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wildlife conservation

Ashley Jane Riner, Jaime L Rudd, Deana L Clifford, Brian L Cypher, Janet E Foley, Patrick Foley
The San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica Merriam (Carnivora, Canidae)) is an endangered small carnivore endemic to the San Joaquin Valley of California. Commercial and agricultural land expansion has contributed to the species' decline and invasion of more cosmopolitan species, providing means for potential ecological shifts in disease vector and host species. Fleas are common ectoparasites that can serve as important indicators of cross-species interactions and disease risk. We compared flea load and species composition on kit foxes inhabiting urban and nonurban habitats to determine how urbanization affects flea diversity and potential disease spillover from co-occurring species...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Medical Entomology
Niels Kanstrup, John Swift, David A Stroud, Melissa Lewis
Much evidence demonstrates the adverse effects of lead ammunition on wildlife, their habitats and human health, and confirms that the use of such ammunition has no place within sustainable hunting. We identify the provisions that define sustainable hunting according to European law and international treaties, together with their guidance documents. We accept the substantial evidence for lead's actual and potential effects on wildlife, habitats and health as persuasive and assess how these effects relate to stated provisions for sustainability and hunting...
March 12, 2018: Ambio
Kyle A Artelle, John D Reynolds, Adrian Treves, Jessica C Walsh, Paul C Paquet, Chris T Darimont
Resource management agencies commonly defend controversial policy by claiming adherence to science-based approaches. For example, proponents and practitioners of the "North American Model of Wildlife Conservation," which guides hunting policy across much of the United States and Canada, assert that science plays a central role in shaping policy. However, what that means is rarely defined. We propose a framework that identifies four fundamental hallmarks of science relevant to natural resource management (measurable objectives, evidence, transparency, and independent review) and test for their presence in hunt management plans created by 62 U...
March 2018: Science Advances
Sonia Altizer, Daniel J Becker, Jonathan H Epstein, Kristian M Forbes, Thomas R Gillespie, Richard J Hall, Dana M Hawley, Sonia M Hernandez, Lynn B Martin, Raina K Plowright, Dara A Satterfield, Daniel G Streicker
Human-provided resource subsidies for wildlife are diverse, common and have profound consequences for wildlife-pathogen interactions, as demonstrated by papers in this themed issue spanning empirical, theoretical and management perspectives from a range of study systems. Contributions cut across scales of organization, from the within-host dynamics of immune function, to population-level impacts on parasite transmission, to landscape- and regional-scale patterns of infection. In this concluding paper, we identify common threads and key findings from author contributions, including the consequences of resource subsidies for (i) host immunity; (ii) animal aggregation and contact rates; (iii) host movement and landscape-level infection patterns; and (iv) interspecific contacts and cross-species transmission...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Maureen H Murray, Anjelika D Kidd, Shannon E Curry, Jeffrey Hepinstall-Cymerman, Michael J Yabsley, Henry C Adams, Taylor Ellison, Catharine N Welch, Sonia M Hernandez
Many wildlife species shift their diets to use novel resources in urban areas. The consequences of these shifts are not well known, and consumption of reliable-but low quality-anthropogenic food may present important trade-offs for wildlife health. This may be especially true for carnivorous species such as the American white ibis ( Eudocimus albus ), a nomadic wading bird which has been increasingly observed in urban parks in South Florida, USA. We tested the effects of anthropogenic provisioning on consumer nutrition (i...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Leone M Brown, Richard J Hall
Anthropogenic landscape features such as urban parks and gardens, landfills and farmlands can provide novel, seasonally reliable food sources that impact wildlife ecology and distributions. In historically migratory species, food subsidies can cause individuals to forgo migration and form partially migratory or entirely sedentary populations, eroding a crucial benefit of migration: pathogen avoidance through seasonal abandonment of transmission sites and mortality of infected individuals during migration. Since many migratory taxa are declining, and wildlife populations in urban areas can harbour zoonotic pathogens, understanding the mechanisms by which anthropogenic resource subsidies influence infection dynamics and the persistence of migration is important for wildlife conservation and public health...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Dara A Satterfield, Peter P Marra, T Scott Sillett, Sonia Altizer
