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...
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...
... 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...
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...
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
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
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...
...] 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...
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
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...
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
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.
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".
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
... 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...
...-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...
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
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.
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...
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...
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.
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
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.
...-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...
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 ?...
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
...-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.
... 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; ...
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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...
...-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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
...] 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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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".
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.
...] 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...
...] 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...
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...
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...
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
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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
.... 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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
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...
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...
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
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
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...
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.
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...
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
Gravina, Maria Flavia; Cardone, Frine; Bonifazi, Andrea; Bertrandino, Marta Simona; Chimienti, Giovanni; Longo, Caterina; Marzano, Carlotta Nonnis; Moretti, Massimo; Lisco, Stefania; Moretti, Vincenzo; Corriero, Giuseppe; Giangrande, Adriana
Bio-constructions by Sabellaria worms play a key functional role in the coastal ecosystems being an engineer organism and for this reason are the object of protection. The most widespread reef building species along Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts is S. alveolata (L.), while the aggregations of S. spinulosa are typically limited to the North Sea coasts. This paper constitutes the first detailed description of unusual large S. spinulosa reefs in the Mediterranean Sea. Defining current health status and evaluating the most important threats and impacts is essential to address conservation needs and design management plans for these large biogenic structures. Present knowledge on Mediterranean reefs of S. alveolata is fragmentary compared to Northeast Atlantic reefs, and concerning S. spinulosa, this paper represents a focal point in the knowledge on Mediterranean reefs of this species. A one-year study on temporal changes in reef structure and associated fauna is reported. The annual cycle of S. spinulosa reef shows a spawning event in winter-early spring, a period of growth and tubes aggregation from spring-early summer to autumn and a degeneration phase in winter. The variations exhibited in density of the worm aggregation and the changes in the reef elevation highlight a decline and regeneration of the structure over a year. The many ecological roles of the S. spinulosa reef were mainly in providing a diversity of microhabitats hosting hard and sandy bottom species, sheltering rare species, and producing biogenic structures able to provide coastal protection. The Mediterranean S. spinulosa reef does not shelter a distinctive associated fauna; however the richness in species composition underscores the importance of the reef as a biodiversity hot-spot. Finally, the roles of the biogenic formations and their important biotic and physical dynamics support the adoption of strategies for conservation of Mediterranean S.spinulosa reefs, according to the aims of the
Rudolphi, Jörgen; Gustafsson, Lena
The majority of managed forests in Fennoscandia are younger than 70 years old but yet little is known about their potential to host rare and threatened species. In this study, we examined red-listed bryophytes and lichens in 19 young stands originating from clear-cutting (30–70 years old) in the boreal region, finding 19 red-listed species (six bryophytes and 13 lichens). We used adjoining old stands, which most likely never had been clear-cut, as reference. The old stands contained significantly more species, but when taking the amount of biological legacies (i.e., remaining deciduous trees and dead wood) from the previous forest generation into account, bryophyte species number did not differ between old and young stands, and lichen number was even higher in young stands. No dispersal effect could be detected from the old to the young stands. The amount of wetlands in the surroundings was important for bryophytes, as was the area of old forest for both lichens and bryophytes. A cardinal position of young stands to the north of old stands was beneficial to red-listed bryophytes as well as lichens. We conclude that young forest plantations may function as habitat for red-listed species, but that this depends on presence of structures from the previous forest generation, and also on qualities in the surrounding landscape. Nevertheless, at repeated clear-cuttings, a successive decrease in species populations in young production stands is likely, due to increased fragmentation and reduced substrate amounts. Retention of dead wood and deciduous trees might be efficient conservation measures. Although priority needs to be given to preservation of remnant old-growth forests, we argue that young forests rich in biological legacies and located in landscapes with high amounts of old forests may have a conservation value. PMID:21490926
Etnoyer, P. J.; Hourigan, T. F.; Reser, B.; Monaco, M.
The growing fleet of telepresence-enabled research vessels equipped with deep-sea imaging technology provides a new opportunity to catalyze and coordinate research efforts among ships. This development is particularly useful for studying the distribution and diversity of deep-sea corals, which occur worldwide from 50 to 8600 m depth. Marine managers around the world seek to conserve these habitats, but require a clear consensus on what types of information are most important and most relevant for marine conservation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seeks to develop a reproducible, non-invasive set of ROV methods designed to measure conservation value, or habitat quality, for deep-sea corals and sponges. New tools and methods will be proposed to inform ocean resource management, as well as facilitate research, outreach, and education. A new database schema will be presented, building upon the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and efforts of submersible and ROV teams over the years. Visual information about corals and sponges has proven paramount, particularly high-quality images with standard attributes for marine geology and marine biology, including scientific names, colony size, health, abundance, and density. Improved habitat suitability models can be developed from these data if presence and absence are measured. Recent efforts to incorporate physical sampling into telepresence protocols further increase the value of such information. It is possible for systematic observations with small file sizes to be distributed as geo-referenced, time-stamped still images with environmental variables for water chemistry and a standardized habitat classification. The technique is common among researchers, but a distributed network for this information is still in its infancy. One goal of this presentation is to make progress towards a more integrated network of these measured observations of habitat quality to better facilitate
Full Text Available A survey of the macroinvertebrates of three brooks harbouring the white-clawed crayfish was conducted in Haute-Vienne department (France. Its aim was to increase our understanding of these ecosystems to help the conservation of A. pallipes. These brooks run through pastoral areas with well-developed riparian vegetation, which offers an important shade. Water temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, pH, and conductivity fell within the ranges found for this species. A total of 34, 31, 29 taxa and 1 502, 1 364, 2 707 individuals of macrobenthos were collected in Holme, Besque and Bellecombe streams, respectively. Results showed good to very good water quality with IBGN scores ranging from 15 (Bellecombe to 17 (Holme and Besque, reflecting a limited impact of the anthropogenic disturbances. Taxa diversity were high for Holme and Besque with Shannon index around 3.2, translating a great heterogeneity of habitat and an equilibrated faunal community. Bellecombe showed a limited diversity with Shannon index of 1.42, resulting from the presence of numberous Chironomidae. This brook suffers probably weak organic pollution which could be related to the low water flow observed during the sampling. The similarity test according to Jaccard index showed high percentage of common taxa among ETP (Ephemeroptera-Trichoptera-Plecoptera between all sites. The high similarity of benthic macroinvertebrate communities could be an useful criteria to identify brooks for restocking purpose.
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.
Hamilton, Christopher M.; Baumann, Matthias; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Helmers, David P.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Heglund, Patricia J.; Radeloff, Volker C.
ContextHousing growth can alter suitability of matrix habitats around protected areas, strongly affecting movements of organisms and, consequently, threatening connectivity of protected area networks.ObjectivesOur goal was to quantify distribution and growth of housing around the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System. This is important information for conservation planning, particularly given promotion of habitat connectivity as a climate change adaptation measure.MethodsWe quantified housing growth from 1940 to 2000 and projected future growth to 2030 within three distances from refuges, identifying very low housing density open space, “opportunity areas” (contiguous areas with habitat corridors within these opportunity areas in 2000.ResultsOur results indicated that the number and area of open space opportunity areas generally decreased with increasing distance from refuges and with the passage of time. Furthermore, total area in habitat corridors was much lower than in opportunity areas. In addition, the number of corridors sometimes exceeded number of opportunity areas as a result of habitat fragmentation, indicating corridors are likely vulnerable to land use change. Finally, regional differences were strong and indicated some refuges may have experienced so much housing growth already that they are effectively too isolated to adapt to climate change, while others may require extensive habitat restoration work.ConclusionsWildlife refuges are increasingly isolated by residential housing development, potentially constraining the movement of wildlife and, therefore, their ability to adapt to a changing climate.
The IUCN/WWF Plants Conservation Programme 1984 — 1985. World Wildlife Fund chose plants to be the subject of their fund-raising campaign in the period 1984 — 1985. The objectives were to: 1. Use information techniques to achieve the conservation objectives of the Plants Programme – to save plants;
National Audubon Society, New York, NY.
This set of teaching aids consists of seven Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing the teacher and student with informational reading on various topics in conservation. The bulletins have these titles: Plants as Makers of Soil, Water Pollution Control, The Ground Water Table, Conservation--To Keep This Earth Habitable, Our Threatened Air Supply,…
Becker, Nina I; Encarnação, Jorge A
Species distribution and endangerment can be assessed by habitat-suitability modelling. This study addresses methodical aspects of habitat suitability modelling and includes an application example in actual species conservation and landscape planning. Models using species presence-absence data are preferable to presence-only models. In contrast to species presence data, absences are rarely recorded. Therefore, many studies generate pseudo-absence data for modelling. However, in this study model quality was higher with null samples collected in the field. Next to species data the choice of landscape data is crucial for suitability modelling. Landscape data with high resolution and ecological relevance for the study species improve model reliability and quality for small elusive mammals like Muscardinus avellanarius. For large scale assessment of species distribution, models with low-detailed data are sufficient. For regional site-specific conservation issues like a conflict-free site for new wind turbines, high-detailed regional models are needed. Even though the overlap with optimally suitable habitat for M. avellanarius was low, the installation of wind plants can pose a threat due to habitat loss and fragmentation. To conclude, modellers should clearly state the purpose of their models and choose the according level of detail for species and environmental data.
Modeling the dispersion of atelines (primates, atelinae) through scenarios of climate change and habitat fragmentation in Colombia. Conservation implications for the persistence of species into the future
Burbano- Girón, Jaime
Abstract. Prioritizing landscape connectivity is a primary objective in the conservation planning of biodiversity, since it is assumed that there will be scenarios where the dispersal of species would be necessary due to habitat fragmentation and climate change. Atelines (Primates, Atelinae) include species of Spider Monkeys (Ateles spp.) and Woolly monkeys (Lagothrix spp.); primates with great importance for the tropical forest ecosystems where they inhabit because of their role as seed disp...
Full Text Available Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential corridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In the study area, the type of vegetation with the most change rate value was the savanna (δn=-2.9, transformed into induced grasslands. Additionally, we have observed the porcupine (since 2011 in semi-deciduous (δn=-0.87 and tropical dry (δn=-0.89 forests that have been transformed in temporal agriculture and mesquite and induced grasslands. The vegetation inhabited by the porcupine resulted in recording a total of 64 plant species (44 trees, nine vines, seven herbs, four shrubs, of which the vine Bunchosia lanceolata showed the highest importance value (41.85 followed by the trees Guazuma ulmifolia (22.71, Dalbergia glabra (18.05, and Enterolobium cyclocarpum (17.02. The habitat evaluation and potential corridor analysis showed that only 1 501.93ha could be considered as suitable habitats with optimum structural conditions (coverage, surface, and distances to transformed areas to maintain viable populations of S. mexicanus, and 293.6ha as corridors. An increasing destruction of the porcupines’ habitat has been observed in the study area due to excessive logging, and actions for this species and its habitat conservation and management have to be taken urgently. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (4: 1481-1494. Epub 2014 December 01.
Full Text Available Knowledge of the spatial distribution and habitat associations of species in relation to the environment is essential for their management and conservation. Habitat suitability models are useful in quantifying species-environment relationships and predicting species distribution patterns. Little is known, however, about the stability and performance of habitat suitability models when projected into new areas (spatial transferability and how this can inform resource management. The aims of this study were to model habitat suitability of Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus in five fished areas of the Northeast Atlantic (Aran ground, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Scotland Inshore and Fladen ground, and to test for spatial transferability of habitat models among multiple regions. Nephrops burrow density was modelled using generalised additive models (GAMs with predictors selected from four environmental variables (depth, slope, sediment and rugosity. Models were evaluated and tested for spatial transferability among areas. The optimum models (lowest AICc for different areas always included depth and sediment as predictors. Burrow densities were generally greater at depth and in finer sediments, but relationships for individual areas were sometimes more complex. Aside from an inclusion of depth and sediment, the optimum models differed between fished areas. When it came to tests of spatial transferability, however, most of the models were able to predict Nephrops density in other areas. Furthermore, transferability was not dependent on use of the optimum models since competing models were also able to achieve a similar level of transferability to new areas. A degree of decoupling between model 'fitting' performance and spatial transferability supports the use of simpler models when extrapolating habitat suitability maps to different areas. Differences in the form and performance of models from different areas may supply further information on the processes
Full Text Available Jaguar (Panthera onca populations in the Upper Paraná River, in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest region, live in a landscape that includes highly fragmented areas as well as relatively intact ones. We developed a model of jaguar habitat suitability in this region, and based on this habitat model, we developed a spatially structured metapopulation model of the jaguar populations in this area to analyze their viability, the potential impact of road mortality on the populations' persistence, and the interaction between road mortality and habitat fragmentation. In more highly fragmented populations, density of jaguars per unit area is lower and density of roads per jaguar is higher. The populations with the most fragmented habitat were predicted to have much lower persistence in the next 100 years when the model included no dispersal, indicating that the persistence of these populations are dependent to a large extent on dispersal from other populations. This, in turn, indicates that the interaction between road mortality and habitat fragmentation may lead to source-sink dynamics, whereby populations with highly fragmented habitat are maintained only by dispersal from populations with less fragmented habitat. This study demonstrates the utility of linking habitat and demographic models in assessing impacts on species living in fragmented landscapes.
Cullen, Laury; Stanton, Jessica C; Lima, Fernando; Uezu, Alexandre; Perilli, Miriam L L; Akçakaya, H Reşit
Jaguar (Panthera onca) populations in the Upper Paraná River, in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest region, live in a landscape that includes highly fragmented areas as well as relatively intact ones. We developed a model of jaguar habitat suitability in this region, and based on this habitat model, we developed a spatially structured metapopulation model of the jaguar populations in this area to analyze their viability, the potential impact of road mortality on the populations' persistence, and the interaction between road mortality and habitat fragmentation. In more highly fragmented populations, density of jaguars per unit area is lower and density of roads per jaguar is higher. The populations with the most fragmented habitat were predicted to have much lower persistence in the next 100 years when the model included no dispersal, indicating that the persistence of these populations are dependent to a large extent on dispersal from other populations. This, in turn, indicates that the interaction between road mortality and habitat fragmentation may lead to source-sink dynamics, whereby populations with highly fragmented habitat are maintained only by dispersal from populations with less fragmented habitat. This study demonstrates the utility of linking habitat and demographic models in assessing impacts on species living in fragmented landscapes.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat, areas of habitat essential to the species' conservation, for ESA...
Full Text Available The Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou, Boreal Population in Canada (EC, 2012, identifies coordinated actions to reclaim woodland caribou habitat as a key step to meeting current and future caribou population objectives. Actions include restoring industrial landscape features such as roads, seismic lines, pipelines, cut-lines, and cleared areas in an effort to reduce landscape fragmentation and the changes in caribou population dynamics associated with changing predator-prey dynamics in highly fragmented landscapes. Reliance on habitat restoration as a recovery action within the federal recovery strategy is high, considering all Alberta populations have less than 65% undisturbed habitat, which is identified in the recovery strategy as a threshold providing a 60% chance that a local population will be self-sustaining. Alberta’s Provincial Woodland Caribou Policy also identifies habitat restoration as a critical component of long-term caribou habitat management. We review and discuss the history of caribou habitat restoration programs in Alberta and present outcomes and highlights of a caribou habitat restoration workshop attended by over 80 representatives from oil and gas, forestry, provincial and federal regulators, academia and consulting who have worked on restoration programs. Restoration initiatives in Alberta began in 2001 and have generally focused on construction methods, revegetation treatments, access control programs, and limiting plant species favourable to alternate prey. Specific treatments include tree planting initiatives, coarse woody debris management along linear features, and efforts for multi-company and multi-stakeholder coordinated habitat restoration on caribou range. Lessons learned from these programs have been incorporated into large scale habitat restoration projects near Grande Prairie, Cold Lake, and Fort McMurray. A key outcome of our review is the opportunity to provide a
Maximum standard metabolic rate corresponds with the salinity of maximum growth in hatchlings of the estuarine northern diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin): Implications for habitat conservation
Rowe, Christopher L.
I evaluated standard metabolic rates (SMR) of hatchling northern diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) across a range of salinities (salinity = 1.5, 4, 8, 12, and 16 psu) that they may encounter in brackish habitats such as those in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay, U.S.A. Consumption of O2 and production of CO2 by resting, unfed animals served as estimates of SMR. A peak in SMR occurred at 8 psu which corresponds closely with the salinity at which hatchling growth was previously shown to be maximized (salinity ∼ 9 psu). It appears that SMR is influenced by growth, perhaps reflecting investments in catabolic pathways that fuel anabolism. This ecophysiological information can inform environmental conservation and management activities by identifying portions of the estuary that are bioenergetically optimal for growth of hatchling terrapins. I suggest that conservation and restoration efforts to protect terrapin populations in oligo-to mesohaline habitats should prioritize protection or creation of habitats in regions where average salinity is near 8 psu and energetic investments in growth appear to be maximized.
... 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...
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.
Adams, Grant D.; Flores, Daniel; Flores, Oscar Galindo
While global declines of pelagic shark populations have been recognized for several years, conservation efforts remain hampered by a poor understanding of the spatial distribution and ecology. Two species of conservation concern are the blue shark Prionace glauca and the shortfin mako shark Isuru...
Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Stephen R. Shifley; William D. Dijak; Zhaofei Fan; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Judith A. Perez; Cynthia M. Sandeno
We demonstrate an approach to integrated land-management planning and quantify differences in vegetation and avian habitat conditions among 5 management alternatives as part of the Hoosier National Forest planning process. The alternatives differed in terms of the type, extent, magnitude, frequency, and location of management activities. We modeled ecological processes...
... endangered Fender's blue butterfly incidental to otherwise lawful activities associated with county road...'' means to ``harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to... road rights- of-way; (2) habitat restoration, enhancement, and management (including monitoring and...
... at: 1655 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA 95521 (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). The Final EA, HCP, and... term ``take'' as: ``harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to... actually kills or injures fish or wildlife, and such acts may include ``significant habitat modification or...
Nkrumah, E. E.; Vallo, Peter; Klose, S. M.; Ripperger, S.; Badu, E. K.; Gloza-Rausch, F.; Drosten, C.; Kalko, E. K. V.; Tschapka, M.; Oppong, S. K.
Roč. 9, č. 4 (2016), s. 1-11 ISSN 1940-0829 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : agro-environment * cocoa farms * fallow lands * seminatural habitats * sub-Saharan Africa Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.238, year: 2016
Full Text Available The relationship between species’ size and home range size has been well studied. In practice, home range may provide a good surrogate of broad spatial coverage needed for species conservation, however, many species can show restricted movement during critical life stages, such as breeding and over-wintering. This suggests the existence of either a behavioral or habitat mediated ‘temporal bottleneck,’ where restricted or sedentary movement can make populations more susceptible to harm during specific life stages. Here, we study over-winter movement and habitat use of Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, the largest freshwater fish in North America. We monitored over-winter movement of 86 fish using a hydro-acoustic receiver array in the South Saskatchewan River, Canada. Overall, 20 fish remained within our study system throughout the winter. Lake Sturgeon showed strong aggregation and sedentary movement over-winter, demonstrating a temporal bottleneck. Movement was highly restricted during ice-on periods (ranging from 0.9 km/day in November and April to 0.2 km/day in mid-November to mid-March, with Lake Sturgeon seeking deeper, slower pools. We also show that Lake Sturgeon have strong aggregation behavior, where distance to conspecifics decreased (from 575 to 313 m in preparation for and during ice-on periods. Although the Lake Sturgeon we studied had access to 1100 kilometers of unfragmented riverine habitat, we show that during the over-winter period Lake Sturgeon utilized a single, deep pool (<0.1% of available habitat. The temporal discrepancy between mobile and sedentary behaviors in Lake Sturgeon suggest adaptive management is needed with more localized focus during periods of temporal bottlenecks, even for large-bodied species.
Full Text Available Biodiversity offsets have emerged as one of the most prominent policy approaches to align economic development with nature protection across many jurisdictions, including the European Union. Given the increased level of scrutiny that needs to be applied when authorizing economic developments near protected Natura 2000 sites, the incorporation of onsite biodiversity offsets in project design has grown increasingly popular in some member states, such as the Netherlands and Belgium. Under this approach, the negative effects of developments are outbalanced by restoration programs that are functionally linked to the infrastructure projects. However, although taking into consideration that the positive effects of onsite restoration measures leads to more leeway for harmful project development, the EU Court of Justice has recently dismissed the latter approaches for going against the preventative underpinnings of the EU Habitats Directive. Also, the expected beneficial outcomes of the restoration efforts are uncertain and thus cannot be relied upon in an ecological assessment under Article 6(3 of the Habitats Directive. Although biodiversity offsets can still be relied upon whenever application is being made of the derogation clause under Article 6(4 of the Habitats Directive, they cannot be used as mitigation under the generic decision-making process for plans and programs liable to adversely affect Natura 2000 sites. We outline the main arguments pro and contra the stance of the EU Court of Justice with regards to the exact delineation between mitigation and compensation. The analysis is also framed in the ongoing debate on the effectiveness of the EU nature directives. Although ostensibly rigid, it is argued that the recent case-law developments are in line with the main principles underpinning biodiversity offsetting. Opening the door for biodiversity offsetting under the Habitats Directive will certainly not reverse the predicament of the EU
Full Text Available We studied the non-marine reptile and amphibian species of the volcanic Comoro archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean, a poorly known island herpetofauna comprising numerous microendemic species of potentially high extinction risk and widespread, non-endemic and often invasive taxa. According to our data, the Comoro islands are inhabited by two amphibian species and at least 28 species of reptiles although ongoing genetic studies and unconfirmed historical records suggest an even higher species diversity. 14 of the 28 currently recognized species of terrestrial reptiles (50% and the two amphibians are endemic to a single island or to the Comoro archipelago. The majority of species are most abundant at low elevation. However, a few endemic species, like the gekkonid lizards Paroedura sanctijohannis and Phelsuma nigristriata, are more common in or even confined to higher altitudes. We created habitat maps from remotely sensed data in combination with detailed species distribution maps produced using comprehensive data from field surveys between 2000 and 2010, literature, and historical locality records based on specimens in zoological collections. Using these data, we assessed the conservation status of the endemic terrestrial reptiles and amphibians according to the IUCN Red List criteria. Our results show that although little area of natural forest remains on the Comoros, many species are abundant in degraded forest or plantations. Competition and predation by invasive species appears to be the most important threat factor for the endemic herpetofauna, together with habitat degradation and destruction, which further favours invasive species. We propose the status Endangered for three species, Vulnerable for one species, Near Threatened for six species, Least Concern for four and Data Deficient for two species. The endemic subspecies Oplurus cuvieri comorensis is proposed for the status Critically Endangered. Based on the results of this study
Shinneman, Douglas J.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Coates, Peter S.; Germino, Matthew J.; Pilliod, David S.; Vaillant, Nicole M.
Interactions between fire and nonnative, annual plant species (that is, “the grass/fire cycle”) represent one of the greatest threats to sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems and associated wildlife, including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). In 2015, U.S. Department of the Interior called for a “science-based strategy to reduce the threat of large-scale rangeland fire to habitat for the greater sage-grouse and the sagebrush-steppe ecosystem.” An associated guidance document, the “Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan,” identified fuel breaks as high priority areas for scientific research. Fuel breaks are intended to reduce fire size and frequency, and potentially they can compartmentalize wildfire spatial distribution in a landscape. Fuel breaks are designed to reduce flame length, fireline intensity, and rates of fire spread in order to enhance firefighter access, improve response times, and provide safe and strategic anchor points for wildland fire-fighting activities. To accomplish these objectives, fuel breaks disrupt fuel continuity, reduce fuel accumulation, and (or) increase plants with high moisture content through the removal or modification of vegetation in strategically placed strips or blocks of land.Fuel breaks are being newly constructed, enhanced, or proposed across large areas of the Great Basin to reduce wildfire risk and to protect remaining sagebrush ecosystems (including greater sage-grouse habitat). These projects are likely to result in thousands of linear miles of fuel breaks that will have direct ecological effects across hundreds of thousands of acres through habitat loss and conversion. These projects may also affect millions of acres indirectly because of edge effects and habitat fragmentation created by networks of fuel breaks. Hence, land managers are often faced with a potentially paradoxical situation: the need to substantially alter sagebrush habitats with fuel breaks
Over the last decades, the Barn Owl population has markedly decreased in range and breeding numbers in The Netherlands as in most western European countries. For effective conservation and population management, it is essential to know which factors are responsible for this decline. The present
Jorgensen, Christopher F.; Powell, Larkin A.; Lusk, Jeffrey J.; Bishop, Andrew A.; Fontaine, Joseph J.
Landscapes in agricultural systems continue to undergo significant change, and the loss of biodiversity is an ever-increasing threat. Although habitat restoration is beneficial, management actions do not always result in the desired outcome. Managers must understand why management actions fail; yet, past studies have focused on assessing habitat attributes at a single spatial scale, and often fail to consider the importance of ecological mechanisms that act across spatial scales. We located survey sites across southern Nebraska, USA and conducted point counts to estimate Ring-necked Pheasant abundance, an economically important species to the region, while simultaneously quantifying landscape effects using a geographic information system. To identify suitable areas for allocating limited management resources, we assessed land cover relationships to our counts using a Bayesian binomial-Poisson hierarchical model to construct predictive Species Distribution Models of relative abundance. Our results indicated that landscape scale land cover variables severely constrained or, alternatively, facilitated the positive effects of local land management for Ring-necked Pheasants.
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).
Spruce, Joseph P.; Swann, Roberta; Smooth, James
The Mobile Bay region has undergone significant land use land cover change (LULC) over the last 35 years, much of which is associated with urbanization. These changes have impacted the region s water quality and wildlife habitat availability. In addition, much of the region is low-lying and close to the Gulf, which makes the region vulnerable to hurricanes, climate change (e.g., sea level rise), and sometimes man-made disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Land use land cover change information is needed to help coastal zone managers and planners to understand and mitigate the impacts of environmental change on the region. This presentation discusses selective results of a current NASA-funded project in which Landsat data over a 34-year period (1974-2008) is used to produce, validate, refine, and apply land use land cover change products to aid coastal habitat conservation and restoration needs of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MB NEP). The project employed a user defined classification scheme to compute LULC change mapping products for the entire region, which includes the majority of Mobile and Baldwin counties. Additional LULC change products have been computed for select coastal HUC-12 sub-watersheds adjacent to either Mobile Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, as part of the MB NEP watershed profile assessments. This presentation will include results of additional analyses of LULC change for sub-watersheds that are currently high priority areas, as defined by MB NEP. Such priority sub-watersheds include those that are vulnerable to impacts from the DWH oil spill, as well as sub-watersheds undergoing urbanization. Results demonstrating the nature and permanence of LULC change trends for these higher priority sub-watersheds and results characterizing change for the entire 34-year period and at approximate 10-year intervals across this period will also be presented. Future work will include development of value-added coastal habitat quality
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 the present 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 Biodeterioration phenomena are of great relevance in rock settlements, due to favourable environmental conditions, such as the infiltration of rainwaters, condensation phenomena and abundance of salts and organic nutrients. Rinaldi’s rock shelter in Filiano, which is located in a natural forest of mixed oaks is of great value due to the important traces of prehistoric paintings. It is an emblematic case of the delicate balance, achieved throughout the centuries, between the environment and artwork. During the plurimillenarian history of the site, a portion of the ceiling that covered the shelter collapsed, leaving signs that are still visible today, together with traces of blackening left by the fires of ancient settlements. Several of the biodeteriogens typical of rocky habitats have already been detected and include algae, cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens, vascular plants and fungi, which form macroscopic communities.Each community has an ecological preference and the mapping of their distribution is a suitable tool for understanding variations in the environmental factors that most affect them. Relating ecological data to the taxonomical characterization of the species and to the spatial distribution of each community, a site map of the humidity and of the nutrients was obtained. Among the various communities, microcolonial fungi (MCF, which appear as little black spots, here, represent the most critical risk factor, due to their low water needs. An evaluation of the biological risk for the possible future attack of such a biological community was made, suggesting indirect mitigation measures, through modification of the microclimatic and local ventilation conditions.
Wódkiewicz, Maciej; Dembicz, Iwona; Moysiyenko, Ivan I.
The habitat loss and fragmentation due to agricultural land-conversion affected the steppe throughout its range. In Ukraine, 95% of steppe was destroyed in the last two centuries. Remaining populations are confined to few refuges, like nature reserves, loess ravines, and kurgans (small burial mounds), the latter being often subject to destruction by archeological excavations. Stipa capillata L. is a typical grass species of Eurasian steppes and extrazonal dry grasslands, that was previously used as a model species in studies on steppe ecology. The aim of our research was to assess genetic diversity of S. capillata populations within different types of steppe refuges (loess ravines, biosphere reserve, kurgan) and to evaluate the value of the latter group for the preservation of genetic diversity in the study species. We assessed genetic diversity of 266 individuals from 15 populations (nine from kurgans, three from loess ravines and three from Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve) with eight Universal Rice Primers (URPs). Studied populations showed high intra-population variability (I: 0.262-0.419, PPB: 52.08-82.64%). Populations from kurgans showed higher genetic differentiation (ΦST = 0.247) than those from loess ravines (ΦST = 0.120) and the biosphere reserve (ΦST = 0.142). Although the diversity metrics were to a small extent lower for populations from kurgans than from larger refugia we conclude that all studied populations of the species still preserve high genetic variability and are valuable for protection. To what extent this pattern holds true under continuous fragmentation in the future must be carefully monitored.
