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Tropical Conservation Science
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.692
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1940-0829 - ISSN (Online) 1940-0829
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1176 journals]
  • Understanding Governance in the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere
           Reserve: An Empirical Approach

    • Authors: Víctor Gómez-Valenzuela, Harro Van Lente, Katerin Ramírez, Solhanlle Bonilla-Duarte
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and research aim: This paper analyses the governance in the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve (RBJBE), located in the southwest of the Dominican Republic along the borders with the Republic of Haiti. Methods: Construction and validation of an integrated scale of good governance and its subsequent analysis using factorial methods were carried out to identify good governance factors, and then regression analysis was performed. Results: Participation and coordination mechanisms are key factors in explaining governance of the biosphere reserve and critical factors in supporting a transition from an AINH (as if nothing happened) governance mode to good governance. Conclusion: The RBJBE operates in an AINH governance mode with opportunities to improve by promoting more qualified stakeholders' participation. It effectively facilitates interaction between stakeholders who share a diverse landscape mosaic, considering their interests, perspectives, and knowledge of natural resources. Implications for conservation: Considering the AINH governance in the RBJBE context and extending it to similar BR scenarios in Latin America and the Caribbean, one key implication focuses on implementing effective participation mechanisms and social engagement of stakeholders, as well as improving zoning and land use planning strategies linked to a more integrative landscape approach to conservation and local development objectives.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-11-27T07:53:40Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231218653
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Assessment of challenges and opportunities for wildlife conservation in
           Wenchi highlands, central Ethiopia

    • Authors: Kabeta Legese, Afework Bekele
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research AimsBiodiversity loss is a recent global crisis largely due to intense anthropogenic pressures. A study was conducted in Wenchi highlands in the late 2020 and early 2021 to explore the major challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation.MethodsData were collected using semi–structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and direct observations from four relatively accessible highland villages. The questionnaires were administered to 395 randomly selected household farmers based on their accessibility, presence of natural forest remnants and proximity to an iconic Lake Wenchi.ResultsThe types of natural resource utilizations (χ2=87.94, df=4, P < 0.05) and the attitudes of the local community varied among the respondents (χ2=110.92, df=2, P < 0.05). The majority of the respondents used the natural resources as sources of firewood (70.19%) and for cattle grazing (63.51%). Most of the community members (56.47%) had a positive attitude towards biodiversity conservation. Only 12.14% had no idea about biodiversity conservation. The study also identified land-use changes, exotic plantations, soil erosion, illegal land grabbing, and burning of ericaceous belts as the major conservation challenges in the area. The severity level of conservation threats also varied significantly (χ2=243.519, df=6, P < 0.05). Overgrazing, firewood collection and land-use changes were the most serious biodiversity challenges. A unique topographic beauty, rich floras and faunas, recent global and regional recognitions, positive outlooks of the local people, and ecotourism development projects in the area were the main possible conservation opportunities.ConclusionAnthropogenic activities severely threatened Wenchi montane forests and wildlife therein. Potential conservation opportunities in the area, however, opens up the door for future conservation actions.Implications for conservationWenchi highlands face severe conservation threats and need urgent conservation priorities and actions.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-10-25T12:38:41Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231212070
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Discovery of a suburban wetland refuge for a depleted American crocodile
           (Crocodylus acutus) population in northwestern Mexico, using a commercial
           Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

