Abstract Listing by Session


P1 - Poster Session 1

Hall A      Sunday, 18:00

P1.1   Threats to Avifauna on Oceanic Islands Zimbler-DeLorenzo, H*, Alfred University ; Skibiel, A, Auburn University; Karels, T, California State University; Dobson, FS, Auburn University
Results of the study by Blackburn et al. (2004a) of avifauna on oceanic islands suggest that distance from the mainland and time since European colonization have major influences on species extinctions and that island area is a significant but secondary contributing factor. After augmenting the data of the study on geographical properties for some of the islands they examined, we used a causal analysis approach with structural equation modeling to reexamine their conclusions. In our model geographical properties of islands, such as island area and isolation, were considered constraints on biological factors, such as the number of introduced mammalian predators and existing number of avifauna, that can directly or indirectly influence extinction. Of the variables we tested, island area had the greatest total influence on the threat of extinction due to its direct and indirect effects on the size of island avifauna. Larger islands had both a greater number of threatened bird species and more avifauna, increasing the number of species that could become threatened with extinction. Island isolation also had a significant, positive, and direct effect on threats to island avifauna because islands farther from the mainland had fewer current extant avifauna. Time since European colonization had a significant negative, but relatively weaker, influence on threats compared with the traditional biogeographic factors of island area and distance to the mainland. We also tested the hypothesis that the amount of threat is proportionally lower on islands that have had more extinctions (i.e., there is a “filter effect”). Because the proportion of bird extinctions potentially explained only 2.3% of the variation in the proportion of threatened species on islands, our results did not support this hypothesis. Causal modeling provided a powerful tool for examining threat of extinction patterns of known and hypothesized pathways of influence.
P1.2   Protected Areas, NATURA 2000 And Conservation Status Of Biodiversity Hotspots For Terrestrial Vertebrates In SW Europe Pascual López-López*, University of Valencia, Spain
The Mediterranean basin is an outstanding 'hotspot' of biological diversity with a long history of integration between natural ecosystems and human activities. Using fine scale deductive distribution models we provide an evaluation of the conservation status of biodiversity hotspots based on species richness, vulnerability and endemism, for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles) in the Iberian Peninsula (including Spain and Portugal), considering both existing and proposed protected areas (Natura 2000). We found no clear surrogacy among the different types of hotspots in the Iberian Peninsula. The most important hotspots (considering all criteria) are located in western and southwestern portion of the study area, in the Mediterranean biogeographic region. Existing protected areas are not specifically concentrated on areas of high species richness, and Natura 2000 network can potentially constitute an important improvement for protecting vertebrate diversity. However, further improvements are needed. We suggest taking a step forward in conservation planning in the Mediterranean basin, explicitly considering the history of the region as well as its present environmental context. This would allow moving from traditional reserve networks (conservation focus on patterns) to considerations about the processes that generated present biodiversity, and to consider the traditional practices in conservation planning.
P1.3   Predictions of climate change effects on distribution of rare and endangered species in the Andes of Colombia Velasco, JA, Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia Program ; Gárces, MF, Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia Program; Roncancio, N, Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia Program; Saavedra, C, Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia Program; Rios, C, Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia Program; Franco, P, Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia Program
Are species’ responses to climate change idiosyncratic or is there a general rule in the response of each species in a particular region? We explored how the current distribution for some restrict and endangered species in the Andes of Colombia could be affected by climatic changing conditions, attempting to identify if there are general patterns for the Andean species under climate change. Our aim was to identify whether is possible predict patterns in contraction/expansion of geographic ranges in Andean species in several climate change scenarios or in other terms why some species are more threatened by climate change effects than others in the Andean region. We used environmental niche models approaches to predict changes in distribution of eight Andean species in Colombia with several climatic future scenarios. We predicted the future potential distribution using three climatic scenarios models in three different times. Species with a narrow distribution in the Andes region would suffer contractions in the geographic range in the future. Our results show a general rule that species with narrow distributions in the Andean region probably will suffer more impacts by climate change than species with distributions in lowlands or inter-valley Andean.
P1.4   Potential distribution and niche models performance of Baja California Rattlesnake (Crotalus enyo) Christian Estrada*, Centro de Invesztigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste
The Baja California rattlesnake, Crotalus enyo, is a medium-sized rattlesnake restricted to the southern two-thirds of the Baja California peninsula. Very little is known about the natural history of this species. The goals of this study were 1) to use a Geographic Information System (GIS) as a useful tool for analyzing, predicting and mapping the habitat of wildlife species and distribution. 2) To compare performance of niche models. 3) To identify geographical areas sub-sampled to be surveyed This study combined collections data of the Crotalus species from museums and independent researchers with spatially explicit environmental covariates to understand C. enyo habitat occurrence in order to predict potential distribution using a Maximum Entropy algorithm. The best performance model was the one constructed with a combination of two kinds of environmental variables (continuous and categorical), applying the “target group” approach, and applying re-sampling for a consensus prediction. Geographical analysis showed that some regions were previously poorly surveyed. That is the case of the central Vizcaino region, remote Magdalena lowlands and the San Felipe desert. The methodology, as applied here, takes advantage of museums and collector’s huge presence data sets. The best model constructed shows evidence that C. enyo occupy the majority of phytogeographic regions available in Baja California Peninsula, but appear to be absent from the Pine-Oak forest of Sierra la Laguna, the Baja California Coniferous Forest at Juarez, and San Pedro Martir Sierras. And it has limited distribution in Lower Colorado and Californian regions in Baja California State. C. enyo‘s distribution shows evidence that it occupies mild desert climates, avoiding very dry and hot as well as very cool and moist conditions. This pattern resembles the original climate conditions in which this snake evolved as specie. The origin of this specie is supposed to be at the south of the peninsula with prevalence of more benign climates. This pattern could be a hint of the very origin of this specie, that we assume is at the south of peninsula where more benign climates prevail. The information gathered here is a step forward in the process of understanding this Baja California endemic specie, and could help to guide future research, conservation, and management efforts along its distribution area.
P1.5   Past, present and future of wild ungulates in relation to changes in land use Acevedo, P.*, Universidad de Málaga ; Farfán, M.A., Biogea Consultores; Marquez, A.L., Universidad de Málaga; Delibes-Mateos, M., IREC-CSIC; Real, R., Universidad de Málaga; Vargas, J.M., Universidad de Málaga
In recent decades, Mediterranean landscapes have been experiencing more rapid changes in land use than usual. These relatively rapid changes have affected the ecology of the species inhabiting this biodiversity hotspot. Some studies have assessed the effect of such changes on biodiversity, but most of these were diachronic studies of population dynamics, or synchronic studies of species habitat selection, whereas few studies have simultaneously taken into account temporal changes in habitat composition and changes in species distribution. The present study analyzed the effects of land-use changes on the evolution of the distribution of wild ungulates (Iberian wild goat, red deer, roe deer and wild boar). Thus, we i) describe the environmental determinants of ungulate distribution in past scenario (1960s) but also in present one (1990s), ii) assess the biogeographical differences between scenarios, and iii) model land use for 2040 to forecast future species distributions. Our results show that, with the exception of wild boar, which drastically altered its distribution between both scenarios, natural vegetation has more explanatory power in models of the present, but crops were more relevant in models of the past. Generally, areas favourable to the species studied will continue to increase in the future. The results are discussed from the perspective of the socio-economic relevance of wild ungulates in relation to some unfavourable areas of Mediterranean regions.
P1.6   Incorporation of Human Impacts on the Extinctions and Threat of Extinctions of Avifauna on Oceanic Islands Scheibel, RJ*, Alfred University ; Zimbler-DeLorenzo, HS, Alfred University
Islands are an increasingly important area of focus for conservation of avifauna because many factors that have been shown to contribute to decreases in species richness are amplified. Geographical factors, such island area and isolation, have been found to have the greatest effect on the threat of extinction of avifauna on oceanic islands. These geographical factors impact the threat of extinction more than biological variables, such as size of avifauna and mammalian predators, because of their direct influences on the number of extinct and threatened avifauna as well as the indirect influences through the biological factors. The purpose of this study is to incorporate potential human causal factors that, in conjunction with the geographical variables, also influence the biological factors on the extinction and threat of extinction of avifauna on oceanic islands. The percentage of human population in agriculture per capita, human population, population density, growth rate, and gross national product (GNP) were all incorporated in the causal modeling approach using path analysis. The human population of the oceanic islands is strongly related to the area of the island but not significantly to the extinction of oceanic avifauna. Although human causal factors impact the avifauna on the islands, it is not as important as an indicator of extinction or threat of extinction of avifauna as geographical factors of the islands.
P1.7   Small trees worth protecting? Day roost selection by Noctilio bats in Costa Rica Rintoul, JLP*, University of Alberta ; Kotchea, KCC, University of Alberta
In spite of greater bat species diversity in tropical forests, most work on forest and tree characteristics that are favorable to bats has been conducted in temperate forests. In February 2009, as part of a long-term study of roost selection that takes place during an undergraduate field course, we radio-tagged three Noctilio albiventris and two N. leporinus to locate their day roosts. We collected data in the same dry forest fragment as in 2005 and 2007, bringing the total radio-tagged Noctilio to 12. As in past years, all Noctilio roosts were located within 40 m of water and of the seven roost trees that were identified since 2005, four were occupied by bats tagged in 2009, indicating long-term roost occupancy in those species. Four of the roosts were in Terminalia oblonga which grow near water and form extensive cavities within their relatively small trunk (dbh < 0.8 m compared to 1.2 – 2 m for the other tree roost species). Because tropical forest composition is characterized by high tree species richness and low population densities, we expected that bats would select large trees without preference for species. Our results suggest that ‘large size’ of trees is not a sufficient indicator of the conservation potential of tropical forest fragments.
P1.8   PHYLOGEOGRAPHY OF THE LOGGERHEAD TURTLE Caretta caretta (TESTUDINES: CHELONIIDAE): FIRST CASE OF STUDY FOR THE COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN Carolina Franco Espinosa*, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano ; Javier Hernández Fernández, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano
Genetic markers are useful for determining how sea turtles rookeries are related; this information is especially relevant when management concerns include anthropogenic mortality of feeding and nesting aggregations. Considering the lacking of information for the Colombian Caribbean we performed a preliminary phylogeographic analysis including some the rookeries of loggerhead turtles worldwide reported in GenBank, and new information of individuals surveyed in two nesting beaches of Colombia. Eight blood samples from cervical sinus were extracted and amplified for PCR and directly sequenced in order to perform an editing, alignment and phylogenetic analysis using Maximum Parsimony and Maximum-Likelihood. Two existing haplotypes were identified in this assesment: CCA1 and CCA2 reported for major nesting aggregations of South Florida (E.U), also a new haplotype was recognize showing 7 deletions (SNP) named as CCH1SM. Three main clusters for populations of C. caretta worldwide were hypothesize as clades A ,B and C, grouping rookeries and feeding populations from the Caribbean (Florida-U.S, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia) and Mediterranean. Clade C grouping the 4 major rookeries in the Pacific (Australia and Japan), showing an evident separation of the linages due to oceanographic and geographic barriers. An effort should be made to get samples from smaller, unsurveyed beaches, particularly in Colombia, in order to detect rare haplotypes.
P1.9   RFLPs OF THE MITOCHONDRIAL GENE COI: A STRATEGY TO IDENTIFY SPECIMENS OF HAWKSBILL TURTLES Eretmochelys imbricata (Cheloniidae:Testudines) Elia Pérez-Reyes*, 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia ; Carolina Franco-Espinosa, 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia; Jorge Dávila-Osorio , 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia; Javier Hernández-Fernández, 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia
The hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata is subject to heavy exploitation of its carapace and plastron for making handicrafts. In recent years there have been listed as critically endangered species. Due to the above condition it makes relevant to identify at any level the entire life cycle of this turtle, in order to establish the current status of this population and provide information for its conservation. The COI gene works as a molecular label used to combat the illegal trafficking of specimens and their derivatives. We used 15 samples of peripheral blood of juveniles from the San Martin de Pajarales Island (Colombian Caribbean) from which total DNA was extracted and the COI gene amplified by PCR using specific primers. The amplified fragment was cut with the enzymes HpaII and BfaI and produced a band pattern of 432, 318, 240 and 158 base pairs. This pattern was compared in silico bioinformatics analysis of this gene for closely related species like the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and freshwater turtles. Different patterns were observed, concluding that COI gene is a molecular tag usable for the identification of this species studied.
P1.10   Conservation Biology for All Sodhi, NS*, National University of Singapore ; Ehrlich, PR, Stanford University
The global biodiversity crisis must be dealt with rapidly; what can be saved in the developing world will require an educated constituency both in the developing and developed world. Sadly, developing world conservation scientists have found it difficult to access an authoritative textbook, which is ironic since it is these countries where the potential benefits of knowledge application are greatest. We will present on a project that will provide free and open access to cutting-edge but basic conservation science textbook to developing as well as developed country inhabitants. The book contains authoritative chapters written by top names in conservation biology. Important topics are covered such as balancing habitat conversion and human needs, climate change, conservation planning, designing and analyzing conservation research, ecosystem services, endangered species management, extinctions, fire, habitat loss, and invasive species. The project represents an effort that the conservation community has deemed worthy of support by donations of time and effort.
P1.11   Implementation of a model for the amphibian conservation: A case study at the Eastern Andes of Colombia Tavera-Beltrán F.*, Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia ; Chaves-Portilla G., Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia; Salazar-Gómez E., Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia; Gil-Acero J., Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia; Gallo-Santos J., Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia; Nossa-Pardo A., Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia; Rodríguez-Gaitán N., Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia; Pulido-Barrera S., Fundación Ecodiversidad Colombia
According to the Global Amphibian Assessment, Colombia is the second-highest country in amphibian diversity, but also is the country with the highest number of threatened species (209 species 30% of the total species in this country), demonstrating the need to conserve this important vertebrate group in this mega-diverse country. Over two years with the Supatá golden frog project has been implemented a conservation model that has combined the biological research, the community involvement and the environmental education to achieve not only the conservation of the amphibian species in the municipality of Supatá but of all the wildlife of the region. This model has as main purpose integrating the Supatá´s people in decisions making about environmental problems that are facing the amphibians of their region and that it is affecting them also, through the involving local community in diverse activities that have allowed creating a high degree of environmental awareness and ownership. To achieve this purpose we have used the amphibians, especially the Supatá golden frog as flagship species to promote the conservation of the wildlife through sustainable use and management of natural resources particularly the Andean forest relicts still surviving. We expect to carry on with this model to achieve long-impact outputs that contribute to the conservation and preservation of natural heritage of the region.
P1.12   An innovative environmental education program for primate conservation in Peru Fanny M. Cornejo*, Departamento de Mastozoologia, Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru ; Fanny Fernandez, Programa de Educación Ambiental, YUNKAWASI, Lima, Peru
As one of the most primate-rich countries in the world and with very few people aware of primates’ existence, Peru needed urgently an education program that involved local people and used primates’ charisma for achieving public awareness and a change toward natural resources. The “conservation education program for Peruvian Primates” started in January 2008, in the regions of Amazonas and San Martin, part of the Tropical Andes Hotspot and home of Peru’s endemic primate species –like the yellow tailed woolly monkey, one of the 25 most endangered primates of the world- and Lima, the capital and home of one third of Peru’s population. The program was implemented through workshops, where surveys, audiovisual materials and guide books were distributed to school children and teachers. A total of 8675 schoolchildren and 382 teachers from 30 schools in 25 towns have been involved in the program, being more than 70 % from rural areas surrounded by forests where monkeys occur. Two additional activities were organized to complement the program: a “regional drawing contest of Peruvian monkeys” (2008) and a “myths and legends of Peruvian monkeys writing contest” (2009). The products are a Calendar featuring the best drawings and a book with the best works, both distributed freely. The enthusiasm and insight raised but these activities made the program extremely successful, surveys about the importance of the forests have changed radically since the beginning of the program, achieving the first step of the program: knowing the nature is loving it.
P1.13   Engaging Children in Biodiversity Issues to Engender Support for Nature Conservation Andrews, Chandler*, Science Advisor, Earth Rangers ; Kendall, Peter, Executive Director, Earth Rangers; Lalumiere, Lucie, Vice President, Interactive, Earth Rangers; Woerner, Paul, Director, Live Productions, Earth Rangers; Clapinson, Christopher, Associate Director, Social Marketing, Earth Rangers; Dudar, Katrina, Manager, Education, Earth Rangers
Since the industrial revolution, human activities have dramatically reduced the diversity of life on Earth. Although this massive loss of life has weakened the very systems that sustain humanity, public support for nature conservation is generally lacking. We believe, as do many other researchers, that one of the best ways to renew humanity’s devotion to nature is by engaging children in biodiversity issues. Through our interactive program, Bring Back the Wild (BBtW), children will witness the wonder of nature, learn about the impact of human activities on the natural environment, play a role in protecting wildlife, and develop a lasting conservation ethic. We anticipate that within five years, more than 500,000 Canadian children will participate in BBtW and, in doing so, protect approximately 2,500 hectares of wilderness in Canada each year.
P1.14   Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth: Corporate Conservation Education Programs Draheim, Megan M.*, George Mason University, Department of Environmental Science and Policy ; Rose, Naomi A., Humane Society International; Kruse, Christi A., George Mason University, Department of Biology; Parsons, E.C.M., George Mason University, Department of Environmental Science and Policy
As school budgets are cut, many teachers are searching for ways to augment their curriculum. Corporations are one source for free educational materials; however, these materials may be biased. We examined the free online materials that SeaWorld provides to educators. We used qualitative content analysis to break the materials into themes and compared SeaWorld’s claims with the scientific literature in order to determine their value in a conservation education program. We found that the materials included factual inaccuracies. For example, Sea World generally characterizes the collapsed dorsal fins of male killer whales as “normal;” however, in most wild populations only 1%-5% of adult males have fully collapsed fins, while 100% of captive adult males do. SeaWorld also inaccurately portrays beluga whales’ life spans as being half of what the current scientific consensus is by using an analysis that is obsolete. By choosing not to acknowledge the best available scientific information, the quality of its educational content is put into doubt. While some of the content does have educational value, it is presented in such a way as to privilege SeaWorld’s corporate goals. Indeed, the material actively promotes its commercial activities. Free conservation educational materials can be an important asset to underfunded classrooms, but educators should be aware of corporate agendas and examine the materials from a critical perspective before incorporating them into their curricula.
P1.15   Riparian Buffers for Habitat Enhancement of Beaverlodge Watershed - Alberta, Western Canada Doug Macaulay*, Alberta Agriculture and rural Development ; Jill Henry, County of Grande Prairie; John Hallet, Alberta Conservation Association
Prior to European agricultural settlement of the Beaverlodge River watershed (Alberta, Canada) at the turn of the last century, the area contained extensive woodlands and wetlands. However, over the last hundred years, this area has experienced extensive deforestation, wetland drainage, and general habitat degradation. After the deforestation and wetland draining, increased agriculture (including cereal crops and cattle farms); and oil wells, has led to poor water quality, significant riverbank erosion, higher water temperatures and the loss of many native fish species such as the Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus). This species is considered a sensitive species in the Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (2005) report. It is a cool water, sportfish that has significantly declined in the past fifty years. It is now only found in about 40% of its historical range as a result of overfishing, habitat fragmentation caused by activities such as improperly installed road culverts, increased water temperatures due to changes in the climate and detrimental land-use activities. The “Riparian Reforestation and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement” agroforestry project described in this chapter has built awareness of how habitat adjacent to the Beaverlodge River and its tributaries can be restored through tree and shrub plantings and fencing to improve riparian health and wildlife or fish habitat. This three-year project was initiated in 2008 by the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society (AWES) with support from the County of Grande Prairie and the West County Watershed Group, and funding from the Alberta Conservation Association’s Grant Eligible Fund. The goal of this agroforestry project was to improve degraded woodlands bordering creeks and rivers in the Beaverlodge River watershed on private lands. The project attempted to show that agroforestry systems such as riparian buffers along with riparian protection can be used as a tool to help improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat, and reduce the erosion of banks within the Beaverlodge River Watershed. The project worked with landowners in this watershed to replant degraded riparian buffer zones. Overgrazed pastures and cultivated farmland with no trees along these waterways were the primary focus of this work. Our methods included the formation of a planning team, a public awareness campaign to attract participants and educate them on riparian area values, hiring a tree planting contractor and a planting goal of 66,000 trees on 150 acres of private lands. So far, two years of funding were acquired, 13 private landowners have participated, and 44,000 trees have been planted.
P1.16   Long Term Conservation of Atlantic Forest through Education: Experiences from the Serra do Urubu Important Bird Area, Brazil Pongiluppi, T, SAVE Brasil ; De Paula, L.A., Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Lima, F.P., Universidade Federal de Goiás; Develey, P*, SAVE Brasil
The Serra do Urubu is a complex of Atlantic Forest fragments, located in Northeastern Brazil. Ten globally threatened bird species are found there. Due to the high numbers of threatened and endemic birds, it is considered by BirdLife/SAVE Brasil an Important Bird Area for priority action. Despite this richness in diversity, the regional level of poverty is very high and remaining forests are being exploited, especially for charcoal production. In 2007 SAVE Brasil initiated a program to communicate the biological importance of the region to the local community. The program trained a group of 30 teenagers to act as disseminators of the Serra do Urubu’s conservation importance to the general public. It showed that to effectively conserve the Serra do Urubu it is important to involve the community in the process of conservation, to target various audiences, to maintain a continuous process of education, and to establish a strong relationship based on trust and understanding with the local people. An Education Center was established to work with concepts, values and conservationist attitudes. To date, the educational activities involved about 860 participants. The group of teenagers is crucial to the activities proposed on the center, because they developed a feeling of responsibility for the local natural resources and their conservation. They inspire and motivate the community to preserve the Serra do Urubu biodiversity, and will hopefully continue to do so for future generation.
P1.17   An Overview of Socioscience as an Emerging Tool in Conservation Joyner, L*, Director Lafeber Conservation
Socioscience urges human beings to become full global citizens in organizations attuned to ethical concerns. This emerging field helps conservation team members incorporate self and organizational development in conservation protocols . Specific tools of socioscience include those of social and emotional intelligence (psychology, religion, ethno-biography, communication skills, leadership and organization functioning), understanding animal nature (cognitive ethology), understanding human nature (anthropology, history, and cognitive/emotive functioning), and frameworks for respectful discourse across differences of view, identities, religion, culture, and experiences. By developing these intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, conservationists increase their capacity to sustain their work and maximize their efforts in difficult and ethically complicated situations.
P1.18   WHEN IS A POPULATION A METAPOPULATION? a conceptual modelling approach to conservation principles learning Isabella, SA*, University of Brasilia ; Paulo, Salles, University of Brasilia; Gustavo, Leite, University of Brasilia; Rossano, Ramos, University of Brasilia
Implementing plans for biodiversity and natural resources conservation requires better understanding of how accelerating changes imposed by human activities influence natural landscapes and population dynamics. Qualitative Reasoning modelling may be useful in this case, as it has been considered a valuable tool for exploring and integrating conceptual knowledge about ecological systems (see an updated overview in Ecological Informatics, 4(5-6): 261-412) and population dynamics (see Ecological Modelling, 195(1-2),114-128). A set of qualitative simulation models was developed to capture and formalize knowledge expressed in the main principles of conservation biology involved in the metapopulation theory. These models main goal is to improve in educational contexts learners’ understanding of metapopulation dynamics. The fundamental message to be taken is that a metapopulation can persist and stabilize as a result of the balance between random extinction and colonization, even under the influence of land use change impacts on natural landscapes and habitat quality. The models and the simulation results provide explicit representations of how causality operates when the landscape is modified and deforestation and urbanization cause habitat loss. In this context, this work shows how conservation efforts in fragmented areas may oppose destructive tendencies.(This paper received financial support from Project DynaLearn (EU-FP7 contract 231526). Visit www.dynalearn.eu).
P1.19   Effect of Zoo-based Educational Programme on Biodiversity Conservation ABI-SAID, MOUNIR R.*, American university of Beirut ; Abi-Said Marrouche, Diana M., American university of Beirut; Leader-Williams, Nigel, University of Cambridge
Slowing the rate of species’ extinction is vital for the future wellbeing of humankind. Conservation education programmes (CEPs) can help bring this about especially if young people are targeted. CEPs running outside classrooms have a greater impact than traditional classroom programmes. Nevertheless, evaluations that compare passive, with more active zoo education approaches are uncommon. In this study, we compare the impact of passive self-guided tours with active seminars on the attitudes of zoo visitors using the much reviled striped hyaena Hyaena hyaena syriaca as a case study. We administered questionnaire interviews to students, both before entering the Animal Encounter “Educational Center for Wildlife Conservation”, Lebanon, and after they had experienced either a self-guided tour or a 45-minute awareness raising seminar after their tour. Most students (>80%) held negative attitudes towards hyaenas, and these attitudes were particularly influenced by information provided by their parents, However, many (~65%) concurrently accepted that hyaenas played a positive role in the environment, and showed some support for their conservation. The overall zoo-education programme was very effective at changing attitudes, in the immediate short-term at least. Furthermore, the active approach was much more effective overall than the passive approach, a message that has important for implications for other zoo-based conservation programmes.
P1.20   Towards a systematic approach to the flagship concept in conservation Veríssimo, Diogo*, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, UK ; MacMillan, Douglas, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, UK; Smith, Robert J, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, UK
Flagship species have traditionally played a pivotal role in our ability to fundraise, lobby or raise awareness for biodiversity conservation. However, procedures for selecting flagships generally lack empirical evidence or an objective methodology. This has resulted in confusion over what flagship species are and what they are supposed to achieve, which in turn has undermined their effectiveness. In this paper we describe a systematic framework to support the selection of conservation flagships drawing on insights from other cognate disciplines including economics and business, and concepts such as social marketing. Our model highlights the need for flagship selection to be driven not only by the specified conservation goal, but also by the wider values and attitudes of the target audience towards that goal. Thus, the process needs to be tailored to fit the social, cultural and economic reality of the key stakeholders and based on an understanding of the relationship of this audience with the conservation goal. Furthermore it reinforces the need for a rigorous evaluation process for any flagship based strategy, as the only means to measure success and determine the scope for improving the use of flagship species in conservation. This conceptual framework should help conservationists develop more effective flagships with wider support from a range of key stakeholders, such as donors, local communities or government officials.
P1.21   Melanesian Geo: A Grassroots Publication Dedicated to Regional Biological and Cultural Diversity Pikacha, P., University of Queensland ; Boseto, D., Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi; Osborne, T., The University of the South Pacific; Weeks, B., American Museum of Natural History, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation; Filardi, C.*, American Museum of Natural History, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation
Melanesia, a globally significant region with incredibly rich biological and cultural diversity, is both one of the most threatened and yet intact tropical regions on Earth. Until recently, there has not been a platform devoted to discussions of regional biological and cultural diversity (e.g., Australian Geographic, Canadian Geographic, etc.) where Melanesians could share their experiences and research with others facing similar situations across the region. Melanesian Geo now fills this gap; it is a grassroots publication that focuses on the people and environment of Melanesia. Based in the Solomon Islands, by combining a mixture of journalism, creative writing, and local storytelling, Melanesian Geo raises the awareness of environmental and social issues affecting the people and ecosystems of Melanesia. With a focus on local researchers and writers, it provides a unique forum for regional dialogue that is fostered by, and accessible to, Melanesian decision-makers. Online availability (http://melanesiangeo.org) provides access to an international audience, and with 7 issues published to date, Melanesian Geo exemplifies a successful grassroots initiative. By bringing together a variety of voices related to biological and cultural issues, the journal has both empowered local actors and raised regional awareness of issues with clear global significance.
P1.22   Measuring the Impact of Information Education Campaigns on the Calayan Rail Gallirallus calayanensis Layusa, CAA*, Isla Biodiversity Conservation ; Oliveros, CH, Isla Biodiversity Conservation ; Garcia, HJD, Isla Biodiversity Conservation ; Follosco, NMG, Isla Biodiversity Conservation ; Reynon, JB, Isla Biodiversity Conservation
After the discovery of the Calayan Rail Gallirallus calayanensis in 2004, a conservation project involving awareness on the species and the environment was undertaken in the remote island of Calayan, northern Philippines. From 2005, the team conducted information education campaigns (IEC) throughout the Island as part of our strategy to convey the uniqueness of and threats to this species. But how much of our effort has been well-targeted and how do we measure the success of our IEC work? We solicited the help of barangay (village) health workers in doing an objective, third-party survey through questionnaires to monitor and evaluate the impacts of IEC activities conducted between the years 2005 - 2008. 350 (3% of total population) took part in the survey. Questions were designed to know the respondents’ knowledge on the rail’s physical characteristics and habitat and the where these information were gathered from. We also included questions on resource use, perceptions on the environment and environmental responsibilities and policies. This will help us quantify the awareness our project has generated for the Calayan Rail. It will also help us identify gaps and strengths in our IEC campaigns so we could focus our strategies more effectively in our work ahead.
P1.23   A Coral Restoration for Education in Trat Province, Thailand YEEMIN, THAMASAK*, Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240 THAILAND ; Makamas Sutthacheep, Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240 THAILAND; Chaipichit Saenghaisuk, Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240 THAILAND; Sittiporn Pensakun, Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240 THAILAND; Wanlaya Klinthong, Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240 THAILAND; Kanwara Saengmanee, Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240 THAILAND; Watcharachai Donsomjit , Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ramkhamhaeng University, Huamark, Bangkok 10240 THAILAND
A simple and cheap coral restoration method was developed by Association of Marine Biodiversity Conservation and Education (AMBCE), an NGO conservation group led by marine scientists, in collaboration with local administrative officials, volunteer groups and local teachers. The concept of this method was providing additional substrates for coral recruitment and attaching coral fragments found on the coral reefs by using clusters of designed concrete blocks which were made by local people. The coral restoration sites were in shallow water of the west of Koh Kood, Trat Province, in the eastern Gulf of Thailand. It is easy for local students to study on coral biology and ecology at the coral restoration sites. This coral restoration model can raise public awareness on coral reef conservation through students as well as increase survival of natural coral fragments. Moreover, the planning and implementation activities of the project enhanced coordination among local communities, NGOs and government agencies.
P1.24   The Role of Online Social Networks in Grassroots Conservation Outreach SEILER, DL*, University of Wisconsin Madison ; Dunwoody, S, University of Wisconsin Madison; Shaw, BR, University of Wisconsin Madison; Potter, KW, University of Wisconsin Madison
Use of online social media has soared amongst both private individuals and conservation groups, but very little is known about the impact or potential of Social Networking Sites (SNS) as a public outreach tool. We studied the campaigns of three Wisconsin non-government organizations (NGO) conservation groups and their use of Facebook, which is currently the largest SNS in the world at more than 350 million active users. Specifically, we examined whether conservation outreach on Facebook is changing (1) member demographics, (2) communication methods and preferences, (3) public involvement levels in conservation, or (4) member relationships and their influence (social network theory). Our preliminary findings suggest that Facebook is not a preferred communication method for conservation group members, but that Facebook groups may provide increased visibility of an organization within member networks, peer influence, and stronger social ties amongst members. The findings of this study suggest there is potential for conservation groups and educators to increase their public visibility and internal cohesion with a Facebook campaign.
P1.25   Academic Training for a Nonacademic Workplace: a case study and recommendations for graduate education in conservation Muir, Matthew J*, Foundations of Success ; Schwartz, Mark W, U California, Davis
Graduate education in conservation biology has been criticized as ineffective and inadequate to train the professionals needed to solve conservation problems. To identify how graduate education might better fit the needs of the conservation workplace, we surveyed practitioners and academics about the importance of particular skills on the job and the perceived importance of teaching those same skills in graduate school. All survey participants (n=189) were alumni from the University of California Davis Graduate Group in Ecology and received thesis-based degrees. Academic and practitioner respondents clearly differed in workplace skills, although there was considerably more agreement on what should be taught. Skill sets particularly at risk of under-emphasis in graduate programs are decision making and policy implementation, whereas research skills may be overemphasized. Because practitioners vary widely in types of jobs and necessary skill sets, we suggest that ever-increasing calls to broaden training to fit this range of careers will lead to a trade-off in the teaching of other important skills. We recommend a community approach to improving graduate education in conservation, including roles for conservation employers, academic programs, and students; and present initial findings from a May 2010 meeting that will bring these three groups together.
