Abstract Listing by Session

P2 - Poster Session 2

      Tuesday, 18:00

Floral colour is important for determining plant reproductive success and is potentially a significant component of plant-pollinator networks. We conducted a survey of the interactions between plants and pollinators in subalpine meadow communities of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and tested the hypothesis that floral colour is an important trait in structuring plant communities. To determine the structure of plant-pollinator networks in these communities, we collected insect pollinators on each flowering plant in two representative communities and used dendrograms based on floral colour reflectance spectra to determine if species tended to be more similar or dissimilar in floral colour within communities as compared to randomly assembled communities. We found that species tended to be more dissimilar in floral colour within communities when compared to randomly assembled coflowering communities. Floral colour also had a low phylogentic signal suggesting that it evolves relatively quickly. These results indicate that floral colour is an integral component of the structure of coflowering communities, which is corroborated by many other studies that have found frequent floral colour transitions within plant lineages. The structuring of plant communities based on floral colour therefore has major consequences for the structure of plant-pollinator networks that many insects and birds ultimately depend on.
P2.2   CRYPTIC GENETIC DIVERSITY IN FRESHWATER FISH UNDER CLIMATE CHANGE: NOT YET DISCOVERED, BUT ALREADY THREATENED? Dennenmoser, S*, University of Calgary ; Rogers, SM, University of Calgary; Vamosi, SM, University of Calgary
The presence of unrecognized cryptic species may lead to an over-estimate of population size and genetic diversity and, subsequently, to an under-estimate of extinction risk in cases of habitat disturbance or rapid environmental change. We conducted a phylogeographic analysis using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to explore demographic history, population genetic structure and the occurrence of putative cryptic species in a widely distributed northern temperate freshwater fish, the prickly sculpin (Cottus asper) in British Columbia and Alberta. Preliminary results indicate a complex pattern of at least four genetic lineages, with southern coastal and inland populations being highly divergent from each other. Furthermore, genetic diversity in the western Peace River region was significantly low and may reflect a bottleneck caused by habitat disturbance or a founder effect due to recent, post-glacial range expansion. These four lineages may be representative of genetically distinct groups that may have diverged in glacial refugia during the Illinoian and Wisconsinan Pleistocene glacial maxima. Overall, these results suggest that populations of C. asper represent a species complex and highlight the importance of disentangling historical from environmental effects on genetic diversity when undertaking conservations efforts aiming to preserve the genetic integrity of the evolutionary processes that generate biodiversity and allow adaptation to global change.
P2.3   Combining Art with Science: Assessing the role of visual communication in environmental conservation Osborne, Neil Ever*, International League of Conservation Photographers; Queen’s University, School of Environmental Studies, Kingston, Ontario, Canada ; Steinwald, Molly, International League of Conservation Photographers; Miami University, Dept of Zoology, Oxford, OH 45056; Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, 1 Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Photography has a long history of being used as a conservation tool, dating back to its influence in the creation of the first national park to protect wilderness areas in the United States in the 1860s. And today, when the majority of the world’s citizens reside in urban environments, disconnected from nature, and technology is heavily embedded in and substantially connects many societies’ ways of life, there is both great need and great opportunity for including strategic visual communications in conservation. Conservation photography, photography that empowers conservation (Ward 2008), and other artistic visual communication is becoming increasingly used in environmental science, outreach and education activities. We examine the role of conservation photography in four case studies while assessing its effectiveness as a conservation tool. Results indicate the advantageous nature of this visually communicative platform for disseminating scientific information and conservation messages. And we suggest ways in which present day conservation practitioners can employ the use of visual imagery in their own work.
P2.4   Hanging in there: Population Changes and Genetics of Chum Salmon in the Southern Extent of their Range - Impacts of Climate and Other Changes Johnson, OW*, NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center ; Elz, A, NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center; Neely, K, NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center; Hard, JJ, NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center; StewarT, DC, Northwest Region Fish Research and Monitoring Section , Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Spawning populations of chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) historically extended as far south as the San Lorenzo River in California and 322 km upstream in the Sacramento River. In 1905-06 chum salmon juveniles were the most abundant salmon species in streams surveyed between the Sacramento and Columbia rivers. Today, these populations have greatly declined, and in the Columbia River are now listed under the ESA as a threatened species. Little life history, genetic, or other biological information has been developed on these fish. In cooperation with ODFW, WDFW, USFWS; we collected life history, genetic, and demographic data (such as presence or absence of spawning populations and timing of migrations) from 2003 through 2009. Preliminary microsatellite genetic data indicate population structure among coastal populations is different from interior and Puget Sound runs. Run timing and other life history traits are also different between these southern populations and others. This information is important as southern runs may represent remnants of historical populations and contain unique genotypes and adaptations essential to the successful restoration of depleted other present-day salmonid populations.
P2.5   Genetic structure analysis of an endangered population of the Mormon metalmark butterfly (Apodemia mormo) using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) Crawford, L., University of Western Ontario ; Desjardins, S; Keyghobadi, N*, University of Western Ontario
The British Columbian (BC) population of the Mormon metalmark butterfly, Apodemia mormo (Felder, 1859) is considered at-risk, yet its protection to date has been hindered by a general lack of knowledge surrounding the butterfly’s basic habitat requirements, dispersal capabilities and population structure. In this study we investigated the genetic structure and diversity of the BC population of the Mormon metalmark using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) generated from non-destructive samples of butterfly wing tissue. We found that the majority of the total genetic variance was partitioned within sub-populations, however sites which were geographically isolated (>4km from their nearest neighbour) demonstrated significant genetic differentiation. These results suggest that distances greater than four kilometres are beyond the dispersal capabilities of this species. Overall, the population demonstrated a significant pattern of isolation-by-distance, indicating that dispersal occurs primarily between nearest-neighbouring sub-populations. This information will contribute to efforts to predict future population trends and develop a recovery strategy for this species. As well, the successful development of AFLPs from wing tissue and the use of the technique to assess genetic structure in an endangered butterfly population have validated the method as a valuable tool for conservation research.
P2.6   Social and Environmental Implications of the Chan-75 Dam in Bocas del Toro, Panama Border, HA*, Prescott College
The Chan-75 dam, under construction on the Changuinola River, is affecting terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity in Bocas del Toro, Panama. The Ngäbe people of Panama rely on natural resources provided by the river and the surrounding forests of Palo Seco Protected Reserve. Four communities must relocate due to inundations caused from damming the river. Many more families will no longer have access to farms, trails, and trade routes. I will conduct semi-structured interviews in communities surrounding the dam site to understand how stakeholders view effects of the Chan-75 dam on natural resources in the Changuinola watershed. This research is critical because more dams are planned for the region. Data collected through this research will assist with planning and implementing these future projects.
P2.7   Reconstructing Tree Species Habitat, Migration, and Genetic Diversity in Western North America Since the Last Ice Age. Roberts, David*, University of Alberta ; Hamann, Andreas, University of Alberta
Knowledge of how tree populations have responded to past climate fluctuations through migration, adaptation, and extirpation is key to properly understanding and managing species responses to current and future climate change, from both an ecologic and genetic perspective (1). My research involves simulating potential habitat of key tree species of western North America for several time steps since the last ice age. Also, subsequently comparing the modelling results with fossil and pollen data in will identify potential locations of species’ glacial refugia, providing insight into migration patterns and genetic development of modern species—key responses to changing climates (2). To estimate past climate to 18,000 years ago (the Last Glacial Maximum), I have used back-predictions from several global-scale general circulation. Modern climate niches of species were characterized and this information was used to predict past species distributions. By comparing model outputs for the Last Glacial Maximum with the published genetic reconstructions based on field data, potential areas of geographic refugia have been isolated and reconstructions of the distinct genetic populations have be attempted.
P2.8   Analyzing the Relationship Between Species Traits and Vulnerability to Fragmentation: Passive Sampling Effects and Cross-landscape Comparisons Branch, LC, University of Florida ; Thornton, DH*, University of Florida; Sunquist, ME, University of Florida
As tropical reserves become more isolated, the ability of species to use fragmented landscapes will be a key determinant of species survival. Although several species traits are commonly associated with vulnerability to fragmentation, the set of traits that are most influential, and the applicability of those traits across distinct landscapes, remains poorly understood. We studied use of forest patches by 25 tropical mammals in Guatemala to determine how 7 species traits influence vulnerability to fragmentation. We also examined the influence of species traits on patch occupancy rates of the same set of mammals on two landscapes in Mexico. In Guatemala, body size, home range size, and hunting pressure were related to occupancy rates, but after controlling for passive sampling effects only hunting pressure strongly influenced vulnerability to fragmentation. Species that were heavily hunted were less common in forest patches. The cross-landscape comparison revealed both similarities and differences in the species traits that influenced occupancy on each landscape. Our findings indicate that management efforts in fragmented landscapes that do not account for hunting pressure may be ineffective in conserving tropical mammals in Guatemala. Our study also suggests that species traits may be somewhat useful in predicting vulnerability to fragmentation across landscapes, but that caution must be used as different traits can become important drivers of response on distinct landscapes.
P2.9   Effects of the Spatial Offset between Landscape Structure Covariates and Species Distribution Field Data Linke, J, University of Calgary ; Castilla, G, University of Calgary; McLane, A, University of Calgary; McDermid, G*, University of Calgary
Landscape pattern indices (LPIs) are sometimes used as covariates in occupancy models to account for the structural context in which each individual observation is embedded. Ideally, the sampling units (a.k.a landscape samples) from which these covariates are extracted should be centered on the location where the response variable is being observed. However, there can be situations (e.g., multi-species surveys with data collected at different places within each site; confidentiality issues on the exact location of the field plots) where this is not possible and the landscape samples are not exactly centered at those locations. In this poster we explore whether or not this mismatch affects the value of the LPIs. We analyzed the behavior of four LPIs in a case study of a 10,000 km2 boreal region close to Edmonton, Alberta, containing 30 non-contiguous 18 km2 landscape samples, which we subjected to systematic displacements. The displacements did create large deviations within each individual site. A 1 km displacement led on average to a 15% deviation with respect to the LPI values obtained from the undisplaced landscape samples. The deviations were relatively similar across all directions, and increased with the magnitude of the displacement for all LPIs. Therefore, when the center of landscape samples are displaced with respect the ecological observations collected therein, the displacement adds noise to the sought relationship and uncertainty to the model output.
P2.10   Flat-lining Canadian lynx in southern Canada Yates, Gabriela*, University of Alberta ; Boyce, Mark, University of Alberta
During the past 30 years lynx (Lynx canadensis) populations across broad regions of southern Canada have declined in abundance with dampened population oscillations. This breakdown in population cycles may be crucially linked to the threatened status of the lynx in the United States, and periodic dispersal from the north might be essential to maintain southern populations. Further north in Canada populations continue the fundamental rhythm of the boreal ecosystem with 10-yr cycles of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and lynx. Recent advances in ecological theory provide insights into alternative mechanisms for these deteriorating population cycles. Data from fur harvest records suggest that the lynx-hare cycle is a plant-herbivore-predator system driven by climatic seasonality. We present evidence that (1) the regional effect of lynx dispersal, or (2) reductions in environmental seasonality are the most probable mechanisms causing flat-lining population cycles. Changing landscapes and changing climates are having widespread consequences in the north.
P2.11   The Development of New Test Methods for the Assessment of Contamination in Canadian Boreal Forest Soils Fraser, Christopher*, Environment Canada ; Princz, Juliska, Environment Canada; Scroggins, Rick, Environment Canada
Due to significant industrial and commercial development in boreal forest region, there is a recognised need for new standardized toxicity methods for the assessment of soil contamination from these industrial activities. Regulatory authorities have recognized that there is a critical need for new test methods that use plant and invertebrate species representative of the boreal and taiga eco-zones of Canada. Current soil biological methods published by Environment Canada use test species validated for soils of agronomic regions of Canada. Methods are under development which better reflect the unigue characteristics of the boreal forest ecosystem (i.e., stratified nature of boreal forest soils, difference in chemical characteristics such as depressed pH, species of plants and soil invertebrates native to forest soils). The current research is focusing on boreal plant species (such as black spruce, golden rod and paper birch), and invertebrates (collembola and earthworms). This poster will focus on the research conducted on the boreal earthworm species Dendrodrillus rubidus and the collembolan species Proisotoma minuta.
P2.12   A camera-trapping approach for the study of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in the high-Andean ecosystems of the Purace National Park, Colombia. Duque, S*, no ; Abud, M, no; Valderrama, S, no; Calero, H, no; Sanchez, F, no
The mountain Tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) is a large herbivore ungulate mammal inhabits the Northern Andes, including high-Andean ecosystems such as montane forest and paramo between 2000 - 4000 meters. This species is considered Endangered by the IUCN red list, being the habitat fragmentation a main threat throughout its original distribution. The larger populations are believed to be located in the Central Andean range of Colombia, distributed in some isolated protected areas. Also the hunting is reported how a critical threat for the species, owing to low density and intrinsic rate of natural increase in tapirs. Some studies reported a density between 0.17 - 0.25 ind/sq km and a home-range of 2.5 - 8.8 sq km through the use of radio-telemetry and GPS collars methods. The camera-trapping studies could be a prominent less expensive and invasive method for estimates some population parameters. Nevertheless, only one study with mountain tapir in Ucumari regional park - Colombia is reported using infrared monitors to survey the activity patterns of species. We initiate a camera-trapping approach for minimum abundance estimation of the mountain tapir on the Purace national park, for survey a site with tracks and visual records of the species. To date we found 1 individual on the area, visiting monthly the salt-lick and adjacent forest trails. We conclude that the camera-trapping is an efficient method for the area, how we expected to prove in the next months. At the same time we carry out a educational work in a settlement on the buffer-zone of the park, but we think that the stake-holders and administrator of the area could be the best fit population for replicate on time the human well-being knowledge beyond this study.
P2.13   Conservation Attitude of Forest Dependent Communities around Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India Sinha, Samir Kumar*, Wildlife Trust of India, B-13, Second Floor, Sector 16, Noida (U.P.), India -201301 ; Sinha, R. K., Environmental Biology Lab., Department of Zoology, Patna University, Patna, Bihar, India - 800 006
Assessment of locals’ attitude is crucial to improve relationship between Protected Area (PA) and people by guiding for policy and management decisions. Locals tend to be alienated from conservation when not allowed to use the sustenance resources due to stringent legal protection of the PAs. Conservation attitude of communities in the vicinity of Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan foothills in India was assessed. The study area is a Priority Level 1 Tiger Conservation Unit in contiguity with Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve in Nepal. Locals are dependent on the Reserve for various resources, extraction of which is an offence as per the current legal provisions. Questionnaire survey and focused group discussions were conducted in four sample villages close to the ‘core area’ of the Reserve. Conservation attitude, assessed on the basis of five specific questions, was categorized into no, low, moderate and high conservation attitudes, and analyzed as a function of socio-economic, forest dependence, awareness and human-wildlife conflict factors. Ordinal Logistic Regression was used to explore the influence of explanatory variables on conservation attitude. Conservation attitude was found to be low to moderate. The model reflected that better affluence and increased forest dependence of locals tend to improve their conservation attitude.
P2.14   Tapping indigenous ethno-botanical knowledge to track and mitigate climate change: the case of a Kenyan tropical rainforest Otieno, N. E.*, National Museums of Kenya ; Analo, C., Kakamega Environmental Education Project
Kakamega forest is Kenya’s only rainforest and is distinguishably rich in biodiversity but threatened by encroachment from a fast growing human population mainly in form of agriculture. It is also one of Kenya's Important Bird Areas and a significant source of natural products to neighbouring communities, including medicinal plants. By using local indigenous knowledge through involvement of elders, we identified a total of 40 medicinal plant species used by local people and assessed the chronology of their decline of over the years. Of these plants, 22 (55.0%) were shrubs, 13 (32.5%) were trees, 3 (7.5%) were herbs or forbs and 2 (5.0%) climbers. Decline in many medicinal herbs were attributed to changing weather patterns. Twenty-six of the medicinal plants (70.3%) occurred inside the forest itself and 29.7% outside. One of the medicinal plants (Prunus africana) is also listed by in the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable to extinction. Thirty-eight (95%) of the plants were indigenous and two (5%) exotic. Such extensive indigenous knowledge including plant distribution trends may be used to track climate changes and inform plans for adaptation measures including reforestation
P2.15   Saproxylic beetle diversity according to different stages of spruce deadwood decomposition Lee, S-I*, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta ; Spence, JR, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta; Langor, DW, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
Deadwood is obviously important ecological resources of forests providing unique structural characteristics that can be useful habitats for various organisms. Nevertheless, there is a small number of specific information on saproxylic organisms (i.e. organisms that depend on dead or dying wood during some part of their life cycle), especially beetles, according to different stages of deadwood decomposition. We investigated saproxylic beetles in twenty four white spruce logs of 6 different classes on July, 2009 at the EMEND (Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance) research site in NW Alberta, Canada. Bolts c. 60 cm in length were cut and moved to rearing cages near the research camp and saproxylic beetles were sampled twice until September. The abundance was the highest in the early decay class. The trophic guild structure was different according to the chage of deadwood decomposition, for example, wood-borer was the most divese in the early decay class, and predator and fungivore were abundant in the late decay class.
P2.16   Effects of Simulated Mountain Pine Beetle Attack on Vegetation and Below-Ground Attributes in Western Alberta Lodgepole Pine Forests McIntosh, A.C.S.*, University of Alberta ; Macdonald, S.E., University of Alberta
The mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae), a native bark beetle of western North America pine forests, has been described as the “most damaging biotic disturbance agent in mature lodgepole pine in western Canada”. With global warming, the MPB is anticipated to significantly expand its’ range, and has already expanded into some of western Alberta’s lodgepole pine forests. The objectives of this study are to compare twelve mature lodgepole pine stands in western Alberta before and after four simulated MPB treatment levels (control, 50% mortality, 100% mortality, salvage harvest) with respect to: 1) Overstory forest structure; 2) Understory plant community composition (seedlings, vascular plants, non-vascular plants); and 3) Below-ground attributes (microbial activity, nutrient availability). This presentation focuses primarily on the pre-treatment year data and describes relationships between the overstory, understory, and below-ground dynamics of these twelve stands. There were an average of 1186 live tph (mean dbh = 19.6 cm) and 744 dead tph (mean dbh=12.8 cm) prior to treatment, with total basal area averaging 50 m2/ha. Total species richness among the stands included nine bryophyte species, two fern species, 23 forb species, 16 shrub species, and six tree species. The results of our study will help inform forest management and conservation of expanding MPB-impacted landscapes in western Canada.
P2.17   Saproxylic Beetle Microhabitats Within Logs Wood, CM*, University of Alberta ; Spence, JR, University of Alberta; Langor, DW, Canadian Forest Service
Saproxylic (i.e. deadwood-dependent) beetles are a critical component of forest ecosystems and many species are threatened in managed forests of northern Europe due to the loss of deadwood habitats. To assess relationships between saproxylic beetles and their microhabitats, we hand collected and reared beetles from 150 trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) logs in mature deciduous forests of NW Alberta. Beetles were recorded from microhabitats within each log: upper surface, lower surface, bark layers, under bark, wood, moss and fungus. We collected 151 species; 51% were found in only one log and 78% occurred in just one log microhabitat. Species assemblages differed significantly among log microhabitats (ANOSIM, p<0.05). Beetle communities associated with bark habitats were most similar, sharing 64% of their species in common. Dolichocis manitoba and Cis americanus (Ciidae) were only collected from habitats defined by fungus. Dendrophagus cygnaei (Pyrochroidae) and Cucujus clavipes (Cucujidae) were associated with bark habitats. Our results show that the saproxylic fauna utilizes numerous log microhabitats. Many species are highly habitat specific and are distributed unevenly among logs. Understanding the factors that drive distributions of saproxylic species will support development of management systems to conserve these critical elements of forest biodiversity.
P2.18   Population Dynamics of the Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; Coleoptera) in the Endangered Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulis) Ecosystem Evan D Esch*, University of Alberta ; John R Spence, University of Alberta; David W Langor, Candian Forest Service
Whitebark pine, an endangered component of western North America’s sub-alpines forests is threatened by multiple factors. Over the past 100 years, whitebark pines have been devastated by an invasive fungal pathogen, white pine blister rust. Rising concerns that mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreaks will further threaten the remaining rust resistant whithebark pines brings urgency to recovery plans for the species. Historically, climatic barriers have offered some protection to whitebark pines from MPB outbreaks; however, recent observations of increasing mortality caused by MPB suggest these barriers are retreating. Laboratory and field experiments were conducted to determine MPB life history parameters in whitebark pine as compared to the MPB’s primary host lodgepole pine. The objectives of this study are to better understand the factors influencing the spread of MPB through whitebark pine containing stands. The results of these experiments suggest that different life history strategies of host species will affect the population dynamics of the MPB in whitebark pines and that previously identified climatic boundaries have now receded. We conclude that MPB poses a significant threat to the survival of whitebark pines and consequently, to other species depending upon it.
P2.19   Effects of Underplanted White Spruce on Understory Vegetation and Environment in Aspen-Dominated Stands of the Western Boreal Forest Graham, E. E. *, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta ; Macdonald, S. E. , Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta
Underplanting white spruce (Picea glauca) in aspen (Populus tremuloides)-dominated stands (mimicking natural boreal succession) was introduced as an alternative to single species management but little is known about impacts to the understory. Previous research has shown differences in understory richness, diversity and composition related to canopy composition, with mixedwoods being more similar to conifer-dominated than broadleaf-dominated forests. The objectives of this study were to determine the influence of underplanting white spruce on understory vegetation and environment; and if changes are observed, if the spatial extent and strength increase with time passed since planting. The study was conducted in the Alberta Boreal Mixedwood in nine mature aspen stands which were underplanted in 1994, 1999 and 2004/05. Vegetation and environment measurements were taken in plots set up 0-1m and 1-2m outward from the underplanted spruce and in control plots established in unplanted areas of the stands. Based on initial analysis of 150 plots, significant differences (p≤0.05) were not observed in richness (total, shrub, herb), diversity (Simpson, Shannon-Weiner, Whittaker) and edaphic conditions between underplanted and non-underplanted areas by 15 years after planting. Research will continue in stands planted in the 1960s to provide insight into processes controlling understory plant community diversity in mixedwoods and the impacts of an increasingly popular management option.
P2.20   The importance of mixed canopies for understory diversity conservation Chavez, Virginia*, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta ; Macdonald, Ellen, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta
The southern portions of the boreal forest region across Eurasia and Canada are dominated by mixedwood forests including a mixture of canopy patch types dominated by varying mixtures of coniferous and broadleaf trees. Understory communities hold most of the boreal vegetation diversity in these forests making their assessment important for the conservation of boreal plant diversity. We assessed the composition patterns and the hierarchical organization of understory diversity in mature boreal mixedwood forests of western Canada in relation to canopy patch types (conifer, broadleaf, mixed, gaps). Understory diversity (richness & Shannon’ H') was additively partitioned in relation to the four canopy patches across a hierarchy of four scales; α-individual patch+ β1-within canopy patch type +β2-among canopy patch type + β3-lanscape. Understory composition patterns among patch types resembled a microcosm of the boreal mixedwood landscape as these mirrored patterns observed at the landscape scale among forest stands of differing canopy dominance. Our results suggest that the high understory diversity found in mixedwood stands is partly explained by fine scale variation among the four canopy patch types. Management practices that focus on maintaining an intermix of small patches of varying canopy composition will help to retain the natural hierarchies of vegetation patches. This, in turn, will help to conserve the natural patterns of vegetation composition and diversity of boreal mixedwood forests.
P2.21   Impacts of community forest management on plant diversity in Nepal’s Middle Hills: identifying opportunities for adaptive management and conservation Trainor, MS*, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies ; Ashton, MS, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Community forest management has been the primary form of management practiced in the Middle Hills region of Nepal for more than three decades, with over 14,000 active community forest user groups (CFUGs) documented to date. Although extensive attention has been devoted to case studies of the short-term effects of community forest management practices in Nepal, relatively little attention has been devoted to understanding the longer-term impacts of community forest management on forest diversity and regeneration. We evaluated the long-term impact of community forest management in 12 mixed Schima-Castanopsis forests stratified across three different forest management units (rangeposts), and “ages” (defined as years since incorporation) and compared them with a control group, government forests, in order to determine the effect of CFUG management on species diversity and regeneration. The study sought to tease out factors influencing diversity and regeneration within the existing management approach in order to identify opportunities for application of adaptive management to future community forest management decision-making. We conclude that adaptive management of community forests is a critically important tool for community forest user groups working to ensure the successful regeneration of forest parcels, and identify key variables informing successful management in the Middle Hills region.
P2.22   The carpathian larch natural forests between the High Conservation Value Forests from Romania Gurean DM*,
Identified sometimes as a subspecies (Larix decidua ssp. carpatica), but mostly only as a variety (Larix decidua var. carpatica) of the european larch (Larix decidua), the carpathian larch is present in spontaneous status in Romania on almost 4500 ha of natural forests, mostly mixed stands with spruce, beech, scotch pine and other species, where the larch represents less then 50 % in composition, but also stands dominated by this rare taxa (60% or more in composition) or even small pure stands. The floristic and phytocoenological investigations realised along the years, and, most recently, our researches, relieved that in the Romanian Carpathians the natural, pure or mixed, larch forests shelt 24 endemic species (12 for Romania and 12 for the entire Carpathians chain), one endangered and one vulnerable species, 6 vulnerable/rare species and 42 rare taxa, according the Romanian Red Lists, justifying entirely, in our opinion, their conservation management and also the High Conservation Forests level.
P2.23   Mining activity licensing and wildlife management in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon Wippich Whiteman, C.*, Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources ; Saldanha, N., Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources ; Oliveira, E.C., Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources ; Ramos do Carmo, A., Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources
In the Estearn Brazilian Amazon, state of Pará, there are important sites of interest for mining. Many, for instance, concentrate in the Carajás region, where there is a mosaic of five very important protected areas, and mining activities may be developed, under the approval of Brazilian government environmental agencies. In the year 2009, the Ibama (Brazilian federal wildlife authority) unit located in Marabá, state of Pará, received 11 requests for fauna impact studies/survey, fauna rescue or monitoring projects related to the licencing of mining activities. An evaluation based on the analysis of such requests was performed. Positive aspects involved the biodiversity data generated through these studies, logistics and equipment offered by mining companies for general wildlife studies and academic/teaching opportunities emerged through the projects. Negative aspects involved a deficiency of knowledge and procedure patterns regarding fauna rescue in this context; lack of patterns between deforestation and fauna rescue procedures, and its field inforcement; and scarce information on the real loss of biodiversity caused by the mining activities. Moreover, a critical problem was the effect of political pressure of large mining companies on the governemnt to utilize conservation zones inside protected areas, as well as to utilize protected areas where such activities are not legally allowed.
P2.24   Aquatic Tourism Promotion As An Arsenal In Conservation Of Nigerian Protected Areas: A Case Study Of Old Oyo National Park Ojo,S.O*, Dr.
The study aimed at determining composition, abundance and distribution of some aquatic resources for sustainable ecotourism development and management. The study was based on typical wet and dry seasons and river stratification. Fish sampling of Ogun River in the park done with monofilament gillnets of 38mm to 127mm and graded hooks. Physico-chemical properties of the river also determined. 12 fish families and 30 species were identified, 5 families classified as fishes of ecotourism importance. Optimal fish catches achieved with mesh sizes 51mm and 76mm. Highest species diversity found in upstream and decreased downward with Sex ratio 6.48 female: 3.52male. Effect of seasons and mesh sizes were significant for total catches, however significant difference observed in number and weight of fishes among mesh sizes (P<0.05). Significant correlation (P<0.05) observed between length and weight of fishes during the seasons with r values of 0.774 and 0.894 and mean condition factor ranged from 0.55 ±0.11 to 2.34 ±0.29. Mean physico-chemical values are within tropical ranges. Socio-economic status of fisher folks was also determined. Ogun River has high ecotourism potentials based on fishes identified.
P2.25   Conservation of white-headed duck in Barabinskay lowland Nimirskaya, SA, ecological centre Strizh ; Murzakhanov, EB*, ecological centre Strizh
2006-2007: the number and distribution of WHD in Western Siberia were estimated, the reduction of WHD number in Siberia up to 10 times was shown. 2007-2009: the data on success of the species reproduction in Western Siberia was obtained, the educational campaign among local population (more than 10.000 people) was conducted, the recognizability of WHD among hunters increased from 3 to 13%. The partner relations were established practically with all stakeholders of conservation WHD in Russia. Became the initiators for establishment of the National working group of conservation of WHD in Russia. The results were shown at 3 international conferences and 3 articles
P2.26   Bycatch Issues Associated with Inland Commercial Fisheries of Southeastern Ontario Larocque, SM*, Carleton University ; Colotelo, AH, Carleton University; Blouin-Demers, G, University of Ottawa; Cooke, SJ, Carleton University
One of the main concerns associated with commercial fisheries is the potential mortality of bycatch. Bycatch refers to organisms that are non-targeted species, undersized, or under harvest restrictions. This can include fish, turtles, mammals, and birds, some of which can be threatened. Investigation of fisheries bycatch reduction and survival has primarily focused on marine systems, but with increasing interest in expanding inland commercial fisheries and mitigating their potential impacts, there is need for scientific information to aid in the creation and support of regulations for inland waters. During a typical fishing season in southeastern Ontario, we simulated commercial fishing in small warm water lakes and quantified rates of capture for both bycatch and targeted species. In addition, blood physiology, behavioural impairment, and injury were measured for fish captured in the nets. Turtles represented the largest proportion of non-fish bycatch (i.e. 90%), while non-target fish species represented 11% of the total catch throughout the season. As a result of the capture rate of turtles, including some species at-risk (i.e. northern map turtles), research was conducted to understand the behaviour of turtles captured in the nets and gear modifications have been applied to increase survival of those captured. This research has improved the understanding of the bycatch rates occurring in these fisheries and will be useful for future management and conservation decisions.
P2.27   The fate of endangered interior Fraser coho salmon caught incidentally in a First Nations pink salmon beach seine fishery in the lower Fraser River. Raby, GD*, Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada ; Donaldson, MR, Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, Centre for Applied Conservation Research and Department of Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Patterson, DA, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Science Branch, Pacific Region, Cooperative Resource Management Institute, School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada; Robichaud, D, LGL Limited Environmental Research, Sidney, BC, Canada; Farrell, AP, Department of Zoology, and Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Hinch, SG, Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, Centre for Applied Conservation Research and Department of Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Davis, MW, NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Behavioral Ecology Program, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR, USA; Cooke, SJ, Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, and Institute of Environmental Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
We used radio telemetry to monitor migration success in endangered interior Fraser River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) following incidental capture in a First Nations beach seine fishery for pink salmon in the lower Fraser River, British Columbia. We also evaluated the use of a novel reflex assessment technique (RAMP – Reflex Action Mortality Predictors) for measuring the condition of fish at release and for predicting migration success following a bycatch event. Fifty interior coho salmon were radio tagged and released following incidental capture. Their post-release movement was monitored by fixed-station radio receivers throughout the Fraser watershed (i.e. from tagging site to natal sub-watersheds). We also blood sampled an additional 50 coho in order to profile physiological condition at time of release. In total, 4.8% of coho caught died immediately, while 12% of tagged individuals were categorized as short-term mortalities (i.e., died within 72 hrs of release) and 26% were long-term mortalities, based on tracking data post-release. Time entangled in fishing gear was strongly predictive of immediate mortality, while reflex impairment effectively predicted long-term post-release mortality – individuals with greater reflex impairment at release exhibited higher rates of migration failure. Future studies are needed to quantify natural en route mortality in the absence of fisheries interactions and to develop strategies for reducing mortality of coho incidentally captured in seine nets.
P2.28   Conservation of threatened freshwater fishes of the Atlantic Rainforest in Southern Brazil: check list, protection priorities and impacts of human activities Abilhoa, VA*, Grupo Pesquisas Ictiofauna, Museu Historia Natural Capao da Imbuia, Prefeitura de Curitiba ; Vitule, JRS, Grupo Pesquisas Ictiofauna, Museu Historia Natural Capao da Imbuia, Prefeitura de Curitiba; Bornatowski, H, Grupo Pesquisas Ictiofauna, Museu Historia Natural Capao da Imbuia, Prefeitura de Curitiba; Freitas. MO, Grupo Pesquisas Ictiofauna, Museu Historia Natural Capao da Imbuia, Prefeitura de Curitiba
The water demands and human negative impacts on ecological integrity are huge threats to the freshwater fish of the Atlantic Rainforest biome. We studied the most threatened fish (based in IUCN criteria and our experience in the specific local) present in freshwater habitats of the Atlantic Rainforest coastal region into Paraná State, Southern Brazil (~ 25ºS and 48ºW). This region has an extensive process of the expansion of urbanization, which includes littoral cities like Paranaguá and Pontal do Paraná, both near to Curitiba (one of the biggest cities of Brazil). Data on species distribution and microhabitat were recorded. We checked primary threats for each species: habitat loss due to water demands, illegal deforestation and urbanization, introduction of non-native species and pollution. Most threatened species are Mimagoniates lateralis – (VU), Rachoviscus crassiceps – (EN), Scleromystax macropterus – (VU), Spintherobolus ankoseion, all included in the Brazilian Red lists, but unfortunately none appears into IUCN list, a fact that needs to be corrected. Impacts as alien species introduction and pollution might have synergetic effects with climate changes phenomena, an important fact that needs to be considered in management strategies for tropical freshwater fish conservation.
Introduction of exotic species represent one of the most serious problems to be solved in order to protect biodiversity and natural ecosystem. In the Turvo river, state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, our interest in C. gariepinus was stimulated by fishermen who reported high catching African catfish and a decline in the catch of native fishes. The purpose of this study was evaluate the ocurrence and establishment of this species and also generate information to the development of action plans for minimizing possible impacts of this species. Fish collections were carried out at differents sites (lateral lakes) and located with GPS (Global Positioning System), using gillnets with different mesh sizes in May, August and December 2008. The observed parameters were: weight, length, sex ratio, condition factor (K) and gonado-somatic index (GSI). Fifty two specimens were sampled, 22 males and 30 females. Males varied in size from 59 to 95 cm, whilst females from 31 to 69 cm. Males varied in weight from 1300 to 5300 g and females from 410 to 3000 g. In December all fishes sampled were mature and all females presented GSI above 12%, suggesting potential for reproduction associated to the raining period. Based on our data we conclude that C. gariepinus is well dispersed and already established in this area and that the obtained information serve as tools to the development of action plans for control this species.
P2.30   Movement of northern pike in a human-altered river system in Manitoba, Canada Malcolm, CD*, Deparment of Geography, Brandon University, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada ; Bruederlin, B, Manitoba Water Stewardship, Fisheries Branch, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada; Sallows, T, Riding Mountain National Park, Parks Canada, Wasagaming, Manitoba, Canada
Between the late 1800’s and 1960 the Little Saskatchewan River, in southwestern Manitoba, was divided into five disjunct stretches, for upstream movement of fish, through construction of dams and a spillway; four reservoirs were created. Beginning in 1992, fish passways were constructed around three of the barriers. In April, 2007 and 2008, we tagged a total of 88 northern pike with external VHF transmitters at each of the four reservoirs, to examine movements and assess connectivity at the dams. During each year pike were tracked by foot, boat, and airplane throughout the summer, fall, winter, and following spring, until tags no longer functioned; maximum tag operation was 400 days. We used data from 66 of the tagged fish: 51.5% of the pike moved greater than 500 metres beyond their first data point following tagging, 21.2% moved downstream over a dam, 10.6% moved back and forth around a dam more than once within one year, and 19.7% over-wintered in a river portion of the system. Two pike moved approximately 120 km upriver, river channel distance, from point of tagging. The results support successful function of the fish passways (for northern pike), and indicate greater movement, particularly in a downstream direction and during the winter, as well as connectivity, than was expected. River over-wintering dictates that water levels must be maintained at current levels or higher, to restrict winterkill.
Seasonal characterization in surface water quality is important for evaluating inputs of anthropogenic or natural sources. The aim of this study was evaluate the seasonal influence in water quality between Cachoeira de Emas dam and Jaguari-Mirim mouth in the Mogi-Guaçu river. Collections were carried out from April 2003 to September 2004 in two sites of Mogi-Guaçu river. The measured variables were temperature, dissolved oxigen Secchi transparency, electrical conductivity, pH, alkalinity, hardness, nitrate, total phosphorus, inorganic phosphate, total phosphate, nitrite, silicate, amonium and pluviometric precipitation. Principal component analysis (PCA) point out the main indicators of water quality that allowed evaluating the situation of quality of the Mogi-Guaçu river in the sampled sites. The results indicate seasonal influence between two sites due to pluviometric precipitation upon the limnological variables dynamic, especially as to inputs and dilution of nutrients in the system.
P2.32   Negative impacts of land use changes on endangered salmonid, Sakhalin taimen abundance in eastern Hokkaido, Japan; Management implications for conservation Nomoto, K*, Hokkaido University ; Koizumi, I , Hokkaido University; Fukaya, K, Hokkaido University; Edo, K, Agency for Cultural Affairs; Akiba, K, HuchoWorks; Omiya, H, JHERCN; Higashi, S, Hokkaido University
Sakhalin taimen, (Parahucho perryi), is one of the biggest salmonid species in the world. They have been rapidly diminished in the last few decades, and listed under “Critically Endangered species” in the IUCN red list. Our field surveys revealed that as many as >75% of local populations have become extinct in the past five decades in eastern Hokkaido, Japan. We investigated the factors of the local extinction in the same region, by correlating number of redds and environmental variables in 32 tributaries (subbasins) of two neighboring river basins. An information theoretic model suggested that the percentage of the subbasin grazed, suitable spawning area, and the interaction of the two were important for Sakhalin taimen’s persistence. This model also suggested that the cumulative level of livestock grazing in the past five decades has resulted in as many as 52.8% reduction of Sakhalin taimen redds. To develop management strategies that minimize cumulative negative effects of live stock grazing on the endangered population, we forecasted the number of Sakhalin taimen’s redds in response to simulated changes of percent grazing land based on the same model. The important point was the effects of habitat changes (both in positive and negative) were remarkably different depending on the individual basin. Response to habitat change was more dramatic in the basins less grazed. This suggests that conservation efforts should be directed toward less impacted basins.
P2.33   Conservation Status of Native Prairie on North Dakota Public Lands Barta, David*, UND College of Earth System Science and Policy ; Zhou, Qiang, UND College of Earth System Science and Policy
North Dakota has the most conserved grassland in the U.S.; however, there is little emphasis on comprehensive grassland conservation at either the state or federal level. This study utilizes public sources to determine the amount, status, and location of publicly owned grasslands and whether or not those grasslands contain native prairie. We analyzed all state and federally managed public lands within North Dakota using a land classification system developed by the North Dakota GAP analysis project from a combination of surveyed lands and aerial imagery. The accuracy of predicted land cover classes was within 3% of the proportion of land cover determined in ground surveys. Our analysis shows that all public lands have some native prairie, and that USFS, NDLD, and USFWS contain the highest percentage of native prairie. Even though many agencies have similar or coinciding mandates, none have a specific focus on preserving grasslands for the sake of ecosystem diversity or function. Furthermore, the lack of information detailing the status of native prairies makes developing a strategy for preserving native species difficult. Without a coordinated state and federal conservation approach, native prairie is likely to disappear on all but the most highly conserved public lands.
P2.34   Is Livestock Production for the Birds? : Grassland Songbird Conservation through Grazing Management Henderson, A. E.*, University of Saskatchewan ; Davis, S. K., Canadian Wildlife Service
In Saskatchewan, remaining native prairie supports livestock production and provides important habitat for grassland songbirds, including Species at Risk like Sprague’s Pipit (Anthus spragueii) and McCown’s Longspur (Calcarius mccownii). Native prairie management, in particular grazing management, plays an important role in securing grassland songbird habitat and preventing its further loss and degradation. In our research, we examine how grazing management decisions of livestock producers influence grassland songbird habitat and relative abundance. Our goals are 1) to identify socio-ecological factors that influence grazing management decisions, 2) to examine ecological relationships between rangeland health and songbird abundance and 3) to identify options for engaging livestock producers in songbird recovery and conservation. We use vegetation measures to assign indices of range health, point count surveys to estimate grassland songbird abundance and personal face-to-face interviews to gather information from livestock producers. We will present preliminary results that offer insight into how livestock producers contribute to grassland songbird recovery in south-western Saskatchewan.
P2.35   Habitat Fragmentation on the Genetics of Two Typical Calcareous Grasslands Rico, Y.*, Univerisity of Toronto ; Wagner, H.H, University of Toronto
Calcareous grasslands in Central Europe are semi-natural communities with high species richness originated by sheepherding. Recent land use changes caused a decline in the number, extent, and connectivity of fragments. We selected two calcareous grasslands from the Southern Franconia Alb in Germany to investigate whether habitat fragmentation had an effect on the genetic diversity and structure on populations with contrasting population size and connectivity. Twenty-nine populations of Dianthus carthusianorum and nineteen populations of Anthyllis vulneraria distributed over the landscape were analyzed with seven and eight polymorphic microsatellites. For both species, population size was significantly correlated with allelic richness (r = 0.7 p<0.05; r = 0.65 p<0.05 respectively) and expected heterozygosity (r = 0.9 p<0.05; r = 0.7 p<0.05 respectively). In both species some populations showed high inbreeding values, but the observed pattern was not correlated with population size. Fixation index was low, but highly significant. In contrast, no isolation by distance was found. D. carthusianorum and A. vulneraria have different life history traits, population abundances and distribution at the landscape. The similar results suggest that land use changes had influenced the genetic diversity and structure of local populations; further investigations with incorporation of the matrix and the history of the habitat management will allow testing the effects of habitat isolation on landscape-scale gene flow.
P2.36   Monitoring Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Population Dynamics at Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska: A 28-Year Record Morrison, LW*, Missouri State University ; Peitz, DG, National Park Service
Black-tailed prairie dogs, Cynomys ludovicianus, are keystone grassland species, although they have been excluded from all but a small fraction of their native range in the Great Plains. We monitored a population of black-tailed prairie dogs at Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska, for 28 years, from colonization in 1981 through 2009. Visual counts and mark-recapture techniques were employed to estimate population densities. Colony boundaries were mapped with a GPS by delineating clip lines and active burrows. Estimates of total population size of the main colony revealed four distinct periods of changing dynamics: (1) a linear increase, (2) a decline and prolonged depression, (3) an exponential increase, and (4) a period of high variability. Area occupied revealed similar, although less-defined trends, whereas densities fluctuated greatly (8 – 80 individuals/ha). Two new colonies were founded, although one disappeared, apparently due to illegal poisoning. Decreases in the main colony were correlated with predation by badgers, although sylvatic plague cannot be ruled out. Even after almost 30 years, this population remains relatively small. Attempts are underway to reintroduce prairie dogs to areas of their native range, and introductions or natural dispersal events have the potential to result in large, established colonies; incipient colonies, however, are susceptible to predators, disease, and illegal shooting/poisoning, and should be closely monitored.
P2.37   Implications of a Changing Montane Landscape: Assessing Nutritional Carrying Capacity for Elk of the Red Deer River Valley. Glines, LM*, University of Alberta ; Merrill, EH, University of Alberta; White, CA, Parks Canada
The fescue grasslands of the Red Deer River valley have provided both seasonal and winter range for a large migratory elk (Cervus elaphus) herd since the 1950’s. Within the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, grasslands have experienced fire suppression, resulting in woody plant encroachment. I used field data on forage and browse biomass to estimate the change in the nutritional carrying capacity of elk over this time period using a model developed by Hanley and Roger (1989) for deer. The loss of grassland extent in the Red Deer River between 1952 and 1992 was quantified using aerial photography. Model inputs included 4 different plant communities, quantity and quality of forages within these plant communities, and elk nutritional requirements. The model estimated nutritional carrying capacity as the number of elk days of use/ha under the assumption that winter is the limiting season. We quantified changes in major meadow complexes between time periods and the net change in elk winter range. The implications of our results for future landscape management will be discussed.
P2.38   Low public awareness of the conservation status of high profile polar species: polar bears and penguins Sitar-Gonzales, A., George Mason University ; Parsons, E.C.M.*, George Mason University
In the spring of 2007 a survey was conducted evaluate the awareness of the conservation status of two groups of polar animals which have received much attention in the media (primarily due to risks to their populations posed by global warming): polar bears and penguins. A total of 243 people participated in the survey, conducted at George Mason University, Virginia. Respondents included students, faculty and staff. A high number of surveyed participants (75%) had taken an environmental class at the university. However, knowledge of protection issues regarding polar bears and penguins was exceptionally low. When asked if polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are considered to be endangered under U.S. law, 65% said yes. At the time of the study polar bears were being considered for listing as “threatened” under the US Endangered Species Act, a lower category than “endangered”, but were not listed until May 15, 2008. Moreover, 43% of those surveyed believed that penguins were considered to be endangered under U.S. law, despite having no status or listing under US law at all. More than fifty percent of the participants considered polar bears (69%) and penguins (53%) endangered internationally; the IUCN listing polar bear was changed from “least concern” to “vulnerable” in 2006, but the species as a whole was not considered to be “endangered”, as yet. Of the 18 listed species of penguin, the Galapagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus), yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes), northern rockhopper (Eudyptes moseleyi) and erect-crested penguin (E. s sclateri) are considered to be endangered, although seven species are considered to be “vulnerable” e.g. the southern rockhopper (E. chrysocome) and Macaroni (E. chrysolophus) penguins. The most well known penguin species, the emperor penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri, is listed as “least concern”. Thus despite their high media profile, awareness of the actual conservation status of these animals is low. The study suggests greater public outreach is required to make the pubic aware of the conservation status of even high profile species.
P2.39   First evidence of fishing on reproductive aggregation of Ocyurus chrysurus in the Brazilian coast. Freitas, MO*, Universidade Federal do Paraná ; Moura, RL, Marine Program, Conservation International Brazil; Francini-Filho, RB, Universidade Federal da Paraíba; Minte-Vera, CV, Universidade Estadual de Maringá
The yellowtail-snapper Ocyurus chrysurus is an important reef fishery resource, representing a source of food for coastal populations in tropical countries. The Abrolhos Bank, Eastern Brazil, encompasses the largest and richest coral reefs in South Atlantic Ocean. In this study, we report the first evidence of fishing on aggregations of this species in the Brazilian coast. For this, we sampled fish landings, infered spawning seasons using GSI data and interviewed fishers from May 2005 to October 2007 in four municipalities in the Abrolhos Bank. Temporal variability in spawning activity was evaluated using the GSI. The CPUE data was inspected for peaks. A set of 1850 landings from hook-and-line fisheries was sampled. Peaks in CPUE are observed mainly during the Southern spring and summer. A total of 619 fish were collected and analyzed macroscopically. O. chrysurus showed two peaks of reproductive activity, a more intense one between September and October, and another between February and March. The fisher knowledge corroborated our findings: of the 22 skipper interviewed, 7 (32%) felt capable to respond about the spawning season of O. chrysurus, which coincided with the two season detected using the CPUE and GSI information. The peaks of CPUE during the spawning season are typical of fisheries upon aggregations of reef fishes. Research efforts are being made to identify the spawning grounds and restrictions of fishing effort and the creation of MPAs are suggested.
P2.40   Guiding ecological principles for marine spatial planning Foley, MM*, Center for Ocean Solutions ; Halpern, BS, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis; Micheli, F, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University; Armsby, MH, Center for Ocean Solutions; Caldwell, MR, Center for Ocean Solutions; Crain, CM, University of California Santa Cruz; Prahler, E, Center for Ocean Solutions; Sivas, Deborah, Center for Ocean Solutions
The declining health of marine ecosystems around the world suggests that the current structure of sectoral governance is inadequate to successfully sustain human uses of the ocean and support healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems. One possible solution to this problem is ecosystem-based marine spatial planning (EB-MSP), which aims to maintain sustainable uses, healthy ecosystems, and the delivery of ecosystem services. In order to achieve these goals, EB-MSP must be based on ecological principles that articulate scientifically recognized attributes of healthy, functioning ecosystems that can be incorporated into a decision-making framework. We present recommendations based on a synthesis of previously suggested principles, along with recommendations generated by a group of twenty marine scientists with diverse backgrounds and perspectives on MSP. The four ecological principles - maintaining or restoring (1) native species diversity, (2) habitat diversity and heterogeneity, (3) key species, and (4) connectivity, and two additional guidelines, (1) context and (2) uncertainty - must be explicitly taken into account in the planning process. When applied in concert with social, economic, and governance principles, these ecological principles can inform the designation and siting of ocean uses and the management of activities in the ocean to maintain or restore healthy ecosystems, allow delivery of marine ecosystem services, and ensure resilient economic and social communities.
P2.41   Reconstructing the Past: Coral Damage and Recovery Four Years After 2004 Tsunami in the Nicobar Group of Islands PATANKAR V.J.*, Nature Conservation Foundation ; D'souza E., Nature Conservation Foundation; Kumaraguru A. K. , Centre for Marine and coastal studies, Madurai Kamaraj University
The reefs of the Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal were in the path of the tsunami of 2004. This provided a natural experiment to study damage to the reefs at varying distances from the epicentre. In 2008, we carried out a broad-scale benthic survey of coral communities by quantifying percentage cover of different benthic substrate categories and size-class structure of corals to understand (1) tsunami-related damage and subsequent reef recovery; (2) whether the damage to reefs varied between the islands; (3) response of corals to catastrophic destruction. We found that though the tsunami was most severe in the Nicobar Islands, damage to the reefs was minimal. Damage was greater in islands closer to the origin of the tsunami than those farther away. There were strong geographical trends in benthic community structures between islands that are in proximity. An overall high percentage of live coral cover and high number of smaller individuals of corals highlight the inherent resilience of coral reefs to a natural catastrophic disturbance in the region sampled. The study forms a baseline for future studies and we outline the potential of reef recovery on a longer timescale.
P2.42   Estimating suitable habitat for Western Atlantic seahorses using ensemble niche models Padron, MC*, California Academy of Sciences ; Fernandez, MA, California Academy of Sciences; Hamilton, H, California Academy of Sciences
Being exploited for international trade, and occurring in some of the ocean’s most threatened habitats, the life history of seahorses makes them particularly vulnerable to population decline. In order to manage a species effectively, knowledge of the target species geographical distribution and its habitat use is needed, but the survey data to describe species presence at every location in a landscape is rarely available. Therefore, ecological niche models are used to extrapolate, by relating species to environmental variables, beyond the locations where species presence is known. Here we address predictive distribution modeling for two seahorse species with largely sympatric distributions in the Caribbean: Hippocampus reidi and Hippocampus erectus. We obtained presence only data from the Ocean Biogeographic Information System and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility databases and 8 marine environmental (temperature, salinity, bathymetry, etc) layers. We then use an ensemble modeling approach to predict habitat suitability based on 4 different method/algorithms (Maxent, GARP, Aquamaps and a simple environmental envelope). The results address fundamental questions in seahorse conservation, such as, the location of suitable habitat for these Western Atlantic seahorse species, the identification of the environmental variables responsible for niche differentiation, and the extent to which existing protecting areas encompass suitable habitat for West Atlantic seahorses.
P2.43   Habitat-dolphin modeling of sympatric species in southern Chile: implications for the conservation of Chilean and Peale’s dolphins Viddi, F. A.*, Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University; Centro Ballena Azul, Chile ; Harcourt, R, Graduate School of the Environment, Macquarie University
Environmental features play a key role in shaping animal distribution and habitat selection, and quantitatively understanding these processes have major implications for effective conservation. The extraordinary productivity off the Chilean coast is highly influential in the distribution and abundance of the poorly known Peale’s dolphin (Lagenorhynchus australis) and the endemic Chilean dolphin (Cephalorhynchus eutropia), two species sympatric throughout most of their range in Chile. Geographic information systems and generalized additive models were used to assess data collected from fine-scale marine surveys in the northern Patagonian fjords to determine habitat selection and the ecological determinants of the distribution of these two dolphin species. Dolphins shown to be unevenly distributed, with the presence of Chilean dolphins significantly related to shallow waters, rivers and tide regime, while Peale’s dolphins were associated to rivers, shallow waters, tidal fronts, clearer waters, were found near kelp beds and far from salmon farms. The identification of suitable habitats for these dolphins will assist towards proposing and recommending conservation actions and policies, such as marine protected areas or zones free of aquaculture. This study greatly improved our understanding of the distribution of sympatric and endemic dolphin species in the northern Patagonian fjords, highlighted the importance of these marine ecosystems and provided insights about how animals may respond to a changing environment.
P2.44   About an unconventional artisanal fishing activity of large sharks in Southern Brazil: Implications for conservation and urgent needs to investigations Bornatowski, H*, Universidade Federal do Paraná ; Vitule, JRS, Universidade Federal do Paraná; Abilhoa, V, Museu de História Natural Capão da Imbuia; Corrêa, MFM, Universidade Federal do Paraná
An unconventional artisanal fishery targeted to large sharks in state of Paraná, Southern Brazil (25º39’S, 48º26’W) was observed from June 2006 to January 2010. In this community the fishery is executed only by two fishermen with a 24 Hp motorized canoe, with a baited bottom gillnet (40 cm mesh-size between opposite knots). Were recorded 60 sharks in different reproductive stages including pregnant females, females post-partum, adult males and juveniles, belonging to the species: Carcharias taurus, Carcharhinus limbatus, Carcharhinus obscurus, Galeocerdo cuvier, Sphyrna lewini and Squatina guggenheim. This fishery, which captures pregnant females with high reproductive potential and fecundity in a costal nursery area, may influence the population dynamics and species turnover rates locally and regionally over time. Therefore, a constant and effective monitoring about local and regional fisheries is urgently necessary to provide information on the specific target and effort employed. These measures are crucial to develop and implement efficient conservation actions and sustainable artisanal fisheries. It is also imperative to conservation and sustainable fisheries management that the catches data will be recorded species-specific and considers what is the target species intend by fisherman, differently as it is done today, where official statistical reports since categorized in a general category like “shark”.
P2.45   Building social-ecological resilience: how climate change can help improve conservation management of Marine Protected Areas in Thailand Manopawitr, Petch*, Department of Geography, University of Victoria ; Dearden, Philip, Department of Geography, University of Victoria
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Thailand are well established but their success and effectiveness are largely unknown. Disparate government agencies and outdated legislation are inadequate to address the management challenges posed by cumulative local pressures such as pollution and over-fishing. Climate change will pose new challenges due to sea level rise, increasing sea surface temperature, ocean acidification and extreme climate events. Addressing climate change challenges will require a holistic approach that incorporates site-specific environmental vulnerability and social adaptive capacity into conservation planning. In post-tsunami efforts, a number of integrated ecosystem-based management programs have been developed to restore coastal ecosystems through community-focused and sustainable livelihood approaches. A newly proposed Andaman Protected Area Network comprised of 18 MPAs and recommended buffer zones and community management areas, over 3.5 million ha in total, will be country’s largest marine spatial planning initiative in which a new form of governance is expected. This paper describes and analyses these initiatives and their efficacy in reducing immediate threats to coral reef and associated coastal systems and enhancing ecological and social resiliency in the face of climate change. Developing a resilient MPA network is identified as an important next step and the paper concludes with some suggestions on how to achieve this objective.
P2.46   The effect of community based Marine Protected Area establishment on Fish population and coral reef condition in Indonesia Kasim, M*, Haluoleo University
Coral reef condition and fish population were observed in 39 community based Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Southeast Sulawesi Eastern Indonesia. During our research in MPA in eastern Indonesia, in 2007 there are 30.16 % of live coral, 40 % of dead coral, 17.23% of other fauna, 10.46 % of abiotic (sands and stones), and 2.15 % of macro algae covered entire coral reef in the region observed. In 2008, the covered of live coral reef have become 33.3 %, dead coral have become 36 %, other fauna have become 6.6 %, abiotic (sands and stones) have become 19.5 % and algae have become 4.9 %. This figures describe that within 1 year, community involvement through this program, have successfully increase 3.14% of live coral, 4% decreasing of dead coral, 10.6 % decreasing of other fauna, 9 % increasing of abiotik (sands and stones) and 2.8% increasing of algae. The amount of species of fish target increase from 52 species in 2007 to become 62 species in 2008 and 108 species in 2009. Community marine protected areas were provides the best protection for species of coral reef, fish and wildlife. This is one of the excellent strategies on marine conservation in Indonesia.
P2.47   NOAA Fisheries Species of Concern Proactive Conservation Program Meadows, DW*, NOAA Fisheries
Species of Concern are those species about which NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service has some concerns regarding status and threats, but for which insufficient information is available to indicate a need to list the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). "Species of concern" status does not carry any procedural or substantive protections under the ESA. There are currently 42 Species of Concern. The Species of Concern Program: 1) Identifies species potentially at risk; 2) Identifies data deficiencies and uncertainties in species' status and threats; 3) Increases public awareness about those species; 4) Stimulates cooperative research efforts to obtain the information necessary to evaluate species status and threats; and, 5) Fosters voluntary efforts to conserve the species before listing becomes warranted. Funding for projects is available through our Proactive Species Conservation Grant Program. We wish to draw proactive attention and conservation action to these species through research, conservation, capacity building, and education and outreach partnerships.
P2.48   Abundance and ecological significance of structure-forming taxa in the Bering Sea: implications for conservation Miller, RJ, UCSB Marine Science Institute ; Hocevar, J*, Greenpeace; Stone, R, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Marine benthic ecosystems harbor diverse communities of organisms that may depend on large sessile taxa like corals for habitat structure. Benthic trawl fisheries may severely impact this habitat, potentially adversely affecting populations of commercially valuable species. In the Bering Sea, trawl-based fisheries operate in a region rich with cold-water coral fauna that has been sparsely explored. Here we report results from video surveys of benthic communities in two virtually unexplored canyons, Zhemchug and Pribilof. Abundance of biogenic structure-forming taxa (corals) and associations between commercially valuable species, e.g. Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus) and corals are evaluated.
P2.49   The conservation awareness and attitudes of whale watching tourists in Samana, Dominican Republic GLEASON, CHRISTINE M.*, Environmental Studies Department, Antioch University New England, Keene, New Hampshire ; Atwood, Jonathan L., Environmental Studies Department, Antioch University New England, Keene, New Hampshire; Parsons, E.C.M., Environmental Science & Policy Department, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virgina
I investigated the conservation knowledge and opinions of whale watching tourists in Samaná, Dominican Republic. I collected 485 questionnaires from January 26 to March 10, 2009. I examined the knowledge and opinions of tourists viewing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) regarding marine mammal conservation and education, threats to marine mammals and the potential impact of whale watching. Respondents represented 34 countries with participants primarily from the United States, France, Canada and Germany. 44% of respondents stated they had some amount of knowledgeable regarding conservation issues. The majority (82%) of respondents believed public education was ‘important’ or ‘very important’. The top criteria tourists used to select a whale watching trip were whale sightings (68%) followed by education (50%). The majority (77%) of respondents stated that international protection of whales was not adequate. The Dominican Republic’s level of whale protection was rated as not adequate by 26% of respondents, adequate by 26% of respondents and 48% had no opinion. To assess respondents’ whale knowledge they answered a series of statements as true, false or unsure. General knowledge questions were answered correctly but accurate responses decreased with more detailed questions. In conclusion, more boat-based education programs by qualified individuals should be offered by whale watching companies to increase the awareness and knowledge of whale watching tourists.
P2.50   An appraisal of the community structure of mangrove forest in Bagonbanua Marine Reserve, Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Summer 2005.. Marianne G. Camoying*, University of the Philippines ; Coleen Espos, University of the Philippines; Jean Radelle Romo, University of the Philippines
A taxonomic survey and zonation analysis of mangrove species was conducted in Bagonbanua Mangrove Forest during the Summer of 2005. The transect line plot method was applied for establishing sampling plots. Physico-chemical parameters such as temperature, salinity, and pH were noted. Five species belonging to three families were identified. The species were Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera cylindrical, Sonneratia alba and Aegiceras corniculatum. The most dominant species and had the highest regenerative capacity was Rhizophora mucronata. The least in number was Aegiceras corniculatum having the lowest probability to sustain its existence. An evident zonation was observed perpendicular to the shore. The seaward zone which was dominated by Rhizophora sp. was the most expansive.
P2.51   Planning for action: Tackling the mismatch of scales between regional planning and local implementation in Fiji Morena Mills*, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies ; Vanessa Adams, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Stacy Jupiter, Fiji Wildlife Conservation Society; Bob Pressey, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Natalie Ban, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Preetika Singh , University of South Pacific
The mismatch of scale between regional conservation planning and local-scale implementation can prevent the translation of conservation plans into conservation actions. While systematic conservation plans might provide theoretically optimal solutions for meeting national goals, community-based approaches can be more effective at a local scale. This study aims to understand the relative roles and potentials for systematic conservation planning and community-based actions to achieve an effective and functional network of no-take areas (NTAs) in Fiji. We address three questions: (1) How well are current national conservation goals in Fiji being achieved through community-based conservation actions? (2) What is the potential for community-based conservation action to achieve national scale goals in the future? (3) Is there a role for regional-scale systematic conservation planning to complement local conservation action in achieving national goals in Fiji? We use time-series and geographic mapping of established NTAs and expert interviews to inform a model of the expansion of community-based NTAs. Our model allows us to examine the potential for community-based NTAs to meet national goals and to be scaled up with systematic conservation planning to form functional networks. Our study shows that conservation planning and local-scale community-based action can be complementary.
P2.52   Urgent action is needed during the migration and internesting periods to conserve eastern Pacific green turtles nesting in Northwestern Costa Rica Blanco, Gabriela S.*, Department of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA; ; Morreale, Stephen J., Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA; Paladino, Frank V., Department of Biology, Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805-1499, USA.; Spotila, James R., Department of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA;
The Pacific coast of Costa Rica hosts important nesting sites for endangered eastern Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas). We studied migration, inter-nesting movements and behavior of turtles that nest on Nombre de Jesús and Zapotillal beaches using satellite telemetry. Turtles remained in the vicinity of the nesting beaches, using depths between 5 and 10 m (89%) during internesting. Post nesting movements showed different migration routes and foraging areas: 3 turtles stayed in nearby Papagayo Gulf (Costa Rica), 3 moved to Santa Elena Gulf (Nicaragua) and 3 migrated 400 km north to Fonseca Gulf (El Salvador). We also identified threats to the population that require urgent attention for its protection. The majority of the north pacific Costa Rican nesting beaches have no enforced protection, which facilitates illegal egg recollection and uncontrolled tourism. Additionally, we observed incidental capture of turtles by artisanal fisheries that operate in waters surrounding the nesting beaches. Our findings suggest that green turtles inhabit waters off the coasts of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica during their entire reproductive life; which also makes them vulnerable to fishing activities in these areas. Urgent action is needed both on land and at sea.
P2.53   The influence of subsurface thermal structure on the foraging behavior of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) Kuhn, Carey*, National Marine Mammal Lab/NOAA
Oceanographic features have been shown to influence the distribution and behavior of marine species. In the Bering Sea, one key feature is the summer thermocline that forms from melting winter sea ice. The objective of this study was to determine how this thermal structure influences the dive behavior of the threatened northern fur seal. In 2007 and 2008, fur seals (n=34) from St. Paul Island (AK) were equipped with time-depth recorders that sampled water temperature. For each dive bout, mean dive parameters (e.g. depth and duration) and bout parameters (e.g. dive frequency and bout duration) were compared with respect to thermal characteristics (thermocline presence, intensity, and depth). Fur seals foraged primarily within the water column (74% epipelagic bouts) and in association with strong thermoclines (temp. change ≥ 5°C). The presence of a thermocline did not influence bout type (epipelagic vs. benthic) and most dive parameters did not differ between mixed and stratified water. However, for bouts in stratified water, stronger thermoclines resulted in longer bottom times (22.8% increase, p<0.05) and a higher percent time diving (p<0.05). As thermocline depth increased, there was a significant increase in mean dive depth and decrease in dive efficiency. These results suggest northern fur seals concentrate foraging effort in highly stratified water and target depths near the thermocline, a feature known to influence the vertical distribution of the fur seals primary prey.
P2.54   Marine Manage Area as Reef Guardian to Mass Coral Bleaching in the North Bali Setiasih, N*, Reef Check Foundation Indonesia ; Sartin, J, Reef Check Foundation Indonesia
Coral Reef at the North Bali was hit by mass coral bleaching in May-June 2009, spans over 120 km shoreline. The water temperature recorded up to 30oC. During the time, up to 40% coral bleaching was noted. The non-resistance coral colonies had a high degree of bleaching, up to 100%. The old massive resistance colonies were also encountered in some area. There were 3 marine manage areas along the surveyed shoreline. Interestingly, in general, reefs at marine manage areas were relatively less affected. This has bought urgency for a more detail research for coral reef resilience, as well as higher effort for protection for coral reef.
P2.55   Potential Impacts of Shipping Noise on Mother-Calf Acoustic Contact in Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) McKillop, M.M.*, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, PO Box 3232, Vancouver, B.C., V6B 3X8, Canada ; Vergara, V., Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, PO Box 3232, Vancouver, B.C., V6B 3X8, Canada and University of British Columbia, Zoology Dept., 2370-6270 University Blvd, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4, Canada; Barrett-Lennard, L.G. , Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, PO Box 3232, Vancouver, B.C., V6B 3X8, Canada and University of British Columbia, Zoology Dept., 2370-6270 University Blvd, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4, Canada
In coming decades, decreases in annual ice cover in the Arctic resulting from climate change will likely increase the exposure of marine mammals such as belugas— highly vocal whales that winter in the vicinity of ice and calve near ice-free estuaries in late spring —to noise from fishing, shipping and other vessels. Here we investigated the potential for this noise to acoustically mask calls used by beluga mothers and offspring to maintain or regain contact. We compared the frequency distributions of calls produced by two mother-calf pairs over 10-12 months in a captive setting with sounds from natural and anthropogenic sources. Mothers used characteristic contact calls (Vergara and Barrett-Lennard 2008 Aquatic Mammals 34:123) with typical peak energy frequencies from 6-15 kHz from the time of birth. The peak energies of most contact calls were well above most of the energy of noise produced by shipping, sea ice, wind, and precipitation. In contrast, the vocalizations of newborn calves had lower peak frequencies (2-3.4 kHz) and narrower energy distributions with significant potential for masking by shipping noise and ice. By 4-5 months, a time when calves in the wild would begin to encounter ice, their peak frequencies increased to 5 kHz. We conclude that shipping noise is most likely to affect the ability of mothers to hear calves during the first few months of life, and may increase the risk of mother-calf separation.
