megafauna were assessed on Modiolus modiolus reefs, sand and cobble habitats. • Tissue samples from reef fauna were subject to stable isotope analysis to investigate trophic structure. • Reef associated species included Aequipecten opercularis, Buccinum undatum and Maja brachydactyla. • Evidence of the commercial value of M. modiolus reefs in the UK.
Paxton, Eben H.; Laut, Megan; Vetter, J.P.; Kendall, Steve J.
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.
Matthew J. McCarthy
Full Text Available Habitat mapping can be accomplished using many techniques and types of data. There are pros and cons for each technique and dataset, therefore, the goal of this project was to investigate the capabilities of new satellite sensor technology and to assess map accuracy for a variety of image classification techniques based on hundreds of field-work sites. The study area was Masonboro Island, an undeveloped area in coastal North Carolina, USA. Using the best map results, a habitat change assessment was conducted between 2002 and 2010. WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS satellite sensors were tested using unsupervised and supervised methods using a variety of spectral band combinations. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR elevation and texture data pan-sharpening, and spatial filtering were also tested. In total, 200 maps were generated and results indicated that WorldView-2 was consistently more accurate than QuickBird and IKONOS. Supervised maps were more accurate than unsupervised in 80% of the maps. Pan-sharpening the images did not consistently improve map accuracy but using a majority filter generally increased map accuracy. During the relatively short eight-year period, 20% of the coastal study area changed with intertidal marsh experiencing the most change. Smaller habitat classes changed substantially as well. For example, 84% of upland scrub-shrub experienced change. These results document the dynamic nature of coastal habitats, validate the use of the relatively new Worldview-2 sensor, and may be used to guide future coastal habitat mapping.
Runhaar, H.A.C.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/141942673; Polmans, Nico
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
Runhaar, Hens; Polman, N.B.P.
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
Full Text Available Numerous threats impact coral reefs and conservation actions are urgently needed. Fast production of marine habitat maps promotes the use of habitat-only conservation plans, where a given percentage of the area of each habitat is set as conservation objectives. However, marine reserves can impact access to fishing grounds and generate opportunity costs for fishers that need to be minimized. In New Caledonia (Southwest Pacific, we used fine-scale fishery catch maps to define nineteen opportunity costs layers (expressed as biomass catch loss considering i total catches, ii target fish families, iii local marine tenure, and iv gear type. The expected lower impacts on fishery catch when using the different cost constraints were ranked according to effectiveness in decreasing the costs generated by the habitat-only scenarios. The exercise was done for two habitat maps with different thematic richness. In most cases, habitat conservation objectives remained achievable, but effectiveness varied widely between scenarios and between habitat maps. The results provide practical guidelines for coral reef conservation and management. Habitat-only scenarios can be used to initiate conservation projects with stakeholders but the costs induced by such scenarios can be lowered by up to 50-60% when detailed exhaustive fishery data are used. When using partial data, the gain would be only in the 15-25% range. The best compromises are achieved when using local data.
Lammertink, J.M.; Rojas-Tome, J.A.; Casillas-Orona, F.M.; Otto, R.L.
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...
López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Kokko, Hanna; Norris, Ken
Individual preferences for good habitat are often thought to have a beneficial stabilizing effect for populations. However, if individuals preferentially compete for better-quality territories, these may become hotspots of conflict. We show that, in an endangered species, this process decreases the productivity of favoured territories to the extent that differences in productivity between territories disappear. Unlike predictions from current demographic theory on site-dependent population regulation (ideal despotic distribution), we show that population productivity is reduced if resources are distributed unevenly in space. Competition for high-quality habitat can thus have detrimental consequences for populations even though it benefits individuals. Manipulating conflict (e.g. by reducing variation in habitat quality) can therefore prove an effective conservation measure in species with strong social or territorial conflict.
Woodall, Lucy C; Otero-Ferrer, Francisco; Correia, Miguel; Curtis, Janelle M R; Garrick-Maidment, Neil; Shaw, Paul W; Koldewey, Heather J
Accurate taxonomy, population demography, and habitat descriptors inform species threat assessments and the design of effective conservation measures. Here we combine published studies with new genetic, morphological and habitat data that were collected from seahorse populations located along the European and North African coastlines to help inform management decisions for European seahorses. This study confirms the presence of only two native seahorse species ( Hippocampus guttulatus and H. hippocampus ) across Europe, with sporadic occurrence of non-native seahorse species in European waters. For the two native species, our findings demonstrate that highly variable morphological characteristics, such as size and presence or number of cirri, are unreliable for distinguishing species. Both species exhibit sex dimorphism with females being significantly larger. Across its range, H. guttulatus were larger and found at higher densities in cooler waters, and individuals in the Black Sea were significantly smaller than in other populations. H. hippocampus were significantly larger in Senegal. Hippocampus guttulatus tends to have higher density populations than H. hippocampus when they occur sympatrically. Although these species are often associated with seagrass beds, data show both species inhabit a wide variety of shallow habitats and use a mixture of holdfasts. We suggest an international mosaic of protected areas focused on multiple habitat types as the first step to successful assessment, monitoring and conservation management of these Data Deficient species.
Schalk Willem Petrus de Waal
Full Text Available Surveys were conducted along the eastern Dhofar coast of Oman to investigate densities and habitat preferences of juvenile Haliotis mariae ( 50 cm Ø, respectively. B values were highest for urchins (6 times that for small boulders, and for boulders <50 cm Ø. B values for boulder habitats decreased as boulder size increased. Urchin utilisation by juvenile abalone as shelter ranged between geographic areas from a minimum of 15.5% to a maximum of 47.6%. The proportion of total habitat that is preferred by more than 97% of juvenile abalone found, including urchins and boulders < 50 cm Ø, comprises 29% of surveyed substratum. While the role urchins play on wild juvenile H. mariae has not proved vital, it is definitely significant. Although juvenile densities are low and are not currently limited by the availability of suitable habitat, it is crucial to identify and conserve those microhabitats that support recruitment of H. mariae. The abundance of these areas should be among the criteria used in selecting protected conservation areas.
Mark S. Demarest Woodrey; Ernesto Ruela Inzunza
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...
Linda Bowers Phillips; Andrew J. Hansen; Curtis H. Flather; Jim Robinson-Cox
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...
Roger W. Perry; T. Bently Wigley; M. Anthony Melchiors; Ronald E. Thill; Philip A. Tappe; Darren A. Miller
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...
