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Sample records for winter habitat suitability

  1. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yu

    Full Text Available We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST, chlorophyll-a (Chl-a concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA and sea surface salinity (SSS. Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch, 2008 (average catch and 2009 (low catch indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially

  2. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  3. Elk habitat suitability map for North Carolina

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    Williams, Steven G.; Cobb, David T.; Collazo, Jaime A.

    2015-01-01

    Although eastern elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) were extirpated from the eastern United States in the 19th century, they were successfully reintroduced in the North Carolina portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 2000s. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is evaluating the prospect of reintroducing the species in other locations in the state to augment recreational opportunities. As a first step in the process, we created a state-wide elk habitat suitability map. We used medium-scale data sets and a two-component approach to iden- tify areas of high biological value for elk and exclude from consideration areas where elk-human conflicts were more likely. Habitats in the state were categorized as 66% unsuitable, 16.7% low, 17% medium, and <1% high suitability for elk. The coastal plain and Piedmont contained the most suitable habitat, but prospective reintroduction sites were largely excluded from consideration due to extensive agricultural activities and pervasiveness of secondary roads. We ranked 31 areas (≥ 500 km2) based on their suitability for reintroduction. The central region of the state contained the top five ranked areas. The Blue Ridge Mountains, where the extant population of elk occurs, was ranked 21st. Our work provides a benchmark for decision makers to evaluate potential consequences and trade-offs associated with the selection of prospective elk reintroduction sites.

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red-winged blackbird

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    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus L.). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  5. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Yellow-headed blackbird

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    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) are described in this publication. It is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models and was developed through an analysis of available infomration on the species-habitat requirements of the species. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of an HSI model, designed for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.

  6. Deep-Sea Soft Coral Habitat Suitability

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    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  7. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  8. Temporal habitat suitability modeling of Caspian shad (Alosa spp. in the southern Caspian Sea

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    Ali Haghi Vayghan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available To comprehensively manage an ecosystem such as that of the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, detailed knowledge of the habitat traits of the living organisms in the ecosystem is essential. The present study examined environmental variables and used the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI model to determine the most preferred seasonal habitat and optimal environmental range of Caspian shad (Alosa spp. The fish preferred deep waters with low levels of total organic matter and sea level anomaly in winter and productive areas with a high concentration of chlorophyll-a (Chla and relatively high benthos biomass in spring. The number per unit area (NPUA-based HSI model determined that the geometric mean model (GMM was the optimal model for defining a suitable habitat in winter. For spring, the arithmetic mean model (or GMM in the NPUA-based HSI model most accurately predicted preferred habitat for Caspian shad. The average NPUA in both seasons increased with the HSI; areas with an HSI of between 0.4 and 0.6 in spring and between 0.6 and 0.8 in winter had a high percentage of total catch. Areas with an HSI of more than 0.5 had over 91% and 63% of the total catch in spring and winter, respectively, demonstrating the reliability of the NPUA-based HSI model in predicting Caspian shad habitat. The present study shows that remotely sensed data plus depth are the most critical environmental variables in Caspian shad habitats and that Chla and SLA are the most critical remotely sensed parameters for near real-time prediction of Caspian shad habitat.

  9. Modelling Fish Habitat Suitability in the Eastern English Channel. Application to community habitat level

    OpenAIRE

    Vaz, Sandrine; Carpentier, Andre; Loots, Christophe; Koubbi, Philippe

    2004-01-01

    Valuable marine habitats and living resources can be found in the Eastern English Channel and in 2003, a Franco-British Interreg IIIA project, ‘Eastern Channel Habitat Atlas for Marine Resource Management’ (CHARM), was initiated to support decision-making for management of essential fish habitats. Fish habitat corresponds to geographic areas within which ranges of environmental factors define the presence of a particular species. Habitat Suitability index (HSI) modelling was used to relate fi...

  10. Regional prediction of basin-scale brown trout habitat suitability

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    S. Ceola

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study we propose a novel method for the estimation of ecological indices describing the habitat suitability of brown trout (Salmo trutta. Traditional hydrological tools are coupled with an innovative regional geostatistical technique, aiming at the prediction of the brown trout habitat suitability index where partial or totally ungauged conditions occur. Several methods for the assessment of ecological indices are already proposed in the scientific literature, but the possibility of exploiting a geostatistical prediction model, such as Topological Kriging, has never been investigated before. In order to develop a regional habitat suitability model we use the habitat suitability curve, obtained from measured data of brown trout adult individuals collected in several river basins across the USA. The Top-kriging prediction model is then employed to assess the spatial correlation between upstream and downstream habitat suitability indices. The study area is the Metauro River basin, located in the central part of Italy (Marche region, for which both water depth and streamflow data were collected. The present analysis focuses on discharge values corresponding to the 0.1-, 0.5-, 0.9-empirical quantiles derived from flow-duration curves available for seven gauging stations located within the study area, for which three different suitability indices (i.e. ψ10, ψ50 and ψ90 are evaluated. The results of this preliminary analysis are encouraging showing Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies equal to 0.52, 0.65, and 0.69, respectively.

  11. Regional prediction of basin-scale brown trout habitat suitability

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    Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.

    2014-09-01

    In this study we propose a novel method for the estimation of ecological indices describing the habitat suitability of brown trout (Salmo trutta). Traditional hydrological tools are coupled with an innovative regional geostatistical technique, aiming at the prediction of the brown trout habitat suitability index where partial or totally ungauged conditions occur. Several methods for the assessment of ecological indices are already proposed in the scientific literature, but the possibility of exploiting a geostatistical prediction model, such as Topological Kriging, has never been investigated before. In order to develop a regional habitat suitability model we use the habitat suitability curve, obtained from measured data of brown trout adult individuals collected in several river basins across the USA. The Top-kriging prediction model is then employed to assess the spatial correlation between upstream and downstream habitat suitability indices. The study area is the Metauro River basin, located in the central part of Italy (Marche region), for which both water depth and streamflow data were collected. The present analysis focuses on discharge values corresponding to the 0.1-, 0.5-, 0.9-empirical quantiles derived from flow-duration curves available for seven gauging stations located within the study area, for which three different suitability indices (i.e. ψ10, ψ50 and ψ90) are evaluated. The results of this preliminary analysis are encouraging showing Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies equal to 0.52, 0.65, and 0.69, respectively.

  12. Fall and winter microhabitat use and suitability for spring chinook salmon parr in a U.S. Pacific Northwest River

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    Favrot, Scott D.; Jonasson, Brian C.; Peterson, James T.

    2018-01-01

    Habitat degradation has been implicated as a primary threat to Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. Habitat restoration and conservation are key toward stemming population declines; however, winter microhabitat use and suitability knowledge are lacking for small juvenile salmonids. Our objective was to characterize microhabitat use and suitability for spring Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha parr during fall and winter. Using radiotelemetry techniques during October–February (2009–2011), we identified fall and winter microhabitat use by spring Chinook Salmon parr in Catherine Creek, northeastern Oregon. Tagged fish occupied two distinct gradient reaches (moderate and low). Using a mixed‐effects logistic regression resource selection function (RSF) model, we found evidence that microhabitat use was similar between free‐flowing and surface ice conditions. However, habitat use shifted between seasons; most notably, there was greater use of silt substrate and areas farther from the bank during winter. Between gradients, microhabitat use differed with greater use of large wood (LW) and submerged aquatic vegetation in the low‐gradient reach. Using a Bayesian RSF approach, we developed gradient‐specific habitat suitability criteria. Throughout the study area, deep depths and slow currents were most suitable, with the exception of the low‐gradient reach where moderate depths were optimal. Near‐cover coarse and fine substrates were most suitable in the moderate‐ and low‐gradient reaches, respectively. Near‐bank LW was most suitable throughout the study area. Multivariate principal component analyses (PCA) indicated co‐occurring deep depths supporting slow currents near cover were intensively occupied in the moderate‐gradient reach. In the low‐gradient reach, PCA indicated co‐occurring moderate depths, slow currents, and near‐bank cover were most frequently occupied. Our study identified suitable and interrelated microhabitat

  13. An Expert-Based Assessment Model for Evaluating Habitat Suitability of Pond-Breeding Amphibians

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    Shin-Ruoh Juang

    2017-02-01

    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

  14. Winter habitat occurrence patterns of temperate migrant birds in Belize

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    Dawson, D.K.; Robbins, C.S.; Sauer, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    We used mist nets and point counts to sample bird populations in 61 sites in Belize during January-March of 1987-1991. Sites were classified as forest, second growth, woody agricultural crops (citrus, mango, cacao, and cashew), or non-woody agricultural crops (rice and sugar cane). We evaluated patterns of occurence of wintering temperate migrant bird species in these habitats. Mist net captures of 22 of 31 migrant species differed significantly among habitats. Of these, 13 species were captured more frequently in the agricultural habitats. American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) were among the species captured most frequently in woody agricultural habitats; captures of Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Northern (lcterus galbula) and Orchard orioles (I. spur/anus) were highest in the non-woody agricultural sites. We relate these occurrence patterns to trends in breeding populations in North America. While count data provide a wide picture of winter habitat distribution of migrants, more intensive work is necessary to assess temporal and geographic variation of migrant bird use of agricultural habitats.

  15. Evaluating timber harvesting impacts on wildlife habitat suitability using FOREX

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    Chris B. LeDoux

    1997-01-01

    Precommercial, commercial, and final harvesting operations can impact wildlife habitat suitability by altering the vegetation composition on a given site. Harvesting operations remove trees and many times provide the necessary perturbation to trigger successional conditions different from those that existed prior to the harvest. Although these new successional changes...

  16. Ecological variables governing habitat suitability and the distribution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    governed by soil particle size distribution), in combination with the cover provided by trees, as the two ecological factors that best explained habitat suitability for Juliana's golden mole at the three localities. An IndVal analysis failed to identify ...

  17. Transferability of habitat suitability criteria for fishes in warmwater streams

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    Freeman, Mary C.; Bowen, Z.H.; Crance, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    We developed habitat suitability criteria and tested their transferability for nine fishes inhabiting unregulated Piedmont and Coastal Plain streams in Alabama. Cr iteria for optimal habitat were defined as ranges of depth, velocity, substrate type and cover type for which a species' suitability index (proportional abundance divided by proportional habitat availability, scaled from 0 to 1) equalled or exceeded 0.4. We evaluated the transferability of criteria between study sites by testing the null hypothesis that species occurrence in a sample was independent of whether or not the sample was taken in optimal habitat. We also tested criteria transference to a large, flow-regulated river sampled during low flow periods. Depth, velocity and most substrate criteria developed for the bronze darter Percina palmaris successfully transferred between unregulated streams and to the flow-regulated river samples. All criteria developed for a pair of closely related, allopatric darter species, Etheostoma chuckwachattee and E. jordani, transferred sucessfully when applied between species (in the unregulated sites) and to the regulated river samples. In contrast, criteria for the Alabama shiner Cyprinella callistia failed nearly all tests of transferability. Criteria for E. stigmaeum, P. nigrofasciata, an undescribed Percina species, and a pair of related, allopatric Cyprinella species transferred inconsistently. The species with good criteria transference had high suitability indices for shallow depths, fast current velocities and coarse substrates, characteristic of riffle species. We suggest that microhabitat criteria for riffle fishes are more likely to provide a transferable measure of habitat quality than criteria for fishes that, although restricted to fluvial habitats, commonly occupy a variety of pool and riffle habitats.

  18. Winter habitat associations of diurnal raptors in Californias Central Valley

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    Pandolrno, E.R.; Herzog, M.P.; Hooper, S.L.; Smith, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The wintering raptors of California's Central Valley are abundant and diverse. Despite this, little information exists on the habitats used by these birds in winter. We recorded diurnal raptors along 19 roadside survey routes throughout the Central Valley for three consecutive winters between 2007 and 2010. We obtained data sufficient to determine significant positive and negative habitat associations for the White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), Bald Eagle {Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), and Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus). The Prairie Falcon and Ferruginous and Rough-legged hawks showed expected strong positive associations with grasslands. The Bald Eagle and Northern Harrier were positively associated not only with wetlands but also with rice. The strongest positive association for the White-tailed Kite was with wetlands. The Red-tailed Hawk was positively associated with a variety of habitat types but most strongly with wetlands and rice. The American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, and White-tailed Kite were positively associated with alfalfa. Nearly all species were negatively associated with urbanized landscapes, orchards, and other intensive forms of agriculture. The White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Redtailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, and American Kestrel showed significant negative associations with oak savanna. Given the rapid conversion of the Central Valley to urban and intensive agricultural uses over the past few decades, these results have important implications for conservation of these wintering raptors in this region.

  19. Evaluation of habitat suitability models for forest passerines using demographic data

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    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Frank R., III Thompson; William D. Dijak; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Richard L. Clawson

    2010-01-01

    Habitat suitability is often used as a surrogate for demographic responses (i.e., abundance, survival, fecundity, or population viability) in the application of habitat suitability index (HSI) models. Whether habitat suitability actually relates to demographics, however, has rarely been evaluated. We validated HSI models of breeding habitat suitability for wood thrush...

  20. Subterranean systems provide a suitable overwintering habitat for Salamandra salamandra

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    Monika Balogová

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra has been repeatedly noted to occur in natural and artificial subterranean systems. Despite the obvious connection of this species with underground shelters, their level of dependence and importance to the species is still not fully understood. In this study, we carried out long-term monitoring based on the capture-mark-recapture method in two wintering populations aggregated in extensive underground habitats. Using the POPAN model we found the population size in a natural shelter to be more than twice that of an artificial underground shelter. Survival and recapture probabilities calculated using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model were very constant over time, with higher survival values in males than in females and juveniles, though in terms of recapture probability, the opposite situation was recorded. In addition, survival probability obtained from Cormack-Jolly-Seber model was higher than survival from POPAN model. The observed bigger population size and the lower recapture rate in the natural cave was probably a reflection of habitat complexity. Our study showed that regular visits are needed to detect the true significance of underground shelters for fire salamanders. The presence of larvae was recorded in both wintering sites, especially in bodies of water near the entrance. On the basis of previous and our observations we incline to the view, that karst areas can induce not only laying in underground shelters but also group wintering in this species. Our study highlights the strong connection of the life cycle of fire salamanders with underground shelters and their essential importance for the persistence of some populations during unfavourable conditions and breeding activity. In addition, the study introduces the POPAN and Cormac-Jolly-Seber models for estimating of population size, survival and recapture probability in wintering populations of the species, which could provide important information

  1. Proceedings of a workshop on fish habitat suitability index models

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    Terrell, James W.

    1984-01-01

    One of the habitat-based methodologies for impact assessment currently in use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980). HEP is based on the assumption that the quality of an area as wildlife habitat at a specified target year can be described by a single number, called a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI). An HSI of 1.0 represents optimum habitat: an HSI of 0.0 represents unsuitable habitat. The verbal or mathematical rules by which an HSI is assigned to an area are called an HSI model. A series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models, described by Schamberger et al. (1982), have been published to assist users in applying HEP. HSI model building approaches are described in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1981). One type of HSI model described in detail requires the development of Suitability Index (SI) graphs for habitat variables believed to be important for the growth, survival, standing crop, or other measure of well-being for a species. Suitability indices range from 0 to 1.0, with 1.0 representing optimum conditions for the variable. When HSI models based on suitability indices are used, habitat variable values are measured, or estimated, and converted to SI's through the use of a Suitability Index graph for each variable. Individual SI's are aggregated into an HSI. Standard methods for testing this type of HSI model did not exist at the time the studies reported in this document were performed. A workshop was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, February 14-15, 1983, that brought together biologists experienced in the use, development, and testing of aquatic HSI models, in an effort to address the following objectives: (1) review the needs of HSI model users; (2) discuss and document the results of aquatic HSI model tests; and (3) provide recommendations for the future development, testing, modification, and use of HSI models. Individual presentations, group discussions, and group

  2. Quantitative validation of a habitat suitability index for oyster restoration

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    Seth eTheuerkauf

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models provide spatially explicit information on the capacity of a given habitat to support a species of interest, and their prevalence has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite caution that the reliability of HSIs must be validated using independent, quantitative data, most HSIs intended to inform terrestrial and marine species management remain unvalidated. Furthermore, of the eight HSI models developed for eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica restoration and fishery production, none has been validated. Consequently, we developed, calibrated, and validated an HSI for the eastern oyster to identify optimal habitat for restoration in a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, the Great Wicomico River (GWR. The GWR harbors a high density, restored oyster population, and therefore serves as an excellent model system for assessing the validity of the HSI. The HSI was derived from GIS layers of bottom type, salinity, and water depth (surrogate for dissolved oxygen, and was tested using live adult oyster density data from a survey of high vertical relief reefs (HRR and low vertical relief reefs (LRR in the sanctuary network. Live adult oyster density was a statistically-significant sigmoid function of the HSI, which validates the HSI as a robust predictor of suitable oyster reef habitat for rehabilitation or restoration. In addition, HRR had on average 103-116 more adults m^−2 than LRR at a given level of the HSI. For HRR, HSI values ≥0.3 exceeded the accepted restoration target of 50 live adult oysters m^−2. For LRR, the HSI was generally able to predict live adult oyster densities that meet or exceed the target at HSI values ≥0.3. The HSI indicated that there remain large areas of suitable habitat for restoration in the GWR. This study provides a robust framework for HSI model development and validation, which can be refined and applied to other systems and previously developed HSIs to improve the efficacy of

  3. Modeling mountain pine beetle habitat suitability within Sequoia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Andrew

    Understanding significant changes in climate and their effects on timber resources can help forest managers make better decisions regarding the preservation of natural resources and land management. These changes may to alter natural ecosystems dependent on historical and current climate conditions. Increasing mountain pine beetle (MBP) outbreaks within the southern Sierra Nevada are the result of these alterations. This study better understands MPB behavior within Sequoia National Park (SNP) and model its current and future habitat distribution. Variables contributing to MPB spread are vegetation stress, soil moisture, temperature, precipitation, disturbance, and presence of Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa) and Lodgepole (Pinus contorta) pine trees. These variables were obtained using various modeled, insitu, and remotely sensed sources. The generalized additive model (GAM) was used to calculate the statistical significance of each variable contributing to MPB spread and also created maps identifying habitat suitability. Results indicate vegetation stress and forest disturbance to be variables most indicative of MPB spread. Additionally, the model was able to detect habitat suitability of MPB with a 45% accuracy concluding that a geospatial driven modeling approach can be used to delineate potential MPB spread within SNP.

  4. Does Wyoming's Core Area Policy Protect Winter Habitats for Greater Sage-Grouse?

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    Smith, Kurt T.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Pratt, Aaron C.

    2016-10-01

    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.

  5. A test of the habitat suitability model for Merriam's wild turkeys

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    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1996-01-01

    An important research area regarding the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is development of sound habitat models. Habitat models provide standardized methods to quantify wild turkey habitat and stimulate new research hypotheses. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models show species-habitat relationships on a scale of O-l, with 1 being optimum. A...

  6. Faecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations are not a good predictor of habitat suitability for common gartersnakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliday, William D; Gilmour, Kathleen M; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    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.

  7. Using habitat suitability models to target invasive plant species surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crall, Alycia W; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P guiding invasive species monitoring, and we support the use of an iterative sampling design for

  8. 50 CFR 226.204 - Critical habitat for Sacramento winter-run chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitat for Sacramento winter-run chinook salmon. 226.204 Section 226.204 Wildlife and Fisheries NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, NATIONAL... § 226.204 Critical habitat for Sacramento winter-run chinook salmon. The following waterways, bottom and...

  9. Habitat Distribution of Birds Wintering in Central Andros, The Bahamas: Implications for Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    DAVE CURRIE; JOSEPH M. WUNDERLE JR.; DAVID N. EWERT; MATTHEW R. ANDERSON; ANCILLENO DAVIS; JASMINE TURNER

    2005-01-01

    We studied winter avian distribution in three representative pine-dominated habitats and three broadleaf habitats in an area recently designated as a National Park on Andros Island, The Bahamas, 1-23 February 2002. During 180 five-minute point counts, 1731 individuals were detected (1427 permanent residents and 304 winter residents) representing 51 species (29...

  10. Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica habitat suitability and range resource dynamics in the Central Karakorum National Park, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garee Khan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The study investigates Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica and their range resource condition within the preferred habitat in the Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan. We apply ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA using 110 ibex sighting data and 6 key biophysical variables describing the habitat conditions and produce habitat suitability and maps with GIS and statistical tool (BioMapper. The modeling results of specialization factor shows some limitation for ibex over the use of slope, elevation, vegetation types and ruggedness. The habitat area selection for the ibex is adjusted to the ibex friendly habitat available conditions. The model results predicted suitable habitat for ibex in certain places, where field observation was never recorded. The range resource dynamics depict a large area that comes under the alpine meadows has the highest seasonal productivity, assessed by remote sensing based fortnightly vegetation condition data of the last 11 years. These meadows are showing browning trend over the years, attributable to grazing practices or climate conditions. At lower elevation, there are limited areas with suitable dry steppes, which may cause stress on ibex, especially during winter.

  11. A habitat suitability model for Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in the Oosterschelde

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, T.; Wijsman, J.W.M.; Brink, van den A.M.

    2012-01-01

    The modelled habitat suitability maps show a reasonable estimation of the suitability for oysters throughout the Delta and can be used to broadly indicate the consequences of the effect of climate change and infrastructural changes on the habitat suitability for oysters. The largest effect on the

  12. Winter Responses of Forest Birds to Habitat Corridors and Gaps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen Cassady St. Clair

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Forest fragmentation and habitat loss may disrupt the movement or dispersal of forest-dwelling birds. Despite much interest in the severity of these effects and ways of mitigating them, little is known about actual movement patterns in different habitat types. We studied the movement of wintering resident birds, lured by playbacks of mobbing calls, to compare the willingness of forest birds to travel various distances in continuous forest, along narrow corridors (fencerows, and across gaps in forest cover. We also quantified the willingness of Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus to cross gaps when alternative forested detour routes were available. All species were less likely to respond to the calls as distance increased to 200 m, although White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis and Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus were generally less likely to respond than chickadees and Downy Woodpeckers (P. pubescens. Chickadees were as likely to travel in corridors as in continuous forest, but were less likely to cross gaps as the gap distance increased. The other species were less willing to travel in corridors and gaps relative to forest, and the differences among habitats also increased with distance. For chickadees, gap-crossing decisions in the presence of forested detours varied over the range of distances that we tested, and were primarily influenced by detour efficiency (the length of the shortcut relative to the available detour. Over short distances, birds used forested detours, regardless of their efficiency. As absolute distances increased, birds tended to employ larger shortcuts in the open when detour efficiency was low or initial distance in the open was high, but they limited their distance from the nearest forest edge to 25 m. Thus, chickadees were unwilling to cross gaps of > 50 m when they had forested alternatives, yet they sometimes crossed gaps as large as 200 m when no such choice existed. Our results suggest that

  13. Habitat suitability and nest survival of white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests of Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Saab, Victoria A.; Frenzel, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated habitat suitability and nest survival of breeding white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides albolarvatus) in unburned forests of central Oregon, USA. Daily nest-survival rate was positively related to maximum daily temperature during the nest interval and to density of large-diameter trees surrounding the nest tree. We developed a niche-based habitat suitability model (partitioned Mahalanobis distance) for nesting white-headed woodpeckers using remotely sensed data. Along with low elevation, high density of large trees, and low slope, our habitat suitability model suggested that interspersion–juxtaposition of low- and high-canopy cover ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) patches was important for nest-site suitability. Cross-validation suggested the model performed adequately for management planning at a scale >1 ha. Evaluation of mapped habitat suitability index (HSI) suggested that the maximum predictive gain (HSI = 0.36), where the number of nest locations are maximized in the smallest proportion of the modeled landscape, provided an objective initial threshold for identification of suitable habitat. However, managers can choose the threshold HSI most appropriate for their purposes (e.g., locating regions of low–moderate suitability that have potential for habitat restoration). Consequently, our habitat suitability model may be useful for managing dry coniferous forests for white-headed woodpeckers in central Oregon; however, model validation is necessary before our model could be applied to other locations.

  14. Modeling the Habitat of the Red-Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis Wintering in Cheorwon-Gun to Support Decision Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Gul Kim

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cheorwon-gun is an important wintering area for the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis. Although eco-tourism has been recently proposed as a means to stimulate the local economy, it may have adverse effects on the crane. We believe a science-based conservation plan is needed to mitigate these negative effects. To this end, our study had three objectives: (1 to analyze the red-crowned crane habitat and its suitability in Cheorwon-gun, using field surveys and habitat modeling; (2 to check the feasibility of alternative habitat patches across demilitarized zones (DMZs; and (3 to propose a conceptual diagram that minimizes habitat loss during development activities. We aim to quantify habitat suitability, the farmland area needed to support existing crane populations in wintertime, disturbance caused by human activities, and vehicular spatial patterns. These data could be used in spatial planning. The framework of this study and the process of making a conceptual diagram could be applied to other areas where there is a conflict between development and habitat conservation.

  15. Winter habitat predictions of a key Southern Ocean predator, the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, Benjamin; Hindell, Mark; Bester, Marthan; De Bruyn, P. J. Nico; Trathan, Phil; Goebel, Michael; Lea, Mary-Anne

    2017-06-01

    Quantification of the physical and biological environmental factors that influence the spatial distribution of higher trophic species is central to inform management and develop ecosystem models, particularly in light of ocean changes. We used tracking data from 184 female Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) to develop habitat models for three breeding colonies for the poorly studied Southern Ocean winter period. Models were used to identify and predict the broadly important winter foraging habitat and to elucidate the environmental factors influencing these areas. Model predictions closely matched observations and several core areas of foraging habitat were identified for each colony, with notable areas of inter-colony overlap suggesting shared productive foraging grounds. Seals displayed clear choice of foraging habitat, travelling through areas of presumably poorer quality to access habitats that likely offer an energetic advantage in terms of prey intake. The relationships between environmental predictors and foraging habitat varied between colonies, with the principal predictors being wind speed, sea surface temperature, chlorophyll a concentration, bathymetry and distance to the colony. The availability of core foraging areas was not consistent throughout the winter period. The habitat models developed in this study not only reveal the core foraging habitats of Antarctic fur seals from multiple colonies, but can facilitate the hindcasting of historical foraging habitats as well as novel predictions of important habitat for other major colonies currently lacking information of the at-sea distribution of this major Southern Ocean consumer.

  16. Evaluation of Limiting Climatic Factors and Simulation of a Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqing Li

    Full Text Available Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis has considerable economic potential and plays an important role in reclamation and soil and water conservation. For scientific cultivation of this species across China, we identified the key climatic factors and explored climatically suitable habitat in order to maximize survival of Chinese sea buckthorn using MaxEnt and GIS tools, based on 98 occurrence records from herbarium and publications and 13 climatic factors from Bioclim, Holdridge life zone and Kria' index variables. Our simulation showed that the MaxEnt model performance was significantly better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.93 with 10-fold cross validation. A jackknife test and the regularized gain change, which were applied to the training algorithm, showed that precipitation of the driest month (PDM, annual precipitation (AP, coldness index (CI and annual range of temperature (ART were the most influential climatic factors in limiting the distribution of Chinese sea buckthorn, which explained 70.1% of the variation. The predicted map showed that the core of climatically suitable habitat was distributed from the southwest to northwest of Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, where the most influential climate variables were PDM of 1.0-7.0 mm, AP of 344.0-1089.0 mm, CI of -47.7-0.0°C, and ART of 26.1-45.0°C. We conclude that the distribution patterns of Chinese sea buckthorn are related to the northwest winter monsoon, the southwest summer monsoon and the southeast summer monsoon systems in China.

  17. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher C. Swanson; Mark A. Rumble; Nicholas W. Kaczor; Robert W. Klaver; Katie M. Herman-Brunson; Jonathan A. Jenks; Kent C. Jensen

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this...

  18. The areal extent of brown shrimp habitat suitability in Mobile Bay, Alabama, USA: Targeting vegetated habitat restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L.M.; Nestlerode, J.A.; Harwell, L.C.; Bourgeois, P.

    2010-01-01

    The availability of wetlands and shallow water habitats significantly influences Gulf of Mexico (GOM) penaeid shrimp fishery productivity. However, the GOM region has the highest rate of wetland loss in the USA. Protection and management of these vital GOM habitats are critical to sustainable shrimp fisheries. Brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) are a major component of GOM fisheries. We present an approach for estimating the areal extent of suitable habitat for post-larval and juvenile brown shrimp in Mobile Bay, Alabama, using an existing habitat suitability index model for the northern GOM calculated from probabilistic survey of water quality and sediment data, land cover data, and submerged aquatic vegetation coverages. This estuarine scale approach is intended to support targeted protection and restoration of these habitats. These analyses indicate that approximately 60% of the area of Mobile Bay is categorized as suitable to near optimal for post-larval and juvenile shrimp and 38% of the area is marginally to minimally suitable. We identify potential units within Mobile Bay for targeted restoration to improve habitat suitability. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  19. Evaluation of osprey habitat suitability and interaction with contaminant exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toschik, P.C.; Christman, M.C.; Rattner, B.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) have been the focus of conservation efforts since their dramatic population decline attributed to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and related chemicals in the 1960s. Several recent studies of ospreys nesting in the United States have indicated improved reproduction. However, the density of breeding ospreys varies greatly among locations, with some areas seemingly habitable but not occupied. Because of concerns about pollution in the highly industrialized portions of the Delaware River and Bay, USA, we evaluated contaminant exposure and productivity in ospreys nesting on the Delaware River and Bay in 2002. We characterized habitat in the coastal zone of Delaware, USA, and the area around the river in Pennsylvania, USA, using data we collected as well as extant information provided by state and federal sources. We characterized habitat based on locations of occupied osprey nests in Delaware and Pennsylvania. We evaluated water clarity, water depth, land use and land cover, nest availability, and contaminants in sediment for use in a nest-occupancy model. Our results demonstrated that the presence of occupied nests was associated with water depth, water clarity, distance to an occupied osprey nest, and presence of urban land use, whereas a companion study demonstrated that hatching success was associated with the principal components derived from organochlorine-contaminant concentrations in osprey eggs (total polychlorinated biphenyls, p,p'-dichlorodiphenylethylene, chlordane and metabolites, and heptachlor epoxide). Our study provides guidelines for resource managers and local conservation organizations in management of ospreys and in development of habitat models that are appropriate for other piscivorous and marsh-nesting birds.

  20. A Bayesian spawning habitat suitability model for American shad in southeastern United States rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hightower, Joseph E.; Harris, Julianne E.; Raabe, Joshua K.; Brownell, Prescott; Drew, C. Ashton

    2012-01-01

    Habitat suitability index models for American shad Alosa sapidissima were developed by Stier and Crance in 1985. These models, which were based on a combination of published information and expert opinion, are often used to make decisions about hydropower dam operations and fish passage. The purpose of this study was to develop updated habitat suitability index models for spawning American shad in the southeastern United States, building on the many field and laboratory studies completed since 1985. We surveyed biologists who had knowledge about American shad spawning grounds, assembled a panel of experts to discuss important habitat variables, and used raw data from published and unpublished studies to develop new habitat suitability curves. The updated curves are based on resource selection functions, which can model habitat selectivity based on use and availability of particular habitats. Using field data collected in eight rivers from Virginia to Florida (Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Roanoke, Tar, Neuse, Cape Fear, Pee Dee, St. Johns), we obtained new curves for temperature, current velocity, and depth that were generally similar to the original models. Our new suitability function for substrate was also similar to the original pattern, except that sand (optimal in the original model) has a very low estimated suitability. The Bayesian approach that we used to develop habitat suitability curves provides an objective framework for updating the model as new studies are completed and for testing the model's applicability in other parts of the species' range.

  1. Maize stubble as foraging habitat for wintering geese and swans in northern Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Madsen, Jesper; Nolet, Bart, A.

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural crops have become increasingly important foraging habitats to geese and swans in northern Europe, and a recent climate-driven expansion in the area of maize fields has led to a rapid increase in the exploitation of this habitat. However, due to the novelty of maize foraging in this r......Agricultural crops have become increasingly important foraging habitats to geese and swans in northern Europe, and a recent climate-driven expansion in the area of maize fields has led to a rapid increase in the exploitation of this habitat. However, due to the novelty of maize foraging...... in this region, little is known about the abundance and energetic value of this resource to foraging birds. In this study we quantify food availability, intake rates and energetic profitability of the maize stubble habitat, and describe the value of this increasingly cultivated crop to wintering geese and swans...... of geese and swans wintering in northern Europe....

  2. Diurnal stream habitat use of juvenile Atlantic salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout in winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. H.; Douglass, K.A.

    2009-01-01

    The diurnal winter habitat of three species of juvenile salmonids was examined in a tributary of Skaneateles Lake, NY to compare habitat differences among species and to determine if species/age classes were selecting specific habitats. A total of 792 observations were made on the depth, velocity, substrate and cover (amount and type) used by sympatric subyearling Atlantic salmon, subyearling brown trout and subyearling and yearling rainbow trout. Subyearling Atlantic salmon occurred in shallower areas with faster velocities and less cover than the other salmonid groups. Subyearling salmon was also the only group associated with substrate of a size larger than the average size substrate in the study reach during both winters. Subyearling brown trout exhibited a preference for vegetative cover. Compared with available habitat, yearling rainbow trout were the most selective in their habitat use. All salmonid groups were associated with more substrate cover in 2002 under high flow conditions. Differences in the winter habitat use of these salmonid groups have important management implications in terms of both habitat protection and habitat enhancement.

  3. Habitat selection by female northern pintails wintering in the Grassland Ecological Area, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleskes, Joseph P.; Gilmer, David S.; Jarvis, Robert L.

    2004-01-01

    To determine relative importance of habitats available in the Grassland Ecological Area (GEA) to wintering female northern pintails, Anas acuta, we studied habitat use relative to availability (i.e., habitat selection) in the GEA during September through March, 1991-94 for 196 Hatch-Year (HY) and 221 After-Hatch-Year (AHY) female pintails that were radio tagged during August-early October in the GEA (n = 239), other San Joaquin Valley areas (n = 132), or other Central Valley areas (n = 46). Habitat availability and use varied among seasons and years, but pintails always selected shallow and, except on hunting days, open habitats. Swamp timothy, Heleochloa schoenoides, marsh was the most available, used, and selected habitat. Watergrass, Echinochloa crusgalli, marsh in the GEA was used less than available at night in contrast to previous studies in other SJV areas. Preferred late-winter habitats were apparently lacking in the GEA, at least relative to in the Sacramento Valley and Delta where most pintails moved to in December each year. Impacts on pintails of the increasing practice of managing marshes for increased emergent vegetation to attract other species should be monitored. Shallow, open habitats that produce seeds and invertebrates available to pintails in late winter would help maintain pintail abundance in the GEA.

  4. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    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.

  5. Predicted deep-sea coral habitat suitability for the U.S. West coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M Guinotte

    Full Text Available Regional scale habitat suitability models provide finer scale resolution and more focused predictions of where organisms may occur. Previous modelling approaches have focused primarily on local and/or global scales, while regional scale models have been relatively few. In this study, regional scale predictive habitat models are presented for deep-sea corals for the U.S. West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington. Model results are intended to aid in future research or mapping efforts and to assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH and identify suitable habitat within U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS. Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modelled at 500 m×500 m spatial resolution using a range of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. Using a spatial partitioning cross-validation approach, maximum entropy models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat were predicted both within and outside of existing bottom trawl closures and NMS boundaries. Predicted habitat suitability over regional scales are not currently able to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably overpredict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. data on distribution of hard substrate that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological mapping and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled.

  6. A habitat suitability model for Chinese sturgeon determined using the generalized additive method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Yujun; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Shanghong

    2016-03-01

    The Chinese sturgeon is a type of large anadromous fish that migrates between the ocean and rivers. Because of the construction of dams, this sturgeon's migration path has been cut off, and this species currently is on the verge of extinction. Simulating suitable environmental conditions for spawning followed by repairing or rebuilding its spawning grounds are effective ways to protect this species. Various habitat suitability models based on expert knowledge have been used to evaluate the suitability of spawning habitat. In this study, a two-dimensional hydraulic simulation is used to inform a habitat suitability model based on the generalized additive method (GAM). The GAM is based on real data. The values of water depth and velocity are calculated first via the hydrodynamic model and later applied in the GAM. The final habitat suitability model is validated using the catch per unit effort (CPUEd) data of 1999 and 2003. The model results show that a velocity of 1.06-1.56 m/s and a depth of 13.33-20.33 m are highly suitable ranges for the Chinese sturgeon to spawn. The hydraulic habitat suitability indexes (HHSI) for seven discharges (4000; 9000; 12,000; 16,000; 20,000; 30,000; and 40,000 m3/s) are calculated to evaluate integrated habitat suitability. The results show that the integrated habitat suitability reaches its highest value at a discharge of 16,000 m3/s. This study is the first to apply a GAM to evaluate the suitability of spawning grounds for the Chinese sturgeon. The study provides a reference for the identification of potential spawning grounds in the entire basin.

  7. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Montipora Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Montipora in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  8. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  9. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  10. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  11. Predicted Habitat Suitability for All Mesophotic Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for all mesophotic corals in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to...

  12. Simulating the influences of various fire regimes on caribou winter habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupp, T. Scott; Olson, Mark; Adams, Layne G.; Dale, Bruce W.; Joly, Kyle; Henkelman, Jonathan; Collins, William B.; Starfield, Anthony M.

    2006-01-01

    Caribou are an integral component of high‐latitude ecosystems and represent a major subsistence food source for many northern people. The availability and quality of winter habitat is critical to sustain these caribou populations. Caribou commonly use older spruce woodlands with adequate terrestrial lichen, a preferred winter forage, in the understory. Changes in climate and fire regime pose a significant threat to the long‐term sustainability of this important winter habitat. Computer simulations performed with a spatially explicit vegetation succession model (ALFRESCO) indicate that changes in the frequency and extent of fire in interior Alaska may substantially impact the abundance and quality of winter habitat for caribou. We modeled four different fire scenarios and tracked the frequency, extent, and spatial distribution of the simulated fires and associated changes to vegetation composition and distribution. Our results suggest that shorter fire frequencies (i.e., less time between recurring fires) on the winter range of the Nelchina caribou herd in eastern interior Alaska will result in large decreases of available winter habitat, relative to that currently available, in both the short and long term. A 30% shortening of the fire frequency resulted in a 3.5‐fold increase in the area burned annually and an associated 41% decrease in the amount of spruce–lichen forest found on the landscape. More importantly, simulations with more frequent fires produced a relatively immature forest age structure, compared to that which currently exists, with few stands older than 100 years. This age structure is at the lower limits of stand age classes preferred by caribou from the Nelchina herd. Projected changes in fire regime due to climate warming and/or additional prescribed burning could substantially alter the winter habitat of caribou in interior Alaska and lead to changes in winter range use and/or population dynamics.

  13. Ensemble modeling to predict habitat suitability for a large-scale disturbance specialist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley; Jeff P. Hollenbeck

    2013-01-01

    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...

  14. Predicting habitat suitability for rare plants at local spatial scales using a species distribution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogol-Prokurat, Melanie

    2011-01-01

    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

  15. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis to Model Ixodes ricinus Habitat Suitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Raphaël; McGrath, Guy; McMahon, Barry J; Vanwambeke, Sophie O

    2017-09-01

    Tick-borne diseases present a major threat to both human and livestock health throughout Europe. The risk of infection is directly related to the presence of its vector. Thereby it is important to know their distribution, which is strongly associated with environmental factors: the presence and availability of a suitable habitat, of a suitable climate and of hosts. The present study models the habitat suitability for Ixodes ricinus in Ireland, where data on tick distribution are scarce. Tick habitat suitability was estimated at a coarse scale (10 km) with a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method according to four different scenarios (depending on the variables used and on the weights granted to each of them). The western part of Ireland and the Wicklow mountains in the East were estimated to be the most suitable areas for I. ricinus in the island. There was a good level of agreement between results from the MCDA and recorded tick presence. The different scenarios did not affect the spatial outputs substantially. The current study suggests that tick habitat suitability can be mapped accurately at a coarse scale in a data-scarce context using knowledge-based methods. It can serve as a guideline for future countrywide sampling that would help to determine local risk of tick presence and refining knowledge on tick habitat suitability in Ireland.

  16. Assessing range-wide habitat suitability for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  17. Creating a Ruggedness Layer for Use in Habitat Suitability Modeling for Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanette Bragin

    2013-12-01

    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.

  18. Habitat suitability and movement corridors of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Northern Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, Muhammad; Hameed, Shoaib; Ali, Hussain; Bosso, Luciano; Din, Jaffar Ud; Bischof, Richard; Redpath, Steve

    2017-01-01

    Habitat suitability models are useful to understand species distribution and to guide management and conservation strategies. The grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been extirpated from most of its historic range in Pakistan primarily due to its impact on livestock and livelihoods. We used non-invasive survey data from camera traps and genetic sampling to develop a habitat suitability model for C. lupus in northern Pakistan and to explore the extent of connectivity among populations. We detected suitable habitat of grey wolf using a maximum entropy approach (Maxent ver. 3.4.0) and identified suitable movement corridors using the Circuitscape 4.0 tool. Our model showed high levels of predictive performances, as seen from the values of area under curve (0.971±0.002) and true skill statistics (0.886±0.021). The main predictors for habitat suitability for C. lupus were distances to road, mean temperature of the wettest quarter and distance to river. The model predicted ca. 23,129 km2 of suitable areas for wolf in Pakistan, with much of suitable habitat in remote and inaccessible areas that appeared to be well connected through vulnerable movement corridors. These movement corridors suggest that potentially the wolf range can expand in Pakistan’s Northern Areas. However, managing protected areas with stringent restrictions is challenging in northern Pakistan, in part due to heavy dependence of people on natural resources. The habitat suitability map provided by this study can inform future management strategies by helping authorities to identify key conservation areas. PMID:29121089

  19. Identifying Farm Pond Habitat Suitability for the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus: A Conservation-Perspective Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hsien Lai

    2018-04-01

    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

  20. Habitat-effectiveness index for elk on Blue Mountain Winter Ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack Ward Thomas; Donavin A. Leckenby; Mark Henjum; Richard J. Pedersen; Larry D. Bryant

    1988-01-01

    An elk-habitat evaluation procedure for winter ranges in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon and Washington is described. The index is based on an interaction of size and spacing of cover and forage areas, roads open to traffic per unit of area, cover quality, and quantity and quality of forage.

  1. Competition and habitat quality influence age and sex distribution in wintering rusty blackbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia; Hamel, Paul B; Hofmann, Gerhard; Zenzal, Theodore J; Pellegrini, Anne; Malpass, Jennifer; Garfinkel, Megan; Schiff, Nathan; Greenberg, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Bird habitat quality is often inferred from species abundance measures during the breeding and non-breeding season and used for conservation management decisions. However, during the non-breeding season age and sex classes often occupy different habitats which suggest a need for more habitat-specific data. Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is a forested wetland specialist wintering in bottomland hardwood forests in the south-eastern U. S. and belongs to the most steeply declining songbirds in the U.S. Little information is available to support priority birds such as the Rusty Blackbird wintering in this threatened habitat. We assessed age and sex distribution and body condition of Rusty Blackbirds among the three major habitats used by this species in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and also measured food availability. Overall, pecan groves had the highest biomass mainly driven by the amount of nuts. Invertebrate biomass was highest in forests but contributed only a small percentage to overall biomass. Age and sex classes were unevenly distributed among habitats with adult males primarily occupying pecan groves containing the highest nut biomass, females being found in forests which had the lowest nut biomass and young males primarily staying in forest fragments along creeks which had intermediate nut biomass. Males were in better body condition than females and were in slightly better condition in pecan groves. The results suggest that adult males occupy the highest quality habitat and may competitively exclude the other age and sex classes.

  2. Competition and habitat quality influence age and sex distribution in wintering rusty blackbirds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Mettke-Hofmann

    Full Text Available Bird habitat quality is often inferred from species abundance measures during the breeding and non-breeding season and used for conservation management decisions. However, during the non-breeding season age and sex classes often occupy different habitats which suggest a need for more habitat-specific data. Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus is a forested wetland specialist wintering in bottomland hardwood forests in the south-eastern U. S. and belongs to the most steeply declining songbirds in the U.S. Little information is available to support priority birds such as the Rusty Blackbird wintering in this threatened habitat. We assessed age and sex distribution and body condition of Rusty Blackbirds among the three major habitats used by this species in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and also measured food availability. Overall, pecan groves had the highest biomass mainly driven by the amount of nuts. Invertebrate biomass was highest in forests but contributed only a small percentage to overall biomass. Age and sex classes were unevenly distributed among habitats with adult males primarily occupying pecan groves containing the highest nut biomass, females being found in forests which had the lowest nut biomass and young males primarily staying in forest fragments along creeks which had intermediate nut biomass. Males were in better body condition than females and were in slightly better condition in pecan groves. The results suggest that adult males occupy the highest quality habitat and may competitively exclude the other age and sex classes.

  3. Effects of drought and prolonged winter on Townsend's ground squirrel demography in shrubsteppe habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horne, Beatrice; Olson, Gail S.; Schooley, Robert L.; Corn, Janelle G.; Burnham, Kenneth P.

    1997-01-01

    During a mark–recapture study of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) on 20 sites in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Idaho, in 1991 through 1994, 4407 animals were marked in 17639 capture events. This study of differences in population dynamics of Townsend's ground squirrels among habitats spanned a drought near the extreme of the 130-yr record, followed by prolonged winter conditions.Townsend's ground squirrels have a short active season (≈4 mo) in which to reproduce and store fat for overwintering. Their food consists largely of succulent grasses and forbs in this dry shrubsteppe and grassland habitat. The drought in the latter half of the 1992 active season produced early drying of Sandberg's bluegrass (Poa secunda) and was associated with low adult and juvenile body masses prior to immergence into estivation/hibernation. The following prolonged winter was associated with late emergence of females in 1993. Early-season body masses of adults were low in 1993 relative to 1992, whereas percentage of body fat in males was relatively high. These weather patterns in spring 1992 and winter 1993 also resulted in reduced adult persistence through the ≈7-mo inactive period, especially for adult females, and near-zero persistence of >1200 juveniles. Consequently, densities of Townsend's ground squirrels across the 20 livetrap sites declined.The demographic effects of drought and prolonged winter lasted at least through the subsequent breeding season. Adult females that survived these weather extremes produced fewer emergent young per female than did adult females prior to the event. Prior to the drought/prolonged winter, yearling female body masses were higher than, or indistinguishable from, those of adults. Females produced in 1993 had lower body masses as yearlings than did adult females.Demographic response to the drought and prolonged winter varied with habitat; ground squirrels in sagebrush habitat showed less decline

  4. Sex-related differences in habitat associations of wintering American Kestrels in California's Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandolfino, E.R.; Herzog, M.P.; Smith, Z.