P2.56   Possible Self-Recruitment of Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, Belize Cigliano, John A.*, Cedar Crest College ; Dewey, Sarah, Cedar Crest College; Duffey, Christine, Cedar Crest College
Queen conch (Strombus gigas) is heavily exploited throughout the Caribbean. Countries, such as Belize, manage this fishery using both traditional fisheries management strategies and marine protected areas. The purpose of this study is to determine the likelihood of self-recruitment in queen conch populations in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve (SCMR) in Belize. Understanding larval dispersal patterns and population connectivity is critical for the effective use of spatially-explicit management strategies. Plankton samples were collected during peak reproductive season (2006, 2007, and 2008) over queen conch nursery habitats and the fore-reef of associated reef cuts. Queen conch veligers were measured (total length) and assigned to one of four size classes: 150–450μm (Stage I), 451–650μm (Stage II), 651–950μm (Stage III), and 950–120μm (Stage IV). The presence of early stage veligers over nurseries and a lack of late stage veligers from associated deep-water sites would indicate a local source for veligers. Analysis is continuing but so far all veligers from one nursery (n=29, mean= 484.73±13.1μm) and the associated deep-water site (n=3, mean= 323.00±91.7μm; sampled in 2006) are either stage I or II. Based on published growth curves, 24% of the veligers were 5 days old or less with the remaining veligers between 6-8 days old. Therefore, it is likely that self-recruitment is a significant source of recruits for queen conch populations in the SCMR.
P2.57   Can herbivores mitigate the effects of nutrient loading on coral reefs? Assessment of impacts and future implications for coral recovery on Maui Kelly, ELA*, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD ; Smith, JE, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
Phase shifts from coral to algal-dominated reef ecosystems have occurred on coral reefs around the world as a result of human impacts. Coral cover at Kahekili Reef, Maui has declined from 55% to 33% over the past 15 years while algal abundance has increased, likely due to two local stressors: land-based nutrient loading and overfishing. In July 2009, the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources designated Kahekili an Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (HFMA), which banned the removal of herbivorous fish and urchin species in an effort to reverse the decline in coral cover on this reef. Algal growth rates, herbivore grazing rates, and algal production were assessed upon the designation of the HFMA. Current data on herbivore grazing rate and preference of algae species show that the most significant blooming algal species were grazed an order of magnitude faster than non-blooming algae, which suggests that the ban could be effective in reducing algal cover. However, algal production on the reef exceeds the grazing capability of the current fish population on Kahekili. Therefore, future increase in herbivorous fish biomass on the reef will be essential to return the reef to a coral-dominated ecosystem and to increase the resilience of this reef system to global stressors like climate change. The success of the HFMA could provide a model for coral reef area management.
P2.58   Ocean Altering Projects to Mitigate Climate Change: Costs, Benefits and Mechanisms for Conflict Resolution de Fontaubert, Charlotte*, IUCN-US ; Spalding, Mark, The Ocean Foundation
As the expected effects of climate change have become better understood, the need to initiate projects involving renewable energy has become more widely accepted. Such projects are becoming more common in marine and coastal ecosystems, leading to user-conflicts between those who may want to increase the level of renewable energy available, and others who are more conscious of the risks these projects may pose to fragile ecosystems, particularly in the coastal area. In the absence of a clear mechanism for conflict resolution, the decision to authorize such projects is often taken in a haphazard fashion, with little regard for their relative costs and benefits. This article discusses the challenge of balancing local impacts against global benefits. The nature of the conflict is described and the stakeholders are identified, along with their interests. Several options for possible conflict resolution are then discussed and a new type of conflict resolution mechanism is identified as necessary to balance the conflicting needs of global and local environments.
P2.59   Overcoming Data Paucity in Two Tropical Fisheries: Queen Conch and Spiny Lobster in the Turks and Caicos Islands Lockhart, Kathy*, DECR, Turks and Caicos Government ; de Fontaubert, Charlotte, IUCN US
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are home to two fisheries of critical importance for the local economy: the queen conch (Strombus gigas) fishery, which comparatively is relatively healthy, and the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery, which gives rise to rather more concern, though the exact status of the stock is difficult to assess. These two fisheries are managed completely differently, with a closed season, and national size and gear restrictions for the spiny lobster, but through a CITES quota for queen conch, along with national gear and size restrictions. In both instances, however, the same level of data collection has taken place, and some of the data collection started as early as the 1800’s. Stock assessments have been carried out for both fisheries, some visual surveys were carried out in 2001, marine protected areas were established to protect the stocks and local consumption has been monitored. This paper first evaluates the level of certainty that can be derived from this fragmentary approach, and then suggests alternative methods to best fill the gaps in knowledge and to improve the management of these two key fisheries in the absence of greater certainty.
P2.60   Understanding the Dynamics of a Vibrosis Reservoir in Shaping Coastal Conservation Efforts Chowdhury, Bashira, University of Washington ; Ven, Amy*, University of Washington
Coastal vibrosis has increased significantly as noted in the recent epidemics affecting crustaceans along the Pacific Northwest and humans, as cholera, along the South American coast. Initial investigations suggest Vibrio bacteria increased due to rising water temperatures and decreasing salinity, conditions associated with a changing coastal climate. However, Vibrio bacteria have no known reservoir to explain the effects of these environmental conditions—a major gap in our understanding of how this pathogenic family shapes our coasts. Reservoir hypotheses for Vibrio center on chitinous crustaceans as virulence genes encode chitin attachment proteins. To elucidate this Vibrio-chitin connection, we examined the physiological correlation between Artemia salina, a common crustacean found along coasts, and Vibrio—specifically investigating the growth of Artemia and Vibrio populations in the water column. We found there was a significant positive correlation between growth in Artemia, as measured by hatching efficiency of Artemia cysts and survival efficiency of newly-hatched nauplii, and Vibrio concentrations in the water column, under conditions mimicking the rising water temperatures associated with the South American cholera outbreaks. These results suggest warmer water temperatures may increase the chitinous crustacean and Vibrio populations, potentiating vibrosis outbreaks along our coasts and complicating conservation efforts to restore marine ecosystems.
P2.61   Patterns of livestock depredation by wolves in central Mongolia Jackson, DS*, Oberlin College/Fulbright Foundation ; Murdoch, J, University of Vermont
Active persecution by humans in retribution for real or perceived livestock depredation by wolves represents a driver of wolf decline worldwide. In Mongolia, little information exists on the extent and magnitude of depredation. An understanding of the factors affecting livestock depredation are crucial for developing wolf conservation strategies and mitigating human-wildlife conflict. We elucidate relationships between landscape features and conflict occurrence in the vicinity of Ikh Nart Nature Reserve Mongolia. We conducted a questionnaire survey in 2007, which canvassed all households (n=43) in the northern part of the reserve. Respondents reported 182 domestic animals killed by wolves over 61 separate incidents during the summer of 2006 through the summer of 2007. Depredations were in all habitat types, but occurred significantly more in rugged, rocky terrain than other habitat types when accounting for habitat availability. This trend is probably explained by the cover afforded to wolves in rocky habitat, which allows them to approach prey undetected, and more effectively avoid herders. Depredation ocurred predominantly in winter and spring. Our results suggest that conservation efforts should involve reducing livestock numbers and increasing herder vigilance in rocky areas, especially during winter, and improving husbandry practices to reduce overgrazing and wild ungulate habitat loss.
P2.62   Influence of grazing on bee pollinators and their floral resources in rough fescue prairie landscapes Evans, Megan*, University of Calgary ; Cartar, Ralph, University of Calgary; Wonneck, Mark, Agri-Environment Services Branch, AAFC
Differences in cattle grazing have lead to a mosaic of range conditions in the rough fescue prairie. This study examines the floral and bee pollinator communities to consider the individual and joint effects on these communities of grazing regime and landscape. Using pan traps, at-flower netting, and floral censuses, we sampled bees and plants at 7 pairs of sites with contrasting range condition (lightly/heavily grazed) in rough fescue grasslands throughout the summer. Grazing had no effect on plant species richness or overall floral abundance, but significantly more bees were found in the lightly grazed sites. Flower communities differed between range conditions, but these differences were site-dependent. We resolve these disparate results using pollination webs and analysis of landscape features and range condition. Understanding the factors that influence bee and floral communities is critical when devising grazing strategies for this seminal Alberta landscape.
P2.63   A Study of the ground squirrel’s response to the Ashy Tit’s alarm calls in a Namibian semi-arid ecosystem GIBERSON, NICOLE*, University of Namibia Private Bag Private Bag 13301, 340 Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue, Pionierspark, Windhoek, Namibia ; Zeller, Ulrich, Chair of Systematic Zoology, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstraße 43, D-10115 Berlin Germany; Gottert, Thomas, Museum für Naturkunde, Leibnitz-Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity at the Humboldt University Berlin, Invalidenstraße 43, D-10115 Berlin, Germany
The following is a proposal concerning my Master thesis within the programme “Biodiversity Management and Research”, which is jointly been offered by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of Namibia. By taking a comprehensive ecological approach, I propose to examine the co-evolution of interspecific communication between the Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inauris) and selected bird species. The study will take place between March and July 2010 on the farm “Brackwater” that is situated app. 15 km north of Namibia’s capital Windhoek. I will use observational studies on the avian species richness, squirrel population characteristics and squirrel behaviour to gain a higher understanding of the function of this particular system. Furthermore, I will conduct playback experiments using seed trays and local bird call recordings to determine the timeliness, intensity and type of squirrel responses (responses to direct predatory calls and responses to warning calls from fellow prey species). Through this comprehensive study I aim to prove if the co-evolution of this eavesdropping behaviour which has already been proven in North America and Europe is conserved in the savannah ecosystem of Namibia.
P2.64   Assessing Factors that Influence the Success of Butterfly Communities in Oak Savanna Yarrish, LE*, Bowling Green State University ; Root, KV, Bowling Green State University; Michaels, HJ, Bowling Green State University
The federally listed Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) has become a symbol for oak savanna. Efforts to restore and manage oak savanna for the Karner also benefit other species that rely on this rare ecosystem. We characterized 4 oak savanna sites in northwest Ohio focusing on lupine (Lupinus perennis), nectar plants, and light heterogeneity which are important for the Karner and possibly other butterfly species. Transects were established at each site and a 1m2 quadrat was placed every 10 meters on the transect. At each quadrat we measured: number of lupine and nectar plant stems (flowering), distance between lupine and nectar plants, canopy cover, vegetation height and density, and leaf litter. Behavioral observations of butterflies were also conducted. Higher butterfly species richness was found at sites with a larger number of lupine and nectar plant stems, smaller lupine-nectar distances, and greater light heterogeneity. Butterfly species richness varied from 4 to 9 among sites. Nectar plant species richness varied from 6 to 9. The site with the highest butterfly species richness also had the highest nectar plant species richness. Butterflies were observed nectaring most often from butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) and scaly blazing star (Liatris squarrosa). These results help inform future land management decisions at these and other oak savanna sites. This type of assessment could be used instead of butterfly counts to monitor populations.
P2.65   Integrated Pest Management Tools For Agricultural Sustainability: A Step Towards The Development Of Ecoagriculture Systems. ANJALI MATHUR*, Govt. Raj Rishi College, Alwar(Rajasthan) ; ANUJ SAXENA, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur
Changing agricultural landscape is a global phenomenon as agriculture has increased its ecological footprint. Indian agricultural landscapes hold a vast arena of biodiversity conservation and therefore pay special attention towards ecoagriculture approach to embrace agriculture production, biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods. Increased crop yield demand for pest management strategies, associated with conservation of insect pests of high value crop like eggplant (brinjal) a cash crop, native to India. Leucinodes orbonalis Guenee, eggplant fruit and shoot borer (EFSB) is a primary and most destructive pest of eggplant. Indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides in past has led to pest resurgence and resistance. Prospects of transgenic crop, Bt brinjal to combat EFSB may also face chances of developing Bt resistance. This has shifted our focus towards Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for sustainable agriculture. Our research included studies on life table for timing of crop harvest and on farm trials of newer IPM modules using biopesticides and botanical oils under semi arid ecological conditions. The results show a significant correlation between developing stages and temperature/RH. As compared to check (Endosulfan) IPM modules gave significant effective results to manage EFSB in fields. We conclude that IPM modules should be promoted and tailored according to landscape ecology for effective ecoagriculture systems.
P2.66   Native bee diversity in organic and conventional hedgerows in eastern Ontario James, Joanna*, Dept. of Biology, Carleton University ; Mineau, Pierre, National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada; Boutin, Celine, National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada
Agricultural intensification has resulted in reduced biodiversity on farmland. A serious consequence of this decline is the potential loss of essential ecosystem services. Native bees provide pollination services to many wild plants as well as crops, but the effects of intensification on native bees in agricultural habitats are not well understood. The objective of this study is to compare native bee diversity in hedgerows on conventional and organic farms in order to assess how different management techniques affect bee populations. Bees were sampled by pan trapping in hedgerows adjacent to soybean fields on 9 pairs of organic and conventional farms in eastern Ontario, Canada during the summer of 2009. Preliminary results indicate that bee diversity is significantly higher on conventional farms than on organic farms. This suggests that the relatively low pesticide inputs in the soybean systems under study are less important than other variables, such as repeated tillage on organic farms. These data will be analyzed in relation to other field management variables, floral diversity and landscape structure. The results from this study will be used to make recommendations regarding native bee conservation in agricultural landscapes.
P2.67   Temporal patterns of forest herb dispersal through hedgerow corridors within agro-ecological landscapes of southern Quebec, Canada de Blois, S, Plant Science and the McGill School of Environment, McGill University ; Liston, A*, Plant Science and the McGill School of Environment, McGill University
Forest fragmentation is considered to be a main cause of the worldwide and Canadian decline in biological diversity. The existing threat of fragmentation to flora biodiversity in Quebec, Canada, is exacerbated by climatic changes that shift suitable environments northward, away from species’ current ranges. It is critical to evaluate the potential of plant species, exceptionally those restricted to forest environments, to migrate northward as an adaptive range shift to climate change. This research examines the temporal patterns of dispersal of forest herb species through corridors within agro-ecological landscapes of southern Quebec, Canada. We hypothesize that: 1) similarity in species composition between mature forests and corridors will increase with time, suggesting dispersal and recolonization and; 2) traits of forest herb species such as dispersal mode, flowering phenology, seed mass, etc. are related to species temporal patterns of dispersal through corridors. Data was subjected to Linear Regression and Redundancy analysis, to examine variance in species composition between forests and corridors over time. To explore associations among species traits and the environmental conditions of sites, Fourth- corner analysis was utilized. Our results provide insights on species that may be threatened by fragmentation and climate induced range shifts within agro-ecological landscapes. This study contributes to a larger research consortium whose purpose is to evaluate the state of biodiversity in Quebec in the context of a changing climate, and inform adaptation and mitigation strategies for biodiversity conservation.
P2.68   Forest – A Resource against Urban Poverty: Some Lessons from Central Ethiopia Duguma, LA*, Institute of Forest Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna Austria
Urban poverty—aggravated by rural-urban migration—is a major problem in Ethiopia. Farmers with failed yields and poor lands, youngsters and women are fleeing to urban areas to find jobs. Through time they just remain in there by devising their own way of life. This paper tries to address how such poor people living in urban areas make-up their livelihood from forests close to their new homes. The paper is based on informal discussions, visits and direct observations with urban migrants living in a poor condition. Urban poor depend on forests for two major aims: for household consumption and for income generation. Household consumption includes fuelwood, construction wood and some medicinal parts of plants in the forest. Dependence on forests for income generation has many forms. Households earn income by collecting and selling fuelwood and eucalyptus leaves and twigs to urban consumers. Some are also engaged in illegal smuggling of timber and poles from the forests which are sold at sawmills in the towns. Moreover, many of the urban poor are engaged in brokering task of forest products which may benefit them up to 5% of the price of the forest products. In general, forests nearby urban areas are considerably helping the urban poor survive from day to day. Nevertheless, forests are under great pressure from various dimensions (e.g. overutilization, illegal exploitation, conversion to farmlands, conversion to resettlement areas especially near urban areas, etc.) which threatens the urban poor’s livelihood in the future. Thus, conserving forest resources is a mandatory activity in which urban administrations and communities and the rural farmers should be involved as forest depletion severely affects the whole community.
P2.69   Urban Forest Restoration in New York City: Assessing the Effect of Tree Planting on the Ecological Structure and Function of Urban Parkland McPhearson, P. Timon*, Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School ; Felson, Alexander, Yale School of Forestry and the Environment; Karty, Richard, Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School; Palmer, Mathew, Columbia University
Terrestrial ecosystems in NYC are in the midst of a significant restoration effort which includes the addition of two thousand acres of forest to the city with the goal of increasing canopy cover, reducing invasive species, and mitigating climate change effects while increasing other ecological functions and services. This effort constitutes a large natural experiment in the most densely populated urban center in the nation. The NYC Urban Forest Restoration Study was established in 2008 in order to comprehensively understand the effect of MillionTreesNYC forest restoration efforts on urban ecosystem structure and function. This is a long-term study that focuses on the abiotic and biotic drivers that may impact vegetation structure, biodiversity, invasive species dynamics, soil nutrients, and carbon sequestration and storage in urban forests. This research links multiple plot-scale investigations across all five boroughs of New York City together to create a regional scale analysis of the changing urban forest ecosystem. Analyses make use of annually sampled vegetation and soil data, and documentation of forest management activity. Study design and preliminary soil heterogeneity, plant diversity, and invasive species results of the first full study year will be presented.
P2.70   Are Young Birds City Smart? Survivorship and Habitat Selection of Fledgling Songbirds Across an Urban-to-Rural Landscape Gradient Ausprey, Ian*, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University ; Amanda Rodewald, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University
Ecological changes associated with urbanization may reduce avian survivorship throughout the annual cycle. Specifically, increased abundances of predators and invasive exotic shrubs may have negative impacts on breeding birds. We predicted that avian survivorship would be acutely impacted during the post-fledging period when behavioral limitations make juvenile birds especially vulnerable to predation. Further, we hypothesized that Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), an abundant invasive shrub in our system, would either 1) exacerbate predation by drawing fledglings closer to the ground, or 2) deter predation by providing protective cover. During 2008 – 2009 we used radio telemetry to track 45 Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and 31 Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) fledglings in a network of riparian forest fragments embedded within an urban-to-rural landscape gradient in central Ohio. In contrast to the frequent assumption that high mortality rates contribute to avoidance of urban areas by sensitive species, cumulative survivorship was higher for the urban-avoiding flycatcher (0.720 +/- 0.097 SE) than for the synanthropic cardinal (0.440 +/- 0.077 SE). Although we found that urban forests contained more predators and that honeysuckle influenced patterns of habitat selection, neither factor was associated with survivorship. Hence, urban-associated ecological changes may not have the dramatic effect on sensitive stages of the avian life cycle as predicted.
P2.71   The effects of urban fragmentation and landscape connectivity on disease prevalence and transmission in North American felids Crooks, KR*, Colorado State University ; Bevins, SN, Colorado State University; Tracey, JA, Colorado State University; VandeWoude, S, Colorado State University
The objective of this collaborative study is to investigate the effects of urbanization and landscape connectivity on disease dynamics in North American felids, including bobcats, puma, and domestic cats in California, Colorado, and Florida. Bobcats and pumas are sympatric in these regions, are susceptible to many of the same diseases, and at risk of infection with domestic cat pathogens. To date, we have collected samples from over 1000 wild and domestic felids, and have identified variation in seroprevalence that maps to region and species. We have recorded unexpectedly high levels of exposure to plague in pumas and bobcats, particularly in plague-endemic regions in Colorado, suggesting that serosurveys of wild felids could be early indicators of regional plague activity. We have also developed an agent-based computer simulation model, motivated by bobcats in southern California, which suggests that movement behavior is a major factor in the spread of disease and the effects of movement can be counter-intuitive. Ongoing studies include using Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) as a genetic marker for detecting genetic structure in urban landscapes, and GPS telemetry and remote camera surveys of felids to assess the impacts of urbanization on movement patterns and contact rates. These efforts will allow us to gain a better understanding of how urban fragmentation and landscape connectivity impact disease transmission in felids.
P2.73   Food intake and the number of eggs laid by the carrion beetle, Eusilpha japonica (Coleoptera: Silphidae), inhabiting in the artificially cedar forest Taki,W*, University of Tsukuba, Graduate school of Life and Environmental Sciences, Conservation Biology Lab ; Watanabe., M, University of Tsukuba, Graduate school of Life and Environmental Sciences, Conservation Biology Lab
In the cool temperate zone of Japan, the carrion beetle is the first consumer of the food web starting from the decomposition in the artificial coniferous cedar forests. Eusilpha japonica is dominant among carrion beetles dwelling on the ground. In order to estimate the function of the decomposer, the amount of food required by wild adults and the number of offspring in relation to their daily food intake was investigated. A field survey was carried out to examine the attraction of carrion, using pitfall traps with putrefied meat and without meat, from May to September. The daily sex ratio of the beetles indicated that the carrion odor attracted females more strongly than males. The difference in distribution pattern between sexes suggested that males might search for mates as well as for food. The daily food intake of adults was measured by supplying the chicken meat of known weight. A lone female fed on the meat twice as much as a lone male. There was a positive relationship between the cumulative quantity of food intake until the first brood and the first clutch size. Thereafter, the females successively produced several broods. No significant relationship between clutch size after the second brood and the cumulative food intake during each inter-clutch interval was found. The quantity of food intake during the pre-oviposition period was critical for reproduction of the beetle.
P2.74   Predicting and Mitigating Deer-Vehicle Collisions in an Urban Area Found, R*, University of Alberta ; Boyce, MS, University of Alberta
Collisions with deer and other large animals are increasing across North America, and the resulting rise in economic costs and risks to public safety have made mitigation measures a priority for both city and wildlife managers. In the metropolitan area of Edmonton, Alberta, approximately 100 deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, involving mostly white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We used a database of collision locations held by City administration and used GIS to identify the characteristics of both collision sites and randomly-chosen sites with a similar spatial distribution. We then created landscape and roadside habitat models to describe and predict deer-vehicle collision locations and frequencies within the city of Edmonton, Alberta. These models suggested that modifying certain landscape and roadside habitat variables could be an effective way to reduce deer-vehicle collisions. We also tested the effectiveness of warning signage at mitigating deer-vehicle collisions. We provided standard-sized deer crossing signs at half of the sites identified to have high rates of collisions. The other half of these sites did not receive signs. After one year, those sites with signs exhibited significantly fewer collisions than non-signed sites did. We conclude that alerting drivers to high-collision locations can be effective at reducing deer-vehicle collisions.
P2.75   Municipal Wetland Conservation Policy Development and Implementation Thrasher-Haug, J*, Strathcona County
Strathcona County recognizes wetlands as important municipal infrastructure components for environmental, economic and social sustainability and has committed to conserving their value for present and future generations. As part of this commitment, a new Wetland Conservation Policy has been approved with the intent to conserve wetlands by requiring mitigation during land use planning and development. The policy requires specific procedures for landowners to realize the goal of No Net Loss of wetlands. No Net Loss requires proponents to work through a strict series of mitigation activities – avoidance, minimization, and compensation – with clear criteria and defined outcomes, as set out by the Provincial and Federal policy and legislation. Development of the Wetland Conservation Policy was driven by inconsistent wetland conservation at the planning stage of development across Strathcona County, with significant discrepancies between urban and rural development. Implementation will aim for consistent municipal land use planning in context of science-based conservation. The policy requires wetland delineation, classification, mitigation, and consistent compensation ratios. The result is a streamlined approval process, avoiding duplication of assessments and reports for multiple levels of government. The policy provides clear direction on what the municipality requires, parallel to provincial and federal regulations.
P2.76   The effects of climate change to the migration of the wild geese in the Hortobágy (Hungary) Gyüre, P.*, University of Debrecen Department of Nature Conservation Zoology and Game Management ; Juhász, L., University of Debrecen Department of Nature Conservation Zoology and Game Management ; Kozák, L., University of Debrecen Department of Nature Conservation Zoology and Game Management
The Carpathian basin is one of the main migrating and wintering area of several wild goose species in Europe. The typical habitats of the Hortobágy are mainly grasslands, wetlands and marshes which are favourable assembling places for several migrating bird species. Most of the migrating geese are White fronted geese (Anser albifrons), but the endangered Lesser White fronted goose (Anser erythropus) and the Red breasted goose (Branta ruficollis) also observed annually. The Greylag goose (Anser anser) is the only breeding goose species in the area and regular in the migration periods. Hungary has a temperate continental climate that is influenced by three main factors, these are the Eastern-European continental, the Western-European oceanic and the Mediterranean influences. The winter temperature is fluctuating between wide ranges caused by the diverse effects and the basin character. The study period was the last twenty years since 1989. We analysed the correlation of the average monthly temperature and the number of wintering geese. Our results showed significant increase in number of overwintering geese, and we have found several phonological changes in the timing of goose migration.
P2.77   Use of Grit Supplements by Waterbirds: an Experimental Assessment of Strategies to Reduce Lead Poisoning Martinez-Haro, M*, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (CSIC) ; Green, AJ, Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC); Acevedo, P, Universidad de Málaga; Mateo, R, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (CSIC)
The ingestion of spent lead (Pb) shot due to confusion with grit particles causes Pb poisoning in a large number of waterbirds, being one of the main causes of mortality. Lead ammunition for hunting over wetlands is being progressively banned in more countries, while grit supplementation has been proposed as a management measure to avoid the ingestion of deposited Pb shot. However, few studies have been done on grit ingestion in waterfowl. Thus, studies of grit selection with waterfowl in semi-captivity and in the wild were undertaken to evaluate preferences in the colour (red or grey), and geochemical composition (siliceous or calcareous) of grit, whether it was available dry or in water, its position within the wetland (the shore, open water or artificial platforms). Grit ingestion in waterfowl was intimately associated with feeding behaviour; it was consistently higher when food was included in the treatments. In the absence of food, red grit was taken in higher amounts than grey grit in semi-captivity but not in the wild. Siliceous grit was taken in a higher amount than calcareous grit when offered dry, but not in water. No differences in the amount of ingested grit were found between different positions within the wetland. In order to optimize the effectiveness of grit supplementation to reduce the risk of Pb poisoning in waterfowl, calcareous and siliceous grit may be combined and applied in feeding sites or else mixed with bait to attract birds.
P2.78   Selecting sites for peat harvesting based on conservation values in the landscape von Stedingk, H*, Swedish Biodiversity Center ; de Jong, J, Swedish Biodiversity Center
The project aim was to create a tool for practitioners for selecting mires for peat harvesting, without threatening the biodiversity in the landscape. The approach was to combine landscape ecology and local species diversity to rank sites in terms of conservation value. Eight drained mires were selected in south-central Sweden. The mires were classified into vegetation types and inventoried for vascular plants, mosses, saproxylic fungi, birds and ground living beetles. A special survey of indicator species and red-listed species was also performed. A database of relevant environmental landscape variables were created, by combining different sets of geographic data. It was found that occurrence of indicator-species or red-listed species was not sufficient to rank the sites in terms of conservation values. Due to high variation of different habitats, some of the drained mires had large diversities of various organisms. Some structures, such as old trees, which were rare in the surrounding managed forest, were found in higher abundance. The drained mires also had a higher proportion of deciduous forest than the surrounding landscape. It is suggested that the diversity of vegetation types, in combination with occurrence of structures and landscape elements underrepresented in the surrounding landscape, shall be used for making priorities for exploitation of drained mires based on conservation value.
P2.79   The water bodies in the Kyiv city and vicinities as main places for waterbirds conservations (Ukraine) Igor Davydenko, Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University ; Valentin Serebryakov*, Kyiv National Shevchenko University
In the territory of the Kyiv city many natural and artificial water bodies are located such as rivers (the largest among them is the Dnipro river), lakes, ponds, reservoir coolers, channels and some others. During the last decades, some changes in water birds occurred. In the places, where human impact is less, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Black-Headed Gull Larus ridibundus, Moorhen Gallinula chloropus and others are breeding usually in the spring-summer period. Numbers of birds increase during the season migrations on the city water bodies (especially on the Dnipro river) mostly for the expense of the transit birds. In winter time, due to the fact that water bodies are not frozen by a hot water discharge, streams and some other factors, many wetlands birds are wintering on these territory. Namely it is Mallard, Garganey Anas querquedula, Pochard Aythya ferina, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Coot, Moorhen, Water Rail Rallus aquaticus, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, Great White Egret Egretta alba, Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus, Kingfisher Alcedo atthis, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis, Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans, Common Gull Larus canus, Black-Headed Gull and White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla, and in the reed beds – Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus. All this can be the result not only the human activities impact, but climate changes as well.
P2.80   Bird monitoring to conservation el Salitre wetland in Bogota: strengthening local conservation efforts Abril-Pulido, E*, Asociación Akuaippa ; Pachón-Matute, C, Asociación Akuaippa; Barragán-Barrera, D, Asociación Akuaippa
Bogota Savannah was greatest Lake Humboldt 20000 years ago. Early XX century, there were 50000 ha of wetlands in Bogota, but at time this area has reduced to around 800 ha, due principally human activities like industry, city-planning expansion, and agriculture. Actually, there are 13 wetlands and 2 associated lakes in Bogota. El Salitre wetland is aquatic area that contains migratory and resident bird’s species. Around this wetland, there are some urbanization and recreational areas that affect this natural habitat. Due city-planning expansion District Administration wanted to build a greatest area to realize massive events on El Salitre. At date, we have realized bird monitoring and we have registered this region is very important for birds like core habitat, since this site offer them food and protection. Migratory species like Vermivora peregrina, Porzana carolina, Porphyrio Martinica, Actitis macularia, Piranga rubra, Contopus coopei inhabit this area. Birds in El Salitre wetland use primarily the area for feeding and resting, and we have registered presence of eggs and chicks. This way, with these results, we demonstrated this area is very important for migratory and resident birds, and El Salitre wetland was declared like that a few months ago. However, conservation and educational efforts should take in consideration the protection and conservation this wetland.
P2.81   Estuaries as saline bridges to adjacent freshwater systems: Comparing salinity tolerance between native and non-native catfishes Vitule, JRS*, LFCO - Laboratório de Fisiologia Comparativa da Osmorregulação da UFPR / GPIc – Grupo de Pesquisas em Ictiofauna MHNCI ; Prodocimo, V, LFCO - Laboratório de Fisiologia Comparativa da Osmorregulação da UFPR; Freire, CA, LFCO - Laboratório de Fisiologia Comparativa da Osmorregulação da UFPR
Introduced fish in inland waters have a long history of consequences. One of the most worrying features is their potential for dispersal and colonization of new areas. Estuaries can act as bridges to new invasions by freshwater fish. Osmoregulation is central to invasion of new basins through estuaries. Native Rhamdia quelen (Rq) and introduced into Atlantic Forest Clarias gariepinus (Cg) were exposed for 6 h to salinity 15‰, but in average survived only 1:30 h (Rq) and 2:30 h (Cg) in 30‰. Plasma osmolality, chloride, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and glucose were assayed. Both species presented a similar pattern of response to the salinity challenge; plasma concentrations increased in 15 and 30‰ when compared to respective values in controls. Through a PCA analysis, the two species separate widely in 30‰, with Rq displaying larger increases. However, in 15‰, Rq is more similar to its controls than Cg. Both species could invade other river systems within a same estuarine system (and Rq would be more likely to enter the estuary), but neither one would be able to invade other estuarine systems through the ocean. Thus, both species, if introduced into areas where they did not occur before, could use estuaries as bridges.
P2.82   Effects of electricity on rainbow trout embryos: A study to determine the efficacy of electricity for the eradication of invasive salmonids Farokhkish, Bahram, USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center ; Gross, Jackson*, USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center; Cornachione, Matthew A., Montana State University (Graduate Student); Shedden, Beth L. , Montana State University; Henry, Theodore B. , Ph.D.RC UK Academic FellowSchool of Biomedical and Biological Sciences; Shaw, Steven R. , Assoc Prof-PhD Electrical & Computer Engineering, Montana State University
The use of electricity on aquatic species currently only targets free swimming individuals and is not inclusive of early life history stages such as embryos. This study evaluates the susceptibility of embryonic and larval stage rainbow trout to direct DC current between 2-20v/cm in varying conductive waters to determine lethality for eradication efforts. Embryos (n = 10 per exposure) were initially exposed to homogeneous electric fields for 5s with a water conductivity of 220uS/cm from 1 day post fertilization (DPF)/ 27 temperature units (TU) to 15DPF/405TU. Mortality was assessed 24h post exposure and the LV50 (Lethal Voltage) at 220uS/cm was determined for each TU. Embryos from six periods of development were then exposed to their respective LV50 voltages in varying conductive waters (20-600uS/cm). Susceptibility to direct DC voltages decreased with development. Susceptibility to a constant voltage increased with increasing conductivity and was consistent throughout early development (81TU – 292TU), but the effects of increased conductivity were not enhanced as mortality in eyed embryos after 364TU remained static with the LV50 . These data suggest that a combination of direct DC current and increased localized conductivity would be an effective means of eradicating invasive and nuisance salmonids prior to eyed embryonic stages.