P1.26   The Smithsonian-Mason Conservation Education Program: A model for immersive, experiential training in conservation science and practice Vitazkova, SK*, Mason Center for Conservation Studies, George Mason University ; Jones, RC, Mason Center for Conservation Studies, George Mason University; Marchant, A, Mason Center for Conservation Studies, George Mason University; Christen, C, Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ; Sevin, J, Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ; Buff, J, Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ; Dallemeier, F, Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Effective conservation requires not only academic knowledge, but also hands-on skills that cannot be learned in a traditional classroom, even if supplemented with occasional short-term fieldwork. George Mason University’s College of Science and College of Humanities and Social Sciences have collaborated to create the Mason Center for Conservation Studies (MCCS), and have joined forces with the Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability (CCES) of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) to develop and implement residential, hands-on undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs in conservation science. Both undergraduate and graduate/professional training includes courses in conservation theory, field methods and practice, and human dimensions of conservation. Training takes place at SCBI’s 3,200 acre facility in Front Royal, VA, USA, home to several endangered species and home base for scientists working at the cutting edge of reproductive science, spatial ecology and international conservation. Course instructors include Mason faculty, CCES-SCBI’s scientists, and colleagues at US and international conservation organizations. Program management and administration are shared equally between Mason and the Smithsonian Institution at all levels. This collaboration between an academic institution and a leading research center provides much-needed experiential training for today’s conservation professionals and tomorrow’s conservation leaders.
P1.27   Will the woodland caribou be the only mascot species ever used in communication and awareness campaigns for boreal conservation? Meunier, G., Ducks Unlimited Canada ; Darveau, M., Ducks Unlimited Canada & Laval U.; Boudreau, S.*, Ducks Unlimited Canada
Emblematic, flagship, or mascot species are often used in education programs and public campaigns to promote natural area conservation or nature tourism. In Boreal Canada, the woodland caribou is the most widely used, if not unique, mascot. However, in trying to evoke the complexity of northern ecosystems, and also because campaigns do not all have the same objective, relying on the caribou as ambassador of the Boreal is not the best strategy. We sought to find alternatives: starting with a list of 151 vertebrates present in the boreal forest, taiga, and tundra in Quebec, we used four basic selection criteria (native, charismatic, easily identified, and non detrimental to human activities) to create a list of 65 acceptable mammalian (12), bird (39), amphibian (4), and fish (10) species. Among the 86 species that were rejected through very strict application of the criteria, some decisions were counterintuitive, namely the gray wolf (Canis lupus) that has been long seen as a nuisance, and the Canada goose (Branta canadensis) that is detrimental to agriculture in the South. In a second step, we categorized the 65 acceptable species using eleven classification criteria, including: distribution (large/local); population status (common/threatened); habitat (specialist/generalist); cultural value (for local communities); and indicator value (umbrella species). Our analysis shows that a number of species may fit the criteria and replace or accompany the caribou in boreal campaigns.
P1.28   Tools and Collaborative Approaches to Bridge the Communication Gap between Scientists and Northern Communities about Caribou Heath and Conservation Brook, RK*, University of Saskatchewan ; Kutz, SJ, University of Calgary; Muelling, C, University of Calgary; Flood, P, University of Saskatchewan; Anderson, J, University of Calgary
Barriers to communication among scientists and indigenous communities in northern Canada about caribou and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) health and conservation include: language, world-view, motivations, and a lack of suitable communication tools to facilitate knowledge sharing. The need for improved communication and collaboration is particularly acute given recent dramatic caribou declines. Understanding changes to caribou requires a diverse set of knowledge, tools, and approaches. Despite a range of anatomical features that are unique to the species and active research on diverse aspects their biology, relatively little work has been done to describe the anatomy of the genus Rangifer. It is important to describe what is `normal` structure and function so that we can begin to understand `abnormal`. The purpose of the Rangifer Anatomy Project (RAP) is to describe the anatomy of Rangifer from both scientific and traditional perspectives. Data on caribou anatomy have been obtained from lab-based scientific dissections of preserved reindeer and field-based dissections of caribou while participating on community caribou hunts. Interviews with hunters and elders have elicited information on traditional uses of caribou parts as food, medicine, clothing, and equipment. We anticipate that the process of this project and the final products that describe caribou anatomy from multiple perspectives will ultimately facilitate greater discussion about caribou health and conservation.
P1.29   Who Volunteers to Work for the Environment: Towards a Typology of Conservation Volunteers Rollins, R*, Vancouver Island University ; Hunter, A, University of Victoria; Canessa, R, University of Victoria
The work of environmental conservation often requires the use of volunteers. Volunteers are an essential part of many conservation organizations, and often work on projects where paid staffs are not available. However, high volunteer turnover can increase recruiting and training costs and disrupt programs. In order to help improve retention rates and the effectiveness of volunteers, this study aims to better understand motivations to volunteer, and what factors contribute to satisfaction. A random sample of 148 past and present conservation volunteers selected from ten conservation organizations located in Victoria, British Columbia were surveyed to explore their motives for volunteering with a conservation organization (response rate was 90%). Factor analysis of responses to 35 motivation statements generated nine meaningful motivational factors, labelled as: career; environmental values, personal growth, protective, social norms, social interests, intrinsic satisfaction, efficacy, and independence. These factors were used in a cluster analysis to generate a typology of six volunteer groupings, labelled as follows: practical environmentalists; concerned environmentalists; career environmentalists; budding idealists; social environmentalists; and, other helpers. Understanding this variability in volunteer motivations allows conservation organizations to recruit volunteers that will be more satisfied with the roles offered, and improve retention rates.
P1.30   Fostering community-based conservation of Northern Abalone in B.C.: long-term collaboration between government and First Nations Lee, TS*, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Species at Risk Program
In 1990, commercial, recreational and First Nations harvests of abalone in B.C. were closed due to significant conservation concerns. Following the fisheries closures, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) held a recovery and rebuilding workshop in 1999. This workshop identified recovery measures for abalone, and facilitated opportunities to develop community-based action plans and programs to support abalone recovery. In the years that have followed, recovery implementation has showcased some of the most extensive collaborative efforts between government and First Nations on marine species at risk recovery. Eleven areas were identified as ‘Abalone CoastWatch’ regions within B.C. Within each region, programs were developed by First Nation communities to solicit volunteer patrols to discourage abalone poaching and develop education and cultural outreach programs. Integrating approaches across regions has resulted in shared goals, collaboration and comprehensive coverage in remote areas. Collaborative research and monitoring programs have developed consistent methodology between DFO, Parks Canada and coastal First Nations and have often included traditional ecological knowledge in index site selection.
P1.31   Marine life conservation effort at south eastern coast and marine areas of Bangladesh Islam, Mohammad Zahirul, Marinelife Alliance ; Ehsan, Faysal*, Marinelife Alliance; Adnan, Rafat, Chittagong University
South eastern coastal areas of Bangladesh is Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) declared by Government of Bangladesh in 1999. The area is quite a biodiversity hotspot. To restore the charismatic megafauna and other endangered species MarineLife Alliance has taken initiative to conserve the marine biodiversity. Current programs are taken to conserve sea turtle, cetaceans, water birds, and coral habitat. Included are monitoring and conservation of sea turtle, cetacean, whale shark and water bird as a major group. we conduct scientific monitoring, habitat restoration and protection through community participation. With education, training and awareness to the community. More than two thousand school children has been motivated and educated thought community education, offshore fishermen has been trained for bycatch reduction. More than seven thousand local people have been motivated by awareness program. Further initiative under this program is setting up education and research center, remote monitoring station, museum along the entire coast. Five education and research center has been established. MarineLife Alliance is going to establish education centers along the entire coast to establish community based sustainable marine conservation. Around 90,000 olive ridley and green turtle hatchlings have been released so far during Oct 2005- Jan 2010 into the Bay of Bengal.
P1.32   Human-induced changes in a carnivore-ungulate-forest system in a European primeval temperate forest Kuijper, D.P.J*, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Waszkiewicza 1d, 17-230, Białowieża, Poland ; Jędrzejewska, B., Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Waszkiewicza 1d, 17-230, Białowieża, Poland; Jędrzejewski, W. , Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Waszkiewicza 1d, 17-230, Białowieża, Poland; Churski, M. , Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Waszkiewicza 1d, 17-230, Białowieża, Poland
Previous studies in one of the best preserved European temperate forests, the Białowieża Primeval Forest (Poland), illustrated the top-down effects of carnivores on ungulate populations. When wolf and lynx were strictly protected in the 1990s, their combined predation reduced 75% of the reproduction of red deer and caused 40% of the annual mortality. However, carnivores did not regulate their prey as predation was inversely density dependent. Long-term data (1890-2000) showed large fluctuations in abundances of both ungulates and carnivores, which were driven by humans next to carnivores. Whereas, carnivores flourished during times of political chaos, ungulates were overexploited as a source of food. The opposite occurred during times of political stability. These changes largely influenced tree stand dynamics, measured on permanent transects between 1936 and 2002. Periods with low ungulate numbers coincided with high overall tree recruitment rates. With increasing density of ungulates, recruitment rates in general decreased. Exclosure studies confirmed that these trends were mainly shaped by ungulates. In contrast to previous studies, increasing herbivore numbers were associated with relatively higher recruitment of preferred and browsing tolerant species. Periodical crashes in ungulate numbers, whether human-induced or caused by natural factors, may offer windows of opportunity for regeneration of a range of tree species and facilitate diversity in forest development.
P1.33   A Capitals Framework for Supporting Tourism Development in Protected Area Communities Bennett, NJ*, Department of Geography, University of Victoria ; Lemelin, RH, School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, Lakehead University
Tourism is often touted as an important livelihood option and conservation incentive for communities that are located near parks and protected areas. Proponents suggest that gateway communities can benefit significantly from the development of tourism through, for example, increased employment, financial gains, infrastructure creation, cultural revitalization, and environmental protection. Yet, tourism has not often been the panacea for protected area communities that it was originally made out to be. In the context of protected area communities, the development of a local tourism industry has often failed to deliver significant economic, social, cultural, and environmental benefits. Clearly defined frameworks for maximizing the benefits from tourism development for protected area communities are needed such that tourism can more directly support both community development and conservation efforts. This paper forwards a framework for supporting tourism development in protected area gateway communities based on the idea of building seven capital assets (i.e., natural, physical, financial, political, social, cultural, and human). The authors utilize research from several Canadian indigenous communities near protected areas in the development of this framework.
P1.34   Conservation challenges for protecting endangered Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius in Assam, India Barman, Purnima Devi*, Aaranyak
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius is currently facing extinction threat. Assam population of the Greater Adjutant is considered as the last stronghold for this endangered bird. Almost all of this population resides outside the State owned protected area network and mainly nests on the privately owned trees. The future of this bird depends on basically the wishes of these tree owners. These tree owners on the other hand are very poor and many times they cut the nesting trees to earn their livelihood. The bird also makes the campus of the nest tree owners dirty by throwing rotten foods, dead chicks etc and thus it irritates the tree owners. In this critical situation a conservation initiatives have been made to encourage the tree owners for their support to save this bird. Celebrities and media houses were roped in to highlight the tree owners’ involvement for saving this endangered bird. For long term sustainability of this initiatives  lobbing has been done for a State owned compensation schemes.
P1.36   Institutions and Organizations for Conservation: A Case of Langat River Basin, Malaysia MD. ABDULLAH ABRAHAM HOSSAIN*, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia ; Mazlin Bin Mokhtar, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Mohd Ekhwan Hj. Toriman, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
According to contemporary policy paradigm, a river basin is an acquiescent interface for conservation interventions under integrated approach. But challenges of complexities and uncertainties in river basin management faced by institutions and organizations are causing mismatch between policy intentions and policy outcomes. Therefore, using institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework, we explored challenges in terms of learning environment and policy outcomes in terms of conservation in Langat River Basin. This analysis revealed that absence of learning environment for individual stakeholders is the major challenge to achieve policy objective. However, polycentric institutional arrangements of Federal administration could addresses conservation challenges by extending the scope of iterative learning processes for individual stakeholders. Findings of this study are envisaged to be useful to those who are concerned for strategizing integrated river basin management for sustainable development and further research on Langat River Basin and else where.
P1.37   Ecotourism Benefits and the Role of Non-Governmental Organisations at Yankari Game Reserve, Nigeria Bola Adeleke*, Redeemer's University
An investigation ecotourism at Yankari Game Reserve in Sudan Savanna of Northern Nigeria and one of the country's most visited protected areas focused ecotourism benefits and the role of Non-Governmental Organisations in promoting conservation awareness.Interviews, participant observation and archival research were used to investigate the role of Non-Governmental Organisations,residents attitudes,toward Yankari Game Reserve and ecotourism as a method of protected area and rural development.Many factors make Yankari Game Reserve a prime ecotourist destination, including the possibility of viewing easily its endemic species, such as Waterbuck. The Game Reserve has a strog Non-GovernmentalOrganisation involvement and currently conbines conservation and development through a progamme that returns a portion of tourism revenue to local communities. Actual benefits received from the Game Reserve, including ecotourism revenues were found to influence the positive and negative perception of Yankari Game Reserve held by residents in the Game reserve periphery. However limitation on ecotourism development include infrastructure and political instability. KEY WORDS: Ecotourism,Conservation,Yankari Game Reserve,Local Communities,Rural Development
P1.38   Predator-mediated indirect effects of fire on caribou habitat in Banff and Jasper National Parks Robinson, HS, University of Montana ; DeCesare, NJ*, University of Montana; Hebblewhite, M, University of Montana; Musiani, M, University of Calgary
Fire management is an important tool in the conservation of ecosystems in Canada’s national parks. Both natural and human-induced fires can benefit certain species, while other species may be negatively impacted. We used GPS collar data for wolves (N=34), primary prey species (elk, N=11; moose, N=28) and a threatened secondary prey (caribou, N=40) and resource selection analysis to model the effects of fire on these species’ habitat and interactions. Wolf distribution in the study area was driven by elk and moose densities, with spatially variable overlap among wolves and caribou. Our models demonstrated that fire may reduce caribou forage (a direct effect). Fire may also reduce caribou habitat quality by altering wolf predation patterns (an indirect effect). Overall, models showed positive effects of fire on habitat for both predator and primary prey, but a potentially negative effect on caribou. We therefore integrated wolf and caribou spatial models to delineate a spatial index of caribou “safe zones” (areas selected by caribou and not by wolves). While currently planned prescribed fires in Banff and Jasper were shown to reduce the area of favorable caribou habitat by 2%, they reduced the area of “safe zones” by 10%. Thus, conservation managers should account for the indirect, predator-mediated impacts of fire on caribou habitat in addition to direct effects of habitat loss.
P1.39   Reducing wolf-livestock conflicts in the mountain West: What’s missing ? Timmothy Kaminski*, Mountain Livestock Cooperative ; Charles Mamo, Longview Conservation-CANADA; Sarah Dewey, Mountain Livestock Cooperative
Abstract Wolves depredate repeatedly on livestock in areas where wolf behavior and learning combine with traditional grazing practice to exacerbate livestock vulnerability and largely explain chronic patterns of wolf conflicts in the Rocky Mountains. We contend that preventing and reducing wolf-livestock conflicts may be best achieved by manipulating prey vulnerability via adjusting grazing practice than sole reliance on lethally removing their predators. We review more than a decade of wolf-livestock conflict data on cattle that conform to this hypothesis in the Rocky Mountain U.S. and Canada. Data show that: 1) grazing practices that emphasize widely dispersed cow-calf pairs and yearlings are similar throughout public land grazing allotments where vigilance is intermittent or low relative to carnivore presence; 2) wolf predation is selective for behaviorally naïve and anxiety-prone calf and yearling cattle; and 3) regardless of origin and turnover, wolf occupancy of home ranges similarly grazed by cattle are characterized by chronic livestock loss in near identical patterns, suggesting a combination of behavior, biological and human-related factors that predispose vulnerable age cattle to being pursued by wolves and killed. We report results and recommend practical steps to improve vigilance, sustain working ranches and public land grazing while reducing wolf-livestock conflicts.
P1.40   Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) of the Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas World Heritage Sites: Insights from mitochondrial DNA sequencing Meredith Martin*, Sacker Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10024 USA ; Eugenia Naro-Maciel, Biology Department, College of Staten Island/City University of New York, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314 USA; Claudio Bellini, TAMAR-ICMBio, Av. Alexandrino de Alencar 1399, Tirol Natal RN, Brazil; Armando José Barsante Santos, Fundação Pró-TAMAR, Alameda do Boldró s/ número, Fernando de Noronha PE, Brazil; George Amato, Sacker Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10024 USA; Rob DeSalle, Sacker Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY 10024 USA
The protected Brazilian islands Rocas Atoll and Fernando de Noronha are important feeding grounds for green turtles. Although turtles at these sites are protected, they may face threats when migrating, underscoring the importance of understanding population connections. To investigate their population distribution, we sequenced a segment of the mitochondrial control region (862 bp; n = 119 for Fernando Noronha, n = 81 for Rocas Atoll). At Rocas Atoll, seven mtDNA haplotypes were revealed, and average haplotype diversity (h) was 0.699 + 0.037, while nucleotide diversity (π) was 0.010 + 0.005. In Fernando de Noronha eleven mtDNA haplotypes were found, and average haplotype diversity (h) was 0.641 + 0.027, while nucleotide diversity (π) was 0.008 + 0.005. At both sites the most common haplotypes were CMA-08 and CMA-05. To identify the natal origins of these foraging turtles, we used two kinds of “many-to-many” mixed stock analyses, either including or disregarding nesting population sizes. Results of these analyses varied depending on whether all feeding grounds from the Atlantic were included. For comparison, we performed traditional “one-to-many” MSAs, with results more consistent with expectations. The study will provide data necessary for conservation prioritization and management of endangered green turtles foraging at these World Heritage Sites.
P1.41   Molecular biodiversity inventory of the ichthyofauna in the Czech Republic Mendel, J*, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i. ; Halačka, K, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i.; Vetešník, L, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i.; Papoušek, I, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i.; Bartoňová, E, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i.; Šanda, R, National Museum; Koníčková, M, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i.; Urbánková, S, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i.
Our current knowledge of the genetic diversity in fish species from the Czech Republic is still insufficient. This project is based on international collaboration and has contributed significantly to the recognition and description of species diversity in all Czech fishes by using a comprehensive approach (literary data search, morphology, DNA barcoding, nDNA analysis). Indigenous and non-indigenous species of fish and lampreys living in the natural waters of the Czech Republic are the subject of recent inventory-taking and subsequent cataloguing. The acquired results are used for intercontinental comparison using DNA barcode within the BoLD platform. The study has contributed to the updating of information for Natura 2000 monitoring and has provided information and recommendations to the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic. New designs for species collection of type specimens and the development of detailed vouchers are an important contribution to national museums. This study was carried out within the framework of research project no. M200930901 supported by the Program of internal support for international collaborative projects of the Academy of Sciences of CR.
P1.42   A Revision of the Species Structure of the Genera Gobio and Romanogobio in the Eurasian Context Urbánková, S*, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i., Czech Republic ; Mendel, J, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i., Czech Republic ; Stefanov, T, National Museum of Natural History, Bulgaria; Nowak, M, University of Agriculture in Kraków, Poland; Šanda, R, National Museum, Czech Republic ; Halačka, K, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i., Czech Republic ; Vetešník, L, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, v.v.i., Czech Republic
The freshwater fish species of the genera Gobio and Romanogobio continue to be a topical subject for many European ichthyologists. This is because of the changing taxonomy at the species and generic levels, the relatively frequent discovery of new species from various geographical areas and the expansive area of occurrence of some which leads to frequent sympatries and thus to their problematic identification. Very often they are endemic species at various levels of endangerment. Molecular study brings new perspectives on taxonomy, occurrence, hybridization and identification from regions of various countries. The gudgeon species of six European ichthyofaunas and sympatric zones were clearly identified and the level of inter-species hybridization was detected. New localities of the species Gobio sp. 2 were found, which expand the boundaries of its occurrence as far as the Baltic Sea, while also becoming a newly discovered species for seven European countries for the time being. The success of the diagnostic method “S7indel diagnostics” as a molecular identification key was assessed for both genera. A histologic study of epidermal structures with regard to their inter-generic diagnostic character was evaluated. This study was carried out within the framework of research project no. 206/09/P608, supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic.
P1.43   Metapopulation structure and genetic diversity of the endangered Clayton's copper butterfly Michaud, C*, University of Maine ; Rhymer, JM, University of Maine
Clayton’s copper (Lycaena dorcas claytoni) is a wetland butterfly found almost exclusively within the state of Maine, where it was listed as state-endangered in 1997. It occurs only in rare circumneutral fen habitat, in conjunction with its host plant, shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa). Recent population surveys estimated population sizes of less than 3000 butterflies at 6 of 8 extant sites, supporting the need for continued protection of this rare butterfly. Microsatellite markers have been used to assay the diversity within and among populations of Clayton’s copper in Maine. Specimens for genetic analyses were collected from each of 7 sites in Maine during flight seasons in 2008 and 2009. Patterns of genetic diversity are compared with respect to spatial trends within sites and also across generations. Dispersal rates among sites have been estimated from genetic data to elucidate the metapopulation structure, and these data are being linked to analysis of a gene that affects the propensity of individuals to disperse or remain sedentary. A landscape genetic approach is being used to determine the effect of geographic features on the partitioning of genetic diversity among populations. Results of these experiments will help to understand population dynamics and genetic diversity of Clayton’s copper – information that is crucial for effective conservation planning for the species.
P1.44   SNP discovery in wild sheep through application of the OvineSNP50 BeadChip MILLER, J.M.*, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada ; Poissant, J., Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada; Kijas, J.W., CSIRO Livestock Industries, St. Lucia, Queensland, 4067, Australia; Sheep Genomics Consortium, www.sheephapmap.org; Coltman, D.W., Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada
Conservation genomics, where a multitude of genetic markers distributed throughout a genome can be used to study adaptive variation, holds the prospect of dramatically informing and enhancing current management strategies that rely on demographics and population structure estimates inferred from a few neutral markers. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are fast becoming the genetic marker of choice for such endeavors as they provide several advantages over other markers including: abundance in the genome, distribution in both expressed and intronic sequences, and ease of genotyping through automation. However, the development of genomic resources for wild species is still in its infancy. Cross-species utilization of technologies developed for their domestic counterparts has the potential to unlock the genomes of organisms that currently lack genomic resources. Here we apply the OvineSNP50 BeadChip, developed for domestic sheep, to two related wild ungulate species: the bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) and the thinhorn sheep (Ovis dalli). Over 95% of the domestic sheep markers were successfully amplified in bighorn sheep while over 90% were amplified in thinhorn sheep. Pooling both species we found 868 SNPs distributed on all autosomes and the X-chromosome. This panel of SNPs was able to discriminate between the two species, assign individuals to their population of origin, and detect substructure within a population corresponding to known family groups. In taxa where no genomic resources are available typing individuals on a platform such as the OvineSNP50 BeadChip can be more efficient and cost effective than other SNP discovery methods.
P1.45   Detecting admixture of fur farm mink in native populations in Prince William Sound, AK Fleming, MA*, Biology Department and Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131 ; Roby, DD, Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331; Irons, DB, Migratory Bird Management, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99503; Bixler, KS, Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331; Ostrander, EA, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892; Cook, JA, Biology Department and Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska supports native mink on its nearshore islands and mainland, but non-native mink were also introduced to small islands in the 1900s for fur farming. We used a multigene approach to determine whether mink on the Naked Island Archipelago (NIA) were native or introduced via fur farms. Using 309 bp of mtDNA control region (n=135) and 10 microsatellites (n=211), we analyzed samples from 7 PWS localities (including Montague I. where fur farm mink were introduced in 1951), 2 fur farm color phases, and 8-24 localities across North America. MtDNA distinguished mink from eastern and western North America; contemporary fur farm mink had ancestry from both regions. Fur farm ancestry on NIA is evident from the single “eastern” haplotype there (n=9) and nowhere else in the west except Montague I. (1 of 9) and Knight I. (3 of 7), 6 km from the NIA. In contrast, nuclear analyses supported fur farm ancestry for Montague I. (e.g., high allelic richness, 24% of alleles found nowhere else in PWS) but native ancestry for NIA mink (e.g., low allelic richness, 95% of alleles shared with Knight I.). Either there was once a fur farm on the NIA, or admixed mink colonized or were introduced from Knight I. (which had fur farms nearby). Knowledge of the phylogeographic history of mink in NA and PWS was critical to determining the origin of NIA mink, which have decimated seabird colonies there in the last decade.
P1.46   Effects of habitat selection and anthropogenic disturbance on microevolution in elk (Cervus elaphus) McDevitt, AD*, University of Calgary ; Muhly, TB, University of Calgary; Pitt, JA, University of Alberta; Paton, D, University of Calgary; Boyce, MS, University of Alberta; Hebblewhite, M, University of Montana; Mariani, S, University College Dublin; Musiani, M, University of Calgary
One of the most important issues in conservation biology is human influence on habitat-selection patterns. This affects microevolutionary processes (evolution at fine spatial and temporal scales) and can be associated with the factors that cause extirpation, including habitat degradation and over-harvesting. Our project evaluates human effects on microevolution through changes in habitat selection, using elk (Cervus elaphus) as a model species. Based on previous findings, we predicted that (a) animals born in a certain habitat remain or disperse to similar habitats, supporting natal-habitat based dispersal and that (b) humans influence habitat selection. Therefore, human activity could lead to reproductive isolation of demes. We are implementing a combined genetics and spatial analysis of elk and their habitat use in southwest Alberta, Canada in a region heavily impacted by human use through industry and recreation. We examined relatedness and fine-scale genetic structure using 30 microsatellite loci on 140 GPS-collared elk to test how relatedness and genetic structure are correlated with preference for similar habitats. We combined this with extensive GIS and human-activity data to show how natural and anthropogenic factors drive microevolution.
P1.47   Making a comeback: A study of population genetic health of the Alberta peregrine falcon (F. peregrinus) Mahaffy, N, The King's University College ; Boer, C, The King's University College; McFarlane, K*, The King's University College; Franke, A, Canadian Circumpolar Institute
Alberta peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum) are an endangered species recovering from catastrophic population declines during the mid-1900s. However, despite great interest in the conservation of this species, little is known about the genetic relationships within populations or the biological mechanisms that influence their population dynamics. As an initial step, we investigated genetic diversity among the bottlenecked Alberta peregrines and compared it to a wild population from Nunavut. We isolated DNA from 17 blood samples obtained from a captive population in Alberta, which contains progeny from the captive population bred for a reintroduction effort under the Canadian Wildlife Service from 1970-96. To provide a baseline for genetic diversity in wild peregrines, we also examined genetic diversity in a wild population from Nunavut that has not experienced a recent bottleneck. For this comparison, we isolated DNA from 64 F. p. tundrus specimens collected in 2006-09 near Rankin Inlet. For all samples, we determined genotypes at six microsatellite loci. Results show that the captive population exhibits lower genetic diversity than the wild population. Across both populations, allelic diversity ranged from 3-13 alleles/locus, and heterozygosity ranged from 59-89%. We speculate that the captive population is not representative of the wild Alberta population, if the diversity of the Nunavut population is indicative of that typically found among wild peregrines.
P1.48   Conservation consequences of rarity: lessons from Juniperus blancoi phylogeography Mastretta, A*, Instituto de Ecología, UNAM ; Wegier, A, Instituto de Ecología, UNAM; Vázquez-Lobo, A, Instituto de Ecología, UNAM; Piñero, D, Instituto de Ecología, UNAM
The phylogeographic study of a rare species has relevant consequences to our understanding of its habitat evolution and for conservation. Juniperus blancoi Martínez is an endangered rare conifer with three recognized varieties, which has a wide yet restricted distribution. In this study the trnC-trnD cpDNA region was used to assess population genetics parameters and to perform phylogeographic analyses using the eight known populations of the species. The phylogeographic structure indicates a series of expansion, fragmentation and isolation processes. The Ne = 3.3x106 males and a tmrca= 3.5 MYA suggest that there existed bigger populations that were drastically reduced and fragmented. This resulted in high haplotipic diversity (h = 0.86266), geographic structure (5 SAMOVA groups) and high differentiation values (FST = 0.79469 and FST > 0.25 in most of the pairwise comparisons). We conclude that rarity can be a natural condition characterized by historically large effective population sizes, and as a consequence high genetic diversity and differentiation levels. Fragmented and isolated populations are more inclined to differentiation and speciation processes, thus each one has high evolutionary potential, which makes its conservation more challenging. Also, we state that the geographic distribution of species like this should be more closely related to historical processes, so its presence must be considered as a factor increasing the biological relevance of a region.
P1.49   Outlier locus detection in kokanee salmon and their utiity for informing fisheries management. Frazer, KK*, University of British Columbia (Okanagan) ; Russello, MA, University of British Columbia (Okanagan)
Landlocked kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) have differentiated into two distinct reproductive ecotypes that occur sympatrically in many post-glacial lakes along Pacific coasts of North America, Russia and Japan. ‘Stream-spawners’ migrate up tributaries, build redds and choose mates. ‘Shore-spawners’ are a novel form that aggregate along the lake shore to spawn. We are examining genetic variation at expressed sequence tag (EST)-linked and putatively neutral microsatellite loci within and between sympatric kokanee ecotype pairs from several isolated lakes to investigate the following questions: (i) did shore-spawning behaviour evolve independently within multiple lakes or is it ancestral to a single source population, (ii) can loci putatively under selection consistently distinguish sympatric ecotype pairs found in internationally dispersed lakes, and (iii) to what geographical extent can this genetics-based approach improve the accuracy of kokanee stock assessments within lakes. Preliminary results demonstrate significant variation in EST-linked loci exhibiting signatures of a selective sweep (‘outliers’) among lakes. Yet, outliers provided superior accuracy in individual assignment and mixed population analyses for Okanagan and Wood Lake kokanee relative to neutral loci. Accurate abundance estimates for these morphologically indistinguishable, but ecologically and evolutionarily unique ecotypes, will better inform fisheries management in lakes where kokanee are of conservation concern.
P1.50   The Common And The Endangered Bradypus Sloths - Is There A Correlation Between Genetic Diversity And Endangered Species? Silva, SM*, LABEC-IB-USP and CIBIO-UP ; Voirin, B, Max Planck Institute; Ferrand, N, CIBIO-UP and FCUP; Morgante, JS, LABEC-IB-USP; Moraes-Barros, N, LABEC-IB-USP
This study presents the first genetic analysis on the critically endangered pygmy-sloth, Bradypus pygmaeus. We compared four distinct populations of the common three-toed sloth (B. variegatus) and one pygmy-sloth population using the four microsatellites currently available for sloths. The populations analyzed were from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (AFNorth, n=16; AFSouth, n=7), Western Amazon Forest (WA, n=6) and Northeast Panama (P, n=8). The pygmy three-toed sloth only occurs on one island, Escucdo de Veraguas, in Panama (I, n=11). Through this distinct sampling effort some alerting results were obtained. I) The mean number of alleles is less than two, with one to three monomorphic loci, in all populations except WA (MNA=3.750). II) This population shows the higher genetic diversity (average gene diversity=0.68; Ho=0.50 to 0.83; He=0.63 to 0.75), with more private alleles. III) Assignment tests failed to attribute individuals to the AF populations. IV) Finally, differentiation indexes are higher among intraspecies populations (FstAF-S/WA=0.87) than among Panama populations (FstP/I=0.007). This pygmy-sloth genetic characterization is certainly influenced by the common demographic history between mainland and island sloths. Nevertheless, it also highlights the need for closer attention for other non-endangered sloth populations occurring in threatened habitats. The population inhabiting the longest stable region, WA, has higher diversity than the AF populations, which has the same low genetic diversity seen in the critically endangered sloth.
