Journal Cover Biological Conservation
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0006-3207
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3044 journals]
  • Assessing the risk to the conservation status of temperate rainforest from
           exposure to mining, commercial logging, and climate change: A Tasmanian
           case study
    • Authors: Brendan Mackey; Sean Cadman; Nicole Rogers; Sonia Hugh
      Pages: 19 - 29
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Brendan Mackey, Sean Cadman, Nicole Rogers, Sonia Hugh
      Formal protected areas are a critical conservation measure so long as their tenure is defined and secure and they are well managed. Protected areas in developed countries are assumed to meet these criteria and therefore have not attracted the level of attention given to the adequacy of protected areas in developing countries. We investigate this assumption using as a case study the southern temperate rainforests of Tasmania, Australia. We examine the extent to which these rainforests are protected from potential exposure to mining, commercial logging and climate change. We analyse the tenure of Tasmania's rainforests and identify the protected area categories that prohibit or allow mining or logging. We also model the potential distribution of Nothofagus cunninghamii, a dominant rainforest canopy tree species, to future climate and compare this with modelled current and future forest fire danger index. Results showed that 90% of the total area of Tasmanian rainforest (715,773ha−1) is in a reserve. However, the area of rainforest in reserves secured from mining and/or commercial logging is only 47% (335,863ha−1) as 43% (308,897ha−1) is in a reserve category where these land uses are permitted. The protected area category with the highest level of protection, prohibiting all mining and logging, is the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area which encompasses 325,920ha−1 of temperate rainforest. During a recent legislative review, 66,012ha−1 of rainforest in protected areas was downgraded to a reserve category that permits logging or mining. A key conservation instrument therefore is the Management Plan for the World Heritage Area as it overrides land use activities otherwise permitted including the 21,257ha−1 which is on a State-defined land tenure that allows for logging or mining. Climate change impacts, as modelled, suggest the main conservation challenges are in maintaining the integrity of the remaining intact rainforest blocks and better managing ignitions from lightning strikes and arsonists in the coniferous and alpine rainforests. Allowing structural degradation and fragmentation to intact rainforest blocks will reduce their capacity to buffer meso-climatic variability and resist fire events thereby undermining their ecosystem integrity. Noting that Aichi Target 11 includes the requirement that reserves are effectively managed, our case study highlights that assessing the effectiveness of a reserve system is not necessarily a straightforward matter as governance systems and regulatory frameworks involve a mix of international obligations, national and subnational policies and statutes, along with other agreements, administrative arrangements and plans of management, which can provide for a range of land use activities and be subject to modification over time.

      PubDate: 2017-09-07T11:17:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.032
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Primate responses to anthropogenic habitat disturbance: A pantropical
           meta-analysis
    • Authors: Juliana M. de Almeida-Rocha; Carlos A. Peres; Leonardo C. Oliveira
      Pages: 30 - 38
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Juliana M. de Almeida-Rocha, Carlos A. Peres, Leonardo C. Oliveira
      Rapid human-induced conversion and degradation of natural habitats has severely altered patterns of species occupancy and population viability. Primates are highly vulnerable to tropical forest loss and degradation because they are highly arboreal, forest-dependent, and often highly sensitive to changes in forest structure. Here we quantify the effects of anthropogenic habitat modification on primate community structure using a global meta-analysis based on 72 studies to understand the variation in effect sizes between biogeographic regions, types of human disturbance, trophic levels of primate species, and sampling design protocols. We examined response ratios for 637 comparisons between disturbed forests and adjacent ‘pseudo-control’ forests with a history of little or no impact. This revealed an overall decrease of 30% (95% CI: 17–43%) in biodiversity metrics in response to habitat disturbance, which was particularly detrimental to primate assemblages in Madagascar and Southeast Asia. This effect was more severe in areas converted to agriculture (77%; 95% CI: 59–88%), while land use intensification led to far more detrimental effects than the initial degradation of forests, calling for the identification of habitat degradation thresholds. Negative effects of forest degradation were further exacerbated by ~30% under scenarios of persistent hunting pressure, emphasizing possible synergistic interactions between environmental stressors. Given that overall primate diversity was depressed in degraded habitats, our results emphasize the importance of retaining connectivity across remnants of undisturbed primary forest within human-modified landscapes to maintain full complements of primate species, and ensure their long-term persistence.

      PubDate: 2017-09-07T11:17:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.018
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Using Bayesian mark-recapture modelling to quantify the strength and
           duration of post-release effects in reintroduced populations
    • Authors: Doug P. Armstrong; Christie Le Coeur; Joanne M. Thorne; Julia Panfylova; Tim G. Lovegrove; Peter G.H. Frost; John G. Ewen
      Pages: 39 - 45
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Doug P. Armstrong, Christie Le Coeur, Joanne M. Thorne, Julia Panfylova, Tim G. Lovegrove, Peter G.H. Frost, John G. Ewen
      Translocated animals often suffer elevated mortality during some acclimation period after release. Such post-release effects must be accounted for when estimating normal survival rates and therefore predicting population persistence. The standard approach for doing this is to nominate a fixed acclimation period, and either i) exclude survival data over that period, or ii) use model selection criteria to test whether survival differs over that period. We present a more flexible approach where the acclimation period is treated as unknown and is estimated simultaneously with the pre- and post-acclimation survival probabilities. We illustrate this approach using survival data for six reintroduced populations involving three New Zealand forest bird species. Analyses of the complete data sets (22–73 surveys conducted over 4–14years) indicated that significant post-release effects occurred in at least one sex in five of the six populations, with 30–84% mortality attributable to post-release effects over acclimation periods ranging from 1 to 9months. When we applied the approach to just the first year of data for each population, the estimated normal survival rates were consistent with those obtained from the complete data sets, and always at least as accurate as our previous approach of excluding data up to the next breeding season after translocation. The flexible approach therefore appears to be effective for accounting for post-release effects in survival estimation, and is beneficial in quantifying both the strength and duration of those effects so that pre- and post-release management strategies are better informed.

      PubDate: 2017-09-07T11:17:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.033
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Partial migration links local surface-water management to large-scale
           elephant conservation in the world's largest transfrontier conservation
           area
    • Authors: Arnold Tshipa; Hugo Valls-Fox; Hervé Fritz; Kai Collins; Lovelater Sebele; Peter Mundy; Simon Chamaillé-Jammes
      Pages: 46 - 50
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Arnold Tshipa, Hugo Valls-Fox, Hervé Fritz, Kai Collins, Lovelater Sebele, Peter Mundy, Simon Chamaillé-Jammes
      Successful conservation of large mammals requires vast areas to maintain viable populations. This often requires to embrace large-scale approaches that extend beyond the borders of formally protected areas. However, the quality of the scientific knowledge about animal movement across large conservation areas vary, and could limit the effectiveness of conservation efforts. Here we used GPS tracking to conduct the first study of large-scale movements of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Hwange NP (Zimbabwe), which is an unfenced park part of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, the world's largest terrestrial conservation area. We show that some, but not all, elephants migrate seasonally, with wet- to dry-season movements linked to the provision of water in Hwange NP. The distance between the most distant locations of individual elephants reaches 260km. In this partial migration system influenced by management practices, over 20% of the elephants have wet-season ranges established in Botswana, outside of protected areas in private or communal wildlife management areas. Our results call for the urgent drafting of a regional action plan, involving all stakeholders identified by our study and their neighbours, to predict and react to what would happen if water provision in Hwange NP was to suddenly change because of management practices or extreme climate change. Beyond this critical conservation issue for the world's largest elephant meta-population, our results also highlight the relevance of large-scale conservation areas combined with integrative planning involving national wildlife management institutions and the private and communal sector.