Skirvin, D J; Kravar-Garde, L; Reynolds, K; Wright, C; Mead, A
Within-crop habitat manipulations have the potential to increase the biological control of pests in horticultural field crops. Wildflower strips have been shown to increase the abundance of natural enemies, but there is little evidence to date of an impact on pest populations. The aim of this study was to determine whether within-crop wildflower strips can increase the natural regulation of pests in horticultural field crops. Aphid numbers in plots of lettuce grown adjacent to wildflower strips were compared with those in plots grown in the absence of wildflowers. The presence of wildflower strips led to a decrease in aphid numbers on adjacent lettuce plants during June and July, but had less impact in August and September. The decrease in aphid numbers was greatest close to the wildflower strips and, the decrease in aphid numbers declined with increasing distance from the wildflower strips, with little effect at a distance of ten metres. The main natural enemies found in the crop were those that dispersed aerially, which is consistent with data from previous studies on cereal crops. Analysis and interpretation of natural enemy numbers was difficult due to low recovery of natural enemies, and the numbers appeared to follow changes in aphid abundance rather than being directly linked to the presence of wildflower strips. Cutting the wildflower strips, to remove floral resources, had no impact on the reduction in aphid numbers achieved during June and July, but decreased the effect of the wildflower strips during August and September. The results suggest that wildflower strips can lead to increased natural regulation of pest aphids in outdoor lettuce crops, but more research is required to determine how this is mediated by natural enemies and how the impact of wildflower strips on natural pest regulation changes during the growing season.
Full Text Available Limestone (karst surfaces in Hungary are rich in dolines, in which many endangered vascular plant species occur. To date, the majority of studies dealing with doline vegetation have focused on the local rather than the landscape level, without using comparative data from other areas. However, in this study we aimed to compare the vegetation pattern and species composition of dolines under different climate regimes of Hungary with regard to regional species pools. The fieldwork was carried out between 2005 and 2012. Twenty dolines were selected in the Mecsek Mountains (southern Hungary and nine dolines in the Aggtelek Karst area (northern Hungary. More than 900 vascular plants and more than 2000 plots were included in the study. The moving split window (MSW technique, nestedness analysis and principal coordinates analysis (PCoA were used to reveal the vegetation patterns in dolines. Although we found remarkable differences between the species composition of the two regions, dolines of both regions play a similar role in the preservation of different groups of species. Many plants, in particular mountain species, are restricted to the bottom of dolines where appropriate environmental conditions exist. In addition, depending on the doline geometry, many species of drier and warmer forests have colonized the upper slopes and rims. Thus, we can conclude that karst dolines of Hungary can be considered as reservoirs for many vascular plant species, therefore they are particularly important from a conservation point of view. Moreover, these dolines will likely become increasingly indispensable refugia for biodiversity under future global warming.
Peterson, J.; Dunham, J.B.
Effective conservation efforts for at-risk species require knowledge of the locations of existing populations. Species presence can be estimated directly by conducting field-sampling surveys or alternatively by developing predictive models. Direct surveys can be expensive and inefficient, particularly for rare and difficult-to-sample species, and models of species presence may produce biased predictions. We present a Bayesian approach that combines sampling and model-based inferences for estimating species presence. The accuracy and cost-effectiveness of this approach were compared to those of sampling surveys and predictive models for estimating the presence of the threatened bull trout ( Salvelinus confluentus ) via simulation with existing models and empirical sampling data. Simulations indicated that a sampling-only approach would be the most effective and would result in the lowest presence and absence misclassification error rates for three thresholds of detection probability. When sampling effort was considered, however, the combined approach resulted in the lowest error rates per unit of sampling effort. Hence, lower probability-of-detection thresholds can be specified with the combined approach, resulting in lower misclassification error rates and improved cost-effectiveness.
Suryono; Ario, R.; Wibowo, E.; Handoyo, G.
Lekang turtle (Lepidhochelys olivacea) is one of the fauna that is protected as an endangered population. This marine reptile was able to migrate in great distance along the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and South East Asia. Its existence has long been threatened, either by nature or human activities that endangered the population directly or indirectly. The decreasing number of sea turtle population that nest in Bali area is one indication of the reducing number of Lekang turtle in Indonesia. If left unchecked, it will result in the loss of Lekang turtle. This study aims to determine the successful percentage of conservation techniques and Lekang turtle hatching eggs (olive ridley sea turtle) in TCEC, Bali. The method used in this research is the method of observation or direct observation done in the field. Data collection is done by direct observation in the field. The results showed that the turtle breeding site is located in an area that is less strategic because too far from the sea, so that the temperature and humidity cannot be stable. Water content is most an important factor in the growth of embryo and egg hatching. This will lead to the decrease of hatching percentage of turtle eggs.
occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential essential for conservation. Critical Habitat Maps NOTE: The critical habitat maps provided here are for Data Leatherback Turtle (U.S. West Coast) Â» Biological Report Â» Economic Report 2012 77 FR 4170 Go to
Full Text Available The aim of this work was to develop a methodological framework for the management of local eel stocks that integrates habitat restoration with optimal fishery management. The Bolsena lake (Viterbo, Italy and its emissary, the river Marta, were taken as a reference system. The river flows in the Mediterranean sea but its course is fragmented by a number of dams built in the past century preventing eel migration from and to the sea. Eel fishery in the Bolsena lake is thus sustained by periodic stocking of glass eels caught at the Marta river estuary. A detailed demographic model was applied to simulate fishery yields and potential spawner escapement under different recruitment and management scenarios. It was estimated that the high exploitation rates occurring in the nineties reduced the potential spawner escapement from the Bolsena lake to less than 1 t; under current harvesting rates, the potential spawner escapement is estimated in about 12 t while in pristine conditions (i.e. high recruitment and no fishing estimated spawner escapement is about 21 t. This analysis thus showed that current fishery management would comply with the 40% spawner escapement requirement of the EU regulation 1100/2007 if the connections between the Bolsena lake emissary and the sea were fully re-established. This confirms the opportunity of an integrated approach to management at the catchment area level scale for eel populations, that shall hopefully contribute to the conservation of the global stock.
Davies, Jaime S.; Howell, Kerry L.; Stewart, Heather A.; Guinan, Janine; Golding, Neil
In 2007, the upper part of a submarine canyon system located in water depths between 138 and 1165 m in the South West (SW) Approaches (North East Atlantic Ocean) was surveyed over a 2 week period. High-resolution multibeam echosounder data covering 1106 km2, and 44 ground-truthing video and image transects were acquired to characterise the biological assemblages of the canyons. The SW Approaches is an area of complex terrain, and intensive ground-truthing revealed the canyons to be dominated by soft sediment assemblages. A combination of multivariate analysis of seabed photographs (184-1059 m) and visual assessment of video ground-truthing identified 12 megabenthic assemblages (biotopes) at an appropriate scale to act as mapping units. Of these biotopes, 5 adhered to current definitions of habitats of conservation concern, 4 of which were classed as Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. Some of the biotopes correspond to descriptions of communities from other megahabitat features (for example the continental shelf and seamounts), although it appears that the canyons host modified versions, possibly due to the inferred high rates of sedimentation in the canyons. Other biotopes described appear to be unique to canyon features, particularly the sea pen biotope consisting of Kophobelemnon stelliferum and cerianthids.
Pihl, S.; Søgaard, B.; Ejrnæs, R.
of Conservation (SAC's), Natura 2000. The designations are based upon the presence of 60 of the natural habitat types listed in Annex I of the Directive and approx. 44 of the species listed in Annex II which occur within the territory of Denmark and for the conservation of which the Community has a special...... and the Danish county authorities have initiated a co-operative programme to provide and compile the data necessary to assess the conservation status of the natural habitat types and species concerned. The purpose of this report is to present the conservation status of the habitats and species in Denmark...
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.
Lorenzo, Consuelo; Sántiz, Eugenia C; Navarrete, Darío A; Bolaños, Jorge
Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn) change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential corridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In ...
Lorenzo, Consuelo; Sántiz, Eugenia C; Navarrete, Darío A; Bolaños, Jorge
Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn) change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential cor- ridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In the study area, the type of vegetation with the most change rate value was the savanna (δn = -2.9), transformed into induced grasslands. Additionally, we have observed the porcupine (since 2011) in semi-deciduous (δn = -0.87) and tropical dry (δn = -0.89) forests that have been transformed in temporal agriculture and mesquite and induced grasslands. The vegetation inhabited by the porcupine resulted in recording a total of 64 plant species (44 trees, nine vines, seven herbs, four shrubs), of which the vine Bunchosia lanceolata showed the highest importance value (41.85) followed by the trees Guazuma ulmifolia (22.71), Dalbergia glabra (18.05), and Enterolobium cyclocarpum (17.02). The habitat evaluation and potential corridor analysis showed that only 1 501.93ha could be considered as suitable habitats with optimum structural conditions (coverage, surface, and distances to transformed areas) to maintain viable populations of S. mexicanus, and 293.6 ha as corridors. An increasing destruction of the porcupines' habitat has been observed in the study area due to excessive logging, and actions for this species and its habitat conserva- tion and management have to be taken urgently.
The most prominent conservation concerns are typically habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. The role of habitat degradation has received comparatively little attention. But research has shown that the quality of habitat patches can significantly influence wildlife population d...
Auster, Peter J.; Malatesta, Richard J.; Langton, Richard W.; Watting, Les; Valentine, Page C.; Donaldson, Carol Lee S.; Langton, Elizabeth W.; Shepard, Andrew N.; Babb, War G.
Fishing gear alters seafloor habitats, but the extent of these alterations, and their effects, have not been quantified extensively in the northwest Atlantic. Understanding the extent of these impacts, and their effects on populations of living marine resources, is needed to properly manage current and future levels of fishing effort and fishing power. For example, the entire U.S. side of the Gulf of Maine was impacted annually by mobile fishing gear between 1984 and 1990, based on calculations of area swept by trawl and dredge gear. Georges Bank was imparted three to nearly four times annually during the same period. Studies at three sites in the Gulf of Maine (off Swans Island, Jeffreys Bank, and Stellwagen Bank) showed that mobile fishing gear altered the physical structure (=complexity) of benthic habitats. Complexity was reduced by direct removal of biogenic (e.g., sponges, hydrozoans, bryozoans, amphipod tubes, holothurians, shell aggregates) and‐ sedimentary (e.g., sand waves, depressions) structures. Also, removal of organisms that create.structures (e.g., crabs, scallops) indirectly reduced complexity. Reductions in habitat complexity may lead to increased predation on juveniles of harvested species and ultimately recruitment to the harvestable stock. Because of a lack of reference sites, where use of mobile fishing is prohibited, no empirical studies have yet been conducted on a scale that could demonstrate population level effects of habitat‐management options. If marine fisheries management is to evolve toward an ecosystem or habitat management approach, experiments are required on the effects of habitat change, both anthropogenic and natural.
Michael D. Ulyshen; James L. Hanula; Robert L. Blinn; Gene. Kritsky
Understanding the habitat requirements of organisms associated with dead wood is important in order to conserve them in managed forests. Unfortunately, many of the less diverse saproxylic taxa, including Hemiptera, remain largely unstudied. An effort to rear insects from dead wood taken from two forest types (an upland pine-dominated and a bottomland mixed hardwood),...
Fabrício Barreto Teresa
Full Text Available We assessed the preference of 10 fish species for depth and velocity conditions in forested streams from southeastern Brazil using habitat suitability criteria (HSC curves. We also tested whether preference patterns observed in forested streams can be transferred to deforested streams. We used data from fish sampled in 62 five-meter sites in three forested streams to construct preference curves. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii, and Piabina argentea showed a preference for deep slow habitats, whereas Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra, Cetopsorhamdia iheringi, Pseudopimelodus pulcher, and Hypostomus nigromaculatus showed an opposite pattern: preference for shallow fast habitats. Hypostomus ancistroides showed a multimodal pattern of preference for depth and velocity. To evaluate whether patterns observed in forested streams may be transferred to deforested streams, we sampled 64 five-meters sites in three deforested streams using the same methodology. The preference for velocity was more consistent than for depth, as success in the transferability criterion was 86% and 29% of species, respectively. This indicates that velocity is a good predictor of species abundance in streams, regardless of their condition
Fabrício Barreto Teresa
Full Text Available We assessed the preference of 10 fish species for depth and velocity conditions in forested streams from southeastern Brazil using habitat suitability criteria (HSC curves. We also tested whether preference patterns observed in forested streams can be transferred to deforested streams. We used data from fish sampled in 62 five-meter sites in three forested streams to construct preference curves. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii, and Piabina argentea showed a preference for deep slow habitats, whereas Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra, Cetopsorhamdia iheringi, Pseudopimelodus pulcher, and Hypostomus nigromaculatus showed an opposite pattern: preference for shallow fast habitats. Hypostomus ancistroides showed a multimodal pattern of preference for depth and velocity. To evaluate whether patterns observed in forested streams may be transferred to deforested streams, we sampled 64 five-meters sites in three deforested streams using the same methodology. The preference for velocity was more consistent than for depth, as success in the transferability criterion was 86% and 29% of species, respectively. This indicates that velocity is a good predictor of species abundance in streams, regardless of their conditionNeste estudo avaliamos a preferência de 10 espécies de peixes por condições de profundidade e fluxo em riachos florestados do sudeste do Brasil por meio do critério de adequabilidade de habitat (habitat suitability criteria - curvas HSC. Testamos também se os padrões de preferência observados nos riachos florestados podem ser transferidos para riachos desmatados. Foram realizadas amostragens da ictiofauna em 62 trechos de cinco metros de extensão em três riachos florestados para a construção das curvas de preferência. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii e Piabina argentea apresentaram preferência por habitats lentos e profundos, enquanto Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra
Loke, L.H.L.; Ladle, R.J.; Bouma, T.J.; Todd, P.A.
Simplification of natural habitats has become a major conservation challenge and there is a growing consensus that incorporating and enhancing habitat complexity is likely to be critical for future restoration efforts. Habitat complexity is often ascribed an important role in controlling species
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.
Improving Conservation of Florida Manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris): Conceptualization and Contributions Toward a Regional Warm-Water Network Management Strategy for Sustainable Winter Habitat
Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig
We used southwestern Florida as a case study to lay the groundwork for an intended and organized decision-making process for managing warm-water habitat needed by endangered manatees to survive winters in Florida. Scientists and managers have prioritized (a) projecting how the network of warm-water sites will change over the next 50 years as warmed industrial discharges may expire and as flows of natural springs are reduced through redirection of water for human uses, and (b) mitigating such changes to prevent undue consequences to manatees. Given the complexities introduced by manatee ecology; agency organizational structure; shifting public demands; fluctuating resource availability; and managing within interacting cultural, social, political, and environmental contexts, it was clear that a structured decision process was needed. To help promote such a process, we collected information relevant to future decisions including maps of known and suspected warm-water sites and prototyped a characterization of sites and networks. We propose steps that would lead to models that might serve as core tools in manatee/warm-water decision-making, and we summarized topics relevant for informed decision-making (e.g., manatee spatial cognition, risk of cold-stress morbidity and mortality, and human dimensions). A major impetus behind this effort is to ensure proactively that robust modeling tools are available well in advance of the anticipated need for a critical management decision.
Full Text Available This study was focused on conservation genetics of threatened Hippocampus guttulatus on the Atlantic coast of NW Iberian Peninsula. Information about spatial structure and temporal stability of wild populations was obtained based on microsatellite markers, and used for monitoring a captive breeding program firstly initiated in this zone at the facilities of the Institute of Marine Research (Vigo, Spain. No significant major genetic structure was observed regarding the biogeographical barrier of Cape Finisterre. However, two management units under continuous gene flow are proposed based on the allelic differentiation between South-Atlantic and Cantabrian subpopulations, with small to moderate contemporary effective size based on single-sample methods. Temporal stability was observed in South-Atlantic population samples of H. guttulatus for the six-year period studied, suggesting large enough effective population size to buffer the effects of genetic drift within the time frame of three generations. Genetic analysis of wild breeders and offspring in captivity since 2009 allowed us to monitor the breeding program founded in 2006 in NW Spain for this species. Similar genetic diversity in the renewed and founder broodstock, regarding the wild population of origin, supports suitable renewal and rearing processes to maintain genetic variation in captivity. Genetic parentage proved single-brood monogamy in the wild and in captivity, but flexible short- and long-term mating system under captive conditions, from strict monogamy to polygamy within and/or among breeding seasons. Family analysis showed high reproductive success in captivity under genetic management assisted by molecular relatedness estimates to avoid inbreeding. This study provides genetic information about H. guttulatus in the wild and captivity within an uncovered geographical range for this data deficient species, to be taken into account for management and conservation purposes.
Identifying nursery habitats is of paramount importance to define proper management and conservation strategies for flatfish species. Flatfish nursery studies usually report upon habitat occupation, but few attempted to quantify the importance of those habitats to larvae developm...
Kurt Schnier; Dan Holland
Fisheries managers in the United States are required to identify and mitigate the adverse impacts of fishing activity on essential fish habitat (EFH). There are additional concerns that the viability of noncommercial species, animals that are habitat dependent and/or are themselves constituents of fishery habitat may still be threatened. We consider a cap-and-trade system for habitat conservation, individual habitat quotas for fisheries, to achieve habitat conservation and species protection ...
This special issue is dedicated to the in vitro tools and methods used to conserve the genetic diversity of rare and threatened species from around the world. Species that are on the brink of extinction, due to the rapid loss of genetic diversity and habitat, come mainly from resource poor areas the...
Forested habitat preferences by Chilean citizens: Implications for biodiversity conservation in Pinus radiata plantations Preferencia por hábitats forestales por ciudadanos chilenos: Implicancias para la conservación de biodiversidad en plantaciones de Pinus radiata
Full Text Available The need for conservation outside protected areas has prompted the modification of productive practices to allow the maintenance of wild biota in productive landscapes such as those associated to timber production. Forest plantations could cooperate in conserving biodiversity outside protected areas if they have a developed understory. However, the success of the production changes depends on the social support they receive. Therefore, we evaluate Chilean citizens' preference for five habitats of different types of forest management. In addition, we assessed perceptions regarding the relationship between pine plantations and native wildlife through surveys administered in Chillán, Santiago and six rural localities in the VII and VIII region. Despite there is not a unanimous opinion regarding pine plantations as a threat to biodiversity, people prefer pine plantations that serve as habitat for endangered fauna. In fact, they agree on paying more for forest products to contribute to conservation in forest plantations, and actually prefer plantations with a developed understory better than those without it. This would suggest that measures aimed at conservation in forest plantations could be supported by the Chilean society.La necesidad de la conservación fuera de áreas protegidas ha llevado a la modificación de las prácticas productivas para permitir el mantenimiento de la biota silvestre en paisajes productivos tales como los asociados a la producción de madera. Las plantaciones forestales podrían cooperar en la conservación de la biodiversidad fuera de áreas protegidas si tienen un sotobosque desarrollado. Sin embargo, el éxito de los cambios en la producción depende del apoyo social que estos reciben. Así, evaluamos la preferencia por cinco paisajes con diferentes tipos de manejo forestal. Además, se evaluó la percepción acerca de la relación entre las plantaciones de pino y la fauna nativa a través de encuestas realizadas en
D. Johan Kotze
Full Text Available ‘Carabidologists do it all’ (Niemelä 1996a is a phrase with which most European carabidologists are familiar. Indeed, during the last half a century, professional and amateur entomologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the basic biology of carabid beetles. The success of the field is in no small part due to regular European Carabidologists’ Meetings, which started in 1969 in Wijster, the Netherlands, with the 14th meeting again held in the Netherlands in 2009, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first meeting and 50 years of long-term research in the Dwingelderveld. This paper offers a subjective summary of some of the major developments in carabidology since the 1960s. Taxonomy of the family Carabidae is now reasonably established, and the application of modern taxonomic tools has brought up several surprises like elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Progress has been made on the ultimate and proximate factors of seasonality and timing of reproduction, which only exceptionally show non-seasonality. Triggers can be linked to evolutionary events and plausibly explained by the “taxon cycle” theory. Fairly little is still known about certain feeding preferences, including granivory and ants, as well as unique life history strategies, such as ectoparasitism and predation on higher taxa. The study of carabids has been instrumental in developing metapopulation theory (even if it was termed differently. Dispersal is one of the areas intensively studied, and results show an intricate interaction between walking and flying as the major mechanisms. The ecological study of carabids is still hampered by some unresolved questions about sampling and data evaluation. It is recognised that knowledge is uneven, especially concerning larvae and species in tropical areas. By their abundance and wide distribution, carabid beetles can be useful in population studies, bioindication, conservation biology and landscape ecology. Indeed
Steven R. Sims
Full Text Available Speyeria (Nymphalidae are a conspicuous component of the North American butterfly fauna. There are approximately 16 species and >100 associated subspecies (or geographical variants. Speyeria are univoltine, occupy a wide range of habitats, overwinter as first instar larvae, and feed only on native violets. Speyeria species have become a model group for studies of evolution, speciation, and conservation. Several species and subspecies are threatened or endangered. The reasons for this vary with the taxa involved, but always involve the degradation or loss of quality habitat for larvae and adults. The impacts of climate change must be considered among the causes for habitat degradation and in the establishment of conservation measures. In addition to increasing the available habitat, conservation efforts should consider maintaining habitat in a seral “disturbed” successional stage that selectively favors the growth of violets and preferred adult nectar sources. A major future challenge will be determining the most effective allocation of conservation resources to those species and subspecies that have the greatest potential to respond favorably to these efforts.
Over 50% of all sightings were achieved in the matured forest. Keywords: ... hotspots, eco- tourism potential for game viewing, ... conservation is the increasing rate of habitat loss or ... to relatively undisturbed natural areas for educational,.
Phoebe L. Zarnetske; Thomas C. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen
Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical...
... nongovernmental organizations that represent conservation organizations, sportsmen's and women's organizations... Regionally- coordinated Science and Collaboration. 9......... Compilation of Reservoir Habitat Arkansas Game...
Ashish Kumar; Bruce G. Marcot
We describe assumed tiger habitat characteristics and attempt to identify potential tiger habitats in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya, North East India. Conserving large forest tracts and protected wildlife habitats provides an opportunity for restoring populations of wide-ranging wildlife such as tigers and elephants. Based on limited field observations coupled...
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
A. Paige Fischer; John C. Bliss
Conserving threatened habitats on private lands requires policies that advance the interests of landowners and natural resource professionals alike. Through qualitative analysis of individual and focus-group interviews, we compared how family forest owners and natural resource professionals frame conservation of threatened habitat: the oak woodlands and savanna in...
The fact that only about 1000 giant pandas and 29500 km2 of panda habitat are left in the west part of China makes it an urgent issue to save this endangered animal species and protect its habitat. For effective conservation of the giant panda and its habitat, a thorough evaluation of panda habitat and panda-habitat relationship based on each individual panda nature reserve is necessary and important. Mapping has been an effective approach for wildlife habitat evaluation and monitoring. There...
Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul
Abstract Background We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. Results We f...
The fact that only about 1000 giant pandas and 29500 km2 of panda habitat are left in the west part of China makes it an urgent issue to save this endangered animal species and protect its habitat. For effective conservation of the giant panda and its habitat, a thorough evaluation of panda habitat
Patrick D. Culbert; Volker C. Radeloff; Curtis H. Flather; Josef M. Kellndorfer; Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Anna M. Pidgeon
With limited resources for habitat conservation, the accurate identification of high-value avian habitat is crucial. Habitat structure affects avian biodiversity but is difficult to quantify over broad extents. Our goal was to identify which measures of vertical and horizontal habitat structure are most strongly related to patterns of avian biodiversity across the...
Hiers, J Kevin; Jackson, Stephen T; Hobbs, Richard J; Bernhardt, Emily S; Valentine, Leonie E
Within the varied contexts of environmental policy, conservation of imperilled species populations, and restoration of damaged habitats, an emphasis on idealized optimal conditions has led to increasingly specific targets for management. Overly-precise conservation targets can reduce habitat variability at multiple scales, with unintended consequences for future ecological resilience. We describe this dilemma in the context of endangered species management, stream restoration, and climate-change adaptation. Inappropriate application of conservation targets can be expensive, with marginal conservation benefit. Reduced habitat variability can limit options for managers trying to balance competing objectives with limited resources. Conservation policies should embrace habitat variability, expand decision-space appropriately, and support adaptation to local circumstances to increase ecological resilience in a rapidly changing world. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hiers, J. Kevin; Jackson, Stephen T.; Hobbs, Richard J.; Bernhardt, Emily S.; Valentine, Leonie E.
Within the varied contexts of environmental policy, conservation of imperilled species populations, and restoration of damaged habitats, an emphasis on idealized optimal conditions has led to increasingly specific targets for management. Overly-precise conservation targets can reduce habitat variability at multiple scales, with unintended consequences for future ecological resilience. We describe this dilemma in the context of endangered species management, stream restoration, and climate-change adaptation. Inappropriate application of conservation targets can be expensive, with marginal conservation benefit. Reduced habitat variability can limit options for managers trying to balance competing objectives with limited resources. Conservation policies should embrace habitat variability, expand decision-space appropriately, and support adaptation to local circumstances to increase ecological resilience in a rapidly changing world.
Full Text Available Today the documentation of natural heritage with scientific methods but for conservation practice – like mapping of actual vegetation – becomes more and more important. For this purpose mapping guides containing only the names and descriptions of vegetation types are not sufficient. Instead, new, mapping-oriented vegetation classification systems and handbooks are needed. There are different standardised systems fitted to the characteristics of a region already published and used successfully for surveying large territories. However, detailed documentation of the aims and steps of their elaboration is still missing. Here we present a habitat-classification method developed specifically for mapping and the steps of its development. Habitat categories and descriptions reflect site conditions, physiognomy and species composition as well. However, for species composition much lower role was given deliberately than in the phytosociological systems. Recognition and mapping of vegetation types in the field is highly supported by a definition, list of subtypes and list of ‘types not belonging to this habitat category’. Our system is two-dimensional: the first dimension is habitat type, the other is naturalness based habitat quality. The development of the system was conducted in two steps, over 200 mappers already tested it over 7000 field days in different projects.
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.
Consists of activities which address the causes of habitat destruction and the effects of habitat loss on animals and plants. Identifies habitat loss as the major reason for the endangerment and extinction of plant and animal species. (ML)
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
Nielsen, Erica S; Beger, Maria; Henriques, Romina; Selkoe, Kimberly A; von der Heyden, Sophie
Growing threats to biodiversity and global alteration of habitats and species distributions make it increasingly necessary to consider evolutionary patterns in conservation decision making. Yet, there is no clear-cut guidance on how genetic features can be incorporated into conservation-planning processes, despite multiple molecular markers and several genetic metrics for each marker type to choose from. Genetic patterns differ between species, but the potential tradeoffs among genetic objectives for multiple species in conservation planning are currently understudied. We compared spatial conservation prioritizations derived from 2 metrics of genetic diversity (nucleotide and haplotype diversity) and 2 metrics of genetic isolation (private haplotypes and local genetic differentiation) in mitochondrial DNA of 5 marine species. We compared outcomes of conservation plans based only on habitat representation with plans based on genetic data and habitat representation. Fewer priority areas were selected for conservation plans based solely on habitat representation than on plans that included habitat and genetic data. All 4 genetic metrics selected approximately similar conservation-priority areas, which is likely a result of prioritizing genetic patterns across a genetically diverse array of species. Largely, our results suggest that multispecies genetic conservation objectives are vital to creating protected-area networks that appropriately preserve community-level evolutionary patterns. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Teeffelen, van A.J.A.; Cabeza, M.; Poyry, J.; Raatikainen, K.; Kuussaari, M.
Conservation management often encompasses multiple, alternative management actions on a given site, involving habitat restoration and maintenance for example. Which actions are preferable depends on the conservation goals, the expected outcomes of actions, and their associated costs. When actions
... Public Meeting: Northeast California Resource Advisory Council Sage Grouse Conservation Subcommittee and...) Northeast California Resource Advisory Council's sage grouse conservation subcommittee and the full Resource... conservation of sage grouse habitat. On November 12, the subcommittee will develop a recommendation for...
Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo
Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking. PMID:27627805
Full Text Available Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca. We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset is derived from a Coral Reef Conservation Program-funded project to access effects of trap fishing on coral reefs and associated habitats in Puerto...
Karina Vieira Martins; Eduardo José dos Reis Dias; Carlos Frederico Duarte da Rocha
http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2010v23n4p71As restingas são habitats herbáceos/arbustivos de dunas de areia cobrindo grande parte do litoral do Estado da Bahia. O nível de fragmentação do ecossistema de restinga, especialmente na região nordeste do Brasil, é preocupante ao se considerar que a destruição e a fragmentação dos habitats naturais são os principais fatores responsáveis pela redução da diversidade por eventos de extinção. O presente estudo, realizado nas restingas de Costa Azul...
... sportsmen and women's participation in conservation and management of wildlife and habitat resources through... governments; industry; hunting and shooting sportsmen and women; wildlife and habitat conservation and... business. The final agenda will be posted on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/whhcc . [[Page 74865...
