Journal Cover Biological Conservation
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0006-3207
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3175 journals]
  • Stream fish colonization but not persistence varies regionally across a
           large North American river basin
    • Authors: Kit Wheeler; Seth J. Wenger; Stephen J. Walsh; Zachary P. Martin; Howard L. Jelks; Mary C. Freeman
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Kit Wheeler, Seth J. Wenger, Stephen J. Walsh, Zachary P. Martin, Howard L. Jelks, Mary C. Freeman
      Many species have distributions that span distinctly different physiographic regions, and effective conservation of such taxa will require a full accounting of all factors that potentially influence populations. Ecologists recognize effects of physiographic differences in topography, geology and climate on local habitat configurations, and thus the relevance of landscape heterogeneity to species distributions and abundances. However, research is lacking that examines how physiography affects the processes underlying metapopulation dynamics. We used data describing occupancy dynamics of stream fishes to evaluate evidence that physiography influences rates at which individual taxa persist in or colonize stream reaches under different flow conditions. Using periodic survey data from a stream fish assemblage in a large river basin that encompasses multiple physiographic regions, we fit multi-species dynamic occupancy models. Our modeling results suggested that stream fish colonization but not persistence was strongly governed by physiography, with estimated colonization rates considerably higher in Coastal Plain streams than in Piedmont and Blue Ridge systems. Like colonization, persistence was positively related to an index of stream flow magnitude, but the relationship between flow and persistence did not depend on physiography. Understanding the relative importance of colonization and persistence, and how one or both processes may change across the landscape, is critical information for the conservation of broadly distributed taxa, and conservation strategies explicitly accounting for spatial variation in these processes are likely to be more successful for such taxa.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.023
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Don't judge habitat on its novelty: Assessing the value of novel habitats
           for an endangered mammal in a peri-urban landscape
    • Authors: Sarah J. Maclagan; Terry Coates; Euan G. Ritchie
      Pages: 11 - 18
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Sarah J. Maclagan, Terry Coates, Euan G. Ritchie
      Novel ecosystems are increasingly common worldwide, particularly in areas heavily impacted by humans such as urban and peri-urban landscapes. Consequently, interest in their potential contribution to biodiversity conservation is growing, including their ability to sustain populations of threatened species. However, few studies have explored whether novel habitats can support viable populations over time and how they compare to less modified, remnant habitats. We investigated the capacity for novel habitats to support an endangered mammal, the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus: Peramelidae), in a highly-modified landscape near Australia's second largest city, Melbourne. We compared bandicoot abundance and body condition between five novel and two remnant sites, and examined whether novel sites support residency and key demographic processes necessary for bandicoot population persistence. We found that bandicoot abundance was higher at novel than remnant sites, with the highest abundance at the novel site with the most urbanised surroundings. Female body condition was similar between novel and remnant sites. The majority of bandicoots at novel sites were resident, and breeding activity, recruitment of first-year adults, and survival of mature adults were observed at all novel sites. Our results demonstrate the potential significance of novel habitats for conserving threatened species within heavily-modified landscapes, and encourage us not to judge the quality of habitats on their novelty alone. Broadening our appreciation of the potential value of novel ecosystems could increase off-reserve species conservation opportunities, a key priority within the context of the Anthropocene and unprecedented global change and biodiversity loss.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.022
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Predicting population viability of the narrow endemic Mediterranean plant
           Centaurea corymbosa under climate change
    • Authors: Asma Hadjou Belaid; Sandrine Maurice; Hélène Fréville; David Carbonell; Eric Imbert
      Pages: 19 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Asma Hadjou Belaid, Sandrine Maurice, Hélène Fréville, David Carbonell, Eric Imbert
      Climate change is a growing threat for global biodiversity, in particular for narrow endemic species. The Mediterranean region, which harbors an exceptional biodiversity, has been identified as one of the most sensitive regions to climate change. Based on a 22-year monitoring period, we analyzed the dynamic and viability of the six extant populations of a narrow endemic plant species of the Mediterranean area, Centaurea corymbosa, to predict their fate under two climatic scenarios. We constructed matrix projection models to calculate current asymptotic growth rates and to perform stochastic projections including both demographic and environmental stochasticity. Neither asymptotic growth rates nor their temporal variance were linked to population size and age at flowering. Randomization tests showed that asymptotic growth rates were significantly different among years but not among populations. An increase in temperature and a decrease in the number of wet days had a negative impact on the whole life-cycle, particularly in the summer period, and thus reduced asymptotic growth rates. Stochastic projections showed that an increased frequency of extreme climatic events increased population extinction risk and decreased mean time to extinction. The warm scenario had a more dramatic impact on population viability than the dry scenario. Management recommendations are proposed to increase population viability of endangered plant species such as C. corymbosa that face climate change.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.019
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Assessing the aggregated risk of invasive crayfish and climate change to
           freshwater crabs: A Southeast Asian case study
    • Authors: Yiwen Zeng; Darren C.J. Yeo
      Pages: 58 - 67
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Yiwen Zeng, Darren C.J. Yeo
      Primary freshwater crabs represent a culturally and ecologically significant component of freshwater habitats globally that has a high percentage of threatened species. Invasive species (especially non-indigenous crayfish) and climate change are not only important standalone threats, but are also expected to compound existing threats (e.g., habitat loss/modification, pollution) and challenge the long-term survival of these decapod crustaceans. This study illustrates the importance of considering these two emerging and growing threats in conservation or management strategies by quantifying (via species distribution models) the individual and aggregated risks of these threats in Southeast Asia, a region with the highest diversity of primary freshwater crabs and a high proportion of imperiled species. Results predicted that most species of crabs (82.1%) will co-occur (and hence interact) with invasive crayfish to a moderate to high degree, and most species (69.2%) will also experience a reduction in suitable climate conditions in the future. In terms of aggregated risk, the results also predict an increased overlap between invasive crayfish and native crabs for three out of the seven species analyzed (namely Procambarus virginalis, Cherax destructor and Orconectes rusticus). Findings from this study provide a quantitatively derived rationale for the development of adaptive regulations and conservation plans in the region to minimize the risk of invasive species in a cost-effective way, thereby enabling the protection of Southeast Asia's natural heritage and its vital ecosystem services.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.033
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Charismatic species of the past: Biases in reporting of large mammals in
           historical written sources
    • Authors: Sophie Monsarrat; Graham I.H. Kerley
      Pages: 68 - 75
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Sophie Monsarrat, Graham I.H. Kerley
      Long-term biodiversity occurrence records are key to quantify long-term biodiversity patterns and trends and inform the conservation of threatened species, but they are strongly biased in terms of the species represented. This taxonomic bias, and its correlation to societal preferences, is well-identified in modern biodiversity datasets. However, it remains to be investigated, and its basis understood, in long-term occurrence datasets assembled from historical sources. Here we investigate taxonomic bias for 38 species of large terrestrial mammals using a dataset of 780 historical occurrence assembled from 16th to mid-19th century historical written sources in South Africa. We test if this bias is related to species' historical charisma, using a functional definition of non-human charisma, supported by anecdotes from the historical literature. We identify a strong taxonomic bias, with up to several order of magnitudes of difference in the likelihood of reporting between some species. Species' charisma alone explains 75% of the observed variance, the most charismatic species being largely over-reported. This is the first evidence of a positive relationship between taxonomic bias and charisma in a historical biodiversity dataset, within a homogeneous taxonomic group such as large terrestrial mammals. These results improve our understanding of the relationship between people and the large terrestrial fauna in historical times and suggest that species' charisma is a good predictor of taxonomic bias in long-term biodiversity datasets. This provides background for modern conservation by illustrating the durability of the charisma concept and of its relation with taxonomic bias, with implications for the representativeness of species in long-term conservation studies.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.036