      PubDate: 2017-09-13T17:41:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.003
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Citizens promote the conservation of flagship species more than ecosystem
           services in wetland restoration
    • Authors: Masayuki Senzaki; Yuichi Yamaura; Yasushi Shoji; Takahiro Kubo; Futoshi Nakamura
      Pages: 1 - 5
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Masayuki Senzaki, Yuichi Yamaura, Yasushi Shoji, Takahiro Kubo, Futoshi Nakamura
      Assessing the non-market value of biodiversity conservation is crucial to justify it economically. Using a choice experiment on wetland restoration in Hokkaido, northern Japan, we assessed the willingness of citizens to pay for different ecological statuses of a flagship species (absence, occasional occupancy, permanent occupancy, and breeding) and other principal conservation targets (establishment of a birdwatching station and wetland sizes). The results showed that the fundraising potential of the flagship species surpassed those of other conservation targets, irrespective of its ecological status, highlighting the superior publicity generated by charismatic species. We also showed that upgrading ecological status from occupancy to breeding did not result in additional financial support. Our study emphasizes that, although publicizing ecologically important statuses such as breeding is critical for successful conservation efforts, focusing much effort on flagship species rather than other conservation targets may be important to increase the economic value of conservation practices if such species are available.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-08-03T09:32:09Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.025
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Effects of roads and roadside fencing on movements, space use, and
           carapace temperatures of a threatened tortoise
    • Authors: J. Mark Peaden; A. Justin Nowakowski; Tracey D. Tuberville; Kurt A. Buhlmann; Brian D. Todd
      Pages: 13 - 22
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): J. Mark Peaden, A. Justin Nowakowski, Tracey D. Tuberville, Kurt A. Buhlmann, Brian D. Todd
      Roads are widespread features of many landscapes that can negatively affect wildlife, most notably through animal-vehicle collisions. Roadside fencing has increasingly been installed to help eliminate this source of mortality. While fencing may reduce road mortality, other types of wildlife responses to this novel barrier are not well understood. Here, we examined the movement behavior, space use, and carapace temperatures of Mojave Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) as they interacted with a roadside fence and an unfenced road. Using GPS loggers, we tracked tortoise movements for two years at 15-min intervals. We found that carapace temperatures were greater near structures (fence or unfenced road) than away from structures; tortoises near the unfenced road had higher mean carapace temperatures, but tortoises along the fence experienced more extreme upper temperatures that approached the species' thermal limit. Movement speeds were also higher along the structures than away from them. Tortoise home range sizes decreased with proximity to the fence or road; fragmentation of home ranges and road-crossing avoidance may have contributed to smaller home ranges along the fenced and unfenced road, respectively. While tortoises crossed the road significantly less than expected by chance, they did so primarily in May and July and in areas with washes, indicating that placement of roadside fencing and animal underpasses could be optimized by targeting areas where roads intersect washes. Taken together, our results suggest that roadside fencing can affect behavior, space use, and thermal ecology of tortoises, which may require refinements to future conservation strategies involving roadside fencing.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.022
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Monitoring the biodiversity of regions: Key principles and possible
           pitfalls
    • Authors: S.T. Buckland; A. Johnston
      Pages: 23 - 34
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): S.T. Buckland, A. Johnston
      Through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 2010 and 2020 biodiversity targets, nations committed to reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity. This requires calculating the biodiversity trends in nations, whereas previously, most academic research on quantifying biodiversity concerned communities within relatively small sites. We consider design and analysis issues that CBD targets raise and explore the potential pitfalls for managers of monitoring schemes when statistical principles yield to practical constraints. We list five main criteria that well-designed monitoring programmes should meet: representative sampling locations, sufficient sample size, sufficient detections of target species, a representative sample of species, and a sound temporal sampling scheme. We examine the implications of biodiversity assessments that fail to meet these criteria and suggest ways to alleviate these implications through analytical approaches. We discuss the remarkable potential for wide-scale biodiversity monitoring offered by technological advances and by the rise of citizen science.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.034
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Towards a biodiversity offsetting approach for coastal land reclamation:
           Coastal management implications
    • Authors: Shuling Yu; Baoshan Cui; Philip Gibbons; Jiaguo Yan; Xu Ma; Tian Xie; Guoxiang Song; Yuxuan Zou; Xiaojing Shao
      Pages: 35 - 45
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Shuling Yu, Baoshan Cui, Philip Gibbons, Jiaguo Yan, Xu Ma, Tian Xie, Guoxiang Song, Yuxuan Zou, Xiaojing Shao
      Reclamation of coastal wetlands has a major impact on biodiversity globally. However, important questions remain regarding biodiversity offsets to such anthropogenic modifications. Generally, while formal and accurate quantifications of the residual impacts from development and the gain from offsets are essential, they are usually designated on an arbitrary score. Particularly, a general baseline with uncertainties defined across a dynamic scope has rarely been reported. In this study, a mathematical model was developed to quantify the loss from coastal land reclamation and gain from offsets. It considered the correlation between biodiversity effect size and reclamation, and the risk of failure in restoration based on the offset ratios theory, to determine the optimal amount of offsetting by calculating the biodiversity ratios between damaged and compensated habitat areas. The Yellow River Delta in China was used as a case study. Fuzzy sets or discrete intervals of references were used as the baseline. Minimum offset ratios were calculated for different baselines and values of counterfactual scenarios accounting for time lags for different types of coastal land reclamation. Therefore, no net loss was feasible when biodiversity could be compensated within the offset delay time. In this study, unlike previous methods, designation of an arbitrary score to measure the habitat or biodiversity value was avoided. Instead, this method was based on the change in biodiversity and was grounded in ecological theory. A more science-based approach is proposed, which is supported with a novel formula and existing data sets. These findings will help in the design of biodiversity offsets for coastal land reclamation based on their different impacts on biodiversity. This will inform policy makers about realistic minimal offsetting ratios or offset area requirements accounting for the offsetting delay time, the value of counterfactual scenarios, the correlation between biodiversity effect size and reclamation, the risk of failure in restoration, and the gross quantity of restoration. These results have important implications for the ecological restoration and compensation of coastal wetlands in the face of coastal land reclamation.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.016
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Non-random lizard extinctions in land-bridge Amazonian forest islands
           after 28years of isolation
    • Authors: Ana Filipa Palmeirim; Marcus Vinícius Vieira; Carlos A. Peres
      Pages: 55 - 65
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Ana Filipa Palmeirim, Marcus Vinícius Vieira, Carlos A. Peres
      Major hydropower infrastructure has become a leading driver of biodiversity loss in the lowland tropics. Terrestrial species typically become stranded in post-isolation land-bridge islands within hydroelectric reservoirs. Understanding the resulting extinction dynamics of insular communities is critical to inform, if not to avert, the ongoing blitzkrieg of dam development. Here we assess the effects of forest patch and landscape metrics on diurnal lizard species richness and composition within the Balbina Hydroelectric Dam and surrounding areas in the Central Brazilian Amazon. This 28-yr-old dam created a reservoir of ~4438km2, comprising 3546 islands. We sampled 25 of these islands (0.83–1466ha) and five mainland continuous forest sites, one of which placed along stream banks. We further related morpho-ecological traits and the geographic distribution of lizard species to the spatial metrics of islands where they occurred. Using 100L-pitfall traps operated over 5447 trap-days, we recorded 1123 lizards from 17 taxa, two of which exclusively found along stream banks within continuous forest. Island area was the best predictor of species richness and composition. Small islands (≤2ha) harboured fewer than a third of all species typically observed in larger islands and continuous forest (≥8 species), and only islands ≥100ha retained nearly complete lizard faunas. Lizard assemblages inhabiting small, isolated islands consisted almost exclusively of an oversimplified set of widely distributed, large-bodied, habitat generalist, heliophile species associated with open areas and forest edges, and that feed on a wide spectrum of prey sizes. These wholesale changes in lizard community structure were characterized by severe losses in functional traits, and may profoundly affect ecosystem functioning.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.002
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Regional connectivity for recolonizing American black bears (Ursus
           americanus) in southcentral USA
    • Authors: M.G. Gantchoff; J.L. Belant
      Pages: 66 - 75
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): M.G. Gantchoff, J.L. Belant
      Landscape connectivity is vital for species conservation in human-modified landscapes, lessening population declines and genetic depression caused by habitat loss and fragmentation. We used concepts from electronic circuit theory to identify potential areas for American black bears (Ursus americanus) that facilitate connectivity between key federally protected areas, determined if black bears used higher quality habitat than available, and examined their distribution relative to human disturbance. We developed a regional (Mississippi, Louisiana, eastern Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, USA) model estimating landscape resistance to movement using GIS-based features considered to affect black bear space use: land cover type, distance to major rivers, road density, and highway presence. We selected national forests and national wildlife refuges as patches among which to model potential movement. Using citizen-reported black bear sightings from Mississippi and Missouri, we evaluated land cover selection at fine and coarse scales, and validated our model comparing current density between bear sightings and random locations. Black bear sightings occurred in areas of higher current density compared to random locations (p <0.001), suggesting our connectivity model had good performance for characterizing areas bears will use at a coarse scale. However, black bears did not always choose high quality habitat for movement at a coarse scale, and avoided areas of human disturbance at a finer spatial scale. Contiguous forested areas outside protected areas and riparian corridors along major rivers were identified as most likely to facilitate connectivity. The relative importance of protected areas in maintaining regional connectivity was influenced by size, location, and amount of forest cover. Highways appeared as semi-permeable barriers to movement that intersected several connectivity pinch points. Management to maintain or improve connectivity in identified high connectivity areas, including forest retention, preservation of riparian buffers, and highway mitigation techniques at pinch points, may facilitate black bear recolonization and aid broader conservation objectives.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.023
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • How many birds are killed by cats in Australia'
    • Authors: J.C.Z. Woinarski; B.P. Murphy; S.M. Legge; S.T. Garnett; M.J. Lawes; S. Comer; C.R. Dickman; T.S. Doherty; G. Edwards; A. Nankivell; D. Paton; R. Palmer; L.A. Woolley
      Pages: 76 - 87
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): J.C.Z. Woinarski, B.P. Murphy, S.M. Legge, S.T. Garnett, M.J. Lawes, S. Comer, C.R. Dickman, T.S. Doherty, G. Edwards, A. Nankivell, D. Paton, R. Palmer, L.A. Woolley
      From analysis of results from 93 studies on the frequency of occurrence of birds in cat dietary samples, and a recently published assessment of the population size of feral cats in largely natural landscapes, we estimate and map the number of birds killed annually in Australia by feral cats. We show that average rates of predation on birds by cats on islands are ca. 10 times higher than for comparable mainland areas. Predation rates on birds are also relatively high in hot, arid regions. Across Australia's natural landscapes, feral cats typically consume 272 million birds yr−1 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 169–508 million). However, there is substantial inter-annual variation, depending on changes in the cat population that are driven by rainfall conditions: ranging between 161 million birds yr−1 (95% CI: 114–284 million) following dry periods and 757 million birds yr−1 (95% CI: 334–1580 million) following wet periods. On average, feral cats kill 35.6 birds km−2 yr−1 (95% CI: 22.2–66.6). About 99% of these mortalities are native bird species. With a much sparser evidence base, we also estimate that a further 44 million birds are killed annually by feral cats in highly modified landscapes, and 61 million birds are killed annually by pet cats, summing to 377 million birds killed yr−1 (i.e., just over 1 million birds per day) by all cats. Feral cats include a significantly higher proportion of birds in their diet than do other main mammalian predators. The national tally of birds killed by cats in Australia is broadly comparable to recent assessments for Canada, but less than that reported for the United States (because the cat population is much higher there). However, it remains challenging to interpret this mortality tally in terms of population viability or conservation concern for Australian birds.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.006
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Drastic site-preparation is key for the successful reintroduction of the
           endangered grassland species Jurinea cyanoides
    • Authors: Sabine Tischew; Florian Kommraus; Leonie K. Fischer; Ingo Kowarik
      Pages: 88 - 100
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Sabine Tischew, Florian Kommraus, Leonie K. Fischer, Ingo Kowarik
      Reintroducing endangered plant species is an important conservation strategy. However, only a few studies evaluate their long-term reintroduction success. Because such information is vital for understanding the success and failure of species reintroductions, we conducted a seven-year reintroduction experiment with Jurinea cyanoides, an endangered xeric sandy grassland species. We tested Jurinea seed sowing combined with three treatments (mowing, top soil inversion, and top soil inversion with sod cuttings) on two sites with different nutrient status, applying a Latin-Square design. We compared germination, seedling survival and reproduction success between treatments and sites using GLMs and resampling methods. Reintroduction success in different population stages varied across treatments, sites and over time, revealing the most successful treatment only after some years. Jurinea germinated in all plots, but almost no plants survived in control and mown plots. A first generation established successfully in both inversion treatments, but with fewer plants on the nutrient-poorer site. However, subsequent generative and vegetative reproduction was higher in this site than on the nutrient-richer site. Between the two inversion treatments, that with only top soil inversion was more successful, since species introduced by sod cuttings hampered the population growth of Jurinea. We conclude that a radical elimination of competing species and removal of top soil is mandatory for a successful reintroduction of this rare species. The fact that site conditions that were most suitable for the first generation did not continue to facilitate population growth in the following years underlines the importance of long-term monitoring of reintroduction experiments.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.036
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Conservation genomics identifies impact of trade in a threatened songbird
    • Authors: Elize Y.X. Ng; Kritika M. Garg; Gabriel W. Low; Balaji Chattopadhyay; Rachel R.Y. Oh; Jessica G.H. Lee; Frank E. Rheindt
      Pages: 101 - 108
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Elize Y.X. Ng, Kritika M. Garg, Gabriel W. Low, Balaji Chattopadhyay, Rachel R.Y. Oh, Jessica G.H. Lee, Frank E. Rheindt
      In the last two decades, unsustainable levels of wildlife trade have led to an unprecedented biological crisis. Southeast Asia has become an epicentre for wildlife trade in general and specifically for the cage-bird trade, resulting in numerous regional extinctions. To assess the impact of regional extinction on the loss of genetic diversity in affected cage-birds, we obtained >18,000 genome-wide markers across 60 Southeast Asian samples of the white-rumped shama (Copsychus malabaricus), a prized songbird that has gone extinct across wide swathes of its Southeast Asian range following heavy poaching. High levels of genomic uniformity across its mainland Southeast Asian range indicate that future reintroductions of birds from regions with less poaching could help bolster populations in regions with intense poaching pressure. Genomic assignment tests demonstrate that birds in the only Sundaic country with strict enforcement of poaching bans, Singapore, are a mosaic of both native populations and escaped cage-birds of mostly peninsular Malaysian origin, indicating that inadvertent reintroductions of caged shamas have led to the recovery of a local population that was nearly extinct and now constitutes a safe haven for the subspecies tricolor. Our study underscores the potential of genome-wide SNPs in identifying implications of trade on wildlife populations.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.007
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • At the intersection of cultural and natural heritage: Distribution and
           conservation of the type localities of Italian endemic vascular plants
    • Authors: Giuseppe Brundu; Lorenzo Peruzzi; Gianniantonio Domina; Fabrizio Bartolucci; Gabriele Galasso; Simonetta Peccenini; Francesco Maria Raimondo; Antonella Albano; Alessandro Alessandrini; Enrico Banfi; Giuseppina Barberis; Liliana Bernardo; Maurizio Bovio; Salvatore Brullo; Antonello Brunu; Ignazio Camarda; Luisa Carta; Fabio Conti; Antonio Croce; Duilio Iamonico; Mauro Iberite; Gianluca Iiriti; Daniela Longo; Stefano Marsili; Pietro Medagli; Mauro Giorgio Mariotti; Riccardo Pennesi; Annalaura Pistarino; Cristina Salmeri; Annalisa Santangelo; Elisabetta Scassellati; Federico Selvi; Adriano Stinca; Gabriella Vacca; Mariacristina Villani; Robert Philipp Wagensommer; Nicodemo Giuseppe Passalacqua
      Pages: 109 - 118
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Giuseppe Brundu, Lorenzo Peruzzi, Gianniantonio Domina, Fabrizio Bartolucci, Gabriele Galasso, Simonetta Peccenini, Francesco Maria Raimondo, Antonella Albano, Alessandro Alessandrini, Enrico Banfi, Giuseppina Barberis, Liliana Bernardo, Maurizio Bovio, Salvatore Brullo, Antonello Brunu, Ignazio Camarda, Luisa Carta, Fabio Conti, Antonio Croce, Duilio Iamonico, Mauro Iberite, Gianluca Iiriti, Daniela Longo, Stefano Marsili, Pietro Medagli, Mauro Giorgio Mariotti, Riccardo Pennesi, Annalaura Pistarino, Cristina Salmeri, Annalisa Santangelo, Elisabetta Scassellati, Federico Selvi, Adriano Stinca, Gabriella Vacca, Mariacristina Villani, Robert Philipp Wagensommer, Nicodemo Giuseppe Passalacqua
      We conducted a GIS spatial analysis with the aim of providing the first quantitative large-scale overview of the distribution patterns of 1536 type localities (loci classici) of 1216 Italian endemic vascular plants and their relationship with a set of descriptive variables. Whereas some variables were used to model the presence-absence distribution patterns of the type localities for the whole set of endemics as well as for the subset of narrow endemics, others (e.g., presence inside or outside protected areas and Italian Important Plant Areas) were considered with the purpose of assessing potential assets or risks for conservation. The largest number of type localities was found within the Mediterranean biogeographic region (1134), followed by the Alpine region (306) and Continental region (96). A total of 670 locations are located on islands, whereas 866 are located on the Italian mainland (139 and 124 in the case of narrow endemics, respectively). A large number of type localities are located in mountainous areas and along the coastline, which can be seen as a potential risk for conservation. On the contrary, we detected a positive correlation with the distance from roads, which might be considered to be an asset. Importantly, 1030 type localities fall inside protected areas, whereas 506 localities fall outside protected areas, with 259 of these unprotected localities on islands. We propose considering the results of the analysis of the distribution of type localities of Italian endemics to be a strategic tool for conservation planning and resource management. Application of plant micro-reserves and integration of diverse legislation tools are suggested to strengthen efforts and increase conservation success.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.024
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Fencing in nature' Predator exclusion restores habitat for native
           fauna and leads biodiversity to spill over into the wider landscape
    • Authors: Andrew J. Tanentzap; Kelvin M. Lloyd
      Pages: 119 - 126
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Andrew J. Tanentzap, Kelvin M. Lloyd
      Large areas of habitat are being fenced globally to restore and relocate species that can no longer survive in their surrounding landscapes, such as because of introduced predators. Despite their promise, the contributions of fenced and intensively-managed reserves towards achieving wider biodiversity goals are contentious. There has been little empirical evidence that fenced reserves can restore communities or ecological function over larger landscapes in ways that justify their large economic and sometimes social costs. Here we tested whether the exclusion of introduced predators restored mammal-sensitive habitat after 8years within a mainland fenced reserve in southern New Zealand. We also asked whether the abundance of bird-dispersed fruiting trees and frugivorous birds was elevated immediately outside the reserve as compared with the broader landscape. We found that only saplings of fleshy-fruited tree species sensitive to browsing and seed predation by introduced mammals increased over time within the reserve. These mammal-sensitive trees were also more abundant in the surrounding unfenced landscape when close to the reserve, i.e. within 500m. Our results suggested that mammal-sensitive trees were benefitting from increased fruit dispersal that was spilling over the fenced boundary as mammal-sensitive frugivores responded to predator control. Using point count surveys at 278 unique sites throughout the broader region, we found that the native frugivore community that evolved in the absence of mammalian predators was a third more abundant within the reserve and immediately outside the fenced boundary than at sites 20km away in the surrounding landscape. Non-endemic frugivores did not show the same spatial pattern. Our work provides among the first evidence that an intensively-managed wildlife reserve can measurably restore populations of threatened flora and fauna and disperse conservation benefits into wider landscapes.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.001
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Monitoring for conservation in African tropical national parks: An agenda
           towards policy-relevant science
