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To inform sustainable energy development, it is important to understand the ecological effects of historical and current production practices and the persistence of those effects. The Williston Basin is one of North America's largest oil production areas and overlaps the Prairie Pothole Region, an area densely populated with wetlands that provide important wildlife habitat. Although historical disposal practices that released chloride-rich waters (brines) produced during oil extraction into the environment are no longer used, brine spills still occur frequently. We sampled 33 wetlands for three amphibian species in Montana and North Dakota during 2015–2017, primarily on National Wildlife Refuges, and used N-mixture...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Torreya taxifolia is a coniferous tree that is endemic to the 35 km stretch of bluffs and ravines along the east side of the Apalachicola River in northern Florida and adjacent southern Georgia. This formerly locally abundant tree declined during the 1950s and 1960s as a result of disease and is currently on the US Endangered Species list. For sparsely distributed species it can often be difficult to determine both current and historic population sizes. Historical descriptions of the distribution (203 km2) and relative abundance (14.2% of dominant ravine trees) of T. taxifolia are used along with current measures of forest structure to estimate the pre-decline population density (30 trees/ha) and size (∼0.3–0.65...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Designing conservation strategies that protect wide-ranging marine species is a significant challenge, but integrating regional telemetry datasets and synthesizing modeled movements and behavior offer promise for uncovering distinct at-sea areas that are important habitats for imperiled marine species. Movement paths of 10 satellite-tracked female loggerheads (Caretta caretta) from three separate subpopulations in the Gulf of Mexico, USA, revealed migration to discrete foraging sites in two common areas at-sea in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Foraging sites were 102–904 km away from nesting and tagging sites, and located off southwest Florida and the northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Within 3–35 days, turtles migrated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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To describe the composition and pattern of unmanaged forestland in Oregon's central Coast Range, we analyzed forest conditions from a random sample of 18 prelogging (1949 and earlier) landscapes. We also compared the amount and variability of old forest (conifer-dominated stands > 53 cm dbh) in the prelogging landscapes with that in the current landscapes. Sixty-three percent of the prelogging landscape comprised old forest, approximately 21% of which also had a significant (> 20% cover) hardwood component. The proportions of forest types across the 18 prelogging landscapes varied greatly for both early seral stages (cv = 81194) and hardwoods (cv = 127) and moderately for old forest (cv = 39). With increasing distance...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) are colonial-nesting birds and their breeding sites are concentrated in a few small areas, making this species especially vulnerable to factors that can influence productivity, such as disease, disturbance, predation, weather events and loss of nesting habitat. Nearly half of the American white pelican population breeds at four colonies in the northern plains: Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in North Dakota, Bitter Lake (Waubay NWR) in South Dakota, Medicine Lake NWR in Montana, and Marsh Lake in Minnesota. Thus, sustained productivity at these colonies is crucial to the health of the entire species. During the latter half of the 2002 and 2003 breeding...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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As in his earlier article to which reference is made, the author stresses the need for more background information and a much greater research effort before problems of environmental protection from oil developments in northern Alaska can be effectively tackled. Meanwhile, there are indications that the earlier estimates of around ten thousand million barrels should be raised-perhaps to about five times as much. There has moreover been a great increate also in the known and probable gas reserves in northern Canada-particularly in the Arctic Archipelago. In spite of planned automation, people will be needed for development-including Eskimos and Indians, whose interests will be widely protected under the Alaska Native...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Landscape variables were employed as indices of habitat heterogeneity, fragmentation, and human influence on the environment to characterize constituent units of a 635 km2 grid covering the state of Pennsylvania. Species richness was determined by overlaying the distributions of all 60 terrestrial mammalian species found within the state. All landscape variables investigated were correlated with species richness. Areas with high topographic variation and low road density had the highest species richness. Species sensitive to habitat fragmentation were also associated with large forest patches and low road density. These landscape variables may be useful in identifying areas that are important for the conservation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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In order to better understand the nature of disturbances to wintering snowy plovers, I observed snowy plovers and activities that might disturb them at a beach near Devereux Slough in Santa Barbara, California, USA. Disturbance (activity that caused plovers to move or fly) to wintering populations of threatened western snowy plovers was 16 times higher at a public beach than at protected beaches. Wintering plovers reacted to disturbance at half the distance (∼40 m) as has been reported for breeding snowy plovers (∼80 m). Humans, dogs, crows and other birds were the main sources of disturbance on the public beach, and each snowy plover was disturbed, on average, once every 27 weekend min and once every 43 weekday...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Roads in urbanized areas can impact carnivore populations by constraining their movements and increasing mortality. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are felids capable of living in urban environments, but are sensitive to habitat fragmentation and, thus, useful indicators of landscape connectivity; in particular, bobcat habitat selection, movement, and mortality may be affected by roads. We analyzed movement patterns of 52 bobcats in southern California in three study sites and investigated: (1) how bobcats responded to two types of roads within their home ranges; (2) how they placed their home ranges with respect to roads within the study area; and (3) whether male and female bobcats differed in their behavioral responses...