Shuey, John A
Because of their vast diversity, measured by both numbers of species as well as life history traits, insects defy comprehensive conservation planning. Thus, almost all insect conservation efforts target individual species. However, serious insect conservation requires goals that are set at the faunal level and conservation success requires strategies that conserve intact communities. This task is complicated in agricultural landscapes by high levels of habitat fragmentation and isolation. In many regions, once widespread insect communities are now functionally trapped on islands of ecosystem remnants and subject to a variety of stressors associated with isolation, small population sizes and artificial population fragmentation. In fragmented landscapes ecological restoration can be an effective strategy for reducing localized insect extinction rates, but insects are seldom included in restoration design criteria. It is possible to incorporate a few simple conservation criteria into restoration designs that enhance impacts to entire insect communities. Restoration can be used as a strategy to address fragmentation threats to isolated insect communities if insect communities are incorporated at the onset of restoration planning. Fully incorporating insect communities into restoration designs may increase the cost of restoration two- to three-fold, but the benefits to biodiversity conservation and the ecological services provided by intact insect communities justify the cost.
C. John Ralph; Terrell D. Rich
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...
Bergh, van den M.
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
Michael A. Larson; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; William D. Dijak; Stephen R. Shifley
Methods for habitat modeling based on landscape simulations and population viability modeling based on habitat quality are well developed, but no published study of which we are aware has effectively joined them in a single, comprehensive analysis. We demonstrate the application of a population viability model for ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus)...
..., road maintenance, utilities construction, water system management, and prairie habitat management... ``take'' is defined under the ESA to mean to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap... significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife by significantly...
Increasing the habitat diversity of agricultural fields can lead to more effective biocontrol of arthropod pests. Annual cropping systems are exposed to frequent disturbance and lack habitat diversity; therefore it is important to develop strategies that can improve ecosystem services such as bioco...
Karla Pelz Serrano; Eduardo Ponce Guevara; Carlos A. Lopez Gonzalez
The status of beaver (Castor canadensis) in northeastern Sonora, Mexico, is uncertain. We surveyed the Cajon Bonito River to assess the beaverâs status and habitat and found five colonies. Limiting factors appear to be pollution due to animal waste, deforestation of riparian trees, and human exploitation. Beavers did not appear to require habitat...
Sharps, Katrina; Henderson, Ian; Conway, Greg; Armour-Chelu, Neal; Dolman, Paul
In Europe, the consequences of commercial plantation management for birds of conservation concern are poorly understood. The European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus is a species of conservation concern across Europe due to population depletion through habitat loss. Pine plantation-forest is now a key Nightjar nesting habitat, particularly in northwestern Europe, and increased understanding of foraging habitat selection is required. We radiotracked 31 Nightjars in an extensive (185-km2) comple...
.... FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Carlon, NMFS (503) 231-2379. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION... habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, spawning, migrating, rearing, and...
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.
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.
Sérgio Henrique Borges
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.
Full Text Available African manatees (Trichechus senegalensis and crocodiles are threatened species in parts of their range. In West Africa, crocodiles may constitute the main predators for manatees apart from humans. Here, we explore the macro-habitat selection of manatees and two species of crocodiles (West African crocodiles Crocodylus suchus and dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis in the Niger Delta (Nigeria, testing the hypotheses that (i manatees may avoid crocodiles in order to minimize risks of predation, and (ii the two crocodile species do compete. The study was carried out between 1994 and 2010 with a suite of different field techniques. We observed that the main macro-habitat types were freshwater rivers and coastal lagoons for manatees, mangroves for West African crocodiles, and rivers and creeks for dwarf crocodiles, with (i the three species differing significantly in terms of their macro-habitat type selection, and (ii significant seasonal influence on habitat selection of each species. Null models for niche overlap showed a significantly lower overlap in macro-habitat type use between manatee and crocodiles, whereas the two crocodiles were relatively similar. Null model analyses did not indicate any competitive interactions between crocodiles. On the other hand, manatees avoided macro-habitats where crocodiles, and especially West African crocodiles, are abundant.
..., affected Tribes, and the public of the revised scope of the environmental review for this EIS/EIR; (3... snake E Birds: Agelaius tricolor Tricolored blackbird -- Aquila chrysaetos Golden eagle... review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Reasonable Accommodation Persons needing...
Frank R., III Thompson; Christine A. Ribic
Conservation and management of passerines has largely focused on habitat manipulation or restoration because the natural communities on which these birds depend have been destroyed and fragmented. However, productivity is another important aspect of avian conservation, and nest predation can be a large source of nesting mortality for passerines. Recent studies using...
Muhammed Khairujjaman Mazumder
Full Text Available The southern part of Assam in India, a part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity hotspot, harbors a myriad number of wild plant and animal species. Although there is only one protected area, the Barail Wildlife Sanctuary (Cachar district and a few reserve forests (RFs, there are as many as eight primates inhabiting the region – a diversity hardly found elsewhere. In addition to the protected area and RFs, tea gardens and secondary forests also serve as habitats for animals. The border areas of the region with the states of Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Tripura are among the most important abodes of these primates. Unfortunately, these primates are under constant threat from multiple sources. The present article provides an extensive survey of the available literature on the primates of southern Assam with reference to their distribution, habitat preferences, threats, and conservation. Additionally, data from field observations of the author are also presented.
Glemnitz, Michael; Zander, Peter; Stachow, Ulrich
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.
Luke L. Powell; Gustavo Zurita; Jared D. Wolfe; Erik I. Johnson; Philip C Stouffer
Primary tropical rain forests are being rapidly perforated with new edges via roads, logging, and pastures, and vast areas of secondary forest accumulate following abandonment of agricultural lands. To determine how insectivorous Amazonian understory birds respond to edges between primary rain forest and three age classes of secondary forest, we radio-tracked two...
Platteeuw, M.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Eerden, van M.R.
All over Europe, wetlands have decreased in size, lost their original dynamics and became fragmented as the consequence of an ever increasing human land use. These processes have resulted in losses of nature values, among which declines in marshland bird populations. Ecological restoration of
Koen, J H; Crowe, T M
Effects of forest plant species composition and physiognomy on bird and invertebrate communities were investigated in three discrete, relatively undisturbed forest types along a dry-wet soil moisture gradient. Using discriminant function analysis, a 100% floristic and a 78% vegetation structural discrimination were obtained between the three forest types. However, the bird communities of these different forest types were very similar in species composition, and had much lower densities than those normally encountered in other, superficially similar forests. Although an 81% discrimination between forest types was attained through analysis of ground surface invertebrates, measures of litter and aerial invertebrate abundance were also of limited use as discriminators. Historical and biogeographic factors, as well as the low nutritional levels in the soil and vegetation may be the causes of low bird and invertebrate density and diversity. It is concluded that floristics and vegetation structure have, at best, a minor influence on bird community structure, and possibly also on invertebrate community structure in the Knysna Forest.