    • Authors: Ruppert Vimal
      Pages: 127 - 135
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Ruppert Vimal
      Monitoring as an instrument to quantify human and wildlife activities has been increasingly recognized as fundamental towards efficient biodiversity conservation strategies. Promoting the need to direct management based on scientific guidance, monitoring reflects the rise of evidence-based conservation approaches. Nonetheless, in tropical national parks, monitoring programs can fail to address conservation issues and divert scarce resources away from management priorities. In this manuscript, drawing on the literature and recent empirical observations in seven tropical national parks, I argue that the implementation of monitoring must go beyond the rational model of transfer from science to policy and focus on the processes of co-construction between knowledge and action. An increase in social engineering is needed among partners, services and hierarchical levels of parks to ensure a coherent strategy of knowledge production and its use for decision. I provide concrete recommendations as levers of action towards monitoring efficiency and policy-relevant conservation science.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.014
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • A guide for ecologists: Detecting the role of disease in faunal declines
           and managing population recovery
    • Authors: Noel D. Preece; Sandra E. Abell; Laura Grogan; Adrian Wayne; Lee F. Skerratt; Penny van Oosterzee; Amy L. Shima; Peter Daszak; Hume Field; Andrea Reiss; Lee Berger; Tasmin L. Rymer; Diana O. Fisher; Michael J. Lawes; Susan G. Laurance; Hamish McCallum; Carol Esson; Jon H. Epstein
      Pages: 136 - 146
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Noel D. Preece, Sandra E. Abell, Laura Grogan, Adrian Wayne, Lee F. Skerratt, Penny van Oosterzee, Amy L. Shima, Peter Daszak, Hume Field, Andrea Reiss, Lee Berger, Tasmin L. Rymer, Diana O. Fisher, Michael J. Lawes, Susan G. Laurance, Hamish McCallum, Carol Esson, Jon H. Epstein
      Biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate, especially among vertebrates. Disease is commonly ignored or dismissed in investigations of wildlife declines, partly because there is often little or no obvious clinical evidence of illness. We argue that disease has the potential to cause many species declines and extinctions and that there is mounting evidence that this is a more important cause of declines than has been appreciated. We summarise case studies of diseases that have affected wildlife to the point of extinction and bring together the experiences of wildlife managers, veterinarians, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, zoologists and ecologists to provide an investigation framework to help ecologists and wildlife managers address disease as a factor in wildlife declines. Catastrophic declines of wildlife may be the result of single or multiple synergistic causes, and disease should always be one factor under consideration, unless proven otherwise. In a rapidly changing world where emerging infectious diseases have become increasingly common, the need to consider diseases has never been more important.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.014
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Quantifying the expected value of uncertain management choices for
           over-abundant Greylag Geese
    • Authors: Ayesha I.T. Tulloch; Sam Nicol; Nils Bunnefeld
      Pages: 147 - 155
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Ayesha I.T. Tulloch, Sam Nicol, Nils Bunnefeld
      In many parts of the world, conservation successes or global anthropogenic changes have led to increasing native species populations that then compete with human resource use. In the Orkney Islands, Scotland, a 60-fold increase in Greylag Goose Anser anser numbers over 24years has led to agricultural damages and culling attempts that have failed to prevent population increase. To address uncertainty about why populations have increased, we combined empirical modelling of possible drivers of Greylag Goose population change with expert-elicited benefits of alternative management actions to identify whether to learn versus act immediately to reduce damages by geese. We built linear mixed-effects models relating annual goose densities on farms to land-use and environmental covariates and estimated AICc model weights to indicate relative support for six hypotheses of change. We elicited from experts the expected likelihood that one of six actions would achieve an objective of halting goose population growth, given each hypothesis for population change. Model weights and expected effects of actions were combined in Value of Information analysis (VoI) to quantify the utility of resolving uncertainty in each hypothesis through adaptive management and monitoring. The action with the highest expected value under existing uncertainty was to increase the extent of low quality habitats, whereas assuming equal hypothesis weights changed the best action to culling. VoI analysis showed that the value of learning to resolve uncertainty in any individual hypothesis for goose population change was low, due to high support for a single hypothesis of change. Our study demonstrates a two-step framework that learns about the most likely drivers of change for an over-abundant species, and uses this knowledge to weight the utility of alternative management actions. Our approach helps inform which strategies might best be implemented to resolve uncertainty when there are competing hypotheses for change and competing management choices.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.013
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Controlling invasive predators enhances the long-term survival of
           endangered New Zealand long-tailed bats (Chalinolobus tuberculatus):
           Implications for conservation of bats on oceanic islands
    • Authors: Colin F.J. O'Donnell; Moira A. Pryde; Paul van Dam-Bates; Graeme P. Elliott
      Pages: 156 - 167
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Colin F.J. O'Donnell, Moira A. Pryde, Paul van Dam-Bates, Graeme P. Elliott
      Invasive mammalian predators pose one of the greatest threats to biodiversity globally, particularly on oceanic islands. However, little is known about the impacts of these invasive predators on bats (Chiroptera), one of the most specious mammal groups, and one of the most widespread groups of mammals threatened on oceanic islands (>200 spp.). Nearly 50% of the world's threatened bats are island endemics and because they are often the only native mammals on islands, they fulfil important ecological roles such as pollination and seed dispersal. Long-tailed bats (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) are critically endangered because of predation by exotic mammals, particularly ship rats (Rattus rattus), introduced by humans to the island archipelago of New Zealand. We monitored the survival of bats in three colonies in temperate rainforest in Fiordland over 22years. Since 2009, we controlled predators during irruption phases and compared survival of bats in previously untreated areas with survival in forest blocks treated using rodenticides deployed in bait stations. Survival was estimated using multi-state mark-recapture models in Program Mark 7.0 with >15,000 bats tagged. Survival was primarily dependent on year and age of bats, although seedfall intensity of the dominant canopy tree and predator management was also influential. Survival in long-tailed bats was as high as, or higher, than figures for bats generally in years with low predator numbers or predator control. Survival was markedly higher in treatment years when predators were managed (0.82 compared to 0.55). Population modelling indicated managed colonies will increase (λ>1.05) whereas unmanaged colonies will decline (λ=0.89−0.98) under scenarios that reflect increased frequency of beech mast and predator irruptions. Thus, effective predator control is essential for recovering long-tailed bat populations. Warming temperatures indicate that predator irruptions are becoming more frequent, which would require more predator control in the future than at present if declines in bat populations are to be reversed. These results are relevant to the conservation of threatened bats on oceanic islands, given the abundance of exotic mammalian predators, particularly ship rats, on them.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.015
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Designing protected area networks that translate international
           conservation commitments into national action
    • Authors: Jake E. Bicknell; Murray B. Collins; Rob S.A. Pickles; Niall P. McCann; Curtis R. Bernard; Damian J. Fernandes; Mark G.R. Miller; Samantha M. James; Aiesha U. Williams; Matthew J. Struebig; Zoe G. Davies; Robert J. Smith
      Pages: 168 - 175
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Jake E. Bicknell, Murray B. Collins, Rob S.A. Pickles, Niall P. McCann, Curtis R. Bernard, Damian J. Fernandes, Mark G.R. Miller, Samantha M. James, Aiesha U. Williams, Matthew J. Struebig, Zoe G. Davies, Robert J. Smith
      Most countries have committed to protect 17% of their terrestrial area by 2020 through Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with a focus on protecting areas of particular importance for biodiversity. This means national-scale spatial conservation prioritisations are needed to help meet this target and guide broader conservation and land-use policy development. However, to ensure these assessments are adopted by policy makers, they must also consider national priorities. This situation is exemplified by Guyana, a corner of Amazonia that couples high biodiversity with low economic development. In recent years activities that threaten biodiversity conservation have increased, and consequently, protected areas are evermore critical to achieving the Aichi targets. Here we undertake a cost-effective approach to protected area planning in Guyana that accounts for domestic conditions. To do this we conducted a stakeholder-led spatial conservation prioritisation based on meeting targets for 17 vegetation types and 329 vertebrate species, while minimising opportunity costs for forestry, mining, agriculture and urbanisation. Our analysis identifies 3millionha of priority areas for conservation, helping inform government plans to double the current protected area network from 8.5 to 17%. As part of this, we also develop a new technique to prioritise engagement with local communities whose lands are identified as important to conservation. Our study both provides a scientific, politically acceptable protected area expansion strategy for Guyana, and illustrates the importance of conservation planning at the country-scale to translate international commitments into national action.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.024
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Effects of landscape composition, species pool and time on grassland
           specialists in restored semi-natural grasslands
    • Authors: Emelie Waldén; Erik Öckinger; Marie Winsa; Regina Lindborg
      Pages: 176 - 183
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Emelie Waldén, Erik Öckinger, Marie Winsa, Regina Lindborg
      Habitat restoration is an important complement to protecting habitat for the conservation of biodiversity. Semi-natural grasslands are target habitats for ecological restoration in temperate Europe. Restoration of abandoned semi-natural grasslands often relies on spontaneous colonisation of plant species from the soil seed bank or the surrounding landscape. Although many studies show that the regional species pool is important for upholding local diversity, its effect on restoration outcome in semi-natural grasslands is poorly known. In this multi-landscape study, we examined grassland specialist species occurring in restored grasslands and the effect of specialist species pool, landscape composition and local temporal factors. We found that specialist richness and frequency was positively affected by specialist richness and frequency in the surrounding landscape. Specialist richness in the restored grasslands also increased with time since restoration. Moreover, specialist frequency in the restored grassland increased with the proportion of semi-natural and remnant grassland habitats in the landscape. We also found a positive relationship between the proportion of species occurring in both the restored grassland and its surrounding landscape and time since restoration, in landscapes with high proportions of semi-natural grasslands. This suggests that both temporal factors, as well as the landscape composition and species pool, affect plant recolonisation in restored semi-natural grasslands.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.037
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Classifying animals into ecologically meaningful groups: A case study on
           woodland birds
    • Authors: Hannah Fraser; Cindy E. Hauser; Libby Rumpff; Georgia E. Garrard; Michael A. McCarthy
      Pages: 184 - 194
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Hannah Fraser, Cindy E. Hauser, Libby Rumpff, Georgia E. Garrard, Michael A. McCarthy
      Ecologists often classify species into binary groupings such as woodland or non-woodland birds. However, each ecologist may apply a different classification, which might impede progress in ecology and conservation by precluding direct comparison between studies. This study describes and tests a method for deriving empirically-based, ecologically-relevant species groups, using Australian woodland birds as a case study. A Bayesian hierarchical model investigates how vegetation and species traits drive birds' preference for woodland vegetation, characterised by low density trees with an open canopy structure. Birds are then classified according to their affinity to areas with high tree cover and woodland vegetation. Interestingly, no traits are strongly associated with species occurrence in woodland habitats, but occurrence in open country and forests differ depending on dispersal ability and foraging habits. Our results suggest that Australian woodland birds may be united by their avoidance of both sparsely-treed and densely-treed habitat, rather than by shared traits. Classifying species according to our groupings provides results consistent with literature on how woodland birds respond to clearing, grazing and urbanisation. Thus, our model is consistent with current ecological understanding regarding woodland birds; it also provides more nuanced inference across ‘closed-woodland’, ‘open-woodland’, ‘forest’ and ‘open country’ groups. We propose that our modelling approach could be used to classify species for other locations and taxa, providing transparent, ecologically-relevant animal groupings.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.006
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • The complete mtDNA sequence of the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus):
           Phylogenetic analysis and haplotype frequency variations after restocking
           in the Sardinian population
    • Authors: Paolo Mereu; Valentina Satta; Gian N. Frongia; Fiammetta Berlinguer; Marco Muzzeddu; Alfonso Campus; Luca Decandia; Monica Pirastru; Laura Manca; Salvatore Naitana; Giovanni G. Leoni
      Pages: 195 - 205
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Paolo Mereu, Valentina Satta, Gian N. Frongia, Fiammetta Berlinguer, Marco Muzzeddu, Alfonso Campus, Luca Decandia, Monica Pirastru, Laura Manca, Salvatore Naitana, Giovanni G. Leoni
      In Italy the Eurasian griffon Gyps fulvus became extinct between the 19th and 20th centuries, with the exception of Sardinia where is now considered “critically endangered”. Here we provide the first whole mitogenome sequence of Gyps fulvus, which was 17,961bp long. Evolutionary analysis pointed out a divergence between griffon and black vulture (Aegypius monachus) which occurred about 25.8MYA, while the rise of the Gyps ancestor was dated back at around 5.4MYA. In addition, the early radiation within the G. fulvus species started between 310 and 120MYA. To prevent extinction of the Sardinian population, two restocking events were carried out, unfortunately without contributions of genetic evidences. To estimate the impact derived by the restocking activities, mitochondrial D-loop sequences from 22 museum individuals, which died before reintroduction events, were compared with 44 sequences from the extant population. Within the extant samples we detected three haplotypes (Hpt A, B and C). Hpt C showed the lowest frequency and it was not present among the museum samples, while Hpt A and B were found to be the most represented in extant and museum samples, respectively. In order to prevent the loss of genetic variability within the Sardinian population we recommend to refer to the new genetic information provided in the present study before the implementation of recovery programs in the future.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.017
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Wild pathways of inclusive conservation
    • Authors: Martyn Murray
      Pages: 206 - 212
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Martyn Murray
      Despite growing popularity rewilding has yet to make significant inroads within the conservation mainstream which currently embraces the biodiversity and economic narratives; some ecologists dismiss it as being little more than a rebranding of ecosystem rehabilitation. If it is to gain greater influence over policy and planning, rewilding will need to showcase the unique contribution of wild values to society and demonstrate how they may be integrated with other conservation narratives. In this perspective, I frame a wild revival strategy in four interrelated questions: What do we mean by the wild' Why should humans pursue wild-life conservation' If they do, what pathways to the wild may be pursued' What kinds of outcomes result from different conservation strategies' In answering these questions, eight strategic pathways are presented which elucidate both the wild values of nature and different ways in which the wild can be enhanced, ranging from rehabilitation of vermin to ecosystem restoration. Wild ecosystems are more dynamic with greater biological expression; dewilded ones are either degraded or, paradoxically, more highly managed. The pathways provide a framework for resolving conflicts between multiple conservation narratives by facilitating agreement at the level of specific conservation actions.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.028
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Designing cost-effective capture-recapture surveys for improving the
           monitoring of survival in bird populations
    • Authors: Nicolas Lieury; Sébastien Devillard; Aurélien Besnard; Olivier Gimenez; Olivier Hameau; Cécile Ponchon; Alexandre Millon
      Pages: 233 - 241
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Nicolas Lieury, Sébastien Devillard, Aurélien Besnard, Olivier Gimenez, Olivier Hameau, Cécile Ponchon, Alexandre Millon
      Population monitoring traditionally relies on population counts, accounting or not for the issue of detectability. However, this approach does not permit to go into details on demographic processes. Therefore, Capture-Recapture (CR) surveys have become popular tools for scientists and practitioners willing to measure survival response to environmental change or conservation actions. However, CR surveys are expensive and their design is often driven by the available resources, without estimation about the level of precision they provide for detecting changes in survival, despite optimising resource allocation in wildlife monitoring is increasingly important. Investigating how CR surveys could be optimised by manipulating resource allocation among different design components is therefore critically needed. We have conducted a simulation experiment exploring the statistical power of a wide range of CR survey designs to detect changes in the survival rate of birds. CR surveys differ in terms of number of breeding pairs monitored, number of offspring and adults marked, resighting effort and survey duration. We compared open-nest (ON) and nest-box (NB) monitoring types, using medium- and long-lived model species. Increasing survey duration and number of pairs monitored increased statistical power. Long survey duration can provide accurate estimations for long-lived birds even for small population size (15 pairs). A cost-benefit analysis revealed that for long-lived ON species, ringing as many chicks as possible appears as the most effective survey component, unless a technique for capturing breeding birds at low cost is available to compensate for reduced local recruitment. For medium-lived NB species, focusing the NB rounds at a period that maximises the chance to capture breeding females inside nest-boxes is more rewarding than ringing all chicks. We show that integrating economic costs is crucial when designing CR surveys and discuss ways to improve efficiency by reducing duration to a time scale compatible with management and conservation issues.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.011
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Feral cats threaten the outstanding endemic fauna of the New Caledonia
           biodiversity hotspot
    • Authors: Pauline Palmas; Hervé Jourdan; Fredéric Rigault; Léo Debar; Hélène De Meringo; Edouard Bourguet; Mathieu Mathivet; Matthias Lee; Rachelle Adjouhgniope; Yves Papillon; Elsa Bonnaud; Eric Vidal
      Pages: 250 - 259
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Pauline Palmas, Hervé Jourdan, Fredéric Rigault, Léo Debar, Hélène De Meringo, Edouard Bourguet, Mathieu Mathivet, Matthias Lee, Rachelle Adjouhgniope, Yves Papillon, Elsa Bonnaud, Eric Vidal
      Feral cats (Felis catus) are one of the most successful and harmful invasive predator species, leading to dramatic loss of biodiversity across the globe. Our study assessed feral cat predation in a major biodiversity hotspot: the New Caledonian archipelago. We focused on the consequences of this predation for the outstanding endemic fauna found throughout the rich range of New Caledonian natural habitats. We analyzed >5300 cat scats sampled from 14 selected sites representing the 4 main natural habitats, with 4 to 6 sampling sessions per year over >4years per habitat. Our study reveals previously unreported patterns of cat predation on both alien and endemic species. Throughout the archipelago, cats prey strongly upon squamates, flying foxes and petrels. Feral cat prey included at least 44 native vertebrate species, 20 of which are IUCN Red-listed threatened species. This study adds some 44.4% to the number of IUCN threatened species vulnerable to and preyed upon by feral cats on the world's islands. New Caledonia, while it represents only 0.12% of the total area of islands worldwide (Australia included), hosts 30.8% of IUCN threatened species known to be predated by feral cats. This study recommends prioritizing management and conservation strategies by focusing actions on maquis mosaic and humid forest habitats, where feral cats pose the greatest threat. To limit the impact of feral cats, we recommend conducting targeted management actions on sites key to threatened species conservation, and preventing arrival or promoting eradication on islets.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.003
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Forest patch isolation drives local extinctions of Amazonian orchid bees
           in a 26years old archipelago
    • Authors: Danielle Storck-Tonon; Carlos A. Peres
      Pages: 270 - 277
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Danielle Storck-Tonon, Carlos A. Peres
      Major hydroelectric dams are among key emergent agents of habitat loss and fragmentation in lowland tropical forests. Orchid bees (Apidae, Euglossini) are one of the most important groups of specialized pollinators of flowering plants in Neotropical forests. Here, we investigate how an entire assemblage of orchid bees responded to the effects of forest habitat loss, isolation and forest canopy degradation induced by a hydroelectric reservoir of Central Brazilian Amazonia. Built in 1986, the Balbina Dam resulted in a vast archipelagic landscape containing 3546 primary forest islands of varying sizes and isolation, surrounded by 3129km2 of freshwater. Using scent traps, we sampled 34 islands, 14 open-water matrix sites, and three mainland continuous forests, yielding 2870 male orchid bees representing 25 species. Local orchid bee species richness was affected by forest patch area but particularly by site isolation. Distance to forest edges, either within forest areas or into the open-water matrix, was the most important predictor of species richness and composition. Variation in matrix dispersal of individual species to increasingly isolated sites was a key determinant of community structure. Given the patterns of patch persistence and matrix movements of orchid bees in increasingly fragmented forest landscapes, we outline how forest bees respond to the landscape alteration induced by major hydroelectric dams. These results should be considered in environmental impact studies prior to the approval of new dams.

