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Biological Conservation
Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.397
Citation Impact (citeScore): 5
Number of Followers: 329  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0006-3207
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3185 journals]
  • New policies for a new wildlife: A road map for the wildlife manager of
           the future
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): A. Martínez-Abraín, J. Jiménez, D. Oro Historical human persecution of wildlife unintentionally shaped a shy fauna of large bird and mammalian predator and prey species that has survived in ecological refuges until recently in Europe. Rural exodus and changed human attitudes have decreased human persecution of these species and they are now getting out of their refuges, losing fear to humans and getting closer to urban areas. These changes have followed a non-linear pattern during the last few decades and are now starting to being noticed. Wildlife management policies will have to adjust rapidly to this new paradigm. We review the current situation in Europe and suggest a number of policy changes that may be necessary to cope with wildlife shifts in distribution and behaviour. New policies could include downgrading some protected areas but increasing the protection of currently unoccupied sites, changes in translocation programs, prevention of accidents, promotion of scavenging wildlife access to anthropogenic food sources far from urban areas or new awareness agendas, among others, to face the new paradigm and preserve the biodiversity inherited from the recent past.
       
  • Overview of emerging amphibian pathogens and modeling advances for
           conservation-related decisions
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Graziella V. DiRenzo, Evan H. Campbell Grant One of the leading causes of global amphibian decline is emerging infectious disease. In this review, we summarize the disease ecology of four major emerging amphibian infectious agents: chytrids, ranaviruses, trematodes, and Perkinsea. We focus on recently developed quantitative advances that build on well-established ecological theories and aid in studying epizootic and enzootic disease dynamics. For example, we identify ecological and evolutionary selective forces that determine disease outcomes and transmission pathways by borrowing ideas from population and community ecology theory. We outline three topics of general interest in disease ecology: (i) the relationship between biodiversity and disease risk, (ii) individual, species, or environmental transmission heterogeneity, and (iii) pathogen coinfections. Finally, we identify specific knowledge gaps impeding the success of conservation-related decisions for disease mitigation and the future of amphibian conservation success.
       
  • Landscape of fear and human-predator coexistence: Applying spatial
           predator-prey interaction theory to understand and reduce
           carnivore-livestock conflict
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Jennifer R.B. Miller, Oswald J. Schmitz In recent decades the ‘landscape of fear’ has grown in popularity to become a central consideration in wildlife management, and has even been reconceptualized as the ‘landscape of coexistence’ for understanding human-wildlife conflicts such as predator attacks on livestock. Yet fear effects are not always the predominant driver of predator-prey interactions. Thus, guiding ecological principles have not been assembled to explain the broader food web interactions that shape the context dependency of carnivore-livestock conflict. We address this gap by developing a conceptual framework as a way to think about the contingencies under which inducing non-consumptive ‘fear effects’ on predators would be effective to mitigate carnivore-livestock conflict. The framework specifically considers interactions among wildlife (carnivore predators, wild ungulate prey) and humans (people and livestock) in terms of spatial predator-prey assemblages in which the nature of wildlife-human interactions – as either a carnivore-livestock conflict or a coexistence food web – is contingent on the nature of spatial movement and overlap of humans and wildlife across landscapes. Considering human-wildlife interactions within such a spatial food web context can assist in enabling people and wildlife, especially imperiled carnivores, to coexist in human-modified landscapes. The framework offers predictions that should be tested via adaptive management experiments that evaluate whether conflict mitigation solutions aligned with particular spatial human-livestock-carnivore contexts do indeed resolve conflict.
       
  • Desert-adapted lions on communal land: Surveying the costs incurred by,
           and perspectives of, communal-area livestock owners in northwest Namibia
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): John M. Heydinger, Craig Packer, Jendery Tsaneb Though subsistence pastoralism is the primary land-use throughout much of Africa, lions (Panthera leo) living outside protected areas are largely overlooked in discussions of pan-African lion conservation. In northwest Namibia, a unique population of desert-adapted lions has grown by>400% over the past twenty years. This growth has primarily taken-place upon communal conservancy land. Human-caused lion mortality following human-lion conflict (HLC) is now the primary direct threat to the persistence of these lions. HLC exacerbates challenges faced by pastoralists from an ongoing drought. Our survey is the first-ever attempt to quantitatively and qualitatively examine local pastoralists' perceptions of the desert-adapted lions and the impacts of living with lions in northwest Namibia. Results show that losses, due to drought and lions, are differentiated by livestock species and that the magnitude of livestock losses during the drought has been exacerbated by predation. Respondents in different conservancies reported different levels of hostility towards lions. Across all conservancies, though 83.9% do not benefit from living with lions, 75.9% state that it is important to continue to share communal land with lions. We discuss the cultural and livelihood effects of livestock losses as well as the implications of balancing the costs and benefits of living with lions for lion conservation.
       
  • Integrating critical periods for bear cub survival into temporal
           regulations of human activities
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Anna Planella, José Jiménez, Guillermo Palomero, Fernando Ballesteros, Juan Carlos Blanco, José Vicente López-Bao Conservation regulations are increasingly recognized as important elements of the available toolkit for effective biodiversity conservation. However, the full integration of evidence when designing these tools is still scarce, which limits the effectiveness of these legal instruments. Increasing concern is emerging on the compatibility between leisure activities and biodiversity conservation, which require a true integration of the best available evidence into policy-making. Managing authorities are required to take actions in order to ensure the compliance of international conservation commitments with species conservation. This is the case of applying spatio-temporal regulations on bear viewing activities in critical bear areas and periods, such as during the cub-rearing period. Here, we took advantage of a unique long-term dataset (>25 years) of observations of females with cubs in the endangered brown bear population in the Cantabrian Mountains, N Spain (>3000 observations from 329 females with cubs) to estimate monthly bear cub survival rates in the first sixteen months of cubs life. Overall, the monthly cub survival in this population was remarkable high, ranging from 0.839 to 0.994 monthly survival rates. The lower monthly cub survival rates were in May and June after the cubs left the den (mean ± SD: 0.839 ± 0.050 and 0.897 ± 0.023, respectively). Infanticide was estimated as the main mortality cause for cubs during the study period. Our results are practical because they can be used to inform conservation policies regarding the most appropriate periods to implement temporal regulations of human activities in bear breeding areas. The most appropriate period to implement such regulations here is the period between the time when the cubs leave the den (late March–April) until and including June; which should be considered in future temporal regulations adopted by Regional Governments in Spain. Accordingly, we also urge an update of the Spanish brown bear strategies considering the new scenario of bear conservation in Spain, including a set of measures related to bear viewing activities.
       
  • Integration of social spatial data to assess conservation opportunities
           and priorities
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Greg Brown, Clive McAlpine, Jonathan Rhodes, Daniel Lunney, Ross Goldingay, Kelly Fielding, Scott Hetherington, Marama Hopkins, Clare Manning, Matthew Wood, Angie Brace, Lorraine Vass, Linda Swankie Effective wildlife conservation requires consideration of ecological and social factors, including social acceptability of conservation actions. Using the threatened koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) as a case study, we demonstrate a novel, socio-ecological approach for identifying conservation opportunity that spatially connects landscapes with community preferences to prioritize koala recovery strategies at a regional scale. We conceptualize conservation opportunity as the spatial integration of three sustainability criteria—ecological potential, social acceptability, and economic feasibility. The social acceptability criterion was assessed using a crowdsourced spatial survey that identified spatial preferences for koalas and land uses that impact koala conservation. As a novel approach, we addressed important research questions regarding the design, collection, and analysis of crowdsourced mapping data for identifying socially acceptable conservation opportunities. Public preferences for koalas were mapped closer to home, in higher suitable koala habitats than expected, were more pronounced in conservation and natural areas on public lands, and were mapped less frequently in modified agricultural landscapes. When the multiple criteria (ecological, social, and economic) were included in the conservation assessment, we found the social acceptability criterion exerted the greatest influence on spatial conservation priorities. The systematic assessment of social criteria for conservation using spatial surveys provides information that can be integrated with ecological information to prioritize conservation opportunities. Potential enhancements include expanding survey recruitment efforts and using alternative social data collection methods to achieve greater geographic and socio-demographic representation, and augmenting the economic feasibility assessment with private property values and transaction data from voluntary conservation agreements with private landowners.
       
  • Consensus, clusters, and trade-offs in wildlife-friendly ranching in
           Mexico: An advance analysis of stakeholder goals in northern Mexico
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Jennifer Gooden, Flora C. Moir This study assessed stakeholder priorities to inform the development of a private land conservation program intended to restore grasslands in northern Mexico. Drawing together ranchers, NGOs, and others, the GANARE program appears to provide opportunity for “win-win” outcomes; however, focusing on mutual benefit risks obscuring differences amongst stakeholders. We used Q methodology to assess stakeholders' objectives for the program. We analyzed the results quantitatively with factor analysis and qualitatively by interpreting the content of Q sorts and participants' verbal descriptions of their sorting decisions. We found four groups of stakeholders: two groups composed of ranchers (Sustainable Ranchers and Lifestyle Ranchers), one group composed of NGO representatives (Conservation NGOs), and one group with mixed composition (Sustainable Ranching Advocates). All four groups converged around the issue of reversing and preventing desertification, but their other priorities for the program varied. Yet, despite divergent perspectives, results show there is potential for mutually beneficial outcomes, particularly if trade-offs are attended to in program planning. Q methodology offers a mechanism for identifying groups of stakeholders, and their areas of agreement and disagreement, in advance of program implementation. This study provides information to better design, monitor, and evaluate a program to benefit all groups of stakeholders, which we believe will increase the success of this private land conservation program.
       
  • Effect of riparian vegetation clear-cutting on avian community in the
           Northern Negev
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Adi Domer, Or Sitkov, Ofer Ovadia, Eyal Shochat In arid zones, riparian corridors serve as important habitats, offering water, nutrients, shelter and optimal microclimate conditions to many organisms. In the northern Negev desert of Israel, several large rivers cross through the arid landscape, with Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) being the climax vegetation. Although these rivers have been continuously subjected to management, human control became much more frequent and thorough since the early 2000s. Current management involves vegetation clear-cutting of long riverbed sections. In arid zones such as the Negev, where trees are scarce and restricted to streams, such activity may affect wildlife at all hierarchical levels. Being one of the most successful invasive trees in North America, many aspects of Saltcedar management along rivers have been explored around the USA. Notably, how riparian Saltcedar forests in the old world, where it is native, influence wildlife, has not been studied. We explored the effects of vegetation clear-cutting on bird communities at three sites in the Northern Negev of Israel, comparing bird abundance, richness and diversity between natural and managed riparian transects. All three variables were significantly lower in managed sites. Species composition shifted from tree-dwelling species in natural transects to ground-dwelling species in clear-cut sections. Natural sections were characterized by lower ambient temperature, lower radiation, and higher relative humidity. Our findings may explain the long-term reduction observed in local bird populations in the northern Negev. They also indicate the importance of the Saltcedar forests along major watersheds in the Northern Negev for bird populations.
       
  • Freshwater conservation assessments in (semi-)arid regions: Testing river
           intermittence and buffer strategies using freshwater mussels (Bivalvia,
           Unionida) in Morocco
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): André Gomes-dos-Santos, Elsa Froufe, Duarte V. Gonçalves, Ronaldo Sousa, Vincent Prié, Mohamed Ghamizi, Hassan Benaissa, Simone Varandas, Amílcar Teixeira, Manuel Lopes-Lima The IUCN Red List assessments are essentially based on population trends and range, namely Area of Occupancy (AOO) and Extent of Occupancy (EOO). Range estimations are based on fixed grids, but this is likely inappropriate for species living in river networks. Furthermore, AOO and EOO are measured using the whole hydrographic network, therefore disregarding temporary sections, which is particularly problematic in arid and semi-arid regions. Here we mapped the permanent hydrographic network of Morocco using satellite imagery, complemented with field surveys to collect samples for molecular analyses of the five freshwater mussel species present and assess their distribution. The phylogeographic patterns are described for each species and used to identify priority areas and evolutionary significant units for conservation. Permanent hydrographic river sections represent only 18.3% of the whole hydrographic network. A north-to-south gradient of genetic diversity, species richness and distribution range was found, being coherent with water availability and river intermittence. Isolated evolutionary units were detected in southern basins that should also receive particular attention in conservation planning. We propose the mean river width multiplied by the extent of the river network as the best and the most adequate way to estimate both EOO and AOO. Given the worldwide degradation of freshwater systems and biodiversity, an accurate (re)assessment of species conservation status supported with maps of intermittent water bodies will be essential for prioritizing and guiding conservation actions and management plans, especially in arid and semi-arid regions.
       
  • Identifying national responsibility species based on spatial conservation
           prioritization
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Aija Kukkala, Luigi Maiorano, Wilfried Thuiller, Anni Arponen The concept of National responsibility species (NRS) was developed to coordinate the conservation efforts of species occurring in multiple countries. Calculated as the fraction of the global species' distribution within a country, it measures the contribution of a local population to global survival of the species. However, there may be more co-occurring species in one region than another, making the conservation of a species more cost-efficient in the first than the latter. If cost-efficient resource allocation is the goal, then identifying NRS should also be based on spatial priorities. We propose that a species is considered NRS when a large part of its distribution falls within high priority areas in a country. We identify NRS from spatial conservation prioritization outputs to (1) maximize the overall cost-efficiency of allocation of conservation resources and (2) to provide information about which species the spatial priorities are based on. We analyzed data on vertebrates in the Birds and Habitats directives in the EU28 countries and compared the traditional NRS measure to three alternative strategies. While the majority of species maintained their NRS status in most countries regardless of the approach, differences occurred, with varying numbers and identities of responsibility species in a country, or responsibilities for species shifting between countries. The differences were largest in geographically marginal countries and for species that were distributed across a few countries. Other NRS approaches may also be useful, and the choice of approach should ultimately depend on the purpose and complement information on conservation status in decision-making.
       
  • Proactive management of amphibians: Challenges and opportunities
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Sean C. Sterrett, Rachel A. Katz, Adrianne B. Brand, William R. Fields, Andrew E. Dietrich, Daniel J. Hocking, Tasha M. Foreman, Amber N.M. Wiewel, Evan H. Campbell Grant Delaying species management reduces the chance of successful recovery, increases the risk of extinction, and can be expensive. Acting before major declines are realized affords access to a greater suite of cost-effective management actions to sustain populations, reducing the likelihood of declines warranting protected status. It is clear that reactive management approaches are not sufficient for amphibian conservation and a successful path forward will require proactive approaches. We describe how conservation timelines and structured decision making can help evaluate management options available to species given current, and often limited, knowledge about populations or distributions. We illustrate this framework by highlighting science and management of common and widespread amphibians, as many species are in decline, including those found in protected conservation areas. Formal decision-making processes require the development of explicit management objectives, management triggers, and evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of actions before species' declines are observed. These steps guide the science needed to inform decisions.
       