García, Manolo J; Medici, Emília Patrícia; Naranjo, Eduardo J; Novarino, Wilson; Leonardo, Raquel S
In this manuscript, as a starting point, the ancient and current distribution of the genus Tapirus are summarized, from its origins, apparently in Europe, to current ranges. Subsequently, original and current tapir habitats are described, as well as changes in ancient habitats. As the manuscript goes on, we examine the ways in which tapir species interact with their habitats and the main aspects of habitat use, spatial ecology and adaptability. Having reviewed the historic and current distribution of tapirs, as well as their use and selection of habitats, we introduce the concept of adaptability, considering that some of the tapir physiological characteristics and behavioral strategies can reduce the negative impact of habitat alteration and climate change. Finally, we provide recommendations for future research priorities. The conservation community is still missing important pieces of information for the effective conservation of tapirs and their remaining habitats in Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Reconstructing how tapir species reached their current distribution ranges, interpreting how they interact with their habitats and gathering information regarding the strategies they use to cope with habitat changes will increase our understanding about these animals and contribute to the development of conservation strategies. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.
Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation requires strategic investment as resources for conservation are often limited. As sea level rises, it is important and necessary to consider both sea level rise and costs in conservation decision making. In this study, we consider costs of conservation in an integrated modeling process that incorporates a geomorphological model (SLAMM, species habitat models, and conservation prioritization (Zonation to identify conservation priorities in the face of landscape dynamics due to sea level rise in the Matanzas River basin of northeast Florida. Compared to conservation priorities that do not consider land costs in the analysis process, conservation priorities that consider costs in the planning process change significantly. The comparison demonstrates that some areas with high conservation values might be identified as lower priorities when integrating economic costs in the planning process and some areas with low conservation values might be identified as high priorities when considering costs in the planning process. This research could help coastal resources managers make informed decisions about where and how to allocate conservation resources more wisely to facilitate biodiversity adaptation to sea level rise.
... habits that make them difficultstudy subjects when using conventional field techniques.Molecular tools can be used to decipher distributions andpopulation connectedness in fragmented habitats and identifypopulations of immediate conservation concern. We discussthese with case studies on some cat species in India.
Full Text Available Belitung tarsier (Cephalopachus bancanus saltator is an endemic species in Belitung Island from Cephalopachus genus. Existence of belitung tarsier in its habitat is now under threatened by deforestatition. Due to lack information about its habitat and as conservation effort, this research was tackled to reveal the characteristic of habitat preference of belitung tarsier. The aim of this study are to identify characteristic of habitat preference of belitung tarsier. This research was conducted in March until May 2016 at around Mount Tajam Protected Forest and plantation area. Presence of tarsiers were identified by direct observation, urine odor detection, identifying based tarsier habitat suitability and the local information. Chi-square and Neu methode was used to analyze the variable of habitat preference of belitung tarsiers. This research found that characteristics of habitat preference of belitung tarsier consisted of its homerange was prefer to dry land agricultural and shurb land cover type, not too tight canopy cover (Leaf Area Index /LAI value of 0,83-2,46, close to the edge of forest (0 -874 m, roads (0 – 3.698 m and settlements (0-403 m, elevation range was between 1 -142 m asl, slope slightly (0-15%, temperature 24-25 0C and high rainfall (3.222 – 3.229 mm/year. Characteristic of habitat preference information could be considered to develop conservation action of belitung tarsier. Keywords: belitung tarsiers, habitat, habitat preference, tarsier
California Natural Resource Agency — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...
Physical habitat complexity measures the amount and variety of all types of cove at the water’s edge in lakes. In general, dense and varied shoreline habitat is able to support more diverse communities of aquatic life.
With increasing urbanization the importance of cities for biodiversity conservation grows. This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and discusses the consequences of different conservation approaches. Cities can be richer in plant species, including in native species, than rural areas. Alien species can lead to both homogenization and differentiation among urban regions. Urban habitats can harbor self-sustaining populations of rare and endangered native species, but cannot replace the complete functionality of (semi-)natural remnants. While many conservation approaches tend to focus on such relict habitats and native species in urban settings, this paper argues for a paradigm shift towards considering the whole range of urban ecosystems. Although conservation attitudes may be challenged by the novelty of some urban ecosystems, which are often linked to high numbers of nonnative species, it is promising to consider their associated ecosystem services, social benefits, and possible contribution to biodiversity conservation. - Highlights: → This paper reviews biotic responses to urbanization and urban conservation approaches. → Cities may be rich in both native and nonnative species. → Urban habitats cannot replace the functionality of natural remnants. → However, even novel urban habitats may harbour rare and endangered species. → Conservation approaches should consider the perspective of novel urban ecosystems. - This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and argues for expanding urban conservation approaches.
Kowarik, Ingo, E-mail: email@example.com [Department of Ecology, Technische Universitaet Berlin, Rothenburgstr. 12, D 12165 Berlin (Germany)
With increasing urbanization the importance of cities for biodiversity conservation grows. This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and discusses the consequences of different conservation approaches. Cities can be richer in plant species, including in native species, than rural areas. Alien species can lead to both homogenization and differentiation among urban regions. Urban habitats can harbor self-sustaining populations of rare and endangered native species, but cannot replace the complete functionality of (semi-)natural remnants. While many conservation approaches tend to focus on such relict habitats and native species in urban settings, this paper argues for a paradigm shift towards considering the whole range of urban ecosystems. Although conservation attitudes may be challenged by the novelty of some urban ecosystems, which are often linked to high numbers of nonnative species, it is promising to consider their associated ecosystem services, social benefits, and possible contribution to biodiversity conservation. - Highlights: > This paper reviews biotic responses to urbanization and urban conservation approaches. > Cities may be rich in both native and nonnative species. > Urban habitats cannot replace the functionality of natural remnants. > However, even novel urban habitats may harbour rare and endangered species. > Conservation approaches should consider the perspective of novel urban ecosystems. - This paper reviews the ways in which biodiversity is affected by urbanization and argues for expanding urban conservation approaches.
Kurt Riitters; James Wickham; Timothy Wade
The effects of landscape context on habitat quality are receiving increased attention in conservation biology. The objective of this research is to demonstrate a landscape-level approach to mapping and evaluating the anthropogenic risks of grassland and forest habitat degradation by examining habitat context as defined by intensive anthropogenic land uses at multiple...
Ho Yi Wan; Kevin McGarigal; Joseph L. Ganey; Valentin Lauret; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman
Anthropogenic environmental changes are leading to habitat loss and degradation, driving many species to extinction. In this context, habitat models become increasingly important for effective species management and conservation. However, most habitat studies lack replicated study areas and do not properly address the role of nonstationarity and spatial scales in...
... partners, such as Naturalia and La Comision Nacional de areas Protegidas (CONANP) and other partners on... for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2008, p. 5). Critical Habitat Critical habitat is defined in... the best available science, we will take the following steps to develop a proposal of critical habitat...
Le lac Kinkony fait partie des habitats clefs pour la biodiversité du Complexe des ... provide favoured habitat for numerous endemic and endangered avian, fish ... on fauna is essential for developing regional conservation and natural resource ...
Vandever, Mark W.
The USGS produces the needed science-based information to guide management actions and policy decisions that support wildlife habitat and other environmental services compatible with USDA conservation goals and farm operations. The Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) has conducted research involving a national landowner survey and numerous short- and long-term evaluations regarding vegetation responses to land management practices. This research helps land and resource managers to make informed decisions and resolve resource management conflicts.
The physical habitat template is a fundamental influence on riverine ecosystem structure and function. Habitat dynamics refers to the variation in habitat through space and time as the result of varying discharge and varying geomorphology. Habitat dynamics can be assessed at spatial scales ranging from the grain (the smallest resolution at which an organism relates to its environment) to the extent (the broadest resolution inclusive of all space occupied during its life cycle). In addition to a potentially broad range of spatial scales, assessments of habitat dynamics may include dynamics of both occupied and nonoccupied habitat patches because of process interactions among patches. Temporal aspects of riverine habitat dynamics can be categorized into hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Hydrodynamics refers to habitat variation that results from changes in discharge in the absence of significant change of channel morphology and at generally low sediment-transport rates. Hydrodynamic assessments are useful in cases of relatively high flow exceedance (percent of time a flow is equaled or exceeded) or high critical shear stress, conditions that are applicable in many studies of instream flows. Morphodynamics refers to habitat variation resulting from changes to substrate conditions or channel/floodplain morphology. Morphodynamic assessments are necessary when channel and floodplain boundary conditions have been significantly changed, generally by relatively rare flood events or in rivers with low critical shear stress. Morphodynamic habitat variation can be particularly important as disturbance mechanisms that mediate population growth or for providing conditions needed for reproduction, such as channel-migration events that erode cutbanks and provide new pointbar surfaces for germination of riparian trees. Understanding of habitat dynamics is increasing in importance as societal goals shift toward restoration of riverine ecosystems. Effective investment in restoration
Conservation easements are a standard technique for preventing habitat loss, particularly in agricultural regions with extensive cropland cultivation, yet little is known about their effectiveness. I developed a spatial econometric approach to propensity-score matching and used the approach to estimate the amount of habitat loss prevented by a grassland conservation easement program of the U.S. federal government. I used a spatial autoregressive probit model to predict tract enrollment in the easement program as of 2001 based on tract agricultural suitability, habitat quality, and spatial interactions among neighboring tracts. Using the predicted values from the model, I matched enrolled tracts with similar unenrolled tracts to form a treatment group and a control group. To measure the program's impact on subsequent grassland loss, I estimated cropland cultivation rates for both groups in 2014 with a second spatial probit model. Between 2001 and 2014, approximately 14.9% of control tracts were cultivated and 0.3% of treated tracts were cultivated. Therefore, approximately 14.6% of the protected land would have been cultivated in the absence of the program. My results demonstrate that conservation easements can significantly reduce habitat loss in agricultural regions; however, the enrollment of tracts with low cropland suitability may constrain the amount of habitat loss they prevent. My results also show that spatial econometric models can improve the validity of control groups and thereby strengthen causal inferences about program effectiveness in situations when spatial interactions influence conservation decisions. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.
Tisdell, Clement A.
This paper outlines the significance of the concept of conservation value and discusses ways in which it is determined paying attention to views stemming from utilitarian ethics and from deontological ethics. The importance of user costs in relation to economic decisions about the conservation and use of natural resources is emphasised. Particular attention is given to competing views about the importance of conserving natural resources in order to achieve economic sustainability. This then l...
... hunting and shooting sports recreation; 4. Stimulating sportsmen and women's participation in conservation... sportsmen and women; wildlife and habitat conservation and management organizations; and the public; 6... Implementation; 2. Farm Bill; 3. Funding for public and private lands conservation; and 4. Other Council business...
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
Habitat selection patterns of Merriamâs Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...
Crooks, Kevin R; Burdett, Christopher L; Theobald, David M; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi
Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges, a greater proportion of habitat within their range, greater habitat connectivity and a lower risk of extinction. Species with higher connectivity (i.e. less habitat isolation) also had a greater proportion of high-quality habitat, but had smaller, not larger, ranges, probably reflecting shorter distances between habitat patches for species with restricted distributions; such species were also more threatened, as would be expected given the negative relationship between range size and extinction risk. Fragmentation and connectivity did not differ among Carnivora families, and body mass was associated with connectivity but not fragmentation. On average, only 54.3 per cent of a species' geographical range comprised high-quality habitat, and more troubling, only 5.2 per cent of the range comprised such habitat within protected areas. Identification of global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity will help guide strategic priorities for carnivore conservation.
Kennedy, Kriss J.
The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are
Responses to change in the behavior of ecological systems are largely governed by interactions at different levels. Research is essential and is to be necessarily designed to gain insights into various interactions at the community level. Sustainable resource management is only possible if conservation of biodiversity can be accomplished by properly using the knowledge discovered. It is well known that the United States Department of Agriculture provides technical information, resources, and data necessary to assist the researchers in addressing their conservation needs. Conservation aims to protect, preserve and conserve the earth's natural resources. These include, but not limited to the conservation of soil, water, minerals, air, plants and all living beings. The United States Department of Agriculture also encourages farmers and ranchers to voluntarily address threats to soil and water. Protection of wetlands and wildlife habitat has been on the radar screen of conservation experts for a very long time. The main objective has always been to help farmers and landowners conform and comply with federal and state environmental laws. During the implementation phase, farmers should be encouraged to make beneficial, cost-effective changes to methods of irrigation systems. In some cases, the hydrologic regime of the project area can be thought of as principally an issue of river flow regimes for floodplain forests. In this presentation, the author tries to focus on the impact of hydrology and conservation ecology on global warming. He also discusses the impact of hydrology and conservation ecology global air concerns such as greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. References: Chow, V. T, D. R. Maidment, and L. W. Mays. 1988. Applied Hydrology. McGraw-Hill, Inc. U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Technical Release 55: Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds. USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). June 1986. Lehner, B. and P. Döll (2004). Development and validation
Yesson, Chris; Bedford, Faye; Rogers, Alex D.; Taylor, Michelle L.
Antipatharia are a diverse group of corals with many species found in deep water. Many Antipatharia are habitat for associates, have extreme longevity and some species can occur beyond 8500 m depth. As they are major constituents of'coral gardens', which are Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), knowledge of their distribution and environmental requirements is an important pre-requisite for informed conservation planning particularly where the expense and difficulty of deep-sea sampling prohibits comprehensive surveys. This study uses a global database of Antipatharia distribution data to perform habitat suitability modelling using the Maxent methodology to estimate the global extent of black coral habitat suitability. The model of habitat suitability is driven by temperature but there is notable influence from other variables of topography, surface productivity and oxygen levels. This model can be used to predict areas of suitable habitat, which can be useful for conservation planning. The global distribution of Antipatharia habitat suitability shows a marked contrast with the distribution of specimen observations, indicating that many potentially suitable areas have not been sampled, and that sampling effort has been disproportionate to shallow, accessible areas inside marine protected areas (MPAs). Although 25% of Antipatharia observations are located in MPAs, only 7-8% of predicted suitable habitat is protected, which is short of the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of ocean habitats by 2020.
Feng, Tian-Tian; Van Manen, Frank T.; Zhao, Na-Xun; Li, Ming; Wei, Fu-Wen
Because habitat loss and fragmentation threaten giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), habitat protection and restoration are important conservation measures for this endangered species. However, distribution and value of potential habitat to giant pandas on a regional scale are not fully known. Therefore, we identified and ranked giant panda habitat in Foping Nature Reserve, Guanyinshan Nature Reserve, and adjacent areas in the Qinling Mountains of China. We used Mahalanobis distance and 11 digital habitat layers to develop a multivariate habitat signature associated with 247 surveyed giant panda locations, which we then applied to the study region. We identified approximately 128 km2 of giant panda habitat in Foping Nature Reserve (43.6% of the reserve) and 49 km2 in Guanyinshan Nature Reserve (33.6% of the reserve). We defined core habitat areas by incorporating a minimum patch-size criterion (5.5 km2) based on home-range size. Percentage of core habitat area was higher in Foping Nature Reserve (41.8% of the reserve) than Guanyinshan Nature Reserve (26.3% of the reserve). Within the larger analysis region, Foping Nature Reserve contained 32.7% of all core habitat areas we identified, indicating regional importance of the reserve. We observed a negative relationship between distribution of core areas and presence of roads and small villages. Protection of giant panda habitat at lower elevations and improvement of habitat linkages among core habitat areas are important in a regional approach to giant panda conservation.
Osnas, Erik; Runge, Michael C.; Mattsson, Brady J.; Austin, Jane E.; Boomer, G. S.; Clark, R. G.; Devers, P.; Eadie, J. M.; Lonsdorf, E. V.; Tavernia, Brian G.
In 2007, several important initiatives in the North American waterfowl management community called for an integrated approach to habitat and harvest management. The essence of the call for integration is that harvest and habitat management affect the same resources, yet exist as separate endeavours with very different regulatory contexts. A common modelling framework could help these management streams to better understand their mutual effects. Particularly, how does successful habitat management increase harvest potential? Also, how do regional habitat programmes and large-scale harvest strategies affect continental population sizes (a metric used to express habitat goals)? In the ensuing five years, several projects took on different aspects of these challenges. While all of these projects are still on-going, and are not yet sufficiently developed to produce guidance for management decisions, they have been influential in expanding the dialogue and producing some important emerging lessons. The first lesson has been that one of the more difficult aspects of integration is not the integration across decision contexts, but the integration across spatial and temporal scales. Habitat management occurs at local and regional scales. Harvest management decisions are made at a continental scale. How do these actions, taken at different scales, combine to influence waterfowl population dynamics at all scales? The second lesson has been that consideration of the interface of habitat and harvest management can generate important insights into the objectives underlying the decision context. Often the objectives are very complex and trade-off against one another. The third lesson follows from the second – if an understanding of the fundamental objectives is paramount, there is no escaping the need for a better understanding of human dimensions, specifically the desires of hunters and nonhunters and the role they play in conservation. In the end, the compelling question is
Neilson, Edward L., Jr.; Benson, Delwin E.
The National 4-H Wildlife Invitational is a competitive event to teach youth about the fundamentals of wildlife management. Youth learn that management for wildlife means management of wildlife habitat and providing for the needs of wildlife. This handbook provides information about wildlife habitat management concepts in both urban and rural…
Helen Y. Smith
Fire, insects, disease, harvesting, and precommercial thinning all create mosaics on Northern Rocky Mountain landscapes. These mosaics are important for faunal habitat. Consequently, changes such as created openings or an increase in heavily stocked areas affect the water, cover, and food of forest habitats. The âno actionâ alternative in ecosystem management of low...
Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Habitat blocks are areas of contiguous forest and other natural habitats that are unfragmented by roads, development, or agriculture. Vermonts habitat blocks are...
Rowley, Jodi; Brown, Rafe; Bain, Raoul; Kusrini, Mirza; Inger, Robert; Stuart, Bryan; Wogan, Guin; Thy, Neang; Chan-Ard, Tanya; Trung, Cao Tien; Diesmos, Arvin; Iskandar, Djoko T; Lau, Michael; Ming, Leong Tzi; Makchai, Sunchai; Truong, Nguyen Quang; Phimmachak, Somphouthone
With an understudied amphibian fauna, the highest deforestation rate on the planet and high harvesting pressures, Southeast Asian amphibians are facing a conservation crisis. Owing to the overriding threat of habitat loss, the most critical conservation action required is the identification and strict protection of habitat assessed as having high amphibian species diversity and/or representing distinctive regional amphibian faunas. Long-term population monitoring, enhanced survey efforts, collection of basic biological and ecological information, continued taxonomic research and evaluation of the impact of commercial trade for food, medicine and pets are also needed. Strong involvement of regional stakeholders, students and professionals is essential to accomplish these actions.
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.
Robert T. Brooks; W. Mark Ford
Forest bats of eastern North America select habitats for roosting, foraging, and winter hibernation/migration over a myriad of scales. An understanding of forest-bat habitat use over scales of time and space is important for their conservation and management. The papers in this Special Section report studies of bat habitat use across multiple scales from locations...
... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... Act? (a) If, during the conduct of your approved activities, MMS finds that essential fish habitat or... adverse affects on Essential Fish Habitat will be incorporated as terms and conditions in the lease and...
Full Text Available The evaluation and the subsequent monitoring of the conservation status of habitats is one of the key steps in nature protection. While some European countries have tested suitable methodologies, others, including Italy, lack procedures tested at the national level. The aim of this work is to propose a method to assess the conservation status of habitat 92A0 (Salix alba and Populus alba galleries in central Italy, and to test the method using data from the Molise region. We selected parameters that highlight the conservation status of the flora and vegetation in order to assess habitat structures and functions at the site level. After selecting the parameters, we tested them on a training dataset of 22 unpublished phytosociological relevés taken from the whole dataset, which consists of 119 relevés (49 unpublished relevés for the study area, and 70 published relevés for central Italy. We detected the most serious conservation problems in the middle and lower course of the Biferno river: the past use of river terraces for agriculture and continual human interventions on the river water flow have drastically reduced the riparian forests of Molise. Our results show that in areas in which forest structure and floristic composition have been substantially modified, certain alien plant species, particularly Robinia pseudoacacia, Amorpha fruticosa and Erigeron canadensis, have spread extensively along rivers. In the management of riparian forests, actions aimed at maintaining the stratification of the forest, its uneven-agedness and tree species richness may help to ensure the conservation status, as well as favour the restoration, of habitat 92A0.
Becker, Carlos Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Batista, Rômulo Fernandes; Prado, Paulo Inácio
The worldwide decline in amphibians has been attributed to several causes, especially habitat loss and disease. We identified a further factor, namely "habitat split"-defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life history stages of a species-which forces forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae to make risky breeding migrations between suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we found that habitat split negatively affects the richness of species with aquatic larvae but not the richness of species with terrestrial development (the latter can complete their life cycle inside forest remnants). This mechanism helps to explain why species with aquatic larvae have the highest incidence of population decline. These findings reinforce the need for the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation.
Robert G. Haight; Laurel E. Travis
Formulations for determining conservation plans for sensitive wildlife species must account for economic costs of habitat protection and uncertainties about how wildlife populations will respond. This paper describes such a formulation and addresses the computational challenge of solving it. The problem is to determine the cost-efficient level of habitat protection...
Strange, Niels; Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft
Biodiversity conservation policies focus on securing the survival of species and habitats according to their current distribution. This basic premise may be inappropriate for halting biodiversity decline under the dynamic changes caused by climate change. This study explores a dynamic spatial...... conservation prioritization problem where climate change gradually changes the future habitat suitability of a site’ current species. This has implications for survival probability, as well as for species that potentially immigrate to the site. The problem is explored using a set of heuristics for both of two...... distributions as the basis of decision rules can be crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of conservation plans. Finally, it is discussed how more adaptive strategies, that allow for the redirection of resources from protected sites to privately-owned sites, may increase the effectiveness of the conservation...
Lok, E.K.; Esler, Daniel; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, S.W.; Sean, Boyd W.; Nysewander, D.R.; Evenson, J.R.; Ward, D.H.
Habitat conditions and nutrient reserve levels during spring migration have been suggested as important factors affecting population declines in waterfowl, emphasizing the need to identify key sites used during spring and understand habitat features and resource availability at stopover sites. We used satellite telemetry to identify stopover sites used by surf scoters migrating through southeast Alaska during spring. We then contrasted habitat features of these sites to those of random sites to determine habitat attributes corresponding to use by migrating scoters. We identified 14 stopover sites based on use by satellite tagged surf scoters from several wintering sites. We identified Lynn Canal as a particularly important stopover site for surf scoters originating throughout the Pacific winter range; approximately half of tagged coastally migrating surf scoters used this site, many for extended periods. Stopover sites were farther from the mainland coast and closer to herring spawn sites than random sites, whereas physical shoreline habitat attributes were generally poor predictors of site use. The geography and resource availability within southeast Alaska provides unique and potentially critical stopover habitat for spring migrating surf scoters. Our work identifies specific sites and habitat resources that deserve conservation and management consideration. Aggregations of birds are vulnerable to human activity impacts such as contaminant spills and resource management decisions. This information is of value to agencies and organizations responsible for emergency response planning, herring fisheries management, and bird and ecosystem conservation. Copyright ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.
Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.
Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for food and shelter during winter, yet few studies have assessed winter habitat selection, particularly at scales applicable to conservation planning. Small changes to availability of winter habitats have caused drastic reductions in some sage-grouse populations. We modeled winter habitat selection by sage-grouse in Alberta, Canada, by using a resource selection function. Our purpose was to 1) generate a robust winter habitat-selection model for Alberta sage-grouse; 2) spatially depict habitat suitability in a Geographic Information System to identify areas with a high probability of selection and thus, conservation importance; and 3) assess the relative influence of human development, including oil and gas wells, in landscape models of winter habitat selection. Terrain and vegetation characteristics, sagebrush cover, anthropogenic landscape features, and energy development were important in top Akaike's Information Criterionselected models. During winter, sage-grouse selected dense sagebrush cover and homogenous less rugged areas, and avoided energy development and 2-track truck trails. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development highlights the need for comprehensive management strategies that maintain suitable habitats across all seasons. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.
Kansas Data Access and Support Center — Critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining populations of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as...
Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) The Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis uses landscape scale data to identify or predict the location of potentially significant wildlife linkage...
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Deep Space Habitat was closed out at the end of Fiscal Year 2013 (September 30, 2013). Results and select content have been incorporated into the new Exploration...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinatat) as designated by 74 FR 45353, September 2, 2009, Rules and Regulations.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Johnson's Seagrass as designated by Federal Register Vol. 65, No. 66, Wednesday, April 5, 2000, Rules and Regulations.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset entails imagery collected using the HabCam towed underwater vehicle and annotated data on objects or habitats in the images and notes on image...
Halliday, William D; Gilmour, Kathleen M; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel
Measuring habitat suitability is important in conservation and in wildlife management. Measuring the abundance or presence-absence of a species in various habitats is not sufficient to measure habitat suitability because these metrics can be poor predictors of population success. Therefore, having some measure of population success is essential in assessing habitat suitability, but estimating population success is difficult. Identifying suitable proxies for population success could thus be beneficial. We examined whether faecal corticosterone metabolite (fCM) concentrations could be used as a proxy for habitat suitability in common gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). We conducted a validation study and confirmed that fCM concentrations indeed reflect circulating corticosterone concentrations. We estimated abundance, reproductive output and growth rate of gartersnakes in field and in forest habitat and we also measured fCM concentrations of gartersnakes from these same habitats. Common gartersnakes were more abundant and had higher reproductive outputs and higher growth rates in field habitat than in forest habitat, but fCM concentrations did not differ between the same two habitats. Our results suggest either that fCM concentrations are not a useful metric of habitat suitability in common gartersnakes or that the difference in suitability between the two habitats was too small to induce changes in fCM concentrations. Incorporating fitness metrics in estimates of habitat suitability is important, but these metrics of fitness have to be sensitive enough to vary between habitats.
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...
Duffin, J.; Yager, E.; Tonina, D.; Benjankar, R. M.
In the Pacific Northwest river restoration is common for salmon conservation. Mangers need methods to help target restoration to problem areas in rivers to create habitat that meets a species' needs. Hydraulic models and habitat suitability curves provide basic information on habitat availability and overall quality, but these analyses need to be expanded to address habitat quality based on the accessibility of habitats required for multiple life stages. Scientists are starting to use connectivity measurements to understand the longitudinal proximity of habitat patches, which can be used to address the habitat variability of a reach. By evaluating the availability and quality of habitat and calculating the connectivity between complementary habitats, such as spawning and rearing habitats, we aim to identify areas that should be targeted for restoration. To meet these goals, we assessed Chinook salmon habitat on the Lemhi River in Idaho. The depth and velocity outputs from a 2D hydraulic model are used in conjunction with locally created habitat suitability curves to evaluate the availability and quality of habitat for multiple Chinook salmon life stages. To assess the variability of the habitat, connectivity between habitat patches necessary for different life stages is calculated with a proximity index. A spatial representation of existing habitat quality and connectivity between complimentary habitats can be linked to river morphology by the evaluation of local geomorphic characteristics, including sinuosity and channel units. The understanding of the current habitat availability for multiple life stage needs, the connectivity between these habitat patches, and their relationship with channel morphology can help managers better identify restoration needs and direct their limited resources.
McCormick, Stephen; Romero, L. Michael
Endocrinologists can make significant contributions to conservation biology by helping to understand the mechanisms by which organisms cope with changing environments. Field endocrine techniques have advanced rapidly in recent years and can provide substantial information on the growth, stress, and reproductive status of individual animals, thereby providing insight into current and future responses of populations to changes in the environment. Environmental stressors and reproductive status can be detected nonlethally by measuring a number of endocrine-related endpoints, including steroids in plasma, living and nonliving tissue, urine, and feces. Information on the environmental or endocrine requirements of individual species for normal growth, development, and reproduction will provide critical information for species and ecosystem conservation. For many taxa, basic information on endocrinology is lacking, and advances in conservation endocrinology will require approaches that are both “basic” and “applied” and include integration of laboratory and field approaches.
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...
Marshall, Leon; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Bos, Merijn; de Groot, G Arjen; Kleijn, David; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Roberts, Stuart; Scheper, Jeroen; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C
Species distribution models (SDM) are increasingly used to understand the factors that regulate variation in biodiversity patterns and to help plan conservation strategies. However, these models are rarely validated with independently collected data and it is unclear whether SDM performance is maintained across distinct habitats and for species with different functional traits. Highly mobile species, such as bees, can be particularly challenging to model. Here, we use independent sets of occurrence data collected systematically in several agricultural habitats to test how the predictive performance of SDMs for wild bee species depends on species traits, habitat type, and sampling technique. We used a species distribution modeling approach parametrized for the Netherlands, with presence records from 1990 to 2010 for 193 Dutch wild bees. For each species, we built a Maxent model based on 13 climate and landscape variables. We tested the predictive performance of the SDMs with independent datasets collected from orchards and arable fields across the Netherlands from 2010 to 2013, using transect surveys or pan traps. Model predictive performance depended on species traits and habitat type. Occurrence of bee species specialized in habitat and diet was better predicted than generalist bees. Predictions of habitat suitability were also more precise for habitats that are temporally more stable (orchards) than for habitats that suffer regular alterations (arable), particularly for small, solitary bees. As a conservation tool, SDMs are best suited to modeling rarer, specialist species than more generalist and will work best in long-term stable habitats. The variability of complex, short-term habitats is difficult to capture in such models and historical land use generally has low thematic resolution. To improve SDMs' usefulness, models require explanatory variables and collection data that include detailed landscape characteristics, for example, variability of crops and
... under conservation protection. The area's strong and vibrant rural lifestyle, of which agriculture is the dominant land use, is one of the key components to ensuring habitat integrity and wildlife... conservation area are to protect 240,000 acres of wetland and 1.7 million acres of critical grassland habitat...