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) to survey Nile crocodile
           populations: A case study at Lake Nyamithi, Ndumo game reserve, South
           Africa
    • Authors: Mohamed A. Ezat; Camille J. Fritsch; Colleen T. Downs
      Pages: 76 - 81
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Mohamed A. Ezat, Camille J. Fritsch, Colleen T. Downs
      Observer bias and inexperience are challenging aspects of crocodile survey methods for determining population numbers and structure. Aerial surveys with either a helicopter or a fixed winged aircraft are generally preferred methods to ground surveys; however, the high cost of the former is a limiting factor. Recently unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have been proposed for surveys because of their potential of improving over traditional techniques of wildlife monitoring and as they have relatively lower costs. We investigated of the suitability of a UAV to determine numbers and structure of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, population during winter at Lake Nyamithi, Ndumo Game Reserve in South Africa. We used the UAV for eight flights covering ~132 ha. We also conducted a diurnal ground survey of crocodiles for comparison. Using the UAV, 287 crocodiles were identified and body length measured accurately for size class allocation whereas only 211 crocodiles were counted in the diurnal ground survey. Consequently, the UAV aerial survey recorded 26% more crocodiles. The potential of using UAVs to estimate crocodile population size and measure the total length (TL) of individuals accurately and precisely at a relatively low cost should improve management actions, enable monitoring of the crocodile populations annually and importantly avoid observer bias. Implications of this may facilitate improved crocodilian survey techniques.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.032
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Worldwide increase in Artificial Light At Night around protected areas and
           within biodiversity hotspots
    • Authors: Adrien Guetté; Laurent Godet; Martin Juigner; Marc Robin
      Pages: 97 - 103
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Adrien Guetté, Laurent Godet, Martin Juigner, Marc Robin
      Artificial Light At Night (ALAN) has several adverse impacts on biodiversity, and it has been recently used as a proxy to monitor human encroachment on landscapes at large spatial scales. The extent to which ALAN affects protected areas (PAs) and biodiversity hotspots (BHs) remains however untested at large spatial scales. We used this proxy to assess the spatial and temporal trends in the anthropization at a global scale within and around PAs and BHs. We found that ALAN is low and stable over time within PAs, but is the highest in a first outer belt (<25 km) around PAs, and tends to increase in a second outer belt (25–75 km). In the meantime, ALAN is higher within BHs than outside, and is even the highest and increasing over time in an inner belt, close to their periphery. Our results suggest that although PAs are creating safety zones in terms of ALAN, they tend to be more and more isolated from each other by a concentric human encroachment. In contrast, BHs are submitted to an increasing human pressure, especially in their inner periphery. Overall, we suggest integrating ALAN in large-scale conservation policies.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.018
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Ecological neighborhoods as a framework for umbrella species selection
    • Authors: Erica F. Stuber; Joseph J. Fontaine
      Pages: 112 - 119
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Erica F. Stuber, Joseph J. Fontaine
      Umbrella species are typically chosen because they are expected to confer protection for other species assumed to have similar ecological requirements. Despite its popularity and substantial history, the value of the umbrella species concept has come into question because umbrella species chosen using heuristic methods, such as body or home range size, are not acting as adequate proxies for the metrics of interest: species richness or population abundance in a multi-species community for which protection is sought. How species associate with habitat across ecological scales has important implications for understanding population size and species richness, and therefore may be a better proxy for choosing an umbrella species. We determined the spatial scales of ecological neighborhoods important for predicting abundance of 8 potential umbrella species breeding in Nebraska using Bayesian latent indicator scale selection in N-mixture models accounting for imperfect detection. We compare the conservation value measured as collective avian abundance under different umbrella species selected following commonly used criteria and selected based on identifying spatial land cover characteristics within ecological neighborhoods that maximize collective abundance. Using traditional criteria to select an umbrella species resulted in sub-maximal expected collective abundance in 86% of cases compared to selecting an umbrella species based on land cover characteristics that maximized collective abundance directly. We conclude that directly assessing the expected quantitative outcomes, rather than ecological proxies, is likely the most efficient method to maximize the potential for conservation success under the umbrella species concept.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.026
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Old growth, regrowth, and planted woodland provide complementary habitat
           for threatened woodland birds on farms
    • Authors: Karen Ikin; Ayesha I.T. Tulloch; Dean Ansell; David B. Lindenmayer
      Pages: 120 - 128
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Karen Ikin, Ayesha I.T. Tulloch, Dean Ansell, David B. Lindenmayer
      A central challenge for threatened species conservation in agricultural landscapes is to understand the relative contributions of old growth, regrowth, and planted woodland to species persistence. We offer a new perspective into solving this problem by using a systematic conservation planning approach to integrate spatial biodiversity and economic information with patch complementarity. We applied this to an eight-year study of woodland birds vulnerable to extinction across an extensive agricultural region of Australia. We used regression and ordination analyses to show that species were more likely to occur in regrowth and old growth woodland patches compared with plantings. We then set objectives of finding sets of complementary patches for supporting species across the landscape, and explored biodiversity trade-offs resulting from production- or cost-focused objectives. We found that species persistence could be achieved only through sets of patches containing all patch types (old growth, regrowth, plantings). Scenarios that selected sets of patches irrespective of patch type maximized species occurrence over time for the lowest combined area and establishment costs. Patch sets had a higher proportion of plantings for the objective of minimizing area, but a more equal proportion of patch types for the objective of minimizing cost. Our findings demonstrate what the relative composition of old growth, regrowth, and plantings should be when considering vegetation management interventions for threatened species conservation. Government policy and associated funding aimed at improving biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes needs to promote both regrowth woodland and revegetation planting strategies in addition to old growth woodland protection.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.025
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Somewhere between acceptable and sustainable: When do impacts to resources
           become too large in protected areas'
    • Authors: Scott Gende; A. Noble Hendrix; Joshua Schmidt
      Pages: 138 - 146
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Scott Gende, A. Noble Hendrix, Joshua Schmidt
      Utilization of marine and terrestrial protected areas is fundamentally important for their acceptance and success. Yet even appropriate uses can negatively impact resources requiring managers to make decisions as to when the impacts become unacceptably large. These decisions can be difficult because the level at which impacts occur may be far below the level at which resource persistence is threatened. In Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, managers must make a recurring decision regarding the number of cruise ships that are allowed to enter the park each year. Cruise ships bring >95% of all visitors to the park but have been involved in several lethal collisions (ship strikes) with humpback whales. Using an individual-based simulation model, we demonstrate that increasing the annual ship volume from current to maximum allowable levels would have negligible impacts on population growth of whales. Over the next 30 years the median number of collisions would likely increase from 3 (95% CI: 0–7) to 4 (1–8) or, worst case scenario, from 5 (0–7) to 8 (3−13), while median annual growth rates would, at most, shift from 4.4% (3.7%–5.2%) to 4.2% (3.5%–4.9%), depending upon assumptions. By comparison, a median of 67 (50–82) ship strikes would need to occur over the next 30 years to threaten the persistence of whales. Confronted with an impact level that is far below what would threaten the conservation of whales, managers are tasked with the decision of placing values on 2 million additional visitors for every additional dead whale. We argue that decision-making related to use-impact trade-offs for protected areas could be more consistent and effective if site-values are defined explicitly, clearly communicated among stakeholders, and linked to biological metrics. Protected areas managers can then utilize monitoring programs to evaluate management effectiveness when the objective is conserving both resources and values.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.038
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Can trackers count free-ranging wildlife as effectively and efficiently as
           conventional aerial survey and distance sampling' Implications for
           citizen science in the Kalahari, Botswana
