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Although both the grey parrot Psittacus erithacus and the recently recognized timneh parrot Psittacus timneh are categorized as Endangered because of harvest for the pet trade and loss of habitat, the latter has a much smaller range and may be largely restricted to a few stronghold areas. In March–April 2018 we surveyed for a total of 114 hours in and around one of these presumed strongholds, the large and well-protected Gola Rainforest National Park, the Sierra Leonean portion of the Gola Transboundary Peace Park. Timneh parrots were encountered at a rate of 0.1 groups/h in the National Park and 0.3 in the buffer zone, indicating densities of 1–3 individuals per km2. These figures are similar to recent density estimates from the Liberian side of the Peace Park, suggesting that the transboundary population amounts to c. 2,400 individuals inside the Park and an unknown number in the surrounding areas. Densities of the timneh parrot may be generally low even in strongholds, its numbers may be declining steeply, and the global population size is probably lower than previously believed.
Reliably estimating population parameters for highly secretive or rare animals is challenging. We report on the status of the two largest remaining populations of the Critically Endangered Bermuda skink Plestiodon longirostris, using a robust design capture–mark–recapture analysis. Skinks were tagged with passive integrated transponders on two islands and captured on 15 sampling occasions per year over 3 years. The models provided precise estimates of abundance, capture and survival probabilities and temporary emigration. We estimated skink abundance to be 547 ± SE 63.5 on Southampton Island and 277 ± SE 28.4 on Castle Island. The populations do not appear to be stable and fluctuated at both sites over the 3-year period. Although the populations on these two islands appear viable, the Bermuda skink faces population fluctuations and remains threatened by increasing anthropogenic activities, invasive species and habitat loss. We recommend these two populations for continued monitoring and conservation efforts.
We may already be convinced of the value of studying primates, but we often need to convince others of that value in proposals, reports and papers. This chapter covers the reasons to study primates, including appreciation of their fascinating diversity and adaptations, their important ecological functions, their evolutionary relationship with humans, their socio-cultural importance, concern for their captive welfare, and their conservation status.
Fibropapillomatosis (FP) can be an important conservation threat to green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) due to its widespread distribution and complex aetiology. Thus, understanding the impacts of FP in sea turtle populations is a research priority towards conservation efforts. The body condition index (BCI), based on straight carapace length (SCL) and body mass (BM), is an accurate indicator of body-nutritional condition that can be used in routine green turtle health evaluations. This study aimed to compare BCI in FP-free (N = 369) and FP-affected (N = 518) green turtles from Brazilian feeding areas. Body condition indices were evaluated in terms of the South-west Atlantic Fibropapillomatosis Score – FPSSWA (mild, moderate and severe), study sites (five Brazilian states), origin (intentional capture, fishery, stranding and afloat) and sex (when known). Curved and straight carapace lengths, and body mass were recorded in order to calculate BCI. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences in BCI among green turtles from different study areas (P = 0.02), and lower BCI values in FP-free than in FP-positive individuals (P < 0.0001). With regards to origin, the highest BCI was found in the intentional capture group (N = 245; 1.47 ± 0.16), followed by fishery (N = 180; 1.46 ± 0.20). Analysis according to sex revealed a higher mean BCI among females than males (P < 0.017). This study provides relevant data on the health and nutritional status of green turtles along the Brazilian coast, in important feeding areas for this species.
Chapter 2 is a meditation on the general conditions of our intercourse with the past, especially as engaged by its material forms, whether in buildings, artworks, literary works or musical works. Distinctions between the forms are of course necessary but, it is argued, continuities remain: the mute testimony of the material object concerning the agents of its creation; the role of the viewer or reader in realising the work; the hand of the editor-conservator; and the role of time in its successive forms of existence.
Lydia Goehr’s history of the work-concept in music is pushed further and the dilemma of conservation, witnessed by the restored Teatro La Fenice (Phoenix Theatre) in Venice, is explored. The work-concept emerges as a regulative idea rather than a transcendent ideal form.