Migratory animals undergo seasonal and often spectacular movements and perform crucial ecosystem services. In response to anthropogenic changes, including food subsidies, some migratory animals are now migrating shorter distances or halting migration altogether and forming resident populations. Recent studies suggest that shifts in migratory behaviour can alter the risk of infection for wildlife. Although migration is commonly assumed to enhance pathogen spread, for many species, migration has the opposite effect of lowering infection risk, if animals escape from habitats where pathogen stages have accumulated or if strenuous journeys cull infected hosts...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Tao Wang, Yue Xie, Youle Zheng, Chengdong Wang, Desheng Li, Anson V Koehler, Robin B Gasser
The giant panda, with an estimated population size of 2239 in the world (in 2015), is a global symbol of wildlife conservation that is threatened by habitat loss, poor reproduction and limited resistance to some infectious diseases. Of these factors, some diseases caused by parasites are considered as the foremost threat to its conservation. However, there is surprisingly little published information on the parasites of the giant panda, most of which has been disseminated in the Chinese literature. Herein, we review all peer-reviewed publications (in English or Chinese language) and governmental documents for information on parasites of the giant pandas, with an emphasis on the intestinal nematode Baylisascaris schroederi (McIntosh, 1939) as it dominates published literature...
2018: Advances in Parasitology
David A Westcott, Peter Caley, Daniel K Heersink, Adam McKeown
Monitoring flying-foxes is challenging as their extreme mobility produces highly dynamic population processes, considerable logistic difficulty, and variability in estimated population size. We report on methods for inferring population trend for the population of the spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) in Australia. Monthly monitoring is conducted at all known roost sites across the species' range in the Wet Tropics Region. The proportion of animals in camps varies seasonally and stochastic environmental events appear to be influential...
March 6, 2018: Scientific Reports
Mara I Espinosa, Nicolas Gouin, Francisco A Squeo, David López, Angéline Bertin
Connectivity between populations plays a key role in the long-term persistence of species in fragmented habitats. This is of particular concern for biodiversity preservation in drylands, since water limited landscapes are typically characterized by little suitable habitat cover, high habitat fragmentation, harsh matrices, and are being rapidly degraded at a global scale. In this study, we modelled landscape connectivity between 11 guanaco Lama guanicoe populations in Chile's arid Norte Chico, a region that supports the last remnant coastal populations of this emblematic herbivore indigenous to South America...
2018: PeerJ
Cooper M Farr, Sarah E Reed, Liba Pejchar
Understanding patterns of participation in private lands conservation, which is often implemented voluntarily by individual citizens and private organizations, could improve its effectiveness at combating biodiversity loss. We used social network analysis (SNA) to examine participation in conservation development (CD), a private land conservation strategy that clusters houses in a small portion of a property while preserving the remaining land as protected open space. Using data from public records for six counties in Colorado, USA, we compared CD participation patterns among counties and identified actors that most often work with others to implement CDs...
March 3, 2018: Environmental Management
Darren J Wostenberg, Nikki Walker, Karen A Fox, Terry R Spraker, Antoinette J Piaggio, Amy Gilbert
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a highly contagious pathogen that principally infects wildlife and domestic carnivores. Peridomestic species such as raccoons ( Procyon lotor) experience outbreaks with high mortality. Clinical signs of infection include anorexia, fever, respiratory infection, and neurologic complications. Although not zoonotic, CDV poses a high risk to unvaccinated domestic animals and the conservation of endangered species. During 2013-2016, we opportunistically collected wild and domestic carnivore specimens through a rabies surveillance program in northern Colorado...
March 2, 2018: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Barbara Bennie, Eric Alan Eager, James P Peirce, Gregory J Sandland
Understanding the complexities of environmental issues requires individuals to bring together ideas and data from different disciplines, including ecology and mathematics. With funding from the national science foundation (NSF), scientists from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the US geological survey held a research experience for undergraduates (REU) program in the summer of 2016. The goals of the program were to expose students to open problems in the area of mathematical ecology, motivate students to pursue STEM-related positions, and to prepare students for research within interdisciplinary, collaborative settings...