    • Authors: Derek Keeping; Julia H. Burger; Amo O. Keitsile; Marie-Charlotte Gielen; Edwin Mudongo; Martha Wallgren; Christina Skarpe; A. Lee Foote
      Pages: 156 - 169
      Abstract: Publication date: July 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 223
      Author(s): Derek Keeping, Julia H. Burger, Amo O. Keitsile, Marie-Charlotte Gielen, Edwin Mudongo, Martha Wallgren, Christina Skarpe, A. Lee Foote
      Estimating wildlife abundance is central to conservation. We compared two widely practiced standards for counting animals - aerial strip surveys and ground line transects - with interpreted counts of animal tracks. At equal sampling intensity in semiarid savanna with good visibility all three methods produced similar population estimates and precision for six large herbivores. This comparison adds empirical support for the use of track count data to estimate population density rather than being restricted to ambiguous indices of relative abundance. Although expected to capture more species than aerial surveys, we found line transects limiting because encounter rates by direct sightings were relatively low; a minimum threshold 40 observations was achieved for only 1/3 of antelope species in 648.4 km of transect. By contrast, animal track counts returned exceedingly high encounter rates that allowed estimation of abundance for the entire large predator-prey community and mapping density-distributions more completely. Unlike aerial surveys conducted by Botswana's wildlife authority, the track survey provided opportunity to involve local people in the research process. The track survey cost 40% less than the aerial survey, and could be reduced a further 3-fold if trackers collected data autonomously without motor vehicles. Counting animals by their tracks is ultimately constrained to regions with appropriate substrates. However, in suitable environments like the Kalahari, we suggest that a citizen science driven by expert local trackers could ultimately replace conventional wildlife counts, generating knock-on benefits to conservation beyond improved data.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.027
      Issue No: Vol. 223 (2018)
       
  • Bird collisions with power lines: State of the art and priority areas for
           research
    • Authors: J. Bernardino; K. Bevanger; R. Barrientos; J.F. Dwyer; A.T. Marques; R.C. Martins; J.M. Shaw; J.P. Silva; F. Moreira
      Pages: 1 - 13
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): J. Bernardino, K. Bevanger, R. Barrientos, J.F. Dwyer, A.T. Marques, R.C. Martins, J.M. Shaw, J.P. Silva, F. Moreira
      Transmission and distribution electricity grids are expanding rapidly worldwide, with significant negative impacts on biodiversity and, in particular, on birds. We performed a systematic review of the literature available on bird collisions with power lines to: (i) assess overall trends in scientific research in recent decades; (ii) review the existing knowledge of species-specific factors (e.g. vision, morphology), site-specific factors (e.g. topography, light and weather conditions, and anthropogenic disturbance), and power line-specific factors (e.g. number of wire levels, wire height and diameter) known to contribute to increased bird collision risk; and (iii) evaluate existing mitigation measures (e.g. power line routing, underground cabling, power line configuration, wire marking), as well as their effectiveness in reducing collision risk. Our literature review showed (i) there is comparatively little scientific evidence available for power line-specific factors, (ii) there is a scarcity of studies in Asia, Africa and South America, and (iii) several recommendations of good practice are still not supported by scientific evidence. Based on knowledge gaps identified through this review, we outline suggestions for future research and possible innovative approaches in three main areas: bird behaviour (e.g. further use of loggers and sensors), impact assessment (e.g. understanding the drivers of mortality hotspots, assess population-level impacts, develop methods for automatic detection of collisions) and mitigation measures (e.g. further need of BACI approaches to compare the effectiveness of different wire marking devices). The complex and region-specific interactions between collision drivers and bird ecology continue to limit our ability to predict impacts and the success of mitigation measures.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.029
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • The potential virtue of garden bird feeders: More birds in citizen
           backyards close to intensive agricultural landscapes
    • Authors: Pauline Pierret; Frédéric Jiguet
      Pages: 14 - 20
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Pauline Pierret, Frédéric Jiguet
      Farmland bird abundances have been declining for decades, an erosion associated with agricultural changes. Main drivers have already been identified: intensification of practices, modification of landscapes, leading to impoverished summer and winter food availability. In parallel, winter bird feeding in private gardens became a common practice. Such a food supplementation may represent a bonanza for seed-deprived bird communities. Using data collected by citizen providing food to wintering birds in >1100 backyards, we analyzed the temporal and spatial trends in abundance of 30 species at feeders during four core winters periods and along a gradient of local agriculture intensification. Garden feeders located within intensively cultivated landscapes attracted more birds, the relationship being strongest for farmland species. We further found a temporal trend which strengthens this pattern as the winter progresses. These results confirm that supplying winter food to garden birds has not only a recreational value, but can also improve bird numbers hence probably winter survival rates, chiefly in intensive agricultural landscapes.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.033
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Spatially explicit carrying capacity estimates to inform species specific
           recovery objectives: Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) recovery in the North
           Cascades
    • Authors: Andrea L. Lyons; William L. Gaines; Peter H. Singleton; Wayne F. Kasworm; Michael F. Proctor; James Begley
      Pages: 21 - 32
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Andrea L. Lyons, William L. Gaines, Peter H. Singleton, Wayne F. Kasworm, Michael F. Proctor, James Begley
      The worldwide decline of large carnivores is concerning, particularly given the important roles they play in shaping ecosystems and conserving biodiversity. Estimating the capacity of an ecosystem to support a large carnivore population is essential for establishing reasonable and quantifiable recovery goals, determining how population recovery may rely on connectivity, and determining the feasibility of investing limited public resources toward recovery. We present a case study that synthesized advances in habitat selection and spatially-explicit individual-based population modeling, while integrating habitat data, human activities, demographic parameters and complex life histories to estimate grizzly bear carrying capacity in the North Cascades Ecosystem in Washington. Because access management plays such a critical role in wildlife conservation, we also quantified road influence on carrying capacity. Carrying capacity estimatesranged from 83 to 402 female grizzly bears. As expected, larger home ranges resulted in smaller populations and roads decreased habitat effectiveness by over 30%. Because carrying capacity was estimated with a static habitat map, the output is best interpreted as an index of habitat carrying capacity under current conditions. The mid-range scenario results of 139 females, or a total population of 278 bears, represented the most plausible scenario for this ecosystem. Grizzly bear distribution generally corresponded to areas with higher quality habitat and less road influence near the central region of the ecosystem. Our results reaffirm the North Cascades Ecosystem's capacity to support a robust grizzly bear population. Our approach, however, can assist managers anywhere ecosystem-specific information is limited. This approach may be useful to land and wildlife managers as they consider grizzly bear population recovery objectives and make important decisions relative to the conservation of wildlife populations worldwide.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.027
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Integrated analysis for population estimation, management impact
           evaluation, and decision-making for a declining species
    • Authors: Brian A. Crawford; Clinton T. Moore; Terry M. Norton; John C. Maerz
      Pages: 33 - 43
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Brian A. Crawford, Clinton T. Moore, Terry M. Norton, John C. Maerz
      A challenge for making conservation decisions is predicting how wildlife populations respond to multiple, concurrent threats and potential management strategies, usually under substantial uncertainty. Integrated modeling approaches can improve estimation of demographic rates necessary for making predictions, even for rare or cryptic species with sparse data, but their use in management applications is limited. We developed integrated models for a population of diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) impacted by road-associated threats to (i) jointly estimate demographic rates from two mark-recapture datasets, while directly estimating road mortality and the impact of management actions deployed during the study; and (ii) project the population using population viability analysis under simulated management strategies to inform decision-making. Without management, population extirpation was nearly certain due to demographic impacts of road mortality, predators, and vegetation. Installation of novel flashing signage increased survival of terrapins that crossed roads by 30%. Signage, along with small roadside barriers installed during the study, increased population persistence probability, but the population was still predicted to decline. Management strategies that included actions targeting multiple threats and demographic rates resulted in the highest persistence probability, and roadside barriers, which increased adult survival, were predicted to increase persistence more than other actions. Our results support earlier findings showing mitigation of multiple threats is likely required to increase the viability of declining populations. Our approach illustrates how integrated models may be adapted to use limited data efficiently, represent system complexity, evaluate impacts of threats and management actions, and provide decision-relevant information for conservation of at-risk populations.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.023