    2011-01-01

    We used roadside survey data collected from 19 routes over three consecutive winters from 200708 to 200910 to compare habitat associations of male and female American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) in the Central Valley of California to determine if segregation by sex was evident across this region. As a species, American Kestrels showed positive associations with alfalfa and other forage crops like hay and winter wheat, as well as grassland, irrigated pasture, and rice. Habitat associations of females were similar, with female densities in all these habitats except rice significantly higher than average. Male American Kestrels showed a positive association only with grassland and were present at densities well below those of females in alfalfa, other forage crops, and grassland. Males were present in higher densities than females in most habitats with negative associations for the species, such as orchards, urbanized areas, and oak savannah. The ratio of females to males for each route was positively correlated with the overall density of American Kestrels on that route. Our findings that females seem to occupy higher quality habitats in winter are consistent with observations from elsewhere in North America. ?? 2011 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  5. Integrating animal movement with habitat suitability for estimating dynamic landscape connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Toor, Mariëlle L.; Kranstauber, Bart; Newman, Scott H.; Prosser, Diann J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Technitis, Georgios; Weibel, Robert; Wikelski, Martin; Safi, Kamran

    2018-01-01

    Context High-resolution animal movement data are becoming increasingly available, yet having a multitude of empirical trajectories alone does not allow us to easily predict animal movement. To answer ecological and evolutionary questions at a population level, quantitative estimates of a species’ potential to link patches or populations are of importance. Objectives We introduce an approach that combines movement-informed simulated trajectories with an environment-informed estimate of the trajectories’ plausibility to derive connectivity. Using the example of bar-headed geese we estimated migratory connectivity at a landscape level throughout the annual cycle in their native range. Methods We used tracking data of bar-headed geese to develop a multi-state movement model and to estimate temporally explicit habitat suitability within the species’ range. We simulated migratory movements between range fragments, and calculated a measure we called route viability. The results are compared to expectations derived from published literature. Results Simulated migrations matched empirical trajectories in key characteristics such as stopover duration. The viability of the simulated trajectories was similar to that of the empirical trajectories. We found that, overall, the migratory connectivity was higher within the breeding than in wintering areas, corroborating previous findings for this species. Conclusions We show how empirical tracking data and environmental information can be fused for meaningful predictions of animal movements throughout the year and even outside the spatial range of the available data. Beyond predicting migratory connectivity, our framework will prove useful for modelling ecological processes facilitated by animal movement, such as seed dispersal or disease ecology.

  6. Application of GIS to predict malaria hotspots based on Anopheles arabiensis habitat suitability in Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwitira, Isaiah; Murwira, Amon; Zengeya, Fadzai M.; Shekede, Munyaradzi Davis

    2018-02-01

    Malaria remains a major public health problem and a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in most developing countries. Although malaria still presents health problems, significant successes have been recorded in reducing deaths resulting from the disease. As malaria transmission continues to decline, control interventions will increasingly depend on the ability to define high-risk areas known as malaria hotspots. Therefore, there is urgent need to use geospatial tools such as geographic information system to detect spatial patterns of malaria and delineate disease hot spots for better planning and management. Thus, accurate mapping and prediction of seasonality of malaria hotspots is an important step towards developing strategies for effective malaria control. In this study, we modelled seasonal malaria hotspots as a function of habitat suitability of Anopheles arabiensis (A. Arabiensis) as a first step towards predicting likely seasonal malaria hotspots that could provide guidance in targeted malaria control. We used Geographical information system (GIS) and spatial statistic methods to identify seasonal hotspots of malaria cases at the country level. In order to achieve this, we first determined the spatial distribution of seasonal malaria hotspots using the Getis Ord Gi* statistic based on confirmed positive malaria cases recorded at health facilities in Zimbabwe over four years (1996-1999). We then used MAXENT technique to model habitat suitability of A. arabiensis from presence data collected from 1990 to 2002 based on bioclimatic variables and altitude. Finally, we used autologistic regression to test the extent to which malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability. Our results show that A. arabiensis habitat suitability consistently and significantly (p < 0.05) predicts malaria hotspots from 1996 to 1999. Overall, our results show that malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability, suggesting

  7. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poor, Erin E; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L

    2012-01-01

    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.

  9. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  10. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P.; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G. W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered. PMID:28898262

  11. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Dirnböck

    Full Text Available Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+ together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  12. Hydrologic and water-quality rehabilitation of environments for suitable fish habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Xiang, H.; Liu, C. M.; Zhang, H. T.; Yang, Z. L.; Zhang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-11-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is attracting increasing public and research attention, but without knowledge of the responses of aquatic species to their habitats the success of habitat restoration is uncertain. Thus efficient study of species response to habitat, through which to prioritize the habitat factors influencing aquatic ecosystems, is highly important. However many current models have too high requirement for assemblage information and have great bias in results due to consideration of only the species' attribute of presence/absence, abundance or biomass, thus hindering the wider utility of these models. This paper, using fish as a case, presents a framework for identification of high-priority habitat factors based on the responses of aquatic species to their habitats, using presence/absence, abundance and biomass data. This framework consists of four newly developed sub-models aiming to determine weightings for the evaluation of species' contributions to their communities, to quantitatively calculate an integrated habitat suitability index for multi-species based on habitat factors, to assess the suitable probability of habitat factors and to assess the rehabilitation priority of habitat factors. The framework closely links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. Breakpoint identification techniques based on curvature in cumulated dominance along with a newly developed weighting calculation model based on theory of mass systems were used to help identify the dominant fish, based on which the presence and abundance of multiple fish were normalized to estimate the integrated habitat suitability index along gradients of various factors, based on their variation with principal habitat factors. Then, the appropriate probability of every principal habitat factor was

  13. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Davies

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2 global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts, which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine

  14. Habitat preferences and conservation threats to Black-necked Cranes wintering in Bhutan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namgay, Rinchen; Wangchuk, Sangay

    2016-01-01

    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.

  15. Habitat suitability models for cavity-nesting birds in a postfire landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2007-01-01

    Models of habitat suitability in postfire landscapes are needed by land managers to make timely decisions regarding postfire timber harvest and other management activities. Many species of cavity-nesting birds are dependent on postfire landscapes for breeding and other aspects of their life history and are responsive to postfire management activities (e.g., timber...

  16. Models to predict suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout in Washington state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler

    2001-01-01

    This report describes results of research conducted in 2000 to develop models of suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in Washington State. The research is associated with a cooperative agreement (Agreement #134100H001) between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research...

  17. Wintering habitat model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

    The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS) are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales) were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment.

  18. A GIS model of habitat suitability for Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palumbo, Matthew D.; Fleming, Jonathan P.; Monsegur, Omar A.; Vilella, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) (Marron Bacora) is a rare, dry-forest shrub endemic to the island of St. John, US Virgin Islands, considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Given its status as a species of conservation concern, we incorporated environmental characteristics of 3 observed populations and 5 additional known locations into a geographic information system (GIS) analysis to create a habitat-suitability model for the species on the island of St. John. Our model identified 1929.87 ha of highly suitable and moderately suitable habitat. Of these, 1161.20 ha (60.2%) occurred within the boundaries of Virgin Islands National Park. Our model provides spatial information on potential locations for future surveys and restoration sites for this endemic species of the US Virgin Islands.

  19. Predicting the effects of proposed Mississippi River diversions on oyster habitat quality; application of an oyster habitat suitability index model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soniat, Thomas M.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Byrd, Jason D.; Roszell, Dustin P.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.; Suir, Kevin J.; Colley, Susan B.

    2013-01-01

    In an attempt to decelerate the rate of coastal erosion and wetland loss, and protect human communities, the state of Louisiana developed its Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The master plan proposes a combination of restoration efforts including shoreline protection, marsh creation, sediment diversions, and ridge, barrier island, and hydrological restoration. Coastal restoration projects, particularly the large-scale diversions of fresh water from the Mississippi River, needed to supply sediment to an eroding coast potentially impact oyster populations and oyster habitat. An oyster habitat suitability index model is presented that evaluates the effects of a proposed sediment and freshwater diversion into Lower Breton Sound. Voluminous freshwater, needed to suspend and broadly distribute river sediment, will push optimal salinities for oysters seaward and beyond many of the existing reefs. Implementation and operation of the Lower Breton Sound diversion structure as proposed would render about 6,173 ha of hard bottom immediately east of the Mississippi River unsuitable for the sustained cultivation of oysters. If historical harvests are to be maintained in this region, a massive and unprecedented effort to relocate private leases and restore oyster bottoms would be required. Habitat suitability index model results indicate that the appropriate location for such efforts are to the east and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

  20. Guidelines for using the Delphi Technique to develop habitat suitability index curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crance, Johnie H.

    1987-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (SI) curves are one method of presenting species habitat suitability criteria. The curves are often used with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and are necessary components of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) (Armour et al. 1984). Bovee (1986) described three categories of SI curves or habitat suitability criteria based on the procedures and data used to develop the criteria. Category I curves are based on professional judgment, with 1ittle or no empirical data. Both Category II (utilization criteria) and Category III (preference criteria) curves have as their source data collected at locations where target species are observed or collected. Having Category II and Category III curves for all species of concern would be ideal. In reality, no SI curves are available for many species, and SI curves that require intensive field sampling often cannot be developed under prevailing constraints on time and costs. One alternative under these circumstances is the development and interim use of SI curves based on expert opinion. The Delphi technique (Pill 1971; Delbecq et al. 1975; Linstone and Turoff 1975) is one method used for combining the knowledge and opinions of a group of experts. The purpose of this report is to describe how the Delphi technique may be used to develop expert-opinion-based SI curves.

  1. Modelling seasonal habitat suitability for wide-ranging species: Invasive wild pigs in northern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens G Froese

    Full Text Available Invasive wildlife often causes serious damage to the economy and agriculture as well as environmental, human and animal health. Habitat models can fill knowledge gaps about species distributions and assist planning to mitigate impacts. Yet, model accuracy and utility may be compromised by small study areas and limited integration of species ecology or temporal variability. Here we modelled seasonal habitat suitability for wild pigs, a widespread and harmful invader, in northern Australia. We developed a resource-based, spatially-explicit and regional-scale approach using Bayesian networks and spatial pattern suitability analysis. We integrated important ecological factors such as variability in environmental conditions, breeding requirements and home range movements. The habitat model was parameterized during a structured, iterative expert elicitation process and applied to a wet season and a dry season scenario. Model performance and uncertainty was evaluated against independent distributional data sets. Validation results showed that an expert-averaged model accurately predicted empirical wild pig presences in northern Australia for both seasonal scenarios. Model uncertainty was largely associated with different expert assumptions about wild pigs' resource-seeking home range movements. Habitat suitability varied considerably between seasons, retracting to resource-abundant rainforest, wetland and agricultural refuge areas during the dry season and expanding widely into surrounding grassland floodplains, savanna woodlands and coastal shrubs during the wet season. Overall, our model suggested that suitable wild pig habitat is less widely available in northern Australia than previously thought. Mapped results may be used to quantify impacts, assess risks, justify management investments and target control activities. Our methods are applicable to other wide-ranging species, especially in data-poor situations.

  2. High Resolution Habitat Suitability Modelling For Restricted-Range Hawaiian Alpine Arthropod Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

    Mapping potentially suitable habitat is critical for effective species conservation and management but can be challenging in areas exhibiting complex heterogeneity. An approach that combines non-intrusive spatial data collection techniques and field data can lead to a better understanding of landscapes and species distributions. Nysius wekiuicola, commonly known as the wēkiu bug, is the most studied arthropod species endemic to the Maunakea summit in Hawai`i, yet details about its geographic distribution and habitat use remain poorly understood. To predict the geographic distribution of N. wekiuicola, MaxEnt habitat suitability models were generated from a diverse set of input variables, including fifteen years of species occurrence data, high resolution digital elevation models, surface mineralogy maps derived from hyperspectral remote sensing, and climate data. Model results indicate that elevation (78.2 percent), and the presence of nanocrystalline hematite surface minerals (13.7 percent) had the highest influence, with lesser contributions from aspect, slope, and other surface mineral classes. Climatic variables were not included in the final analysis due to auto-correlation and coarse spatial resolution. Biotic factors relating to predation and competition also likely dictate wēkiu bug capture patterns and influence our results. The wēkiu bug range and habitat suitability models generated as a result of this study will be directly incorporated into management and restoration goals for the summit region and can also be adapted for other arthropod species present, leading to a more holistic understanding of metacommunity dynamics. Key words: Microhabitat, Structure from Motion, Lidar, MaxEnt, Habitat Suitability

  3. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couce, Elena; Ridgwell, Andy; Hendy, Erica J

    2013-12-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world's tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches (Maximum Entropy and Boosted Regression Trees) with two levels of complexity (one a simplified and reduced environmental variable version of the other). Our models project a marked temperature-driven decline in habitat suitability for many of the most significant and bio-diverse tropical coral regions, particularly in the central Indo-Pacific. This is accompanied by a temperature-driven poleward range expansion of favorable conditions accelerating up to 40-70 km per decade by 2070. We find that ocean acidification is less influential for determining future habitat suitability than warming, and its deleterious effects are centered evenly in both hemispheres between 5° and 20° latitude. Contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered 'marginal' for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific. These results are consistent with fossil evidence of range expansions during past warm periods. In addition, the simplified models are particularly sensitive to short-term temperature variations and their projections correlate well with reported locations of bleaching events. Our approach offers new insights into the relative impact of two global environmental pressures associated with rising atmospheric CO2 on potential future habitats, but greater understanding of past and current controls on coral

  4. Assessment of Brown Bear\\'s (Ursus arctos syriacus Winter Habitat Using Geographically Weighted Regression and Generalized Linear Model in South of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Zarei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Winter dens are one of the important components of brown bear's (Ursus arctos syriacus habitat, affecting their reproduction and survival. Therefore identification of factors affecting the habitat selection and suitable denning areas in the conservation of our largest carnivore is necessary. We used Geographically Weighted Logistic Regression (GWLR and Generalized Linear Model (GLM for modeling suitability of denning habitat in Kouhkhom region in Fars province. In the present research, 20 dens (presence locations and 20 caves where signs of bear were not found (absence locations were used as dependent variables and six environmental factors were used for each location as independent variables. The results of GLM showed that variables of distance to settlements, altitude, and distance to water were the most important parameters affecting suitability of the brown bear's denning habitat. The results of GWLR showed the significant local variations in the relationship between occurrence of brown bear dens and the variable of distance to settlements. Based on the results of both models, suitable habitats for denning of the species are impassable areas in the mountains and inaccessible for humans.

  5. The Importance of Supratidal Habitats for Wintering Shorebirds and the Potential Impacts of Shrimp Aquaculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasué, M.; Dearden, P.

    2009-06-01

    Intensive black tiger shrimp ( Penaeus monodon) aquaculture ponds have replaced significant areas of coastal wetlands throughout tropical Asia. Few studies have assessed potential impacts on avian foraging habitats. At Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, Thailand, seminatural wetlands have been converted to either shrimp ponds or to salinization ponds that provide saline water for shrimp aquaculture. Although shorebirds cannot feed in aquaculture ponds, hypersaline ponds can provide productive foraging areas. Thus, the overall impact of the shrimp industry on shorebirds depends partly on the relative quality of the salt ponds compared to seminatural wetlands. In this study, we examined wintering shorebird use of tidal ( N = 5 sites) and supratidal areas (four wetland sites, four salt pond sites) and compared the shorebird community (14 species), prey availability, profitability, and disturbance rates between wetlands and salt ponds. Two shorebird species fed in higher densities in wetlands, whereas seven species were more abundant in salt ponds. Large juvenile fish and dragonfly larvae were more abundant in wetlands, whereas there were more small Chironomid midge and fly larvae in salt ponds. We conclude that salt ponds might provide higher-quality foraging habitats compared to wetlands for small shorebirds species because of the abundance of small larvae. However, the shrimp aquaculture industry reduces habitat availability for shorebirds feeding on larger prey. This study demonstrates a comprehensive, multispecies approach to assess the impacts of a large-scale change in coastal habitats for wintering shorebirds.

  6. Determining effects of an all weather logging road on winter woodland caribou habitat use in south-eastern Manitoba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doug W. Schindler

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available The Owl Lake boreal woodland caribou population is the most southerly population in Manitoba. It is provincially ranked as a High Conservation Concern Population. Forestry operations exist in the area and there are plans for further forest harvest and renewal. The Happy Lake logging road is the only main access through the Owl Lake winter range. This logging road is currently closed to the public and access is limited to forestry operations during specific times of the year. An integrated forestry/caribou management strategy for the area provides for the maintenance of minimum areas of functional habitat. Habitat quality along the road was compared to habitat quality in the winter core use areas, within the winter range and outside the winter range. To evaluate the extent of functional habitat near the road, we conducted animal location and movement analysis using GPS data collected from January 2002 to March 2006. Habitat quality in the winter range, core use areas and along the road were assessed and found to be similar. Analysis of caribou locations and movement illustrate less use of high quality habitat adjacent to the Happy Lake Road. Loss of functional habitat is suggested to occur within 1 kilometre of the road. This potential loss of functional habitat should be incorporated into integrated forestry and caribou conservation strategies. Road management is recommended to minimize the potential sensory disturbance and associated impacts of all weather access on boreal woodland caribou.

  7. Stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of winter flounder otoliths assess connectivity between juvenile and adult habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter flounder populations (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) have significantly declined in recent years along the Rhode Island, USA coastline. The reasons for this decline are not completely clear; however, habitat loss may be a factor. Therefore, knowledge of connectivity betwee...

  8. The Spatial Suitable Habitat Model of Acacia decurrens in Mount Merbabu National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Untoro

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Green wattle (Acacia decurrens is an invasive alien species (IAS found in the Mount Merbabu National Park (TNGMb. This study aim to obtain spatially studies on habitat suitability models of A. decurrens in TNGMb region. In fact, this species became as a high invasive and dominance in the TNGMb and contributes the negative impact to the ecosystem. In addition, the result of this study should be useful for controling activities of A. decurrens. Predictor variables in this research were (altitude, slope, rainfall, air temperature, distance from river, NDVI, NDMI, distance from hiking trail, and distance from burnt area. The survey was conducted with random sampling of presence or absence of A. decurrens by marking the coordinate point of location using GPS. Data analysis in this research was used binary logistic regression enter method. Binary logistic regression involves the data acquisition of the presence and absence of A. decurrens as the y variable, while the predictor variable map as the variable x. The type of spatial distribution of A. decurrens in the TNGMb was identified as clumped. The Nagelkerke R2 values obtained in the model was 39,2%, while 60,8% was explained by other variables were not used in the model. The results of the logistic regression model showed a high percentage of suitability of 64,29%, a medium suitability of 28,57%, and a low suitability of 7.14% then the Implications for controlling activities of A. decurrens in TNGMb could be prioritized in high suitability habitat. Keywords: Acacia decurrens, green wattle, invasive, spatial suitable habitat 

  9. Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability: Impact and Effectiveness of Environmental Flow Prescriptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Galeati, G.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Ventura, M.; Montanari, A.

    2017-12-01

    The anthropogenic alteration of the natural flow regime of a river for hydropower production can significantly modify the processes and functions associated with fluvial ecosystems. In order to preserve the fluvial habitat downstream of dams and diversion structures, environmental flows are commonly defined. Such environmental flows are generally computed from empirical methodologies, which are seldom based on site-specific studies, and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. Here we present the results of a quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of two alternative environmental flow scenarios prescribed in Central Italy (time-invariant experimental and empirically-based flow release versus time-variant hydrogeomorphologically-based flow release) and their impact on hydropower production and fish habitat suitability. The latter is examined by means of several models of habitat suitability curve, which is a well-known approach capable of analysing fluvial species preferences as a function of key eco-hydraulic features, such as water depth, flow velocity and river substrate. The results show an evident loss of hydropower production moving from the time-invariant experimental flow release to the hydrogeomorphological one (nearly 20% at the annual scale). Concerning the effects in terms of fish habitat suitability, our outcomes are less obvious, since they are species- and life stage-specific. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the derivation of optimal water resource management strategies in order to ensure both hydropower production and fluvial ecosystem protection.

  10. Developing user-friendly habitat suitability tools from regional stream fish survey data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorn, T.G.; Seelbach, P.; Wiley, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    We developed user-friendly fish habitat suitability tools (plots) for fishery managers in Michigan; these tools are based on driving habitat variables and fish population estimates for several hundred stream sites throughout the state. We generated contour plots to show patterns in fish biomass for over 60 common species (and for 120 species grouped at the family level) in relation to axes of catchment area and low-flow yield (90% exceedance flow divided by catchment area) and also in relation to axes of mean and weekly range of July temperatures. The plots showed distinct patterns in fish habitat suitability at each level of biological organization studied and were useful for quantitatively comparing river sites. We demonstrate how these plots can be used to support stream management, and we provide examples pertaining to resource assessment, trout stocking, angling regulations, chemical reclamation of marginal trout streams, indicator species, instream flow protection, and habitat restoration. These straightforward and effective tools are electronically available so that managers can easily access and incorporate them into decision protocols and presentations.

  11. Influence of discharge on fish habitat suitability curves in mountain watercourses in IFIM methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Macura Viliam

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the quality of the aquatic habitats of mountain and piedmont streams was evaluated using the ‘Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM’ decision-making tool. The quality of habitats was interpreted from the behaviour of bioindicators in the form of habitat suitability curves (HSCs. From 1995 until the present, 59 different reaches of 43 mountain streams in Slovakia and 3 validation reaches were evaluated, and the results analysed. The aim of this study was to generalize the parameters of the HSCs for the brown trout. The generalized curves will be useful for water management planning. It is difficult and time-consuming to take hydrometrical and ichthyological measurements at different water levels. Therefore, we developed a methodology for modifying suitability curves based on an ichthyological survey during a low flow and a flow at which fish lose the ability to resist the flow velocity. The study provides the information how such curves can be modified for a wider flow range. In summary, this study shows that generalized HSCs provide representative data that can be used to support both the design of river restoration and the assessment of the impacts of the water use or of climate change on stream habitat quality.

  12. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification

    OpenAIRE

    Couce, Elena M; Ridgwell, Andy J; Hendy, Erica

    2013-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world’s tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches...

  13. Influence of Mowing Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis on Winter Habitat for Wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Kirk W.; Bates, Jonathan D.; Johnson, Dustin D.; Nafus, Aleta M.

    2009-07-01

    Mowing is commonly implemented to Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh (Wyoming big sagebrush) plant communities to improve wildlife habitat, increase forage production for livestock, and create fuel breaks for fire suppression. However, information detailing the influence of mowing on winter habitat for wildlife is lacking. This information is crucial because many wildlife species depended on A. tridentata spp. wyomingensis plant communities for winter habitat and consume significant quantities of Artemisia during this time . Furthermore, information is generally limited describing the recovery of A. tridentata spp. wyomingensis to mowing and the impacts of mowing on stand structure. Stand characteristics and Artemisia leaf tissue crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentrations were measured in midwinter on 0-, 2-, 4-, and 6-year-old fall-applied mechanical (mowed at 20 cm height) treatments and compared to adjacent untreated (control) areas. Mowing compared to the control decreased Artemisia cover, density, canopy volume, canopy elliptical area, and height ( P < 0.05), but all characteristics were recovering ( P < 0.05). Mowing A. tridentata spp. wyomingensis plant communities slightly increases the nutritional quality of Artemisia leaves ( P < 0.05), but it simultaneously results in up to 20 years of decrease in Artemisia structural characteristics. Because of the large reduction in A. tridentata spp. wyomingensis for potentially 20 years following mowing, mowing should not be applied in Artemisia facultative and obligate wildlife winter habitat. Considering the decline in A. tridentata spp. wyomingensis-dominated landscapes, we caution against mowing these communities.

  14. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, Christopher C.; Rumble, Mark A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Klaver, Robert W.; Herman-Brunson, Katie M.; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this region of their distribution. We evaluated factors influencing greater sage-grouse winter habitat use in North Dakota during 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 and in South Dakota during 2006–2007 and 2007–2008. We captured and radio-marked 97 breeding-age females and 54 breeding-age males from 2005 to 2007 and quantified habitat selection for 98 of these birds that were alive during winter. We collected habitat measurements at 340 (177 ND, 163 SD) sage-grouse use sites and 680 random (340 each at 250 m and 500 m from locations) dependent sites. Use sites differed from random sites with greater percent sagebrush cover (14.75% use vs. 7.29% random; P 2 use vs. 0.94 plants/m2 random; P ≤ 0.001), but lesser percent grass cover (11.76% use vs. 16.01% random; P ≤ 0.001) and litter cover (4.34% use vs. 5.55% random; P = 0.001) and lower sagebrush height (20.02 cm use vs. 21.35 cm random; P = 0.13) and grass height (21.47 cm use vs. 23.21 cm random; P = 0.15). We used conditional logistic regression to estimate winter habitat selection by sage-grouse on continuous scales. The model sagebrush cover + sagebrush height + sagebrush cover × sagebrush height (wi = 0.60) was the most supported of the 13 models we considered, indicating that percent sagebrush cover strongly influenced selection. Logistic odds ratios indicated that the probability of selection by sage-grouse increased by 1.867 for every 1% increase in sagebrush cover (95% CI = 1.627–2.141) and by 1.041 for every 1 cm increase in sagebrush height (95% CI = 1.002–1.082). The

  15. Suitability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokdam, J.; Braeckel, van A.

    2002-01-01

    The suitability of grazing, burning, mowing and cutting as tools for succession control in peatland was assessed and expressed on a scale from 0 - 1. All management tools are suitable, but their effects are conditional. The suitability depends on the targeted vegetation transition and on their

  16. Influence of mountain pine beetle epidemic on winter habitat conditions for Merriam's turkeys: Management implications for current and future condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick P. Lehman; Mark A. Rumble; Michael A. Battaglia; Todd R. Mills; Lance A. Asherin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding response of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest development following a mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae) epidemic has important management implications for winter habitat conditions for Merriam’s wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo merriami; hereafter, turkeys). Therefore, we quantified habitat changes over time for turkeys...

  17. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  18. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

    Full Text Available The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  19. Estimating habitat carrying capacity for migrating and wintering waterfowl: Considerations, pitfalls and improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Christopher; Dugger, Bruce D.; Brasher, Michael G.; Coluccy, John M.; Cramer, Dane M.; Eadie, John M.; Gray, Matthew J.; Hagy, Heath M.; Livolsi, Mark; McWilliams, Scott R.; Petrie, Matthew; Soulliere, Gregory J.; Tirpak, John M.; Webb, Elisabeth B.

    2014-01-01

    Population-based habitat conservation planning for migrating and wintering waterfowl in North America is carried out by habitat Joint Venture (JV) initiatives and is based on the premise that food can limit demography (i.e. food limitation hypothesis). Consequently, planners use bioenergetic models to estimate food (energy) availability and population-level energy demands at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, and translate these values into regional habitat objectives. While simple in principle, there are both empirical and theoretical challenges associated with calculating energy supply and demand including: 1) estimating food availability, 2) estimating the energy content of specific foods, 3) extrapolating site-specific estimates of food availability to landscapes for focal species, 4) applicability of estimates from a single species to other species, 5) estimating resting metabolic rate, 6) estimating cost of daily behaviours, and 7) estimating costs of thermoregulation or tissue synthesis. Most models being used are daily ration models (DRMs) whose set of simplifying assumptions are well established and whose use is widely accepted and feasible given the empirical data available to populate such models. However, DRMs do not link habitat objectives to metrics of ultimate ecological importance such as individual body condition or survival, and largely only consider food-producing habitats. Agent-based models (ABMs) provide a possible alternative for creating more biologically realistic models under some conditions; however, ABMs require different types of empirical inputs, many of which have yet to be estimated for key North American waterfowl. Decisions about how JVs can best proceed with habitat conservation would benefit from the use of sensitivity analyses that could identify the empirical and theoretical uncertainties that have the greatest influence on efforts to estimate habitat carrying capacity. Development of ABMs at

  20. A checklist of the winter bird community in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ahmed

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This study was aimed at preparing an inventory of the avifauna and to document the species composition of birds during winter in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Cachar District of Assam. Four habitat types, viz., tea plantation, ecotone zone, secondary growth forest and water bodies were selected within the tea estate and surveyed from mid-December 2010 (early winter to mid-April 2011 (late winter covering four months of survey. A total of 88 species were recorded during the survey period with the highest number of species in ecotone zone (n=63, followed by secondary forest (n=60, tea plantation (n=48 and water bodies (n=17. The species were further categorized into different feeding and habitat guilds to study the distribution of bird species in different habitat types according to various guilds.

  1. Hydrographic influence on the spawning habitat suitability of western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hüssy, K.; Hinrichsen, H.-H.; Huwer, B.

    2012-01-01

    Hydrographic influence on the spawning habitat suitability of western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69: 1736–1743.Recruitment variability of marine fish is influenced by the reproductive potential of the stock (i.e. stock characteristics and abundance) and the survival...... of early life stages, mediated by environmental conditions of both a physical (water temperature, salinity and oxygen conditions, ocean currents) and a biological nature (i.e. food, predators). The objective of this study is to assess the importance of variability in environmental conditions within...... allowing survival of western Baltic cod eggs indicates that favourable conditions predominantly occurred during the late spawning season in April/May, while minimum survival rates could be expected from January to March. Unsuitable time periods and habitats exhibiting the highest mortality rates...

  2. Smartphone-based distributed data collection enables rapid assessment of shorebird habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieler, E. Robert; Zeigler, Sara; Winslow, Luke; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species requires biological and geological data across the range of relevant environments and habitats. It is difficult to acquire such information; data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. We developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover that addresses these difficulties in collecting biogeomorphic information at piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites on coastal beaches. This paper describes iPlover development and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection (n = 1799 data points over 1500 km of coast between Maine and North Carolina, USA). We found strong agreement between field user and expert assessments and high model skill when data were used for habitat suitability prediction. Methods used here to develop and deploy a distributed data collection system have broad applicability to interdisciplinary environmental monitoring and modeling.

  3. An Improved Neural Network for Regional Giant Panda Habitat Suitability Mapping: A Case Study in Ya’an Prefecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingwei Song

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Expert knowledge is a combination of prior information and subjective opinions based on long-experience; as such it is often not sufficiently objective to produce convincing results in animal habitat suitability index mapping. In this study, an animal habitat assessment method based on a learning neural network is proposed to reduce the level of subjectivity in animal habitat assessments. Based on two hypotheses, this method substitutes habitat suitability index with apparent density and has advantages over conventional ones such as those based on analytical hierarchy process or multivariate regression approaches. Besides, this method is integrated with a learning neural network and is suitable for building non-linear transferring functions to fit complex relationships between multiple factors influencing habitat suitability. Once the neural network is properly trained, new earth observation data can be integrated for rapid habitat suitability monitoring which could save time and resources needed for traditional data collecting approaches through extensive field surveys. Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca natural habitat in Ya’an prefecture and corresponding landsat images, DEM and ground observations are tested for validity of using the methodology reported. Results show that the method scores well in key efficiency and performance indicators and could be extended for habitat assessments, particularly of other large, rare and widely distributed animal species.

  4. Flow Management to Control Excessive Growth of Macrophytes - An Assessment Based on Habitat Suitability Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes - notably alien species - due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes - the first time it has been applied in this context - in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum , Sparganium erectum , and Potamogeton crispus ) in regard to the physical parameters 'flow velocity,' 'water depth,' and 'substrate size'. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show that the growth

  5. Flow Management to Control Excessive Growth of Macrophytes – An Assessment Based on Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P.; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes – notably alien species – due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes – the first time it has been applied in this context – in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum, Sparganium erectum, and Potamogeton crispus) in regard to the physical parameters ‘flow velocity,’ ‘water depth,’ and ‘substrate size’. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show

  6. Habitat quality affects stress responses and survival in a bird wintering under extremely low ambient temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cīrule, Dina; Krama, Tatjana; Krams, Ronalds; Elferts, Didzis; Kaasik, Ants; Rantala, Markus J.; Mierauskas, Pranas; Luoto, Severi; Krams, Indrikis A.

    2017-12-01

    Animals normally respond to stressful environmental stimuli by releasing glucocorticoid hormones. We investigated whether baseline corticosterone (CORT), handling-induced corticosterone concentration(s), and body condition indices of members of willow tit ( Poecile montanus) groups differed while wintering in old growth forests and managed young forests in mild weather conditions and during cold spells. Willow tits spend the winter season in non-kin groups in which dominant individuals typically claim their priority to access resources, while subordinate individuals may experience greater levels of stress and higher mortality, especially during cold spells. We captured birds to measure baseline CORT and levels of handling-induced CORT secretion after 20 min of capture. Willow tits in the young forests had higher baseline CORT and a smaller increase in CORT in response to capture than individuals in the old forests. Baseline CORT was higher in females and juvenile birds compared to adult males, whereas handling-induced CORT secretion did not differ between birds of different ages. During cold spells, baseline CORT of willow tits increased and handling-induced CORT secretion decreased, especially in birds in young forests. Willow tits' survival was higher in the old forests, with dominant individuals surviving better than subordinates. Our results show that changes in CORT secretion reflect responses to habitat quality and climate harshness, indicating young managed coniferous forests as a suboptimal habitat for the willow tit.

  7. Kootenai River Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project : Long-term Bighorn Sheep/Mule Deer Winter and Spring Habitat Improvement Project : Wildlife Mitigation Project, Libby Dam, Montana : Management Plan.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yde, Chis

    1990-06-01

    The Libby hydroelectric project, located on the Kootenai River in northwestern Montana, resulted in several impacts to the wildlife communities which occupied the habitats inundated by Lake Koocanusa. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, in cooperation with the other management agencies, developed an impact assessment and a wildlife and wildlife habitat mitigation plan for the Libby hydroelectric facility. In response to the mitigation plan, Bonneville Power Administration funded a cooperative project between the Kootenai National Forest and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to develop a long-term habitat enhancement plan for the bighorn sheep and mule deer winter and spring ranges adjacent to Lake Koocanusa. The project goal is to rehabilitate 3372 acres of bighorn sheep and 16,321 acres of mule deer winter and spring ranges on Kootenai National Forest lands adjacent to Lake Koocanusa and to monitor and evaluate the effects of implementing this habitat enhancement work. 2 refs.

  8. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (−21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (−11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  9. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David D Gustine

    Full Text Available Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs, and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21% than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%. Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  10. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D; Brinkman, Todd J; Lindgren, Michael A; Schmidt, Jennifer I; Rupp, T Scott; Adams, Layne G

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  11. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily M York

    Full Text Available Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50% declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total

  12. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Emily M; Butler, Christopher J; Lord, Wayne D

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50%) declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total geographic area of

  13. Spatial Heterogeneity of Habitat Suitability for Rift Valley Fever Occurrence in Tanzania: An Ecological Niche Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sindato, Calvin; Stevens, Kim B.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Paweska, Janusz T.; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with

  14. Habitat suitability index model of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka): A case study of Shandong Peninsula, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhipeng; Zhou, Jian; Song, Jingjing; Wang, Qixiang; Liu, Hongjun; Tang, Xuexi

    2017-09-15

    A habitat suitability index (HSI) model for the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) was established in the present study. Based on geographic information systems, the HSI model was used to identify potential sites around the Shandong Peninsula suitable for restoration of immature (25g) A. japonicus. Six habitat factors were used as input variables for the HSI model: sediment classification, water temperature, salinity, water depth, pH and dissolved oxygen. The weighting of each habitat factor was defined through the Delphi method. Sediment classification was the most important condition affecting the HSI of A. japonicus in the different study areas, while water temperature was the most important condition in different seasons. The HSI of Western Laizhou Bay was relatively low, meaning the site was not suitable for aquaculture-based restoration of A. japonicus. In contrast, Xiaoheishan Island, Rongcheng Bay and Qingdao were preferable sites, suitable as habitats for restoration efforts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. A comparative framework to infer landscape effects on population genetic structure: Are habitat suitability models effective in explaining gene flow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo-Sanchez; Niko Balkenhol; Samuel Cushman; Trinidad Perez; Ana Dominguez; Santiago Saura

    2015-01-01

    Most current methods to assess connectivity begin with landscape resistance maps. The prevailing resistance models are commonly based on expert opinion and, more recently, on a direct transformation of habitat suitability. However, habitat associations are not necessarily accurate indicators of dispersal, and thus may fail as a surrogate of resistance to...

  16. Distribution and habitat suitability index model for the Andean catfish Astroblepus ubidiai (Pisces: Siluriformes in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A Vélez-Espino

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available In conservation biology there is a basic need to determine habitat suitability and availability. Astroblepus ubidiai (Siluriforms, the only native fish in the highlands of Imbabura province in the Ecuadorian Andes, was abundant in the past in the Imbakucha watershed and adjacent drainages, but currently it is restricted to a few isolated refuges. Conservation actions are needed if this unique fish is to persist. A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI for the species has been developed in order to aid management decisions. In this HIS model biomass density (B was selected as a better indicator of habitat quality than either abundance or density. A population well-being index (PI was constructed with the combination of B and an indicator of fish health (proportion of fish in the population with parasites and deformities. Based in other models of benthic fish the habitat variables current velocity, flow, depth, width, cover, invertebrate composition, vegetation type, terrestrial vegetation, land use, substrate, temperature, pH, TDS, oxygen, altitude, and slope were included in the analysis. An anthropogenic perturbation index (H and a fragment isolation index (FII were developed and included as habitat variables as well. The HSI model was applied to refuges and a sample of 15 aquatic bodies without fish populations within the study region. From the sampled sites without A. ubidiai 26.6% presented low quality, and the remaining 73.3% had medium quality according to the HSI estimated. Good quality habitat for dispersal, escape or translocations is rare in the region. The low HSIs estimated in some of the refuges suggests that current populations are not settled in the most favorable habitat but in the habitat least favorable to the agents of decline. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54(2: 623-638. Epub 2006 Jun 01.Astroblepus ubidiai (Siluriformes, el único pez nativo de las alturas de Imbabura, en los Andes Ecuatorianos, era un recurso abundante en el pasado

  17. Upward Altitudinal Shifts in Habitat Suitability of Mountain Vipers since the Last Glacial Maximum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Yousefi

    Full Text Available We determined the effects of past and future climate changes on the distribution of the Montivipera raddei species complex (MRC that contains rare and endangered viper species limited to Iran, Turkey and Armenia. We also investigated the current distribution of MRC to locate unidentified isolated populations as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the current network of protected areas for their conservation. Present distribution of MRC was modeled based on ecological variables and model performance was evaluated by field visits. Some individuals at the newly identified populations showed uncommon morphological characteristics. The distribution map of MRC derived through modeling was then compared with the distribution of protected areas in the region. We estimated the effectiveness of the current protected area network to be 10%, which would be sufficient for conserving this group of species, provided adequate management policies and practices are employed. We further modeled the distribution of MRC in the past (21,000 years ago and under two scenarios in the future (to 2070. These models indicated that climatic changes probably have been responsible for an upward shift in suitable habitats of MRC since the Last Glacial Maximum, leading to isolation of allopatric populations. Distribution will probably become much more restricted in the future as a result of the current rate of global warming. We conclude that climate change most likely played a major role in determining the distribution pattern of MRC, restricting allopatric populations to mountaintops due to habitat alterations. This long-term isolation has facilitated unique local adaptations among MRC populations, which requires further investigation. The suitable habitat patches identified through modeling constitute optimized solutions for inclusion in the network of protected areas in the region.

  18. Effect of spatial and temporal scales on habitat suitability modeling: A case study of Ommastrephes bartramii in the northwest pacific ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Caixia; Chen, Xinjun; Gao, Feng; Tian, Siquan

    2014-12-01

    Temporal and spatial scales play important roles in fishery ecology, and an inappropriate spatio-temporal scale may result in large errors in modeling fish distribution. The objective of this study is to evaluate the roles of spatio-temporal scales in habitat suitability modeling, with the western stock of winter-spring cohort of neon flying squid ( Ommastrephes bartramii) in the northwest Pacific Ocean as an example. In this study, the fishery-dependent data from the Chinese Mainland Squid Jigging Technical Group and sea surface temperature (SST) from remote sensing during August to October of 2003-2008 were used. We evaluated the differences in a habitat suitability index model resulting from aggregating data with 36 different spatial scales with a combination of three latitude scales (0.5°, 1° and 2°), four longitude scales (0.5°, 1°, 2° and 4°), and three temporal scales (week, fortnight, and month). The coefficients of variation (CV) of the weekly, biweekly and monthly suitability index (SI) were compared to determine which temporal and spatial scales of SI model are more precise. This study shows that the optimal temporal and spatial scales with the lowest CV are month, and 0.5° latitude and 0.5° longitude for O. bartramii in the northwest Pacific Ocean. This suitability index model developed with an optimal scale can be cost-effective in improving forecasting fishing ground and requires no excessive sampling efforts. We suggest that the uncertainty associated with spatial and temporal scales used in data aggregations needs to be considered in habitat suitability modeling.

  19. Landscape Metrics to Assess Habitat Suitability for Conversation Bird Species in the Southeastern United States

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dove, Linda

    2001-01-01

    .... The degree to which a given species is affected by habitat fragmentation is dependent on the complex interaction of the habitat requirements of the species and the shape, size, and makeup of the fragmented habitat...

  20. Modeling freshwater snail habitat suitability and areas of potential snail-borne disease transmission in Uganda

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Jørgensen, Aslak; Kabatereine, N B

    2006-01-01

    -borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from......Geographic information system (GIS-based modeling of an intermediate host snail species environmental requirements using known occurrence records can provide estimates of its spatial distribution. When other data are lacking, this can be used as a rough spatial prediction of potential snail...... Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail...

  1. Habitat suitability criteria via parametric distributions: estimation, model selection and uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Nicholas A.; Goodman, Damon H.; Perry, Russell W.; Hardy, Thomas B.

    2016-01-01

    Previous methods for constructing univariate habitat suitability criteria (HSC) curves have ranged from professional judgement to kernel-smoothed density functions or combinations thereof. We present a new method of generating HSC curves that applies probability density functions as the mathematical representation of the curves. Compared with previous approaches, benefits of our method include (1) estimation of probability density function parameters directly from raw data, (2) quantitative methods for selecting among several candidate probability density functions, and (3) concise methods for expressing estimation uncertainty in the HSC curves. We demonstrate our method with a thorough example using data collected on the depth of water used by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) in the Klamath River of northern California and southern Oregon. All R code needed to implement our example is provided in the appendix. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  2. Integrating Larval Dispersal, Permitting, and Logistical Factors Within a Validated Habitat Suitability Index for Oyster Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Puckett

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models are increasingly used to guide ecological restoration. Successful restoration is a byproduct of several factors, including physical and biological processes, as well as permitting and logistical considerations. Rarely are factors from all of these categories included in HSI models, despite their combined relevance to common restoration goals such as population persistence. We developed a Geographic Information System (GIS-based HSI for restoring persistent high-relief subtidal oyster (Crassostrea virginica reefs protected from harvest (i.e., sanctuaries in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA. Expert stakeholder input identified 17 factors to include in the HSI. Factors primarily represented physical (e.g., salinity and biological (e.g., larval dispersal processes relevant to oyster restoration, but also included several relevant permitting (e.g., presence of seagrasses and logistical (e.g., distance to restoration material stockpile sites considerations. We validated the model with multiple years of oyster density data from existing sanctuaries, and compared HSI output with distributions of oyster reefs from the late 1800's. Of the 17 factors included in the model, stakeholders identified four factors—salinity, larval export from existing oyster sanctuaries, larval import to existing sanctuaries, and dissolved oxygen—most critical to oyster sanctuary site selection. The HSI model provided a quantitative scale over which a vast water body (~6,000 km2 was narrowed down by 95% to a much smaller suite of optimal (top 1% HSI and suitable (top 5% HSI locations for oyster restoration. Optimal and suitable restoration locations were clustered in northeast and southwest Pamlico Sound. Oyster density in existing sanctuaries, normalized for time since reef restoration, was a positive exponential function of HSI, providing validation for the model. Only a small portion (10–20% of historical reef locations

  3. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-01-01

    Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results

  4. Predicting spatial and temporal distribution of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay through habitat suitability modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Nicholas A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Sullivan Sealey, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species may exhibit higher levels of growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are most suitable, and thus their effects on native fauna may be intensified. Understanding potential impacts of these species, especially in the nascent stages of a biological invasion, requires critical information concerning spatial and temporal distributions of habitat suitability. Using empirically supported environmental variables (e.g., temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, rugosity, and benthic substrate), our models predicted habitat suitability for the invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay, Florida. The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a platform for the modeling process allowed us to quantify correlations between temporal (seasonal) fluctuations in the above variables and the spatial distribution of five discrete habitat quality classes, whose ranges are supported by statistical deviations from the apparent best conditions described in prior studies. Analysis of the resulting models revealed little fluctuation in spatial extent of the five habitat classes on a monthly basis. Class 5, which represented the area with environmental variables closest to the best conditions for lionfish, occupied approximately one-third of Biscayne Bay, with subsequent habitats declining in area. A key finding from this study was that habitat suitability increased eastward from the coastline, where higher quality habitats were adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and displayed marine levels of ambient water quality. Corroboration of the models with sightings from the USGS-NAS database appeared to support our findings by nesting 79 % of values within habitat class 5; however, field testing (i.e., lionfish surveys) is necessary to confirm the relationship between habitat classes and lionfish distribution.

  5. Assessing the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout (Salmo trutta forma fario) in a lowland river: A modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boets, Pieter; Gobeyn, Sacha; Dillen, Alain; Poelman, Eddy; Goethals, Peter L M

    2018-05-01

    Huge efforts have been made during the past decades to improve the water quality and to restore the physical habitat of rivers and streams in western Europe. This has led to an improvement in biological water quality and an increase in fish stocks in many countries. However, several rheophilic fish species such as brown trout are still categorized as vulnerable in lowland streams in Flanders (Belgium). In order to support cost-efficient restoration programs, habitat suitability modeling can be used. In this study, we developed an ensemble of habitat suitability models using metaheuristic algorithms to explore the importance of a large number of environmental variables, including chemical, physical, and hydromorphological characteristics to determine the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout in the Zwalm River basin (Flanders, Belgium), which is included in the Habitats Directive. Mean stream velocity, water temperature, hiding opportunities, and presence of pools or riffles were identified as the most important variables determining the habitat suitability. Brown trout mainly preferred streams with a relatively high mean reach stream velocity (0.2-1 m/s), a low water temperature (7-15°C), and the presence of pools. The ensemble of models indicated that most of the tributaries and headwaters were suitable for the species. Synthesis and applications . Our results indicate that this modeling approach can be used to support river management, not only for brown trout but also for other species in similar geographical regions. Specifically for the Zwalm River basin, future restoration of the physical habitat, removal of the remaining migration barriers and the development of suitable spawning grounds could promote the successful restoration of brown trout.