  • Long-term consequences of agricultural policy decisions: How are forests
           planted under EEC regulation 2080/92 affecting biodiversity 20 years
           later'
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Sasha Vasconcelos, Sílvia Pina, Luís Reino, Pedro Beja, Francisco Moreira, Juan S. Sánchez-Oliver, Inês Catry, João Faria, John T. Rotenberry, Joana Santana Large-scale afforestation of agricultural land was carried out in the 1990s under the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. This policy aimed at delivering environmental benefits, among them positive biodiversity effects. However, knowledge of the long-term biodiversity impacts of these afforestation schemes remains very limited, particularly for insects. We provide a case study examining the biodiversity impacts of afforestation carried out in Mediterranean grasslands in southern Portugal. We sampled orthopterans and butterflies in native oak and pine plantations established under EEC regulation 2080/92, and in older exotic eucalyptus plantations. Sampling was also conducted in grassland habitats (permanent pastures and fallow land) adjacent to each plantation, and at plantation-grassland edges. In general, plantations supported lower orthopteran species richness and fewer orthopterans of conservation value than grassland and edges, particularly for eucalyptus plantations. Conversely, plantations were of higher conservation value for butterflies, and edges supported the highest butterfly richness. Plantations hosted some orthopteran and butterfly species that did not occur in grasslands, and so contributed to increase species richness at the landscape scale. Overall, results underline the importance of grassland, especially for orthopterans, and show that native plantations and associated edges can also provide habitat for species of conservation value. Therefore, retaining large grassland tracts and planting native rather than exotic tree species might minimize the negative effects of plantations for insect biodiversity in Mediterranean grassland. Overall, findings show that agricultural policy decisions can have protracted implications for biodiversity, thereby requiring long term environmental assessments and monitoring.
       
  • Amphibian conservation in the Anthropocene
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 June 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): Evan H. Campbell Grant, Erin Muths, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Silviu O. Petrovan Research is necessary to identify patterns in nature, to understand how a system functions, and to make predictions about the future state of an ecosystem. Applied research in conservation biology can identify effective strategies to maintain biodiversity, though many papers end with the conclusion that more research is needed. However, more research does not necessarily lead to solutions. We use the ongoing global decline of amphibians as a salient example to highlight limitations in current conservation research, and to focus on finding solutions which are directly relevant for conservation. While research has been conducted since declines were first detected in the 1990s, outside a few specific examples, little progress in conservation has been achieved. We suggest that the case of amphibian declines is relevant to conservation science in general, as the current paradigm for conservation is that management is planned after research is completed; research and management are not effectively (and not directly) connected. This disconnect illustrates the knowledge-action divide which has been identified as a serious deficiency in conservation. Accordingly, we use this introductory paper to the Special Issue (Amphibian conservation in the Anthropocene: Progress and challenges) to describe amphibians as a conservation dilemma, and to make the case for a different, more pragmatic, and more solutions-focused view of conservation research.
       
  • Non-linear relationships between human activities and wolf-livestock
           depredations
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Nicholas L. Fowler, Jerrold L. Belant, Dean E. Beyer
       
  • Linking habitat use to mortality and population viability to disarm an
           ecological trap
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Ricardo Nouailhetas Simon, Daniel Fortin Animal excursions out of protected areas are a source of human-wildlife conflict and can lead animals into ecological traps. These arise when animals prefer areas of their habitat conferring lower fitness than other available areas. Ecological traps should become increasingly common as humans continue to alter habitats, yet their impact on population viability has rarely been documented and there is limited knowledge on how to disarm them. Moreover, although spatial factors such as the proportion of trap habitat in the landscape are crucial in determining the probability of extinction, few studies have attempted to link animal use of space to demography to obtain insights into how to release trapped populations. Here we tackle these gaps using a stochastic, spatially explicit matrix model parametrized with empirical data. We show that a free-ranging population of plains bison (Bison bison bison) caught in an ecological trap caused by legal but unregulated hunting has a 66% probability of extinction over the next 50 years under current conditions. By linking the time bison spent in fields with hunting permission to survival and population persistence, we show that bison use of such fields must decrease by 70% to ensure population viability. Our approach narrowed down the ecological trap to
       
  • Effect of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) on
           apparent survival of frogs and toads in the western USA
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Robin E. Russell, Brian J. Halstead, Brittany A. Mosher, Erin Muths, Michael J. Adams, Evan H.C. Grant, Robert N. Fisher, Patrick M. Kleeman, Adam R. Backlin, Christopher A. Pearl, R. Ken Honeycutt, Blake R. Hossack Despite increasing interest in determining the population-level effects of emerging infectious diseases on wildlife, estimating effects of disease on survival rates remains difficult. Even for a well-studied disease such as amphibian chytridiomycosis (caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]), there are few estimates of how survival of wild hosts is affected. We applied hierarchical models to long-term capture-mark-recapture data (mean = 10.6 yrs, range = 6–15 yrs) from>5500 uniquely-marked individuals to estimate the effect of Bd on apparent survival of four threatened or endangered ranid frog species (Rana draytonii, R. muscosa, R. pretiosa, R. sierrae) at 14 study sites in California and Oregon (USA) and one bufonid toad (Anaxyrus boreas) at two study sites in Wyoming and Montana. Our models indicated that the presence of Bd on an individual reduced apparent survival of ranid frogs by ~6–15% depending on species and sex. The estimated difference between toads with and without Bd was 19% for the Montana population and 55% for the Wyoming population; however, the 95% Credible Interval of these estimates included zero. These results provide evidence for negative effects of Bd on survival in wild populations even in the absence of obvious die-offs. Determining what factors influence the magnitude of the effects of Bd on wildlife populations is an important next step toward identifying management actions. These estimates of Bd effects are important for understanding the extent and severity of disease, whether disease effects have changed over time, and for informing management actions.
       
  • Climate resilience in marine protected areas and the ‘Protection
           Paradox’
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Amanda E. Bates, Robert S.C. Cooke, Murray I. Duncan, Graham J. Edgar, John F. Bruno, Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, Isabelle M. Côté, Jonathan S. Lefcheck, Mark John Costello, Neville Barrett, Tomas J. Bird, Phillip B. Fenberg, Rick D. Stuart-Smith Restricting human activities through Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is assumed to create more resilient biological communities with a greater capacity to resist and recover following climate events. Here we review the evidence linking protection from local pressures (e.g., fishing and habitat destruction) with increased resilience. Despite strong theoretical underpinnings, studies have only rarely attributed resilience responses to the recovery of food webs and habitats, and increases in the diversity of communities and populations. When detected, resistance to ocean warming and recovery after extreme events in MPAs have small effect sizes against a backdrop of natural variability. By contrast, large die-offs are well described from MPAs following climate stress events. This may be in part because protection from one set of pressures or drivers (such as fishing) can select for species that are highly sensitive to others (such as warming), creating a ‘Protection Paradox’. Given that climate change is overwhelming the resilience capacity of marine ecosystems, the only primary solution is to reduce carbon emissions. High-quality monitoring data in both space and time can also identify emergent resilience signals that do exist, in combination with adequate reference data to quantify the initial system state. This knowledge will allow networks of diverse protected areas to incorporate spatial refugia against climate change, and identify resilient biological components of natural systems. Sufficient spatial replication further offers insurance against losses in any given MPA, and the possibility for many weak signals of resilience to accumulate.
       
  • Effects of antipredator training, environmental enrichment, and soft
           release on wildlife translocations: A review and meta-analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Sasha J. Tetzlaff, Jinelle H. Sperry, Brett A. DeGregorio Wildlife translocations can have conservation value but results have been mixed regarding animal behavior and survival post-release. Practitioners have adopted antipredator training, environmental enrichment, and soft release as pre-release conditioning tactics to encourage adaptive behavior and improve post-release survival, but their utility has not been broadly quantified. We performed a formal literature review and conducted meta-analysis on 108 effects from 41 studies experimentally testing how these tactics affected survival, movement, or site fidelity compared to unconditioned animals. We further investigated how each conditioning tactic, animal source (wild-to-wild translocated or captive-released), age, and taxonomic group (birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles) influenced outcomes. Relative to unconditioned animals, conditioned individuals were 1.5 times more likely to survive, had reduced movement, and were three times more likely to show site fidelity. Each of the three conditioning tactics resulted in improved survival. Juveniles released from captivity derived the greatest survival benefit from conditioning. Across taxa, conditioning most benefitted survival of fish. Conditioning also had positive effects on survival of mammals and reptiles, albeit with less certainty than for fish. Estimates comparing survival of conditioned to unconditioned birds were much more variable, suggesting avian translocation programs using conditioning generally need improvement. Soft release consistently reduced movement and increased site fidelity; this was an especially viable technique for adult wild-to-wild translocated animals. We provide quantitative evidence that behavioral conditioning can aid wildlife translocations, and we encourage continued experiments to further elucidate how refined tactics could advance conservation efforts using translocation as a management tool.
       
  • Conservation planning for river-wetland mosaics: A flexible spatial
           approach to integrate floodplain and upstream catchment connectivity
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Vanessa Reis, Virgilio Hermoso, Stephen K. Hamilton, Stuart E. Bunn, Simon Linke Systematic conservation planning has contributed to the spatial design of reserve networks in river ecosystems by recognizing the importance of maintaining longitudinal connectivity. In the complex and dynamic landscapes of river-floodplain systems, however, it is still challenging to account for the longitudinal and, especially, lateral connections that are relevant to their management. Adequate protection of floodplain ecosystems requires accounting for spatio-temporal connectivity among all waterbodies that compose the riverine landscape. In this study we present a new framework to account for both within-floodplain (lateral) and longitudinal river connectivity in freshwater systematic conservation planning. We run four prioritization scenarios comparing different rules of connectivity for the rivers and floodplains of the entire Amazon River basin. The scenarios involved the comparison of local protection only versus integrated upstream protection for floodplains. The spatial framework combined two types of planning units, with connectivity between them assessed using two distance-based measures for within-floodplain and upstream-downstream connectivity. We found different levels of protection afforded to floodplain wetlands across scenarios. The scenario including only within-floodplain connectivity failed to detect the propagation of impacts from the surroundings and upstream catchment. In contrast, the scenario that integrated within-floodplain and longitudinal river connectivity agglomerated subcatchments around the priority wetlands, generating catchment-integrated units that efficiently reduced impacts. We also demonstrate that the integrated connectivity can be manipulated to meet different conservation objectives. The new approach presented here offers more ecologically meaningful protection to floodplains because it considers local wetland boundaries and connectivity within wetland complexes together with connectivity with the upstream landscape. This framework can be applied to integrated wetland conservation and management throughout the world and provide a valuable tool to safeguard the ecosystem functioning of complex river-floodplain mosaics.
       
  • Bird vulnerability to climate and land use changes in the Brazilian
           Cerrado
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Fábio Júlio Alves Borges, Bruno R. Ribeiro, Leonardo Esteves Lopes, Rafael Loyola Estimating species vulnerability to global changes and understanding what drives their vulnerability has become an important task in the last decades. Here, we evaluated the vulnerability of Cerrado bird species to climate and land use changes projected to take place up to 2050, compared our vulnerability estimates to the national red list of threatened species, and evaluated the level of protection of vulnerable species. For 103 species we gathered information on biological traits and associated them to three components of vulnerability (sensitivity, adaptive capacity and exposure). For each trait, we assigned high or low scores according to their relationship with climate and land use changes. We considered as exposed, sensitive and with low adaptive capacity those species that reached a high score in any of the traits. Species that reached a high score for all the tree components were classified as highly vulnerable. We found that 67%, 71% and 39% of species were sensitive, had low adaptive capacity or were exposed, respectively; 25% of them were highly vulnerable. Among these species, 10 are currently threatened in Brazil. Overall, the network of protected areas (PAs) harbors a small extent of highly-vulnerable species' range, with 19 species (73%) having
       
  • Erecting dead trees and utility poles to offset the loss of mature trees
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): L. Hannan, D.S. Le Roux, R.N.C. Milner, P. Gibbons Mature trees are declining faster than they are being replaced in landscapes managed for agriculture, wood production and residential development. Population bottlenecks are therefore predicted for biota that depends on mature trees. We erected five utility poles and five large dead trees to evaluate whether artificial structures can offset the loss of living mature trees from a residential development. We implemented the study as a before-after-control-impact (BACI) experiment that included five control sites with no trees and five sites with living mature trees—sampled before and soon after the artificial structures were erected. Bird species richness increased significantly where utility poles or dead trees were erected with no significant change at control sites or at living mature trees. Erecting dead trees provided the greatest gain in bird species richness and was also more cost-effective than erecting utility poles or planting seedlings and waiting for them to mature. However, dead trees did not support as many native bird species as living mature trees and 37% of the species observed in our study occurred exclusively at living mature trees indicating that erecting dead trees or utility poles is only a partial solution for offsetting the loss of mature trees. Our results suggest that conserving all birds where mature trees are declining requires a complementary strategy of: (a) protecting as many living mature trees as possible, (b) recruiting a new cohort of future mature trees by establishing seedlings; and (c) erecting artificial structures to provide suitable habitat until these seedlings reach maturity.
       
  • Convergences and divergences in understanding the word biodiversity among
           citizens: A French case study
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Marine Levé, Agathe Colléony, Pauline Conversy, Ana-Cristina Torres, Minh-Xuan Truong, Carole Vuillot, Anne-Caroline Prévot Biodiversity is undergoing a major crisis. Institutions, while launching initiatives tackling the issue, are using and diffusing the term biodiversity and related expert knowledge. However, to collectively address the biodiversity crisis, it is important that actors are able to communicate with each other. This is particularly true in the three-part set including science, public institutions, and citizens. In this paper, we explored this mutual understanding with a focus on laypeople: we assessed the understanding of biodiversity in a sample of 1209 French adult citizens and explored the convergences and divergences with institutional and academic definitions. With a classical hypothetical-deductive approach, we first showed an overall congruence between laypeople and institutions: 80% of respondents provided a descriptive definition of plant and animal species as well as their diversity, which are main ideas diffused by institutions. However, based on the high diversity of the collected definitions, with 57% of provided words in definitions mentioned only once, we complemented this study with an inductive approach. We showed a discrepancy in the definitions from lay people and from conservation science (based on evolutionary and dynamic processes). We also highlighted that 18,5% of definitions are not descriptive and are referring to specific actions for biodiversity conservation. We discuss these results in the context of social-ecological transitions, and encourage conservation communities to acknowledge the range of biodiversity definitions used by laypeople, and to form closer relationships with laypeople to anchor conservation research and action with a bottom-up dynamic process of knowledge sharing.
       
