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Documenting and responding to species invasions requires innovative strategies that account for ecological and societal complexities. We used the recent expansion of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) throughout northern Gulf of Mexico coastal waters to evaluate the role of stakeholders in documenting and responding to a rapid marine invasion. We coupled an online survey of spearfishers and citizen science monitoring programs with traditional fishery-independent data sources and found that citizen observations documented lionfish 1–2 years earlier and more frequently than traditional reef fish monitoring programs. Citizen observations first documented lionfish in 2010 followed by rapid expansion and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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Wildlife conservation is losing ground in the U.S. for many reasons. The net effect is declines in species and habitat. To address this trend, the wildlife conservation institution (i.e., all customs, practices, organizations and agencies, policies, and laws with respect to wildlife) must adapt to contemporary social–ecological conditions. Adaptation could be supported by clear guidelines reflecting contemporary expectations for wildlife governance. We combine elements of public trust thinking and good governance to produce a broad set of wildlife governance principles. These principles represent guidance for ecologically and socially responsible wildlife conservation. They address persistent, systemic problems...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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Doak and Cutler critiqued methods used by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) to estimate grizzly bear population size and trend in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Here, we focus on the premise, implementation, and interpretation of simulations they used to support their arguments. They argued that population increases documented by IGBST based on females with cubs-of-the-year were an artifact of increased search effort. However, we demonstrate their simulations were neither reflective of the true observation process nor did their results provide statistical support for their conclusion. They further argued that survival and reproductive senescence should be incorporated into population projections,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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The practice of conservation occurs within complex socioecological systems fraught with challenges that require transparent, defensible, and often socially engaged project planning and management. Planning and decision support frameworks are designed to help conservation practitioners increase planning rigor, project accountability, stakeholder participation, transparency in decisions, and learning. We describe and contrast five common frameworks within the context of six fundamental questions (why, who, what, where, when, how) at each of three planning stages of adaptive management (project scoping, operational planning, learning). We demonstrate that decision support frameworks provide varied and extensive tools...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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The eastern migratory population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus plexippus) has declined by >80% within the last two decades. One possible cause of this decline is the loss of ≥1.3 billion stems of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), which monarchs require for reproduction. In an effort to restore monarchs to a population goal established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and adopted by Mexico, Canada, and the US, we developed scenarios for amending the Midwestern US landscape with milkweed. Scenarios for milkweed restoration were developed for protected area grasslands, Conservation Reserve Program land, powerline, rail and roadside rights of way, urban/suburban lands, and land in agricultural production. Agricultural...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to address these questions is hampered by the lack of explicit consideration of species’ adaptive capacity (AC). AC is the ability of a species or population to cope with climatic changes and is characterized by three fundamental components: phenotypic plasticity, dispersal ability, and genetic diversity. However, few studies simultaneously address all elements; often, AC is confused...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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The annual migration of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) has high cultural value and recent surveys indicate monarch populations are declining. Protecting migratory species is complex because they cross international borders and depend on multiple regions. Understanding how much, and where, humans place value on migratory species can facilitate market-based conservation approaches. We performed a contingent valuation study of monarchs to understand the potential for such approaches to fund monarch conservation. The survey asked U.S. respondents about the money they would spend, or have spent, growing monarch-friendly plants, and the amount they would donate to monarch conservation organizations. Combining...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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It would be much easier to assess the effectiveness of different reintroduction methods, and so improve the success of reintroductions, if there was greater standardization in documentation of the methods and outcomes. We suggest a series of standards for documenting and monitoring the methods and outcomes associated with reintroduction projects for birds. Key suggestions are: documenting the planned release before it occurs, specifying the information required on each release, postrelease monitoring occurring at standard intervals of 1 and 5 years (and 10 for long-lived species), carrying out a population estimate unless impractical, distinguishing restocked and existing individuals when supplementing populations,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters
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Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a salient threat to many animal taxa, causing local and global extinctions, altering communities and ecosystem function. The EID chytridiomycosis is a prominent driver of amphibian declines, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). To guide conservation policy, we developed a predictive decision-analytic model that combines empirical knowledge of host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics with expert judgment regarding effects of management actions, to select from potential conservation strategies. We apply our approach to a boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) and Bd system, identifying optimal strategies that balance tradeoffs in maximizing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Letters