P1.51   Non-lethal tissue sampling in two butterfly species shows no effects on flight behaviour and survival Koscinski, D, University of Western Ontario ; Crawford, LA, University of Western Ontario; Keller, HA; Keyghobadi, N*, University of Western Ontario
Genetic data are increasingly used to inform conservation and management plans for wildlife species. For smaller invertebrate animals, tissue material for genetic analyses is typically sampled by collecting whole individuals (i.e. lethally). Increasingly, researchers around the world are using non-lethal means of tissue collection (e.g. leg, wing clips) within the context of genetic studies on threatened butterflies, although few studies have examined the impact of such sampling. We investigated the effects of non-lethal tissue sampling on flight behaviour and long term survival of two butterflies, the cabbage white (Pieris rapae) and the inornate ringlet (Coenonympha tullia inornata), in the wild in Southwestern Ontario. We applied three treatments: handling and release (control), wing clipping and leg removal. We followed each butterfly immediately after release and measured a variety of flight behaviours. All butterflies were also individually marked for mark-recapture analyses. We found no differences in the number of movements, flight speed, the time spent flying and sitting across treatments in either species. We also found no differences in survival across treatments in either species. Our study suggests that both types of non-lethal sampling have little impact on the flight behaviour and survival of wild butterflies.
P1.52   Broad-Scale Genetic Structure of Woodland Caribou in the North American Boreal Forest Thompson, LM*, Trent University ; Finnegan, L, Trent University; Manseau, M, University of Manitoba, Parks Canada; Wilson, PJ, Trent University
The boreal population of woodland caribou has declined substantially in recent decades, particularly in a south-north direction. Consequently, an understanding of the genetic connectivity among population groups will have important conservation implications. DNA extracted from over 1000 fecal samples of forest-dwelling caribou from the boreal forest regions of Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan (a geographic extent of 18,000 km) was genotyped at 11 microsatellite loci. We used both model-based (STRUCTURE, GENELAND) and non-model based (e.g. FST, PCA) structuring analyses to delineate genetic populations. Additionally, population graphs (a network of nodes connected by gene flow) and Bayesian MIGRATE analyses were used to assess genetic connectivity and directionality of gene flow between those populations. Our results provided a historical and contemporary comparison of gene flow, as well as a predictive model of core and sensitive nodes (populations) within the connected genetic network. Superimposing that network on landscape variables allowed for a broad-scale assessment of the individual and cumulative roles of natural (e.g., forest fires and rivers) and anthropogenic (e.g., road density) influences on the genetic diversity and connectivity of boreal caribou populations in central Canada.
P1.53   Development of Microsatellites Enriched Libraries to Study the Population Dynamics of Mangrove Trees (Rhizophora mangle and Rhizophora racemosa) FRANCISCO, PM*, Laboratory of Molecular and Genetic Analyses, Department of Genetics, University of Campinas ; Mori, GM, Laboratory of Molecular and Genetic Analyses, Department of Genetics, University of Campinas; Souza, AP, Laboratory of Molecular and Genetic Analyses, University of Campinas
Mangroves are heterogenic environments composed by different animals and plants adapted to unique conditions such as variable salt concentration, flooding, and slimy and anaerobic soil. Although mangroves provide important ecosystem services (e.g. pollution filters, prevention of coastal erosion and flooding), and is used by many species of fish and crustacean as breeding and feeding habitats, human activities have destroyed 35% of these forests in the world only during the last two decades. In Brazil only three genera of angiosperms can be found in mangrove ecosystems, in spite of having the second largest mangrove area in the world. The aim of this study was to develop microsatellite molecular markers to better understand the population dynamics of two species of the genus Rhizophora, Rhizophora mangle and R. racemosa, in Brazil. Given the lack of such studies in this area, this information can be used to design conservation and reforestation strategies. We developed 44 microsatellite markers for the species R. mangle and 36 for R. racemosa. We used (CT)8 and (GT)8 DNA probes to enrich the microsatellite libraries. For both species, the most common microsatellite motifs found were AC/GT and CA/TG, in contradiction to the fact that the most common motifs in plants are AT/AT. We concluded that this contradiction is due to the DNA probes motifs used to enrich the libraries and not necessarily because these species have more of these microsatellite sequences in their genome.
P1.54   Men And Herpetofauna: Fear, Misperceptions And Persecution Ceríaco, L.*, CEHFCi - University of Évora
The way that human beings perceives the biodiversity has important implications for conservation efforts. Reptiles and amphibians are some of the more negatively valued animals by people due to misperceptions, aesthetic arguments and the presence of myths and superstitions. Our research demonstrates how a negative perception of specific taxa can lead to persecution and little support for the conservation of these animals. Data from a questionnaire administered to 514 people in the district of Évora, Portugal, supported the hypothesis that the existence of misperceptions and negativistic values contributed to the phenomena of human persecution on these animals. In general, reptiles were more persecuted than amphibians, mainly due to fear and misperceptions. A pilot environmental education project held during the investigation indicated that a structured and widely applied program of environmental education can improve understanding and the human relationships with these animals
P1.55   Should the wolves of Isle Royale be genetically rescued? Factors influencing individual support for intervention. Clark, Melissa A*, Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, USA ; Smith, AM, Tourism Research Unit, Monash University, Australia; Gore, ML, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University, USA; Nelson, MP, Lyman Briggs College; Department of Fisheries and Wildlife; Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University, USA
Isle Royale is a small (544 km2) National Park and designated wilderness area in Northern Lake Superior, USA. The island’s inbred population of wolves is suffering from morphological deformities such as asymmetrical vertebrae. Understanding how stakeholders perceive their relationship to, and management for, designated wilderness areas can inform the debate about whether or not the wolves of Isle Royale should be genetically rescued. We used content analysis to characterize posts (n = 147) responding to the question “Do the wolves of Isle Royale need genetic rescue?” This research focused on attributions of responsibility for remedying the current situation and whether or not the poster mentioned previous human activities impacting Isle Royale (e.g. climate change). We detected a positive relationship between posts that mentioned previous human interference and attributed responsibility to humans, r = 0.179, n= 147, p = 0.030. If the ascription of management authority to humans increases, it may detract from the concept of wilderness as a primeval place where nature is responsible for managing itself. Additionally, we cannot assume that this concept of wilderness is held by the posters, who may believe humans are a part of nature. Further research is needed to understand implications for ISRO wolf management and the management of genetically isolated wildlife populations.
P1.56   Indigenous Mountain Community: Vulnerable to Climate Change and their Coping Strategies Baral, S*, Practical Solution Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal ; Gauli, K., Centre for Development Research, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Climate change is considered to be one of the most serious threats to human health, food security, natural resources and physical infrastructure especially in mountainous country like Nepal. Adaptation to the climate change is one of the best coping strategies. Thereby, the country is in the process of making such strategies. The coping strategies that the indigenous people are practicing for years could be crucial information in making national strategies. However, there is limited information on such indigenous practices at national level. To bridge this gap, this study aims to explore such strategies of indigenous Chepang community of Dhading district. Empirical data were collected through household interviews, group discussions, key informant interviews. Meteorological data of 30 years was used to supplement the primary information. The results show that the people have modified their food storage practice to cope up frequent incidence of hail-storm. In addition, they have constructed small ponds in their home garden to conserve their kitchen waste water to be used in home garden. Similarly, they have started harvesting and storing rain water for human and animal consumption. Likewise, they were practicing less tillage technology in agriculture on sloppy land, to reduce soil erosion.
P1.57   Nest Site Selection by Pleskes Ground Jay (Podoces pleskei) Foroughi Abari, M, Islamic Azad University khorasgan (Esfahan) Branch ; Radnezhad, H*, Islamic Azad University Khorasgan (Esfahan) Branch
For many species of birds, habitat selection is of particular importance. However, as of yet no study has been made of the nestling habitats of Pleskes Ground Jay. Apart from the observations made by Zarundy (1911), Farnsworth (1992) and Hamedanian (1991), little is known of this bird's habitat. The aim of this study is to identify such parameters as proportion of floral cover, density, frequency, bare ground, normal gravel, fine gravel and topographical features of the plots surrounding the active and inactive old nests and their comparison with random sites not selected for nests. Ghareh Tappeh, a protected site with an area of 50,000 hectares south of Yazd Province in the central Iranian plateau was explored in 2005 and 2006 following the Bird Protocol (Martin, T.E. and G.R. Geupel, 1993). Some 30 active nests (14 active nests in 2005, 16 active nests in 2006), 202 inactive nests (30 nests in 2005, 173 nests in 2006) were found and the above parameters were measured for a total 232 nests at random habitat spots. Floral cover, density, frequency, proportion of bare ground and the topographical features were measured at both nest sites and random non-nest sites, for both active and inactive nests during the interval of the first and second year by placing plots and then were compared using a t-test, whereupon no statistically significant difference was observed (p<=0.05). Keywords: Nest, topographical features, Pleskes Ground Jay, active nest, old nest, site selection.
P1.58   The Northwest Forest Plan: A Pathway to Resilient Riparian Systems? Shepston, DK*, Texas State University-San Marcos
A majority of public forests in the Pacific Northwest have historically been commodified landscapes, managed primarily for timber resources. Timber extraction is the biggest threat to the health of the regions' riparian ecosystems. In 1994, the Clinton administration enacted the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP). Using Fischer, Lindenmayer, and Manning's (2006) ten guiding principles for commodity production landscapes, I assessed the potential for the Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS) of the NWFP to encourage resilient riparian ecosystems. I found that though there are challenges to meeting the criteria, the ACS does have the potential to increase the resilience of the northwest's riparian systems. As implementation of the ASC moves into its second decade, it is expected that managers will continue to strive towards meeting the goals of the ASC and thus, in the process, increase the resilience of the riparian ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.
P1.59   Developments of biodiversity of natural habitats in the municipality Marchegg focusing on the vegetation of this area Lapin, Katharina*, Institute of Botany, Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. ; Bernhardt, Karl Georg, Institute of Botany, Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna.
The Central European landscape has been heavily influenced by human intervention. This highly structured cultural landscape is a result of people making use of the land for their own benefit, with technical and socioeconomic factors playing integral roles in its development. This intense manipulation of the landscape caused by general changes in human society has had a noticeable impact on biodiversity. The case study is focused on changes in the distribution of biodiversity in the municipality of Marchegg in Austria. Analysis of historical maps as well as other historical documents made it possible to compare the development of habitats over a period of 200 years of a 590 ha area. Biotope development was evaluated using indicators such as regional distribution of different habitats; predominance; type of fragmentation and compound factors; as well as degree of hemeroby over time and space. The study found that biodiversity of habitats decreased because the land’s use changed over time. Notable exceptions to this result include areas protected by the WWF-nature reserve “Marchauen”. Further conclusions include social and economic interests changing the natural scenery of the municipality of Marchegg while also affecting the biodiversity of these habitats.
P1.60   Assessment on the Status and Economic Potential of African Civet (Civettictis civetta) in Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Wondmagegne Daniel, Mekelle University ; Dawit *, Woubishet
The problem of wildlife resources exploitation and subsequent threats to wildlife species survival is a matter of great concern to all conservation minded people across the glob. The African wildlife crisis has received greater attention, research and conservation education awareness in recent years throughout the world but only the negative aspects has been highlighted. In realization of this concern, this paper has proposed to do assessment on the status and economic potential of African civet (Civetticts civetta) in Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Conducting in-situ and ex-situ assessment of African civets in Tigray region where traditional civet farming and musk extraction is uncommon but African civets range freely in the wild. A well structured questionnaire was developed and the response of 350 individuals was collected form five zones of the region namely Southern Zone, Eastern Zone, Central Zone, Western Zone and South Western Zone. Direct observation was also conducted to locate the animal, identify its wild habitat, indicates communal latrine sites and marked areas. The study adopts both random and purposive sampling technique. The Zones have been identified purposively and random sampling is used to identify specific Woredas from the selected Zones. Qualitative and quantitative method of analysis used to achieve the stated objective of the study and SPSS was used to analyze the collected data. Females have (90.91%) better knowledge about African civet than males (84.31%). African civet distribution didn’t encompass the eastern zone of Tigray and it was manifested by the knowledge of the people towards the animal in the area. Nobody responded positively for the knowledge of African civet in Eastern zone. Muslim religion followers (94.59%) have a better knowledge of African civet than orthodox religion followers (84.03%). The study result indicates no better farming practice thought-out the region was observed and the respondents fail to measure the actual economic benefit of African civet farming in supporting their livelihood. The perception of the society in all parts of the study area is found positive if this farming practice consider as an opportunity, it will create better interventions for government to change the livelihood of the society. Majority of the respondents clearly indicate African civet has economic value and recommended conservation activities are vital to rescue the animal and to ensure the benefit from such farming practice. Finally this study investigated that African civets are ranging freely in the wild but the farming practice is non existent in the region.
P1.61   TOPIC: An Investigation of Environmental Education Knowledge for Sustainable Development in High School Sectors. Abolaji Mayowa Akinyele*, University Of Ibadan,Nigeria/ Guildhall College London,London. ; Adekunle Segun Oke, Osun-state College of Education, Nigeria
There has been an increasingly growing concern in the last decade about the quality of our environment and sustainable development; its relationship with development and our lack of care for the environment. This had devastated the quality of life of living organisms and which eventually led to the worldwide environmental crisis in the last decade. This is heightened by failure to employ effective means of creating and developing in the student’s environmental awareness and positive attitude towards the natural environment. Also, there has been growing international concern about issues such as how the earth’s resources are being depleted, the consequences of global warming, social inequality, poverty and starvation and growth in the world’s population. These environmental problems brought about a number of seminars and conferences at national and international level to create a global awareness of the current campaign for the propagation of environmental protection and conservation for sustainable development. Among the seminars and conferences organised specifically to address this issue of environment and sustainable development are the stckholm conference on human environment held in 1972; the finish National commission for UNESCO at Jaimini in 1974; the Tbilisi conference of 1977, the United Nations Conferences on environmental issues, popularly known as the Earth summit, which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 and the most recent world conference on global warming held at Istanbul, Turkey in July,2009.
P1.62   Local context and forest outcomes: The role of regional heterogeneity in explaining resource management results in Russia Wendland, KJ*, University of Wisconsin-Madison ; Volker, R, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Lewis, D, University of Puget Sound; Ozdogan, M, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A fundamental challenge in natural resource management is designing appropriate institutions to provide society’s desired economic and ecological outcomes. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation followed neoclassical economic arguments and decentralized forest management and privatized forest use. At the same time Russia transitioned to a new political system and a market economy. The outcomes of these changes contradicted economic theory: timber production and ecological integrity declined while illegal logging increased. In this research we provide a descriptive understanding on how regional political and economic arrangements mediated institutional change in Russian forest management, resulting in differential outcomes across space. We construct a panel dataset on regional timber utilization and management, timber enterprises, forest agency capacity, and transparency and corruption measures from 1992 to 2005. We use this data to examine forest outcomes and to inform causal hypotheses on the role that regional heterogeneity played in these results. These hypotheses will be used in the future to modify traditional forest management models and tested using remote sensing data on harvesting decisions. Understanding how contextual factors mediate natural resource outcomes is important as countries consider decentralization, market-based incentives, or new property rights arrangements.
P1.63   Livelihood outcomes of commercializing non-timber forest products in Nepal’s community forest user groups Gauli, K.*, Centre for Development Research, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria ; Baral, S., Practical Solution Consultancy Nepal Pvt. Ltd., Kausaltar, Bhaktapur, Nepal
This paper compares a traditional and an enterprise oriented non-timber forest product (NTFP) marketing approach in two community forest user groups (CFUGs) of Dolakha district in Nepal. This is important, because forest policy documents of Nepal consider the commercialization of NTFPs in CFUGs as an effective poverty reduction strategy. What remains unclear, however, is the role that institutional arrangements play in both approaches in order to reduce poverty. The data were collected using various participatory rural appraisal methods such as household interviews and key informant interviews, formal and informal discussions with CFUG members. The study findings suggest the enterprise oriented arrangement ensures secure market access, which benefits poorer households in particular. In comparison, the traditional marketing approach tends to benefit better-off users. Moreover, the findings also suggest that users in both CFUGs spent most of their NTFP income on purchasing cereals. As poorer households under the enterprise oriented approach earn proportionally more than their traditional counterparts, they are in a better position to fulfill the household food requirements. Based on our findings we conclude that the enterprise oriented NTFP marketing has secured NTFP related benefits to poor users.
P1.64   Are WTP bids consistent over time? RESSURREICAO,A*, University of the Azores ; Gibbons, J, Bangor University; Kaiser, M, Bangor University; Dentinho, T, University of the Azores; Gareth Edwards-Jones, Bangor University
Studies exploring the consistency of WTP bids for environmental goods over time are missing in the literature. Stated preference methods are usually undertaken once and provide a snapshot in time. A contingent study was repeated over three years (2007- 2009) to estimate marginal values for increase levels of marine biodiversity loss in the waters around the Azores archipelago amongst visitors and residents. A face to face survey was undertaken to obtain valuations for 10% and 25% decreases in the species richness of fish and all marine species from the current level. Values allocated to prevent a decrease in the species of fish increased for both scenarios. The WTP to prevent a loss in the number of all marine species varied differently: bids for the 10% of loss scenario decreased in 2008, though for the 25% of loss scenario no significant differences were found between surveys. Results suggest an increasing trend in the value of consumable goods (fish) that mirrors the trend for mean market value of fish and the global market projections for a growing demand for fish. Non market goods as marine biodiversity display a fairly high and regular value across time and a clear message towards conservation is given by the society.
P1.65   Decommissioning of mature oil fields and artisanal fisheries: The case of Todos os Santos Bay, Brazil Barros, H.*, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco ; Vieira, R., Fundacao Joaquim Nabuco
Decommissioning of mature oil fields and artisanal fisheries: The case of Todos os Santos Bay, Brazil Consequences of decommissioning oil fields on artisanal fishing activities are still little known in the literature. This paper is intended to shed some light on a process of dismantling and sinking of oil and gas structures in shallow waters, with severe disturbing impacts on low income artisanal fisher activities. From a socio-economic perspective, the relationship of oil industry with local communities is described, with the main perceived problems pointed out by local fishermen leadership perspective. The notions of ‘damages’ and ‘mitigation’ taken by the oil industry towards fishermen are discussed in connection to the expansion of installations during the past 20 yrs. A comparative view of decommissioning of oil fields in Europe and Brazil over the late 1990's suggests the need to review transparency and social commitment standards which are far less prominent in this Brazilian case. We believe that the Brazilian oil industry has acquired a social and environmental debt towards the whole society, as far as it has not been able to establish a clear and effective process for decommissioning their oil installations within artisanal fishing areas in the Todos os Santos Bay. Furthermore, the discussion of fair and specific compensations has been avoided, which would be instrumental to regain local economic conditions found among fishermen just few decades ago.
P1.67   Interdependencies between human development and the present status of Earth’s ecosystems Freudenberger, L*, Department of Forestry and Environment, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany ; Schluck, M, Department of Forestry and Environment, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany; Hobson, P, Writtle College, Chelmsford, Essex, CM13RR, UK; Kreft, S, Department of Forestry and Environment, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany; Cramer, W, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany; Ibisch, PL, Department of Forestry and Environment, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde, 16225 Eberswalde, Germany
Human well-being and development is dependent on the Earth’s ecosystems and the services they provide to us. Within the last 100 years technological advancement has transformed much of the global land surface and resulted in macro-scale mining of natural resources with major consequences for the survival of existing biodiversity. Nature conservation strategies attempt to mitigate the negative impacts of economic development and operate through social and political frameworks. To deal with complex conservation problems requires a more integrative approach to conservation planning that addresses both social and political factors. In practice, nature conservation planning usually refers either to national state or to ecoregional scale. For the purpose of analysis and subsequent global priority-setting, we present a new spatial classification of the earth into 9041 eco-political units. Applying multivariate statistical procedures we found strong interdependencies and linkages between the current biological and ecological status and social, political and economic parameters. These insights into global interrelations between the ecological status and the socioeconomic conditions provide us with valuable indicators for effective and proactive conservation planning that focuses on global ecosystem functionality and expected effectiveness of conservation action.
P1.68   Conservation Democracy: Ecology, Democratic Theory, And National Forest Management Under The Healthy Forest Initiative George, AL*, UNC Chapel Hill
National forest management in the United States has traditionally included public participation in agency decision-making. Under the Bush Administration’s 2002 Healthy Forest Initiative, the rules governing citizen involvement were substantially modified. A consequence of this was that the US Forest Service was able to propose more commercial forestry in US National Forests with less public oversight and environmental review previously mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act. This combined with other rule changes allowing use in sensitive areas with “extraordinary circumstances” that were previously off-limits to commercial activity. This North Carolina case study explores the affects of the Healthy Forest Initiative on citizen participation and environmental management in the Pisgah, Nantahala, Croatan, and Uwharrie National Forests.
P1.69   Transboundary Marine Protected Areas for Coral Reefs and Humpback Dolphins in East Africa Grilo, Catarina*, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
Transboundary marine protected areas (TBMPA) require cooperation between States, and knowledge of marine resources’ ecology and institutions. Common pool resource (CPR) theory was used to identify biophysical and institutional aspects of marine resources to be protected by future TBMPAs between Mozambique-Tanzania (Mz-Tz) and Mz-South Africa (Mz-SA). Two CPRs of different mobility were selected to study existing near-border MPAs: coral reefs (CR) and humpback dolphins (HD). Interviews were conducted with local communities, tourism operators and state officials, and triangulated with other sources. Results suggest that existing MPAs in the Mz-Tz region have not avoided the main threats to CRs, such as overfishing by local and migrant fishermen. Variations in currents location imply that CR health in both States is mutually dependent. HDs are not a conservation priority, despite some threats and their likely cross-border movements. In the Mz-SA region, results suggest CRs are targeted by intense tourism activities, and uneven conservation measures (i.e., MPAs) that contradict local currents and unidirectional ecological dependence. HDs are affected by fishing and land-based pollution, but cross-border movements are unknown. Future TBMPAs may address most threats to CRs and HDs in these regions, but are inapt to deal with land-based pollution. CPR theory can inform TBMPA planning about the implications of (TB)MPAs for CPRs with different ecological and institutional attributes.
P1.70   Dolphin-watching tourism in Chilika lagoon, India: Opportunities and Limitations Sutaria, D*, James Cook University ; Marsh, H, James Cook University; Robards, M, Marine Mammal Commission
Chilika lagoon in India harbors an endangered population of Irrawaddy dolphins. Since the 1980’s, the lagoon has been in a state of social and biophysical flux. The role of communities in managing their primary livelihood of fishing has been limited by administrative and environmental forces. The adaptive capacity of communities to deal with external changes has been variable. Through interviews and questionnaires we explore the socio-economic buffering capacity provided by locally operated dolphin-watching tourism to socio-ecological changes in the Outer Channel of Chilika lagoon. We identify a direct dependency between local communities and tourism which mimics the strength of their linkage to fishing. Fishers can switch between fishing and tourism activities, creating diverse income opportunities. The mechanism adds support to research elsewhere that multiple livelihoods offer a source of resilience to socio-ecological uncertainty. Growth of the industry has been unlimited since 2001 with approximately 750 boats currently active in an area of 30km2. We conclude that locally managed eco-tourism provides opportunities for communities to buffer environmental changes such as declines in fish catches. However, without strengthening local institutions, the largely unmanaged development opportunities provided by tourism could fail to accomplish the desired goals of either fishermen or those seeking to conserve Irrawaddy dolphins.
P1.71   Approaches To Conservation Of Biodiversity And Northern Ecosystems In Oil And Gas Projects: Lessons From Sakhalin II Project, Russia PETELIN, DMITRY*, HSE Department, Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.
The Sakhalin II Project (Sakhalin Island, NW Pacific) is one of the largest integrated oil & gas projects in the world. Construction occurred during 1998-2009. Activities for conserving biodiversity and Northern ecosystems within the footprint of the Project included: (1) baseline surveys (with an emphasis on biodiversity, protected areas and sensitive habitats) before construction; (2) development of EIA and mitigation measures for key biodiversity interests (including (a) re-routing of offshore and onshore pipelines to avoid impact on Western Gray Whale feeding areas and onshore colonies of protected dunlin and Kamchatka tern, and (b) postponing construction activities during the nesting period of endangered Steller’s Sea-Eagle and other bird species); (3) regular monitoring of biodiversity and sensitive areas (wetlands, protected areas) during construction phase; (4) monitoring of critically endangered Sakhalin taimen; (5) implementation of Biodiversity Action Plan and Environmental Monitoring Project during operational phase; and (6) stakeholder engagement through (a) regional Biodiversity Working Group, and (b) Sakhalin Salmon Initiative for conservation of wild salmon spawning areas. These approaches allowed successful mitigation of impacts on important biodiversity interests associated with the Project.
P1.72   Assessing willingness to dedicate tax funds to nongame conservation in North Carolina Anderson, C.J.*, North Carolina State University ; Peterson, M.N., North Carolina State University; Cobb. D.T., North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission / North Carolina State University; Sills, E.O., North Carolina State University; Bondell, H.D., North Carolina State University
Biodiversity conservation is underfunded on global and local levels. The current economic crisis illustrates the need for consistent, government-based funding. Prior to 2008 most U.S. states relied on State Wildlife Grants to fund conservation of nongame species, however, the match requirements for these grants have since tripled. We surveyed 3,000 randomly selected North Carolina (NC) residents to evaluate whether they would be willing to increase state tax allocations to fund nongame species conservation (and meet the match requirements). Respondents were asked whether taxes should be dedicated to nongame conservation. More than three quarters of NC residents supported a tax increase for biodiversity conservation. On average respondents were willing to pay additional $33.25 in taxes annually to support nongame conservation. Virtually all respondents who were unwilling to pay a tax increase reported they were opposed to any tax increases, regardless of the beneficiary. An additional sales tax on outdoor recreation equipment was the most preferred method for generating tax revenue for biodiversity conservation. When asked how they would reallocate the state budget to support nongame conservation, respondents selected prisons as the preferred source to receive less funding. Our study suggests there are high levels of support for biodiversity conservation funding through tax revenues, and that these taxes will be most supported if they are perceived as user-based.
P1.73   Protecting endangered species: do the legislative tools work? GIBBS, K.E.*, University of Ottawa ; Currie, D.J., University of Ottawa
It is critical to asses the effectiveness of tools used to protect endangered species. The main tools enabled under the Endangered Species Act are funding, recovery plan development and critical habitat designation. Here, we used general linear models and recovery status data from 1988 to 2006 for 1151 species to quantify the magnitude of effects of mean yearly funding, recovery plans, critical habitat designation, scientific information and time listed on species recovery status. Recovery status was positively related to the number of years with a recovery plan and to the interaction between funding/scientific information and years listed. However, these tools explain only 5% of the variation in species’ status. Earlier studies that reported significant effects of these tools did not focus on effect sizes; however, they are in fact similarly small. Either these tools are not effective in promoting species’ recovery, or we cannot detect their effects due to imprecise status data. Monitoring of listed species must be improved because without precise measures of species’ status through time, it is impossible to assess and improve endangered species protection measures.
P1.74   A Paradigm Shift in Forest Management in Kenya: Enabling Local Communities to take their Place in a Narrow Window of Opportunity Ouko, EM*, Department of Geography, University of Calgary ; Davidsen, C, Department of Geography, University of Calgary
Kenya’s ever declining forest resources have been managed for about a century by the state in a top-down approach aimed specifically at excluding local communities. But a new law in the form of the Kenya Forest Act 2005 promises to completely overhaul existing stakeholder relationships. Through the mechanism of the newly introduced Community Forest Associations (CFAs), it is envisaged that forest adjacent communities will, for the first time, be engaged in legally-recognized forest management partnerships with the state. The new law is to be implemented within an implicit adaptive policy framework. Its lack of rigid implementation mechanisms means it is open to varied interpretation in a highly complex and contested environment. With reference to complex adaptive systems, an innovative analysis of CFAs using political ecology was undertaken to analyze their introduction and functioning. It was concluded that it is critical that boundaries of participation at all levels of governance are initially agreed upon by all the stakeholders given the narrow window of opportunity before conflicting beliefs become entrenched once more. Specific boundaries include questions of tenure, description of a ‘forest-adjacent dweller’, specific-implementation periods and deadlines. Furthermore, conflict resolution mechanisms, the important role of women and literacy levels and capacity-building for negotiation were found to be vital for the success of the CFAs.
P1.75   The Relationship Between Birdwatcher Involvement And Environmental Concern: Evaluating The Role Of Individual Meaning Glowinski, Sheri L.*, The University of Southern Mississippi ; Porter, Rob, Western Illinois University; Moore, Frank R., The University of Southern Mississippi
Birdwatchers are dependent on natural resources to conduct their recreational activity and as such, are proposed to demonstrate a level of awareness of and concern for those resources commensurate with level of involvement. Previous research on other nature-based recreationists has shown that individual meaning associated with an activity can serve to mediate this relationship (Bright and Porter 2001) but this has not been tested for birdwatchers. To test the relationship between involvement, meaning and environmental concern, a mail-back survey was sent to 1256 American Birding Association members residing in several southern U.S. states that examined birdwatchers’ participation, motivations, and environmental-related behaviors and beliefs. We used structural equation modeling to conduct mediation analysis and included the following variables in our models: number of days spent birdwatching representing level of involvement (predictor), responses to the New Ecological Paradigm scale as a measure of environmental concern (criterion), and birdwatcher motivations representing individual meaning (mediator). Given that birdwatchers do not compose one homogeneous population (e.g. Cole and Scott 1999), we predict that individual meaning may mediate the relationship. An understanding of birdwatchers’ environmental views is necessary to develop effective education on issues pertaining to conservation of natural resources geared towards this population of recreationists.
P1.76   The influence of popular believes on the preservation of the natural vegetation resources DIOP, Mamadou *, Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement, Université Cheikh Anta DIOP ; SAMBOU, Bienvenu, Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement, Université Cheikh Anta DIOP; GOUDIABY, Assane, Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement, Université Cheikh Anta DIOP
Local populations are commonly reproached of being responsible of natural resources degradation of their environment. Trees and forest resources are seen as mere constituents of the nature devoted to the satisfaction of their ecosystem services needs, and must be preserved for that purpose. Only in few societies, the tree and the forest resources are perceived through immaterial functions that flag them as holly areas. In this context, this qualitative study aims to understand the popular believes appended to tree and the forest services and their influence in the preservation of natural resources among the Senegalese rural populations. The results show that several species are feared or sought mystical because there believes that they shelter spirits. Sites are relatively conserved because of these spirits or particular relations which exist between trees and deaths. This contributed to the preservation of some species but such a perception tends to disappear because of numerous ongoing socioeconomic, demographic and ecological transformations. To knocking down this tendency, these faiths must be listed, protected and popularized at the actor's of the management of natural resources. Because their disappearance, beyond even of the loss of biodiversity, will cause a collapse of a whole piece of the sociocultural foundations of the communities which live around this forest. Keywords: Senegal, popular beleives, preservation, classified forest, natural resources
P1.77   Status of Ethnobotanical Skills in Bangladesh: A Survey on Tippra Ethnic Group of Rema-Kelenga Wildlife Sanctuary Mollik, M.A.H.*, Peoples Integrated Alliance, Bangladesh ; McField, R., Peoples Integrated Alliance, Bangladesh; Hossain, A.B.M.A., Peoples Integrated Alliance, Bangladesh; Hossain, M.F., SHACO-Health & Education Society, Bangladesh; Sen, D., State College of Health Sciences, Bangladesh; Zahid. M.I., North South University, Bangladesh; Hassan, A.I., Biogene Life Care, Bangladesh; Chowdhury, M.O.F., Mohona Environment Development Society, Bangladesh
Indigenous peoples are often considered potential allies in the conservation of biological diversity. Here we assess whether ethnobotanical skills of indigenous people contribute to a reduction in the clearance of Rema-Kelenga Wildlife Sanctuary. We measured ethnobotanical skills of male household heads and area of Rema-Kelenga Wildlife Sanctuary cleared for agriculture among 108 households of Tippra, one important ethnic group can be found living within the boundaries of the forest. We used multivariate regressions to estimate the relation between ethnobotanical skills and area of Rema-Kelenga Wildlife Sanctuary cleared while controlling for schooling, health status, number of plots cleared, adults in household, and village of residency. We found that when the ethnobotanical skills of the male household head were doubled, the amount of Rema-Kelenga Wildlife Sanctuary cleared per household was reduced by 024%. The association was stronger when the area of old-growth forest cleared was used as the dependent variable than when the area cleared from fallow forest was used as the dependent variable. People who use the forest for subsistence might place a higher value on standing forest than people who do not use it, and thus they may be more reluctant to cut down the forest.