P2.83   Application of ecological niche models for estimating the potential invasion of two mammals non-native in the ecoregion of Bolivia: Lepus europeus y Sus scrofa Tejeda, WL*, Centro de Analisis Espacial
Invasive alien species (IAS) are the second cause for the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem change worldwide. The establishment, expansion and success in the new habitat was accidental or deliberate introduction of these species by human activities. Two species, Lepus eropaeus (hare) and Sus scrofa (wild boar), were introduced to raise them and take their skin and meat for use, currently this are considered major threats to biodiversity in South America. For this have been created tools like the "ecological niche models of species”, the which predict through the native range of distribution, the invasion of IAS in their new habitat. Because of concern that represents the expansion of these two species, this study aims estimate and analyze the ecoregions that could be invaded in Bolivia. For this I used to the algorithm of maximum entropy "Maxent”, resulting in invasion models in fragile ecoregions identified in Bolivia as the Puna and Yungas in the case of L. europaeus; Chaco and Pantanal for S. scrofa. These models represent important inputs basics for the application of legislation for to control and eradicate these species in these ecosystems.
P2.84   Bioethical issues and Human-Elephant Conflicts in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Southern Western Ghats, India Tangavelou, A.C.*, Bio-Science Research Foundation, 166/1, Gunda Salai, Moolakulam, Pondicherry 605 010, South India. ; Karthikeyan, S., 2Post Graduate Dept. of Botany, H.H. The Rajah’s College, Pudukottai 622 001, Tamil Nadu, India; Ramakrishnan, B., 2Wild Lands Programme, Wildlife Trust of India, Field Office, Bannari Post, Sathyamangalam Taluk, Erode District, Tamil Nadu. South India
Globally bioethics requires that fair consideration is given equally to three areas of moral concern such as human well being (rights and interests), non-human well being (rights and interests) and environmental well being (biodiversity and ecosystem integrity). Bioethical concerns, however, are not only restricted to issues directly related to human life but also to general issues related to every living being. Elephant’s are known its co-existence with human as God, cultural and economical for more than centuries but then, there were fewer humans and more land fulfilled all ecological needs for elephants without conflict. During the past few years the reputed terrestrial giant is being considered as menace with special reference to Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) issues and now the HEC became a challenging task. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR) was the first biosphere reserve by UNESCO, harbouring Asian elephant. The bioethical violations such as destruction of their habitat due to encroachments, legal violations, habitat fragmentation by loss of corridors, implication of developmental activities, unbalanced biotic threats by the local people, man made fire incidences, tapping natural and ground water and inferior quality of mitigating measures led loss of habitat and life of elephants and human beings resulted intolerance of HEC in all elephant ranges were assessed based on four bioethical principles – Autonomy, beneficence, Justice and non-maleficence are presented here.
P2.85   Integrating the concept of well-being into harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) conservation and captive care Oriel, Elizabeth*, Antioch University New England, Keene, New Hampshire, 03431, USA ; Frohoff, Toni, Trans-species Institute of Learning and TerraMar Research, Santa Barbara, CA. 93101, USA; Bradshaw, G. A. , The Kerulos Center, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530, USA; Kaplin, Beth, Antioch University New England, Keene, New Hampshire 03431, USA
Historically, conservation focuses on the scale of populations and species. However, there has been a growing awareness of the social and ecological key roles that individuals play. Further, concerns for animal welfare bring ethical attention. It is therefore no longer ethically nor practically cogent to ignore factors such as individual well-being in conservation design and monitoring. Drawing from a literature review and interviews with seal researchers, rehabilitation care-givers, and a veterinarian, we introduce and discuss well-being as a core concept for the conservation of harbor seals. We use a working definition of well-being as “integrity of form, function, the ability to strive and utilize one’s abilities” as a backdrop to this synthesis of the natural behavioral repertoire and characteristics of harbor seals. This definition can aid in decisions that concern coastal and oceanic environmental policy, laws that govern how humans treat marine mammals in captivity, rehabilitation, and in the wild, and in any actions that impact harbor seal individuals and colonies.
P2.86   The Devil is in the Details – Requirement for Recognition of Values in Conservation Management with specific example of the Tasmanian Devil Sproat, Denyse J.*, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
Introduction: In conservation management many activities occur with little assessment of values and associated ethical questions. Not recognising these values, and their effect on our choices, can create blindspots in reasoning and severely compromise the decision-making process - resulting in actions not always in the best interests of environments or species. Discussion: Tasmanian Devils have low genetic diversity, reduced variability in Major Histocompatibility Complex genes, lack of resistance to neoplasmic infection, and may be a genetically doomed species. DFTD does not have obvious human causes; it can be argued humans have no duty to save the species. Due to expected effects of DFTD and management actions, attempts to save devils to prevent ecosystem impacts, or avoid introduced species incursion, are futile. Therefore, we need to examine why we want to save the species. We will discover it is due to our human values and desires. Conclusion: It is imperative to recognise species conservation may be driven by human desires - not by ecosystem need. Science and conservation professionals must be aware of values in situation assessment and management decisions. Otherwise, programs may not result in benefits for either environments or species. We need to ask the hard question in regards to conservation management – “why are we doing this?”. More importantly, we need to know - are we prepared to accept the answer?
P2.87   Arctic Fox Versus Red Fox in the Canadian Arctic: Is there a clear winner in the past four decades in the warming northern Yukon? Gallant, D, Universite de Quebec a Rimouski ; Slough, B, Private; Berteaux, D, Universite de Quebec a Rimouski; Reid,D*, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
Many studies have shown species range shifts correlated with a warming climate. One such shift is the northward expansion of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) into the circumpolar tundra habitats of the competitively inferior arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). This is frequently interpreted to be a result of climate change. During an International Polar Year research project (Arctic WOLVES; 2008-09) we repeated aerial surveys of fox dens on the coastal plain and Herschel Island of north Yukon, Canada, and compared species occupancy and distribution to surveys in 1971-72, 1984-90, and 2003. This region has experienced amongst the highest levels of warming globally (mean surface temperature anomaly of >1.60C since 1951-80), so we hypothesized that red fox den occupancy and range would have increased at the expense of the arctic fox. In 2008 and 2009 the number of dens occupied by each species was within the range of numbers in previous surveys. For dens surveyed at least 4 times over a 20-year period, only a small proportion changed occupancy between species, and arctic fox took over red fox dens as frequently as red fox took over arctic fox dens. There was no contraction in arctic fox range, and red fox did not expand at the expense of arctic fox. These results refute our hypothesis, and raise doubt about the climate warming explanation for red fox range shift in other regions. We propose a clearer mechanistic explanation of red fox range limitation based on winter food availability.
P2.88   Can density-dependent habitat selection predict evolutionary adjustments to habitat change? Morris, D.W., Department of Biology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay (ON), P7B 5E1, Canada ; DUPUCH, A., Department of Biology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay (ON), P7B 5E1, Canada; Ale, S.B., Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, Hodson Hall, 1980 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul (MN), 55108, USA; Moore, D.E., Lake Superior College, 2101 Trinity Road, Duluth (MN), 55108, USA
The long-term success of conservation planning depends on its success at anticipating ecological and evolutionary adjustments to habitat change. Both types of adjustments emerge from underlying theories of density-dependent habitat selection. The densities of individuals living in alternative habitats represent current strategies of habitat selection. The existing strategies can be converted into the underlying adaptive landscape of habitat selection under different scenarios of habitat change. We tested these ideas on three species of small mammals living on a small Arctic island undergoing rapid climate-induced habitat change. The adaptive landscapes yield unique insights into each species’ habitat selection and predict evolutionary trajectories under habitat change. It is thus possible to use rather simple assessments of population density to model habitat selection and to inform the long-term success of conservation programs.
P2.89   Stratigraphic Analysis of Decodon Pond Wetland Argie Miller*, NYCDOE ; David Cruz, Dickenson College; Dorothy Peteet, NASA-GISS
This study is a stratigraphic examination of core sediment samples collected from Decodon Pond in Alley Pond Park at Queens, New York on January 30, 2008. We examine paleoecological changes of vegetation and fire patterns in the area of the pond over time. Decodon Pond was chosen because it is one of a series of unusual, intact 15,000 year old kettle ponds within the New York City limits. Alley Ponds are geological features left in the glacial moraine after the last Ice Age ended. As ice broke from the glacier it was subsequently covered with soil; holes left by the melted ice exist today as a series of depressions in the ground allowing surface water to accumulate. A team of student researchers retrieved two pond sediment cores from Decodon Pond that measured two meters each. These cores represent over 2000 years of organic and inorganic sedimentation within Decodon Pond. A spruce needle found at the depth of 200cm. Since today spruce does not naturally grow in Queens, NY, 2000 years ago the climate would have had to have been cooler and dryer for the area to support spruce.
P2.90   Impact of climatic change on tree phenlogy in the North American temperate forest Dhar Amalesh*, Research Associate,Center for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg ; Park Andrew , Assistant Professor,Center for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg; Kames Susanne , Research Assistant, Center for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg
The available data on climate change over the past century indicating that the global temperature is increasing and it has a major impact on plant phenology as phonological events are strongly responsive to temperature. Scientist from the different discipline were observed changing of different phonological events such as timing of budburst, earlier spring flowering, earlier leaf unfolding, extended of average length of the growing season etc. Different experimental and modeling approaches have been developed to identify the mechanisms behind these changes and to make a precise projections concerning the consequences of climatic change. Here, we will discuss the recent progresses in the field of phonological research in responses to climatic changes in North America and draw a possible conclusion concerning the future tree phenology in the changing climatic condition.
P2.91   Pollution Impact on Environment, and How to Conserve it. M. Ihsan Kaadan*, University of Aleppo
Introduction: Every person on Earth contributes to the state of our planet, because we all use natural resources and produce waste materials. The more people there are, the more damage they do through pollution. methods: Laws can stop factories from dumping poisonous chemicals in lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Engineers can build cars that burn less gasoline. Scientists are looking for fuels to replace coal and oil. They are looking for ways to use the power in wind and in rays from the Sun. We can help cut down on the amount of garbage we make. We can recycle paper, plastic, glass bottles, and metal cans. Recycled material gets used over again. Recycling helps cut down on pollution. results: Pollution can kill or sicken plants, animals, and people. Pollution can change the environment. Pollution can get into the air. Pollution can also get into soil and water. From there, pollutants can get into the food chain. Conclusion: Humans are very inventive and intelligent, as well as very destructive and careless. If we understand that our environment is fragile, then we can all help to save it, and the precious and life-giving resources that it provides.
P2.92   Changes in Bird Arrival Times and Cohort Sizes in Eastern Massachusetts (1970-2008). Ellwood, Elizabeth R.*, Boston University ; Primack, Richard B., Boston University; Lloyd-Evans, Trevor L., Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
Bird species have served as effective model organisms to study the impacts of climate change. What is largely unknown, however, is how responsiveness to climate change affects the ability of migratory species to maintain their populations over time. Using 39 years of banding records from the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, in Massachusetts, USA we determined mean spring arrival dates and annual cohort size for 32 species. Our phylogenetic analysis incorporated mitochondrial DNA sequences, and natural history and morphological traits. The populations of 21 species have significantly declined since 1970. This trend is so strong that in future years several species will likely not be caught at all or in numbers so reduced as to exclude them from analysis. The species also show varying degrees of change in arrival date over time and in response to temperature. Depending on the metric used, there is limited evidence that species with populations that are not changing their arrival date in response to temperature are more likely to decline. Few traits exhibit phylogenetic conservatism, suggesting that evolutionary history is not a good predictor of species response to climate change. The lack of a clear phylogenetic signal and the weak association between changing arrival dates and population change makes implementing conservation practices difficult; species appear to be equally at risk of being affected by climate change and declining population cohort size.
P2.93   Life without snow: a conservation challenge for alpine herbivore populations in the 21st Century? Hik, DS*, University of Alberta
Accumulating evidence suggests that the extent and phenology of seasonal snowcover plays a critical role in determining the demography, behaviour and growth of mammalian herbivores in northern alpine environments. Stochastic, periodic and directional variation in seasonal temperature and precipitation may have very different effects on mammalian herbivores depending upon their life history strategies and capacity to adapt to variable and changing conditions. I will present an analysis of the responses of four herbivores living in alpine environments of the Yukon, (collared pikas, hoary marmots, arctic ground squirrels and Dall sheep) to interannual and decadal patterns of temperature and precipitation. In various ways, the timing of snowmelt appears to directly influence overwinter survival, reproduction and growth of these species. At a larger scale, the best predictor of these responses is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation index. Recent efforts to improve measurement of snowcover and to better integrate the role of snow on the dynamics of arctic and alpine herbivore populations will help to determine if the anticipated reduction in snowcover during the next decades will create significant conservation challenges in these ecosystems.
P2.94   The role of climate, vegetation, and species co-occurrence in explaining changes in small mammal distributions over the past century. Rubidge, E.M*, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley ; Monahan, W.B., Audobon California; Parra, J.L., Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, Stony Brook; Cameron, S.E., Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University; Brashares, J.S., Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley
Species distribution models are commonly used to predict species responses to future climate change. However, their usefulness in conservation planning and policy is controversial because they are difficult to validate across time and space. Here we capitalize on small mammal surveys repeated over a century of climate change in Yosemite National Park, USA, to assess model predictions. Historical (1900-1940) climate, vegetation and species co-occurrence data were used to develop multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) models for three species of chipmunk. Models were projected onto the current (1980-2007) environmental surface and tested with contemporary resurveys of each species. Even with the inclusion of vegetation and species co-occurrence, we found that climate alone was the dominant predictor explaining chipmunk distribution within an era, but climate was not consistently an adequate predictor of all species’ responses over time. We conclude that caution should be used when using predictive distribution models for conservation planning under future climate change, unless the physiological and biological range limits of the species of interest are well understood.
P2.95   Conservation status of the Cuban population of Magnolia virginiana Palmarola, A.*, National Botanic Garden, University of Havana ; González-Torres, L.R., National Botanic Garden, University of Havana; Cruz, D., National Botanic Garden, University of Havana
Magnolia virginiana, a North American endemism was recently discovery in Majaguillar swamp, Matanzas, Cuba. This locality constitutes the southern record for this species. In this work, we make a census of M. virginiana in Majaguillar swamp, map the population, characterize their demographic structure, and identify main threats for this species in the locality. In Majaguillar, this species grows like shrubby trees forming large clusters. The mean diameter of the clusters is 3.06 m and the maximum diameter of is 18.83 m wide. The mean high of the clusters is 2.51 m but some single trunks may reach 9 m high and 52 cm of radio. During the survey, 245 clusters of plants were censed, 84 of them contain mature plants and 68 were constituted by sprouting of old plants damaged by fires. Only 57 plants show flowers and/or fruits during the sampling. The development of forestry plantations in the locality is leading to the invasion of species that are not native of this ecosystem changing the dynamics of this community.
P2.96   The first five years of the Programme for the Conservation of Cuban Cacti Gonzalez-Torres, L.R.*, National Botanical Garden, University of Havana ; Palmarola, A., National Botanical Garden, University of Havana; Barrios, D., National Botanical Garden, University of Havana; Cruz, D., National Botanical Garden, University of Havana
Cuba supports the highest cactus diversity of the Caribbean hotspot. Thirty three of the total 60 species are endemic to the island and are somewhat threatened by its very small population sizes, very narrow distributions and human activities. In 2005, the National Botanic Garden started a conservation project focused to protect and enforce the unique know population of Melocactus actinacanthus in partnership with the protected area this species is located. This initiative grew up to date enlarging its scope to promote the conservation and sustainable management of other cactus species and to their habitats by building capacity, monitoring populations and habitats and enforcing depleted populations, providing advice and information, and raising public awareness and education. In this presentation we briefly summarize the achievements of this programme till its fifth anniversary this year. These achievements include the enforcement of two population of Melocactus actinacanthus and Dendrocereus nudiflorus, the establishment of ex situ collections of the five most threatened cacti, the identification of the important areas for cacti conservation, and results on the impact of fires on the diversity and structure of dry habitat vegetations. We also provide information on the training courses and raising awareness activities we have organized.
P2.97   Threats Of Uncontrolled Tourism To Protected Area : A Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary Case Study Velankar, Avadhoot Dilip*, Applied Environmental Research Foundation ; Punde, Sameer, Applied Environmental Research Foundation
Biodiversity hotspots around the world continue to face human population pressure due to overexploitation of natural resources. Protected area managers here, face the dilema of whether to prioritize conservation or meet human needs. Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary in north Western Ghats is no exception to this, where religious tourism is being given priority over conservation. We studied the extent of damage done by unmanaged tourism to the sanctuary. Spatio-temporal variations in direct and indirect impacts were assessed by noting frequency of occurrence of impacting factors on transects. We also monitored the tourist influx by point counts of people and vehicles in the sanctuary. Awareness among the people about the sanctuary was studied using questionnaires. Opportunistic observations of destructive tourist behaviours were also documented. It was found that the direct impact of tourism like improper solid waste disposal and tourist activity were more localized near the tourism zone while indirect impacts such as grazing, lopping, fire, etc. were more widespread. It was also found that tourists were aware of the negative effects caused by improper solid waste disposal and the necessity for conserving protected areas. However, due to the religious sentiments attached to the Bhimashankar temple, they were more tolerant about them.
P2.98   Behavioural Adaptation of Tibetan Antolopes to the traffic disturbance of Qinghai-tibet railway and highway in Hoh-xil National Nature Reserve Lin Xia*, Institute of Zoology,CAS ; Qisen Yang, Institute of Zoology,CAS; Qian Zhang, Institute of Zoology,CAS
The Tibetan antelope also known as chiru is one of the world endangered animals. Seasonal migration of chiru play an important role in maintaining the gene flow between current isolated geographic populations and also might be a life-history adaptation to increase calf survival. The newly built Qinghai-tibet railway and an accompanied highway bisect the migration corridor of chiru in Hoh-xil Nature Reserve. To offset the barrier effect produced on local fauna, thirty-three special wildlife passages have been built beneath the railway. We monitored the movements of chiru along the Qinghai-Tibet highway and railway, recorded their passes and behavior through crossing structures from the construction period in 2004 on to the present. Monitoring results show that the disturbance to chiru migration included transportation infrastructure, human activities, road traffic, construction of the railway and so on. During the main construction period the Tibetan antelopes were much disturbed but they soon adjusted their migrating routes to avoid most human activities. The antelopes readily adapted to wildlife corridors and other underpasses along the railway: the efficiency of wildlife passages have greatly improved from 56.06 to100%, more crossing structures were used , grouping size and time used in crossing decreased. The use of wildlife corridors was affected by the structure of the passage, recovery of vegetation following damage during construction, and other factors. Our results also indicated that chiru migration were greatly affected by the busy traffic on highway, the successful chiru passes have a negative correlation with the traffic volume.
P2.99   Assessing Tiger Translocation in Sumatra, Indonesia Priatna, D*, ZSL Indonesia ; Kurniawan, E, Bogor Agriculture Institute; Maddox, T, ZSL Indonesia
Human-tiger conflict is one of the key problems in tiger conservation, leading to direct fatalities and reduced support for conservation. Translocating problem tigers to an area of forest far from the conflict zone has been tried to alleviate such conflict. This work aims to support the conservation of Sumatran tigers through providing recommendations to the Indonesian government on the suitability of tiger translocation as a means of conflict mitigation and conservation. Using a combination of GIS analysis and GPS collaring data to evaluate the establishment of home ranges of translocated tigers, camera trapping to determine the ecology of existing tigers and prey in the area and a questionnaire surveys This study investigates the ecology of translocation and its implications for local communities living around translocation site. Key words: translocation, Sumatran tiger, gps collar, home range, camera trapping, ecology, local communities
P2.100   Population Status and Conservation of Javan Gibbon (Hylobates moloch), in Central Java, Indonesia Setiawan, A*, Wildlife Lab,Forest Resource Conservation Dept,Faculty of Forestry, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia ; Nugroho, TS., Wildlife Lab,Forest Resource Conservation Dept,Faculty of Forestry, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Wibisono, Y, Wildlife Lab,Forest Resource Conservation Dept,Faculty of Forestry, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Ikawati, V, Wildlife Lab,Forest Resource Conservation Dept,Faculty of Forestry, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Djuwantoko, Wildlife Lab,Forest Resource Conservation Dept,Faculty of Forestry, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
A survey of distribution and population satus of Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch) was conducted during August 2009 - February 2010 in Central Java, Indonesia. We survey 10 localities and found 56 groups of gibbon, total 132 individuals. The data were obtain using line transect methods. Javan gibbon found in fragmented unprotected forest, altitudinal distribution from 250 1900 meters asl. Sokokembang forest in Western part of Dieng Mountain and Mt.Slamet probably two largest habitat for gibbon population in Central Java, where occupied by 4.49 gibbons/km2 and 1.7 gibbons/km2. For survival of the gibbon in their eastern most range distribution, it’s important to secure the remaining forested habitat in Central Java.
P2.101   Participatory Conservation Of The Edible-Nest Swiftlets In Andaman And Nicobar Islands Manchi, S S*, Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore, India ; Sankaran R, Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore, India
International trafficking affected wild population of the Edible-nest Swiftlet Aerodramus fuciphagus allover its distribution including Andaman and Nicobar Islands. After loss of around 80.00% of breeding population in a decade, conservation of the species was commenced by involving the motivated nest collectors/poachers. To assess the efficacy of the protection system, data were collected from 29 protected and 168 unprotected caves using nest count method. Annual breeding populations in 28 protected caves at Chalis-ek and one cave at Interview Island were estimated between 2001 and 2008. Unprotected populations in 152 caves at Baratang Island and 16 caves at Interview Island were estimated between February and April 2008. Protected population showed significant growth of 38.98% with an average annual growth rate of 4.75±6.21%. Unprotected population showed significant decline of 73.68% with dissertation of 60.50% of caves between 1997 and 2008. These results demand urgency to expand existing protection system to the undefended caves throughout the island arc. Recent exclusion of the species from the Scheduled-I of Wildlife protection Act will help to develop and expand the protection system to assure survival of the species in wild and sustainable use of this natural resource towards economic development of local people.
P2.102   Conservation of tropical magpie (Urocissa ornata) in fragmented forests: Habitat-based management is not a proximate answer Ratnayake,CP*, Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka,Department of Zoology,University of Colombo,Sri Lanka. ; Kotagama,SW, Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka,Department of Zoology,University of Colombo,Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s endemic biota is largely restricted to tropical rainforests in south-western part where continuous fragmentation occurred. Sri Lanka Magpie is a cooperatively breeding, threatened endemic bird which confined to these wet zone forests. Habitat use and reproduction are important factors to evaluate population status of this declining bird species. We initially analyzed the geographic range size to infer the population distribution in fragmented forests. Subsequently, intensive nest-site selection study and nest-survival modeling performed to determine factors that affect Daily Nest Survival-DNS or predation rate. We used two sets of models to build relationship with DNS, by using programme MARK, and included a-priori selected covariates at two levels: habitat level- distance to water; DBH >5, DBH 30<, nest tree height; and population level: year, territory, nest age, group size. Model incorporated the group size variable, showed significant contribution to DNS other than habitat level covariates, however, the constant-survival model also performed better. Habitat level covariates may not act as proximate factors to contribute DNS of magpies in these tropical forests. Therefore, it is not recommended to carry out habitat-based management to improve breeding habitat, until such undetected habitat parameters which significantly contribute to DNS are better understood.
P2.103   Effects of Motorized Access Closure on Elk Habitat Selection and Movement Pitt, Justin*, University of Alberta ; Paton, D, University of Alberta; Creasey, R, Terrain FX Inc.; Muhly, T, University of Calgary; Musiani, M, University of Calgary; Boyce, M, University of Alberta
Rapid industrial development for resource extraction and associated road construction into formerly road-less areas has greatly increased motorized access in Alberta. Roads are known to negatively affect elk in a variety of ways including displacement from habitats and disrupting movements. Managing motorized access using road closures is a commonly proposed mitigation approach which attempts to allow resource extraction while minimizing impacts on wildlife. However, it is unknown how disturbance-sensitive wildlife, such as elk, will respond to changes in access which are sometimes temporary and where the physical attributes of the road remains intact. We used a 45-day forestry closure to examine how elk would respond to a short-term access closure. During this short period, the response by elk was mixed. We used resource selection functions to document that during the closure elk selected more open habitats with higher forage values and decreased selection for cover. However, movement metrics and straight-line distance avoidance of roads remained unchanged. Our results suggest that elk can respond quickly to changes in access relative to certain aspects of their habitat selection. However, this short time period was not sufficient to negate avoidance behavior. Our results provide evidence that gating roads may be an inexpensive way to mitigate their impacts on elk ecology.
P2.104   Conservation status of South African succulents Walters, M*, South African National Biodiversity Institute ; Smith, G.F., South African National Biodiversity Institute; Crouch, N.R., South African National Biodiversity Institute
South Africa has a remarkable diversity of plant life with more plant species occurring here than in any other region of similar size, making it the world’s richest temperate country in terms of floral wealth. A large proportion of this floral wealth is made up of succulents, with an estimated 47% of the world’s diversity occurring in southern Africa. Succulents are collected by enthusiasts the world over and are frequently taken out of habitat and illegally traded, putting pressure on natural populations. In the southern African context succulents are often used by traditional healers as medicinal plants putting even more strain on these natural resources. A list of all South African succulents was compiled and Redlist statuses for each of these taxa were obtained from the recently completed Red List of South African Plants. From a total of 4083 succulent taxa 498 were considered to be threatened i.e. critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable. We provide recommendations for prioritizing future conservation effort.
P2.105   Effect of boat traffic on habitat use of a small resident population of bottlenose dolphins in Bocas del Toro, Panama: strengthening local conservation efforts Barragán-Barrera, DC*, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano ; Palacios-Alfaro, JD, Fundación Keto; Taubitz, E, Universidad de Rostock; May-Collado, LJ, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, George Mason University
The main problem facing cetacean conservation in Latin America is the scarce information on most populations and potential threats to them. The coastal bottlenose dolphin from the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro exemplifies this situation. They live in a small population, and the easiness at which these dolphins can be found has led to intensive and fast growing dolphin-watching industry in the Archipelago. The bottlenose dolphins in Bocas del Toro use primarily shallow waters near mangrove forest where dolphin groups are found primarily traveling (35.53%), feeding (23.81%) and engaging in social activities (20.88%). Behaviors like milling (8.42%) and resting (1.10%) are related to absence of boats, whereas in the presence of multiple boats dolphins tended to shift to diving and traveling behaviors. Thus, in previous and this study we found not only that Bocas dolphin avoid actively dolphin-watching boats in terms of behaviors but also spatially. The Bocas dolphin population has become an important source of income for the locals through boat-based dolphin watching. Despite recent regulations to manage this activity there is a need for local guidelines and education, dolphin-watching boats fleet has increase and these are becoming the main source of noise in several important dolphin areas, potentially threatening their survival as dolphin rely on sound for many basic activities. Ongoing conservation efforts should take in consideration the regulation of this industry.
P2.106   Understanding the establishment determinants of a micro-endemic flora on ultramafic soils in New Caledonia: the Scaevola (Goodeniaceae) model. Wulff, A.*, Agronomic Institute of New Caledonia ; Fogliani B., University of New Caledonia; L'Huillier L., Agronomic Institute of New Caledonia
In New Caledonia the Scaevola genus is represented by nine indigenous species. Six are endemic and three of them are micro-endemic. In order to conserve the micro-endemic flora, it is essential to understand the biological and ecological parameters influencing their distribution and abundance. An integrative study is led on two Scaevola species which live in sympatry on ultramafic soils: S. montana, a common species, and S. coccinea which is restricted to the Tontouta valley. Regarding the environmental conditions, the micro-endemic species is only distributed on serpentinite soils while the common one is distributed on a broad range of substrates. Pollination of the common species is realized by hymenopterous and dipterous insects while the micro-endemic is only pollinated by passerines. These observations were correlated with floral dimensions and nectar composition. The dispersal mode of the common species is zoochory (birds) while no animal was recorded eating the fruits of the micro-endemic one. These differences come from the size and probably the sugar composition of the pulp. The restricted distribution of S. coccinea could be explained in this case by its obligation to grow and multiply on serpentinite soils and its lack to colonize other similar areas separated geographically.
P2.107   A stochastic viability approach for ecosystem-based management of mixed fisheries : the case of the Bay of Biscay demersal fisheries. Gourguet, S*, MNHN- IFREMER ; Doyen, L, CNRS; Macher, C, IFREMER; Guyader, O, IFREMER; Thebaud, O, CSIRO- IFREMER
Marine scientists and stakeholders are increasingly advocating ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM). However, the way to operationalize such EBFM remains controversial. The viability approach can be a relevant modelling framework for EBFM as it accounts for dynamic complexities, uncertainties, risks and sustainability objectives balancing ecological, economic and social dimensions together with intergenerational equity. Mixed fisheries operating in the Bay of Biscay provide a challenging example to illustrate these issues. The present paper focuses on the case of the demersal fisheries catching nephrops, hake, sole and monkfish. A bio-economic multi-species and multi-fleets model is developed to examine the capacity for the stochastic viability framework to assist in developing practical approaches to EBFM. The model integrates the dynamics of the harvested stocks with an uncertain recruitment and technical interactions through joint catches. It relies on data from ICES and IFREMER. A co-viability analysis of the fish populations/fisheries system is performed to investigate how to simultaneously preserve the species (using Bpa precautionary referenced points) and guarantee economic incomes for the fleets. First results suggest that the viable harvesting intensities require a significant reduction in the effort of some fleets, as compared to reference year 2006.
P2.108   Interdisciplinary work in ecosystem management research Pujadas-Botey, Anna*, Department of earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta ; Garvin, Theresa, Department of earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta
Ecosystem management (EM) is an interdisciplinary field within the broader area of ecology. It addresses environmental problems by supporting and promoting practices that cross disciplinary divides. The work presented here presents an evaluation of EM researchers’ definitions of interdisciplinary work, as well as their understandings of interdisciplinary practices in order to better situate EM work in the broader context of interdisciplinarity in science. We identified key EM researchers using a modified systematic review process, resulting in a set of 119 on-line questionnaire responses followed by a targeted set of 15 key-informant, semi-structured telephone interviews. Results indicate that researchers differ on the terminology used for interdisciplinary research however, they share a common understanding of what interdisciplinary research is: both a “way to do research” and a “way of thinking about research”. Differences between researchers suggest that there is a growing interest in developing deeper engagements with theoretical discussions of interdisciplinary taking place outside their own EM field. Results are discussed in the context of the contributions that the theories of interdisciplinary science can make to solving environmental problems.
P2.109   Education and sustainable development alternatives: tools for regional conservation model in Colombia Manuel Guayara*, Unassigned ; Victor Luna, Unassigned; Oscar Gallego, Unassigned
The Colombian Andes has the highest diversity of amphibian species reported for the country and the largest number of endemic species in other groups like mammals and butterflies. However, 80% of these ecosystems have been heavily tapped due to the indiscriminate expansion of agricultural and livestock frontiers, product of unmet needs and ignorance of the farmers in the Colombian Andes. For this reason, Falan is a pioneer municipality in research and environmental education, which through workshops, lectures, eco-hikes and videos made by young school students about environmental issues in the municipality, awareness has been generated largely from the farmers population. Also, to strengthen the research process, meetings have been held annually for young researchers from universities and regional research centers whose purpose is to seek sustainable development alternatives that allow positioning the municipality as a center for research and conservation in Colombia. Moreover, strategic alliances with government institutions, have resulted in encounters regional eco-tourism each year since 2004, representing an affordable alternative that encourage farmers to take care the environment and sustainable thinking in a harvesting natural resources.
P2.110   Development of a non-invasive urinary assay for the determination of pregnancy status in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) WILLIS, EL*, Memphis Zoo, Department of Conservation and Research ; Kersey, DC, Western University of Health Sciences; Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, Conservation and Research Center; Durrant, BS, San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research; Kouba, AJ, Memphis Zoo, Department of Conservation and Research
Female giant pandas experience a phenomenon known as pseudopregnancy after ovulation, during which a non-pregnant female exhibits physiological changes similar to those observed during pregnancy. For many mammalian species, reproductive hormone patterns clearly differentiate the pregnant from non-pregnant state. However, pregnancy cannot be diagnosed in the giant panda by hormone monitoring as the patterns are invariable between pregnancy and pseudopregnancy. Among species of Canidae, a family of carnivores that similarly experiences obligate pseudopregnancy, phase proteins have been successfully utilized to differentiate pregnancy from pseudopregnancy. Therefore, in this study we evaluated enzymatically active urinary ceruloplasmin (EAUC), a phase protein, in four adult female giant pandas. Urine was collected (3-7d/wk) throughout 15 reproductive cycles. Results revealed a distinct increase in EAUC during pregnant compared to known pseudopregnant states. Furthermore, among term pregnancies, EAUC was elevated one week following mating/artificial insemination and remained elevated until 20-23 days prior to parturition. This study provided the earliest method to determine pregnancy in captive giant pandas and the first non-invasive physiological assay to diagnose pregnancy. This technique may also be applicable for monitoring the reproductive status of wild populations using ceruloplasmin excreted in feces.
P2.111   Mainstreaming systematic conservation plans into multi-sectoral land-use plans at a local level: Key lessons from South Africa Stewart, WI*, SRK Consulting, South Africa ; Reeves, B, SRK Consulting, South Africa; Kamineth, A, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa; Miller, J, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa; Mkosana, J, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa
The mainstreaming of systematic conservation plans into the land-use (town and regional) planning sector is a key challenge to the successful achievement of biodiversity conservation objectives at a local level. A major impediment to success is the frequency of design of conservation plans in isolation of socio-economic considerations, often resulting in poor support for the implementation of such plans. The Cape Floristic Region (CFR) and Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany recognised centres of diversity and endemism are currently subject to rapid transformation that threatens priority biodiversity along the eastern seaboard of South Africa. Key lessons from two systematic conservation planning projects in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in which different multi-sectoral integrative approaches have been applied, will be shared. These projects involved the development and Ministerial gazetting processes for a Bioregional Plan for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and an Environmental Management Framework for the central coastal zone of the Province. The approaches applied to resolve potential conflicts with other sector plans (e.g. agriculture, housing, industry) and integrate the outcomes of the conservation plans into overarching land-use planning frameworks highlighted a number of successful mainstreaming mechanisms. These mechanisms will be explored, including evaluation of the land-use needs of other sectors during the development of the conservation plans, inclusion of multi-disciplinary expertise in the conservation planning teams, capacity building, the development of conservation “champions” within implementing agencies, and the design of planner-friendly conservation products.
P2.112   Janos Biosphere Reserve: A socio-environmental perspective. Sierra-Corona, R, Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM ; Solis-Gracia, V*, Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM; List, L, Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM; Paz, F, Centro Regional de Investigaciones Multidisciplinarias, UNAM; Ceballos, G, Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM
The Janos Biosphere Reserve located in Chihuahua, Mexico, covers more than half a million hectares of native grasslands and forests, and it is one of the most biological diverse reserves in North America. Janos is one of the last extensive grasslands in northwestern Mexico, where this ecosystem has expirienced severe degradation processes due to anthropogenic activities. Large regions have lost their capacity to provide environemental services and sustain local inhabitants. This, linked to lack of economic alternatives has forced peasants to sell their rangelands to industrialized agricultural producers. Land owners are becoming employees, poverty and migration to cities in Mexico and in the US is growing and new environmental and social problems are arising. In this study we evaluate in detail the root causes of biodiversity loss in the Janos reserve, to to find solutions for these complex problems. We used a historical analysis that focused in the identification of the environmental problems, stakeholders, and socio-environmental conflicts. We identified two environmental conflicts fueled by authority’s corruption; land use change due to grassland plowing, and the competition for the water supply, where the irrigation of expanding crops is reducing the available water for human settlements and ranching. Next steps include a socio-economic evaluation in the whole region to direct our efforts to the issues whose solution will have the greatest impact in conservation.
P2.113   Effective Use of Simulation and Information Tools in Integrated Land Use Planning, Environmental Management, and Conservation SLOCOMBE, D SCOTT*, Geography & ES, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada, N2L 3C5
Problems with institutional, disciplinary, and habitat fragmentation have long been drivers of more spatially, informationally, and institutionally integrated approaches to land use planning and environmental management. Several past and current planning initiatives in BC, Alberta, and Yukon have sought to address these challenges in contexts of strong interest in species and habitat conservation. In this context, an emerging approach involves the linked tools of simulation models, geographic information systems (GIS), and definition of disturbance limits and thresholds, in order to integrate a range of information into a more scientific basis for land use planning. Review of several initiatives in western and northern Canada identifies several key issues for the effectiveness of this approach: adequacy of input data, transparency of technical components and results, ongoing data and monitoring needs, and effectively linking the technical products with planning implementation processes.
P2.114   Stakeholder Perceptions of Risk and Vulnerability Associated with Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Namibian Conservancies Kahler, JS*, Michigan State University ; Gore, ML, Michigan State University
In Namibia, human-wildlife conflicts (HWCs) create management challenges for conservancies mandated to conserve wildlife and promote sustainable economic development. The aim of this research was to investigate stakeholder's risk perceptions and vulnerability associated with HWC, in order to foster deeper understanding of HWC-related decision-making. Our objectives were: 1) characterize local perceptions of HWC-related risks and; (2) investigate the extent to which conservancy characteristics, gender, and expertise influenced attitudes about HWC-related risks. We used participatory risk ranking in a case study approach to explore factors influencing local HWC-related risk perceptions and vulnerability to livelihoods and wildlife in two conservancies in Caprivi, Namibia (n = 50). Expertise, gender and conservancy influenced perceptions of HWC risk severity and acuteness to livelihoods and to wildlife. Non-HWC-related risks (e.g., lack of employment) were cited as exacerbating both human and wildlife vulnerability to HWC. Results provide baseline information about stakeholder attitudes associated with HWC and assert that in community-based management systems successful HWC mitigation may be more broadly tied to improvements in local livelihoods and well-being. Understanding perceptions of risk to and from wildlife and factors that influence vulnerability can help managers design HWC related interventions that more effectively reduce risks to livelihoods and biodiversity.
P2.116   A forest is not an elephant: Towards a holistic understanding of forests from multiple disciplines Cullman, G.C.*, Columbia University
What is gained and what is left out by using methods from different disciplinary traditions to characterize forests? Like the proverbial blind men describing the elephant, single-discipline approaches to understanding complex systems like forests can describe only a part of the whole. By using diverse methods, conservation practitioners and researchers hope to be able to get a more holistic understanding of forests. Unfortunately, the forest as seen through the lens of one discipline may be difficult to reconcile with that of another, causing confusion and conflict rather than a single, more powerful understanding. Global implementation of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) presents an opportunity to develop a multidisciplinary framework capable of embracing multiple perspectives. A reductionist understanding of forests solely as carbon storage and capture systems could be one consequence of REDD implementation. In order to meet international commitments to the protection of indigenous and local land rights and to biodiversity conservation, however, REDD implementation must draw upon diverse understandings of forests. This review considers which combinations of methods to characterize forests may be more or less effective for REDD project implementation and management.
P2.117   Assessing the use of public health as a conservation strategy Brito, IB*, Earth Institute, Columbia University ; Redford, KH, Wildlife Conservation Society; Ingram, JC, Wildlife Conservation Society
Although there is a growing body of evidence revealing the linkages between ecosystem health and human health, this body of literature has traditionally been separated from conservation implementation efforts. By drawing from significant public health findings, we explore unique opportunities for conservation that arise from assessing the health impacts resulting from ecosystem disturbance. These may be negative and obvious, such as increased infectious disease prevalence following dam construction or more elusive, such as impaired bioprospecting for potential drug candidates as key species become extinct. Quantifying the human health value of ecosystem conservation would allow for more accurate comparisons of the costs of natural resource degradation when compared to conservation. Additionally, demonstrating that improved health can sometimes be a result of conservation under certain conditions can potentially broaden the constituency invested in conservation efforts. We outline the strengths and weaknesses of this approach in order to explore the power of public health arguments in influencing land use decisions.
P2.118   Strategic Alignments for Conservation: The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) Mullen, Maureen, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ; Monfort, Steven*, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Stolk, Ruth Anna, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Renick-Mayer, Lindsay, Smithsonian National Zoological Park; Christen, Catherine, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
“Understanding and sustaining a biodiverse planet” is one of the Smithsonian’s new strategic goals. So it is timely that Smithsonian leaders in January 2010 established the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), encompassing the Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center (established in 1973) and its Rock Creek Park research complex, to facilitate Smithsonian’s ongoing global efforts to conserve species and train future generations of conservation scientists. SCBI researchers specialize in genetics, reproductive science, ecology, and wildlife health and husbandry sciences, while education and training programs are expanding at the Front Royal and global partner sites. We aim to increase our cutting-edge conservation science programs, and expand our convening role through symposia and more collaborations with like-minded organizations. This includes developing and sharing new strategies for conservation practice as they emerge from dialogue among students, global trainees, and conservation science practitioners and partners at field locations worldwide. National Zoo/SCBI scientists have long been closely involved with SCB and we look forward to more opportunities for SCB-SCBI synergies. This poster explores the new benefits SCBI seeks to build for conservation biology.
P2.119   Matching Theory and Practice: An Examination of Practitioners Descriptions of Ecosystem-Based Management in Central California Gancos, Tara*, Center for Environmental Studies, Brown University
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) strives to address the inadequacies of traditional single-sector natural resource management approaches by targeting the full suite of ecosystem services being produced in a naturally delineated place, assessing cumulative impacts of different human activities, evaluating tradeoffs between objectives, and engaging stakeholders throughout the management process. Published articulations of EBM contain a variety of distinguishing characteristics, many of which have yet to be fully operationalized among pioneering EBM sites. Disparities between EBM theory and practice have been attributed by some to insufficient translation of EBM principles between scholars and practitioners. To determine the extent to which poor translation is inhibiting EBM implementation, I investigated two EBM demonstration sites on the central California coast, USA: the Elkhorn Slough Tidal Wetland Project (ESTWP) and the San Luis Obispo Science and Ecosystem Alliance (SLOSEA). Twenty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted with practitioners at these sites: ten from the ESTWP and sixteen from the SLOSEA. Distinguishing characteristics mentioned by practitioners in their descriptions of EBM were compared to published descriptions. The results indicate coherence between published articulations of EBM and practitioners descriptions within and across sites. This led me to conclude insufficient translation of EBM concepts is not a problem at the ESTWP or SLOSEA. The interviews yielded indications of other EBM implementation challenges, which appear to be playing more significant roles in hindering progress of EBM at these sites.
P2.120   Monitoring the Ecological Effects of Lake Level Management on Voyageurs National Park Using Beavers (Castor canadensis) Windels, SK*, Voyageurs National Park
Water levels and flow regimes of the international waters of Rainy Lake and the Namakan Reservoir on the Minnesota-Ontario border have been controlled by several private dams since the early 1900s. Voyageurs National Park, MN contains more than 27% of these water bodies. In response to documented ecosystem degradation, the International Joint Commission (IJC) issued the 2000 Rule Curves to mimic a more natural water cycle, particularly in reducing the winter drawdown in the Namakan Reservoir. Beavers (Castor canadensis) in lake environments are especially sensitive to fluctuations in water levels, particularly changes that occur after lodge sites have been established in late fall. Therefore, beavers were selected as one of a suite of indicators for assessing the ecological effects of the new hydrologic regimes. Several aspects of beaver ecology were studied from 2004-2009 to compare with similar data collected in 1984-1986 during the previous water level management regime (i.e., the 1970 Rule Curves). Beavers appear to have deeper and more stable access to water during the winter drawdown at present than during the 1970 Rule Curves. Consequently, beavers spent more time inside their lodges versus outside of the lodge during the winter than before the changes in 2000, which has implications for beaver energetics and predation risk. Other aspects of beaver ecology related to water level management, including body condition, reproduction and survival, and availability of aquatic forages will be discussed.
P2.121   The influence of predator control on North American ungulates: A meta-analytic review Randell, H., Department of Environment & Conservation, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada ; Lewis, Keith P.*, 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
The removal of predators from a system may provide a means of increasing prey populations but predator control in big-game systems is controversial, costly, and difficult to implement. Since predator control is often most efficiently accomplished through the killing of animals, assessing its effectiveness is important for ethical, scientific, and financial reasons. In 1997, the National Research Council (NRC) established guidelines for appropriately implementing predator control programs. Despite the invaluable review of the NRC, there remains little quantitative analysis of the effect of predator control as a means of managing ungulate prey or their predators, specifically on the duration of programs, the size of the area required, the methodology, and the number of animals that should be removed. Using a meta-analytic approach, we evaluated >30 North American predator control programs conducted for big-game management. Predator control programs were most likely to result in increased ungulate populations when multiple removal methods were employed over multiple years and when a high percentage of the predators were removed. In addition to the guidelines provided by the NRC, decisions respecting the use of predator control as a management or conservation tool should consider the likelihood of producing the desired result.
P2.122   Monitoring the Effect of Sulphur Emissions on Lichens in North-Central Alberta Sare, K*, Golder Associates Ltd. ; Boughen, G, Golder Associates Ltd.; Lane, C, Golder Associates Ltd.; Nielsen, D, Golder Associates Ltd.; Gilchrist, IG, Golder Associates Ltd.; Cody, M, Cenovus FCCL Ltd.
Lichens are an important component of boreal ecosystems and a well tested indicator of sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Cenovus FCCL Ltd. participated in a biomonitoring program to assess changes in sulphur content in lichens near one of their facilities from 2007 to 2009. Fourteen experimental plots were established between 0 and 10 km along two transects aligned with prevailing wind directions. Five control plots were established 95 km west of the facility in an area free of intensive SO2 emission sources. Lichen samples were collected annually for bioassay analysis and ambient SO2 levels were recorded. Results showed that ambient SO2 levels were below thresholds at which lichen abundance has been reported to decline. Sulphur content in lichen tissue increased over time and fell within the range of values reported from similar research in the area. The effect of distance and direction from the facility was not consistent, but there was evidence that sulphur content was higher proximate to and southeast of the facility. In 2009, lichens at control plots had higher sulphur content than those at experimental plots, highlighting the difficulty associated with locating appropriate control sites in a landscape characterized by increasing oil and gas development. To conclude, sulphur emissions from the facility are not high enough to cause short term lichen injury and follow up work is required to determine whether this conclusion holds in the long term.
P2.123   Improving Conservation Practice by Investing in Monitoring Strategy Effectiveness Montambault, JR, The Nature Conservancy ; Groves, CR*, The Nature Conservancy
Monitoring is an investment many governmental and non-governmental organizations make while managing natural resources. Monitoring can demonstrate the success of management interventions, or guide a change in course when desired outcomes are not achieved. However, monitoring is often the last component in a project to receive funding and among the first to get eliminated when budgets tighten. Historically, The Nature Conservancy focused most monitoring efforts on population trends of species of concern on nature preserves. Today, our monitoring questions have evolved to focus on assessing under what conditions and to what extent our conservation management interventions accomplish desired outcomes and why. Investment in this monitoring must be balanced against what else might be done with these resources. We provide guiding principles for making these investment decisions based on two key factors: a) potential for risk to an organization (ecological, reputational, legal, and the risk of uncertainty) and b) leverage (potential for multiplying the influence of a demonstration site or approach). We use a sampling of Conservancy projects to illustrate the interplay between these factors with monitoring costs ranging from minimal (US$100,000/year). We also provide a simple framework to help managers balance the level of scientific rigor (inference) with the need for rapid and inexpensive results to inform management decisions.
P2.124   Biodiversity evaluations for individual managed sites Huggard, David*, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute ; Schieck, Jim, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
As part of programs to assess ecological sustainability, management agencies must evaluate the condition of biodiversity in reclaimed or restored areas, at conservation offset sites, or as part of adaptive resource management. We developed a new likelihood-based method that uses relationships between species and levels of visible human disturbance (“footprint”) to assign a biodiversity-based measure of human disturbance level to individual sites. The underlying relationships between biota and human footprint levels are derived from regional monitoring programs, and can include covariates for ecosystem type and geographic location. The method uses one or more standardized surveys of biota at the target site, and includes estimates of uncertainty in the human disturbance level. The method highlights the information value of single or multiple surveys of different taxa, which can be used to design a cost-effective survey of the target site. The equivalent human disturbance measure can be standardized to a 0-100 scale of intactness that is easily interpreted by managers and the general public, and can be used to assess the management agency’s success at conserving or restoring native biodiversity. We demonstrate the approach using information on vascular plants, mosses, lichens, birds and soil arthropods collected by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) to assess ecological condition at 191 sites in the boreal forest of Alberta.
P2.125   Wildlife Mortality in Jasper National Park: An Examination of Train Spilled Grain Shepherd, B*, Parks Canada
Train collisions with animals are an important source of wildlife mortality in Jasper National Park, and monitoring the quantity of grain spilled by railcars signals if this contribution to mortality is being addressed. Grain products leak from trains as they travel due to improper loading or faulty gate mechanisms on railcars, especially in areas where trains stop and wait. In Jasper National Park, large carnivores and ungulates are struck by trains as they feed on spilled grains or rail-killed carcasses. Rail companies have improved maintenance for some grain cars and use vacuum-mounted railcars to clean up large spills in an attempt to reduce these attractants. We measured the quantity of grain spilled on the railway over the first two years of a three-year national program to repair malfunctioning grain cars. Grain was sampled in 2 ft2 collection boxes located between the rails at 26 sites in an area of the park with historically persistent grain spills. We dried and sifted samples to remove debris and obtained a weight/day. We tested the effect of time and grain car traffic on grain spill rate using a generalized mixed effects model. The quantity of grain spilled did not decline during the period of the repair program; however our analysis identified seasonal peaks in grain spill rate. Our study reveals that current efforts in railcar maintenance and on-site clean-up have not yet resulted in a change in grain spill rate in the park.
P2.126   Retrofitting monitoring and evaluation indicators to an ongoing conservation project: A case study of Miradi and the Taita Thrush WRIGHT, DAN*, Conservation International ; Baer, Elizabeth, Conservation International
Now, more than ever, it is important for conservation projects to incorporate quantifiable monitoring and evaluation criteria to measure and adapt towards progress on the ground. Monitoring and evaluation is especially critical in projects featuring highly threatened species under severe and ongoing threat in a rapidly changing environment. There is a number of software applications designed to assist in the adaptive management of conservation projects including Miradi. Miradi is a software program based on the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation as defined by the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) and is designed to help conservation practitioners design, implement, and monitor successful conservation projects. Miradi and similar tools are very useful if used from the inception of a project, but in reality many conservation projects are developed and implemented without formal consideration of such standards, creating a need to understand the difficulties and opportunities of retrofitting a real world project into the system. We apply the Miradi framework to the case of the Taita Thrush (Turdus helleri), an IUCN critically endangered species restricted to 4 forest patches in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya. We highlight some of the lessons learned from applying formal monitoring standards to an existing project.
P2.127   A comprehensive ground-based framework for quantification of human impacts on wildlife and habitat Srinivas, V.*, Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning ; Gangadharan, A., Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning; Ram, S., Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning
Ground-based monitoring of human impacts on wildlife and habitat is a critical component of conservation efforts, especially in biodiversity hotspots with significant human populations. Currently most efforts to monitor human impacts are limited to encounter rate indices, such as number of snares/km walked. However, such indices bear an unknown relationship with true impact prevalence because they do not account for imperfect detection, and are especially misleading when detectability varies spatially or temporally. We adapted a standardized detection-non-detection survey and a statistically robust framework to explicitly estimate detection probability and hence quantify the distribution and intensity of human impacts. We applied this framework in a multiple-use zone in the southern Western Ghats as a critical component of quantifying threats to connectivity for large mammals. Although very little evidence of poaching was detected during field surveys, our models indicate that 5 percent of the sampled area was impacted by it, a 110% increase from naïve estimates of poaching presence. Our results highlight the influence of human settlements on the prevalence of several human impacts over the landscape. Our approach combines simple, cost-effective field methods with a robust analytical framework to quantify impact prevalence, prioritize conservation efforts and evaluate their outcomes. It also provides conservation managers with an intuitive visual tool for adaptive management.
P2.128   Applications of Remote Cameras in Northeast Alberta, Canada Leggo, SN, Golder Associates Ltd. ; Jalkotzy, MJ, Golder Associates Ltd.; De La Mare, CJ*, Golder Associates Ltd.
Remote cameras can be used to gather data for a variety of objectives including detecting key furbearers and wide-ranging carnivores, wildlife habitat use, seasonal movements of wildlife and wildlife interactions with industrial infrastructure. The use of remote camera technology for collecting data on wildlife species offers several advantages over traditional methods of data collection. They allow for collection of data during any season or time of day and in remote locations. As well, remote cameras are simple and reliable systems that can be easily moved among survey sites. In northeast Alberta, within the Oil Sands Region, remote cameras have been used effectively for conducting baseline inventories using baited and non-baited camera stations, monitoring wildlife species in reclaimed areas, assessing wildlife use of potential movement corridors, monitoring wildlife habitat use in relation to disturbances, monitoring for species of concern and monitoring the efficacy of mitigation measures. A minimum of fifteen camera programs have been conducted since 2005 in northeast Alberta. This presentation will outline the methods used for the various objectives and how the results from remote camera surveys can be integrated with other survey types to predict environmental impact assessments, focus long term monitoring and assess effectiveness of mitigation measures for wildlife species in the Oil Sands Region.
P2.129   Application of DNA Bushmeat Barcoding in Prosecution of Wildlife Crimes in East Africa Opyene, V*, Uganda Wildlife Authority
APPLICATION OF DNA BUSHMEAT BARCODING IN PROSECUTION OF WILDLIFE CRIMES IN EAST AFRICA OPYENE V 1. Uganda Wildlife Authority, Kampala , Uganda 2. Bushmeat Free Eastern Africa Network, Kampala, Uganda Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania apply common wealth legal system. The three countries have the same legal system with the legal precedents (judgments) pronounced in one state binding on others. This paper assessed the application of DNA barcoding of bushmeat in prosecution of wildlife crimes in Kenya ,Uganda and Tanzania. The study shows that in courts in the study areas, application of scientific technology or opinion to prove cases are inadequate.The study also examine the laws in the three countries to ascertain the legal readiness to embrace bushmeat barcoding as a scientific tool in the prosecution of wildlife crimes in the region. The study shows that in Uganda and Kenya the Evidence Act has placed the burden of proof in criminal cases , wildlife crimes inclusive on the state/ prosecution to prove that the species poached is wildlife under section 104 of the Uganda Evidence Act The burden of proving any fact necessary to be proved in order to enable any person to give evidence of any other fact is on the person who wishes to give that evidence. and the required standard of proof is proof beyond reasonable doubt. Under section 105(b) of the Uganda Evidence Act the person accused shall be entitled to be acquitted of the offence with which he or she is charged if the court is satisfied that the evidence given by either the prosecution or the defense creates a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused person in respect of that offence this provided for this was further illustrated in the case of Uganda Vs Dick Ojok [1992-93] HCB 54 Where court held that in all criminal cases the duty of proving the guilt of the accused always lies on the prosecution and that duty does not shift to the accused person and the standarad by which the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused is proof beyond reasonable doubt except in a few statutory cases. Any legally acceptable doubt raised in court is always resolved to the benefit of the accused. This impacts on the prosecution of wildlife crime because in the absence of visible morphological features like trophies, hair , hooves , smoked or sundried ,bushmeat from antelopes are impossible to differentiate from goats meat , buffaloes from beef , warthogs and wild pigs from pork. In the absence of scientific proof courts in east Africa have always ruled that prosecution did not prove their case beyond reasonable doubt and the suspects are acquitted. The absence of Bushmeat DNA barcoding in prosecution has motivated the habitual wildlife criminals, commercial wildlife poachers in east Africa to poach while knowing that in the absence of visible morphological features the prosecution will miserably fail to prove their case beyond reasonale doubt.the provision of the law has frustrted the efforts of the wildlife crime law enforcement rangers who usally take their time going through a costly investigation processes. whereas in Tanzania in an attempt to improve on the prosecution of wildlife crime, the state have shifted the legal burden of proof on the accused to prove that the species found in his or her possession is not wildlife or that it was acquired legally .The study also examined the professional capacity of magistrates, prosecutors and law enforcement rangers in the use of DNA bushmeat barcoding in wildlife crime prosecution.The study finally recommended training of magistrates,prosecutors and police on use of DNA bushmeat barcoding in wildlife law enforcement,and development of wildlife crime prosecutors manual.
P2.130   Assessing Payment For Environmental Services Program Effectiveness Using Spatial Biodiversity Estimates From Forest Change And Natural History Surveys Ball, R A*, University of Alberta ; Sanchez-Azofeifa, A, University of Alberta; Calvo-Avarado, J C, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica Escuela de Ingeniería Forestal
This study aims to characterize the distribution of biodiversity samples that form the core of the Costa Rica National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) and the country’s internationally recognized program on payments for Environmental Services. In the context of this program, biodiversity is one of four key services but has not yet been evaluated in terms of effectiveness. A natural history dataset of species observations across Costa Rica was assessed for suitability producing species richness maps and to test their distributions relative to bioclimatic life zones, conservation areas and forest deforestation/regeneration from 1960-2005. The species data was characterized by uneven sampling densities and was resampled at 5km & 1km grid cells. Richness estimates were produced from co-kriging of sample richness and ancillary layers. These estimates were highly spatially-autocorrelated, increasing with grid size. Standard errors of some estimates peaked orders of magnitudes beyond observed richness values. Boosted regression tree modelling is predicted to decrease the standard errors of estimates. Biodiversity patterns relative to conservation areas and forest cover change are discussed. This study identifies hotspots of species inventory and data gaps that require more investigation to produce reliable national richness distribution maps.
P2.131   Is a Sampling Approach Sufficient to Monitor the Human Footprint on the Boreal Forest? Hird, J, University of Calgary ; Castilla, G, University of Calgary; McLane, A, University of Calgary; Linke, J, University of Calgary; McDermid, G*, University of Calgary
The human footprint of a natural region can be summarized both by the proportion of the region transformed or altered to serve some human use (e.g., surface mining, forestry) and by the density of different infrastructures within the region (e.g., roads, gas and oil wells). This may be estimated by a complete census based on full coverage data, or through a sampling approach wherein only a small part of the region is monitored. The latter approach has obvious economic advantages, but how accurate are the resulting estimates? We answer this question for the boreal forest of Alberta and for natural subregions within it, by deriving estimates of their most common human footprint features (forest clear-cuts, seismic cutlines, well-sites and roads) under different sampling intensities, from 0.25% to 16%, applied to full coverage datasets. The standard error of the estimates follows an inverse power law when plotted against sampling intensity. The sampling intensity required to achieve a 90% accuracy decreased with the size and the uniformity of the spatial distribution of the human footprint features within the region. Our results indicate that the sampling approach, while suitable for the entire boreal region, may not be sufficient for monitoring the human footprint at the management (local) scale, i.e. for small regions, or even for larger regions if the feature being monitored is unevenly distributed across the region.
P2.132   The How, Where, and Why of Reintroducing Black-footed Ferrets in Canada Knaga, PS*, Parks Canada Agency ; Sissons, R. , Parks Canada Agency; Wruth, A, Parks Canada Agency
In October 2009, Parks Canada Agency, alongside collaborating organizations, reintroduced black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) into Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan. The reintroduction presented Parks Canada with a number of challenging problems to solve. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were employed to answer these questions by: modelling prey density to predict possible ferret release sites, analysing and correcting survey intensity, and measuring and analysing post-release movement and home-ranges. Black-footed ferret release sites were chosen based on prey density models based on data collected by park biologists on active burrows of the ferret's main prey item, the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus). Natural neighbour models were created as a proxy for prey densities. Release sites were chosen based on these prey distribution estimates, known black-footed ferret home-ranges, and the genetic relatedness of individual ferrets. To determine occupancy estimates of black-footed ferrets from monitoring efforts, we corrected ferret locations using spatially-explicit survey intensity models. Finally, post-release ferret movements and home-ranges are being analysed to help understand how this population is re-establishing itself in the Canadian prairies. These methods and preliminary results are presented here to elucidate the importance and utility of GIS in the reintroduction and re-establishment of black-footed ferrets in Canada.
P2.133   Quantifying observer effort for opportunistically-collected wildlife sightings records SMITH, I*, Vancouver Aquarium ; Barrett-Lennard, L, Vancouver Aquarium; Birdsall, C, Vancouver Aquarium; Sandilands, D, Cetus Research and Conservation Society; Phillips, A, Vancouver Aquarium
Opportunistic sightings networks can be a useful and practical method for identifying the geographical and temporal distribution of species in areas where systematic surveys are unrealistic. However, without records of when and where observers travelled, it is impossible to determine whether geographic or temporal variation in sightings reflects variation in effort or variation in the species of interest. We created a GIS model to reconstruct a plausible distribution of effort of the main categories of voluntary observers reporting whale, dolphin and sea turtle sightings. Observers were grouped into categories such as commercial whale watchers and ferry crew. Effort for each observer was estimated using patterns typical of his or her category, including trip distances, proximity to home port, standard ferry routes and maximum sighting distances. We also estimated the relative effectiveness of each category at sighting, identifying and reporting cetaceans, and used both types of estimates to create an effort layer for each observer category. The layers were combined to give a spatially explicit overall estimate of sightings effort. We then applied the effort model to our sightings database to calculate an index of sightings density per unit effort for use in estimating species densities. The method provides a practical approach to estimating observer effort applicable to a range of studies making use of opportunistically-collected data.
P2.134   Forest vegetation remnant in Mato Grosso state in Brazilian Amazonia – measuring the impact of landcover fragmentation Matsumoto, MH*, TNC - The Nature Conservancy ; Rodrigues, ST, WWF - World Wildlife Fund; Oliveira, M, WWF - World Wildlife Fund
For several years conversion of native vegetation into pasture and cropland was conducted at high rate in the Mato Grosso state in the Brazilian Amazonia. More recently, due to several reasons the deforestation rate has been reduced in that state, however one of most important effects of deforestation remain, which is the landscape fragmentation. Currently, there is 314,504 km2 natural forest vegetation left in the Mato Grosso state, compounding a diverse landscape structure, from a continuous natural forest to mosaic of forest patches surrounded by pasture/cropland. In order to evaluate the effect of land fragmentation, we applied Landcover Fragmentation tool to measure the level of impact due to natural vegetation conversion from 1997 to 2007 in the Mato Grosso state. The result shows that 75,964 km2 of natural forest were converted during 1997 to 2007, while the landscape fragmentation analysis revealed that only 258,265 km2 corresponds to a core area of vegetation remnant, which is about 82% of current natural forest left. Based on this preliminary result, there is evidence that the real impact of landscape fragmentation is greater than the total area of vegetation remnant mapped in the Mato Grosso state.
P2.135   A mapping-based niche comparison of California endangered and threatened species and their closest relatives Smith, J.E.*, California State University, Fullerton ; Horn, M.H., California State University, Fullerton
Niche conservatism in endangered and threatened taxa has been largely ignored in the literature. Using Environmental Niche Modeling (ENM), we modeled the ecological niches and evaluated niche conservatism in 23 California endangered and threatened taxa and their closest relatives. Species persist within a limited set of biotic and abiotic conditions defined as the niche. Although little empirical evidence exists, theory suggests that closely related taxa should exhibit low niche differentiation and share similar threats of extinction. This concept of niche conservatism proposes that rates of adaptation outside of the fundamental niche are often slower than the extinction rate. ENM is a powerful explorative tool that has been used increasingly to answer fundamental questions about niche theory. We used extensive museum collection databases, accessed through Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Prediction (GARP) package to model the fundamental niches of each of the 46 taxa. Our study aimed to compare a diverse set of endangered and threatened taxa to elucidate potential patterns of niche conservatism across a broad group of clades. Understanding niche dynamics and the underlying mechanisms driving speciation is important, especially for endangered taxa. Moreover, identifying patterns and commonalities among such a wide array of endangered taxa could benefit species management decisions.
P2.136   Assessing The Need For Assisted Migration Of Artemisia californica In Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat Pratt, JD*, University of California, Irvine ; Mooney, KA, University of California, Irvine
The use of assisted migration as a conservation strategy to mitigate species losses due to climate change has recently been debated in the literature. While much of this debate has focused on moving species outside of their current ranges, less well considered are the consequences of, or potential need to move locally adapted genotypes of species within their current ranges. We summarize the literature on “genotype assisted migration” and present results from an empirical study characterizing the need for such a strategy for Artemisia californica, a foundational species of coastal sage scrub habitats in California. We examined geographic variation in the response to predicted climate change in five populations of A. californica across a four-fold precipitation gradient along 700 km of this species range. In a common garden experiment where we manipulated precipitation, we found clinal variation in ecologically important traits of A. californica, including growth rate and resistance to herbivores. This provides evidence of strong local adaption to climate across this species’ range, as well as extended consequences of this adaptation for A. californica’s associates. Consequently, we suggest that assisted migration of A. californica genotypes from south to north should be considered in habitat restoration plans. Implementing assisted migration during habitat restoration provides a unique opportunity to increase adaptive genetic variation of a species within its current range, particularly for populations at range margins.