    • Authors: Emigdio Marín-Enríquez, Pierre Charruau, Luis Adán Félix-Salazar
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research AimsThe Urías Coastal Lagoon (UCL) is a heavily modified and polluted lagoon near Mazatlán, in northwestern Mexico. Once abundant in the UCL, the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is now rarely seen in the area. A healthy population of apex predators is essential to maintain the trophic balance of ecosystems. Our research aim was to lay the groundwork for studies of American crocodile population ecology in the UCL.MethodsTraditional boat surveys (day and night) of crocodiles were undertaken in the UCL in May-July 2022. Two exploratory aerial (∼ 30 m altitude) surveys of a small wetland located close to a habitational complex in the vicinity of the UCL were performed in June and December 2022, using a commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). We used images obtained with the UAV to estimate the size of the crocodiles detected in the wetland.ResultsThis study confirms the presence of American crocodiles in the UCL and presents the first information on individuals of this species for this area. Aerial surveys revealed the presence of 17 individuals in the wetland; the mean size of nine of those individuals was 183.3 ± 60 cm (range: 130-310 cm). Two yearlings (∼37 cm length), possibly born in June 2022, were captured in the same wetland in September 2022. We also surveyed 50.7 km of UCL coastline by boat, but no crocodiles were sighted.ConclusionThe crocodiles seem to avoid the human-impacted UCL and likely use the less impacted surrounding wetlands as a refuge area, which they also use to reproduce. The presence of both yearlings and adults is a good sign for the survival of this vulnerable population.Implications for ConservationWe believe that the surveyed wetland should be closely monitored for conservation purposes because it might be one of the last crocodile breeding refuges in the heavily modified and polluted coastal environment of the UCL. We summarize our results with a series of recommendations for local and federal authorities. These recommendations would likely help the conservation of the American crocodile population in the UCL.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-10-18T12:44:36Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231209848
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Genetic and Ecological Divergence of Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila
           (Aves: Trochilidae) Continental Populations Separated by Geographical and
           Environmental Barriers

    • Authors: Evelyn González-Rodríguez, Antonio Acini Vásquez-Aguilar, Juan Francisco Ornelas
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research Aims: Historical geological events and climatic changes have played important roles in shaping population differentiation and distribution within species. Amazilia rutila (Trochilidae) is a widespread hummingbird species in the tropical dry forest along the Pacific slope and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Methods: We used mitochondrial DNA sequence, ecological niche modelling and niche divergence tests to determine the effects of major geographic barriers and environmental variability on genetic and niche divergence of A. rutila continental populations. Results: Our results revealed three genetic groups without haplotype sharing corresponding to the distribution of individuals/populations from the Pacific slope W of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (PAC), in Oaxaca and Chiapas E of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CHIS_OAX) and those from the Yucatán Peninsula and Guatemala (YUC). Values of neutrality tests suggest past demographic expansion without effective population size changes over time, and the time since the demographic expansion ranged between 39.4 and 84.45 ka BP. Each genetic group differed in their position in environmental space, with low-to-very limited overlap in the fundamental climatic niche dimensions of all groups analyzed, particularly between YUC and PAC. Analysis of climate differentiation and ecological niche comparisons showed that the environmental space occupied by these mtDNA groups is similar but not identical. Conclusion: We conclude that the genetic differentiation of A. rutila is consistent with a model of population isolation by geographical barriers and environmental differences. Inferences about the consequences of past demographic expansion and isolation underlying intraspecific evolutionary relationships await further study. Implications for Conservation: Our findings highlight the importance of preserving evolutionary significant units of this widespread hummingbird species. Conservation actions must consider intrinsic requirements of evolutionarily distinct populations and the environmental drivers that shape their distributions, maximizing preservation of intraspecific genetic variability and monitoring changes in genetic diversity.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-10-05T06:01:01Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231205019
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Fine-Scale Spatial Genetic Structure of Remnant Populations of Abies
           religiosa, in a Temperate Forest in Central Mexico

    • Authors: Bárbara Cruz-Salazar, Maricela García-Bautista, Lorena Ruiz-Montoya, José Luis Martínez-y Pérez
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Genetic structure of a population can be molded by the resistance of the landscape or the distance between populations that function as barriers to gene flow. We analyzed the population genetic structure of Abies religiosa on a fine spatial scale and examined isolation models by resistance and distance. We collected vegetative tissue from populations located at the altitudinal extremes of the distribution range of the species on three slopes of La Malinche National Park (LMNP) (South, North, and East) in central Mexico. Genomic DNA was obtained using the CTAB 2X method, and eight microsatellite chloroplast loci were amplified. The genetic structure was identified based on an Analysis of Molecular Variance, a Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components with cross-validation and a spatial Principal Component Analysis using the Gabriel-type connectivity network. The isolation hypotheses were evaluated by constructing partial Mantel tests using Reciprocal Causal Modeling and Maximum Likelihood Population Effects models. A genetic structure of isolation by resistance to elevation was identified, and two genetic groups were recognized: one including populations of the South slope and the other comprising populations of the North and East slopes. We detected in Abies religiosa populations of the LMNP an isolation by resistance to elevation that determines the genetic structure, and the greatest genetic exchange between groups of populations located at higher altitudes. It is suggested to promote the connectivity between slopes through assisted migration and immediately halt land-use changes, as part of the actions to preserve genetic diversity in the LMPN. This study contributes to the knowledge of the spatial genetic structure of species at risk in the Mexican temperate forest for their conservation.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-09-14T03:47:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231202590
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Genetic Relationship Between Founders of a Threatened Freshwater Turtle in
           a Mexican Wildlife Management Unit. A Conservation Strategy

