Animal Conservation

Cover image for Vol. 19 Issue 3

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited By: Res Altwegg, Darren Evans, John Ewen, Iain Gordon, Jeff A. Johnson, Nathalie Pettorelli and Julie Young

Impact Factor: 2.788

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 10/48 (Biodiversity Conservation); 48/149 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1469-1795

Associated Title(s): International Zoo Yearbook, Journal of Zoology, Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation


  1. 1 - 41
  1. Original Articles

    1. Behaviour during handling predicts male natal dispersal distances in an establishing reintroduced hihi (Notiomystis cincta) population

      K. M. Richardson, J. G. Ewen, P. Brekke, L. R. Doerr, K. A. Parker and D. P. Armstrong

      Version of Record online: 25 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12296

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      Natal dispersal is a key behaviour in reintroduced populations, as it both influences the probability of recruitment, and simultaneously dictates the spatial configuration of the reintroduced population as it establishes. We examined natal dispersal distances (NDD) in a reintroduced passerine population, and found mean NDD to be significantly higher in males than in females. Males that distress-called during handling had greater NDD than those that did not. Our results show that while clusters of individuals established across the release area due to conspecific attraction, there is still movement between these clusters, primarily a consequence of natal dispersal of males of a distinct temperament.

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      Adaptive space use by baboons (Papio ursinus) in response to management interventions in a human-changed landscape

      G. Fehlmann, M. J. O'Riain, C. Kerr-Smith and A. J. King

      Version of Record online: 12 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12293

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      In the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, chacma baboons Papio ursinus are habitual raiders of urban areas, foraging on a variety of human-derived foods. To mitigate this conflict, Cape Town municipality employs field rangers with paintball markers that ‘herd’ baboons away from the urban edge. We find that baboons still use space close to the urban edge, but choose areas close to the refuges in forested habitat and where inter-individual variation in field ranger management strategy is highest, suggesting adaptive space use by the baboons to exploit uncertainty in risk variability.

    3. Ecotourism marketing alternative to charismatic megafauna can also support biodiversity conservation

      A. Hausmann, R. Slotow, I. Fraser and E. Di Minin

      Version of Record online: 5 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12292

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      Charismatic species are arguably the main attractor of ecotourists to protected areas, but this narrow interest leads to under-appreciation of other biodiversity as well as cultural values of protected areas. We used a choice experiment and latent class model and found that less charismatic biodiversity, landscape, biodiversity-related activities, such as camping and game drives, the sense of wilderness and accessibility, also affected tourists' preferences in South African national parks. Domestic tourists, as well as more experienced international tourists, were more likely to support initiatives that promote a broader biodiversity experience than charismatic megafauna alone and were prepared to travel longer distances to do so. Our results reveal new opportunities to promote and support biodiversity conservation at sites where only less charismatic biodiversity is present.

    4. Joint effects of rising temperature and the presence of introduced predatory fish on montane amphibian populations

      N. Polo-Cavia, L. Boyero, B. Martín-Beyer, L. A. Barmuta and J. Bosch

      Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12294

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      Warmer conditions might exacerbate the impact of exotic predators in montane amphibian populations. A joint effect of increasing temperatures and the presence of fish predators was observed on activity and development of larval amphibian, although predator recognition was not precluded at rising temperatures.

    5. Landscape connectivity losses due to sea level rise and land use change

      P. B. Leonard, R. W. Sutherland, R. F. Baldwin, D. A. Fedak, R. G. Carnes and A. P. Montgomery

      Version of Record online: 19 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12289

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      Landscape connectivity will be reduced by increasing land use and climate change, especially where these two phenomena interact. We used multiple species with various life-history requirements to indicate changes to landscape connectivity in the year 2100. We found a future landscape structure that was more homogenized, and thus, lead to broad connectivity decreases for each species and for all of them collectively. However, our results also highlight the spatial variability of these decreases and elucidate focus areas for conservation that may preserve connectivity. (Image credit: P.B. Leonard and E.B. Duffy.)