  • Gaps in butterfly inventory data: A global analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Marco Girardello, Anna Chapman, Roger Dennis, Lauri Kaila, Paulo A.V. Borges, Andrea Santangeli Species distribution data are crucial for assessing the conservation status of species (red listing, IUCN) and implementing international conservation targets, such as those set by the International Convention on Biological Diversity. Although there have been a number of efforts aimed at aggregating biodiversity data, information on the distribution of many taxa is still scanty (i.e. the Wallacean Shortfall). In this study, we use a large database, including over 19 million species occurrence records, to identify knowledge gaps in biodiversity inventories for butterfly records at a global level. Bayesian hierarchical spatial models were used to quantify the relationship between gaps in inventory completeness and the density of roads, protected areas and elevational range, the former variable being a proxy for accessibility, the latter two for attractiveness to recorders. Our results show that despite>100 years of butterfly sampling, knowledge of the distribution of butterflies is still limited in tropical areas. The results revealed that gaps in butterfly inventories are largely concentrated in areas of low elevational range, low density of protected areas and low road density. We conclude that the Wallacean Shortfall is a problem even for one of the best studied insect groups. In the light of these data limitations, we discuss prospects for filling gaps in butterfly inventories at the global scale within relatively short time frames. We argue that a combination of citizen science and quantitative tools may help to fill knowledge gaps and inform conservation decisions.
       
  • Coral reef conservation in the Anthropocene: Confronting spatial
           mismatches and prioritizing functions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 June 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): David R. Bellwood, Morgan S. Pratchett, Tiffany H. Morrison, Georgina G. Gurney, Terry P. Hughes, Jorge G. Álvarez-Romero, Jon C. Day, Ruby Grantham, Alana Grech, Andrew S. Hoey, Geoffrey P. Jones, John M. Pandolfi, Sterling B. Tebbett, Erika Techera, Rebecca Weeks, Graeme S. Cumming The world's coral reefs are rapidly transforming, with decreasing coral cover and new species configurations. These new Anthropocene reefs pose a challenge for conservation; we can no longer rely on established management plans and actions designed to maintain the status quo when coral reef habitats, and the challenges they faced, were very different. The key questions now are: what do we want to conserve on Anthropocene reefs, why, and how' Trends in reef management over recent decades reveal rapid shifts in perceived threats, goals and solutions. Future reefs will be unlike anything previously seen by humans, and while their ability to support tourism or fisheries may be relatively resilient, our capacity to manage them may be constrained by their new species configurations. Furthermore, there is a growing spatial mismatch between the escalating scale of threats and current or planned responses. We present a blueprint for future reef conservation that recognizes the need to better understand the processes that maintain Anthropocene reefs, and the growing imperative to reform conservation efforts to address both specific local issues and larger-scale threats. The future of coral reef conservation is no longer one solely of localized action and stewardship; it requires practices and institutions operating at far larger scales than today.
       
  • The intermediate disturbance hypothesis explains arthropod beta-diversity
           responses to roads that cut through natural forests
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Rudi Crispin Swart, James Stephen Pryke, Francois Roets Forests are sensitive ecosystems with a distinctive micro-climate to which forest arthropods have adapted. In intact primary forests, sunlight only fully reaches forest floors temporarily through tree fall, or more permanently at forest edges. Roads that cut through pristine forests are however permanent features that fragment forests and increase forest edge. In accordance with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH), these edges may allow generalist species to enter forests and replace some specialists, often leading to little change, or even higher numbers of arthropod species at edges. Here, we determined how roads and hiking trails affect epigaeic forest arthropods in the largest Afrotemperate forest complex in South Africa. Arthropods were collected using pitfall traps along transects set up perpendicular to different types of road, including wide arterial roads, narrower secondary roads and hiking trails. As expected, hiking trails affected arthropod assemblages to a much smaller extent than the roads. Edge effects, as measured by arthropod alpha diversity, were evident up to only 5 m for hiking trails yet as much as 20 m for secondary roads and>50 m into the adjoining forest for arterial roads. Our results support the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, as changes in beta-diversity, especially next to arterial roads, was driven by the replacement of species in conjunction with changes in species richness. The magnitude of edge effect was however different for the selected feeding guilds. We recommend that where possible roads and even many hiking trails are removed from many areas of the deep forests. These ancient Afrotemperate forests are fragmented by roads and to a lesser degree by hiking trails, which could have cascading effects on overall forest integrity and long-term impacts on these forests.
       
  • Integrating amphibian movement studies across scales better informs
           conservation decisions
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Larissa L. Bailey, Erin Muths Numerous papers have highlighted the need to integrate amphibian research and conservation across multiple scales. Despite this, most amphibian movement studies focus on a single level of organization (e.g., local population) and a single life stage (e.g., adults) and many suggest potential conservation actions or imply that the information is useful to conservation, yet these presumptions are rarely clarified or tested. Movement studies to date provide little information to guide conservation decisions directly because they fail to integrate movement across scales with individual or population parameters (i.e., fitness metrics); this is exacerbated by a general failure to set movement studies in a probabilistic context. An integrative approach allows prediction of population or metapopulation responses to environmental changes and different management actions, thus directly informing conservation decisions and ‘moving the needle’ towards an informed application of conservation actions. To support this perspective we: 1) revisit reviews of amphibian movement to illustrate the focus on single scales and to underscore the importance of movement – at all scales – to conservation; 2) make the case that movement, breeding, and other demographic probabilities are intertwined and studies executed at different temporal and spatial scales can aid in understanding species' responses to varying environmental and/or management conditions; 3) identify limitations of existing movement-related research to predict conservation action outcomes and inform decision-making; and 4) highlight under-utilized quantitative approaches that facilitate research that either connects movement to fitness metrics (individual-level studies) or estimates population and metapopulation vital rates in addition to, or associated with, movement probabilities.
       
  • Perspectives in coastal human ecology (CHE) for marine conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Shankar Aswani Coastal human ecology (CHE) is a mixture of different theoretical and thematic approaches straddling between the humanities and social and natural sciences which studies human and coastal/marine interactions at the local-scale and through intense fieldwork. Topics of interest include human coastal adaptations past and present; the historical ecology of fisheries and future implications; local forms of marine governance and economic systems; local food security and livelihoods, and indigenous/local ecological knowledge systems among many research themes. In this paper, I explore different strands of CHE in the study of tribal, artisanal, and small-scale industrial fisheries from the mid-90s onward that can contribute to the foundational knowledge necessary for designing and implementing successful coastal fisheries management and conservation programs. Marine conservation has often failed due to a lack of understanding of the fine grained marine human-environmental interactions at the local scale. In this context, I also examine developing and future research directions in CHE, and discuss their potential contribution for filling the gap in existing approaches to actionable scholarship in marine conservation. The strength of many CHE approaches lies in their potential for bridging humanism and natural science, and thus CHE approaches are well equipped to address many of the challenges faced by marine conservation practitioners today.
       
  • Biodiversity loss in deforestation frontiers: Linking occupancy modelling
           and physiological stress indicators to understand local extinctions
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Asunción Semper-Pascual, Julieta Decarre, Matthias Baumann, Juan M. Busso, Micaela Camino, Bibiana Gómez-Valencia, Tobias Kuemmerle Tropical deforestation is a main driver of the global biodiversity crisis. Impact assessments typically focus on species' presence, which means impacts are detected when local extinctions have occurred – and thus when it is too late. Here, we pioneer the combined use of two approaches that can detect deforestation impacts earlier, at the level of populations (using occupancy modelling) and at the level of individuals (using stress hormonal indicators). We tested this approach for the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) in the Argentine Chaco, a global deforestation hotspot. We used camera-trap data to model peccary occupancy in relation to woodland cover and loss, and measured glucocorticoid metabolites in peccary feces to assess individuals' stress level in deforestation areas. We found that peccary occupancy was highest in remote areas with high woodland cover, but low otherwise. Peccaries were typically absent from areas where deforestation had been widespread recently. Where peccaries were present, physiological stress was correlated with the extent of edge between cropland and forest (a proxy for food availability), and not with deforestation. This, and the observation that peccaries disappear quickly as deforestation progresses, suggests that peccaries do not adapt well to the new conditions in deforestation frontiers. In terms of conservation management, our results underpin the importance of protecting large, contiguous woodland blocks to prevent large mammals from going extinct in deforestation frontiers. More broadly, we show how combining stress hormonal indicators and occupancy modelling can provide deep insights into processes underlying local extinctions in dynamic landscapes.
       
  • Polycultures, pastures and monocultures: Effects of land use intensity on
           wild bee diversity in tropical landscapes of southeastern Mexico
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Eric Vides-Borrell, Luciana Porter-Bolland, Bruce G. Ferguson, Pierre Gasselin, Raúl Vaca, Javier Valle-Mora, Rémy Vandame The conservation of pollinator diversity is fundamental to maintaining sustainable agricultural systems and food security. Some agricultural systems support pollinator diversity, while others may lead to their decline. Previous studies have evaluated the impacts of agricultural intensification on pollinators in temperate climates regions, but in tropical regions these impacts have been evaluated by only very few studies. We conducted a study in southeastern Mexico, in order to understand the effects of three agricultural systems on bee diversity in a tropical landscape. We compared 18 sites at two different scales (plot scale and landscape scale). We found a link between agricultural system intensity level at the plot scale and forest proportion at the landscape scale: land use intensity was low at both scales in 7 polycultures, low at plot scale and high at landscape scale in 4 pastures, and high at both scales in 7 monocultures. We collected bees at all sites, and found an overall high bee richness, with a total of 127 species. Bee richness was compared across agricultural systems using diversity accumulation curves with iNEXT package. Both polycultures and pastures had significantly higher richness as monocultures. We constructed bee species guilds according to ecological and life-history traits (i.e. size, sociality and nesting) and found that whatever the trait considered, the species richness in the different agricultural systems was most often affected in the same way than the complete community richness. Our results show, for the first time in tropical conditions that agricultural systems with low-intensity farming practices and forested landscape allow the preservation of a significantly higher diversity of bees than agricultural systems with high-intensity farming practices and highly deforested landscape. Considering that bee diversity is key to maintaining crop productivity, these findings can help scientists, policy-makers, and community members design policies that support both agricultural production and biodiversity conservation in the tropics.
       
  • Mitigation of amphibian disease requires a stronger connection between
           research and management
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Stefano Canessa, Annemarieke Spitzen–van der Sluijs, An Martel, Frank Pasmans The first requirement of evidence-based conservation is that evidence is available and relevant for decision-makers. We reviewed twenty years of literature on mitigation of amphibian chytridiomycosis to understand whether conservation science is providing relevant and applicable evidence to end-users in this field. Searching the Scopus database with terms relating to chytridiomycosis and management returned nearly 5000 publications. Of these, 530 had some implications for conservation, but suggestions for management were mostly confined to brief, qualitative mentions in the closing paragraphs of articles. Fewer than 20% of publications provided a direct evaluation of management actions and quantitative estimates of changes to population vital rates as a result of proposed mitigation actions, mostly based on theoretical studies or individual treatments in laboratory settings. Fewer than 4% of studies provided estimates of population persistence that could be used directly by managers to compare actions against this fundamental conservation objective. Estimates of costs were virtually absent (
       
  • Threatened plant translocation in Australia: A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): J.L. Silcock, C.L. Simmons, L. Monks, R. Dillon, N. Reiter, M. Jusaitis, P.A. Vesk, M. Byrne, D.J. Coates Translocation of plants has become a common approach in conservation biology in the past two decades, but it is not clear how successful it is in achieving long-term conservation outcomes. We combined a literature review with extensive consultations with translocation practitioners to compile data on translocations of threatened Australian plants. We documented 1001 translocations involving 376 taxa, concentrated in regions and habitats with high numbers of threatened species. Only 109 translocation attempts encompassing 71 taxa are documented in peer-reviewed literature. Over 85% of translocations have occurred since 2000 and half since 2010, with an especially rapid increase in development mitigation translocations, which account for 30% of all translocations documented. Many translocations involved extremely small numbers of propagules, with 45% using 250. Of the 724 translocations with sufficient data to assess performance, 42% have
       
  • Neglected juveniles; a call for integrating all amphibian life stages in
           assessments of mitigation success (and how to do it)
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Silviu O. Petrovan, Benedikt R. Schmidt Road networks are central drivers of biodiversity loss and their impacts are rapidly expanding. Pond-breeding amphibians are highly vulnerable to road impacts because they typically travel from terrestrial to aquatic habitats to breed and leave the aquatic habitat for the terrestrial as newly emerged juveniles. If amphibians must cross roads during migrations, mass mortalities and local extirpation can result. While mortality at any life stage is concerning, juveniles should be of special interest when assessing road mortality and mitigation (e.g., tunnels to facilitate safe seasonal migrations) because their fate can have a disproportionate impact on population dynamics. We highlight a pervasive lack of information about juveniles which contributes to an inability to demonstrate the effect of road mitigation actions at the population level. This limits our capacity to implement conservation strategies and improve outcomes for vulnerable amphibian populations. We examine this knowledge gap using published mathematical models of amphibian populations and studies on efforts to mitigate road impacts. We further discuss the successful use of volunteers (i.e., citizen science) and identify how these efforts might be more broadly applied to address the dearth of data on juveniles and to mitigate the levels of mortality caused by roads. There are discrepancies between theoretical population models and conservation practice and we evaluate the potential causes and implications for the effectiveness of conservation projects in improving population persistence. Road mortality is a common and increasingly important challenge for amphibian conservation. Understanding juvenile demographics, movement ecology and response to mitigation structures is critical for expanding beyond short-term road mortality prevention to long-term mitigation (population persistence).
       
  • Adaptive management of species recovery programs: A real-world application
           for an endangered amphibian
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Stefano Canessa, Dario Ottonello, Giacomo Rosa, Sebastiano Salvidio, Elena Grasselli, Fabrizio Oneto Adaptive management (AM) is often cited as an innovative approach which could improve recovery plans for threatened species, yet real-world applications remain rare. Here, we describe an adaptive program for the reintroduction of a threatened amphibian in Italy. We used an adaptive approach to decide whether to use captive breeding, headstarting of tadpoles or direct translocation of eggs, with the aim of establishing a new population while minimizing the impact of harvesting from wild populations. We built a quantitative model of the system, articulated uncertainty around model parameters using probability distributions, and evaluated the benefit of learning using simulations. Following the results of simulations, we began by implementing all actions in parallel, monitoring survival of released individuals, and updating our priors using monitoring data in a Bayesian framework. Based on the updated knowledge, captive breeding and egg translocation were discontinued after the first and second year, respectively. We found little impact of harvest on the source population, so headstarting and releases are ongoing after three years. Although survival has been lower than expected, it remains within the predicted range of possible outcomes. Our experience reinforces the potential of AM for amphibian conservation. Although AM could not guarantee success, it easily scaled to our small project, it increased our efficiency in monitoring and changing actions, and ensured a safe approach against possible negative impacts. We encourage managers of amphibian recovery programs worldwide to adopt AM by following the steps we illustrate. Disseminating the results of real-world applications is the best way to fill the current implementation gap.
       