      PubDate: 2017-09-07T11:17:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.018
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Current threats faced by Neotropical parrot populations
    • Authors: I. Berkunsky; P. Quillfeldt; D.J. Brightsmith; M.C. Abbud; J.M.R.E. Aguilar; U. Alemán-Zelaya; R.M. Aramburú; A. Arce Arias; R. Balas McNab; T.J.S. Balsby; J.M. Barredo Barberena; S.R. Beissinger; M. Rosales; K.S. Berg; C.A. Bianchi; E. Blanco; A. Bodrati; C. Bonilla-Ruz; E. Botero-Delgadillo; S.B. Canavelli; R. Caparroz; R.E. Cepeda; O. Chassot; C. Cinta-Magallón; K.L. Cockle; G. Daniele; C.B. de Araujo; A.E. de Barbosa; L.N. de Moura; H. Del Castillo; S. Díaz; J.A. Díaz-Luque; L. Douglas; A. Figueroa Rodríguez; R.A. García-Anleu; J.D. Gilardi; P.G. Grilli; J.C. Guix; M. Hernández; A. Hernández-Muñoz; F. Hiraldo; E. Horstman; R. Ibarra Portillo; J.P. Isacch; J.E. Jiménez; L. Joyner; M. Juarez; F.P. Kacoliris; V.T. Kanaan; L. Klemann-Júnior; S.C. Latta; A.T.K. Lee; A. Lesterhuis; M. Lezama-López; C. Lugarini; G. Marateo; C.B. Marinelli; J. Martínez; M.S. McReynolds; C.R. Mejia Urbina; G. Monge-Arias; T.C. Monterrubio-Rico; A.P. Nunes; FdP Nunes; C. Olaciregui; J. Ortega-Arguelles; E. Pacifico; L. Pagano; N. Politi; G. Ponce-Santizo; H.O. Portillo Reyes; N.P. Prestes; F. Presti; K. Renton; G. Reyes-Macedo; E. Ringler; L. Rivera; A. Rodríguez-Ferraro; A.M. Rojas-Valverde; R.E. Rojas-Llanos; Y.G. Rubio-Rocha; A.B.S. Saidenberg; A. Salinas-Melgoza; V. Sanz; H.M. Schaefer; P. Scherer-Neto; G.H.F. Seixas; P. Serafini; L.F. Silveira; E.A.B. Sipinski; M. Somenzari; D. Susanibar; J.L. Tella; C. Torres-Sovero; C. Trofino-Falasco; R. Vargas-Rodríguez; L.D. Vázquez-Reyes; T.H. White; S. Williams; R. Zarza; J.F. Masello
      Pages: 278 - 287
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): I. Berkunsky, P. Quillfeldt, D.J. Brightsmith, M.C. Abbud, J.M.R.E. Aguilar, U. Alemán-Zelaya, R.M. Aramburú, A. Arce Arias, R. Balas McNab, T.J.S. Balsby, J.M. Barredo Barberena, S.R. Beissinger, M. Rosales, K.S. Berg, C.A. Bianchi, E. Blanco, A. Bodrati, C. Bonilla-Ruz, E. Botero-Delgadillo, S.B. Canavelli, R. Caparroz, R.E. Cepeda, O. Chassot, C. Cinta-Magallón, K.L. Cockle, G. Daniele, C.B. de Araujo, A.E. de Barbosa, L.N. de Moura, H. Del Castillo, S. Díaz, J.A. Díaz-Luque, L. Douglas, A. Figueroa Rodríguez, R.A. García-Anleu, J.D. Gilardi, P.G. Grilli, J.C. Guix, M. Hernández, A. Hernández-Muñoz, F. Hiraldo, E. Horstman, R. Ibarra Portillo, J.P. Isacch, J.E. Jiménez, L. Joyner, M. Juarez, F.P. Kacoliris, V.T. Kanaan, L. Klemann-Júnior, S.C. Latta, A.T.K. Lee, A. Lesterhuis, M. Lezama-López, C. Lugarini, G. Marateo, C.B. Marinelli, J. Martínez, M.S. McReynolds, C.R. Mejia Urbina, G. Monge-Arias, T.C. Monterrubio-Rico, A.P. Nunes, FdP Nunes, C. Olaciregui, J. Ortega-Arguelles, E. Pacifico, L. Pagano, N. Politi, G. Ponce-Santizo, H.O. Portillo Reyes, N.P. Prestes, F. Presti, K. Renton, G. Reyes-Macedo, E. Ringler, L. Rivera, A. Rodríguez-Ferraro, A.M. Rojas-Valverde, R.E. Rojas-Llanos, Y.G. Rubio-Rocha, A.B.S. Saidenberg, A. Salinas-Melgoza, V. Sanz, H.M. Schaefer, P. Scherer-Neto, G.H.F. Seixas, P. Serafini, L.F. Silveira, E.A.B. Sipinski, M. Somenzari, D. Susanibar, J.L. Tella, C. Torres-Sovero, C. Trofino-Falasco, R. Vargas-Rodríguez, L.D. Vázquez-Reyes, T.H. White, S. Williams, R. Zarza, J.F. Masello
      Psittaciformes (parrots, cockatoos) are among the most endangered birds, with 31% of Neotropical species under threat. The drivers of this situation appear to be manifold and mainly of anthropogenic origin. However, this assessment is based on the last extensive consultation about the conservation situation of parrots carried out in the 1990s. Given the rapid development of anthropogenic threats, updated data are needed to strategize conservation actions. Using a population approach, we addressed this need through a wide-ranging consultation involving biologists, wildlife managers, government agencies and non-governmental conservation organizations. We gathered up-to-date information on threats affecting 192 populations of 96 Neotropical parrot species across 21 countries. Moreover, we investigated associations among current threats and population trends. Many populations were affected by multiple threats. Agriculture, Capture for the Pet Trade, Logging, each of them affected >55% of the populations, suggesting a higher degree of risk than previously thought. In contrast to previous studies at the species level, our study showed that the threat most closely associated with decreasing population trends is now Capture for the local Pet Trade. Other threats associated with decreasing populations include Small-holder Farming, Rural Population Pressure, Nest Destruction by Poachers, Agro-industry Grazing, Small-holder Grazing, and Capture for the international Pet Trade. Conservation actions have been implemented on <20% of populations. Our results highlight the importance of a population-level approach in revealing the extent of threats to wild populations. It is critical to increase the scope of conservation actions to reduce the capture of wild parrots for pets.