Debrot, A.O.; Bemmelen, van R.S.A.; Ligon, J.
The mangrove and seagrass lagoon of Lac Bay on Bonaire covers an area of roughly 700 ha. It is home to endangered green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, and the Caribbean queen conch, Strombus gigas, and is a roosting and breeding area for several birds. Based on its nature values this 7 km2 bay has
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.
Pavlíková, A.; Konvička, Martin
Roč. 16, č. 2 (2012), s. 187-206 ISSN 1366-638X R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/2167; GA MŽP SP/2D3/62/08; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : conservation * distribution ranges * habitat components Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.801, year: 2012 http://www.springerlink.com/content/r73622084m24r2x1/
Santangeli, Andrea; Arroyo, Beatriz; Millon, Alexandre; Bretagnolle, Vincent
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
Lance Craighead; Baden Cross
To identify the remaining areas of the Interior Cedar- Hemlock Forest of North America and prioritize them for conservation planning, the Craighead Environmental Research Institute has developed a 2-scale method for mapping critical habitat utilizing 1) a broad-scale model to identify important regional locations as the basis for a Conservation Area Design (CAD), and 2...
Phillimore, A B; Owens, I P F; Black, R A; Chittock, J; Burke, T; Clegg, S M
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.
Benjamin Skolnik; David Wiedenfeld; Randy Dettmers; Constantino Aucca; Lina Daza; Heidy Valle; Francisco Sornoza; Javier Robayo; David Diaz; Jane Fitzgerald; Daniel Lebbin; Paul B. Hamel
Vital to the work of the Cerulean Warbler Technical Group has been the collaboration among members to evaluate population status and coordinate planning for future activities, principally in conservation implementation. Two plans have been produced, one a general strategy for the conservation and management of the species over its entire range, and a more restricted...
Neel, Maile; Tumas, Hayley R; Marsden, Brittany W
We apply a comprehensive suite of graph theoretic metrics to illustrate how landscape connectivity can be effectively incorporated into conservation status assessments and in setting conservation objectives. These metrics allow conservation practitioners to evaluate and quantify connectivity in terms of representation, resiliency, and redundancy and the approach can be applied in spite of incomplete knowledge of species-specific biology and dispersal processes. We demonstrate utility of the graph metrics by evaluating changes in distribution and connectivity that would result from implementing two conservation plans for three endangered plant species (Erigeron parishii, Acanthoscyphus parishii var. goodmaniana, and Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum) relative to connectivity under current conditions. Although distributions of the species differ from one another in terms of extent and specific location of occupied patches within the study landscape, the spatial scale of potential connectivity in existing networks were strikingly similar for Erigeron and Eriogonum, but differed for Acanthoscyphus. Specifically, patches of the first two species were more regularly distributed whereas subsets of patches of Acanthoscyphus were clustered into more isolated components. Reserves based on US Fish and Wildlife Service critical habitat designation would not greatly contribute to maintain connectivity; they include 83-91% of the extant occurrences and >92% of the aerial extent of each species. Effective connectivity remains within 10% of that in the whole network for all species. A Forest Service habitat management strategy excluded up to 40% of the occupied habitat of each species resulting in both range reductions and loss of occurrences from the central portions of each species' distribution. Overall effective network connectivity was reduced to 62-74% of the full networks. The distance at which each CHMS network first became fully connected was reduced relative to the full
Chunyue LIU, Hongxing JIANG, Shuqing ZHANG, Chunrong LI,Yunqiu HOU, Fawen QIAN
Full Text Available A multi-scale approach is essential to assess the factors that limit avian habitat use. Numerous studies have examined habitat use by the red-crowned crane, but integrated multi-scale habitat use information is lacking. We evaluated the effects of several habitat variables quantified across many spatial scales on crane use and abundance in two periods (2000 and 2009 at Yancheng National Nature Reserve, China. The natural wetlands decreased in area by 30,601 ha (-6.9% from 2000 to 2009, predominantly as a result of conversion to aquaculture ponds and farmland, and the remaining was under degradation due to expansion of the exotic smooth cordgrass. The cranes are focusing in on either larger patches or those that are in close proximity to each other in both years, but occupied patches had smaller size, less proximity and more regular boundaries in 2009. At landscape scales, the area percentage of common seepweed, reed ponds and paddy fields had a greater positive impact on crane presence than the area percentage of aquaculture ponds. The cranes were more abundant in patches that had a greater percent area of common seepweed and reed ponds, while the percent area of paddy fields was inversely related to crane abundance in 2009 due to changing agricultural practices. In 2009, cranes tended to use less fragmented plots in natural wetlands and more fragmented plots in anthropogenic paddy fields, which were largely associated with the huge loss and degradation of natural habitats between the two years. Management should focus on restoration of large patches of natural wetlands, and formation of a relatively stable area of large paddy field and reed pond to mitigate the loss of natural wetlands [Current Zoology 59 (5: 604–617, 2013].
... prescriptions for rain-on-snow zones within the Chehalis Watershed to reflect a watershed analysis conducted for that watershed and consistent with FP Rules (WAC 222-20-100). Conservation measures that are part of...
Full Text Available We conducted a bird survey in the Sabaragamuwa University premises in southeastern Sri Lanka between 2001 and 2004. We recorded 145 bird species, representing 17 orders and 51 families from the campus. The birdlife included Red-faced Malkoha, a globally Vulnerable species and four Near Threatened taxa. The university premises suffer from severe habitat alteration largely owing to fire, filling-up of aquatic habitats, resource over-extraction, improper waste management, invasion by exotic species and livestock grazing. Several conservation measures, including habitat management strategies such as restoration of riparian vegetation, and wetlands, increasing plant diversity in home gardens and prevention of secondary successions in grasslands are recommended to protect the campus environment and to conserve its avifaunal diversity.
Margareth S. Copertino
Full Text Available Abstract Seagrass meadows are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth, raising concerns about the equilibrium of coastal ecosystems and the sustainability of local fisheries. The present review evaluated the current status of the research on seagrasses and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV habitats off the coast of Brazil in terms of plant responses to environmental conditions, changes in distribution and abundance, and the possible role of climate change and variability. Despite an increase in the number of studies, the communication of the results is still relatively limited and is mainly addressed to a national or regional public; thus, South American seagrasses are rarely included or cited in global reviews and models. The scarcity of large-scale and long-term studies allowing the detection of changes in the structure, abundance and composition of seagrass habitats and associated species still hinders the investigation of such communities with respect to the potential effects of climate change. Seagrass meadows and SAV occur all along the Brazilian coast, with species distribution and abundance being strongly influenced by regional oceanography, coastal water masses, river runoff and coastal geomorphology. Based on these geomorphological, hydrological and ecological features, we characterised the distribution of seagrass habitats and abundances within the major coastal compartments. The current conservation status of Brazilian seagrasses and SAV is critical. The unsustainable exploitation and occupation of coastal areas and the multifold anthropogenic footprints left during the last 100 years led to the loss and degradation of shoreline habitats potentially suitable for seagrass occupation. Knowledge of the prevailing patterns and processes governing seagrass structure and functioning along the Brazilian coast is necessary for the global discussion on climate change. Our review is a first and much-needed step toward a more integrated
Paudel, Prakash K.; Hais, M.; Kindlmann, Pavel
Roč. 54, apr (2015), s. 37 ISSN 1021-5506 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : capricornis thar * habitat model * Midhills * Muntiacus muntjak * Naemorhedus goral * Nepal Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.885, year: 2015
Loges, Brian W.; Lyons, James E.; Tavernia, Brian G.
The Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge (CCNWR) in the Mississippi River flood plain of eastern Missouri provides high quality emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat benefitting both nesting marsh birds and migrating waterfowl. Staff of CCNWR manipulate water levels and vegetation in the 17 units of the CCNWR to provide conditions favorable to these two important guilds. Although both guilds include focal species at multiple planning levels and complement objectives to provide a diversity of wetland community types and water regimes, additional decision support is needed for choosing how much emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat should be provided through annual management actions.To develop decision guidance for balanced delivery of high-energy waterfowl habitat and breeding marsh bird habitat, two measureable management objectives were identified: nonbreeding Anas Linnaeus (dabbling duck) use-days and Rallus elegans (king rail) occupancy of managed units. Three different composite management actions were identified to achieve these objectives. Each composite management action is a unique combination of growing season water regime and soil disturbance. The three composite management actions are intense moist-soil management (moist-soil), intermediate moist-soil (intermediate), and perennial management, which idles soils disturbance (perennial). The two management objectives and three management options were used in a multi-criteria decision analysis to indicate resource allocations and inform annual decision making. Outcomes of the composite management actions were predicted in two ways and multi-criteria decision analysis was used with each set of predictions. First, outcomes were predicted using expert-elicitation techniques and a panel of subject matter experts. Second, empirical data from the Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Initiative collected between 2010 and 2013 were used; where data were lacking, expert judgment was used. Also, a
Navarro, Albert; Fos, Simón; Laguna, Emilio; Durán, David; Rey, Luis; Rubio-Sanz, Laura; Imperial, Juan; Ruiz-Argüeso, Tomás
Lupinus mariae-josephae is a recently discovered endemism that is only found in alkaline-limed soils, a unique habitat for lupines, from a small area in Valencia region (Spain). In these soils, L. mariae-josephae grows in just a few defined patches, and previous conservation efforts directed towards controlled plant reproduction have been unsuccessful. We have previously shown that L. mariae-josephae plants establish a specific root nodule symbiosis with bradyrhizobia present in those soils, and we reasoned that the paucity of these bacteria in soils might contribute to the lack of success in reproducing plants for conservation purposes. Greenhouse experiments using L. mariae-josephae trap-plants showed the absence or near absence of L. mariae-josephae-nodulating bacteria in “terra rossa” soils of Valencia outside of L. mariae-josephae plant patches, and in other “terra rossa” or alkaline red soils of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands outside of the Valencia L. mariae-josephae endemism region. Among the bradyrhizobia able to establish an efficient symbiosis with L. mariae-josephae plants, two strains, LmjC and LmjM3 were selected as inoculum for seed coating. Two planting experiments were carried out in consecutive years under natural conditions in areas with edapho-climatic characteristics identical to those sustaining natural L. mariae-josephae populations, and successful reproduction of the plant was achieved. Interestingly, the successful reproductive cycle was absolutely dependent on seedling inoculation with effective bradyrhizobia, and optimal performance was observed in plants inoculated with LmjC, a strain that had previously shown the most efficient behavior under controlled conditions. Our results define conditions for L. mariae-josephae conservation and for extension to alkaline-limed soil habitats, where no other known lupine can thrive. PMID:25019379
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.
Pereira, G A; Araújo, H F P; Azevedo-Júnior, S M
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.
Kontoleon, A.; Swanson, T.
The paper presents the results from a stated preference study to address issues concerning the potential for using flag-ship species, such as the Giant Panda, to purchase the property rights for the conservation of natural habitat. The study finds, first, that there is clear WTP for acquiring the property rights for panda habitat. The nature of this demand is found both convincing and logically coherent in that it is an increasing function of land (at a diminishing rate). Secondly, the stu...
Jason Reynolds; Kathryn Wesson; Arnaud L. J. Desbiez; Jose M. Ochoa-Quintero; Peter Leimgruber
Brazil’s Cerrado is a highly diverse ecosystem and it provides critical habitat for many species. Cerrado habitats have suffered significant degradation and decline over the past decades due to expansion of cash crops and livestock farming across South America. Approximately 1,800,000 km2 of the Cerrado remain in Brazil, but detailed maps and conservation assessments of the Cerrado are lacking. We developed a land cover classification for the Cerrado, focusing on the state of Mato Grosso do S...
Karina Vieira Martins; Eduardo José dos Reis Dias; Carlos Frederico Duarte da Rocha
“Restingas” are herbaceous/ shrubby coastal sand-dune habitats that cover great areas of Brazil, particularly along the Bahia state coast. The restingas are disturbed and are under strong pressure, mainly in northeastern Brazil. Fragmentation of the landscape and habitat loss within natural ecosystems are the factors which are mainly responsible for reduction of species diversity by extinction events. The goal of thepresent study was elucidate whether the conservation status of restinga habit...
Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Galán, Pedro
Most examples that support the substitution-habitat hypothesis (human-made habitats act as substitutes of original habitat) deal with birds and mammals. We tested this hypothesis in 14 amphibians by using percentage occupancy as a proxy of habitat quality (i.e., higher occupancy percentages indicate higher quality). We classified water body types as original habitat (no or little human influence) depending on anatomical, behavioral, or physiological adaptations of each amphibian species. Ten species had relatively high probabilities (0.16-0.28) of occurrence in original habitat, moderate probability of occurrence in substitution habitats (0.11-0.14), and low probability of occurrence in refuge habitats (0.05-0.08). Thus, the substitution-habitat hypothesis only partially applies to amphibians because the low occupancy of refuges could be due to the negligible human persecution of this group (indicating good conservation status). However, low occupancy of refuges could also be due to low tolerance of refuge conditions, which could have led to selective extinction or colonization problems due to poor dispersal capabilities. That original habitats had the highest probabilities of occupancy suggests amphibians have a good conservation status in the region. They also appeared highly adaptable to anthropogenic substitution habitats. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.