P1.78   Applying GPS tracking to indigenous hunting and its implications for wildlife conservation in Taiwan Hsing-Sheng Tai*, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan ; Wu-Long Jhuang, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan; Shyang-Woei Lin, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan
Indigenous hunting and its impact on wildlife represents one of the most controversial conservation issues in Taiwan. This study aims to track the geographic distribution of hunting activities of the Truku Tribe in Taiwan, through applying Global Positioning Systems (GPS) methods. The results show that, compared to the Truku’s traditional hunting territory, the current hunting zone of the studied Truku area has shrunk to a great extent in recent years. The hunting zone currently lies in the eastern half of the area between the central edge and eastern edge of the Central Mountain Chain. The dramatic decline of the hunting zone can be attributed to complex interactions among numerous factors, including traditional hunting territories, internal hunting norms of the Truku society, traffic accessibility, governmental institutions, and wildlife abundance; governmental conservation institutions play a pivotal role. Based on empirical findings, we draft a re-designation of strictly protected and sustainable use areas that may secure both wildlife conservation and indigenous rights.
P1.79   Folk classification and local knowledge of shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. nilotica (Kotschy) A. N. Henry et al. ) varieties in Uganda Gwali, S*, Makerere University ; Okullo, JB, Makerere University; Eilu, G, Makerere University; Nakabonge, G, Makerere University; Nyeko, P, Makerere University; Vuzi, P, Makerere University
Local knowledge of plant variation has been used for the domestication of many plant species including potatoes, sorghum, yams, cassava and rice. The process involves documentation of apparent variation of different phenotypes and subsequent selection of superior plus individuals of such plants. One useful plant of high economic value in Uganda for which local classification knowledge and variation have not yet been documented is Vitellaria paradoxa (the shea tree). Local farmers point to a high variation in form, yield and fruit taste of the shea tree. To document shea tree folk classification and ethno-varieties, we used 300 questionnaires, 15 focus groups and 41 key informants in three farming systems of Uganda where this species occurs. Our results revealed that farmers utilise use-related traits and morphological attributes to classify, name and group shea trees into ‘ethno-varieties’. Variation of folk classification schemes was not significant across the three farming systems (Kruskal – Wallis χ2 = 28, df = 28, p > 0.05; Spearman’s R > 0.8, p < 0.0001). Local knowledge and classification were however highly influenced by ethnicity (Pillai’s trace = 0.817, p < 0.001). Farmers identified 29 ethno-varieties based on fruit, nuts and habitat characteristics while 10 (fruit, nut and habitat criteria) were utilised for classification. However, there is need to complement farmers’ classification criteria with more detailed studies involving biochemical and molecular markers.
P1.80   Indigenous Perception of Environmental Impact of Domestic Activities in The Amazonia Márquez, AL*, Universidad de Málaga ; Estrada, A, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos ; Márquez, C, Universidad de Málaga; Venezuelan indigenous communities of the municipalities of Atabapo, Maroa and Río Negro, Municipalities of Atabapo, Maroa and Río Negro, Amazonas State, Venezuela; Real, R, Universidad de Málaga
The University of Málaga has been working in concurrence with different Venezuelan indigenous communities in the Amazonas State since 2001 in order to know which their main problems concerning biodiversity conservation are. In June 2009 we started another research line with them, i.e., how they (mainly females) perceive the impacts that different daily activities could have on the environment. We visited six indigenous communities and asked them to work in partnership with us. We obtained a positive answer, so they were questioned about the state of affairs of: i) the energy they use, ii) the waste they produce, iii) their hygiene habits, and iv) the sanitation systems they have. As an example, all the communities obtained electricity through gasoil plants which operate some hours a day. A majority (83.3%) of them thought the gasoil plant does not produce any problem for people or the environment. However, when they were asked to classify the above mentioned activities in relation to the impacts they produce, 50% of the communities identified gasoil spill as the principal problem. The second environmental problem was considered to be the rubbish they generate, followed by faeces deposition, and the soap they use to wash in the river. We will present in detail their perceptions for the different activities. In our next visit, we aim to show them the conclusions reached by the neighbouring communities, as well as some eco-friendly alternatives to the identified problems.
P1.81   Customary Forest Tenure in Southern Madagascar: A Contribution to Conservation but Incompatible with Conservation Policy Ferguson HB*, School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Madagascar is undergoing an expansion of its protected areas system, with new protected areas being established in areas of human habitation. Consequently many protected areas now have both customary and state tenure regimes in force, two systems often at odds. Data was collected in 3 protected areas (Ifotaka, Ankodida & Anadabolava) using structured household forest use surveys, participatory land use mapping and a survey of expert stakeholders. It was found that the characteristics of contemporary land tenure and conservation policy restrict how customary tenure of forests can be integrated into new protected areas. Restricted consideration of customary tenure and forest based livelihoods presents a challenge to the success of new protected areas. Exceptions to this situation do exist however: sacred forests and species taboos are of importance both to Antandroy culture and biodiversity conservation, and both institutions are frequently part of new protected areas and conservation strategies. However, despite assertions by some scholars and practitioners, there is relatively limited opportunity to base broader conservation strategies on such institutions because sacred forests are limited in scale and species taboos are not enforceable across ethnic groups. Conservation policy should take broader account of Antandroy ‘tradition’ which also respects the human right to derive a livelihood from the land, be it through deforestation, selective logging, hunting or otherwise.
P1.82   Artisanal Fisheries Management, Conservation, and Livelihoods in the Comoros islands HAUZER, MELISSA*, Geography Department, University of Victoria ; Dearden, Philip, Geography Department, University of Victoria
Tropical small-scale fisheries represent the main livelihood and protein source for a substantial portion of the global population. Growing pressures on marine resources, however, have left many fishing communities faced with declining catches and increased environmental degradation. Effective management strategies are thus critically important, yet few studies offer feasible solutions for traditional managers in lesser developed nations. This study took place on the island of Ngazidja in the Union of the Comoros. The purpose was to determine how effective fishing communities are at managing their fisheries, and why certain approaches are more effective than others. Qualitative methods were used to collect data on local knowledge and beliefs, management structures, and resource conflicts in four major fishing villages. Results show that marine resources and habitats have declined significantly over the past generation. Local fishing associations responded to the decline by imposing informal gear restrictions. Compliance rates to local regulations are high, primarily due to participatory decision-making, self-monitoring, and strong feelings of solidarity among fishers. Perceptions of the benefits of these regulations are also high. This suggests that by working within these pre-established informal management systems, as opposed to the more orthodox approach of instigating exogenous, formal management systems, improved conservation and livelihood outcomes should result.
P1.83   Involving hunters in research programs to protect wolves Becker, L*, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Département Ecologie Physiologie Ethologie, UMR7178, CNRS/UdS, 23 rue Becquerel, 67087 Strasbourg Cedex 02, France. ; Ancel, A, Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Département Ecologie Physiologie Ethologie, UMR7178, CNRS/UdS, 23 rue Becquerel, 67087 Strasbourg Cedex 02, France.; Bologov, VV, Central Forest State Nature Reserve, Zapovednoye, 172513, Tverskaya oblast, Nelidovsky raion, Russian Federation.
In Russia, every spring takes place the den hunting of wolves (Canis lupus). After the fladry, hunting at the den is the second more used technique. Hunters able to find wolf dens empty them to get a bounty per wolf pup (about 50US$) or to sell the pups as pets to private people. Hunters have a high knowledge about wolves and the forest, which can be used to save wolf pups and stop illegal traffic. Since 2000 we have involved hunters of Tver region in our wolf research work. They have worked as guides for eco-volunteers, helping in tracking and howling survey. In return, they stopped hunting wolves, saving up to 10 wolf pups per year per hunter. The data collected allow us to draw a yearly map of wolf population in the district (den location, pack number, reproductive rate, movements, proximity to villages, potential attacks on livestock). In 2010 the program will be spread to more 3 regions (Novgorod, Smolensk and Pskov). We conclude on the benefits of participation of local hunters for wolf conservation and public education. We suggest that encounters between hunters and eco-volunteers may lead to better understanding of each side.
P1.84   Conservation, History, and Local Knowledge in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Rai, ND*, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment ; Mandal, S , Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment ; Madegowda, C, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment
Conservation efforts rarely acknowledge the history of landscape transformation or incorporate local knowledge, resulting in limited inferences about forest function and adversely impacting the livelihoods of people who depend on and live in protected areas. We argue that an exploration that integrates socio-cultural, historic and ecological issues is essential for the management of conservation landscapes. Using ethnographic information on cultural ecology, counter mapping of sacred sites and cultural spaces, and an understanding of indigenous practice we show that the continued marginalization of Soligas, an indigenous community, has resulted in adverse ecological and political outcomes. Forest composition and structure has changed due to the invasion of weeds, as a result of altered fire regimes, curtailing of forest use, and displacement of Soligas after the establishment of the sanctuary. The mapping of Soliga sacred sites and traditional clan boundaries reveals the mosaic of management, cultivation and use prior to establishment of the wildlife sanctuary. The ecosystem, now valued for its biodiversity, was actively maintained by Soliga practice. A recent State policy that ensures rights to land, forest resources and conservation has opened up the possibility that indigenous communities might once again become stewards of their lands. This progressive legislation is being variably implemented on the ground due to resistance from forest administration and conservationists who fear the erosion of control over forests and conservation. Interdisciplinary studies in protected areas will strengthen claims for increased rights and greater conservation roles for indigenous communities.
P1.85   Is there hope for farmers?: Understanding elephant crop raiding in rural regions of Ghana. Kumordzi, BB*, University of Groningen, The Netherlands ; Oppong SK, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana; Oduro W, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana; Nutsuakor ME, KNUST, Kumasi,Ghana
Elephants,an endangered species in Africa are one of the nuisance wildlife. As eminent crops destroyers, they cause terribly pains to rural farmers whose livelihood depends entirely on their crops.Using a combination of social survey techniques, field transect and generalised mixed modelling techniques, we determined the relative importance of factors that predicted elephant distribution and crop raiding patterns in the Digya National Park, Ghana. Distance of farm from the park boundary, type of crop cultivated, and location of farm were the most important predictors of elephant crop raiding. Crop raiding was all year round and local people had negative opinion towards elephant conservation. we recommended planting of less preferred crops at the boundary of the protected area as well as programmes designed to actively ward off elephants from the field at night to reduce crop raiding. Raising conservation awareness among farmers is important to conserve elephants in this region.
P1.86   Habitat Preference and Time-Budget Analysis of Civettictis civetta in Nigeria Conservation Foundation Reserve, Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria. Soewu, Durojaye A*, Department of Plant Science and Applied Zoology,Olabisi Onabanjo University,Ago-Iwoye,Ogun State,Nigeria ; Akinleye, Bolanle T, Department of Plant Science and Applied Zoology,Olabisi Onabanjo University,Ago-Iwoye,Ogun State,Nigeria
Habitat preference and activity budget of Civettictis civetta, recently re-introduced into the reserve was studied using direct and indirect observations. Footprints, feeding spots, faecal spots, and civetone were employed as signs in indirect estimation. Temporal and spatial distribution of these signs in the three vegetations of the reserve was investigated. Fifty-eight percent of the signs were made between 7pm-12am, 40% between 1am and 6am, 1.4% between 7am and 12pm. No signs were made between 1pm and 6pm. On nights when the moon is full, this activity rhythm is altered as no signs were recorded throughout such nights. Fifty-one percent of the signs were located in savannah grassland, 26% in swamp forest and 21% in mangrove forest. This species was found largely nocturnal, with a preference for savannah grassland for its daily activities. Though largely omnivorous, palm seeds were the predominant fruits in the faecal droppings. Traces of illegal poaching activities were recorded within the reserve. There is a need for specialised studies to determine the population dynamics of this species especially in this reserve. Further analysis of the faecal droppings is also required to determine the animal-species preference of this species so as to develop an effective conservation programme for the animal
P1.87   Participatory management of sustainable tourism development as a strategy to support economic and environmental conservation Maili Alicia González Machorro*, Universidad Veracruzana, Región Orizaba-Córdoba, Veracruz, México; Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, Palos de la Frontera, Huelva, España; ; Marcel Ciobanu, Institute of Biological Research, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Mario Arturo González Machorro, Universidad Pedagógica Veracruzana, Cd. Mendoza, Veracruz, México; Antonio González Fuente, Fundación Latinoamericana de Apoyo a la Economía y Saber Popular, Tlaxcala, México; Maria Alicia Machorro Rodríguez, Secretaría de Educación de Veracruz, Orizaba, Veracruz, México
Necoxtla and La Cuesta are two communities located in the region of High Mountains of the municipality of Camerino Z. Mendoza (Veracruz, Mexico) that still preserve customs of the Náhuatl ethnic group. The area has high biodiversity, scenic beauty and interesting underground systems, attracting visitors who require tourist services. The inhabitants subsist on forest exploitation and seasonally planting on impoverished lands affected by monoculture and deforestation. The current conditions of socio-ecological context, the lack of income sources, unemployment and low educational levels contribute to adverse lifestyles and create problems of migration. In this framework, the results of participatory diagnosis identified niches and opportunities that sustained the proposed approach to promote sustainable tourism development and generate, from the cosmovision of indigenous peoples, a participatory strategy to activate the local economy. The vision considers virtuous circles, with the committed participation of the population, as actors and authors of desirable scenarios of sustainability, with values of environmental ethics and a dignified and sustainable endogenous development, for conserving the natural and cultural heritage of the region.
P1.88   Deer me! : Assessing White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Impacts and Movement in the Oak Savanna Kuntz, AR*, Bowling Green State University ; Root, KV, Bowling Green State University
The Oak Openings Region of northwest Ohio is a unique mosaic of diverse communities that are closely intertwined, from Twigrush wet prairie to Midwest sand barrens. The globally rare oak savanna is important to the federally endangered Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), state endangered Frosted Elfin (Incisalia irus), and state endangered Persius Dusky Wing (Erynnis persius) butterflies as their larvae all feed on the perennial wild blue lupine (Lupinus perennis) that is characteristic of this savanna community. Previously, the effects of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on this unique, transitional habitat have not been investigated, though deer are common in the region and population statewide is increasing. Deer browse on a wide variety of plants and have been shown to browse oak seedlings even when other forage is available. We evaluated deer abundance, proximity to lupine, and intensity of effect among different sites. We also measured relative abundance of deer using road based surveys. Our data indicate that deer browse opportunistically on lupine and oaks once in a savanna. The effect of the deer on the oak savanna is twofold. Deer help maintain this unique community through consumption of oak seedlings but, they also hinder the growth of lupine by reducing reproduction. Movement of deer was influenced by landscape variables such as roads and trails. This study yields insight into the interactions between deer and the rare oak savanna community.
P1.89   Livestock Density Alters Vigilance Behavior of Wild Prey in a Dangerous Grazed Ecosystem Vijayan, S, Faculty of Forestry and Forest Environment, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada ; McLaren, B E*, Faculty of Forestry and Forest Environment, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada; Morris, D W, Dept of Biology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Large and vulnerable livestock that occupy protected areas in developing countries often become preferred prey for large carnivores. Livestock can thus alter interactions between predators and native prey species, but there are few empirical examples. We address this shortcoming by assessing whether predation risk from Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) on spotted deer (Axis axis) varies with the density of large domestic prey. We assessed prey vigilance between areas with low and high density of domesticated cattle and buffalo in Acacia- Zizhypus forests in the Gir Protected Area, Western India. Vigilance was significantly greater where livestock density was low, than where it was high. This finding, together with the fact that lion predation rates on livestock are twice as great where livestock are more abundant, implies a form of prey commensalism. Conservation managers must anticipate a variety of non-linear indirect interactions in large prey–predator systems.
P1.90   A prediction of high-risk areas for Asian black bears mortality caused by conflicts with humans in historically modified landscape in Japan. C. Takahata*, Shinshu University ; S. Izumiyama, Shinshu University
Spatial approach to address a major agency in human-wildlife conflicts has potential to lead a long-term conservation to maintain local populations. Asian black bears Ursus thibetanus japonicus are under serious threats having high mortality caused by a rapid increased conflict with local communities in Japan. Due to limited studies in bear-habitat relationships, the main causes and mechanisms of surging conflicts are not enough understood, and as a result, ad hoc conflict mitigations have been implemented based on only human needs. We focused on a food scarce season for bears and areas enormous conflicts occurred, and investigated characteristics of habitat use by bears in a modified landscape using resource selection functions (RSF). The result showed bears used marginal areas of their habitat disproportionally such as forest edges, riparian forests and some crops currently unmanaged and much closed to human settlement. It indicates that bears become susceptive to meet conflicts with people in those landscapes. The probable habitat-use distribution map estimated by RSF represented that unmanaged and abundant forestry or agriculture lands are the main predictors for habitat use of black bears. Further, we could identify some aggregated used areas that would have a high-risk for bear survival in the season. These results provide fundamental information to conduct more effective mitigations in human-bear conflicts based on more reliable estimation, and to contribute to conservation planning including landscape management, while lethal control is still the major implementation in wildlife management in many parts of Japan.
P1.91   Quantifying Avian Species’ Spatial Relationship to Landcover Heterogeneity in Southern Ontario Polakowska, A.E.*, University of Toronto ; Fortin, M.-J., University of Toronto
Although considerable research has examined the factors limiting species’ ranges at local and continental spatial scales, less attention has been granted to the relationship between species’ spatial distributions and landscape attributes at regional or landscape spatial scales. Since land management decisions are often made at these scales, understanding what features of the landscape maintain biodiversity is critical to the effective implementation of conservation strategies. This research investigates the spatial relationship between landcover heterogeneity (Ontario Land Cover - 1991-1998; 8 landcover types) and avian species’ distributions (Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas - 2001-2005; 60 species) in terms of spatial boundary overlap. Boundary analyses (detection and statistics) were performed and tested using a randomization procedure. A positive and significant spatial relationship was found between landcover heterogeneity and avian distributions at the regional scale; the mean distance from avian to landcover boundaries was low and the direct spatial overlap of the two boundary types was high. These results have implications for conservation efforts in southern Ontario, and show that boundary analysis can effectively quantify ecological boundaries and could be used as a tool in conservation planning. Future research should focus on assessing the spatial relationship between landcover heterogeneity and avian distributions for different functional and taxonomic groups.
P1.92   What is farmland bird? Kreuzberg, EA*, Geomatic and Landscape Ecology Laboratory, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada ; Lindsay, K, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada
Effects of agriculture on biodiversity have been well-documented in Europe at various spatial and temporal scales. Thirty-three percent of native bird species (150 of 453 species) are classified as dependent on farmland for their persistence; 36 species defined as farmland birds are used by the European Bird Census Council as an environmental indicator. These species have exhibited continent wide declines and continue to be at risk from intensification or farm abandonment. In contrast, in North America, large scale transformation of agriculture is more recent than in Europe, has progressed more rapidly and few refer to farmland birds per se, preferring instead to define species by their original native association such as grassland, forests, shrublands or wetlands. Based on the comparison of existed literature and review by subject experts, we propose a list of 72 species that should be considered as farmland birds in North America. 24 of 28 farmland specialists shown decline in population numbers especially in the regions with intensive agriculture. A Farmland Bird Index as in Europe could be used in North America to monitor effects of agriculture on biodiversity and for designing and implementation large scale management and mitigation measures, such as agri-environmental schemes.
P1.93   Independent Effects of Habitat Loss, Habitat fragmentation and Structural Connectivity on the Distribution of Vertebrates: When Should We Increase Hedgerows? Alessio Mortelliti*, University of Rome ; Giovanni Amori, CNR Institute for Ecosystem Studies; Stefano Fagiani, University of Rome ; Luigi Boitani, University of Rome
Disentangling the different processes often included in the term “habitat fragmentation” is crucial, since different conservation actions are required depending on whether a species is sensitive to habitat loss rather than habitat fragmentation per se. Nevertheless, few studies have evaluated their independent effects on the distribution of vertebrates and none has evaluated the independent effect of changes in structural connectivity (e.g. decrease of hedgerows in the landscape). We carried out a landscape-scale mensurative experiment, using an experimental design that allowed separation of the independent contribution of these three processes, to examine the distribution of 11 forest-dependent vertebrates (3 species of arboreal rodents and 8 species of birds). Habitat loss, rather than habitat fragmentation per se, was the major driver of distribution patterns for 7 species. Structural connectivity (hedgerow networks) played an important role in determining the distribution of 5 species. Our empirical findings indicate that implementation of structural connectivity must never be carried out regardless of the amount of habitat in the landscapes: with less than 10% of forest cover in the landscape the implementation of a hedgerow network, even if extensive, may prove ineffective. The key message is, therefore, that before investing resources in the implementation of landscape linkages, their efficacy for the given level of habitat amount should be assessed.
P1.94   Relating Bird Species Traits Directly to the Landscape: An Application to Urban Planning Stagoll, K*, The Australian National University ; Manning, AD, The Australian National University; Knight, E, The Australian National University; Fischer, J, The Australian National University; Lindenmayer, DB, The Australian National University
Within urbanising landscapes, multivariate analyses that focus on species traits promise to be useful conservation tools because they can predict which traits may be affected by particular development decisions. By understanding how landscape vegetation and attributes relate to species traits, planners will have a greatly increased awareness of how faunal communities in the landscape will be affected by urban development. In our paper, we explored the conservation applications and implications of multivariate analysis for a pre urbanised landscape. We used RLQ analysis, a three-table ordination method, to directly relate species traits to environmental variables. We found that community composition was strongly influenced by landscape vegetation and attributes, and that species traits were clearly and directly related to environmental variables. These results increase our understanding of how the planned urban development for the landscape will affect bird communities, and have the potential to better focus species monitoring on those with traits that will be affected by development, and to proactively address negative effects. Our study has demonstrated that RLQ analysis can be effectively applied in urban planning, that its application informs our understanding of ecosystem structure and processes within a landscape, and hence aids conservation.
P1.95   Risk factors for an at-risk carnivore: Wolverine density and habitat selection on the edge of the Canadian Rockies. Fisher, JT*, Alberta Innovates - Sustainable Ecosystems ; Bradbury, S, Government of Alberta, Sustainable Resource Development; Nolan, L, Alberta Innovates - Sustainable Ecosystems
Assessing the conservation status of rare and elusive species is difficult, as the probability of falsely detecting absences is high. However, rare species are often the ones most in need of status assessment for legal designation - a conservation catch-22. This is the case for Alberta wolverines (Gulo gulo), which historically occupied most of the province but have declined in the last century. Wolverines’ population size and distribution in Alberta had never been studied. We sought to inform these estimates and identify natural and anthropogenic landscape features that affect wolverines’ distribution. We used camera trapping and noninvasive genetic tagging to survey wolverine occurrence in a protected mountain forest landscape, and in an adjacent foothills forest landscape with extensive forest harvesting and energy development. Wolverine density was markedly higher in the undeveloped landscape than the adjacent developed landscape. Wolverines selected habitats with rugged topography and avoided high densities of linear features associated with energy development. In this major energy-producing province, our research impresses the need for wolverines to be explicitly considered in landscape management plans. It also illustrates the need to sample and model the detectability and occurrence of rare and elusive species where landscape development outpaces ecological data collection.
P1.96   Caribou Habitat Restoration Pilot Study Versteeg, L.*, Golder Associates Ltd. ; Bentham, P., Golder Associates Ltd.; Coupal, B., Golder Associates Ltd.; Grindal, S., ConocoPhillips Canada; Wolsey, T., Suncor Energy Ltd.
A pilot research project in the Little Smoky caribou range in west-central Alberta, Canada was initiated to monitor how natural vegetation recovery and habitat restoration efforts may influence predator and prey presence and mobility along linear disturbances, such as seismic lines. The study was designed to compare wildlife use of areas with natural re-vegetation (i.e., > 1.5 m vegetation height) along linear disturbances to control areas with reduced vegetation height (i.e., < 0.5 m vegetation height). Thirty-eight remote cameras were deployed on 76 linear disturbance plots to assess how natural regeneration and/or habitat restoration techniques along linear disturbances affected caribou, predators and alternate prey species mobility and use of these disturbed landscape features. Additional vegetation and soils data were collected on selected sites to provide a broader context for evaluating the re-vegetation success of these lines relative to wildlife use. Pooled prey species preferentially selected re-vegetated sites over non-vegetated sites, with deer and moose exhibiting the strongest preference for re-vegetated sites over control sites. Prey may be keying into increased forage and/or cover value (i.e. predator avoidance) as line of sight on re-vegetated lines is typically <20 m, compared to >50 - 100 m on control lines. Caribou showed a slight preference for re-vegetated sites over control sites, however there was insufficient data to draw any firm conclusions. Pooled predator species also showed a preference for re-vegetated sites over control sites, with black bear and wolf showing a slight preference for re-vegetated sites. These results indicate that wolves may be responding to prey species occurrence on re-vegetated lines.
P1.97   Cougar Diet Composition in South-Western Alberta Banfield, JE*, University of Alberta ; Boyce, MS, University of Alberta
Diversity in cougar diets has been linked to both geography and prey abundance. In arid environments where wild ungulates are rare, cougars are known to prey on domestic livestock. In south-west Alberta where wild ungulate densities are high, cougar depredation of livestock is thought to be minimal. However, large tracts of Crown land known to support relatively high cougar densities are used seasonally for grazing livestock. Little effort has been put into monitoring livestock during the grazing season and it’s likely that depredation events occur. Losses discovered afterward might be falsely attributed to bears and wolves usurping and scavenging cougar kills. In Alberta cougars kill primarily deer and elk, but also will kill llamas, horses, dogs, and occasionally cattle. Our results clarify the role cougars play in livestock depredation in this region.
P1.98   Community structure of the ground beetles in the artificial cedar forests Takahashi, H.*, Univ. of Tsukuba ; Watanabe, M., Univ. of Tsukuba
The main component of forest floor arthropod community in the cool-temperate zone of Japan is carabid beetles, most of which cannot fly. The spatial distribution and abundance of the carabid beetles in the forest floor were examined by the capture-recapture method using pitfall traps for 4 artificial cedar stands, July and August 2009. One hundred and forty four pitfall traps with chicken meat were placed as a grid in each stand. Beetles captured were identified species and sexes, marked individually, and then released. Such procedure was performed for 3 to 4 times in each month. Four species of Carabinae (Carabus albrechti, Leptocarabus procerulus, Damaster blaptoides and Apotomopterus porrecticollis), and 3 species of Pterostichus spp. and 6 species of Synuchus spp. were found in all stands. The number of individuals marked was 324 in C. albrechti, 256 in L. procerulus, 23 in D. blaptoides and 23 in A. porrecticollis. The stand with poor understory vegetation provided the highest diversity of the beetles, irrespective of the degree of litter layer and soil moisture. Although the abundant understory of the forest stand showed the relatively low number of individuals captured, Pterostichus spp. and Synuchus spp. were common among the stands. Therefore, the understory of the forest vegetation affected the community structure of Carabinae spp., except Pterostichus spp. and Synuchus spp.
P1.99   Ptilochronology and Fluctuating Asymmetry as Phenotypic Biomarkers of Forest Fragmentation in the Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) Le Tortorec, E*, University of Turku ; Helle, S, University of Turku; Huhta, E, Finnish Forest Research Institution; Sirkiä, P, University of Turku; Suorsa, P, University of Turku; Hakkarainen, H, University of Turku
The aim of this study was to determine whether ptilochronology (an estimate of growth) and fluctuating asymmetry (reflecting developmental instability) of feathers can be used as phenotypic biomarkers of habitat fragmentation, measured as habitat loss and changes in configuration, in a forest-dwelling bird. We sampled feathers from Eurasian treecreepers (Certhia familiaris) between 2000 and 2002 in central Finland where forests are subject to intensive commercial forestry. Ptilochronology was determined by measuring the average width of growth bars from naturally grown and induced tail feathers of adults. The fluctuating asymmetry of wing and tail feathers of both adult and nestling birds was estimated by contrasting the lengths of matching feathers on the right and left sides of individuals. Ptilochronology and fluctuating asymmetry were associated to habitat fragmentation by calculating landscape indices from a 500m radius around each nest box from classified Landsat images. We did not find any relationship between feather growth rates and habitat amount or configuration, but we did find an indication of increased numbers of deformed growth bars in fragmented habitats. The analysis of fluctuating asymmetry showed that habitat amount had a stronger influence than composition. In conclusion, our results show that biomarkers related to growth deformities and asymmetry may respond more to habitat fragmentation than those relating to growth rates in the Eurasian treecreeper.
P1.100   Landscape resistance to dispersal: predicting long-term effects on a small and isolated wolf population in southwestern Manitoba, Canada Stronen, AV*, Université de Montréal ; Schumaker, NH, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Forbes, GH, University of New Brunswick; Paquet, PC, University of Calgary; Brook, RK, University of Saskatchewan
Landscape fragmentation affects wildlife population viability, in part through the effects it has on individual dispersal. Considerable fragmentation of native habitats and loss of forest cover has occurred in association with agricultural development over the past 50 years in our study area - the region surrounding Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) in southwestern Manitoba, Canada. However, some forms of human disturbance impinge on dispersal without simultaneously fragmenting habitats. In this study, we examined how protected area boundaries, roads outside the protected area boundaries, and hostile human behaviour have altered dispersal success without simultaneously fragmenting habitat. We simulated dispersal using HexSim, a spatially-explicit individual-based population model, parameterized with data on wolves (Canis lupus) in the RMNP region. Scenarios that accounted for negative human attitudes and roads outside the protected area boundaries exhibited lower mean population size than scenarios that ignored these details. In contrast, increasing deflection from protected area boundaries did not appear to have a significant consequence for population viability. Our results illustrate how habitat fragmentation itself can fail to account for the impacts on wildlife imparted by some forms of dispersal barriers.
P1.101   Using multiscale spatial context to predict avian species richness in a woodland savanna Bar Massada, A*, University of Wisconsin ; Wood, EM, University of Wisconsin; Radeloff, VC, University of Wisconsin; Pidgeon, AM, University of Wisconsin
Landscape pattern analysis is widely used to predict habitat and species diversity, and ultimately identify priority areas for conservation. However, these analyses are often conducted at a single spatial scale, while habitat characteristics and species occurrence are thought to vary at multiple spatial scales. We developed a novel approach, multiscale contextual spatial pattern analysis (MCSPA), which quantifies the change in habitat amount across scales rather than the amount of habitat at a single scale. MCSPA consists of several coefficients that describe the attributes of scalograms, which are functions that describe habitat change across scales. Our goal here was to test the predictive power of MCSPA coefficients in models of avian species richness in a grassland/savanna/woodland ecosystem in central Wisconsin, USA. MCSPA performed moderately better than existing methods that operate at a single spatial scale. The correlation between MCSPA coefficients and species richness ranged between 0.3 and 0.7, and varied among coefficients and types of habitat maps. We suggest that this multiscale approach may better predict species richness than existing single-scale methods of spatial pattern analysis, and as such could potentially advance habitat and biodiversity assessments.
P1.102   Plantation Clearcut Size and the Persistence of Early Successional Wildlife Populations Estades, CF*, Universidad de Chile ; Acuna, MP, Universidad de Chile
Plantation clearcuts represent an important habitat for many open-area wildlife species in landscapes dominated by industrial forests. However, due to the ephemeral nature of clearcuts, species using this type of environment face a “shifting mosaic” in which their ability to successfully relocate to another habitat patch may play a crucial role in the species' persistence in the landscape. Although several studies have shown a positive effect of patch size on the persistence of prairie species, forest clearcutting represents a special case in which, on average, larger patches also tend to be more isolated from each other, likely creating a trade-off between area and isolation effects. We developed an individual-based spatially-explicit model to test the effect of clearcut size (a critical management variable in plantation forestry) on the persistence of an early successional wildlife species in a landscape dominated by forest plantations. We simulated a landscape covered with a plantation harvested regularly over a 25-year rotation and different versions of a wildlife population whose habitat was constituted only by 1-4 year old patches. We observed that when the species could perceive the attributes of the neighboring pixels persistence time was usually higher at intermediate clearcut sizes agreeing with our prediction. Our results also highlight the importance that basic assumption on movement patterns may have on conclusions drawn from mechanistic simulation models.