    • Authors: Manuel Ignacio Gallardo-Alvarez, Julia María Lesher-Gordillo, Salima Machkour-M’Rabet, Claudia Elena Zenteno-Ruíz, León David Olivera-Gómez, Elsi Beatriz Recino-Reyes, Heidi Beatriz Montejo-Méndez, Guadalupe Gómez-Carrasco, Aminta Hernández-Marín, Alejandra Valdés-Marín
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Management Units for Wildlife Conservation (UMAs according to its Spanish acronym), are used for the ex-situ reproduction of freshwater turtles. These areas, often administered by local communities, are dedicated to conservation and sustainable management. The critically endangered freshwater turtle Dermatemys mawii has been successfully reproduced in several UMAs; however, no genetic management plan has been developed to maintain offspring genetic variability. Therefore, this study aims to determine the kinship relationship and homozygosity through the loci index of founder individuals in three UMAs devoted to the reproduction of D. mawii for the establishment of breeding groups. We collected skin samples of D. mawii in 2017 from 117 founder individuals from three UMAs located in the state of Tabasco, southeast Mexico. Ten specific D. mawii microsatellite markers were used for genotyping the founder individuals. We estimated the pedigree relationship between founders and proposed the formation of three breeding groups to optimize the use of related and non-related individuals to meet UMA-specific objectives and evaluated the genetic diversity retention of the breeding groups. The breeding groups were integrated as follows: 1) conservation breeding group consisting of 16 unrelated females and 7 unrelated males that presented a lower level of homozygosity (< 0.4); 2) research breeding group consisting of 45 females and 16 males that were unrelated or presented a half-sibling relationship and with a medium level of homozygosity ( 0.6). Genetic diversity retention (Ho, He) was highest for the conservation breeder group and research breeder group. UMAs can create 3 breeding groups with different objectives: 1) species conservation, 2) research, and 3) sustainable use of species. All breeding groups can retain genetic diversity. Our proposal can enrich conservation actions and sustainable use for D. mawii at both national and international levels, specifically within the Mesoamerican corridor.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-09-06T08:08:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231197966
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Bears in the Russian Far East illegally exploited for meat, medicine and

    • Authors: Lalita Gomez, Pavel Toropov, Chris R. Shepherd
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research AimsRussia is a key source of bear parts in illegal trade but bear trade dynamics within the country is unknown. This study aims to address this gap by examining the legal and illegal international trade of bears in the Russian Far East.MethodsIllegal trade of bears from the Russian Far East was analysed using seizure data from the Russian customs authorities from 2015 to 2019, while legal trade was analysed using CITES trade data.ResultsThere were 116 seizures of bears involving the Russian Far East. Bear paws, claws and gall bladders were the main commodities seized revealing a demand for meat, trophies and medicine. During the same timeframe, Russia legally exported bear trophies, parts and derivatives to 55 countries and territories. Trophies were largely destined to the US and European countries whereas bear gall bladders, paws and derivates to Hong Kong.ConclusionThis study shows that bears in Russia are threatened by poaching and illegal trade. They are killed for their gall bladders which are exported to Asian markets. They are also killed and exported as trophies predominantly to the US and European countries. As a game resource, Russia permits the hunting of Asiatic black bears and brown bears within established harvest quotas. Despite this, bears are being illegally killed and trafficked beyond Russia’s borders in violation of national laws and CITES trade regulations.Implications for ConservationIllegally sourced bear parts from Russia have been found in numerous countries across the globe. Further research is needed to quantify the overall illegal trade from Russia to understand the impact illegal offtake and trade has on wild bear populations in Russia. Further, the hunting of bears in Russia warrants greater regulation and monitoring to prevent the poaching of their parts for trade.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-08-18T07:33:28Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231191061
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • “Variable Effects of Tourist Presence on the Activity Budget of
           Alouatta pigra”