  6. Black-tailed Godwits in West African winter staging areas : habitat use and hunting-related mortality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijn, D.; Kamp, van der J.; Monteiro, H.; Ndiaye, I.; Wymenga, E.; Zwarts, L.

    2010-01-01

    The persistence of the Dutch Black-tailed Godwit population depends largely on high adult survival. Adult survival may be influenced by hunting pressure and land use change in the wintering area, the West African coastal zone. Here we examine hunting pressure on and habitat use of Black-tailed

  7. A resource-based modelling framework to assess habitat suitability for steppe birds in semiarid Mediterranean agricultural systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cardador

    Full Text Available European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity. The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species' key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site, and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species' distribution. We take as a study case four steppe bird species in a lowland area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We also compare the performance of our resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species' occurrence and land-cover variables. Further, we use our resource-based approach to predict the effects that change in farming systems can have on farmland bird habitat suitability and compare these predictions with those obtained using the habitat-based models. Habitat suitability estimates generated by our resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models.

  8. Coral Reef Habitat Suitability in Future Climate Scenarios from NCAR CESM1 considering a Suite of Biogeochemical Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, L. A.; Kleypas, J. A.; Miller, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    A maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) is used to describe coral reef habitat in current climate conditions and to predict changes to that habitat during the 21st century. Two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) from the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) were used with Maxent to determine environmental suitability for the family of corals Scleractina in 1° by 1° cells. Input environmental variables most suitable for representing coral habitat limitation are isolated using a principal component analysis and include cumulative thermal stress, salinity, light availability, current speed, phosphate levels and aragonite saturation state. Considering a suite of environmental variables allows for a more synergistic view of future habitat suitability, although individual variables are found to be limiting in certain areas- for example, aragonite saturation state is limiting at higher latitudes. Climate-driven coral reef habitat changes depend strongly on the oceanic region of interest and the region of corals used to train the niche model. Increased global coral habitat loss occurred in both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate projections as time progressed through the 21th century. Maximum suitable habitat loss was 82% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When only Caribbean/Atlantic coral reef environmental data is applied globally, 88% of global habitat was lost by 2100 for RCP8.5. The global runs utilizing only Pacific Ocean reefs' ability to survive showed the most significant worldwide loss, 90% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When Maxent was trained with Indian Ocean reefs, an increase in suitable habitat worldwide was estimated. Habitat suitability was found to increase by 38% in RCP4.5 by 2100 and 28% in RCP8.5 by 2050. This suggests that shallow tropical sites in the Indian Ocean basin experience conditions today that are most similar to future worldwide climate projections. Indian Ocean reefs may be ideal candidate

  9. Spatially explicit feedbacks between seagrass meadow structure, sediment and light: Habitat suitability for seagrass growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Joel; D'Odorico, Paul; McGlathery, Karen; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    In shallow coastal bays where nutrient loading and riverine inputs are low, turbidity, and the consequent light environment are controlled by resuspension of bed sediments due to wind-waves and tidal currents. High sediment resuspension and low light environments can limit benthic primary productivity; however, both currents and waves are affected by the presence of benthic plants such as seagrass. This feedback between the presence of benthic primary producers such as seagrass and the consequent light environment has been predicted to induce bistable dynamics locally. However, these vegetated areas influence a larger area than they footprint, including a barren adjacent downstream area which exhibits reduced shear stresses. Here we explore through modeling how the patchy structure of seagrass meadows on a landscape may affect sediment resuspension and the consequent light environment due to the presence of this sheltered region. Heterogeneous vegetation covers comprising a mosaic of randomly distributed patches were generated to investigate the effect of patch modified hydrodynamics. Actual cover of vegetation on the landscape was used to facilitate comparisons across landscape realizations. Hourly wave and current shear stresses on the landscape along with suspended sediment concentration and light attenuation characteristics were then calculated and spatially averaged to examine how actual cover and mean water depth affect the bulk sediment and light environment. The results indicate that an effective cover, which incorporates the sheltering area, has important controls on the distributions of shear stress, suspended sediment, light environment, and consequent seagrass habitat suitability. Interestingly, an optimal habitat occurs within a depth range where, if actual cover is reduced past some threshold, the bulk light environment would no longer favor seagrass growth.

  10. Impact of Alternative Environmental Flow Prescriptions on Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Galeati, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers are increasingly recognized to be a major concern for fluvial ecosystems. The management of water resources, by means of e.g. flow diversions and dams, for industrial, agricultural, water-supply, hydropower production and flood protection purposes induces significant changes to the natural streamflow regime of a river. Indeed, the river flow regime is known to be a major abiotic factor influencing fluvial ecosystems. An established approach aimed at preserving the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of minimum streamflow requirements (i.e., environmental flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. Such environmental flows are normally identified through methodologies that have an empirical nature and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. While the effect of imposing a minimum discharge release is easily predictable in terms of e.g. loss of hydropower production, the advantages in terms of species preferences are often poorly understood and seldom assessed. To analyze the interactions between flow releases and the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species (i.e., from periphyton, to benthic invertebrate and fish), one may use a habitat suitability curve, which is a fundamental tool capable of describing species preferences influenced by any generic environmental variable. The outcomes of a real case study applied to several Italian rivers, located in the Marche administrative district in Central Italy (∽10000km2), in which we quantitatively assess the effects of alternative environmental flow scenarios on the existing hydropower network and on two fish species that are quite abundant in the study area (i.e., Leuciscus cephalus cabeda and Barbus barbus plebejus), will be presented and discussed. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the

  11. Shaken but not stirred: Multiscale habitat suitability modeling of sympatric marten species (Martes martes and Martes foina) in the northern Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria Vergara; Samuel A. Cushman; Fermin Urra; Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez

    2016-01-01

    Multispecies and multiscale habitat suitability models (HSM) are important to identify the environmental variables and scales influencing habitat selection and facilitate the comparison of closely related species with different ecological requirements. Objectives This study explores the multiscale relationships of habitat suitability for the pine (Martes...

  12. Physiology-based modelling approaches to characterize fish habitat suitability: Their usefulness and limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teal, Lorna R.; Marras, Stefano; Peck, Myron A.; Domenici, Paolo

    2018-02-01

    Models are useful tools for predicting the impact of global change on species distribution and abundance. As ectotherms, fish are being challenged to adapt or track changes in their environment, either in time through a phenological shift or in space by a biogeographic shift. Past modelling efforts have largely been based on correlative Species Distribution Models, which use known occurrences of species across landscapes of interest to define sets of conditions under which species are likely to maintain populations. The practical advantages of this correlative approach are its simplicity and the flexibility in terms of data requirements. However, effective conservation management requires models that make projections beyond the range of available data. One way to deal with such an extrapolation is to use a mechanistic approach based on physiological processes underlying climate change effects on organisms. Here we illustrate two approaches for developing physiology-based models to characterize fish habitat suitability. (i) Aerobic Scope Models (ASM) are based on the relationship between environmental factors and aerobic scope (defined as the difference between maximum and standard (basal) metabolism). This approach is based on experimental data collected by using a number of treatments that allow a function to be derived to predict aerobic metabolic scope from the stressor/environmental factor(s). This function is then integrated with environmental (oceanographic) data of current and future scenarios. For any given species, this approach allows habitat suitability maps to be generated at various spatiotemporal scales. The strength of the ASM approach relies on the estimate of relative performance when comparing, for example, different locations or different species. (ii) Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models are based on first principles including the idea that metabolism is organised in the same way within all animals. The (standard) DEB model aims to describe

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Diet, abundance and distribution as indices of turbot ( Psetta maxima L.) release habitat suitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sparrevohn, Claus Reedtz; Støttrup, Josianne

    2008-01-01

    , natural abundance, and depth distribution within the habitats. A marked difference was found among habitats in the timing of the diet change from the suboptimal exoskeleton carrying prey items such as crustaceans to fish. The habitat where the wild turbot had the lowest occurrence of fish in their diet...

  15. Environmental predictors of habitat suitability and biogeographical range of Franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonatan J. Gomez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to use species distribution models to estimate the effects of environmental variables on the habitat suitability of river dolphins Pontoporia blainvillei (franciscanas along their overall biogeographical distribution. Based on the literature, we selected six environmental variables to be included in the models; four climatic factors (surface sea temperature, salinity, turbidity and productivity and two biotic factors (prey availability and fishing effort. We determined that the biographic range is under the following limits: temperature less than 19°C, a salinity of 36 psu and a minimal probability of the occurrence of fish C. guatucupa of 0.297. In the discussion, we postulate hypotheses on the behavioural and physiological mechanisms that cause these associations between environmental predictors and Franciscanas distribution. There was a good fit between the distribution predicted by the species distribution model and the one proposed by the experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature; however, our analysis failed to highlight the fundamental role of bycatch as the main threat to this dolphin species.

  16. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-04-26

    With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results indicated that our proposed method outperforms the existing baseline methods and was able to achieve good performance in habitat suitability prediction.

  17. Modeling habitat suitability of the invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a Neotropical shallow lagoon, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. L. Silveira

    Full Text Available Abstract This study aimed to model the habitat suitability for an invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a coastal shallow lagoon in the southern Neotropical region (–30.22, –50.55. The lagoon (19km2, maximum deep 2.5m was sampled with an Ekman dredge in an orthogonal matrix comprising 84 points. At each sampling point, were obtained environmental descriptors as depth, organic matter content (OMC, average granulometry (Avgran, and the percentage of sand (Pcsand. Prediction performance of Generalized Linear Models (GLM, Generalized Additive Models (GAM and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT were compared. Also, niche overlapping with other native clam species (Castalia martensi, Neocorbicula limosa and Anodontites trapesialis was examined. A BRT model with 1400 trees was selected as the best model, with cross-validated correlation of 0.82. The relative contributions of predictors were Pcsand-42.6%, OMC-35.8%, Avgran-10.9% and Depth-10.8%. Were identified that C. fluminea occur mainly in sandy sediments with few organic matter, in shallow areas nor by the shore. The PCA showed a wide niche overlap with the native clam species C. martensi, N. limosa and A. trapesialis.

  18. Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to investigate habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, D.; Estes, M. G., Jr.; Griffin, R.; Estes, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    As the global urban population rapidly increases, many wild species lose habitat to human development. The Western Cape of South Africa contains one of Earth's 35 biodiversity hotspots, with remarkably high levels of species richness and endemism. Understanding the relationship between anthropogenic changes and key species in this region is crucial for conservation of its threatened ecosystems. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect that climate change and urbanization each have on habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture. This research utilized NASA satellite data and crowdsourced species sightings to model past, current, and future habitat suitability for this key species in the Western Cape. Data used from NASA Earth Observations included: Landsat 8- derived Land Cover, Modis Land Surface Temperature, Digital Elevation Models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and precipitation data which integrated in-situ stations with Infrared data. Species observations were sourced from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility online database. A geospatial modelling framework was used to generate maps of present, past and future suitable habitats for analysis and comparison. Changes in precipitation and temperature may be a factor in the extreme loss of habitat since 1995, and predict even more drastic loss in the future. This research provides insights on anthropogenic effects on a species' range which may be used to inform discussions of conservation as an element of environmentally sustainable development.

  19. Relative effects of road risk, habitat suitability, and connectivity on wildlife roadkills: the case of tawny owls (Strix aluco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Sara M; Lourenço, Rui; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Despite its importance for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, there is still incomplete understanding of factors responsible for high road mortality. In particular, few empirical studies examined the idea that spatial variation in roadkills is influenced by a complex interplay between road-related factors, and species-specific habitat quality and landscape connectivity. In this study we addressed this issue, using a 7-year dataset of tawny owl (Strix aluco) roadkills recorded along 37 km of road in southern Portugal. We used a multi-species roadkill index as a surrogate of intrinsic road risk, and we used a Maxent distribution model to estimate habitat suitability. Landscape connectivity was estimated from least-cost paths between tawny owl territories, using habitat suitability as a resistance surface. We defined 10 alternative scenarios to compute connectivity, based on variation in potential movement patterns according to territory quality and dispersal distance thresholds. Hierarchical partitioning of a regression model indicated that independent variation in tawny owl roadkills was explained primarily by the roadkill index (70.5%) and, to a much lesser extent, by landscape connectivity (26.2%), while habitat suitability had minor effects (3.3%). Analysis of connectivity scenarios suggested that owl roadkills were primarily related to short range movements (habitat quality and landscape connectivity are globally high for the study species. Nevertheless, the study supported the view that functional connectivity should be incorporated whenever possible in roadkill models, as it may greatly increase their power to predict the location of roadkill hotspots.

  20. Habitat suitability modeling for the endangered Hawaiian petrel on Kauai and analysis of predicted habitat overlap with the Newell’s shearwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeff R. Troy

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The endangered Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis is endemic to the main Hawaiian Islands and has undergone a breeding range contraction since the arrival of humans. Using abiotic and biotic environmental variables, we developed a terrestrial habitat suitability model for the species on the island of Kauai based on contemporary sites where the species is known (or strongly suspected to nest, as well as a habitat/threat-isolation index that combined predictions from this suitability model with spatial information on two anthropogenic threats to the species. After accounting for large-scale relative spatial positioning of sites in modeling procedures, the habitat suitability model suggests that the probability that a location on Kauai could be suitable for Hawaiian petrel nesting activity increases with increasing mean annual wind speed, and may also increase somewhat with increasing slope and native vegetation cover. The habitat suitability model (which does not incorporate spatial information on anthropogenic threats to the species predicts approximately 74 km2 of Kauai, mostly in the interior of the island, as being potentially suitable with predicted probability > 0.7 for Hawaiian petrel terrestrial activity, and about 35 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9. Encouragingly, almost 50 km2 of land with predicted probability > 0.7 and almost 24 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9 is currently protected, being located on either government or private reserve land. Based on the habitat/threat-isolation index, most land predicted to be both suitable (based on environmental variables and as isolated from threats as a large number of the known contemporary Hawaiian petrel sites, is found in government and private reserves. Some degree of predicted habitat overlap between the Hawaiian petrel and Newell’s shearwater (Puffinus newelli, another Hawaiian seabird of conservation concern, suggests that some of the same larger tracts of land

  1. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Shauna-Lee; Zhang, Jian; Nixon, Amy; Nielsen, Scott

    2016-01-01

    Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta's biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula). We characterise giant knotweed as 'extremely invasive', with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is 'extremely invasive' with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is 'highly invasive' with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

  2. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shauna-Lee Chai

    Full Text Available Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta's biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis, tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis, and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula. We characterise giant knotweed as 'extremely invasive', with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is 'extremely invasive' with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is 'highly invasive' with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

  3. Predicting Potential Changes in Suitable Habitat and Distribution by 2100 for Tree Species of the Eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis R Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Mark W. Schwartz; Mark W. Schwartz

    2005-01-01

    We predict current distribution and abundance for tree species present in eastern North America, and subsequently estimate potential suitable habitat for those species under a changed climate with 2 x CO2. We used a series of statistical models (i.e., Regression Tree Analysis (RTA), Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), Bagging Trees (...

  4. Predicting Species Distributions Using Record Centre Data: Multi-Scale Modelling of Habitat Suitability for Bat Roosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John

    2015-01-01

    Conservation increasingly operates at the landscape scale. For this to be effective, we need landscape scale information on species distributions and the environmental factors that underpin them. Species records are becoming increasingly available via data centres and online portals, but they are often patchy and biased. We demonstrate how such data can yield useful habitat suitability models, using bat roost records as an example. We analysed the effects of environmental variables at eight spatial scales (500 m - 6 km) on roost selection by eight bat species (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, P. pygmaeus, Nyctalus noctula, Myotis mystacinus, M. brandtii, M. nattereri, M. daubentonii, and Plecotus auritus) using the presence-only modelling software MaxEnt. Modelling was carried out on a selection of 418 data centre roost records from the Lake District National Park, UK. Target group pseudoabsences were selected to reduce the impact of sampling bias. Multi-scale models, combining variables measured at their best performing spatial scales, were used to predict roosting habitat suitability, yielding models with useful predictive abilities. Small areas of deciduous woodland consistently increased roosting habitat suitability, but other habitat associations varied between species and scales. Pipistrellus were positively related to built environments at small scales, and depended on large-scale woodland availability. The other, more specialist, species were highly sensitive to human-altered landscapes, avoiding even small rural towns. The strength of many relationships at large scales suggests that bats are sensitive to habitat modifications far from the roost itself. The fine resolution, large extent maps will aid targeted decision-making by conservationists and planners. We have made available an ArcGIS toolbox that automates the production of multi-scale variables, to facilitate the application of our methods to other taxa and locations. Habitat suitability modelling has the

  5. Microcomputer software for calculating an elk habitat effectiveness index on Blue Mountain winter ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Hitchcock; Alan. Ager

    1992-01-01

    National Forests in the Pacific Northwest Region have incorporated elk habitat standards into Forest plans to ensure that elk habitat objectives are met on multiple use land allocations. Many Forests have employed versions of the habitat effectiveness index (HEI) as a standard method to evaluate habitat. Field application of the HEI model unfortunately is a formidable...

  6. Are hybrids between Atlantic salmon and brown trout suitable long-term hosts of Gyrodactylus salaris during winter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knudsen, R; Henriksen, E H; Gjelland, K Ø; Hansen, H; Hendrichsen, D K; Kristoffersen, R; Olstad, K

    2017-10-01

    The monogenean parasite Gyrodactylus salaris poses serious threats to many Atlantic salmon populations and presents many conservation and management questions/foci and challenges. It is therefore critical to identify potential vectors for infection. To test whether hybrids of native Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) × brown trout (Salmo trutta) are suitable as reservoir hosts for G. salaris during winter, infected hybrid parr were released into a natural subarctic brook in the autumn. Six months later, 23.9% of the pit-tagged fish were recaptured. During the experimental period, the hybrids had a sixfold increase in mean intensity of G. salaris, while the prevalence decreased from 81% to 35%. There was high interindividual hybrid variability in susceptibility to infections. The maximum infrapopulation growth rate (0.018 day -1 ) of G. salaris throughout the winter was comparable to earlier laboratory experiments at similar temperatures. The results confirm that infrapopulations of G. salaris may reproduce on a hybrid population for several generations at low water temperatures (~1 °C). Wild salmon-trout hybrids are undoubtedly susceptible to G. salaris and represent an important reservoir host for the parasite independent of other co-occurring susceptible hosts. Consequently, these hybrids may pose a serious risk for G. salaris transmission to nearby, uninfected rivers by migratory individuals. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Ecological Flow Assessment to Improve the Spawning Habitat for the Four Major Species of Carp of the Yangtze River: A Study on Habitat Suitability Based on Ultrasonic Telemetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lixiong Yu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Four major species of Chinese carp, namely black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus, grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, are important economic freshwater fish varieties in China. They primarily inhabit and breed in the Yangtze River. Unfortunately, the construction and operation of the Gezhouba Dam and the Three Gorges Dam have dramatically changed the hydrodynamic conditions in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, leading to a sharp decline in the reproduction rates of these carp. The egg abundance of the four species of carp downstream from the Three Gorges Dam reached 8.35 billion in 1965, but abundance during 2005–2012 was only 0.25 billion. One of the main reasons was that the hydrodynamic conditions of the spawning ground could not meet the four species’ breeding requirements. However, due to the limitations of traditional detection tools, the spawning characteristics of these four species of carp were still unclear. In this study, the ultrasonic telemetry and a three–dimensional hydrodynamic model were utilized to build the habitat suitability index (HSI curves for the four species of carp. The habitat suitability model was then built based on HSI curves to assess spawning habitat quantity under different flow conditions. Finally, the habitat suitability model in the Yidu spawning ground was validated using 32 groups of sampling data in 2015 and 2017. The statistical results showed that the most suitable velocity ranged from 0.78 m/s to 0.93 m/s. The most suitable water depth ranged from 14.56 m to 16.35 m, and the most suitable Froude number ranged from 0.049 to 0.129. The habitat suitability model simulation results indicated that when the discharge was between 15,000 m3/s and 21,300 m3/s, the weighted usable area (WUA values in both the Yidu and Zhicheng spawning grounds would remain at a high level. The validation results showed that most

  8. Linking population viability, habitat suitability, and landscape simulation models for conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael A. Larson; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; William D. Dijak; Stephen R. Shifley

    2004-01-01

    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)...

  9. Using forest inventory data to assess fisher resting habitat suitability in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Zielinski; Richard L. Truex; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Tom Gaman

    2006-01-01

    The fisher (Martes pennanti) is a forest-dwelling carnivore whose current distribution and association with late-seral forest conditions make it vulnerable to stand-altering human activities or natural disturbances. Fishers select a variety of structures for daily resting bouts. These habitat elements, together with foraging and reproductive (denning) habitat,...

  10. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  11. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol, Janet; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G.W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  12. Using population viability analysis, genomics, and habitat suitability to forecast future population patterns of Little Owl Athene noctua across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Line Holm; Sunde, Peter; Pellegrino, Irene; Loeschcke, Volker; Pertoldi, Cino

    2017-12-01

    The agricultural scene has changed over the past decades, resulting in a declining population trend in many species. It is therefore important to determine the factors that the individual species depend on in order to understand their decline. The landscape changes have also resulted in habitat fragmentation, turning once continuous populations into metapopulations. It is thus increasingly important to estimate both the number of individuals it takes to create a genetically viable population and the population trend. Here, population viability analysis and habitat suitability modeling were used to estimate population viability and future prospects across Europe of the Little Owl Athene noctua , a widespread species associated with agricultural landscapes. The results show a high risk of population declines over the coming 100 years, especially toward the north of Europe, whereas populations toward the southeastern part of Europe have a greater probability of persistence. In order to be considered genetically viable, individual populations must count 1,000-30,000 individuals. As Little Owl populations of several countries count <30,000, and many isolated populations in northern Europe count <1,000 individuals, management actions resulting in exchange of individuals between populations or even countries are probably necessary to prevent losing <1% genetic diversity over a 100-year period. At a continental scale, a habitat suitability analysis suggested Little Owl to be affected positively by increasing temperatures and urban areas, whereas an increased tree cover, an increasing annual rainfall, grassland, and sparsely vegetated areas affect the presence of the owl negatively. However, the low predictive power of the habitat suitability model suggests that habitat suitability might be better explained at a smaller scale.

  13. Pan-Arctic sea ice-algal chl a biomass and suitable habitat are largely underestimated for multiyear ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Benjamin A; Flores, Hauke; Michel, Christine; Beckers, Justin F; Bublitz, Anne; Casey, John Alec; Castellani, Giulia; Hatam, Ido; Reppchen, Anke; Rudolph, Svenja A; Haas, Christian

    2017-11-01

    There is mounting evidence that multiyear ice (MYI) is a unique component of the Arctic Ocean and may play a more important ecological role than previously assumed. This study improves our understanding of the potential of MYI as a suitable habitat for sea ice algae on a pan-Arctic scale. We sampled sea ice cores from MYI and first-year sea ice (FYI) within the Lincoln Sea during four consecutive spring seasons. This included four MYI hummocks with a mean chl a biomass of 2.0 mg/m 2 , a value significantly higher than FYI and MYI refrozen ponds. Our results support the hypothesis that MYI hummocks can host substantial ice-algal biomass and represent a reliable ice-algal habitat due to the (quasi-) permanent low-snow surface of these features. We identified an ice-algal habitat threshold value for calculated light transmittance of 0.014%. Ice classes and coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat were determined from snow and ice surveys. These ice classes and associated coverage of suitable habitat were applied to pan-Arctic CryoSat-2 snow and ice thickness data products. This habitat classification accounted for the variability of the snow and ice properties and showed an areal coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat within the MYI-covered region of 0.54 million km 2 (8.5% of total ice area). This is 27 times greater than the areal coverage of 0.02 million km 2 (0.3% of total ice area) determined using the conventional block-model classification, which assigns single-parameter values to each grid cell and does not account for subgrid cell variability. This emphasizes the importance of accounting for variable snow and ice conditions in all sea ice studies. Furthermore, our results indicate the loss of MYI will also mean the loss of reliable ice-algal habitat during spring when food is sparse and many organisms depend on ice-algae. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Habitat Suitability analysis of Koklass (Pucrasia macrolopha) Pheasant in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh, India using Geospatial Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliza, K.; Sarma, K.

    2014-12-01

    Pheasants are at the brink of destruction due to degradation of forests, environmental pollution, climatic changes and extensive hunting of wild floras and faunas.The problem is more acute in the developing countries where wildlife and biodiversity conservation are often less prioritized due to more pressing demands of food security and poverty alleviation. Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) species is distributed from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east along the Himalayas to southeastern Tibet, western China and southeastern Mongolia.This species is grouped under endangered species in Red Data Book of Zoological Survey of India and also classified as least concern species according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.Conservation biologists and managers need a range of both classical analyses and specific modern tools to face the increasing threats to biodiversity. Among these tools, habitat-suitability modeling has recently emerged as a relevant technique to assess global impacts to define wide conservation priorities.The present study is carried out using remote sensing satellite imagery and GIS modeling technique for assessing habitat suitability of Koklass Pheasants and finding out the habitat factors influencing the Koklass distribution in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Effective management and conservation of wildlife populations and their habitats largely depend on our ability to understand and predict species-habitat interactions. Different thematic maps viz., land use/cover, forest types, drainage buffer, multiple ring buffers of sighting locations and multiple ring buffers of roads have been prepared to support the objective of the study. The Weighted Overlay Analysis model is used for identifying different potential areas of habitat for this endangered species. The most suitable area for Koklass Pheasant within the Wildlife Sanctuary is found to be about 23.8 percent of the total area which is due to favourable habitat conditions for the

  15. Prospects for population expansion of the exotic aoudad (Ammotragus lervia; Bovidae) in the Iberian Peninsula: clues from habitat suitability modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

    We studied the geographical distribution and habitat suitability of an introduced ungulate, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), that is currently expanding its range in south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the niche of the species using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) on (1......) environmental variables (climate and habitat type), and (2) potential aoudad landscape avoidance and human disturbance variables. We compared both niche descriptions to study the impact of human interference on niche selection of the species. ENFA models were calibrated using data on the population expanded...

  16. Shifts in the suitable habitat available for brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) under short-term climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Mas, R; Lopez-Nicolas, A; Martínez-Capel, F; Pulido-Velazquez, M

    2016-02-15

    The impact of climate change on the habitat suitability for large brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) was studied in a segment of the Cabriel River (Iberian Peninsula). The future flow and water temperature patterns were simulated at a daily time step with M5 models' trees (NSE of 0.78 and 0.97 respectively) for two short-term scenarios (2011-2040) under the representative concentration pathways (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). An ensemble of five strongly regularized machine learning techniques (generalized additive models, multilayer perceptron ensembles, random forests, support vector machines and fuzzy rule base systems) was used to model the microhabitat suitability (depth, velocity and substrate) during summertime and to evaluate several flows simulated with River2D©. The simulated flow rate and water temperature were combined with the microhabitat assessment to infer bivariate habitat duration curves (BHDCs) under historical conditions and climate change scenarios using either the weighted usable area (WUA) or the Boolean-based suitable area (SA). The forecasts for both scenarios jointly predicted a significant reduction in the flow rate and an increase in water temperature (mean rate of change of ca. -25% and +4% respectively). The five techniques converged on the modelled suitability and habitat preferences; large brown trout selected relatively high flow velocity, large depth and coarse substrate. However, the model developed with support vector machines presented a significantly trimmed output range (max.: 0.38), and thus its predictions were banned from the WUA-based analyses. The BHDCs based on the WUA and the SA broadly matched, indicating an increase in the number of days with less suitable habitat available (WUA and SA) and/or with higher water temperature (trout will endure impoverished environmental conditions ca. 82% of the days). Finally, our results suggested the potential extirpation of the species from the study site during short time spans. Copyright © 2015

  17. Development of tiger habitat suitability model using geospatial tools-a case study in Achankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS), Chhattisgarh India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, R; Joshi, P K; Kumar, M; Dash, P P; Joshi, B D

    2009-08-01

    Geospatial tools supported by ancillary geo-database and extensive fieldwork regarding the distribution of tiger and its prey in Anchankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS) were used to build a tiger habitat suitability model. This consists of a quantitative geographical information system (GIS) based approach using field parameters and spatial thematic information. The estimates of tiger sightings, its prey sighting and predicted distribution with the assistance of contextual environmental data including terrain, road network, settlement and drainage surfaces were used to develop the model. Eight variables in the dataset viz., forest cover type, forest cover density, slope, aspect, altitude, and distance from road, settlement and drainage were seen as suitable proxies and were used as independent variables in the analysis. Principal component analysis and binomial multiple logistic regression were used for statistical treatments of collected habitat parameters from field and independent variables respectively. The assessment showed a strong expert agreement between the predicted and observed suitable areas. A combination of the generated information and published literature was also used while building a habitat suitability map for the tiger. The modeling approach has taken the habitat preference parameters of the tiger and potential distribution of prey species into account. For assessing the potential distribution of prey species, independent suitability models were developed and validated with the ground truth. It is envisaged that inclusion of the prey distribution probability strengthens the model when a key species is under question. The results of the analysis indicate that tiger occur throughout the sanctuary. The results have been found to be an important input as baseline information for population modeling and natural resource management in the wildlife sanctuary. The development and application of similar models can help in better management of the protected

  18. Bioclimatic predictions of habitat suitability for the biofuel switchgrass in North America under current and future climate scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, Jacob N.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Dedicated biofuel crops, while providing economic and other benefits, may adversely impact biodiversity directly via land use conversion, or indirectly via creation of novel invasive species. To mitigate negative impacts bioclimatic envelope models (BEM) can be used to estimate the potential distribution and suitable habitat based on the climate and distribution in the native range. We used CLIMEX to evaluate the regions of North America suitable for agronomic production, as well as regions potentially susceptible to an invasion of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) under both current and future climate scenarios. Model results show that >8.7 million km 2 of North America has suitable to very favorable habitat, most of which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. The non-native range of western North America is largely unsuitable to switchgrass as a crop or potential weed unless irrigation or permanent water is available. Under both the CGCM2 and HadCM3 climate models and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios, an overall increase in suitable habitat is predicted over the coming century, although the western US remains unsuitable. Our results suggest that much of North America is suitable for switchgrass cultivation, although this is likely to shift north in the coming century. Our results also agree with field collections of switchgrass outside its native range, which indicate that switchgrass is unlikely to establish unless it has access to water throughout the year (e.g., along a stream). Thus, it is the potential invasion of switchgrass into riparian habitats in the West that requires further investigation. (author)

  19. Testing Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses in a habitat suitability gradient for roe deer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribano-Avila, Gema; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Virgós, Emilio; Lara-Romero, Carlos; Lozano, Jorge; Barja, Isabel; Cuadra, Felipe S.; Puerta, Marisa

    2013-11-01

    According to the Cort-Fitness Hypothesis, higher stress levels (glucocorticoids) in vertebrates are correlated to lower fitness. However, recent studies have failed to validate this hypothesis. A proposed wider framework suggests that reproduction can be perceived as an overload adds up to other environmental challenges that individuals must adjust to. In this case, elevated glucocorticoids could help individuals to allocate resources to reproduction without comprising other functions, leading to the expectation of a positive cort-fitness relationship. This has been proposed as the Cort-Adaptation Hypothesis. Stress levels result from a complex interaction between the environment and the neuroendocrine system of animals. Accounting for physiological functions involved in how animals cope with their environment would help to clarify the relationship between glucocorticoids and animal performance. We used roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) inhabiting diverse habitats in the Iberian Peninsula to: i) test the Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses by indexing fitness using a comprehensive physiological approach which takes into account fundamental physiological functions and their trade-offs; and ii) evaluate the link between primary productivity and individuals' condition in a seasonal environment. We evaluated spatial and temporal variation in stress levels, reproductive hormone levels, nutritional status and immune function from fecal samples collected in 2010. Lower stress levels were related to better condition in non-reproductive seasons but not to higher primary productivity. In contrast, stress levels were always positively related to reproductive condition, which was better in most productive habitats. Summer and winter were the less productive seasons and the more challenging for the species in the habitat gradient studied. In winter, reproductive condition traded off against immune function being biased toward immune function in less productive habitats. In

  20. Production of fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitat and manufacturing facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-01-01

    The production of a fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitats and manufacturing facilities was the project for Clemson. The concept and development of the knowledge necessary to produce glass fibers originated in the spring semester. During the summer, while at Johnson Space Center, fiberglass from a rock composition similar to ones found at the Apollo 16 site on the moon was successfully produced. The project this year was a continuation of last year's studies. We addressed the following problems which emerged as the work progressed: (1) Methods for coating the fibers with a metal were explored. We manufactured composites in two stages: Glass fibers without any coating on them; and fibers coated with metals as they were made. This proved to be a difficult process. Future activities include using a chemical vapor deposition process on fibers which have been made. (2) A glass furnace was developed which relies primarily on solar energy for melting the glass. The temperature of the melted glass is maintained by electrical means. The design is for 250 kg of glass per day. An electrical engineering student developed a scheme for controlling the melting and manufacturing process from the earth. This was done to minimize the human risk. Graphite refractories are relied on to contain the melt. (3) The glass composition chosen for the project is a relatively pure anorthite which is available in the highland regions of the lunar surface. A major problems with this material is that it melts at a comparatively high temperature. This problem will be solved by using graphite refractory materials for the furnace. The advantage of this glass composition is that it is very stable and does not tend to crystallize. (4) We have also refined the experimental furnace and fiber making machinery which we will be using at Johnson Space Center this summer. We believe that we will be able to draw and coat glass fibers in a vacuum for use in composites. We intend to

  1. Evaluating methods to establish habitat suitability criteria: A case study in the upper Delaware River Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.; Talbert, Colin; Maloney, Kelly O.

    2016-01-01

    Defining habitat suitability criteria (HSC) of aquatic biota can be a key component to environmental flow science. HSC can be developed through numerous methods; however, few studies have evaluated the consistency of HSC developed by different methodologies. We directly compared HSC for depth and velocity developed by the Delphi method (expert opinion) and by two primary literature meta-analyses (literature-derived range and interquartile range) to assess whether these independent methods produce analogous criteria for multiple species (rainbow trout, brown trout, American shad, and shallow fast guild) and life stages. We further evaluated how these two independently developed HSC affect calculations of habitat availability under three alternative reservoir management scenarios in the upper Delaware River at a mesohabitat (main channel, stream margins, and flood plain), reach, and basin scale. In general, literature-derived HSC fell within the range of the Delphi HSC, with highest congruence for velocity habitat. Habitat area predicted using the Delphi HSC fell between the habitat area predicted using two literature-derived HSC, both at the basin and the site scale. Predicted habitat increased in shallow regions (stream margins and flood plain) using literature-derived HSC while Delphi-derived HSC predicted increased channel habitat. HSC generally favoured the same reservoir management scenario; however, no favoured reservoir management scenario was the most common outcome when applying the literature range HSC. The differences found in this study lend insight into how different methodologies can shape HSC and their consequences for predicted habitat and water management decisions. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Re-establishing the pecking order: Niche models reliably predict suitable habitats for the reintroduction of red-billed oxpeckers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalle, Riddhika; Combrink, Leigh; Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Distributions of avian mutualists are affected by changes in biotic interactions and environmental conditions driven directly/indirectly by human actions. The range contraction of red-billed oxpeckers ( Buphagus erythrorhynchus ) in South Africa is partly a result of the widespread use of acaracides (i.e., mainly cattle dips), toxic to both ticks and oxpeckers. We predicted the habitat suitability of red-billed oxpeckers in South Africa using ensemble models to assist the ongoing reintroduction efforts and to identify new reintroduction sites for population recovery. The distribution of red-billed oxpeckers was influenced by moderate to high tree cover, woodland habitats, and starling density (a proxy for cavity-nesting birds) with regard to nest-site characteristics. Consumable resources (host and tick density), bioclimate, surface water body density, and proximity to protected areas were other influential predictors. Our models estimated 42,576.88-98,506.98 km 2 of highly suitable habitat (0.5-1) covering the majority of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, a substantial portion of northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Gauteng Province. Niche models reliably predicted suitable habitat in 40%-61% of the reintroduction sites where breeding is currently successful. Ensemble, boosted regression trees and generalized additive models predicted few suitable areas in the Eastern Cape and south of KZN that are part of the historic range. A few southern areas in the Northern Cape, outside the historic range, also had suitable sites predicted. Our models are a promising decision support tool for guiding reintroduction programs at macroscales. Apart from active reintroductions, conservation programs should encourage farmers and/or landowners to use oxpecker-compatible agrochemicals and set up adequate nest boxes to facilitate the population recovery of the red-billed oxpecker, particularly in human-modified landscapes. To ensure long-term conservation success, we suggest that

  4. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  5. Modeling suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in North and South America’s coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelista, Paul H.; Young, Nicholas E.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    We used two common correlative species-distribution models to predict suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. The Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model were applied using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling. We compared models developed using native occurrences, using non-native occurrences, and using both native and non-native occurrences. Models were trained using occurrence data collected before 2010 and evaluated with occurrence data collected from the invaded range during or after 2010. We considered a total of 22 marine environmental variables. Models built with non-native only or both native and non-native occurrence data outperformed those that used only native occurrences. Evaluation metrics based on the independent test data were highest for models that used both native and non-native occurrences. Bathymetry was the strongest environmental predictor for all models and showed increasing suitability as ocean floor depth decreased, with salinity ranking the second strongest predictor for models that used native and both native and non-native occurrences, indicating low habitat suitability for salinities lionfish could continue to invade southern latitudes in the western Atlantic Ocean and may establish localized populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We reiterate the importance in the choice of the training data source (native, non-native, or native/non-native) used to develop correlative species distribution models for invasive species.

  6. Fall and winter movements and habitat use of the introduced American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana) in a Montana pond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepulveda, Adam; Layhee, Megan J.

    2015-01-01

    American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) have been introduced across the globe, including in many northern latitude habitats where wetlands are ice-covered for part of the year. Because bullfrogs are less mobile at low temperatures, greater knowledge about their overwintering habitat may provide additional opportunities for control. Here, we described fall and early-winter movements and habitat associations for introduced juvenile bullfrogs in a pond within the Yellowstone River corridor near Billings, Montana, USA. We attached radio-transmitters to 13 juvenile bullfrogs and located individuals from 28 August to 10 December 2014. Bullfrogs moved greater distances in late summer and early autumn, and later during brief warming periods. Collectively, all bullfrog locations were distributed across a 15,384 m2 area during the active season, but contracted to a 130 m2 area in the east cove of the pond by the time the study site froze over. Our research provides evidence that managers in northern latitude regions like Montana may be able to use the long, cold winters to their advantage because the site-specific distributions of introduced bullfrogs contracted as temperatures decreased.

  7. Projected future suitable habitat and productivity of Douglas-fir in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron R. Weiskittel; Nicholas L. Crookston; Gerald E. Rehfeldt

    2012-01-01

    Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) is one of the most common and commercially important species in western North America. The species can occupy a range of habitats, is long-lived (up to 500 years), and highly productive. However, the future of Douglas-fir in western North America is highly uncertain due to the expected changes in climate conditions....

  8. Mapping snags and understory shrubs for LiDAR based assessment of wildlife habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian Martinuzzi; Lee A. Vierling; William A. Gould; Michael J. Falkowski; Jeffrey S. Evans; Andrew T. Hudak; Kerri T. Vierling

    2009-01-01

    The lack of maps depicting forest three-dimensional structure, particularly as pertaining to snags and understory shrub species distribution, is a major limitation for managing wildlife habitat in forests. Developing new techniques to remotely map snags and understory shrubs is therefore an important need. To address this, we first evaluated the use of LiDAR data for...

  9. Maize stubble as foraging habitat to wintering geese and swans in northern Europe.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Clausen, K.K.; Madsen, J.; Nolet, B.A.; Haugaard, L.

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural crops have become increasingly important foraging habitats to geese and swans in northern Europe, and a recent climate-driven expansion in the area of maize fields has led to a rapid increase in the exploitation of this habitat. However, due to the novelty of maize foraging in this

  10. Use of radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) to map winter wetland habitat for shorebirds in an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taft, Oriane W; Haig, Susan M; Kiilsgaard, Chris

    2004-05-01

    Many of today's agricultural landscapes once held vast amounts of wetland habitat for waterbirds and other wildlife. Successful restoration of these landscapes relies on access to accurate maps of the wetlands that remain. We used C-band (5.6-cm-wavelength), HH-polarized radar remote sensing (RADARSAT) at a 38 degrees incidence angle (8-m resolution) to map the distribution of winter shorebird (Charadriiformes) habitat on agricultural lands in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon. We acquired imagery on three dates (10 December 1999, 27 January 2000, and 15 March 2000) and simultaneously collected ground reference data to classify radar signatures and evaluate map accuracy of four habitat classes: (1) wet with 50% vegetation, (3) dry with 50% vegetation. Overall accuracy varied from 45 to 60% among the three images, but the accuracy of focal class 1 was greater, ranging from 72 to 80%. Class 4 coverage was stable and dominated maps (40% of mapped study area) for all three dates, while coverage of class 3 decreased slightly throughout the study period. Among wet classes, class 1 was most abundant (about 30% coverage) in December and January, decreasing in March to approximately 15%. Conversely, class 2 increased dramatically from January to March, likely due to transition from class 1 as vegetation grew. This approach was successful in detecting optimal habitat for shorebirds on agricultural lands. For modest classification schemes, radar remote sensing is a valuable option for wetland mapping in areas where cloud cover is persistent.

  11. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhang

    Full Text Available We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure

  12. Habitat suitability models of mountain ungulates: identifying potential areas for conservation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Paudel, Prakash K.; Hais, M.; Kindlmann, Pavel

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Present habitat suitability for Anopheles atroparvus (Diptera, Culicidae and its coincidence with former malaria areas in mainland Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Capinha

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Malaria was a major health problem in the first half of the 20th Century in mainland Portugal. Nowadays, although the disease is no longer endemic, there is still the risk of future endemic infections due to the continuous occurrence of imported cases and the possibility of transmission in the country by Anopheles atroparvus Van Thiel, 1927. Since vector abundance constitute one of the foremost factors in malaria transmission, we have created several habitat suitability models to describe this vector species’ current distribution. Three different correlative models; namely (i a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network (MLP-ANN; (ii binary logistic regression (BLR; and (iii Mahalanobis distance were used to combine the species records with a set of five environmental predictors. Kappa coefficient values from k-fold cross-validation records showed that binary logistic regression produced the best predictions, while the other two models also produced acceptable results. Therefore, in order to reduce uncertainty, the three suitability models were combined. The resulting model identified high suitability for An. atroparvus in the majority of the country with exception of the northern and central coastal areas. Malaria distribution during the last endemic period in the country was also compared with the combined suitability model, and a high degree of spatial agreement was obtained (kappa = 0.62. It was concluded that habitat suitability for malaria vectors can constitute valuable information on the assessment of several spatial attributes of the disease. In addition, the results suggest that the spatial distribution of An. atroparvus in the country remains very similar to the one known about seven decades ago.

  14. Vigilance and activity time-budget adjustments of wintering hooded cranes, Grus monacha, in human-dominated foraging habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunlin; Zhou, Lizhi; Xu, Li; Zhao, Niannian; Beauchamp, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Due to loss and degradation of natural wetlands, waterbirds increasingly rely on surrounding human-dominated habitats to obtain food. Quantifying vigilance patterns, investigating the trade-off among various activities, and examining the underlying mechanisms will help us understand how waterbirds adapt to human-caused disturbances. During two successive winters (November-February of 2012-13 and 2013-14), we studied the hooded crane, Grus monacha, in the Shengjin Lake National Nature Reserve (NNR), China, to investigate how the species responds to human disturbances through vigilance and activity time-budget adjustments. Our results showed striking differences in the behavior of the cranes when foraging in the highly disturbed rice paddy fields found in the buffer zone compared with the degraded natural wetlands in the core area of the NNR. Time spent vigilant decreased with flock size and cranes spent more time vigilant in the human-dominated buffer zone. In the rice paddy fields, the birds were more vigilant but also fed more at the expense of locomotion and maintenance activities. Adult cranes spent more time vigilant and foraged less than juveniles. We recommend habitat recovery in natural wetlands and community co-management in the surrounding human-dominated landscape for conservation of the hooded crane and, generally, for the vast numbers of migratory waterbirds wintering in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River floodplain.

  15. Habitat suitability mapping of Anopheles darlingi in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant reservoir, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyazaki Rosina D

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hydropower plants provide more than 78 % of Brazil's electricity generation, but the country's reservoirs are potential new habitats for main vectors of malaria. In a case study in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant in Mato Grosso state, Central Brazil, habitat suitability of Anopheles darlingi was studied. Habitat profile was characterized by collecting environmental data. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were applied to extract additional spatial layers of land use, distance maps, and relief characteristics for spatial model building. Results Logistic regression analysis and ROC curves indicate significant relationships between the environment and presence of An. darlingi. Probabilities of presence strongly vary as a function of land cover and distance from the lake shoreline. Vector presence was associated with spatial proximity to reservoir and semi-deciduous forests followed by Cerrado woodland. Vector absence was associated with open vegetation formations such as grasslands and agricultural areas. We suppose that non-significant differences of vector incidences between rainy and dry seasons are associated with the availability of anthropogenic breeding habitat of the reservoir throughout the year. Conclusion Satellite image classification and multitemporal shoreline simulations through DEM-based GIS-analyses consist in a valuable tool for spatial modeling of A. darlingi habitats in the studied hydropower reservoir area. Vector presence is significantly increased in forested areas near reservoirs in bays protected from wind and wave action. Construction of new reservoirs under the tropical, sub-humid climatic conditions should therefore be accompanied by entomologic studies to predict the risk of malaria epidemics.