  • Multi-taxa consequences of management for an avian umbrella species
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Robert W. Hawkes, Jennifer Smart, Andy Brown, Helen Jones, Steve Lane, Doreen Wells, Paul M. Dolman Whether management for so-called umbrella species actually benefits co-occurring biota has rarely been tested. Here, we studied consequences for multiple invertebrate taxa of two ground-disturbance treatments designed to support an avian umbrella species (Eurasian stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemus), and whether analysing ecological requirements across the regional species pool predicted beneficiaries. Responses were assessed for the abundance of five bird species of conservation concern, and the abundance, species richness and composition of carabids, staphylinids, other beetles (non-carabid, non-staphylinid), true bugs and ants, sampling 31,258 individuals of 402 species in an extensively-replicated experiment across the UK's largest grass-heath. Both treatments provided suitable habitat for the umbrella species, in contrast to controls. Treatment influenced the abundance of only one bird species; but carabid, other beetle and ant richness increased with one or both treatments, whilst staphylinid richness and abundance increased and true bug richness and abundance decreased with both treatments. Richness of ‘priority’ (rare, scarce or threatened) invertebrates a priori considered to share ecological requirements with the umbrella species (predicted beneficiaries) increased with both treatments. Resampling and rarefaction showed landscapes diversified by treatment supported a greater cumulative species richness of other beetles, ants and true bugs, and importantly priority invertebrates, than a landscape comprising only untreated controls. Such experiments provide strong evidence to assess co-benefits of umbrella species management, but are costly and time consuming. The systematic examination of the autoecological requirements of co-occurring taxa (the ‘Biodiversity Audit Approach’) successfully predicted likely beneficiaries. Demonstrating wider biodiversity benefits strengthens the case for avian conservation management.
       
  • Conserving Panamanian harlequin frogs by integrating captive-breeding and
           research programs
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Carrie H.R. Lewis, Corinne L. Richards-Zawacki, Roberto Ibáñez, Jennifer Luedtke, Jamie Voyles, Paul Houser, Brian Gratwicke Captive breeding programs are a valuable conservation strategy, particularly when integrated with research goals. Panamanian Harlequin frogs (genus Atelopus) serve as a case study for integrating captive breeding and research goals because they have experienced drastic chytridiomycosis-related declines and have large captive populations. Captive breeding efforts in Panama and the United States established secure ex-situ populations of Atelopus certus, A. glyphus, A. limosus, A. varius, and A. zeteki. Atelopus chiriquiensis is presumed to be extinct with no captive populations. The status of one undescribed species, Atelopus aff. limosus, has not been evaluated and no secure captive population has yet been established. Captive breeding efforts that produce a surplus of Atelopus are an important resource for research into collections management, disease mitigation, and adaptive management approaches for Atelopus reintroduction efforts. We reevaluated all Panamanian Atelopus species through the IUCN Redlist and compiled occurrence records for Panamanian Atelopus species to create a historical distribution map. We model Atelopus habitat suitability using Maxent and found annual mean air temperature to be the best predictor of Atelopus occurrence. The model will improve our knowledge of their likely spatial distribution and guide future conservation and reintroduction efforts. The recent proliferation of molecular tools, climate models, bio-banking, and reproductive technologies position us to address multiple applied and basic evolutionary questions such as: What factors cause differential disease outcomes' Do persisting populations have heritable traits associated with improved survivorship' Are there climatic refugia from disease' Ultimately, the answers to these questions will help us develop applied solutions and facilitate the reestablishment of self-sustaining wild populations.
       
  • 1980s–2010s: The world's largest mangrove ecosystem is becoming
           homogeneous
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Swapan Kumar Sarker, Jason Matthiopoulos, Sonia N. Mitchell, Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Md. Bashirul Al Mamun, Richard Reeve Knowledge gaps in spatiotemporal changes in mangrove diversity and composition have obstructed mangrove conservation programs across the tropics, but particularly in the Sundarbans (10,017 km2), the world's largest remaining natural mangrove ecosystem. Using mangrove tree data collected from Earth's largest permanent sample plot network at four historical time points (1986, 1994, 1999 and 2014), this study establishes spatially explicit baseline biodiversity information for the Sundarbans. We determined the spatial and temporal differences in alpha, beta, and gamma diversity in three ecological zones (hypo-, meso-, and hypersaline) and also uncovered changes in the mangroves' overall geographic range and abundances therein. Spatially, the hyposaline mangrove communities were the most diverse and heterogeneous in species composition while the hypersaline communities were the least diverse and most homogeneous at all historical time points. Since 1986, we detect an increasing trend of compositional homogeneity (between-site similarity in species composition) and a significant spatial contraction of distinct and diverse areas over the entire ecosystem. Temporally, the western and southern hypersaline communities have undergone radical shifts in species composition due to population increase and range expansion of the native invasive species Ceriops decandra and local extinction or range contraction of specialists including the globally endangered Heritiera fomes. The surviving biodiversity hotspots are distributed outside the legislated protected area network. In addition to suggesting the immediate coverage of these hotspots under protected area management, our novel biodiversity insights and spatial maps can form the basis for spatial conservation planning, biodiversity monitoring and protection initiatives for the Sundarbans.
       
  • Wind turbines in high quality habitat cause disproportionate increases in
           collision mortality of the white-tailed eagle
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Christian Heuck, Christof Herrmann, Christian Levers, Pedro J. Leitão, Oliver Krone, Roland Brandl, Jörg Albrecht The increasing number of wind farms for energy production raises concerns about their effects on wildlife and particularly on birds. To date it is unclear whether models that combine data on wind turbine densities and habitat suitability can explain the actual spatial occurrence of collision fatalities and how well these models perform in comparison to models including measures of bird population densities (e.g., the distribution and density of nest sites). Here we analysed whether collision mortality increases with wind turbine density and whether a high population density or habitat suitability in the vicinity of wind turbines amplifies the effect of wind turbine density on collision mortality. We combined opportunistic records of dead White-tailed Eagles by the public in Northeast Germany during the period 2003 to 2014 with data on the distribution of wind turbines, nest sites and habitat suitability. As expected, wind turbine density was a strong predictor of collision mortality. In addition, we found that wind turbine density and habitat suitability had synergistic effects on collision mortality, so that the effect of wind turbine density was amplified in areas of high habitat suitability. Moreover, combining wind turbine density and habitat suitability allowed for better predictions of collision mortality than combining wind turbine density and nest site density. These results suggest that assessments of the spatial occurrence of collision fatalities based on models that combine data on wind turbine densities and habitat suitability can be useful for the strategic planning of wind farm development on regional scales. In particular, our study highlights that wind turbines should not be placed in core population areas of vulnerable bird species because synergies between wind turbine densities and habitat suitability may cause disproportionate increases in mortality. This might undermine the positive effects of parallel conservation efforts.
       
  • A recovery engine strategy for amphibian conservation in the context of
           disease
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Joseph R. Mendelson, Steven M. Whitfield, Michael J. Sredl We outline a conceptually simple strategy to be considered for programs aimed to recover natural populations of amphibians, with a special focus on the difficult threat of disease. Our model, termed a recovery engine strategy, focuses on populations that have naturally evolved tolerance to the formerly novel pathogen, and uses their progeny to re-populate new sites across the former range of the species. With appropriate risk assessments, this promises perhaps a more realistic path to recovery than attempts to mitigate a pathogen in the wild.
       
  • Fur seals and fisheries in Tasmania: an integrated case study of
           human-wildlife conflict and coexistence
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 May 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): C.R. Cummings, M.A. Lea, J.M. Lyle Cultivating more harmonious ways of interacting with top predators is a major challenge in sustainably managing and developing fisheries. In-depth, interdisciplinary case studies represent important tools for highlighting emergent properties in complex human-predator relationships. In this study we integrate original social research with detailed secondary historic and natural-scientific information on a long-standing case of human-wildlife conflict: the relationship between fur seals and fisheries in Tasmania. Stakeholders were targeted and surveyed via anonymous questionnaire about their experiences and perceptions of seal-fishery interactions and seals in the ecosystem. The most frequently cited outcomes of interactions for both commercial and recreational fishers were damaged gear, lost catch, and damaged catch. Most fishers indicated that they believed population-level controlled culling or targeted removal of problem individuals would be the most effective strategies to manage and reduce interactions. In contrast, the general public and resource/environmental managers indicated strong preferences for non-lethal forms of management, with culling the lowest ranked strategy in terms of perceived effectiveness. Perceptions of ongoing rapid population increase evident in fishing sub-groups contrast with available seal population data. Such discrepancy suggests that reported increasing seal-fishery interactions may be more reflective of behavioural change, with seals becoming habituated to certain fishing activities. Areas of promise identified for future research and management focus on: technical mitigation to minimise direct interactions, building tolerance in fishing communities, and targeted ecological research to disentangle the effects of pinniped abundance, distribution (including seasonal population flux between breeding regions), and habituation on interactions. Documenting the contemporary status of this relationship is an integral step in managing such conflicts.
       
  • Managing the trifecta of disease, climate, and contaminants: Searching for
           robust choices under multiple sources of uncertainty
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Kelly L. Smalling, Collin A. Eagles-Smith, Rachel A. Katz, Evan H. Campbell Grant Wood frogs, like other amphibian species worldwide, are experiencing population declines due to multiple stressors. In the northeastern United States, wood frog declines are thought to result from a reduction in successful metamorphosis in part due to climate change, disease (specifically ranavirus), and contaminant exposure. The presence of multiple stressors can increase uncertainty in characterizing the main effects of each stressor, as well as understanding the degree to which their effects interact (additively or synergistically) to impact populations. This uncertainty adds inherent challenges to selecting appropriate management actions for conserving populations. Finding solutions that are robust to these uncertainties can improve management amid absent or equivocal knowledge. We used a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN), a quantitative tool that allowed us to evaluate how potential management actions might mitigate the effects of increasingly frequent and severe droughts, ranavirus exposure, and methylmercury on wood frog populations in the northeastern U.S. In our system, successful wood frog recruitment was largely driven by hydroperiod regardless of other stressors. Our modelling indicated that increased hydroperiod lowered the probability of complete metamorphosis failure from 0.6 to 0.37, suggesting that under the conditions tested in the model, pond hydrology is more important for successful recruitment than either methylmercury or ranavirus exposure. As more information becomes available on stressor interactions, model scenarios could be re-evaluated, and management options reconsidered.
       
  • Irreplaceable socioeconomic value of wild meat extraction to local food
           security in rural Amazonia
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): André Valle Nunes, Carlos A. Peres, Pedro de Araujo Lima Constantino, Bráulio A. Santos, Erich Fischer Wild vertebrates play a decisive role in the subsistence economy of human populations worldwide. The food security value of wild-meat extracted from natural ecosystems remains poorly quantified. Here, we provide an economic valuation of the nutritional and monetary benefits of year-round wild-meat hunting across a large trinational region of southwestern Amazonia using data from indigenous and non-indigenous settlements from 30 sites. We then build scenarios to explore whether three ubiquitous sources of regional-scale household income (i.e. wage labour, horticultural revenues from manioc flour production and the harvest of Brazil-nuts) could match the purchase costs of alternative meat demand to meet domestic consumption of animal protein should game stocks collapse for any reason. We also considered a fourth valuation scenario in terms of game meat substitution with bovine beef. We conservatively estimate a total annual consumption of ~1431.8 tons of undressed animal carcasses, equivalent to a mean per-capita meat consumption of 54.75 kg person−1 yr−1, or ~10.9 kg of animal protein person−1 yr−1. This overall consumption of terrestrial wildlife meat provides US$7.875 million yr−1 across the study region. However, household income levels were too low to enable transitions into domestic livestock consumption indicating low adaptation capacity to alternative animal protein; replacement purchases of domestic meat would amount to 90% of aggregate annual wages, 194% of overall income from manioc flour, and 67% of all Brazil-nuts collected. Complete beef replacement by the population in this region would require further inputs of US$2.658 million yr−1 and the conversion of 4310 ha of Amazonian forests into pasture. Our results emphasize the extraordinarily valuable and irreplaceable role of wild meat in the food security of tropical forest dwellers. Proposing consumption of alternative sources of animal protein for monetarily deprived forest dwellers is clearly an unrealistic, if not environmentally-damaging, strategy. Conservation scientists, wildlife biologists and policy makers should therefore prioritize adding value to standing forests by managing sustainable wild-meat offtake from natural ecosystems.
       
  • Local people's preferences for biodiversity offsets to achieve ‘no net
           loss’ for economic developments
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Victoria F. Griffiths, Oleg Sheremet, Nick Hanley, Julia Baker, Joseph W. Bull, E.J. Milner-Gulland Understanding people's preferences for biodiversity offsetting activities can help to design offsets that achieve ‘no net loss’ (NNL) of biodiversity while incorporating the use and cultural values associated with this biodiversity. We use a stated preference choice experiment to solicit preferences for different proposed biodiversity offsets, linked to two hydropower developments in Uganda, with the aim of improving social outcomes of the offsets. We surveyed 1215 respondents from six villages located along the river impacted by the hydropower projects. Overall, people preferred offsets and compensatory activities that benefit the entire village rather than just a few individuals. People opposed the removal of non-native trees from their Central Forest Reserve and some responded negatively towards free access to spiritual sites. Respondents' choices were influenced by gender, age, education level, length of time lived in the village, level of poverty, and whether they believed that the hydropower development had affected their wellbeing. Preferences also varied significantly between villages. Our findings provide insight into locally preferred options for biodiversity NNL offsets. They also demonstrate the use of choice experiments to inform decisions about biodiversity offsets, as part of ensuring that NNL strategies do not make local people worse off.
       
  • Is bigger always better' Influence of patch attributes on breeding
           activity of birds in box-gum grassy woodland restoration plantings
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Donna J. Belder, Jennifer C. Pierson, Karen Ikin, Wade Blanchard, Martin J. Westgate, Mason Crane, David B. Lindenmayer Restoration plantings are an increasingly common management technique to address habitat loss in agricultural landscapes. Native fauna, including birds, may occupy planted areas of vegetation. However, unless restoration plantings support breeding populations, their effectiveness as a conservation strategy may be limited. We assessed breeding activity of birds in box-gum grassy woodland restoration plantings in the South-west Slopes bioregion of New South Wales, Australia. We compared breeding activity in plantings of different size (1.3–7.7 ha) and shape (linear and block-shaped) to breeding activity in a set of remnant woodland sites. Contrary to expectations, we found that bird breeding activity was greatest per hectare in small patches. This trend was driven by the superb fairywren – the most abundant species in the woodland assemblage. We also found a negative effect of planting age, with younger plantings supporting more breeding activity per hectare. We found no effect of patch type or shape on breeding activity, and that species' relative abundance was not predictive of their degree of breeding activity. Our results highlight the value of small habitat patches in fragmented agricultural landscapes, and indicate that restoration plantings are as valuable as remnant woodland patches for supporting bird breeding activity. We demonstrate the importance of breeding studies for assessing the conservation value of restoration plantings and other habitat patches for avifauna.
       