      PubDate: 2017-09-07T11:17:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.016
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Relative influences of climate change and human activity on the onshore
           distribution of polar bears
    • Authors: Ryan R. Wilson; Eric V. Regehr; Michelle St. Martin; Todd C. Atwood; Elizabeth Peacock; Susanne Miller; George Divoky
      Pages: 288 - 294
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Ryan R. Wilson, Eric V. Regehr, Michelle St. Martin, Todd C. Atwood, Elizabeth Peacock, Susanne Miller, George Divoky
      Climate change is altering habitat for many species, leading to shifts in distributions that can increase levels of human-wildlife conflict. To develop effective strategies for minimizing human-wildlife conflict, we must understand the relative influences that climate change and other factors have on wildlife distributions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are increasingly using land during summer and autumn due to sea ice loss, leading to higher incidents of conflict and concerns for human safety. We sought to understand the relative influence of sea ice conditions, onshore habitat characteristics, and human-provisioned food attractants on the distribution and abundance of polar bears while on shore. We also wanted to determine how mitigation measures might reduce human-polar bear conflict associated with an anthropogenic food source. We built a Bayesian hierarchical model based on 14years of aerial survey data to estimate the weekly number and distribution of polar bears on the coast of northern Alaska in autumn. We then used the model to predict how effective two management options for handling subsistence-harvested whale remains in the community of Kaktovik, Alaska might be. The distribution of bears on shore was most strongly influenced by the presence of whale carcasses and to a lesser extent sea ice and onshore habitat conditions. The numbers of bears on shore were related to sea ice conditions. The two management strategies for handling the whale carcasses reduced the estimated number of bears near Kaktovik by >75%. By considering multiple factors associated with the onshore distribution and abundance of polar bears we discerned what role human activities played in where bears occur and how successful efforts to manage the whale carcasses might be for reducing human-polar bear conflict.