Harabiš, F.; Tichánek, F.; Tropek, Robert
Roč. 55, JUN 10 (2013), s. 51-61 ISSN 0925-8574 Grant - others:GA Czech University of Life Sciences Pragae(CZ) 42110/1312/3118 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : aquatic insect * biodiversity conservation * Odonata Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.041, year: 2013 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925857413000761
.... Further, the project-by-project approach does not provide the tools necessary to take a holistic... planning, adaptive management, and sound scientific principles; and to support species conservation actions... of the MSHCP provides adaptive management to assess the validity of assumptions and implement...
Reed, J. K.; Messing, C. G.; Walker, B. K.; Farrington, S.; Brooke, S.; Correa, T.; Brouwer, M.
Fishery Management Council (SAFMC), which led to the designation of some of these areas as HAPCs or marine protected areas, restricting bottom trawling, longlines and traps that could be destructive to the fragile coral and sponge habitat. In 2010, NOAA established five deep-water Coral HAPCs encompassing a total area of 62,714 km2 from North Carolina to south Florida; an estimated 69% of the total area of the CHAPCs is off Florida. However, we estimate that ~6,554 km2 (29.7%) of DSCE habitat remains unprotected and outside the boundaries of the CHAPCs in U.S. waters off Florida. Many activities may impact DCSEs, including bottom trawling, energy production, and even global warming. Cuba has recently opened its north slope for deep-sea oil/gas drilling, which could have serious impacts upon both deep and shallow water reefs and coastal areas of the U.S. upstream of these drilling sites. Baseline data is critical to understanding the effects of these anthropogenic activities son DSCEs. High-resolution sonar surveys combined with visual ground-truthing to create deep-water benthic habitat maps are necessary to further define the extent of DSCEs in order to protect and conserve these critical habitats.
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
Daniel Klem Jr.
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.
José C Brito
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Relict populations of Crocodylus niloticus persist in Chad, Egypt and Mauritania. Although crocodiles were widespread throughout the Sahara until the early 20(th century, increased aridity combined with human persecution led to local extinction. Knowledge on distribution, occupied habitats, population size and prey availability is scarce in most populations. This study evaluates the status of Saharan crocodiles and provides new data for Mauritania to assist conservation planning. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A series of surveys in Mauritania detected crocodile presence in 78 localities dispersed across 10 river basins and most tended to be isolated within river basins. Permanent gueltas and seasonal tâmoûrts were the most common occupied habitats. Crocodile encounters ranged from one to more than 20 individuals, but in most localities less than five crocodiles were observed. Larger numbers were observed after the rainy season and during night sampling. Crocodiles were found dead in between water points along dry river-beds suggesting the occurrence of dispersal. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Research priorities in Chad and Egypt should focus on quantifying population size and pressures exerted on habitats. The present study increased in by 35% the number of known crocodile localities in Mauritania. Gueltas are crucial for the persistence of mountain populations. Oscillations in water availability throughout the year and the small dimensions of gueltas affect biological traits, including activity and body size. Studies are needed to understand adaptation traits of desert populations. Molecular analyses are needed to quantify genetic variability, population sub-structuring and effective population size, and detect the occurrence of gene flow. Monitoring is needed to detect demographical and genetical trends in completely isolated populations. Crocodiles are apparently vulnerable during dispersal events. Awareness campaigns focusing on
Full Text Available Most wildlife habitats and migratory routes are extremely threatened due to increasing demands on forestland and forest resources by burgeoning human population. Corridor landscape in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT is one among them, subjected to various anthropogenic pressures. Human habitation, intensive farming, coffee plantations, ill-planned infrastructure developments and rapid spreading of invasive plant species Lantana camara, pose a serious threat to wildlife habitat and their migration. Aim of this work is to create detailed NDVI based land change maps and to use them to identify time-series trends in greening and browning in forest corridors in the study area and to identify the drivers that are influencing the observed changes. Over the four decades in BRT, NDVI increased in the core area of the forest and reduced in the fringe areas. The change analysis between 1973 and 2014 shows significant changes; browning due to anthropogenic activities as well as natural processes and greening due to Lantana spread. This indicates that the change processes are complex, involving multiple driving factors, such as socio-economic changes, high population growth, historical forest management practices and policies. Our study suggests that the use of updated and accurate change detection maps will be useful in taking appropriate site specific action-oriented conservation decisions to restore and manage the degraded critical wildlife corridors in human-dominated landscape.
Wen, X.; Lei, X.; Fang, G.; Huang, X.
Extensive cascading hydropower exploitation in southwestern China has been the subject of debate and conflict in recent years. Introducing limited ecological curves, a novel approach for derivation of hydropower-ecological joint operation chart of cascaded hydropower system was proposed, aiming to optimize the general hydropower and ecological benefits, and to alleviate the ecological deterioration in specific flood/dry conditions. The physical habitat simulation model is proposed initially to simulate the relationship between streamflow and physical habitat of target fish species and to determine the optimal ecological flow range of representative reach. The ecological—hydropower joint optimization model is established to produce the multi-objective operation chart of cascaded hydropower system. Finally, the limited ecological guiding curves were generated and added into the operation chart. The JS-MDS cascaded hydropower system on the Yuan River in southwestern China is employed as the research area. As the result, the proposed guiding curves could increase the hydropower production amount by 1.72% and 5.99% and optimize ecological conservation degree by 0.27% and 1.13% for JS and MDS Reservoir, respectively. Meanwhile, the ecological deterioration rate also sees a decrease from 6.11% to 1.11% for JS Reservoir and 26.67% to 3.89% for MDS Reservoir.
Stern, Harry; Kovacs, Kit M.; Lowry, Lloyd; Moore, Sue E.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ferguson, Steven H.; Wiig, Øystein; Boveng, Peter; Angliss, Robyn P.; Born, Erik W.; Litovka, Dennis; Quakenbush, Lori; Lydersen, Christian; Vongraven, Dag; Ugarte, Fernando
Abstract Arctic marine mammals (AMMs) are icons of climate change, largely because of their close association with sea ice. However, neither a circumpolar assessment of AMM status nor a standardized metric of sea ice habitat change is available. We summarized available data on abundance and trend for each AMM species and recognized subpopulation. We also examined species diversity, the extent of human use, and temporal trends in sea ice habitat for 12 regions of the Arctic by calculating the dates of spring sea ice retreat and fall sea ice advance from satellite data (1979–2013). Estimates of AMM abundance varied greatly in quality, and few studies were long enough for trend analysis. Of the AMM subpopulations, 78% (61 of 78) are legally harvested for subsistence purposes. Changes in sea ice phenology have been profound. In all regions except the Bering Sea, the duration of the summer (i.e., reduced ice) period increased by 5–10 weeks and by >20 weeks in the Barents Sea between 1979 and 2013. In light of generally poor data, the importance of human use, and forecasted environmental changes in the 21st century, we recommend the following for effective AMM conservation: maintain and improve comanagement by local, federal, and international partners; recognize spatial and temporal variability in AMM subpopulation response to climate change; implement monitoring programs with clear goals; mitigate cumulative impacts of increased human activity; and recognize the limits of current protected species legislation. PMID:25783745
Warwick, RM; Somerfield, PJ
Abstract Statutory monitoring of the fauna of the ‘mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide’ biotope complex on St Martin's Flats, a part of the Isles of Scilly Complex Special Area of Conservation, was undertaken in 2000, 2004 and 2009. The targets set by Natural England for “characteristic biotopes” were that “composite species, abundance and diversity should not deviate significantly from an established baseline, subject to natural change”. The three specified biotope...