  • Benefits and limits of comparative effectiveness studies in evidence-based
           conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Benedikt R. Schmidt, Raphaël Arlettaz, Michael Schaub, Beatrice Lüscher, Madeleine Kröpfli Conservation action aims at halting the erosion of biodiversity. Assessing the outcome of a conservation intervention is thus key to improving its efficiency. This is often done by comparing an intervention to a control. Comparative effectiveness studies, on the other hand, compare multiple conservation interventions among each other. In doing so, one can determine which are the most beneficial interventions despite the lack of a control and a formal experimental design. We use an amphibian conservation study to discuss the benefits and limits of this approach. We used the comparative effectiveness approach to evaluate the outcome of a pond creation project. We measured habitat variables at three spatial scales (pond, terrestrial microhabitat, and landscape) and used multistate occupancy and N-mixture models to account for imperfect detection and to relate the explanatory variables to pond colonization, species abundance and the presence of tadpoles (i.e., evidence for successful reproduction). Although characteristics of the created ponds mattered, the availability of suitable terrestrial microhabitat (such as dry stone walls) was even more important in terms of conservation success as measured by colonization and abundance. This case study shows that successful amphibian conservation action depends on landscape complementation, i.e., the paired availability of suitable aquatic and terrestrial microhabitat. We conclude that comparative effectiveness studies can be used to provide critical information for improved conservation action. However, small sample size and a lack of randomization may a priori represent an impediment to strong inference. Nevertheless, comparative effectiveness studies can provide valuable guidance for evidence-based conservation.
       
  • A three-pipe problem: dealing with complexity to halt amphibian declines
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Sarah J. Converse, Evan H. Campbell Grant Natural resource managers are increasingly faced with threats to managed ecosystems that are largely outside of their control. Examples include land development, climate change, invasive species, and emerging infectious diseases. All of these are characterized by large uncertainties in timing, magnitude, and effects on species. In many cases, the conservation of species will only be possible through concerted action on the limited elements of the system that managers can control. However, before an action is taken, a manager must decide how to act, which is, if done well, not easy. In addition to dealing with uncertainty, managers must balance multiple potentially competing objectives, often in cases when the management actions available to them are limited. Guidance in making these types of challenging decisions can be found in the practice known as decision analysis. We demonstrate how using a decision-analytic approach to frame decisions can help identify and address impediments to improved conservation decision making. We demonstrate the application of decision analysis to two high-elevation amphibian species. An inadequate focus on the decision-making process, and an assumption that scientific information is adequate to solve conservation problems, must be overcome to advance the conservation of amphibians and other highly threatened taxa.
       
  • Messaging matters: A systematic review of the conservation messaging
           literature
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Lindall R. Kidd, Georgia E. Garrard, Sarah A. Bekessy, Morena Mills, Adrian R. Camilleri, Fiona Fidler, Kelly S. Fielding, Ascelin Gordon, Emily A. Gregg, Alexander M. Kusmanoff, Winnifred Louis, Katie Moon, Jenny A. Robinson, Matthew J. Selinske, Danielle Shanahan, Vanessa M. Adams Changing human behavior and attitudes are key to conserving global biodiversity. Despite evidence from other disciplines that strategic messaging can influence behavior and attitudes, it remains unclear how to best design messages to benefit biodiversity. We conducted a systematic literature review to investigate the status of conservation messaging research, and to evaluate whether studies address essential elements of message design and theory from other disciplines. We show that academic interest in conservation messaging is growing rapidly. However, our results suggest that conservation scientists are not effectively drawing from the long-standing expertise of disciplines with well-established messaging techniques. Many studies do not draw on established behavior change theories or audience segmentation techniques. Given the urgent need to address the loss of biodiversity, we discuss how conservation messaging can draw on existing empirical and theoretical knowledge, with a focus on the application of established techniques used in messaging for pro-environmental behavior.
       
  • The impact of (mass) tourism on coastal dune pollination networks
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): E. Fantinato Coastal dune ecosystems are increasingly threatened by the mass tourism phenomenon. Intense concentration of human activities and mass tourism are leading to coastal dune loss and fragmentation. Besides the loss and fragmentation of coastal dunes, mass tourism has considerably affected remnant natural areas. To prevent degradation of remnant natural areas, it is mandatory to understand whether, and under what conditions, tourism can be allowed. In the present study I addressed the problem by evaluating the impact of tourism on the structure and resilience of pollination networks in coastal dune ecosystems freely accessible to tourists. Pollination networks represent ecological community structure and depict interactions among species, providing the opportunity for a holistic assessment of ecosystem structure and functioning.I conducted the study on coastal dune sites of the North Adriatic coast, with different levels of touristic pressure. I recorded pollination interactions together with descriptors of human disturbance along sea-inland transects. A moderate level of human disturbance was positively related to the richness of animal-pollinated plant and pollinator species. Besides species richness, the resilience of pollination networks was also highest at moderate disturbance. By assessing the impact of human disturbance on coastal dune ecosystems from the perspective of pollination interactions, evidence arises that moderate disturbance and long-term conservation of pollination networks of coastal dunes can co-exist. However, to achieve this goal, tourism should be regulated, and visitor access to coastal sites managed, so as to prevent intense human disturbance from compromising both the structure and function of coastal dune ecosystems.
       
  • Conservation research across scales in a national program: How to be
           relevant to local management yet general at the same time
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Michael J. Adams, Erin Muths Successfully addressing complex conservation problems requires attention to pattern and process at multiple spatial scales. This is challenging from a logistical and organizational perspective. In response to indications of worldwide declines in amphibian populations, the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) of the U.S. Geological Survey was established in 2000. This national program is unique in its structure, organization, and success in integrating information at multiple scales. ARMI works under the principle that a good study design is tailored to specific questions, but stipulates the use of methods that result in unbiased parameter estimates (e.g., occupancy). This allows studies to be designed to address local questions but also to produce data that can easily be scaled up to accomplish the objectives of a broad-scale monitoring program. Here we describe how the implementation of the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative results in research that is applicable across scales – global, in contributing to the understanding of amphibian decline phenomena; continental, in synthesizing local data to understand large-scale drivers; regional, by characterizing threats and assessing status of species at the range scale; and local, by working with National Park, Wildlife Refuge, and other Federal and State land managers to identify research needs and serve conservation-relevant research results to inform management decisions.
       
  • The search for novelty continues for rewilding
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 May 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): Matt W. Hayward, David Jachowski, Cassandra K. Bugir, John Clulow, Ramesh Krishnamurthy, Andrea S. Griffin, Anita C. Chalmers, John D.C. Linnell, Robert A. Montgomery, Michael J. Somers, Rafał Kowalczyk, Marco Heurich, Anthony Caravaggi, Kelly A. Marnewick, Yamil Di Blanco, Craig M. Shuttleworth, Alex Callen, Florian Weise, Robert Scanlon, Axel Moehrenschlager
       
  • In defence of ‘rewilding’ – a response to Hayward et al.
           (2019)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 May 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): Tristan T. Derham
       
  • Living with the enemy: Facilitating amphibian coexistence with disease
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Ben C. Scheele, Claire N. Foster, David A. Hunter, David B. Lindenmayer, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Geoffrey W. Heard Globalization has facilitated the emergence and spread of novel pathogens, representing a major conservation challenge. The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, epitomizes this unprecedented threat, being responsible for declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. Chytridiomycosis has had both immediate catastrophic impacts during initial epidemics, as well as more variable, ongoing effects as the pathogen transitions to endemicity in its new distribution. Where B. dendrobatidis is now endemic, effective management actions are needed to prevent further extinctions of species. Yet, after nearly 20 years of research, management solutions remain rare or largely untested. Here, we highlight the potential for mitigation strategies focused on the environmental part of the host-pathogen-environment triangle to facilitate coexistence with the pathogen. We provide an extensive literature review to demonstrate that environmental conditions and demographic processes can strongly mediate the impact of B. dendrobatidis, and the capacity of amphibian populations to withstand disease-associated mortality. In particular, novel management approaches to achieve coexistence could focus on manipulating environmental conditions to decrease suitability for B. dendrobatidis and/or increase demographic resilience to disease-associated mortality. Such strategies include translocation to, or creation of, environmental refuges, and habitat manipulation to increase recruitment and offset elevated adult mortality. We argue that responding to chytridiomycosis requires a conceptual readjustment of our baselines to recognize that endemic B. dendrobatidis infection is the ‘new normal’ in surviving populations of many susceptible amphibian species. We conclude with recommendations for research and management actions that can help achieve coexistence of amphibian species susceptible to B. dendrobatidis.
       
  • Taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional homogenization of bird communities
           due to land use change
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Chenxia Liang, Guisheng Yang, Na Wang, Gang Feng, Fan Yang, Jens-Christian Svenning, Jie Yang Biotic homogenization, the increasing similarity of biotas over time, is an important topic in biodiversity conservation and has been widely linked to anthropogenic factors, e.g., land use change and climate change. However, so far few studies have simultaneously tested the taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional homogenization caused by human activities. Here, we analyzed the effects of land use change on biotic homogenization of bird communities in these three biodiversity dimensions in the steppe region in Inner Mongolia, China. The results showed that taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional similarities were significantly lower in relatively natural grassland than in the other disturbed habitats, i.e., planted woodland, farmland and village. In addition, there were also higher associations between bird community similarities and climate distances in natural grassland than in the other disturbed habitats. These results suggest that more intense land use types result in consistent taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional homogenization of bird communities, while at the same time diminish community turnover across climate gradients. These findings indicate that anthropogenic activities in this steppe region may not only cause biodiversity loss in taxonomic level, but also in other biodiversity dimensions, highlighting the important role of natural steppe in biodiversity conservation.
       
  • Identifying factors associated with the success and failure of terrestrial
           insect translocations
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Joe Bellis, David Bourke, Christopher Williams, Sarah Dalrymple Translocation is increasingly used as a management strategy to mitigate the effects of human activity on biodiversity. Based on the current literature, we summarised trends in terrestrial insect translocations and identified factors associated with success and failure. As the authors' definitions of success and failure varied according to the individual sets of goals and objectives in each project, we adopted a standardised species-specific definition of success. We applied generalised linear models and information-theoretic model selection to identify the most important factors associated with translocation success. We found literature documenting the translocation of 74 terrestrial insect species to 134 release sites. Of the translocations motivated by conservation, 52% were considered successful, 31% were considered to have failed and 17% were undetermined. Our results indicate that the number of individuals released at a translocation site was the most important factor associated with translocation success, despite this being a relatively infrequent perceived cause of failure as reported by authors. Factors relating to weather and climate and habitat quality were the most commonly perceived causes of translocation failure by authors. Consideration of these factors by managers during the planning process may increase the chance of success in future translocation attempts of terrestrial insects.
       
  • Light pollution at the urban forest edge negatively impacts insectivorous
           bats
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Joanna K. Haddock, Caragh G. Threlfall, Bradley Law, Dieter F. Hochuli Connectivity and quality of vegetation in cities, including urban forests, can promote urban biodiversity. However the impact of anthropogenic pressures at the forest-matrix edge, particularly artificial light at night (ALAN), on connectivity has received little attention. We assessed the influence of artificial light at forest edges on insectivorous bats. We acoustically surveyed 31 forest edges across greater Sydney, Australia, half with mercury vapour streetlights and half in ambient darkness, and compared the bat assemblage and activity levels to urban forest interiors. We also sampled the flying insect community to establish whether changes in insect densities under lights drive changes in insectivorous bat activity. We recorded 9965 bat passes from 16 species or species groups throughout our acoustic survey. The activity of all bats, and bats hypothesised to be sensitive to artificial light, was consistently higher in forest interiors as opposed to edges. We found that slower flying bats adapted to cluttered vegetation or with a relatively high characteristic echolocation call frequency; Chalinolobus morio, Miniopterus australis, Vespadelus vulturnus, and Nyctophilus spp., were negatively affected by artificial light sources at the forest edge. The emergence time of Vespadelus vulturnus was also significantly delayed by the presence of streetlights at the forest edge. Conversely, generalist faster flying bats; Chalinolobus gouldii, Ozimops ridei, Austronomous australis, Saccolaimus flaviventris, and Miniopterus orianae oceanensis, were unaffected by artificial light at the edge of urban forest, and used light and dark forest edges in a similar way. Insect surveys showed that larger lepidopterans seemed to be attracted to lit areas, but in low numbers. Artificial light sources on the edges of urban forest have diverse effects on bats and insects, and should be considered an anthropogenic edge effect that can reduce available habitat and decrease connectivity for light-sensitive species.
       
  • Conservation success or increased crop damage risk' The Natura 2000
           network for a thriving migratory and protected bird
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Lovisa Nilsson, Nils Bunnefeld, Jens Persson, Ramūnas Žydelis, Johan Månsson Protected areas are important to support biodiversity and endangered species. However, they are often too small to fulfill the resource requirements of many large and mobile wildlife species, especially when congregating in large numbers. In such cases, wildlife may overflow onto surrounding human-dominated land and cause impacts. The aim of the EU Natura 2000 network is to increase supranational connectivity between protected areas for migratory and protected species such as the common crane (Grus grus). The crane population along the Western European flyway has been increasing rapidly in recent decades, with peaks of 200,000 cranes at specific Natura 2000 sites. We studied 32 GPS-tagged cranes over four migration periods, to test the use of the network by cranes and the potential for impacts on adjacent farmland. During the nighttime, the probability that roosting cranes were located on Natura 2000 sites was 97%. During daytime, the probability of foraging cranes being located on arable land was 68%. The probability of foraging cranes occurring on agricultural fields close to Natura 2000 sites decreased with distance. Such foraging patterns may fuel conflicts between conservation and agricultural objectives. To resolve these conflicts we suggest improved cross-boundary collaboration and policy development among involved states, combined with stakeholder participation to implement effective compensation and damage prevention strategies which are focused upon networks of protected areas.
       