      PubDate: 2017-09-07T11:17:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.005
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Exploring the relationships between landscape complexity, wild bee species
           richness and reproduction, and pollination services along a complexity
           gradient in the Netherlands
    • Authors: Tibor Bukovinszky; Joke Verheijen; Susan Zwerver; Esther Klop; Jacobus C. Biesmeijer; Felix L. Wäckers; Herbert H.T. Prins; David Kleijn
      Pages: 312 - 319
      Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 214
      Author(s): Tibor Bukovinszky, Joke Verheijen, Susan Zwerver, Esther Klop, Jacobus C. Biesmeijer, Felix L. Wäckers, Herbert H.T. Prins, David Kleijn
      Pollinator communities exhibit variable responses to changing landscape composition. A general expectation is that a decreasing cover of semi-natural habitats negatively affects pollinator reproduction, population size and pollination services, but few studies have investigated the simultaneous effects of landscape complexity on different aspects of pollinator communities and functioning. In 20 agricultural landscape plots the size of an average Dutch farm, we studied how changing landscape complexity affected wild bee abundance, species richness and reproduction. To measure pollination, we placed potted strawberry plants as phytometers in landscapes. Landscape complexity was characterized as the area of semi-natural habitats. In addition, we estimated floral resource abundance in each landscape plot. We expected that i) bee species richness, reproduction and pollination would be positively related to area of semi-natural habitats and flower abundance, and that ii) species richness and reproduction would be positively related to pollination. An increase in semi-natural habitats in landscapes increased both the abundance of cavity-nesting bees colonizing trap nests, and the growth rates of experimental Bombus terrestris L. colonies, but not the species richness of wild bees measured by pan traps. There was only a tendency for higher pollination levels of strawberry plants with higher cover of semi-natural habitats. There was no relationship between species richness and bee reproduction in a landscape and the pollination services. Estimated flower abundance in landscape had a positive effect on bumblebee colony growth only and not on the other variables. Our results suggest that, by improving habitat quality on their farms through establishing more semi-natural habitats or enhancing the flower availability in semi-natural habitats, farmers can promote reproduction of a number of functionally important bee species and the pollination services they provide. Bee species richness, however, seems to be more difficult to enhance and requires more than just creating more of the same type of habitats or flowers.