P1.103   Are Forest Edges Barriers to Bark Beetles? Reid, M.L.*, University of Calgary ; Méthot, J., University of Calgary
Landscape heterogeneity and fragmentation may reduce the abundance and dispersal of animals. One mechanism may the reluctance of animals to cross areas of non-habitat. This idea has been implemented in management strategies to limit the spread of pests. We investigated the extent to which forest harvesting affects the local distribution of three species of bark beetles (Scolytinae) by trapping beetles near and far from harvest edges in both intact forests and harvested ones (clearcuts and thinned stands). Fewer beetles were caught in clearcut stands than in adjacent intact forests, but there was no effect for thinned stands. However, beetles captured in clearcuts had more fat than those in intact stands. Moreover, the number of beetles captured in harvested areas likely underestimated the local abundance because the likelihood of encountering traps is expected to be low because of movement paths and pheromone dispersion. We also did not detect a build-up of beetles at the forest edge. Thus, although our beetle captures generally supported the idea that dispersal is reduced through non-habitat, clearcuts were not an absolute barrier particularly to individuals with greater energy reserves. The same reduction in dispersal across non-habitat areas may have different implications for pest species and those at risk, and should be considered in forest management.
P1.104   Movement Behaviour at Habitat Edges Affects Distribution YOUNG, HC*, University of Calgary ; Reid, TG, University of Calgary; Randall, L, University of Calgary; Foster, DJ, University of Calgary; Lachowsky, LE, University of Calgary; Pengelly, C, University of Calgary; Reid, ML, University of Calgary
The distribution of animals relative to edges of habitat has often been interpreted as reflecting their preferences for resources. We consider an alternative possibility wherein distribution reflects changes in movement behaviour at edges. To investigate this idea, we examined a very simple system in which individual confused flour beetles, Tribolium confusum, were placed in a resource-free two dimensional arena with edges of plastic tape that they rarely crossed. For each individual, we recorded the proportion of time spent at various distances from the edge and analyzed their step lengths and turn angles at the centre and edges of the arena. We found distinct differences in individual beetles’ movement paths; however, beetles’ step lengths were generally larger in the centre of the arena than at the edges, while the converse was true for turn angles. Beetles spent more time in the edge and corner zones of the arena than expected based on the area of these zones. To test whether a correlated random walk could explain beetle distribution, we constructed an agent-based model that simulated movement paths using step lengths and turn angles derived from the empirically observed distribution. While the model was fairly accurate in predicting the time spent in intermediate zones, it significantly under-estimated the proportion of time beetles spent in the edge and corner zones, suggesting that movement behaviour at edges is more complex than expected. Overall, our study indicates that movement behaviour alone can explain higher density of animals at edges, and needs to be considered in the ecology of habitat heterogeneity and fragmentation.
P1.105   Conservation assessment of remnant fescue grasslands in Saskatchewan, Canada Kricsfalusy, VV*, of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan
Native grasslands, the most threatened habitat in North America, has experienced dramatic decline as a result of the agricultural intensification and changes in land use. Most of the prairie in Canada is mixed grasslands with small inclusions of native fescue grasslands. These remnant fescue grasslands should be the primarily focus of nature conservation efforts because they are hotspots of biodiversity and possess high richness and occurrence of many rare plant species. Despite the high conservation value of fescue grasslands alteration effects on their flora and vegetation have not been sufficiently quantified and described. Rigorous scientific investigation of habitat conditions, vegetation communities’ and plant species’ abundance and distributions are required. The objective of our research is to conduct a conservation assessment of remnant fescue grasslands in Saskatchewan with the aim to: 1) identify rare plant species, 2) delimitate rare plant communities, 3) determine threats to rare plant species, communities and their habitats, and 4) prioritise them for conservation plans and monitoring. The short-term research will focus on remnant fescue grasslands at the local and regional levels and intends to assess experimentally the link between habitat disturbance, native plant species decline and exotic species invasion. Our long-term goal is to investigate how these factors affect threatened fescue grasslands in different temperate regions of the world.
P1.106   The Importance of Landscape Structure for the Long-Term Conservation of Species Nabe-Nielsen, J*, NERI, Aarhus University ; Sibly, RM, University of Reading; Forchhammer, MC, NERI, Aarhus University; Forbes, VE, Roskilde University
The presence of corridors and the way patches are arranged in a landscape are thought to be important for the long-term conservation of many species, and may determine whether species are able to recover from large-scale disturbances. Here we used individual-based models to investigate how population recovery was affected by landscape structure for four species in an agricultural landscape: skylark (Alauda arvensis), vole (Microtus agrestis), a ground beetle (Bimbidion lampros) and a linyphiid spider (Erigone atra). We characterized population persistence based on equilibrium population sizes (K) and the time it took populations to recover from perturbations. We separated the effects of corridors and patch arrangement by comparing results from a real landscape with results from two virtual landscapes: One where linear corridors were removed by homogenizing patch shapes, while leaving the spatial arrangement of the patches unaltered, and one where patches were shuffled around, while still leaving the landscape composition unaltered. Patch arrangement and the presence of corridors had a large effect on population dynamics for species whose local success depended on the identity of the neighbouring patches. The short-dispersing beetle and vole recovered slowly from perturbations in landscapes where they had low K. Our study demonstrates that it is necessary to consider the dynamics of populations in a spatially explicit context when designing landscapes for conservation of species.
P1.107   Scale-dependent effects of landscape context on grassland songbirds in a Canadian mixed-grass prairie Durán, S. M. *, University of Alberta ; Koper, N., University of Manitoba
Landscape context may influence richness and abundance of prairie birds. Previous research has shown that local parameters have been better predictors than landscape parameters in explaining abundances of prairie birds. Yet many studies have been conducted at relatively small spatial extents on landscapes from 12 ha to 800 ha. We examined the spatial extent at which prairie birds respond most strongly to landscape factors. We sampled 20 landscapes in south-western Manitoba in 2008-2009 to determine species richness and abundance of obligate and facultative grassland birds. We evaluated bird responses to percent cover of grassland, forest, edge density and distance to the forest at seven spatial extents from 200 ha to 7200 ha. Obligate grassland birds responded at spatial extents of 1800 ha and higher, while facultative species responded at smaller extents of 450 ha. Abundance of obligate species decreased with edge density and distance to forest, while abundance of facultative species increased near woodland habitats. Our study emphasizes the importance of spatial extents greater than 800 ha and perhaps exceeding 7200 ha for some species. Previous studies that found local factors as better predictors may have evaluated landscape parameters at incorrect spatial extents. An incorrect selection of spatial extents may lead to misinterpretation of broad-scale processes, which can have undesired consequences for designing management strategies for species conservation.
P1.108   Habitat Selection of Feral Horses in the Alberta Foothills BEVAN, TISA*, Student ; Bork, Edward, Supervisor
Feral horses have been present in Alberta since the early 1900’s when unwanted workhorses were released. These horses are present in three main herds along the Alberta foothills and each herd is broken into smaller social groups called harems. The last information gathered on these horses was in 1980 by Salter and Hudson. Since then the populations of these herds have been increasing, along with the level of recreational and grazing use in the area. Due to the increasing potential for environmental and social conflicts there needs to be efforts to gather accurate information on which habitats the horses prefer. There are five harems in the Mclean Creek Recreational Area that are being monitored with GPS collars from November 2008 to November 2010 to gain information on where the horses are spending their time. Geospatial analysis coupled with field sampling will be used to determine presence or absence of horses and what habitats they are in. Preliminary analysis of 2009 data shows that the horses prefer lowland grasslands and cutblock areas.
P1.109   The Factors Structuring Beetle Communities in Boreal Forest Blanchet, FG*, University of Alberta ; Bergeron, C, University of Alberta
The maintenance of biodiversity in forested landscapes is important for sustainable management of boreal forest. The majority of known species in this type of forest are insects and therefore, understanding how to maintain boreal forest biodiversity requires a good knowledge of what structures insect diversity in mature forest. The goal of this research is to evaluate which factors influence the ground beetle community of Alberta's boreal forest. The data used to answer this question come from 195 regularly distributed sites covering an area of 84 Km2 old grown forests, in Northern Alberta, Canada. Sampled environmental variables were organized in three groups: fire history, floor and drainage, and trees. Variable constructed through the Moran's eigenvector maps framework were also used to better understand what structures the spatial distribution of the ground beetles community. Results give insights on how management and harvesting of the boreal forest should be done in order to preserve the highest ground beetle diversity. For example, drainage in the exploited area must be kept as intact as possible. The spatial structure of the beetle community would suggest not creating any physical barrier at a scale under 2 Km2. Reforestation should be carried out with as many endemic trees species as possible. Finally, ground beetle diversity is affected by fire, such as slash and burns, but to a lesser extent. A holistic understanding of boreal forest ecosystem is important, especially in management.
P1.110   Mapping Habitat Loss and Human Elephant Conflict in Priority Landscapes Songer, Melissa*, Smithsonian National Zoological Park ; Forrest, Jessica, World Wildlife Fund, US; Williams, Christy, World Wildlife Fund AREAS Programme; Sampson, Christie, Smithsonian National Zoological Park; Gopala, Areendran, World Wildlife Fund India; Budiman, Arif, World Wildlife Fund Indonesia; Yulianto, Kokok, World Wildlife Fund Indonesia; Leimgruber, Peter, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Habitat loss and resulting human elephant conflict (HEC) are leading threats to wild Asian elephants. Yet, baseline data for evaluating habitat loss has not been compiled for most of the range and little information land cover, change and HEC is available for systematic assessments, monitoring, and conservation planning. The World Wildlife Fund’s Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) Programme and the Smithsonian National Zoo integrated existing WWF habitat, land cover change, and HEC data into a spatial database for assessing status, condition of and threats in elephant priority landscapes. By synthesizing the best available land cover data from regional experts we found that 75% of priority landscapes are natural areas covered by forests or grasslands, with agriculture and plantations covering 18% of the areas. Though over one-third have protected status, land cover change data shows annual forest loss rates in a majority of landscapes were higher than the 0.2% global average. Analysis of HEC points showed most conflict areas overlap agricultural or plantations. Results show a need for immediate action in landscapes with high deforestation. As key elephant areas come under increasing pressure, it is critical to collect consistent information on habitat, change, and HEC for all priority landscapes.
P1.111   Midwestern Housing Growth Surrounding the United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge System Hamilton, CM*, University of Wisconsin - Madison ; Radeloff, VC, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Pidgeon, AM, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Heglund, PJ, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Thogmartin, WE, United States Geological Survey - Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center; Helmers, D, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Biodiversity conservation requires protected areas to provide habitat for fish and wildlife populations. The mission of the United States National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) protected areas is to provide ecological benefits and it has a recognized role in preserving biodiversity. However, the refuges are typically surrounded by private land, a substantial portion of which is developed. Development may influence the ecological benefits of refuges. Our goal was to quantify housing development in the surroundings of all National Wildlife Refuges in the U.S. Midwest as an indicator of the threat that development poses to the biodiversity conservation function of the refuges. We quantified housing growth surrounding the Upper Midwest NWRS for each decade from 1940 to 2000 using detailed spatial housing growth data. We found housing units within 50 km of NWRS protected areas increased from 5.8 to 13.3 million. The average decadal rate of housing growth varied between 18.1 and 21.5% within 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 km of NWRS areas. Growth was highly variable among refuges, reaching up to 651% (120 to 970 housing units from 1940 to 2000) within 1 km of Sherburne NWR. Housing growth threatens to isolate National Wildlife Refuges and diminish their ability to protect biodiversity.
P1.112   Human impact on the survival of Pacarana populations (Dinomys branickii) in Colombia: coupling habitat and population viability models Saavedra, C.A.*, Universidad del Valle - WCS, Colombia ; Ríos, C.A., WCS, Colombia; Velasco, J.A., WCS, Colombia
The pacarana (Dinomys branickii) is an endangered species threatened mainly by habitat loss and hunting. We analyzed the survivorship probabilities for hypothetical populations of Pacarana in Colombia under different habitat loss and hunting scenarios. We generated a habitat suitability model (HSM) based on habitat preferences of the species and human footprint. We conducted the population viability analysis (PVA) based on a compilation of captivity and field data using the program Vortex. The PVA’s showed populations are sensible to changes in reproduction rates, extraction rates and habitat fragmentation. We classified the results of the interactions between the HSM model and the different hunting and habitat loss scenarios in four categories: a) Populations where no action is required to guarantee their survival, b) Populations where educational and legal actions are required to guarantee survival, c) Populations where habitat management actions are required to guarantee survival, and d) Populations actions will never guarantee their survival. Results advocate the implementation of conservation actions beyond protected areas, specially habitat management and mitigation strategies
P1.113   How Do Habitat Connectivity and Dispersal Rates Affect Population Dynamics of an Imperiled Freshwater Fish? Bowerman, T*, Department of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University ; Budy, P, USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Utah State University
The effects of habitat fragmentation on population size, connectivity, and dispersal are important impacts to understand for metapopulations of fishes that occupy stream networks. Using a patch framework, we assessed how habitat connectivity and dispersal affected both population size and trend for an imperiled freshwater fish (bull trout, Salvelinus confluentus). First, using GIS, we interpolated between known water temperature points to delineate patches of potentially suitable habitat within a large watershed. Next, we developed a metapopulation model using estimates of population size and growth based on empirical studies, and connectivity based upon the patch delineation, to investigate the effect of dispersal rates on population persistence over time. The GIS analysis indicated that patch size was the single best predictor of occupancy. Results of the metapopulation model indicated that dispersal significantly decreased patch extinction probability, and even very small rates of dispersal helped mitigate negative effects of stochastic variability on population size. When considered together, these results suggest that in some systems, the trade-off between protecting habitat size vs. connectivity should not be an either/or decision, but that management should be prioritized to enhance connectivity between critical habitat patches while simultaneously maintaining adequate habitat patch size.
P1.114   Monitoring of populations of endemic plant on the eastern part of Lake Baikal Sandanov Denis, Institute of General and Experimental Biology of SB RAS ; Alymbaeva Zhargalma*, Buryat State University; Batotsyrenov Eduard, Baikal Institute of Nature Management of SB RAS
Botanical survey and further monitoring of rare plant’s populations is the one of the main methods of their conservation. Usually, rare and endangered species have small isolated populations and dynamic of their demography can be influenced by human activity. We studied populations of rare endemic species Craniospermum subvillosum on the eastern part of Lake Baikal in 2007-2009. Experimental plots were situated on the sandy dunes which are popular places for recreation during summer period. Three points of our study has different level of human impact. The biggest recreation was observed near village Bezymyannaya, middle – near village Turka, and the lowest – near village Goryachinsk. Each year we estimated quantity of each population and analyzed their demographic structure. Our results showed that the lowest density of population observed near Bezymyannaya (0.05 individuals per square meter). Age structure characterized by small part of juvenile plants and was mostly presented by old and generative individuals. On the contrary population near village Goryachinsk characterized by big density (0.13 individuals per square meter) and has the high quantity of juvenile plants (43.17% of total individuals). All studied populations have relatively stable age structure, but further increasing of human impact can lead to rapid decreasing of their quantity.
P1.115   Conservation regimes affect forest structure in the Białowieża Primeval Forest, Poland in the 19th-20th centuries Churski, M*, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Science ; Kuijper, DPJ, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Science; Jedrzejewska, B, Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Science
The Białowieża Primeval Forest (BPF) (Poland) is one of the few remnants of pristine European temperate lowland forests, with over a 500-year long conservation history. Historical evidence indicates shifts in the protection regimes which may have caused changes in disturbance, potentially shaping the forest structure. We address the question: How did species composition and size structure of tree populations change in the BPF in relation to shifting conservation regimes? Tree diameters in size classes were collected from forest inventories between years 1889 and 2002 covering the BPF area. Using size distributions we analyzed demographic patterns of 10 dominant tree species (pine, spruce, hornbeam, linden, maple, black alder, poplar, elm, oak, birch) in the main forest types. The change from a dominance of coniferous towards deciduous species was observed. These changes occurred throughout the area irrespective of forest type. At present, pine and spruce have been restricted to one forest type, whereas hornbeam has expanded in all forest types. The observed changes in tree species composition coincided with shifts in conservation regimes. Despite the indirect role humans played during the last 200 years in shaping the BPF structure, the tree species richness has been constant during the study period suggesting that diverse systems are more resilient and may adapt to changes in the environment.
P1.116   Conservation of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Mass-nesting (Arribada) Populations: Considering Nest Density at La Escobilla, Mexico Ocana, M.*, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 ; Heppell, S.S., Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
This project informs conservation efforts for the Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) by exploring mass-nesting (arribada) dynamics. During arribadas, tens of thousands of turtles come ashore to lay eggs over a few days. As home to one of the largest arribada populations, La Escobilla is a critical location for research exploring currently underspecified but essential indicators of population health, such as nest density. Nest destruction is the most obvious potential impact of high density nesting, as later turtles often dig up previous nests. Our objective was to investigate nest densities and how they relate to nest destruction. In a series of study plots, we monitored nesting behavior, sand temperature, and excavated nests post-incubation. No hatchlings emerged from the arribadas studied, likely due to unfavorable climatic conditions and widespread beetle predation. Nest density exhibited a quadratic relationship during an arribada and considerable nest destruction was observed. Eggs are historically a community resource at many beaches, giving rise to the popular compensatory argument that eggs otherwise destroyed can serve as an economic resource. This project was undertaken with community members and regional scientists to contribute to future discussion of how to best manage dynamic nesting populations.
P1.117   Threats for Globally Threatened bird species at Zhumai-Maishukyr lake system, Kazakhstan Ruslan Urazaliyev*, L.N. Gumilev Eurasian National University ; Maxim Koshkin, Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan; Johannes Kamp, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Bird monitoring within Tengiz-Korgalzhyn Region (except Nature Reserve) has been carried out to greater or lesser extend only during last 8-9 years. Collected data helped to show the importance of the region for breeding and migrating birds, it was recognized internationally and, within the established network of Central Asian IBAs, 8 sites have been identified by researchers of the national NGO ACBK. However, only one of these IBAs has a protection status. One the example of one IBA - "Zhumay-Mayshukyr Lake System" we want to show what is threatening such rare and threatened bird species, as White-headed Duck or Black-winged Pratincole, as well as great number of other waterbirds using this site. We will show what can be done to minimize these threats and recommend activities to be included into the IBA management plan, which we hope will further act as an example for other similar IBAs in the region.
P1.118   Breeding Areas Versus Temporary Settlement Areas: A Lesson For Conservation Biology Delgado, M.M.*, Estación Biológica de Doñana, C.S.I.C. ; Penteriani, V., Estación Biológica de Doñana, C.S.I.C.
The dispersal behaviors and patterns of floaters are crucial elements in conservation biology. For species needing recovery plans, an accurate knowledge of dispersal behavior can be a key factor of conservation success. Because the areas where dispersers settle are unknown or difficult to detect, fewer efforts are typically devoted to the conservation of these sites compared to breeding territories; however, this can decrease the effectiveness of conservation plans and action. Population studies, analyses of population viability and extinction risk assessments that ignore the dynamics of dispersers within settlement areas may fail to understand how and why animal populations decrease, and may support inappropriate or ineffective conservation action. Dispersers may frequently use areas in which high levels of anthropogenic disturbance result in high mortality rates; moreover, settlement areas can look very different from breeding areas. Thus, while apparently low-value areas are not typically considered in conservation plans, they may be inhabited by the majority of floaters waiting for breeding opportunities. As a result, human and economic efforts are wasted in locations other than those in which conservation measures are really necessary. In fact, declines in breeding population size could divert attention from critical problems in the floater pool. By integrating information from both theoretical simulations and empirical studies on birds of prey and owls, we show the crucial link between the floating and breeding fractions of animal populations, as well as the importance of disperser’s settlement areas for population dynamics, stability and persistence.
P1.119   Spatio-temporal dynamics in abundance of cavity-nesting Bufflehead and Goldeneye Roy, C.*, Université Laval and Ducks Unlimited Canada ; Cumming, S.G., Université Laval; Darveau, M., Ducks Unlimited Canada and Université Laval
The boreal forest, which provides key breeding habitat for waterfowl, is experiencing unprecedented expansion of industrial activities. Among waterfowl, cavity nesting ducks are the most vulnerable to human activities because of their specific habitat requirements. Our objective was therefore to examine how the spatial structure of Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) and both Goldeneye (B. clangula and B. islandica) populations has changed over the last decades in the boreal forest, while accounting for both spatial and temporal autocorrelation in density estimates. To this end, we developed a hierachical Bayesian state-space model using the USFWS’ annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, which has taken place across western and eastern Canada since 1955 and 1990, respectively. We observed both spatial and temporal dependencies for the Bufflehead populations. While the population has increased in the last 50 years, most of this increase has occurred in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan outside of the region recognized as the core breeding zone for this species. We also detected a possible range expansion in the East. In contrast, the Goldeneye species populations remained stable overall. At first glance, one could conclude that current habitat alteration levels are not detrimental to cavity-nesters, but the increase in bufflehead suggests that other factors may outweigh the negative effects of industrial activities.
P1.120   Considerations for the surveillance of Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax) populations, an endangered and endemic species to Colombia Gutierrez-Chacón, C*, Wildlife Conservation Society -WCS ; Franco, P, Wildlife Conservation Society -WCS; Roncancio, N, Wildlife Conservation Society -WCS; Banguera, Y, Universidad del Quindio
The Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax) is an endemic and endangered species of the Colombian Andes, with only six confirmed populations. An essential aspect to design adequate management strategies is to continuously assess population status (e.g. size and density), however accurate population estimates are difficult to obtain especially when birds are rare, inconspicuous and shy. Accurate estimates, needed to detect significant changes in a population, require rather large efforts in terms of time, personnel and resources. In order to guide sampling design to obtain reliable and comparable population estimates (in space and time) for the Cauca Guan, on aspects such as sampling design and effort, we conducted a series of simulations based on data from previous studies on three of the six known populations. In these previous studies encounter rates contributed the most to the total variance. Considering the costs and benefits of each option, simulations suggest that line transects are recommended over other sampling methods, single observer is preferred over double observer and more transects (despite shorter) are helpful in order to reduce total variance.
P1.121   Spatial and temporal dynamics of seed predation in the endangered limber pine Peters, VS, The King's University College ; Gelderman, M*, The King's University College
Red squirrels are a major cause of pre-dispersal seed loss in many species of masting conifers. Stands with varying combinations of conifers that have a 2-year (firs, spruce) versus 3-year cone maturation periods (limber pine), may produce large numbers of cones in different years (i.e. masting), and experience different amounts of cone predation by squirrels. We compared 17 populations that ranged from pure limber pine, to even mixtures of limber pine with either douglas fir, white spruce, or lodgepole pine. All non-serotinous species masted in 2007, and had low cone production in 2008 and 2009. Cone predation of limber pine averaged 80% in non-mast years, but was highly variable between populations, ranging from 0 – 100%. Preliminary analyses suggest cone predation, and squirrel midden abundance increases as tree basal area increases; however, tree species composition, and midden proximity were not significant predictors. These findings suggest that limber pine may frequently escape seed predation by squirrels, by virtue of it preference for open and exposed habitats. This research will assist provincial recovery efforts in Alberta by identifying forest stand types that are most subject to seed limitation, and in need of mitigation.
P1.122   Absence of differences in fluctuating asymmetry (FA) between small populations of the narrow endemic Aquilegia thalictrifolia (South-Eastern Alps, Italy). Abeli, T, Dipartimento di Ecologia del Territorio - University of Pavia ; Parolo, G*, Trento Natural History Museum, Dipartimento di Ecologia del Territorio - University of Pavia; Bonomi, C, Trento Natural History Museum; Zubani, L, Dipartimento di Ecologia del Territorio - University of Pavia; Varotto, C, Edmund Mach Foundation; Lega, M, Edmund Mach Foundation
Increased FA of morphological traits occurs under environmental and genomic stress, being linked with heterozigosity, population size and performance, and environmental factors. The aim of this work was to analyse such relationships in Aquilegia thalictrifolia, a narrow endemic plant species, occurring in 15 small populations in the Garda Lake area. We studied differences in FA between all the populations, measuring 1830 leaves and petals of 150 flowers. Relationships between FA and performance, population size, density and degree of isolation were analysed. According to other studies, leaf and flower asymmetry were only slightly correlated. FA did not differ between populations, and also between the core area of distribution and two very far disjunctions. We found no significant relationships between FA and performance of the populations, and between FA and population size and density. The lack of significant results concerning FA variation differs from most of the known literature. This could be explained by considering that environmental conditions and genetic diversity are affecting homogeneously the FA through the whole species range. A further step of our work will be the analysis of the heterozigosity on the same individuals measured for the FA, with the aim of understanding if, despite the lack of significant FA, genetic diversity varies among populations of A. thalictrifolia. This information may provide further insights into the evolutionary history and conservation status of this recent endemism.
P1.123   White Stork numbers changes as a result of climate changes in Ukraine Valentin Serebryakov*, Shevchenko National University ; Ludmila Lonina, Shevchenko National University; Igor Davydenko, Shevchenko National University
White Stork censuses in 1931, 1987 and 2004 in Ukraine give a good data for comparison of their numbers. So in general it was recorded the decreasing of bird numbers between 1931 and 1987 years and increasing between 1987 and 2004. However, in different administrative districts there were different trends in both periods (increasing, decreasing and permanent numbers). So in compared censuses in 1931 and 1987 the decreasing was recorded in 64% of districts, increasing – in 32% and permanent numbers – in 4%. But in compared censuses in 1987 and 2004 the increasing of bird numbers was recorded in 75% of districts, decreasing – in 49% and permanent numbers – in 4% of total districts. Distribution of these districts where increasing, decreasing and permanent bird numbers were recorded is different in both periods. The positive attitude of the local people to White Stork is the same everywhere in Ukraine. Climate changes are characterized with uneven distribution of heat and moisture on large territories. So it could be the reason of such uneven trends of bird numbers changes.
P1.124   Population growth of the endangered damselfly, Mortonagrion hirosei in an artificially established habitat Teramoto,Y.*, Univ. of Tsukuba ; Watanabe,M, Univ. of Tsukuba
Habitats of red data book damselfly, Mortonagrion hirosei, were restricted in single dense reed communities established in estuaries. In Ise, the warm temperature zone of Japan, a reed community was artificially established by transplanting reed rhizomes adjacent to the tiny natural habitat in order to preserve to the local population of M. hirosei. In the first year of the establishment, a few M. hirosei adults immigrated to the margin of the new reed community, because both sexes have low flight activity throughout their live. Until 3 years after the establishment, adults had distributed whole area of the new reed community, resulting in increase of the yearly population size. Since no population increase was found in 2008 probably due to high density, the population size seemed to be saturated, showing the logistic growth. The relationship in the population size between the consecutive years indicated a traditional reproductive curve. Therefore, the increase of the immigrated population in the new habitat was under the density-dependent processes.
P1.125   Effects of different tropical forest restoration strategies on litterfall dynamics in southern Costa Rica Celentano, D*, Tropical Agricultural Center for Research and Higher Education (CATIE) ; Zahawi, RA, Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS); Finegan, B, Tropical Agricultural Center for Research and Higher Education (CATIE); Ostertag, R, University of Hawaii in Hilo; Cole, RJ, University of California in Santa Cruz; Holl, KD, University of California in Santa Cruz
Restoration strategies to facilitate tropical forest recovery may accelerate the reestablishment of nutrient cycling. We evaluated litterfall dynamics under four treatments: plantation (entire area planted), islands (planting in six patches of three sizes), control (natural regeneration), and young secondary forest (7 to 9 yrs). Treatments (plots of 50 × 50 m) were established in June 2004 at six replicate sites in Costa Rica. Planted species included two hardwoods (Terminalia amazonia and Vochysia guatemalensis) intercropped with two nitrogen-fixing (Inga edulis and Erythrina poeppigiana). Litter production recovered quickly under the two tropical restorations strategies studied as compared to areas under natural regeneration with same age. Litter production in the plantation plots was similar to young secondary forest. However, litter quality (measured by nutrient concentration and C to nutrient ratios) is greater in natural systems due to higher plant diversity, and it can influence forest restoration in the future. The dominance of litter from few species is not desirable for restoration practice once it determines nutrient availability and can negatively affect successional pathways. Accordingly, restoration strategies with more heterogeneous planting design as the islands may promote a faster increase in plant diversity and litter quality, and then accelerate the reestablishment of nutrient cycling.
P1.126   The Recovery of Forest Floor Invertebrate Communities and Ecological Processes Following Livestock Exclusion from Rural New Zealand Forest Fragments. Costall, JA*, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, New Zealand ; Death, RG, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, New Zealand
In New Zealand much of the remaining native forest exists as small, privately-owned fragments embedded in agricultural landscapes. In many regions, such as the central Waikato where <9% of original forest cover remains, even severely degraded forest fragments have high conservation value. Often the first restoration action taken is fencing to exclude livestock. Invertebrates are relevant indicators of forest fragment condition, as they contribute to many ecological processes such as litter decomposition, and provide a food resource for native birds. Despite their importance, there is little information regarding how invertebrates respond to fragmentation and livestock disturbance. We are examining how fragment area and edge effects influence forest floor invertebrate community composition and litter decomposition rates, in both grazed and ungrazed forest fragments, and the recovery of forest floor invertebrate communities following livestock exclusion. Our results show that grazed fragments have altered forest floor habitat and community composition. The abundance of several invertebrate orders, and ordinal diversity, increases significantly with time since fencing (0-48 years). Litter decomposition rates are influenced by fencing date, but are mostly affected by edge effects, with leaf and wood decomposition rates markedly slower at fragment edges. Fencing is a simple and highly effective restoration action for small fragments.
P1.127   How to use domestic large herbivores in restoring Europe’s threatened woodpasture landscapes on former intensively used agricultural land. Van Uytvanck, J*, Research Institute for Nature and Forest
Till the end of the nineteenth century woodpasture landscapes were the dominant landscape type in large parts of Europe. Now, only remnants are left of these small scaled mosaic landscapes with high conservation value. The decline was mainly due to the intensification of agricultural use. On the other hand, the abandonment of nutrient poor or poorly accessible areas resulted in spontaneous forest recovery. Our main questions were: (1) what processes, interacting with large herbivore grazing, enable establishment of tree seedlings? (2) what patterns develop on former pastures and arable land? (3) what grazing pressures and strategies should be used by managers to initiate and steer developing woodpasture landscapes? Using exclosure experiments, tree emergence experiments and survey studies in 20 grazed nature reserves in Belgium (W-Europe), we studied establishment, survival and growth patterns of tree species under different grazing regimes interacting with different structural vegetation types. Our results showed that woodlands regenerate below grazing pressure thresholds of 125 and 180 grazing days ha-1year-1 on grassland and former arable land, respectively. Lower grazing pressures allow the development of a variety of half open to closed forests within 100 years, given natural disturbances temporarily initiate tree regeneration and protective vegetation types provide safe sites for tree seedlings and saplings.
P1.128   Beetle responses to a large-scale restoration experiment Barton, PS*, Australian National University ; Manning, AD, Australian National University; Gibb, H, La Trobe University; Lindenmayer, DB, Australian National University; Cunningham, SA, CSIRO Entomology
We used a large-scale experiment to test the effects of two ecological restoration techniques, (1) reduced kangaroo grazing and (2) augmentation of coarse woody debris (CWD), on ground-dwelling beetles in an endangered woodland community, southeastern Australia. A significant increase in beetle species richness and biomass was detected in sites with reduced grazing levels, and this was most pronounced for herbivorous beetles. This response was accompanied by an increase in grass cover and grass height in reduced grazing treatments and indicates reduced grazing radically alters both resource availability and the structure of ground-dwelling beetle habitat. In the presence of high kangaroo grazing levels, the addition of CWD had a positive effect on beetle species richness and biomass in the immediate vicinity of the logs. Increasing structural complexity through augmentation of CWD therefore appears to have a mitigating effect on kangaroo grazing by acting as refuges from grazing and protecting small pockets of grass and increasing habitat heterogeneity. The longer-term consequences for ecosystem function are discussed.