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Public attitudes towards “pest” management: Perceptions on squirrel
           management strategies in the UK
    • Authors: Mike Dunn; Mariella Marzano; Jack Forster; Robin M.A. Gill
      Pages: 52 - 63
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Mike Dunn, Mariella Marzano, Jack Forster, Robin M.A. Gill
      The impacts of non-native, invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) on broadleaf woodlands and red squirrel population (Sciurus vulgaris) are well recognised among wildlife professionals, yet efforts to control the species across its expanding range require substantial time and resources. Through collaboration, wildlife professionals and communities can more effectively implement the population monitoring and control programmes necessary to conserve native species under threat. However, for such collaboration to be successful, wildlife professionals must first understand public attitudes towards grey squirrels, and the control methods available. Through a national level survey (n = 3758) we examine the UK public's attitudes to red and grey squirrels, and the acceptability of seven control methods. Results show that much of the public have little knowledge of the grey squirrel's negative impacts. In fact, contrary to the notion of a pest species, the presence of grey squirrels is often desirable. Furthermore, those control methods recommended by wildlife professionals are regarded by the public as some of the least acceptable. Those most accepting of controls include males, older generations, those most knowledgeable about squirrels and people who are aware of squirrel management being practiced in their local area. To foster more fruitful collaboration, wildlife professionals should raise awareness of why particular control methods are preferred, highlight the damage grey squirrels cause to other valued species, and offer local communities a variety of roles which contribute to the wider goal of native species conservation.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.020
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Major global changes interact to cause male-biased sex ratios in a reptile
           with temperature-dependent sex determination
    • Authors: M.M. Thompson; B.H. Coe; R.M. Andrews; D.F. Stauffer; D.A. Cristol; D.A. Crossley; W.A. Hopkins
      Pages: 64 - 74
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): M.M. Thompson, B.H. Coe, R.M. Andrews, D.F. Stauffer, D.A. Cristol, D.A. Crossley, W.A. Hopkins
      Habitat loss and pollution are two of the greatest global threats to biodiversity. Due to their widespread prevalence, these threats often co-occur, yet their interactive effects on organisms remain poorly understood. Some reptiles are vulnerable to these threats because they have specific microclimate requirements for embryonic development and because pollutants are maternally transferred to their eggs; both incubation temperature and pollutants affect reptile sex determination. In aquatic turtles, females often select nest sites in recently planted agricultural fields but the impact of nesting in polluted agricultural habitats is not understood. We examined the influences of crop agriculture and mercury pollution on nest microclimate and offspring sex ratios of Chelydra serpentina. We hypothesized that crop growth in agricultural fields would shade and cool turtle nests, decrease moisture levels, increase male offspring production, and interact with maternally-derived mercury to impact sex determination. As predicted, nests shaded by crops had lower average temperatures (−2.5 °C) and moisture levels (−107 kPa) than control nests. In field and laboratory experiments, agricultural thermal regimens increased the proportion of male offspring in clutches and this effect was intensified in the presence of mercury. Global temperatures are expected to rise within the 21st century and to have a feminizing effect on reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination. That prediction should be refined to incorporate how the cooling effect of some local habitat conditions (e.g., agricultural fields), and interactions between anthropogenic land-use and common pollutants, will interact with climate change to influence sex ratios of reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.006
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Slow and steady wins the race' Future climate and land use change
           leaves the imperiled Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) behind
    • Authors: Christopher M. Hamilton; Brooke L. Bateman; Jessica M. Gorzo; Brendan Reid; Wayne E. Thogmartin; M. Zachariah Peery; Patricia J. Heglund; Volker C. Radeloff; Anna M. Pidgeon
      Pages: 75 - 85
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Christopher M. Hamilton, Brooke L. Bateman, Jessica M. Gorzo, Brendan Reid, Wayne E. Thogmartin, M. Zachariah Peery, Patricia J. Heglund, Volker C. Radeloff, Anna M. Pidgeon
      Climate change is accompanied by shifts in species distributions, as portions of current ranges become less suitable. Maintaining or improving landscape connectivity to facilitate species movements is a primary approach to mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity. However, it is not clear how ongoing changes in land use and climate may affect the existing connectivity of landscapes. We evaluated shifts in habitat suitability and connectivity for the imperiled Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) in Wisconsin using species distribution modeling in combination with different future scenarios of both land use change and climate change for the 2050s. We found that climate change had significant effects on both habitat suitability and connectivity, however, there was little difference in the magnitude of effects among different economic scenarios. Under both our low- and high-CO2 emissions scenarios, suitable habitat for the Blanding's turtle shifted northward. In the high-emissions scenario, almost no suitable habitat remained for Blanding's turtle in Wisconsin by the 2050s and there was up to a 100,000-fold increase in landscape resistance to turtle movement, suggesting the landscape essentially becomes impassable. Habitat loss and landscape resistance were exponentially greater in southern versus northern Wisconsin, indicating a strong trailing edge effect. Thus, populations at the southern edge of the range are likely to “fall behind” shifts in suitable habitat faster than northern populations. Given its limited dispersal capability, loss of suitable habitat may occur at a rate far faster than the Blanding's turtle can adjust to changing conditions via shifts in range.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.026
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • ‘Genetic resources’, an analysis of a multifaceted concept
    • Authors: Anna Deplazes-Zemp
      Pages: 86 - 94
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Anna Deplazes-Zemp
      ‘Genetic resources’ is a key concept of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol (NP). However, the term was coined to describe value in biodiversity and create an incentive for its protection and is thus of practical relevance for biological conservation beyond the legal context. The scope of this concept is also of interest to researchers, who may be unsure for which types of analysis they are legally and ethically expected to enter access and benefit sharing (ABS) negotiations. This article presents a biologically informed analysis, which leads to an understanding of ‘genetic resources’ that considers various associations and implications of this notion, such as its relation to biodiversity and the role that intellectual property rights (IPR) play in the discourse. The aim is to provide a coherent, consistent and comprehensive understanding of the concept that can integrate and explain these aspects and consider both classical and novel ways of using genetic resources. Based on the biological function of genetic resources and an analysis of how they are currently used and valued, this article argues that genetic resources are a particular type of natural resource that is informational rather than tangible. This interpretation clearly identifies utilising digital genomic sequences as a form of using genetic resources. However, the article also discusses regulatory exceptions for certain utilisations of genetic resources and it mentions the possibility of treating digital sequences as such an exception.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.031
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Quantifying the conservation value of Sacred Natural Sites
    • Authors: D.N. Avtzis; K. Stara; V. Sgardeli; A. Betsis; S. Diamandis; J.R. Healey; E. Kapsalis; V. Kati; G. Korakis; V. Marini Govigli; N. Monokrousos; L. Muggia; V. Nitsiakos; E. Papadatou; H. Papaioannou; A. Rohrer; R. Τsiakiris; K.S. Van Houtan; D. Vokou; J.L.G. Wong; J.M. Halley
      Pages: 95 - 103
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): D.N. Avtzis, K. Stara, V. Sgardeli, A. Betsis, S. Diamandis, J.R. Healey, E. Kapsalis, V. Kati, G. Korakis, V. Marini Govigli, N. Monokrousos, L. Muggia, V. Nitsiakos, E. Papadatou, H. Papaioannou, A. Rohrer, R. Τsiakiris, K.S. Van Houtan, D. Vokou, J.L.G. Wong, J.M. Halley
      Many have asserted that Sacred Natural Sites (SNS) play an important role in nature protection but few have assessed their conservation effectiveness for different taxa. We studied sacred groves in Epirus, NW Greece, where a large number of such SNS have been identified. Based on historical, ethnographic and ecological criteria, we selected eight of these groves and matching control sites and in them we studied fungi, lichens, herbaceous plants, woody plants, nematodes, insects, bats and passerine birds. Our results reveal that the contribution of SNS to species conservation is nuanced by taxon, vegetation type and management history. We found that the sacred groves have a small conservation advantage over the corresponding control sites. More specifically, there are more distinct sets of organisms amongst sacred groves than amongst control sites, and overall biodiversity, diversity per taxonomic group, and numbers of species from the European SCI list (Species of Community Interest) are all marginally higher in them. Conservationists regard the often small size of SNS as a factor limiting their conservation value. The sizes of SNS around the globe vary greatly, from a few square meters to millions of hectares. Given that those surveyed by us (ranging from 5 to 116 ha) are at the lower end of this spectrum, the small conservation advantage that we testified becomes important. Our results provide clear evidence that even small-size SNS have considerable conservation relevance; they would contribute most to species conservation if incorporated in networks.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.035
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Diversity and community structure of rapids-dwelling fishes of the Xingu
           River: Implications for conservation amid large-scale hydroelectric
           development
    • Authors: Daniel B. Fitzgerald; Mark H. Sabaj Perez; Leandro M. Sousa; Alany P. Gonçalves; Lucia Rapp Py-Daniel; Nathan K. Lujan; Jansen Zuanon; Kirk O. Winemiller; John G. Lundberg
      Pages: 104 - 112
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Daniel B. Fitzgerald, Mark H. Sabaj Perez, Leandro M. Sousa, Alany P. Gonçalves, Lucia Rapp Py-Daniel, Nathan K. Lujan, Jansen Zuanon, Kirk O. Winemiller, John G. Lundberg
      A recent boom in hydroelectric development in the world's most diverse tropical river basins is currently threatening aquatic biodiversity on an unprecedented scale. Among the most controversial of these projects is the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Complex (BMHC) on the Xingu River, the Amazon's largest clear-water tributary. The design of the BMHC creates three distinctly altered segments: a flooded section upstream of the main dam, a middle section between the dam and the main powerhouse that will be dewatered, and a downstream section subject to flow alteration from powerhouse discharge. This region of the Xingu is notable for an extensive series of rapids known as the Volta Grande that hosts exceptional levels of endemic aquatic biodiversity; yet, patterns of temporal and spatial variation in community composition within this highly threatened habitat are not well documented. We surveyed fish assemblages within rapids in the three segments impacted by the BMHC prior to hydrologic alteration, and tested for differences in assemblage structure between segments and seasons. Fish species richness varied only slightly between segments, but there were significant differences in assemblage structure between segments and seasons. Most of the species thought to be highly dependent on rapids habitat, including several species listed as threatened in Brazil, were either restricted to or much more abundant within the upstream and middle segments. Our analysis identified the middle section of the Volta Grande as critically important for the conservation of this diverse, endemic fish fauna. Additional research is urgently needed to determine dam operations that may optimize energy production with an environmental flow regime that conserves the river's unique habitat and biodiversity.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.002
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • A predictive model based on multiple coastal anthropogenic pressures
           explains the degradation status of a marine ecosystem: Implications for
           management and conservation
    • Authors: Florian Holon; Guilhem Marre; Valeriano Parravicini; Nicolas Mouquet; Thomas Bockel; Pierre Descamp; Anne-Sophie Tribot; Pierre Boissery; Julie Deter
      Pages: 125 - 135
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Florian Holon, Guilhem Marre, Valeriano Parravicini, Nicolas Mouquet, Thomas Bockel, Pierre Descamp, Anne-Sophie Tribot, Pierre Boissery, Julie Deter
      During the last fifty years, there has been a dramatic increase in the development of anthropogenic activities, and this is particularly threatening to marine coastal ecosystems. The management of these multiple and simultaneous anthropogenic pressures requires reliable and precise data on their distribution, as well as information (data, modelling) on their potential effects on sensitive ecosystems. Focusing on Posidonia oceanica beds, a threatened habitat-forming seagrass species endemic to the Mediterranean, we developed a statistical approach to study the complex relationship between human multiple activities and ecosystem status. We used Random Forest modelling to explain the degradation status of P. oceanica (defined herein as the shift from seagrass bed to dead matte) as a function of depth and 10 anthropogenic pressures along the French Mediterranean coast (1700 km of coastline including Corsica). Using a 50 × 50 m grid cells dataset, we obtained a particularly accurate model explaining 71.3% of the variance, with a Pearson correlation of 0.84 between predicted and observed values. Human-made coastline, depth, coastal population, urbanization, and agriculture were the best global predictors of P. oceanica's degradation status. Aquaculture was the least important predictor, although its local individual influence was among the highest. Non-linear relationship between predictors and seagrass beds status was detected with tipping points (i.e. thresholds) for all variables except agriculture and industrial effluents. Using these tipping points, we built a map representing the coastal seagrass beds classified into four categories according to an increasing pressure gradient and its risk of phase shift. Our approach provides important information that can be used to help managers preserve this essential and endangered ecosystem.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.006
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • A review of searcher efficiency and carcass persistence in
           infrastructure-driven mortality assessment studies
    • Authors: Rafael Barrientos; Ricardo C. Martins; Fernando Ascensão; Marcello D'Amico; Francisco Moreira; Luís Borda-de-Água
      Pages: 146 - 153
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Rafael Barrientos, Ricardo C. Martins, Fernando Ascensão, Marcello D'Amico, Francisco Moreira, Luís Borda-de-Água
      Infrastructures in natural areas are expanding rapidly worldwide. Consequently, roads, power-lines, and wind-farms cause millions of fatalities across several animal groups. Assessing the population impact of these infrastructures requires sound estimates of the total number of fatalities. These estimates can be heavily biased due to differences in searcher efficiency and carcass persistence rates, which may ultimately lead to the incorrect quantification of actual mortality, or to the inadequate prioritization of locations for mitigation. We reviewed 294 studies using carcass surveys conducted worldwide and performed analyses on the effects of variables potentially influencing searcher efficiency and carcass persistence rates. Our analytical review, including the largest number of studies to date, the use of multivariate approaches, and the study weighting by sample size, contradicts some previous findings. Whereas body mass is confirmed as the most important variable accounting for both biases, equally important was the use of dogs in searches, as they increased searcher efficiency for small carcasses, and the taxon of carcasses for persistence, as mammals persisted at higher rates than birds and the latter at higher rates than amphibians. Our results provide little support for previous ideas on the influence of the use of domestic or thawed carcasses on persistence rates. Our findings contribute to synthesizing knowledge on the main factors affecting the two main mortality biases across carcass field experiments, and suggest recommendations for improving survey designs in future studies to minimize the biases identified.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.014
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • When predators become prey: Community-based monitoring of caiman and
           dolphin hunting for the catfish fishery and the broader implications on
           Amazonian human-natural systems
    • Authors: Natalia C. Pimenta; Adrian A. Barnett; Robinson Botero-Arias; Miriam Marmontel
      Pages: 154 - 163
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Natalia C. Pimenta, Adrian A. Barnett, Robinson Botero-Arias, Miriam Marmontel
      Wildlife hunting for commercial products has been responsible for decline of many large vertebrates around the globe. An Amazonian example of this worldwide trend is the use of caiman and dolphins as bait for the piracatinga catfish fishery. While it is a controversial issue in Amazonia conservation, there is no data on key biological aspects, such as age and sex, of those animals illegally hunted for bait. This lack of data complicates understanding of the true impact of bait-hunting on the targeted species. In this study, we present results of one year of participatory monitoring of bait-hunting in 12 communities in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve (MSDR), Brazilian Amazonia, during which participants recorded aspects of hunting activity and biometric data of animals used as piracatinga bait. The piracatinga fishery at MSDR has distinct spatial and seasonal patterns, being concentrated close to distribution centers and intensifying during the dry season. Adult male black caiman is the main bait used by fishermen, but viscera of commercial fish provide a potential alternative bait source for the piracatinga fishery. All recorded bait hunting was for caiman, none for dolphins. Despite the predominant use of caiman as bait, MSDR caiman populations remain the largest within the species' distribution. We suggest that informal management of caiman conducted by MSDR residents has guaranteed regional sustainability of the piracatinga fishery. In a broader context, the current study highlights the potential for participatory research with local populations in formulating well-informed decisions for the conservation of natural resources and economic alternatives focused on the conservation of human-natural systems.