Deborah A. Rudnick; Sadie J. Ryan; Paul Beier; Samuel A. Cushman; Fred Dieffenbach; Clinton W. Epps; Leah R. Gerber; Joel Hartter; Jeff S. Jenness; Julia Kintsch; Adina M. Merenlender; Ryan M. Perkl; Damian V. Preziosi; Stephen C. Trombulak
Landscape connectivity, the extent to which a landscape facilitates the movements of organisms and their genes, faces critical threats from both fragmentation and habitat loss. Many conservation efforts focus on protecting and enhancing connectivity to offset the impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity conservation, and to increase the resilience of...
Full Text Available Abstract Background We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. Results We found 16% of suitable habitat (6% of the study area distributed in 13 patches of at least 3,200 ha and 11% of suitable habitat (4% of the study area distributed in four patches over 7,238 ha. The area converted from native vegetation types comprised 17% of the study area. Ninety-five percent of agricultural conversion occurred on private lands in the northeastern corner of the study area. Most known herbicide-related conversions (82% occurred in rangelands in the western part of the study area, on lands managed primarily by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM. We identified 88,190 ha (10% of the study area of habitats with reasonable restoration potential. Sixty-two percent of the primary population area (PPA contained occupied, suitable, or potentially suitable habitat, leaving 38% that could be considered for oil and gas development. Conclusion Although suitable LPCH habitat appears at first glance to be abundant in southeastern New Mexico, only a fraction of apparently suitable vegetation types constitute quality habitat. However, we identified habitat patches that could be restored through mesquite control or shin-oak reintroduction. The analysis also identified areas of unsuitable habitat with low restoration potential that could be targeted for oil and gas exploration, in lieu of occupied, high-quality habitats. Used in combination with GIS analysis and current LPCH population data, the habitat map represents a powerful conservation and management tool.
Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul
We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. We found 16% of suitable habitat (6% of the study area) distributed in 13 patches of at least 3,200 ha and 11% of suitable habitat (4% of the study area) distributed in four patches over 7,238 ha. The area converted from native vegetation types comprised 17% of the study area. Ninety-five percent of agricultural conversion occurred on private lands in the northeastern corner of the study area. Most known herbicide-related conversions (82%) occurred in rangelands in the western part of the study area, on lands managed primarily by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We identified 88,190 ha (10% of the study area) of habitats with reasonable restoration potential. Sixty-two percent of the primary population area (PPA) contained occupied, suitable, or potentially suitable habitat, leaving 38% that could be considered for oil and gas development. Although suitable LPCH habitat appears at first glance to be abundant in southeastern New Mexico, only a fraction of apparently suitable vegetation types constitute quality habitat. However, we identified habitat patches that could be restored through mesquite control or shin-oak reintroduction. The analysis also identified areas of unsuitable habitat with low restoration potential that could be targeted for oil and gas exploration, in lieu of occupied, high-quality habitats. Used in combination with GIS analysis and current LPCH population data, the habitat map represents a powerful conservation and management tool.
Texas Education Agency, Austin.
Each of the six instructional units deals with one aspect of conservation: forests, water, rangeland, minerals (petroleum), and soil. The area of the elementary school curriculum with which each correlates is indicated. Lists of general and specific objectives are followed by suggested teaching procedures, including ideas for introducing the…
Bentham, Roelof J.
The increasing exploitation of our natural resources, the unlimited occupation of ever more new areas, and the intensification of land-use, make it necessary for us to expand the concept of conservation. But we also need to reconsider that concept itself. For the changing conditions in the
Funder, Mikkel; Danielsen, Finn; Ngaga, Yonika
members strengthen the monitoring practices to their advantage, and to some extent move them beyond the reach of government agencies and conservation and development practitioners. This has led to outcomes that are of greater social and strategic value to communities than the original 'planned' benefits...
Full Text Available Understanding bat use of human-altered habitat is critical for developing effective conservation plans for this ecologically important taxon. Green roofs, building rooftops covered in growing medium and vegetation, are increasingly important conservation tools that make use of underutilized space to provide breeding and foraging grounds for urban wildlife. Green roofs are especially important in highly urbanized areas such as New York City (NYC, which has more rooftops (34% than green space (13%. To date, no studies have examined the extent to which North American bats utilize urban green roofs. To investigate the role of green roofs in supporting urban bats, we monitored bat activity using ultrasonic recorders on four green and four conventional roofs located in highly developed areas of NYC, which were paired to control for location, height, and local variability in surrounding habitat and species diversity. We then identified bat vocalizations on these recordings to the species level. We documented the presence of five of nine possible bat species over both roof types: Lasiurus borealis, L. cinereus, L. noctivagans, P. subflavus,andE. fuscus. Of the bat calls that could be identified to the species level, 66% were from L. borealis. Overall levels of bat activity were higher over green roofs than over conventional roofs. This study provides evidence that, in addition to well documented ecosystem benefits, urban green roofs contribute to urban habitat availability for several North American bat species.
Ervina Rahmawati; Jafron Wasiq Hidayat
Kecubung Ulolanang Nature Preservation is ebony leaf monkey’s habitats in Central Java Indonesia. Continuously degradation of their population is caused by illegal hunting and habitat degradation that made this species being vulnerable. Habitat conservation is one of important aspects to prevent them from extinction. The purpose of this research was to analyze the vegetation’s structure and composition, which was potentially, becomes habitat and food source for the monkeys. Data collected usi...
Chanchani, Pranav; Noon, Barry R; Bailey, Larissa L; Warrier, Rekha A
Tiger (Panthera tigris) conservation efforts in Asia are focused on protected areas embedded in human-dominated landscapes. A system of protected areas is an effective conservation strategy for many endangered species if the network is large enough to support stable metapopulations. The long-term conservation of tigers requires that the species be able to meet some of its life-history needs beyond the boundaries of small protected areas and within the working landscape, including multiple-use forests with logging and high human use. However, understanding of factors that promote or limit the occurrence of tigers in working landscapes is incomplete. We assessed the relative influence of protection status, prey occurrence, extent of grasslands, intensity of human use, and patch connectivity on tiger occurrence in the 5400 km(2) Central Terai Landscape of India, adjacent to Nepal. Two observer teams independently surveyed 1009 km of forest trails and water courses distributed across 60 166-km(2) cells. In each cell, the teams recorded detection of tiger signs along evenly spaced trail segments. We used occupancy models that permitted multiscale analysis of spatially correlated data to estimate cell-scale occupancy and segment-scale habitat use by tigers as a function of management and environmental covariates. Prey availability and habitat quality, rather than protected-area designation, influenced tiger occupancy. Tiger occupancy was low in some protected areas in India that were connected to extensive areas of tiger habitat in Nepal, which brings into question the efficacy of current protection and management strategies in both India and Nepal. At a finer spatial scale, tiger habitat use was high in trail segments associated with abundant prey and large grasslands, but it declined as human and livestock use increased. We speculate that riparian grasslands may provide tigers with critical refugia from human activity in the daytime and thereby promote tiger occurrence
Joshi, Anup R; Dinerstein, Eric; Wikramanayake, Eric; Anderson, Michael L; Olson, David; Jones, Benjamin S; Seidensticker, John; Lumpkin, Susan; Hansen, Matthew C; Sizer, Nigel C; Davis, Crystal L; Palminteri, Suzanne; Hahn, Nathan R
The global population of wild tigers remains dangerously low at fewer than 3500 individuals. Habitat loss, along with poaching, can undermine the international target recovery of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022. Using a new satellite-based monitoring system, we analyzed 14 years of forest loss data within the 76 landscapes (ranging from 278 to 269,983 km(2)) that have been prioritized for conservation of wild tigers. Our analysis provides an update of the status of tiger habitat and describes new applications of technology to detect precisely where forest loss is occurring in order to curb future habitat loss. Across the 76 landscapes, forest loss was far less than anticipated (79,597 ± 22,629 km(2), 7.7% of remaining habitat) over the 14-year study period (2001-2014). Habitat loss was unevenly distributed within a subset of 29 landscapes deemed most critical for doubling wild tiger populations: 19 showed little change (1.5%), whereas 10 accounted for more than 98% (57,392 ± 16,316 km(2)) of habitat loss. Habitat loss in source population sites within 76 landscapes ranged from no loss to 435 ± 124 km(2) ([Formula: see text], SD = 89, total = 1676 ± 476 km(2)). Doubling the tiger population by 2022 requires moving beyond tracking annual changes in habitat. We highlight near-real-time forest monitoring technologies that provide alerts of forest loss at relevant spatial and temporal scales to prevent further erosion.
Abdul-Patah, P.; Nur-Syuhada, N.; Md-Nor, S.; Sasaki, H.; Md-Zain, B. M.
Habitat and food resources of otters were studied in several locations in Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 210 fecal samples were collected from April 2010 to March 2011 believed to be of otter's were analyzed for their diet composition and their habitat preferences. The DNA testing conducted revealed that only 126 samples were identified as Lultrogale perspicillata and Aonyx cinereus with 105 and 21 samples, respectively. Habitat analyses revealed that these two species preferred paddy fields and mangroves as their main habitats but L. perspicillata preferred to hunt near habitat with large water bodies, such as mangroves, rivers, ponds, and lakes. A. cinereus on the other hand, were mainly found near land-based habitat, such as paddy fields, casuarinas forest and oil palms near mangroves. Habitats chosen were influenced by their food preferences where L. perspicillata consumed a variety of fish species with a supplementary diet of prawns, small mammals, and amphibians, compared to A. cinereus which consumed less fish and more non-fish food items, such as insects, crabs, and snails. Since, the most of the otter habitats in this study are not located within the protected areas, conservation effort involving administrations, landowners, private organizations and public are necessary.
Jose Luis Passos Cordeiro
Full Text Available The development of species distribution models (SDMs can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19% of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.
Cordeiro, Jose Luis Passos; Fragoso, José M V; Crawshaw, Danielle; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B
The development of species distribution models (SDMs) can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA) at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs) better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19%) of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.
Strange, Niels; Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft
Biodiversity conservation policies focus on securing the survival of species and habitats according to their current distribution. This basic premise may be inappropriate for halting biodiversity decline under the dynamic changes caused by climate change. This study explores a dynamic spatial...... conservation prioritization problem where climate change gradually changes the future habitat suitability of a site’ current species. This has implications for survival probability, as well as for species that potentially immigrate to the site. The problem is explored using a set of heuristics for both of two...... networks. Climate change induced shifts in the suitability of habitats for species may increase the value of such adaptive strategies, the benefit decreasing with increasing migration probabilities and species distribution dynamics....
Full Text Available Spatially-explicit wildlife habitat models are increasingly used to study optimal habitat for species of conservation focus. A ruggedness layer, that summarizes aspect and slope, provides a useful tool for analyses conducted in a Geographic Information System (GIS, such as developing a habitat suitability index model to measure species habitat use. Ruggedness layers prove especially useful in areas where topography represents a key habitat component. We created a ruggedness layer for the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and surrounding areas in northern Dornogobi Aimag (province, Mongolia. Using a 90 m Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation model (DEM and ArcGIS 10 spatial analyst, we created 9 categories for ruggedness. When combined with other thematic layers such as vegetation, the ruggedness layer becomes a powerful tool for analyzing habitat use by individual animals. The results of such analyses may inform decision makers in protected area planning and conservation of endangered species.
Kirk, David Anthony; Park, Allysia C; Smith, Adam C; Howes, Briar J; Prouse, Brigid K; Kyssa, Naschelly G; Fairhurst, Elizabeth N; Prior, Kent A
The foundational concept of habitat lies at the very root of the entire science of ecology, but inaccurate use of the term compromises scientific rigor and communication among scientists and nonscientists. In 1997, Hall, Krausman & Morrison showed that 'habitat' was used correctly in only 55% of articles. We ask whether use of the term has been more accurate since their plea for standardization and whether use varies across the broader range of journals and taxa in the contemporary literature (1998-2012). We searched contemporary literature for 'habitat' and habitat-related terms, ranking usage as either correct or incorrect, following a simplified version of Hall et al.'s definitions. We used generalized linear models to compare use of the term in contemporary literature with the papers reviewed by Hall et al. and to test the effects of taxa, journal impact in the contemporary articles and effects due to authors that cited Hall et al. Use of the term 'habitat' has not improved; it was still only used correctly about 55% of the time in the contemporary data. Proportionately more correct uses occurred in articles that focused on animals compared to ones that included plants, and papers that cited Hall et al. did use the term correctly more often. However, journal impact had no effect. Some habitat terms are more likely to be misused than others, notably 'habitat type', usually used to refer to vegetation type, and 'suitable habitat' or 'unsuitable habitat', which are either redundant or nonsensical by definition. Inaccurate and inconsistent use of the term can lead to (1) misinterpretation of scientific findings; (2) inefficient use of conservation resources; (3) ineffective identification and prioritization of protected areas; (4) limited comparability among studies; and (5) miscommunication of science-based findings. Correct usage would improve communication with scientists and nonscientists, thereby benefiting conservation efforts, and ecology as a science.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that is wide-spread in North America, especially in the northeastern and northcentral United States. This disease could negatively influence efforts to conserve natural populations in two ways: (1) the disease could directly affect wild animal health; and (2) tick control efforts could adversely affect natural populations and communities. Lyme disease affects several domestic animals, but symptoms have been reported in only a few wild species. Direct effects of Lyme disease on wild animal populations have not been reported, but the disease should be considered as a possible cause in cases of unexplained population declines in endemic areas. Methods available to manage ticks and Lyme disease include human self-protection techniques, manipulation of habitats and hosts species populations, biological control, and pesticide applications. The diversity of available techniques allows selection of approaches to minimize environmental effects by (1) emphasizing personal protection techniques, (2) carefully targeting management efforts to maximize efficiency, and (3) integrating environmentally benign techniques to improve management while avoiding broad-scale environmentally destructive approaches. The environmental effects of Lyme disease depend, to a large extent, on the methods chosen to minimize human exposure to infected ticks. Conservation biologists can help design tick management programs that effectively lower the incidence of human Lyme disease while simultaneously minimizing negative effects on natural populations.
Conservation of current and conservation of charge are nearly the same thing: when enough is known about charge movement, conservation of current can be derived from conservation of charge, in ideal dielectrics, for example. Conservation of current is enforced implicitly in ideal dielectrics by theories that conserve charge. But charge movement in real materials like semiconductors or ionic solutions is never ideal. We present an apparently universal derivation of conservation of current and ...
Drechsler, Martin; Johst, Karin; Wätzold, Frank; Shogren, Jason F.
Compensation schemes in which land owners receive payments for voluntarily managing their land in a biodiversity-enhancing manner have become one of the most important instruments for biodiversity conservation worldwide. One key challenge when designing such schemes is to account for the spatial arrangement of habitats bearing in mind that for given total habitat area connected habitats are ecologically more valuable than isolated habitats. To integrate the spatial dimension in compensation s...
Liu, X.; Skidmore, A.K.; Bronsveld, M.C.
To conserve giant panda effectively, it is important to understand the spatial pattern and temporal change of its habitat. Mapping is an effective approach for wildlife habitat evaluation and monitoring. The application of recently developed artificial intelligence tools, including expert systems
Susan C. Loeb; Joy M. O' Keefe
Knowledge and understanding of bat habitat associations and the responses of bats to forest management are critical for effective bat conservation and management. Few studies have been conducted on bat habitat use in the southeast, despite the high number of endangered and sensitive species in the region. Our objective was to identify important local, stand, and...
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...
Vasconcelos, R.P.; Eggleston, D.B.; Pape, le O.; Tulp, I.Y.M.
Population dynamics are governed by four demographic rates: births, deaths, immigration, and emigration. Variation in these rates and processes underlying such variation can be used to prioritize habitat conservation and restoration as well as to parameterize models that predict habitat-specific
Vogiatzakis, I.N.; Stirpe, M.T.; Rickebusch, S.; Metzger, M.J.; Xu, G.; Rounsevell, M.D.A.; Bommarco, R.; Potts, S.G.
Changes in landscape composition and structure may impact the conservation and management of protected areas. Species that depend on specific habitats are at risk of extinction when these habitats are degraded or lost. Designing robust methods to evaluate landscape composition will assist decision-
Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley; Jeff P. Hollenbeck
To conserve habitat for disturbance specialist species, ecologists must identify where individuals will likely settle in newly disturbed areas. Habitat suitability models can predict which sites at new disturbances will most likely attract specialists. Without validation data from newly disturbed areas, however, the best approach for maximizing predictive accuracy can...
Novais, Samuel M. A.; Macedo-Reis, Luiz E.; DaRocha, Wesley D.; Neves, Frederico S.
AbstractHuman pressure on natural habitats increases the importance of agroforests for biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of cacao traditional cultivation system (CTCS) on the conservation of the herbivorous insect community when compared with a monodominant rubber agroforest, a type of agricultural system for cacao cultivation. The insects were sampled in three habitats in Southeastern Bahia, Brazil: native forests, CTCS and rubber agroforests. In...
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...
Possingham, Hugh P; Bode, Michael; Klein, Carissa J
Conservation outcomes are principally achieved through the protection of intact habitat or the restoration of degraded habitat. Restoration is generally considered a lower priority action than protection because protection is thought to provide superior outcomes, at lower costs, without the time delay required for restoration. Yet while it is broadly accepted that protected intact habitat safeguards more biodiversity and generates greater ecosystem services per unit area than restored habitat, conservation lacks a theory that can coherently compare the relative outcomes of the two actions. We use a dynamic landscape model to integrate these two actions into a unified conservation theory of protection and restoration. Using nonlinear benefit functions, we show that both actions are crucial components of a conservation strategy that seeks to optimise either biodiversity conservation or ecosystem services provision. In contrast to conservation orthodoxy, in some circumstances, restoration should be strongly preferred to protection. The relative priority of protection and restoration depends on their costs and also on the different time lags that are inherent to both protection and restoration. We derive a simple and easy-to-interpret heuristic that integrates these factors into a single equation that applies equally to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service objectives. We use two examples to illustrate the theory: bird conservation in tropical rainforests and coastal defence provided by mangrove forests.
Hugh P Possingham
Full Text Available Conservation outcomes are principally achieved through the protection of intact habitat or the restoration of degraded habitat. Restoration is generally considered a lower priority action than protection because protection is thought to provide superior outcomes, at lower costs, without the time delay required for restoration. Yet while it is broadly accepted that protected intact habitat safeguards more biodiversity and generates greater ecosystem services per unit area than restored habitat, conservation lacks a theory that can coherently compare the relative outcomes of the two actions. We use a dynamic landscape model to integrate these two actions into a unified conservation theory of protection and restoration. Using nonlinear benefit functions, we show that both actions are crucial components of a conservation strategy that seeks to optimise either biodiversity conservation or ecosystem services provision. In contrast to conservation orthodoxy, in some circumstances, restoration should be strongly preferred to protection. The relative priority of protection and restoration depends on their costs and also on the different time lags that are inherent to both protection and restoration. We derive a simple and easy-to-interpret heuristic that integrates these factors into a single equation that applies equally to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service objectives. We use two examples to illustrate the theory: bird conservation in tropical rainforests and coastal defence provided by mangrove forests.
Effective conservation of threatened species requires a good understanding of their habitat. Most primates are threatened by tropical forest loss. One population of the critically endangered kipunji monkey Rungwecebus kipunji occurs in a restricted part of one forest in southern Tanzania. This restricted range is something of ...
Prisco, Irene; Carboni, Marta; Acosta, Alicia T R
Coastal dunes worldwide harbor threatened habitats characterized by high diversity in terms of plant communities. In Italy, recent assessments have highlighted the insufficient state of conservation of these habitats as defined by the EU Habitats Directive. The effects of predicted climate change could have dramatic consequences for coastal environments in the near future. An assessment of the efficacy of protection measures under climate change is thus a priority. Here, we have developed environmental envelope models for the most widespread dune habitats in Italy, following two complementary approaches: an "indirect" plant-species-based one and a simple "direct" one. We analyzed how habitats distribution will be altered under the effects of two climate change scenarios and evaluated if the current Italian network of protected areas will be effective in the future after distribution shifts. While modeling dune habitats with the "direct" approach was unsatisfactory, "indirect" models had a good predictive performance, highlighting the importance of using species' responses to climate change for modeling these habitats. The results showed that habitats closer to the sea may even increase their geographical distribution in the near future. The transition dune habitat is projected to remain stable, although mobile and fixed dune habitats are projected to lose most of their actual geographical distribution, the latter being more sensitive to climate change effects. Gap analysis highlighted that the habitats' distribution is currently adequately covered by protected areas, achieving the conservation target. However, according to predictions, protection level for mobile and fixed dune habitats is predicted to drop drastically under the climate change scenarios which we examined. Our results provide useful insights for setting management priorities and better addressing conservation efforts to preserve these threatened habitats in future.
Smith, Kurt T.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Pratt, Aaron C.
Conservation reserves established to protect important habitat for wildlife species are used world-wide as a wildlife conservation measure. Effective reserves must adequately protect year-round habitats to maintain wildlife populations. Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Area policy was established to protect breeding habitats for greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus). Protecting only one important seasonal habitat could result in loss or degradation of other important habitats and potential declines in local populations. The purpose of our study was to identify the timing of winter habitat use, the extent which individuals breeding in Core Areas used winter habitats, and develop resource selection functions to assess effectiveness of Core Areas in conserving sage-grouse winter habitats in portions of 5 Core Areas in central and north-central Wyoming during winters 2011-2015. We found that use of winter habitats occured over a longer period than current Core Area winter timing stipulations and a substantial amount of winter habitat outside of Core Areas was used by individuals that bred in Core Areas, particularly in smaller Core Areas. Resource selection functions for each study area indicated that sage-grouse were selecting habitats in response to landscapes dominated by big sagebrush and flatter topography similar to other research on sage-grouse winter habitat selection. The substantial portion of sage-grouse locations and predicted probability of selection during winter outside small Core Areas illustrate that winter requirements for sage-grouse are not adequately met by existing Core Areas. Consequently, further considerations for identifying and managing important winter sage-grouse habitats under Wyoming's Core Area Policy are warranted.
Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Barron, Elizabeth S; Boddy, Lynne; Dahlberg, Anders; Griffith, Gareth W; Nordén, Jenni; Ovaskainen, Otso; Perini, Claudia; Senn-Irlet, Beatrice; Halme, Panu
Hitherto fungi have rarely been considered in conservation biology, but this is changing as the field moves from addressing single species issues to an integrative ecosystem-based approach. The current emphasis on biodiversity as a provider of ecosystem services throws the spotlight on the vast diversity of fungi, their crucial roles in terrestrial ecosystems, and the benefits of considering fungi in concert with animals and plants. We reviewed the role of fungi in ecosystems and composed an overview of the current state of conservation of fungi. There are 5 areas in which fungi can be readily integrated into conservation: as providers of habitats and processes important for other organisms; as indicators of desired or undesired trends in ecosystem functioning; as indicators of habitats of conservation value; as providers of powerful links between human societies and the natural world because of their value as food, medicine, and biotechnological tools; and as sources of novel tools and approaches for conservation of megadiverse organism groups. We hope conservation professionals will value the potential of fungi, engage mycologists in their work, and appreciate the crucial role of fungi in nature. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
Raina, Suresh Kumar; Kioko, Esther; Zethner, Ole; Wren, Susie
African forests, which host some of the world's richest biodiversity, are rapidly diminishing. The loss of flora and fauna includes economically and socially important insects. Honey bees and silk moths, grouped under commercial insects, are the source for insect-based enterprises that provide income to forest-edge communities to manage the ecosystem. However, to date, research output does not adequately quantify the impact of such enterprises on buffering forest ecosystems and communities from climate change effects. Although diseases/pests of honey bees and silk moths in Africa have risen to epidemic levels, there is a dearth of practical research that can be utilized in developing effective control mechanisms that support the proliferation of these commercial insects as pollinators of agricultural and forest ecosystems. This review highlights the critical role of commercial insects within the environmental complexity of African forest ecosystems, in modern agroindustry, and with respect to its potential contribution to poverty alleviation and pollination services. It identifies significant research gaps that exist in understanding how insects can be utilized as ecosystem health indicators and nurtured as integral tools for important socioeconomic and industrial gains.
Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Pauli, Jonathan N
In regions where snowfall historically has been a defining seasonal characteristic of the landscape, warming winters have reduced the depth, duration, and extent of snowpack. However, most management and conservation has focused on how aboveground wildlife will be affected by altered snow conditions, even though the majority of species that persist through the winter do so under the snowpack in a thermally stable refugium: the subnivium. Shortened winters, forest management practices, and winter recreation can alter subnivium conditions by increasing snow compaction and compromising thermal stability at the soil-snow interface. To help slow the loss of the subnivium in the face of rapidly changing winter conditions, we suggest managers adopt regional conservation plans for identifying threatened snow-covered environments; measure and predict the effects land cover and habitat management has on local subnivium conditions; and control the timing and distribution of activities that disturb and compact snow cover (e.g., silvicultural practices, snow recreation, and road and trail maintenance). As a case study, we developed a spatially explicit model of subnivium presence in a working landscape of the Chequamegon National Forest, Wisconsin. We identified landscapes where winter recreation and management practices could threaten potentially important areas for subnivium persistence. Similar modeling approaches could inform management decisions related to subnivium conservation. Current climate projections predict that snow seasons will change rapidly in many regions, and as result, we advocate for the immediate recognition, conservation, and management of the subnivium and its dependent species. © 2018 Society for Conservation Biology.
David S. Maehr
Full Text Available A recent model of Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi habitat erred in arbitrarily creating buffers around radio locations collected during daylight hours on the assumption that study animals were only at rest during these times. The buffers generated by this method likely cause an overestimation of the amounts and kinds of habitats that are used by the panther. This, and other errors, could lead to the impression that unfragmented forest cover is unimportant to panther conservation, and could encourage inaccurate characterizations of panther habitat. Previous 24-hour monitoring of activity and activity readings made during routine telemetry flights indicate that high levels of activity occur in the early morning hours. Literature on the behavior of the species does not support the creation of large buffers around telemetry locations to compensate for the lack of nighttime telemetry data. A thorough examination of ongoing studies that use global positioning systems may help calibrate future Florida panther habitat models.
Zeigler, Sara; Thieler, E. Robert; Gutierrez, Ben; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Hines, Megan K.; Fraser, James D.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Karpanty, Sarah M.
Understanding patterns of habitat selection across a species’ geographic distribution can be critical for adequately managing populations and planning for habitat loss and related threats. However, studies of habitat selection can be time consuming and expensive over broad spatial scales, and a lack of standardized monitoring targets or methods can impede the generalization of site-based studies. Our objective was to collaborate with natural resource managers to define available nesting habitat for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) throughout their U.S. Atlantic coast distribution from Maine to North Carolina, with a goal of providing science that could inform habitat management in response to sea-level rise. We characterized a data collection and analysis approach as being effective if it provided low-cost collection of standardized habitat-selection data across the species’ breeding range within 1–2 nesting seasons and accurate nesting location predictions. In the method developed, >30 managers and conservation practitioners from government agencies and private organizations used a smartphone application, “iPlover,” to collect data on landcover characteristics at piping plover nest locations and random points on 83 beaches and barrier islands in 2014 and 2015. We analyzed these data with a Bayesian network that predicted the probability a specific combination of landcover variables would be associated with a nesting site. Although we focused on a shorebird, our approach can be modified for other taxa. Results showed that the Bayesian network performed well in predicting habitat availability and confirmed predicted habitat preferences across the Atlantic coast breeding range of the piping plover. We used the Bayesian network to map areas with a high probability of containing nesting habitat on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York, USA, as an example application. Our approach facilitated the collation of evidence-based information on habitat selection
Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa
Ecuador has the largest number of species by area worldwide, but also a low representation of species within its protected areas. Here, we applied systematic conservation planning to identify potential areas for conservation in continental Ecuador, with the aim of increasing the representation of terrestrial species diversity in the protected area network. We selected 809 terrestrial species (amphibians, birds, mammals, and plants), for which distributions were estimated via species distribution models (SDMs), using Maxent. For each species we established conservation goals based on conservation priorities, and estimated new potential protected areas using Marxan conservation planning software. For each selected area, we determined their conservation priority and feasibility of establishment, two important aspects in the decision-making processes. We found that according to our conservation goals, the current protected area network contains large conservation gaps. Potential areas for conservation almost double the surface area of currently protected areas. Most of the newly proposed areas are located in the Coast, a region with large conservation gaps and irreversible changes in land use. The most feasible areas for conservation were found in the Amazon and Andes regions, which encompass more undisturbed habitats, and already harbor most of the current reserves. Our study allows defining a viable strategy for preserving Ecuador's biodiversity, by combining SDMs, GIS-based decision-support software, and priority and feasibility assessments of the selected areas. This approach is useful for complementing protected area networks in countries with great biodiversity, insufficient biological information, and limited resources for conservation. PMID:25360277
Tiffany A Sprague
Full Text Available Species conservation requires a thorough understanding of habitat requirements. The northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of this subspecies to guide management decisions and to determine what features are necessary for habitat creation and restoration. Our objective was to identify habitat selection of northern Mexican gartersnakes in a highly managed, constructed wetland hatchery. We deployed transmitters on 42 individual gartersnakes and documented use of habitat types and selection of specific habitat features. Habitat selection was similar between males and females and varied seasonally. During the active season (March-October, gartersnakes primarily selected wetland edge habitat with abundant cover. Gestating females selected similar locations but with less dense cover. During the inactive season (November-February, gartersnakes selected upland habitats, including rocky slopes with abundant vegetation. These results of this study can help inform management of the subspecies, particularly in human-influenced habitats. Conservation of this subspecies should incorporate a landscape-level approach that includes abundant wetland edge habitat with a mosaic of dense cover for protection and sparsely vegetated areas for basking connected to terrestrial uplands for overwintering.