P2.136   Importance of historical land use in the spatial distribution of evergreen broadleaved species at their northern limit in Japan Vega, LA*, Doctorate course student of the Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University ; Koike, F, Professor of the Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University
At their northern and southern distribution limits, plant species subsist under climatic stress and are considered as regionally endangered due to bio-geographical importance. Also, land use change over time increases the environmental stress and influences modern vegetation composition. Such effect could affect marginal plant populations more significantly and cause their reduction. In this research, the factors explaining the current distribution of 20 evergreen broadleaved species (5 at their northern limit) were studied at the Tokyo University Forest (2171 ha) from topographic, geographical and historical stand points. 7185 plots of 10m by 10m were surveyed along the census line recording presence and absence of individuals. Current distribution was modeled by multivariate logistic regression with factors derived from a 10m mesh digital elevation model (elevation, slope, solar radiation, topographic wetness index, surface curvature), a 1 km mesh climatic data set, and land use maps: current (2005) and historical (1900). Unlike the case of the rest of the studied species, for northern limit species the historic land use landscape was always a more important factor than the current land use landscape in explaining their current distribution. Surface curvature and winter minimum temperature were also very common significant factors. We concluded that for northern limit species, the historical land use has a relatively stronger influence over their population distribution.
P2.137   Fitness-related habitat suitability modeling indicates extreme nationwide fragmentation of suitable breeding habitats of endangered raptors PONNIKAS, SUVI*, Department of Biology, University of Oulu, Finland ; Hannila, Riikka, Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland; Orell, Markku, Department of Biology, University of Oulu, Finland; Ollila, Tuomo, Metsähallitus, Natural Heritage Services, Finland; Luoto, Miska, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland
We used fitness-related species data in habitat suitability modeling (HSM) to quantify the suitable breeding habitats of two endangered raptors in Finland. The study design based on a unique nationwide data set consisting of confirmed breedings of the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). We used presence-only nesting site data and 14 explanatory variables from five environmental factor groups (climate, topography, land cover, human impact and habitat connectivity) to construct Maxent models at the resolution of 2 x 2 km (n= 83 423). We found that the Golden Eagle avoids strongly human altered landscape and favors coniferous forests in topographically variable landscape. The distribution of the Peregrine Falcon is most correlated with highly connected open peatlands. The suitable breeding habitats of the Golden Eagle and the Peregrine Falcon were observed to be extremely fragmented in Finland. Inclusion of land cover variables to HSMs improved model performance and revealed the extreme fragmentation pattern of suitable nesting habitats. Our findings suggest that disregarding land cover in HSM would produce an overoptimistic figure of the breeding habitat of the raptors which in turn may cause a significant source of error in broad-scale conservation planning. Our results highlight the importance of preservation of the currently unprotected suitable habitats to ensure the long-term survival of these raptor populations.
P2.138   A global empirical test of the Species-Area Relationship for predicting extinction risk in relation to habitat conversion Bogich, TL*, Wildlife Trust ; Green, RE, University of Cambridge; Balmford, AP, University of Cambridge
Habitat loss is undoubtedly one of the greatest threats to species persistence and a predictive tool that links habitat loss to extinction risk would be invaluable to conservation. For the past three decades the Species-Area Relationship (SAR) has been this tool, providing the basis for countless conservation priority setting analyses. However, it has rarely been tested with data on real extinction rates; it ignores threats to biodiversity other than direct habitat conversion; and it assumes that species are uniform in their susceptibility to habitat loss. We developed alternative models to the classic SAR to describe the relationship between the proportion of species that are threatened with extinction and the proportion of their individual ranges that has been converted from its native state. The models take into consideration threats other than habitat loss (a multi-threat SAR model), or variation in a species’ ability to live in areas partially modified by human use (a differential susceptibility SAR model). We tested these models at the global-scale using data on amphibians, mammals and birds and found that the traditional SAR model never provided the best fit to observed patterns. The results strongly suggest that in order to make more accurate predictions of species extinction risk, the classical SAR model needs to be adjusted to incorporate additional data on multiple-threats and differential susceptibility.
P2.139   Modeling lichen availability for caribou after fire and grazing in the Northwest Territories Séfraoui Maia*, Laval University ; Cumming Steve, Laval University
The barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) is the most abundant sub-species of caribou in the Northwest Territories of Canada. However, the Bathurst herd has been decreasing at mean annual rate of about 5% since 1986. In recent years declines have become dramatic, at more than 20% per year. One of the most important factors restricting survival of caribou is winter food availability. Lichen is the most important winter forage, and its abundance is sensitive to the history of wildfire and of foraging by caribou. We used a simple non-spatial simulation model to estimate the carrying capacity of the winter range, taking into account the stochastic fire regime and foraging intensity. We included the potential area of lichen-bearing forest, demographics (fecundity, survival), and movement dynamics to explore possible mechanisms that were responsible for this decline. Our results found that study region cannot support the herd sizes characteristic of the 1990s, which suggests that overgrazing of winter habitat may be one factor contributing to the recent population declines. The effects of fire on food supply are minor compared to grazing at high population levels.
P2.140   A general model of detectability and minimum survey effort for plants Garrard, Georgia*, University of Melbourne ; Williams, Nicholas S. G., Univerisity of Melbourne; Bekessy, Sarah A., RMIT University; McCarthy, Michael A., Univerisity of Melbourne; Wintle, Brendan A., Univerisity of Melbourne
Imperfect detectability is recognised as an issue in ecological surveys and, if unaccounted for, may have implications for the management of threatened and invasive species. A number of modelling methods now exist for estimating species’ detectability. These models provide valuable information about detection rates and required survey effort, but inference is restricted to the species for which they were developed. Here we present a multi-species model of detection time for plants in which detectability is modelled as a function of the characteristics of the species, and demonstrate the application of our model in a case study in native temperate grasslands in south-eastern Australia. Plant characteristics shown to influence detectability in this study include life-form, rarity, flower colour and size, phenology, uniqueness and origin. Because the model is based on species traits, detection rate estimates can be derived for species even if repeat surveys are not available for those species. Given that there are insufficient suitable data to estimate detection rates for most plant species, our model will be extremely useful for ecologists and conservation practitioners needing to determine minimum survey requirements for monitoring or impact assessment when species-specific detection data cannot be collected.
P2.141   Use of habitat selection models in unsampled environments for Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) conservation in Canada Stevens, A.F. Joy*, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada ; Bayne, Erin M., Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta; Wellicome, Troy I., Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada
Habitat selection models explore species-environment relationships using empirical data, however, the utility of such models for conservation also depend on their ability to predict species occurrence in unsampled environments. This is particularly important for rare or endangered species in Canada, such as the burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia), which depend on critical habitat identification and protection for population recovery. Previously, we created six predictive home-range habitat selection models for the current distribution of burrowing owls in Alberta and Saskatchewan based on parameters that describe soil, climate, geography, land-use and grassland fragmentation. In this study, we applied these models to the 1990’s burrowing owl range in Manitoba and evaluated their predictive ability using current and historical burrowing owl locations. Importantly, the habitat selection models can predict burrowing owl occurrence in Manitoba, however, the spatial distribution of suitable habitat sometimes varied from the known distribution based on field observations. These results will aid in the identification of critical habitat and increase survey efficiency for burrowing owls in Manitoba, a population that is almost extirpated. We conclude that habitat selection models can be extrapolated outside of the area they were designed for, provided that the results are verified with known species locations or additional field surveys.
P2.142   Evaluating the Effectiveness of Conservation Strategies through Collaborative Scenario Building and Landscape Modeling Jessica Price*, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin at Madison ; Janet Silbernagel, Landscape Architecture & Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin at Madison; Nicholas Miller, The Nature Conservancy, Wisconsin Field Office; Randy Swaty, The Nature Conservancy, LANDFIRE Team
Conservation and land management organizations are developing conservation strategies to distribute protection efforts over large areas and a broad range of ownership and management techniques. These ‘distributed conservation strategies,’ such as working forest conservation easements, are based on the premise that blending resource extraction and conservation should yield socioeconomic benefits without compromising biodiversity or ecosystem service conservation. However, evaluating the efficacy of such strategies remains difficult, as traditional monitoring efforts span decades or longer. Therefore, we developed an integrated scenario-building and landscape modeling approach to provide insight into the potential outcome of different conservation strategies in response to anthropogenic and climate change pressures. We applied this approach in two large study sites in the Northern Great Lakes region of the U.S. Via in-person and online workshops, scientists, local experts, and stakeholders collaboratively defined scenario conditions and parameters for landscape models and selected a suite of biodiversity and ecosystem service targets. By comparing potential outcomes of different strategies on selected targets, this approach enables informed conservation decision-making about how to best utilize scarce financial resources, reduce risks associated with innovative strategies, and determine when and where concentrated versus distributed conservation may be most effective.
P2.143   Effects of cross-validation methods and model properties on the accuracy of estimated prediction errors in multiple linear regression Keuler, NS*, Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI, USA ; Hawbaker, TJ, Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center, US Geological Survey, Denver CO, USA; Gavier-Pizarro, GI, Instituto de Recursos Biologicos (CNIA-CIRN), Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA), Buenos Aires Argentina; Radeloff, VC, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison WI, USA
Cross-validation (CV) is widely and increasingly used by conservation biologists to assess the predictive ability of habitat models. The problem is that there remains little guidance for choosing an appropriate CV method, and it is unclear how parameter choices affect results. We used simulations to determine how estimates of prediction error (PE) depend on CV method. Using multiple linear regression, we varied sample size (n = 10, 30, 100, or 1000), number of variables in the model (1, 3, or 6), and co-linearity (two variables having correlations of 0.3, 0.6, or 0.9, or all variables independent). For each combination of model properties, we simulated 1000 data sets, and implemented 7 CV methods: k-folding with k = 2, 3, 5, 10, or n; and the standard and 0.632+ bootstraps, each with 1000 re-samplings. Mean estimates over all simulations were compared to the true PEs. The standard bootstrap had the best overall accuracy (maximum absolute deviation from true PE of 2%), though 10-folding also performed well (maximum deviation 5.7%). Sample size was the most important property. For n = 1000, 100, 30, and 10, the maximum deviations were approximately 0.3%, 2%, 7%, and 15%, respectively. Accuracy was higher when the ratio of variables in the model to the sample size was small. We recommend limiting the number of predictors relative to sample size, and cross-validating models using the bootstrap or a k-folding procedure with a large number of folds.
P2.144   Optimizing Conservation Investment for Migratory Monarch Butterflies in Eastern North America Flockhart, DTT*, University of Guelph ; Martin, TG, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems; Norris, DR, University of Guelph
Conservation planning for migratory species should attempt to maximize population size and probability of persistence during all aspects of the annual cycle. Migratory monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in eastern North America face threats from loss of breeding habitat, reduction of food resources on migration, and degradation of specialized winter habitat. We will use decision theory to address two questions. First, what is the optimal land conservation strategy to maximize population size of monarchs across the entire distribution? Guided by land cost and a population model we will use dynamic programming to optimize how resources should be allocated between breeding, migration, and wintering locations at a continental scale. Second, what set of actions will maximize monarch population persistence on the winter grounds when considering three conservation actions: combating illegal forestry, supporting reforestation programs, or enhancing habitat quality? We will solicit expert opinion to gauge the likelihood of success of each action and use stochastic dynamic programming to determine the optimal investment schedule and action sequence, based on financial cost and ecological benefit, for wintering monarchs. We will provide strategies to protect migratory monarch populations at a vulnerable stage of their life history and across political boundaries and offers a framework that could be used to manage any migratory species with a complex migration facing multiple threats.
P2.145   The application of an ecosystem model to the planning and assessment of a fisheries restoration project in a freshwater system. McGregor, AM*, University of Alberta ; Davis, C, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
In the last 100 years Lac La Biche, a 22,000 ha lake located in northeastern Alberta, Canada, has changed from a system with walleye (Sander vitreus) as the top fish-eating predator to one where a bird, the Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), is at the top of the aquatic food chain. In 2005, the fisheries management branch of the provincial government initiated a fisheries restoration program with the goal of restoring walleye as the top predator in the system. A mass-balance modeling system called Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) was used to examine the influence of foraging by Double-crested Cormorants on the local fish community. This model is being used to examine the different structuring roles of bird versus fish predators in aquatic food webs, and the potential for different management activities (ie. bird control and walleye stocking) to restore piscivore dominance within the system.
P2.146   Evaluating whether existing conservation easements have reduced development and maintained biodiversity Pocewicz, Amy*, The Nature Conservancy ; Kiesecker, Joseph M., The Nature Conservancy; Jones, George P., University of Wyoming; Copeland, Holly E., The Nature Conservancy; Daline, Jody, The Nature Conservancy; Mealor, Brian A., University of Wyoming
Conservation easements are the primary tool used to restrict development and achieve conservation goals on private lands, but empirical evaluations of their effectiveness are lacking. We compared sagebrush ecosystem biodiversity and recent rates of change in road and structure densities on properties with and without easements held by The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming, USA. To distinguish easement effects from biological or management-related differences, properties were stratified by residential development pressure and property managers surveyed about management. We found that easements resulted in less development and positively influenced biodiversity. In areas with high development pressure, easement properties were less impacted by structures and tended to have fewer, less-developed roads than properties without easements. Easements in these areas also had increased use by some wildlife species relative to properties without easements. Development pressure had a significant effect regardless of easement status in some cases, including higher cover of exotic plant species and fewer mammal burrows in high pressure areas. There were no significant differences in land management practices, but managers of properties with easements tended to seek land stewardship support more often than other managers. Given the importance of easements and the significant financial investment being made, it is essential to continue to evaluate whether easements are effective elsewhere.
P2.147   Osununu Natural Reserve: an opportunnity for conservation and local development (Argentina, Misiones province) Righi, C.*, Fundación Temaiken
In the San Ignacio region, southeast of Misiones, co exist great biodiversity, endemism and landscapes of extreme ecological value. The peculiar geological formations connect typical flora and fauna with the historic remains of Jesuit buildings. These characteristics make it a place of high priority for conservation considering it is greatly threatened by human activities. Although there is a protected area, the Teyú Cuaré Provincial Park (78 hectares), it requires a conservation buffer zone and many species need larger continuous habitat for their survival. In this context, in 2005, was created the “Osununu” Reserve (174 hta) which main objectives are: to conserve the ecosystem, protect the wildlife and flora, promote scientific research; and educate the residents. In order to theses, Osununu is declared Private Natural Reserve; there have been developed flora and fauna assessments and a community workshop to define strategies to conserve the region. Nowadays it is developing an “Experimental Biological Station”, an ecotourism plan (encourage controlled recreation and provide opportunities for environmental education), and other activities to constitute conservation corridors, zone damping areas of public dominion, reinforce and educate the population in natural, historical and socio-cultural values of the area. With the implementation of suitable norms and guidelines for the conservation of the existing resources, the protection of the natural ecosystems is guaranteed.
P2.148   Relationship between Hunting Management and Bird Diversity in Small Game Estates in Central Spain Estrada, A*, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos - IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM). Ciudad Real. Spain ; Delibes-Mateos, M, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos - IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM). Ciudad Real. Spain; Díaz, S, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos - IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM). Ciudad Real. Spain; Casas, F, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos - IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM). Ciudad Real. Spain; Viñuela, J, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos - IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM). Ciudad Real. Spain; Arroyo, B, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos - IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM). Ciudad Real. Spain
In Europe, hunting and its associated management has been performed for centuries and has had profound effects on our landscapes and on the biodiversity they hold. There are a number of studies addressing the effect of hunting management on the populations of game species. However, the relationship between hunting and non-target species has received much less attention. In this work, we investigated the relationship between hunting management and bird diversity in Central Spain. For this goal, raptors and steppe birds (the two bird groups of most conservation concern present in the area) were surveyed in 53 hunting management units (HMU) with different intensity of game management. Birds were counted from fixed points; an average of 61 fixed points was surveyed in each hunting management unit. On the other hand, the information concerning game management was gathered through interviews with game managers. Among other variables, three hunting regimes were considered: 1) social HMUs are typically managed non-intensively by local non-profit societies; 2) private HMUs are usually intensively managed by game managers with economic interests; 3) intensive HMUs are a special type of private HMU in which the management is almost exclusively based on the legal release of thousands of red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa). Our results show that the type of hunting regime may affect some variables of biodiversity, such as the total number of steppe birds observed.
P2.149   Woodland Resource Use and Raptors: A Cost-effective Strategy for Nest Site Conservation SANTANGELI, A*, Helsinki University, Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences ; Lehtoranta, H, North Karelia Forest Centre; Laaksonen, TK, Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki University
The conflict between woodland resource use and wildlife has complex socio-economic and ecological implications. As resources committed to nature conservation are often limited, inexpensive participatory programmes may represent a powerful tool for conservation. Such tools have however seldom been considered and applied. We present results from a participatory conservation project run in North Karelia (Finland) between early 1990s and 2004. The aim was to preserve nest sites of raptors (common buzzard, goshawk and honey buzzard) on private lands subject to intensive forest management. After preliminary surveys to locate raptor nests in the area, landowners were approached and proposed to voluntarily set aside the forest stand with an occupied nest. Participation was exclusively based on self-motivation and self-induced values, with no incentives involved. The project was extremely successful, as almost all the approached landowners showed a positive response. The consequences of this conservation intervention on the local raptor population are currently being analysed. Although limited to a local area, these results clearly demonstrate that an inexpensive participatory model can work, at least in some socio-economic and environmental conditions. Given its potential as a tool for cost-effective conservation, we urge to test and evaluate this approach on a wider scale.
P2.150   A Conservation Approach to Wildlife Management Units (UMA) of Northeast Mexico Delgadillo, J.*, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, UANL, Linares, Nuevo León ; Cantú, C., Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, UANL, Linares, Nuevo León; González, F., Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, UANL, Linares, Nuevo León; Estrada, E., Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, UANL, Linares, Nuevo León; Michael, S., University Biological Resources Division US G; García, J., Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, UANL, Linares, Nuevo León; Martínez, E., Instituto de Biología, UNAM, México, D.F.; Resendiz, C., Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, UANL, Linares, Nuevo León
We assessed wildlife management units (UMA, according its initials in Spanish) of northeast Mexico to determine their contribution representing natural vegetation types, using Gap methodology. Northeast Mexico includes 59 natural vegetation types, 34 of them in primary condition. In northeast Mexico, 86% of 2,073,900 ha natural vegetation correspond to five vegetation types: rosetophilous arid scrub, microphilous arid scrub, tamaulipean thorn scrub, natural grassland, and mesquite land. In protected areas (PA) of northeast Mexico six vegetation types in primary condition are under-represented, however, two of them: mangrove and crasicaule arid scrub are represented in UMA above national average protected coverage (12%). Through a detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA) we determined correlations between UMA and environmental variables, finding that white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) are the most important hunting species. Moreover, black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) and cotton-tailed rabbit (Sylvilagus spp.) are also relevant hunting species because great amount of used animals in northeast Mexico UMA. We concluded that UMA cover some vegetation gaps of PA system of northeast Mexico. Moreover, UMA include tamaulipean thorn scrub an endemic vegetation type to northeast Mexico and southern Texas which is under-represented in current PA system.
P2.151   Predicting ecological impacts of alternative policy scenarios on a rural landscape in northern Idaho, USA. Goldberg, CS*, University of Idaho ; Pocewicz, A, The Nature Conservancy; Nielsen-Pincus, M, University of Oregon; Waits, LP, University of Idaho; Morgan, P, University of Idaho; Force, JE, University of Idaho; Vierling, L, University of Idaho
Land use change driven by rural residential development and changes in agricultural practices can lead to dramatic alterations in the structure and function of landscapes. We simulated land use change under a variety of policy scenarios in a rural, northern Idaho region that is increasingly experiencing residential development. To predict ecological effects of these potential policy changes, we designed habitat models for a variety of at-risk and socially-valued species based on field surveys and literature reviews. Policies that increased the amount of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program benefited many species. Policies to protect productive agricultural lands, however, led to intensified residential development on nearby shrublands, reducing habitat for development-sensitive species in those marginal areas and increasing the development threat to remaining native Palouse Prairie patches. While a conservation planning option maximized habitat for most target species, impacts to Palouse Prairie and ungulate winter range were minimized under the alternative urban growth boundary policy. Predicting the effects of potential land use policies on species’ habitat is a complex process that can illuminate the tradeoffs local communities must evaluate in making planning choices and empower the decision-making process.
P2.152   Primate density in fragments of gallery forest at Colombian Llanos Carretero-Pinzón, X*, Asociación Colombiana de Pimatología
Habitat fragmentation is one of the main threats for primates in neotropical countries. Forest areas are highly reduced by colonization fronts due to an expansion of palm oil crops in some areas as Colombian Llanos. A six-year study of primate density monitoring was made in four gallery forest fragments of different sizes in San Martín area (Colombian Llanos). Direct counts and group recognition of five species of primates present at these fragments were made: Alouatta seniculus, Cebus apella, Callicebus ornatus, Saimiri sciureus albigena and Aotus brumbacki. Average densities found for Alouatta seniculus range 81,90 – 23,37 ind/ km2; Cebus apella range 53,33 – 26,92 ind/ km2; Callicebus ornatus range 57,94 – 7,61 ind/ km2; Saimiri sciureus albigena range 167,62 – 7,69 ind/ km2; Aotus brumbacki range 15,24 – 4,35 ind/ km2. Densities reported here are higher than that reported in other studies of C. apella, C. ornatus, A. brumbacki and S.s.albigena; except for A. seniculus which is between normal ranges of densities reported. Variations in densities between fragments are due to difference in primate community composition, vegetation and fragment size. All primates species present at this area used fence rows to cross between fragments. Connection between fragments and an education program are necessary at this area in order to improve sustainability of this primate community.
P2.153   An assessment of native plant species in removal of heavy metals from contaminated soil of a protected area in Iran Lorestani, B*, Islamic Azad University- Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran ; Khorasani, N, Department of Environmental Science, College of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; Cheraghi, M, Islamic Azad University- Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran
Heavy metals concentrations in mine waste are higher than of uncontaminated soil. These mine wastes are harmful to humans and other organisms and tend to bio-accumulate in the food chain. Hyperaccumulator plants can be potentially used to remediate metal-contaminated soil and this process is called phytoremediation. We assessed the extent of metal accumulation by plants found in a mining area located in Lashgardar protected area in Iran. The ultimate goals of this study were to find suitable plants for phytoextraction and phytostabilization (two strategies of phytoremediation). Plants with a high bioconcentration factor (BCF) and low translocation factor (TF) have the potential for phytostabilization and plants with both BCFs and TFs greater than one have the potential to be used for phytoextraction. We collected 36 plants each from 12 species and extracted shoots and roots together with associated soil from the study area. All plant and soil samples were analyzed for total concentration of Pb, Zn, Mn and Fe using atomic absorption spectrophotometer and BCF and TF parameters were calculated for each element. Our results showed that Scrophularia scoparia is effective in phytostabilization of Pb and Centaurea virgata, Echinophora platyloba and Scariola orientalis had a potentioal for phytostabilization of Zn. Furthermore Centaurea virgata and Cirsium congestum were effective in phytostabilization of Mn. However none of the plant species we assessed were suitable for phytoextraction of Pb, Zn, Mn and Fe, and phytostabilization of Fe. In summary, our finding suggest that native plant species growing on mine wastes can be used for restoration of mine waste contaminated sites due to potential for phytoremediation.
P2.154   The Suitable Size of Road-Crossing Structures for Mammals of South Korea Choi, TY*, National Institute of Environmental Research ; Yang, BG, National Institute of Environmental Research
Roads are a major cause of habitat fragmentation and cause the declines of some wildlife populations. To resolve this problem, a total of 391 wildlife-crossing structures have been installed in South Korea since 1998. The effectiveness of the structures remains controversy. The objectives of this study were to recommend applicable designs and measurements of wildlife crossing structures by monitoring the existing structures. The study results are as follows: 1. The design and measurements of the structure should be determined according to the scale of the ecological corridor and site topography. Overpasses with 7m width were confirmed by field surveys as the narrowest width used by most mammal species in Korea. Hence, overpasses should be no smaller than 7m in width. 2. Openness Index (OI) of underpasses should be larger than 0.7. Regarding the insufficient crossing structures and safety of drivers, water deer (Hydropotes inermis) should be a target species. 3. Converting the existing passageways to OI 0.7 structures could cause budget burdens. Therefore, converting the existing non-wildlife engineered crossing structures to wildlife crossing structures should be included in projects of existing and future road expansion or improvement.
P2.155   Biological Transport of Contaminants: Migrating Sockeye Salmon As Vectors of Mercury Baker, MR*, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington ; Schindler, DE, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington; Holtgrieve, GW, Department of Biology, University of Washington; St Louis, VL, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
Recent work has highlighted the importance of biological transport in the long-range dispersal of contaminants. Due to their unique life-history, anadromous salmon may act as important vectors, transferring contaminants between marine and freshwater ecosystems. Previous analyses have considered contaminant transport to be unidirectional, estimating import to freshwater by adult returns but ignoring juvenile migration to the ocean. To determine the net mercury (Hg) burden to freshwater systems by salmon, we reconstructed net transport to an Alaskan watershed, using age composition and mass-at-age for adults and juveniles from corresponding brood years. We found higher Hg concentrations in juveniles than adults and determined that juvenile export may range to 30% of total adult import. Proportional export by juveniles will be higher for populations under heavy exploitation with strong density dependence in juvenile recruitment. Our findings suggest that comprehensive analyses of contaminant loading by migratory species should consider the relative contaminant fluxes at all relevant life stages and the effects of density dependent growth and survival. In the case of salmon, this requires attention to both immigrating adults and emigrating juveniles, quantifying the dynamics of populations to understand the effect of adult densities on juvenile growth and survival, and accounting for the impact of commercial exploitation.
P2.156   Can partial cuts emulate partial natural disturbances? Gendreau-Berthiaume, B.*, UQAM ; Kneeshaw, D., UQAM; Harvey, B., UQAT
There is increasing interest in developing alternatives to traditional management as well as cueing forest management strategies and silvicultural treatments on natural disturbance dynamics. This study compares the effects of natural mortality following partial disturbances with experimental partial cuts to determine the extent to which the latter could emulate natural disturbance dynamics. Forest composition and structure after the different disturbances were the parameters that were evaluated. Higher densities of shade intolerant species were found following partial cuts compared to naturally disturbed stands but similar densities of shade tolerant species were found following all disturbances. Partial cuts and naturally disturbed stands also maintained similar volumes of coarse woody debris, snag basal area and snag density, important structural attributes for the preservation of suitable wildlife habitat. The creation of harvesting trails in partial cuts allowed higher densities of intolerant species to establish, as compared to naturally disturbed stands. However, partial cuts could emulate natural mortality resulting from partial disturbances by maintaining similar densities of tolerant species in the regeneration layer and residual stems (dead and alive) in the canopy layer, thus retaining compositional and structural attributes characteristics of stands in an advanced successionnal stage that have been affected by secondary disturbances.
P2.157   Faunal and Floral Diversity of Mangrove Wetlands of Camotes Islands , Central Philippines Serapion N. Tanduyan*, Cebu Technological University ; Ponciano C. Bontia, Cebu Technological University; Rachel Luz Vivas-Rica, Cebu Technological University; Ricardo B. Gonzaga, Cebu Technological University; Virginia D. Bensig , Cebu Technological University; Hemres M. Alburo, Cebu Technological University
FAUNAL AND FLORAL DIVERSITY OF MANGROVE WETLANDS OF CAMOTES ISLANDS, CENTRAL PHILIPPINES Serapion N. Tanduyan, Ponciano C. Bontia, Rosalyn Pascual-Opiniano, Rachel Luz Vivas-Rica, Ricardo B. Gonzaga, Virginia D. Bensig and Hemres M. Alburo Cebu Technological University, San Francisco, Cebu Campus Tel: (032) 497-0318; e-mail: standuyan@yahoo.com The animal and plant components of mangroves in Camotes Islands were assessed due to the declining condition felt by the fishermen basis for drawing conservation options. Transect and barrier nets were used to assess the flora and fauna respectively. It shows that there are 30 species of mangroves found belonging to 13 families and 35 fish families with 74 species and 18 families of invertebrates with 25 species.
P2.158   Effects of population management by immunocontraception on harem stability in feral horses (Equus caballus) on Shackleford Banks Island, NC Madosky, J*, University of New Orleans ; Howard, J, University of New Orleans; Rubenstein, D, Princeton University; Stuska, S, National Park Service
Feral horses on Shackleford Banks Island, NC are managed by The National Park Service in order to reduce their impact on the fragile barrier island ecosystem. Management techniques include immunocontraception of most females. The immunocontraceptive reduces the number of horses that need to be physically removed, but there is concern that the immunocontraceptive is influencing the social behavior of the mares and reducing harem stability. I investigated the effect of immunocontraception on harem stability by tracking the number of harem changes of each adult mare through the breeding season for two seasons. In both seasons the mares that had been treated with the immunocontraceptive changed harems significantly more than mares never treated (one-tailed: 2007, p = .042 and 2008, p=.021). The number of years treated did not have a significant effect on the number of harem changes (2007 p=.199, 2008 p = .871), nor did the number of years a mare had been off contraceptive once the contraceptive is discontinued (2007 p =.310, 2008 p=.823). Additionally, there was no significant difference in harem changes between mares that were actively contracepted and mares that had been contracepted in the past but were not actively contracepted (2007 p=.196, 2008 p=.751). These results indicate that the immunocontraceptive has a significant effect on harem stability and that once a mare has been contracepted the behavioral effect of the contraceptive treatment may not be readily reversed.
P2.159   Biodiversity Research in Large Protected Areas: Balancing Rare and Common Elements. Wheatley, M*, Alberta Parks Division ; Fisher, J, Sustainable Ecosystems, Alberta Innovates; Gould, J, Alberta Parks Division
As landscapes are increasingly developed, conservation of biodiversity often relies on protected areas. Understanding this reliance requires research relevant not only to the park itself including rare elements of low detectability (often the ones of most conservation concern), but should also enable assessments of a park’s broader ecological role. Because these two objectives commonly conflict, we examine associated trade-offs by implementing a novel biodiversity sampling program in the mountainous 460,000 ha Willmore Wilderness Park in west-central Alberta, Canada. Focusing on vascular plants, songbirds, and carnivores, and building upon methods developed by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), we examine how combinations of systematic and stratified sampling can be used to target rare elements of biodiversity, and how these designs affect measures of overall biodiversity. Preliminary results show our techniques facilitate comparisons of park-specific biodiversity to that of the surrounding working landscape, and we provide recommendations to increase one’s ability to detect rare species. We also discuss how our results are being integrated into major Provincial land-use planning including evidence-based decision tools for park-specific management.
P2.160   Integrating Climate Change into Conservation Plans: A Case Study from Moses Coulee, WA Nelson, K*, The Natuer Conservancy
Climate change creates unique challenges for the practice of conservation and designing effective climate-adapted strategies is critical for long-term biodiversity protection. We outline an approach to climate integration in conservation planning by highlighting a case study in shrub-steppe habitats. First, we used climate models to understand climate impacts to the major habitat types. We explored how projected increases in temperature and decreases in summer precipitation would alter ecosystem dynamics and found that more wildfires create openings for the expansion of the invasive species, cheatgrass. In addition, the human response to climate change is leading to wind energy development in the region. Both of these outcomes are anticipated to cause a reduction in shrub-steppe habitat area and decreased connectivity between remaining core habitat. We evaluated strategies focused on individual species conservation and determined that when population viability was poor, conserving habitat and ecological processes would be more successful for overall biodiversity persistence. We updated the conservation strategies, emphasizing shrub-steppe habitat resiliency and connectivity, with strategies focused on limiting cheatgrass expansion and favorable alternative energy siting. Considering climate impacts at multiple stages in project design leads to a more comprehensive understanding of the system and is critical for developing effective adaptation strategies.
P2.161   Using ecosystem models for marine management Espinosa, M.*, University of British Columbia ; Gregr, E., University of British Columbia; Christensen, V., University of British Columbia; Chan K., University of British Columbia
Sea otters are widely regarded as a keystone species, able to structure nearshore marine environments by releasing macro-algae from grazing pressure. This restructuring can shift an invertebrate-dominated nearshore system (urchin barrens) into a kelp-dominated system, which is assumed to support a greater biomass and diversity than the urchin barrens. The nearshore ecosystem on the west coast of Vancouver Island (WCVI) is experiencing these shifts because of the reintroduction of sea otters in the 70’s, affecting those who depend on the natural resources. To manage this ecosystem, an integrated understanding of the ecosystem dynamics (including human interactions) is required. To contribute to this, I am building an ecosystem model using Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE), a software widely used for aquatic ecosystems. The model represents key ecosystem dynamics such as the relationship between sea otters-urchins-kelp forests as well as the indirect benefits provided by kelp forest to the ecosystem. Finally, it integrates information about the whole ecosystem since the reintroduction of sea otters to represent current and predict potential impacts to human activities.
