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Many wide-ranging mammal species have experienced significant declines over the last 200 years; restoring these species will require long-term, large-scale recovery efforts. We highlight 5 attributes of a recent range-wide vision-setting exercise for ecological recovery of the North American bison (Bison bison) that are broadly applicable to other species and restoration targets. The result of the exercise, the “Vermejo Statement” on bison restoration, is explicitly (1) large scale, (2) long term, (3) inclusive, (4) fulfilling of different values, and (5) ambitious. It reads, in part, “Over the next century, the ecological recovery of the North American bison will occur when multiple large herds move freely across...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling methods, scientifically credible strategies for selecting a subset for analysis and decision making are needed. Drawing on a rich literature in climate science and impact assessment and on experience working with natural resource scientists and decision makers, we devised guidelines for choosing climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment that recognize irreducible...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Inferences about spatial variation in species richness and community composition are important both to ecological hypotheses about the structure and function of communities and to community-level conservation and management. Few sampling programs for animal communities provide censuses, and usually some species present. We present estimators useful for drawing inferences about comparative species richness and composition between different sampling locations when not all species are detected in sampling efforts. Based on capture-recapture models using the robust design, our methods estimate relative species richness, proportion of species in one location that are also found in another, and number of species found...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Review of: Amphibians and Roads: Toad Tunnel Conference Proceedings. Langton, T. E. S., editor. 1989. ACO Technologies PLC. 202 p. ISBN: 0951517201.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Effective conservation efforts for at-risk species require knowledge of the locations of existing populations. Species presence can be estimated directly by conducting field-sampling surveys or alternatively by developing predictive models. Direct surveys can be expensive and inefficient, particularly for rare and difficult-to-sample species, and models of species presence may produce biased predictions. We present a Bayesian approach that combines sampling and model-based inferences for estimating species presence. The accuracy and cost-effectiveness of this approach were compared to those of sampling surveys and predictive models for estimating the presence of the threatened bull trout ( Salvelinus confluentus...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Given their physiological requirements, limited dispersal abilities, and hydrologically sensitive habitats, amphibians are likely to be highly sensitive to future climatic changes. We used three approaches to map areas in the western hemisphere where amphibians are particularly likely to be affected by climate change. First, we used bioclimatic models to project potential climate-driven shifts in the distribution of 413 amphibian species based on 20 climate simulations for 2071–2100. We summarized these projections to produce estimates of species turnover. Second, we mapped the distribution of 1099 species with restricted geographic ranges. Finally, using the 20 future climate-change simulations, we mapped areas...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Concerns about forest fragmentation and its conservation implications have motivated numerous studies that investigate the influence of forest patch area and forest edge on songbird distribution patterns. The generalized effects of forest patch size and forest edge on animal distributions is still debatable because forest patch size and forest edge are often confounded and because of an incomplete synthesis of available data. To fill a portion of this gap, we incorporated all available published data (33 papers) in meta-analyses of forest edge and area effects on site occupancy patterns for 26 Neotropical migrant forest-nesting songbirds in eastern North America. All reported area effects are confounded or potentially...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Predation by brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis ) devastated the avifauna of Guam in the Mariana Islands during the last half of the twentieth century, causing the extirpation or serious reduction of most of the island's 25 resident bird species. Past studies have provided qualitative descriptions of the decline of native forest birds but have not considered all species or presented quantitative analyses. We analyzed two sets of survey data gathered in northern Guam between 1976 and 1998 and reviewed unpublished sources to provide a comprehensive account of the impact of brown tree snakes on the island's birds. Our results indicate that 22 species, including 17 of 18 native species, were severely affected by snakes....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission manages over 650,000 ha, including 26 wildlife management and environmental areas. To improve management, they developed an objective-based vegetation management (OBVM) process that focuses on desired conditions of plant communities through an adaptive management framework. Our goals were to understand potential barriers to implementing OBVM and to recommend strategies to overcome barriers. A literature review identified 47 potential barriers in six categories to implementation of adaptive and ecosystem management: logistical, communication, attitudinal, institutional, conceptual, and educational. We explored these barriers through a bureau-wide survey of 90...