Gazetting and maintaining protected areas (PAs) are political processes and, as such, depend on wider society’s support in order to achieve their aims. In this paper, we evaluated the influence of gender, education, age, income, place of origin and place of residence on public support for PAs in the Brazilian state of Amapá, a new tropical forest frontier. We gathered 615 complete interviews with adults living in both rural and urban settings. We found that most (90.5%) of the participants support PAs and that this attitude is more likely to exist among urban than rural participants. We found that gender, education, age, income and place of origin did not influence support for PAs. Biodiversity conservation is the most common reason why PAs receive public support. In contrast, participants who do not favour PAs see them as providing no benefit to people. We suggest that support by local political leaders from dominant and rival political parties for conservation helps to promote acceptance of PAs by stakeholders. However, relatively low support for PAs among rural participants could indicate that the expectations of these populations regarding the social benefits associated with this conservation policy have yet to be fulfilled.
This article investigates the production of conservation science at nodes of transnational networks of encounter through an examination of field studies conducted during the mid-1920s in North China's Shanxi province by the American forester and soil conservation expert Walter C. Lowdermilk with his student, colleague, and collaborator Ren Chengtong. Even in the politically fragmented China of the 1920s, their research on deforestation, streamflow, and erosion benefited from alliances with Shanxi's regional powerholder, Yan Xishan, and produced environmental knowledge that furthered the agenda of harnessing natural resources to strengthen the state. By paying attention to two-way interactions between Chinese and foreign actors in the construction and transmission of knowledge about nature, the article speaks to the global context of the early twentieth-century conservation movement and adds to recent scholarship that recasts China's encounter with modern science as one of active appropriation, translation, and innovation rather than passive reception.
With the advent of commercially available digital cameras in the late 1990s resulting in the near-exclusion of analog photographic prints today, most archaeological repositories around the world have a mix of analog and digital photographic prints. That ratio is increasingly moving toward digital print processes, of which there are several types. To minimize the loss of image quality, collection managers must become familiar with the unique curation challenges of photographic prints from digitally created images. Likewise, creators of digital content must be aware that choices made when selecting a print process for reposit will have a direct effect on image and print permanence. Site photographs are critical evidence of archaeological activity, and so the preservation of digital prints is in the interest, and is the responsibility, of collection managers and archaeologists alike.
Lomatogonium gaurgopalii sp. nov., a new species of Gentianaceae from Sikkim Himalaya, is described and illustrated. It can be distinguished from its morphologically closest relative, Lomatogonium cherukurianum S.K.Dey & D.Maity, mainly by its robust habit, longer internodes, much larger creamy yellow flower and much larger floral parts; the presence of many hairs in an inverted semilunar arrangement behind the filament bases; and its larger, narrowly ovoid to narrowly ellipsoid ovary. Lomatogonium gaurgopalii is also unique in having pollen grains with striate-reticulate exine ornamentation without perforations.
There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.
Marine mammals are long-lived top predators with vagile lifestyles, which often inhabit remote environments. This is especially relevant in the oceanic waters around New Zealand and Australia where cetaceans and pinnipeds are considered as vulnerable and often endangered due to anthropogenic impacts on their habitat. Parasitism is ubiquitous in wildlife, and prevalence of parasitic infections as well as emerging diseases can be valuable bioindicators of the ecology and health of marine mammals. Collecting information about parasite diversity in marine mammals will provide a crucial baseline for assessing their impact on host and ecosystem ecology. New studies on marine mammals in New Zealand and Australian waters have recently added to our knowledge of parasite prevalence, life cycles and taxonomic relationships in the Australasian region, and justify a first host–parasite checklist encompassing all available data. The present checklist comprises 36 species of marine mammals, and 114 species of parasites (helminths, arthropods and protozoans). Mammal species occurring in New Zealand and Australian waters but not included in the checklist represent gaps in our knowledge. The checklist thus serves both as a guide for what information is lacking, as well as a practical resource for scientists working on the ecology and conservation of marine mammals.
Using cover crops can be beneficial not only for soil health but also for the environment. However, relatively few farmers have adopted cover crops, so understanding the barriers to adoption is necessary. We used a probit model with data on 1,712 soybean producers from the 2012 USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey to identify factors affecting adoption of cover crops. We found that more precipitation was positively correlated with adoption, as was more hired labor. Adoption was also positively correlated with crop diversification and no-till adoption, which may relate to equipment availability.
Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools used to develop continuous predictions of species occurrence. ‘Integrated SDMs’ (ISDMs) are an elaboration of this approach with potential advantages that allow for the dual use of opportunistically collected presence-only data and site-occupancy data from planned surveys. These models also account for survey bias and imperfect detection through the use of a hierarchical modelling framework that separately estimates the species–environment response and detection process. This is particularly helpful for conservation applications and predictions for rare species, where data are often limited and prediction errors may have significant management consequences. Despite this potential importance, ISDMs remain largely untested under a variety of scenarios. We performed an exploration of key modelling decisions and assumptions on an ISDM using the endangered Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) as a test species. We found that site area had the strongest effect on the magnitude of population estimates and underlying intensity surface and was driven by estimates of model intercepts. Selecting a site area that accounted for the individual movements of the species within an average home range led to population estimates that coincided with expert estimates. ISDMs that do not account for the individual movements of species will likely lead to less accurate estimates of species intensity (number of individuals per unit area) and thus overall population estimates. This bias could be severe and highly detrimental to conservation actions if uninformed ISDMs are used to estimate global populations of threatened and data-deficient species, particularly those that lack natural history and movement information. However, the ISDM was consistently the most accurate model compared to other approaches, which demonstrates the importance of this new modelling framework and the ability to combine opportunistic data with systematic survey data. Thus, we recommend researchers use ISDMs with conservative movement information when estimating population sizes of rare and data-deficient species. ISDMs could be improved by using a similar parameterization to spatial capture–recapture models that explicitly incorporate animal movement as a model parameter, which would further remove the need for spatial subsampling prior to implementation.
The regeneration niche defines the specific environmental requirements of the early phases of a plant's life cycle. It is critical for the long-term persistence of plant populations, particularly for obligate seeders that are highly vulnerable to stochastic events in fire-prone ecosystems. Here, we assessed germination characteristics and the relationship between population structure, soil seed bank density and fire response in Stachystemon vinosus (Euphorbiaceae), a rare endemic shrub from Western Australia, from burnt and long unburnt habitats. Many plants in long unburnt habitat were similar in size to those in recently burnt habitat. Soil seed bank density was related to plant abundance and fire history with density lower in burnt than unburnt sites. Thus, inter-fire recruitment may play a critical role in the requirements of the study species. To assess the dormancy status and germination requirements we used a ‘move-along’ experiment with temperatures from six seasonal phases of the year. Seeds were incubated under light and dark conditions, with and without smoked water, and with and without dry after-ripening. Germination was most effective when seeds were treated with smoked water and incubated in the dark at temperatures resembling autumn/winter conditions. After-ripening increased germination in light and dark incubated seeds in the absence of smoked water but was unnecessary for optimal germination in smoked water treated seeds. Irrespective of treatment, seeds showed a requirement for cooler temperatures for germination. These results suggest that rising temperatures and changes in fire regime associated with global warming may alter future germination responses of Stachystemon vinosus.
This brief final chapter offers some closing observations concerning solar geoengineering. Environmentalism is a diverse domain of thought, and its central norms – such as whether humans’ ideal role is treading as lightly as possible or being stewards of managed nature – are sometimes in tension. Solar geoengineering lies, in many ways, astride this division and its controversy should not be surprising. Yet my central concern is that the solar geoengineering discourse is unduly driven by intuition and ideology instead of empiricism and rationality. The seeming neglect and possible dismissal of solar geoengineering is a gamble that emissions abatement, adaptation, and negative emissions technologies will be sufficient to prevent dangerous climate change. Given the stakes, solar geoengineering should be taken seriously, including through governance that facilitates its responsible research, development, and – if warranted – use.