P2.162   Optimizing Methods for Wildlife Monitoring Programs in Logistically Challenging Mountainous Areas Pagacz, S*, Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza 64, 00-679 Warszawa, Poland ; Witczuk, J, Wildlife Biology Program, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT; Griffin, SC, Wildlife Biology Program, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT; Mills, LS , Wildlife Biology Program, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
We designed a large-scale, long-term monitoring program for Olympic marmot (Marmota olympus), a species of conservation concern throughout its range across a logistically challenging, mountainous park. Our multiple-stage process of survey design accounts for the difficulty imposed by funding constraints and access to remote habitats. The Olympic marmot is endemic to the Olympic Mountains, Washington State. Although nearly all of its range is enclosed within Olympic National Park, declines and local extirpations of the species have been documented. We considered several possible alternative survey approaches, and proposed a monitoring program designed to reflect extinction-recolonization dynamics using presence-absence data. The sampling design is based on annual surveys of a set of at least 25 randomly selected clusters (closely located groups of sites) which constitute 1/3 of all known locations with records of current or historical occupancy by marmots. To detect potential new colonizations, the sampling is supplemented by sampling 15 never-occupied sites in appropriate habitat. The monitoring plan will be implemented in 2010. It provides a framework that park managers can use for assessing changes over time in Olympic marmot distribution across the range of the species. Our sampling design may serve as a useful case study for establishing monitoring programs for other species with clumped distributions in logistically challenging areas.
P2.163   Partitioning stand-structure attributes in landscape-scale inventory and monitoring surveys to characterize the status of forest sustainability ROSSON, JR., JAMES F. *, Forest Inventory and Analysis, Southern Research Station, US Forest Service; 4700 Old Kingston Pike; Knoxville, TN 37919 ; Rose, Anita K., Forest Inventory and Analysis, Southern Research Station, US Forest Service; 4700 Old Kingston Pike; Knoxville, TN 37919
Characteristics and thresholds defining forest sustainability have been studied and debated for many years. Tangible indicators that provide an objective picture of the status of forest ecosystems are needed for practical applications. While some consensus has been reached in defining key elements of sustainable forest management, practical methods and metrics for assessing sustainability are few or lacking. We used landscape-level inventory and monitoring data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the US Forest Service to examine some of the possible metrics to characterize sustainability. Using data from the State of Arkansas, USA as a case study we partitioned stand structure across this probability-based sample to determine amounts of forest land by arbitrarily defined stand attributes. For example, one key element in defining sustainability is the amount of forest land retained in large dimensioned, older stands. Less than 52,000 hectares (± 21,700 at 0.95 C.I.) of Arkansas’ 7,284,600 hectares of timberland were in stands with a quadratic mean diameter (QMD) ≥45 cm d.b.h., mostly as a result of past and continuing logging practices. The amount of large dimensioned older stands across the landscape needed to satisfy ecosystem sustainability goals is a difficult threshold to establish, especially given the conflicting social, political, and economic factors that need be considered.
P2.164   Investigating the impact of hunting on Newfoundland caribou using virtual population analysis Trindade, Mariana, Department of Environment & Conservation, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada ; Peckham, Dana, Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6; Mahoney, Shane P.*, Department of Environment & Conservation, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6, Canada; Sneddon, Gary, Department of Statistics, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, A1B 3X9, Canada
Virtual Population Analysis (VPA) was performed using long-term hunter submissions to reconstruct the demographics of the Newfoundland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) population from 1980-2003. During this time the population rapidly increased (1980-1995) and subsequently declined (1997-2003) from and estimated 96,000 in the mid-1990s to about 32,000 in 2008. Our analysis indicated VPA is an accurate and cost-effective tool to reconstruct caribou populations and is strongly correlated with estimates produced from costly census and surveys (r=0.973, p<0.001). Mean age of caribou decreased from 1980 to 1991 then increased through 2001. These changes were attributed to age structure in the female population: mean age of 4.7 years in 1980, 2.9 in 1991 and 5.0 in 2001. A sex bias in the population was present in 1980 (77% females) and nearly eliminated near the numeric peak of the population (55% females) in 1991. Harvest rates and hunter preference for 4-6 year old males can explain the prevalence of young males; however, changes in sex ratio are not explained by harvest practices suggesting other influences contribute to observed trends. The male minority in the population and their youth are of particular concern as both states tend to negatively alter reproductive success. The time series produced using VPA provides an opportunity to apply adaptive management techniques through long-term observations and highlights the value of hunter participation in population monitoring.
P2.165   Inter-specific Differences in Habitat Selection and Human Tolerance of Iguanids in a Dry Forest Mosaic Forsström, Sofie, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta ; Jefferys, Josephine, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta; Scott, Makrina, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta; Tremblay, Candice*, Augustana Campus, University of Alberta
Two rapid assessment surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2009 to determine habitat preferences and effects of trail-use intensity on escape behaviours of the green iguana (Iguana iguana) and black spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura similis). Five habitats with varying levels of human presence were surveyed using transects in a small, dry-forest mosaic in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Species distributions differed significantly among habitat types (X2=60.40, P<0.05, v=3). Green iguanas preferred treed riparian habitats while spiny-tailed iguanas preferred rocky habitats with sparser vegetation and were present in a greater variety of habitat types. Spiny-tailed iguanas were also significantly less wary of humans in high-use areas than green iguanas (T(1,48) = -4.17 P<0.001) and showed habituation to human presence in high-use areas. Overall, our results suggest that spiny-tailed iguanas are more adaptable to human disturbance while green iguanas seem to have more specific habitat requirements. The two surveys were conducted as part of a tropical field course. Their results will be used as baseline data in future years to determine how human activities affect iguanid populations over time and explore the potential link between direct tolerance of human presence, habitat selection and population trends.
P2.166   Measuring ecosystem health at regional and local scales: the value of integrated monitoring Schieck, Jim*, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute ; Huggard, Dave, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute; Haugland, Diane , University of Alberta; Boutin, Stan, University of Alberta; Herbers, Jim, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
Human land uses usually alter native biodiversity and degrade ecosystem health. We use information from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) to highlight how an integrated monitoring program can be used to assess ecosystem health at both regional and local scales. The ABMI surveys terrestrial and aquatic biota (thousands of species), terrestrial and aquatic habitats (hundreds of elements), and landscape composition and pattern at 1656 sites spaced in a grid pattern throughout Alberta. At the regional scale, intactness is determined separately for each species and for each habitat element by comparing observed abundance to the abundance expected if no human development had been present. Intactness measures for individual species and habitat elements are then integrated to determine a single measure of ecological health for the region. To assess ecological health at a local scale, a modified reference condition approach is used; maximum likelihood models are used to assess intactness of the species and habitat structures. This information is then integrated into a single measure of ecological health. Since information on species and habitats in natural and human disturbed areas are required for both spatial scales, integrated data collection increases cost efficiencies. In addition, by collecting similar data at both scales, it is possible to evaluate whether management actions at local scales are effective at maintaining regional ecosystem health.
P2.167   Monitoring trends in vertebrate abundance from the global to the regional scale McRae, L*, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London
Biodiversity monitoring is an essential component of conservation practice with uses ranging from assessing the global status of biodiversity to addressing local management effectiveness. Tracking trends in vertebrate population abundance can be a straightforward and cost-effective approach to monitoring biodiversity. Such data can be fed into an indicator of biodiversity such as the Living Planet Index (a global indicator of vertebrate population trends) which has been adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is used to measure progress towards international biodiversity targets such as the target to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, and is considered a robust measure at a global scale. At smaller scales, this method could be applied to produce indicators at the national level, for regions of interest or specific habitat types. To investigate this, the average trends of 2500 vertebrate species populations were modelled at different spatial scales from the global to regional level to elicit how patterns of abundance differ and to assess the utility of using such an approach. Results from averaging the population trends globally show that on average, vertebrate abundance has been in decline since 1970. When applying the method at smaller scales, robust results can be produced but in some cases caveats such as data availability and representation also need to be considered. One strategy to pursue in the future would be to scale up from representative monitoring schemes at a local level to give accurate indicators of vertebrate trends all the way up to the global level.
P2.168   HABITAT SELECTION AND TROPHIC BEHAVIOR OF COYOTE (Canis latrans) AND BOBCAT (Lynx rufus) IN NORTHEAST TAMAULIPAS, MÉXICO Juan Carlos Flores Villarreal*, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales U.A.N.L. ; Fernando González Saldivar, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales U.A.N.L.; César Cantú Ayala, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales U.A.N.L.; José I. Uvalle Sauceda, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales U.A.N.L.
We assessed habitat selection and trophic behavior of coyote (Canis latrans) and bobcat (Lynx rufus) in a grassland ecosystem of northeast Tamaulipas, México, during the winter of 2007-2008 and summer 2008. Habitat selection was analyzed in winter only by sampling traces of both species along a trail of 144.9 km within study area, of which 44.1% comprised open areas habitats, 32.9% xeric scrub habitats, and 23.0% border areas. We determined the winter and summer diet of both coyote and bobcat by analyzing 132 scats samples. Moreover, we assessed the availability of lagomorphs and rodents as prey for both predators to construct selection indices. We concluded that coyote and bobcat have significant differences in terms of diet and habitat usage. Bobcat selected positively scrub habitat and negatively open areas habitat, while coyote used habitat opportunistically during the winter period, as expected. The coyote´s diet consisted mainly of rodents in winter and fruits in summer, while bobcat consumed mostly lagomorphs in both seasons. However, both predators selected mainly same species of rodents and lagomorphs in winter 2007-2008 and summer 2008.
P2.169   Comparing survey methods for populations of the western painted turtle, Chrysemys picta. Tesche, MR*, University of British Columbia Okanagan ; Hodges, KE, University of British Columbia Okanagan
The number of species at risk in Canada is increasing, and the funds available for the management and monitoring of individual species are decreasing. It is important that survey and monitoring techniques provide maximum information for minimal person-hours and total cost. This study compares visual surveys with mark-recapture surveys of the western painted turtle, Chrysemys picta, and compares the results from three common trapping methods. Using the capture histories of 1109 turtles from 12 ponds, representing over 4000 capture events, a multi-strata model was created to determine the likelihood of turtles transitioning between trap types in a single trapping period. Our results indicate that visual surveys are not a suitable proxy for mark-recapture surveys, and that hatchling turtles were under-represented in all trap types. We recommend a combination of basking traps and baited hoop nets to achieve a reasonable estimate of abundance while minimizing sex and size biases, required person-hours, and total cost.
P2.170   Black Bear Density In Glacier National Park, Montana, USA Stetz, JB, University of Montana/USGS ; Kendall, KC, USGS; Macleod, AC*, University of Montana/USGS
No demographic information exists on the status of Glacier National Park’s (GNP) black bear (Ursus americanus) population. In 2004, we sampled the black bear population within GNP plus a 10 km buffer using noninvasive hair collection methods as part of a 7.8 million–acre study of the regional grizzly bear (U. arctos) population. We collected 5,645 hair samples from 550 baited hair traps, and 3,807 samples from multiple visits to 1,542 natural bear rubs. Microsatellite analysis identified 600 (51% F) individuals from the 2,848 samples identified as black bears. Data from individual bears were used in closed population mark–recapture models to estimate black bear population size and density in the 6,600 km2 greater GNP area. Preliminary results suggest that the density of GNP’s black bear population was equal to or greater than other interior populations sympatric with grizzlies, despite the high density of grizzlies in this area. This project represents the first estimate of black bear abundance for this area, and demonstrates the efficiency of multi–species projects to inform management. Given the high density of both bear species we documented, it may be appropriate to reconsider the suitability of GNP as a translocation location for bears captured at conflict sites outside the park.
P2.171   A New Software Application for Photographic Mark Recapture Analysis Bolger, DT*, Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth College ; Morisson, TA, Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College; Vance, B, Computer Science Department, Dartmouth College; Farid, H, Computer Science Department, Dartmouth College
Photographic mark-recapture (PMR) is a cost-effective, non-invasive way to study populations. However, to effectively apply PMR to large populations, computer software is needed for efficient image manipulation and pattern matching. We have created an open-source application for the storage, pattern extraction, and pattern-matching of digital images for the purposes of PMR. Our software is a stand-alone, multi-platform application implemented in Java that employs the SIFT operator (Scale Invariant Feature Transform) which extracts distinctive features invariant to image scale and rotation. In this poster we present a validation of the application for two species with distinct markings, wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). We used ROC curves (Receiver Operator Characteristics) to characterize the trade-off between false negative and false positive error in the photo-matching process and to identify the best performing scoring procedure. Because false negative error was of greater concern than false positive, we selected scoring thresholds that minimized false negative error. For wildebeest, the best procedure generated false negative error rates of 14% while yielding a 130-fold labor savings over an unassisted matching process. For giraffe, errors rates were negligible and labor savings even greater. These results suggest that this software should be useful to other researchers employing PMR.
P2.172   Methods for Observing Ecological Interaction Networks and Applications to Species Conservation Lau, M.K.*, Northern Arizona University
Understanding the ecological mechanisms of ecosystem stability is important to species conservation. The cross-disciplinary field of network theory provides useful insights into the relationship between the structure of ecological interaction networks, such as food-webs, plant-pollinator and seed-disperser systems, and the stability of ecosystems. In particular observations of the network structure could aid in making more informed predictions of community dynamics. For example, predictions of species losses can be improved with information about the structure of the whole interaction network in which that species resides. However, the approaches used in most ecological interaction network studies are limited by the amount effort needed to assess linkages and restricted by narrow definitions of interactions. Recent analytical developments are enabling interaction network modeling using repeated measures of species abundances within discrete areas, such as observation plots. One method uses statistical tests of species correlations or distance metrics to analyze the potential for interactions among all pairs of species. A more advanced method uses reverse engineering techniques, developed for modeling protein interaction networks, to produce a species interaction function that is most parsimonious with the data. Regardless of the method, network modeling presents an opportunity to use relatively accessible data and incorporate a network perspective into conservation biology.
P2.173   Proper Farmland Management May Reduce Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Population Decline Ambrosini, R*, Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca ; Saino, N, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Milano
The widespread decline of farmland birds is currently a major issue in conservation biology. The Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica is a flagship species for biological conservation owing to its aesthetic and cultural value and to the sharp decline observed in several populations. Based on a long-term monitoring project on a declining population in a protected area in Northern Italy, we here demonstrate that the extent of pastures and hayfields within as few as 200 m from the colony positively influences colony size and therefore reduces population declines. This effect is significant even when presence of livestock farming, that is considered the major determinant of barn swallow colony size, is taken into account. New conservation strategies based on these findings have been planned in the protected area where the study was conduced.
P2.174   Improving land management plans for the conservation of an endangered Huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) in Southern Chile Lopez-Alfaro, C*, University of Alberta ; Estades, CM, University of Chile; Saucedo, C, Conservacion Patagonica; Gill, R, Centre for Human and Ecological, Forest Research UK; Dennis, A, CONAF de Aysen, Chile
Despite the understanding that wildlife conservation requires maintenance of population connectivity, there is lack of management tools that allows the incorporation of this concept to land use planning. The Aysen region has a large amount of protected lands but its abrupt geography and increasing human activities might reduce the connectivity of the remaining huemul populations. The later is significant due to previous research showing the existence of a threshold on population size and aggregation for population viability. We use spatially explicit population models based on individuals to assess the connectivity between huemul populations and potential corridors. We increase the size of urban areas to evaluate their impacts on connectivity and we explore population spatial configurations that minimize local extinctions. One-hundred individuals were located on each population. The number of individuals and their arriving time with respect to other populations was recorded. Colonization areas and use frequency was used to determine corridors. Results showed a deficient connectivity between the northern populations and the rest of the system and also the existence of isolated populations. Human activities enhance this naturally low connectivity. This methodological approach allows us to create practical tools (e.g. maps) to improve the actual land management plans and enhance the huemul conservation.
P2.175   Waterfowl Conservation Planning in the Boreal: Use Of a Pre-existing, Large-scale, Time-series Dataset BARKER, NKS*, U. Laval & Ducks Unlimited Canada ; Darveau, M, Ducks Unlimited Canada & U. Laval; Cumming, SG, Université Laval
Optimal conservation planning should include modelled habitat-species interactions in addition to basic species’ distribution information. The USFWS’ annual Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS) provides estimates of waterfowl populations across Canada and the US extending back to the mid-1950s. We assessed this survey’s potential to inform conservation planning in the Boreal by: 1) critically reviewing past research using this dataset; 2) highlighting key questions the survey can address; and 3) identifying potential obstacles and limitations specific to the Boreal. While the survey has historically been used for developing harvest quotas, the focus has shifted to population ecology and species-habitat interactions in recent years, due to advances in spatial analysis and remote sensing. Habitat modelling is a crucial step for identifying priority areas for conservation, and predictive models can assess changes in species populations in response to human activities and climate change. Boreal-specific obstacles include uneven spatial distribution of survey transects, potential gaps in environmental data, and substantially lower population estimates than in the Prairies (which may require Boreal-specific conservation plans). We conclude that with detailed and careful analysis, the WBPHS demonstrates great potential for conservation planning in this changing ecosystem.
P2.176   Regional Conservation Planning: Contrasting Optimization Methods for Forest Birds with Incompatible Habitat Requirements Beaudry, F*, University of Wisconsin-Madison ; Ferric, MC, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Pidgeon, AP, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Radeloff, VC, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Mladenoff, DJ, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Howe, RW, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; Bartelt, GA, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Spatially explicit conservation planning involves a variety of trade-offs, between for example, land cover management for species with contrasting habitat requirements. Two approaches that accommodate such trade-offs are heuristic algorithms and mathematical optimization. Heuristic algorithms are logical iterative processes that use stepwise rules and the progress toward certain goals is checked at each step, while mathematical optimization precisely identifies the optimal solution set. Spatial optimization of conservation objectives can be complicated when potential habitat, rather than current condition habitat models are used. Our goal was to 1) identify areas of greatest conservation value over a large landscape in northern Wisconsin, for 16 forest bird species, while solving habitat incompatibility conflicts, and 2) to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the two approaches to this problem. Both methods were used to find the spatial arrangement with the highest conservation value, were parametrized to minimize the area needed to meet species-specific population objectives, and to maximize habitat connectivity. The heuristic algorithm identified the 20% highest ranking area, approximately 1 million hectares, which if managed appropriately would provide enough resources to meet the minimum habitat needs for 15 species. However the heuristic approach had to be followed by post-hoc adjustments to resolve conflicts among 30 species pairs with overlapping potential habitat. In contrast, mathematical optimization yielded comparable results while resolving habitat conflicts between species optimality. The computational capacity required for the mathematically derived solution was considerably greater.
P2.177   Developing ecologically-based criteria for assessing seismic line impact and recovery in the northwestern boreal forests of Canada Tigner, DJ*, University of Alberta ; Bayne, EM, University of Alberta
Energy sector activity is booming across Canada’s northwestern boreal forest. Concern over the impacts of massive energy development on wildlife in the region has led to discussions regarding how to best manage this land use. Stakeholders agree this is accomplished by limiting the density of the physical disturbance footprint before impacts to wildlife are unacceptable. Seismic lines are narrow linear corridors used by the energy sector to explore for resource deposits. They are the largest component of the sector’s disturbance footprint, and many northern jurisdictions have implemented limits to line density as a result. These limits are highly contentious and challenged by industry because seismic lines exist across a range of width and recovery states, and there is no concrete data to suggest how most species respond to these line types. Thus, it is impossible to develop a defensible management strategy for seismic lines or line density. We used a paired design of remote cameras to assess behavioral response patterns of several boreal mammals to seismic lines relative to forest interior locations. Species’ avoidance or use of lines was significantly influenced by line width and amounts of woody vegetation present on the line. For many species there are line width and recovery thresholds below and beyond which lines do not function as disturbances, respectively. The first of their kind, these data facilitate informed decision making and management of seismic lines.
P2.179   Impact of Fencing and Livestock on the Survival of Przewalski's Gazelle Lu Zhang*, Peking University ; Jiazi Liu, Peking University; Dajun Wang, Peking University; Zhi Lu, Peking University; George Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society; Yonglin Wu, Qinghai Lake National Nature Reserve; Li Zhang, Qinghai Forestry Bureau; Xin He, Shanshui Conservation Center
The highly-endangered Przewalski's gazelle (Procapra przewalskii) endured severe habitat loss and population decline over the last century. Since 2002, illegal hunting of gazelles has been largely stopped, making fencing of pastures and competition with livestock now the main threats (hunting was banned well before 2002 but not enforced much). We quantified fencing and livestock on gazelle's habitat using parallel transects and analysed spatial correlation among fence-density, livestock-density, and gazelle activity. We also compared reproduction performance of small gazelle populations on distribution areas with different fence densities. Our study indicated that highly-fenced areas in the gazelle's habitat were associated with less gazelle activity, but a higher Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and more livestock. Higher fence density did not correlate with young gazelle mortality, but did correlate with fawning rate. Ten-year EVI trends showed that fencing did not help to improve the condition of grassland, especially in high livestock-density areas. We observed no significant spatial correlation between livestock and gazelle activity, but more work is needed to evaluate the impact of livestock, especially the potential for food competition.
P2.180   The First Nation's National Park: an Anchor for Landscape Sale Conservation in Central Afghanistan Mohammad Ayub Alavi*, Wildlife Conservation Society, conservation specialist
The Hindu Kush Mountains of Central Afghanistan contain some of Afghanistan’s most intact ecosystems. Since 2006, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been working in the Hindu Kush assisting the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in conservation planning, wildlife and range surveys, environmental legislation and community involvement resulting in Afghanistan establishing Band-e-Amir as the country’s first national Park in May 2009. Reconnaissance surveys done in the area larger area in and around Band-e-Amir suggests the 7000 km2 high altitude plateau to the north of the National Park is inhabited only seasonally by graziers and continues to harbour significant populations of urial (Ovis orientalis) and Siberian ibex (Capra siberica). This unanticipated pocket of rich biodiversity is proposed for a diverse, community-based, landscape scale conservation program using the established National Park as the administrative focus and well known example of the locally new concept of protected area. Current plans, dependent on funding, entail assisting in developing and training Community Conservation Councils (CCCs) and hiring the community game guards from the 4 community clusters distributed geographically throughout the plateau. Based on advice from the CCCs, a spectrum of protection measures will be employed to protect natural values while enhancing the livelihoods of local people. Managing the entire plateau will act as a buffer zone and will provide a source for repopulating the National Park’s currently depleted wildlife populations.
P2.181   Natura 2000 helps to preserve endangered grassland butterflies NOWICKI, PIOTR*, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland ; Woyciechowski, Michal, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
The effectiveness of the pan-European system of protected areas Natura 2000 is strongly debated. We report a promising case of eight Natura 2000 sites devoted to endangered wet meadow butterflies, established in the Kraków region, southern Poland, in late 2009. The best known of the sites, monitored since 2003, contains the largest metapopulations of Maculinea teleius (ca. 55,000 adults), M. nausithous (30,000), Lycaena helle, and L. dispar (each 4000), so far described in Europe. Butterfly numbers at four other sites are comparable, while the three remaining sites include smaller, but still viable metapopulations. All eight sites comprise a network with the inter-site distances of 1–17 km; the resulting exchange of individuals estimated at tens (in Lycaena) to hundreds (in Maculinea) per generation should allow maintaining high genetic variability. The metapopulations are relatively stable, and their main threats, i.e. habitat destruction due to urban development and its deterioration through natural succession on abandoned meadows, should be easy to eliminate under new management plans. It appears that Natura 2000 may be a highly successful tool in insect conservation, which stems from the following reasons: (i) its focus on less charismatic species and semi-natural habitats, (ii) spatial scale more appropriate for small animals, and (iii) enhancing the survival of species living in dynamic metapopulations through networking of protected areas.
P2.182   Applying conservation planning principles in the design of a network of protected areas in a relatively pristine northern landscape. Haas, CA*, Government of the Northwest Territories ; Gah, E, Government of the Northwest Territories; Palmer, M, The Nature Conservancy; Cassidy, A, Government of the Northwest Territories; Ridgely, G, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
The NWT Protected Areas Strategy (PAS) is a community-driven effort to establish a protected areas network with core representative areas in the NWT. To support the goals of the PAS, we analyse this network using conservation planning principles. We have conducted terrestrial coarse filter representation analyses and identified additional areas for complete ecological representation in the NWT. To incorporate freshwater into our analysis, we started with the creation of a freshwater classification for most of the NWT. A finer filter approach is also being utilized, identifying and mapping ‘special features’, including rare and may-be at risk plants, amphibian and reptile sightings, hot and warm springs, eskers, mineral licks, glacial refugia, and karst. We have run into challenges including limited availability and coarseness of data for the entire territory and how to incorporate this sparse data into our analyses. Standard protected area design methods, developed in more highly fragmented landscapes, are not all relevant in our relatively pristine northern landscape, e.g. the creation of buffer zones and corridors does not apply as most of the NWT is unfragmented and still supports ecosystem processes and connectivity. It is important to ensure our protected areas network is robust; able to conserve biodiversity and remain viable, while withstanding future industrial developments, e.g. the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline, and adapting to processes, e.g. climate change.
P2.183   The Conformity of Wildlife Refuge of Kiamaki In Iran With IUCN Categorization System Cheraghi, M*, Islamic Azad University- Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran ; Lorestani, B, Islamic Azad University- Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran; Khorasani, N, Department of Environmental Science, College of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Iran is a country with an extensive territory of rare and diverse nature. The Environmental Conservation Organization of Iran has managed to control and safeguard the diversity of its own ecosystems as well as the heredity of its botanical and animal resources by protecting samples of the richest natural regions in a system comprised of national parks, natural monuments, wildlife refuges and protected areas. The categories of Iranian national park and natural monument conform to categories II and III of the IUCN international categorization system respectively and Iranian protected areas conform to IUCN categories IV and VI. Indeed, the true status of the wildlife refuge in Iran may conform to IUCN category VI (Natural monument) rather than category IV when compared with the IUCN category system. We selected the wildlife refuge of Kiamaki as a case study. As soon as the ecological and socio-economical resources which led to the provision of the resources base map (scale: 1.50000) were identified the mapping and zoning processes founded on an analytical system resulted in the understanding of the environmental unit. At the final stage, the zoning model was ascertained. Accordingly, the wildlife refuge of Kiamaki matches the IUCN category IV very well because it contains the protected zone, recovery zone, buffer zone, extensive use zone, special utility and the zone of the other uses. For better management of this region, we suggest managing Kiamaki within the guidelines of the IUCN category IV. Key words: Protected Areas, Zoning, wildlife refuge of Kiamaki, IUCN and Systematic Analysis
P2.184   On Losing the Best Parts of Protected Areas in Tropical Mountains Chai, S*, University of Cambridge
Emerging patterns in the placement of protected areas (PAs) towards higher elevations and steeper slopes have been recognized, along with the increasing isolation of PAs due to deforestation outside PAs. There is however an elevation bias inside PAs which has been ignored as a wide scale pattern evident across the tropics, where the accessible lowland portions of PAs have higher deforestation rates than the largely inaccessible high elevation zones. Due to the geometry of mountains, most montane PAs have a significant portion of lowland forest, which has greater species diversity and more threatened species than high altitude forest. We compared the extent of forested and fragmented areas between lowland (<1000 m asl) and montane zones (>1000 m asl) of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park in Jamaica, and found that in 2008, inside the montane zone, only 4 % of forest was cleared with minimal fragmentation. In contrast, in the lowlands, 28 % of forest was cleared and the density of fragments was eleven fold higher. These findings reflect an important pattern in tropical forest PAs on mountains worldwide, and we identify a ‘PA hotspot zone’ which lies between the PA boundary and the core high altitude zone, and which should be instituted in IUCN categories I and II PAs. The measurement of PA effectiveness within this hotspot zone will allow legal protection to be truly assessed, preventing PAs from gaining credibility due to large inaccessible high altitude areas.
P2.185   An Urgent Application of Conservation Measures for Endangered Semi-Desert Ecosystem of Armavir region, Armenia Arakelyan, MS, Young Biologists Association NGO ; Gasparyan, AH*, Young Biologists Association NGO
Armavir region is located in southern west of Armenia, and has some of the richest and most fertile land. However this land is actively used for agriculture (wine-growing). Almost all the land (90% of valley) is in private hands and converted. Unfortunately, there are no specially protected areas. We have conducted inventory of plants, fungal and animals’ diversity to outline the most vulnerable sites for establishment of wildlife conservation, design of a breeding center (ex-situ conservation) at the base of Private Armavir Zoo. We also organized eco-educational activities among local people. The research site is characterized by the richest biodiversity of flora and fauna (at least 3 species of vascular plants, 17 species of vertebrates are listed in the Red Book of Armenia and 8 are currently in the IUCN Red List of threatened species among them 3 species are critically endangered).Our research has been indicated the wild area (approximately 24 hectares) proposed for conservation. It is located in Armavir region, between villages Vanand and Talvorik. On basis of obtained data we create the Action Plan for conservation activities of local government, NGOs etc.
P2.186   Measuring the cost-effectiveness of better maps of natural resources: scale, benefits, costs and outcomes for conservation. GOOD TATJANA C.*, ARC Centre of Excellence, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811 Australia ; Pressey, Robert, ARC Cemtre of Excellence, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811 Australia; Ridges, Malcolm, Dept. Environment, Climate Change & Water. PO Box 494, Armidale, NSW, Australia 2350
Conservation planning is always limited by biodiversity data but few studies have addressed the costs and benefits of improving data. Often conservation planning exercises are conducted at regional scales using broad resolution maps (e.g., 1:250,000), but implementation occurs at local scales. Fine resolution data (e.g., 1:25,000) are rarely available across entire planning domains. Most often they cover only small parts of planning domains where they show that biodiversity within regional, broad resolution map units is highly heterogeneous. We demonstrate that as one moves from broad-resolution to fine-resolution data within study areas, priority areas for conservation change in extent and location. This raises important unresolved questions: when and at what resolution should finer-scale data be collected to conduct cost-effective priority setting exercises?, and, given the high costs of fine-scale data, what are the trade-offs between better data and more conservation action? We use three different measures of the benefit of improved data at finer scales and work at two different resolutions to demonstrate the effect that additional information has on the choice of priority areas. We discuss the dilemma that conservation practitioners are facing when having to decide how to make best use of their limited budgets for conservation planning.
P2.187   Planning the return of the big game to KwaZulu-Natal: integrating distribution and spatially explicit metapopulation models Enrico Di Minin*, Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, Canterbury, UK ; Peter S. Goodman, Biodiversity Research Division, Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, Cascades, RSA; Rob Slotow, Amarula Elephant Research Programme, School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, Westville Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban; Robert J. Smith, Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
Species distribution modelling and spatially explicit metapopulation models are important techniques for generating data as inputs into conservation planning. Here we discuss the use of the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling approach, in combination with the spatially explicit metapopulation program RAMAS GIS, to model the potential distribution and total carrying capacity of lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, elephant and black rhino in KwaZulu-Natal. MaxEnt models were fitted using presence records derived from ongoing research and monitoring in the area, as well as ecogeographical variables thought to affect species distribution. The effect of spatially autocorrelated sampling was examined by applying a spatial filter to the presence-only data. Resulting distribution maps were included into RAMAS GIS to define a metapopulation structure using a habitat suitability threshold and foraging distance for each species. Total carrying capacity for each species was then calculated by dividing the spatial extent of each population by its population density estimate. Area under the curve values indicated the distribution models were ‘highly accurate’. This process identified a different number of viable patches for each species, although the total area of suitable habitat and the median patch size was species dependent. Overall, results showed that KwaZulu-Natal contains important patches of unprotected habitat and that the current population size for each species is below total carrying capacity.
P2.188   Protected area performance for African mammals is primarily related to defensibility from humans therefore bigger is not always better Craigie, I.*, University of Cambridge
Protected areas are the cornerstone of global conservation efforts and yet their performance in maintaining populations of their key species remains poorly understood. We address this gap using a new database of 595 population time series for 74 species of large mammals in 82 protected areas. The direction and gradient of population change was calculated for each population time series. Then these gradients were modelled using linear mixed effect models. The explanatory variables for the modelling included information on the protected areas, the species life history traits, the human populations around the park and the country. The results of the modelling show that the protected areas that best maintained their mammal populations were the smallest ones with the least humans locally, and that the largest species has the most positive population gradients. These findings contradict conventional wisdom on protected area performance but can be explained. When human hunting is the chief threat present the larger protected areas are disadvantaged by being harder to patrol and defend from poachers. Likewise, it is easier for hunters to target smaller bodied species where the chance of detection of poaching events by the authorities is lower. These results imply that protected area size needs to match the resources available for protection when the threat is human hunting, bigger is not always better.