P1.129   Restoration of boreal limestone barrens – what will success look like? Hermanutz, L*, Dept of Biology, Memorial University, St.John's NL ; Squires, SE, Dept of Biology, Memorial University, St.John's NL and NL Dept of Environment & Conservation, Wildlife Division, Corner Brook, NL; Pelley, D, Dept of Biology, Memorial University, St.John's NL; Nicholls, W, Botanical Garden, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL
Globally limestone habitats suffer a high rate of conversion associated with human use; yet few ecological restoration techniques are available. On the island of Newfoundland (Canada) limestone barrens are highly fragmented, treeless open ridges dominated by cold-soil processes. These northern limestone barrens are hotspots of native biodiversity harbouring 3 nationally listed endemic plant species (Braya longii, B. fernaldii, Salix jejuna) and many rare plant species but comprise <1% of the island’s area. The recovery strategies for these designated species include re-establishing species to their historical ranges, and restoring habitats degraded by quarrying. Anthropogenic disturbance includes small-scale ruts and trails made by motorised vehicles, and large-scale quarrying activity and human infrastructure. In situ establishment experiments indicate that planting seeds for braya and cuttings for willow best mimic natural recruitment. Reestablishment of historically documented sites has been carried out for braya and show that seeds germinate over a 2-3 year time frame and that once a seed emerges it has a high probability of survival over 7 years (31-100%). Willow cuttings planted into small-scale disturbances have high survival (>65%) over the short term, but compaction represents a significant challenge. The need to restore large-scale disturbances presents significant challenges including restoring natural hydrology, soil formation processes, and biological diversity.
P1.130   Resource Selection by the Canadian Toad at an Oil Sands Mine in Alberta, Canada Stevens, C*, Golder Associates Ltd. ; Leggo, S, Golder Associates Ltd.; De la Mare, C, Golder Associates Ltd.; Anderson, B, Suncor Energy Inc.
The Canadian Toad Bufo (Anaxyrus) hemiophrys, a species listed under Alberta’s Wildlife Act, is a valued ecosystem component in environmental impact statements (EISs) for proposed mining developments in the oil sands. A good understanding of habitat selection is fundamental to making accurate predictions for an EIS. Our objectives were to examine patterns of habitat selection using Resource Selection Functions (RSFs) and to test the prediction that Canadian Toads select reclaimed habitat during post-breeding movements at an oil sands mine. RSFs were based on radio-telemetry data collected on 16 toads in northeastern Alberta during 2005 and 2006 (599 used locations in total). Toads travelled at a maximum speed of 655 m/d and as far as 2000 m from the first capture location. We combined data on used and available locations with environmental information to build a suite of a priori models. Based on Information Theory, top models were those with habitat type and proximity to nearby resources (e.g., hibernacula) as covariates. RSFs indicated strong selection for open habitat types (including reclaimed areas and industrial clearings) over treed habitat. However, RSFs failed to show selection for reclaimed habitat over non-reclaimed, open habitat. Field observations suggested that herbaceous grassland cover with a dense deadfall layer provides important microhabitat for foraging and refugia. The Canadian Toad may be more of a habitat generalist than previously thought.
P1.131   IDENTIFICATION OF SUITABLE AREAS FOR REINTRODUCTION OF BISON (Bison bison) IN CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO Solis-Gracia, V*, Instituto de Ecologia-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ; List, R., Instituto de Ecologia-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
North American grasslands have suffered large transformations and species losses, including that of keystone species like bison (Bison bison), whose population was reduced to about 1000 individuals between 1830 and 1880. Today there are ca. 600,000 bison in segregated groups. However, 95% of them are managed as cattle for meat production and do not exert an ecological role similar that believed to have occurred prior to recent European impacts on North America’s grasslands. With this work we seek to contribute to the ecological recovery of bison in North America, specifically in Mexico, by identifying areas at the southern end of bison’s historic range where the species could be reintroduced as part of grassland restoration efforts. We are using data from aerial surveys of the only free ranging bison herd in Mexico, which roams in the border area between Janos, Chihuahua, Mexico and Hidalgo county, New Mexico, USA, and predictive models such as GARP and MAXENT to identify the most suitable sites for reintroduction in northwestern Mexico. Using WorldClim and slope and aspect layers we detected an area suitable for bison within the Janos Biosphere Reserve in Chihuahua. In November, a breeding group of genetically pure bison from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota was translocated to this area. We are analyzing more areas to identify suitable places where other bison populations can be established.
P1.132   Integrating local interests in land use planning for conservation in a changing environment a case study from the Upper Rhine Valley in Southwest Germany. Gärtner, Stefanie*, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada ; Reif, Albert, Institute of Silviculture, Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany; Nill, Michael, Forest Research Institute of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Freiburg, Germany; Prinz, Juliane, Institute for Ecosystem Research, Freiburg, Germany; Essmann, Hans, Institute for Forest and Environmental Policy, Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany
Our objective was to show how a public participatory approach and a decision support system can be used to improve the efficiency and transparency of decision making in land-use planning. A decline in ground water levels due to the canalization of the Rhine River has changed what was formerly flood-plain vegetation to xerothermic vegetation. Although these xerothermic sites are receiving costly conservation measures to prevent valuable species and habitat loss the measures cannot prevent ongoing succession. We identified the land use objectives with five stakeholder groups. Their objectives were defined as desirable landscape conditions through the use of criteria and indicators. The present condition of the landscape and the landscape conditions desired by the stakeholders were evaluated. This process revealed several land use conflicts. Based on these evaluation results three compromise variants were designed as possible development directions for the area. The results were discussed with the landowners and a trial treatment was applied. Within this project we have developed a concept showing how the traditional cultural landscape in the former alluvial sites of the upper Rhine valley can be transformed by improving habitat qualities. This could become a model for restoration practices in the region.
P1.133   Mechanisms of faunal recovery during forest regeneration and the conservation value of secondary forests: Atlantic forest small mammals as a model Pinotti, BT, University of São Paulo, Department of Zoology ; Pagotto, C., University of São Paulo, Department of Ecology; Pardini, R.*, University of São Paulo, Department of Zoology
Despite the regeneration of part of deforested areas in the tropics, old-growth forests are still being lost, leading to the secondarization of remaining forests. The impacts of such process are poorly known, and, as well as the value of secondary forests for conservation, remain the focus of much controversy. Regeneration apparently favors forest specialist animals while negatively affecting habitat generalists, but no conceptual model has been proposed to explain this pattern of faunal recovery. By sampling 27 sites in a continuous Atlantic forest area, we assessed the effects of regeneration, and of the structure of the forest floor and food availability, on the distribution of forest specialist and habitat generalist terrestrial small mammals. We found a decrease in generalist species accompanied by a more subtle increase in specialist species in old-growth areas, mainly explained by changes in food availability. These results are congruent with the successional niche mechanism, a trade-off between competitive ability and ability to use abundant resources: while habitat generalists benefit from increased productivity in younger forests, forest specialists are able to occupy old-growth areas where food is scarce. The less pronounced negative effect on specialist species compared to the proliferation of generalist species indicates the potential value of secondary forests for conservation, especially for the restoration of highly fragmented biomes as the Atlantic forest.
P1.134   Ants as Bioindicators of Rehabilitation Management Practices on the World's Second Largest Sand Island, North Stradbroke Island, Australia Williams, E. R.*, Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, The University of Queensland ; Erskine, P. E., Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, The University of Queensland; Mulligan, D. R., Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, The University of Queensland; Plowman, K. P., Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd
North Stradbroke Island, on the east coast of Australia, is the second largest sand island in the world. It has a multitude of vegetation types and a number of nationally threatened ecosystems. Additionally, several rare or vulnerable animal species inhabit the island. Despite this, 70% of the island is under sand mining lease and 20% of the island has been disturbed by mining operations. As required under Australian legislation, mined land is rehabilitated post-operation with remedial procedures to ensure that re-established ecosystems proceed towards specific completion criteria. Typically, biotic recovery is monitored solely by vegetation surveys. In this research, ants were used as bioindicators to assess management practices in mine-site rehabilitation. This research aimed at identifying whether the practices targeted at improving vegetation parameters caused a detrimental impact on another biotic component. Results indicate that the current vegetation management procedures employed on rehabilitated sites may only have a short-term impact on the ant fauna of North Stradbroke Island. It also suggests that these ant communities in the rehabilitation were relatively resilient to fires and clearing despite the overall community being in a recovery phase. Furthermore, ant communities did not precisely reflect vegetation response in this study, demonstrating that more than one biological indicator would be valuable in monitoring studies.
P1.135   How Do We Increase Restoration Success? Socio-economic Barriers to Maintenance and Monitoring of Cloud Forest Reforestation Programs Townsend, PA, University of Washington ; Groom, MJ*, University of Washington
To increase restoration success, we need firsthand knowledge of both ecological and socio-economic bottlenecks. This study seeks to identify socio-economic barriers to cloud forest restoration success in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Restoration practitioners put a lot of effort into germinating native tree seeds and planting the seedlings, usually with the help of volunteers. Although ~ 1 million trees have been planted in the past 20 years, no monitoring data have been taken to evaluate restoration success. How do we turn this enormous tree planting program, which is critical for regional conservation goals, into one that incorporates the practice of restoration science? We conducted interviews with 23 reforestation practitioners and landowners. Our goal was to find how reforestation on a large scale could be improved. Questions focused on the problems people encounter in maintaining planted trees and monitoring the trees survival and growth. Lack of time, money and knowledge were found to be common constraints. One potential solution, which is the focus on our on-going research, is assistance from local educators and students of semester-long sustainability or topical biology courses in providing both knowledge and labor for restoration practitioners.
P1.137   A future for Fender’s: restoring habitat for the endangered prairie butterfly, Icaricia icarioides fenderi Carleton, Alexa*, Washington State University Vancouver
Development, agriculture, and invasive species have claimed over 99.5% of the Willamette Valley’s prairie landscape. One alarming consequence is the decline of the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi) and its threatened host plant, Kincaid's lupine (Lupinus sulphureus kincaidii). This study evaluates the effectiveness of three restoration projects, initiated adjacent to existing habitat in 2001, 2005, and 2007, in assisting the recovery of a Fender’s blue population in Eugene, OR. In 2009, I assessed vegetation, butterfly, and egg distribution in native and restored habitat. The oldest restoration area (2001) provided less native nectar (22.6 mg/m2) than the more recent restoration areas (37.6 for 2005 and as much as 317.2 for 2007). However, it was visited by more butterflies: 0.018 individuals/m2 compared to 0.003 (2005) and 0.001 (2007). Comparable trends were seen for a variety of indices, including lupine density, egg density, and butterfly fecundity, such that older restorations had greater habitat value for Fender’s blue. As restoration areas mature, they will play a key role in Fender’s blue recovery. Results suggest that habitat quality improves with restoration age and that assessing a restoration’s impact requires long-term monitoring, at least 6-10 years. Given the rate of decline of Lepidopteran species, there is an urgent need to pursue restoration strategies that directly impact resource availability and in turn butterfly fecundity.
P1.138   Motivations and barriers for individuals promoting biodiversity in urban and rural areas of east-central Alberta, Canada Hvenegaard, GT*, University of Alberta ; Banack, SA, University of Alberta; Tremblay, CA, University of Alberta
The long-term success of many biodiversity conservation initiatives depends on the active involvement of willing participants, such as volunteers and landowners. In order to enhance their satisfaction and retention, the goal of this study was to determine and evaluate the motivations and barriers of participants who promote biodiversity. Using snowball sampling, we conducted semi-structured interviews with nine rural landowners and eleven urban Purple Martin landlords in east-central Alberta (13-60 minutes each). Participants promoted biodiversity in various ways, including maintaining bird nest boxes, direct seeding, rotational grazing, rotating crops, and reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Almost all participants wanted to engage in more biodiversity-friendly practices on their properties. Participants were motivated by moral or religious obligations, consideration of future generations, self-fulfillment, personal stimulation, recognition by peers, social interactions, interactions with wildlife, and, rarely, economics. However, landowners faced several barriers in promoting biodiversity, such as social ridicule and the lack of money, time, and knowledge. This study will help organizers manage volunteers or landowners involved in biodiversity conservation projects. Organizers of such programs can increase recruitment, satisfaction, and retention by addressing participants’ motivations and barriers, ultimately supporting long-term biodiversity conservation objectives.
P1.139   Use of Principal Components Analysis to Assess Cultural Models of Land Conservation Packard, J.M.*, Texas A&M University ; Weeks, P., Houston Advanced Research Center; Paolisso, M., University of Maryland, College Park; Srinivasan, M., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The goal of this mixed-mode study was a deeper understanding of the diverse ways that stakeholders use cultural knowledge to understand approaches to protect working landscapes that are a mosaic of private and public properties. We applied principal components analysis to data from a survey instrument designed to measure validity of cultural schemas associated with the construct of "land conservation." Survey questions were informed by in-depth qualitative interviews structured to identify the range of cultural beliefs and values that stakeholders express about diverse topics, such as land conservation, development, rural livelihoods, rural heritage, nature and community. We show how disparities between the two complementary analyses can help sharpen the cultural model approach, by stimulating a closer look at survey items that do not load as expected on principal components.
P1.140   Measuring illegal bushmeat hunting in the Serengeti: application of novel approaches Nuno, A.*, Imperial College of London, UK ; Bunnefeld, N., Imperial College of London, UK; Milner-Gulland, E.J., Imperial College of London, UK
The unsustainable use of wildlife resources poses a threat to biodiversity and to the livelihoods of those who depend upon it. To devise effective strategies for sustainable use, information is required on activities which are often illegal. Bushmeat has been identified as an important ecosystem service in Tanzania but, due to its mainly illegal nature in this area, information may lack accuracy. Previous studies have estimated the prevalence of illegal bushmeat hunters within the Serengeti ecosystem but conventional survey techniques intended to provide data on non-compliance may be inappropriate. Attempts to estimate its rate through direct survey techniques are expected to generate misleading and evasive responses. Using rule breaking among Serengeti households as a case study, this study aims to test a range of novel approaches to better understand illegal behaviour. The application of these indirect questioning techniques allows inferences to be drawn concerning the prevalence of hunting in communities surrounding a protected area. It also enables us to analyse the probability of hunting in different social groups and areas, and hence to target conservation interventions more effectively.
P1.141   Working with local culture to influence environmental behavior: pro-ecological Buddhist teachings in the Republic of Kalmykia, Russia Waylen, KA*, Macaulay Institute & Imperial College London ; Fischer, A, Macaulay Institute; McGowan, PJK, World Pheasant Association; Milner-Gulland, EJ, Imperial College London
The Republic of Kalmykia is the only Buddhist nation in Europe, and is undergoing cultural resurgence following the break-up of the Soviet Union. Its environmental problems include desertification, water shortage and poaching of its iconic species, the saiga antelope. An intervention which aimed to promote environmentally positive behaviors through pro-ecological Buddhist teachings was evaluated, by thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews. Those who had experienced the teachings were more likely to express pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors, by praying and cleaning their surroundings. The cause was a sense of individual agency fostered by the teachings. Other individuals had little sense of responsibility and felt a limited ability to influence environmental outcomes, even though they perceived the problems to be serious. Indeed, government was widely expected to control environmental problems, in accordance with the collectivist culture fostered by their Soviet past. In Kalmykia, linking environmental messages to Buddhist teachings may influence audiences otherwise uninterested in personally tackling environmental problems. However, as many expect government control and direction, top-down policies may be the best accepted and most effective way to tackle environmental problems. This highlights a general need for conservationists to understand human societies and local culture, and to avoid prescribing one-size-fits-all solutions.
P1.142   Vulnerability of forest-dependent communities to biodiversity conservation actions: The case of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Southern India WEBLER, THOMAS, SERI ; DAVIDAR, PRIYA, PONDICHERRY UNIVERSITY; SHOCKEY, INGRID*, WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INST; YOGANAND, K, A-TREE
In 2008 India’s Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary was upgraded to a Tiger Reserve. The entire Sanctuary (321 km2) was designated core habitat, meaning that all human habitation and extractive activity is prohibited. It is likely that portions of reserve forests adjoining Mudumalai will be designated “buffer zones,” meaning that human uses will be curtailed. Previous studies have documented that local residents rely a great deal on these reserve forests for subsistence and economic income. Consequently, they appear to be susceptible to impacts from these possible policy changes. We used rapid vulnerability assessment to document the stresses associated with regulatory change facing individuals in communities adjoining Mudumalai. The technique enables researchers to explicate how a stressor (in this case, regulatory change) impacts affected parties differently because of differing sensitivities to equivalent exposures and due to unequal capacity for adaptive actions. All impacts are not negative. The technique also allows us to investigate the possibility that new opportunities, such as enhanced eco-tourism, may create lasting benefits. We discuss how this information could be used by conservation managers interested in minimizing the negative impacts to livelihoods while still achieving their biodiversity conservation goals.
P1.143   Connecting people, connecting landscapes? Assessing the social agenda of connectivity conservation in Northern America and Australia Wyborn, C*, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
‘Connectivity conservation’ is gaining prominence around the world. Originating in response to habitat fragmentation and land use intensification, connectivity is increasingly framed within the discourse of climate change adaptation. These initiatives are shifting the players and perspectives involved in conservation management and show promise for facilitating integrated conservation management. At the heart of these initiatives is the motivation and ability of individuals, agencies and institutions to collaborate across multiple scales, land tenures and land uses. The challenge faced by bringing together players from across the public-private spectrum should not be understated as each organisation is constrained by their unique culture, objectives, values and for government, legislation. This challenge highlights the need for research into the social dimensions of connectivity initiatives. Drawing on existing theory, policy and practice, and recent qualitative social research (interviews and participant observation), this paper will place connectivity conservation within a social context. Areas for investigation include the relevance of prominent North American initiatives to Australian aspirations for connectivity, and the contested claim that connecting landscapes has both ecological and social benefits. Despite the promise offered by these initiatives, without serious consideration of the social dimensions of connectivity conservation their grand visions may remain an aspiration.
P1.144   Cheap and nasty? Global conservation prioritisation schemes based on cost data must consider governance and human rights McCreless, E*, University of California, Santa Cruz ; Visconti, P, James Cook University; Carwardine, J, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems; Smith, RJ, DICE, University of Kent
The financial cost of different conservation projects varies widely and it is vital to consider costs when prioritising projects. Recent work has modelled protected area management costs for a large number of countries, and these data have been used to identify where conservation funds would be best spent to maximise the return on investment. However, low management costs in some countries may correlate with other factors that influence conservation effectiveness and broader impacts. We found that membership of conservation NGOs tends to be lower in countries with low management costs, indicating a lack of civil society involvement. Therefore, conservation projects in these countries are likely driven by outside organisations and implemented by state agencies. This can have perverse outcomes in countries with poor governance or human rights records, which we found to be correlated with management cost at the country level. Poor governance and corruption can increase the financial cost and risk of failure for conservation projects, and disenfranchised citizens in some countries are less likely to be involved in conservation and thus less likely to support it. Our results suggest that decision-makers should take these socio-political factors into consideration when choosing where to work. It is important to account for the side effects of conservation policies on human well being, and to estimate the extra costs involved in ensuring that projects have strong local support.
P1.145   Use and Abuse of Conservation Concepts in Policy: “Keystone Species” and “Biodiversity Corridors” in Practice in the Greater Mekong Subregion McElwee, Pam*, Arizona State
Conservation science often uses concepts that can be taken to mean something very different in real-world conservation. A good example is the idea of ‘keystone species’, which in many conservation projects is simply taken to mean whatever species the funder is most interested in conserving, regardless of its functional role in the ecosystem. Yet the disjuncture between the scientific context in which a conservation concept is proposed and the way this concept gets translated on the ground has rarely been explored. Based on fieldwork in Vietnam near several important protected areas, as well as policy interviews with key figures in the government and conservation NGO community, I assess the way key ‘conservation concepts’, in particular the notions of keystone species and biodiversity corridors, circulate from journals to funding agencies to organizations down to project sites in forms that have little to do with the original science behind them. Through interviews, I have compiled very different ideas about what these concepts mean from people in government at different levels, local people near protected areas, and the international conservation community. In the end, these concepts have become little more than buzzwords and fads, with little common understanding of what they mean.
P1.146   Mapping and Monitoring of Native and Exotic Vegetation in Trans-Pecos, Texas Hernandez-Santin, L *, Natural Resource Management, Sul Ross State University, Box C-16, Alpine, Texas, 79832, USA ; Lemons, R, Natural Resource Management, Sul Ross State University, Box C-16, Alpine, Texas, 79832, USA; Harveson, PM, Natural Resource Management, Sul Ross State University, Box C-16, Alpine, Texas, 79832, USA; Warnock, BJ, Natural Resource Management, Sul Ross State University, Box C-16, Alpine, Texas, 79832, USA
Over the last century, many factors have influenced the hydrology of the Rio Grande Basin (RGB), with desertification and land-use change being the more influential. What used to be productive grasslands, savannahs, and woodlands have now changed to erodible shrublands with low grass production. Brush encroachment alters the ecosystem’s structure and function. Brush species are considered invasive in most grassland ecosystems because they consume more water than grasses and are less effective for water infiltration. Eventually, native grasslands succumb. This holds true for the fragile riparian habitats; for example, the Asian salt cedar (Tamarisk spp) has become a dominant element in the Rio Grande corridor. Landscape changes are difficult to quantify due to large temporal and spatial scales where vegetation and land-use changes are detectable. Thanks to remotely sensed data scientists are now able to quantify such alterations, providing essential information that aids the creation of better conservation and restoration strategies. The objective of this ongoing project is to evaluate vegetation changes in the RGB including native and exotic invasive vegetation. This project is divided in two parts: 1) vegetation mapping and 2) assessment of invasive brush encroachment. Vegetation mapping is possible through eCogniton software using satellite imagery, aerial photos, soil survey and ecological site maps. Historical analysis of invasive brush encroachment will be assessed by comparing historical satellite images to current images using soil/vegetation indices and change detection techniques.
P1.147   Intensive Exploitation of Amphibians by European Otter (Lutra lutra) and the Implications for Otter Conservation Pagacz, S*, Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza 64, 00-679 Warszawa, Poland ; Witczuk, J, Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza 64, 00-679 Warszawa, Poland; Gliwicz, J, Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza 64, 00-679 Warszawa, Poland
Otters, top predators of freshwater ecosystems, are food limited; thus, local species conservation plans should consider local food resources. We used scat analysis to assess seasonal changes in the diet of European otters inhabiting a mountain river in the Polish Carpathians (Bieszczady National Park). Although elsewhere in their range, otters feed mainly on fish, in our study area amphibians were equally important prey. Furthermore, in winter and spring, the frequency of occurrence of amphibians in scats (86% and 93% respectively) was significantly higher than that of fish (51% and 34%). In the fall, both prey groups were equally frequent (72%). Only in the summer were fish the staple diet of otters (90%), with amphibians present in 10% of scats. Three factors could explain seasonally high consumption of amphibians: i) fish availability might be temporally limited; ii) low water temperatures might increase the energetic cost of fishing in cold seasons, causing otters to minimize time in this activity; and iii) amphibians gathered in streams to spawn and hibernate constitute a readily accessible prey. This study raises the possibility that amphibian declines could negatively affect otters in cold, mountainous regions. The phenomenon of intensive otter predation on amphibians warrants further study.
P1.148   The Global Patterns and Governance Issues Associated with Human Consumption of Marine Mammal Products Robards, M.D.*, U.S. Marine Mammal Commission ; Reeves, R.R., Okapi Wildlife Associates
The consumption of marine mammal products drives tense global struggles over conservation, rights, and values. Since 1990, people in at least 106 countries have consumed the products of approximately 80 species of marine mammals. Most such consumption is poorly regulated, if regulated at all. Geographic remoteness and the migratory behavior and highly mobile character of most exploited marine mammals present both theoretical and practical challenges to ensuring that any use is sustainable. In seeking insights to inform governance institutions that better accomplish conservation goals, we first describe three broad categories of marine mammal procurement – Targeted, Non-Targeted, and Opportunistic. After assigning consumption patterns to these three categories, we focus on regions where consumption is related to food or economic security. Here, the transition from opportunistic or non-targeted to targeted procurement is contributing to what Read (2008) called a “looming crisis,” a crisis requiring approaches to conservation that transcend a marine mammal-centric view of governance. Our results reinforce lessons learned for terrestrial harvests of wild meats, i.e. both the ecological needs of marine mammals and the local socio-cultural needs of people must be incorporated into governance institutions. This requires closer attention to why people might cooperate to both meet local human needs and accomplish global conservation goals, despite differences in worldviews.
P1.149   Integrated priority areas for fuel treatments in the western United States Csuti, B*, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 ; Morzillo, AT, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State Univeristy, Corvallis, OR 97331; Hemstrom, MA, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Portland, OR 97208-3890; Ekman, LM, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Portland, OR 97208-3890; Wales, BC, USDA Forest Service
A century of fire suppression has resulted in build-ups of dense vegetation (i.e., fuel) on millions of acres of forestland in the western United States. Many of these forests may benefit from fuel reduction treatments such as mechanical thinning or prescribed fire. Possible benefits of fuel reduction treatments include improving forest health and resiliency, restoring certain types of wildlife habitat, and reducing the risk of uncharacteristically intense wildfire. Fuel reduction treatments, however, are often undertaken with a piecemeal approach that fails to consider other forestland management objectives over broader landscape and temporal scales. Our objective is to compare different forestland management approaches and evaluate how each might influence future fuel conditions, key wildlife habitats, natural disturbance regimes, and economic potentials of forests and woodlands in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. Our analysis builds on VDDT (the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool), a modeling approach currently used in the study area. Results will be summarized to watersheds (5th code hydrologic units), ownership classes, land allocations, and biophysical environments. Results from regional studies using this methodology in northeast Oregon provide direction for changes in forestland management practices that may restore forest characteristics to those found under natural disturbance regimes.
P1.150   Roadkills and inhibition to cross road by mammals in an isolated forest in the western Andes of Colombia Vargas-Salinas, F JA*, University of los Andes ; Lopez-Aranda, F, Universidad del Valle
Roads can produce fragmentation of animal populations because they impose barriers difficult to overcome, inclusive for vertebrates with considerable mobility. In spite of this conservation concern, published studies about fragmentation on animal populations due to roads are almost inexistent in Neotropics. Along six months (February-July of 2006) we studied the mortality of vertebrates due to vehicular casualties in a segment of 2.4-Km of the Buga-Buenaventura highway, which crosses a protected fragment of sub-Andean forest in Western Andes of Colombia. Also, we established 38 Shermann traps, for marking and recapturing small mammals to monitoring movements by individuals. We recorded 49 dead vertebrates on the road, 13 of them were medium-large mammals (e.g. opossum Didelphis marsupialis). We marked and released 170 individuals of five species of small mice (Melanomys caliginosus, Oryzomys talamancae, Rhipidomys mastacalis, R. cf latimanus, Heteromys australis), and one small opossum (Marmosa robinsoni). Results indicated that small, but not medium-large mammals, exhibited inhibition to cross the highway. If small mammal species of edge forest and disturbed areas, such as those recorded in this study, exhibited inhibition to cross the road, it is expected a stronger effect in species of forest interior.
P1.151   Ecosystem change under cumulative stress and disturbance: Vulnerability of whitebark pine ecosystems in NW British Columbia Clason, A.*, University of Alberta, Bulkley Valley Research Centre ; Macdonald, S.E., University of Alberta; Haeussler, S., Bulkley Valley Research Centre
The response of forest communities to multiple disturbances may indicate the resilience of a system to change. Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is currently listed as a threatened species due to its exposure to ongoing stresses and disturbances. We examined P. albicaulis ecosystems at the northern edge of its range in the Coastal mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Study sites surveyed in the 1970/80’s were re-visited in 2007/09 to quantify changes in overstory and understory vegetation over this time period. Trends in two P. albicaulis ecosystem types (‘Moderately dry/poor’ and ‘Dry/poor’) were compared to a reference (‘Fresh/medium’) non-whitebark pine ecosystem. Results indicate a shift in the overstory of ‘Dry/poor’ whitebark pine ecosystems towards a composition more similar to ‘Fresh/medium’ ecosystems over time, while the understory did not change. The overstory in ‘Moderately dry/poor’ ecosystems had not changed significantly, but understory composition became more variable over time. P. albicaulis continues to regenerate in both whitebark pine ecosystems, however it constitutes a significantly higher proportion of regeneration in ‘Dry/poor’ ecosystems. The persistence of disturbance agents and stressors targeting P. albicaulis will further decrease its’ abundance in the future and continue to threaten these rare ecosystems. Our conclusions indicate that restoration efforts for P. albicaulis in this study area should be focused in ‘Dry/poor’ ecosystems.
P1.152   Assessing the Impact of Fire Frequency, Severity and Topography on Hollow Occurrence in Trees and Coarse Woody Debris Collins, L*, University of Wollongong
Urbanisation has drastically altered the ecology of temperate eucalypt forests of eastern Australia. Anthropogenic pressures stemming from urban areas have resulted in an increase in sources of planned and unplanned fire, leading to increased fire occurrence. Frequent fire has the potential to alter biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems, although impacts may vary spatially due to underlying topographic influence on fire severity. This study examined the effect that fire frequency, severity and topography have on the presence and abundance of hollows in fallen coarse woody debris (CWD) and standing trees, an important resource for many species of fauna. A total of 684 logs and 585 trees were randomly selected across 30 sites, stratified by fire frequency and topographic position (gully, ridge). Fire frequency was categorised as ≤2 (low) or ≥4 (high) fires over a 26 year period. Generalised linear mixed models were used to analyse data. Results indicate that hollow occurrence in CWD was greater in the low fire frequency treatment. Fire frequency had no effect on hollow occurrence in trees, while increasing fire severity had a negative effect. The impact of fire frequency did not vary with topographic position. Models indicate that size and condition of CWD and trees were more influential drivers of hollow occurrence than fire. Expected changes to fire regimes may lead to a decline in hollow availability, potentially having adverse effects on biodiversity.
P1.153   Caribou reactions to human infrastructure and activity in Newfoundland, Canada: Potential cumulative and interactive effects Weir, Jackie N., Department of Environment & Conservation, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada ; Soulliere, C.E. , Department of Environment & Conservation, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada; Gullage, Steve, Department of Environment & Conservation, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada; Mahoney, Shane P.*, Department of Environment & Conservation, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada
Anthropogenic changes to the landscape have long been known to affect caribou (Rangifer tarandus) populations throughout their range. Since the 1970s, several studies have been conducted in Newfoundland, Canada, to assess the effects of such changes on the insular woodland caribou. Newfoundland caribou show an avoidance of infrastructure and activity associated with resource extraction and direct human disturbance. Resource extraction reduces caribou habitat directly by removing it or altering its composition and displaces caribou 3-9 km beyond the footprint of development and may induce changes to the timing of seasonal migrations. In some cases these effects persist for multiple years after infrastructure construction ceases. Direct disturbance through human encounter induces a flight response; snowmobile disturbance induces a flight of 60-237 m, pedestrian disturbance in summer induces a flight response of 50-135 m. All avoidance and flight responses have energetic consequences for caribou, potentially influencing productivity, survival and recruitment. Cumulative and interactive effects energy expenditures, degradation of habitat and functional habitat loss are expected as Newfoundland’s interior resources are subject to increasing interest following the drastic and prolonged reduction in coastal resource industries.