    • Authors: Olga Nelly Rodríguez-Peña, Marco Tulio Oropeza Sánchez, Ana María González-Di Pierro
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and ResearchWildlife tourism has been considered a useful tool for conservation in some contexts and found to cause diverse effects on biodiversity. We investigated the effect of the number of tourists on wild black howler monkeys’ (Alouatta pigra) behavior at the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (MABR), in the Lacandona forest in Mexico.MethodsWe used 5-min focal animal sampling, during dry and rainy seasons. We recorded five common behaviors in three wild groups naturally exposed to different degrees of human disturbance (Station, River and Board) without tourists, 5 and 10 tourists.ResultsFive and 10 tourists increased locomoting and reduced socializing, however, differently affected activities’ allocation time in the monkeys’ groups: in Board, 10 tourists reduced monkeys feeding; ii) in River, 10 tourists reduced socializing; and iii) in Station, 5 tourists increased feeding and reduced socializing, and 10 tourists reduced socializing.ConclusionsWatching tourism activities affect behavior differently in groups of Alouatta pigra in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in in the Mexican state of Chiapas, emphasizing the importance of regulating tourism programs for the conservation of endangered species.Implications for ConservationAlthough longer-term studies controlling for additional variables are needed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of tourism on wild howler populations, the results from this study remain valuable as a baseline for understanding such effects and for proposing initial strategies to reduce tourism-induced disturbance.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-08-18T06:10:40Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231188622
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Towards recovery of an endangered Pacific island endemic: Experimental
           evidence for shortening juvenility of Serianthes plants using a shade and
           trellis system to generate vigorous growth and precocious flowering

    • Authors: Thomas E. Marler
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research AimsConservationists aiming to establish seed orchards or restoration plantings benefit from methods that reduce tree juvenility. Previous studies suggest that seedling and sapling mortality is the major limitation to natural population recovery of the critically endangered Serianthes nelsonii. To enable effective restoration actions new methods are required to reduce sapling mortality.MethodsEx situ experiments were used to determine if trellised, shaded growth conditions would reduce juvenility of Serianthes saplings. Serianthes kanehirae was used as a surrogate for S. nelsonii. Stem growth was trained horizontally to a wire trellis in shaded tunnels of differing lengths (0, 3, 6, 9 or 12 m). Time to reach the end of each tunnel, and subsequent vertical stem growth in full sun were recorded until flower production commenced.ResultsThe shortest S. kanehirae juvenile phase occurred under 12 m tunnels, with first flower production within a year (351 ± 10 days, mean ± SE). The juvenile phase increased in duration as tunnel length shortened. The control plants did not produce flowers during the study.ConclusionHorizontal trellised support of shaded stems was effective in reducing juvenile phase duration of Serianthes saplings.Implications for ConservationSerianthes seed orchards may use shaded trellises to produce seeds on young plants to rapidly boost species recovery efforts. The production of seeds in managed conservation gardens may improve recovery efforts by reducing the need to remove seeds from in situ communities. Therefore, this simple protocol may prove beneficial for both in situ and ex situ conservation of all federally listed woody plant species in the region.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-07-24T09:09:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231190823
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Evaluating the Financial Effectiveness of Funded Projects on Tiger
           Conservation in Bangladesh

    • Authors: Ibrahim Abdullah Mannan, Mohammad Sujauddin, Md. Shawkat Islam Sohel
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research AimsThe conservation of Bengal tigers is a global concern due to their exponential decline in population around the world. In 2010, all Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) committed to double their tiger population by 2022. As a member of the TRCs, Bangladesh has launched and conducted many tiger conservation projects with a heavy financial investment. However, the tiger population has not increased in the country. Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate why those funded projects’ outcomes were unsatisfactory compared to neighboring countries such as India and Nepal.MethodsThis review was conducted purely based on previous archival tiger conservation related documents. Six specific tiger conservation projects implemented in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal were selected to investigate the effectiveness of tiger conservation in Bangladesh. Allocated fund distributions were segmented into five groups: capacity building, planning policy and reports, infrastructural development, tiger–human conflict (THC) reduction, and in-field actions to increase the tiger population.ResultsThe analysis showed that India and Nepal spent most of their budget on in-field activities and least on planning. A moderate amount was spent on THC reduction, capacity building, and infrastructural development. In contrast, Bangladesh spent the majority of its fund on planning. India and Nepal also developed a sustainable funding mechanism to reduce their dependency on donor agencies, which was absent in the case of Bangladesh.ConclusionIt is recommended that future tiger conservation initiatives in Bangladesh should address more in-field action, such as patrolling to stop poaching and the illegal extraction of resources, sustainable long-term alternative income generation activities, and health issues such as identifying diseases, inbreeding effects, and captive breeding.Implications for ConservationBangladesh needs to develop a sustainable long-term funding mechanism for in-field actions for tiger protection.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-07-15T07:25:18Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231188648
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Current State of Knowledge of P├íramo Amphibians in Colombia: Spatio
           Temporal Trends and Information Gaps to Be Strengthened for Effective