  16. Artificial dam lakes as suitable habitats for exotic invertebrates: Ostracoda ecology and distribution in reservoirs of the Eastern Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Escrivà A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Reservoirs are the most common deep lakes in Spain, as a consequence of water needs and dry climate. Although these aquatic systems can play an important ecological role in such an area with few large natural lakes, they can also provide new habitats for exotic species, which can colonize ecosystems that native species have not explored yet. Here we present our results for a biannual survey of the ostracod fauna from 24 reservoirs in Xúquer River basin. We check which variables affect ostracod presence, test for differences between winter and summer assemblages, and compare our data with previous available ostracod records from the same river drainage network. Our results reveal that ostracod presence is positively related to high diversity of the invertebrate community and reservoir volume, and negatively with phosphorus concentration. Among the 22 species found, it is noteworthy the first Iberian record of Ilyocypris getica and the second European record of Candonocypris novaezelandiae. Ostracod assemblages significantly vary between summer and winter, and strong differences are found between ostracod communities of reservoirs and those from their connected rivers. Remarkably higher frequency of exotic species in the reservoirs confirms previous findings about the facilitation that artificial ecosystems confer to aquatic invasions.

  17. Marine Benthic Habitats and Seabed Suitability Mapping for Potential Ocean Current Energy Siting Offshore Southeast Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Mulcan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the legal framework for ocean current energy policy and regulation to develop a metric for assessing the biological and geological characteristics of a seabed area with respect to the siting of OCE devices, a framework of criteria by which to assess seabed suitability (seabed suitability framework that can facilitate the siting, and implementation of ocean current energy (OCE projects. Seafloor geology and benthic biological data were analyzed in conjunction with seafloor core sample geostatistical interpolation to locate suitable substrates for OCE anchoring. Existing submarine cable pathways were considered to determine pathways for power transmission cables that circumvent biologically sensitive areas. Suitability analysis indicates that areas east of the Miami Terrace and north of recently identified deep-sea coral mounds are the most appropriate for OCE siting due to abundance of sand/sediment substrate, existing underwater cable route access, and minimal biological presence (i.e., little to no benthic communities. Further reconnaissance requires higher resolution maps of geological substrate and benthic community locations to identify specific OCE development locations, classify benthic conditions, and minimize potentially negative OCE environmental impacts.

  18. Model output for deep-sea coral habitat suitability in the U.S. North and Mid-Atlantic from 2013 (NCEI Accession 0145923)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset was created for potential use as an environmental predictor in spatial predictive models of deep-sea coral habitat suitability. Deep-sea corals are of...

  19. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C.

    2003-01-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination

  20. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C

    2003-03-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination.

  1. Assessing the Habitat Suitability of Dam Reservoirs: A Quantitative Model and Case Study of the Hantan River Dam, South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeongsik Kang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to investigate ecologically healthy regions near a dam reservoir. This study developed a model for assessing habitat suitability as a proxy for the ecological value of reservoirs. Three main factors comprising nine assessment variables were selected and classified as having a habitat suitability (HS between 0 and 1: (1 geomorphic factors of altitude, slope steepness, and slope aspect; (2 vegetation factors of forest physiognomy, vegetation type, and tree age; and (3 ecological factors of land cover, ecological quality index, and environmental conservation value assessment. The spatial distribution of the nine HS indices was determined using geographic information systems and combined into one HS index value to determine ecologically healthy regions. The assessment model was applied to areas surrounding the Hantan River Dam, South Korea. To verify the model, wildlife location data from the national ecosystem survey of the Ministry of Environment were used. Areas with an HS index between 0.73 and 1 were found to contain 72% of observed wildlife locations. Ecologically healthy areas were identified by adding the indices of each variable. The methods shown here will be useful for establishing ecological restoration plans for dam reservoirs in South Korea.

  2. Deep-sea benthic megafaunal habitat suitability modelling: A global-scale maximum entropy model for xenophyophores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashford, Oliver S.; Davies, Andrew J.; Jones, Daniel O. B.

    2014-12-01

    Xenophyophores are a group of exclusively deep-sea agglutinating rhizarian protozoans, at least some of which are foraminifera. They are an important constituent of the deep-sea megafauna that are sometimes found in sufficient abundance to act as a significant source of habitat structure for meiofaunal and macrofaunal organisms. This study utilised maximum entropy modelling (Maxent) and a high-resolution environmental database to explore the environmental factors controlling the presence of Xenophyophorea and two frequently sampled xenophyophore species that are taxonomically stable: Syringammina fragilissima and Stannophyllum zonarium. These factors were also used to predict the global distribution of each taxon. Areas of high habitat suitability for xenophyophores were highlighted throughout the world's oceans, including in a large number of areas yet to be suitably sampled, but the Northeast and Southeast Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea and deep-water regions of the Malay Archipelago represented particular hotspots. The two species investigated showed more specific habitat requirements when compared to the model encompassing all xenophyophore records, perhaps in part due to the smaller number and relatively more clustered nature of the presence records available for modelling at present. The environmental variables depth, oxygen parameters, nitrate concentration, carbon-chemistry parameters and temperature were of greatest importance in determining xenophyophore distributions, but, somewhat surprisingly, hydrodynamic parameters were consistently shown to have low importance, possibly due to the paucity of well-resolved global hydrodynamic datasets. The results of this study (and others of a similar type) have the potential to guide further sample collection, environmental policy, and spatial planning of marine protected areas and industrial activities that impact the seafloor, particularly those that overlap with aggregations of

  3. Controlling cheatgrass in winter range to restore habitat and endemic fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennifer L. Vollmer; Joseph G. Vollmer

    2008-01-01

    Habitat managers can better prepare a program for prescribed burns, wildfire management, and maximum forage biomass by understanding the response of key shrubs to the tools utilized to reduce cheatgrass (Bromus spp.) competition. Application of Plateau® herbicide, prior to annual brome germination, at rates up to 8 oz/acre with or without surfactant...

  4. Population overlap and habitat segregation in wintering Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alves, Jose A.; Lourenco, Pedro M.; Piersma, Theunis; Sutherland, William J.; Gill, Jennifer A.

    2010-01-01

    Capsule Distinct breeding populations of migratory species may overlap both spatially and temporally, but differ in patterns of habitat use. This has important implications for population monitoring and conservation. Aims To quantify the extent to which two distinct breeding populations of a

  5. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis-Soto, Diego; Blake, Stephen; Soultan, Alaaeldin; Guézou, Anne; Cabrera, Fredy; Lötters, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava) and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.). Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  6. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Ellis-Soto

    Full Text Available Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.. Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  7. Using environmental niche modeling to find suitable habitats for the Hard-ground Barasingha in Madhya Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Singh

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The subspecies of Swamp Deer, the Hard-ground Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi Pocock, is presently found only in Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR in Madhya Pradesh, India. This subspecies is highly vulnerable to extinction, and reintroduction in suitable sites is the need of the hour.  Environmental niche models (GARP, SVM, ED, CSM aimed at providing a detailed prediction of species distribution by relating presence of species to 19 bioclimatic indices were developed, using swamp deer occurrence records in KTR. The predictions were appropriately weighted with the prevailing LU/LC classes to identify suitable habitats in Madhya Pradesh, India. The result shows that the southern region of Madhya Pradesh is suitable for the sustenance of Barasingha with varying degrees of habitability. Vicarious validation shows that most of these forest areas were the same as that of historical records dating back to 50 years. However, land use maps can help identify areas where this subspecies can be reintroduced. 

  8. Defining winter trophic habitat of juvenile Gulf Sturgeon in the Suwannee and Apalachicola rivermouth estuaries, acoustic telemetry investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulak, K.J.; Randall, M.T.; Edwards, R.E.; Summers, T.M.; Luke, K.E.; Smith, W.T.; Norem, A.D.; Harden, William M.; Lukens, R.H.; Parauka, F.; Bolden, S.; Lehnert, R.

    2009-01-01

    Three automated listening post-telemetry studies were undertaken in the Suwannee and Apalachicola estuaries to gain knowledge of habitats use by juvenile Gulf Sturgeons (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) on winter feeding grounds. A simple and reliable method for external attachment of small acoustic tags to the dorsal fin base was developed using shrink-tubing. Suspending receivers on masts below anchored buoys improved reception and facilitated downloading; a detection range of 500–2500 m was realized. In the Apalachicola estuary, juvenile GS stayed in shallow water (days at a time. For juvenile sturgeons, the stress and metabolic cost of enduring high salinity (Jarvis et al., 2001; McKenzie et al., 2001; Singer and Ballantyne, 2002) for short periods in deep offshore waters seems adaptively advantageous relative to the risk of cold-event mortality in shallow inshore waters of lower salinity. Thus, while juveniles can tolerate high salinities for days to weeks to escape cold events, they appear to make only infrequent use of open polyhaline waters. Throughout the winter foraging period, juvenile GS stayed primarily within the core area of Suwannee River mouth influence, extending about 12 km north and south of the river mouth, and somewhat seaward of Suwannee Reef (< 5 km offshore). None were detected departing the core area past either of the northern or southern acoustic gates, located 66 and 52 km distant from the river mouth, respectively.

  9. Coupling habitat suitability and ecosystem health with AEHRA to estimate E-flows under intensive human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Zhang, H. T.; Liu, C. M.; Sun, Y.; Yang, Z. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Dong, B. E.; Lim, R. P.

    2017-08-01

    Sustaining adequate environmental flows (e-flows) is a key principle for maintaining river biodiversity and ecosystem health, and for supporting sustainable water resource management in basins under intensive human activities. But few methods could correctly relate river health to e-flows assessment at the catchment scale when they are applied to rivers highly impacted by human activities. An effective method is presented in this study to closely link river health to e-flows assessment for rivers at the catchment scale. Key fish species, as indicators of ecosystem health, were selected by using the foodweb model. A multi-species-based habitat suitability model (MHSI) was improved, and coupled with dominance of the key fish species as well as the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) to enhance its accuracy in determining the fish-preferred key hydrologic habitat variables related to ecosystem health. Taking 5964 fish samples and concurrent hydrological habitat variables as the basis, the combination of key variables of flow-velocity and water-depth were determined and used to drive the Adapted Ecological Hydraulic Radius Approach (AEHRA) to study e-flows in a Chinese urban river impacted by intensive human activities. Results showed that upstream urbanization resulted in abnormal river-course geomorphology and consequently abnormal e-flows under intensive human activities. Selection of key species based on the foodweb and trophic levels of aquatic ecosystems can reflect a comprehensive requirement on e-flows of the whole aquatic ecosystem, which greatly increases its potential to be used as a guidance tool for rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems at large spatial scales. These findings have significant ramifications for catchment e-flows assessment under intensive human activities and for river ecohealth restoration in such rivers globally.

  10. Using maximum entropy to predict suitable habitat for the endangered dwarf wedgemussel in the Maryland Coastal Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Cara; Hilderbrand, Robert H.

    2017-01-01

    Species distribution modelling can be useful for the conservation of rare and endangered species. Freshwater mussel declines have thinned species ranges producing spatially fragmented distributions across large areas. Spatial fragmentation in combination with a complex life history and heterogeneous environment makes predictive modelling difficult.A machine learning approach (maximum entropy) was used to model occurrences and suitable habitat for the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel, Alasmidonta heterodon, in Maryland's Coastal Plain catchments. Landscape-scale predictors (e.g. land cover, land use, soil characteristics, geology, flow characteristics, and climate) were used to predict the suitability of individual stream segments for A. heterodon.The best model contained variables at three scales: minimum elevation (segment scale), percentage Tertiary deposits, low intensity development, and woody wetlands (sub-catchment), and percentage low intensity development, pasture/hay agriculture, and average depth to the water table (catchment). Despite a very small sample size owing to the rarity of A. heterodon, cross-validated prediction accuracy was 91%.Most predicted suitable segments occur in catchments not known to contain A. heterodon, which provides opportunities for new discoveries or population restoration. These model predictions can guide surveys toward the streams with the best chance of containing the species or, alternatively, away from those streams with little chance of containing A. heterodon.Developed reaches had low predicted suitability for A. heterodon in the Coastal Plain. Urban and exurban sprawl continues to modify stream ecosystems in the region, underscoring the need to preserve existing populations and to discover and protect new populations.

  11. Winter density and habitat preferences of three declining granivorous farmland birds: The importance of the keeping of poultry and dairy farms

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Havlíček, J.; Riegert, J.; Nešpor, M.; Fuchs, R.; Kipson, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 1 (2015), s. 10-16 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Central Europe * Dairy farms * Granivorous birds * Habitat preferences * Poultry keeping * Winter period Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.220, year: 2015

  12. Identifying temporal bottlenecks for the conservation of large-bodied fishes: Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens show highly restricted movement and habitat use over-winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donnette Thayer

    2017-04-01

    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.

  13. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris population in central India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mriganka Shekhar Sarkar

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris, which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory

  14. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris) population in central India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh; Johnson, Jeyaraj A; Sen, Subharanjan; Saha, Goutam Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals' ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger ( Panthera tigris ), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly's selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D 2 method and the Boyce index. There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods. Based on threshold limits

  15. LiDAR Remote Sensing of Forest Structure and GPS Telemetry Data Provide Insights on Winter Habitat Selection of European Roe Deer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ewald

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The combination of GPS-Telemetry and resource selection functions is widely used to analyze animal habitat selection. Rapid large-scale assessment of vegetation structure allows bridging the requirements of habitat selection studies on grain size and extent, particularly in forest habitats. For roe deer, the cold period in winter forces individuals to optimize their trade off in searching for food and shelter. We analyzed the winter habitat selection of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus in a montane forest landscape combining estimates of vegetation cover in three different height strata, derived from high resolution airborne Laser-scanning (LiDAR, Light detection and ranging, and activity data from GPS telemetry. Specifically, we tested the influence of temperature, snow height, and wind speed on site selection, differentiating between active and resting animals using mixed-effects conditional logistic regression models in a case-control design. Site selection was best explained by temperature deviations from hourly means, snow height, and activity status of the animals. Roe deer tended to use forests of high canopy cover more frequently with decreasing temperature, and when snow height exceeded 0.6 m. Active animals preferred lower canopy cover, but higher understory cover. Our approach demonstrates the potential of LiDAR measures for studying fine scale habitat selection in complex three-dimensional habitats, such as forests.

  16. Wildlife Habitats Suitability Modelling using Fuzzy Inference System: A Case Study of Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor in Shimbar Protected Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Several modelling techniques have been developed for habitat suitability modelling. In the meantime, the Fuzzy Inference System (FIS with ability to model uncertainty of input variables is an effective method to model wildlife species habitat suitability. So, Persian Leopard habitat suitability was predicted in Shimbar Protected Area using FIS. Therefore, the effective environmental variables were determined. We also defined and determined the linguistic variables, linguistic values, and range of them. Then, we designed the membership functions of the fuzzy sets of the input and output variables. Also, the definition of the fuzzy rules in the system was performed. Finally, the defuzzification of output was carried out. The accuracy of the predictive model was tested using AUC. Also, 11 FISs were developed to determine sensitivity of the models and important variables in modelling. The results showed that the predictive model was more efficient than the random model (AUC=0.960. In addition, the ‘distance to capra’ was the most important predictor. According to the success of FIS in Persian Leopard habitat suitability modelling, we suggest this method to improve and complete the existing spatial information of wildlife habitats in Iran, especially about regions and species that have been less studied.

  17. The effects of human land use on the winter habitat of the recovering Carcross woodland caribou herd in suburban Yukon Territory, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Florkiewicz

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Carcross woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou numbers are increasing as a result of an intensive management and recovery program initiated in 1993. In the last 13 years, three overlapping First Nation land claim agreements were settled resulting in a complicated array of private and public land management authorities on this winter range, situated in the Whitehorse periphery. Twelve years of VHF radio-collar data (1994-2005 and 5 years of GPS radio-collar data (2000-2005 for female caribou were assessed to determine winter concentration areas and important winter habitats. We contrasted locations from 11 GPS radio-collared caribou with land cover classes, derived from classified Landsat 7 imagery, to evaluate the distribution and abundance of preferred habitats within this winter range. We found significant use of Open Needle Leaf lichen vegetation classes and avoidance of the relatively more abundant Closed Needle Leaf class. Our resource selection function model validated the preference for Open Needle Leaf Lichen and determined that caribou were spaced significantly further from an estimate of the human Zone of Influence (ZOI than was expected from random locations. While our assessment determined that 64% of the winter range was located outside of either private lands or land influenced by human activity, key winter vegetation classes were under-represented within this area. If caribou are to successfully recover on this landscape and persist through time it is essential to manage, through meaningful participation among land management authorities, the remaining caribou habitat for environmental rather than human consumptive values.

  18. Spatial transferability of habitat suitability models of Nephrops norvegicus among fished areas in the Northeast Atlantic: sufficiently stable for marine resource conservation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Lauria

    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

  19. High-resolution assessment of land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment using species habitat suitability models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Baan, Laura; Curran, Michael; Rondinini, Carlo; Visconti, Piero; Hellweg, Stefanie; Koellner, Thomas

    2015-02-17

    Agricultural land use is a main driver of global biodiversity loss. The assessment of land use impacts in decision-support tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA) requires spatially explicit models, but existing approaches are either not spatially differentiated or modeled at very coarse scales (e.g., biomes or ecoregions). In this paper, we develop a high-resolution (900 m) assessment method for land use impacts on biodiversity based on habitat suitability models (HSM) of mammal species. This method considers potential land use effects on individual species, and impacts are weighted by the species' conservation status and global rarity. We illustrate the method using a case study of crop production in East Africa, but the underlying HSMs developed by the Global Mammals Assessment are available globally. We calculate impacts of three major export crops and compare the results to two previously developed methods (focusing on local and regional impacts, respectively) to assess the relevance of the methodological innovations proposed in this paper. The results highlight hotspots of product-related biodiversity impacts that help characterize the links among agricultural production, consumption, and biodiversity loss.

  20. Habitat suitability of Anopheles vector species and association with human malaria in the Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laporta, Gabriel Zorello; Ramos, Daniel Garkauskas; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    2011-08-01

    Every year, autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria occur in low-endemicity areas of Vale do Ribeira in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, where Anopheles cruzii and Anopheles bellator are considered the primary vectors. However, other species in the subgenus Nyssorhynchus of Anopheles (e.g., Anopheles marajoara) are abundant and may participate in the dynamics of malarial transmission in that region. The objectives of the present study were to assess the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to associate the presence of these species with malaria cases in the municipalities of the Vale do Ribeira. Potential habitat suitability modelling was applied to determine both the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to establish the density of each species. Poisson regression was utilized to associate malaria cases with estimated vector densities. As a result, An. cruzii was correlated with the forested slopes of the Serra do Mar, An. bellator with the coastal plain and An. marajoara with the deforested areas. Moreover, both An. marajoara and An. cruzii were positively associated with malaria cases. Considering that An. marajoara was demonstrated to be a primary vector of human Plasmodium in the rural areas of the state of Amapá, more attention should be given to the species in the deforested areas of the Atlantic Forest, where it might be a secondary vector.

  1. Hydro-power production and fish habitat suitability: Assessing impact and effectiveness of ecological flows at regional scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceola, Serena; Pugliese, Alessio; Ventura, Matteo; Galeati, Giorgio; Montanari, Alberto; Castellarin, Attilio

    2018-06-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers may be of major concern for fluvial ecosystems, e.g. abstraction and impoundment of surface water resources may profoundly alter natural streamflow regimes. An established approach aimed at preserving the behavior and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of ecological flows (e-flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. E-flow prescriptions are usually set by basin authorities at regional scale, often without a proper assessment of their impact and effectiveness. On the contrary, we argue that e-flows should be identified on the basis of (i) regional and (ii) quantitative assessments. We focus on central Italy and evaluate the effects on habitat suitability of two near-threatened fish species (i.e. Barbel and Chub) and an existing hydro-power network when shifting from the current time-invariant e-flow policy to a tighter and seasonally-varying soon-to-be-enforced one. Our example clearly shows that: (a) quantitative regional scale assessments are viable even when streamflow observations are entirely missing at study sites; (b) aprioristic e-flows policies may impose releases that exceed natural streamflows for significantly long time intervals (weeks, or months); (c) unduly tightening e-flow policies may heavily impact regional hydro-power productivity (15% and 42% losses on annual and seasonal basis, respectively), yet resulting in either marginal or negligible improvements of fluvial ecosystem.

  2. Integrating Open Access Geospatial Data to Map the Habitat Suitability of the Declining Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulhakim M. Abdi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of integrating open access geospatial data to produce habitat suitability maps for the corn bunting (Miliaria calandra was investigated. Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM and Corine (Coordination of Information on the Environment land cover data for the year 2000 (CLC2000 were processed to extract explanatory variables and divided into three sets; Satellite (ETM+, SRTM, CLC2000 and Combined (CLC2000 + Satellite. Presence-absence data for M. calandra, collected during structured surveys for the Catalan Breeding Bird Atlas, were provided by the Catalan Ornithological Institute. The dataset was partitioned into an equal number of presence and absence points by dividing it into five groups, each composed of 88 randomly selected presence points to match the number of absences. A logistic regression model was then built for each group. Models were evaluated using area under the curve (AUC of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC. Results of the five groups were averaged to produce mean Satellite, CLC2000 and Combined models. The mean AUC values were 0.69, 0.81 and 0.90 for the CLC2000, Satellite and the Combined model, respectively. The probability of M. calandra presence had the strongest positive correlation with land surface temperature, modified soil adjusted vegetation index, coefficient of variation for ETM+ band 5 and the fraction of non-irrigated arable land.

  3. Silvicolous on a small scale: possibilities and limitations of habitat suitability models for small, elusive mammals in conservation management and landscape planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Nina I; Encarnação, Jorge A

    2015-01-01

    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.

  4. Abundance and energy requirements of eiders (Somateria spp.) suggest high predation pressure on macrobenthic fauna in a key wintering habitat in SW Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blicher, Martin Emil; Rasmussen, Lars Maltha; Sejr, Mikael Kristian

    2011-01-01

    The number of common eiders (Somateria mollissima borealis) in west Greenland declined dramatically during the twentieth century, supposedly because of human activities. However, their sensitivity to alternative drivers of variation, such as climate conditions, diseases or food availability......, remains unstudied. In this study, we describe prey availability and assess the trophic coupling between eiders and their macrobenthic prey in a shallow inlet, Nipisat Sound; a key wintering habitat in the southwest Greenland Open Water Area. Macrobenthic species abundance and biomass were studied...... was estimated at 13.9 g AFDM m-2 year-1 (317 kJ m-2 year-1). During the winters of 2008–2010, we monitored the number of common eiders (S. mollissima realis) and king eiders (Somateria spectabilis) and observed a distinct peak in abundance during winter with up to 15.000 birds in Nipisat Sound. Based...

  5. Ellenberg's indicator values support prediction of suitable habitat for pre-diapause larvae of endangered butterfly Euphydryas aurinia.

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    Remigiusz Pielech

    Full Text Available In spite of the great popularity of Ellenberg's Indicator Values (EIVs in plant ecology, animal ecologists seldom use EIVs to address ecological questions. In this study we used EIVs to test their potential usefulness for the prediction of suitable habitat for pre-diapause larvae of the endangered butterfly species Euphydryas aurinia. Nine transects crossing grasslands in SW Poland with abundant populations of E. aurinia were designed. We sampled 76 vegetation plots along the transects. In addition, the presence of the larval webs of E. aurinia in sampled plots was also recorded. We then calculated the mean community EIVs of light, nitrogen, soil reaction, moisture and temperature for each sample plots. Generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMMs were used to assess which factors determine the local occurrence of larval webs of E. aurinia. We found the larval webs only in 12 plots, while the host plant was present in 39 of the examined plots. The presence of the host plant was the most important predictor in both models including all plots or including only plots with host plants. The other significant predictor was the mean EIV of light, and its importance increased in models considering all plots. We attributed the importance of the EIV of light to the site openness and density of the vegetation layer. A positive relationship between this predictor and the presence of larval webs indicates that sites with looser vegetation, a lower contribution of shrubs and tall herbs and better penetration of photosynthetically active radiation to lower vegetation layers are preferred by E. aurinia for oviposition. Moreover, the significance of EIV of light may be linked with management practices. Many light-demanding species decline after cessation of mowing as a result of litter accumulation and the dominance of tall herbs. An absence of light-demanding species decreases the community's mean EIV of light and thus indicates the influence of meadow

  6. Predicting Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Suitability of Red Spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of the USA: Understanding Complex Systems Mechanisms through Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Ah Koo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine, subalpine and boreal tree species, of low genetic diversity and adapted to low optimal temperatures, are vulnerable to the warming effects of global climate change. The accurate prediction of these species’ distributions in response to climate change is critical for effective planning and management. The goal of this research is to predict climate change effects on the distribution of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP, eastern USA. Climate change is, however, conflated with other environmental factors, making its assessment a complex systems problem in which indirect effects are significant in causality. Predictions were made by linking a tree growth simulation model, red spruce growth model (ARIM.SIM, to a GIS spatial model, red spruce habitat model (ARIM.HAB. ARIM.SIM quantifies direct and indirect interactions between red spruce and its growth factors, revealing the latter to be dominant. ARIM.HAB spatially distributes the ARIM.SIM simulations under the assumption that greater growth reflects higher probabilities of presence. ARIM.HAB predicts the future habitat suitability of red spruce based on growth predictions of ARIM.SIM under climate change and three air pollution scenarios: 10% increase, no change and 10% decrease. Results show that suitable habitats shrink most when air pollution increases. Higher temperatures cause losses of most low-elevation habitats. Increased precipitation and air pollution produce acid rain, which causes loss of both low- and high-elevation habitats. The general prediction is that climate change will cause contraction of red spruce habitats at both lower and higher elevations in GSMNP, and the effects will be exacerbated by increased air pollution. These predictions provide valuable information for understanding potential impacts of global climate change on the spatiotemporal distribution of red spruce habitats in GSMNP.

  7. Climate change and tree-line ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada: Habitat suitability modelling to inform high-elevation forest dynamics monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Peggy E.; Alvarez, Otto; McKinney, Shawn T.; Li, Wenkai; Brooks, Matthew L.; Guo, Qinghua

    2017-01-01

    Whitebark pine and foxtail pine serve foundational roles in the subalpine zone of the Sierra Nevada. They provide the dominant structure in tree-line forests and regulate key ecosystem processes and community dynamics. Climate change models suggest that there will be changes in temperature regimes and in the timing and magnitude of precipitation within the current distribution of these species, and these changes may alter the species’ distributional limits. Other stressors include the non-native pathogen white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle, which have played a role in the decline of whitebark pine throughout much of its range. The National Park Service is monitoring status and trends of these species. This report provides complementary information in the form of habitat suitability models to predict climate change impacts on the future distribution of these species within Sierra Nevada national parks.We used maximum entropy modeling to build habitat suitability models by relating species occurrence to environmental variables. Species occurrence was available from 328 locations for whitebark pine and 244 for foxtail pine across the species’ distributions within the parks. We constructed current climate surfaces for modeling by interpolating data from weather stations. Climate surfaces included mean, minimum, and maximum temperature and total precipitation for January, April, July, and October. We downscaled five general circulation models for the 2050s and the 2090s from ~125 km2 to 1 km2 under both an optimistic and an extreme climate scenario to bracket potential climatic change and its influence on projected suitable habitat. To describe anticipated changes in the distribution of suitable habitat, we compared, for each species, climate scenario, and time period, the current models with future models in terms of proportional change in habitat size, elevation distribution, model center points, and where habitat is predicted to expand or contract

  8. Shelf spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus in south-eastern Australia - Implications and suitability for egg-based biomass estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neira, Francisco J.; Lyle, Jeremy M.; Keane, John P.

    2009-03-01

    The spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus (Emmelichthyidae) in south-eastern Australia is described from vertical ichthyoplankton samples collected along the shelf region off eastern through to south-western Tasmania during peak spawning in October 2005-06. Surveys covered eastern waters in 2005 (38.8-43.5°S), and both eastern and southern waters in 2006 (40.5°S around to 43.5°S off the south-west). Eggs ( n = 10,393) and larvae ( n = 378) occurred along eastern Tasmania in both years but were rare along southern waters south and westwards of 43.5°S in 2006. Peak egg abundances (1950-2640 per m -2) were obtained off north-eastern Tasmania (40.5-41.5°S) between the shelf break and 2.5 nm inshore from the break. Eggs were up to 5-days old, while nearly 95% of larvae were at the early preflexion stage, i.e. close to newly emerged. Average abundances of aged eggs pooled across each survey declined steadily from day-1 to day-5 eggs both in 2005 (97-18) and 2006 (175-34). Moreover, day-1 egg abundances were significantly greater 2.5 nm at either side of the break, including at the break, than in waters ≥5 nm both inshore and offshore from the break. These results, complemented with egg and larval data obtained in shelf waters off New South Wales (NSW; 35.0-37.7°S) in October 2002-03, indicate that the main spawning area of E. nitidus in south-eastern Australia lies between 35.5°S off southern NSW and 43.5°S off south-eastern Tasmania, and that spawning activity declines abruptly south and westwards of 43.5°S around to the south-west coast. In addition, quotient analyses of day-1 egg abundances point to a preferred spawning habitat contained predominantly within a 5 nm corridor along the shelf break, where waters are 125-325 m deep and median temperatures 13.5-14.0 °C. Spawning off eastern Tasmania is timed with the productivity outburst typical of the region during the austral spring, and the temperature increase from the mixing between the southwards

  9. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofori, Benjamin Y; Stow, Adam J; Baumgartner, John B; Beaumont, Linda J

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  10. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Y Ofori

    Full Text Available The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070 and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  11. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham’s skink, Egernia cunninghami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stow, Adam J.; Baumgartner, John B.; Beaumont, Linda J.

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming “unlimited” or “no” dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham’s skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020–2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23–63% at 1 km and 26–64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species’ range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change. PMID:28873398

  12. Invasion establishment and habitat suitability of Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson over time and space in the western Himalayan forests of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gautam Mandal

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability assessment of the invasive species Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson from Himalayan forests reveals some interesting findings and conclusions. At different study sites, 29 of 72 species were exotic and invasive and comprised 21 genera and eight families. Indigenous species accounted for 59% of the total species and comprised 26 genera and 11 families. Perennials outnumbered the annuals in all study sites. Chromolaena odorata and Lantana camara L. were the only invasive species that were common to all sites with high importance value index values. The present work reveals that sites with high biotic pressure, maximum temperature variation, open forest canopy, and free from herbivory are the most suitable habitat for the growth of C. odorata. An elevated level of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, soil organic matter, and nitrogen and acidic soil in all invaded sites are possible reasons for further invasion of C. odorata.

  13. Winter habitat selection by caribou in relation to lichen abundance, wildfires, grazing, and landscape characteristics in northwest Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle Joly; F. Stuart III Chapin; David R. Klein

    2010-01-01

    Lichens are an important winter forage for large, migratory herds of caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) that can influence population dynamics through effects on body condition and in turn calf recruitment and survival. We investigated the vegetative and physiographic characteristics of winter range of the Western Arctic Herd in northwest Alaska, one...

  14. Modelling the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails using Maxent in Ndumo area, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanda Manyangadze

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schistosomiasis is a snail-borne disease endemic in sub-Saharan Africa transmitted by freshwater snails. The distribution of schistosomiasis coincides with that of the intermediate hosts as determined by climatic and environmental factors. The aim of this paper was to model the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats for Bulinus globosus and Biomphalaria pfeifferi snail species (intermediate hosts for Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni, respectively in the Ndumo area of uMkhanyakude district, South Africa. Methods Maximum Entropy (Maxent modelling technique was used to predict the distribution of suitable habitats for B. globosus and B. pfeifferi using presence-only datasets with ≥ 5 and ≤ 12 sampling points in different seasons. Precipitation, maximum and minimum temperatures, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI, pH, slope and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI were the background variables in the Maxent models. The models were validated using the area under the curve (AUC and omission rate. Results The predicted suitable habitats for intermediate snail hosts varied with seasons. The AUC for models in all seasons ranged from 0.71 to 1 and the prediction rates were between 0.8 and 0.9. Although B. globosus was found at more localities in the Ndumo area, there was also evidence of cohabiting with B. pfiefferi at some of the locations. NDWI had significant contribution to the models in all seasons. Conclusion The Maxent model is robust in snail habitat suitability modelling even with small dataset of presence-only sampling sites. Application of the methods and design used in this study may be useful in developing a control and management programme for schistosomiasis in the Ndumo area.

  15. Predicted effects of future climate warming on thermal habitat suitability for Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) in rivers in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, John D.; Stewart, Jana S.

    2015-01-01

    The Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) may be threatened by future climate warming. The purpose of this study was to identify river reaches in Wisconsin, USA, where they might be vulnerable to warming water temperatures. In Wisconsin, A. fulvescens is known from 2291 km of large-river habitat that has been fragmented into 48 discrete river-lake networks isolated by impassable dams. Although the exact temperature tolerances are uncertain, water temperatures above 28–30°C are potentially less suitable for this coolwater species. Predictions from 13 downscaled global climate models were input to a lotic water temperature model to estimate amounts of potential thermally less-suitable habitat at present and for 2046–2065. Currently, 341 km (14.9%) of the known habitat are estimated to regularly exceed 28°C for an entire day, but only 6 km (0.3%) to exceed 30°C. In 2046–2065, 685–2164 km (29.9–94.5%) are projected to exceed 28°C and 33–1056 km (1.4–46.1%) to exceed 30°C. Most river-lake networks have cooler segments, large tributaries, or lakes that might provide temporary escape from potentially less suitable temperatures, but 12 short networks in the Lower Fox and Middle Wisconsin rivers totaling 93.6 km are projected to have no potential thermal refugia. One possible adaptation to climate change could be to provide fish passage or translocation so that riverine Lake Sturgeon might have access to more thermally suitable habitats.

  16. Present and Future Projections of Habitat Suitability of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, a Vector of Viral Pathogens, from Global Climate Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proestos, Y.; Christophides, G.; Erguler, K.; Tanarhte, M.; Waldock, J.; Lelieveld, J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can influence the transmission of vector borne diseases (VBDs) through altering the habitat suitability of insect vectors. Here we present global climate model simulations and evaluate the associated uncertainties in view of the main meteorological factors that may affect the distribution of the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which can transmit pathogens that cause Chikungunya, Dengue fever, yellow fever and various encephalitides. Using a general circulation model (GCM) at 50 km horizontal resolution to simulate mosquito survival variables including temperature, precipitation and relative humidity, we present both global and regional projections of the habitat suitability up to the middle of the 21st century. The model resolution of 50 km allows evaluation against previous projections for Europe and provides a basis for comparative analyses with other regions. Model uncertainties and performance are addressed in light of the recent CMIP5 ensemble climate model simulations for the RCP8.5 concentration pathway and using meteorological re-analysis data (ERA-Interim/ECMWF) for the recent past. Uncertainty ranges associated with the thresholds of meteorological variables that may affect the distribution of Ae. albopictus are diagnosed using fuzzy-logic methodology, notably to assess the influence of selected meteorological criteria and combinations of criteria that influence mosquito habitat suitability. From the climate projections for 2050, and adopting a habitat suitability index larger than 70%, we estimate that about 2.4 billion individuals in a land area of nearly 20 million square kilometres will potentially be exposed to Ae. albopictus. The synthesis of fuzzy-logic based on mosquito biology and climate change analysis provides new insights into the regional and global spreading of VBDs to support disease control and policy making.

  17. Modeling amphibian energetics, habitat suitability, and movements of western toads, Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas, across present and future landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Klaver, Robert W.; Porter, Warren P.

    2010-01-01

    Effective conservation of amphibian populations requires the prediction of how amphibians use and move through a landscape. Amphibians are closely coupled to their physical environment. Thus an approach that uses the physiological attributes of amphibians, together with knowledge of their natural history, should be helpful. We used Niche Mapper™ to model the known movements and habitat use patterns of a population of Western toads (Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas) occupying forested habitats in southeastern Idaho. Niche Mapper uses first principles of environmental biophysics to combine features of topography, climate, land cover, and animal features to model microclimates and animal physiology and behavior across landscapes. Niche Mapper reproduced core body temperatures (Tc) and evaporation rates of live toads with average errors of 1.6 ± 0.4 °C and 0.8 ± 0.2 g/h, respectively. For four different habitat types, it reproduced similar mid-summer daily temperature patterns as those measured in the field and calculated evaporation rates (g/h) with an average error rate of 7.2 ± 5.5%. Sensitivity analyses indicate these errors do not significantly affect estimates of food consumption or activity. Using Niche Mapper we predicted the daily habitats used by free-ranging toads; our accuracy for female toads was greater than for male toads (74.2 ± 6.8% and 53.6 ± 15.8%, respectively), reflecting the stronger patterns of habitat selection among females. Using these changing to construct a cost surface, we also reconstructed movement paths that were consistent with field observations. The effect of climate warming on toads depends on the interaction of temperature and atmospheric moisture. If climate change occurs as predicted, results from Niche Mapper suggests that climate warming will increase the physiological cost of landscapes thereby limiting the activity for toads in different habitats.

  18. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satyaranjan BEHERA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close to Gahirmatha rookery should be monitored efficiently so that future arribada at this rookery should not be troubled due to habitat destruction.

  19. Skipjack Tuna Availability for Purse Seine Fisheries Is Driven by Suitable Feeding Habitat Dynamics in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Noël Druon

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available An Ecological Niche model was developed for skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis, SKJ in the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean (AO and Western Indian Ocean (IO using an extensive set of presence data collected by the European purse seine fleet (1998–2014. Chlorophyll-a fronts were used as proxy for food availability while mixed layer depth, sea surface temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, current intensity, and height anomaly variables were selected to describe SKJ's abiotic environmental preferences. The resultant ecological niche included both mesoscale eddy-type productive features that displayed latitudinal range in the IO to large scale upwelling systems that shrink and swell seasonally in the AO. Overall, 83% of all free swimming school sets (FSC and 75% of drifting fish aggregating device sets (dFAD that contained SKJ occurred within 25 km of favorable feeding habitat. In the AO, 34% of dFAD sets were made more than 100 km away from this habitat, mostly in the surface chlorophyll-a poor environment of the Guinea Current. These distant sets represent 10% of dFAD sets in the IO and 8% of all FSC sets. Our results suggest that the Mozambique Channel in the IO, with its simultaneously favorable feeding and spawning conditions, may seasonally offer a better SKJ nursery habitat than the Guinea Current which shows a substantially poorer feeding capacity. With the exception of this latter area, our results also suggest that fishing accessibility will be higher in months where the size of the favorable feeding habitats are reduced, likely because this reduction drives a geographical contraction in SKJ populations. The observed relationship between the annual size of favorable feeding habitat and both annual catch rates and total catches in the IO is consistent with the near-full exploitation of this stock that has occurred since the 2000s. Moreover, it suggests that annual habitat size could be used as an indicator of growth capacity for this

  20. Chapter 13 Application of landscape and habitat suitability models to conservation: the Hoosier National Forest land-management plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Stephen R. Shifley; William D. Dijak; Zhaofei Fan; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Judith A. Perez; Cynthia M. Sandeno

    2011-01-01

    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...

  1. Abundance and Distribution Patterns of Thunnus albacares in Isla del Coco National Park through Predictive Habitat Suitability Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Gonzáles-Andrés

    Full Text Available Information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically and commercially important species is essential for their management and protection. This is especially important as climate change, pollution, and overfishing change the structure and functioning of pelagic ecosystems. In this study, we used Bayesian hierarchical spatial-temporal models to map the Essential Fish Habitats of the Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares in the waters around Isla del Coco National Park, Pacific Costa Rica, based on independent underwater observations from 1993 to 2013. We assessed if observed changes in the distribution and abundance of this species are related with habitat characteristics, fishing intensity or more extreme climatic events, including the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and changes on the average sea surface temperature. Yellowfin tuna showed a decreasing abundance trend in the sampled period, whereas higher abundances were found in shallow and warmer waters, with high concentration of chlorophyll-a, and in surrounding seamounts. In addition, El Niño Southern Oscillation events did not seem to affect Yellowfin tuna distribution and abundance. Understanding the habitat preferences of this species, using approaches as the one developed here, may help design integrated programs for more efficient management of vulnerable species.

  2. Densities of Barrow's goldeneyes during winter in Prince William Sound, Alaska in relation to habitat, food, and history of oil contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esler, Daniel N.; Bowman, Timothy D.; O'Clair, Charles E.; Dean, Thomas A.; McDonald, Lyman L.

    2000-01-01

    We evaluated variation in densities of Barrow's Goldeneyes (Bucephala islandica) during winter at 214 sites within oiled and unoiled study areas in Prince William Sound, Alaska in relation to physical habitat attributes, prey biomass, and history of habitat contamination by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Using general linear model analyses, we found that goldeneye densities were positively associated with occurrence of a stream within 200 m, lack of exposure to wind and waves, and mixed (versus rocky) substrate. We speculate that these associations relate to habitat profitability via selection of beneficial attributes and avoidance of detrimental features. We also determined that biomass of blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus), the primary prey, was not related to Barrow's Goldeneye densities; we suggest that mussel standing stock exceeds predation demands in our study areas and, thus, does not dictate goldeneye distribution. After accounting for habitat effects, we detected no effect of history of oil contamination on Barrow's Goldeneye densities, suggesting that populations have recovered from the oil spill. Although other studies documented hydrocarbon exposure in Barrow's Goldeneyes through at least 1997, either the level of exposure did not affect populations via reductions in survival, or effects of oil exposure were offset by immigration.

  3. Movements and habitat use locations of manatees within Kings Bay Florida during the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge winter season (November 15–March 31)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slone, Daniel H.; Butler, Susan M.; Reid, James P.

    2018-04-06

    Kings Bay, Florida, is one of the most important natural winter habitat locations for the federally threatened Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee). Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983 specifically to provide protection for manatees and their critical habitat. To aid managers at the refuge and other agencies with this task, spatial analyses of local habitat use locations and travel corridors of manatees in Kings Bay during manatee season (November 15–March 31) are presented based on Global Positioning System telemetry of 41 manatees over a 12-year timespan (2006−18). Local habitat use areas and travel corridors differed spatially when Gulf of Mexico water temperatures were cold (less than or equal to 17 degrees Celsius) versus when they were warm (greater than 17 degrees Celsius). During times of cold water, manatees were found in higher concentrations in the main springs and canals throughout the eastern side of the bay, whereas when waters were warm, they were found more generally throughout the bay and into Crystal River, except for the central open part of the bay and the southwest corner.

  4. Water-quality models to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota, 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Erik A.; Kiesling, Richard L.; Ziegeweid, Jeffrey R.

    2017-07-20

    Fish habitat can degrade in many lakes due to summer blue-green algal blooms. Predictive models are needed to better manage and mitigate loss of fish habitat due to these changes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, developed predictive water-quality models for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota—Madison Lake and Pearl Lake, which are part of Minnesota’s sentinel lakes monitoring program—to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability of these two lakes under recent (2014) meteorological conditions. The interaction of basin processes to these two lakes, through the delivery of nutrient loads, were simulated using CE-QUAL-W2, a carbon-based, laterally averaged, two-dimensional water-quality model that predicts distribution of temperature and oxygen from interactions between nutrient cycling, primary production, and trophic dynamics.The CE-QUAL-W2 models successfully predicted water temperature and dissolved oxygen on the basis of the two metrics of mean absolute error and root mean square error. For Madison Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.53 and 0.68 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons; for Pearl Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.71 and 0.95 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons. Temperature and dissolved oxygen were key metrics for calibration targets. These calibrated lake models also simulated algal community dynamics and water quality. The model simulations presented potential explanations for persistently large total phosphorus concentrations in Madison Lake, key differences in nutrient concentrations between these lakes, and summer blue-green algal bloom persistence.Fish habitat suitability simulations for cool-water and warm-water fish indicated that, in general, both lakes contained a large

  5. Spatial modelling of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l. (Antunes & Coutinho, 1939 (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae habitat suitability in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Zeilhofer

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l.is the main vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in state of Mato Grosso, but little is known about environmental determinants of its spatial distribution on a regional scale. Entomologic surveys of this sand fly species, conducted between 1996 and 2001 in 41 state municipalities, were used to investigate the relationships between environmental factors and the presence of the species, and to develop a spatial model of habitat suitability. The relationship between averaged CDC light trap indexes and 15 environmental and socio-economic factors were tested by logistic regression (LR analysis. Spatial layers of deforestation tax and the Brazilian index of gross net production (IGNP were identified as significant explanatory variables for vector presence in the LR model, and these were then overlaid with habitat maps. The highest habitat suitability in 2001 was obtained for the heavily deforested areas in the Central-North, South, East, and Southwest of Mato Grosso, particularly in municipalities with lower IGNP values.

  6. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea) at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    OpenAIRE

    Satyaranjan BEHERA; Basudev TRIPATHY; Kupuswamy SIVAKUMAR; Binod Chandra CHOUDHURY; Chandrasekhar KAR

    2013-01-01

    The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close ...

  7. A presence-only model of suitable roosting habitat for the endangered Indiana bat in the southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.R. Hammond; J.M. O’Keefe; S.P. Aldrich; Susan Loeb

    2016-01-01

    We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA...

  8. Field Validation of Habitat Suitability Models for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean: Implications for the use of Broad-scale Models in Fisheries Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, O. F.; Guinotte, J. M.; Clark, M. R.; Rowden, A. A.; Mormede, S.; Davies, A. J.; Bowden, D.

    2016-02-01

    Spatial management of vulnerable marine ecosystems requires accurate knowledge of their distribution. Predictive habitat suitability modelling, using species presence data and a suite of environmental predictor variables, has emerged as a useful tool for inferring distributions outside of known areas. However, validation of model predictions is typically performed with non-independent data. In this study, we describe the results of habitat suitability models constructed for four deep-sea reef-forming coral species across a large region of the South Pacific Ocean using MaxEnt and Boosted Regression Tree modelling approaches. In order to validate model predictions we conducted a photographic survey on a set of seamounts in an un-sampled area east of New Zealand. The likelihood of habitat suitable for reef forming corals on these seamounts was predicted to be variable, but very high in some regions, particularly where levels of aragonite saturation, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon were optimal. However, the observed frequency of coral occurrence in analyses of survey photographic data was much lower than expected, and patterns of observed versus predicted coral distribution were not highly correlated. The poor performance of these broad-scale models is attributed to lack of recorded species absences to inform the models, low precision of global bathymetry models, and lack of data on the geomorphology and substrate of the seamounts at scales appropriate to the modelled taxa. This demonstrates the need to use caution when interpreting and applying broad-scale, presence-only model results for fisheries management and conservation planning in data poor areas of the deep sea. Future improvements in the predictive performance of broad-scale models will rely on the continued advancement in modelling of environmental predictor variables, refinements in modelling approaches to deal with missing or biased inputs, and incorporation of true absence data.