Full Text Available The territorial behavior of the red-whiskered bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus, was studied in the semiwild habitat of a bird farm compound in the District of Chana, Songkhla Province, the south of Thailand. The male and female birds were bred and reared in the farm till they reached maturity following which they were released to the wild. A mating pair was later formed and their territory established in the farm area. A decoy was used to simulate a natural intruder to the defended area. Ten test stations were sited in the four cardinal points of the compass and with reference to the farmhouse. The experiments were conducted during the pre-nesting and nesting periods. It was found that territorial boundary was marked by the resident male’s aggressive calls and threat displays to the decoy. The territory covered an area of approximately 0.3 hectare in which it was used for foraging and nesting. The size remained the same in both pre-nesting and nesting periods, but the territorial behavior during the nesting period was evidently more vigorous than that in the pre-nesting period. The intensities of territorial behavior had been hypothesized to be associated with diurnal foraging rhythms. But the finding was contradictory to this prediction. There was no significant difference in the intensity of territorial behavior (P > 0.05 at the three time regimes in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon. It was suggested that the resident bird’s aggressive behavior might be associated with the degree of hunger pang.
Scribner, Kim T.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Landguth, Erin L.; Luikart, Gordon; Infante, Dana M.; Whelan, Gary; Muhlfeld, Clint C.
Environmental variation and landscape features affect ecological processes in fluvial systems; however, assessing effects at management-relevant temporal and spatial scales is challenging. Genetic data can be used with landscape models and traditional ecological assessment data to identify biodiversity hotspots, predict ecosystem responses to anthropogenic effects, and detect impairments to underlying processes. We show that by combining taxonomic, demographic, and genetic data of species in complex riverscapes, managers can better understand the spatial and temporal scales over which environmental processes and disturbance influence biodiversity. We describe how population genetic models using empirical or simulated genetic data quantify effects of environmental processes affecting species diversity and distribution. Our summary shows that aquatic assessment initiatives that use standardized data sets to direct management actions can benefit from integration of genetic data to improve the predictability of disturbance–response relationships of river fishes and their habitats over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales.
Full Text Available Windbreaks often form networks of forest habitats that improve connectivity and thus conserve biodiversity, but little is known of such effects in the tropics. We determined bird species richness and community composition in windbreaks composed of remnant native vegetation amongst tea plantations (natural windbreaks, and compared it with the surrounding primary forests. Fifty-one, ten-minute point counts were conducted in each habitat type over three days. Despite the limited sampling period, our bird inventories in both natural windbreaks and primary forests were nearly complete, as indicated by bootstrap true richness estimator. Bird species richness and abundance between primary forests and windbreaks were similar, however a difference in bird community composition was observed. Abundances of important functional groups such as frugivores and insectivores did not vary between habitat types but nectarivores were more abundant in windbreaks, potentially as a result of the use of windbreaks as traveling routes, foraging and nesting sites. This preliminary study suggests that natural windbreaks may be important habitats for the persistence of bird species in a production landscape. However, a better understanding of the required physical and compositional characteristics for windbreaks to sustain bird communities is needed for effective conservation management.
Chazdon, Robin L; Chao, Anne; Colwell, Robert K
in second-growth (SG) and old-growth (OG) rain forests in the Caribbean lowlands of northeastern Costa Rica. We evaluate the multinomial model in detail for the tree data set. Our results for birds were highly concordant with a previous nonstatistical classification, but our method classified a higher......: (1) generalist; (2) habitat A specialist; (3) habitat B specialist; and (4) too rare to classify with confidence. We illustrate our multinomial classification method using two contrasting data sets: (1) bird abundance in woodland and heath habitats in southeastern Australia and (2) tree abundance...... fraction (57.7%) of bird species with statistical confidence. Based on a conservative specialization threshold and adjustment for multiple comparisons, 64.4% of tree species in the full sample were too rare to classify with confidence. Among the species classified, OG specialists constituted the largest...
MAURICIO N. GODOI
Full Text Available ABSTRACT The informations of bird species distribution in different habitats and the structure of their communities are crucial for bird conservation. We tested the differences in composition, richness and abundance of birds in different phytophysiognomies at Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil, and we demonstrated the variations in richness and abundance of birds between different trophic groups. Sampling was conducted between July 2011 and June 2012 in 200 point counts arranged in the study area. A total of 3350 contacts were obtained belonging to 156 bird species. Woodland savannas, seasonal forests and arboreal savannas had higher bird abundance and richness, while riparian forests, clean pastures and dirty pastures had smaller values of these parameters. The bird community was organized according to local vegetational gradient, with communities of forests, open areas and savannas, although many species occurred in more than one vegetation type. The insectivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and gramnivorous birds composed most of the community. These data showed how important environmental heterogeneity is to bird communities. Furthermore, the presence of extensive patches of natural habitats, the small distance between these patches and the permeability of pastures, with high arboreal and shrubby cover, are indicated as important factors to maintain the bird diversity.