    • Authors: Liliana Patricia Saboyá Acosta, J. Nicolás Urbina-Cardona
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research Aims: Globally, Colombia is the country with the largest extent of Páramos (delimited in 36 complexes) and with the greatest number of amphibian species in this ecosystem. This work consolidated scientific literature on the amphibians of the Colombian Páramos to characterize temporal, taxonomic, thematic, and geographic patterns, which allow us to identify information gaps that must be fulfilled to achieve effective species conservation. Methods: We conducted a systematic literature survey with seven different search strategies and generated a database. We read each document's Abstract, Methods, Study Area, Results, and supplementary material, following the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) protocol. Results: We found 405 documents published between 1863 and 2021. The composition and richness of 142 amphibian species (95 endemics to Colombia), presented significant differences in Páramo complexes and between sectors. Since 2000, the diversity of research topics has increased with a high proportion of studies on Natural History, Systematics and Taxonomy, and Conservation, distributed between 19 and 22 of the departments with Páramos in their jurisdiction. However, much of this knowledge concentrates in less than 20% of total species in just 6% of Páramos complexes. Conclusion: We found critical shortfalls in taxonomy, spatial information, and conservation actions on Páramos amphibians. We need to increase studies that include field data in more geographic areas and research topics, such as Population and Community ecology, Natural history (from a quantitative approach), Infectious disease, and Ecophysiology. Implications for Conservation: The scientific information gaps represent a challenge in generating effective strategies to conserve Páramo amphibians, considering the high degree of endemism and threats to these species. More than 80% of the Páramo amphibian species only have the information of their descriptions and little is known about their ecological requirements, population size, or data related to specific threats.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-04-20T11:15:18Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231169984
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Climate-Smart Conservation Agriculture, Farm Values and Tenure Security:
           Implications for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Congo

    • Authors: Ernest L. Molua, Denis Sonwa, Youssoufa Bele, Bernard Foahom, Jean Pierre Mate Mweru, Salomon Mampeta Wa Bassa, Martial Gapia, Felix Ngana, Assoua Eyong Joe, Emile Mulotwa Masumbuko
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research Aims: Agriculture through deforestation is an important threat to biodiversity conservation in the Congo Basin’s tropical forest. The policy challenge is not only to promote adaptation to perceived climate change but also to promote forest conservation. The aim of this study is to provide empirical evidence on the impact of farm-level investments in climate-smart agricultural practices related to conservation agriculture in some Congo Basin countries. The hypothesis is that property rights to land and trees play a fundamental role in governing the patterns of investment, forestland management for conservation, as well as in the profitability of agriculture. Methods: A Simulated Maximum Likelihood Estimation using a Mixed Logit model is used to test farmers’ choice of agricultural system and a farmland value model for each agricultural system which includes determinants of tenure or property rights, climate, soils, and socioeconomic variables such as education and gender. The data was collected from more than 600 farms covering 12 regions and 45 divisions in 3 countries, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Results: Farmers choose one of three agricultural systems to maximize farm profit mindful of the current tenure regime and environmental conditions. Conservation agriculture techniques within climate-smart practices show benefits for smallholder farmers through improvements in soil health, soil moisture retention and enhanced crop yields. The rights to access, withdraw, manage, as well as exclude others from land and trees affect both the farmers' choice of system and the profit earned from the chosen system. Conclusion: Farm-level investments improve farm incomes and enhance conservation effort for farmers perceiving climate change. Implications for Conservation: Climate change adaptation through planting of trees improves soil stability, restores ecosystems and creates a safe haven for biodiversity. Secure land tenure promotes better forestland management and reduces land degradation in vulnerable communities.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-04-17T06:32:01Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231169980
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Socioecological Assessment of Mammal Assemblages in Small Oil-Palm
           Plantations in a Highly Deforested Region in Mexico