P1.154   Biodiversity facing direct and indirect human induced disturbances. Lorrilliere, R*, MNHN CNRS UMR 7204 ; Couvet, D, MNHN CNRS UMR 7204 ; Robert, A, MNHN CNRS UMR 7204
Human activities are expected to results in a diversity of directional or stochastic disturbances, affecting species either directly or through an effect on their resources. Yet there is no theoretical framework to predict the complex and various effects of these disturbances on communities. We developed a dynamic model that mimics the use of different types of resources by a community of interacting species. We investigated the effects of different types of environmental perturbations (affecting either the growth of species or the availability of resources) on several biodiversity indicators. Our results indicated that (i) in realistic community models (assuming uneven resource requirements among species) the effects of perturbations are strongly buffered as compared with neutral models; (ii) intermediate levels of disturbance are expected to improve community species richness, confirming previous theoretical findings. However, functional community characteristic may be strongly affected by directional or stochastic disturbances; (iii) an increase of the environmental (e.g., climatic) variance may have contrasting effects on community biomass and species richness. Overall, the model may help the interpretation of biodiversity metrics in communities facing disturbances and seriously questions the used of neutral models in biodiversity assessments.
P1.155   Science drives management of Braya on the Limestone Barrens Squires, S.E.*, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ; Hermanutz, L., Memorial University of Newfoundland; Dixon, P.L., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Newfoundland and Labrador Endangered Species Act was established to protect species at risk. For each listed species, such as Braya longii (endangered) and B. fernaldii (threatened) a recovery team is established. The Limestone Barrens Species-at-Risk Recovery Team is composed of scientists, government managers, community and industry members, and students. Comprehensive teams are essential in ensuring the best scientific data is collected and used in management decisions. The LBSARRT, established in 1998, ensured that the definition of Braya critical habitat and stewardship priorities are based on scientific evaluation. Recent management concerns surround the mitigation of Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth) infestation and three pathogenic threats. Demographic data recorded annually (1998-2006) in 13 Braya populations on undisturbed and anthropogenically degraded habitats and summarized into deterministic projection suggest severe Braya declines. Management options were explored by adjusting Braya survival rates to mimic the absence of pests. Populations on degraded habitats were most improved by the removal of pathogens; where as populations on undisturbed habitats were most improved by the removal of P. xylostella. Reductions in pest abundance, restoration of degraded habitats, and Braya introductions into undisturbed, unoccupied habitat will improve Braya viability. This research has allowed managers to set biological significant priorities in mitigation plans.
P1.156   Impacts of mountain bike trails on red squirrel populations (Sciurus vulgaris) in Northern England Lowney, A.*, University of Cumbria ; Nevin, O., University of Cumbria
The increase in tourism and recreational activities potentially add to the already increasing pressure on endangered and vulnerable wildlife. Impacts on wildlife caused by these increasing popular pursuits are however poorly understood. However it is thought to have damaging effects on species that can lead to a decline in local population numbers and even species richness. I tested the effect of two recently opened mountain bike trails on the abundance of the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), whose numbers have rapidly declined throughout Britain. Surveys were undertaken using distance sampling methods. These followed transects carried out during 2007 prior to the construction of the mountain bike trails. Data gathered was used to compare squirrel abundance with trail usage, habitat typology and population abundances from previous years. Habitat typology was the principle determinant of red squirrel abundance. The presence of mountain bike trails had a strong negative impact on the abundance of red squirrels. The negative impacts created by mountain bike trails could be alleviated by careful selection of trail sites due to habitat types. Leaving areas that provide refugees for red squirrels such as Larch (Larix deciduas) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).
P1.157   Impact of Agriculture Development on Status of Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus in Central Asia Kashkarov, R.D.*, National Uzbekistan University, Tashkent, Uzbekistan ; Kreuzberg, E.A., Geomatic and Landscape ecology Laboratory, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; Marmazinskaya, N.V., Samarkand Museum of Nature, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Eight subspecies of Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus, historically found in river gallery forests in Central Asia, provided the valuable hunting resource for local needs. Sharp decline of species populations in the region, observed in 1960s – 1970s, was resulted by loss of natural habitats followed to development of cotton monoculture, over-exploitation and natural periodic fluctuations. Cotton production led to over-consumption of water- resources from rivers and to destruction of riparian forests. However, cultivation of new agricultural fields created additional supplementary habitats, where the primary numbers of pheasants were insignificant due to poor life conditions and high application of pesticides for crop production. Spring point count of displaying males and fall count of youth gain give the more precise assessment of population trends. Permanent monitoring of pheasant in hunting concessions and wildlife surveys, conducted in Uzbekistan, detected increasing of its numbers from early 1990s and its dispersal through agricultural zones, provided them new habitats. Dispersal of pheasant across such zones must lead to hybridization between different subspecies and loss of their unique morphological traits. Without any doubts, that this process needs more attention and should be studied in view of genetic diversity and adaptation of wild subspecies to agricultural landscapes.
P1.158   Cumulative human impacts on regional scale boreal vascular plant biodiversity and community structure MAYOR, S.J.*, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta ; Boutin, S., Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta; He, F., Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta
In northern Alberta, expansion of energy sector, forestry, agricultural, and urban land uses are rapidly altering the boreal ecoregion at an unprecedented scale and intensity. How are ecological communities responding to these landscape changes? We conducted large scale (1 ha) timed field surveys of vascular plant occupancy and abundance throughout Alberta’s boreal ecoregion (380 000 km2). Human impacts were investigated at three scales (1 ha, 18 km2, 400 km2) on a continuum of 0 - 100% land alteration. We analyzed species diversity (α), turnover (β), occupancy-rank relationships, species-abundance distributions, species-area relationships, and community specialization in concert to assess community structure. At intermediate disturbances, diversity was higher than in intact landscapes, but specialists were rarer and the community was dominated by fewer species. At heavy disturbances, communities were more homogeneous, harboured fewer species with more varied abundances, occupied by more common and generalist species while specialists and rare species were rarer. These differences suggest a broad, fundamental shift in community organization with anthropogenic disturbance concealed by richness alone. The scales at which disturbance influenced biodiversity revealed the mechanisms behind community change: extensive regional scale disturbance altered local diversity patterns by increasing isolation, while extensive local disturbance altered diversity by environmental filtering.
P1.159   The Effects of Natural and Anthropogenic Forest Disturbance on Bats of the Southwestern Yukon Randall, LA*, University of Calgary ; Barclay, RMR, University of Calgary; Reid, ML, University of Calgary; Jung, TS, Yukon Department of Environment
Natural and anthropogenic sources of forest disturbance affect the habitat use of bats. Using Anabat II bat detectors we investigated the effects a recent infestation of spruce beetles (Dendroctonous rufipennis), forest fire, and logging, on the habitat use of bats (Myotis lucifugus) in the southwestern Yukon. In general, bat activity was greater in beetle-affected forests, less in burned, and least in logged forests, but this depended on proximity to water and time of year. This pattern may be explained by increased predation risk in open areas near solstice or roost abundance, but could not be explained by temperature, wind speed, avoidance of clutter or insect abundance. In beetle-affected forests, bat activity was not significantly affected by density of dead trees, canopy closure, or time of year. However, bat activity was inversely related to tree density which may imply that the eventual thinning of trees caused by tree mortality may benefit bats.
P1.160   The Effects of Artificial Night Lighting on the Nocturnal Activity of the Terrestrial Red-backed Salamander, Plethodon cinereus Rohacek, Alex*, Utica College ; Buchanan, Bryant, Utica College; Wise, Sharon, Utica College
As human development encroaches into natural habitats, artificial night lighting increasingly becomes an additional stressor for wildlife. Nocturnal animals are especially vulnerable to artificial night lighting (ANL), as physiology and behavior of these species has evolved in dark nocturnal environments. Studies exposing amphibians to constant bright light provide evidence for changes to normal metabolism, growth, and behavior, but few of these studies have used treatments of ANL comparable to that found in affected habitats. We examined the effect of ANL on the nocturnal activity of the terrestrial Red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus. Previous work using transects in a forested habitat found that salamanders emerged from under cover objects later when exposed to ANL than under natural dark conditions. In a controlled laboratory setting, we exposed salamanders (N = 16) to nocturnal illuminations of 1 lx, 10-2lx, or 10-4lx in a repeated-measures design: each salamander was exposed to each illumination for 10 d, and then the behavior of the salamander was observed using infrared cameras for one night. We predicted that salamanders would delay emergence and exhibit less activity under higher nocturnal light levels than under lower light levels. Based on the results of this study and previous research, salamanders delay emergence when subjected to ANL, suggesting a negative impact of ANL on time available for foraging and breeding.
P1.161   Boreal Forest Logging Affects the Bumble Bee-Flower Relationships in Adjacent Unlogged Stands Pengelly, CJ, University of Calgary ; Cartar, RV*, University of Calgary
Boreal forests face mounting logging pressures, yet we know little about impacts of logging on the pollination community. This study extends research done one year before and after logging, to consider its longer-term effects. We censused bumble bee and flower communities 8-9 years after experimental logging. Harvest treatments left 0%, 10-20%, 50-75%, or 100% of the original trees after logging. Bumble bees in low retention treatments (i.e., 0% and 10-20% of trees remaining) were in an ideal free distribution (IFD) with their floral resources, which implies equal per-flower rate of visitation, regardless of local flower density. Bees in high retention areas (i.e., 50-75% trees remaining) were in an IFD when resources were quantified as flower abundance, but deviated from an IFD by “undermatching” (i.e., too few bees in the best patches, too many in the poorest ones) when resources were quantified as nectar production rate. Bees in unlogged forests adjacent to logged forest deviated from an IFD by undermatching. Unlogged forest appears to be negatively affected by the presence of logging in adjacent forests, in that numerical responses of bees to flowers are altered, with implications for bee foraging success and plant pollination service. Forest reserves should therefore incorporate buffer zones when adjacent to logged forest, to preserve the bee-influenced pollination community inter-relationships.
P1.162   New notes on the biology of the Mottled-face Tamarin in the Colombian Amazon Castillo-Ayala, C*, Conservation International Colombia ; Palacios, E, Conservation International Colombia
Saguinus inustus (Schwartz, 1951) is a poorly studied Neotropical primate which is known for its adaptability to slightly disturbed habitats. This species is frequently found in areas of secondary forest around indigenous settlements and consequently is commonly used as a pet. Due to the increasing human population and the expansion of areas for swidden agriculture within its distribution range, there is a need to understand how these habitat changes are affecting the mottled-faced tamarin populations. To contribute to the knowledge of the biology and population status of this species, behavioral observations of a group of S. inustus and censuses by the line transect method were carried out to estimate the density of S. inustus around two native settlements located in the Colombian Amazon. Results showed that this species used differently proportions of primary and secondary forests suggesting that this use depends on habitat preferences and resource offer patterns. This is the first density estimation of the mottled-face tamarin and with the new observations presented here this is a starting point for the understanding of the ecology of the species in order to formulate appropriate conservation strategies in areas with high levels of habitat transformation.
P1.163   Role of woody vines in determining abundance and movement of small mammals in a logged Bolivian forest Stoddard, MA*, University of Florida
Woody vines maintain connectivity in logged forests for small mammals and are necessary for meeting their needs for foraging, dispersal, and refugia. I evaluated the importance of vines and vine tangles for terrestrial and arboreal small mammals in a transitional Amazonian forest in eastern Bolivia. Based on captures in sites representing a range of logging disturbance, I compared the abundance of animals with the availability of food (invertebrates and fruit) and vine density, followed movements of individuals using spool and line to determine whether vines are selectively used as substrates, and used giving up densities to determine if vine tangles serve as refugia by comparing foraging intensity under vine tangles and in open areas. Preliminary results suggest that animal abundance and diversity are positively associated with an intermediate density of vines even though these sites do not correspond with those with high insect abundance. However, vines do not explain differences in abundance and distribution of animal species and were not selectively used as movement substrate. Finally, small mammals foraged more beneath vine tangles than in other sites, suggesting tangles play an important role as refugia for some species. These results help identify ecological mechanisms that explain the structure of the small mammal community in forests disturbed by logging.
P1.164   First to Go or Last to Show? Comparing Turnover Rates of Multiple Taxa in Response to Human Disturbance Haughland, Diane*, University of Alberta ; Boutin, Stan, University of Alberta; Bayne, Erin, University of Alberta
Predicting which components of biotic communities are lost first in response to human-caused habitat loss is vital in conservation and land management, however, we lack data on how species turnover rates compare between taxa. To address this deficit for the boreal forest of Alberta, we compare the community structure of five taxa (vascular plants, lichen, moss, birds and soil mites) at pristine sites to sites with increasing amounts of disturbance. Rapid, standardized survey methods were used to measure occurrence and relative abundance, and turnover rates were calculated using distance/similarity metrics. Over 85% of the samples were collected from sites within a systematic provincial grid monitored by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute; the remaining 15% were chosen to supplement the human disturbance gradients. In addition to comparing the sensitivity of different taxa to disturbance, we address whether rare species exhibit greater turnover than common species. This is an important extension of the categorical comparisons and limited taxonomic depth of most disturbance studies. In addition, recent research has focused on defining critical thresholds for individual species. Our analyses extend threshold theory into potentially a more powerful direction, where there is more information on the trajectories of altered communities that managers can use to define biologically-informed targets.
P1.165   Biogas plants promote forest conservation in India Agoramoorthy, G*, College of Environmental Sciences, Tajen University, Yanpu, Pingtung 907, Taiwan ; Hsu, MJ, Department of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan
Over 80% of the total energy consumed in rural India comes from biomass fuels such as firewood, crop residues and livestock dung. This paper presents data on household biogas plants successfully established in remote tribal villages of western India with an emphasis on their impact in enhancing local ecology. Between January and June 2007, 125 biogas plants in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh States were visited to record data on their impact on the local ecology and community. The annual average use of firewood was 638.3 kg/household, which dropped drastically from 1,048.9 kg before launching the biogas plants to 410.6 kg afterwards. An annual total of 79.8 tons of firewood from the forest was saved by the 125 households, which showed the enormous potential of household biogas plants in relieving ecological stress in forest areas of rural India. Similarly, the usage of kerosene (from an average of 120.7 to 46.3 l/year) and chemical fertilizer (from an average of 472.2 kg/year to 235.5 kg/year) was also drastically reduced after the launch of the biogas plants. Therefore the eco-friendly biogas technology deserves serious attention.
P1.166   Usefulness of coarse grain data on forest management to improve habitat suitability models for interior forest birds Massimino, D*, University of Milano-Bicocca ; Orioli, V, University of Milano-Bicocca; Bani, L, University of Milano-Bicocca
We tested the use of coarse grain data on forest management systems to improve habitat suitability models for five broadleaf forest birds: the long-tailed tit Aegithalos caudatus, marsh tit Poecile palustris, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, wood nuthatch Sitta europaea and short-toed tree-creeper Certhia brachydactyla. All species except the long-tailed tit are cavity nesters. Bird data were extracted from a database of 4552 point counts performed between 1992 and 2002 in Lombardy (Italy). We used Generalized Linear Models to assess habitat suitability for each species. Environmental predictors were land-use fractional covers, elevation, slope, aspect, forest isolation, and coarse grain data on forest management systems aggregated for administrative provinces. They were selected by a stepwise procedure using the Bayesian Information Criterion. Variables describing the forest management system at provincial scale resulted important for the cavity-nesting species, while they were discarded from the model of the long-tailed tit. This supports the hypothesis that data on forest management, although coarse grained, are useful to improve habitat models for structure-sensitive species, whose abundance is strongly affected by silvicultural practices. The results should be taken into account by forest managers, considering that Europe is still losing ecologically high-quality forests, although the overall forested area has increased in the last decades.
P1.167   Cavity-nest site selection by Syrian woodpecker(Dendrocopos syriacus) in Yazd province, Iran Aghanajafi,Sh*, Department of Environment, Islamic Azad University, Maybod branch ; Hemami, M.R, Depatment of Environment, Isfahan University of Technology, Iran; Heydari, F, Department of Environment, Khatam province, Iran
The Syrian Woodpecker is a resident breeding bird from southeastern Europe east to Iran. We studied tree features influencing cavity-nest site selection by this species in an forest oasis in semi-arid central Iran. Habitat features of the detected cavity-nests were compared with randomly selected control trees by quantifying a number of habitat variables including height, diameter and canopy cover of the selected trees. All the nests have been selected on pistachio (Pistachia atlantica) trees, while other tree species such as Amygdalus scoparia and Acer cinerascens have not been chosen. The most important factors influencing cavity-nest selection was tree species and the diameter of trees. The mean tree diameter at base of 40 selected pistachio trees by Syrian woodpecker was 7.2 cm + 1.16 SD, which was significantly larger (P <0.05) than that of control pistachio trees Pistachiaatlantica. The canopy cover of the selected trees was also significantly higher compared with the control trees. Conservation of the pistachio forest particularly those at their latest successional stages, could help in retaining the populations of Syrian Woodpecker in semi-arid areas of central Iran. Keyword: Syrian wood pecker, Cavity-nest site selection, Yazd, Iran
P1.168   Biological traits of boreal bryophytes reveal the species most susceptible to habitat change after partial forest harvest Caners, RT*, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta ; Macdonald, SE, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta; Belland, RJ, Department of Renewable Resources / Devonian Botanic Garden, University of Alberta
Mosses and liverworts (bryophytes) contribute to the plant diversity and function of boreal forests but are susceptible to changes in habitat conditions after forest harvesting. We examined how different levels of partial harvesting affected the persistence of species with differing traits. Bryophytes were intensively sampled in 24 forest stands (each 10 ha) five to six years after application of 10, 50, and 75% dispersed green-tree retention harvesting (unharvested stands as controls), in forests with contrasting abundances of broadleaf and coniferous canopy trees. Both retention level and forest type affected the composition and diversity of bryophytes, with the strongest predictor of bryophyte response being forest moisture. Liverworts and bryophyte species that preferentially colonize decayed wood and tree bark were more negatively affected than mosses and species with other habitat preferences. Species with infrequent sporophyte production, larger spores, dioicous sexuality, and which require greater moisture and shade were less abundant in the lower retention treatments and may also have more limited capacities to reestablish after harvesting. Assessment of bryophyte traits provides novel insight into the species most susceptible to changes in habitat conditions after partial harvesting, and helps to identify species that require careful consideration of alternative management practices for their conservation.
P1.169   Viability, Management and Threats an approach to measure Effective conservation in the Amazon Reinaldo Lourival*, The Nature Conservancy ; Jerome Touval, The Nature Conservancy ; Lucyana Barros, The Nature Conservancy ; Leonardo Sotomayor, The Nature Conservancy ; Marcelo Matsumoto, The Nature Conservancy
Protected areas and indigenous lands already declared in the Amazon, are covering approximately 333 million hectares (± 53, 7% of the area evaluated), their level of implementation is extremely variable. We evaluated the hectarage of 204 different ecological systems (Natureserve, 2008) in regards to their viability, threat levels and coupled this information the efforts governments and communities are devoting to effective management (i.e. planning, governance and resources). We focused the analysis on both, the representation of terrestrial ecological systems that naturally occur in Amazon basin and how effectively managed they are, on these reserves and communal lands. We found that 40% (83) of ecosystems captured by reserves can be considered to reach a 10% threshold for effectively conserved area, using the VMT scoring system. The effectiveness is lower in areas considered under higher risk of climate change and human disturbance, mostly in eastern Amazon at the “Brazilian deforestation arch” and at the foothills of the Andes, the Tepuyes in Venezuela and Beni savannas in Bolivia.
P1.170   Quantifying the extent of edge effects on mid-altitude humid forest structure of southeastern Madagascar using spatially explicit techniques. Wilson, KT*, University of Toronto ; Lehman, SM, University of Toronto
Modern forest landscapes are characterized by fragments where edges are the norm. This is particularly evident in Madagascar as it has lost 80-90% of its original vegetative cover and the remaining forest is highly fragmented. Edge effects penetrate the forest to varying degrees resulting in ecological boundaries. The composition of boundaries may not resemble that of either the interior or the edge environment, altering the flows of energy and affecting species distributions. Moving split-window and lattice-wombling are spatially explicit techniques that are reliable in their detection of boundaries. These methods were applied to dendrometric data collected from mid-altitude humid forest in southeastern Madagascar. The two methods provided comparable results. The edge influenced the interior forest from 300-m up to 900-m and produced gradual and sharp boundaries. The orientation and type of edge as well as the inclination of the terrain contribute to the depth at which the edge environment penetrates the interior, as well as the resulting type of boundary created. This study has important implications to the management of the remaining forests of Madagascar as conservation efforts may be tailored depending on the structure of the edge environment and the degree to which it penetrates the forest interior.
P1.171   Shelterwood harvests provide suitable habitat for canopy-nesting songbirds Newell, FL*, Ohio State University ; Rodewald, AD, Ohio State University
Forest management efforts such as shelterwood harvesting aim to replicate historical disturbance regimes and promote oak regeneration. We evaluated the short-term response of canopy songbirds to opening of the forest canopy through removal of fifty percent of the overstory trees. From 2007–2009 we studied settlement, abundance, and reproductive success for a guild of five sensitive canopy songbirds in shelterwood stands 1–4 years post-harvesting and mature second-growth forest in Ohio, USA. Although densities of canopy songbirds were slightly higher in shelterwood stands, similar patterns in settlement suggested that there were no strong preferences for stand type. Daily nest survival rates (>700 nests) varied among species but did not differ between harvested and unharvested stands. Our data suggest that shelterwood harvests containing abundant overstory trees can provide suitable nesting habitat for canopy songbirds. We caution that the long-term responses of birds to partial harvesting may differ from those documented here while management for oak regeneration will typically remove all overstory trees later in the cutting cycle.
P1.172   Seismic line recovery: implications for animal movement and weed invasion in the boreal forest in Alberta, Canada. Maxcy, K.A., Fiera Biological Consulting ; Litke, J.L.*, Fiera Biological Consulting
Seismic lines created during oil and gas exploration are a pervasive feature in northeastern Alberta. Low impact seismic (LIS) line technology is being implemented with increasing frequency in an effort to minimize impacts to biodiversity. However, it is unknown to what extent LIS mitigate negative impacts compared to wider conventional seismic (CS) lines. Therefore, we investigated the effects of seismic line type and line age on the presence of game trails and the occurrence of invasive species. Seismic lines appear to facilitate the movement of large mammals as indicated by the presence of game trails; further, these trails become persistent features in the landbase regardless of line type or age. For invasive species, species richness and abundance was highest on young seismic lines, regardless of line type, but declined with age. In addition, upland forest types (aspen and white spruce) were much more susceptible to invasive species establishment compared to lowland forests types (bogs and fens). Overall, results of this study suggest that LIS, while having a smaller footprint compared to CS, are functioning as movement corridors for both mammals and invasive species. The long term ecological significance of these results is unknown; however, a precautionary approach in which the seismic line footprint is minimized, and management strategies enhancing seismic line recovery are required to minimize impacts to biodiversity in northeastern Alberta.
P1.173   Competition for nesting place between arboricol small rodents and hole nesting birds Kozák, L.*, University of Debrecen, Department of Nature Conservation Zoology and Game Management ; Juhász, L, University of Debrecen, Department of Nature Conservation Zoology and Game Management; Gyüre, P., University of Debrecen, Department of Nature Conservation Zoology and Game Management
Since 2006 we organize the dormouse monitoring program of Hortobágy National Park. In connection with this work we have been tested the efficiency of two type of nesting boxes (plastic tube and wood made box) and we have been analyzed the competition for nesting place among dormice, forest mice and hole nesting birds. In our sample area (deciduous forest) there are living one dormouse species (Muscardinus avellanarius), two arboricol forest mice species (Apodemus sylvaticus and A. flavicollis) and several hole nesting bird species (potential nesting species in this size of boxes are the tits (Parus caeruleus and P. major). Our data show that the plastic tube are suitable for Muscardinus monitoring because forest mice or birds are used this tubes only in 10% of occupied tubes and they do it only in the young area of the forest where natural holes do not exist. The preference of wood made boxes also by dormice is significant but they used the tubes in the older part of the forest as well. The most powerful competitors are the forest mice: 84 % of nest changing in an occupied box or tube were connected to their occurrence. In 8-8% of occasions the dormice occupied a nest of forest mice or birds. The destroying of the nests or nestlings of inhabited boxes or tubes were recognized only in occupying behavior made by forest mice.
P1.174   Intensive Rotational Targeted Grazing of Romney Sheep as a Control for the Spread of the Invasive Plant Mile-a-Minute (Persicaria perfoliata) Girard, Caroline B.*, SUNY Albany
We investigated the effectiveness of an intensive rotational targeted grazing protocol for controlling the spread of the invasive plant Persicaria perfoliata. Three Romney ewes (Ovis aries) were deployed into a system of four experimental (exp) paddocks, each with an area of approximately 200 m2, at sites invaded by P. perfoliata in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (Cross River, Westchester County, NY). The ewes were moved from one paddock to the next at 2-3 d intervals. Four adjacent, ungrazed reference (ref) paddocks were also delineated. A suite of plant community attributes (cover classes, species richness and composition), as well attributes of individual P. perfoliata plants (stem density, inflorescence) were monitored in the exp and ref paddocks from June 24 to August 7, 2009. P. perfoliata cover in the exp paddocks was reduced, on average, by 18.69 + 14.6 percent relative to the ref paddocks and inflorescence was nearly eliminated in the exp paddocks. Recovery of native and naturalized species was also evident. While, prior to grazing, mean species richness in exp and ref paddocks were not different (t=0.56; p>0.05), differences (exp = 23.8+3.0; ref=16.8+3.3) were significant (t=3.03; p< 0.05) following grazing.
P1.175   Mixed Concerns about Global Climate Change are Building Barriers to Natural Resources Conservation in the US Great Plains Romsdahl, Rebecca J.*, University of North Dakota
Despite reports of overwhelming scientific consensus that global climate change is real and we are already observing impacts, there remains a lack of government action across the United States, especially in the Great Plains (GP) region. To examine what this means for natural resources conservation, we conducted a survey of government officials in twelve GP states. Responses from over 900 decision-makers represent state, tribal, and local governments. Results show barriers to government action include a lack of funding and leadership, and no sense of urgency; 52 percent of respondents indicate they are not concerned about climate change in general. However, respondents indicate they are concerned about possible effects of climate change on natural resources. For example, 64 percent believe climate change will have impacts on rainfall patterns for their jurisdiction; but 63 percent indicate they do not foresee any solution options to address climate change. These results highlight a need to reframe the discussion of climate change. By integrating climate change into relevant conservation issues that are already a priority for GP decision-makers, such as management of invasive species and water resources, decision-makers might overcome some of these barriers to government action.
P1.176   The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Louis Pitelka*, NEON, Inc. ; NEON Project Team, NEON, Inc.
The US National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a large facility project funded by the National Science Foundation. NEON’s goal is to contribute to ecological understanding and decision-making at the regional to national-scale through integrated observations and experiments. NEON will create a new national observatory network to collect ecological and climatic observations across the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The observatory will be the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at national scales over multiple decades. NEON has partitioned the U. S. into 20 ecoclimatic domains, representing different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance. Data will be collected from strategically selected sites within each domain and synthesized into information products that can be used to describe changes in the nation’s ecosystem through space and time. The data NEON collects will focus on how land use, climate change and invasive species affect biodiversity, disease ecology, and ecosystem services. Obtaining integrated data on these relationships over a long-term period is crucial to improving forecast models and resource management for environmental changes. These data and information products will be freely and openly available to scientists, educators, students, decision makers, and the public to enable them to understand and address ecological questions and issues.
P1.177   Learning to count: adapting population monitoring for endangered species to meet conservation objectives Wittmer, HU*, Centre for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand ; Corti, P, Instituto de Zoología, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile; Saucedo, C, Conservación Patagónica, Patagonia Park, Cochrane, Chile
Considerable efforts have been invested in recent years to improve methods for both data collection and analyses required for population monitoring. Where historic or current estimates of population size are not adjusted for detection probabilities, they may be too inaccurate to provide meaningful estimates of trends and thus monitoring methods need to be adapted. Here we use data (collected over 17 years) from the endangered huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) in South America to outline a framework to develop accurate, robust estimates of detection probabilities that can be incorporated into new surveys in a cost-effective way and applied to existing survey data sets. In particular, by retroactively estimating detection probabilities for huemul surveys, we show that survey methods currently employed are inadequate to reliably determine population trends for this species. Based on these results, we propose a new monitoring method for huemul and discuss the importance of estimating accuracies of historic survey data to ensure that changes in the abundance of the species reflect real population trends and are not an artifact of variation over time in the accuracy of survey data.
P1.178   Cooperation and Natural Resource Management: Community-Based Vernal Pool Conservation Planning in Maine, USA Jansujwicz, Jessica Spelke*, Ecology and Environmental Science Program, University of Maine ; Calhoun, Aram JK, Department of Wildlife Ecology, University of Maine; Lilieholm, Robert J., School of Forest Resources, University of Maine
Vernal pools are a management challenge. They are small, ephemeral, widely distributed, difficult to remotely identify, and species depending on them require both wetland and terrestrial habitat. Regulatory restrictions protecting vernal pools on private land generate considerable controversy, and significant socio-economic barriers impede full implementation of legislative protections. In Maine, Significant Vernal Pools are regulated at the state level, but enforcement agencies do not have the personnel to handle the demand for vernal pool assessments or to monitor permits once they have been granted. Residential development pressures, concerns over private property rights, and a strong tradition of local home rule further impede regulatory compliance. In response, Maine Audubon Society and the University of Maine jointly initiated a community-based education and outreach project to assist municipalities in proactively mapping and assessing vernal pools using trained citizen scientists. This project provides a unique opportunity to examine the conditions under which municipalities and landowners will participate in proactive conservation planning. By understanding the behavior of landowners, town officials, and community members, we document the extent to which multi-stakeholder engagement in natural resource planning influences land use decisions at the local level and suggest strategies to increase stakeholder cooperation and improve conservation outcomes.
P1.179   Recommendations for the Development of Management Plans for EU-NATURA 2000 Sites Bentz, Julia*, CCPA - Centre for Conservation and Protection of the Environment, University of Azores ; Gil, Artur, CCPA - Centre for Conservation and Protection of the Environment, University of Azores; Calado, Helena, CIGPT - Centre for Geographic Information and Territorial Planning, University of Azores
Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU's nature and biodiversity policy. Due to its specific legal framework and its lack of financing, an efficient conservation of Natura 2000 sites requires an optimized, inclusive, feasible management. This paper consists of recommendations for the development of Management Plans for Natura 2000 sites, allowing future managers and decision-makers a more efficient and informed application of the elaboration and revision processes. These recommendations are based on the case-study of the Management Plan of the Special Protected Area - Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme (Sao Miguel Island- Azores, Portugal). Participation is a key element in this process, as effective implementation is only achievable when landowners, public and private stakeholders, decision-makers, scientists and the public are involved right from the beginning. The demonstrated model of consensual management planning can be adapted and applied, according to the specific environmental and socio-economic characteristics, to any Natura 2000 site in Europe. It enables the balance of various interests, such as conservation and development, and empowers sense of ownership for the participants.
P1.180   The Effects of Human Landscape Modification on the Movement Behavior of Common and Rare Amphibian Species Frock, CF*, North Carolina State University
Humans alter landscapes in drastic and subtle ways. Although the impacts of changes such as habitat fragmentation are well-studied, finer-scale modifications are often overlooked and also have substantial impacts on organisms, including dispersing amphibians. Habitat structure is an important variable that influences species movement and is manipulated by humans. At the Fort Bragg military installation in North Carolina, humans modify landscapes through development and management activities such as grass cutting and pinestraw removal. To assess the effects of human habitat structure modification on amphibian movement, I conducted two fluorescent dye powder tracking experiments. The first study involved eastern newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) released into plots within longleaf pine forests in which pinestraw was either removed or retained. For the second study, I released chorus frogs (Pseudacris spp.) into the aforementioned plot types as well as into plots within open fields in which tall grasses were either retained or cut and removed. Newts moved over twice as fast in modified plots than in unmodified ones. The behavioral changes I observed may reflect differences in habitat quality and indicate the importance of habitat heterogeneity to amphibian movement behavior. Fine-scale habitat modifications such as these do impact dispersal ability and should be considered in conservation plans undertaken in fragmented landscapes.