    6. Testing the demographic effects of divergent immigrants on small populations of Trinidadian guppies

      J. A. Kronenberger, W. C. Funk, J. W. Smith, S. W. Fitzpatrick, L. M. Angeloni, E. D. Broder and E. W. Ruell

      Version of Record online: 14 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12286

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      Augmenting threatened populations with individuals from elsewhere is a contentious conservation strategy, in part because immigrants can diminish overall fitness of the target population. This risk is further elevated if immigrants are divergent from recipients. In this study, we demonstrate via a controlled laboratory experiment with Trinidadian guppies that divergent immigrants can have positive demographic effects on small populations.

  2. Editorial

    1. You have free access to this content
      Reducing agricultural loss and food waste: how will nature fare?

      I. J. Gordon, R. Altwegg, D. M. Evans, J. G. Ewen, J. A. Johnson, N. Pettorelli and J. K. Young

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12290

  3. Letter From the Conservation Front Line

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    2. You have free access to this content
  4. Original Articles

    1. Colour pattern variation can inform about extinction risk in moths

      P.-E. Betzholtz, M. Franzén and A. Forsman

      Version of Record online: 2 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12287

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      In this study of noctuid moths we demonstrate, for the first time for invertebrates, that the degree of among-individual colour pattern variation can inform about extinction risk. Our findings have important direct implications for nature conservation, because insects constitute the vast majority of terrestrial organisms, provide many ecosystem services, are of high economic interest in agriculture and forestry (as pollinators, pests, and invasives), and comprise several endangered species.

    2. Seasonality and human disturbance alter brown bear activity patterns: implications for circumpolar carnivore conservation?

      A. Ordiz, S. Sæbø, J. Kindberg, J. E. Swenson and O.-G. Støen

      Version of Record online: 25 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12284

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      Wildlife may adapt activity patterns to daily and seasonal variations in environmental factors and human activity, and diurnal or nocturnal activity can be a response to variations in food availability and/or human avoidance. We analyzed the movement patterns of 133 GPS-collared brown bears in Sweden in spring, when bears prey on the calves of domestic reindeer and moose, and in summer–early fall, when bears rely mostly on berries, in three areas with a gradient of human disturbance. Flexibility in daily movement patterns by large carnivores may help them survive in human-dominated landscapes, but behavioral changes may also reflect environmental degradation, for example human disturbance and diurnal human activity influencing foraging opportunities for carnivores. However, brown bear depredation on reindeer occurs mostly at night, and therefore, carnivores and reindeer should be separated spatially to reduce depredation.

    3. Impacts of grassland management on wader nest predation rates in adjacent nature reserves

      S. G. Leigh, J. Smart and J. A. Gill

      Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12283

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      Deploying agri-environment schemes (AES) adjacent to reserves in order to reduce the extent of negative impacts on the reserve has been proposed as a potential management strategy, but its efficacy has yet to be assessed. This study examines how the targeted deployment of AES adjacent to a wet grassland reserve affects wader nest predation rates upon the reserve and found that areas of the reserve adjacent to commercial land suffer lower predation rates than areas of the reserve adjacent to AES land. This suggests that predators concentrate activity away from commercial farmland and that the consequences of this strategy will depend on the extent to which it attracts breeding waders and the strength of any consequent density-dependent effects on predation rates.

    4. National assessment of threatened species using sparse data: IUCN Red List classification of Anatidae in Iran

      E. Nourani, M. Kaboli, M. Farhoodinia and B. Collen

      Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12282

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      Using opportunistically collected data for threat assessment of Anatidae in Iran showed that effective use of the IUCN categories and criteria at the national level is hampered in situations where monitoring schemes have a short history. We suggest that in many cases opportunistically collected data need to be complemented with some level of standardized data collection or modeling in order for assessors to reliably determine the threat status of species at the national level.