  9. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for fisher (Martes pennanti) in forests of interior northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.J. Zielinski; J. R. Dunk; J. S. Yaeger; D. W. LaPlante

    2010-01-01

    The fisher is warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the western United States and, as such, it is especially important that conservation and management actions are based on sound scientific information. We developed a landscape-scale suitability model for interior northern California to predict the probability of detecting fishers and to identify...

  10. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  11. Development of habitat suitability criteria for Neotropical stream fishes and an assessment of their transferability to streams with different conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  12. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe): the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Andrea G; Alò, Dominique; González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio

    2018-01-01

    The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe ), to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species ( L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe ). We used maximum entropy to model lineage's climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. We show that: (a) the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b) future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c) a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d) current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution area is expected, this may come with an important

  13. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire D Stevenson-Holt

    Full Text Available Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  14. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C; Nevin, Owen T; Ramsey, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  15. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe: the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea G. Castillo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco (Lama guanicoe, to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species (L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe. Methods We used maximum entropy to model lineage’s climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. Results We show that: (a the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Discussion Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution

  16. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Hemrová

    Full Text Available Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern.In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment.In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly correlated between the two

  17. Development of habitat suitability criteria for Neotropical stream fishes and an assessment of their transferability to streams with different conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Development of computational fluid dynamics--habitat suitability (CFD-HSI) models to identify potential passage--Challenge zones for migratory fishes in the Penobscot River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Dudley, Robert W.; Chelminski, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability (CFD–HSI) model was developed to identify potential zones of shallow depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five anadromous fish species in the Penobscot River, Maine, upstream from two existing dams and as a result of the proposed future removal of the dams. Potential depth-challenge zones were predicted for larger species at the lowest flow modeled in the dam-removal scenario. Increasing flows under both scenarios increased the number and size of potential velocity-challenge zones, especially for smaller species. This application of the two-dimensional CFD–HSI model demonstrated its capabilities to estimate the potential effects of flow and hydraulic alteration on the passage of migratory fish.

  19. The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS): An iRODS-Based, Cloud-Enabled Decision Support System for Invasive Species Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Roger; Schnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) is an online decision support system that allows users to load point occurrence field sample data for a plant species of interest and quickly generate habitat suitability maps for geographic regions of interest, such as a national park, monument, forest, or refuge. Target customers for ISFS are natural resource managers and decision makers who have a need for scientifically valid, model- based predictions of the habitat suitability of plant species of management concern. In a joint project involving NASA and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ISFS has been used to model the potential distribution of Wavyleaf Basketgrass in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Maximum entropy techniques are used to generate predictive maps using predictor datasets derived from remotely sensed data and climate simulation outputs. The workflow to run a model is implemented in an iRODS microservice using a custom ISFS file driver that clips and re-projects data to geographic regions of interest, then shells out to perform MaxEnt processing on the input data. When the model completes, all output files and maps from the model run are registered in iRODS and made accessible to the user. The ISFS user interface is a web browser that uses the iRODS PHP client to interact with the ISFS/iRODS- server. ISFS is designed to reside in a VMware virtual machine running SLES 11 and iRODS 3.0. The ISFS virtual machine is hosted in a VMware vSphere private cloud infrastructure to deliver the online service.

  20. Deer Wintering Areas

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Deer winter habitat is critical to the long term survival of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Vermont. Being near the northern extreme of the...

  1. Operational Prediction of the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Distribution for Neon Flying Squid in Central North Pacific by Using FORA Dataset and a New Data Assimilation System SKUIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, H.; Ishikawa, Y.; Wakamatsu, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Nishikawa, S.; Nishikawa, H.; Kamachi, M.; Kuragano, T.; Takatsuki, Y.; Fujii, Y.; Usui, N.; Toyoda, T.; Hirose, N.; Sakai, M.; Saitoh, S. I.; Imamura, Y.

    2016-02-01

    The neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) has a wide-spread distribution in subtropical and temperate waters in the North Pacific, which plays an important role in the pelagic ecosystem and is one of the major targets in Japanese squid fisheries. The main fishing areas for Japanese commercial vessels are located in the central North Pacific (35-45N, around the date line) in summer. In this study, we have developed several kinds of habitat suitability index (HSI) models of the neon flying squid for investigating the relationship between its potential habitat and the ocean state variations in the target area. For developing HSI models, we have used a new ocean reanalysis dataset FORA (4-dimensional variational Ocean Re-Analysis) produced by JAMSTEC/CEIST and MRI-JMA. The horizontal resolution is 0.1*0.1 degree of latitude and longitude with 54 vertical levels, which can provide realistic fields of 3-dimensional ocean circulation and environmental structures including meso-scale eddies. In addition, we have developed a new 4D-VAR (4-dimensional variational) ocean data assimilation system for predicting ocean environmental changes in the main fishing grounds. We call this system "SKUIDS" (Scalable Kit of Under-sea Information Delivery System). By using these prediction fields of temperature, salinity, sea surface height, horizontal current velocity, we produced daily HSI maps of the neon flying squid, and provided them to the Japanese commercial vessels in operation. Squid fishermen can access the web site for delivering the information of ocean environments in the fishing ground by using Inmarsat satellite communication on board, and show the predicted fields of subsurface temperatures and HSI. Here, we present the details of SKUIDS and the web-delivery system for squid fishery, and some preliminary results of the operational prediction.

  2. Winter habitat use of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina fitted with Fastloc™GPS/GSM tags in two tidal bays in France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile Vincent

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Winter movements and habitat use of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina were investigated in two tidal bays in France, at the southern limit of their species range in the Northeast Atlantic. We fitted 15 seals with Fastloc™GPS/GSMtags in the Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel (BMSM and the Baie des Veys (BDV. Tags relayed 20.6±7.1 GPS locations per seal-day, 81% of all dives performed by the seals and 87% of haulouts, during an average tracking duration of 108±56 days. One seal travelled 380 km away from the BMSM but the other seals remained stationary, with 95% and 55% of at-sea locations ≤ 5 km from the haulout sites in BMSM and BDV respectively. Home range sizes were 137 and 161 km² in BMSM and BDV, and core areas’ sizes, 35 and 22 km² respectively. The seals remained very coastally in both sites with 93% and 71% of at-sea locations located in the intertidal zone of BMSM and BDV respectively. Accordingly, dives were shallow with 63% and 61% of dive maximum depths <4 m and 94% and 88% <10 m (in BMSM and BDV respectively. Preferred foraging areas were located in tidal channels in BMSM, sometimes in the vicinity of rocks or mussel farms. In BDV one seal made foraging trips 10-15 km offshore but all other seals repeatedly used coastal areas, often foraging around mussel farms, shipwrecks or intertidal rocks in tidal currents. We suggest that the importance of the tides combined with local features of the topography allow seals to predict prey availability, driving their foraging strategies towards a number of specific coastal areas. These results further illustrate the behavioural plasticity of the species according to habitat and environmental conditions. Fastloc™ GPS/GSM telemetry is particularly well adapted for the study of seals’ habitat use at a fine geographical and temporal scale, as long as they occasionally come close to shore within GSM coverage.

  3. Improving Conservation of Florida Manatees ( Trichechus manatus latirostris): Conceptualization and Contributions Toward a Regional Warm-Water Network Management Strategy for Sustainable Winter Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flamm, Richard Owen; Reynolds, John Elliot; Harmak, Craig

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. Computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) modelling as an exploratory tool for assessing passability of riverine migratory challenge zones for fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Chelminski, Michael; Dudley, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    We developed two-dimensional computational fluid hydraulics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) models to identify and qualitatively assess potential zones of shallow water depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five major anadromous fish species in a 2.63-km reach of the main stem Penobscot River, Maine, as a result of a dam removal downstream of the reach. Suitability parameters were based on distribution of fish lengths and body depths and transformed to cruising, maximum sustained and sprint swimming speeds. Zones of potential depth and velocity challenges were calculated based on the hydraulic models; ability of fish to pass a challenge zone was based on the percent of river channel that the contiguous zone spanned and its maximum along-current length. Three river flows (low: 99.1 m3 sec-1; normal: 344.9 m3 sec-1; and high: 792.9 m3 sec-1) were modelled to simulate existing hydraulic conditions and hydraulic conditions simulating removal of a dam at the downstream boundary of the reach. Potential depth challenge zones were nonexistent for all low-flow simulations of existing conditions for deeper-bodied fishes. Increasing flows for existing conditions and removal of the dam under all flow conditions increased the number and size of potential velocity challenge zones, with the effects of zones being more pronounced for smaller species. The two-dimensional CFD-HSI model has utility in demonstrating gross effects of flow and hydraulic alteration, but may not be as precise a predictive tool as a three-dimensional model. Passability of the potential challenge zones cannot be precisely quantified for two-dimensional or three-dimensional models due to untested assumptions and incomplete data on fish swimming performance and behaviours.

  5. Common dolphins in the Alboran Sea: Facing a reduction in their suitable habitat due to an increase in Sea surface temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañadas, A.; Vázquez, J. A.

    2017-07-01

    The short-beaked common dolphin Mediterranean subpopulation appears to have suffered a steep decline over recent decades and was listed in 2003 as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Alboran Sea is the last region in the Mediterranean where it is still abundant. In this study, we relate features of this species' ecology to climate change, focusing on distribution and density. This work used a two decades-long dataset on the common dolphin in the Alboran Sea and a time series of environmental changes. Once established, these relationships were used in conjunction with some simulated scenarios of environmental change to predict the potential effects of further change on these species over the next 100 years. Two approaches were used: 1) projection from a regression line from local variation, and 2) a HadCM3 climate model with time-varying anthropogenic effects. Generalized Additive Models were used to model the relationship between density of the animals with SST and other environmental covariates. Results from both approaches were very similar. The predictions of density from the regression line fell within the ranges from the HadCM3 climate model, the first being based on local and locally, point to point, differentiated information, which lead us to consider the first approach as the best for this area. At the small spatial scale of the Alboran Sea and Gulf of Vera, an increase in SST will potentially yield a reduction in suitable habitat for common dolphins, with a progressive reduction in density from east to west.

  6. Using forest inventory and analysis data and the forest vegetation simulator to predict and monitor fisher (Martes pennanti) resting habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Zielinski; Andrew N. Gray; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Joseph W. Sherlock; Gary E. Dixon

    2010-01-01

    New knowledge from wildlife-habitat relationship models is often difficult to implement in a management context. This can occur because researchers do not always consider whether managers have access to information about environmental covariates that permit the models to be applied. Moreover, ecosystem management requires knowledge about the condition of habitats over...

  7. A multistage decision support framework to guide tree species management under climate change via habitat suitability and colonization models, and a knowledge-based scoring system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anantha M. Prasad; Louis R. Iverson; Stephen N. Matthews; Matthew P. Peters

    2016-01-01

    Context. No single model can capture the complex species range dynamics under changing climates--hence the need for a combination approach that addresses management concerns. Objective. A multistage approach is illustrated to manage forested landscapes under climate change. We combine a tree species habitat model--DISTRIB II, a species colonization model--SHIFT, and...

  8. Recently created man-made habitats in Doñana provide alternative wintering space for the threatened continental European black-tailed godwit population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Márquez-Ferrando, Rocío; Figuerola, Jordi; Hooijmeijer, Jos; Piersma, Theunis

    Over the last decades the Continental European population of black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa limosa, has shown steep declines as a consequence of agricultural intensification on the breeding grounds. Although numbers have also declined in their traditional wintering areas in West-Africa, in the

  9. Recently created man-made habitats in Doñana provide alternative wintering space for the threatened Continental European black-tailed godwit population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Márquez-Ferrando, R.; Figuerola, J.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decades the Continental European population of black-tailed godwits, Limosa limosa limosa, has shown steep declines as a consequence of agricultural intensification on the breeding grounds. Although numbers have also declined in their traditional wintering areas in West-Africa, in the

  10. Proceedings of a workshop on the development and evaluation of habitat suitability criteria: A compilation of papers and discussions presented at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, December 8-12, 1986

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovee, Ken; Zuboy, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    The development of reliable habitat suitability criteria is critical to the successful implementation of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM), or any other habitat based evaluation technology. It is also a fascinating topic of research, for several reasons. First, the “science” of habitat quantification is relatively young. Descriptions of habitat use and partitioning can be traced back to Darwin, if not further. Attempts to actually quantify habitat use can be found predominantly during the last two decades, with most of the activity occurring in about the last five years. Second, this work is challenging because we are usually working with fish or some other organism that lives out of sight in an environment that is foreign to humans. Most of the data collection techniques that have been developed for standard fisheries work are unsuited, without modification, for criteria development. These factors make anyone involved in this type of research a pioneer, of sorts. Pioneers often make new and wonderful discoveries, but they also sometimes get lost. In our opinion, however, there is an even more rewarding aspect to criteria development research. It seems that the field of biology has tended to become increasingly clinical over the years. Criteria development demands the unobtrusive observation of organisms in their natural environment, a fact that allows the biological to be a naturalist and still get paid for it. The relative youth and importance of habitat quantification have resulted in rapid advancements in the state of the art. The expansion of methods is vividly demonstrated simply by comparing the two Instream Flow Information Papers written on the subject in 1978 and in 1986. One of the missions of the Aquatic Systems Branch (formerly the Instream Flow Group) is to serve as a clearinghouse for new techniques and methods. In keeping with this role, a workshop was conducted during December 1986 to discuss current and newly evolving methods

  11. On-site evaluation of the suitability of a wetted instream habitat in the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, for the Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Two in-situ exposure studies were conducted with the federally-listed endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus). One-year-old adults were exposed in cages deployed at three sites in the Middle Rio Grande, N. Mex., for 4 days to assess survival and for 26 days to evaluate survival, growth, overall health, and whole-body elemental composition. The test sites were located on the Pueblo of Isleta in the (1) main channel of the Middle Rio Grande, (2) 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain, and (3) wetted instream habitat created below the outfall of the 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain. During the cage exposures, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and turbidity were monitored continuously (15-minute intervals) and common constituents, nutrients, carbons, metals, and pesticides were measured at discrete intervals. In both studies, there were statistical differences in several water-quality parameters among sites; and except for turbidity, these differences were small and were not considered to be biologically significant. The cages used in the 4-day exposure study were ineffective at preventing access to the fish by predators, and survival was highly variable (20 percent to 90 percent) across sites. In the 26-day chronic exposure study, weight and condition factor of caged-exposed fish at all sites were significantly lower than those at test initiation. After 26 days of exposure, there were no significant differences in survival, total length, weight, or condition factor of fish across sites, but absolute weight loss and relative reduction in condition factor were significantly greater in fish at the wetted instream habitat site compared to those at the Middle Rio Grande site. There were no statistical differences in health assessment indices, mesenteric fat indices, or prevalence of abnormalities in cage-exposed fish among sites. Cage-exposed fish had higher health assessment indices and prevalence of fin anomalies and a lower mesenteric

  12. Agricultural utilisation and potential suitability of the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area (south-western Slovakia landscape in relation to the habitat requirements of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zemko Martin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Intensification of land use in an agricultural landscape significantly affects biodiversity also in protected areas. This can be observed in the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area in relation to the occurrence of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus. The objective of this study was to evaluate the landscape structure and suitability of agrotechnical procedures for the habitat demands of this species in the course of the period from 2004 until 2017. The utilisation was assessed on the basis of four landscape elements representation in 1949 and 2017. The next step was analysis of landscape patches. The aim was to quantify the diversity and the spatial structure of the landscape mosaic using Shannon’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index as well as Simpson’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index and spatial pattern analysis in the Fragstats software programme. Assessment of crop suitability was carried out according to the following criteria: representation of positive/negative agricultural crops, diversity of crops in crop rotation, and (non-observance of crop rotation. It was found that the agricultural landscape use did not change significantly. The study area has been used as an intensively-farmed agricultural landscape for a long time. The landscape elements have remained almost identical, with dominance of arable land. Differences emerged in the analysis of the micropatches, which are represented by natural hedgerows consisting of various species of trees, shrubs and grasses. The results show a decrease in the diversity of patches and changes in the structure of the landscape patches, which may be important in terms of the preservation of the habitat of fauna which form an important part of the F vespertinus diet. On the basis of the evaluation of the suitability of agricultural crop growing, we found that there were some areas showing negative values in all the criteria, and thus they require changes in the crop rotation focusing

  13. Hellsgate Winter Range Mitigation Project; Long-term Management Plan, Project Report 1993, Final Draft.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, Matthew T.

    1994-01-01

    A study was conducted on the Hellsgate Winter Range Mitigation Project area, a 4,943 acre ranch purchased for mitigating some habitat losses associated with the original construction of Grand Coulee Dam and innundation of habitat by Lake Roosevelt. A Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) study was used to determine habitat quality and quantity baseline data and future projections. Target species used in the study were sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemoinus), mink (Mustela vison), spotted sandpiper (Actiius colchicus), bobcat (Felis reufs), blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus), and mourning dove (Zenaida macroura). From field data collected, limiting life values or HSI's (Habitat Suitability Index's) for each indicator species was determined for existing habitats on project lands. From this data a long term management plan was developed. This report is designed to provide guidance for the management of project lands in relation to the habitat cover types discussed and the indicator species used to evaluate these cover types. In addition, the plan discusses management actions, habitat enhancements, and tools that will be used to enhance, protect and restore habitats to desired conditions. Through planned management actions biodiversity and vegetative structure can be optimized over time to reduce or eliminate, limiting HSI values for selected wildlife on project lands.

  14. Managing for Caribou Survival in a Partitioned Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.G. Cumming

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Forest management guidelines for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in Ontario need to be re-examined in light of the finding that caribou partition habitat with moose (Alces alces, partly to find virtual refuges from predation by gray wolves (Canis lupus. Forest-wide guidelines seem inappropriate for a species that is widely scattered and little known. Management should concentrate on and around currently used virtual refuges to ensure their continued habitability. Cutting these areas may force the caribou into places with higher densities of predators; winter use of roads might bring poachers, increased wolf entry, and accidents. A proposal for 100 km2 clear-cuts scheduled over 60+ years across the forest landscape would probably minimize moose/wolf densities in the long run as intended, but because of habitat partitioning might forfeit any benefits to caribou in the short-term. Sharply reducing moose densities near areas where caribou have sought refuge might incline wolves to switch to caribou. Cutting beyond caribou winter refuge areas should aim at maintaining current moose densities to prevent wolves from switching prey species. Operations level manipulation of the forest around each wintering area should provide winter habitat for the future, while treatment replications with controls across the whole forest would provide reliable knowledge about which approaches work best. The remainder of the forest should be managed to maintain suitable densities of all other species.

  15. Spatially explicit modeling of conflict zones between wildlife and snow sports: prioritizing areas for winter refuges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2011-04-01

    Outdoor winter recreation exerts an increasing pressure upon mountain ecosystems, with unpredictable, free-ranging activities (e.g., ski mountaineering, snowboarding, and snowshoeing) representing a major source of stress for wildlife. Mitigating anthropogenic disturbance requires the spatially explicit prediction of the interference between the activities of humans and wildlife. We applied spatial modeling to localize conflict zones between wintering Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix), a declining species of Alpine timberline ecosystems, and two free-ranging winter sports (off-piste skiing [including snow-boarding] and snowshoeing). Track data (snow-sports and birds' traces) obtained from aerial photographs taken over a 585-km transect running along the timberline, implemented within a maximum entropy model, were used to predict the occurrence of snow sports and Black Grouse as a function of landscape characteristics. By modeling Black Grouse presence in the theoretical absence of free-ranging activities and ski infrastructure, we first estimated the amount of habitat reduction caused by these two factors. The models were then extrapolated to the altitudinal range occupied by Black Grouse, while the spatial extent and intensity of potential conflict were assessed by calculating the probability of human-wildlife co-occurrence. The two snow-sports showed different distribution patterns. Skiers' occurrence was mainly determined by ski-lift presence and a smooth terrain, while snowshoers' occurrence was linked to hiking or skiing routes and moderate slopes. Wintering Black Grouse avoided ski lifts and areas frequented by free-ranging snow sports. According to the models, Black Grouse have faced a substantial reduction of suitable wintering habitat along the timberline transect: 12% due to ski infrastructure and another 16% when adding free-ranging activities. Extrapolating the models over the whole study area results in an overall habitat loss due to ski infrastructure of

  16. Columbia River wildlife mitigation habitat evaluation procedures report: Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, Berg Brothers, and Douglas County pygmy rabbit projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashley, P.R.; Ratassepp, J.; Berger, M.; Judd, S.L.

    1997-01-01

    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

  17. Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation Habitat Evaluation Procedures Report / Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, Berg Brothers, and Douglas County Pygmy Rabbit Projects.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashley, Paul R.

    1997-01-01

    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.

  18. Winter Wonderlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coy, Mary

    2011-01-01

    Listening to people complain about the hardships of winter and the dreariness of the nearly constant gray sky prompted the author to help her sixth graders recognize and appreciate the beauty that surrounds them for nearly five months of the year in western New York. The author opines that if students could see things more artistically, the winter…

  19. Habitat selection by Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is primarily driven by avoidance of human activity during day and prey availability during night.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filla, Marc; Premier, Joseph; Magg, Nora; Dupke, Claudia; Khorozyan, Igor; Waltert, Matthias; Bufka, Luděk; Heurich, Marco

    2017-08-01

    The greatest threat to the protected Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx ) in Central Europe is human-induced mortality. As the availability of lynx prey often peaks in human-modified areas, lynx have to balance successful prey hunting with the risk of encounters with humans. We hypothesized that lynx minimize this risk by adjusting habitat choices to the phases of the day and over seasons. We predicted that (1) due to avoidance of human-dominated areas during daytime, lynx range use is higher at nighttime, that (2) prey availability drives lynx habitat selection at night, whereas high cover, terrain inaccessibility, and distance to human infrastructure drive habitat selection during the day, and that (3) habitat selection also differs between seasons, with altitude being a dominant factor in winter. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed telemetry data (GPS, VHF) of 10 lynx in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem (Germany, Czech Republic) between 2005 and 2013 using generalized additive mixed models and considering various predictor variables. Night ranges exceeded day ranges by more than 10%. At night, lynx selected open habitats, such as meadows, which are associated with high ungulate abundance. By contrast, during the day, lynx selected habitats offering dense understorey cover and rugged terrain away from human infrastructure. In summer, land-cover type greatly shaped lynx habitats, whereas in winter, lynx selected lower altitudes. We concluded that open habitats need to be considered for more realistic habitat models and contribute to future management and conservation (habitat suitability, carrying capacity) of Eurasian lynx in Central Europe.

  20. Using species distribution model to estimate the wintering population size of the endangered scaly-sided merganser in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Zeng

    Full Text Available Scaly-sided Merganser is a globally endangered species restricted to eastern Asia. Estimating its population is difficult and considerable gap exists between populations at its breeding grounds and wintering sites. In this study, we built a species distribution model (SDM using Maxent with presence-only data to predict the potential wintering habitat for Scaly-sided Merganser in China. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC method suggests high predictive power of the model (training and testing AUC were 0.97 and 0.96 respectively. The most significant environmental variables included annual mean temperature, mean temperature of coldest quarter, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of driest quarter. Suitable conditions for Scaly-sided Merganser are predicted in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, especially in Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei Provinces. The predicted suitable habitat embraces 6,984 km of river. Based on survey results from three consecutive winters (2010-2012 and previous studies, we estimated that the entire wintering population of Scaly-sided Merganser in China to be 3,561 ± 478 individuals, which is consistent with estimate in its breeding ground.

  1. No Habitat Selection during Spring Migration at a Meso-Scale Range across Mosaic Landscapes: A Case Study with the Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariñe Crespo

    Full Text Available Success of migration in birds in part depends on habitat selection. Overall, it is still poorly known whether there is habitat selection amongst landbird migrants moving across landscapes. Europe is chiefly covered by agro-forestry mosaic landscapes, so migratory species associated to either agricultural landscapes or woodland habitats should theoretically find suitable stopover sites along migration. During migration from wintering to breeding quarters, woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola tagged with PTT satellite-tracking transmitters were used to test for the hypothesis that migrants associated to agro-forest habitats have no habitat selection during migration, at a meso-scale level. Using a GIS platform we extracted at a meso-scale range habitat cover at stopover localities. Results obtained from comparisons of soil covers between points randomly selected and true stopover localities sites revealed, as expected, the species may not select for particular habitats at a meso-scale range, because the habitat (or habitats required by the species can be found virtually everywhere on their migration route. However, those birds stopping over in places richer in cropland or mosaic habitats including both cropland and forest and with proportionally less closed forest stayed for longer than in areas with lower surfaces of cropland and mosaic and more closed forest. This suggests that areas rich in cropland or mosaic habitat were optimal.

  2. WINTER SAECULUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emil Mihalina

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Accumulated imbalances in the economy and on the markets cause specific financial market dynamics that have formed characteristic patterns kept throughout long financial history. In 2008 Authors presented their expectations of key macroeconomic and selected asset class markets developments for period ahead based on Saeculum theory. Use of term Secular describes a specific valuation environment during prolonged period. If valuations as well as selected macro variables are considered as a tool for understanding business cycles then market cycles become much more obvious and easily understandable. Therefore over the long run, certain asset classes do better in terms of risk reward profile than others. Further on, there is no need for frequent portfolio rebalancing and timing of specific investment positions within a particular asset class market. Current stage in cycle development suggests a need for reassessment of trends and prevailing phenomena due to cyclical nture of long lasting Saeculums. Paper reviews developments in recognizable patterns of selected metrics in current Winter Saeculum dominated with prevailing forces of delivering, deflation and decrease in velocity of money.

  3. Spawning habitat unsuitability: an impediment to cisco rehabilitation in Lake Michigan?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madenjian, Charles P.; Rutherford, Edward S.; Blouin, Marc A.; Sederberg, Bryan J.; Elliott, Jeff R.

    2011-01-01

    The cisco Coregonus artedi was one of the most important native prey fishes in Lake Michigan and in the other four Laurentian Great Lakes. Most of the cisco spawning in Lake Michigan was believed to have occurred in Green Bay. The cisco population in Lake Michigan collapsed during the 1950s, and the collapse was attributed in part to habitat degradation within Green Bay. Winter water quality surveys of lower Green Bay during the 1950s and 1960s indicated that the bottom dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration was less than 2 mg/L throughout much of the lower bay, and most cisco eggs would not successfully hatch at such low DO concentrations. To determine present-day spawning habitat suitability in lower Green Bay, we compared cisco egg survival in lower Green Bay with survival at a reference site (St. Marys River, Michigan–Ontario) during 2009. We also conducted winter water quality surveys in lower Green Bay and the St. Marys River during 2009 and 2010. Cisco egg survival in lower Green Bay averaged 65.3%, which was remarkably similar to and not significantly different from the mean at the St. Marys River site (64.0%). Moreover, the lowest bottom DO concentrations recorded during the winter surveys were 11.2 mg/L in lower Green Bay and 12.7 mg/L in the St. Marys River. These relatively high DO concentrations would not be expected to have any negative effect on cisco egg survival. We conclude that winter water quality conditions in lower Green Bay were suitable for successful hatching of cisco eggs and that water quality during the egg incubation period did not represent an impediment to cisco rehabilitation in Lake Michigan. Our approach to determining spawning habitat suitability for coregonids would be applicable to other aquatic systems.

  4. Effects of prescribed burns on wintering cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather L. Bateman; Margaret A. O' Connell

    2006-01-01

    Primary cavity-nesting birds play a critical role in forest ecosystems by excavating cavities later used by other birds and mammals as nesting or roosting sites. Several species of cavity-nesting birds are non-migratory residents and consequently subject to winter conditions. We conducted winter bird counts from 1998 to 2000 to examine the abundance and habitat...

  5. [Fish community structure and its seasonal change in subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen-Hua; Wang, Kai; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Shou-Yu

    2011-05-01

    To understand the characteristics of fish community structure in sandy beach habitats of island reef water areas, and to evaluate the potential capacity of these habitats in local fish stock maintenance, fishes were monthly collected with multi-mesh trammel nets in 2009 from the subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island, taking the adjacent rocky reef habitat as the control. alpha and beta species diversity indices, index of relative importance (IRI), relative catch rate, and dominance curve for abundance and biomass (ABC curve) were adopted to compare the fish species composition, diversity, and community pattern between the two habitats, and multivariate statistical analyses such as non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) and cluster were conducted to discuss the fish assemblage patterns. A total of 63 fish species belonging to 11 orders, 38 families, and 56 genera were collected, of which, 46 fish species were appeared in the two habitats. Due to the appearance of more warm water species in sandy bottom, the fishes in subtidal sandy beach habitat showed much higher richness, and the abundance catch rate (ACR) from May to July was higher than that in rocky reef habitat. In most rest months, the ACR in subtidal sandy beach habitat also showed the similar trend. However, the species richness and diversity in spring and summer were significantly lower in subtidal sandy beach habitat than in rocky reef habitat, because of the high species dominance and low evenness in the sandy beach habitat. Japanese tonguefish (Paraplagusia japonica) was the indicator species in the sandy beach habitat, and dominated in early spring, later summer, autumn, and winter when the fishing pressure was not strong. In sandy bottom, a unique community structure was formed and kept in dynamic, due to the nursery use of sandy beach by Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) from May to July, the gathering of gray mullet (Mugil cephalus) in most months for feeding, and the large

  6. Winter Weather Emergencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severe winter weather can lead to health and safety challenges. You may have to cope with Cold related health problems, including ... there are no guarantees of safety during winter weather emergencies, you can take actions to protect yourself. ...

  7. Winter maintenance performance measure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The Winter Performance Index is a method of quantifying winter storm events and the DOTs response to them. : It is a valuable tool for evaluating the States maintenance practices, performing post-storm analysis, training : maintenance personnel...

  8. Winter weather demand considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-01

    Winter weather has varied effects on travel behavior. Using 418 survey responses from the Northern Virginia : commuting area of Washington, D.C. and binary logit models, this study examines travel related changes under : different types of winter wea...

  9. PROFILE: Integrated Management to Create New Breeding Habitat for Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus) in Greece

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyrovetsi

    1997-09-01

    / An integrated management plan to create favorable nesting habitat for the world-endangered Dalmatian pelicans, was tested at Kerkini irrigation reservoir, a Ramsar wetland. The lake is the major wintering site of Dalmatian pelicans in Europe, where the species lives year-round without breeding. The rise of water level at the reservoir during spring (exceeding 5 m) has an impact on the whole system, including several birds, which lose their nesting habitat. Although the integrity of the wetland demands ecological restoration with changes in its hydrologic regime, local socioeconomic conditions allow only habitat level interventions. During the planning phase of the management plan, both the ecological and social context of the interventions were considered. Monitoring of all pelican habitats and populations provided the scientific basis, while a socioecological survey on knowledge/attitudes of local fishermen toward wetland identified conflicts with specific resources and planned management. To gain public support, a broad information/education program was implemented. The education program for fishermen was based on the findings of the socioecological survey. The in situ management involved experimental construction of floating rafts, platforms over water, dredged-spoil islands, and platforms at various sites of the wetland. Monitoring of the managed habitats showed that most waterbirds used them for resting and roosting. Common terns nested on the rafts, cormorants on the platforms, and Dalmatian pelicans on the man-made island. Under the prevailing hydrologic and weather conditions, islands seem to be the most suitable habitat for pelican nesting. It is concluded that wildlife habitat management should integrate the ecological component, related to the needs of the species and ecosystem, with the social one, expressed by cooperation and involvement of the local community.KEY WORDS: Integrated management; Pelican; Nesting habitat; Habitat management; Reservoir

  10. MoSI (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal): assessing habitat-specific overwintering survival of neotropical migratory landbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    David F. DeSante; T. Scott Sillett; Rodney B. Siegel; James F. Saracco; Claudia A. Romo de Vivar Alvarez; Salvadora Morales; Alexis Cerezo; Danielle R. Kaschube; Manuel Grosselet; Borja Mila

    2005-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that population declines in many Neotropical-wintering migratory landbird species are caused by habitat loss and degradation on their wintering grounds. Such habitat loss and degradation can lower overwintering survival rates and cause surviving birds to leave their wintering grounds in poor physical condition, leading to high mortality during...

  11. Hellsgate Big Game Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Site Specific Management Plan for the Hellsgate Project.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, Matthew T.; Judd, Steven L.

    1999-01-01

    This report contains a detailed site-specific management plan for the Hellsgate Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project. The report provides background information about the mitigation process, the review process, mitigation acquisitions, Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and mitigation crediting, current habitat conditions, desired future habitat conditions, restoration/enhancements efforts and maps.

  12. Winter-to-winter variations in indoor radon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mose, D.G.; Mushrush, G.W.; Kline, S.W.

    1989-01-01

    Indoor radon concentrations in northern Virginia and central Maryland show a strong dependence on weather. Winter tends to be associated with higher than average indoor radon, and summer with lower than average. However, compared to the winter of 1986-1987, the winter of 1987-1988 was warmer and drier. Consequently, winter-to-winter indoor radon decreased by about 25%. This winter-to-winter decrease is unexpectedly large, and simulates winter-to-summer variations that have been reported

  13. Evaluation of habitat quality for selected wildlife species associated with back channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, James T.; Zadnik, Andrew K.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Bledsoe, Kerry

    2013-01-01

    The islands and associated back channels on the Ohio River, USA, are believed to provide critical habitat features for several wildlife species. However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated habitat quality in these areas. Our main objective was to evaluate the habitat quality of back and main channel areas for several species using habitat suitability index (HSI) models. To test the effectiveness of these models, we attempted to relate HSI scores and the variables measured for each model with measures of relative abundance for the model species. The mean belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) HSI was greater on the main than back channel. However, the model failed to predict kingfisher abundance. The mean reproduction component of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) HSI, total common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) HSI, winter cover component of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) HSI, and brood-rearing component of the wood duck (Aix sponsa) HSI were all greater on the back than main channel, and were positively related with the relative abundance of each species. We found that island back channels provide characteristics not found elsewhere on the Ohio River and warrant conservation as important riparian wildlife habitat. The effectiveness of using HSI models to predict species abundance on the river was mixed. Modifications to several of the models are needed to improve their use on the Ohio River and, likely, other large rivers.

  14. Spatial patterns of seasonal distribution of Corvidae (the case of urban habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Matsyura

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Corvids in Zhytomyr city reach maximum density in the winter period. Rooks and Eurasian Jackdaws were the most abundant species in winter, usually feeding in multispecies flocks and forming collective roosts.Suburban green areas (buffer zones were characterized by a considerably high diversity of Corvidae species: this habitat was occupied by all six species. We also registered the highest density of Eurasian Jays and Hooded Crows in this habitat. The green areas in the city center were also characterized by significant corvid density, especially during the breeding season. The maximum breeding density of Rooks was in these habitats, which held 6 of 12 identified urban colonies in Zhytomyr. We found that the European Magpies, Eurasian Jays, and Hooded Crows also had high breeding success here. Eurasian Jackdaws occurred here only in autumn and winter, when they fed together with Rooks on lawns, gardens, and parks. With stable snow cover the Rook density in habitats of the green areas decreased due to the depletion of food resources.The individual buildings zone of the city were characterized by the lowest density of all corvid species, except for European Magpies and Eurasian Jays. The number of common species (Rooks, Eurasian Jackdaws, and Hooded Crows was low because of shortage of food resources, lack of sites for large roosting flocks and shortage of suitable nesting sites. However, Eurasian Magpies reached one of their highest densities in this habitat (12.8 birds/km2. This species was registered in habitats around private buildings all the year round, successfully nesting in the yards of private houses and on trees in the streets. Its breeding density was 11.2 birds/km2.During three years of research (2009–2012 the density of all corvids except for European Magpie, practically did not change, although we determined a slight positive trend for all the species. The strong increase in the number of Eurasian Jackdaws could be explained by

  15. Migration and winter distribution of the Chestnutcollared Longspur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellison Kevin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus is one of five grassland songbirds, endemic within North America, with populations that have declined >65% since the 1960s. These species breed and winter in the northern and southern Great Plains, respectively. Identifying migration routes, wintering sites, and the timing of their habitat use is key for understanding the relative magnitude of threats across the annual cycle and effectively targeting habitats for conservation. We tracked migratory movements of seven Chestnut-collared Longspurs with light-level geolocators deployed in Canada. Individuals wintered up to 112-1,200km apart. All followed the Central Flyway, circumvented high-elevation terrain, and traveled east of the breeding location. Unlike most songbirds, the durations of spring and fall migrations were similar; on average 42 ± 7d and 41 ± 5d during fall and spring migrations, respectively, for an approximately 2,000km migration; this highlights the need to better understand habitat requirements during migration for grassland songbirds. Using geospatial habitat data, we assessed winter distribution overlap with four other endemic grassland songbirds; wintering range overlapped 63-99%. Future studies should use more precise devices (e.g., archival GPS units, programmed for data collection dates from this study, to identify specific migratory sites for better conserving this and associated grassland species.

  16. Hellsgate Winter Range : Wildlife Mitigation Project. Preliminary Environmental Assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1995-01-01

    The Bonneville Power Administration proposes funding the Hellsgate Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project in cooperation with the Colville Convederated Tribes and Bureau of Indian Affairs. This Preliminary Environmental Assessment examines the potential environmental effects of acquiring and managing property for wildlife and wildlife habitat within a large project area. The Propose action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wild life habitat that was adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams and their reservoirs.

  17. [Activity patterns and foraging behavior of Apis cerana cerana in the urban gardens in winter].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fa-jun; Yang, Qing-qing; Long, Li; Hu, Hong-mei; Duan, Bin; Chen, Wen-nian

    2016-01-01

    Bees and other pollinating insects are the important parts of biodiversity due to their great role in plant reproduction and crop production. To explore the role of city garden in native bees conservation, activity patterns, visiting behaviors and flowering plants with nectar or pollen were recorded in south Sichuan in winter. The results showed that, worker bees (Apis cerana cerana) were active to collect food out hive under suitable weather conditions, the duration of working was long. Peaks of the number of outgoing, entrance and foragers without pollen appeared at 14:00-15:00, and bimodal patterns were observed. While, peak of bees with pollen appeared at 11:00, and a unimodal pattern was observed. Time significantly affected the activity of workers. The workload of honey bees on nectar and pollen collection were different, just less than twenty percent foragers carrying pollen. Temperature and humidity also affected flights of bees to some degree, and bee activities showed similar patterns on different days. However, the activities had diverse characteristics in some time. Though a less number of plants were in flowering, most of them could be utilized by A. cerana cerana, and colonies could effectively get the food resource by behavior adjustment. In addition, visiting activities of bees on the flowers of main garden plants, such as Camellia japonica, showed obvious rhythm. Increasing the flowering plants with nectar and pollen in winter by scientific management of urban gardens would facilitate the creation of suitable habitats for A. cerana cerana and maintaining the wild population.

  18. Winters fuels report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The outlook for distillate fuel oil this winter is for increased demand and a return to normal inventory patterns, assuming a resumption of normal, cooler weather than last winter. With industrial production expected to grow slightly from last winter's pace, overall consumption is projected to increase 3 percent from last winter, to 3.4 million barrels per day during the heating season (October 1, 1995-March 31, 1996). Much of the supply win come from stock drawdowns and refinery production. Estimates for the winter are from the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) 4th Quarter 1995 Short-Tenn Energy Outlook (STEO) Mid-World Oil Price Case forecast. Inventories in place on September 30, 1995, of 132 million barrels were 9 percent below the unusually high year-earlier level. Inventories of high-sulfur distillate fuel oil, the principal type used for heating, were 13 percent lower than a year earlier. Supply problems are not anticipated because refinery production and the ready availability of imports should be adequate to meet demand. Residential heating off prices are expected to be somewhat higher than last winter's, as the effects of lower crude oil prices are offset by lower distillate inventories. Heating oil is forecast to average $0.92 per gallon, the highest price since the winter of 1992-93. Diesel fuel (including tax) is predicted to be slightly higher than last year at $1.13 per gallon. This article focuses on the winter assessment for distillate fuel oil, how well last year's STEO winter outlook compared to actual events, and expectations for the coming winter. Additional analyses include regional low-sulfur and high-sulfur distillate supply, demand, and prices, and recent trends in distillate fuel oil inventories

  19. Notes on winter feeding behavior and molt in Wilson's phalaropes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, J.; Howe, M.

    1975-01-01

    Wilson's Phalaropes, Steganopus tricolor, migrate in late summer from the prairie regions of North America to their wintering grounds in the highlands of Peru and the inland and coastal waters of Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina (Holmes 1939, Meyer de Schauensee 1970). Reports on these birds from their wintering habitat are few. This paper describes numbers, feeding behavior, and molt of Wilson's Phalaropes wintering in a freshwater marsh in central Argentina. Fieldwork in Argentina was conducted by the senior author. The junior author analyzed molt patterns of birds collected there and added data he collected in North Dakota in 1968 and 1969.

  20. Habitat constraints on the distribution of passerine residents and neotropical migrants in Latin America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, C.S.; Dowell, B.A.; Dawson, D.K.

    1994-01-01

    With continuing tropical deforestation, there is increased concern for birds that depend on forest habitats in Latin America. During the past 10 northern winters, we have conducted quantitative studies of habitat use by wintering migrant songbirds and by residents in the Greater Antilles, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Many migrants, but few residents, winter in forest fragments and in certain arboreal agricultural habitats (citrus, cacao, shade coffee). Many other agricultural habitats (sun coffee, mango, commercial banana plantations, and heavily grazed pasture) are avoided by most birds. Some species, such as thrushes and ground-feeding warblers, depend on closed-canopy forest. Some, such as Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis) and Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), winter primarily in mangroves or other swamp forests. The majority of neotropical migrant passerines winter in forest fragments and certain agricultural habitats, as well as mature forest; but many resident species, especially suboscines (Furnariidae, Dendrocolaptidae, Formicariidae, Papridae), are heavily impacted by loss and fragmentation of the forest.

  1. Natal Dispersal in the North Island Robin (Petroica longipes: the Importance of Connectivity in Fragmented Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Askia K. Wittern

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Natal dispersal is an important component in bird population dynamics and can influence the persistence of local and metapopulations. We examined natal dispersal in the North Island robin (Petroica longipes, a sedentary bird species distributed in a fragmented forest habitat on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand. Earlier studies have shown that the only dispersal phase in this species takes place when juveniles leave their natal patch, and that juveniles who fail to find suitable habitat do not survive their first winter. These findings suggest that natal dispersal behavior in this species is important for population viability. We found that juveniles were highly affected by the fragmentation of the forest habitat, with patch occupancy being positively correlated with degree of connectivity of the landscape. Most juvenile movements (52.1% were observed between patches that were separated by less than 20 m. Juvenile North Island robins were found in all forest habitat types, including young and open stands. This suggests that the juveniles are not dependent on old forest stands during their dispersal phase. Based on these findings, we suggest that management of this regionally-threatened species should focus not only on maintaining populations in occupied patches and increasing the habitat quality of these patches, but also on protecting existing forest patches acting as corridors and creating new forest habitat among patches. This would greatly increase the viability of the species' metapopulations by increasing dispersal success between both unoccupied patches and subpopulations. Additionally, increased connectivity between forest patches could also be expected to increase the probability of successful dispersal of other threatened native species, many of which are also sensitive to the high degree of fragmentation of their habitats.

  2. Summer and winter space use and home range characteristics of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tricia A.; Brooks, Robert P.; Lanzone, Michael J.; Cooper, Jeff; O'Malley, Kieran; Brandes, David; Duerr, Adam E.; Katzner, Todd

    2017-01-01

    Movement behavior and its relationship to habitat provide critical information toward understanding the effects of changing environments on birds. The eastern North American population of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) is a genetically distinct and small population of conservation concern. To evaluate the potential responses of this population to changing landscapes, we calculated the home range and core area sizes of 52 eagles of 6 age–sex classes during the summer and winter seasons. Variability in range size was related to variation in topography and open cover, and to age and sex. In summer, eagle ranges that were smaller had higher proportions of ridge tops and open cover and had greater topographic roughness than did larger ranges. In winter, smaller ranges had higher proportions of ridge tops, hillsides and cliffs, and open cover than did larger ranges. All age and sex classes responded similarly to topography and open cover in both seasons. Not surprisingly, adult eagles occupied the smallest ranges in both seasons. Young birds used larger ranges than adults, and subadults in summer used the largest ranges (>9,000 km2). Eastern adult home ranges in summer were 2–10 times larger than those reported for other populations in any season. Golden Eagles in eastern North America may need to compensate for generally lower-quality habitat in the region by using larger ranges that support access to adequate quantities of resources (prey, updrafts, and nesting, perching, and roosting sites) associated with open cover and diverse topography. Our results suggest that climate change–induced afforestation on the breeding grounds and ongoing land cover change from timber harvest and energy development on the wintering grounds may affect the amount of suitable habitat for Golden Eagles in eastern North America.

  3. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Fish habitat models typically attempt to quantify the amount of available river habitat for a given fish species for various flow and hydraulic conditions. To achieve this, information on the preferred range of values of key physical habitat variables (e.g. water level, velocity, substrate diameter) for the targeted fishs pecies need to be modelled. In this context, we developed several habitat suitability indices sets for three Atlantic salmon life stages (young-of-the-year (YOY), parr, spawning adults) with the help of fuzzy logic modeling. Using the knowledge of twenty-seven experts, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, we defined fuzzy sets of four variables (depth, substrate size, velocity and Habitat Suitability Index, or HSI) and associated fuzzy rules. When applied to the Romaine River (Canada), median curves of standardized Weighted Usable Area (WUA) were calculated and a confidence interval was obtained by bootstrap resampling. Despite the large range of WUA covered by the expert WUA curves, confidence intervals were relatively narrow: an average width of 0.095 (on a scale of 0 to 1) for spawning habitat, 0.155 for parr rearing habitat and 0.160 for YOY rearing habitat. When considering an environmental flow value corresponding to 90% of the maximum reached by WUA curve, results seem acceptable for the Romaine River. Generally, this proposed fuzzy logic method seems suitable to model habitat availability for the three life stages, while also providing an estimate of uncertainty in salmon preferences.

  4. Deep Space Habitat Concept Demonstrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bookout, Paul S.; Smitherman, David

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. Winter Bottom Trawl Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The standardized NEFSC Winter Bottom Trawl Survey was initiated in 1992 and covered offshore areas from the Mid-Atlantic to Georges Bank. Inshore strata were covered...