      PubDate: 2018-04-15T15:35:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.003
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Land-use change is associated with a significant loss of freshwater fish
           species and functional richness in Sabah, Malaysia
    • Authors: Clare L. Wilkinson; Darren C.J. Yeo; Heok Hui Tan; Arman Hadi Fikri; Robert M. Ewers
      Pages: 164 - 171
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Clare L. Wilkinson, Darren C.J. Yeo, Heok Hui Tan, Arman Hadi Fikri, Robert M. Ewers
      Global biodiversity is being lost due to extensive anthropogenic land cover change. In Southeast Asia, biodiversity-rich forests are being extensively logged and converted to oil-palm monocultures. The impacts of this land-use change on freshwater ecosystems, and particularly on freshwater biodiversity, remain largely understudied and poorly understood. We assessed the differences between fish communities in headwater stream catchments across an established land-use gradient in Sabah, Malaysia (protected forest areas, twice-logged forest, salvage-logged forest, oil-palm plantations with riparian reserves, and oil-palm plantations without riparian reserves). Stream fishes were sampled using an electrofisher, a cast net and a tray net in 100 m long transects in 23 streams in 2017. Local species richness and functional richness were both significantly reduced with any land-use change from protected forest areas, but further increases in land-use intensity had no subsequent impacts on fish biomass, functional evenness, and functional divergence. Any form of logging or land-use change had a clear and negative impact on fish communities, but the magnitude of that effect was not influenced by logging severity or time since logging on any fish community metric, suggesting that just two rounds of selective impact (i.e., logging) appeared sufficient to cause negative effects on freshwater ecosystems. It is therefore essential to continue protecting primary forested areas to maintain freshwater diversity, as well as to explore strategies to protect freshwater ecosystems during logging, deforestation, and conversion to plantation monocultures that are expected to continue across Southeast Asia.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.004
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • The threats endangering Australia's at-risk fauna
    • Authors: Adriana Allek; Ariadna S. Assis; Nicoli Eiras; Thais P. Amaral; Brooke Williams; Nathalie Butt; Anna R. Renwick; Joseph R. Bennett; Hawthorne L. Beyer
      Pages: 172 - 179
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Adriana Allek, Ariadna S. Assis, Nicoli Eiras, Thais P. Amaral, Brooke Williams, Nathalie Butt, Anna R. Renwick, Joseph R. Bennett, Hawthorne L. Beyer
      Reducing the rate of species extinctions is one of the great challenges of our time. Understanding patterns in the distribution and frequency of both threatened species and the threatening processes affecting them improves our ability to mitigate threats and prioritize management actions. In this quantitative synthesis of processes threatening Australian at-risk fauna, we find that species are impacted by a median of six threats (range 1–19), though there is considerable variation in numbers of threats among major taxonomic groups. Invasive species, habitat loss, biological resource use, natural systems modification and climate change are the processes most commonly affecting Australian threatened species. We identified an uneven distribution of research knowledge among species, with half of the total number of species-specific peer-reviewed scientific publications associated with only 11 threatened species (2.7%). Furthermore, the number of threats associated with each species was correlated with the research effort for that species, and research effort was correlated with body mass. Hence, there appears to be a research bias towards larger-bodied species, and certain charismatic species, that could result in inferences biased towards these favored species. However, after accounting for these effects we found that for birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals body mass is positively correlated with the number of threats associated with each species. Many threats also co-occur, indicating that threat syndromes may be common.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.029
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Conservation conflicts: Behavioural threats, frames, and intervention
           recommendations
    • Authors: Zachary Baynham-Herd; Steve Redpath; Nils Bunnefeld; Thomas Molony; Aidan Keane
      Pages: 180 - 188
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Zachary Baynham-Herd, Steve Redpath, Nils Bunnefeld, Thomas Molony, Aidan Keane
      Conservation conflicts are widespread and are damaging for biodiversity, livelihoods and human well-being. Conflict management often occurs through interventions targeting human behaviour. Conservation interventions are thought to be made more effective if underpinned by evidence and a Theory of Change – a logical argument outlining the steps required to achieve goals. However, for conservation conflicts, the evidence and logic supporting different types of interventions has received little attention. Using conflict-related keywords, we reviewed trends in behavioural intervention recommendations across conflict contexts globally, as published in peer-reviewed literature. We developed typologies for conflict behaviours, intervention recommendations, and conflict frames and identified associations between them and other geographical variables using Pearson's Chi-squared tests of independence. Analysing 100 recent articles, we found that technical interventions (recommended in 38% of articles) are significantly associated with conflicts involving wildlife control and the human-wildlife conflict frame. Enforcement-based interventions (54% of articles) are significantly associated with conflicts over illegal resource use, while stakeholder-based interventions (37% of articles) are associated with the human-human conflict frame and very highly developed countries. Only 10% of articles offered “strong” evidence from the published scientific literature justifying recommendations, and only 15% outlined Theories of Change. We suggest that intervention recommendations are likely influenced by authors' perceptions of the social basis of conflicts, and possibly also by disciplinary silos.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.012
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Delineating priority areas for marine biodiversity conservation in the
           Coral Triangle
    • Authors: Irawan Asaad; Carolyn J. Lundquist; Mark V. Erdmann; Mark J. Costello
      Pages: 198 - 211
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Irawan Asaad, Carolyn J. Lundquist, Mark V. Erdmann, Mark J. Costello
      Identifying priority areas for biodiversity conservation requires systematic approaches and integrated ecological and biological information. Here, we applied a range of ecological criteria to assess areas of biodiversity importance in the Coral Triangle region, a priority region for marine biodiversity conservation because of its high species richness and endemicity. We used distribution data of three biogenic habitats to assess the criterion of sensitive habitat, modeled geographic distributions of 10,672 species ranges and occurrence records of 19,251 species to evaluate the criterion of species richness, distributions of 834 species of special conservation concern to examine the criterion of species of conservation concern, distributions of 373 reef fish species to assess the criterion of restricted-range species, and distribution of nesting sites and migratory route of six species of sea turtle to evaluate the criterion of areas of importance for particular life history stages. We identified areas of biodiversity importance by superimposing each of the different criterion. We performed two tiers of multi-criteria analysis: (1) a Coral Triangle regional level analysis to identify “clustered hotspots” (i.e., groups of cells) of biodiversity significance, and (2) a site-based analysis to identify the specific sites (cells) of greatest biodiversity importance. We found that approximately 13% of the Coral Triangle was clustered into hotspots of high biodiversity importance. These areas occurred along the southern part of the Philippines, the north-eastern part of Malaysian Sabah, central to eastern reaches of Indonesia, the eastern part of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. By comparison, the site-based analysis identified seven sites of highest biodiversity importance in the Coral Triangle include: (1) the northern tip of Sulawesi Island, (2) Ambon Island, (3) Kei Islands, (4) Raja Ampat Archipelago of Indonesian Papua, (5) the Verde Island Passage, (6) the southern part of Negros Island, and (7) Cebu Island. This information is useful to inform participatory decision-making processes in the Coral Triangle region to identify priority areas for conservation and management.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.037