    • Authors: Montserrat Franquesa-Soler, Fernando Ocampo-Saure, Francisco Mora, Gabriel P. Andrade-Ponce, Ellen Andresen
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research Aims: A great challenge in tropical-forest regions, is to build socioecosystems that ensure both biodiversity conservation and people’s wellbeing. Oil-palm plantations are profitable, but they can have negative impacts on biodiversity. Most information on the impacts of this crop comes from large plantations. However, in some regions, small plantations predominate and lessons derived from the large-estate context may not be applicable. Here, we carried out a socioecological assessment of mammals in small oil-palm plantations in a highly deforested region in Mexico, with the aim of guiding conservation efforts. Methods: We sampled mammals> 0.5 kg in 11 small plantations ( 0.5 kg en 11 pequeñas plantaciones de palma aceitera (< 60 ha) con cámaras trampa durante 1 año. Evaluamos los efectos de dos variables de paisaje (cobertura forestal, distancia al bosque) y dos variables de la plantación (área, edad). También entrevistamos a los agricultores para conocer la presencia de mamíferos en sus plantaciones y sus percepciones sobre los beneficios y/o costos asociados a esos mamíferos. Resultados: Foto-capturamos 20 especies y los agricultores reportaron 4 más en las entrevistas. La diversidad de mamíferos se relacionó negativamente con la distancia de la plantación al bosque; la composición de los ensambles se asoció con todas las variables, excepto el área de la plantación. Los beneficios que los agricultores asociaron con los mamíferos fueron mayormente utilitarios (e.g., carne de monte). Los costos percibidos como serios, estuvieron relacionados a la pérdida de animales domésticos y otros cultivos. Conclusión: En una región altamente deforestada de México, las plantaciones de palma aceitera pueden ser hábitat temporal para algunas especies de mamíferos. Al combinar las dimensiones ecológica y social, podemos mejorar nuestra comprensión de los factores que facilitan o dificultan la conservación de los mamíferos en los paisajes agrícolas. Implicaciones para la conservación: Identificamos dos acciones claves necesarias para la conservación a largo plazo de los mamíferos en la región de estudio: (i) proteger los fragmentos de bosque secundario; (ii) regular la cacería. Es necesario involucrar a los agricultores en el diseño conjunto de planes de conservación participativos para garantizar el éxito a largo plazo.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-04-13T10:44:10Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231169977
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Reconstructing Historical Distribution of Large Mammals and their Habitat
           to Inform Rewilding and Restoration in Central Tanzania

    • Authors: Paulo C. Athumani, Linus K. Munishi, Issakwisa B. Ngondya
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Backgroundand research aim:In the anthropogenic landscapes where historically wildlife existed, there can be a potential for rewilding to reverse extinction. However, there is limited literature providing approaches to achieve successful rewilding. The current study aimed at providing empirical based methodological procedures for successful rewilding of the University of Dodoma (UDOM) and nearby degraded landscape by assessing past and current vegetation and large mammal species’ occurrence.Methodology:The past occurrence of mega-herbivores and their habitat was assessed using systematic literature survey, past vegetation maps and key informant interviews. EBSCOhost database and Google Scholar search engine were used for literature searching. A survey was conducted at UDOM area which is one of the remaining habitat patches in central Tanzania to examine present plant diversity.Results:The baseline vegetation map of 1960 indicated that the study area was mainly Savanna woodland. Literature suggested that anthropogenic activities resulted into Land-Use Land-Cover Changes (LULCC) leading into wild animals’ extirpation leaving remnant populations in the surrounding protected areas. While the key informant interviews verified local loss of mega-herbivores, field data collected at UDOM campus in 2022 indicated the vegetation transformation to bushland dominated by Dichrostachys cinerea. The area’s past vegetation composition was 33% grasses, 29% herbs, 21% shrubs and 17% trees while the current was 18% grasses, 42% herbs, 30% shrubs and 10% trees.Conclusion:The study revealed that central Tanzania hosted spectacular large mammal populations that interacted with the savanna which has recently been transformed to bushland. However, observed evidence on past existence of large mammals and recent elephants’ sightings at UDOM area indicate great potential for rewilding.Implication for conservation:Reconstructing historical information of ecosystems is crucial for successful rewilding. Such information can guide conservation efforts aiming at reversing extinction and reestablishing connectivity of large herbivore population across ecosystems.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-04-05T09:36:12Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231166832
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • The Effects of Prescribed Dry Season Burning on Woody Species Composition,
           Mole National Park, Ghana