Taher, Taherah Mohd; Lihan, Tukimat; Mustapha, Muzzneena Ahmad; Nor, Shukor Mohd
Large areas are converted into commercial land use such as agriculture and urban as a result from the increasing economic and population demand. This situation is largely affecting wildlife and its habitat. Malaysia as one of the largest oil palm-producing countries, should take precaution into conserving its forest and wildlife diversity. Although big mammal such as elephant and tiger are significant for wildlife diversity, medium and small mammals also contribute to the biological richness in Malaysia. This study aims to predict suitable habitat of medium mammal, Tragulus napu and Tragulus javanicus in the study area and identify its habitat characteristics. The method applied in this study uses maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling which utilized species distribution data and selected environmental variables to alienate potential habitat in the study area. The characteristic of the habitat was identified from the result of MaxEnt analysis. This method of habitat modeling shows different extent of predicted suitable habitat in the study area of both species in which Tragulus napu has a limited distribution compared to Tragulus javanicus. However, some characteristics are similar in both habitats. The knowledge on species habitat characteristics is important to predict wildlife habitat in order to make best decision on land use management and conservation.
Thorne, Lesley H.; Johnston, David W.; Urban, Dean L.; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W.; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H.; Deakos, Mark H.; Mobley, Joseph R.; Pack, Adam A.; Chapla Hill, Marie
Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood. PMID:22937022
Purcell, Steven W; Clarke, K Robert; Rushworth, Kelvin; Dalton, Steven J
Understanding critical habitats of threatened and endemic animals is essential for mitigating extinction risks, developing recovery plans, and siting reserves, but assessment methods are generally lacking. We evaluated critical habitats of 8 threatened or endemic fish species on coral and rocky reefs of subtropical eastern Australia, by measuring physical and substratum-type variables of habitats at fish sightings. We used nonmetric and metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS, mMDS), Analysis of similarities (ANOSIM), similarity percentages analysis (SIMPER), permutational analysis of multivariate dispersions (PERMDISP), and other multivariate tools to distinguish critical habitats. Niche breadth was widest for 2 endemic wrasses, and reef inclination was important for several species, often found in relatively deep microhabitats. Critical habitats of mainland reef species included small caves or habitat-forming hosts such as gorgonian corals and black coral trees. Hard corals appeared important for reef fishes at Lord Howe Island, and red algae for mainland reef fishes. A wide range of habitat variables are required to assess critical habitats owing to varied affinities of species to different habitat features. We advocate assessments of critical habitats matched to the spatial scale used by the animals and a combination of multivariate methods. Our multivariate approach furnishes a general template for assessing the critical habitats of species, understanding how these vary among species, and determining differences in the degree of habitat specificity. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This benthic habitat map was created from a semi-automated habitat mapping process, using a combination of bathymetry, satellite imagery, aerial imagery and...
Mark D. Nelson; Janine M. Benyus; Richard R. Buech
Wildlife habitat data from seven Great Lakes National Forests were combined into a wildlife-habitat matrix named NORTHWOODS. Several electronic file formats of NORTHWOODS data base and documentation are available on floppy disks for microcomputers.
Victor K Muposhi
Full Text Available An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i.e., 2006 and 2010, in Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe. MaxEnt modeling was done to determine the habitat suitability of large herbivores and medium-sized herbivores. MaxEnt modeling of habitat suitability for large herbivores using the environmental variables was successful for the selected species in 2006 and 2010, except for elephant (Loxodonta africana for the year 2010. Overall, large herbivores probability of occurrence was mostly influenced by distance from rivers. Distance from roads influenced much of the variability in the probability of occurrence of medium-sized herbivores. The overall predicted area for large and medium-sized herbivores was not different. Large herbivores may not necessarily utilize larger habitat patches over medium-sized herbivores due to the habitat homogenizing effect of water provisioning. Effect of surface water availability, proximity to riverine ecosystems and roads on habitat suitability of large and medium-sized herbivores in the dry season was highly variable thus could change from one year to another. We recommend adaptive management initiatives aimed at ensuring dynamic water supply in protected areas through temporal closure and or opening of water points to promote heterogeneity of wildlife habitats.
Hitchman, Sean M.; Mather, Martha E.; Smith, Joseph M.; Fencl, Jane S.
Conserving native biodiversity in the face of human‐ and climate‐related impacts is a challenging and globally important ecological problem that requires an understanding of spatially connected, organismal‐habitat relationships. Globally, a suite of disturbances (e.g., agriculture, urbanization, climate change) degrades habitats and threatens biodiversity. A mosaic approach (in which connected, interacting collections of juxtaposed habitat patches are examined) provides a scientific foundation for addressing many disturbance‐related, ecologically based conservation problems. For example, if specific habitat types disproportionately increase biodiversity, these keystones should be incorporated into research and management plans. Our sampling of fish biodiversity and aquatic habitat along ten 3‐km sites within the Upper Neosho River subdrainage, KS, from June‐August 2013 yielded three generalizable ecological insights. First, specific types of mesohabitat patches (i.e., pool, riffle, run, and glide) were physically distinct and created unique mosaics of mesohabitats that varied across sites. Second, species richness was higher in riffle mesohabitats when mesohabitat size reflected field availability. Furthermore, habitat mosaics that included more riffles had greater habitat diversity and more fish species. Thus, riffles (<5% of sampled area) acted as keystone habitats. Third, additional conceptual development, which we initiate here, can broaden the identification of keystone habitats across ecosystems and further operationalize this concept for research and conservation. Thus, adopting a mosaic approach can increase scientific understanding of organismal‐habitat relationships, maintain natural biodiversity, advance spatial ecology, and facilitate effective conservation of native biodiversity in human‐altered ecosystems.
Chris van Swaay
Full Text Available Twenty-nine butterfly species are listed on the Annexes of the Habitats Directive. To assist everyone who wants or needs to take action for one of these species, we compiled an overview of the habitat requirements and ecology of each species, as well as information on their conservation status in Europe. This was taken from the recent Red List and their main biogeographical regions (taken from the first reporting on Article 17 of the Directive. Most important are the Dos and Don`ts, which summarize in a few bullet points what to do and what to avoid in order to protect and conserve these butterflies and their habitats.
Mary M. Rowland; Lowell H. Suring; Christina D. Vojta
For agencies and organizations to effectively manage wildlife, knowledge about the status and trend of wildlife habitat is critical. Traditional wildlife monitoring, however, has focused on populations rather than habitat, because ultimately population status drives long-term species viability. Still, habitat loss has contributed to the decline of nearly all at-risk...
Todd K. BenDor
Full Text Available The US Fish and Wildlife Service will make an Endangered Species Act listing decision for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; “LPC” in March 2014. Based on the findings of a single, Uzbek antelope study, conservation plans put forth for the LPC propose to modify and re-position habitat in the landscape through a series of temporary preservation/restoration efforts. We argue that for certain species, including the LPC, dynamic habitat offsets represent a dangerous re-interpretation of habitat provision and recovery programs, which have nearly-universally viewed ecosystem offsets (habitat, wetlands, streams, etc. as “stocks” that accumulate characteristics over time. Any effort to create a program of temporary, moving habitat offsets must consider species’ (1 life history characteristics, (2 behavioral tendencies (e.g., avoidance of impacted areas, nesting/breeding site fidelity, and (3 habitat restoration characteristics, including long temporal lags in reoccupation. If misapplied, species recovery programs using temporary, moving habitat risk further population declines.
Isaak, Daniel J; Thurow, Russell F; Rieman, Bruce E; Dunham, Jason B
Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically
Camaclang, Abbey E; Maron, Martine; Martin, Tara G; Possingham, Hugh P
The term critical habitat is used to describe the subset of habitat that is essential to the survival and recovery of species. Some countries legally require that critical habitat of listed threatened and endangered species be identified and protected. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the identification of critical habitat has had much impact on species recovery. We hypothesized that this may be due at least partly to a mismatch between the intent of critical habitat identification, which is to protect sufficient habitat for species persistence and recovery, and its practice. We used content analysis to systematically review critical habitat documents from the United States, Canada, and Australia. In particular, we identified the major trends in type of information used to identify critical habitat and in occupancy of habitat identified as critical. Information about population viability was used to identify critical habitat for only 1% of the species reviewed, and for most species, designated critical habitat did not include unoccupied habitat. Without reference to population viability, it is difficult to determine how much of a species' occupied and unoccupied habitat will be required for persistence. We therefore conclude that the identification of critical habitat remains inconsistent with the goal of protecting sufficient habitat to support persistence and recovery of the species. Ensuring that critical habitat identification aligns more closely with its intent will improve the accuracy of the designations and may therefore help improve the benefits to species recovery when combined with adequate implementation and enforcement of legal protections. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
Isaak, D.J.; Thurow, R.F.; Rieman, B.E.; Dunham, J.B.
Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km 2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically
Salm, R V
Tropical reefs and beaches attract hordes of tourists from temperature zones. These environments may be the most valuable resource of small island nations, providing fish, coastal protection and support for a tourist industry. However, tourism can strain the resource base resulting in damage to habitat's from intensified fishing activity and the depletion of species through over exploitation. Conflict develops between subsistence requirements of local residents, the recreational demands of tourists and conservation constraints. When included in national development planning, the establishment of conservation areas can help reduce conflicts through zoning for different uses the protected areas. This enable the grouping of compatible activities into specific zones and the separation of those which are incompatible. This paper discusses the planning of protected areas which have tourism as a major component, drawing on two case studies in Indonesia. Some techniques are listed for controlling visitor use of protected areas.
Full Text Available Living Ratites, which include several species or subspecies of ostriches, cassowaries, emus, rheas and kiwis, all with an important function in the ecosystem dynamics, endure the danger of extinction similarly to the extinct moas and elephant-birds. Whereas ostriches and emus, except for specific populations, are not seen as being endangered, cassowaries and kiwis are on the brink of extinction. Hunting by humans contributed most to the declining numbers in all families of Ratites. Some conservation management strategies have been developed for conservation of kiwis, one subspecies of cassowary, and some populations of ostriches, emus and rheas. These include captive breeding and release, habitat restoration, and public awareness. However, consideration of the limitations of the above techniques is often ignored.
Tropical reefs and beaches attract hordes of tourists from temperature zones. These environments may be the most valuable resource of small island nations, providing fish, coastal protection and support for a tourist industry. However, tourism can strain the resource base resulting in damage to habitat's from intensified fishing activity and the depletion of species through over exploitation. Conflict develops between subsistence requirements of local residents, the recreational demands of tourists and conservation constraints. When included in national development planning, the establishment of conservation areas can help reduce conflicts through zoning for different uses the protected areas. This enable the grouping of compatible activities into specific zones and the separation of those which are incompatible. This paper discusses the planning of protected areas which have tourism as a major component, drawing on two case studies in Indonesia. Some techniques are listed for controlling visitor use of protected areas.
Jack E. Williams; Richard N. Williams; Russell F. Thurow; Leah Elwell; David P. Philipp; Fred A. Harris; Jeffrey L. Kershner; Patrick J. Martinez; Dirk Miller; Gordon H. Reeves; Christopher A. Frissell; James R. Sedell
The status of freshwater fishes continues to decline despite substantial conservation efforts to reverse this trend and recover threatened and endangered aquatic species. Lack of success is partially due to working at smaller spatial scales and focusing on habitats and species that are already degraded. Protecting entire watersheds and aquatic communities, which we...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Habitat Use Database (HUD) was specifically designed to address the need for habitat-use analyses in support of groundfish EFH, HAPCs, and fishing and nonfishing...
Identification of critical habitat in estuarine fish nursery areas is an important conservation and management objective, yet response to changes in critical habitat is both equally important and harder to predict. Habitat can be viewed as a mosaic of both temporally variable en...
Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Otis, David L.
The presence of conspecific individuals may provide important cues about habitat quality for territorial songbirds. We tested the ability of a conspecific song playback system to attract Henslow’s sparrows to previously unoccupied restored habitat. We successfully attracted Heslow’s sparrows to 3 of 7 treatment plots using conspecific song playbacks and we found no Henslow’s sparrows in control plots. The addition of social cues using playback systems in restored grassland habitats may aid conservation efforts of Henslow’s sparrows to available habitat.
Bumgarner, Joseph D.
Asotin Creek originates from a network of deeply incised streams on the slopes of the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington. The watershed drains an area of 322 square miles that provides a mean annual flow of 74 cfs. The geomorphology of the watershed exerts a strong influence on biologic conditions for fish within the stream. Historic and contemporary land-use practices have had a profound impact on the kind, abundance, and distribution of anadromous salmonids in the watershed. Fish habitat in Asotin Creek and other local streams has been affected by agricultural development, grazing, tilling practices, logging, recreational activities and implementation of flood control structures (Neilson 1950). The Asotin Creek Model Watershed Master Plan was completed in 1994. The plan was developed by a landowner steering committee for the Asotin County Conservation District (ACCD), with technical support from various Federal, State and local entities. Actions identified within the plan to improve the Asotin Creek ecosystem fall into four main categories: (1) Stream and Riparian, (2) Forestland, (3) Rangeland, and (4) Cropland. Specific actions to be carried out within the stream and in the riparian area to improve fish habitat were: (1) create more pools, (2) increase the amount of large organic debris (LOD), (3) increase the riparian buffer zone through tree planting, and (4) increase fencing to limit livestock access. All of these actions, in combination with other activities identified in the Plan, are intended to stabilize the river channel, reduce sediment input, increase the amount of available fish habitat (adult and juvenile) and protect private property. Evaluation work described within this report was to document the success or failure of the program regarding the first two items listed (increasing pools and LOD). Beginning in 1996, the ACCD, with cooperation from local landowners and funding from Bonneville Power Administration began constructing instream
Conclusion: To this end, the stewardship programme spearheaded by local conservation agencies, which aims to formally conserve privately owned patches of untransformed grassland and other natural habitats, may have a strong impact on the long-term persistence of Blue Swallow populations.
Free, C. L.; Baxter, G. S.; Dickman, C. R.; Lisle, A.; Leung, L. K.-P.
Animal species are seldom distributed evenly at either local or larger spatial scales, and instead tend to aggregate in sites that meet their resource requirements and maximise fitness. This tendency is likely to be especially marked in arid regions where species could be expected to concentrate at resource-rich oases. In this study, we first test the hypothesis that productive riparian sites in arid Australia support higher vertebrate diversity than other desert habitats, and then elucidate the habitats selected by different species. We addressed the first aim by examining the diversity and composition of vertebrate assemblages inhabiting the Field River and adjacent sand dunes in the Simpson Desert, western Queensland, over a period of two and a half years. The second aim was addressed by examining species composition in riparian and sand dune habitats in dry and wet years. Vertebrate species richness was estimated to be highest (54 species) in the riverine habitats and lowest on the surrounding dune habitats (45 species). The riverine habitats had different species pools compared to the dune habitats. Several species, including the agamid Gowidon longirostris and tree frog Litoria rubella, inhabited the riverine habitats exclusively, while others such as the skinks Ctenotus ariadnae and C. dux were captured only in the dune habitats. The results suggest that, on a local scale, diversity is higher along riparian corridors and that riparian woodland is important for tree-dependent species. Further, the distribution of some species, such as Mus musculus, may be governed by environmental variables (e.g. soil moisture) associated with riparian corridors that are not available in the surrounding desert environment. We conclude that inland river systems may be often of high conservation value, and that management should be initiated where possible to alleviate threats to their continued functioning. PMID:26637127
Ayllón, Daniel; Nicola, Graciela G.; Parra, Irene; Elvira, Benigno; Almodóvar, Ana
Habitat selection can be viewed as an emergent property of the quality and availability of habitat but also of the number of individuals and the way they compete for its use. Consequently, habitat selection can change across years due to fluctuating resources or to changes in population numbers. However, habitat selection predictive models often do not account for ecological dynamics, especially density dependent processes. In stage-structured population, the strength of density dependent interactions between individuals of different age classes can exert a profound influence on population trajectories and evolutionary processes. In this study, we aimed to assess the effects of fluctuating densities of both older and younger competing life stages on the habitat selection patterns (described as univariate and multivariate resource selection functions) of young-of-the-year, juvenile and adult brown trout Salmo trutta. We observed all age classes were selective in habitat choice but changed their selection patterns across years consistently with variations in the densities of older but not of younger age classes. Trout of an age increased selectivity for positions highly selected by older individuals when their density decreased, but this pattern did not hold when the density of younger age classes varied. It suggests that younger individuals are dominated by older ones but can expand their range of selected habitats when density of competitors decreases, while older trout do not seem to consider the density of younger individuals when distributing themselves even though they can negatively affect their final performance. Since these results may entail critical implications for conservation and management practices based on habitat selection models, further research should involve a wider range of river typologies and/or longer time frames to fully understand the patterns of and the mechanisms underlying the operation of density dependence on brown trout habitat
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...
Full Text Available Understanding ecosystem processes is vital for developing dynamic adaptive management of human-dominated landscapes. We focus on conservation and management of the central Chilean silvopastoral savanna habitat called “espinal”, which often occurs near matorral, a shrub habitat. Although matorral, espinal and native sclerophyllous forest are linked successionally, they are not jointly managed and conserved. Management goals in “espinal” include increasing woody cover, particularly of the dominant tree Acacia caven, improving herbaceous forage quality, and increasing soil fertility. We asked whether adjacent matorral areas contribute to espinal ecosystem processes related to the three main espinal management goals. We examined input and outcome ecosystem processes related to these goals in matorral and espinal with and without shrub understory. We found that matorral had the largest sets of inputs to ecosystem processes, and espinal with shrub understory had the largest sets of outcomes. Moreover, we found that these outcomes were broadly in the directions preferred by management goals. This supports our prediction that matorral acts as an ecosystem process bank for espinal. We recommend that management plans for landscape resilience consider espinal and matorral as a single landscape cover class that should be maintained as a dynamic mosaic. Joint management of espinal and matorral could create new management and policy opportunities.
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.
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
Mangini, Paulo Rogerio; Medici, Emilia Patrícia; Fernandes-Santos, Renata Carolina
Tapirs have unique nutritional needs, as well as anatomical, physiological, behavioral and ecological adaptations that must be considered when managing their health, both in the wild and in captivity. Information about how tapirs live in their natural habitats can provide crucial knowledge to prevent many of the health problems found in captivity such as infectious and parasitic diseases, reproductive issues and nutritional and behavioral disorders. Likewise, proper management in captivity can significantly contribute to in situ conservation programs. Conservation medicine is a science created to address the global health crisis that jeopardizes biodiversity causing imbalances among ecosystem, human, animal and vegetal health. In this context, common threats to tapir health and conservation, such as isolated and small populations surrounded by human activity, chemical pollution, domestic animals and their pathogenic agents, need to be better understood. This manuscript provides information about the health of tapirs both in captivity and in the wild and aims to encourage tapir conservationists worldwide to gather information about pathogen and disease dynamics and manifestation, as well as implications for tapir conservation. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.
Robert J. Miller
Full Text Available Submarine canyons have been shown to positively influence pelagic and benthic biodiversity and ecosystem function. In the eastern Bering Sea, several immense canyons lie under the highly productive “green belt” along the continental slope. Two of these, Pribilof and Zhemchug canyons, are the focus of current conservation interest. We used a maximum entropy modeling approach to evaluate the importance of these two canyons, as well as canyons in general, as habitat for gorgonian (alcyonacean corals, pennatulacean corals, and sponges, in an area comprising most of the eastern Bering Sea slope and outer shelf. These invertebrates create physical structure that is a preferred habitat for many mobile species, including commercially important fish and invertebrates. We show that Pribilof canyon is a hotspot of structure-forming invertebrate habitat, containing over 50% of estimated high-quality gorgonian habitat and 45% of sponge habitat, despite making up only 1.7% of the total study area. The amount of quality habitat for gorgonians and sponges varied in other canyons, but canyons overall contained more high-quality habitat for structure-forming invertebrates compared to other slope areas. Bottom trawling effort was not well correlated with habitat quality for structure-forming invertebrates, and bottom-contact fishing effort in general, including longlining and trawling, was not particularly concentrated in the canyons examined. These results suggest that if conserving gorgonian coral habitat is a management goal, canyons, particularly Pribilof Canyon, may be a prime location to do this without excessive impact on fisheries.
Gong, Minghao; Guan, Tianpei; Hou, Meng; Liu, Gang; Zhou, Tianyuan
One way that climate change will impact animal distributions is by altering habitat suitability and habitat fragmentation. Understanding the impacts of climate change on currently threatened species is of immediate importance because complex conservation planning will be required. Here, we mapped changes to the distribution, suitability, and fragmentation of giant panda habitat under climate change and quantified the direction and elevation of habitat shift and fragmentation patterns. These data were used to develop a series of new conservation strategies for the giant panda. Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China. Data from the most recent giant panda census, habitat factors, anthropogenic disturbance, climate variables, and climate predictions for the year 2050 (averaged across four general circulation models) were used to project giant panda habitat in Maxent. Differences in habitat patches were compared between now and 2050. While climate change will cause a 9.1% increase in suitable habitat and 9% reduction in subsuitable habitat by 2050, no significant net variation in the proportion of suitable and subsuitable habitat was found. However, a distinct climate change-induced habitat shift of 11 km eastward by 2050 is predicted firstly. Climate change will reduce the fragmentation of suitable habitat at high elevations and exacerbate the fragmentation of subsuitable habitat below 1,900 m above sea level. Reduced fragmentation at higher elevations and worsening fragmentation at lower elevations have the potential to cause overcrowding of giant pandas at higher altitudes, further exacerbating habitat shortage in the central Qinling Mountains. The habitat shift to the east due to climate change may provide new areas for giant pandas but poses severe challenges for future conservation.
Tuanmu, Mao-Ning; Viña, Andrés; Yang, Wu; Chen, Xiaodong; Shortridge, Ashton M; Liu, Jianguo
Conflicts between local people's livelihoods and conservation have led to many unsuccessful conservation efforts and have stimulated debates on policies that might simultaneously promote sustainable management of protected areas and improve the living conditions of local people. Many government-sponsored payments-for-ecosystem-services (PES) schemes have been implemented around the world. However, few empirical assessments of their effectiveness have been conducted, and even fewer assessments have directly measured their effects on ecosystem services. We conducted an empirical and spatially explicit assessment of the conservation effectiveness of one of the world's largest PES programs through the use of a long-term empirical data set, a satellite-based habitat model, and spatial autoregressive analyses on direct measures of change in an ecosystem service (i.e., the provision of wildlife species habitat). Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) habitat improved in Wolong Nature Reserve of China after the implementation of the Natural Forest Conservation Program. The improvement was more pronounced in areas monitored by local residents than those monitored by the local government, but only when a higher payment was provided. Our results suggest that the effectiveness of a PES program depends on who receives the payment and on whether the payment provides sufficient incentives. As engagement of local residents has not been incorporated in many conservation strategies elsewhere in China or around the world, our results also suggest that using an incentive-based strategy as a complement to command-and-control, community- and norm-based strategies may help achieve greater conservation effectiveness and provide a potential solution for the park versus people conflict. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.
Shaun K Wilson
Full Text Available Habitat specificity plays a pivotal role in forming community patterns in coral reef fishes, yet considerable uncertainty remains as to the extent of this selectivity, particularly among newly settled recruits. Here we quantified habitat specificity of juvenile coral reef fish at three ecological levels; algal meadows vs. coral reefs, live vs. dead coral and among different coral morphologies. In total, 6979 individuals from 11 families and 56 species were censused along Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Juvenile fishes exhibited divergence in habitat use and specialization among species and at all study scales. Despite the close proximity of coral reef and algal meadows (10's of metres 25 species were unique to coral reef habitats, and seven to algal meadows. Of the seven unique to algal meadows, several species are known to occupy coral reef habitat as adults, suggesting possible ontogenetic shifts in habitat use. Selectivity between live and dead coral was found to be species-specific. In particular, juvenile scarids were found predominantly on the skeletons of dead coral whereas many damsel and butterfly fishes were closely associated with live coral habitat. Among the coral dependent species, coral morphology played a key role in juvenile distribution. Corymbose corals supported a disproportionate number of coral species and individuals relative to their availability, whereas less complex shapes (i.e. massive & encrusting were rarely used by juvenile fish. Habitat specialisation by juvenile species of ecological and fisheries importance, for a variety of habitat types, argues strongly for the careful conservation and management of multiple habitat types within marine parks, and indicates that the current emphasis on planning conservation using representative habitat areas is warranted. Furthermore, the close association of many juvenile fish with corals susceptible to climate change related disturbances suggests that identifying and
Ćurčić Nina B.
Full Text Available The paper considers theoretical and applied foundations of the concept of the ecological corridors in nature conservation. Their relevance comes from recent ecological phenomenon of habitat fragmentation which is rapidly increasing during last decades. Habitat fragmentation is one of the main threats to richness and diversity of wildlife. Ecological corridors can mitigate the loss and fragmentation of habitat. Corridors perform as “bridges” between habitats for species and they provide a flow of the natural or even anthropogenic caused disturbances. In this paper we will present the meaning and significance of ecological corridors in nature conservation, as well as types of ecological corridors and their ecological benefits. Methodological and practical approaches in nature protection system in Serbia are included. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 47007 i br. 176008
Burdett, Christopher L.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Theobald, David M.; Wilson, Kenneth R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa A.; Fisher, Robert N.; Vickers, T. Winston; Morrison, Scott A.; Boyce, Walter M.
urban by 2030, and 35% of suitable puma habitat on private land in 1970 will have been lost by 2030. These land-use changes will further isolate puma populations in southern California, but the ability to visualize these changes had provided a new tool for developing proactive conservation solutions.
Amorim, Eva; Ramos, Sandra; Elliott, Michael; Franco, Anita; Bordalo, Adriano A.
habitat changes on fish due to coastal development and urbanisation and emphasises that ecosystem management and conservation will benefit from a wider understanding of habitat functional roles and habitat changes influencing the functioning and structure of the fish communities.
Robert A Frakes
Full Text Available Historically occurring throughout the southeastern United States, the Florida panther is now restricted to less than 5% of its historic range in one breeding population located in southern Florida. Using radio-telemetry data from 87 prime-aged (≥3 years old adult panthers (35 males and 52 females during the period 2004 through 2013 (28,720 radio-locations, we analyzed the characteristics of the occupied area and used those attributes in a random forest model to develop a predictive distribution map for resident breeding panthers in southern Florida. Using 10-fold cross validation, the model was 87.5 % accurate in predicting presence or absence of panthers in the 16,678 km2 study area. Analysis of variable importance indicated that the amount of forests and forest edge, hydrology, and human population density were the most important factors determining presence or absence of panthers. Sensitivity analysis showed that the presence of human populations, roads, and agriculture (other than pasture had strong negative effects on the probability of panther presence. Forest cover and forest edge had strong positive effects. The median model-predicted probability of presence for panther home ranges was 0.81 (0.82 for females and 0.74 for males. The model identified 5579 km2 of suitable breeding habitat remaining in southern Florida; 1399 km2 (25% of this habitat is in non-protected private ownership. Because there is less panther habitat remaining than previously thought, we recommend that all remaining breeding habitat in south Florida should be maintained, and the current panther range should be expanded into south-central Florida. This model should be useful for evaluating the impacts of future development projects, in prioritizing areas for panther conservation, and in evaluating the potential impacts of sea-level rise and changes in hydrology.