Habitat prioritization and corridor restoration are important steps for reconnecting fragmented habitats and species populations, and spatial modelling approaches are useful in identifying suitable habitat for elusive tropical rainforest mammals. The Endangered Bornean banteng Bos javanicus lowi, a wild bovid endemic to Borneo, occurs in habitat that is highly fragmented as a result of extensive agricultural expansion. Based on the species’ historical distribution in Sabah (Malaysia), we conducted camera-trap surveys in 14 forest reserves during 2011–2016. To assess suitable habitat for the banteng we used a presence-only maximum entropy (MaxEnt) approach with 11 spatial predictors, including climate, infrastructure, land cover and land use, and topography variables. We performed a least-cost path analysis using Linkage Mapper, to understand the resistance to movement through the landscape. The surveys comprised a total of 44,251 nights of camera trapping. We recorded banteng presence in 11 forest reserves. Key spatial predictors deemed to be important in predicting suitable habitat included soil associations (52.6%), distance to intact and logged forests (11.8%), precipitation in the driest quarter (10.8%), distance to agro-forest and regenerating forest (5.7%), and distance to oil palm plantations (5.1%). Circa 11% of Sabah had suitable habitat (7,719 km2), of which 12.2% was in protected forests, 60.4% was in production forests and 27.4% was in other areas. The least-cost path model predicted 21 linkages and a relatively high movement resistance between core habitats. Our models provide information about key habitat and movement resistance for bantengs through the landscape, which is crucial for constructive conservation strategies and land-use planning.
Although archaeological studies focusing on 19th-century sealing have been performed over the past 30 years, its history and sites have traditionally had low visibility in Antarctic narratives and the Antarctic Treaty System policymaking on heritage. Researchers face the challenge of increasing the visibility of sealers’ history and public awareness of the importance of conserving the oldest sites of Antarctica. In this paper, we propose that identifying patterns of tourism activity in the South Shetland Islands, specifically in their temporal and spatial dimensions, could help protect these sites and engage visitors with the early history of Antarctica. Data collected by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators were used to calculate landing point usage trends over time and the frequency of passenger landings from 2003–2004 to 2015–2016. We defined six different visitation patterns with temporal tendencies of passenger landings that varied from increasing, constant, or decreasing trends over time, differing in the magnitude and intensity of visitation. This information was used to assess the situation of particular sites located in the vicinity of tourism landing points. We set priorities for their conservation and management decisions and highlighted their relative potential to engage visitors with the stories of 19th-century sealing in Antarctica.
The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
Protected areas are frequently used loci for ecological and conservation research, with several national/international designations identifying scientific research as a key objective. For example, Ecological Stations (ESs) in Brazil are strictly protected areas with the explicit goals of protecting nature and hosting scientific research. Nevertheless, simply mandating scientific research does not necessarily translate into action. Here, we quantitatively assess the scientific productivity of ESs and identify the main socio-ecological factors associated with different levels of scientific research. Specifically, we adopt a multi-model inference approach with a hurdle regression model to independently evaluate the factors associated with the presence/absence of research and the volume of studies in ESs. Surprisingly, given their stated remit, a large proportion of ESs had little or no scientific productivity. Results also indicate that older ESs were more likely to be associated with published research and that the volume of publications was associated with the number of years since the first article was published. The presence of a management plan and a management council were also significant positive drivers of research. Our results strongly suggest that, despite their clear mandate, ESs are not effectively fulfilling their role as a policy instrument for generating valuable scientific data.
The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region harbours some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on the planet that are now facing substantial threats through changes in climate, land use and human population growth, with serious consequences for the biodiversity in this mountainous region. In this paper we evaluated the effects of climate change on the distribution of the tripartite epiphytic macrolichen Lobaria pindarensis, considered to be endemic to the Himalayas. To predict the current and future distribution of this species we applied the Random Forest modelling algorithm and climatic variables with a post-processing of projected distributions using a map of habitat types in the study region. We calibrated models based on 1397 species presences within an altitudinal range of 2036–4000 m and extrapolated them according to two IPCC scenarios of climate change (RCP 2·6 and RCP 8·5). Based on the results of ensemble modelling, two new localities where L. pindarensis might potentially occur were predicted. Our simulations predicted a range expansion of this epiphytic lichen to the north-east and to higher altitudes in response to climate change, although the species’ low dispersal abilities and the local availability of trees as a substratum will considerably limit latitudinal and altitudinal shifts. By contrast, assuming the species can migrate to previously unoccupied areas, and depending on different future climate scenarios, our models forecasted a habitat loss of 30–70% for L. pindarensis. The main reason for the simulated habitat loss is the expected increase in mean annual temperature (by 1·5–3·7 °C) and total annual precipitation (by 56–125 mm). Our results contribute further evidence for the high sensitivity of tripartite macrolichens, especially those from mountain areas, to climate change and particularly emphasize the vulnerability of L. pindarensis. Thus, we stress the need to develop and formulate conservation measures and strategies for the protection of this endemic species in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.