  6. Two-dimensional physical habitat modeling of effects of habitat structures on urban stream restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongkyun Im

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available River corridors, even if highly modified or degraded, still provide important habitats for numerous biological species, and carry high aesthetic and economic values. One of the keys to urban stream restoration is recovery and maintenance of ecological flows sufficient to sustain aquatic ecosystems. In this study, the Hongje Stream in the Seoul metropolitan area of Korea was selected for evaluating a physically-based habitat with and without habitat structures. The potential value of the aquatic habitat was evaluated by a weighted usable area (WUA using River2D, a two-dimensional hydraulic model. The habitat suitability for Zacco platypus in the Hongje Stream was simulated with and without habitat structures. The computed WUA values for the boulder, spur dike, and riffle increased by about 2%, 7%, and 131%, respectively, after their construction. Also, the three habitat structures, especially the riffle, can contribute to increasing hydraulic heterogeneity and enhancing habitat diversity.

  7. An integrated assessment of Porcupine caribou seasonal distribution, movements, and habitat preferences for regional land use planning in northern Yukon Territory, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John L. Ryder

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available This study was undertaken to improve understanding of Porcupine caribou herd distribution, movements, and habitat preferences to assist with developing a regional land use plan for the North Yukon Planning Region, Yukon Territory. Three different methods were used to identify current and historical patterns of caribou distribution and habitat preferences within the region to prioritize conservation areas. Two of the approaches focused on incorporating information on caribou distribution and migrations from scientific and local knowledge, while the third focused on identifying and mapping habitats suitable for supporting caribou. Local knowledge dating back to the 1930s and two decades of satellite telemetry data confirmed that most of the planning region is used by the Porcupine caribou herd and highlighted areas of concentrated use. Maps of suitable winter habitat derived from expert opinion ratings of habitat use did not agree with the other information sources. The local knowledge and satellite telemetry analyses were used to identify spatially explicit priority areas for caribou conservation and the results were applied to develop conservation recommendations for a draft regional land use plan. The plan will be submitted to government approval bodies for review in the spring of 2007. The success in implementing conservation strategies for the Porcupine caribou herd will be reviewed and evaluated following adoption of a final approved plan.

  8. Conservation Objectives for Wintering and Breeding Waterbirds in California’s Central Valley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. David Shuford

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/5tp5m718Birds associated with wetlands have declined historically across North America from extensive habitat loss and degradation. Among the regions most affected is California’s Central Valley, where over 90% of the wetland base has been lost. Still, this region remains of continental importance to waterbirds. On-the-ground conservation efforts for all bird groups are the focus of the Central Valley Joint Venture, guided by a periodically updated implementation plan. To track progress toward goal attainment, that plan sets time-bound, quantitative conservation goals. Lacking robust data on the size and trends of populations of most species of waterbirds in the Central Valley, we set conservation goals for this group by selecting 10 focal species. These species are of heightened conservation concern or are otherwise representative of the habitat needs of Central Valley waterbirds. Given the great loss of historical habitat, we assumed focal species populations have declined by ≥ 50%. Hence, we defined population objectives for most focal species as increasing their current populations by 10% over 10 years and doubling them in 100 years. The corresponding habitat objectives are to increase wetlands or enhance suitable crops for waterbirds in proportion to the population objectives. These include an increase over 10 years of 7,948 ha (19,641 acres of winter seasonal wetlands, 921 ha (2,276 acres each of semi-permanent and summer seasonal wetlands, and 573 ha (1,416 acres of strategically placed riparian forest. Agricultural needs include additional winter flooding of 15,160 ha (37,461 acres of rice and 2,137 ha (5,281 acres of corn. We distributed the habitat objectives across five planning regions, in some cases favoring proportionally larger increases in those regions with the greatest need. To maximize success, however, conservationists must take into account the specific needs of individual waterbird

  9. [Ecology suitability study of Ephedra intermedia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiao-Hui; Lu, You-Yuan; Huang, De-Dong; Zhu, Tian-Tian; Lv, Pei-Lin; Jin, Ling

    2017-06-01

    The study aims at predicting ecological suitability of Ephedra intermedia in China by using maximum entropy Maxent model combined with GIS, and finding the main ecological factors affecting the distribution of E. intermedia suitability in appropriate growth area. Thirty-eight collected samples of E. intermedia and E. intermedia and 116 distribution information from CVH information using ArcGIS technology were analyzed. MaxEnt model was applied to forecast the E. intermedia in our country's ecology. E. intermedia MaxEnt ROC curve model training data and testing data sets the AUC value was 0.986 and 0.958, respectively, which were greater than 0.9, tending to be 1.The calculated E. intermedia habitat suitability by the model showed a high accuracy and credibility, which indicated that MaxEnt model could well predict the potential distribution area of E. intermedia in China. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  10. The nuclear winter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velikhow, Y.P.

    1986-01-01

    Nuclear winter is an example of possible secondary effects, and if we speak of secondary we are thinking of small-scale second-order effects, but a nuclear winter is not a second-order effect. If you calculate the amount of heat produced by a nuclear explosion, it is a very small amount which does not have any chance of changing the Earth's climate, but a nuclear explosion drives or stars some new mechanism - the mechanism of nuclear winter - after 100 megatons of dust are transferred to the upper atmosphere. Another example of such amplification is radioactive fall-out, especially long-life radioactive fall-out after the possible elimination of the nuclear power industry, nuclear storage and distribution of storage waste around the globe. This is a very powerful amplification mechanism

  11. Kleptoparasitism by bald eagles wintering in south-central Nebraska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorde, Dennis G.; Lingle, G.R.

    1988-01-01

    Kleptoparasitism on other raptors was one means by which Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) secured food along the North Platte and Platte rivers during the winters of 1978-1980. Species kelptoparasitized were Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Red-tailed Hawk (B. jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawk (B. lagopus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and Bald Eagle. Stealing of prey occurred more often during the severe winter of 1978-1979 when ice cover restricted eagles from feeding on fish than during the milder winter of 1979-1980. Kleptoparasitism occurred principally in agricultural habitats where large numbers of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were foraging. Subadults watched adults steal food and participated in food-stealing with adults, which indicated interspecific kleptoparasitism may be a learned behavior. We suggest factors that may favor interspecific kleptoparasitism as a foraging strategy of Bald Eagles in obtaining waterfowl during severe winters.

  12. Blue Creek Winter Range: Wildlife Mitigation Project. Final environmental assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-11-01

    Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to fund that portion of the Washington Wildlife Agreement pertaining to the Blue Creek Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project (Project) in a cooperative effort with the Spokane Tribe, Upper Columbia United Tribes, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). If fully implemented, the proposed action would allow the sponsors to protect and enhance 2,631 habitat units of big game winter range and riparian shrub habitat on 2,185 hectares (5,400 acres) of Spokane Tribal trust lands, and to conduct long term wildlife management activities within the Spokane Indian Reservation project area. This Final Environmental Assessment (EA) examines the potential environmental effects of securing land and conducting wildlife habitat enhancement and long term management activities within the boundaries of the Spokane Indian Reservation. Four proposed activities (habitat protection, habitat enhancement, operation and maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation) are analyzed. The proposed action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wildlife habitat adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee Dam and its reservoir

  13. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd

    2014-01-01

    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.

  14. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul

    2006-01-01

    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...

  15. Employment and winter construction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ernst Jan de Place; Larsen, Jacob Norvig

    2011-01-01

    Reduced seasonal building activity in the construction sector is often assumed to be related to hard winter conditions for building activities and poor working conditions for construction workers, resulting in higher costs and poor quality of building products, particularly in the northern hemisp...... of contracts for workers is more likely to explain differences in seasonal activity than climatic or technological factors....

  16. Titan's Emergence from Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. Michael; Achterberg, Richard; Jennings, Donald; Schinder, Paul

    2011-01-01

    We summarize the changes in Titans thermal structure derived from Cassini CIRS and radio-occultation data during the transition from winter to early spring. Titan's surface, and middle atmosphere show noticeable seasonal change, whereas that in most of the troposphere is mated. This can be understood in terms of the relatively small radiative relaxation time in the middle atmosphere and much larger time scale in the troposphere. The surface exhibits seasonal change because the heat capacity in an annual skin depth is much smaller than that in the lowest scale height of the troposphere. Surface temperatures rise 1 K at raid and high latitudes in the winter northern hemisphere and cool in the southern hemisphere. Changes in in the middle atmosphere are more complicated. Temperatures in the middle stratosphere (approximately 1 mbar) increase by a few kelvin at mid northern latitudes, but those at high latitudes first increase as that region moves out of winter shadow, and then decrease. This probably results from the combined effect of increased solar heating as the suit moves higher in the sky and the decreased adiabatic warming as the sinking motions associated with the cross-equatorial meridional cell weaken. Consistent with this interpretation, the warm temperatures observed higher up at the winter polar stratopause cool significantly.

  17. The global distribution of deep-water Antipatharia habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesson, Chris; Bedford, Faye; Rogers, Alex D.; Taylor, Michelle L.

    2017-11-01

    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.

  18. Landscape Characteristics of Oriental Honey Buzzards Wintering in Western Part of Flores Island Based on Satellite-Tracking Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syartinilia; Farisi, G. H. Al; Higuchi, H.

    2017-10-01

    Oriental Honey Buzzards (OHBs, Pernis ptilorhynchus) are migratory raptor that has been satellite-tracked since 2003. Some islands in Indonesia which are used for wintering habitat are Flores and Borneo. However, both islands have different characteristics of climate and land cover. The objectives of this research were to analyze the landscape characteristic of the OHBs wintering habitat in western Flores, and to subsequently compare landscape characteristic of the OHBs wintering habitat in Borneo. Landscape habitat characteristics were analyzed using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) combined with GIS and then compared to the previous study in Borneo Island. The result showed that the first of six principal components explained 79.14% and 77.59% of the observed variation in landscape characteristics of both core and edge habitats, subsequently. Habitat selection by OHBs at wintering site was influenced by the availability of thermal wind and food. Savannah was identified as the main landscape characteristic that was different between wintering habitat in Flores and Borneo. Savannah is well-known as a habitat for many species of amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals so that it can be a hunting area that provide alternative feed for OHBs.

  19. Use of geolocators reveals previously unknown Chinese and Korean scaly-sided merganser wintering sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soloveyva, Diana; Afanasiev, Vsevolod; Fox, James W.

    2012-01-01

    areas in successive years, suggesting winter fidelity to catchments if not specific sites. A single female from the adjacent Avvakumovka catchment wintered on saltwater in Korea, at least 1300 km east of Chinese wintering birds. Most sea duck species (Tribe Mergini) form pairs away from breeding areas......, suggesting that this high level of winter dispersal amongst close-nesting females is a potential mechanism to maintain gene flow in this threatened species that has specialist habitat requirements. Hence, female scaly-sided mergansers disperse widely from breeding areas, but show fidelity to nesting areas...

  20. Habitat and hydrology: assessing biological resources of the Suwannee River Estuarine System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raabe, Ellen A.; Edwards, Randy E.; McIvor, Carole C.; Grubbs, Jack W.; Dennis, George D.

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a pilot integrated-science study during 2002 and 2003 to map, describe, and evaluate benthic and emergent habitats in the Suwannee River Estuary on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Categories of aquatic, emergent, and terrestrial habitats were determined from hyperspectral imagery and integrated with hydrologic data to identify estuarine fish habitats. Maps of intertidal and benthic habitat were derived from 12-band, 4-m resolution hyperspectral imagery acquired in September 2002. Hydrologic data were collected from tidal creeks during the winter of 2002-03 and the summer-fall of 2003. Fish were sampled from tidal creeks during March 2003 using rivulet nets, throw traps, and seine nets. Habitat characteristics, hydrologic data, and fish assemblages were compared for tidal creeks north and south of the Suwannee River. Tidal creeks north of the river had more shoreline edge and shallow habitat than creeks to the south. Tidal creeks south of the river were generally of lower salinity (fresher) and supported more freshwater marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation. The southern creeks tended to be deeper but less sinuous than the northern creeks. Water quality and inundation were evaluated with hydrologic monitoring in the creeks. In-situ gauges, recording pressure and temperature, documented a net discharge of brackish to saline groundwater into the tidal creeks with pronounced flow during low tide. Groundwater flow into the creeks was most prominent north of the river. Combined fish-sampling results showed an overall greater abundance of organisms and greater species richness in the southern creeks, nominally attributed a greater range in water quality. Fish samples were dominated by juvenile spot, grass shrimp, bay anchovy, and silverside. The short time frame for hydrologic monitoring and the one-time fish-sampling effort were insufficient for forming definitive conclusions. However, the combination of hyperspectral imagery and

  1. The Habitat Connection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    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)

  2. Editorial - The winter Atomiades

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2011-01-01

    As we wrote in our previous editorial, the Staff Association gives direct support to sports events, such as the Atomiades, a section of the Association of Sports Communities of European Research Institutes, which brings together sportsmen and women from 38 European research centres in 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Russia, and Switzerland). The summer Atomiades take place between the months of June and September every three years. Thirteen such events have taken place since 1973, the last one in June 2009 in Berlin. As far as the winter Atomiades are concerned, also organized every three years, and alternating with the summer Atomiades, there have been eleven since 1981, the last one at the end of January this year in neighbouring France. The following article tells the wonderful adventure of the CERN staff who took part in this event. A positive outcome for CERN skiers at the winter Atomiades The 11t...

  3. Winter is losing its cool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, S.

    2017-12-01

    Winter seasons have significant societal impacts across all sectors ranging from direct human health to ecosystems, transportation, and recreation. This study quantifies the severity of winter and its spatial-temporal variations using a newly developed winter severity index and daily temperature, snowfall and snow depth. The winter severity and the number of extreme winter days are decreasing across the global terrestrial areas during 1901-2015 except the southeast United States and isolated regions in the Southern Hemisphere. These changes are dominated by winter warming, while the changes in daily snowfall and snow depth played a secondary role. The simulations of multiple CMIP5 climate models can well capture the spatial and temporal variations of the observed changes in winter severity and extremes during 1951-2005. The models are consistent in projecting a future milder winter under various scenarios. The winter severity is projected to decrease 60-80% in the middle-latitude Northern Hemisphere under the business-as-usual scenario. The winter arrives later, ends earlier and the length of winter season will be notably shorter. The changes in harsh winter in the polar regions are weak, mainly because the warming leads to more snowfall in the high latitudes.

  4. Niche suitability affects development: skull asymmetry increases in less suitable areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Maestri

    Full Text Available For conservation purposes, it is important to take into account the suitability of a species to particular habitats; this information may predict the long-term survival of a species. In this sense, morphological measures of developmental stress, such as fluctuating asymmetry, can be proxies for an individual's performance in different regions. In this study, we conducted tests to determine whether areas with different levels of suitability for a species (generated by ecological niche models were congruent with morphological markers that reflect environmental stress and morphological variance. We generated a Maxent niche model and compared the suitability assessments of several areas with the skull morphology data (fluctuating asymmetry and morphological disparity of populations of the Atlantic forest endemic to Brazil rodent Akodon cursor. Our analyses showed a significant negative relationship between suitability levels and fluctuating asymmetry levels, which indicates that in less suitable areas, the individuals experience numerous disturbances during skull ontogeny. We have not found an association between morphological variance and environmental suitability. As expected, these results suggest that in environments with a lower suitability, developmental stress is increased. Such information is helpful in the understanding of the species evolution and in the selection of priority areas for the conservation of species.

  5. Fish habitat mitigation measures for hydrotechnical projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McPhail, G.D.; MacMillan, D.B.; Katopodis, C.

    1992-01-01

    In recent years, the identification and mitigation of environmental impacts of hydrotechnical projects, particularly on fish and fish habitats, have become a major component of project planning and design. Potential impacts to fish and fish habitat may include increased fish mortality, decreased species diversity, and loss or decreases in fish production due to loss of habitat or alteration of its suitability. These impacts arise from flooding of riverine habitat, alteration of flow quantity and distribution, changes in morphology, and alteration of water quality, including suspended sediments, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and mercury. The results of a study for the Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Central and Arctic Region, examining fish habitat mitigation techniques for their applicability to hydrotechnical projects in Canada are summarized. The requirements for achievement and verification of the no net loss policy for a project are discussed. 10 refs., 2 tabs

  6. Introduction to the Special Section--Bat Habitat Use in Eastern North American Temperate Forests: Site, Stand, an Landscape Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert T. Brooks; W. Mark Ford

    2006-01-01

    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...

  7. Determination of the effects of fine-grained sediment and other limiting variables on trout habitat for selected streams in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scudder, Barbara C.; Selbig, J.W.; Waschbusch, R.J.

    2000-01-01

    Two Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models, developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were used to evaluate the effects of fine-grained (less than 2 millimeters) sediment on brook trout (Salvelinusfontinalis, Mitchill) and brown trout (Salmo trutta, Linnaeus) in 11 streams in west-central and southwestern Wisconsin. Our results indicated that fine-grained sediment limited brook trout habitat in 8 of 11 streams and brown trout habitat in only one stream. Lack of winter and escape cover for fry was the primary limiting variable for brown trout at 61 percent of the sites, and this factor also limited brook trout at several stations. Pool area or quality, in stream cover, streambank vegetation for erosion control, minimum flow, thalweg depth maximum, water temperature, spawning substrate, riffle dominant substrate, and dissolved oxygen also were limiting to trout in the study streams. Brook trout appeared to be more sensitive to the effects of fine-grained sediment than brown trout. The models for brook trout and brown trout appeared to be useful and objective screening tools for identifying variables limiting trout habitat in these streams. The models predicted that reduction in the amount of fine-grained sediment would improve brook trout habitat. These models may be valuable for establishing instream sediment-reduction goals; however, the decrease in sediment delivery needed to meet these goals cannot be estimated without quantitative data on land use practices and their effects on sediment delivery and retention by streams.

  8. A winter distribution model for Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a conservation tool for a threatened migratory songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. P. McFarland; C. C. Rimmer; J. E. Goetz; Y. Aubry; J. M. Wunderle Jr.; A. Hayes-Sutton; J. M. Townsend; A. Llanes Sosa; A. Kirkconnell

    2013-01-01

    Conservation planning and implementation require identifying pertinent habitats and locations where protection and management may improve viability of targeted species. The winter range of Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a threatened Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, is restricted to the Greater Antilles. We analyzed winter records from the mid-1970s to...

  9. The effects of habitat, climate, and Barred Owls on long-term demography of Northern Spotted Owls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugger, Catherine; Forsman, Eric D.; Franklin, Alan B.; Davis, Raymond J.; White, Gary C.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; Nichols, James D.; Hines, James E.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Doherty, Paul F.; Bailey, Larissa; Clark, Darren A.; Ackers, Steven H.; Andrews, Lawrence S.; Augustine, Benjamin; Biswell, Brian L.; Blakesley, Jennifer; Carlson, Peter C.; Clement, Matthew J.; Diller, Lowell V.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Green, Adam; Gremel, Scott A.; Herter, Dale R.; Higley, J. Mark; Hobson, Jeremy; Horn, Rob B.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; McCafferty, Christopher; McDonald, Trent; McDonnell, Kevin; Olson, Gail S.; Reid, Janice A.; Rockweit, Jeremy; Ruiz, Viviana; Saenz, Jessica; Sovern, Stan G.

    2016-01-01

    Estimates of species' vital rates and an understanding of the factors affecting those parameters over time and space can provide crucial information for management and conservation. We used mark–recapture, reproductive output, and territory occupancy data collected during 1985–2013 to evaluate population processes of Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in 11 study areas in Washington, Oregon, and northern California, USA. We estimated apparent survival, fecundity, recruitment, rate of population change, and local extinction and colonization rates, and investigated relationships between these parameters and the amount of suitable habitat, local and regional variation in meteorological conditions, and competition with Barred Owls (Strix varia). Data were analyzed for each area separately and in a meta-analysis of all areas combined, following a strict protocol for data collection, preparation, and analysis. We used mixed effects linear models for analyses of fecundity, Cormack-Jolly-Seber open population models for analyses of apparent annual survival (ϕ), and a reparameterization of the Jolly-Seber capture–recapture model (i.e. reverse Jolly-Seber; RJS) to estimate annual rates of population change (λRJS) and recruitment. We also modeled territory occupancy dynamics of Northern Spotted Owls and Barred Owls in each study area using 2-species occupancy models. Estimated mean annual rates of population change (λ) suggested that Spotted Owl populations declined from 1.2% to 8.4% per year depending on the study area. The weighted mean estimate of λ for all study areas was 0.962 (± 0.019 SE; 95% CI: 0.925–0.999), indicating an estimated range-wide decline of 3.8% per year from 1985 to 2013. Variation in recruitment rates across the range of the Spotted Owl was best explained by an interaction between total winter precipitation and mean minimum winter temperature. Thus, recruitment rates were highest when both total precipitation (29 cm) and

  10. Winter Frost and Fog

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    This somewhat oblique blue wide angle Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows the 174 km (108 mi) diameter crater, Terby, and its vicinity in December 2004. Located north of Hellas, this region can be covered with seasonal frost and ground-hugging fog, even in the afternoon, despite being north of 30oS. The subtle, wavy pattern is a manifestation of fog. Location near: 28oS, 286oW Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Winter

  11. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Luis Passos Cordeiro

    2016-09-01

    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.

  12. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, Jose Luis Passos; Fragoso, José M V; Crawshaw, Danielle; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B

    2016-01-01

    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.

  13. Decontamination and winter conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quenild, C.; Tveten, U.

    1984-12-01

    The report deals with two decontamonation experiments under winter conditions. A snow-covered parking lot was contaminated, and the snow was subsequently removed using standard snow-moving equipment. The snow left behind was collected and the content of contaminant was determined. A non-radioactive contaminant was used. A decontamination factor exceeding 100 was obtained. Although the eksperimental conditions were close to ideal, it is reason to believe that extremely efficient removal of deposited materials on a snow surface is achivable. In another investigation, run-off from agricultural surface, contaminated while covered with snow, was measured A lycimeter was used in this experiment. A stable layer of ice and snow was allowed to form before contamination. The run-off water was collected at each thaw period until all snow and ice was gone. Cs-134 was used as contaminant. Roughly 30% of the Cs-134 with which the area was contaminated ran off with the melt water. Following a reactor accident situation, this would have given a corresponding reduction in the long term doses. Both of these experiments show that consequence calculation assumptions, as they are currently applied to large accident assessment, tend to overestimate the consequences resulting from accidents taking place under winter conditions

  14. Spirit's Winter Work Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Annotated Version This portion of an image acquired by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera shows the Spirit rover's winter campaign site. Spirit was parked on a slope tilted 11 degrees to the north to maximize sunlight during the southern winter season. 'Tyrone' is an area where the rover's wheels disturbed light-toned soils. Remote sensing and in-situ analyses found the light-toned soil at Tyrone to be sulfate rich and hydrated. The original picture is catalogued as PSP_001513_1655_red and was taken on Sept. 29, 2006. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the instrument was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp., Boulder, Colo.

  15. Winter School Les Houches

    CERN Document Server

    Lannoo, Michel; Bastard, Gérald; Voos, Michel; Boccara, Nino

    1986-01-01

    The Winter School held in Les Houches on March 12-21, 1985 was devoted to Semiconductor Heterojunctions and Superlattices, a topic which is recognized as being now one of the most interesting and active fields in semiconductor physics. In fact, following the pioneering work of Esaki and Tsu in 1970, the study of these two-dimensional semiconductor heterostructures has developed rapidly, both from the point of view of basic physics and of applications. For instance, modulation-doped heterojunctions are nowadays currently used to investigate the quantum Hall effect and to make very fast transistors. This book contains the lectures presented at this Winter School, showing in particular that many aspects of semiconductor heterojunctions and super­ lattices were treated, extending from the fabrication of these two-dimensional systems to their basic properties and applications in micro-and opto-electron­ ics. Among the subjects which were covered, one can quote as examples: molecular beam epitaxy and metallorgani...

  16. Experimental log hauling through a traditional caribou wintering area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold G. Cumming

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available A 3-year field experiment (fall 1990-spring 1993 showed that woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou altered their dispersion when logs were hauled through their traditional wintering area. Unlike observations in control years 1 and 3, radio-collared caribou that had returned to the study area before the road was plowed on January 6 of the experimental year 2, moved away 8-60 km after logging activities began. Seasonal migration to Lake Nipigon islands usually peaked in April, but by February 22 of year 2, 4 of the 6 had returned. The islands provide summer refuge from predation, but not when the lake is frozen. Tracks in snow showed that some caribou remained but changed locations. They used areas near the road preferentially in year 1, early year 2, and year 3, but moved away 2-5 km after the road was plowed in year 2. In a nearby undisturbed control area, no such changes occurred. Caribou and moose partitioned habitat on a small scale; tracks showed gray wolf (Canis lupus remote from caribou but close to moose tracks. No predation on caribou was observed within the wintering area; 2 kills were found outside it. Due to the possibility of displacing caribou from winter refugia to places with higher predation risk, log hauling through important caribou winter habitat should be minimized.

  17. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neville Paul

    2006-12-01

    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.

  18. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul

    2006-12-04

    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.

  19. Trends and habitat associations of waterbirds using the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Smith, Lacy M.; Moskal, Stacy M.; Strong, Cheryl; Krause, John; Wang, Yiwei; Takekawa, John Y.

    2018-04-02

    Executive SummaryThe aim of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (hereinafter “Project”) is to restore 50–90 percent of former salt evaporation ponds to tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay (SFB). However, hundreds of thousands of waterbirds use these ponds over winter and during fall and spring migration. To ensure that existing waterbird populations are supported while tidal marsh is restored in the Project area, managers plan to enhance the habitat suitability of ponds by adding islands and berms to change pond topography, manipulating water salinity and depth, and selecting appropriate ponds to maintain for birds. To help inform these actions, we used 13 years of monthly (October–April) bird abundance data from Project ponds to (1) assess trends in waterbird abundance since the inception of the Project, and (2) evaluate which pond habitat characteristics were associated with highest abundances of different avian guilds and species. For comparison, we also evaluated waterbird abundance trends in active salt production ponds using 10 years of monthly survey data.We assessed bird guild and species abundance trends through time, and created separate trend curves for Project and salt production ponds using data from every pond that was counted in a year. We divided abundance data into three seasons—fall (October–November), winter (December–February), and spring (March–April). We used the resulting curves to assess which periods had the highest bird abundance and to identify increasing or decreasing trends for each guild and species.

  20. Modeling Impacts of Climate Change on Giant Panda Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Songer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca are one of the most widely recognized endangered species globally. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the main threats, and climate change could significantly impact giant panda survival. We integrated giant panda habitat information with general climate models (GCMs to predict future geographic distribution and fragmentation of giant panda habitat. Results support a major general prediction of climate change—a shift of habitats towards higher elevation and higher latitudes. Our models predict climate change could reduce giant panda habitat by nearly 60% over 70 years. New areas may become suitable outside the current geographic range but much of these areas is far from the current giant panda range and only 15% fall within the current protected area system. Long-term survival of giant pandas will require the creation of new protected areas that are likely to support suitable habitat even if the climate changes.

  1. Spirit Scans Winter Haven

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    At least three different kinds of rocks await scientific analysis at the place where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will likely spend several months of Martian winter. They are visible in this picture, which the panoramic camera on Spirit acquired during the rover's 809th sol, or Martian day, of exploring Mars (April 12, 2006). Paper-thin layers of light-toned, jagged-edged rocks protrude horizontally from beneath small sand drifts; a light gray rock with smooth, rounded edges sits atop the sand drifts; and several dark gray to black, angular rocks with vesicles (small holes) typical of hardened lava lie scattered across the sand. This view is an approximately true-color rendering that combines images taken through the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters.

  2. Winter fuels report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The Winter Fuels Report is intended to provide concise, timely information to the industry, the press, policymakers, consumers, analysts, and State and local governments on the following topics: distillate fuel oil net production, imports and stocks on a US level and for all Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) and product supplied on a US level; propane net production, imports and stocks on a US level and for PADD's I, II, and III; natural gas supply and disposition and underground storage for the US and consumption for all PADD's, as well as selected National average prices; residential and wholesale pricing data for heating oil and propane for those States participating in the joint Energy Information Administration (EIA)/State Heating Oil and Propane Program; crude oil and petroleum price comparisons for the US and selected cities; and a 6-10 day, 30-Day, and 90-Day outlook for temperature and precipitation and US total heating degree-days by city

  3. Winter fuels report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-11-29

    The Winter Fuels Report is intended to provide concise, timely information to the industry, the press, policymakers, consumers, analysts, and state and local governments on the following topics: distillate fuel oil net production, imports and stocks for all PADD's and product supplied on a US level; propane net product supplied on a US level; propane net production, imports and stocks for Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) I, II, and III; natural gas supply and disposition and underground storage for the United States and consumption for all PADD's; residential and wholesale pricing data for propane and heating oil for those states participating in the joint Energy Information Administration (EIA)/State Heating Oil and Propane Program; crude oil and petroleum price comparisons for the United States and selected cities; and US total heating degree-days by city. 27 figs, 12 tabs.

  4. [Characteristics of wintering in ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in forest ecosystems of the East European Plain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griuntal', S Iu

    2000-01-01

    Specific features of wintering of the ground beetles in three habitats (litter, soil, and bark of fallen trees and stumps) were comparatively studied in the forests of forest-steppe (Voronezh District) and subzone of broad-leaved-spruce forests (Moscow District). The main mass of ground beetles is concentrated in the upper 10-cm soil layer, irrespective of the type of watering (automorphous or hydromorphous soils). Wintering under the bark is a facultative feature of the most species occurring in these biocoenoses.

  5. Habitat quality influences population distribution, individual space use and functional responses in habitat selection by a large herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørneraas, Kari; Herfindal, Ivar; Solberg, Erling Johan; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer Moe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying factors shaping variation in resource selection is central for our understanding of the behaviour and distribution of animals. We examined summer habitat selection and space use by 108 Global Positioning System (GPS)-collared moose in Norway in relation to sex, reproductive status, habitat quality, and availability. Moose selected habitat types based on a combination of forage quality and availability of suitable habitat types. Selection of protective cover was strongest for reproducing females, likely reflecting the need to protect young. Males showed strong selection for habitat types with high quality forage, possibly due to higher energy requirements. Selection for preferred habitat types providing food and cover was a positive function of their availability within home ranges (i.e. not proportional use) indicating functional response in habitat selection. This relationship was not found for unproductive habitat types. Moreover, home ranges with high cover of unproductive habitat types were larger, and smaller home ranges contained higher proportions of the most preferred habitat type. The distribution of moose within the study area was partly related to the distribution of different habitat types. Our study shows how distribution and availability of habitat types providing cover and high-quality food shape ungulate habitat selection and space use.

  6. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    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...

  7. Predicting freshwater habitat integrity using land-use surrogates

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2007-04-02

    Apr 2, 2007 ... Quantification of potential surrogates of freshwater habitat integrity. We chose a series of land-use variables that might be suitable predictors for assessing freshwater habitat integrity from the land cover map (CSIR 2005) and added separate GIS surfaces for human population density and the distribution of ...

  8. Influences of environmental cues, migration history and habitat familiarity on partial migration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, Christian; Aarestrup, Kim; Baktoft, Henrik

    2010-01-01

    The factors that drive partial migration in organisms are not fully understood. Roach (Rutilus rutilus), a freshwater fish, engage in partial migration where parts of populations switch between summer habitats in lakes and winter habitats in connected streams. To test if the partial migration trait...

  9. Spatially explicit modeling of annual and seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and Northeastern California—An updated decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Mauch, Kimberly; Niell, Lara; Gardner, Scott; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2016-05-20

    Successful adaptive management hinges largely upon integrating new and improved sources of information as they become available. As a timely example of this tenet, we updated a management decision support tool that was previously developed for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereinafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations in Nevada and California. Specifically, recently developed spatially explicit habitat maps derived from empirical data played a key role in the conservation of this species facing listing under the Endangered Species Act. This report provides an updated process for mapping relative habitat suitability and management categories for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California (Coates and others, 2014, 2016). These updates include: (1) adding radio and GPS telemetry locations from sage-grouse monitored at multiple sites during 2014 to the original location dataset beginning in 1998; (2) integrating output from high resolution maps (1–2 m2) of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper cover as covariates in resource selection models; (3) modifying the spatial extent of the analyses to match newly available vegetation layers; (4) explicit modeling of relative habitat suitability during three seasons (spring, summer, winter) that corresponded to critical life history periods for sage-grouse (breeding, brood-rearing, over-wintering); (5) accounting for differences in habitat availability between more mesic sagebrush steppe communities in the northern part of the study area and drier Great Basin sagebrush in more southerly regions by categorizing continuous region-wide surfaces of habitat suitability index (HSI) with independent locations falling within two hydrological zones; (6) integrating the three seasonal maps into a composite map of annual relative habitat suitability; (7) deriving updated land management categories based on previously determined cut-points for intersections of habitat suitability and an updated index of sage

  10. Modeling influences on winter distribution of caribou in northwestern Alaska through use of satellite telemetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Joly

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available I hypothesize that the distribution of barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti is affected by multiple, interrelated factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, terrain and snow characteristics as well as predation pressure and habitat. To test this hypothesis, I attributed caribou locations derived from satellite telemetry over a 6 year period with terrain (elevation, slope, aspect, and ruggedness, habitat characteristics, and moose density - potentially an index of wolf predation pressure. These locations were compared to random locations, attributed using the same data layers, using logistic regression techniques to develop resource selection functions (RSFs. I found that caribou moved significantly less during mid-winter than early- or late-winter and that cows moved significantly more in April than bulls due to their earlier departure on their spring migration. Distribution was different between cows and bulls. Terrain variables were important factors but were scale-dependent. Cows avoided forested areas, highlighting the importance of tundra habitats, and selected for dwarf shrub, with relatively high lichen cover, and sedge habitat types. Bulls selected for dryas, coniferous forest and dwarf shrub habitats but against lowland sedge, upland shrub and burned tundra. Cow distribution was negatively correlated with moose density at the scale of the Seward Peninsula. My results support the hypothesis that caribou distribution during winter in northwest Alaska is affected by multiple, interrelated factors. These results may be useful for researchers to track and/or model changes in future patterns of range use over winter.

  11. Loss and modification of habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.; Wilkinson, John W.; Heatwole, Harold

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate

  12. Stopover habitats of spring migrating surf scoters in southeast Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  13. Predicting seasonal variations in coastal seabird habitats in the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgili, A.; Lambert, C.; Pettex, E.; Dorémus, G.; Van Canneyt, O.; Ridoux, V.

    2017-07-01

    Seabirds, like all animals, have to live in suitable habitats to fulfil their energetic needs for both somatic and reproductive growth and maintenance. Apart from migration trips, all coastal seabirds are linked to the coast, because they need to return daily to land for resting or breeding. Their use of marine habitats strongly depends on their biology, but also on environmental conditions, and can be described using habitat models. This study aimed to: (1) identify the processes that mostly influence seabird distributions along the coasts of the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay; (2) determine seasonal variations of these processes, (3) provide prediction maps that describe the species distributions. We collected data of coastal seabird sightings from aerial surveys carried out in the English Channel and the eastern North Atlantic in the winter 2011-2012 and summer 2012. We classified seabirds into morphological groups and described their habitats using physiographic and oceanographic variables in Generalised Additive Models (GAMs). Finally, we produced maps of predicted distributions by season for each group. The distributions of coastal seabirds were essentially determined by the distance to the nearest coast, with a weaker influence of oceanographic variables. The nature of the substrate, sand or rock, combined with the timing of reproduction, also contributed to determine seasonal at-sea distributions for some species. The highest densities were predicted near the coast, particularly in bays and estuaries for strictly coastal species with possible variations depending on the season. From this study, we were able to predict the seasonal distribution of the studied species according to varying environmental parameters that changed over time, allowing us to understand better their behaviour and ecology.

  14. Scale dependence in habitat selection: The case of the endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Cantabrian Range (NW Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo Sanchez; Samuel A. Cushman; Santiago Saura

    2013-01-01

    Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales. Thus, explicit attention to scale dependency in species-habitat relationships is critical to understand the habitat suitability patterns as perceived by organisms in complex landscapes. Identification of the scales at which particular environmental variables influence habitat selection may be as important as...

  15. Habitat features and predictive habitat modeling for the Colorado chipmunk in southern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivieccio, M.; Thompson, B.C.; Gould, W.R.; Boykin, K.G.

    2003-01-01

    Two subspecies of Colorado chipmunk (state threatened and federal species of concern) occur in southern New Mexico: Tamias quadrivittatus australis in the Organ Mountains and T. q. oscuraensis in the Oscura Mountains. We developed a GIS model of potentially suitable habitat based on vegetation and elevation features, evaluated site classifications of the GIS model, and determined vegetation and terrain features associated with chipmunk occurrence. We compared GIS model classifications with actual vegetation and elevation features measured at 37 sites. At 60 sites we measured 18 habitat variables regarding slope, aspect, tree species, shrub species, and ground cover. We used logistic regression to analyze habitat variables associated with chipmunk presence/absence. All (100%) 37 sample sites (28 predicted suitable, 9 predicted unsuitable) were classified correctly by the GIS model regarding elevation and vegetation. For 28 sites predicted suitable by the GIS model, 18 sites (64%) appeared visually suitable based on habitat variables selected from logistic regression analyses, of which 10 sites (36%) were specifically predicted as suitable habitat via logistic regression. We detected chipmunks at 70% of sites deemed suitable via the logistic regression models. Shrub cover, tree density, plant proximity, presence of logs, and presence of rock outcrop were retained in the logistic model for the Oscura Mountains; litter, shrub cover, and grass cover were retained in the logistic model for the Organ Mountains. Evaluation of predictive models illustrates the need for multi-stage analyses to best judge performance. Microhabitat analyses indicate prospective needs for different management strategies between the subspecies. Sensitivities of each population of the Colorado chipmunk to natural and prescribed fire suggest that partial burnings of areas inhabited by Colorado chipmunks in southern New Mexico may be beneficial. These partial burnings may later help avoid a fire

  16. Coastal Critical Habitat Designations

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  17. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  18. Indicators: Physical Habitat Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Winter fuels report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1995-01-13

    The Winter Fuels Report is intended to provide concise, timely information to the industry, the press, policymakers, consumers, analysts, and State and local governments on the following topics: distillate fuel oil net production, imports and stocks on a US level and for all Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) and product supplied on a US level; propane net production, imports and stocks on a US level and for PADD`s I, II, and III; natural gas supply and disposition and underground storage for the US and consumption for all PADD`s, as well as selected National average prices; residential and wholesale pricing data for heating oil and propane for those States participating in the joint Energy Information Administration (EIA)/State Heating Oil and Propane Program; crude oil and petroleum price comparisons for the US and selected cities; and a 6-10 day, 30-Day, and 90-Day outlook for temperature and precipitation and US total heating degree-days by city.

  20. Klaus Winter (1930 - 2015)

    CERN Multimedia

    2015-01-01

    We learned with great sadness that Klaus Winter passed away on 9 February 2015, after a long illness.   Klaus was born in 1930 in Hamburg, where he obtained his diploma in physics in 1955. From 1955 to 1958 he held a scholarship at the Collège de France, where he received his doctorate in nuclear physics under the guidance of Francis Perrin. Klaus joined CERN in 1958, where he first participated in experiments on π+ and K0 decay properties at the PS, and later became the spokesperson of the CHOV Collaboration at the ISR. Starting in 1976, his work focused on experiments with the SPS neutrino beam. In 1984 he joined Ugo Amaldi to head the CHARM experiment, designed for detailed studies of the neutral current interactions of high-energy neutrinos, which had been discovered in 1973 using the Gargamelle bubble chamber at the PS. The unique feature of the detector was its target calorimeter, which used large Carrara marble plates as an absorber material. From 1984 to 1991, Klau...

  1. Winter fuels report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-10-04

    The Winter Fuels Report is intended to provide concise, timely information to the industry, the press, policymakers, consumers, analysts, and state and local governments on the following topics: distillate fuel oil net production, imports and stocks for all PADD's and product supplied on a US level; propane net production, imports and stocks for Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) I, II, and III; natural gas supply and disposition, underground storage, and consumption for all PADD's; residential and wholesale pricing data for propane and heating oil for those states participating in the joint Energy Information Administration (EIA)/State Heating Oil and Propane Program; crude oil price comparisons for the United States and selected cities; and US total heating degree-days by city. This report will be published weekly by the EIA starting the first week in October 1990 and will continue until the first week in April 1991. The data will also be available electronically after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday during the heating season through the EIA Electronic Publication System (EPUB). 12 tabs.

  2. Temperature characteristics of winter roost-sites for birds and mammals: tree cavities and anthropogenic alternatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grüebler, Martin U.; Widmer, Silv; Korner-Nievergelt, Fränzi; Naef-Daenzer, Beat

    2014-07-01

    The microclimate of potential roost-sites is likely to be a crucial determinant in the optimal roost-site selection of endotherms, in particular during the winter season of temperate zones. Available roost-sites for birds and mammals in European high trunk orchards are mainly tree cavities, wood stacks and artificial nest boxes. However, little is known about the microclimatic patterns inside cavities and thermal advantages of using these winter roost-sites. Here, we simultaneously investigate the thermal patterns of winter roost-sites in relation to winter ambient temperature and their insulation capacity. While tree cavities and wood stacks strongly buffered the daily cycle of temperature changes, nest boxes showed low buffering capacity. The buffering effect of tree cavities was stronger at extreme ambient temperatures compared to temperatures around zero. Heat sources inside roosts amplified Δ T (i.e., the difference between inside and outside temperatures), particularly in the closed roosts of nest boxes and tree cavities, and less in the open wood stacks with stronger circulation of air. Positive Δ T due to the installation of a heat source increased in cold ambient temperatures. These results suggest that orchard habitats in winter show a spatiotemporal mosaic of sites providing different thermal benefits varying over time and in relation to ambient temperatures. At cold temperatures tree cavities provide significantly higher thermal benefits than nest boxes or wood stacks. Thus, in winter ecology of hole-using endotherms, the availability of tree cavities may be an important characteristic of winter habitat quality.

  3. Seasonal habitat selection of the red deer (Cervus elaphus alxaicus in the Helan Mountains, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingming Zhang

    2013-02-01

    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.

  4. Habitat Heterogeneity Variably Influences Habitat Selection by Wild Herbivores in a Semi-Arid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report; Beaver Lake, Technical Report 2005.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-05-01

    On August 14, 2003, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the Beaver Lake property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in November 2002. Evaluation species and appropriate models include bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, Canada goose, mallard, muskrat, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The Beaver Lake Project provides a total of 232.26 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Conifer forest habitat provides 136.58 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Forested wetland habitat provides 20.02 HUs for bald eagle, black-caped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Scrub-shrub wetland habitat provides 7.67 HUs for mallard, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer. Grassland meadow provides 22.69 HUs for Canada goose and mallard. Emergent wetlands provide 35.04 HUs for Canada goose, mallard, and muskrat. Open water provided 10.26 HUs for Canada goose, mallard, and muskrat. The objective of using HEP at the Beaver Lake Project and other protected properties is to document the quality and quantity of available habitat for selected wildlife species. In this way, HEP provides information on the relative value of the same area at future points in time so that the effect of management activities on wildlife habitat can be quantified. When combined with other tools, the baseline HEP will be used to determine the most effective on-site management, restoration, and enhancement actions to increase habitat suitability for targeted species. The same process will be replicated every five years to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in improving and maintaining habitat conditions while providing additional crediting to BPA for enhanced habitat values.

  6. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report; Gamblin Lake, Technical Report 2005.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-05-01

    On August 12, 2003, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the Gamblin Lake property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in December 2002. Evaluation species and appropriate models include bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, muskrat, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The Gamblin Lake Project provides a total of 273.28 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Conifer forest habitat provides 127.92 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Forested wetland habitat provides 21.06 HUs for bald eagle, black-caped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Wet meadow provides 78.05 HUs for Canada goose and mallard. Emergent wetland habitat provides 46.25 HUs for mallard, muskrat, and Canada goose. The objective of using HEP at the Gamblin Lake Project and other protected properties is to document the quality and quantity of available habitat for selected wildlife species. In this way, HEP provides information on the relative value of the same area at future points in time so that the effect of management activities on wildlife habitat can be quantified. When combined with other tools, the baseline HEP will be used to determine the most effective on-site management, restoration, and enhancement actions to increase habitat suitability for targeted species. The same process will be replicated every five years to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in improving and maintaining habitat conditions while providing additional crediting to BPA for enhanced habitat values.

  7. The energetic consequences of habitat structure for forest stream salmonids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naman, Sean M; Rosenfeld, Jordan S; Kiffney, Peter M; Richardson, John S

    2018-05-08

    1.Increasing habitat availability (i.e. habitat suitable for occupancy) is often assumed to elevate the abundance or production of mobile consumers; however, this relationship is often nonlinear (threshold or unimodal). Identifying the mechanisms underlying these nonlinearities is essential for predicting the ecological impacts of habitat change, yet the functional forms and ultimate causation of consumer-habitat relationships are often poorly understood. 2.Nonlinear effects of habitat on animal abundance may manifest through physical constraints on foraging that restrict consumers from accessing their resources. Subsequent spatial incongruence between consumers and resources should lead to unimodal or saturating effects of habitat availability on consumer production if increasing the area of habitat suitable for consumer occupancy comes at the expense of habitats that generate resources. However, the shape of this relationship could be sensitive to cross-ecosystem prey subsidies, which may be unrelated to recipient habitat structure and result in more linear habitat effects on consumer production. 3.We investigated habitat-productivity relationships for juveniles of stream-rearing Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.), which typically forage in low-velocity pool habitats, while their prey (drifting benthic invertebrates) are produced upstream in high-velocity riffles. However, juvenile salmonids also consume subsidies of terrestrial invertebrates that may be independent of pool-riffle structure. 4.We measured salmonid biomass production in 13 experimental enclosures each containing a downstream pool and upstream riffle, spanning a gradient of relative pool area (14-80% pool). Increasing pool relative to riffle habitat area decreased prey abundance, leading to a nonlinear saturating effect on fish production. We then used bioenergetics model simulations to examine how the relationship between pool area and salmonid biomass is affected by varying levels of

  8. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markle, Chantel E; Chow-Fraser, Gillian; Chow-Fraser, Patricia

    2018-01-01

    Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015) and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water) and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna.

  10. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chantel E Markle

    Full Text Available Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015 and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna.