    5. All roads lead to Iran: Predicting landscape connectivity of the last stronghold for the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah

      E. M. Moqanaki and S. A. Cushman

      Version of Record online: 18 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12281

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      With a worldwide population of ≤70 individuals, the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah Acinonyx jubatus venaticus only persists in several fragmented nuclei in Iran. We predicted alternative models for the landscape connectivity of Asiatic cheetahs, considering the combination of relative landscape resistance and different dispersal ability scenarios. We propose that conservation of the Asiatic cheetah urgently requires integrated landscape-level management to reduce mortality risk, and to protect core areas and corridors. (Photo credit: Iranian Cheetah Society/Iran DoE/CACP)

    6. Quantifying carbon and amphibian co-benefits from secondary forest regeneration in the Tropical Andes

      E. W. Basham, P. González del Pliego, A. R. Acosta-Galvis, P. Woodcock, C. A. Medina Uribe, T. Haugaasen, J. J. Gilroy and D. P. Edwards

      Version of Record online: 9 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12276

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      Tropical land-use change is a key driver of global biodiversity losses and emissions of carbon dioxide, and a critical question is whether carbon-based payments for ecosystem services can offer strong carbon–biodiversity co-benefits via the regrowth of forests on abandoned farmlands (carbon enhancements) for amphibians in the Tropical Andes. We find that secondary forests recover amphibian abundance, species richness, Red-listed species richness and composition towards levels found in primary forest, especially as secondary forests mature, yielding positive carbon and amphibian co-benefits. Our results underscore the high conservation value of secondary forests in the Tropical Andes and the strong potential for carbon and biodiversity recovery under carbon-based funding initiatives.

    7. Genetic monitoring guides adaptive management of a migratory fish reintroduction program

      N. M. Sard, M. A. Johnson, D. P. Jacobson, M. J. Hogansen, K. G. O'Malley and M. A. Banks

      Version of Record online: 4 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12278

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      We used a genetic parentage approach to monitor a migratory fish reintroduction program to resolve factors that may affect the fitness of reintroduced adults and estimate population productivity. We found that release date had a weak and inconsistent effect on the fitness of reintroduced adults, and the population was not replacing itself over time. Collectively, we demonstrate the value of genetically monitoring populations, and we suggest that our approach may be broadly applicable to other philopatric species.

    8. Perceptions of crop raiding: effects of land tenure and agro-industry on human–wildlife conflict

      S. K. Mc Guinness

      Version of Record online: 27 APR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12279

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      As human–wildlife conflict becomes increasingly prevalent, especially in the developing world, acknowledgement of the value of interdisciplinary solutions is required. Using the case study of crop raiding around Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, and by adopting a mixed methods approach, the current study has found that both local factors (such as ecology and income) and more spatially-spread factors (e.g. regional politics, national policy and international industry) are at play in affecting the perceptions of crop raiding by communities living near the protected area. Additionally, this paper has revealed that ownership of land and interventions by agro-industry continue to aggravate conflict between conservation efforts of mountain gorillas and the development of subsistence farmers forgoing use of park resources.

    9. Divergent forecasts for two salt marsh specialists in response to sea level rise

      E. A. Hunter, N. P. Nibbelink and R. J. Cooper

      Version of Record online: 26 APR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12280

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      We forecasted the effects of sea level rise (SLR) on two salt marsh specialist bird species: clapper rails Rallus crepitans and seaside sparrows Ammodramus maritimus. Although both of these species are salt marsh obligates, we found striking differences in their habitat preferences, which will lead to divergent responses to SLR. Clapper rails will likely benefit from SLR in the short term; however, seaside sparrows will experience dramatic declines in their preferred habitats of high elevation, high salinity marshes far from forests.

    10. Decision analysis for habitat conservation of an endangered, range-limited salamander

      O. J. Robinson, C. P. McGowan and J. J. Apodaca

      Version of Record online: 17 APR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12275

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      Deciding the location of habitat restoration or acquisition to best benefit a protected species can be complicated, having competing management objectives, ecological uncertainties, and stochasticity. We applied a structured decision making approach to Red Hills salamander Phaeognathus hubrichti habitat conservation decision making. Working with stakeholders, we developed an objectives hierarchy linking land acquisition or protection actions to species conservation and management cost fundamental objectives. We built a model to assess and compare the quality of the habitat in the known range of P. hubrichti. The results of this effort will be used to rank potential habitat from most to least beneficial then identify land owners in the most useful areas for salamanders who are willing to sell or enter into a permanent easement agreement.

    11. Feasibility and pitfalls of ex situ management to mitigate the effects of an environmentally persistent pathogen

      C. M. Davy and A. K. Whitear

      Version of Record online: 3 APR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12274

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      The merit of applied conservation interventions must often be evaluated in the absence of baseline data for the target population. We apply a set of qualitative biological and social/logistical criteria to a case study where conservation interventions are required, but baseline data are scare. Specifically, we ask whether ex situ (captive) management could benefit populations of Canadian bats threatened by white-nose syndrome. We found that enthusiasm for ex situ management is high among zoos and wildlife rehabilitators, but the necessary infrastructure and husbandry methods are unavailable. Some of the target species may be too rare to establish adequate captive populations, and these populations would rapidly decline if survivorship or reproductive output in captivity are low. Finally, ex situ management does not address the key threat (ubiquitous fungal pathogen) in this case and is therefore not an appropriate strategy for conservation of Canadian bats at this time. (Photo credit: Lenny Shirose, Canadian Wildlife Health Centre).

    12. Species’ traits affect the occurrence of birds in a native timber plantation landscape

      E. C. Pryde, D. G. Nimmo, G. J. Holland and S. J. Watson

      Version of Record online: 28 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12268

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      We compared species and trait composition of 41 lowland rainforest birds among unlogged and forestry production land-uses on New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea. At least 92% of forest species occurred in mature, native Eucalyptus plantation and regrown logged forest, however, composition changes demonstrated successive loss of some species (medium- and large-bodied frugivores, forest specialists) with increasing intensity of disturbance. Our study indicates that native plantations may be able to assist with biodiversity conservation while providing production value, but only if they are judiciously managed in concert with unlogged and regrown logged forest reserves.

    13. Could biodiversity loss have increased Australia's bushfire threat?

      M. W. Hayward, G. Ward-Fear, F. L'Hotellier, K. Herman, A. P. Kabat and J. P. Gibbons

      Version of Record online: 20 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12269

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      Fossorial species turnover leaf litter and enhances its breakdown. We studied the effect of restoring fossorial species across a continent on leaf litter volumes and show that their presence significantly reduces leaf litter volume, as demonstrated in the accompanying image, and modelling reveals this has significant implications for fire behaviour. This study identifies a new ecosystem service provided by biodiversity (fire suppression) and therefore offers a new driver for faunal restoration.

    14. Incorporating regional-scale ecological knowledge to improve the effectiveness of large-scale conservation programmes

      G. M. Kay, P. S. Barton, D. A. Driscoll, S. A. Cunningham, W. Blanchard, S. McIntyre and D. B. Lindenmayer

      Version of Record online: 11 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12267

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      Each year billions of dollars are spent on programmes to conserve biodiversity in farming landscapes, yet most are developed using data for well-studied taxa collected at local or landscape scales. Information about less-studied taxa at larger scales has potential to inform large, multi-region conservation programmes but appropriate data sets are rarely available. Our study addresses this important knowledge gap by examining associations between environmental attributes and reptile assemblages across 234 monitoring sites within a large multi-regional Australian conservation programme. We found that environmental features important to reptile diversity differed among multiple biogeographic regions, and revealed interactive effects of region with two of the four measures of reptile diversity (rare species richness and abundance), suggesting large-scale conservation programmes could be improved by incorporating regional-level responses of species diversity to environmental features.

    15. Categorizing species by niche characteristics can clarify conservation planning in rapidly-developing landscapes

      A. Gangadharan, S. Vaidyanathan and C. C. St. Clair

      Version of Record online: 11 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12262

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      By classifying species into surrogate groups defined by their common habitat preferences and response to anthropogenic activity, it is possible to identify multiple conservation priorities in anthropogenic landscapes. These priorities may span the entire range of the preservationist versus coexistence debate: conserving threatened species occurring in private land, to preserving core patches of undisturbed habitat. We demonstrate an empirical approach that clustered 14 mammals into surrogate groups that reflect their unique conservation needs. Our paper highlights that reliance on flagship species for conservation planning can both underestimate and overestimate the ability of other species to persist in multiple-use landscapes, and that protecting flagship species would only protect species with similar habitat preferences.

