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Wildlife corridors

Mikaela G Howie, Allyson K Jackson, Daniel A Cristol
Mercury (Hg) exposure has been extensively studied in aquatic and piscivorous wildlife, but, historically, less attention has been directed towards terrestrial species. However, it has become apparent that aquatic Hg crosses ecosystem boundaries along with beneficial subsidies, thereby entering the terrestrial food chain. It is still not known how far from contaminated waterways Hg exposure remains a risk. We examined the spatial extent of exposure in terrestrial songbirds breeding in the floodplain along a 40-km stretch of Hg-contaminated river in Virginia, USA...
March 3, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
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
Cristina E Ramalho, Kym M Ottewell, Brian K Chambers, Colin J Yates, Barbara A Wilson, Roberta Bencini, Geoff Barrett
The rapid and large-scale urbanization of peri-urban areas poses major and complex challenges for wildlife conservation. We used population viability analysis (PVA) to evaluate the influence of urban encroachment, fire, and fauna crossing structures, with and without accounting for inbreeding effects, on the metapopulation viability of a medium-sized ground-dwelling mammal, the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus), in the rapidly expanding city of Perth, Australia. We surveyed two metapopulations over one and a half years, and parameterized the PVA models using largely field-collected data...
2018: PloS One
Jason Riggio, Tim Caro
Wildlife corridors can help maintain landscape connectivity but novel methods must be developed to assess regional structural connectivity quickly and cheaply so as to determine where expensive and time-consuming surveys of functional connectivity should occur. We use least-cost methods, the most accurate and up-to-date land conversion dataset for East Africa, and interview data on wildlife corridors, to develop a single, consistent methodology to systematically assess wildlife corridors at a national scale using Tanzania as a case study...
2017: PloS One
Luke J Evans, Andrew B Davies, Benoit Goossens, Gregory P Asner
Riparian ecosystems are amongst the most biodiverse tropical habitats. They are important, and essential, ecological corridors, linking remnant forest fragments. In this study, we hypothesised that crocodile's actively select nocturnal resting locations based on increased macaque predation potential. We examined the importance of riparian vegetation structure in the maintenance of crocodile hunting behaviours. Using airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and GPS telemetry on animal movement, we identified the repeated use of nocturnal resting sites by adult estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) throughout the fragmented Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysia...
2017: PloS One
Raquel Castillo-Contreras, João Carvalho, Emmanuel Serrano, Gregorio Mentaberre, Xavier Fernández-Aguilar, Andreu Colom, Carlos González-Crespo, Santiago Lavín, Jorge R López-Olvera
Wild boar populations are expanding throughout the world and intruding into periurban and urban areas. In the last years, wild boar has colonized several European cities, including our study area, the city of Barcelona. It is required to identify the main factors driving wild boar into urban areas prior to establish management measures. We built Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) using 3148 wild boar presences registered in the urban area of Barcelona from 2010 to 2014 to identify the variables correlated with these presences...
February 15, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Peng Liu, Hui Wen, Franziska K Harich, Changhuan He, Lanxin Wang, Xianming Guo, Jianwei Zhao, Aidong Luo, Hongpei Yang, Xiao Sun, Yang Yu, Shaobo Zheng, Jing Guo, Li Li, Li Zhang
Over the last 4 decades, China has undergone major economic development, resulting in considerable impacts on its wildlife populations and habitats. It is essential to quantify the conflict between development and conservation to assist with policy-making because forestry policies and market trends affected indirectly the distribution of Asian elephants. Here, we mapped the historical distribution of elephants versus human land use. Elephant distributions appear to occur in unbroken natural forests only. However, over the 40-year period, the distribution ranges have become smaller and fragmented, with natural forest area also declining by 16%...