  11. Waterbird habitat in California's Central Valley basins under climate, urbanization, and water management scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matchett, Elliott L.; Fleskes, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    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

  12. Establishing Winter Origins of Migrating Lesser Snow Geese Using Stable Isotopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane Hénaux

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Increases in Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens populations and large-scale habitat changes in North America have contributed to the concentration of migratory waterfowl on fewer wetlands, reducing resource availability, and enhancing risks of disease transmission. Predicting wintering locations of migratory individuals is critical to guide wildlife population management and habitat restoration. We used stable carbon (δ13C, nitrogen (δ15N, and hydrogen (δ2H isotope ratios in muscle tissue of wintering Snow Geese to discriminate four major wintering areas, the Playa Lake Region, Texas Gulf Coast, Louisiana Gulf Coast, and Arkansas, and infer the wintering locations of individuals collected later during the 2007 and 2008 spring migrations in the Rainwater Basin (RWB of Nebraska. We predicted the wintering ground derivation of migrating Snow Geese using a likelihood-based approach. Our three-isotope analysis provided an efficient discrimination of the four wintering areas. The assignment model predicted that 53% [95% CI: 37-69] of our sample of Snow Geese from the RWB in 2007 had most likely originated in Louisiana, 38% [23-54] had wintered on Texas Gulf Coast, and 9% [0-20] in Arkansas; the assessment suggested that 89% [73-100] of our 2008 sample had most likely come from Texas Gulf Coast, 9% [0-27] from Louisiana Gulf Coast, and 2% [0-9] from Arkansas. Further segregation of wintering grounds and additional sampling of spring migrating Snow Geese would refine overall assignment and help explain interannual variations in migratory connectivity. The ability to distinguish origins of northbound geese can support the development of spatially-adaptive management strategies for the midcontinent Snow Goose population. Establishing migratory connectivity using isotope assignment techniques can be extended to other waterfowl species to determine critical habitat, evaluate population energy requirements, and inform waterfowl conservation and management

  13. Winter/Summer Monsoon Experiment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Winter/Summer Monsoon Experiment (MONEX) was conducted during the First Global GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) Experiment (FGGE). An international...

  14. Rock suitability classification RSC 2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McEwen, T. (ed.) [McEwen Consulting, Leicester (United Kingdom); Kapyaho, A. [Geological Survey of Finland, Espoo (Finland); Hella, P. [Saanio and Riekkola, Helsinki (Finland); Aro, S.; Kosunen, P.; Mattila, J.; Pere, T.

    2012-12-15

    This report presents Posiva's Rock Suitability Classification (RSC) system, developed for locating suitable rock volumes for repository design and construction. The RSC system comprises both the revised rock suitability criteria and the procedure for the suitability classification during the construction of the repository. The aim of the classification is to avoid such features of the host rock that may be detrimental to the favourable conditions within the repository, either initially or in the long term. This report also discusses the implications of applying the RSC system for the fulfilment of the regulatory requirements concerning the host rock as a natural barrier and the site's overall suitability for hosting a final repository of spent nuclear fuel.

  15. Rock suitability classification RSC 2012

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McEwen, T.; Kapyaho, A.; Hella, P.; Aro, S.; Kosunen, P.; Mattila, J.; Pere, T.

    2012-12-01

    This report presents Posiva's Rock Suitability Classification (RSC) system, developed for locating suitable rock volumes for repository design and construction. The RSC system comprises both the revised rock suitability criteria and the procedure for the suitability classification during the construction of the repository. The aim of the classification is to avoid such features of the host rock that may be detrimental to the favourable conditions within the repository, either initially or in the long term. This report also discusses the implications of applying the RSC system for the fulfilment of the regulatory requirements concerning the host rock as a natural barrier and the site's overall suitability for hosting a final repository of spent nuclear fuel

  16. The meaning of nuclear winter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geiger, H.J.

    1987-01-01

    In this paper the author reviews the history and origins of the basic ideas underlying nuclear winter; and findings and predictions of several groups regarding this topic. The author reviews some of the further developments and scientific analyses regarding nuclear winter since the initial announcements of 1983, touching on some of the revisions and controversies and trying to indicate the current status of the field

  17. Winter food habits of coastal juvenile steelhead and coho salmon in Pudding Creek, northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather Anne Pert

    1993-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine winter food sources, availability, and preferences for coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Pudding Creek, California. The majority of research on overwintering strategies of salmonids on the West Coast has been done in cooler, northern climates studying primarily the role of habitat...

  18. Bird foraging on incense-cedar and incense-cedar scale during winter in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael L. Morrison; Donald L. Dahlsten; Susan M. Tait; Robert C. Heald; Kathleen A. Milne; David L. Rowney

    1989-01-01

    Seasonal differences in use of food and habitat have been shown for numerous bird species. Especially during winter, when insect food is often at its lowest availability, birds may be unable to secure enough food for survival. In earlier work in the mixed-conifer zone of the western Sierra Nevada (Blodgett Forest, El Dorado County), observers found that many birds...

  19. Contrasting feeding strategies among wintering common eiders linked to white-tailed sea eagle predation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Merkel, Flemming Ravn; Mosbech, Anders; Sonne, Christian

    Southwest Greenland is an international important wintering area for Greenland and Canadian common eiders (Somateria mollissima borealis). They distribute both in the shallow habitats along the outer coastline and in the fjords which are generally very deep. In the fjord systems, eiders are typic...

  20. Scale-dependent seasonal pool habitat use by sympatric Wild Brook Trout and Brown Trout populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Lori A.; Wagner, Tyler

    2016-01-01

    Sympatric populations of native Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Brown Trout Salmo truttaexist throughout the eastern USA. An understanding of habitat use by sympatric populations is of importance for fisheries management agencies because of the close association between habitat and population dynamics. Moreover, habitat use by stream-dwelling salmonids may be further complicated by several factors, including the potential for fish to display scale-dependent habitat use. Discrete-choice models were used to (1) evaluate fall and early winter daytime habitat use by sympatric Brook Trout and Brown Trout populations based on available residual pool habitat within a stream network and (2) assess the sensitivity of inferred habitat use to changes in the spatial scale of the assumed available habitat. Trout exhibited an overall preference for pool habitats over nonpool habitats; however, the use of pools was nonlinear over time. Brook Trout displayed a greater preference for deep residual pool habitats than for shallow pool and nonpool habitats, whereas Brown Trout selected for all pool habitat categories similarly. Habitat use by both species was found to be scale dependent. At the smallest spatial scale (50 m), habitat use was primarily related to the time of year and fish weight. However, at larger spatial scales (250 and 450 m), habitat use varied over time according to the study stream in which a fish was located. Scale-dependent relationships in seasonal habitat use by Brook Trout and Brown Trout highlight the importance of considering scale when attempting to make inferences about habitat use; fisheries managers may want to consider identifying the appropriate spatial scale when devising actions to restore and protect Brook Trout populations and their habitats.

  1. Seasonal variation in coastal marine habitat use by the European shag: Insights from fine scale habitat selection modeling and diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelot, Candice; Pinaud, David; Fortin, Matthieu; Maes, Philippe; Callard, Benjamin; Leicher, Marine; Barbraud, Christophe

    2017-07-01

    to suitable habitats and preys.

  2. Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus and climate change: Importance of winter forage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thrine Moen Heggberget

    2002-06-01

    climate may cause an altitudinal upward shift in the production of mat-forming lichens in alpine, sub-arctic regions. This is due to an increased potential for lichen growth at high altitudes, combined with increased competition from taller-growing vascular plants at lower altitudes, where the biomass of Betula nana in particular will increase. Matforming lichens dominant on dry, windblown ridges are easily overgrazed at high reindeer densities. This has longterm effects due to lichens’ slow regeneration rate, but may also reduce competition from vascular plants in a long time perspective. Fires may act in a similar way in some forested areas. Accessibility of winter forage depends on plant biomass, snow depth and hardness; ice crusts or exceptionally deep snow may result in starvation and increased animal mortality. Calf recruitment appears to be low and/or highly variable where winter ranges are overgrazed and hard or deep snow is common. Population decline in several Rangifer tarandus spp. has been associated with snow-rich winters. Effects tend to be delayed and cumulative, particularly on calves. This is mainly ascribed to feeding conditions for young animals which later affect age at maturation. Global warming may increase the frequency of deep or hard snow on reindeer ranges in Norway, due to increased precipitation and more frequent mild periods in winter. We hypothesise that potential benefits from increased plant productivity due to global warming will be counteracted by shifts in the distribution of preferred lichen forage, reduction of the areas of suitable winter ranges, and generally reduced forage accessibility in winter.

  3. Black brant from Alaska staging and wintering in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derksen, Dirk V.; Bollinger, K.S.; Ward, David H.; Sedinger, J.S.; Miyabayashi, Y.

    1996-01-01

    Black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) nest in colonies in arctic Canada, Alaska, and Russia (Derksen and Ward 1993, Sedinger et al. 1993). Virtually the entire population stages in fall at Izembek Lagoon near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula (Bellrose 1976) before southward migration (Dau 1992) to winter habitats in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Baja California (Subcommittee on Black Brant 1992). A small number of black brant winter in Japan, Korea, and China (Owen 1980). In Japan 3,000–5,000 brant of unknown origin stop over in fall, and a declining population (in the northern islands (Brazil 1991, Miyabayashi et al. 1994). Here, we report sightings of brant in Japan that were marked in Alaska and propose a migration route based on historical and recent observations and weather patterns.

  4. Increased body mass of ducks wintering in California's Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleskes, Joseph P.; Yee, Julie L.; Yarris, Gregory S.; Loughman, Daniel L.

    2016-01-01

    Waterfowl managers lack the information needed to fully evaluate the biological effects of their habitat conservation programs. We studied body condition of dabbling ducks shot by hunters at public hunting areas throughout the Central Valley of California during 2006–2008 compared with condition of ducks from 1979 to 1993. These time periods coincide with habitat increases due to Central Valley Joint Venture conservation programs and changing agricultural practices; we modeled to ascertain whether body condition differed among waterfowl during these periods. Three dataset comparisons indicate that dabbling duck body mass was greater in 2006–2008 than earlier years and the increase was greater in the Sacramento Valley and Suisun Marsh than in the San Joaquin Valley, differed among species (mallard [Anas platyrhynchos], northern pintail [Anas acuta], America wigeon [Anas americana], green-winged teal [Anas crecca], and northern shoveler [Anas clypeata]), and was greater in ducks harvested late in the season. Change in body mass also varied by age–sex cohort and month for all 5 species and by September–January rainfall for all except green-winged teal. The random effect of year nested in period, and sometimes interacting with other factors, improved models in many cases. Results indicate that improved habitat conditions in the Central Valley have resulted in increased winter body mass of dabbling ducks, especially those that feed primarily on seeds, and this increase was greater in regions where area of post-harvest flooding of rice and other crops, and wetland area, has increased. Conservation programs that continue to promote post-harvest flooding and other agricultural practices that benefit wintering waterfowl and continue to restore and conserve wetlands would likely help maintain body condition of wintering dabbling ducks in the Central Valley of California.

  5. Modeling the Effect of Geomorphic Change Triggered by Large Wood Addition on Salmon Habitat in a Forested Coastal Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bair, R.; Segura, C.; Lorion, C.

    2015-12-01

    Large wood (LW) additions are often part of fish habitat restorations in the PNW where historic forest clear-cutting limited natural wood recruitment. These efforts' relative successes are rarely reported in terms of ecological significance to different life stages of fish. Understanding the effectiveness of LW additions will contribute to successfully managing forest land. In this study we quantify the geomorphic change of a restoration project involving LW additions to three alluvial reaches in Mill Creek, OR. The reaches are 110-130m in plane-bed morphology and drain 2-16km2. We quantify the change in available habitat to different life stages of coho salmon in terms of velocity (v), shear stress (t), flow depth, and grain size distributions (GSD) considering existing thresholds in the literature for acceptable habitat. Flow conditions before and after LW additions are assessed using a 2D hydrodynamic model (FaSTMECH). Model inputs include detailed channel topography, discharge, and surface GSD. The spatial-temporal variability of sediment transport was also quantified based the modeled t distributions and the GSD to document changes in the overall geomorphic regime. Initial modeling results for pre wood conditions show mean t and v values ranging between 0 and 26N/m2 and between 0 and 2.4m/s, respectively for up to bankfull flow (Qbf). The distributions of both t and v become progressively wider and peak at higher values as flow increases with the notable exception at Qbf for which the area of low velocity increases noticeably. The spatial distributions of velocity results indicates that the extent of suitable habitat for adult coho decreased by 18% between flows 30 and 55% of BF. However the area of suitable habitat increased by 15% between 0.55Qbf and Qbf as the flow spreads from the channel into the floodplain. We expect the LW will enhance floodplain connectivity and thus available habitat by creating additional areas of low v during winter flows.

  6. Short-term effects of habitat fragmentation on the abundance and species richness of beetles in experimental alfalfa micro-landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    GREZ, AUDREY A.; ZAVIEZO, TANIA; REYES, SUSANA

    2004-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered as the main causes of biodiversity depression. Habitat loss implies a reduction of suitable habitat for organisms, and habitat fragmentation is a change in the spatial configuration of the landscape, with the remaining fragments resulting more or less isolated. Recent theory indicates that the effects of habitat loss are more important than those of habitat fragmentation, however there are few experimental studies evaluating both processes separat...

  7. Increase in quantity and quality of suitable areas for invasive species as climate changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Luque, Gloria M; Courchamp, Franck

    2013-12-01

    As climatically suitable range projections become increasingly used to assess distributions of species, we recommend systematic assessments of the quality of habitat in addition to the classical binary classification of habitat. We devised a method to assess occurrence probability, captured by a climatic suitability index, through which we could determine variations in the quality of potential habitat. This relative risk assessment circumvents the use of an arbitrary suitability threshold. We illustrated our method with 2 case studies on invasive ant species. We estimated invasion potential of the destroyer ant (Monomorium destructor) and the European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) on a global scale currently and by 2080 with climate change. We found that 21.1% of the world's landmass currently has a suitable climate for the destroyer ant and 16% has a suitable climate for European fire ant. Our climatic suitability index showed that both ant species would benefit from climate change, but in different ways. The size of the potential distribution increased by 35.8% for the destroyer ant. Meanwhile, the total area of potential distribution remained the same for the European fire ant (>0.05%), but the level of climatic suitability within this range increased greatly and led to an improvement in habitat quality (i.e., of invasive species' establishment likelihood). Either through quantity or quality of suitable areas, both invasive ant species are likely to increase the extent of their invasion in the future, following global climate change. Our results show that species may increase their range if either more areas become suitable or if the available areas present improved suitability. Studies in which an arbitrary suitability threshold was used may overlook changes in area quality within climatically suitable areas and as a result reach incorrect predictions. Incremento de la Cantidad y Calidad de Áreas Idóneas para Especies Invasoras a Medida que Cambia el Clima.

  8. Stratification of habitats for identifying habitat selection by Merriam's turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1992-01-01

    Habitat selection patterns of Merriam’s 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-...

  9. Understanding Existing Salmonid Habitat Availability and Connectivity to Improve River Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffin, J.; Yager, E.; Tonina, D.; Benjankar, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    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.

  10. Surface Habitat Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    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

  11. Crop response of aerobic rice and winter wheat to nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a double cropping system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dai, X.Q.; Zhang, H.Y.; Spiertz, J.H.J.; Yu, J.; Xie, G.H.; Bouman, B.A.M.

    2010-01-01

    In the aerobic rice system, adapted rice cultivars are grown in non-flooded moist soil. Aerobic rice may be suitable for double cropping with winter wheat in the Huai River Basin, northern China plain. Field experiments in 2005 and 2006 were conducted to study the response of aerobic rice and winter

  12. HABITAT PREFERENSIAL TARSIUS BELITUNG (Cephalopachus bancanus saltator Elliot, 1910

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fifin Fitriana

    2017-04-01

    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  

  13. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R; Burdett, Christopher L; Theobald, David M; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-09-27

    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.

  14. Effects of changing climate on aquatic habitat and connectivity for remnant populations of a wide-ranging frog species in an arid landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S; Arkle, Robert S; Robertson, Jeanne M; Murphy, Melanie A; Funk, W Chris

    2015-09-01

    Amphibian species persisting in isolated streams and wetlands in desert environments can be susceptible to low connectivity, genetic isolation, and climate changes. We evaluated the past (1900-1930), recent (1981-2010), and future (2071-2100) climate suitability of the arid Great Basin (USA) for the Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) and assessed whether changes in surface water may affect connectivity for remaining populations. We developed a predictive model of current climate suitability and used it to predict the historic and future distribution of suitable climates. We then modeled changes in surface water availability at each time period. Finally, we quantified connectivity among existing populations on the basis of hydrology and correlated it with interpopulation genetic distance. We found that the area of the Great Basin with suitable climate conditions has declined by approximately 49% over the last century and will likely continue to decline under future climate scenarios. Climate conditions at currently occupied locations have been relatively stable over the last century, which may explain persistence at these sites. However, future climates at these currently occupied locations are predicted to become warmer throughout the year and drier during the frog's activity period (May - September). Fall and winter precipitation may increase, but as rain instead of snow. Earlier runoff and lower summer base flows may reduce connectivity between neighboring populations, which is already limited. Many of these changes could have negative effects on remaining populations over the next 50-80 years, but milder winters, longer growing seasons, and wetter falls might positively affect survival and dispersal. Collectively, however, seasonal shifts in temperature, precipitation, and stream flow patterns could reduce habitat suitability and connectivity for frogs and possibly other aquatic species inhabiting streams in this arid region.

  15. Effects of changing climate on aquatic habitat and connectivity for remnant populations of a wide-ranging frog species in an arid landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert S.; Robertson, Jeanne M; Murphy, Melanie; Funk, W. Chris

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian species persisting in isolated streams and wetlands in desert environments can be susceptible to low connectivity, genetic isolation, and climate changes. We evaluated the past (1900–1930), recent (1981–2010), and future (2071–2100) climate suitability of the arid Great Basin (USA) for the Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) and assessed whether changes in surface water may affect connectivity for remaining populations. We developed a predictive model of current climate suitability and used it to predict the historic and future distribution of suitable climates. We then modeled changes in surface water availability at each time period. Finally, we quantified connectivity among existing populations on the basis of hydrology and correlated it with interpopulation genetic distance. We found that the area of the Great Basin with suitable climate conditions has declined by approximately 49% over the last century and will likely continue to decline under future climate scenarios. Climate conditions at currently occupied locations have been relatively stable over the last century, which may explain persistence at these sites. However, future climates at these currently occupied locations are predicted to become warmer throughout the year and drier during the frog's activity period (May – September). Fall and winter precipitation may increase, but as rain instead of snow. Earlier runoff and lower summer base flows may reduce connectivity between neighboring populations, which is already limited. Many of these changes could have negative effects on remaining populations over the next 50–80 years, but milder winters, longer growing seasons, and wetter falls might positively affect survival and dispersal. Collectively, however, seasonal shifts in temperature, precipitation, and stream flow patterns could reduce habitat suitability and connectivity for frogs and possibly other aquatic species inhabiting streams in this arid region.

  16. Hellsgate Winter Range : Wildlife Mitigation Project. Final Environmental Assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1995-03-01

    Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to fund the Hellsgate Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project (Project) in a cooperative effort with the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The proposed action would allow the sponsors to secure property and conduct wildlife management activities within the boundaries of the Colville Indian Reservation. This Final Environmental Assessment (EA) examines the potential environmental effects of acquiring and managing property for wildlife and wildlife habitat within a large project area. This area consists of several separated land parcels, of which 2,000 hectares (4,943 acres) have been purchased by BPA and an additional 4,640 hectares (11,466 acres) have been identified by the Colville Confederated Tribes for inclusion in the Project. Four proposed activities (habitat protection, habitat enhancement, operation and maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation) are analyzed. The proposed action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wildlife habitat that was adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams and their reservoirs.

  17. Hellsgate Winter Range: Wildlife mitigation project. Final environmental assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-03-01

    Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to fund the Hellsgate Winter Range Wildlife Mitigation Project (Project) in a cooperative effort with the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The proposed action would allow the sponsors to secure property and conduct wildlife management activities within the boundaries of the Colville Indian Reservation. This Final Environmental Assessment (EA) examines the potential environmental effects of acquiring and managing property for wildlife and wildlife habitat within a large project area. This area consists of several separated land parcels, of which 2,000 hectares (4,943 acres) have been purchased by BPA and an additional 4,640 hectares (11,466 acres) have been identified by the Colville Confederated Tribes for inclusion in the Project. Four proposed activities (habitat protection, habitat enhancement, operation and maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation) are analyzed. The proposed action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wildlife habitat that was adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams and their reservoirs

  18. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report; Carey Creek, Technical Report 2005.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-05-01

    In August 2002, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the Carey Creek property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in December 2001. Evaluation species and appropriate models include bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, Canada goose, mallard, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The Carey Creek Project provides a total of 172.95 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Conifer forest habitat provides 4.91 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, and white-tailed deer. Forested wetlands provide 52.68 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Scrub-shrub wetlands provide 2.82 HUs for mallard, yellow warbler and white-tailed deer. Wet meadow and grassland meadow provide 98.13 HUs for mallard and Canada goose. Emergent wetlands provide 11.53 HUs for mallard, muskrat, and Canada goose. Open water provides 2.88 HUs for Canada goose, mallard, and muskrat. The objective of using HEP at the Carey Creek Project and other protected properties is to document the quality and quantity of available habitat for selected wildlife species. In this way, HEP provides information on the relative value of the same area at future points in time so that the effect of management activities on wildlife habitat can be quantified. When combined with other tools, the baseline HEP will be used to determine the most effective on-site management, restoration, and enhancement actions to increase habitat suitability for targeted species. The same process will be replicated every five years to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in improving and maintaining habitat conditions while providing additional crediting to BPA for enhanced habitat values.

  19. Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Wildlife habitat considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen Y. Smith

    2000-01-01

    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 “no action” alternative in ecosystem management of low...

  1. Critical Habitat :: NOAA Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    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) » Biological Report » Economic Report 2012 77 FR 4170 Go to

  2. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report; Sandy River Delta, Technical Report 2000-2002.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rocklage, Ann; Ratti, John

    2002-02-01

    Land managers are often challenged with the mandate to control exotic and invasive plant species. Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) and Himalayan blackberry (Rubus discolor) are 2 such species that are currently threatening natural areas in western United States. Reed canarygrass may be native to the inland northwest (Antieau 2000), but it has invaded many wetland areas as dense, monoculture stands. Spread of this plant species is largely attributed to human disturbances, e.g., draining, farming (Antieau 2000). Reed canarygrass often dominates other emergent vegetation such as cattail (Typha spp.) and bulrush (Scirpus spp.) (Whitson et al. 1996, Apfelbaum and Sams 1987), and the resulting habitat is largely unsuitable for wetland birds. Himalayan blackberry was introduced to the United States as a garden shrub and was planted at wildlife-management areas for food and cover. It easily colonizes disturbed places, such as roadsides, ditches, and flood plains (Hoshovsky 2000). Once established, it forms a thick, impenetrable stand, which excludes native shrub species. Although Himalayan blackberry does provide food and cover for wildlife, particularly during fall and winter, it decreases habitat diversity, and therefore, may decrease wildlife diversity. Furthermore, patterns of avian nest predation may be altered in some exotic-shrub communities (Schmidt and Whelan 1999). For land managers to make sound decisions regarding invasive-plant control, it is useful to obtain information on current plant distributions in relation to targeted wildlife species, and then use models to predict how those species may respond to changes in vegetation. The Habitat Evaluations Program was developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate current and future habitat conditions for fish and wildlife (Stiehl 1994). The program is based on Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models for specific wildlife species. Each model contains several variables that represent life

  3. [Population trends and behavioral observations of wintering common cranes (Grus grus) in Yancheng Nature Reserve].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhong-Qiu; Wang, Zhi; Ge, Chen

    2013-10-01

    To understand the population status and behavioural features of wintering common cranes in the Yancheng Nature Reserve, two transects were established and population trends were monitored every month over five recent winters from 2008 to 2013. Wintering behaviours were also observed in order to explore the possible effects of family size and age on time budgets. Results indicated that the populations were stable with a range of 303 to 707 individuals. Negative effects of coastal developments were not found on the wintering population of common cranes, which might be related to their diets and preference for artificial wetland habitats. We found a significant effect of age on time budgets, with juveniles spending more time feeding and less time alerting, which might be related to the needs of body development and skill learning. Family size did not affect the time budgets of the cranes, which indicated that adults did not increase vigilance investment even when raising a larger family.

  4. Physical and Chemical Implications of Mid-Winter Pumping of Trunda Lakes - North Slope, Alaska

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinzman, Larry D. (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center); Lilly, Michael R. (Geo-Watersheds Scientific); Kane, Douglas L. (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center); Miller, D. Dan (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center); Galloway, Braden K. (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center); Hilton, Kristie M. (Geo-Watersheds Scientific); White, Daniel M. (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center)

    2005-09-30

    Tundra lakes on the North Slope, Alaska, are an important resource for energy development and petroleum field operations. A majority of exploration activities, pipeline maintenance, and restoration activities take place on winter ice roads that depend on water availability at key times of the winter operating season. These same lakes provide important fisheries and ecosystem functions. In particular, overwintering habitat for fish is one important management concern. This study focused on the evaluation of winter water use in the current field operating areas to provide a better understanding of the current water use practices. It found that under the current water use practices, there were no measurable negative effects of winter pumping on the lakes studied and current water use management practices were appropriately conservative. The study did find many areas where improvements in the understanding of tundra lake hydrology and water usage would benefit industry, management agencies, and the protection of fisheries and ecosystems.

  5. Defining geo-habitats for groundwater ecosystem assessments: an example from England and Wales (UK)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weitowitz, Damiano C.; Maurice, Louise; Lewis, Melinda; Bloomfield, John P.; Reiss, Julia; Robertson, Anne L.

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater ecosystems comprising micro-organisms and metazoans provide an important contribution to global biodiversity. Their complexity depends on geology, which determines the physical habitat available, and the chemical conditions within it. Despite this, methods of classifying groundwater habitats using geological data are not well established and researchers have called for higher resolution habitat frameworks. A novel habitat typology for England and Wales (UK) is proposed, which distinguishes 11 geological habitats (geo-habitats) on hydrogeological principles and maps their distribution. Hydrogeological and hydrochemical data are used to determine the characteristics of each geo-habitat, and demonstrate their differences. Using these abiotic parameters, a new method to determine abiotic habitat quality is then developed. The geo-habitats had significantly different characteristics, validating the classification system. All geo-habitats were highly heterogeneous, containing both high quality habitat patches that are likely to be suitable for fauna, and areas of low quality that may limit faunal distributions. Karstic and porous habitats generally were higher quality than fractured habitats. Overall, 70% of England and Wales are covered by lower quality fractured habitats, with only 13% covered by higher quality habitats. The main areas of high quality habitats occur in central England as north-south trending belts, possibly facilitating dispersal along this axis. They are separated by low quality geo-habitats that may prevent east-west dispersal of fauna. In south-west England and Wales suitable geo-habitats occur as small isolated patches. Overall, this paper provides a new national-scale typology that is adaptable for studies in other geographic areas.

  6. Habitat Blocks and Wildlife Corridors

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  7. Learning through a Winter's Tale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidotto, Kristie

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author shares her experience during the final semester of Year 11 Theatre Studies when she performed a monologue about Hermione from "The Winter's Tale". This experience was extremely significant to her because it nearly made her lose faith in one of the most important parts of her life, drama. She believes this…

  8. An artificial water body provides habitat for an endangered estuarine seahorse species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claassens, Louw

    2016-10-01

    Anthropogenic development, especially the transformation of natural habitats to artificial, is a growing concern within estuaries and coastal areas worldwide. Thesen Islands marina, an artificial water body, added 25 ha of new estuarine habitat to the Knysna Estuary in South Africa, home to the Knysna seahorse. This study aimed to answer: (I) Can an artificial water body provide suitable habitat for an endangered seahorse species? And if so (II) what characteristics of this new habitat are important in terms of seahorse utilization? Four major habitat types were identified within the marina canals: (I) artificial reno mattress (wire baskets filled with rocks); (II) Codium tenue beds; (III) mixed vegetation on sediment; and (IV) barren canal floor. Seahorses were found throughout the marina system with significantly higher densities within the reno mattress habitat. The artificial water body, therefore, has provided suitable habitat for Hippocampus capensis, a noteworthy finding in the current environment of coastal development and the increasing shift from natural to artificial.

  9. An index of reservoir habitat impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, L.E.; Hunt, K.M.

    2011-01-01

    Fish habitat impairment resulting from natural and anthropogenic watershed and in-lake processes has in many cases reduced the ability of reservoirs to sustain native fish assemblages and fisheries quality. Rehabilitation of impaired reservoirs is hindered by the lack of a method suitable for scoring impairment status. To address this limitation, an index of reservoir habitat impairment (IRHI) was developed by merging 14 metrics descriptive of common impairment sources, with each metric scored from 0 (no impairment) to 5 (high impairment) by fisheries scientists with local knowledge. With a plausible range of 5 to 25, distribution of the IRHI scores ranged from 5 to 23 over 482 randomly selected reservoirs dispersed throughout the USA. The IRHI reflected five impairment factors including siltation, structural habitat, eutrophication, water regime, and aquatic plants. The factors were weakly related to key reservoir characteristics including reservoir area, depth, age, and usetype, suggesting that common reservoir descriptors are poor predictors of fish habitat impairment. The IRHI is rapid and inexpensive to calculate, provides an easily understood measure of the overall habitat impairment, allows comparison of reservoirs and therefore prioritization of restoration activities, and may be used to track restoration progress. The major limitation of the IRHI is its reliance on unstandardized professional judgment rather than standardized empirical measurements. ?? 2010 US Government.

  10. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report : West Beaver Lake, 2004-2005 Technical Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-02-01

    On September 7, 2004, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the West Beaver Lake property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in September 2004. Evaluation species and appropriate models include bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, muskrat, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The West Beaver Lake Project provides a total of 103.08 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Emergent wetland habitat provides 7.17 HUs for mallard and muskrat. Conifer forest habitat provides 95.91 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. The objective of using HEP at the West Beaver Lake Project and other protected properties is to document the quality and quantity of available habitat for selected wildlife species. In this way, HEP provides information on the relative value of the same area at future points in time so that the effect of management activities on wildlife habitat can be quantified. When combined with other tools, the baseline HEP will be used to determine the most effective on-site management, restoration, and enhancement actions to increase habitat suitability for targeted species. The same process will be replicated every five years to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in improving and maintaining habitat conditions while providing additional crediting to BPA for enhanced habitat values.

  11. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.

  12. Ice processes affect habitat use and movements of adult cutthroat trout and brook trout in a Wyoming foothills stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, J.W.; Hubert, W.A.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat use and movements of 25 adult cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii and 25 adult brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis from fall through winter 2002-2003 were assessed by means of radiotelemetry in a 7-km reach of a Rocky Mountains foothills stream. Temporal dynamics of winter habitat conditions were evaluated by regularly measuring the features of 30 pools and 5 beaver Castor canadensis ponds in the study reach. Groundwater inputs at three locations raised mean daily water temperatures in the stream channel during winter to 0.2-0.6??C and kept at least 250 m of the downstream channel free of ice, but the lack of surface ice further downstream led to the occurrence of frazil ice and anchor ice in pools and unstable habitat conditions for trout. Pools in segments that were not affected by groundwater inputs and beaver ponds tended to be stable and snow accumulated on the surface ice. Pools throughout the study reach tended to become more stable as snow accumulated. Both cutthroat trout and brook trout selected beaver ponds as winter progressed but tended to use lateral scour pools in proportion to their availability. Tagged fish not in beaver ponds selected lateral scour pools that were deeper than average and stable during winter. Movement frequencies by tagged fish decreased from fall through winter, but some individuals of both species moved during winter. Ice processes affected both the habitat use and movement patterns of cutthroat trout and brook trout in this foothills stream.

  13. Restricted cross-scale habitat selection by American beavers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Robert A; Taylor, Jimmy D; Dibble, Eric; Strickland, Bronson; Petro, Vanessa M; Easterwood, Christine; Wang, Guiming

    2017-12-01

    Animal habitat selection, among other ecological phenomena, is spatially scale dependent. Habitat selection by American beavers Castor canadensis (hereafter, beaver) has been studied at singular spatial scales, but to date no research addresses multi-scale selection. Our objectives were to determine if beaver habitat selection was specialized to semiaquatic habitats and if variables explaining habitat selection are consistent between landscape and fine spatial scales. We built maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to relate landscape-scale presence-only data to landscape variables, and used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate fine spatial scale habitat selection using global positioning system (GPS) relocation data. Explanatory variables between the landscape and fine spatial scale were compared for consistency. Our findings suggested that beaver habitat selection at coarse (study area) and fine (within home range) scales was congruent, and was influenced by increasing amounts of woody wetland edge density and shrub edge density, and decreasing amounts of open water edge density. Habitat suitability at the landscape scale also increased with decreasing amounts of grass frequency. As territorial, central-place foragers, beavers likely trade-off open water edge density (i.e., smaller non-forested wetlands or lodges closer to banks) for defense and shorter distances to forage and obtain construction material. Woody plants along edges and expanses of open water for predator avoidance may limit beaver fitness and subsequently determine beaver habitat selection.

  14. Characteristics of Urban Natural Areas Influencing Winter Bird Use in Southern Ontario, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Paul G. R.

    2007-03-01

    Characteristics of urban natural areas and surrounding landscapes were identified that best explain winter bird use for 28 urban natural areas in southern Ontario, Canada. The research confirms for winter birds the importance of area (size) and natural vegetation, rather than managed, horticultural parkland, within urban natural areas as well as percent urban land use and natural habitat in surrounding landscapes. Alien bird density and percent ground feeding species increased with percent surrounding urban land use. Higher percent forest cover was associated with higher percentages of forest, bark feeding, small (species. Natural area size (ha) was related to higher species richness, lower evenness and higher percentages of insectivorous, forest interior, area-sensitive, upper canopy, bark feeding, and non-resident species. Higher number of habitat types within natural areas and percent natural habitat in surrounding landscapes were also associated with higher species richness. Common, resident bird species dominated small areas (20 ha start to support some area-sensitive species. Areas similar to rural forests had >25% insectivores, >25% forest interior species, >25% small species, and species. Indicator species separated urban natural areas from rural habitats and ordination placed urban natural areas along a gradient between urban development and undisturbed, rural forests. More attention is needed on issues of winter bird conservation in urban landscapes.

  15. Wintering Sandhill Crane exposure to wind energy development in the central and southern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, Aaron T.; Brandt, David; Krapu, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Numerous wind energy projects have been constructed in the central and southern Great Plains, USA, the main wintering area for midcontinental Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis). In an initial assessment of the potential risks of wind towers to cranes, we estimated spatial overlap, investigated potential avoidance behavior, and determined the habitat associations of cranes. We used data from cranes marked with platform transmitting terminals (PTTs) with and without global positioning system (GPS) capabilities. We estimated the wintering distributions of PTT-marked cranes prior to the construction of wind towers, which we compared with current tower locations. Based on this analysis, we found 7% spatial overlap between the distributions of cranes and towers. When we looked at individually marked cranes, we found that 52% would have occurred within 10 km of a tower at some point during winter. Using data from cranes marked after tower construction, we found a potential indication of avoidance behavior, whereby GPS-marked cranes generally used areas slightly more distant from existing wind towers than would be expected by chance. Results from a habitat selection model suggested that distances between crane locations and towers may have been driven more by habitat selection than by avoidance, as most wind towers were constructed in locations not often selected by wintering cranes. Our findings of modest regional overlap and that few towers have been placed in preferred crane habitat suggest that the current distribution of wind towers may be of low risk to the continued persistence of wintering midcontinental Sandhill Cranes in the central and southern Great Plains.

  16. Home-range use patterns and movements of the Siberian flying squirrel in urban forests: Effects of habitat composition and connectivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mäkeläinen, Sanna; Knegt, de H.J.; Ovaskainen, Otso; Hanski, Ilpo K.

    2016-01-01

    Urbanization causes modification, fragmentation and loss of native habitats. Such landscape changes threaten many arboreal and gliding mammals by limiting their movements through treeless parts of a landscape and by making the landscape surrounding suitable habitat patches more inhospitable. Here,

  17. Space use and habitat selection of migrant and resident American Avocets in San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demers, Scott A.; Takekawa, John Y.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Warnock, N.; Athearn, N.D.

    2010-01-01

    San Francisco Bay is a wintering area for shorebirds, including American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana). Recently, a new resident population of avocets has emerged, presumably because of the development of tidal marshes into salt-evaporation ponds. In habitat restoration now underway, as many as 90% of salt ponds will be restored to tidal marsh. However, it is unknown if wintering and resident avocets coexist and if their requirements for space and habitat differ, necessitating different management for their populations to be maintained during restoration. We captured and radio-marked wintering avocets at a salt pond and a tidal flat to determine their population status (migrant or resident) and examine their space use and habitat selection. Of the radio-marked avocets, 79% were migrants and 21% were residents. At the salt pond, residents' fidelity to their location of capture was higher, and residents moved less than did migrants from the same site. Conversely, on the tidal flat, fidelity of residents to their site of capture was lower, and residents' home ranges were larger than those of migrants from the same site. Habitat selection of migrants and residents differed little; however, capture site influenced habitat selection far more than the birds' status as migrants or residents. Our study suggests that individual avocets have high site fidelity while wintering in San Francisco Bay, although the avocet as a species is plastic in its space use and habitat selection. This plasticity may allow wintering migrant and resident avocets to adapt to habitat change in San Francisco Bay. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.

  18. Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Carlos Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Batista, Rômulo Fernandes; Prado, Paulo Inácio

    2007-12-14

    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.

  19. Assessing juvenile salmon rearing habitat and associated predation risk in a lower Snake River reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Hatten, James R.; Trachtenbarg, David A

    2015-01-01

    Subyearling fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Columbia River basin exhibit a transient rearing strategy and depend on connected shoreline habitats during freshwater rearing. Impoundment has greatly reduced the amount of shallow-water rearing habitat that is exacerbated by the steep topography of reservoirs. Periodic dredging creates opportunities to strategically place spoils to increase the amount of shallow-water habitat for subyearlings while at the same time reducing the amount of unsuitable area that is often preferred by predators. We assessed the amount and spatial arrangement of subyearling rearing habitat in Lower Granite Reservoir on the Snake River to guide future habitat improvement efforts. A spatially explicit habitat assessment was conducted using physical habitat data, two-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling and a statistical habitat model in a geographic information system framework. We used field collections of subyearlings and a common predator [smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)] to draw inferences about predation risk within specific habitat types. Most of the high-probability rearing habitat was located in the upper half of the reservoir where gently sloping landforms created low lateral bed slopes and shallow-water habitats. Only 29% of shorelines were predicted to be suitable (probability >0.5) for subyearlings, and the occurrence of these shorelines decreased in a downstream direction. The remaining, less suitable areas were composed of low-probability habitats in unmodified (25%) and riprapped shorelines (46%). As expected, most subyearlings were found in high-probability habitat, while most smallmouth bass were found in low-probability locations. However, some subyearlings were found in low-probability habitats, such as riprap, where predation risk could be high. Given their transient rearing strategy and dependence on shoreline habitats, subyearlings could benefit from habitat creation efforts in the lower

  20. The scientific basis for modeling Northern Spotted Owl habitat: A response to Loehle, Irwin, Manly, and Merrill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey R. Dunk; Brian Woodbridge; Elizabeth M. Glenn; Raymond J. Davis; Katherine Fitzgerald; Paul Henson; David W. LaPlante; Bruce G. Marcot; Barry R. Noon; Martin G. Raphael; Nathan H. Schumaker; Brendan. White

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently revised the recovery plan (USFWS, 2011) and designated Critical Habitat (USFWS, 2012a) for the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). The Critical Habitat designation was based in part on a map of relative habitat suitability that was developed by USFWS (2011, 2012b) for this purpose. Loehle...

  1. Designated Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  2. VT Wildlife Linkage Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  3. Deep Space Habitat Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  4. Smalltooth Sawfish Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Johnsons Seagrass Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Habitat Mapping Camera (HABCAM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  9. Predictive Modeling of Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) Resting Habitat in the Main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2012-01-01

    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

  10. A habitat overlap analysis derived from maxent for tamarisk and the south-western willow flycatcher

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Patricia; Evangelista, Paul; Kumar, Sunil; Graham, James; Flather, Curtis; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-06-01

    Biologic control of the introduced and invasive, woody plant tamarisk ( Tamarix spp, saltcedar) in south-western states is controversial because it affects habitat of the federally endangered South-western Willow Flycatcher ( Empidonax traillii extimus). These songbirds sometimes nest in tamarisk where floodplain-level invasion replaces native habitats. Biologic control, with the saltcedar leaf beetle ( Diorhabda elongate), began along the Virgin River, Utah, in 2006, enhancing the need for comprehensive understanding of the tamarisk-flycatcher relationship. We used maximum entropy (Maxent) modeling to separately quantify the current extent of dense tamarisk habitat (>50% cover) and the potential extent of habitat available for E. traillii extimus within the studied watersheds. We used transformations of 2008 Landsat Thematic Mapper images and a digital elevation model as environmental input variables. Maxent models performed well for the flycatcher and tamarisk with Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC) values of 0.960 and 0.982, respectively. Classification of thresholds and comparison of the two Maxent outputs indicated moderate spatial overlap between predicted suitable habitat for E. traillii extimus and predicted locations with dense tamarisk stands, where flycatcher habitat will potentially change flycatcher habitats. Dense tamarisk habitat comprised 500 km2 within the study area, of which 11.4% was also modeled as potential habitat for E. traillii extimus. Potential habitat modeled for the flycatcher constituted 190 km2, of which 30.7% also contained dense tamarisk habitat. Results showed that both native vegetation and dense tamarisk habitats exist in the study area and that most tamarisk infestations do not contain characteristics that satisfy the habitat requirements of E. traillii extimus. Based on this study, effective biologic control of Tamarix spp. may, in the short term, reduce suitable habitat available to E. traillii extimus, but also has the potential

  11. 36 CFR 1002.19 - Winter activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... RECREATION § 1002.19 Winter activities. (a) Skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, innertubing, tobogganing and similar winter sports are prohibited on Presidio Trust roads and in parking areas open to...

  12. Classification guide: Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games classification guide is designed to provide National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations (IFs) with information about the classification policies and procedures that will apply to the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

  13. Essential Outdoor Sun Safety Tips for Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Weekend Warriors expand/collapse Vitamin D Essential Outdoor Sun Safety Tips for Winter Winter sports enthusiasts are ... skiing! Be Mindful of Time Spent in the Sun, Regardless of the Season If possible, ski early ...

  14. North American Brant: Effects of changes in habitat and climate on population dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, David H.; Reed, Austin; Sedinger, James S.; Black, Jeffrey M.; Derksen, Dirk V.; Castelli, Paul M.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the importance of key habitats used by four nesting populations of nearctic brant (Branta bernicla) and discuss the potential relationship between changes in these habitats and population dynamics of brant. Nearctic brant, in contrast to most geese, rely on marine habitats and native intertidal plants during the non-breeding season, particularly the seagrass, Zostera, and the macroalgae, Ulva. Atlantic and Eastern High Arctic brant have experienced the greatest degradation of their winter habitats (northeastern United States and Ireland, respectively) and have also shown the most plasticity in feeding behavior. Black and Western High Arctic brant of the Pacific Flyway are the most dependent on Zostera, and are undergoing a shift in winter distribution that is likely related to climate change and its associated effects on Zostera dynamics. Variation in breeding propensity of Black Brant associated with winter location and climate strongly suggests that food abundance on the wintering grounds directly affects reproductive performance in these geese. In summer, salt marshes, especially those containing Carex and Puccinellia, are key habitats for raising young, while lake shorelines with fine freshwater grasses and sedges are important for molting birds. Availability and abundance of salt marshes has a direct effect on growth and recruitment of goslings and ultimately, plays an important role in regulating size of local brant populations. ?? 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Global screening for Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauneder, Kerstin M; Montes, Chloe; Blyth, Simon; Bennun, Leon; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hoffmann, Michael; Burgess, Neil D; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Jones, Matt I; Kapos, Val; Pilgrim, John; Tolley, Melissa J; Underwood, Emma C; Weatherdon, Lauren V; Brooks, Sharon E

    2018-01-01

    Critical Habitat has become an increasingly important concept used by the finance sector and businesses to identify areas of high biodiversity value. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) defines Critical Habitat in their highly influential Performance Standard 6 (PS6), requiring projects in Critical Habitat to achieve a net gain of biodiversity. Here we present a global screening layer of Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm, derived from global spatial datasets covering the distributions of 12 biodiversity features aligned with guidance provided by the IFC. Each biodiversity feature is categorised as 'likely' or 'potential' Critical Habitat based on: 1. Alignment between the biodiversity feature and the IFC Critical Habitat definition; and 2. Suitability of the spatial resolution for indicating a feature's presence on the ground. Following the initial screening process, Critical Habitat must then be assessed in-situ by a qualified assessor. This analysis indicates that a total of 10% and 5% of the global terrestrial environment can be considered as likely and potential Critical Habitat, respectively, while the remaining 85% did not overlap with any of the biodiversity features assessed and was classified as 'unknown'. Likely Critical Habitat was determined principally by the occurrence of Key Biodiversity Areas and Protected Areas. Potential Critical Habitat was predominantly characterised by data representing highly threatened and unique ecosystems such as ever-wet tropical forests and tropical dry forests. The areas we identified as likely or potential Critical Habitat are based on the best available global-scale data for the terrestrial realm that is aligned with IFC's Critical Habitat definition. Our results can help businesses screen potential development sites at the early project stage based on a range of biodiversity features. However, the study also demonstrates several important data gaps and highlights the need to incorporate new and

  16. A Winter Distribution Model for Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a Conservation Tool for a Threatened Migratory Songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Kent P.; Rimmer, Christopher C.; Goetz, James E.; Aubry, Yves; Wunderle, Joseph M.; Sutton, Anne; Townsend, Jason M.; Sosa, Alejandro Llanes; Kirkconnell, Arturo

    2013-01-01

    Conservation planning and implementation require identifying pertinent habitats and locations where protection and management may improve viability of targeted species. The winter range of Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a threatened Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird, is restricted to the Greater Antilles. We analyzed winter records from the mid-1970s to 2009 to quantitatively evaluate winter distribution and habitat selection. Additionally, we conducted targeted surveys in Jamaica (n = 433), Cuba (n = 363), Dominican Republic (n = 1,000), Haiti (n = 131) and Puerto Rico (n = 242) yielding 179 sites with thrush presence. We modeled Bicknell’s Thrush winter habitat selection and distribution in the Greater Antilles in Maxent version 3.3.1. using environmental predictors represented in 30 arc second study area rasters. These included nine landform, land cover and climatic variables that were thought a priori to have potentially high predictive power. We used the average training gain from ten model runs to select the best subset of predictors. Total winter precipitation, aspect and land cover, particularly broadleaf forests, emerged as important variables. A five-variable model that contained land cover, winter precipitation, aspect, slope, and elevation was the most parsimonious and not significantly different than the models with more variables. We used the best fitting model to depict potential winter habitat. Using the 10 percentile threshold (>0.25), we estimated winter habitat to cover 33,170 km2, nearly 10% of the study area. The Dominican Republic contained half of all potential habitat (51%), followed by Cuba (15.1%), Jamaica (13.5%), Haiti (10.6%), and Puerto Rico (9.9%). Nearly one-third of the range was found to be in protected areas. By providing the first detailed predictive map of Bicknell’s Thrush winter distribution, our study provides a useful tool to prioritize and direct conservation planning for this and

  17. Is Switzerland suitable for the invasion of Aedes albopictus [corrected]?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neteler, Markus; Metz, Markus; Rocchini, Duccio; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Flacio, Eleonora; Engeler, Luca; Guidi, Valeria; Lüthy, Peter; Tonolla, Mauro

    2013-01-01

    Over the last 30 years, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has rapidly spread around the world. The European distribution comprises the Mediterranean basin with a first appearance in Switzerland in 2003. Early identification of the most suitable areas in Switzerland allowing progressive invasion by this species is considered crucial to suggest adequate surveillance and control plans. We identified the most suitable areas for invasion and establishment of Ae. albopictus in Switzerland. The potential distribution areas linked to the current climatic suitability were assessed using remotely sensed land surface temperature data recorded by the MODIS satellite sensors. Suitable areas for adult survival and overwintering of diapausing eggs were also identified for future climatic conditions, considering two different climate change scenarios (A1B, A2) for the periods 2020-2049 and 2045-2074. At present, the areas around Lake Geneva in western Switzerland provide suitable climatic conditions for Ae. albopictus. In northern Switzerland, parts of the Rhine valley, around Lake Constance, as well as the surroundings of Lake Neuchâtel, appear to be suitable for the survival at least of adult Ae. albopictus. However, these areas are characterized by winters currently being too cold for survival and development of diapausing eggs. In southern Switzerland, Ae. albopictus is already well-established, especially in the Canton of Ticino. For the years 2020-2049, the predicted possible spread of the tiger mosquito does not differ significantly from its potential current distribution. However, important expansions are obtained if the period is extended to the years 2045-2074, when Ae. albopictus may invade large new areas. Several parts of Switzerland provide suitable climatic conditions for invasion and establishment of Ae. albopictus. The current distribution and rapid spread in other European countries suggest that the tiger mosquito will colonize new areas in Switzerland

  18. Is Switzerland Suitable for the Invasion of Aedes albopictus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neteler, Markus; Metz, Markus; Rocchini, Duccio; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Flacio, Eleonora; Engeler, Luca; Guidi, Valeria; Lüthy, Peter; Tonolla, Mauro

    2013-01-01

    Background Over the last 30 years, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has rapidly spread around the world. The European distribution comprises the Mediterranean basin with a first appearance in Switzerland in 2003. Early identification of the most suitable areas in Switzerland allowing progressive invasion by this species is considered crucial to suggest adequate surveillance and control plans. Methodology/Principal Findings We identified the most suitable areas for invasion and establishment of Ae. albopictus in Switzerland. The potential distribution areas linked to the current climatic suitability were assessed using remotely sensed land surface temperature data recorded by the MODIS satellite sensors. Suitable areas for adult survival and overwintering of diapausing eggs were also identified for future climatic conditions, considering two different climate change scenarios (A1B, A2) for the periods 2020–2049 and 2045–2074. At present, the areas around Lake Geneva in western Switzerland provide suitable climatic conditions for Ae. albopictus. In northern Switzerland, parts of the Rhine valley, around Lake Constance, as well as the surroundings of Lake Neuchâtel, appear to be suitable for the survival at least of adult Ae. albopictus. However, these areas are characterized by winters currently being too cold for survival and development of diapausing eggs. In southern Switzerland, Ae. albopictus is already well-established, especially in the Canton of Ticino. For the years 2020–2049, the predicted possible spread of the tiger mosquito does not differ significantly from its potential current distribution. However, important expansions are obtained if the period is extended to the years 2045–2074, when Ae. albopictus may invade large new areas. Conclusions/Significance Several parts of Switzerland provide suitable climatic conditions for invasion and establishment of Ae. albopictus. The current distribution and rapid spread in other European

  19. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  20. Leadership in American Indian Communities: Winter Lessons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metoyer, Cheryl A.