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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The metapopulation viability analysis package, VORTEX, was used to examine viability and recovery objectives for piping plovers Charadrius melodus, an endangered shorebird that breeds in three distinct regions of North America. Baseline models indicate that while Atlantic Coast populations, under current management practices, are at little risk of near-term extinction, Great Plains and Great Lakes populations require 36% higher mean fecundity for a significant probability of persisting for the next 100 years. Metapopulation structure (i.e. the delineation of populations within the metapopulation) and interpopulation dispersal rates had varying effects on model results; however, spatially-structured metapopulations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Citizen science has advanced science for hundreds of years, contributed to many peer-reviewed articles, and informed land management decisions and policies across the United States. Over the last 10 years, citizen science has grown immensely in the United States and many other countries. Here, we show how citizen science is a powerful tool for tackling many of the challenges faced in the field of conservation biology. We describe the two interwoven paths by which citizen science can improve conservation efforts, natural resource management, and environmental protection. The first path includes building scientific knowledge, while the other path involves informing policy and encouraging public action. We explore...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Hundreds of thousands of bats are killed annually by colliding with wind turbines in the U.S., yet little is known about factors causing variation in mortality across wind energy facilities. We conducted a quantitative synthesis of bat collision mortality with wind turbines by reviewing 218 North American studies representing 100 wind energy facilities. This data set, the largest compiled for bats to date, provides further evidence that collision mortality is greatest for migratory tree-roosting species (Hoary Bat [Lasiurus cinereus], Eastern Red Bat [Lasiurus borealis], Silver-haired Bat [Lasionycteris noctivagans]) and from July to October. Based on 40 U.S. studies meeting inclusion criteria and analyzed under...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Sea ice dominates marine ecosystems in the Arctic, and recent reductions in sea ice may alter food webs throughout the region. Sea ice loss may also stress Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), which feed on benthic macroinvertebrates in the Bering and Chukchi seas. However, no studies have examined the effects of sea ice on foraging Pacific walrus space use patterns. We tested a series of hypotheses that examined walrus foraging resource selection as a function of proximity to resting substrates and prey biomass. We quantified walrus prey biomass with 17 benthic invertebrate families, which included bivalves, polychaetes, amphipods, tunicates, and sipunculids. We included covariates for distance to sea...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Estimating patterns of habitat use is challenging for marine avian species because seabirds tend to aggregate in large groups and it can be difficult to locate both individuals and groups in vast marine environments. We developed an approach to estimate the statistical power of discrete survey events to identify species-specific hotspots and coldspots of long-term seabird abundance in marine environments. We illustrate our approach using historical seabird data from survey transects in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), an area that has been divided into “lease blocks” for proposed offshore wind energy development. For our power analysis, we examined whether discrete lease blocks within the region...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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In the last decade, unconventional drilling for natural gas from the Marcellus-Utica shale has increased exponentially in the central Appalachians. This heavily forested region contains important breeding habitat for many neotropical migratory songbirds, including several species of conservation concern. Our goal was to examine effects of unconventional gas development on forest habitat and breeding songbirds at a predominantly forested site from 2008 to 2015. Construction of gas well pads and infrastructure (e.g., roads, pipelines) contributed to an overall 4.5% loss in forest cover at the site, a 12.4% loss in core forest, and a 51.7% increase in forest edge density. We evaluated the relationship between land-cover...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Feral pig Sus scrofa control in Kipahulu Valley, a remote rain forest in Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaiian Islands, has been achieved with snares over a 45-month period. Initial pig densities in fenced management units of 6·2 km2 and 7·8 km2were estimated at 6 animals/km2 and 14·3 animals/km2 for the two units, based on population reconstruction from animals killed and aged. During the 45 months of the study, 1978 snares were set, and 1·6 million snare nights were logged. Snare density reached 96/km2 and 200/km2 for the two management units by the end of the study. A mean effort of 43 worker hours/pig was used to remove 53 pigs from the upper management unit, and a mean of 7 worker hours/pig to remove 175...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Large-scale planning for the conservation of species is often hindered by a poor understanding of factors limiting populations. In regions with declining wildlife populations, it is critical that objective metrics of conservation success are developed to ensure that conservation actions achieve desired results. Using spatially explicit estimates of bird abundance, we evaluated several management alternatives for conserving bird populations in the Prairie Hardwood Transition of the United States. We designed landscapes conserving species at 50% of their current predicted abundance as well as landscapes attempting to achieve species population targets (which often required the doubling of current abundance). Conserving...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
We capitalized on a regional-scale, anthropogenic experiment?the reduction of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) towns across the Great Plains of North America?to test the hypothesis that decline of this species has led to declines in diversity of native grassland vertebrates of this region. We compared species richness and species composition of non-volant mammals, reptiles and amphibians at 36 prairie dog towns and 36 paired sites in the Panhandle Region of Oklahoma during the summers and falls of 1997, 1998 and 1999. We detected 30 species of mammals, 18 species of reptiles and seven species of amphibians. Comparisons between communities at prairie dog towns and paired sites in the adjacent landscape...


map background search result map search result map Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States