March 1, 2018: Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
José Antonio Donázar, Olga Ceballos, Ainara Cortés-Avizanda
The expansion of road networks and the increase in traffic have emerged in recent years as key threats to the conservation of biodiversity. This is particularly concerning in many protected areas because the increase of recreational activities requiring the use of vehicles. Effects of roads and traffic within guild scenarios and ecological processes remain however poorly known. Here we examined how road proximity and traffic intensity influence patterns of resource use in an Old-World avian scavenger guild living in a protected natural park in northern Spain...
February 26, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Gloria R Garcia, Sean M Bugel, Lisa Truong, Sean Spagnoli, Robert L Tanguay
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a conserved ligand-activated transcription factor required for proper vertebrate development and homeostasis. The inappropriate activation of AHR by ubiquitous pollutants can lead to adverse effects on wildlife and human health. The zebrafish is a powerful model system that provides a vertebrate data stream that anchors hypothesis at the genetic and cellular levels to observations at the morphological and behavioral level, in a high-throughput format. In order to investigate the endogenous functions of AHR, we generated an AHR2 (homolog of human AHR)-null zebrafish line (ahr2osu1) using the clustered, regulatory interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 precision genome editing method...
2018: PloS One
Elizabeth K Peterson, David B Buchwalter, Jacob L Kerby, Matthew K LeFauve, Claire W Varian-Ramos, John P Swaddle
The fields of behavioral ecology, conservation science, and environmental toxicology individually aim to protect and manage the conservation of wildlife in response to anthropogenic stressors, including widespread anthropogenic pollution. Although great emphasis in the field of toxicology has been placed on understanding how single pollutants affect survival, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach that includes behavioral ecology is essential to address how anthropogenic compounds are a risk for the survival of species and populations in an increasingly polluted world...
April 2017: Current Zoology
Bryan M Kluever, Eric M Gese, Steven J Dempsey
Anthropogenic manipulation of finite resources on the landscape to benefit individual species or communities is commonly employed by conservation and management agencies. One such action in arid regions is the construction and maintenance of water developments (i.e., wildlife guzzlers) adding free water on the landscape to buttress local populations, influence animal movements, or affect distributions of certain species of interest. Despite their prevalence, the utility of wildlife guzzlers remains largely untested...
April 2017: Current Zoology
Galo Zapata-Ríos, Lyn C Branch
Although the Andes have long been occupied by people, habitat loss, fragmentation through deforestation, and other human activities such as introduction of invasive species have increased drastically during the past century. The Ecuadorian Andes are considered a biodiversity hotspot. However, the fauna and threats to the region are poorly studied, and understanding of factors that shape the distribution of species in habitats disturbed by human activities is needed to identify and mitigate region-wide threats to wildlife...
2018: PloS One
Paul Frederick Eshoo, Arlyne Johnson, Sivilay Duangdala, Troy Hansel
Ecotourism as a strategy for achieving biodiversity conservation often results in limited conservation impact relative to its investment and revenue return. In cases where an ecotourism strategy has been used, projects are frequently criticized for not providing sufficient evidence on how the strategy has reduced threats or improved the status of the biodiversity it purports to protect. In Lao PDR, revenue from ecotourism has not been directly linked to or dependent on improvements in biodiversity and there is no evidence that ecotourism enterprises have contributed to conservation...
2018: PloS One
Theodore S Kalbfleisch, Brenda M Murdoch, Timothy P L Smith, James D Murdoch, Michael P Heaton, Stephanie D McKay
Background : Moose ( Alces alces ) colonized the North American continent from Asia less than 15,000 years ago, and spread across the boreal forest regions of Canada and the northern United States (US).  Contemporary populations have low genetic diversity, due either to low number of individuals in the original migration (founder effect), and/or subsequent population bottlenecks in North America.  Genetic tests based on informative single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are helpful in forensic and wildlife conservation activities, but have been difficult to develop for moose, due to the lack of a reference genome assembly and whole genome sequence (WGS) data...
2018: F1000Research
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