P1.181   Nest exclosure use at Piping Plover nests in National Parks: evidence of a potential trade-off between enhanced productivity and nest abandonment. Rock, J. C., Parks Canada ; Goodbrand, L., Parks Canada; Austin, D. A.*, Parks Canada
Nest exclosures are widely used to protect ground nesting birds from predators. However, little information exists on their effectiveness as a means of protecting species at risk. Although exclosure use can improve hatch success, it is known to have resulted in adult depredation. We examined whether exclosure use affected nest fate (success, depredation or abandonment) of endangered Piping Plover within Kejimkujik, Kouchibouguac and Prince Edward Island National Parks from 1988 to 2007. Exclosure use improved hatch and fledge success by 26.7± 8.3% and 21.0 ± 6.4%, respectively and increased the number of chicks fledged per egg laid by 12 ± 4.5%. Exclosure use decreased egg depredation by 37.0 ± 5.2 % but increased nest abandonment by 10.3 ± 5.0 %. Thus overall, while improving productivity, exclosure use also increased nest abandonment. Circumstances surrounding nest abandonment were mostly unknown but in 10 of 152 cases, nests were abandoned because adults from exclosed nests were depredated. Predators are clearly the most important factor limiting productivity at these sites however the extent to which they influence adult survival and apparent abandonment requires investigation. During the study, egg loss to predators increased across years suggesting that predators will likely continue to be a key management issue for Piping Plover in Atlantic Canada. Before any new management strategies are adopted, they should be tested carefully for potential impacts and once in place, their efficacy should be assessed regularly.
P1.182   Wildlife - crops conflicts and local community participation in the management of Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi, Nigeria Akinyemi, A. F*, Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries Mgt, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
ABSTRACT The close proximity of wildlife to suburban areas leads to an increase in human – wildlife encounters and potential conflicts which inflict costs on local communities and can erode local support and tolerance. Assessment of crop losses with systematic measurements of crop damage by wildlife reveals that farmers’ perception did not correspond closely to the monitored records. The main factors influencing local risk perception were labour investment, potential for total loss, gender identity and an animal’s ability to destroy large crops areas. Farmers ranked maize (Zea mays) and millet (sorghum spp) as the most vulnerable crops out of ten different cultivated plants. The most damaging animals identified were olive baboons (Papio cynocephalus), bush pig (Potamochoerus spp) and elephants (Loxodonta africana). Also, a positive association between monthly rainfall and attacks, demonstrate that lions (Panthera leo) are more likely to attack livestock during seasonal rains. Conflicts can be exacerbated by local people’s lack of access to natural resources, substantiating the concept of conflict co-management as a means to achieve sustainable wildlife conservation Key words : conflicts, community participation, game reserve
P1.183   Reviewing the Role of Insects and Spiders in Interdisciplinary Journals: A Content Analysis Johansen, K, Lakehead University ; Lemelin, R.H.,*, Lakehead University
This study utilized a mixed-methods approach to undertake a social sciences inventory and content analysis of peer reviewed and published journal articles relating to insect and spider conservation. A mixed-methods approach was selected for this research because it allowed for the effective and systematic analysis of text through the use of established content analysis techniques. A socio-environmental inventory of interdisciplinary journal articles was conducted in a multi-phase process which included a review of such journals as Conservation Biology and Society and Natural Resources. Individual journal articles were identified and selected according for the content analysis based on their inclusion and discussion of key concepts in insect and spider conservation. The objective of this presentation is to discuss the findings of the content analysis while integrating them in a larger discussion on taxonomic bias and insect and spider conservation strategies.
P1.184   Applications of spatial tools in conservation of fragile ecosystems; a case study of Dakatcha and Marafa forests in Malindi District, Kenya OJOYI M.,*, NATIONAL MUSEUMS OF KENYA ; MWACHALA G.,, NATIONAL MUSEUMS OF KENYA; UCAKUWUN E.,, MOI UNIVERSITY, KENYA
A combination of human induced and natural changes have led to drastic reduction in biodiversity of major ecosystems including forests. A study to investigate land cover changes and its impacts on forest biodiversity as well as the status of Warburgia stuhlmannii was carried out in two forests in Marafa and Dakatcha forests in Coast province in 2007. LANDSAT satellite imageries were processed using (IDRISI, GEOVIS and Arc View 3.3). Relationships between socio-economic processes and environmental factors influencing the conservation of forest biodiversity were obtained by use of questionnaires. The status and recent developments in forest cover were also examined. Results from analysis of satellite imageries indicate reduction in land cover. There was evidence that different forms of human pressures exerted varying degrees of impacts. Warburgia stuhlmannii was found to be vulnerable to extinction based on the 2007 IUCN summary criteria. The study recommends the need to alter land use practices to address losses in forest ecosystem biodiversity. The findings are expected to be useful to forest managers and policy makers in the conservation of forest resources. Key words: Spatial tools forest biodiversity, degradation, land cover, conservation
P1.185   Non timber wetland products and their sustainable use: case of Rugezi wetland, Rwanda Ndimukaga M.*, Association pour la Conservation de la Nature au Rwanda
Rugezi wetland plays an important role in different ways by acting as water catchments. It is also a refuge of endemic species i.e. the endangered Grauer’s swamp Warbler Bradypterus graueri. The unsustainable utilization of Rugezi resources has affected the existence and health of the wetland and caused locals suffering, but also has affected the ecosystem as a whole and has contributed to national and even regional environmental problems. The study conducted in this swamp has showed that the unsustainable use of non timber wetland products has led to the extirpation of some species i.e. Sitatunga, papyrus Gonolek and papyrus Canary. Large areas of the swamp have been altered to other forms of land use namely settlement and agriculture. Alternative sustainable development options have been studied to be of significant help in improving the livelihood of adjacent communities. Some of which include improved agriculture and animal husbandry, small scale industries (improved oven), eco-tourism, etc. The swamp can be utilized sustainably by adding value of non timber wetland based products i.e. mats and baskets. This report shows the way wetlands can get conserved while providing goods and services to adjacent communities in particular, to the whole nation or region and even globally.
P1.186   A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK INTEGRATING ANIMAL BEHAVIOR and CONSERVATION BIOLOGY Berger-Tal, O*, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ; Peled, T, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Ben-Zvi, A, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Saltz, D, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Lubin, Y, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Kotler, BP, Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Conservation behavior is a relatively new discipline aimed at investigating how proximate and ultimate aspects of animal behavior can be of value in preventing the loss of biodiversity. This new discipline’s usefulness in promoting practical conservation-matters is subject to debate, with some scientists arguing that the importance of behavior in conservation practice is over-emphasized. Newly developed, interdisciplinary scientific fields are often characterized by having no paradigm, forcing every researcher to invent the foundation for his or hers own work and thus creating a random collection of observations with little structure. We propose that a major cause for the frailty of the link between behavioral ecology and conservation biology is the absence of a unifying paradigm that will bridge the gap between the two disciplines and establish a framework in which the field of conservation behavior can develop and prosper. We developed a simply structured, hierarchical, and parsimonious paradigm, merging the disciplines of animal behavior and conservation biology and showing in what contexts and aspects animal behavior is important to conservation.
P1.187   GENETIC AND PHENOTYPIC VARIATION IN ALBERTAN BROOK STICKLEBACK (CULAEA INCONSTANS) Kremer, C*, University of Calgary ; Vamosi, SM, University of Calgary; Rogers, SM, University of Calgary
Understanding the remarkable fits between organisms and their environment represents a major challenge for evolutionary biologists. In heterogeneous landscapes, populations may be locally adapted and may respond differently to environmental change. In this study we investigated local adaptation in Albertan brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans) populations. We discovered significantly high estimates of phenotypic divergence (PST average = 0.86) in comparison to among population estimates of neutral genetic divergence (FST = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.09, 0.24) estimated with 8 microsatellite loci in four lakes (N = 50 stickleback per lake). These comparative estimates of phenotypic differentiation against neutral expectations revealed pronounced departures in at least nine traits (including geometric shape, dorsal spine number and pelvic girdle length), consistent with the hypothesis that directional selection has driven the divergence of these phenotypic characters between environments. Moreover, genetic population structure estimates revealed evidence for dispersal between lakes despite an apparent lack of inflows or outflows. This divergent selection may be the result of physical characteristics of the lakes, as well as the annual introduction of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) into certain lake systems.
P1.188   UNDERSTANDING THE EVOLUTIONARY MECHANISMS UNDERLYING FISHERIES INDUCED SELECTION IN NORTHERN ALBERTAN LAKE WHITEFISH (Coregonus clupeaformis) Chebib, J*, University of Calgary ; Bernatchez, L, Université Laval; Rogers, SM, University of Calgary
Inclusion of evolutionary genetic considerations in fisheries management is increasingly considered to be a key component in the recovery of a sustainable fishery. Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) are the most important commercial freshwater fish in Canada with the Albertan roe fishery worth over a million dollars annually. Sizes of lake whitefish harvested from Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, have decreased since commercial fishing on the species began over 100 years ago. The evolutionary agent of selection for this decrease is hypothesized to be gill nets selecting for slower growing fish that mature earlier. However, nothing is known about the genetic population structure or the changes in genes underlying adaptive trait variation in Lesser Slave Lake, rendering evolutionary considerations of recovery plans difficult. Our research will use population genomics to test the null hypothesis that lake whitefish in Lesser Slave Lake comprise a single population. Second, using DNA from historical scale samples, we will measure changes in genetic variation over time at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with adaptive genes affecting growth rate, behaviour and reproduction. Overall, this historical DNA record will increase our understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying fisheries induced selection in the lake whitefish of Lesser Slave Lake.
P1.189   Angola headwaters: the white spot on the Serranochromis biogeographic map Musilova, Z*, Laboratory of Fish Genetics, Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics AV ČR v.v.i., 277 21 Liběchov, Czech Republic ; Kalous, L, Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 165 21 Praha 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic; Petrtyl, M, Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 165 21 Praha 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic; Chaloupkova, P, Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 165 21 Praha 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic
Although the African cichlids can be considered as enormously studied group of fishes, there is no record of this group from central Angola since 1975 due to lack of any field work in the area. Up to now our project comprises first molecular study on cichlids from Bié Plateau. This Angolan headwater region includes five important river basins in relatively small area and we have collected samples from three of them, i.e. Kubango (Okavango), Kwanza (Cuanza) and Kunene (Cunene). In the presented work we focused on biogeographic and phylogeographic study of serranochromine cichlids, based on four genes, three mitochondrial (16S rRNA, cytochrome b , NADH 2) and one nuclear marker (S7 intron). We included additional sequences from GeneBank, especially from specimens originated from two other river systems missing in our sampling, i. e. Congo and Zambezi. 1) We found separate lineage of upper Cuanza and upper Okavango serranochromine fishes. 2) Further we formulated hypotheses about the river history in Angola: our results show the possibility of fish colonisation from Okavango River system to the Cuanza River system. 3) Finally, we combined our data with previous analyses in haplochromine cichlids and we thus significantly enlarged sampling area of this fish group in Africa. The work was supported by Official Development Cooperation Program of The Czech Republic specifically by project “Poradenství v oblasti chovu ryb a drůbeže, Angola” No. MZe/B/2. Further support was realized within Centre for Biodiversity LC06073 (MSMT), IRP IAPG AVOZ50450515 and IRP FAPPZ, CZU MŠMT 6046070901.
P1.190   Reptilian Fauna of Coastal Areas of Karachi Khan, MZ*, Department of Zoology – Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Karachi, Karachi ; Hussain, B, Department of Zoology – Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Karachi, Karachi; Ghalib, SA, Department of Zoology – Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270; Zehra, A, Department of Zoology – Wildlife and Fisheries, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270
In Pakistan, reptiles are a blend of Palaearctic, Indo-Malayan and Ethiopian forms, and have 179 species of reptilian fauna consisting of turtles, tortoises, crocodile, gavial, lizards and snakes. Pakistan also has long been known to support a large population of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Sindh and Balochistan coastal areas. In this study, total twenty seven reptilian species including 3 turtle species, Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), and Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), 9 lizard species such as Common Tree Lizard (Calotes versicolor versicolor), Spotted Barn Gecko (Hemidactylus brooki), Yellow Bellied Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus flaviviridis), Persian House Gecko (Hemidactylus persicus), Blotched House Gecko (Hamidactylus triedrus), Mediterranean House Gecko (Hamidactylus turcicus), Blue Tail Sand Lizard (Acanthodactylus cantoris), Spotted Lacerta (Mesalina watsonana), and Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis) were recorded from Manora, Sandspit, Hawksbay and Cape Monze areas. Fifteen snakes species viz Beaked Sea Snake (Enhydrina schistosa), Blue Green Sea Snake (Hydrophis caerulescens), Annulated Sea Snake (Hydrophis cyanocinctus), Persian Sea Snake (Hydrophis lapemoides), Broad Band Sea Snake (Hydrophis mamillaris), Reef Sea Snake (Hydrophis ornatus), Yellow Sea Snake (Hydrophis spiralis), Pygmy Sea Snake (Lapemis curtus), Spotted Small Headed Sea Snake (Microcephalophis cantrois), Pelagic Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus), Spotted Viperine Sea Snake (Praescutata viperina), and Blotched Diadem Snake (Sphalerosophis diadema diadema) were recorded, while three species Cliff Racer (Platyceps rhodorachis) Saw-scaled Viper (Echis carinatus) and Black Cobra (Naja naja) were recorded from Manora, Hawkesbay and Cape Monze area only.
P1.191   Red- and yellow-footed tortoises in South American savannahs and forests: Do their phylogeographies reflect distinct habitats? Vargas-Ramírez, M*, Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, Königsbrücker Landstr. 159, D-01109, Dresden, Germany ; Jérôme, M, L’Association du Refuge des Tortues, Mairie des Bessières, 26, place du Souvenir, F-31660 Bessières, France; Fritz, U, Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, Königsbrücker Landstr. 159, D-01109, Dresden, Germany
Using sequence data of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, we investigated phylogeographic differentiation of the Amazonian tortoise species Chelonoidis carbonaria and C. denticulata. While C. carbonaria is generally restricted to savannah habitats and adjacent forests, C. denticulata is associated with wet tropical and subtropical forests. Our study suggests a correlation between distinct habitat preferences and phylogeography of the two species. In Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analyses, haplotypes of C. carbonaria cluster in several distinct clades reflecting the species’ patchy distribution in savannah habitats. By contrast, haplotypes of C. denticulata are only weakly differentiated; a finding also confirmed by parsimony network analysis. This suggests that the contiguous Amazonian rainforest allows gene flow between populations of the forest-dwelling C. denticulata throughout the range, but significantly impedes gene flow in C. carbonaria. The phylogeographic structure and extant distribution pattern of C. carbonaria is supportive of former Amazonian rainforest fragmentation, enabling the dispersal of savannah species. Based on fossil calibration, we dated divergence times for the C. carbonaria clades using a relaxed molecular clock, resulting in average estimates ranging from 4.0-2.2 mya. This implies that the onset of rainforest fragmentation could predate the Pleistocene considerably. Furthermore, our findings call for further research on geographic and taxonomic variation in C. carbonaria and for a reassessment of the conservation status of the distinct genetic units.
P1.192   Wolf Research Possibilities in a Changing Boreal Forest Dubesky, CM*, University College of the North
Consequences of climate change become more apparent, data on severity of impacts in Northern regions and communities is limited due to accessibility. The University College of the North, situated in the “heart of the boreal forest”, Is an ideal setting for conservation research opportunities. With expansion of their degree offerings, it is an opportune time to expand partnerships with community stakeholders and to identify research opportunities in those areas. Increased development in the Northern Manitoba region has opened access to these the Boreal Forest, Taiga, Tundra, Transitional, Freshwater and Marine biomes of which Thompson is the hub. Biomes in this region have had little research conducted with the exclusion of the Churchill region which is reachable from Thompson. Conservation and protection of these pristine northern areas will become an area of concern with escalation of development activities. Anecdotal information from Northern regional residents about the noticeable changes in the climate is the only data available at this moment. This data could be the first step for monitoring the changes, that is, it is difficult to state that the climate is changing without data for comparison. To stimulate research interests in this region, one top predator, the wolf, has been selected as anchor species for research. The wolf is a significant animal within many Aboriginal cultures and establishment of a “Wolf Centre of Excellence” has begun within UCN to promote innovative wolf research and provide support for researchers wanting to expand their scope to include these regions. UCN envisions itself as a facilitator and liaison available to researchers interested in conducting research with wolves and other species in the region.
P1.193   SHELTER FROM THE STORM? USE AND MISUSE OF COASTAL VEGETATION BIOSHIELDS FOR MANAGING NATURAL DISASTERS Mukherjee, N, Vrije Universiteit Brussel-VUB ; Feagin, RA, Texas A&M University; Shanker, K, Dakshin Foundation; Baird, AH, James Cook University; Cinner, J, James Cook University; Kerr, AM, University of Guam; Koedam, N, Vrije Universiteit Brussel-VUB; Sridhar, A, Dakshin Foundation
Vegetated coastal ecosystems are known to provide myriad ecosystem services to billions of people globally. However, in the aftermath of a series of recent natural disasters, including the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Nargis, coastal vegetation has been singularly promoted as a protection measure against large storm surges and tsunami. In this paper, we review the use of coastal vegetation as a “bioshield” against these extreme events. Our objective is to investigate the long-term consequences of rapid plantation of bioshields on local biodiversity and human capital. We begin with an overview of the scientific literature, in particular focusing on studies published since the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and discuss the science of wave attenuation by vegetation. We then explore case studies from the Indian subcontinent and evaluate the detrimental impacts bioshield plantations can have upon native ecosystems. We draw a clear distinction between coastal restoration and the introduction of exotic species in inappropriate locations in the name of coastal protection. We conclude by placing existing bioshield policies into a larger socio-political context and outline a new direction for coastal vegetation policy and research.
P1.194   The Lionfish Tissue Repository: unique record of an on-going marine invasion Morris, J, NOAA ; Semmens, BX, NOAA; Akins, L, Reef Environmental Education Foundation; Green, SJ, Simon Fraser University; Cote, IM*, Simon Fraser University
The invasion of the northwest Atlantic by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois spp.) began in the mid-1980s off the coast of Florida, USA. By 2000, individuals had been sighted as far as North Carolina and Bermuda. Since then, the range of the invader has steadily increased southward, now encompassing much of the Caribbean. This invasion by a predatory fish that is largely immune to predation is generating grave concerns about its impacts on native reef fish population and fisheries in the region. Key questions regarding lionfish dispersal and plausible control strategies remain unanswered. It is to address these questions that the Lionfish Tissue Repository (LTR) project has recently been launched. The LTR is a large, multi-national collaborative program intended to maintain tissue samples for research into the ecological and evolutionary processes driving the ongoing invasion of lionfish in the Caribbean and western Atlantic. The repository is jointly managed by NOAA (Beaufort Lab) and the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). There are currently more than 2,000 tissue samples from lionfish throughout the Caribbean and representing a decade-long series from the eastern coast of the US. As samples continue to accumulate, we expect that this tissue repository will yield a unique, detailed genetic history of a major invasion. Our intent is to carry out collaborative research that will help understand the invasion, identify mechanisms for mitigating its impacts, and prevent future marine invasions. The aim of this poster is to raise awareness of the existence of the LTR and to encourage scientists working in the Caribbean region to contribute to this important effort.
P1.195   Snow vole in Armenia: one or three species? Hayrapetyan, TA*, Scientific center of Zoology and Hydroecology, National Academy of Science of Armenia ; Yavruyan, EG, Armenian-Russian (Slavonian) University
It is known that there is a one species of snow vole dwelling in Armenia. It is European snow vole (Chionomys nivalis; Thomas, 1906). Chionomys gud (Satunin, 1909) and Cheonomys roberti (Martins, 1842) are living in South-west Georgia and North-east Turkey, Azerbaijan. The main habitats of these species are forests and grasslands. The North-west region (Shirak Marz) of Armenia has boarder with both Georgia and Turkey. Ecological and zoogeographical parameters of this region are compatible with parameters which need Chionomys gud and Cheonomys roperti species. But there are not any data about these species in Shirak Marz. It’s because of not enough research. Now we will try to identify key areas for snow voles in Armenia and by using the new genetic and biochemical methods to find out the possibility of presence of Chionomys gud and Cheonomys roperti in Armenia.
P1.196   Using GIS to model Cook Inlet beluga whale critical habitat parameters at the Anchorage, AK land-sea interface Pinney, L.*, Alaska Pacific University ; Cornick, L. , Alaska Pacific University
The Cook Inlet beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), one of five discrete US beluga whale populations, was listed as Endangered under the US Endangered Species Act in October 2008. The proposed critical habitat designation for this genetically distinct population is currently being assessed. The goal of this project is to define preferred habitat parameters using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for the area of Cook Inlet in closest proximity to the city of Anchorage (Knik Arm). Cook Inlet is a hotspot for both near shore development and offshore natural resource exploration and extraction. Modeling preferential habitat use patterns in this area can provide valuable insights into habitat features and environmental conditions most likely to coincide with beluga whale presence. The habitat parameters modeled are sea ice cover, bathymetry, and proximity to anadromous streams and other food sources. Beluga whale presence data were collected from shore via theodolite tracking. Understanding habitat preferences is vital to inform marine spatial planning efforts that simultaneously optimize shoreline and offshore development as well as facilitating the recovery and conservation of this iconic species.
P1.197   A Tale of Two Horses: Examining the Ecological Exchangeability of Island Feral Horse Populations O’Hara, E.*, University of Missouri
Domestic horses (Equus caballus) have been living feral on islands along the eastern seaboard for generations; their presence on Assateague Island, a 37-mile barrier island off the coast of Virginia and Maryland, has been documented since the 1600’s (Zimmerman et al., 2006). Other populations are found on Shackleford Banks off the coast of North Carolina. All three of these populations are managed by the National Park Service and are considered “desirable exotics” (US Dept of Interior, 2008). Managers must have plans to maintain the integrity of the herds, both socially and genetically, while also maintaining the integrity of their habitat. Should genetic diversity become compromised, current management plans assume total exchangeability between these island horse populations. Genetic divergence, as well as differences in habitat and potential local adaptations, may affect the ease of exchangeability between these populations. As the world’s climate changes, the issue of exchange and/or relocation will become more and more relevant in conservation biology. I am performing a comparative study of the three populations to assess their genetic and ecological exchangeability. Genetic characterizations, diet composition analysis and differences in parasite communities are presented as a measure of ecological exchangeability.
P1.198   RAPD-PCR TO DETERMINE THE GENETIC DIVERSITY OF THE LOHGGERHEAD TURTLE Caretta caretta (TESTUDINES:CHELONIIDAE) Julio Cesar Martinez*, 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia ; Carolina Franco Espinosa, 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia; Aminta Jauregui , 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia; Javier Hernández Fernández, 1GENÉTICA, BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR & BIOINFORMÁTICA” LABORATORIO DE BIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR, CARRERA DE BIOLOGÍA MARINA, FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS UNIVERSIDAD JORGE TADEO LOZANO Cra. 4 No 22-61, Bogotá, Colombia
The longgerhead turtle Caretta caretta has been listed as endangered species, due to different selective pressures including anthropogenic. In this study RAPDs markers conditions were standardized determining the species genetic diversity. Using turtle samples from Cartagena and Santa Marta (Colombian, Caribbean) sea aquariums. The DNA was isolated and quantified obtaining 50-100 ng/µl, further the Taguchi method was used in order to reduce the number of reactions maximizing RAPDs. The genetic diversity was determined using band richness (Margalef index), showing values of 3,64 - 4,43 for Santa Marta and 2,16 - 1,44 for Cartagena population. The Shannon diversity shows the lower values (2,48-0,69). According to the pileou´s uniformity it is possible infer about the similitude of individual genetic characteristics, thus inter-population and intra-population variations are minimal. This is the first assessment to the knowledge of diversity of longgerhead turtle in Colombia.
P1.199   Dynamics of Hybridization between Sauger and Introduced Walleye in Montana Bingham, DM*, University of Montana ; Leary, RF; Allendorf, FW, University of Montana
We used three diagnostic allozyme loci to study hybridization between native sauger (Sander canadensis) and introduced walleye (Sander vitreus) in Montana. In Fort Peck Reservoir, 10% of the Sander samples (n=158) were hybrids, and 69% were walleye, and 21% sauger. In the Yellowstone River below Miles City, 10% were hybrids, 62% were sauger, and 23% were walleye (n=48). A majority of the hybrids from both locations (>90%) were post-F1. The samples showed a bimodal distribution for genotypes representative of sauger and walleye, and, therefore, did not appear to have come from hybrid swarms. These and previous data suggest hybrids between the species are common in the Missouri and Yellowstone River drainages and represent a conservation threat to native sauger. Further interpretation of the results is limited, however, by the fact that samples did not come from spawning aggregations and only three diagnostic loci were used. To address these issues, we have examined 20 microsatellite loci; three of these loci are diagnostic, and seven are informative to distinguish between these species. Allele frequency differentiation between the species at these ten loci is high: FST=.25, RST=.69 (n=48 sauger and 63 walleye). Bayesian analysis with STRUCTURE assigns sauger and walleye with 100% confidence (cutoff = Qi >.90) with these 10 loci. We are now using these markers to examine the conservation threat of introgression by sampling discrete spawning aggregations in Montana and Wyoming.
P1.200   Genetic characterization of captive Cuban crocodiles (Crocodylus rhombifer) and suspected hybrids to inform in situ/ex situ conservation Milian-Garcia, Y*, University of Havana ; Espinosa-Lopez, G., University of Havana; Ramos-Targarona, R., Empresa Nacional para la Protección de la Flora y la Fauna; Sosa-Rodríguez, G, Empresa Nacional para la Protección de la Flora y la Fauna; Pérez-Fleitas, E, Empresa Nacional para la Protección de la Flora y la Fauna; Guerra-Manchena, L, Empresa Nacional para la Protección de la Flora y la Fauna; Frias-Soler, R, University of Havana; Benitez-Alvarez, L, University of Havana
Among crocodilians, Crocodylus rhombifer is one of the world’s most endangered species and has the smallest natural distribution, restricted to two locations in the Cuban archipelago. This endemic species coexists with the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), which are known to hybridize both in the wild and in captivity with important implications for the genetic integrity of source populations of these species. Hybrids may occasionally be detected based on morphological characters, but such data may be unreliable due to phenotypic plasticity. In this study, we used genotypic data at six polymorphic microsatellite loci collected for 22 individuals across 2 wild population and 139 captive individuals to: 1) determine the direction and degree of Cuban crocodile and American crocodile hybridization in the primary on-island ex situ population; 2) quantify the extent, distribution and in situ representation of genetic variation in captivity; and 3) reconstruct relatedness among C. rhombifer founders to inform breeding strategies and interactive in situ/ex situ conservation management. Results from this study will directly inform captive breeding programs to avoid out-crossing of divergent lineages and improve the efficiency of reintroduction programs.
P1.201   Influence of Highway 197 on Habitat Occupancy Rate of Marten in Forillon National Park of Canada Samson, C*, Agence Parcs Canada ; Trudel, OC, Université de Moncton; Roy, R, Université de Moncton
Forillon National Park of Canada (FNPC) is facing an isolation issue, caused in large part by Highway 197 which separates the park from the remaining Gaspésie Peninsula. American Marten (Martes americana) is rare in the park, despite the availability of a relatively suitable habitat. We suspect that this scarcity is caused by a reluctance of martens to cross Highway 197, therefore reducing immigration and preventing the population from reaching a density representative of the park ecosystem. The objective of this study was to compare the species occupancy rate within the park to the occupancy rate on the other side of Highway 197. Marten occurrence was measured in late fall and early winter on 67 sites in 2008 and 108 sites in 2009. Each site was baited and lured, and marten presence was detected by tracks on the snow, hair collection, and surveillance cameras. Occupancy rates within the park (0% in 2008 and 2% in 2009) was significantly lower (p<0.05) than outside the park (25% in 2008 and 20% in 2009). Occupancy rate was modeled in relation to landscape composition and location of the site (within vs outside the park), and various models were compared using an Akaïke Information Criterion approach. Location of the site was identified as the best variable to explain the variance in occupancy rates. We concluded that the relatively lower occupancy rate of the species in FNPC was likely related to a “barrier effect” caused by Highway 197 on marten immigration.
P1.202   Evaluation of survival and dispersal rates of translocated juvenille wood turtles in La Maurice National Park of Canada Pouliot, D*, Parc national du Canada La Mauricie ; Masse, D, Parc national du Canada La Mauricie; Samson, C, Agence Parcs Canada; Paradis, S, Agence Parcs Canada
One of the largest populations of Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta), a threatened species in Canada, is located in the Shawinigan River Watershed (SRW), partially located within La Mauricie National Park (LMNP) borders. Despite the presence of suitable habitat, only a few observations of turtles had been reported within the park. A restocking program, involving the translocation of juveniles, has been developed in LMNP to increase the local population. Before implementing the program, a pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effects of translocation on survival and dispersal rates of turtles. In 2006, 16 juvenile turtles (3-10 years old) were captured from the SRW outside the park and translocated to LMNP. The turtles were radiotracked from May 2006 to October 2009. Survival rate during the active period (May-October) averaged 0.980 ± 0.020 (± Std.Err.; n= 1870.0 ± 309.4 days-contact per year), while dispersal rate averaged 0.928 ± 0.072 (n= 1696.8 ± 219.7 days-contact per year). Survival and dispersal rates of translocated turtles were not significantly different (p>0.05) from survival and dispersal rates of 47 juveniles radiotracked in the SRW outside the park from 2004-2007 (survival: 0.887 ± 0.053, n= 1993.3 ± 876.5 contact days per year; dispersal: 0.960 ± 0.023, n= 1970.3 ± 870.6 contact days per year). We conclude that, on a short term basis (4 years), the translocation did not negatively affect the survival and dispersal rates of juvenile Wood turtles in LMNP.
P1.203   Impact of differing release strategies on the long-term survival of a reintroduced population of an endangered New Zealand passerine. Richardson, K, Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University ; Castro, I, Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University; Armstrong, D*, Ecology Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University; Brunton, D, Ecology and Conservation Group, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
Reintroduction is a commonly used tool in the recovery of endangered species, and has been an important component of the conservation of the endangered endemic passerine, the hihi or stitchbird (Notiomystis cincta) in New Zealand. Previous studies, in hihi and other species, have examined the impact of a variety of release techniques on short-term survival of individuals in the post-release phase. However the impact over longer term periods is rarely looked at, despite an increasing awareness of the impacts of chronic stress associated with reintroductions. This study examined the effect of two differing release strategies - immediate and delayed release - on the survival of reintroduced hihi over a six-month period at a mainland restoration site. Results indicated that while there was no difference in short-term survival, delayed-release birds had lower long-term survival probabilities than those released immediately. This suggests delayed-release strategies have a considerable adverse effect, and I recommend they not be used again with hihi.
P1.204   Impacts of climate change on the life cycle, distribution, and host range of the winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) in the Arctic and Subarctic Kashivakura, CK*, University of Calgary ; Kutz, S, University of Calgary; Veitch, AM, Government of the Northwest Territories; Colwell, D, Lethbridge Research Centre; Lysyk, T, Lethbridge Research Centre; Elkin, B, Government of the Northwest Territories; Ward, R, Yukon Department of Environment; Massolo, University of Calgary
Fluctuations in climate can directly affect the ecology and phenology of animals and plants, including ticks. Dermacentor albipictus, the ‘winter tick’ (WT) is an important parasite of deer, elk, woodland caribou, and moose. During the 1980s its northern distribution was limited to southern Yukon (62o25’49“N; 140o19’32”W); however, in recent years, it has been detected further north. This expansion may be associated with climate change driven shifts in WT life cycle and host distribution, and may pose threats to the barrenground caribou (BGC) population in the Canadian north that are facing a significant decline. The objectives of this research are:(1) to develop a serological assay to detect eventual exposure to WT in BGC; (2) to determine current WT host range and geographic distribution, and (3) and evaluate climate factors linked to WT distribution. 19 engorged females ticks are being raised in laboratory conditions to lay eggs until become larvae. Captive reindeer will be experimentally infested and used as model species to validate the test. The serological technique will be developed extracting a protein from WT saliva using Western blot; and the protein will be used as antigen in ELISA test to detect WT exposure on BGC serum. Chemical digestion of hides from hunted moose and BGC together with serology will be used to delineate current WT distribution in Northwest Territories and Yukon, as well as to define its host range and the climate constraints to its potential expansion.