August 3, 2017: Scientific Reports
Dengmei Fan, Zhixia Sun, Bo Li, Yixuan Kou, Richard G J Hodel, Zhinong Jin, Zhiyong Zhang
Measuring the dispersal of wildlife through landscapes is notoriously difficult. Recently, the categorical least cost path algorithm that integrates population genetic data with species distribution models has been applied to reveal population connectivity. In this study, we use this method to identify the possible dispersal corridors of five plant species (Castanopsis tibetana, Schima superba, Cyclocarya paliurus, Sargentodoxa cuneata, Eomecon chionantha) in the Poyang Lake Basin (PLB, largely coinciding with Jiangxi Province), China, in the late Quaternary...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Miguel Delibes-Mateos, Miguel Ángel Farfán, Carlos Rouco, Jesús Olivero, Ana Luz Márquez, John E Fa, Juan Mario Vargas, Rafael Villafuerte
BACKGROUND: Numerous small and medium-sized mammal pests cause widespread and economically significant damage to crops all over the globe. However, most research on pest species has focused on accounts of the level of damage. There are fewer studies concentrating on the description of crop damage caused by pests at large geographical scales, or on analysis of the ecological and anthropogenic factors correlated with these observed patterns. We investigated the relationship between agricultural damage by the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and environmental and anthropogenic variables throughout Spain...
January 2018: Pest Management Science
Bin Wang, Yu Xu, Jianghong Ran
Understanding the distribution and the extent of suitable habitats is crucial for wildlife conservation and management. Knowledge is limited regarding the natural habitats of the Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii), which is a vulnerable Galliform species endemic to the high-montane areas of southwest China and a good candidate for being an umbrella species in the Qionglai Mountains. Using ecological niche modeling, we predicted current potential suitable habitats for the Chinese monal in the Qionglai Mountains with 64 presence points collected between 2005 and 2015...
2017: PeerJ
Abbie Stewart, Petr E Komers
Progressive anthropogenic disturbance can alter ecosystem organization potentially causing shifts from one stable state to another. This potential for ecosystem shifts must be considered when establishing targets and objectives for conservation. We ask whether a predator-prey system response to incremental anthropogenic disturbance might shift along a disturbance gradient and, if it does, whether any disturbance thresholds are evident for this system. Development of linear corridors in forested areas increases wolf predation effectiveness, while high density of development provides a safe-haven for their prey...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Katherine A Zeller, T Winston Vickers, Holly B Ernest, Walter M Boyce
The importance of examining multiple hierarchical levels when modeling resource use for wildlife has been acknowledged for decades. Multi-level resource selection functions have recently been promoted as a method to synthesize resource use across nested organizational levels into a single predictive surface. Analyzing multiple scales of selection within each hierarchical level further strengthens multi-level resource selection functions. We extend this multi-level, multi-scale framework to modeling resistance for wildlife by combining multi-scale resistance surfaces from two data types, genetic and movement...
2017: PloS One
Jonathan Q Richmond, Dustin A Wood, Michael F Westphal, Amy G Vandergast, Adam D Leaché, Lawrence R Saslaw, H Scott Butterfield, Robert N Fisher
Genomic responses to habitat conversion can be rapid, providing wildlife managers with time-limited opportunities to enact recovery efforts that use population connectivity information that reflects predisturbance landscapes. Despite near-complete biome conversion, such opportunities may still exist for the endemic fauna and flora of California's San Joaquin Desert, but comprehensive genetic data sets are lacking for nearly all species in the region. To fill this knowledge gap, we studied the rangewide population structure of the endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizard Gambelia sila, a San Joaquin Desert endemic, using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD), microsatellite and mtDNA data to test whether admixture patterns and estimates of effective migration surfaces (EEMS) can identify land areas with high population connectivity prior to the conversion of native xeric habitats...
March 30, 2017: Molecular Ecology
M Mayer-Pinto, E L Johnston, A B Bugnot, T M Glasby, L Airoldi, A Mitchell, K A Dafforn
Urbanisation in terrestrial systems has driven architects, planners, ecologists and engineers to collaborate on the design and creation of more sustainable structures. Examples include the development of 'green infrastructure' and the introduction of wildlife corridors that mitigate urban stressors and provide positive ecological outcomes. In contrast, efforts to minimise the impacts of urban developments in marine environments have been far more restricted in their extent and scope, and have often overlooked the ecological role of the built environment as potential habitat...