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Tests of predictions associated with temporal changes in Australian bird
           populations
    • Authors: David B. Lindenmayer; Peter Lane; Martin Westgate; Ben C. Scheele; Claire Foster; Chloe Sato; Karen Ikin; Mason Crane; Damian Michael; Dan Florance; Philip Barton; Luke S. O'Loughlin; Natasha Robinson
      Pages: 212 - 221
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): David B. Lindenmayer, Peter Lane, Martin Westgate, Ben C. Scheele, Claire Foster, Chloe Sato, Karen Ikin, Mason Crane, Damian Michael, Dan Florance, Philip Barton, Luke S. O'Loughlin, Natasha Robinson
      Global biodiversity loss is the cumulative result of local species declines. To combat biodiversity loss, detailed information on the temporal trends of at-risk species at local scales is needed. Here we report the results of a 13-year study of temporal change in bird occupancy in one of the most heavily modified biomes worldwide; the temperate woodlands of south-eastern Australia. We sought to determine if temporal changes in bird species were different between three broad native vegetation types (old-growth woodland, regrowth woodland and restoration plantings) and between species traits (body size, migratory status, rarity, woodland dependency, or diet). We found evidence of decline for over a quarter of all bird species for which we had sufficient data for detailed analysis (30 out of 108 species). In contrast, only 14 species increased significantly. Temporal change of birds was linked to life-history attributes, with patterns often being habitat-dependent. Nectarivores and large-bodied birds declined across all vegetation types, whereas small-bodied species increased, particularly in restoration plantings. Contrasting with patterns documented elsewhere, resident but not migratory species declined, with this trend strongest in restoration plantings. Finally, our analyses showed that, as a group, common birds tended to decline whereas rare birds tended to increase, with effects for both most pronounced in restoration plantings. Our results highlight the benefit of targeted restoration planting for some species, but also demonstrate that many common species that have long-persisted in human-dominated landscapes are experiencing severe declines.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.007
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Evaluating scenarios of landscape change for Sunda clouded leopard
           connectivity in a human dominated landscape
    • Authors: Andrew J. Hearn; Samuel A. Cushman; Benoit Goossens; Ewan Macdonald; Joanna Ross; Luke T.B. Hunter; Nicola K. Abram; David W. Macdonald
      Pages: 232 - 240
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Andrew J. Hearn, Samuel A. Cushman, Benoit Goossens, Ewan Macdonald, Joanna Ross, Luke T.B. Hunter, Nicola K. Abram, David W. Macdonald
      The forests of Borneo support some of the highest biodiversity in the world, yet have experienced among the world's highest rates of deforestation. Such rapid forest loss and associated fragmentation reduces the availability of suitable habitat for wildlife and creates dispersion barriers. Understanding the prevalence and impacts of this anthropogenic disturbance, and developing ways in which to mitigate such changes, is thus critical to the conservation of Borneo's wildlife. Here, we applied a path selection function with conditional logistic regression and used it to develop a resistance surface for a population of Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) residing within a fragmented and human dominated landscape in Malaysian Borneo. We used cumulative resistant kernel and factorial least-cost path analysis to predict how connectivity may change in response to four future scenarios involving conversion of remaining unproductive forest to palm oil plantations, conversion of unproductive palm oil back to forest, and restoration of a riparian buffer zone along the river, and combination of the two forest restoration scenarios. We showed that Sunda clouded leopard movement is facilitated by forest canopy cover and resisted by non-forest vegetation, particularly recently cleared/planted and underproductive (flooded) plantation areas with low canopy closure. By combining resistant kernel and factorial least-cost path modelling we mapped core areas and the main linkages among them, and identified several key pinch points that may limit regional connectivity of the population. We predict that Sunda clouded leopard connectivity in the region can be greatly enhanced through the protection of privately owned forest patches and the reforestation of underproductive oil palm plantation areas, and creation of a forested buffer zone along the river. Conversely, we show that if the region's unprotected forests were to be converted to plantations then connectivity across the Kinabatangan floodplain would be significantly reduced.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.016
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Defining conservation units with enhanced molecular tools to reveal fine
           scale structuring among Mediterranean green turtle rookeries
    • Authors: P.J. Bradshaw; A.C. Broderick; C. Carreras; W. Fuller; R.T.E. Snape; L.I. Wright; B.J. Godley
      Pages: 253 - 260
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): P.J. Bradshaw, A.C. Broderick, C. Carreras, W. Fuller, R.T.E. Snape, L.I. Wright, B.J. Godley
      Understanding the connectivity among populations is a key research priority for species of conservation concern. Genetic tools are widely used for this purpose, but the results can be limited by the resolution of the genetic markers in relation to the species and geographic scale. Here, we investigated natal philopatry in green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from four rookeries within close geographic proximity (~200 km) on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. We genotyped hypervariable mtSTRs, a mtDNA control region sequence (CR) and 13 microsatellite loci to genetically characterise 479 green turtles using markers with different modes of inheritance. We demonstrated matrilineal stock structure for the first time among Mediterranean green turtle rookeries. This result contradicts previous regional assessments and supports a growing body of evidence that green turtles exhibit a more precise level of natal site fidelity than has commonly been recognised. The microsatellites detected weak male philopatry with significant stock structure among three of the six pairwise comparisons. The absence of Atlantic CR haplotypes and mtSTRs amongst these robust sample sizes reaffirms the reproductive isolation of Mediterranean green turtles and supports their status as a subpopulation. A power analysis effectively demonstrated that the mtDNA genetic markers previously employed to evaluate regional stock identity were confounded by an insufficient resolution considering the recent colonisation of this region. These findings improve the regional understanding of stock connectivity and illustrate the importance of using suitable genetic markers to define appropriate units for management and conservation.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.12.014
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Fission-fusion social structure of a reintroduced ungulate: Implications
           for conservation
    • Authors: Sharon Renan; Edith Speyer; Tamar Ben-Nun; Alon Ziv; Gili Greenbaum; Alan R. Templeton; Shirli Bar-David; Amos Bouskila
      Pages: 261 - 267
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Sharon Renan, Edith Speyer, Tamar Ben-Nun, Alon Ziv, Gili Greenbaum, Alan R. Templeton, Shirli Bar-David, Amos Bouskila
      In a reintroduced population, the social behavior of the species can strongly affect the long-term viability of the population through its effects on movement, information flow, disease spread and the population's genetic variability. Therefore, information on the social behavior of a reintroduced population can contribute to conservation practices; however, its importance is often underestimated. The initial phase of the Asiatic wild ass's (Equus hemionus) reintroduction in Israel has been considered a success, and the population is currently estimated at more than 250 individuals. However, the current social structure of the population remained unknown. We aimed to study this important population trait and to provide helpful information for efficient conservation and management protocols. The study was based on direct observations that were conducted over four consecutive years, and on the analyses of groups' composition and female groups' stability. Female groups accompanied by males constituted only 5% of the total 659 observations, males were observed to be mainly solitary or in groups of various sizes, and females were organized in non-stable groups, indicating that the reintroduced population exhibits a fission-fusion social structure. Identifying the social structure for the species in the expanding Negev population of the Asiatic wild ass can assist in implementing future reintroductions and can contribute to effective management decisions aimed at protecting the species.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.013