  • Optimizing habitat management for amphibians: From simple models to
           complex decisions
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 236Author(s): Michael P. Scroggie, Kathy Preece, Emily Nicholson, Michael A. McCarthy, Kirsten M. Parris, Geoffrey W. Heard Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation remain leading causes of amphibian declines across the globe. To mitigate these impacts, conservation managers may protect core habitats and pursue habitat creation or enhancement actions, including construction of artificial wetlands, manipulation of wetland hydroperiods, removal of invasive species or restoration of aquatic and riparian vegetation. Yet management budgets are universally tight. When planning such actions, managers face the fundamental and complex problem of choosing where and when to invest limited resources to maximize the likelihood of species persistence. Here, we extend our previous research on this problem, and demonstrate the utility of coupling occupancy models with optimization algorithms to identify preferred habitat management schemes across multiple, disjunct habitat networks. Our real-world case study, completed in close collaboration with conservation managers, focussed on optimal habitat creation schemes for a threatened Australian frog in a rapidly urbanizing region. Our new technique identified clear priorities for investment in wetland construction both among and within seven disjunct habitat networks, solving a spatial prioritization problem that entailed millions of potential solutions and which was otherwise intractable. Such complex, multi-scale spatial prioritization problems are pervasive in amphibian conservation. Coupling occupancy models with spatial optimization algorithms represents a promising avenue to solve these problems and design habitat protection, creation and management schemes that maximize the chance of species persistence.
       
  • Large carnivore damage in Europe: Analysis of compensation and prevention
           programs
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Carlos Bautista, Eloy Revilla, Javier Naves, Jörg Albrecht, Néstor Fernández, Agnieszka Olszańska, Michal Adamec, Teresa Berezowska-Cnota, Paolo Ciucci, Claudio Groff, Sauli Härkönen, Djuro Huber, Klemen Jerina, Marko Jonozovič, Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, Santiago Palazón, Pierre-Yves Quenette, Robin Rigg, Juan Seijas, Jon E. Swenson The mitigation of conflicts associated with large carnivore damage to livestock and agriculture is pivotal to their conservation. We evaluate current programs to compensate and prevent large carnivore damage in 27 European countries and the factors related to the economic costs of these programs. Overall, high compensation costs are associated with free-ranging livestock (68% of total costs) and with national economic wealth. Contrary to general belief, the return of large carnivores does not always translate into higher compensation costs. We identify a tendency towards prioritizing compensation over prevention; only a few wealthy countries pay the majority of the money allocated for prevention programs to adapt husbandry practices to the presence of large carnivores. We conclude that programs mainly focused on paying large compensation amounts will often fail to build tolerance towards predators. To mitigate conflicts and optimize the cost-effectiveness of publicly funded measures, responsible agencies should be proactive, focus on prevention-based policies and periodically evaluate the effectiveness of compensation and prevention programs in an adaptive manner. With this purpose and to identify further solutions for conflict mitigation, we call for a pan-European database of damage occurrence, management actions and associated costs.
       
  • Young adults' motivations to feed wild birds and influences on their
           potential participation in citizen science: An exploratory study
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Victoria Y. Martin, Emma I. Greig Conservation science has rapidly adopted citizen science to engage the public in knowledge generation, developing environmental policies, solving localized environmental issues, and generating public support for environmental management. For conservation benefits to be just and equitable, it is important to ensure underserved groups have the opportunity to contribute to citizen science, but the barriers and drivers for their participation are poorly understood. This study explores the perspectives of young adults (18–50 years) who feed wild birds. Their cohort is underrepresented in Project FeederWatch, a large-scale North American citizen science project. Interviews with 72 young adults who do not participate in Project FeederWatch, reveal their motivations to feed birds to be primarily for the benefits it provides for themselves (such as experiencing nature, joy and relaxation) and helping the birds survive. An additional motivation, previously undetected, is to share their feeder bird experiences with others in their social networks. The interviewees hold positive attitudes towards involvement in, and outcomes of Project FeederWatch, although some concerns and barriers to participation are particular to their age group. Most notably, limits on their time and financial resources typical for their life-stage present substantial challenges to their involvement. Project design elements including simple instructions and protocol, a mobile app, and reminders will enable their participation. Social norms related to participation in citizen science are found to be weak. This exploratory work is essential for further research on young adults' involvement in knowledge generation to inform conservation science and practice.Graphical abstractUnlabelled ImageThis study investigates potential factors influencing young adults' participation in a bird feeding citizen science project in North America.
       
  • New guidance for ex situ gene conservation: Sampling realistic population
           systems and accounting for collection attrition
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Sean Hoban A vital component of conservation is to sample germplasm from wild populations for safeguarding ex situ (e.g., in seed banks, though the concept also applies to animals via cryopreservation or zoos). For decades, conservationists have commonly heeded a logically sound, but perhaps suboptimal, minimum sampling guideline- to sample from 50 individuals per population. Here, I demonstrate how sampling can be improved based on two considerations that are neglected in this common, simple guideline, and have not previously been tested. First, I consider a fundamental aspect of population biology- sharing of genetic material among populations through migration. Second, I consider a fundamental aspect of ex situ collections maintenance- loss of plants through germination failure, disease, and active use (e.g., research, seed exchanges). I first simulate metapopulations with a wide range of migration rates, population sizes, numbers of populations and demographic (i.e., bottleneck) histories. Then I determine minimum sampling to preserve a sufficient number of allele copies to account for various degrees of collection attrition. My results show that sampling seed from approximately 200 to 300 individuals in total across a species' geographic range may suffice for a wide range of plant population systems, if all seeds germinate and produce plants that survive in perpetuity. However, to compensate for expected losses over time, sampling should be increased by a factor closely related to the expected loss rate, meaning that a robust minimum collection for ex situ gene conservation will often be 1000 individuals or more. More work is needed to establish final guidelines, but I do provide a summary table for practitioners. I conclude that seed collections planning must consider the plant's biology, collection maintenance, and desired characteristics of the collection such as the number of allele copies and the type of allele targeted. These results emphasize a need for thoughtful deliberation and decisions by the curator and collector, and renewed discussion of conservation targets for ex situ collections to remain viable over hundreds to thousands of years.
       
  • Perspective: Global country-by-country response of public interest in the
           environment to the papal encyclical, Laudato Si′
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Malcolm L. McCallum Environmental issues are strongly influenced by their human dimensions, so understanding this relationship is important for effective conservation. This study investigates changes in public interest in the environment after the release of Laudato Si'. Comparisons between searches for church-related and environmental topics before and after its release demonstrate significantly raised public interest in both areas, especially in Catholic countries. There were important differences between developed countries and countries with other economic classifications. After decades of declining interest in the environment, Laudato Si' may be catalyzing societal transformation similar to that performed by the 1969 encyclical Humanae Vitae. Regulation of abortion in the U.S.A. went from a non-political issue in 1969 to a primary dividing line between the political parties in 1976. Two years after release of Laudato Si', the Catholic Church had implemented a long-term sustainability plan for what could grow into a major Catholic environmental movement, similar to the anti-abortion movement. The results within suggest public interest in the environment may already be growing as a result. No previous environmental movement has benefitted from this kind of support, and this provides reason for hope that environmental progress is just around the corner.
       
  • Recognising the potential role of native ponies in conservation management
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): M.D. Fraser, C.R. Stanley, M.J. Hegarty Population control of feral horses has been the subject of public debate in many parts of the world in recent years due to wide-reaching ecological and societal impacts. However, the feral populations in these high-profile cases are not ‘native’ but are instead descended from animals which escaped from or were released by settlers. This paper considers i) the potential role of indigenous equids as conservation grazers within native ecosystems currently in poor condition, and ii) the value of supporting semi-wild native ponies specifically. We argue that the high ecological overlap between ponies and cattle reported in a range of studies means that they should be considered as alternative tools for conservation management, particularly in scenarios where there is a need to reduce the dominance of plant species avoided by more-selective small ruminants such as sheep. Semi-wild ponies could be particularly suited to conservation grazing because their genomes have been predominately shaped by natural and not artificial selection, meaning they may have adaptations no longer present in domesticated equids. With agricultural and environmental policy in the EU and UK under major review, it is anticipated that the wider delivery of public goods, rather than primary production, will be prioritised under future subsidy payment schemes. Recognising the value of native ponies as conservation grazers would broaden the range of routes by which land managers could achieve biodiversity gain, whilst simultaneously supporting at-risk equine genotypes.
       
  • Keep the wolf from the door: How to conserve wolves in Europe's
           human-dominated landscapes'
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): D.P.J. Kuijper, M. Churski, A. Trouwborst, M. Heurich, C. Smit, G.I.H. Kerley, J.P.G.M. Cromsigt The recolonization of wolves in European human-dominated landscapes poses a conservation challenge to protect this species and manage conflicts. The question of how humans can co-exist with large carnivores often triggers strong emotions. Here we provide an objective, science-based discussion on possible management approaches. Using existing knowledge on large carnivore management from Europe and other parts of the globe, we develop four potential wolf management scenarios; 1) population control, 2) protection and compensation, 3) fencing, 4) managing behaviour of wolf and man. For each scenario, we discuss its impact on wolf ecology, its prospects of reducing wolf-human conflicts and how it relates to current European legislation. Population control and fencing of local wolf populations are problematic because of their ecological impacts and conflicts with European legislation. In contrast, a no-interference approach does not have these problems but will likely increase human-wolf conflicts. Despite the large challenges in European, human-dominated landscapes, we argue that wolf management must focus on strengthening the separation between humans and wolves by influencing behaviour of wolves and humans on a fine spatio-temporal scale to prevent and reduce conflicts. As separation also demands a sufficiently large wild prey base, we urge restoring natural ungulate populations, to reduce human-wolf conflicts. Mutual avoidance provides the key to success, and is critical to avoid creating the conditions for reinstating wolf persecution as the default policy in Europe.
       
  • The value of argument analysis for understanding ethical considerations
           pertaining to trophy hunting and lion conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): John A. Vucetich, Dawn Burnham, Paul J. Johnson, Andrew J. Loveridge, Michael Paul Nelson, Jeremy T. Bruskotter, David W. Macdonald Wild lions are threatened by loss of habitat and prey and various forms of human-caused mortality. Despite examples of locally effective lion conservation, many populations have declined drastically over recent decades, and prospects for averting those threats over the long-term and at large spatial scales are not especially bright. Yet, many maintain hope for the future of lions. Some believe trophy hunting of lions is an appropriate measure for conserving lions because it can incentivize maintenance of lands in a condition suitable for lions and other wildlife. Others disagree. We analyze the issue with formal argument analysis, an important tool in applied ethics. The analysis indicates that in some regions of Africa trophy hunting of lions would be inappropriate insomuch as at least one empirical premise – necessary for supporting the conclusion that trophy hunting of lions should be tolerated – does not hold. The analysis also draws on principles of utilitarianism and deontology. The value of this analysis does not emerge from expecting it to resolve the issue – that would be an inappropriate standard by which to judge even a purely scientific paper. Rather the value of argument analysis lies in clarifying premises and logic upon which an ethical view rests. While the authors are not uniform in their intuitions about one of the argument's ethical premises, we all agree the considerations offered here about that premise are essential for better understanding the issue. Reactions to this analysis – be they endorsements or criticisms – are vital for identifying critical points of disagreement more precisely than otherwise possible.
       
  • Species-area uncertainties impact the setting of habitat conservation
           targets and propagate across conservation solutions
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Sabrine Drira, Frida Ben Rais Lasram, Amel Ben Rejeb Jenhani, Yunne Jai Shin, François Guilhaumon Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP) is a widely-used approach to develop networks of protected areas. A crucial step in the SCP process is to set conservation targets for biodiversity features (explicit goals that quantify the minimum amount of each biodiversity feature to be covered by the protected areas). When the biodiversity features are different habitats occurring in the planning region, a relevant approach, based on the Species-Area Relationship (SAR), defines targets so as to maximize biodiversity representation within each habitat type. While many formulations of the SAR exist, their application remains dominated by the log-transformation of Power-law model. However, documented habitat-related and taxonomic idiosyncrasies in the shape of the SAR question the effectiveness of a given ubiquitous model in fitting data compared to others. Here, using 13 SAR functional forms, we investigate whether the habitat-related SAR uncertainties propagate across the entire conservation planning process and lead to both divergent conservation targets and conservation solutions for six habitats in the Mediterranean sea. Results revealed uncertainties in model selection across habitats, which leads to different SAR habitat-targets. Constraining a systemic conservation planning tool (Marxan) with those targets provided contrasted sets of priority areas for different SAR scenario. Our study demonstrated that restraining to one particular SAR model is inappropriate at fitting all SAR datasets, providing consequently conservation targets diverging markedly from data-driven SAR inferences. More importantly, corresponding reserve networks are either inefficient or overstated for the protection of habitats, leading to waste of scarce conservation resources that should be used sparingly. Therefore, we suggest to evaluate different SAR models and, when appropriate to carry out a multi-model inference to provide robust habitat-specific conservation targets.
       
  • Continental-scale assessment reveals inadequate monitoring for threatened
           vertebrates in a megadiverse country
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Ben C. Scheele, Sarah Legge, Wade Blanchard, Stephen Garnett, Hayley Geyle, Graeme Gillespie, Perter Harrison, David Lindenmayer, Mark Lintermans, Natasha Robinson, John Woinarski Monitoring threatened species is essential for quantifying population trends, understanding causes of species' declines, and guiding the development and assessment of effective recovery actions. Here, we provide a systematic, continental-scale evaluation of the extent and quality of monitoring for threatened species, focussing on terrestrial and freshwater vertebrates in Australia. We found marked inadequacies: one in four threatened taxa are not monitored at all; for taxa that are monitored, monitoring quality, as assessed across nine metrics, was generally low. Higher quality monitoring was associated with policy recognition, in the form of species recovery plans, and for species having a more imperilled conservation status. Across taxonomic classes, the proportion of species monitored was highest for mammals and then birds, whereas monitoring quality was greatest for birds. Improving monitoring quality requires setting clear objectives, direct integration with management, incorporating explicit management triggers, long-term resourcing, and better communication and accessibility of monitoring information. While our results revealed that overall monitoring efforts are inadequate, the positive relationship between improved monitoring outcomes and national policy support highlights that, when resources are available, good monitoring outcomes can be achieved. Quality monitoring programs for threatened species, and biodiversity more generally, should be recognized as vital measures of a nation's progress, analogous and complementary to more widely-used economic and human health indicators.
       
  • Cost-effective protection of biodiversity in the western Amazon
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Janeth Lessmann, Javier Fajardo, Elisa Bonaccorso, Aaron Bruner The western Amazon needs to expand its protected-area system to ensure the conservation of its immense and threatened biodiversity. However, potential expansions often meet with resistance because of scarce government resources and competing social priorities. Here, we proposed an expansion of the protected-area system for the western Amazon that increases biodiversity conservation at minimum costs. We started by evaluating biological data to establish conservation targets for enhancing protection of 2419 species of plants and vertebrates. We then built a map that shows the variation in costs of effectively managing lands as protected areas. We also adapted an opportunity cost layer for agriculture and livestock to approximate realistic foregone incomes when a particular extent of land is protected. These cost estimates were used in a decision-support tool to find the most inexpensive places to achieve the conservation targets. We found that this cost-optimized expansion would reduce annual costs by 22% in comparison to an expansion planned without cost data. Moreover, without collaboration with indigenous peoples and without cooperation among the western Amazon countries costs would be 39% and 49% higher, respectively. The cost of the proposed expansion, estimated at US$ 100 million annually, is only a fraction of the regional Gross Domestic Product (0.018%). Thus, this study may help governments and conservation agencies to improve financial planning of the region's reserve network by maximizing species protection at more affordable costs.
       