      PubDate: 2017-09-13T17:41:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.027
      Issue No: Vol. 214 (2017)
       
  • Functional traits drive ground beetle community structures in Central
           European forests: Implications for conservation
    • Authors: Dorothea Nolte; Andreas Schuldt; Martin M. Gossner; Werner Ulrich; Thorsten Assmann
      Pages: 5 - 12
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part A
      Author(s): Dorothea Nolte, Andreas Schuldt, Martin M. Gossner, Werner Ulrich, Thorsten Assmann
      Community metrics describing the structuring of ecological communities, such as nestedness and the potential linkages between functional traits and the occurrence of species, might hold important information for biodiversity conservation. The order in which species are ranked in nested communities, as well as species traits determining community composition, can help pinpoint species vulnerable to extinction. However, these patterns remain understudied for many taxa of conservation concern and across larger spatial scales. We used a large dataset of ground beetle communities in Central European forests to test for nestedness, variation in species composition, and whether species traits can explain species composition patterns. We found only weak evidence of nestedness of ground beetle communities. However, community compositions across regions were remarkably similar. Species traits explained over half the variance in the overall occurrence ranks of ground beetle species. Wing dimorphism, breeding in both spring and autumn, and hibernation as both larval instars and as imago coincided with increasing occurrence probability, probably due to the greater flexibility of such species to adapt to fluctuating environmental conditions. In contrast, predominantly granivorous species or those with smaller geographical ranges had small occurrence ranks. These results emphasise the importance of investigating the relationships between species traits and occurrence ranks to better understand the mechanisms which shape community composition, and these relationships should be taken into consideration in conservation contexts. Our results provide a basis for the development of more effective conservation strategies in Central European forests to protect threatened ground beetle species.

      PubDate: 2017-07-12T01:15:43Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.038
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • In the absence of an apex predator, irruptive herbivores suppress grass
           seed production: Implications for small granivores
    • Authors: James D. Rees; Richard T. Kingsford; Mike Letnic
      Pages: 13 - 18
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part A
      Author(s): James D. Rees, Richard T. Kingsford, Mike Letnic
      Many examples exist of species disappearing shortly after the extinction of a previously co-occurring apex predator, however processes connecting these events are often obscure. In Australian deserts, dingo Canis dingo eradication is associated with declines in abundances of small granivorous birds, even though dingoes and these flying birds rarely directly interact. We hypothesised that dingoes facilitate small granivores by reducing populations of large, grazing kangaroos Macropus spp., thereby increasing grass seed production and availability. To test this prediction, we monitored kangaroo abundances and surveyed grass seed production and biomass of native pastures in matched, desert habitats with dingoes and where dingoes were functionally extinct. Dingo absence was associated with 99.9% greater abundances of kangaroos, 88% - 98% lower pasture biomasses and 85% - 97% lower densities of grass seed heads. To test that these vegetation effects were related to kangaroo grazing, we constructed large herbivore exclosures in areas where dingoes where functionally extinct and there were no grazing livestock. After three years of kangaroo exclusion, pasture biomass and grass seed production were each 87% greater than in adjacent, grazed control plots. Regeneration of vegetation within the kangaroo exclosures demonstrated that kangaroo grazing was responsible for the differences in native pastures we had observed associated with the functional extinction of dingoes. Our results indicate that reduction of grass seed availability by kangaroo grazing is a likely explanation for the relative rarity of small granivorous birds in areas where dingoes are functionally extinct. In areas where apex predators have been eradicated, reintroducing and conserving apex predators or intensively controlling mammalian herbivores would be necessary to mitigate destructive herbivory.

      PubDate: 2017-07-12T01:15:43Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.037
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • Why discrepancies in searching the conservation biology literature matter
    • Authors: Michael C. Calver; Barry Goldman; Patricia A. Hutchings; Richard T. Kingsford
      Pages: 19 - 26
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part A
      Author(s): Michael C. Calver, Barry Goldman, Patricia A. Hutchings, Richard T. Kingsford
      Conservation biologists seek as much information as possible for evidence-based conservation actions, so they have a special concern for variations in literature retrieval. We assessed the significance for biological conservation of differences in literature retrieval across databases by comparing five simple subject searches in Scopus, Web of Science (WoS) (comparing two different subscriptions), Web of Science (Core Collection) (WosCC) (comparing two different subscriptions) and Google Scholar (GS). The efficiency of a search (the number of references retrieved by a database as a percentage of the total number retrieved across all databases) ranged from 5% to 92%. Different subscriptions to WoS and WoSCC returned different numbers of references. Additionally, we asked 114 conservation biologists which databases they used, their awareness of differing search options within databases and their awareness of different subscription options. The four most widely used databases were GS (88%), WoS (59%), WoSCC (58%) and Scopus (27%). Most respondents (≥65%) were unsure about specific features in databases, although 66% knew of the service GS Citations, and 76% agreed that GS retrieved grey literature effectively. Respondents' publication history did not influence their responses. Researchers seeking comprehensive literature reviews should consult multiple databases, with online searches using GS important for locating books, book chapters and grey literature. Comparative evaluations of publication outputs of researchers or departments are susceptible to variations in content between databases and different subscriptions of the same database, so researchers should justify the databases used and, if applicable, the subscriptions. Students value convenience over thoroughness in literature searches, so relevant education is needed.

      PubDate: 2017-07-12T01:15:43Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.028
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • What is a legitimate conservation policy'
    • Authors: Yves Meinard
      Pages: 115 - 123
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part A
      Author(s): Yves Meinard
      Most conservation actions are part of public policies: they are financed through taxes and are part of policy packages. Consequently, conservation practitioners often have to face challenges to the legitimacy of their actions and expenses. But what is a legitimate conservation policy' This article develops a philosophically qualified answer and explores its application to concrete conservation situations. This approach is anchored in a “performative” interpretation of the philosophy of Rawls, Habermas and other deliberative democracy theorists. The performative approach emphasizes the primacy of practice and the elusiveness of purportedly definitive, purely theoretical definitions of legitimacy. As an application of this approach, a legitimate conservation policy is provisionally defined as one such that: (i) the defenders of the policy have justified it, as a matter of fact; (ii) even if it is not attacked, they are ready to argue to justify it; and (iii) if it is actually attacked, they enact this readiness. A specification of this three-fold criterion is then introduced, by analysing a series of real-life conservation actions or policies. This analysis unveils four widespread mechanisms (opaque procedures, closed circles of experts, denials of knowledge gaps and concealments of ethical debates) leading to illegitimate conservation policies. Identifying these mechanisms and their links with the provisional definition of legitimacy makes it possible to foster the legitimacy of conservation actions and policies. Finally, concrete practical implications for conservation researchers and practitioners are outlined.

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T20:19:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.042
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • Simplifying the selection of evidence synthesis methods to inform
           environmental decisions: A guide for decision makers and scientists
    • Authors: Carly N. Cook; Susan J. Nichols; J. Angus Webb; Richard A. Fuller; Rob M. Richards
      Pages: 135 - 145
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part A
      Author(s): Carly N. Cook, Susan J. Nichols, J. Angus Webb, Richard A. Fuller, Rob M. Richards
      Achieving evidence-based environmental management requires that decision-makers have access to evidence that can help identify the most effective interventions for their management context. Evidence synthesis supports evidence-based decision-making because it collates, filters and makes sense of a sometimes large and often conflicting evidence-base, potentially yielding new insights. There are many approaches to evidence synthesis. They each have different strengths and weaknesses, making them suited to different purposes, questions and contexts, given particular constraints. To make sense of the wide array of approaches, we outline the important considerations when selecting the most appropriate method for a particular decision context. These include the purpose for the synthesis, the required outcomes, and the multiple constraints within which decision-makers must operate. We then critically assess a spectrum of approaches to evidence synthesis commonly used within environmental management, detailing the characteristics of each that can be used to determine when it is a suitable method. To guide this selection process we provide a decision tree for those commissioning (e.g., decision-makers or stakeholders) or conducting (e.g., scientists) evidence synthesis, which can be used to identify an appropriate method. The decision tree classifies evidence synthesis methods according to whether their purpose is to test or generate hypotheses, the level of resources they require, the level of certainty in the outputs, and the type and scope of the question being addressed. This tool is a major advance because it helps select an appropriate synthesis method based on the multiple constraints that impact the decision. We conclude that there is an approach to evidence synthesis that will suit all management contexts, but that selecting the right approach requires careful consideration of what is fit for purpose.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T20:19:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.004
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • The impacts of timber harvesting on stream biota – An expanding
           field of heterogeneity
    • Authors: Tamika Lunn; Sarah Munks; Scott Carver
      Pages: 154 - 166
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part A
      Author(s): Tamika Lunn, Sarah Munks, Scott Carver
      Global demand for timber products is increasing. Despite high interest in the environmental impacts of forestry and efforts to improve management practices, little synthesis of these impacts exist. This systematic review unifies the literature on timber harvest impacts on stream biota, quantifies temporal, geographical and taxonomic trends in this forestry research, and appraises widespread methodological approaches. Our findings highlight heterogeneity across studies regarding the response of aquatic biota to timber harvest. Overall we found few consistent responses of taxa to forestry, with variation in the direction and magnitude of observed responses across studies. We also show that the number of publications on this topic increased through till 2008 and has declined since that time. The majority of this research has been conducted in North America with a focus on invertebrates. Additionally, the majority of studies have been retrospective surveys conducted on a stream reach scale over a period of less than five years. We suggest that the most critical gaps for forestry research on aquatic fauna are in underrepresented areas with increasing levels of forestry, particularly in Asia, and on understudied taxa. We also propose that greater emphasis should be placed on gaining more mechanistic understandings of biotic responses to disturbance, through experimentation and more powerful statistical approaches. This will be necessary to improve understanding and predictive capacity of the responses of aquatic biota to increasing global timber harvest. This information is vital for effective management in the face of intensified use of forests.