Clark, Toni A.; Kolomenski, Andrei
Currently, spacecraft lighting systems are not demonstrating innovations in automation due to perceived costs in designing circuitry for the communication and automation of lights. The majority of spacecraft lighting systems employ lamps or zone specific manual switches and dimmers. This type of 'hardwired' solution does not easily convert to automation. With advances in solid state lighting, the potential to enhance a spacecraft habitat is lost if the communication and automation problem is not tackled. If we are to build long duration environments, which provide earth-like habitats, minimize crew time, and optimize spacecraft power reserves, innovation in lighting automation is a must. This project researched the use of the DMX512 communication protocol originally developed for high channel count lighting systems. DMX512 is an internationally governed, industry-accepted, lighting communication protocol with wide industry support. The lighting industry markets a wealth of hardware and software that utilizes DMX512, and there may be incentive to space certify the system. Our goal in this research is to enable the development of automated spacecraft habitats for long duration missions. To transform how spacecraft lighting environments are automated, our project conducted a variety of tests to determine a potential scope of capability. We investigated utilization and application of an industry accepted lighting control protocol, DMX512 by showcasing how the lighting system could help conserve power, assist with lighting countermeasures, and utilize spatial body tracking. We hope evaluation and the demonstrations we built will inspire other NASA engineers, architects and researchers to consider employing DMX512 "smart lighting" capabilities into their system architecture. By using DMX512 we will prove the 'wheel' does not need to be reinvented in terms of smart lighting and future spacecraft can use a standard lighting protocol to produce an effective, optimized and
Clark, Tori A. (Principal Investigator); Kolomenski, Andrei
Currently, spacecraft lighting systems are not demonstrating innovations in automation due to perceived costs in designing circuitry for the communication and automation of lights. The majority of spacecraft lighting systems employ lamps or zone specific manual switches and dimmers. This type of 'hardwired' solution does not easily convert to automation. With advances in solid state lighting, the potential to enhance a spacecraft habitat is lost if the communication and automation problem is not tackled. If we are to build long duration environments, which provide earth-like habitats, minimize crew time, and optimize spacecraft power reserves, innovation in lighting automation is a must. This project researched the use of the DMX512 communication protocol originally developed for high channel count lighting systems. DMX512 is an internationally governed, industry-accepted, lighting communication protocol with wide industry support. The lighting industry markets a wealth of hardware and software that utilizes DMX512, and there may be incentive to space certify the system. Our goal in this research is to enable the development of automated spacecraft habitats for long duration missions. To transform how spacecraft lighting environments are automated, our project conducted a variety of tests to determine a potential scope of capability. We investigated utilization and application of an industry accepted lighting control protocol, DMX512 by showcasing how the lighting system could help conserve power, assist with lighting countermeasures, and utilize spatial body tracking. We hope evaluation and the demonstrations we built will inspire other NASA engineers, architects and researchers to consider employing DMX512 "smart lighting" capabilities into their system architecture. By using DMX512 we will prove the 'wheel' does not need to be reinvented in terms of smart lighting and future spacecraft can use a standard lighting protocol to produce an effective, optimized and
Frakes, Robert A; Belden, Robert C; Wood, Barry E; James, Frederick E
Historically occurring throughout the southeastern United States, the Florida panther is now restricted to less than 5% of its historic range in one breeding population located in southern Florida. Using radio-telemetry data from 87 prime-aged (≥3 years old) adult panthers (35 males and 52 females) during the period 2004 through 2013 (28,720 radio-locations), we analyzed the characteristics of the occupied area and used those attributes in a random forest model to develop a predictive distribution map for resident breeding panthers in southern Florida. Using 10-fold cross validation, the model was 87.5 % accurate in predicting presence or absence of panthers in the 16,678 km2 study area. Analysis of variable importance indicated that the amount of forests and forest edge, hydrology, and human population density were the most important factors determining presence or absence of panthers. Sensitivity analysis showed that the presence of human populations, roads, and agriculture (other than pasture) had strong negative effects on the probability of panther presence. Forest cover and forest edge had strong positive effects. The median model-predicted probability of presence for panther home ranges was 0.81 (0.82 for females and 0.74 for males). The model identified 5579 km2 of suitable breeding habitat remaining in southern Florida; 1399 km2 (25%) of this habitat is in non-protected private ownership. Because there is less panther habitat remaining than previously thought, we recommend that all remaining breeding habitat in south Florida should be maintained, and the current panther range should be expanded into south-central Florida. This model should be useful for evaluating the impacts of future development projects, in prioritizing areas for panther conservation, and in evaluating the potential impacts of sea-level rise and changes in hydrology.
Fattebert, Julien; Robinson, Hugh S; Balme, Guy; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke
Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as surrogate for modeling functional connectivity through dispersal could be erroneous. We tested how well a second-order resource selection function (RSF) models (structural connectivity), based on GPS telemetry data from resident adult leopard (Panthera pardus L.), could predict subadult habitat use during dispersal (functional connectivity). We created eight non-exclusive subsets of the subadult data based on differing definitions of dispersal to assess the predictive ability of our adult-based RSF model extrapolated over a broader landscape. Dispersing leopards used habitats in accordance with adult selection patterns, regardless of the definition of dispersal considered. We demonstrate that, for a wide-ranging apex carnivore, functional connectivity through natal dispersal corresponds to structural connectivity as modeled by a second-order RSF. Mapping of the adult-based habitat classes provides direct visualization of the potential linkages between populations, without the need to model paths between a priori starting and destination points. The use of such landscape scale RSFs may provide insight into predicting suitable dispersal habitat peninsulas in human-dominated landscapes where mitigation of human-wildlife conflict should be focused. We recommend the use of second-order RSFs for landscape conservation planning and propose a similar approach to the conservation of other wide-ranging large
Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; King, Sarah R. B.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi
Although habitat fragmentation is often assumed to be a primary driver of extinction, global patterns of fragmentation and its relationship to extinction risk have not been consistently quantified for any major animal taxon. We developed high-resolution habitat fragmentation models and used phylogenetic comparative methods to quantify the effects of habitat fragmentation on the world’s terrestrial mammals, including 4,018 species across 26 taxonomic Orders. Results demonstrate that species with more fragmentation are at greater risk of extinction, even after accounting for the effects of key macroecological predictors, such as body size and geographic range size. Species with higher fragmentation had smaller ranges and a lower proportion of high-suitability habitat within their range, and most high-suitability habitat occurred outside of protected areas, further elevating extinction risk. Our models provide a quantitative evaluation of extinction risk assessments for species, allow for identification of emerging threats in species not classified as threatened, and provide maps of global hotspots of fragmentation for the world’s terrestrial mammals. Quantification of habitat fragmentation will help guide threat assessment and strategic priorities for global mammal conservation. PMID:28673992
Albert, Cécile H; Rayfield, Bronwyn; Dumitru, Maria; Gonzalez, Andrew
Designing connected landscapes is among the most widespread strategies for achieving biodiversity conservation targets. The challenge lies in simultaneously satisfying the connectivity needs of multiple species at multiple spatial scales under uncertain climate and land-use change. To evaluate the contribution of remnant habitat fragments to the connectivity of regional habitat networks, we developed a method to integrate uncertainty in climate and land-use change projections with the latest developments in network-connectivity research and spatial, multipurpose conservation prioritization. We used land-use change simulations to explore robustness of species' habitat networks to alternative development scenarios. We applied our method to 14 vertebrate focal species of periurban Montreal, Canada. Accounting for connectivity in spatial prioritization strongly modified conservation priorities and the modified priorities were robust to uncertain climate change. Setting conservation priorities based on habitat quality and connectivity maintained a large proportion of the region's connectivity, despite anticipated habitat loss due to climate and land-use change. The application of connectivity criteria alongside habitat-quality criteria for protected-area design was efficient with respect to the amount of area that needs protection and did not necessarily amplify trade-offs among conservation criteria. Our approach and results are being applied in and around Montreal and are well suited to the design of ecological networks and green infrastructure for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in other regions, in particular regions around large cities, where connectivity is critically low. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.
Full Text Available Green turtles (Chelonia mydas, listed as Endangered on the IUCN redlist, have a broad migration area and undergo a habitat shift from the pelagic (hatchling to neritic (growth zones. We studied habitat utilisation of the coastal feeding grounds around Okinawajima Island, Japan, in 103 green turtles. The western and eastern turtle aggregations off Okinawa had homogeneous genetic compositions, but different body size distributions. The western coastal feeding ground supported larger individuals than the eastern coastal feeding ground. Thus, green turtles appear to prefer different feeding grounds during their growth, and have a flexible habitat shift including a secondary habitat shift from east to west around Okinawajima Island after they are recruited to the coastal habitats. This study suggests maintaining coastal habitat diversity is important for green turtle conservation.
The International Space Station (ISS) will soon have a platform for conducting fundamental research of Large Plants. Plant Habitat (PH) is designed to be a fully controllable environment for high-quality plant physiological research. PH will control light quality, level, and timing, temperature, CO2, relative humidity, and irrigation, while scrubbing ethylene. Additional capabilities include leaf temperature and root zone moisture and oxygen sensing. The light cap will have red (630 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), far red (730 nm) and broad spectrum white LEDs. There will be several internal cameras (visible and IR) to monitor and record plant growth and operations.
Rostro-Garc?a, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced populatio...
Kuussaari, Mikko; Bommarco, Riccardo; Heikkinen, Risto K; Helm, Aveliina; Krauss, Jochen; Lindborg, Regina; Ockinger, Erik; Pärtel, Meelis; Pino, Joan; Rodà, Ferran; Stefanescu, Constantí; Teder, Tiit; Zobel, Martin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf
Local extinction of species can occur with a substantial delay following habitat loss or degradation. Accumulating evidence suggests that such extinction debts pose a significant but often unrecognized challenge for biodiversity conservation across a wide range of taxa and ecosystems. Species with long generation times and populations near their extinction threshold are most likely to have an extinction debt. However, as long as a species that is predicted to become extinct still persists, there is time for conservation measures such as habitat restoration and landscape management. Standardized long-term monitoring, more high-quality empirical studies on different taxa and ecosystems and further development of analytical methods will help to better quantify extinction debt and protect biodiversity.
Full Text Available Pulau Padang memiliki areal penanaman sagu (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.. Menurut pengetahuan masyarakat lokal terdapat tiga tipe habitat kebun sagu di Pulau Padang, yaitu Gambut, Kilang Manis, dan habitat bertanah liat. Produktifitas sagu berkorelasi dengan ketiga tipe habitat tersebut. Tujuan penelitian ini adalah mengungkap keanekaragaman sagu pada tiga tipe habitat di Pulau Padang dan menentukan tipe habitat yang mendukung produktifitas sagu yang tinggi, sebagai informasi dasar bagi upaya konservasi habitat sagu. Sebanyak 19 individu sagu telah dikoleksi dari tiga tipe habitat dan diamati karakter morfologi dan agronominya. Hasil karakterisasi ditemukan tiga tipe variasi sagu yaitu sagu duri, sagu sengke, dan sagu bemban. Analisis kluster menunjukan bahwa tanaman sagu mengelompok pada tiga kelompok utama berdasarkan asal habitat dan keberadaan durinya pada tingkat kesamaan 31-88%. Berdasarkan analisis komponen utama membagi tanaman sagu menjadi 5 kelompok, cenderung mengelompok juga berdasarkan asal habitat dan keberadaan duri dengan nilai akumulasi keragaman dua komponen utama 58%. Tipe habitat kilang manis direkomendasikan sebagai habitat sagu yang perlu dikonservasi di pulau Padang.Padang Island has a large sago plantation areas. Indigeneous people recognize three habitat types of sago in Padang island, i.e. peat, kilang manis and clay soil. The productivity of sago is closely correlated to the habitat types. The aims of this research were to reveal the diversity of Sago palms in three habitat types in Padang Island and to determine the habitat types which support high productivity of sago as the information base for conservation of sago habitats. The nineteen sago individuals were collected from three habitats and their morphological and agronomic characters were observed. The result of sago characterization obtained three variations of sago in Padang Island, namely Duri, Sengke and Bemban. The cluster analysis showed that sago dendrograms
Cockell, Charles S
The search for life on other planets usually makes the assumption that where there is a habitat, it will contain life. On the present-day Earth, uninhabited habitats (or vacant habitats) are rare, but might occur, for example, in subsurface oils or impact craters that have been thermally sterilized in the past. Beyond Earth, vacant habitats might similarly exist on inhabited planets or on uninhabited planets, for example on a habitable planet where life never originated. The hypothesis that vacant habitats are abundant in the Universe is testable by studying other planets. In this review, I discuss how the study of vacant habitats might ultimately inform an understanding of how life has influenced geochemical conditions on Earth. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lennox, Robert J.; Chapman, Jacqueline M.; Souliere, Christopher M.; Tudorache, Christian; Wikelski, Martin; Metcalfe, Julian D.; Cooke, Steven J.
Migration is a widespread phenomenon among many taxa. This complex behaviour enables animals to exploit many temporally productive and spatially discrete habitats to accrue various fitness benefits (e.g. growth, reproduction, predator avoidance). Human activities and global environmental change represent potential threats to migrating animals (from individuals to species), and research is underway to understand mechanisms that control migration and how migration responds to modern challenges. Focusing on behavioural and physiological aspects of migration can help to provide better understanding, management and conservation of migratory populations. Here, we highlight different physiological, behavioural and biomechanical aspects of animal migration that will help us to understand how migratory animals interact with current and future anthropogenic threats. We are in the early stages of a changing planet, and our understanding of how physiology is linked to the persistence of migratory animals is still developing; therefore, we regard the following questions as being central to the conservation physiology of animal migrations. Will climate change influence the energetic costs of migration? Will shifting temperatures change the annual clocks of migrating animals? Will anthropogenic influences have an effect on orientation during migration? Will increased anthropogenic alteration of migration stopover sites/migration corridors affect the stress physiology of migrating animals? Can physiological knowledge be used to identify strategies for facilitating the movement of animals? Our synthesis reveals that given the inherent challenges of migration, additional stressors derived from altered environments (e.g. climate change, physical habitat alteration, light pollution) or interaction with human infrastructure (e.g. wind or hydrokinetic turbines, dams) or activities (e.g. fisheries) could lead to long-term changes to migratory phenotypes. However, uncertainty remains
Mariani, Simone; Cefalì, Maria Elena; Terradas, Marc; Chappuis, Eglantine; Ballesteros, Enric
Studies aimed at describing habitats and mapping their distributions are pivotal to implementing management plans and to effectively guide conservation measures. We developed a novel approach of data collection and entry (CAT-LIT) to establish a detailed cartography of the littoral habitats found along the Catalan coast (Spain). Field data were recorded using coded, two-digit hierarchical lists (e.g. Aa, Ab, etc.) of horizons found at each point along the coast, called catenas. The horizons were either dominated by species (on the rocky bottoms) or sediment types (on the beaches) and corresponded to LPRE, EUNIS and CORINE habitats. Catenas were transferred into a database and calculations about the extent of bottom types, habitats, and catenas themselves along the coast were carried out with GIS tools. In addition, habitat link richness was calculated and represented using network analysis programs. The application of CAT-LIT to the Catalan coast showed that the habitats dominated by the lichen Verrucaria amphibia and the flattened barnacle Euraphia depressa and those dominated by the barnacle Chthamalus spp. were almost ubiquitous. Those dominated by the red alga Corallina elongata, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the red alga Rissoella verruculosa were also common. Because of the frequency of their connections, those habitats formed a huge hub of links in the networks. By using catenas, the habitats can be viewed using GIS based programs keeping the catena as the main informational and ecological unit. The catenas allow maximum compactness when vertically distributed habitats are to be shown on a 2D map. The complete cartography and dataset on the spatial distribution of the littoral habitats from Catalonia is valuable for coastal management and conservation to study changes in the habitat distribution and relate such changes to anthropogenic pressures. Furthermore, the CAT-LIT can be easily adapted to shores of other seas and oceans to obtain accurate
The segregation of habitats of fish assemblages found in the chalk streams and rivers within the Wessex, South West and Southern Water Authority boundaries in southern England have been examined. Habitat segregation is the most frequent type of resource partitioning in natural communities. The habitat of individual fish species will be defined in order to determine the following: (1) the requirements of each species in terms of depth, current velocity, substrate, cover etc.; (2) identify the ...
Nilsson, Danielle; Gramotnev, Galina; Baxter, Greg; Butler, James R A; Wich, Serge A; McAlpine, Clive A
Community-based conservation programs in developing countries are often based on the assumption that heteronomous motivation (e.g., extrinsic incentives such as economic rewards and pressure or coercion to act) will incite local communities to adopt conservation behaviors. However, this may not be as effective or sustainable as autonomous motivations (e.g., an intrinsic desire to act due to inherent enjoyment or self-identification with a behavior and through freedom of choice). We analyzed the comparative effectiveness of heteronomous versus autonomous approaches to community-based conservation programs through a case study of Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) conservation in 3 villages in Indonesia. Each village had a different conservation program design. We surveyed people (n = 240) to determine their motivations for and behavior changes relative to orangutan and orangutan habitat (forest) protection. Heteronomous motivations (e.g., income from tourism) led to greater self-reporting of behavior change toward orangutan protection. However, they did not change self-reported behavior toward forest (i.e., orangutan habitat) protection. The most effective approach to creating self-reported behavior change throughout the community was a combination of autonomous and heteronomous motivations. Individuals who were heteronomously motivated to protect the orangutan were more likely to have changed attitudes than to have changed their self-reported behavior. These findings demonstrate that the current paradigm of motivating communities in developing countries to adopt conservation behaviors primarily through monetary incentives and rewards should consider integrating autonomous motivational techniques that promote the intrinsic values of conservation. Such a combination has a greater potential to achieve sustainable and cost-effective conservation outcomes. Our results highlight the importance of using in-depth sociopsychological analyses to inform the design and
Li, Juan; Wang, Dajun; Yin, Hang; Zhaxi, Duojie; Jiagong, Zhala; Schaller, George B; Mishra, Charudutt; McCarthy, Thomas M; Wang, Hao; Wu, Lan; Xiao, Lingyun; Basang, Lamao; Zhang, Yuguang; Zhou, Yunyun; Lu, Zhi
The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits the rugged mountains in 12 countries of Central Asia, including the Tibetan Plateau. Due to poaching, decreased abundance of prey, and habitat degradation, it was listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1972. Current conservation strategies, including nature reserves and incentive programs, have limited capacities to protect snow leopards. We investigated the role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation in the Sanjiangyuan region in China's Qinghai Province on the Tibetan Plateau. From 2009 to 2011, we systematically surveyed snow leopards in the Sanjiangyuan region. We used the MaxEnt model to determine the relation of their presence to environmental variables (e.g., elevation, ruggedness) and to predict snow leopard distribution. Model results showed 89,602 km(2) of snow leopard habitat in the Sanjiangyuan region, of which 7674 km(2) lay within Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve's core zones. We analyzed the spatial relation between snow leopard habitat and Buddhist monasteries and found that 46% of monasteries were located in snow leopard habitat and 90% were within 5 km of snow leopard habitat. The 336 monasteries in the Sanjiangyuan region could protect more snow leopard habitat (8342 km(2) ) through social norms and active patrols than the nature reserve's core zones. We conducted 144 household interviews to identify local herders' attitudes and behavior toward snow leopards and other wildlife. Most local herders claimed that they did not kill wildlife, and 42% said they did not kill wildlife because it was a sin in Buddhism. Our results indicate monasteries play an important role in snow leopard conservation. Monastery-based snow leopard conservation could be extended to other Tibetan Buddhist regions that in total would encompass about 80% of the global range of snow leopards. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
Jennifer M Fill
Full Text Available In evaluating conservation and management options for species, practitioners might consider surrogate habitats at multiple scales when estimating available habitat or modeling species' potential distributions based on suitable habitats, especially when native environments are rare. Species' dependence on surrogates likely increases as optimal habitat is degraded and lost due to anthropogenic landscape change, and thus surrogate habitats may be vital for an imperiled species' survival in highly modified landscapes. We used spatial habitat models to examine a potential surrogate habitat for an imperiled ambush predator (eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus; EDB at two scales. The EDB is an apex predator indigenous to imperiled longleaf pine ecosystems (Pinus palustris of the southeastern United States. Loss of native open-canopy pine savannas and woodlands has been suggested as the principal cause of the species' extensive decline. We examined EDB habitat selection in the Coastal Plain tidewater region to evaluate the role of marsh as a potential surrogate habitat and to further quantify the species' habitat requirements at two scales: home range (HR and within the home range (WHR. We studied EDBs using radiotelemetry and employed an information-theoretic approach and logistic regression to model habitat selection as use vs.We failed to detect a positive association with marsh as a surrogate habitat at the HR scale; rather, EDBs exhibited significantly negative associations with all landscape patches except pine savanna. Within home range selection was characterized by a negative association with forest and a positive association with ground cover, which suggests that EDBs may use surrogate habitats of similar structure, including marsh, within their home ranges. While our HR analysis did not support tidal marsh as a surrogate habitat, marsh may still provide resources for EDBs at smaller scales.
Matchett, Elliott L.; Fleskes, Joseph
California's Central Valley provides critical, but threatened habitat and food resources for migrating and wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, and other waterbirds. The Central Valley is comprised of nine basins that were defined by the Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV) to assist in conservation planning. Basins vary in composition and extent of habitats, which primarily include croplands and wetlands that rely on water supplies shared with other competing human and environmental uses. Changes in climate, urban development, and water supply management are uncertain and could reduce future availability of water supplies supporting waterbird habitats and limit effectiveness of wetland restoration planned by the CVJV to support wintering waterbirds. We modeled 17 plausible scenarios including combinations of three climate projections, three urbanization rates, and five water supply management options to promote agricultural and urban water uses, with and without wetland restoration. Our research examines the reduction in quantity and quality of habitats during the fall migration-wintering period by basin under each scenario, and the efficacy of planned wetland restoration to compensate reductions in flooded areas of wetland habitats. Scenario combinations of projected climate, urbanization, and water supply management options reduced availability of flooded cropland and wetland habitats during fall-winter and degraded the quality of seasonal wetlands (i.e., summer-irrigation for improved forage production), though the extent and frequency of impacts varied by basin. Planned wetland restoration may substantially compensate for scenario-related effects on wetland habitats in each basin. However, results indicate that Colusa, Butte, Sutter, San Joaquin, and Tulare Basins may require additional conservation to support summer-irrigation of seasonal wetlands and winter-flooding of cropland habitats. Still further conservation may be required to provide sufficient areas of
Carlos Roberto Fonseca
Full Text Available Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance - the distance between the two required habitats - affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations.
Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Coutinho, Renato M; Azevedo, Franciane; Berbert, Juliana M; Corso, Gilberto; Kraenkel, Roberto A
Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance - the distance between the two required habitats - affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations.
... to streamline and coordinate existing processes for review and permitting of public and private... proposed to be covered by the BRCP: tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor), yellow-breasted chat (Icteria... of the environmental review, the Service will publish a notice of availability and a request for...
... review. The EIS was updated to address the comments received on the 2010 Draft EIS. We are considering... burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor), Mount Hamilton... received on the Draft EIR/ EIS and our responses to those comments. Following a 30-day review period, we...
... review and comment. The Service is considering the issuance of a 50-year incidental take permit for 21... as an alternative to the current project-by-project review process. The Draft HCP/NCCP addresses 21... burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea), tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor), [[Page 79015...
... Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for public review and comment. In response to receipt of... blackbird (Agelaius tricolor); western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea); western yellow[hyphen... agencies and the public an opportunity to review and comment on these documents. All comments received will...
... virens), grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor), and... personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so...
... listed fish, by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, including breeding, feeding, and... degradation where it actually kills or injures fish or wildlife by significantly impairing essential... biological resources, land use, air quality, water quality, water resources, socio-economics, climate, and...
Hilarides, Lammert; Langendoen, Tom; Flink, Stephan; van Leeuwen, Merijn; Steen, Bart; Kondratyev, Alexander; Kölzsch, Andrea; Aarvak, Tomas; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Vangeluwe, Didier; Todorov, Emil; Harrison, Anne L.; Rees, Eileen; Dokter, Adriaan; Nolet, Bart; Mundkur, Taej
Economic development and energy exploration are increasing in the Arctic. Important breeding habitats for many waterbird species, which have previously been relatively undisturbed, are now being subjected to these anthropogenic pressures. The conservation of the habitats and the species they support
Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; Brad C. Timm; Robert T. Brooks
Eastern Hognose Snakes (Heterodon platirhinos) are considered a species of conservation concern in the northeast United States because of their association with rare and declining habitats such as pine barrens and shrublands. These are disturbance-dependent habitats that currently require management to persist. We studied Eastern Hognose Snakes on...
Blake E. Feist; E. Ashley Steel; David W. Jensen; Damon N.D. Sather
Differences in the strength of species-habitat relationships across scales provide insights into the mechanisms that drive these relationships and guidance for designing in situ monitoring programs, conservation efforts and mechanistic studies. The scale of our observation can also impact the strength of perceived relationships between animals and habitat conditions....
Donald J. Brown; Mark D. Nelson; David J. Rugg; Richard R. Buech; Deahn M. Donner
Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) are a state threatened species at the western edge of their geographic distribution in Minnesota, United States. There is currently little published information regarding habitat use of western populations to assist with conservation initiatives. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate habitat use of...
Gubbay, S.; Sanders, N.; Haynes, T.; Janssen, J.A.M.; Rodwell, J.R.; Nieto, A.; Garcia Criado, M.; Beal, S.; Borg, J.
The European Red List of Habitats provides an overview of the risk
of collapse (degree of endangerment) of marine, terrestrial and
freshwater habitats in the European Union (EU28) and adjacent
regions (EU28+), based on a consistent set of categories and
criteria, and detailed data
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...
Hagen, Christian A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.
The distribution and range of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been reduced by >90% since European settlement of the Great Plains of North America. Currently, lesser prairie-chickens occupy 3 general vegetation communities: sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and mixed-grass prairies juxtaposed with Conservation Reserve Program grasslands. As a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, there is a need for a synthesis that characterizes habitat structure rangewide. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of vegetation characteristics at nest sites and brood habitats to determine whether there was an overall effect (Hedges' d) of habitat selection and to estimate average (95% CI) habitat characteristics at use sites. We estimated effect sizes (di) from the difference between use (nests and brood sites) and random sampling sites for each study (n = 14), and derived an overall effect size (d++). There was a general effect for habitat selection as evidenced by low levels of variation in effect sizes across studies and regions. There was a small to medium effect (d++) = 0.20-0.82) of selection for greater vertical structure (visual obstruction) by nesting females in both vegetation communities, and selection against bare ground (d++ = 0.20-0.58). Females with broods exhibited less selectivity for habitat components except for vertical structure. The variation of d++ was greater during nesting than brooding periods, signifying a seasonal shift in habitat use, and perhaps a greater range of tolerance for brood-rearing habitat. The overall estimates of vegetation cover were consistent with those provided in management guidelines for the species.
Full Text Available The domestic cat (Felis catus is an invasive exotic in many locations around the world and is thought to be a key factor driving recent mammal declines across northern Australia. Many mammal species native to this region now persist only in areas with high topographic complexity, provided by features such as gorges or escarpments. Do mammals persist in these habitats because cats occupy them less, or despite high cat occupancy? We show that occupancy of feral cats was lower in mammal-rich habitats of high topographic complexity. These results support the idea that predation pressure by feral cats is a factor contributing to the collapse of mammal communities across northern Australia. Managing impacts of feral cats is a global conservation challenge. Conservation actions such as choosing sites for small mammal reintroductions may be more successful if variation in cat occupancy with landscape features is taken into account.
Gerald D. Racey
Full Text Available A management strategy for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou habitat is being developed in northwestern Ontario. This strategy is based upon a set of draft Timber Management Guidelines for the Provision of Woodland Caribou Habitat. These guidelines recommend maintaining a sustainable supply of winter habitat within large tracts of old forest, protecting calving areas and minimizing human disturbance. Due to the large temporal and spatial scale of caribou habitat management, an ecosystem-based approach is recommended. Public response to the strategy shows a strong dichotomy between environmental and utilitarian values among all the major stakeholder groups. The major issues raised by the public include security of industrial wood supply, quality of the knowledge base, level of awareness of caribou, economic impacts on remote communities, concern about environmental impacts and silvicultural know-how. The government is responding to these concerns as the strategy evolves. Current emphasis is placed on increasing awareness of the public, training resource managers in caribou biology, management and habitat planning, implementing interim habitat management prescriptions and studying the potential impact on wood supply. The final direction for a northwestern Ontario strategy to conserve woodland caribou habitat has yet to be decided, although a commitment has been made to strive for the conservation of woodland caribou populations and their habitat.
... 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...
... Conservation Act; 16 U.S.C. 664), and ``for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose... integrity, promote native prairie restoration, control invasive plant species, and provide/enhance habitat...
Kareiva, Peter; Groves, Craig; Marvier, Michelle
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) was founded by ecologists as a United States land trust to purchase parcels of habitat for the purpose of scientific study. It has evolved into a global organization working in 35 countries 'to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends'. TNC is now the world 's largest conservation non-governmental organization (NGO), an early adopter of advances in ecological theory and a producer of new science as a result of practising conservation.The Nature Conservancy 's initial scientific innovation was the use of distributional data for rare species and ecological communities to systematically target lands for conservation. This innovation later evolved into a more rigorous approach known as 'Conservation by Design' that contained elements of systematic conservation planning, strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation.The next scientific transition at TNC was a move to landscape-scale projects, motivated by ideas from landscape ecology. Because the scale at which land could be set aside in areas untouched by humans fell far short of the spatial scale demanded by conservation, TNC became involved with best management practices for forestry, grazing, agriculture, hydropower and other land uses.A third scientific innovation at TNC came with the pursuit of multiobjective planning that accounts for economic and resource needs in the same plans that seek to protect biodiversity.The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment prompted TNC to become increasingly concerned with ecosystem services and the material risk to people posed by ecosystem deterioration.Finally, because conservation depends heavily upon negotiation, TNC has recently recruited social scientists, economists and communication experts. One aspect still missing, however, is a solid scientific understanding of thresholds that should be averted. Synthesis and applications . Over its 60-plus year history, scientific advances have informed The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 's actions
Oldfield, T E E; Smith, R J; Harrop, S R; Leader-Williams, N
Many natural habitats exist on privately owned land outside protected areas, but few governments can afford to enforce or subsidize conservation of this biodiversity. Even in some developed countries, conservation subsidy schemes have only achieved limited success. Fortunately, some landowners may be willing to accept management costs in return for other benefits, although this remains controversial when it involves the killing of charismatic species. For example, participants in British field sports, such as fox hunting and game-bird shooting, may voluntarily conserve important habitats that are required by quarry species. Here we report results from a multidisciplinary study that addressed this issue by focusing on three sites across central England. We found that landowners participating in field sports maintained the most established woodland and planted more new woodland and hedgerows than those who did not, despite the equal availability of subsidies. Therefore, voluntary habitat management appears to be important for biodiversity conservation in Britain. Current debates on the future of field sports in Britain, and similar activities globally, may benefit from considering their utility as incentives to conserve additional habitat on private land.