March 15, 2017: Journal of Environmental Management
Brigitte Glanzmann, Marlo Möller, Nikki le Roex, Gerard Tromp, Eileen G Hoal, Paul D van Helden
BACKGROUND: The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is an important role player in the savannah ecosystem. It has become a species of relevance because of its role as a wildlife maintenance host for an array of infectious and zoonotic diseases some of which include corridor disease, foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis. To date, no complete genome sequence for S. caffer had been available for study and the genomes of other species such as the domestic cow (Bos taurus) had been used as a proxy for any genetics analysis conducted on this species...
December 7, 2016: BMC Genomics
Anne-Lise Chaber, Gabriele Cozzi, Femke Broekhuis, Robyn Hartley, John W McNutt
The recent increase in the creation of transboundary protected areas and wildlife corridors between them lends importance to information on pathogen prevalence and transmission among wildlife species that will become connected. One such initiative is the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area of which Botswana's Okavango Delta constitutes a major contribution for wildlife and ecosystems. Between 2008 and 2011, we collected serum samples from 14 lions ( Panthera leo ), four leopards ( Panthera pardus ), 19 spotted hyenas ( Crocuta crocuta ), and six cheetahs ( Acinonyx jubatus ) in the Okavango...
January 2017: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Deborah A Jenkins, Nicolas Lecomte, James A Schaefer, Steffen M Olsen, Didier Swingedouw, Steeve D Côté, Loïc Pellissier, Glenn Yannic
Global warming threatens to reduce population connectivity for terrestrial wildlife through significant and rapid changes to sea ice. Using genetic fingerprinting, we contrasted extant connectivity in island-dwelling Peary caribou in northern Canada with continental-migratory caribou. We next examined if sea-ice contractions in the last decades modulated population connectivity and explored the possible impact of future climate change on long-term connectivity among island caribou. We found a strong correlation between genetic and geodesic distances for both continental and Peary caribou, even after accounting for the possible effect of sea surface...
September 2016: Biology Letters
Ying Chen, Jorgelina Marino, Yong Chen, Qing Tao, Casey D Sullivan, Kun Shi, David W Macdonald
Research on the spatial patterns of human-wildlife conflict is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms underlying it and to identifying opportunities for mitigation. In the state of Xishuangbanna, containing China's largest tropical forest, an imbalance between nature conservation and economic development has led to increasing conflicts between humans and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), as both elephant numbers and conversion of habitable land to rubber plantations have increased over the last several decades...
2016: PloS One
Mathieu Pruvot, Manigandan Lejeune, Susan Kutz, Wendy Hutchins, Marco Musiani, Alessandro Massolo, Karin Orsel
Migratory movements and alteration of host communities through livestock production are examples of ecological processes that may have consequences on wildlife pathogens. We studied the effect of co-grazing of cattle and wild elk, and of elk migratory behaviour on the occurrence of the giant liver fluke, Fascioloides magna, in elk. Migratory elk and elk herds with a higher proportion of migratory individuals were significantly less likely to be infected with F. magna. This may indicate a decreased risk of infection for migratory individuals, known as the "migratory escape" hypothesis...
2016: PloS One
Daniel Ramp, Vanessa K Wilson, David B Croft
Most people in the world now live in cities. Urbanisation simultaneously isolates people from nature and contributes to biodiversity decline. As cities expand, suburban development and the road infrastructure to support them widens their impact on wildlife. Even so, urban communities, especially those on the peri-urban fringe, endeavour to support biodiversity through wildlife friendly gardens, green spaces and corridors, and conservation estates. On one hand, many who live on city fringes do so because they enjoy proximity to nature, however, the ever increasing intrusion of roads leads to conflict with wildlife...
2016: Animals: An Open Access Journal From MDPI
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