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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The small group of wolves on Isle Royale has been studied for over three decades as a model of the relationship between large carnivores and their prey. During the last ten years the population declined from 50 individuals to as few as 12 individuals. The causes of this decline may be food shortages, disease, or reduced genetic variability. We address the issues of genetic variability and relationships of Isle Royale wolves using allozyme electrophoresis, mtDNA restriction-site analysis, and multilocus hypervariable minisatellite DNA analysis (genetic fingerprinting). Our results indicate that approximately 50% of the allozyme heterozygosity has been lost in the island population, a decline similar to that expected...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Introductions of nonnative predators often reduce biodiversity and affect natural predator–prey relationships and may increase the abundance of potential disease vectors (e.g., mosquitoes) indirectly through competition or predation cascades. The Santa Monica Mountains (California, U.S.A.), situated in a global biodiversity hotspot, is an area of conservation concern due to climate change, urbanization, and the introduction of nonnative species. We examined the effect of nonnative crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) on an existing native predator, dragonfly nymphs (Aeshna sp.), and their mosquito larvae (Anopheles sp.) prey. We used laboratory experiments to compare the predation efficiency of both predators, separately...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Roads are believed to be a major contributing factor to the ongoing spread of exotic plants. We examined the effect of road improvement and environmental variables on exotic and native plant diversity in roadside verges and adjacent semiarid grassland, shrubland, and woodland communities of southern Utah (U.S.A.). We measured the cover of exotic and native species in roadside verges and both the richness and cover of exotic and native species in adjacent interior communities (50 m beyond the edge of the road cut) along 42 roads stratified by level of road improvement (paved, improved surface, graded, and four-wheel-drive track). In roadside verges along paved roads, the cover of Bromus tectorum was three times as...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
The composition and structure of native riverine ecosystems are tightly linked to natural hydro- logic variability. By managing river flows for water supplies and power generation, water management agencies have inadvertently caused considerable degradation of riverine ecosystems and associated biodiver- sity. New approaches for meeting human needs for water while conserving the ecological integrity of riverine ecosystems are greatly needed. We describe an approach for identifying the natural flooding characteristics that must beprotected or restored to maintain riparian (floodplain) ecosystems along meandering rivers. We developed a computer model to simulate flood-driven changes in the relative abundance of riparian...
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The tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi), an endangered species in the United States, occurs in a series of isolated coastal wetlands in California. Using historical presence-absence data and our own surveys, we estimated annual rates of extirpation and recolonization for several populations of the goby in southern California. As predicted, large wetlands had lower rates of extirpation than small wetlands. There was a negative but statistically nonsignificant correlation between recolonization rate and distance to the nearest northerly source population. Populations at small sites were sensitive to drought, presumably because droughts can eliminate suitable habitat at small wetlands. Populations in small wetlands...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Continuing coral-reef degradation in the western Atlantic is resulting in loss of ecological and geologic functions of reefs. With the goal of assisting resource managers and stewards of reefs in setting and measuring progress toward realistic goals for coral-reef conservation and restoration, we examined reef degradation in this region from a geological perspective. The importance of ecosystem services provided by coral reefs—as breakwaters that dissipate wave energy and protect shorelines and as providers of habitat for innumerable species—cannot be overstated. However, the few coral species responsible for reef building in the western Atlantic during the last approximately 1.5 million years are not thriving in...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Hamilton and Miller (2016) provide an interesting and provocative discussion of how hybridization and introgression can promote evolutionary potential in the face of climate change. They argue that hybridization—mating between individuals from genetically distinct populations—can alleviate inbreeding depression and promote adaptive introgression and evolutionary rescue. We agree that deliberate intraspecific hybridization (mating between individuals of the same species) is an underused management tool for increasing fitness in inbred populations (i.e., genetic rescue; Frankham 2015; Whiteley et al. 2015). The potential risks and benefits of assisted gene flow have been discussed in the literature, and an emerging...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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As habitat loss and fragmentation threaten biodiversity on large geographic scales, creating and maintaining connectivity of wildlife populations is an increasingly common conservation objective. To assess the progress and success of large-scale connectivity planning, conservation researchers need a set of plans that cover large geographic areas and can be analyzed as a single data set. The state wildlife action plans (SWAPs) fulfill these requirements. We examined 50 SWAPs to determine the extent to which wildlife connectivity planning, via linkages, is emphasized nationally. We defined linkage as connective land that enables wildlife movement. For our content analysis, we identified and quantified 6 keywords and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology