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Wildlife habitat preference

Claire Guyot, Raphaël Arlettaz, Pius Korner, Alain Jacot
Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities...
2017: PloS One
Anne Savage, Len Thomas, Katie L Feilen, Darren Kidney, Luis H Soto, Mackenzie Pearson, Felix S Medina, German Emeris, Rosamira R Guillen
Numerous animals have declining populations due to habitat loss, illegal wildlife trade, and climate change. The cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) is a Critically Endangered primate species, endemic to northwest Colombia, threatened by deforestation and illegal trade. In order to assess the current state of this species, we analyzed changes in the population of cotton-top tamarins and its habitat from 2005 to 2012. We used a tailor-made "lure strip transect" method to survey 43 accessible forest parcels that represent 30% of the species' range...
2016: PloS One
Erin R Vogel, Shauhin E Alavi, Sri Suci Utami-Atmoko, Maria A van Noordwijk, Timothy D Bransford, Wendy M Erb, Astri Zulfa, Fransiska Sulistyo, Wartika Rosa Farida, Jessica M Rothman
The spatial and temporal variation in food abundance has strong effects on wildlife feeding and nutrition. This variation is exemplified by the peatland forests of Central Kalimantan, which are characterized by unpredictable fruiting fluctuations, relatively low levels of fruit availability, and low fruit periods (<3% of trees fruiting) that can last nearly a year. Challenged by these environments, large, arboreal frugivores like orangutans must periodically rely on non-preferred, lower-quality foods to meet their nutritional needs...
April 2017: American Journal of Primatology
Raj Kumar Koirala, David Raubenheimer, Achyut Aryal, Mitra Lal Pathak, Weihong Ji
BACKGROUND: Nepal provides habitat for approximately 100-125 wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Although a small proportion of the world population of this species, this group is important for maintaining the genetic diversity of elephants and conservation of biodiversity in this region. Knowledge of foraging patterns of these animals, which is important for understanding their habitat requirements and for assessing their habitat condition, is lacking for the main areas populated by elephants in Nepal...
November 17, 2016: BMC Ecology
Rose T Miller, Jean-Luc Raharison, Mitchell T Irwin
The destruction and degradation of forest habitats are major threats to the sustainability of lemur populations in Madagascar. Madagascan landscapes often contain forest fragments that represent refuges for native fauna, while also being used for firewood and timber by local human populations. As undisturbed forest becomes increasingly scarce, understanding resource competition between humans and wildlife in disturbed habitats will be increasingly important. We tested the hypothesis that Malagasy and aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis) compete for the limited number of dead trees in rainforest fragments at Tsinjoarivo, Madagascar...
November 15, 2016: Primates; Journal of Primatology
Katrin Ronnenberg, Egbert Strauß, Ursula Siebert
BACKGROUND: The grey partridge (Perdix perdix) and the common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) are galliform birds typical of arable lands in Central Europe and exhibit a partly dramatic negative population trend. In order to understand general habitat preferences we modelled grey partridge and common pheasant densities over the entire range of Lower Saxony. Spatially explicit developments in bird densities were modelled using spatially explicit trends of crop cultivation. Pheasant and grey partridge densities counted annually by over 8000 hunting district holders over 10 years in a range of 3...
2016: BMC Ecology
Berihun Gebremedhin, Øystein Flagstad, Afework Bekele, Desalegn Chala, Vegar Bakkestuen, Sanne Boessenkool, Magnus Popp, Galina Gussarova, Audun Schrøder-Nielsen, Sileshi Nemomissa, Christian Brochmann, Nils Chr Stenseth, Laura S Epp
Human population expansion and associated degradation of the habitat of many wildlife species cause loss of biodiversity and species extinctions. The small Simen Mountains National Park in Ethiopia is one of the last strongholds for the preservation of a number of afro-alpine mammals, plants and birds, and it is home to the rare endemic Walia ibex, Capra walie. The narrow distribution range of this species as well as potential competition for resources with livestock, especially with domestic goat, Capra hircus, may compromise its future survival...
2016: PloS One
Dagmar B Meyer Steiger, Scott A Ritchie, Susan G W Laurance
BACKGROUND: Anthropogenic land use changes have contributed considerably to the rise of emerging and re-emerging mosquito-borne diseases. These diseases appear to be increasing as a result of the novel juxtapositions of habitats and species that can result in new interchanges of vectors, diseases and hosts. We studied whether the mosquito community structure varied between habitats and seasons and whether known disease vectors displayed habitat preferences in tropical Australia. METHODS: Using CDC model 512 traps, adult mosquitoes were sampled across an anthropogenic disturbance gradient of grassland, rainforest edge and rainforest interior habitats, in both the wet and dry seasons...
2016: Parasites & Vectors
Alana Wilcox, Craig K R Willis
Habitat modification can improve outcomes for imperilled wildlife. Insectivorous bats in North America face a range of conservation threats, including habitat loss and white-nose syndrome (WNS). Even healthy bats face energetic constraints during spring, but enhancement of roosting habitat could reduce energetic costs, increase survival and enhance recovery from WNS. We tested the potential of artificial heating of bat roosts as a management tool for threatened bat populations. We predicted that: (i) after hibernation, captive bats would be more likely to select a roost maintained at a temperature near their thermoneutral zone; (ii) bats recovering from WNS at the end of hibernation would show a stronger preference for heated roosts compared with healthy bats; and (iii) heated roosts would result in biologically significant energy savings...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Fabio Balotari-Chiebao, Alexandre Villers, Asko Ijäs, Otso Ovaskainen, Sari Repka, Toni Laaksonen
The presence of poorly sited wind farms raises concerns for wildlife, including birds of prey. Therefore, there is a need to extend the knowledge of the potential human-wildlife conflicts associated with wind energy. Here, we report on the movements and habitat use of post-fledging satellite-tagged white-tailed eagles in Finland, where wind-energy development is expected to increase in the near future. In particular, we examine the probability of a fledgling approaching a hypothetical turbine that is placed at different distances from the nest...
November 2016: Ambio
Julie Martineau, David Pothier, Daniel Fortin
As the impact of anthropogenic activities intensifies worldwide, an increasing proportion of landscape is converted to early successional stages every year. To understand and anticipate the global effects of the human footprint on wildlife, assessing short-term changes in animal populations in response to disturbance events is becoming increasingly important. We used isodar habitat selection theory to reveal the consequences of timber harvesting on the ecological processes that control the distribution dynamics of a small mammal, the red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi)...
July 2016: Oecologia
Allyson Jackson, David C Evers, Collin A Eagles-Smith, Joshua T Ackerman, James J Willacker, John E Elliott, Jesse M Lepak, Stacy S Vander Pol, Colleen E Bryan
The widespread distribution of mercury (Hg) threatens wildlife health, particularly piscivorous birds. Western North America is a diverse region that provides critical habitat to many piscivorous bird species, and also has a well-documented history of mercury contamination from legacy mining and atmospheric deposition. The diversity of landscapes in the west limits the distribution of avian piscivore species, complicating broad comparisons across the region. Mercury risk to avian piscivores was evaluated across the western United States and Canada using a suite of avian piscivore species representing a variety of foraging strategies that together occur broadly across the region...
October 15, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Julie A Beston, Jay E Diffendorfer, Scott R Loss, Douglas H Johnson
Recent growth in the wind energy industry has increased concerns about its impacts on wildlife populations. Direct impacts of wind energy include bird and bat collisions with turbines whereas indirect impacts include changes in wildlife habitat and behavior. Although many species may withstand these effects, species that are long-lived with low rates of reproduction, have specialized habitat preferences, or are attracted to turbines may be more prone to declines in population abundance. We developed a prioritization system to identify the avian species most likely to experience population declines from wind facilities based on their current conservation status and their expected risk from turbines...
2016: PloS One
Zhao Liu, Zhigang Jiang, Hongxia Fang, Chunwang Li, Aizi Mi, Jing Chen, Xiaowei Zhang, Shaopeng Cui, Daiqiang Chen, Xiaoge Ping, Feng Li, Chunlin Li, Songhua Tang, Zhenhua Luo, Yan Zeng, Zhibin Meng
A wide array of wildlife species, including many animals, are used in traditional medicines across many medicinal systems, including in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Due to over-exploitation and habitat loss, the populations of many animals commonly used in TCM have declined and are unable to meet market demand. A number of measures have been taken to try to reduce the impact that this large and growing market for TCM may have on wild animal species. Consumer preferences and behavior are known to play an important role in the consumption and protection of wild animals used in traditional medicine, and thus are likely to be an important factor in the success of many of these mechanisms--particularly given the significant percentage of TCMs that are over-the-counter products (access to which is not mediated by practitioners)...
2016: PloS One
Hsiang Ling Chen, John L Koprowski
Anthropogenic infrastructure such as roads and non-native species are major causes of species endangerment. Understanding animal behavioral responses to roads and traffic provides insight into causes and mechanisms of effects of linear development on wildlife and aids effective mitigation and conservation. We investigated effects of roads and traffic on space use and movements of two forest-dwelling species: endemic, forest-dependent Mount Graham red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) and introduced, edge-tolerant Abert's squirrels (Sciurus aberti)...
2016: PloS One
Megan English, Graeme Gillespie, Benoit Goossens, Sulaiman Ismail, Marc Ancrenaz, Wayne Linklater
Plant recovery rates after herbivory are thought to be a key factor driving recursion by herbivores to sites and plants to optimise resource-use but have not been investigated as an explanation for recursion in large herbivores. We investigated the relationship between plant recovery and recursion by elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah. We identified 182 recently eaten food plants, from 30 species, along 14 × 50 m transects and measured their recovery growth each month over nine months or until they were re-browsed by elephants...
2015: PeerJ
Justin P Bandino, Anna Hang, Scott A Norton
Meteorological data show that disastrous floods are increasingly frequent and more severe in recent years, perhaps due to climatic changes such as global warming. During and after a flood disaster, traumatic injuries, communicable diseases, chemical exposures, malnutrition, decreased access to care, and even mental health disorders dramatically increase, and many of these have dermatological manifestations. Numerous case reports document typical and atypical cutaneous infections, percutaneous trauma, immersion injuries, noninfectious contact exposures, exposure to wildlife, and exacerbation of underlying skin diseases after such disasters as the 2004 Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the 2010 Pakistan floods...
October 2015: American Journal of Clinical Dermatology
C L Roever, T DelCurto, M Rowland, M Vavra, M Wisdom
Climate change models are predicting increased frequency and severity of droughts in arid and semiarid environments, and these areas are responsible for much of the world's livestock production. Because cattle (Bos Taurus) grazing can impact the abundance, distribution, and ecological function of native plant and animal communities, it is important to understand how cattle might respond to increasingly arid conditions. Here, we evaluate changes in habitat selection by cattle across an 8-yr period as a function of rainfall and other environmental covariates...
June 2015: Journal of Animal Science
Olivia Tardy, Ariane Massé, Fanie Pelletier, Daniel Fortin
Isodar theory can be used to evaluate fitness consequences of density-dependent habitat selection by animals. A typical habitat isodar is a regression curve plotting competitor densities in two adjacent habitats when individual fitness is equal. Despite the increasing use of habitat isodars, their application remains largely limited to areas composed of pairs of adjacent habitats that are defined a priori. We developed a resampling method that uses data from wildlife surveys to build isodars in heterogeneous landscapes without having to predefine habitat types...
2015: PloS One
S E Kitts-Morgan
Domestic cats are estimated to kill billions of small mammals and birds each year. In certain areas of the world, it is not uncommon for either feral or free-ranging cats to have high population densities, creating concern regarding their level of hunting. Many cats are considered to be subsidized predators, as they receive care and food from humans. Arguments abound regarding the presence of cats in the habitats of native small mammals and birds and whether or not local ecosystems can sustain this predator-prey relationship...
March 2015: Journal of Animal Science
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