P2.189   Impacts of Industrial Development on Habitat Selection of Wolves and Woodland Caribou in the South Peace Region of BC WILLIAMSON, LP*, University of Northern British Columbia, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, Canada ; Johnson, CJ, University of Northern British Columbia, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, Canada; Seip, DR, Wildlife Ecologist, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Prince George, BC, V2L 1R6, Canada; Parker, KL, University of Northern British Columbia, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, Canada
Since the early 1990’s, regions surrounding the Peace River in Northeastern British Columbia have experienced rapid land-use change from resource extraction activities, in addition to large-scale commercial agriculture and forestry developments. Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are thought to minimize predation risk by selecting habitats that spatially separate them from predators. Landscape change has altered this relationship and caribou are now threatened by increased predation as a result of apparent competition. My principal research goal is to understand factors influencing seasonal wolf (Canis lupus) distributions relative to areas of high-quality habitat for northern woodland caribou using Resource Selection Functions (RSFs) and count models. Because caribou herds within the study area prefer wintering in a variety of habitats, I will also quantify the seasonal variation in wolf distributions in the context of herd-specific wintering strategies. My study will provide new insights on wolf-caribou interactions that may be applicable to other wildlife negatively influenced by increasing human disturbances and apparent competition.
P2.190   Recovery efforts for the endangered Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) within Canadian Pacific Waters Brekke, Heather*, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the only extant species in the family Cetorhinidae. The Pacific population is estimated to have experienced a rate of decline exceeding 90% within <2 generations (approximately sixty years). Basking sharks are particularly vulnerable to human-induced mortality due to their late age of maturity, low gestation rate, sex segregated populations, use of habitat that coincides with commercial fisheries, lack of fear of vessels, and current small population size. Historical fisheries (1941-1947) and a directed eradication program (1945-1970) appear to be the most likely causes for low abundance of basking sharks observed today in Canada’s Pacific waters. Current threats include incidental fishing mortalities, entanglement in fishing gear, and collision with marine vessels. The Government of Canada intends to list the Basking Shark (Pacific population) as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). To fulfill this obligation, it is preparing a recovery strategy to identify species biological information, habitat requirements, threats to the species, population and distribution information as well as the required next steps to ensure the recovery of this charismatic megafauna. The overarching goal of this process is to promote the population’s recovery such that it can be downlisted from Endangered. The known facts as well as the actions required to achieve this goal will be highlighted in the poster presentation.
P2.191   A new technology to determine Burrowing Owl critical foraging habitat. Marsh, AJ*, University of Alberta ; Wellicome, TI, Canadian Wildlife Service; Bayne, EM, University of Alberta
The purpose of this project is to identify the precise locations at which Burrowing Owls capture their prey. The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) was listed as endangered in Canada in 1995. The main reason for the decline of B. Owls is loss of native prairie habitat, with over 75% of their native range converted to non-native habitat. Non-native habitats (i.e., cropland, tame grass, tame hay and roadside ditches) tend to consist of tall, dense vegetation, which may restrict successful foraging by precluding small mammal detection and/or capture. Recovery strategies for the B.Owl have recognized the need to identify the types and configuration of critical feeding habitats required to effectively raise owlets. I use new dataloggers that acquire a location every second, accurate to <5m, allowing me to follow a foraging owl’s precise paths. Used in conjunction with Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), which film prey deliveries at the nests, I can pinpoint where the owl captured the species delivered. To date, I have identified 55 kill sites, occurring in all possible habitat types, although consistently in low-density vegetation. These results suggest that non-native habitats may cease to be a foraging option once the vegetation has reached a certain density. Alternatively, non-native habitats may permit successful B. Owl foraging if low density vegetation is created or maintained.
P2.192   Status of Endangered Small White Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium candidum) orchid in Canada and its conservation planning Dhar Amalesh*, Research Associate,Center for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, Department of Biology, University of Winnipeg
The small white lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium candidum) is an attractive endangered prone of extinction perennial orchid that inhabits in open areas of prairie and fen habitats. It occur relatively isolated populations at southern Ontario and southern Manitoba in Canada and eastern and western parts of the U.S.A. Different studies it revealed that there are 8 populations in southern Ontario and 15 populations in southern Manitoba. Among them one population in Manitoba and one in Ontario contain three-quarters of all of Canada’s small white lady’s slippers whereas rest 13 populations have less than 100 individuals and some of these consist of only a few plants along roadside ditches. The overall most significant risk factors for the viability of the populations are industrial, urban and agricultural development activities, encroachment by invasive weeds and woody plants, hybridization with other lady’s-slipper species, inbreeding due to small isolated populations, and illegal orchid collection. For protection and conservation of small white lady's-slipper in field level may require; maintain the currently protected sites, increase the public awareness, control the hybridization with other lady’s-slipper, a well defined habitat management strategies and a multi dimensional and institutional approach for implementation of conservation activities.
P2.193   Achieving the Goals of Target 2 of the GSPC: Using Data from Herbarium Specimens to Build a Preliminary Conservation Assessment of Plant Species Krupnick, GA*, Smithsonian Institution ; Kress, WJ, Smithsonian Institution
The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation calls for a preliminary assessment of the conservation status of all known plant species by the year 2010. To date insufficient progress has been made on meeting this target. New efforts are needed to develop a preliminary list beyond using the full IUCN criteria in plant assessments. Here we present an algorithm that provides a preliminary assessment of the conservation status of plant species using spatial, temporal, and abundance data from herbarium records. We use specimen data for species of two economically important, over-harvested plant families (the Cactaceae and the Orchidaceae) as examples of the application of the algorithm. Preliminary results indicate that up to two-thirds of the species are potentially threatened with extinction, but further evaluations using additional data are necessary (e.g., herbarium material, field work and taxonomic expert assessment). Conversely, approximately a third of the species is clearly not threatened and will not require any additional evaluations for full assessment. This methodology provides a rapid means of determining preliminary conservation assessment of a large number of species in a short period of time and greatly decreases the number of species requiring full and labor intensive assessments.
P2.194   Patterns of decline for threatened and endangered species in the United States Leidner, AK*, Dept of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland College Park ; Neel, MC, Dept of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture and Dept of Entomology, University of Maryland College Park
Species are listed as threatened or endangered because they have experienced dramatic declines that place them at high risk for extinction. The ways in which species experience declines, however, may vary among taxa. Although precise estimates of the numbers of individuals, populations, and range sizes are often unknown for imperiled species, the qualitative nature of declines can be ascertained. For all listed species, subspecies, and distinct population segments in the United States with approved recovery plans, we recorded whether each one experienced a change in abundance, the number of populations, and/or range size compared to historic levels. Nearly all species experienced a decline in abundance and many experienced population losses or range contractions. However, taxonomy was associated with the pattern of decline. Invertebrates were just as likely to lose populations as they were to undergo range contractions. Vertebrates were more likely to experience range contractions than to lose populations, whereas plants were more likely to lose populations. These patterns may result from different threats. Narrowly distributed plants and invertebrates may be experiencing acute threats that extirpate populations, while vertebrates may suffer more from diffuse threats that reduce the extent and size of populations. A better understanding of the patterns of decline can help guide recovery objectives and help determine strategies to increase the likelihood of species recovery.
P2.195   Federally endangered serpentine endemic, Dudleya setchellii (Crassulaceae): Which side are you on? Hagerty, Christina, Santa Clara University ; Ferron, Kelly, Santa Clara University; Watts, Sean*, Santa Clara University
Dudleya setchellii is a locally abundant, but narrowly distributed succulent perennial restricted to serpentine outcrops in the Santa Clara Valley (CA). Despite its status, little of its autecology is known. D. setchellii reproduces sexually and vegetatively via rosettes that separate from the parent. We investigated the influence of aspect on D. setchellii germination and transplant success at Coyote Ridge Open Space, a serpentine ridge in Santa Clara Valley. 2009 censuses indicated that south-facing slopes produce more inflorescences than north-facing slopes (2.16 ± 0.37SE vs.1.64 ± 0.30SE). In fall 2009, seedling trays of 20 cells each were filled with nursery loam or locally-collected, homogenized serpentine soil. Each cell received one dudleya seed and 10 trays were distributed randomly on three north- or south-facing slopes. Germination was best in nursery soil and on north aspects (29.6% ± 0.51SE) and worst in serpentine soil on south aspects (14% ± 0.08SE). Our results suggest a tension between adult performance and germination on north vs. south aspects. In spring 2010, reciprocal transplants between north- and south-facing slopes will demonstrate whether D. setchellii may be locally adapted to aspect. Given the uncertain public status of Coyote Ridge, establishing new dudleya populations will be important. It is therefore critical to D. setchellii conservation to understand how microhabitats interact with its demography and life history.
P2.196   Considering connectivity in prioritizing reintroduction sites for threatened species Wilson, JW*, Biology Department, Campus Box 7617, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA ; Fay, JP, Nicholas School for the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706, USA; Haddad, NM, Biology Department, Campus Box 7617, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Connectivity enables organisms to disperse among habitat patches. Despite being critical for the persistence of many threatened species, connectivity has been neglected in reintroduction efforts. We propose techniques that consider connectivity in selecting reintroductions sites. Using a graph-theoretical approach in a GIS framework, we analyze regional patch dynamics of the St. Francis’ Satyr Neonympha mitchellii francisci, a federally endangered species globally restricted to Ft Bragg, NC. We conduct analyses using (a) limited ecological data and (b) species-specific biological information. For each analysis we identify functionally distinct population networks over our study species’ entire range, and those habitat patches that act as critical stepping-stones (i.e. facilitate connectivity) within each population network. We prioritize reintroduction sites based on the relative contribution of unoccupied stepping-stones to each population network’s connectivity. Models suggest that the St. Francis’ Satyr persist as five distinct population networks. We identify the priority reintroduction site as the unoccupied stepping-stone connected to the greatest number (18%) of dispersal routes. By selecting highly connected reintroduction sites, we increase opportunities of reintroduced populations to disperse to unoccupied habitat over the medium term. Over the long term connectivity will enable reintroduced populations to adapt their ranges under changing environment.
P2.197   Vulnerability of sea turtle nesting grounds to climate change Fuentes,MMF*, James Cook University ; Hamann, M, James Cook University
A particular species may be affected by multiple climatic processes at different temporal and geographical scales. However, in the context of limited resources, political, social and cultural constraints, lack of ecological knowledge and issues of scale managers cannot address all of these threats. To efficiently prioritize their resources managers need to understand the relative impact of different climatic processes and the spatial variation of the cumulative impact of these climatic processes on a particular species. However, this information is often lacking as most studies predict how a single climatic process will affect a particular species, and they typically focus on only one location, which does not provide a full understanding of how a management unit will be affected. To address this issue, a vulnerability assessment framework was applied to the full spatial range of nesting grounds used by a green turtle, Chelonia mydas, population to assess the cumulative impact of sea-level rise, increased temperature and cyclonic activity on their nesting grounds as climate change progresses. Nesting grounds closer to the equator were found to be the most vulnerable to climate change. By 2030 sea-level rise will cause the most impact to the reproductive output (hatching success) of this population, however, by 2070 sand temperatures will reach high temperatures causing relatively more impact. Therefore, in the long term, reducing the threats from increased temperature may provide a greater return in conservation investment than mitigating the impacts from other climatic processes. Potential options to mitigate the impacts of increased temperature include changing the thermal gradient at beaches, and artificial incubation.
P2.198   Optimal allocation of conservation resources to species that may be extinct Rout, T. M.*, University of Melbourne ; Heinze, D., Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania; McCarthy, M. A., University of Melbourne
Statements of extinction will always be uncertain because of imperfect detection of species in the wild. Two errors can be made when declaring a species extinct. Extinction can be declared prematurely, with a resulting loss of protection and management intervention. Alternatively, limited conservation resources can be wasted attempting to protect a species that no longer exists. Rather than setting an arbitrary level of certainty at which to declare extinction, we argue that the decision must trade off the expected costs of both errors. Optimal decisions depend on the cost of continued intervention, the probability the species is extant, and the estimated value of management (the benefit of management times the value of the species). We illustrated our approach with three examples: the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus), the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (U.S. subspecies Campephilus principalis principalis), and the mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus). The dodo was extremely unlikely to be extant, so managing and monitoring for it today would not be cost-effective unless the value of management was extremely high. The probability the Ivory-billed woodpecker is extant depended on whether recent controversial sightings were accepted. Without the recent controversial sightings, it was optimal to declare extinction of the species in 1965 at the latest. Accepting the recent controversial sightings, it was optimal to continue monitoring and managing until 2032 at the latest. The mountain pygmy-possum is currently extant, with a rapidly declining sighting rate. It was optimal to conduct as many as 66 surveys without sighting before declaring the species extinct. The probability of persistence remained high even after many surveys without sighting because it was difficult to determine whether the species was extinct or undetected. If the value of management is high enough, continued intervention can be cost-effective even if the species is likely to be extinct.
P2.199   Global change vulnerability assessment of conservation targets and its implications for nature conservation management – a case study from eastern Germany Blatt, Jantje*, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde ; Kreft, Stefan, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde; Strixner, Lena, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde; Luthardt, Vera, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde; Ibisch, Pierre, University of Applied Sciences Eberswalde
Any proactive and strategic nature conservation management should be based on a thorough vulnerability assessment of its targets, such as populations or ecosystems. Global change is increasingly exposing conservation targets to a diversity of stresses, both directly and in interaction with other anthropogenic stresses. We therefore propose an index of ecosystem vulnerability to global change in order to facilitate the identification of adaptive conservation strategies. The methodology of this study is based on a concept of vulnerability as a function of change in exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. In terms of exposure changes, we consider regional climate projections and dynamic trends of current threats (e.g., land use pressure). Sensitivity and adaptive capacity are factored in both by community and habitat aspects and their interactions. The indicators are rated semiquantitatively, resulting in discrete ecosystem vulnerability classes. Highly global change-vulnerable ecosystems in eastern Germany are water dependent ecosystems such as peat bogs and mesic forests, threatened by increasing temperature, altering precipitation and droughts as well as increasing land use pressure. The vulnerability of goal and target setting is part of a vulnerability assessment of conservation systems and therefore contributes to a strategic and adaptive management in the face of global change.
P2.200   Using Genomics to Reduce Uncertainty in Environmental Risk Assessments BURGESS-HERBERT, SARAH*, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow ; Euling, SY, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Mortensen, H, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A critical challenge for environmental risk assessment is in reducing the uncertainty introduced by the extrapolation of inferences across differing levels of biological organization, across species, and across variation within species. Our goal here is to critically evaluate the ways in which genomics data and associated computational biology approaches can address these latter two factors by reducing uncertainty in extrapolation across and within species. We evaluate cross-species methods for comparing genes and proteins important in the perturbation of biological pathways leading to toxicity-induced diseases; and, we evaluate methods for comparing the pathways themselves. We ask how genetic, protein, and pathway information can be interrogated from an evolutionary biology perspective to effectively characterize variations in biological processes among organisms. And, finally, we examine the use of genetic polymorphisms, transcriptomics, and proteomics in investigating the variation within species that leads to differences among life-stages, males and females, and among individuals with differing nutrition status, and existing health conditions. We conclude that, while improved bioinformatics methods and resources are needed, genomics approaches show promise for reducing uncertainty both within and across species. Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
P2.201   Brokering Novel Solutions for Hot Forest Management Issues: The Pacific Northwest Consortium For Fire Science Delivery DeMeo, T, US Forest Service ; Bormann, B, US Forest Service; Evers, L, Bureau of Land Management; Barbour, J, US Forest Service; Fay, Brett, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Seesholtz, D, US Forest Service; Buttrick, S, The Nature Conservancy; Lehmkuhl, J*, US Forest Service
We need better ways to deliver the science we do have, develop the science we don’t have, and get science to affect real outcomes on the ground. The amount of new science on fire, fuel management, and forest restoration is overwhelming for managers to deal with effectively. Information is often conflicting, fragmented, not site-specific, or difficult to interpret. Time is scarce. Scientists tend to focus narrowly on ecological questions, are often poor in delivering timely and pertinent results, and often have few incentives to apply science in site-specific settings. Federal, state, university, and private partners, researchers and managers, are developing the Pacific Northwest Consortium for Fire Science Delivery as a neutral broker to tackle those issues and facilitate effective science-based management of the fire-prone forest and rangeland ecosystems of Oregon and Washington. A community of practice will create a “virtual learning community” to foster the delivery and sharing of knowledge via interactive web networking and training programs. An adaptive management process is being developed to select and implement projects that use current science and test alternatives, ensuring that we learn better from management and that differing scientific or societal views are accommodated. We plan to fully begin work in Spring 2010.
P2.202   The movement patterns, home range sizes, temporal activity patterns, and diet of urban coyotes (Canis latrans) in Edmonton, Alberta Murray, M*, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta ; Cembrowski, A, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta; St. Clair, CC, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
Urban coyote populations and rates of human-coyote conflict are increasing in cities across North America. In Edmonton, Alberta coyotes were once considered rare, but city officials now receive several reports per week describing human-coyote interactions. Managers need information on urban coyote habitat use, movement, and diet to create an effective public education campaign and reduce coyote attractants. To monitor these attributes, we collared six adult coyotes in Edmonton with GPS collars set for three hour fix rates. We calculated home range sizes using the local convex hull method and modeled habitat selection with individual resource selection functions. To determine diet composition, we collected scats in urban parks and microscopically analyzed prey hairs. Coyotes mainly preyed on small rodents and consumed relatively little anthropogenic food. Individual collared coyotes appeared to have different home range sizes and habitat preferences. Four coyotes preferred natural habitat, one coyote selected for both natural and residential areas, and one coyote selected for residential and commercial areas. Interestingly, range sizes were larger for older coyotes, but did not vary with habitat type. One coyote with severe mange made the most extensive use of anthropogenic habitat. Our results suggest that older coyotes may be more habituated to humans and coyotes in poor physical condition may accept higher risks of encountering humans to exploit anthropogenic food sources.
P2.203   CEE and SCB: developing and promoting good science for sustainable biodiversity protection Pullin, A.*, Bangor University ; Livoreil, B, Bangor University
Evidence-based conservation rely on systematic reviews (SR), a thorough standardized appraisal and compilation of existing literature and datasets on a given topic. SR can help decision-makers by providing a sound scientific synthesis of existing knowledge, they also highlight knowledge gaps, effect modifiers, and methodological strengths or flaws. The most complete SR depend on the production of good quality studies. With impact and mitigation measures, LIFE projects and sustainable development policies, the number of field studies tend to develop in Europe but their quality is often questioned. By working together on both end of the pyramid of scientific knowledge and skills, SCB-Europe and CEE should work at reshaping it to raise the quality of applied field studies. We present the details of the development of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence and its possible links to SCB, to discuss how we strive at strengthening a few bridges between conservation scientists, practitioners and decision-makers.
P2.204   Assessing Bat Species Composition and Relative Foraging in a Mixed Disturbance Environment Sewald, Jessica, Bowling Green State University ; Root, Karen*, Bowling Green State University
Summer Foraging requirements for bats are poorly understand, especially in areas highly fragmented, located in an urban/suburban matrix, and in critically endangered oak savanna habitats. The Oak Openings Region of Northwest Ohio includes all three conditions and collecting bat species assemblage and relative foraging activity information for species in this region will increase our understanding of habitat requirements for foraging. I hypothesize that species assemblage will include those found at high abundance throughout the state, that predictors of relative foraging activity will be structural rather than compositional characteristics, and that relative flight activity will be greater in oak savanna areas. A total of 16 points were sampled within two metroparks in the Oak Openings region five times from June 1st to September 2nd, 2009. Established methods of echolocation monitoring using an Anabat SD1 monitor were employed and data at the microhabitat, local and landscape scale were collected. Preliminary Results indicate that structural configuration of habitat (ie canopy cover) is more critical to relative activity than composition at local or landscape level. Species composition includes myotis spp, perimyotis subflavus, Eptesicus fuscus/Lasionycteris moctivagans, Lasiurus borealis, L. cinereus, and Nycticeius humeralis. However, further monitoring is necessary at Oak savanna sites to determine its relative importance for foraging.
P2.205   Combining Static and Dynamic Landscape Variables in Predicting Species’ Range Shifts Under Climate Change Stanton, Jessica*, Stony Brook University, New York, USA ; Pearson, Richard , American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA; Akçakaya, H. Resit, Stony Brook University, New York, USA
Methods to predict future range changes commonly involve species distribution (niche) models based on climatic variables. Values for these dynamic variables are predicted for the next several decades using the results of climate models. However, species distributions also depend on factors other than climate that are either expected to stay static into the future (e.g., soil type) or for which future scenarios may not be available (such as those from remote sensing). Ecological niche models built using present-day conditions and projected to future conditions can be misleading if the correlations between static and dynamic variables change in the future. The question of how best to combine dynamic variables predicted by climate models with static variables is not trivial. Using a set of artificial species displaying a range of life history traits and dispersal capabilities, we tested various methods for combining these different types of variables under future climate scenarios. We evaluated each method for how well it predicts both future available habitat and risk of extinction. Alternative methods include using the static variables as masks, and including them as independent explanatory variables in the model. The method that gives the most accurate results depends on the type of interaction (e.g., additive vs. multiplicative), the degree of correlation between the static and dynamic variables, and the degree to which these change in time.
P2.206   Why African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) move outside the safety of a protected area; testing the ecological trap hypothesis Meer van der, E*, Painted Dog Conservation project Zimbabwe ; Fritz, H, Lyon University, CNRS, France
African wild dogs in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, show a tendency to make maladaptive habitat choices by actively establishing new home ranges outside the national park. Leaving the safety of the protected area inevitably means this endangered species regularly becomes the victim of snares and cars. When an animal shows a preferential choice for a habitat in which its reproductive success or adult survival is less than in other available habitat it is said to have been caught in an ecological trap. Ecological traps can lead to rapid extinction of a species especially when population sizes are low. African wild dogs coexist with other carnivores such as lions and spotted hyenas. Lions and/or hyenas can affect wild dogs indirectly by excluding them from preferred habitat or directly by killing and through kleptoparasitism. In order to test whether interspecific competition with lions and hyenas could led the African wild dogs to make a maladaptive habitat choice a call up experiment with dog sounds was designed. Preliminary results show that the potential risk of kleptoparasitism could indeed create an ecological trap for the African wild dogs in Hwange National Park.
P2.207   Inclusion of biotic interactions in species distribution models improves predictions under climate change: the northern bettong, its resources and a competitor Bateman, B. L. *, Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University ; Vanderwal, J, Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University; Williams, S.E., Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University; Johnson,C.N., Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University
Species distribution models (SDMs) are often used to predict where suitable habitat for a given species may occur in altered climate conditions. The inclusion of biotic interactions in SDMs is rare because it requires detailed ecological knowledge of the species. We examined the influence of biotic interactions on predicted current and future distributions of an endangered marsupial, the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica). Climatic models were developed independently for each of the northern bettong, two of its food resources, and a likely competitor. To determine how the inclusion of biotic interactions altered predicted distributions, northern bettong models were augmented by including estimates of climate suitability for the food resources and competitor, and then compared with those of the climate-only model. Differences in predictions were quantified with a ‘global’ metric to test whether predictions were significantly different, and a ‘local’ metric to identify where they differed. Inclusion of biotic interactions improved model performance and provided the most ecologically realistic distributions. Below 3.0 °C increase in climatic warming predicted northern bettong models differed only in the margins of their predicted distribution, but beyond this level, predictions of models that incorporated biotic interactions diverged from those which did not. This study highlights how the use of ecological knowledge is essential for developing useful models.
P2.208   Using movement behaviors to assess dispersal routes in complex landscapes. Hudgens, BR*, Institute for Wildlife Studies ; Haddad, NH, North Carolina State University; Fields, W, North Carolina State University; Thurgate, N, North Carolina State University; Frock, C, North Carolina State University; Kuefler, DC, University of Guelph; Morris, WF, Duke University; Jobe, RT, University of North Carolina
Wetland species often use isolated habitat patches, so effective management requires identifying how changes in land cover affect potential dispersal corridors and barriers. We demonstrate a simplified approach to quantifying dispersal across a landscape for two sets of species inhabiting wetlands on Ft. Bragg, NC. Our approach addresses a significant challenge to understanding dispersal: because dispersal is a rare event, it is difficult to measure directly. To overcome this challenge, we use movement simulations of individual movements by wetland butterflies and amphibians to project potential dispersal routes. To fully characterize dispersal through the landscape, we calibrated our models from observations of short-term movement in different habitats and at habitat edges. We use the model to identify isolated habitat patches, connected habitat patches and focal landscape features that promote or inhibit dispersal. We found an important role for upland forests in promoting dispersal for both butterflies and amphibians. In contrast, we found that riparian corridors promote dispersal for wetland butterflies but act as dispersal barriers to ephemeral pond-breeding amphibians. The latter result highlights a major challenge in managing landscapes for multiple species- different species perceive the landscape in different ways so that landscape features that may promote or inhibit dispersal of one species may have little or opposing effects on dispersal of another.
P2.209   Linking Habitat Use to Vital Rates by Accounting for Extreme Behaviour Ghikas, Diana*, Canadian Wildlife Service
Using habitat in an extreme way may be risky or rewarding for an animal, yet rarely is this behaviour explicitly identified and considered when seeking insights about how an animal’s habitat affects its survival or reproduction. I introduce an approach that: i)utilizes the lower and upper quartiles of habitat use by the population to characterize habitat features and identify extreme behaviour; and ii) measures habitat use by an individual relative to that of the population, HR. This approach is illustrated using data collected by Martin Jalkotzy and Ian Ross who studied a population of cougars (Puma concolor) during 1981-94. To predict the effects of habitat use on cougar survival and reproductive success, generalized-linear models were developed that included relative habitat use, HR, estimated by the population quartile approach (PQA), or, the average absolute habitat used, HA. Models involving these relative and absolute measures of habitat use were compared and the most parsimonious models selected. Methods and results will be presented. • Models that considered extreme behaviour predicted survival and reproductive outcomes better than models that considered the average absolute habitat used, in all cases; • The PQA of characterizing habitat provides lower and upper bounds which can be used as coarse guidelines for habitat conservation; and, • Important insights about the effects of habitat on an animal’s vital rates can be achieved by accounting for extreme behaviour.
P2.210   Parnopes grandior (Pallas, 1771) (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae) in Ukraine. Drozdovska A.*, Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University
Parnopes grandior (Pallas, 1771) is a cuckoo-wasp (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae) which is a cleptoparasite of digger wasp Bembex rostrata (Linnaeus, 1758). This species is of rare occurrence over the whole territory of Central and Eastern Europe. In some European countries this insect is recorded in the red lists or protected by law (Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovakia). Special researches of this species over the territory of Ukraine were not conducted. We have studied the distribution and ecological features of Parnopes grandior of 8 administrative regions of Ukraine. This species turned to be out widespread over the studied territory, but it is rare one, despite the overall availability of its host Bembex rostrata. The reasons causing this phenomenon are not clear. Therefore, this species needs special attention to monitoring in Ukraine.
P2.211   Habitat quality assessment based on species rarity: case study of land snails in Hungarian forest reserves Zita Kemencei*, Department of Ecology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, Budapest, Hungary ; Péter Sólymos, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Department of Biological Sciences, CW 405, Biological Sciences Bldg, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada; Erzsébet Hornung, Department of Ecology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, Budapest, Hungary; Ferenc Vilisics, Department of Ecology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, Budapest, Hungary
We studied the the performance of 5 different measures of habitat quality. We used the species richness (not sensitive to species rairy), Shannon's diversity index (sensitive to local scale rarity), mean rarity index (mean of regional rarity scores of species), and two indices that combine the local and regional commonness/rarity of the species (regional rarity scores weighted by relative frequency or reciprocal of it). We surveyed the land snails in 3 Hungarian forest reserves. Local rarity was based on relative frequency of the species calculated from the sample counts, for regional rarity of the species we followed a conservation prioritization scheme developed for the Hungarian mollusc fauna. All indices ranked the 3 reserves similarly except for the one where regional rarity was weighted by local commonness. Range restricted (regionally rare) species tended to be locally rare, although not in each cases. We found that the regionally rare species Macrogastra plicatula was one of the most abundant species in one of the reserves. Our results generally reiterate the positive relationship between rarity measured at different spatial scales, but also provide example where this was not the case. So habitat quality assessment should rely on different and complementary indices. Incongruences of multiple indices can help in identifying potentially idiosincratic biotas.
P2.212   Permeability of elk (Cervus elaphus) migration linkage zones in southwestern Alberta. Paton, D.*, University of Calgary ; Pitt, J. , University of Alberta; Muhly, T., University of Calgary; Boyce, M., University of Alberta; Creasey, R., Shell Canada; Musiani, M., University of Calgary; Quinn, M., University of Calgary
The conservation of ungulate migration routes has received increased attention throughout the world, largely because the landscapes necessary to maintain migrations are becoming increasingly fragmented. Migration is a behavioral tactic that enables ungulates to circumvent resource shortages and perhaps ease predation risk. In southwestern Alberta’s Crown of the Continent ecosystem elk herds are migrating from low elevation winter ranges to high elevation summer ranges seeking nutrient rich forage necessary for survival and successful reproduction. These traditional migratory routes of elk are being impacted by ever-increasing levels of resource extraction and recreational activity. For each collared elk (n = 114), location fixes are acquired every 2 hours, 24 hours a day, typically for 2 years if the elk is not harvested by hunters or a predator. Using this wealth of data, the migration linkage zones of elk are modeled to investigate the possible effects of human disturbance to the permeability of these zones. Identification of migration linkage zones provides managers with spatial data necessary to conserve landscape connectivity by using strategies such as restricting development, controlling human activity, or in the case of major highways, to provide safe crossing areas. The impetus for modeling and delineating elk migration and linkage zones is to promote towards management of landscape connectivity.
P2.213   Spatial Patterns of Diversity of Ungulates in Serengeti National Park Bhotika, Smriti*, School of Natural Resources and Environment and Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA ; Holt, Robert D., Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Understanding habitat use is essential for effective management and conservation. Mobile organisms in a community choose habitats in response to a variety of underlying factors including availability of resources, protection from predators, competition for space, and topographic dispersal barriers. This study investigates patterns of habitat use by the diverse ungulate community within the savanna ecosystem of Serengeti National Park, East Africa. Data were available from aerial surveys for eight wet season surveys from 1988-2006. Densities of ungulates were estimated for sample locations 5 km apart. Habitat use within the area is explored by identifying hotspots and coldspots of diversity across space in relation to habitat characteristics. Habitat features were selected to incorporate principal environmental and human influences. Specific regions of the park, as well as locations outside the park boundary, support higher diversity. These are locations of potentially greater interactions among species and importance in management. The patterns of diversity appear consistent over time. However, use of space can vary with changing conditions, for instance following a strong El Nino that resulted in wet season floods. Identifying potential critical areas and characteristics of preferred habitat will contribute to our ability to predict how the ungulate community will respond to changes over time such as shifting rainfall patterns associated with climate change.
P2.214   Continuous Fields of Vegetation Characteristics for Species Distribution Modeling: An Alternative to Predictors Based on Landcover Categories Castilla, G*, University of Calgary ; McDermid, G, University of Calgary
Most species distribution models include one or more predictor variables related to vegetation. Those predictors are customarily extracted from landcover maps derived from remote sensing, and thus are based on categories (e.g., proportion of pixels belonging to the class 'forest' within a circle of diameter x centered at the count station). In this talk we present some pitfalls to using this kind of predictors, and introduce an alternative approach based on continuous fields of vegetation characteristics, wherein a series of key vegetation variables are mapped as scalar fields that vary continuously across space and through time. For example, instead of using arbitrary thresholds in tree cover to separate 'forest' from 'non forest' and 'deciduous forest' from 'evergreen forest', two continuous fields could be employed: 'tree cover fraction' and 'evergreen to deciduous ratio'. This approach yields a more proximal and parsimonious set of predictors (the conventional approach requires a separate variable for each landcover type); preserves more of the fine-grained information contained in the input data (i.e., satellite images) that otherwise is lost amidst discrete patches of homogenous cover; and is more versatile (the same predictors can be used for very different response variables, thus facilitating the simultaneous analysis of multiple species). We illustrate the new approach with a grizzly bear habitat mapping project in Alberta.
P2.215   Conserving Moving Targets-How to Deal with Dynamic Specie and Landscape? Leimgruber, Peter*, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute ; Mueller, Thomas, Ddept. of Biology, University of Maryland; Olson, Kirk, Dept. of Natural Resource Conservation, University of Masschusetts; Fernando, Prithiviraj, Centre for Conservation Research, Sri Lanka; Pastorini, Jennifer, Centre for Conservation Research, Sri Lanka; Nicolson, Craig, Dept. of Natural Resource Conservation, University of Masschusetts; Fuller, Todd, Dept. of Natural Resource Conservation, University of Masschusetts; Fagan, William, Ddept. of Biology, University of Maryland
Traditional conservation strategies rely heavily on protected area approaches that attempt to conserve species and their habitat within a network of protected spaces. Such strategies are necessarily static in space and time and may have severe limitations if the target species have large area requirements or are extremely mobile. Similarly, protected areas may not capture well the spatio-temporal variation in target ecosystems unless they are very large. Attempts to address these short-comings of protected areas generally focus on increasing connectivity, usually via corridors. However, often our understanding of species mobility (e.g. factors controlling mobility, temporal-spatial patterns) are limited. Using Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa) as examples, we describe the special conservation challenges posed by dynamic species and habitats and why landscape-level conservation is required well beyond the borders of protected areas. Based on data from these two species, we describe a framework for the study and conservation of highly dynamic species and landscapes.