    2010-01-01

    Winter lessons, or stories told in the winter, were one of the ways in which tribal elders instructed and directed young men and women in the proper ways to assume leadership responsibilities. Winter lessons stressed the appropriate relationship between the leader and the community. The intent was to remember the power and purpose of that…

  1. 46 CFR 45.73 - Winter freeboard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Winter freeboard. 45.73 Section 45.73 Shipping COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) LOAD LINES GREAT LAKES LOAD LINES Freeboards § 45.73 Winter freeboard. The minimum winter freeboard (fw) in inches is obtained by the formula: fw=f(s)+T s...

  2. Characteristics of foraging sites and protein status in wintering muskoxen: insights from isotopes of nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Lawler, James P.; Arthur, Stephen M.; Shults, Brad S.; Persons, Kate; Adams, Layne G.

    2011-01-01

    Identifying links between nutritional condition of individuals and population trajectories greatly enhances our understanding of the ecology, conservation, and management of wildlife. For northern ungulates, the potential impacts of a changing climate to populations are predicted to be nutritionally mediated through an increase in the severity and variance in winter conditions. Foraging conditions and the availability of body protein as a store for reproduction in late winter may constrain productivity in northern ungulates, yet the link between characteristics of wintering habitats and protein status has not been established for a wild ungulate. We used a non‐invasive proxy of protein status derived from isotopes of N in excreta to evaluate the influence of winter habitats on the protein status of muskoxen in three populations in Alaska (2005–2008). Multiple regression and an information‐theoretic approach were used to compare models that evaluated the influence of population, year, and characteristics of foraging sites (components of diet and physiography) on protein status for groups of muskoxen. The observed variance in protein status among groups of muskoxen across populations and years was partially explained (45%) by local foraging conditions that affected forage availability. Protein status improved for groups of muskoxen as the amount of graminoids in the diet increased (−0.430 ± 0.31, β± 95% CI) and elevation of foraging sites decreased (0.824 ± 0.67). Resources available for reproduction in muskoxen are highly dependent upon demographic, environmental, and physiographic constraints that affect forage availability in winter. Due to their very sedentary nature in winter, muskoxen are highly susceptible to localized foraging conditions; therefore, the spatial variance in resource availability may exert a strong effect on productivity. Consequently, there is a clear need to account for climate–topography effects in winter at multiple scales

  3. Correlates of Harlequin Duck densities during winter in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esler, Daniel N.; Bowman, Timothy D.; Dean, T.A.; O'Clair, Charles E.; Jewett, S.C.; McDonald, L.L.

    2000-01-01

    We evaluated relationships of Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) densities to habitat attributes, history of habitat contamination by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, and prey biomass density and abundance during winters 1995-1997 in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Habitat features that explained variation in duck densities included distance to streams and reefs, degree of exposure to wind and wave action, and dominant substrate type. After accounting for these effects, densities were lower in oiled than unoiled areas, suggesting that population recovery from the oil spill was not complete, due either to lack of recovery from initial oil spill effects or continuing deleterious effects. Prey biomass density and abundance were not strongly related to duck densities after accounting for habitat and area effects. Traits of Harlequin Ducks that reflect their affiliation with naturally predictable winter habitats, such as strong site fidelity and intolerance of increased energy costs, may make their populations particularly vulnerable to chronic oil spill effects and slow to recover from population reductions, which may explain lower densities than expected on oiled areas nearly a decade following the oil spill.

  4. A Climatic Classification for Citrus Winter Survival in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shou, Bo Huang

    1991-05-01

    The citrus tree is susceptible to frost damage. Winter injury to citrus from freezing weather is the major meteorological problem in the northern pail of citrus growing regions in China. Based on meteorological data collected at 120 stations in southern China and on the extent of citrus freezing injury, five climatic regions for citrus winter survival in China were developed. They were: 1) no citrus tree injury. 2) light injury to mandarins (citrus reticulate) or moderate injury to oranges (citrus sinensis), 3) moderate injury to mandarins or heavy injury to oranges, 4) heavy injury to mandarins, and 5) impossible citrus tree growth. This citrus climatic classification was an attempt to provide guidelines for regulation of citrus production, to effectively utilize land and climatic resources, to chose suitable citrus varieties, and to develop methods to prevent injury by freezing.

  5. Winter to winter recurrence of atmospheric circulation anomalies over East Asia and its impact on winter surface air temperature anomalies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xia; Yang, Guang

    2017-01-01

    The persistence of atmospheric circulation anomalies over East Asia shows a winter to winter recurrence (WTWR) phenomenon. Seasonal variations in sea level pressure anomalies and surface wind anomalies display significantly different characteristics between WTWR and non-WTWR years. The WTWR years are characterized by the recurrence of both a strong (weak) anomalous Siberian High and an East Asian winter monsoon over two successive winters without persistence through the intervening summer. However, anomalies during the non-WTWR years have the opposite sign between the current and ensuing winters. The WTWR of circulation anomalies contributes to that of surface air temperature anomalies (SATAs), which is useful information for improving seasonal and interannual climate predictions over East Asia and China. In the positive (negative) WTWR years, SATAs are cooler (warmer) over East Asia in two successive winters, but the signs of the SATAs are opposite in the preceding and subsequent winters during the non-WTWR years.

  6. Application of change-point analysis to determine winter sleep patterns of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from body temperature recordings and a multi-faceted dietary and behavioral study of wintering

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background A multi-faceted approach was used to investigate the wintertime ecophysiology and behavioral patterns of the raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides, a suitable model for winter sleep studies. By utilizing GPS tracking, activity sensors, body temperature (Tb) recordings, change-point analysis (CPA), home range, habitat and dietary analyses, as well as fatty acid signatures (FAS), the impact of the species on wintertime food webs was assessed. The timing of passive bouts was determined with multiple methods and compared to Tb data analyzed by CPA. Results Raccoon dogs displayed wintertime mobility, and the home range sizes determined by GPS were similar or larger than previous estimates by radio tracking. The preferred habitats were gardens, shores, deciduous forests, and sparsely forested areas. Fields had close to neutral preference; roads and railroads were utilized as travel routes. Raccoon dogs participated actively in the food web and gained benefit from human activity. Mammals, plants, birds, and discarded fish comprised the most important dietary classes, and the consumption of fish could be detected in FAS. Ambient temperature was an important external factor influencing Tb and activity. The timing of passive periods approximated by behavioral data and by CPA shared 91% similarity. Conclusions Passive periods can be determined with CPA from Tb recordings without the previously used time-consuming and expensive methods. It would be possible to recruit more animals by using the simple methods of data loggers and ear tags. Hunting could be used as a tool to return the ear-tagged individuals allowing the economical extension of follow-up studies. The Tb and CPA methods could be applied to other northern carnivores. PMID:23237274

  7. Application of change-point analysis to determine winter sleep patterns of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides from body temperature recordings and a multi-faceted dietary and behavioral study of wintering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustonen Anne-Mari

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A multi-faceted approach was used to investigate the wintertime ecophysiology and behavioral patterns of the raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides, a suitable model for winter sleep studies. By utilizing GPS tracking, activity sensors, body temperature (Tb recordings, change-point analysis (CPA, home range, habitat and dietary analyses, as well as fatty acid signatures (FAS, the impact of the species on wintertime food webs was assessed. The timing of passive bouts was determined with multiple methods and compared to Tb data analyzed by CPA. Results Raccoon dogs displayed wintertime mobility, and the home range sizes determined by GPS were similar or larger than previous estimates by radio tracking. The preferred habitats were gardens, shores, deciduous forests, and sparsely forested areas. Fields had close to neutral preference; roads and railroads were utilized as travel routes. Raccoon dogs participated actively in the food web and gained benefit from human activity. Mammals, plants, birds, and discarded fish comprised the most important dietary classes, and the consumption of fish could be detected in FAS. Ambient temperature was an important external factor influencing Tb and activity. The timing of passive periods approximated by behavioral data and by CPA shared 91% similarity. Conclusions Passive periods can be determined with CPA from Tb recordings without the previously used time-consuming and expensive methods. It would be possible to recruit more animals by using the simple methods of data loggers and ear tags. Hunting could be used as a tool to return the ear-tagged individuals allowing the economical extension of follow-up studies. The Tb and CPA methods could be applied to other northern carnivores.

  8. Application of change-point analysis to determine winter sleep patterns of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from body temperature recordings and a multi-faceted dietary and behavioral study of wintering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustonen, Anne-Mari; Lempiäinen, Terttu; Aspelund, Mikko; Hellstedt, Paavo; Ikonen, Katri; Itämies, Juhani; Vähä, Ville; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Asikainen, Juha; Kunnasranta, Mervi; Niemelä, Pekka; Aho, Jari; Nieminen, Petteri

    2012-12-13

    A multi-faceted approach was used to investigate the wintertime ecophysiology and behavioral patterns of the raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides, a suitable model for winter sleep studies. By utilizing GPS tracking, activity sensors, body temperature (Tb) recordings, change-point analysis (CPA), home range, habitat and dietary analyses, as well as fatty acid signatures (FAS), the impact of the species on wintertime food webs was assessed. The timing of passive bouts was determined with multiple methods and compared to Tb data analyzed by CPA. Raccoon dogs displayed wintertime mobility, and the home range sizes determined by GPS were similar or larger than previous estimates by radio tracking. The preferred habitats were gardens, shores, deciduous forests, and sparsely forested areas. Fields had close to neutral preference; roads and railroads were utilized as travel routes. Raccoon dogs participated actively in the food web and gained benefit from human activity. Mammals, plants, birds, and discarded fish comprised the most important dietary classes, and the consumption of fish could be detected in FAS. Ambient temperature was an important external factor influencing Tb and activity. The timing of passive periods approximated by behavioral data and by CPA shared 91% similarity. Passive periods can be determined with CPA from Tb recordings without the previously used time-consuming and expensive methods. It would be possible to recruit more animals by using the simple methods of data loggers and ear tags. Hunting could be used as a tool to return the ear-tagged individuals allowing the economical extension of follow-up studies. The Tb and CPA methods could be applied to other northern carnivores.

  9. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report; Calispell Creek Project, Technical Report 2004-2005.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-02-01

    On July 13, 2004, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the Calispell Creek property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in February 2004. Evaluation species and appropriate models include Canada goose, mallard, muskrat, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The Calispell Creek Project provides a total of 138.17 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Emergent wetland habitat provides 5.16 HUs for mallard and muskrat. Grassland provides 132.02 HUs for mallard and Canada goose. Scrub-shrub vegetation provides 0.99 HUs for yellow warbler and white-tailed deer. The objective of using HEP at the Calispell Creek Project and other protected properties is to document the quality and quantity of available habitat for selected wildlife species. In this way, HEP provides information on the relative value of the same area at future points in time so that the effect of management activities on wildlife habitat can be quantified. When combined with other tools, the baseline HEP will be used to determine the most effective on-site management, restoration, and enhancement actions to increase habitat suitability for targeted species. The same process will be replicated every five years to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in improving and maintaining habitat conditions while providing additional crediting to BPA for enhanced habitat values.

  10. Hellsgate Winter Range: Wildlife Mitigation Project. Final Environmental Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-03-01

    BPA proposes to fund the Hellsgate Winter Range: Wildlife Mitigation Project (Project) in a cooperative effort with the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The Project is intended to mitigate for wildlife and wildlife habitat adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams and their reservoirs. The Project would allow the sponsors to secure land and conduct wildlife habitat improvement and long-term management activities within the boundaries of the Colville Indian Reservation. BPA has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-0940) evaluating the potential environmental effects of the proposed Project (Alternative B) and No Action (Alternative A). Protection and re-establishment of riparian and upland habitat on the Colville Indian Reservation, under Alternative B, would not have a significant adverse environmental impact because: (1) there would be only limited, mostly short-term adverse impacts on soils, water quality, air quality, vegetation, and wildlife (including no effect on endangered species); and (2) there would be no adverse effect on water quantity, cultural resources, or land use. Based on the analysis in the EA, BPA has determined that the proposed action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. Therefore, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required and BPA is issuing this FONSI

  11. Contrasting Seasonal Survivorship of Two Migratory Songbirds Wintering in Threatened Mangrove Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna M. Calvert

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Long-distance migrants wintering in tropical regions face a number of critical conservation threats throughout their lives, but seasonal estimates of key demographic parameters such as winter survival are rare. Using mist-netting-based mark-recapture data collected in coastal Costa Rica over a six-year period, we examined variation in within- and between-winter survivorship of the Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea; 753 young and 376 adults banded, a declining neotropical habitat specialist that depends on threatened mangrove forests during the nonbreeding season. We derived parallel seasonal survivorship estimates for the Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis; 564 young and 93 adults banded, a cohabitant mangrove specialist that has not shown the same population decline in North America, to assess whether contrasting survivorship might contribute to the observed differences in the species’ population trajectories. Although average annual survival probability was relatively similar between the two species for both young and adult birds, monthly estimates indicated that relative to Northern Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warblers exhibited: greater interannual variation in survivorship, especially within winters; greater variation in survivorship among the three study sites; lower average between-winter survivorship, particularly among females, and; a sharp decline in between-winter survivorship from 2003 to 2009 for both age groups and both sexes. Rather than identifying one seasonal vital rate as a causal factor of Prothonotary Warbler population declines, our species comparison suggests that the combination of variable within-winter survival with decreasing between-winter survival demands a multi-seasonal approach to the conservation of this and other tropical-wintering migrants.

  12. Determining Home Range and Preferred Habitat of Feral Horses on the Nevada National Security Site Using Geographic Information Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burns, Ashley V. [Univ. of Denver, CO (United States)

    2014-05-30

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are free-roaming descendants of domesticated horses and legally protected by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which mandates how feral horses and burros should be managed and protected on federal lands. Using a geographic information system to determine the home range and suitable habitat of feral horses on the federally managed Nevada National Security Site can enable wildlife biologists in making best management practice recommendations. Home range was estimated at 88.1 square kilometers. Site suitability was calculated for elevation, forage, slope, water presence and horse observations. These variables were combined in successive iterations into one polygon. Suitability rankings established that 85 square kilometers are most suitable habitat, with 2,052 square kilometers of good habitat 1,252 square kilometers of fair habitat and 122 square kilometers of least suitable habitat.

  13. Inter-annual variability of North Sea plaice spawning habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loots, C.; Vaz, S.; Koubbi, P.; Planque, B.; Coppin, F.; Verin, Y.

    2010-11-01

    Potential spawning habitat is defined as the area where environmental conditions are suitable for spawning to occur. Spawning adult data from the first quarter (January-March) of the International Bottom Trawl Survey have been used to study the inter-annual variability of the potential spawning habitat of North Sea plaice from 1980 to 2007. Generalised additive models (GAM) were used to create a model that related five environmental variables (depth, bottom temperature and salinity, seabed stress and sediment type) to presence-absence and abundance of spawning adults. Then, the habitat model was applied each year from 1970 to 2007 to predict inter-annual variability of the potential spawning habitat. Predicted responses obtained by GAM for each year were mapped using kriging. A hierarchical classification associated with a correspondence analysis was performed to cluster spawning suitable areas and to determine how they evolved across years. The potential spawning habitat was consistent with historical spawning ground locations described in the literature from eggs surveys. It was also found that the potential spawning habitat varied across years. Suitable areas were located in the southern part of the North Sea and along the eastern coast of England and Scotland in the eighties; they expanded further north from the nineties. Annual survey distributions did not show such northward expansion and remained located in the southern North Sea. This suggests that this species' actual spatial distribution remains stable against changing environmental conditions, and that the potential spawning habitat is not fully occupied. Changes in environmental conditions appear to remain within plaice environmental ranges, meaning that other factors may control the spatial distribution of plaice spawning habitat.

  14. Habitat selection and management of the Hawaiian crow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giffen, J.G.; Scott, J.M.; Mountainspring, S.

    1987-01-01

    The abundance and range of the Hawaiian crow, or alala, (Corvus hawaiiensis) have decreased drastically since the 1890's. Fewer than 10 breeding pairs remained in the wild in 1985. A sample of 82 nests during 1970-82 were used to determine habitat associations. Two hundred firty-nine alala observations were used to estimate densities occurring in different vegetation types in 1978. Compared to available habitat, more nests and higher bird densities during the breeding season occurred in areas where: (1) canopy cover was > 60%; (2) koa (Acacia koa) and ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha) were dominant species in the crown layer; (3) native plants constituted > 75% of the understory cover; and (4) the elevation was 1,100-1,500 m. Compared to breeding habitat, nonbreeding habitat tended to lie at lower elevations and in wetter forests having the crown layer dominated by ohia but lacking koa. Habitat loss is a major factor underlying the decline of this species although predation on fledgings, avian disease, and shooting also have reduced the population. Remaining key habitat areas have little or no legal protection through zoning and land ownership. Preserves should be established to encompass the location of existing pairs and to assure the provision of optimum breeding habitat and suitable nonbreeding habitat.

  15. Does habitat variability really promote metabolic network modularity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro

    2013-01-01

    The hypothesis that variability in natural habitats promotes modular organization is widely accepted for cellular networks. However, results of some data analyses and theoretical studies have begun to cast doubt on the impact of habitat variability on modularity in metabolic networks. Therefore, we re-evaluated this hypothesis using statistical data analysis and current metabolic information. We were unable to conclude that an increase in modularity was the result of habitat variability. Although horizontal gene transfer was also considered because it may contribute for survival in a variety of environments, closely related to habitat variability, and is known to be positively correlated with network modularity, such a positive correlation was not concluded in the latest version of metabolic networks. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the previously observed increase in network modularity due to habitat variability and horizontal gene transfer was probably due to a lack of available data on metabolic reactions. Instead, we determined that modularity in metabolic networks is dependent on species growth conditions. These results may not entirely discount the impact of habitat variability and horizontal gene transfer. Rather, they highlight the need for a more suitable definition of habitat variability and a more careful examination of relationships of the network modularity with horizontal gene transfer, habitats, and environments.

  16. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report : Priest River, 2004-2005 Technical Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-02-01

    On July 6, 2004, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the Priest River property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in 2001. Evaluation species and appropriate models include bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, Canada goose, mallard, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The Priest River Project provides a total of 105.41 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Conifer forest habitat provides 26.95 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, and white-tailed deer. Grassland habitat provides 23.78 HUs for Canada goose and mallard. Scmb-shrub vegetation provides 54.68 HUs for mallard, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer.

  17. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume I, Oregon, Supplement C, White River Habitat Inventory, 1983 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heller, David

    1984-04-01

    More than 130 miles of stream fish habitat was inventoried and evaluated on the Mt. Hood National Forest during the first year of this multi-year project. First year tasks included field inventory and evaluation of habitat conditions on the White River and tributary streams thought to have the highest potential for supporting anadromous fish populations. All streams inventoried were located on the Mt. Hood National Forest. The surveyed area appears to contain most of the high quality anadromous fish habitat in the drainage. Habitat conditions appear suitable for steelhead, coho, and chinook salmon, and possibly sockeye. One hundred and twenty-four miles of potential anadromous fish habitat were identifed in the survey. Currently, 32 miles of this habitat would be readily accessible to anadromous fish. An additional 72 miles of habitat could be accessed with only minor passage improvement work. About 20 miles of habitat, however, will require major investment to provide fish passage. Three large lakes (Boulder, 14 acres; Badger, 45 acres; Clear, 550 acres) appear to be well-suited for rearing anadromous fish, although passage enhancement would be needed before self-sustaining runs could be established in any of the lakes.

  18. Communicating Certainty About Nuclear Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robock, A.

    2013-12-01

    I have been spending much of my time in the past several years trying to warn the world about the continuing danger of nuclear weapons, and that the solution is a rapid reduction in the nuclear arsenal. I feel that a scientist who discovers dangers to society has an ethical duty to issue a warning, even if the danger is so scary that it is hard for people to deal with. The debate about nuclear winter in the 1980s helped to end the nuclear arms race, but the planet still has enough nuclear weapons, even after reductions planned for 2017 under the New START treaty, to produce nuclear winter, with temperatures plunging below freezing in the summer in major agricultural regions, threatening the food supply for most of the planet. New research by myself, Brian Toon, Mike Mills, and colleagues over the past six years has found that a nuclear war between any two countries, such as India and Pakistan, using 50 atom bombs each of the size dropped on Hiroshima could produce climate change unprecedented in recorded human history, and a world food crisis because of the agricultural effects. This is much less than 1% of the current global arsenal. Communicating certainty - what we know for sure - has been much more effective than communicating uncertainty. The limited success I have had has come from persistence and serendipity. The first step was to do the science. We have published peer-reviewed articles in major journals, including Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Physics Today, and Climatic Change. But policymakers do not read these journals. Through fairly convoluted circumstances, which will be described in this talk, we were able to get papers published in Scientific American and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. I have also published several encyclopedia articles on the subject. As a Lead Author of Chapter 8 (Radiative Forcing) of the recently published Fifth Assessment

  19. Suitable footwear for enhanced safety

    CERN Document Server

    2004-01-01

    Safety shoes are the theme of a new safety campaign. Always remember that accidents can happen - even to your feet! When entering hazardous areas such as underground halls, work sites, experiment assembly sites, workshops etc., sandals, ordinary shoes or similar light footwear should not be worn. Whatever the risks to which you may be exposed, always think safety and wear suitable footwear, i.e. safety shoes, which have non-slip soles and steel reinforcements to protect your feet from being crushed, fractured or pierced. Is it serious, Doctor? "Some traumas resulting from foot-related accidents - open fractures for instance - can be quite serious," explains CERN Works Doctor Véronique Fassnacht. "But the most common injuries are sprained ankles sustained during simple falls caused by differences in floor-levels (e.g. false floors). Fractures, bruising, surface wounds or deep wounds caused by objects falling onto the top of the foot are also quite common." ...

  20. Regional Distribution Shifts Help Explain Local Changes in Wintering Raptor Abundance: Implications for Interpreting Population Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paprocki, Neil; Heath, Julie A.; Novak, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of multiple taxa across broad-scales suggest that species distributions are shifting poleward in response to global climate change. Recognizing the influence of distribution shifts on population indices will be an important part of interpreting trends within management units because current practice often assumes that changes in local populations reflect local habitat conditions. However, the individual- and population-level processes that drive distribution shifts may occur across a large, regional scale and have little to do with the habitats within the management unit. We examined the latitudinal center of abundance for the winter distributions of six western North America raptor species using Christmas Bird Counts from 1975–2011. Also, we considered whether population indices within western North America Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) were explained by distribution shifts. All six raptors had significant poleward shifts in their wintering distributions over time. Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus) and Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) showed the fastest rate of change, with 8.41 km yr−1 and 7.74 km yr−1 shifts, respectively. Raptors may be particularly responsive to warming winters because of variable migration tendencies, intraspecific competition for nesting sites that drives males to winter farther north, or both. Overall, 40% of BCR population trend models were improved by incorporating information about wintering distributions; however, support for the effect of distribution on BCR indices varied by species with Rough-legged Hawks showing the most evidence. These results emphasize the importance of understanding how regional distribution shifts influence local-scale population indices. If global climate change is altering distribution patterns, then trends within some management units may not reflect changes in local habitat conditions. The methods used to monitor and manage bird populations within local BCRs will fundamentally change as

  1. Regional distribution shifts help explain local changes in wintering raptor abundance: implications for interpreting population trends.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Paprocki

    Full Text Available Studies of multiple taxa across broad-scales suggest that species distributions are shifting poleward in response to global climate change. Recognizing the influence of distribution shifts on population indices will be an important part of interpreting trends within management units because current practice often assumes that changes in local populations reflect local habitat conditions. However, the individual- and population-level processes that drive distribution shifts may occur across a large, regional scale and have little to do with the habitats within the management unit. We examined the latitudinal center of abundance for the winter distributions of six western North America raptor species using Christmas Bird Counts from 1975-2011. Also, we considered whether population indices within western North America Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs were explained by distribution shifts. All six raptors had significant poleward shifts in their wintering distributions over time. Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus and Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos showed the fastest rate of change, with 8.41 km yr(-1 and 7.74 km yr(-1 shifts, respectively. Raptors may be particularly responsive to warming winters because of variable migration tendencies, intraspecific competition for nesting sites that drives males to winter farther north, or both. Overall, 40% of BCR population trend models were improved by incorporating information about wintering distributions; however, support for the effect of distribution on BCR indices varied by species with Rough-legged Hawks showing the most evidence. These results emphasize the importance of understanding how regional distribution shifts influence local-scale population indices. If global climate change is altering distribution patterns, then trends within some management units may not reflect changes in local habitat conditions. The methods used to monitor and manage bird populations within local BCRs will fundamentally

  2. Temporal and Spatial Scales Matter: Circannual Habitat Selection by Bird Communities in Vineyards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Guyot

    Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of

  3. Quantification of habitat fragmentation reveals extinction risk in terrestrial mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; King, Sarah R. B.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2017-01-01

    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

  4. Historical habitat connectivity affects current genetic structure in a grassland species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Münzbergová, Zuzana; Cousins, S.A.O.; Herben, Tomáš; Plačková, Ivana; Mildén, M.; Ehrlén, J.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 1 (2013), s. 195-202 ISSN 1435-8603 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Beals index * habitat isolation * habitat suitability Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.405, year: 2013

  5. Estimating effective landscape distances and movement corridors: Comparison of habitat and genetic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo-Sanchez; Niko Balkenhol; Samuel Cushman; Trinidad Perez; Ana Dominguez; Santiago Saura

    2015-01-01

    Resistance models provide a key foundation for landscape connectivity analyses and are widely used to delineate wildlife corridors. Currently, there is no general consensus regarding the most effective empirical methods to parameterize resistance models, but habitat data (species’ presence data and related habitat suitability models) and genetic data are the...

  6. Habitat use of barnacle geese at a subarctic salt marsh in the Kolokolkova Bay, Russia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Graaf, AJ; Lavrinenko, OV; Elsakov, [No Value; van Eerden, MR; Stahl, J

    2004-01-01

    Along the east Atlantic migratory flyway, goose and swan species rely on the availability of suitable coastal habitats as staging sites during migration and for breeding. Especially for the Russian part of the flyway, detailed descriptions of these habitats in relation to use by herbivores are

  7. The relationship of blue crab abundance to winter mortality of Whooping Cranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugesek, Bruce H.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Stehn, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    We sampled blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) numbers in marshes on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas from 1998-2006, while simultaneously censusing the wintering population of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) on the refuge and surrounding habitats. This was done to determine whether mortality of wintering Whooping Cranes was related to the availability of this food source. Yearly variation in crab numbers was high, ranging from a low of 0.1 crabs to a high of 3.4 crabs per 100-m transect section. Significant non-linear increases in both juvenile and adult mortality in relation to decreasing crab abundance was observed. Results suggest that some threshold of crab abundance exists in which Whooping Cranes have higher survival on their wintering grounds.

  8. Blue Creek Winter Range: Wildlife Mitigation Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    This preliminary Environmental Assessment examines the potential environmental effects of securing land and conducting wildlife habitat enhancement and long term management activities within the boundaries of the Spokane Indian Reservation. Four proposed activities are analyzed: Habitat protection; Habitat enhancement; Operation and maintenance; and Monitoring and evaluation. The proposed action is intended to meet the need for mitigation of wildlife and wildlife habitat adversely affected by the construction of Grand Coulee Dam and its reservoir

  9. Winter therapy for the accelerators

    CERN Multimedia

    Corinne Pralavorio

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of people are hard at work during the year-end technical stop as all the accelerators are undergoing maintenance, renovation and upgrade operations in parallel.   The new beam absorber on its way to Point 2 before being lowered into the LHC tunnel for installation. The accelerator teams didn’t waste any time before starting their annual winter rejuvenation programme over the winter. At the end of November, as the LHC ion run was beginning, work got under way on the PS Booster, where operation had already stopped. On 14 December, once the whole complex had been shut down, the technical teams turned their attention to the other injectors and the LHC. The year-end technical stop (YETS) provides an opportunity to carry out maintenance work on equipment and repair any damage as well as to upgrade the machines for the upcoming runs. Numerous work projects are carried out simultaneously, so good coordination is crucial. Marzia Bernardini's team in the Enginee...

  10. Potential effects of drought on carrying capacity for wintering waterfowl in the Central Valley of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, Mark J.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Wolder, Mike A.; Isola, Craig R.; Yarris, Gregory S.; Skalos, Daniel A.

    2016-01-01

    We used the bioenergetics model TRUEMET to evaluate potential effects of California's recent drought on food supplies for waterfowl wintering in the Central Valley under a range of habitat and waterfowl population scenarios. In nondrought years in the current Central Valley landscape, food supplies are projected to be adequate for waterfowl from fall through early spring (except late March) even if waterfowl populations reach North American Waterfowl Management Plan goals. However, in all drought scenarios that we evaluated, food supplies were projected to be exhausted for ducks by mid- to late winter and by late winter or early spring for geese. For ducks, these results were strongly related to projected declines in winter-flooded rice fields that provide 45% of all the food energy available to ducks in the Central Valley in nondrought water years. Delayed flooding of some managed wetlands may help alleviate food shortages by providing wetland food resources better timed with waterfowl migration and abundance patterns in the Central Valley, as well as reducing the amount of water needed to manage these habitats. However, future research is needed to evaluate the impacts of delayed flooding on waterfowl hunting, and whether California's existing water delivery system would make delayed flooding feasible. Securing adequate water supplies for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent birds is among the greatest challenges facing resource managers in coming years, especially in the increasingly arid western United States.

  11. Association of wintering raptors with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program grasslands in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A.; Brittingham, M.; Grove, G.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation grasslands can provide valuable habitat resource for breeding songbirds, but their value for wintering raptors has received little attention. We hypothesized that increased availability of grassland habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has resulted in an increase or redistribution in numbers of four species of raptors in Pennsylvania since 2001. We tested this by analyzing winter raptor counts from volunteer surveys, conducted from 2001 to 2008, for Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). During that period, numbers of wintering Northern Harriers increased by more than 20% per year. Log-linear Poisson regression models show that all four species increased in the region of Pennsylvania that had the most and longest-established conservation grasslands. At the county scale (N= 67), Bayesian spatial models showed that spatial and temporal population trends of all four species were positively correlated with the amount of conservation grassland. This relationship was particularly strong for Northern Harriers, with numbers predicted to increase by 35.7% per year for each additional 1% of farmland enrolled in CREP. Our results suggest that conservation grasslands are likely the primary cause of the increase in numbers of wintering Northern Harriers in Pennsylvania since 2001. ?? 2010 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  12. Analysis of forest stands used by wintering woodland caribou in Ontario

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Antoniak

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Two summers' field surveys at 9 locations in northwestern Ontario showed that woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou wintering areas supported jack pine and black spruce stands with low tree densities (mean 1552 trees/ ha, 39% of a fully stocked stand, low basal areas (mean 14.14 m2/ha, low volumes (mean 116 mVha, 68% of Normal Yield Tables and short heights (95% of stands 12 m or less. Ecologically, most sights were classed V30. Significantly more lichen (averaging 39% lichen ground cover was found on plots used by caribou. Three measured areas showed few shrubs, possibly enhancing escape possibilities and reducing browse attractive to moose. An HIS model predicted known locations of caribou winter habitat from FRI data with 76% accuracy. Landsat imagery theme 3 (open conifer produced 74% accuracy. Combining these methods permitted prediction of all 50 test sites. The low volumes of timber found in caribou wintering areas suggest that setting aside reserves for caribou winter habitat would not sacrifice as much wood product value as might at first appear.

  13. Habitat selection by chironomid larvae: fast growth requires fast food.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haas, E.M.; Wagner, C.; Koelmans, A.A.; Kraak, M.H.S.; Admiraal, W.

    2006-01-01

    1. Sediments have been considered as a habitat, a cover from predators and a source of food, but also as a source of potential toxic compounds. Therefore, the choice of a suitable substrate is essential for the development of chironomids. 2. For the midge Chironomus riparius (Meigen 1804) the growth

  14. Saproxylic Hemiptera Habitat Associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael D. Ulyshen; James L. Hanula; Robert L. Blinn; Gene. Kritsky

    2012-01-01

    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),...

  15. 75 FR 62191 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for Navarretia fossalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-07

    ... critical habitat rules for N. fossalis at the unit level. Table 1. Changes between the October 18, 2005... required for ponding during winter and spring months. The methods of dispersal and pollination for N... part of a gently sloping and undulating landscape, where soil mounds are interspersed with basins (mima...

  16. 75 FR 19575 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for Navarretia fossalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-15

    ... (PCE 2), and the topography and soils that support ponding during winter and spring months (PCE 3). The... and upland habitats that act as the local watershed (PCE 2), and the topography and soils that support... businesses (13 CFR 121.201). Small businesses include manufacturing and mining concerns with fewer than 500...

  17. Distribution, abundance, and habitat use of territorial male Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus) in northeast Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    William H. Lane; David E. Andersen; Thomas H. Nicholls

    1997-01-01

    We conducted nocturnal auditory surveys from 1987-1992 to determine the distribution, abundance, and habitat use of Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus) in northeast Minnesota. We concentrated our efforts in areas where documented nesting attempts by the owls had occurred, along roadways maintained for winter-time access by motor vehicles, and by...

  18. Diet preferences of goats in a subtropical dry forest and implications for habitat management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genie M. Fleming; Joseph Wunderle Jr.; David N. Ewert

    2016-01-01

    As part of an experimental study of using controlled goat grazing to manage winter habitat of the Kirtland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii), an endangered Nearctic neotropical migratory bird, we evaluated diet preferences of domesticated goats within early successional subtropical dry forest in The Bahamas. We expected goats would show a low preference for two plants (...

  19. Loss and modification of habitat: Chapter 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate

  20. Geographic variation in migration chronology and winter distribution of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R.; Nieman, Daniel J.; Alisauskas, Ray T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Hines, James E.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated spatial and temporal differences in migratory behavior among different breeding groups of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) using band-recovery data and observations of neck collared geese during migration and winter. Birds from different breeding areas were initially delineated by geographic distance into 6 banding reference areas (BRAs): 1) interior Alaska, 2) North Slope of Alaska, 3) western Northwest Territories (NWT), 4) western Nunavut, 5) central Nunavut, and 6) eastern Nunavut. The banding groups also differed by breeding habitat, with geese from interior Alaska nesting in the boreal forest (taiga), and all other groups breeding in tundra habitats. Geese from interior Alaska migrated earlier during autumn, and were more likely to winter farther south (in Mexico) than geese from other breeding areas. Geese banded in central and eastern Nunavut (Queen Maud Gulf and Inglis River) wintered farther east (in Louisiana) than geese from other breeding areas. Small-scale (within-state) geographic segregation of wintering flocks was evidenced by the recent (post-1990) nearly exclusive use of a new wintering area in north central Texas by geese from interior Alaska. Segregation among BRAs was also apparent in Mexico, where taiga geese were found predominantly in the central Highlands (states of Zacatecas and Durango), whereas tundra geese mostly used states along the Gulf Coast (primarily Tamaulipas). Interior Alaska birds initiated spring migration earlier than geese from other areas, and were more likely than others to stop in the Rainwater Basin of Nebraska, a region where cholera outbreaks periodically kill thousands of geese. Geese from interior Alaska were the first to arrive at spring staging areas in prairie Canada where BRAs exhibited spatial delineation (a longitudinal cline) in relation to breeding areas. Our results show significant geographic and temporal variation among taiga and tundra breeding cohorts during

  1. The micro-habitat methodology. Application protocols

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabaton, C; Valentin, S; Souchon, Y

    1995-06-01

    A strong need has been felt for guidelines to help various entities in applying the micro-habitat methodology, particularly in impact studies on hydroelectric installations. CEMAGREF and Electricite de France have developed separately two protocols with five major steps: reconnaissance of the river, selection of representative units to be studied in greater depth, morpho-dynamic measurements at one or more rates of discharge and hydraulic modeling, coupling of hydraulic and biological models, calculation of habitat-quality scores for fish, analysis of results. The two approaches give very comparable results and are essentially differentiated by the hydraulic model used. CEMAGREF uses a one-dimensional model requiring measurements at only one discharge rate. Electricite de France uses a simplified model based on measurements at several rates of discharge. This approach is possible when discharge can be controlled in the study area during data acquisition, as is generally the case downstream of hydroelectric installations. The micro-habitat methodology is now a fully operational tool with which to study changes in fish habitat quality in relation to varying discharge. It provides an element of assessment pertinent to the choice of instreaming flow to be maintained downstream of a hydroelectric installation; this information is essential when the flow characteristics (velocity, depth) and the nature of the river bed are the preponderant factors governing habitat suitability for trout or salmon. The ultimate decision must nonetheless take into account any other potentially limiting factors for the biocenoses on the one hand, and the target water use objectives on the other. In many cases, compromises must be found among different uses, different species and different stages in the fish development cycle. (Abstract Truncated)

  2. NEPR Benthic Habitat Map 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  3. NORTHWOODS Wildlife Habitat Data Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark D. Nelson; Janine M. Benyus; Richard R. Buech

    1992-01-01

    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.

  4. Food preferences of winter bird communities in different forest types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swen C Renner

    Full Text Available Food availability for forest birds is a function of habitat type, forest management regime, and season. In winter, it is also impacted by variations in the weather. In the current study we assessed the food preferences of wild bird populations in two types of forest (spruce and beech during the months of November 2010 to April 2011 in the Schwäbische Alb Biodiversity Exploratory, south-western Germany. Our aim was to investigate whether local bird communities preferred fat-rich, carbohydrate-rich or wild fruits and to determine how forest structure, seasonality and local weather conditions affected food preferences. We found higher bird activity in beech forests for the eleven resident species. We observed a clear preference for fat-rich food for all birds in both forest types. Snow cover affected activity at food stations but did not affect food preferences. Periods of extreme low temperatures increased activity.

  5. Habitat selection of Tragulus napu and Tragulus javanicus using MaxEnt analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taher, Taherah Mohd; Lihan, Tukimat; Mustapha, Muzzneena Ahmad; Nor, Shukor Mohd

    2018-04-01

    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.

  6. Winter warming from large volcanic eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robock, Alan; Mao, Jianping

    1992-01-01

    An examination of the Northern Hemisphere winter surface temperature patterns after the 12 largest volcanic eruptions from 1883-1992 shows warming over Eurasia and North America and cooling over the Middle East which are significant at the 95-percent level. This pattern is found in the first winter after tropical eruptions, in the first or second winter after midlatitude eruptions, and in the second winter after high latitude eruptions. The effects are independent of the hemisphere of the volcanoes. An enhanced zonal wind driven by heating of the tropical stratosphere by the volcanic aerosols is responsible for the regions of warming, while the cooling is caused by blocking of incoming sunlight.

  7. Modeling and Validation of Environmental Suitability for Schistosomiasis Transmission Using Remote Sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walz, Yvonne; Wegmann, Martin; Dech, Stefan; Vounatsou, Penelope; Poda, Jean-Noël; N'Goran, Eliézer K; Utzinger, Jürg; Raso, Giovanna

    2015-11-01

    Schistosomiasis is the most widespread water-based disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Transmission is governed by the spatial distribution of specific freshwater snails that act as intermediate hosts and human water contact patterns. Remote sensing data have been utilized for spatially explicit risk profiling of schistosomiasis. We investigated the potential of remote sensing to characterize habitat conditions of parasite and intermediate host snails and discuss the relevance for public health. We employed high-resolution remote sensing data, environmental field measurements, and ecological data to model environmental suitability for schistosomiasis-related parasite and snail species. The model was developed for Burkina Faso using a habitat suitability index (HSI). The plausibility of remote sensing habitat variables was validated using field measurements. The established model was transferred to different ecological settings in Côte d'Ivoire and validated against readily available survey data from school-aged children. Environmental suitability for schistosomiasis transmission was spatially delineated and quantified by seven habitat variables derived from remote sensing data. The strengths and weaknesses highlighted by the plausibility analysis showed that temporal dynamic water and vegetation measures were particularly useful to model parasite and snail habitat suitability, whereas the measurement of water surface temperature and topographic variables did not perform appropriately. The transferability of the model showed significant relations between the HSI and infection prevalence in study sites of Côte d'Ivoire. A predictive map of environmental suitability for schistosomiasis transmission can support measures to gain and sustain control. This is particularly relevant as emphasis is shifting from morbidity control to interrupting transmission. Further validation of our mechanistic model needs to be complemented by field data of parasite- and snail

  8. Impacts of temperature on giant panda habitat in the north Minshan Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Gang; Guan, Tianpei; Dai, Qiang; Li, Huixin; Gong, Minghao

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the impacts of meteorological factors on giant pandas is necessary for future conservation measures in response to global climate change. We integrated temperature data with three main habitat parameters (elevation, vegetation type, and bamboo species) to evaluate the influence of climate change on giant panda habitat in the northern Minshan Mountains using a habitat assessment model. Our study shows that temperature (relative importance = 25.1%) was the second most important variable influencing giant panda habitat excepting the elevation. There was a significant negative correlation between temperature and panda presence (ρ = -0.133, P pandas within the study area was 18-21°C, followed by 15-17°C and 22-24°C. The overall suitability of giant panda habitats will increase by 2.7%, however, it showed a opposite variation patterns between the eastern and northwestern region of the study area. Suitable and subsuitable habitats in the northwestern region of the study area, which is characterized by higher elevation and latitude, will increase by 18007.8 hm(2) (9.8% habitat suitability), while the eastern region will suffer a decrease of 9543.5 hm(2) (7.1% habitat suitability). Our results suggest that increasing areas of suitable giant panda habitat will support future giant panda expansion, and food shortage and insufficient living space will not arise as problems in the northwest Minshan Mountains, which means that giant pandas can adapt to climate change, and therefore may be resilient to climate change. Thus, for the safety and survival of giant pandas in the Baishuijiang Reserve, we propose strengthening the giant panda monitoring program in the west and improving the integrity of habitats to promote population dispersal with adjacent populations in the east.

  9. Coherence between harvest and habitat management -- Joint venture perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, C.K.; Nelson, J.W.; Reinecke, K.J.; Stephens, S.E.

    2006-01-01

    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.

  10. Testing projected wild bee distributions in agricultural habitats: predictive power depends on species traits and habitat type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-10-01

    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

  11. Predicting occurrence of juvenile shark habitat to improve conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Beverly Z L; Sequeira, Ana M M; Meekan, Mark G; Ruppert, Jonathan L W; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2017-06-01

    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 eluci