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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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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
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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
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...
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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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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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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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Captive breeding is increasingly being used to create supplies of endangered animals for release into natural habitats, but rearing strategies vary and debates arise over which methods are most efficient. We assessed postrelease behaviors and survival of three groups of black-footed ferrets, each with different prerelease experience. Eighteen ferret kits ≤60 days of age were moved with their dams from cages to 80-m2 outdoor pens with prairie dog burrows. These animals were compared to animals reared in standard cages (n=72), some of which were given experience killing prairie dogs (n=32). Ferrets were released onto white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) colonies in Wyoming, USA, in fall, 1992. Radio-tagged...
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Compelling arguments for preserving large habitat 'islands' have been made for a number of animal groups, but most commonly for terrestrial birds. We argue that, for many species of waterbirds nesting in coastal estuaries, maintaining numerous small islands may be a more effective management strategy than maintaining larger islands or reserves. In this study, the number of great white heron Ardea herodias nests over a 5-year period (1986-91) was negatively correlated with island area in the Florida Keys, USA. Nest densities were highest in the 210 ha island size range and lowest for islands larger than 100 ha. These small islands also attract nesting black skimmers Rynchops niger, brown pelicans Pelecanus occidentalis,...
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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The development of land for modern agriculture has resulted in losses of native prairie habitat. The small, isolated patches of prairie habitat that remain are threatened by fire suppression, overgrazing, and invasion by non-native species. We evaluated the effects of three restoration practices (grazing only, burning only, and burning and grazing) on the vegetation characteristics and butterfly communities of remnant prairies. Total butterfly abundance was highest on prairies that were managed with burning and grazing and lowest on those that were only burned. Butterfly species richness did not differ among any of the restoration practices. Butterfly species diversity was highest on sites that were only burned....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
Visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park are especially attracted to its easily accessible alpine tundra, which widely dominates the landscape above tree-limit. A remarkable summer highway, Trail Ridge Road, traverses more than twelve miles (19 km ) of tundra, rising in its highest tract to elevations of over 12,000 feet (3,658 m). Visitor activities are largely confined to the immediate vicinity of ‘black-top’ parking areas located at points of special interest, but many persons do venture out along the established pathways. Only a few visitors each year are venturesome enough, or take the time, to wander at leisure over the gently rolling land. Trampling by the visitors kills plants and initiates erosion processes...
The alpine tundra region of the southern Rocky Mountains is a dramatic landscape which attracts many visitors seeking the refreshment that urban dwellers often get from a primeval environment. This paper describes the current situation and persisting vegetation of one of the more accessible of these areas, the tundra of Trail Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The harsh nature of the environment is illustrated from data of 12 years, and the more important local ecosystems are described. Man's use of this landscape leads to critical management problems, especially in national parks, because no organism similar to Man participated in these systems during the millions of years of evolution which moulded...
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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


map background search result map search result map Influence of prerelease experience on reintroduced black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States Influence of prerelease experience on reintroduced black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States