Our universe seems strangely 'biophilic,' or hospitable to life. Is this providence or coincidence? According to Martin Rees, the answer depends on the answer to another question, the one posed by Einstein's famous remark: 'What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently.' This highly engaging book centres on the fascinating consequences of the answer being 'yes'. Rees explores the notion that our universe is just part of a vast 'multiverse,' or ensemble of universes, in which most of the other universes are lifeless. What we call the laws of nature would then be local by laws, imposed in the aftermath of our own Big Bang. In this scenario, our cosmic habitat would be a special, possibly unique universe where the prevailing laws of physics allowed life to emerge.
Jacob V E Katz
Full Text Available When inundated by floodwaters, river floodplains provide critical habitat for many species of fish and wildlife, but many river valleys have been extensively leveed and floodplain wetlands drained for flood control and agriculture. In the Central Valley of California, USA, where less than 5% of floodplain wetland habitats remain, a critical conservation question is how can farmland occupying the historical floodplains be better managed to improve benefits for native fish and wildlife. In this study fields on the Sacramento River floodplain were intentionally flooded after the autumn rice harvest to determine if they could provide shallow-water rearing habitat for Sacramento River fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Approximately 10,000 juvenile fish (ca. 48 mm, 1.1 g were reared on two hectares for six weeks (Feb-March between the fall harvest and spring planting. A subsample of the fish were uniquely tagged to allow tracking of individual growth rates (average 0.76 mm/day which were among the highest recorded in fresh water in California. Zooplankton sampled from the water column of the fields were compared to fish stomach contents. The primary prey was zooplankton in the order Cladocera, commonly called water fleas. The compatibility, on the same farm fields, of summer crop production and native fish habitat during winter demonstrates that land management combining agriculture with conservation ecology may benefit recovery of native fish species, such as endangered Chinook salmon.
Wissel, Silvia; Wätzold, Frank
Tradable permits have already been applied in many areas of environmental policy and may be a possible response to increasing calls for flexible conservation instruments which are able to successfully conserve biodiversity while allowing for economic development. The idea behind applying tradable permits to conservation is that developers wishing to turn land to economic purposes, thereby destroying valuable habitat, may only do so if they submit a permit to the conservation agency showing th...
Creating clay animals and their habitats with second-grade students has long been one of the author's favorite classroom activities. Students love working with clay and they also enjoy drawing animal homes. In this article, the author describes how the students created a diorama instead of drawing their clay animal's habitat. This gave students…
Ten Brink, Dirk-Jan; Hendriksma, Harmen; Bruun, Hans Henrik
This study examined the adaptive association between seed germination ecology and specialization to either forest or open habitats across a range of evolutionary lineages of seed plants, in order to test the hypotheses that (1) species' specialization to open vs. shaded habitats is consistently...
The research required to develop a system that will provide for acceptable, nutritious, and safe diets for man during extended space missions is discussed. The development of a food technology system for space habitats capable of converting raw materials produced in the space habitats into acceptable food is examined.
Volker. C. Radeloff; Susan I. Stewart; Todd J. Hawbaker; Urs Gimmi; Anna M. Pidgeon; Curtis H. Flather; Roger. B. Hammer; David P. Helmers
Protected areas are crucial for biodiversity conservation because they provide safe havens for species threatened by land-use change and resulting habitat loss. However, protected areas are only effective when they stop habitat loss within their boundaries, and are connected via corridors to other wild areas. The effectiveness of protected areas is threatened by...
Dilts, Thomas E.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Leitner, Phillip; Matocq, Marjorie D.; Inman, Richard D.; Nussear, Ken E.; Esque, Todd C.
Conservation planning and biodiversity management require information on landscape connectivity across a range of spatial scales from individual home ranges to large regions. Reduction in landscape connectivity due changes in land-use or development is expected to act synergistically with alterations to habitat mosaic configuration arising from climate change. We illustrate a multi-scale connectivity framework to aid habitat conservation prioritization in the context of changing land use and climate. Our approach, which builds upon the strengths of multiple landscape connectivity methods including graph theory, circuit theory and least-cost path analysis, is here applied to the conservation planning requirements of the Mohave ground squirrel. The distribution of this California threatened species, as for numerous other desert species, overlaps with the proposed placement of several utility-scale renewable energy developments in the American Southwest. Our approach uses information derived at three spatial scales to forecast potential changes in habitat connectivity under various scenarios of energy development and climate change. By disentangling the potential effects of habitat loss and fragmentation across multiple scales, we identify priority conservation areas for both core habitat and critical corridor or stepping stone habitats. This approach is a first step toward applying graph theory to analyze habitat connectivity for species with continuously-distributed habitat, and should be applicable across a broad range of taxa.
Dilt, Thomas E; Weisberg, Peter J; Leitner, Philip; Matocq, Marjorie D; Inman, Richard D; Nussear, Kenneth E; Esque, Todd C
Conservation planning and biodiversity management require information on landscape connectivity across a range of spatial scales from individual home ranges to large regions. Reduction in landscape connectivity due changes in land use or development is expected to act synergistically with alterations to habitat mosaic configuration arising from climate change. We illustrate a multiscale connectivity framework to aid habitat conservation prioritization in the context of changing land use and climate. Our approach, which builds upon the strengths of multiple landscape connectivity methods, including graph theory, circuit theory, and least-cost path analysis, is here applied to the conservation planning requirements of the Mohave ground squirrel. The distribution of this threatened Californian species, as for numerous other desert species, overlaps with the proposed placement of several utility-scale renewable energy developments in the American southwest. Our approach uses information derived at three spatial scales to forecast potential changes in habitat connectivity under various scenarios of energy development and climate change. By disentangling the potential effects of habitat loss and fragmentation across multiple scales, we identify priority conservation areas for both core habitat and critical corridor or stepping stone habitats. This approach is a first step toward applying graph theory to analyze habitat connectivity for species with continuously distributed habitat and should be applicable across a broad range of taxa.
Steven M. Ostoja; Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton
Southern Nevadaâs unique landscapes and landforms provide habitat for a diversity of plant and wildlife species of conservation concern including many locally and regionally endemic species. The high population density and urbanization of the Las Vegas metropolitan area is the source of many local and regional stressors that affect these species and their habitats:...
Nicholas J. Bayly
Full Text Available Long-distance migratory birds are declining globally and migration has been identified as the primary source of mortality in this group. Despite this, our lack of knowledge of habitat use and quality at stopovers, i.e., sites where the energy for migration is accumulated, remains a barrier to designing appropriate conservation measures, especially in tropical regions. There is therefore an urgent need to assess stopover habitat quality and concurrently identify efficient and cost-effective methods for doing so. Given that fuel deposition rates directly influence stopover duration, departure fuel load, and subsequent speed of migration, they are expected to provide a direct measure of habitat quality and have the advantage of being measurable through body-mass changes. Here, we examined seven potential indicators of quality, including body-mass change, for two ecologically distinct Neotropical migratory landbirds on stopover in shade-coffee plantations and tropical humid premontane forest during spring migration in Colombia: (1 rate of body-mass change; (2 foraging rate; (3 recapture rate; (4 density; (5 flock size; (6 age and sex ratios; and (7 body-mass distribution. We found higher rates of mass change in premontane forest than in shade-coffee in Tennessee Warbler Oreothlypis peregrina, a difference that was mirrored in higher densities and body masses in forest. In Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus, a lack of recaptures in shade-coffee and higher densities in forest, also suggested that forest provided superior fueling conditions. For a reliable assessment of habitat quality, we therefore recommend using a suite of indicators, taking into account each species' ecology and methodological considerations. Our results also imply that birds stopping over in lower quality habitats may spend a longer time migrating and require more stopovers, potentially leading to important carryover effects on reproductive fitness. Evaluating habitat quality is
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
Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.
The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.
Consorte-McCrea, A.; Nigbur, D.; Bath, A.
The relationships between people and wild canids are a widespread concern for the conservation of species and habitats. The maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus is a Near Threatened species inhabiting South America. Strategies to conserve this keystone species may benefit the also-declining Cerrado biome. The attitudes of teenagers toward wild carnivores are also of worldwide interest as these youth are the future decision makers. We investigated selected attitudes, beliefs and knowledge in relat...
Metadata only record Mountains are especially important for biodiversity conservation since many harbor unique assemblages of plants and animals, including high levels of endemic species. Mountain biodiversity and natural habitats bestow multiple ecosystem, soil conservation, and watershed benefits. Mountains are often centers of endemism, where species are prevalent in or peculiar to a particular region, and Pleistocene refuges, which are hypothesized to have high levels of diversity wher...
Wiederholt, Ruscena; Mattsson, Brady J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Runge, Michael C.; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Federico, Paula; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Fryxell, John; Norris, D. Ryan; Sample, Christine
Every year, migratory species undertake seasonal movements along different pathways between discrete regions and habitats. The ability to assess the relative demographic contributions of these different habitats and pathways to the species’ overall population dynamics is critical for understanding the ecology of migratory species, and also has practical applications for management and conservation. Metrics for assessing habitat contributions have been well-developed for metapopulations, but an equivalent metric is not currently available for migratory populations. Here, we develop a framework for estimating the demographic contributions of the discrete habitats and pathways used by migratory species throughout the annual cycle by estimating the per capita contribution of cohorts using these locations. Our framework accounts for seasonal movements between multiple breeding and non-breeding habitats and for both resident and migratory cohorts. We illustrate our framework using a hypothetical migratory network of four habitats, which allows us to better understand how variations in habitat quality affect per capita contributions. Results indicate that per capita contributions for any habitat or pathway are dependent on habitat-specific survival probabilities in all other areas used as part of the migratory circuit, and that contribution metrics are spatially linked (e.g. reduced survival in one habitat also decreases the contribution metric for other habitats). Our framework expands existing theory on the dynamics of spatiotemporally structured populations by developing a generalized approach to estimate the habitat- and pathway-specific contributions of species migrating between multiple breeding and multiple non-breeding habitats for a range of life histories or migratory strategies. Most importantly, it provides a means of prioritizing conservation efforts towards those migratory pathways and habitats that are most critical for the population viability of
Full Text Available Although translocation has been used in mitigating human-carnivore conflict for decades, few studies have been conducted on the behavioral ecology of released animals. Such information is necessary in the context of sustainable forest management. In this study we determine the type of land cover used as main habitat and examine the activity pattern of translocated tigers. Between 2008 and 2010 we captured six conflict tigers and translocated them 74-1,350 km from their capture sites in Sumatera. All tigers were fitted with global positioning system (GPS collars. The collars were set to fix 24-48 location coordinates per day. All translocated tigers showed a preference for a certain habitat type within their new home range, and tended to select the majority of natural land cover type within the landscape as their main habitat, but the availability of natural forest habitat within the landscape remains essensial for their survival. The activity of male translocated tigers differed significantly between the six time intervals of 24 hours, and their most active periods were in the afternoon (14:00-18:00 hours and in the evening (18:00-22:00 hours. Despite being preliminary, the findings of this study-which was the first such study conducted in Sumatera-highlight the conservation value of tiger translocation and provide valuable information for improving future management of conflict tigers.Keywords: activity pattern, GPS collars, habitat selection, sumateran tiger, translocation
Washington-Allen, R.A.; Ashwood, T.L.
The US DOE is in the process of remediating historical contamination on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Two key components are ecological risk assessment and monitoring. In 1994 a strategy was developed and a specific program was initiated to implement the strategy for the terrestrial biota of the entire ORR. This document details results of the first task: development of a habitat map and habitat models for key species of interest. During the last 50 years ORR has been a relatively protected island of plant and animal habitats in a region of rapidly expanding urbanization. A preliminary biodiversity assessment of the ORR by the Nature Conservancy in 1995 noted 272 occurrences of significant plant and animal species and communities. Field surveys of threatened and endangered species show that the ORR contains 20 rare plant species, 4 of which are on the state list of endangered species. The rest are either on the state list of threatened species or listed as being of special concern. The ORR provides habitat for some 60 reptilian and amphibian species; more than 120 species of terrestrial birds; 32 species of waterfowl, wading birds, and shorebirds; and about 40 mammalian species. The ORR is both a refuge for rare species and a reservoir of recruitment for surrounding environments and wildlife management areas. Cedar barrens, river bluffs, and wetlands have been identified as the habitat for most rare vascular plant species on the ORR
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.
Full Text Available Coralligenous habitats are of special interest in the Mediterranean Sea because they represent one of the most important biodiversity ‘hot-spots’ and are considered of great relevance for fisheries activities in the region. Despite their importance, however, there are missing consensual methodologies for their monitoring and, despite some attempts, no environmental or ecological quality indices have been established yet. This situation could be related to the difficulties associated with their exploration and their spatial heterogeneity. These habitats are in urgent need of efficient standard monitoring and management protocols programmes to develop an effective network for their conservation. Here we reviewed the available methodologies and robotics tools used to evaluate and monitor benthic habitats, highlighting the importance of defining rapid cost-effective sampling and analyses approaches and architectures for future monitoring of changes in coralligenous habitats based on current technological developments. We identified still images acquisitions as the most effective data gathering system. Stereo photogrammetry, photomosaic elaboration and three-dimensional (3D modelling may largely improve the data analysis and therefore the quality status assessment of the coralligenous habitats. The advantage and efficiency of different approaches and methods, and whether they should be applied and standardised for further monitoring activities, were discussed.
Baxter, C.K.; Nelson, J.W.; Reinecke, K.J.; Stephens, S.E.
Introduction: In recent months, an ad hoc group of waterfowl scientists, representing the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA) Adaptive Harvest Management (ARM) Task Force and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) Committee, have collaborated as a Joint Task Group (JTG) to assess options for unifying the population goals guiding waterfowl harvest management and habitat management. The JTG has been charged with bringing coherence to the population goals of the two programs. Characterizing the problem as one of coherence indicates value judgments exist regarding its significance or perhaps existence. For purposes of this paper, we characterize the lack of coherence as the absence of consistent population goals in the two related components of waterfowl conservation habitat and harvest management. Our purpose is to support continued dialogue on the respective goals of these programs and the possible implications of discordant goals to habitat joint ventures. Our objectives are two-fold: (1) illustrate how NAWMP habitat management goals and strategies have been interpreted and pursued in both breeding and wintering areas, and (2) provide perspectives on the linkages between regional habitat management programs and harvest management. The Lower Mississippi Valley and the Prairie Pothole joint ventures (LMVJV and PPJV, respectively) will be used as examples.
Full Text Available Contemporary in-depth sequencing of environmental samples has provided novel insights into microbial community structures, revealing that their diversity had been previously underestimated. Communities in marine environments are commonly composed of a few dominant taxa and a high number of taxonomically diverse, low-abundance organisms. However, studying the roles and genomic information of these "rare" organisms remains challenging, because little is known about their ecological niches and the environmental conditions to which they respond. Given the current threat to coral reef ecosystems, we investigated the potential of corals to provide highly specialized habitats for bacterial taxa including those that are rarely detected or absent in surrounding reef waters. The analysis of more than 350,000 small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA sequence tags and almost 2,000 nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that rare seawater biosphere members are highly abundant or even dominant in diverse Caribbean corals. Closely related corals (in the same genus/family harbored similar bacterial communities. At higher taxonomic levels, however, the similarities of these communities did not correlate with the phylogenetic relationships among corals, opening novel questions about the evolutionary stability of coral-microbial associations. Large proportions of OTUs (28.7-49.1% were unique to the coral species of origin. Analysis of the most dominant ribotypes suggests that many uncovered bacterial taxa exist in coral habitats and await future exploration. Our results indicate that coral species, and by extension other animal hosts, act as specialized habitats of otherwise rare microbes in marine ecosystems. Here, deep sequencing provided insights into coral microbiota at an unparalleled resolution and revealed that corals harbor many bacterial taxa previously not known. Given that two of the coral species investigated are listed as threatened under
Friedlander, Alan M.; Brown, Eric; Monaco, Mark E.; Clarke, Athline
Over the past four decades, the state of Hawaii has developed a system of eleven Marine Life Conservation Districts (MLCDs) to conserve and replenish marine resources around the state. Initially established to provide opportunities for public interaction with the marine environment, these MLCDs vary in size, habitat quality, and management regimes, providing an excellent opportunity to test hypotheses concerning marine protected area (MPA) design and function using multiple discreet sampling ...
Full Text Available The current synopsis reviews the types of aquatic habitats, that are located in the city of Plovdiv and analyses their importance for the biodiversity. Studies of the biodiversity in urban landscapes are of particular importance because they are still scarce. Several plant and animal groups are studied in the city of Plovdiv – mosses, mollusks, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Their distribution among habitats is presented, as well as specific threats and conservation problems.
California Department of Resources — This layer depicts areas designated for Steelhead Critical Habitat as well as habitat type and quality in the Coastal California Steelhead ESUs (evolutionarily...
Nurfatimah, C.; Syartinilia; Mulyani, Y. A.
Javan Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi; JHE) is a law-protected endemic raptor which currently faced the decreased in number and size of habitat patches that will lead to patch isolation and species extinction. This study assessed the degree of connectivity between remnant habitat patches in central part of Java by utilizing Conefor Sensinode software as an additional tool for ArcGIS. The connectivity index was determined by three fractions which are infra, flux and connector. Using connectivity indices successfully identified 4 patches as core habitat, 9 patches as stepping-stone habitat and 6 patches as isolated habitat were derived from those connectivity indices. Those patches then being validated with land cover map derived from Landsat 8 of August 2014. 36% of core habitat covered by natural forest, meanwhile stepping stone habitat has 55% natural forest and isolated habitat covered by 59% natural forest. Isolated patches were caused by zero connectivity (PCcon = 0) and the patch size which too small to support viable JHE population. Yet, the condition of natural forest and the surrounding matrix landscape in isolated patches actually support the habitat need. Thus, it is very important to conduct the right conservation management system based on the condition of each patches.
Full Text Available We studied the seasonal habitat selection of the red deer, Cervus elaphus alxaicus Bobrinskii & Flerov, 1935, in the Helan Mountains, China, from December 2007 to December 2008. Habitat selection varied widely by season. Seasonal movements between high and low elevations were attributed to changes in forage availability, alpine topography, the arid climate of the Helan Mountains, and potential competition with blue sheep, Pseudois nayaur (Hodgson, 1833. The use of vegetation types varied seasonally according to food availability and ambient temperature. Red deer used montane coniferous forest and alpine shrub and meadow zones distributed above 2,000 m and 3,000 m in summer, alpine shrub and meadows above 3,000 m in autumn, being restricted to lower elevation habitats in spring and winter. The winter habitat of C. elaphus alxaicus was dominated by Ulmus glaucescens Franch. and Juglans regia Linnaeus, deciduous trees, and differed from the habitats selected by other subspecies of red deer. Cervus elaphus alxaicus preferred habitats with abundant vegetation coverage to open habitats in winter, but the reverse pattern was observed in summer and autumn. Red deer preferred gentle slopes (<10° but the use of slope gradient categories varied seasonally. Red deer avoidance of human disturbance in the Helan Mountains varied significantly by season. Information on red deer habitat selection can help understand the factors affecting seasonal movements and also support decision making in the management and conservation of red deer and their habitats.
Braaker, S; Moretti, M; Boesch, R; Ghazoul, J; Obrist, M K; Bontadina, F
maps can thus serve as an important tool for city planners to identify habitat corridors and plan appropriate management and conservation measures for urban animals. The analytical framework we describe to model such connectivity maps is generally applicable to different types of habitat-use data and can be adapted to the movement scale of the focal species. It also allows evaluation of the impact of future landscape changes or management scenarios on habitat connectivity in urban landscapes.
California Natural Resource Agency — In two riparian habitat workshops held between 2001 and 2002, scientists and managers identified the need for determining the scope of a consistent and acceptable...
Felton, Adam; Sonesson, Johan; Nilsson, Urban; Lämås, Tomas; Lundmark, Tomas; Nordin, Annika; Ranius, Thomas; Roberge, Jean-Michel
Because of the limited spatial extent and comprehensiveness of protected areas, an increasing emphasis is being placed on conserving habitats which promote biodiversity within production forest. For this reason, alternative silvicultural programs need to be evaluated with respect to their implications for forest biodiversity, especially if these programs are likely to be adopted. Here we simulated the effect of varied rotation length and associated thinning regimes on habitat availability in Scots pine and Norway spruce production forests, with high and low productivity. Shorter rotation lengths reduced the contribution made by production trees (trees grown for industrial use) to the availability of key habitat features, while concurrently increasing the contribution from retention trees. The contribution of production trees to habitat features was larger for high productivity sites, than for low productivity sites. We conclude that shortened rotation lengths result in losses of the availability of habitat features that are key for biodiversity conservation and that increased retention practices may only partially compensate for this. Ensuring that conservation efforts better reflect the inherent variation in stand rotation lengths would help improve the maintenance of key forest habitats in production forests.
A current policy subsidizes farmers to invest in improved on-farm irrigation efficiency, expecting water to be conserved off farm. Contrary to expectation, water has been increasingly depleted in some regions after such improvements. This paper investigates the policy's failure to conserve water consistently by (1) formulating an economic model of irrigated crop production to determine a profit-maximizing irrigator's range of responses to a subsidy and (2) embedding these responses into hypothetical streamflow diagrams to ascertain their potential to conserve water under various hydrologic regimes. Testable hypotheses are developed to predict the conservation potential of a subsidy in real-world application.
Lewis, Rob; de Bello, Francesco; A Bennett, Jonathan
is currently an underappreciated source of information that is valuable for conservation applications ranging from macroscale conservation prioritization to more locally scaled restoration ecology and the management of invasive species. Introduction Conservation biology has strong scientific underpinnings (e...... to improve understanding of how biological diversity is governed and maintained. We illustrate our viewpoint by clarifying how measuring, monitoring, and understanding dark diversity can prove beneficial in the context of 3 facets of conservation biology: biodiversity conservation, habitat restoration......Linking diversity to biological processes is central for developing informed and effective conservation decisions. Unfortunately, observable patterns provide only a proportion of the information necessary for fully understanding the mechanisms and processes acting on a particular population...
Enari, Hiroto; Sakamaki-Enari, Haruka
Populations of Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) that inhabit the northernmost distribution of any nonhuman primates have been listed as endangered in Japan; however, macaques are widely known for being pests that cause agricultural damage. This study identified priority areas for the conservation and management of macaque habitats, by comparing the resource use of troops occupying remote mountains (montane troops) against troops inhabiting disturbed forests adjacent to settlements (rural troops). We collected species presence data across 2 years by radio-tracking two montane troops and two rural troops in the Shirakami Mountains. We developed seasonal utilization distributions by using the kernel method, and identified habitat characteristics by using ecological-niche factor analysis (ENFA). Our results indicate that environmental factors influencing the potential habitat varied widely with season in montane troops as compared with that in rural troops. ENFA results demonstrated that rural troops exhibited more biased resource use and narrower niche breadths than montane troops. Based on our findings, we propose that (1) primary broadleaf forests are the spring habitat conservation priority of montane troops; (2) the habitat unit--the product of habitat suitability index and its surface area--for montane troops is enhanced by removing old conifer plantations from the forest edge at low elevations; (3) such removal around settlements may also contribute toward removing a frontline refuge for rural troops intruding farmlands; and (4) intensive prevention measures against macaque intrusions into settlements during the bottleneck snowy season contribute toward reducing the habitat unit of rural troops.
Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Timmer, Jennifer M.; Boal, Clint W.; Butler, Matthew; Pitman, James C.; Kyle, Sean; Klute, David; Beauprez, Grant M.; Janus, Allan; Van Pelt, William E.
Population declines of many wildlife species have been linked to habitat loss incurred through land-use change. Incorporation of conservation planning into development planning may mitigate these impacts. The threatened Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is experiencing loss of native habitat and high levels of energy development across its multijurisdictional range. Our goal was to explore relationships of the species occurrence with landscape characteristics and anthropogenic effects influencing its distribution through evaluation of habitat suitability associated with one particular habitat usage, lekking. Lekking has been relatively well-surveyed, though not consistently, in all jurisdictions. All five states in which Lesser Prairie-Chickens occur cooperated in development of a Maxent habitat suitability model. We created two models, one with state as a factor and one without state. When state was included it was the most important predictor, followed by percent of land cover consisting of known or suspected used vegetation classes within a 5000 m area around a lek. Without state, land cover was the most important predictor of relative habitat suitability for leks. Among the anthropogenic predictors, landscape condition, a measure of human impact integrated across several factors, was most important, ranking third in importance without state. These results quantify the relative suitability of the landscape within the current occupied range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. These models, combined with other landscape information, form the basis of a habitat assessment tool that can be used to guide siting of development projects and targeting of areas for conservation.
Full Text Available Evaluation of habitat sustainability indexes is essential in wildlife management and conservation of rare species. Suitable habitats are required in wildlife managements and conservation also, they increase reproduction and survival rate of species. In this study in order to mapping habitat sustainability and recognizing habitat requirements of Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, field data from Dare Anjir wildlife refuge were collected since autumn 2009 until summer 2011. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis approach has been used to develop habitat suitability model. In this method primary maps of habitat variables including elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation cover, distance from water sources and environmental monitoring stations have been produced by Idrisi and Biomapper software and imported in Biomapper. The output scores obtained from the analysis showed that Iranian cheetah tends to mountain areas where has more topographical features for camouflage in order to hunting, and northern aspects which have more humidity, denser vegetation cover and more preys . Our result showed that the Iranian cheetah has medium niche width and prefer marginal habitats.
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...
Deborah Finch; Douglas Boyce; Jeanne Chambers; Chris Colt; Clint McCarthy; Stanley Kitchen; Bryce Richardson; Mary Rowland; Mark Rumble; Michael Schwartz; Monica Tomosy; Michael Wisdom
Numerous federal and state agencies, research institutions and stakeholders have undertaken tremendous conservation and research efforts across 11 States in the western United States to reduce threats to Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and sagebrush (Artemisia spp) habitats. In 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined that the Greater...
Tscharntke, T.; Bommarco, R.; Clough, Y.; Crist, T.O.; Kleijn, D.; Rand, T.A.; Tylianakis, J.M.; Nouhuys, S.; Vidal, S.
Conservation biological control in agroecosystems requires a landscape management perspective, because most arthropod species experience their habitat at spatial scales beyond the plot level, and there is spillover of natural enemies across the crop–noncrop interface. The species pool in the
Becky K. Kerns; Alan Ager
Risk assessment can provide a robust strategy for landscape-scale planning challenges associated with species conservation and habitat protection in Pacific Northwest forests. We provide an overview of quantitative and probabilistic ecological risk assessment with focus on the application of approaches and influences from the actuarial, financial, and technical...
... under the following conditions: (1) Activities conducted under the conservation order may not affect... § 13.28 of this subchapter. Upon appeal, final decisions to revoke authority will be made by the... no longer poses a threat to habitats, agricultural crops, or other interests, or is within Flyway...
Megan Lang; Greg McCarty; Mark Walbridge; Patrick Hunt; Tom Ducey; Clinton Church; Jarrod Miller; Laurel Kluber; Ali Sadeghi; Martin Rabenhorst; Amir Sharifi; In-Young Yeo; Andrew Baldwin; Margaret Palmer; Tom Fisher; Dan Fenstermaher; Sanchul Lee; Owen McDonough; Metthea Yepsen; Liza McFarland; Anne Gustafson; Rebecca Fox; Chris Palardy; William Effland; Mari-Vaughn Johnson; Judy Denver; Scott Ator; Joseph Mitchell; Dennis Whigham
Wetlands impart many important ecosystem services, including maintenance of water quality,Â regulation of the climate and hydrological flows, and enhancement of biodiversity through theÂ provision of food and habitat. The conversion of natural lands to agriculture has led to broadÂ scale historic wetland loss, but current US Department of Agriculture conservation programs...
... women's participation in conservation and management of wildlife and habitat resources through outreach... teleconference. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a public teleconference of... teleconference on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). If you wish to listen to...
Ribic, Christine; Thompson, Frank
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 video surveillance to identify nest predators allow researchers to start evaluating what methods could be used to mitigate nest predation to help passerines of conservation concern. From recent studies, we identified latitudinal and habitat-related patterns in the importance of predator groups that depredate passerine nests. We then reviewed how knowledge of specific nest predators can benefit conservation of bird species of concern. Mammals were the dominant predator group in northern grasslands. Snakes were the dominant predator group in southern habitats. Fire ants were only a nest predator in southern latitudes. Differences in the importance of predator species or groups were likely the result of both their geographic patterns of distribution and habitat preferences. Some direct and indirect predator control measures developed for waterfowl management potentially could be used to benefit passerine productivity. We reviewed three examples-cowbirds, snakes in shrublands, and ground squirrels in grasslands-to illustrate how different predator control strategies may be needed in different situations. Mitigation of passerine nest predation will need to be based on knowledge of predator communities to be effective. This requires large samples of predation events with identified predators; video technology is essential for this task.