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Harvest portfolio diversification and emergent conservation challenges in
           an Alaskan recreational fishery
    • Authors: Anne H. Beaudreau; Maggie N. Chan; Philip A. Loring
      Pages: 268 - 277
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Anne H. Beaudreau, Maggie N. Chan, Philip A. Loring
      Diversification of harvest portfolios can benefit resource users by providing increased flexibility to respond to regulatory, economic, and environmental pressures. These adaptations, while important for maintaining harvesting opportunities, can lead to conservation challenges by shifting effort to other species or habitats. Using semi-structured interviews with charter fishing captains (N = 52) and logbook data, we examined shifts in the diversity of target species portfolios in a major recreational fishery in Alaska over three decades. To understand the role of regulation in affecting what species charter captains choose to target, we contrasted harvest portfolios in communities from two regions with differing histories of regulation. Portfolio structure was dynamic, with the majority of respondents reporting changes in the number of harvested species, relative preference for different species, or both since the 1990s. Diversification emerged primarily as a result of increased retention of historically less-preferred species, such as rockfishes, sablefish, and Pacific cod. Patterns of rockfish retention in charter logbook data mirrored patterns in targeting reported by respondents. Southeast Alaska captains largely attributed portfolio diversification and shifts in species preferences to greater restrictions on harvest of a primary target species (Pacific halibut), while Southcentral Alaska captains identified shifting customer interests and declines in some target species as driving changes. Our findings suggest that avoiding unintended conservation impacts of single-species regulations requires broader recognition of the multispecies nature of recreational fishing in management. Understanding fisher behaviors, values, and motivations is essential, so that managers may better anticipate the responses of fishers to new regulations.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.010
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • British phenological records indicate high diversity and extinction rates
           among late-summer-flying pollinators
    • Authors: Nicholas J. Balfour; Jeff Ollerton; Maria Clara Castellanos; Francis L.W. Ratnieks
      Pages: 278 - 283
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Nicholas J. Balfour, Jeff Ollerton, Maria Clara Castellanos, Francis L.W. Ratnieks
      The long-term decline of wild and managed insect pollinators is a threat to both agricultural output and biodiversity, and has been linked to decreasing floral resources. Further insight into the temporal relationships of pollinators and their flowering partners is required to inform conservation efforts. Here we examined the phenology of British: (i) pollinator activity; (ii) insect-pollinated plant flowering; and (iii) extinct and endangered pollinator and plant species. Over 1 million records were collated from the historical databases of three British insect monitoring organisations, a global biodiversity database and an authoritative text covering the national flora. Almost two-thirds (62%) of pollinator species have peak flight observations during late-summer (July and August). This was the case across three of the groups studied: aculeate wasps (71% of species), bees (60%), and butterflies (72%), the exception being hoverflies (49%). When species geographical range (a proxy for abundance) was accounted for, a clear late-summer peak was clear across all groups. By contrast, there is marked temporal partitioning in the flowering of the major plant groups: insect-pollinated tree species blossoming predominantly during May (74%), shrubs in June (69%), and herbs in July (83%). There was a positive correlation between the number of pollinator species on the wing and the richness of both flowering insect-pollinated herbs and trees/shrubs species, per calendar month. In addition, significantly greater extinctions occurred in late-summer-flying pollinator species than expected (83% of extinct species vs. 62% of all species). This trend was driven primarily by bee extinctions (80% vs. 60%) and was not apparent in other groups. We contend that this is principally due to declines in late-summer resource supplies, which are almost entirely provisioned by herbs, a consequence of historical land-use change. We hypothesize that the seasonality of interspecific competition and the blooming of trees and mass-flowering crops may have partially buffered spring-flying pollinators from the impacts of historical change.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.028
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Review of forgotten agricultural heritage
    • Authors: Madronna Holden
      Pages: 284 - 285
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Madronna Holden


      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.030
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Trends of biodiversity and species richness at local and global scales
    • Authors: Marcelino Fuentes
      First page: 286
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Marcelino Fuentes


      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.032
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Response to Britt et al. 2018 “The importance of non-academic co-authors
           in bridging the conservation genetics gap” Biological Conservation 218,
           118–123
    • Authors: Carolyn J. Hogg; Helen R. Taylor; Samantha Fox; Catherine E. Grueber
      Pages: 287 - 288
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Carolyn J. Hogg, Helen R. Taylor, Samantha Fox, Catherine E. Grueber


      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.035
      Issue No: Vol. 222 (2018)
       
  • Simultaneous detection of invasive signal crayfish, endangered
           white-clawed crayfish and the crayfish plague pathogen using environmental
           DNA
    • Authors: Chloe Victoria; Robinson Tamsyn Uren Webster Joanne Cable Joanna James
      Abstract: Publication date: June 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 222
      Author(s): Chloe Victoria Robinson, Tamsyn M. Uren Webster, Joanne Cable, Joanna James, Sofia Consuegra
      Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are important vectors for the introduction of novel pathogens which can, in turn, become drivers of rapid ecological and evolutionary change, compromising the persistence of native species. Conservation strategies rely on accurate information regarding presence and distribution of AIS and their associated pathogens to prevent or mitigate negative impacts, such as predation, displacement or competition with native species for food, space or breeding sites. Environmental DNA is increasingly used as a conservation tool for early detection and monitoring of AIS. We used a novel eDNA high-resolution melt curve (HRM) approach to simultaneously detect the UK endangered native crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), the highly invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and their dominant pathogen, Aphanomyces astaci (causative agent of crayfish plague). We validated the approach using laboratory and field samples in areas with known presence or absence of both crayfish species as well as the pathogen, prior to the monitoring of areas where their presence was unknown. We identified the presence of infected signal crayfish further upstream than previously detected in an area where previous intensive eradication attempts had taken place, and the coexistence of both species in plague free catchments. We also detected the endangered native crayfish in an area where trapping had failed. With this method, we could estimate the distribution of native and invasive crayfish and their infection status in a rapid, cost effective and highly sensitive way, providing essential information for the development of conservation strategies in catchments with populations of endangered native crayfish.

      PubDate: 2018-05-17T15:15:07Z
       
 
 
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