    • Authors: Esther Ekua Amoako, Hamza Issifu, Rikiatu Husseini
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Fire use in protected savannas of Africa is a common practice. Fires in these savannas create many environmental benefits, such as reducing grass, brush and trees that can fuel large and severe wildfires and improving wildlife habitat. However, wrong timing of fire can threaten plants, animals and habitats. This study investigated the effects of time of burning on woody plant composition, diversity and density in the Mole National Park, Ghana. A total of twelve 300 m2 plots were systematically sampled in a 200 m × 200 m treatment plot established by Park Management each for early burn, late burn and no-burn plots. Twenty-seven different woody species belonging to fourteen families were recorded in all the treatments. Most of the species identified belonged to the families Fabaceae and Combretaceae. Vitellaria paradoxa (Shea), Terminalia avicennioides, Combretum adenogonium and Combretum molle were the most common and abundant in all treatments. A TWINSPAN on sites and species revealed four species groups based on affinity to burning time. A follow-up DCA showed a strong association between burning time and species composition, with the first two axes explaining 65% of variation. The late burn and no-burn treatments recorded the lowest diversity amongst the three treatments. Stem density was highest in no-burn treatment which had lowest species richness and diversity compared to early and late burn treatments. Early burn treatment had the highest diversity and the lowest density of woody species. The study revealed that the different times of prescribed burning influenced vegetation differently. Prescribed early dry season burning could contribute to the management of indigenous woody species in protected fire-prone savannas, because it can promote the diversity of species, as found in the Mole National Park in the Guinea savanna of Ghana.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-03-23T03:19:09Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231164936
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Thanks to Reviewers

    • Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.

      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-02-01T03:40:47Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231154987
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
  • Human Persecution is An Important Threat to the Conservation of the
           Endangered Black-and-Chestnut Eagle in Northern Andes

    • Authors: Juan Sebastián Restrepo-Cardona, Fabricio Narváez, Sebastián Kohn, Félix Hernán Vargas, Santiago Zuluaga
      Abstract: Tropical Conservation Science, Volume 16, Issue , January-December 2023.
      Background and Research AimsThe Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori) has a total population of fewer than 1000 adult individuals, and is categorized as Endangered at the global level. The northern Andes (Ecuador and Colombia) represent one of the last population strongholds of the species. In this study, we analyzed human persecution of the Black-and-chestnut Eagle as retaliation or as a preventive measure against poultry predation, as well as other threats that have affected the species in this geographical region between 2000 and 2022.MethodsIn order to understand the human persecution and other threats faced by the Black-and-chestnut Eagle in the northern Andes, we compiled records of immature and adult individuals of the species that had been shot, captured, or had presented evidence of any other affectations during the last 23 years.ResultsWe found a total of 96 Black-and-chestnut Eagles affected by different threats. Human persecution of the species to prevent poultry predation was the motive in 81% (46 of 57) of the cases of shot eagles, 67% (10 of 15) of those captured illegally, 30% (3 of 10) of those in which the cause of affectation was undetermined and for one individual that had been stabbed. Immature eagles were more affected than adult eagles by human persecution. Black-and-chestnut Eagles were also affected by electrocution, illegal trafficking and collision with vehicle.ConclusionHuman persecution as retaliation or as a preventive measure against poultry predation is an important threat to the conservation of the Black-and-chestnut Eagle in northern Andes.Implications for ConservationStrict application of laws at human persecution sites, identification and monitoring of areas with high risk of human-eagle conflict, development of environmental educational programs, strengthening of the technical capacities of rural communities, maintaining or even increasing forest cover, and reducing the exposure of poultry by using enclosures are key for Black-and-chestnut Eagle conservation in the northern Andes.
      Citation: Tropical Conservation Science
      PubDate: 2023-01-17T02:22:38Z
      DOI: 10.1177/19400829231152353
      Issue No: Vol. 16 (2023)
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