      PubDate: 2017-07-23T20:19:47Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.025
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • Measuring and reporting biodiversity change
    • Authors: Eren Turak; Eugenie Regan; Mark John Costello
      Pages: 249 - 251
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part B
      Author(s): Eren Turak, Eugenie Regan, Mark John Costello
      Efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services are difficult to evaluate because of the lack of reliable measures of the state of local, national, regional, and global biodiversity. This special issue contains 11 papers that review and advance the field of biodiversity measurement, including thematic gaps and global priorities, making full use of all data sources and opportunities, the importance of indices and metrics, linkages to management, and reporting biodiversity change. This body of work is an important contribution to the ongoing efforts to take the measurement of biodiversity from an uncoordinated and disparate situation to a harmonised framework that is scalable, flexible, pragmatic, and ready to inform management. These papers describe advances in this field but they also highlight the important challenges that remain, including consensus on the most important measures, the filling of thematic gaps, and communicating biodiversity change to wider audiences.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.03.013
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • Global biodiversity monitoring: From data sources to Essential
           Biodiversity Variables
    • Authors: Vânia Proença; Laura Jane Martin; Henrique Miguel Pereira; Miguel Fernandez; Louise McRae; Jayne Belnap; Monika Böhm; Neil Brummitt; Jaime García-Moreno; Richard D. Gregory; João Pradinho Honrado; Norbert Jürgens; Michael Opige; Dirk S. Schmeller; Patrícia Tiago; Chris A.M. van Swaay
      Pages: 256 - 263
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part B
      Author(s): Vânia Proença, Laura Jane Martin, Henrique Miguel Pereira, Miguel Fernandez, Louise McRae, Jayne Belnap, Monika Böhm, Neil Brummitt, Jaime García-Moreno, Richard D. Gregory, João Pradinho Honrado, Norbert Jürgens, Michael Opige, Dirk S. Schmeller, Patrícia Tiago, Chris A.M. van Swaay
      Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) consolidate information from varied biodiversity observation sources. Here we demonstrate the links between data sources, EBVs and indicators and discuss how different sources of biodiversity observations can be harnessed to inform EBVs. We classify sources of primary observations into four types: extensive and intensive monitoring schemes, ecological field studies and satellite remote sensing. We characterize their geographic, taxonomic and temporal coverage. Ecological field studies and intensive monitoring schemes inform a wide range of EBVs, but the former tend to deliver short-term data, while the geographic coverage of the latter is limited. In contrast, extensive monitoring schemes mostly inform the population abundance EBV, but deliver long-term data across an extensive network of sites. Satellite remote sensing is particularly suited to providing information on ecosystem function and structure EBVs. Biases behind data sources may affect the representativeness of global biodiversity datasets. To improve them, researchers must assess data sources and then develop strategies to compensate for identified gaps. We draw on the population abundance dataset informing the Living Planet Index (LPI) to illustrate the effects of data sources on EBV representativeness. We find that long-term monitoring schemes informing the LPI are still scarce outside of Europe and North America and that ecological field studies play a key role in covering that gap. Achieving representative EBV datasets will depend both on the ability to integrate available data, through data harmonization and modeling efforts, and on the establishment of new monitoring programs to address critical data gaps.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.07.014
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • Using the essential biodiversity variables framework to measure
           biodiversity change at national scale
    • Authors: Eren Turak; James Brazill-Boast; Tim Cooney; Michael Drielsma; Jocelyn DelaCruz; Gillian Dunkerley; Miguel Fernandez; Simon Ferrier; Mike Gill; Hugh Jones; Terry Koen; John Leys; Melodie McGeoch; Jean-Baptiste Mihoub; Peter Scanes; Dirk Schmeller; Kristen Williams
      Pages: 264 - 271
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part B
      Author(s): Eren Turak, James Brazill-Boast, Tim Cooney, Michael Drielsma, Jocelyn DelaCruz, Gillian Dunkerley, Miguel Fernandez, Simon Ferrier, Mike Gill, Hugh Jones, Terry Koen, John Leys, Melodie McGeoch, Jean-Baptiste Mihoub, Peter Scanes, Dirk Schmeller, Kristen Williams
      The essential biodiversity variables (EBV) framework was developed primarily to improve the detection of significant changes in global biodiversity. Its application at national level must support county-specific policy and management needs as well as allowing comparisons of estimates of biodiversity change between countries and their aggregation for reporting at regional, continental and global scales. Here we outline a process for prioritising biodiversity variables at national scale using the EBV framework. The process involves separately identifying candidate EBVs that are useful for tracking important changes in biodiversity in each major ecological feature in each ecoregion within a country. The list is then prioritised based on the proportion of ecological feature ecoregion combinations using each variable within and across terrestrial, marine and freshwater realms. We showcased this process in Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) using terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecoregions of the world as bioregional strata; vegetation formations as terrestrial ecological features, and broad aquatic ecosystem types as marine and freshwater ecological features. There was sufficient knowledge of ecological processes to identify useful variables for 85% of the ecological feature ecoregion combinations in NSW. Eleven candidate EBVs covering all six EBV classes, were useful in all three environmental realms. Our structured, stepwise approach to variable selection provides a transparent process for identifying important elements of ecological theory underpinning biodiversity monitoring within countries. Worldwide adoption of a process for prioritising biodiversity variables such as the one we propose here would help ensure consistency of national contributions to global biodiversity assessments.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.08.019
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • Essential Biodiversity Variables for measuring change in global freshwater
           biodiversity
    • Authors: Eren Turak; Ian Harrison; David Dudgeon; Robin Abell; Alex Bush; William Darwall; C. Max Finlayson; Simon Ferrier; Jörg Freyhof; Virgilio Hermoso; Diego Juffe-Bignoli; Simon Linke; Jeanne Nel; Harmony C. Patricio; Jamie Pittock; Rajeev Raghavan; Carmen Revenga; John P. Simaika; Aaike De Wever
      Pages: 272 - 279
      Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part B
      Author(s): Eren Turak, Ian Harrison, David Dudgeon, Robin Abell, Alex Bush, William Darwall, C. Max Finlayson, Simon Ferrier, Jörg Freyhof, Virgilio Hermoso, Diego Juffe-Bignoli, Simon Linke, Jeanne Nel, Harmony C. Patricio, Jamie Pittock, Rajeev Raghavan, Carmen Revenga, John P. Simaika, Aaike De Wever
      A critical requirement in assessing progress towards global biodiversity targets is improving our capacity to measure changes in biodiversity. Global biodiversity declined between 2000 and 2010, and there are indications that the decline was greater in freshwater than in terrestrial or marine systems. However, the data, tools and methods available during that decade were inadequate to reliably quantify this decline. Recent advances in freshwater monitoring make a global assessment now close to becoming feasible. Here we identify priorities for freshwater biodiversity assessment for 2020 and 2030, based on the Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV) framework. We identify 22 priority activities for 2020 under three of the EBV classes (species populations, community composition, and ecosystem structure), which include: a globally systematic approach to collecting and assessing species data, collating existing and new data within global platforms, coordinated effort towards mapping wetland extent at high spatial resolution, linking in-situ data to modelling across regions, and mobilising citizen science for the collection and verification of data. Accomplishing these will allow the state of global biodiversity to be assessed according to a Red List Index with expanded geographic and taxonomic cover, an improved freshwater Living Planet Index with a greater number and phylogenetic range of species, measures of alpha and beta diversity, and globally-consistent estimates of wetland extent. To assess variables in the other EBV classes (genetic composition, species traits, and ecosystem function) we identify 15 priorities, which include development of environmental DNA methods, species-traits databases, eco-informatics and modelling over the next 15years.

      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.09.005
      Issue No: Vol. 213 (2017)
       
  • Germ Wars: The Politics of Microbes and America's Landscape of Fear,
           Melanie Armstrong. The University of California Press (2017)
    • Authors: Joshua Eastin
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation
      Author(s): Joshua Eastin


      PubDate: 2017-09-13T17:41:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.035
       
  • Citizen science monitoring demonstrates dramatic declines of monarch
           butterflies in western North America
    • Authors: Cheryl B. Schultz; Leone M. Brown; Emma Pelton; Elizabeth E. Crone
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation
      Author(s): Cheryl B. Schultz, Leone M. Brown, Emma Pelton, Elizabeth E. Crone
      Count-based PVA allows researchers to assess patterns of population change through time and to evaluate future persistence. We combined state-space models and citizen science data to evaluate viability of the western population of monarch butterflies over 36years. A key feature of our analysis was combining irregular sampling from multiple sites to obtain a single estimate of total abundance using state-space models. The average population growth rate was negative, u =−0.0762 (λ =0.927), average abundance in the 2000s was <5% of average abundance in the 1980s, and current quasi-extinction risk is 72% within 20years. Despite wide confidence intervals in some parameter estimates, western monarch monitoring data provide unambiguous evidence for dramatic population declines. To obtain viable populations, managers could target historic abundance and high enough growth rates to avoid near-term extinction.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-09-13T17:41:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.019
       
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part B


      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
       
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: September 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 213, Part A


      PubDate: 2017-09-02T13:40:49Z
       
 
 
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