Background: Plants are important sources of medicines. Herbal medicines in Lesotho are exposed to excessive exploitation and habitat destruction. Comprehensive information to promote proper use and conservation of these herbal medicines is lacking. This study described the uses of medicinal plants in Lesotho with ...
... for habitat protection; (ii) create economic incentives and benefits for residents; and, ... KOFAMA, as the local organization to be responsible for management of the ... rising 80–100 metres above a flat coastal plain), a diverse endemic avifauna, ... et enfin une structure destinée à faciliter les efforts de conservation qui sont ...
... recreation; 4. Stimulating sportsmen and women's participation in conservation and management of wildlife and..., tribal, and Federal governments; industry; hunting and shooting sportsmen and women; wildlife and habitat... Outdoors initiative; and 3. Other Council business. The final agenda will be posted on the Internet at http...
Langevelde, van F.; Claassen, G.D.H.; Schotman, A.G.M.
This paper discusses the modelling of two strategies for conservation planning in human-dominated landscapes: the enlargement of existing reserve sites and the allocation of stepping stones between these sites. We developed two spatial allocation models that plan new habitat according to these
Deborah M. Finch; Scott H. Stoleson
This publication was prepared in response to a need expressed by southwestern agencies and organizations for a comprehensive assessment of the population status, history, biology, ecology, habitats, threats, and conservation of the southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus). The southwestern willow flycatcher was federally listed as...
wealth among women in the groups. Key words: ... mu is growing fast. it is surrounded by rich agricultural areas, which ..... birds by one stone, they conserved the environment and also earned ... as they form a good habitat for rodents such as rats, block water in .... improvement of quality of life in rural communities. Yaounde: ...
Törnroos, Anna; Nordström, Marie C; Bonsdorff, Erik
Due to human impact, there is extensive degradation and loss of marine habitats, which calls for measures that incorporate taxonomic as well as functional and trophic aspects of biodiversity. Since such data is less easily quantifiable in nature, the use of habitats as surrogates or proxies for biodiversity is on the rise in marine conservation and management. However, there is a critical gap in knowledge of whether pre-defined habitat units adequately represent the functional and trophic structure of communities. We also lack comparisons of different measures of community structure in terms of both between- (β) and within-habitat (α) variability when accounting for species densities. Thus, we evaluated a priori defined coastal habitats as surrogates for traditional taxonomic, functional and trophic zoobenthic community structure. We focused on four habitats (bare sand, canopy-forming algae, seagrass above- and belowground), all easily delineated in nature and defined through classification systems. We analyzed uni- and multivariate data on species and trait diversity as well as stable isotope ratios of benthic macrofauna. A good fit between habitat types and taxonomic and functional structure was found, although habitats were more similar functionally. This was attributed to within-habitat heterogeneity so when habitat divisions matched the taxonomic structure, only bare sand was functionally distinct. The pre-defined habitats did not meet the variability of trophic structure, which also proved to differentiate on a smaller spatial scale. The quantification of trophic structure using species density only identified an epi- and an infaunal unit. To summarize the results we present a conceptual model illustrating the match between pre-defined habitat types and the taxonomic, functional and trophic community structure. Our results show the importance of including functional and trophic aspects more comprehensively in marine management and spatial planning.
Ye, Shao-Wen; Li, Zhong-Jie; Cao, Wen-Xuan
This paper studied the spatial distribution of small fishes in a shallow macrophytic lake, Niushan Lake in spring 2003, and its relations with habitat heterogeneity. Based on the macrophyte cover condition, distance from lake shore and water depth, two representative habitat types in the lake were selected. Habitat A was near the shore with dense submersed macrophyte, while habitat B was far from the shore with sparse submersed macrophyte. Small fishes were sampled quantitatively by block net (180 m2), and their densities within the net area were estimated by multiple mark-recapture or Zippin's removal method. The results showed that there were some differences in species composition, biodiversity measurement, and estimated density of small fishes between the two habitats: 1) the catches in habitat A consisted of 14 small fish species from 5 families, among which, benthopelagic species Rhodeus ocellatus, Paracheilognathus imberbis and Pseudorasbora parva were considered as dominant species, while those in habitat B consisted of 9 small fish species from 3 families, among which, bottom species Rhinogobius giurinus and Micropercops swinhonis were dominant; 2) the Bray-Curtis index between the two small fish communities was 0.222, reflecting their low structure similarity, and no significant difference was observed between their rank/ abundance distributions, both of which belonged to log series distribution; 3) the total density of 9 major species in habitat A was 8.71 ind x m(-2), while that of 5 major species in habitat B was only 3.54 ind x m(-2). The fact that the spatial distribution of the small fishes differed with habitats might be related to their habitat need for escaping predators, feeding, and breeding, and thus, aquatic macrophyte habitat should be of significance in the rational exploitation of small fish resources as well as the conservation of fish resource diversity.
Robert S. Arkle; David S. Pilliod; Steven E. Hanser; Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; James B. Grace; Kevin C. Knutson; David A. Pyke; Justin L. Welty; Troy A. Wirth
A recurrent challenge in the conservation of wide-ranging, imperiled species is understanding which habitats to protect and whether we are capable of restoring degraded landscapes. For Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species of conservation concern in the western United States, we approached this problem by developing multi-scale empirical models of...
California Natural Resource Agency — The immediate focus of this study is to identify, describe and map the extent and diversity of riparian habitats found along the main stem of the San Joaquin River,...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Ecological Research, Assessment and Prediction's Tidal Creeks: Sentinel Habitat Database was developed to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...
Bookout, Paul S.; Smitherman, David
This project will develop, integrate, test, and evaluate Habitation Systems that will be utilized as technology testbeds and will advance NASA's understanding of alternative deep space mission architectures, requirements, and operations concepts. Rapid prototyping and existing hardware will be utilized to develop full-scale habitat demonstrators. FY 2014 focused on the development of a large volume Space Launch System (SLS) class habitat (Skylab Gen 2) based on the SLS hydrogen tank components. Similar to the original Skylab, a tank section of the SLS rocket can be outfitted with a deep space habitat configuration and launched as a payload on an SLS rocket. This concept can be used to support extended stay at the Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit to support the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and provide a habitat suitable for human missions to Mars.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for leatherback turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 44, No. 17711, March 23, 1979, Rules and Regulations....
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for hawksbill turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations....
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Critical habitat (CH) is designated for the survival and recovery of species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Critical...
Full Text Available Farm ponds are important habitats for amphibians, birds, and other wildlife. In Taiwan, artificial ponds were originally created on farmlands for irrigation purposes and the needs of the domestic water supply. Although pond creation is a typical farming practice, it also provides habitats for pond-breeding amphibians. Thus, it is essential to understand the current status of habitats and their vulnerability regarding urgent conservation needs for target species. Günther’s frog (Hylarana guentheri, a pond-breeding amphibian, has a high sensitivity towards surrounding environmental changes, and can be used as an indicator species to assess habitat suitability. The purpose of this study is to establish a systematic framework to assess the habitat suitability of pond-breeding amphibians by using Günther’s frog as a pilot-study species. First, we collected frog survey data from Chiayi, Taiwan, from winter 2013 to spring 2015, and investigated the present status of the environmental conditions around the ponds. Next, expert questionnaires and the fuzzy Delphi method were applied to establish the hierarchical evaluation criteria regarding the habitat suitability assessment. Four indicators: the aquatic environments of farm ponds; the terrestrial environments around ponds; landscape connectivity; and the conservation perceptions of the residents, were determined as first-layer factors in the assessment criteria, while ten other indicators were defined as second-layer factors. Based on the established assessment criteria, we performed in situ habitat suitability evaluations on 69 selected sites and surveyed the perceptions of the residents using questionnaires. Results revealed that 19% of locations were rich in frog species with a high habitat suitability. However, 67% of locations showed signs of habitat degradation, which may imply a higher need in practicing habitat improvement or restoration. The Kappa value was 0.6061, which indicated a high
Irene D. Alabia
Full Text Available The understanding of the spatio-temporal distributions of the species habitat in the marine environment is central to effectual resource management and conservation. Here, we examined the potential habitat distributions of Japanese common squid (Todarodes pacificus in the Sea of Japan during a four-year period. The seasonal patterns of preferential habitat were inferred from species distribution models, built using squid occurrences detected from night-time visible images and remotely-sensed environmental factors. The predicted squid habitat (i.e., areas with high habitat suitability revealed strong seasonal variability, characterized by a reduction of potential habitat, confined off of the southern part of the basin during the winter–spring period (December–May. Apparent expansion of preferential habitat occurred during summer–autumn months (June–November, concurrent with the formation of highly suitable habitat patches in certain regions of the Sea of Japan. These habitat distribution patterns were in response to changes in oceanographic conditions and synchronous with seasonal migration of squid. Moreover, the most important variables regulating the spatio-temporal patterns of suitable habitat were sea surface temperature, depth, sea surface height anomaly, and eddy kinetic energy. These variables could affect the habitat distributions through their impacts on growth and survival of squid, local nutrient transport, and the availability of favorable spawning and feeding grounds.
Ashley, P.R.; Ratassepp, J.; Berger, M.; Judd, S.L.
This Habitat Evaluation Procedure study was conducted to determine baseline habitat units (HUs) on the Scotch Creek, Mineral Hill, Pogue Mountain, Chesaw and Tunk Valley Habitat Areas (collectively known as the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area) in Okanogan County, Sagebrush Flat and the Dormaler property in Douglas County, and the Berg Brothers ranch located in Okanogan County within the Colville Reservation. A HEP team comprised of individuals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Appendix A) conducted baseline habitat surveys using the following HEP evaluation species: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), mink (Mustela vison), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), Lewis woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), and Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia). Results of the HEP analysis are listed below. General ratings (poor, marginal, fair, etc.,) are described in Appendix B. Mule deer habitat was marginal lacking diversity and quantify of suitable browse species. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat was marginal lacking residual nesting cover and suitable winter habitat Pygmy rabbit habitat was in fair condition except for the Dormaier property which was rated marginal due to excessive shrub canopy closure at some sites. This report is an analysis of baseline habitat conditions on mitigation project lands and provides estimated habitat units for mitigation crediting purposes. In addition, information from this document could be used by wildlife habitat managers to develop management strategies for specific project sites
Ashley, Paul R.
This Habitat Evaluation Procedure study was conducted to determine baseline habitat units (HUs) on the Scotch Creek, Mineral Hill, Pogue Mountain, Chesaw and Tunk Valley Habitat Areas (collectively known as the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area) in Okanogan County, Sagebrush Flat and the Dormaler property in Douglas County, and the Berg Brothers ranch located in Okanogan County within the Colville Reservation. A HEP team comprised of individuals from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Appendix A) conducted baseline habitat surveys using the following HEP evaluation species: mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), mink (Mustela vison), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), Lewis woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis), and Yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia). Results of the HEP analysis are listed below. General ratings (poor, marginal, fair, etc.,) are described in Appendix B. Mule deer habitat was marginal lacking diversity and quantify of suitable browse species. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat was marginal lacking residual nesting cover and suitable winter habitat Pygmy rabbit habitat was in fair condition except for the Dormaier property which was rated marginal due to excessive shrub canopy closure at some sites. This report is an analysis of baseline habitat conditions on mitigation project lands and provides estimated habitat units for mitigation crediting purposes. In addition, information from this document could be used by wildlife habitat managers to develop management strategies for specific project sites.
Rogova, T. V.; Kozevnikova, M. V.; Prokhorov, V. E.; Timofeeva, N. O.
The habitat type allocation approach based on the EUNIS Habitat Classification and the JUICE version 7 software is used for the conservation of species and ecosystem biodiversity. Using the vegetation plots of the Vegetation Database of Tatarstan, included in the EVA (European Vegetation Archive) and GIVD (Global Index of Vegetation-plots Databases) types of habitats of dry meadows and steppes are distinguished by differing compositions of the leading families composing their flora - Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae and Rosaceae. E12a - Semi-dry perennial calcareous grassland, and E12b - Perennial calcareous grassland and basic steppes were identified. The selected group of relevés that do not correspond to any of the EUNIS types can be considered specific for ecotone forest-steppe landscapes of the southeast of the Republic of Tatarstan. In all types of studied habitats, rare and protected plant species are noted, most of which are South-East-European-Asian species.
Richard M. DeGraaf; Mariko Yamasaki; William B. Leak; John W. Lanier
Presents silvicultural treatments for six major cover-type groups in New England to produce stand conditions that provide habitat opportunities for a wide range of wildlife species. Includes matrices for species occurrence and utilization by forested and nonforested habitats, habitat breadth and size class, and structural habitat features for the 338 wildlife species...
Adam Duarte,; Hatfield, Jeffrey; Todd M. Swannack,; Michael R. J. Forstner,; M. Clay Green,; Floyd W. Weckerly,
Population viability analyses provide a quantitative approach that seeks to predict the possible future status of a species of interest under different scenarios and, therefore, can be important components of large-scale species’ conservation programs. We created a model and simulated range-wide population and breeding habitat dynamics for an endangered woodland warbler, the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia). Habitat-transition probabilities were estimated across the warbler's breeding range by combining National Land Cover Database imagery with multistate modeling. Using these estimates, along with recently published demographic estimates, we examined if the species can remain viable into the future given the current conditions. Lastly, we evaluated if protecting a greater amount of habitat would increase the number of warblers that can be supported in the future by systematically increasing the amount of protected habitat and comparing the estimated terminal carrying capacity at the end of 50 years of simulated habitat change. The estimated habitat-transition probabilities supported the hypothesis that habitat transitions are unidirectional, whereby habitat is more likely to diminish than regenerate. The model results indicated population viability could be achieved under current conditions, depending on dispersal. However, there is considerable uncertainty associated with the population projections due to parametric uncertainty. Model results suggested that increasing the amount of protected lands would have a substantial impact on terminal carrying capacities at the end of a 50-year simulation. Notably, this study identifies the need for collecting the data required to estimate demographic parameters in relation to changes in habitat metrics and population density in multiple regions, and highlights the importance of establishing a common definition of what constitutes protected habitat, what management goals are suitable within those protected
Camacho, A. I.
Full Text Available Inference and estimation are the Achilles heel of many biological disciplines. The validation of results is the first step before taking any further decision. In Biodiversity studies the technical problems in validation are similar to those faced in other disciplines. The main difference with areas like medicine is that a validation error in the latter can easily take you to court, but very few responsibilities apart from moral or ethical ones generally derive from a faulty estimation or validation in Biodiversity. However, many political decisions concerning conservation issues, which in many cases affect powerful economic interests depend on the reliability of those biodiversity studies. Getting good, reliable information is not always easy, and this explains in part, the success of critical voices like Simon (1998 and Lomborg (2001. New methodologies like Population Viability Analysis has been developed to take advantage of the potential information contained in periodical sampling. We apply it to a peculiar and difficult to study fauna: the fauna of the aquatic subterranean environment. Lack of regular information and scarcity of the fauna due to difficulty to reach their proper habitat are the main problems that confront this analysis. However, despite its limitations, the analysis points towards a need to better understand the structure of the subterranean habitat from “an animal point of view” and the need of more regular sampling at the same time that the other environmental parameters are taken.
La inferencia y la estima son el talón de Aquiles de muchas disciplinas biológicas. La validación de resultados es el primer paso antes de tomar decisiones ulteriores. En estudios de Biodiversidad los problemas técnicos de validación son semejantes a los que se enfrentan otras disciplinas. La principal diferencia con áreas como Medicina es que un error en validación en ésta última puede terminar fácilmente en el juzgado
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...
S.A. Merkle; A.R. Tull; H.J. Gladfelter; P.M. Montello; J.E. Mitchell; C. Ahn; R.D. McNeill
Threats to North American forest trees from exotic pests and pathogens or habitat loss, make it imperative that every available tool be employed for conservation and restoration of these at risk species. One such tool, in vitro propagation, could greatly enhance conservation of forest tree genetic material and selection and breeding of resistant or...
Steven M. Ostoja; Mathew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton
Species conservation has traditionally been based on individual species within the context of their requisite habitat, which is generally defined as the communities and ecosystems deemed necessary for their persistence. Conservation decisions are hampered by the fact that environmental stressors that potentially threaten the persistence of species can operate at...
James R. Duncan; David H. Johnson; Thomas H. Nicholls
The proceeding contains 91 papers authored by 143 people from 13 countries covering biology, ecology, monitoring, habitat-use, status conservation, education, genetics, toxicology, diet, migration, mortality and related topics concerning owls of the Northern Hemisphere. Thirty-three owl species are discussed. Information presented will be useful in owl conservation,...
Platts, Philip J.; Burgess, Neil David; Gereau, Roy E.
Ecological regions aggregate habitats with similar biophysical characteristics within well-defined boundaries, providing spatially consistent platforms for monitoring, managing and forecasting the health of interrelated ecosystems. A major obstacle to the implementation of this approach is imprec......Ecological regions aggregate habitats with similar biophysical characteristics within well-defined boundaries, providing spatially consistent platforms for monitoring, managing and forecasting the health of interrelated ecosystems. A major obstacle to the implementation of this approach...... boundaries. LandScan and census data show population density inside the ecoregion to be higher than in rural lowlands, and lowland settlement to be most probable within 30 km. This definition should help to align landscape scale conservation strategies in the Eastern Arc and promote new research in areas...
Alho, C J R; Sabino, J
The Pantanal's biodiversity constitutes a valuable natural resource, in economic, cultural, recreational, aesthetic, scientific and educational terms. The vegetation plus the seasonal productivity support a diverse and abundant fauna. Many endangered species occur in the region, and waterfowl are exceptionally abundant during the dry season. Losses of biodiversity and its associated natural habitats within the Pantanal occur as a result of unsustainable land use. Implementation of protected areas is only a part of the conservation strategy needed. We analyse biodiversity threats to the biome under seven major categories: 1) conversion of natural vegetation into pasture and agricultural crops, 2) destruction or degradation of habitat mainly due to wild fire, 3) overexploitation of species mainly by unsustainable fishing, 4) water pollution, 5) river flow modification with implantation of small hydroelectric plants, 6) unsustainable tourism, and 7) introduction of invasive exotic species.
If species distribution models (SDMs) can rank habitat suitability at a local scale, they may be a valuable conservation planning tool for rare, patchily distributed species. This study assessed the ability of Maxent, an SDM reported to be appropriate for modeling rare species, to rank habitat suitability at a local scale for four edaphic endemic rare plants of gabbroic soils in El Dorado County, California, and examined the effects of grain size, spatial extent, and fine-grain environmental predictors on local-scale model accuracy. Models were developed using species occurrence data mapped on public lands and were evaluated using an independent data set of presence and absence locations on surrounding lands, mimicking a typical conservation-planning scenario that prioritizes potential habitat on unsurveyed lands surrounding known occurrences. Maxent produced models that were successful at discriminating between suitable and unsuitable habitat at the local scale for all four species, and predicted habitat suitability values were proportional to likelihood of occurrence or population abundance for three of four species. Unfortunately, models with the best discrimination (i.e., AUC) were not always the most useful for ranking habitat suitability. The use of independent test data showed metrics that were valuable for evaluating which variables and model choices (e.g., grain, extent) to use in guiding habitat prioritization for conservation of these species. A goodness-of-fit test was used to determine whether habitat suitability values ranked habitat suitability on a continuous scale. If they did not, a minimum acceptable error predicted area criterion was used to determine the threshold for classifying habitat as suitable or unsuitable. I found a trade-off between model extent and the use of fine-grain environmental variables: goodness of fit was improved at larger extents, and fine-grain environmental variables improved local-scale accuracy, but fine-grain variables
Young, Hillary S.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Kilpatrick, A. Marm; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Nunn, Charles L.; Vincent, Jeffrey R.
Habitat destruction and infectious disease are dual threats to nature and people. The potential to simultaneously advance conservation and human health has attracted considerable scientific and popular interest; in particular, many authors have justified conservation action by pointing out potential public health benefits . One major focus of this debate—that biodiversity conservation often decreases infectious disease transmission via the dilution effect—remains contentious. Studies that test for a dilution effect often find a negative association between a diversity metric and a disease risk metric, but how such associations should inform conservation policy remains unclear for several reasons. For one, diversity and infection risk have many definitions, making it possible to identify measures that conform to expectations. Furthermore, the premise that habitat destruction consistently reduces biodiversity is in question, and disturbance or conservation can affect disease in many ways other than through biodiversity change. To date, few studies have examined the broader set of mechanisms by which anthropogenic disturbance or conservation might increase or decrease infectious disease risk to human populations. Due to interconnections between biodiversity change, economics and human behaviour, moving from ecological theory to policy action requires understanding how social and economic factors affect conservation.This Theme Issue arose from a meeting aimed at synthesizing current theory and data on ‘biodiversity, conservation and infectious disease’ (4–6 May 2015). Ecologists, evolutionary biologists, economists, epidemiologists, veterinary scientists, public health professionals, and conservation biologists from around the world discussed the latest research on the ecological and socio-economic links between conservation, biodiversity and infectious disease, and the open questions and controversies in these areas. By combining ecological understanding
Meredith, Helen M R; St John, Freya A V; Collen, Ben; Black, Simon A; Griffiths, Richard A
Conservation requires successful outcomes. However, success is perceived in many different ways depending on the desired outcome. Through a questionnaire survey, we examined perceptions of success among 355 scientists and practitioners working on amphibian conservation from over 150 organizations in more than 50 countries. We also sought to identify how different types of conservation actions and respondent experience and background influenced perceptions. Respondents identified 4 types of success: species and habitat improvements (84% of respondents); effective program management (36%); outreach initiatives such as education and public engagement (25%); and the application of science-based conservation (15%). The most significant factor influencing overall perceived success was reducing threats. Capacity building was rated least important. Perceptions were influenced by experience, professional affiliation, involvement in conservation practice, and country of residence. More experienced practitioners associated success with improvements to species and habitats and less so with education and engagement initiatives. Although science-based conservation was rated as important, this factor declined in importance as the number of programs a respondent participated in increased, particularly among those from less economically developed countries. The ultimate measure of conservation success-population recovery-may be difficult to measure in many amphibians; difficult to relate to the conservation actions intended to drive it; and difficult to achieve within conventional funding time frames. The relaunched Amphibian Conservation Action Plan provides a framework for capturing lower level processes and outcomes, identifying gaps, and measuring progress. © 2017 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.
Dietz, Simon; Adger, W Neil
This paper investigates the relationship between economic growth, biodiversity loss and efforts to conserve biodiversity using a combination of panel and cross section data. If economic growth is a cause of biodiversity loss through habitat transformation and other means, then we would expect an inverse relationship. But if higher levels of income are associated with increasing real demand for biodiversity conservation, then investment to protect remaining diversity should grow and the rate of biodiversity loss should slow with growth. Initially, economic growth and biodiversity loss are examined within the framework of the environmental Kuznets hypothesis. Biodiversity is represented by predicted species richness, generated for tropical terrestrial biodiversity using a species-area relationship. The environmental Kuznets hypothesis is investigated with reference to comparison of fixed and random effects models to allow the relationship to vary for each country. It is concluded that an environmental Kuznets curve between income and rates of loss of habitat and species does not exist in this case. The role of conservation effort in addressing environmental problems is examined through state protection of land and the regulation of trade in endangered species, two important means of biodiversity conservation. This analysis shows that the extent of government environmental policy increases with economic development. We argue that, although the data are problematic, the implications of these models is that conservation effort can only ever result in a partial deceleration of biodiversity decline partly because protected areas serve multiple functions and are not necessarily designated to protect biodiversity. Nevertheless institutional and policy response components of the income biodiversity relationship are important but are not well captured through cross-country regression analysis.
Brian D. Smith
Full Text Available River dolphins are among the world’s most threatened mammals, and indeed the baiji (Lipotes vexillifer, a species endemic to China's Yangtze River, is likely extinct. Exploitation for products such as meat, oil, and skins has been a lesser feature in the population histories of river dolphins compared to most large mammals. Habitat factors are therefore of particular interest and concern. In this paper we attempt to describe the population-level responses of river dolphins to habitat transformation. We find circumstantial but compelling evidence supporting the view that, at a local scale, river dolphins are opportunists (generalists capable of adapting to a wide range of habitat conditions while, at a river basin scale, they are more appropriately viewed as vulnerable specialists. The same evidence implies that the distributional responses of river dolphins to basinwide ecological change can be informative about their extinction risk, while their local behaviour patterns may provide important insights about critical ecological attributes. Empirical studies are needed on the ecology of river cetaceans, both to inform conservation efforts on behalf of these threatened animals and to help address broader concerns related to biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of human use in several of the world's largest river systems.
Full Text Available Protection and conservation of fungi has only recently became an issue of concern. Main motives for increased attention are uncontrolled, mass collecting of edible wild mushrooms and environmental pollution which leads to the rapid decline of their natural habitats, some of which are rich with rare and endangered species. By Serbian Nature Conservation Law 2010. there are 38 strictly protected fungal species of which 17 species are recorded in this paper. 11 of those recorded species are on European and/or National Red List of endangered fungal species. All investigated territories were in South Serbia region. This study is a contribution to conservation of protected and threatened fungi and their respective habitats in Serbia.
Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.
Hoverson, Eric D.; Amonette, Alexandra
the most effective site-specific habitat restoration plan, taking into consideration the unique characteristics of each project site, and conducted in cooperation with landowners and project partners, was of paramount importance to ensure each project's success. An Aquatic Habitat Inventory was conducted from river mile 0-8 on Isquulktpe Creek and the data collected was compared with data collected in 1994. Monitoring plans will continue throughout the duration of each project to oversee progression and inspire timely managerial actions. Twenty-seven conservation easements were maintained with 23 landowners. Permitting applications for planned project activities and biological opinions were written and approved. Project activities were based on a variety of fisheries monitoring techniques and habitat assessments used to determine existing conditions and identify factors limiting anadromous salmonid abundance in accordance with the Umatilla River Subbasin Salmon and Steelhead Production Plan (NPPC 1990) and the Final Umatilla Willow Subbasin Plan (Umatilla/Willow Subbasin Planning Team 2005).
Mustajap, Fazliana; Saleh, Ejria; Madin, John; Hamid, Shahimah Abdul
Marine habitat mapping has recently become essential in coastal marine science research. It is one of the efforts to understand marine ecosystems, and thus to protect them. Habitat mapping is integral to marine-related industries such as fisheries, aquaculture, forestry and tourism. An assessment of marine habitat mapping was conducted at Labuan Marine Park (LMP), a marine protected area in the Federal Territory of Labuan. It is surrounded by shallow water within its islands (Kuraman, Rusukan Kecil and Rusukan Besar) with an area of 39.7 km2. The objectives of the study are to identify the substrate and types of marine habitat present within the park. Side scan sonar (SSS) (Aquascan TM) was used to determine the substrates and habitat while ground truthings were done through field observation and SCUBA diving survey. Seabed classification and marine habitat was based on NOAA's biogeography program. Three substrate types (sand, rock, silt) were identified in this area. The major marine habitats identified are corals, macro algae and small patches of sea grass. The study area is an important refuge for spawning and juvenile fish and supports the livelihood of the coastal communities on Labuan Island. Therefore, proper management is crucial in order to better maintain the marine protected area. The findings are significant and provide detailed baseline information on marine habitat for conservation, protection and future management in LMP.
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.
Mayor, Stephen J.; Schaefer, James A.; Schneider, David C.; Mahoney, Shane P.
Greater understanding of habitat selection requires investigation at the scales at which organisms perceive and respond to their environment. Such knowledge could reveal the relative importance of factors limiting populations and the extent of response to habitat changes, and so guide conservation initiatives. We conducted a novel, spatially explicit analysis of winter habitat selection by caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland, Canada, to elucidate the spatial scales of habitat selection. We combined conventional hierarchical habitat analysis with a newly developed geospatial approach that quantifies selection across scales as the difference in variance between available and used sites. We used both ordination and univariate analyses of lichen and plant cover, snow hardness and depth. This represents the first use of ordination with geostatistics for the assessment of habitat selection. Caribou habitat selection was driven by shallow, soft snow and high cover of Cladina lichens and was strongest at feeding microsites (craters) and broader feeding areas. Habitat selection was most evident at distance lags of up to 15 km, perhaps an indication of the perceptual abilities of caribou.
Sharpe, Peter B.; Van Horne, Beatrice
Trade-offs between foraging and predator avoidance may affect an animal's survival and reproduction. These trade-offs may be influenced by differences in vegetative cover, especially if foraging profitability and predation risk differ among habitats. We examined above-ground activity of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) in four habitats in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho to determine if behavior of ground squirrels varied among habitats, and we assessed factors that might affect perceived predation risk (i. e. predator detectability, predation pressure, population density). The proportion of time spent in vigilance by ground squirrels in winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata) and mosaic habitats of winterfat-sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) was more than twice that of ground squirrels in burned and unburned sagebrush habitats. We found no evidence for the 'many-eyes' hypothesis as an explanation for differences in vigilance among habitats. Instead, environmental heterogeneity, especially vegetation structure, likely influenced activity budgets of ground squirrels. Differences in vigilance may have been caused by differences in predator detectability and refuge availability, because ground squirrels in the winterfat and mosaic habitats also spent more time in upright vigilant postures than ground squirrels in burned-sagebrush or sagebrush habitats. Such postures may enhance predator detection in low-growing winterfat.
Full Text Available Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.
Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species’ habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa. PMID:25693067
Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F; Hunter, Luke T B
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.