Jiménez-Segura, L F; Galvis-Vergara, G; Cala-Cala, P; García-Alzate, C A; López-Casas, S; Ríos-Pulgarín, M I; Arango, G A; Mancera-Rodríguez, N J; Gutiérrez-Bonilla, F; Álvarez-León, R
The remarkable fish diversity in the Caribbean rivers of north-western South America evolved under the influences of the dramatic environmental changes of neogene northern South America, including the Quechua Orogeny and Pleistocene climate oscillations. Although this region is not the richest in South America, endemism is very high. Fish assemblage structure is unique to each of the four aquatic systems identified (rivers, streams, floodplain lakes and reservoirs) and community dynamics are highly synchronized with the mono-modal or bi-modal flooding pulse of the rainy seasons. The highly seasonal multispecies fishery is based on migratory species. Freshwater fish conservation is a challenge for Colombian environmental institutions because the Caribbean trans-Andean basins are the focus of the economic development of Colombian society, so management measures must be directed to protect aquatic habitat and their connectivity. These two management strategies are the only way for helping fish species conservation and sustainable fisheries. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
Eggert, L S; Buij, R; Lee, M E; Campbell, P; Dallmeier, F; Fleischer, R C; Alonso, A; Maldonado, J E
Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA containing energy and forestry concessions, we studied forest elephants to evaluate the importance of the MUA to wide-ranging species. We extracted DNA from elephant dung samples and used genetic information to identify over 500 individuals in the MUA and the parks. We then examined patterns of nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial control-region sequences to infer population structure, movement patterns, and habitat use by age and sex. Population structure was weak but significant, and differentiation was more pronounced during the wet season. Within the MUA, males were more strongly associated with open habitats, such as wetlands and savannas, than females during the dry season. Many of the movements detected within and between seasons involved the wetlands and bordering lagoons. Our results suggest that the MUA provides year-round habitat for some elephants and additional habitat for others whose primary range is in the parks. With the continuing loss of roadless wilderness areas in Central Africa, well-managed MUAs will likely be important to the conservation of wide-ranging species. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
Karina Vieira Martins
Full Text Available “Restingas” are herbaceous/ shrubby coastal sand-dune habitats that cover great areas of Brazil, particularly along the Bahia state coast. The restingas are disturbed and are under strong pressure, mainly in northeastern Brazil. Fragmentation of the landscape and habitat loss within natural ecosystems are the factors which are mainly responsible for reduction of species diversity by extinction events. The goal of thepresent study was elucidate whether the conservation status of restinga habitats on the northern coast of Bahia state was interfering with microhabitat use by the endemic lizard Tropidurus hygomi. The results showed that the use of microhabitat resources by T. hygomi did not have any signifi cant differences in the four areas we chose for study. However, diverse factors of degradation were found to contribute indirectly to its habitat loss. The T. hygomi lizard is a generalist in its use of restinga microhabitats, and probably due the endemic condition, its conservation status is linked directly to conservation of the restinga habitats on the northern coast of Bahia state.
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.
Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
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.
Full Text Available The EU Habitats Directive requires all member states to report every 6 years on the implementation of the Directive. The report covering the period 2000 – 2006 included for the first time an assessment of the conservation status of the habitats and species listed on annexes I, II, IV & V of the Habitats Directive following an agreed format. Based on national reports submitted from member States the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity has prepared assessments for each biogeographical region at EU-level. The majority of the habitats of Annex I are not at favourable status although there is much variation both between countries and regions and between habitats. The results will be discussed at European level and at member state level with a case study of the German national report. At the same time a number of methodical problems became apparent both in Germany and at EU-level. Work is already under way to improve the next report for the period 2007 – 2012. The dimension of management needs, threats and pressures and the time scale for improvements of the conservation status are discussed. Habitats linked to agriculture appear to be particularly unfavourable.
Full Text Available The EU Habitats Directive requires all member states to report every 6 years on the implementation of the Directive. The report covering the period 2000 – 2006 included for the first time an assessment of the conservation status of the habitats and species listed on annexes I, II, IV & V of the Habitats Directive following an agreed format. Based on national reports submitted from member States the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity has prepared assessments for each biogeographical region at EU-level. The majority of the habitats of Annex I are not at favourable status although there is much variation both between countries and regions and between habitats. The results will be discussed at European level and at member state level with a case study of the German national report. At the same time a number of methodical problems became apparent both in Germany and at EU-level. Work is already under way to improve the next report for the period 2007 – 2012. The dimension of management needs, threats and pressures and the time scale for improvements of the conservation status are discussed. Habitats linked to agriculture appear to be particularly unfavourable.
Anderson, Alexander S.; Marques, Tiago A.; Shoo, Luke P.; Williams, Stephen E.
Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species. PMID:26110433
Luis Esteban Krause Lanés
Full Text Available Austrolebias genus comprises about 40 small annual killifishes endemic to South America and their highest diversity occurs in southern Brazil and Uruguay, especially in drainages of Patos-Mirim system. Austrolebiasspecies are severely threatened with extinction because their life cycle and restricted ranges. Low dispersal ability and the extensive loss and fragmentation of freshwater wetlands contribute to this threat. Accurate information on the geographic distribution and ecology of the species, vital to plan conservation and management strategies, are scarce. In order to provide basic knowledge for annual fish conservation this paper reports the presence of Austrolebias cheradophilus and present data about its population structure (CPUA, size, sex ratio, length-weight relationships and condition factor and conservation status in southern Brazil. The estimated CPUA of populations was 0.86 fish/m2. Standard length (SL of males ranged between 32.14 and 49.17 mm and for females between 25.11 and 41.6 mm. There were no differences in SL between the sexes (t-test = - 1.678; P = 0.105, and Chi-squared test demonstrated marginal differences in proportions of sexes (2.25:1; χ2 = 3.846; P= 0.07. Allometric coefficient of the LWR was slightly hyperallometric (b = 3.08 and K of the specimens ranged from 1.84 to 2.42 (mean ± S.E. = 2.12 ± 0.04. Populations have low density and their biotopes are under critical threat, mainly due to suppression by agriculture, pastures for livestock and increase housing. The species is considered "Critically Endangered" in Brazil, furthermore is strongly recommended its inclusion on lists of endangered fauna and ensures the protection of their remaining habitats.
Leslie M. Reid
Downstream impacts to aquatic environments and property generally occur as cumulative watershed impacts, which are usually caused by changes in the transport of woody debris, water, and sediment through a watershed. The downstream cumulative impacts that are likely to accrue from implementation of the Sustained Yield Plan / Habitat Conservation Plan for the properties...
Eggert, L. S.; Buij, R.; Lee, M. E.; Campbell, P.; Dallmeier, F.; Fleischer, R. C.; Alonso, A.; Maldonado, J. E.
Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA
Eggert, L.S.; Buij, R.; Lee, M.E.; Campbell, P.; Dallmeier, F.; Fleischer, R.C.; Alonso, A.; Maldonado, J.
Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA
Marcinkowski, Paweł; Grabowski, Robert C; Okruszko, Tomasz
Anastomosing rivers were historically common around the world before extensive agricultural and industrial development in river valleys. Few lowland anastomosing rivers remain in temperate zones, and the protection of these river-floodplain systems is an international conservation priority. However, the mechanisms that drive the creation and maintenance of multiple channels, i.e. anabranches, are not well understood, particularly for lowland rivers, making it challenging to identify effective management strategies. This study uses a novel multi-scale, process-based hydro-geomorphological approach to investigate the natural and anthropogenic controls on anastomosis in lowland river reaches. Using a wide range of data (hydrologic, cartographic, remote-sensing, historical), the study (i) quantifies changes in the planform of the River Narew, Poland over the last 100years, (ii) documents changes in the natural and anthropogenic factors that could be driving the geomorphic change, and (iii) develops a conceptual model of the controls of anastomosis. The results show that 110km of anabranches have been lost from the Narew National Park (6810ha), a 42% reduction in total anabranch length since 1900. The rates of anabranch loss have increased as the number of pressures inhibiting anabranch creation and maintenance has multiplied. The cessation of localized water level and channel management (fishing dams, water mills and timber rafting), the loss of traditional floodplain activities (seasonal mowing) and infrastructure construction (embanked roads and an upstream dam) are contributing to low water levels and flows, the deposition of sediment at anabranch inlets, the encroachment of common reed (Phragmites australis), and the eventual loss of anabranches. By identifying the processes driving the loss of anabranches, this study provides transferable insights into the controls of anastomosis in lowland rivers and the management solutions needed to preserve the unique
Warwick, R. M.; Somerfield, P. J.
Statutory monitoring of the fauna of the 'mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide' biotope complex on St Martin's Flats, a part of the Isles of Scilly Complex Special Area of Conservation, was undertaken in 2000, 2004 and 2009. The targets set by Natural England for "characteristic biotopes" were that "composite species, abundance and diversity should not deviate significantly from an established baseline, subject to natural change". The three specified biotopes could not be distinguished, and instead three assemblages were subjectively defined based on sediment surface features. There were statistically significant natural changes in diversity and species composition between years, especially in the association initially characterised by the razor-clam Ensis, and possible reasons for this are discussed. It is suggested that setting fixed local limits on natural variability is almost always impractical. Two possible approaches to distinguishing between natural and anthropogenic changes are suggested; a change in ecological condition as indicated by AMBI scores, and a significant change in average taxonomic distinctness (Δ+) compared with expectation. The determination of species biomasses as well as abundances might also open more possibilities for assessment. The practice of setting objectives for a marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) feature that include the range and number of biotopes cannot be supported, in view of the difficulty in ascribing assemblages to recognised biotopes. A more realistic definition of species assemblages might best be gained from examination of the species that consistently make a substantial contribution to the Bray-Curtis similarity among samples collected from specific sites.
Forcey, G.M.; Linz, G.M.; Thogmartin, W.E.; Bleier, W.J.
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.
Carroll, Carlos; McRae, Brad H; Brookes, Allen
Centrality metrics evaluate paths between all possible pairwise combinations of sites on a landscape to rank the contribution of each site to facilitating ecological flows across the network of sites. Computational advances now allow application of centrality metrics to landscapes represented as continuous gradients of habitat quality. This avoids the binary classification of landscapes into patch and matrix required by patch-based graph analyses of connectivity. It also avoids the focus on delineating paths between individual pairs of core areas characteristic of most corridor- or linkage-mapping methods of connectivity analysis. Conservation of regional habitat connectivity has the potential to facilitate recovery of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), a species currently recolonizing portions of its historic range in the western United States. We applied 3 contrasting linkage-mapping methods (shortest path, current flow, and minimum-cost-maximum-flow) to spatial data representing wolf habitat to analyze connectivity between wolf populations in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming). We then applied 3 analogous betweenness centrality metrics to analyze connectivity of wolf habitat throughout the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada to determine where it might be possible to facilitate range expansion and interpopulation dispersal. We developed software to facilitate application of centrality metrics. Shortest-path betweenness centrality identified a minimal network of linkages analogous to those identified by least-cost-path corridor mapping. Current flow and minimum-cost-maximum-flow betweenness centrality identified diffuse networks that included alternative linkages, which will allow greater flexibility in planning. Minimum-cost-maximum-flow betweenness centrality, by integrating both land cost and habitat capacity, allows connectivity to be considered within planning processes that seek to maximize species protection at minimum cost
Goymann, W; Makomba, M; Urasa, F; Schwabl, I
Why mainly males compete and females take a larger share in parental care remains an exciting question in evolutionary biology. Role-reversed species are of particular interest, because such 'exceptions' help to test the rule. Using mating systems theory as a framework, we compared the reproductive ecology of the two most contrasting coucals with regard to sexual dimorphism and parental care: the black coucal with male-only care and the biparental white-browed coucal. Both species occur in the same lush habitat and face similar ecological conditions, but drastically differ in mating system and sexual dimorphism. Black coucals were migratory and occurred at high breeding densities. With females being obligatory polyandrous and almost twice as heavy as males, black coucals belong to the most extreme vertebrates with reversed sexual dimorphism. Higher variance in reproductive success in fiercely competing females suggests that sexual selection is stronger in females than in males. In contrast, resident white-browed coucals bred at low densities and invariably in pairs. They were almost monomorphic and the variance in reproductive success was similar between the sexes. Black coucals were more likely to lose nests than white-browed coucals, probably facilitating female emancipation of parental care in black coucals. We propose that a combination of high food abundance, high population density, high degree of nest loss and male bias in the adult sex ratio represent ecological conditions that facilitate role reversal and polyandry in coucals and terrestrial vertebrates in general. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Full Text Available Brazil’s Cerrado is a highly diverse ecosystem and it provides critical habitat for many species. Cerrado habitats have suffered significant degradation and decline over the past decades due to expansion of cash crops and livestock farming across South America. Approximately 1,800,000 km2 of the Cerrado remain in Brazil, but detailed maps and conservation assessments of the Cerrado are lacking. We developed a land cover classification for the Cerrado, focusing on the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, which may also be used to map critical habitat for endangered species. We used a Random Forest algorithm to perform a supervised classification on a set of Landsat 8 images. To determine habitat fragmentation for the Cerrado, we used Fragstats. A habitat connectivity analysis was performed using Linkage Mapper. Our final classification had an overall accuracy of 88%. Our classification produced higher accuracies (72% in predicting Cerrado than existing government maps. We found that remaining Cerrado habitats were severely fragmented. Four potential corridors were identified in the southwest of Mato Grosso do Sul, where large Cerrado patches are located. Only two large patches remain in Mato Grosso do Sul: one within the Kadiwéu Indian Reserve, and one near the southeastern edge of the Pantanal-dominated landscape. These results are alarming for rare species requiring larger tracts of habitat such as the giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus.
Adiane Conceição de Oliveira
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.
Socolar, Jacob B; Epanchin, Peter N; Beissinger, Steven R; Tingley, Morgan W
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