  • A framework to evaluate animal welfare implications of policies on rhino
           horn trade
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Tessa Derkley, Duan Biggs, Matthew Holden, Clive Phillips There is currently fierce debate among rhino conservation stakeholders, scientists, and policy-makers over the legalisation of trade in rhino horn. Despite the prominent voice of animal welfare organisations in this debate and conservation more broadly, the welfare implications of a legal trade versus a trade ban have not been addressed. To explore this gap, we developed a framework to assess the welfare implications for white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) under different rhino horn trade policies. We surveyed rhino stakeholders in order to rank eleven welfare issues under a hypothetical legal trade versus a trade ban, and then calculated the resulting rhino welfare compromise under each policy. Results from expert input suggest that welfare compromise of legally-dehorned rhinos is substantially lower than welfare compromise of a poached animal. This is largely due to the differences in a rhino's physiological and psychological distress in response to being shot versus being immobilised with anaesthetics. Through a sensitivity analysis, we show how rhino welfare compromise changes with respect to the degree poaching levels could respond to legal trade (or a continued ban), from the scenario of low poaching pressure to the alternative scenario of increased poaching pressure. This analysis suggests that the policy that leads to the least poaching is likely best for improving rhino welfare because welfare compromise to poached individuals is much higher than the compromise from legally-dehorning a rhino. Our paper provides a framework to estimate and assess the welfare impacts of a hypothetical trade in rhino horn to inform policy debates.
       
  • Reviewing how intergenerational learning can help conservation biology
           face its greatest challenge
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): M. Nils Peterson, Kathryn T. Stevenson, Danielle F. Lawson Environmental problems can be resolved when the public is no longer willing to accept their risks and demands change (i.e., Reflexive Modernization). Notable examples include responses to the ozone hole and acid rain, but in an emerging post-truth world, politicization of conservation can result in adults ignoring risks and accepting the status quo (i.e., Anti-Reflexivity). This problem is particularly acute for conservation biology challenges linked to climate change. Although strategic framing of conservation messages can help overcome ideological barriers to conservation actions, additional methods are needed to engage citizens in addressing loss of biodiversity. We argue that child to parent intergenerational learning is an understudied but promising pathway to incite biodiversity conservation actions among children and adults. Children have unique perspectives on wildlife and conservation, are easily reached in schools, and are likely the best equipped to help parents navigate ideologically fraught topics in ways that create action. We review key practices of intergenerational learning and outline how its best practices may be integrated in conservation biology programming and research.
       
  • Uses, cultural significance, and management of peatlands in the Peruvian
           Amazon: Implications for conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Christopher Schulz, Manuel Martín Brañas, Cecilia Núñez Pérez, Margarita Del Aguila Villacorta, Nina Laurie, Ian T. Lawson, Katherine H. Roucoux Tropical peatlands play an important role in the global carbon cycle by acting as significant carbon stores. South America's largest peatland complex is located in the Loreto Region of the Peruvian Amazon. Here we present the first study of human relations with these peatlands, including their uses, cultural significance and current management, as well as implications for conservation, based on qualitative research with people living in two riverine rural communities. Our results indicate that peatlands are culturally ambiguous spaces, used mainly for hunting, palm fruit harvesting, and timber, but feared due to the dangers of getting lost, sinking into the ‘sucking’ ground, and being attacked by anacondas and/or mythical creatures. While the difficult terrain and remoteness of peatlands have thus far acted as natural barriers to their destruction through conversion to different land uses, overuse of natural resources is nevertheless a significant concern for people living in the peat-dominated landscape of the Peruvian Amazon, mixed with frustration about the lack of outside support to foster environmental conservation and economic opportunities. We explore how evaluations of the present situation differ across one indigenous and one mestizo community. We identify a range of nascent peatland conservation strategies, including seedling planting to regrow valuable (palm) trees, and the climbing of palm trees for harvesting fruit as opposed to felling them. We argue that peatland conservation could be combined with the development of sustainable management strategies, but that this would require sustained engagement by outside organisations with rapidly growing local communities in these areas.
       
  • Designing the landscape of coexistence: Integrating risk avoidance,
           habitat selection and functional connectivity to inform large carnivore
           conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Helena Rio-Maior, Mónia Nakamura, Francisco Álvares, Pedro Beja Large carnivores often inhabit human-dominated landscapes, where avoidance of anthropogenic risks can constrain their use of space and time. Large carnivore conservation thus requires designing landscapes of coexistence, which should provide suitable habitats and dispersal opportunities in areas shared with humans. This study investigates the landscape of coexistence for the Iberian wolf, using movement data from 15 individuals to model how human-related risks constrain the spatial distribution of habitats and functional connectivity in highly modified landscapes. Wolves avoided potential sources of human disturbance, particularly settlements, roads, trails and windfarms. Avoidance was generally stronger for residents than dispersers, and in daytime than in twilight and night. There was strong elevational segregation, particularly at night, with higher and lower elevations selected by residents and dispersers, respectively. Conductance surfaces indicated that resident wolves were largely restricted to fragmented mountainous areas less used by people, while they faced strong resistance to movement in more densely populated lowlands. Higher tolerance to humans facilitated the movement of dispersers through the landscape, though they had the additional constraint of avoiding resident wolves. There were well-defined dispersal corridors potentially connecting most wolf packs. Our results reinforce the need to prevent new sources of human disturbance such roads and wind farms in remnant areas used by resident wolves, and to preserve continuous dispersal corridors through areas heavily used by humans. More generally, designing landscapes of coexistence should target at facilitating the spatial and temporal segregation of human structures and activities from large carnivore breeding and dispersal habitats.Graphical abstractUnlabelled Image
       
  • Implications of farmland expansion for species abundance, richness and
           mean body mass in African raptor communities
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Phil Shaw, Micheal Kibuule, Dianah Nalwanga, George Kaphu, Michael Opige, Derek Pomeroy Globally, conversion of natural habitats to farmland poses the greatest extinction risk to birds, its consequences being especially pervasive in the case of large predators and scavengers, whose declines may trigger extensive cascading effects. Human population growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to drive a vast expansion in agricultural land by 2050, largely at the expense of pastoral land and savanna. The greatest expanse of suitable land yet to be converted to agriculture lies in East and Central Africa, including South Sudan, DRC and Tanzania. To gauge the effects of land conversion on raptor populations in this region we used road survey data from neighbouring Uganda, from which we determined linear encounter rates (birds seen 100 km−1; n = 33 species), and species richness (from 53 species). Encounter rates were much lower in pastoral land than in protected savanna (median difference: −41%; 23 species), and lower still in agricultural land (−90%; 24 species). These disparities were influenced by diet and body mass. For large eagles and vultures, encounter rates in agricultural land were 97% lower than in protected savanna (median of 12 species), whereas for smaller raptors they were 30% lower (12 species). Large, apex consumers were thus more vulnerable to farmland expansion, and this was reflected in the mean body mass of species encountered in savanna (1740 g), pastoral (995 g) and agricultural land (856 g). Body mass differences remained significant when vultures were excluded. Since threat status is linked to body mass, encounter rates for globally threatened and near-threatened species likewise showed a more pronounced deficit in farmland than those of least concern. Accordingly, pastoral and agricultural transects were less species-rich (10.6 and 6.7 raptor species 100 km−1, respectively) than savanna transects (13.2 species). Our findings suggest that the expansion of agricultural land in sub-Saharan Africa will reduce raptor populations in pastoral land and savanna by c. 50% and 90%, respectively. We propose that conservation efforts focus on identifying the causes of raptor population deficits in farmland, and on safeguarding tracts of unprotected, intact savanna, together with existing protected areas.
       
  • Mainstreaming biodiversity: A review of national strategies
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Penelope R. Whitehorn, Laetitia M. Navarro, Matthias Schröter, Miguel Fernandez, Xavier Rotllan-Puig, Alexandra Marques Biodiversity is suffering dramatic declines across the globe, threatening the ability of ecosystems to provide the services on which humanity depends. Mainstreaming biodiversity into the plans, strategies and policies of different economic sectors is key to reversing these declines. The importance of this mainstreaming is recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Aichi targets. Individual countries can implement the goals of the CBD through their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), which aim to, inter alia, support the mainstreaming of biodiversity into the policies of key economic sectors, such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries. This paper investigates the performance of countries at incorporating biodiversity mainstreaming into their post-2010 NBSAPs. We conduct a large-scale review of 144 NBSAPs against five criteria and calculate a national-level indicator for comparing levels of mainstreaming among countries. Our results show that developing countries, particularly those in Africa, have higher scores, indicating that they have a higher awareness of the importance of biodiversity mainstreaming. Developing nations were also more likely to involve a greater range of stakeholders in the NBSAP development process, whilst developed nations were less likely to give specific details about the monetary contributions of biodiversity to their economies. Overall, our findings suggest that biodiversity mainstreaming remains a challenge across much of the world, but that progress in some areas can provide direction and momentum in the future.
       
  • Importance of transmission line corridors for conservation of native bees
           and other wildlife
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): David L. Wagner, Kenneth J. Metzler, Henry Frye In forested regions, electric transmission line corridors often provide large linear expanses of managed early successional habitats for sun-loving plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates, many of which are legislatively protected or otherwise targets of conservation efforts. We sampled the bee fauna at 27 randomly selected sites along a 140-km (89-mile) segment of a transmission line that extends from Connecticut to New Hampshire. Each site contained two plots, one within the powerline corridor and another in a closely adjacent forest. Data were collected over a 12-week study period (late May to early August) with corridor plots yielding more than twice as many bee species and more than ten times the number of individuals than the forest plots. The aggregate richness for the 54 plots (=205 species) represents nearly half the bee fauna of New England with species estimation curves suggesting that many additional species were resident but went unsampled. Two globally rare species, Epeoloides pilosulus and Macropis ciliata, were documented from the powerline plots. The time-extended (five-year) vegetation management cycles currently used by many utility companies in New England result in a dynamic array of vegetation composition and structure that supports a multitude of bees as well as other insects, reptiles and amphibians, shrubland birds, small mammals, and other early successional taxa.
       
  • Long-term vegetation change in Scotland's native forests
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): A.J. Hester, A.J. Britton, R.L. Hewison, L.C. Ross, J.M. Potts Forests play a key role in climate change mitigation, adaptation and delivery of a range of ecosystem services. There is increasing evidence for impacts of climate and other drivers on plant community change, and fragmented habitats are predicted to be much less resilient to negative impacts on biodiversity and other services. Within Europe, Scotland's native forests are highly fragmented and now cover 4% of the land after many centuries of degradation and loss, but little is known about how their species composition has changed. We recorded long-term vegetation change (from resurvey data) and examined the relationships with climate, pollutant deposition and grazing as key drivers of change, focusing on four forest types: pine, ash, acid- and base-rich oak-birch. All four forest types showed dynamic compositional change during 30–50 years between surveys, with increased species richness and decreased diversity. There was no evidence for homogenisation - the opposite was the case for all except pine (no change). Analyses indicate significant and varied climate, pollution and grazing impacts; NHy deposition showed the most frequent association with species compositional changes. Notable species changes include increases in pteridophytes and declines in forb cover, and a doubling in frequency and cover of Fagus sylvatica between surveys. Our findings suggest a possible extinction debt, with many more species declining than increasing between surveys. This trajectory of change and our other findings indicate a pressing need for mitigation management to reduce the risks of future species losses, with forest expansion planning explicitly considering spatial location in relation to existing native forest and those plant species identified as most at risk.
       
  • Consumer demand and traditional medicine prescription of bear products in
           Vietnam
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Elizabeth Oneita Davis, Jenny Anne Glikman, Brian Crudge, Vinh Dang, Madelon Willemsen, Trang Nguyen, David O'Connor, Tuan Bendixsen The illegal trade in wildlife products is a major driver of the global biodiversity crisis. Trade in wildlife products is driven by consumer demand; however, consumer's motivations are often poorly understood. In this study, we use mixed social science approaches to understand the motivations driving consumers of bear products for medicine in Vietnam, and of traditional medicine practitioners who may be influencing consumers. In addition, we provide current information about the ways bear products are used in the two largest cities of Vietnam: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. We found that bear products are still used widely in Vietnam, despite their use being prohibited since 2006. We directly estimated use at 45% of the sample of consumers for Hanoi, and 18% for consumers in Ho Chi Minh City. However, bear products are used differently between the two cities, with Hanoians more likely to take bear medicine products to treat an ailment, versus Ho Chi Minh City, where it is taken as a daily tonic. We also found that some traditional medicine practitioners in Vietnam are continuing to prescribe bear products, despite medicinal prescription of bear bile being made illegal, and availability of traditional medicine herbal alternatives. Generally, use of bear products appears to still be widely acceptable in the country, indicating a need for changing the social norms of bear product consumption. The insights gathered here will be beneficial to conservation managers working in Vietnam and throughout the Southeast Asia region, and will be particularly informative for developing and implementing demand reduction campaigns.
       
  • Bringing objectivity to wildlife management: Welfare effects of guardian
           dogs
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 May 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): Benjamin L. Allen, Lee R. Allen, Guy Ballard, Marine Drouilly, Peter J.S. Fleming, Jordan O. Hampton, Matthew W. Hayward, Graham I.H. Kerley, Paul D. Meek, Liaan Minnie, M. Justin O'Riain, Daniel M. Parker, Michael J. Somers
       
  • High predation of marine turtle hatchlings near a coastal jetty
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 May 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): Phillipa Wilson, Michele Thums, Charitha Pattiaratchi, Scott Whiting, Kellie Pendoley, Luciana C. Ferreira, Mark Meekan Growing human populations are driving the development of coastal infrastructure such as port facilities. Here, we used passive acoustic telemetry to examine the effects of a jetty and artificial light on the rates of predation of flatback turtle (Natator depressus) hatchlings as they disperse through nearshore waters. When released near a jetty, around 70% of the tagged hatchlings were predated before they could transit the nearshore, irrespective of the presence or absence of artificial light. Only 3 to 23% of hatchlings encountered predators at a second study site nearby where there was no jetty and a similar amount of nesting activity. Evidence for predation was provided by rapid tag detachment due to prey handling by a predator or the extensive movement of the tags within the receiver array suggesting that the tag (and hatchling) was inside the stomach of a predator. We found that 70% of the fish predators that consumed tags used the jetty as a refuge during the day and expanded their range along nearshore waters at night, predating on hatchlings in areas adjacent to the jetty with the highest nesting density. Sampling of potential predators including lutjanid reef fishes under the jetty revealed the presence of turtle hatchlings in their gut contents. By providing daytime refuges for predators, nearshore structures such as jetties have the potential to concentrate predators and they may pose a significant threat to populations of vulnerable species. Such effects must be taken into consideration when assessing the environmental impacts associated with these structures.
       
  • Allen+et+al.+(2019)+“Animal+welfare+considerations+for+using+large+carnivores+and+guardian+dogs+as+vertebrate+biocontrol+tools+against+other+animals”&rft.title=Biological+Conservation&rft.issn=0006-3207&rft.date=&rft.volume=">Livestock guardian dogs and animal welfare: Comment on Allen et al. (2019)
           “Animal welfare considerations for using large carnivores and guardian
           dogs as vertebrate biocontrol tools against other animals”
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 May 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): Chris N. Johnson, Linda van Bommel, David Williams
       
  • How to close the science-practice gap in nature conservation'
           Information sources used by practitioners
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Yvonne Fabian, Kurt Bollmann, Peter Brang, Caroline Heiri, Roland Olschewski, Andreas Rigling, Silvia Stofer, Rolf Holderegger Professionals working in practical conservation management and scientists often complain about an information gap between science and practice. Which kinds of information sources are important to professionals and which do they use in their every-day work' Answering these questions and knowing more about the information sources used by conservation professionals would promote effective knowledge transfer from science to practice. We conducted a survey to identify the information sources used by Swiss professionals in nature conservation, including the forest sector. Experience-based information sources (e.g. personal experience, direct exchange with colleagues and experts) are more important for professionals in nature conservation than evidence-based sources (e.g. various print products such as guidelines, specialized journals in national languages, text books targeted to professionals). They were also more often used. Articles from international scientific journals are hardly ever consulted by conservation professionals. It is thus important that scientists engage as experts and take time for direct personal contact and exchange with conservation professionals (e.g. by offering field trips). Given that professionals have little time in their daily business for searching and implementing new scientific knowledge and results, short, audience-targeted and synthetizing publications in national languages as well as specialized websites should be provided by researchers. These measures are key to reduce the gap between science and practice in nature conservation.Article impact statementPersonal engagement and personal contact between scientists and conservation professionals are necessary to reduce the science-practice gap.
       
  • Are protected areas effective in conserving human connection with nature
           and enhancing pro-environmental behaviours'
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 April 2019Source: Biological ConservationAuthor(s): Victor Cazalis, Anne-Caroline Prévot Halting the on-going biodiversity crisis requires large individual behavioural changes through the implementation of more pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs) by every citizen. People’s experiences of nature, such as outdoor activities, have been identified as great enhancers of such behaviours. Yet, these experiences of nature got scarcer in the last decades, due to an increased spatial segregation between human and nature, particularly in societies that follow a Western way of life. In this context, we wondered if protected areas (PAs), because they offer more opportunities for people to be in contact with natural landscapes and offer more ecological information and governance than other places, could enlarge the implementation of PEBs for people living in or close from them. We addressed this question by modelling the link between three types of PEBs in Metropolitan France (i.e., voting for Green party candidates, joining or donating to biodiversity conservation NGOs and participating in a biodiversity monitoring citizen science program) and the proximity to large PAs. Innovatively, we addressed this question at national level, with exhaustive data collected in more than 16,000 French municipalities with more than 500 inhabitants. All models controlled for difference in population size, average income and proportion of retired people between municipalities. We found that each of the studied PEBs decreased with distance of the municipality to PAs, even after having controlled by the naturalness of municipalities' surroundings. Our results suggest that, beyond their effect through exposure to natural landscapes, PAs affect PEBs by the institutional context they create. Additionally, PEBs were higher inside PAs than in close surroundings, suggesting that, besides restrictions brought by PAs on inhabitants, a fraction of the population responds positively to their implementation. Our results suggest that PAs can play a role in enhancing environmental friendly ways of life by conserving human’s connection with nature.
       
  • Uplisting of Malagasy precious woods critical for their survival
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Patrick O. Waeber, Derek Schuurman, Bruno Ramamonjisoa, Marion Langrand, Charles V. Barber, John L. Innes, Porter P. Lowry, Lucienne Wilmé Illegal timber trade is a global issue; highly prized rosewoods are mainly sourced from Africa and Madagascar. In Madagascar, where corruption and political instability are rampant, forest regulations have been issued during the last 15 years to facilitate illegal rosewood exploitation. The current situation precludes non-detriment findings (under which the exporting State ensures that a proposed action will not be detrimental to the survival of a species) intended to enable sustainable use of standing populations, but the Malagasy government, backed by the World Bank, is promoting the sale of massive stocks of confiscated precious wood. We argue that allowing the sale of these stocks would encourage further illegal harvest. No suitable tools are available to identify, control or monitor standing trees or cut timber, and there are substantial knowledge gaps regarding species limits, population sizes, distribution and abundance. When combined with taxonomic confusion and weak governance, these factors necessitate uplifting all of Madagascar's precious woods to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
       
  • Conservation prioritization for seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) at broad
           spatial scales considering socioeconomic costs
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Xiong Zhang, Amanda C.J. Vincent Identifying priority habitats at broad spatial scales is increasingly required for marine species, which generally have large geographic ranges. However, this is challenging due to the lack of techniques and data. Here we initiated prioritization studies for a genus of flagship species, seahorses (Hippocampus spp.), at a national scale (in China) and worldwide. Our target was to protect at least 2000 km2 area of occupancy (AOO) for each species at minimum costs. We first conducted a gap analysis to examine the coverage of existing marine protected areas (MPAs, both multiple-use MPAs and no-take MPAs) on species' AOO. We then used Marxan, a typical prioritization tool, to set priority habitats for species that didn't meet our target. We did this in different socioeconomic scenarios and overlaid their priority solutions to identify spatial convergence and divergence, representing final solutions for no-take reserves and multiple-use areas, respectively. We compared the utility of Marxan's outputs (best solution vs. selection frequency) in deriving better final solutions (more no-take areas, less patchy, lower cost). Our gap analysis indicated that species' AOOs were mainly covered by multiple-use MPAs, flagging the uncertain efficacy of existing MPAs in protecting seahorses. The two outputs of Marxan derived similar priority solutions, with the selection-frequency output tended to perform better than the best-solution output. We identified new priority habitats for seahorses to inform MPA establishment in China and worldwide. Our study provides useful techniques to derive marine conservation priorities under different socioeconomic constraints at very broad spatial scales.
       
  • Addendum to “Estimating habitat loss due to wind turbine avoidance by
           bats: Implications for European siting guidance” [Biol. Conserv.] 226,
           205–214: Wind turbine impact on bat activity is not driven by siting
           altitude
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Kévin Barré, Isabelle Le Viol, Yves Bas, Romain Julliard, Christian Kerbiriou
       
  • Integrating Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) conservation into
           development and restoration planning in Sabah (Borneo)
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Żaneta Kaszta, Samuel A. Cushman, Andrew J. Hearn, Dawn Burnham, Ewan A. Macdonald, Benoit Goossens, Senthilvel K.S.S. Nathan, David W. Macdonald Changes in land use/cover are the main drivers of global biodiversity loss, and thus tools to evaluate effects of landscape change on biodiversity are crucial. In this study we integrated several methods from landscape ecology and landscape genetics into a GIS-based analytical framework, and evaluated the impacts of development and forest restoration scenarios on landscape connectivity, population dynamics and genetic diversity of Sunda clouded leopard in the Malaysian state of Sabah. We also investigated the separate and interactive effects of changing mortality risk and connectivity. Our study suggested that the current clouded leopard population size is larger (+26%) than the current carrying capacity of the landscape due to time lag effects and extinction debt. Additionally, we predicted that proposed developments in Sabah may decrease landscape connectivity by 23% and, when including the increased mortality risk associated with these developments, result in a 40–63% decrease in population size and substantial reduction in genetic diversity. These negative impacts could be mitigated only to a very limited degree through extensive and targeted forest restoration. Our results suggest that realignment of roads and railways based on resistance to movement, without including mortality risk, might be misleading and may in some cases lead to decrease in population size. We therefore recommend that efforts to optimally plan road and railway locations base the optimization on effects of development on population size, density and distribution rather than solely on population connectivity.
       
  • Major roads have important negative effects on insectivorous bat activity
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Fabien Claireau, Yves Bas, Julie Pauwels, Kévin Barré, Nathalie Machon, Benjamin Allegrini, Sébastien J. Puechmaille, Christian Kerbiriou The development of transportation infrastructure has been identified as one of the main pressures on biodiversity. The effects of transport infrastructure are more documented for terrestrial mammals, birds and amphibians than for bats. To assess the impacts of roads on bat activity, we carried out full-night acoustic recordings of bat calls at 306 sampling points at different distances from a major road at three study sites in France. To assess the relationship between bat activity and the distance to the major road, we performed generalized linear mixed model analyses for thirteen different species or groups and additionally explored the non-linear effect with generalized additive mixed models. Our results showed that low-flying species are more affected than high-flying species. Indeed, we found a significant negative effect of major roads on bat activity for the ‘clutter-adapted’ species, Eptesicus serotinus, Myotis spp., Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Rhinolophus hipposideros. These results demonstrate that the road-effect zone of major roads extends up to five kilometres. Extrapolating those road-effects zones to the major roads in the European Union, we estimated that 35% of the European Union is potentially negatively impacted. Finally, it seems urgent to consider these road effects with the cumulative effects of other roads by improving habitat connectivity and foraging areas in land use policies. Additionally, to implement drastic conservation practices for species of conservation concern in environmental impact assessment studies, efficient mitigation and offset measures implemented should be sized proportionally to the disturbance caused.
       
  • Non-consumptive effects of predation in large terrestrial mammals: Mapping
           our knowledge and revealing the tip of the iceberg
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Elise Say-Sallaz, Simon Chamaillé-Jammes, Hervé Fritz, Marion Valeix Studies on invertebrates and small vertebrates demonstrated the underappreciated importance of the non-consumptive effects (NCE) of predators on their prey. Recently, there has been a growing interest for such effects in large vertebrates. Here, we review the empirical literature on large carnivore-ungulate systems to map our knowledge of predation NCE (from trait modification to the consequences on prey populations), and identify the gaps in our approaches that need to be fulfilled to reach a comprehensive understanding of these NCE. This review reveals (i) biases in the studies towards North American (and to a lesser extent African) ecosystems, protected areas, and investigation of NCE by wolf Canis lupus (and to a lesser extent African lion Panthera leo); (ii) a diversification of the systems studied in the past decade, which led to contrasted conclusions about the existence of NCE; (iii) that most existing work studied the effects caused by one predator only, even in ecosystems characterized by a rich carnivore community; and (iv) that the majority of the literature on NCE focused on the anti-predator behavioural responses of prey, whereas this is only the tip of the iceberg of NCE. Indeed, little is known on the other NCE components (energetic costs, stress, reproduction, survival, and population dynamics) and the links between the different components. Linking anti-predator behavioural responses to demography is thus the key challenge ahead of us to fully understand the NCE of predators on their prey in large mammals.
       
  • Species splitting increases estimates of evolutionary history at risk
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Marine Robuchon, Daniel P. Faith, Romain Julliard, Boris Leroy, Roseli Pellens, Alexandre Robert, Charles Thévenin, Simon Véron, Sandrine Pavoine Changes in species concepts and the rapid advances in DNA-based taxonomy and phylogeny of the past decades have led to increasing splits of single species into several new species. The consequences of such splits include the delineation of post-split species that may have restricted ranges and potentially increased extinction risks. Species splitting also leads to a re-evaluation of phylogenetic trees, with post-split trees having more species, but species that are less evolutionarily distinctive compared to pre-split trees. Such changes in extinction risks and distinctiveness may influence strategies for the conservation of phylogenetic diversity (PD). In this study, we evaluated the effect of splitting a species into two sister species on two widely used measures to evaluate PD at risk: (i) the expected loss of phylogenetic diversity associated with a set of species and, (ii) for each species, the gain in the expected phylogenetic diversity if the species is saved from extinction. We developed theoretical predictions and then explored these in a real-world case study of species splitting in the Rhinocerotidae family. Species splitting increases both of our measures related to PD at risk, implying underestimation of PD at risk when valid species splitting is not recognised. This bias may lead to suboptimal conservation decisions: the subset of species or sites given priority for conservation may be different from the subset that actually deserves priority conservation attention. We discuss how our findings can be applied to more complex studies and the perspectives this highlights for accommodating new taxonomic knowledge in conservation strategies.
       
  • Modelling biodiversity change in agricultural landscape scenarios - A
           review and prospects for future research
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Pierre Chopin, Göran Bergkvist, Laure Hossard Increased intensity of agriculture and landscape homogenization are threatening biodiversity in landscapes. We reviewed 67 case studies addressing the impact of agriculture on biodiversity in model based scenario approaches and compared the information they provide on biodiversity, spatial characteristics, scenarios, and landscapes. We found an overall large diversity of approaches that we summarized statistically into six groups. “Biodiversity based agent based models”, “Expert based exploration of land use change with GIS” and “Land use approaches of biodiversity with spatially explicit statistical model” are specialized biodiversity studies with high complexity in terms of biodiversity modelling with agent-based models or mechanistic models. On the other hand, “Bioeconomic modelling of policy impacts in favor of restoration of beneficial habitats”, “Participatory simulation studies of landscape futures” and “Large scale multi criteria studies of innovative scenarios with optimization” do not consider species' behavior or landscape configuration, but do address a large range of socioeconomic and environmental issues. As a contribution to developing quantitative and policy-relevant biodiversity conservation studies in landscape, we present the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. We then suggest combining different approaches, particularly with the use of agent-based models and mechanistic models, integrating spatially explicit drivers of biodiversity change and the socio-economic context of farming in a participatory manner. We give recommendations on the inclusion of more taxa in future studies and collaboration between scientists from different disciplines to develop innovative solutions that can halt the biodiversity decline in agricultural landscapes.
       
  • Interpersonal competencies define effective conservation leadership
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2019Source: Biological Conservation, Volume 235Author(s): Eve Englefield, Simon A. Black, Jamieson A. Copsey, Andrew T. Knight Effective leadership is considered essential for conservation success, but there is currently not enough understanding of what conservation leaders are doing, and what they should be doing, in order to be effective. Other sectors, such as health, commerce, education, industry and the military have studied leadership for decades, and have a good knowledge of particular styles and suitable instruments for measuring leadership effectiveness. This study uses the perspectives of conservation professionals through interviews, a focus group and an online survey, to help develop a more comprehensive picture of the role of leaders, and leadership, within the discipline. The study concludes that competencies that relate to interpersonal leadership skills are key for effectiveness, particularly building trust amongst followers. However, leaders in conservation are not showing these to the same extent as they are showing more technical skills. Future conservation training schemes should incorporate these competencies to ensure leaders are effective. Greater understanding can help inform conservation professionals who wish to invest in leadership development schemes to improve effectiveness across conservation initiatives.
       
 
 
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