    16. From a conservation trap to a conservation solution: lessons from an intensively managed Montagu's harrier population

      D. Torres-Orozco, B. Arroyo, M. Pomarol and A. Santangeli

      Version of Record online: 8 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12260

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      Many threatened species in human-dominated systems are managed through conservation programs that have been designed based on intuition or short-term results rather than assessing their long-term biological and economic sustainability. The current conservation program for Montagu's harriers (Circus pygargus) in Lleida (NE Spain) has been flagged as a ‘conservation trap’. In the present work, population viability analyses were used to find a conservation management scenario that decreases the risk of the conservation trap, or at least minimizes the medium-term expenditure on conservation. Alternative management scenarios are presented. The results suggest that selecting a conservation program based only on short-term biological or cost-effective targets might not be the most appropriate, and demonstrate the relevance of having clear medium-term conservation targets.

  5. Reviews

    1. You have free access to this content
      Shark conservation and management policy: a review and primer for non-specialists

      D. S. Shiffman and N. Hammerschlag

      Version of Record online: 3 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12265

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      There is increasing concern for the conservation of sharks among scientists, environmental conservation advocates, and the interested public, but there is a misunderstanding among policy non-specialists about which conservation and management policies are available, and which might work best for certain situations. Here we present a comprehensive review of fisheries management and conservation literature relating to sharks. Policies are broadly divided into target-based policies that aim for sustainable fisheries of exploitation of species which can withstand it (e.g. fisheries quotas) and limit-based policies that aim to ban all fisheries exploitation of entire taxa (e.g. marine reserves). A thorough list of the pros and cons of each policy is included, as is a decision tree to aid in selection of the most appropriate policy. Our goal is that this paper will allow policy non-specialists, including scientists without policy training, environmental activists, and concerned citizens, to make informed decisions when advocating for shark conservation.

  6. Original Articles

    1. Correlates of wildlife hunting in indigenous communities in the Pastaza province, Ecuadorian Amazonia

      C. Vasco and A. Sirén

      Version of Record online: 3 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12259

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      By analyzing the socioeconomic drivers of wildlife hunting among indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian Amazonia, we found that households which have higher shares of off-farm and nonfarm employment tend to harvest smaller amounts of wild meat. A probable explanation to this is that having a permanent and well-paid job implies an increased opportunity cost of time, leading to a decrease in the time spent hunting and, therefore, decreased wildlife harvests.

    2. Experimental habitat restoration for conserved species using ecosystem engineers and vegetation management

      S. McCullough Hennessy, D. H. Deutschman, D. M. Shier, L. A. Nordstrom, C. Lenihan, J.-P. Montagne, C. L. Wisinski and R. R. Swaisgood

      Version of Record online: 1 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12266

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      We experimentally address the potential for managing ecosystem engineer species to support suites of other species in degraded habitats, which could provide conservation managers with a cost-effective tool for restoring degraded habitats for species of conservation concern, in this case the western burrowing owl Athene cunicularia hypugaea. Using the ecosystem engineer, California ground squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi, we implemented short-term treatments, including vegetation management and squirrel translocation, to re-establish key ecological processes on protected reserve lands in a replicated, large-scale field experiment. We found significant additive effects of squirrel translocation and vegetation management on the spatial footprint of squirrel activity, and noteworthy and persistent engineering effects were achieved by the end of the 3-year experimental period.

    3. Predicting free-roaming cat population densities in urban areas

      D. T. T. Flockhart, D. R. Norris and J. B. Coe

      Version of Record online: 1 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12264

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      Free-roaming cats can have a significant impact on the environment, and while substantial resources have been invested to find humane alternatives for managing cat populations, there are no empirical estimates of free-roaming cat population sizes in medium to large cities. We used replicated distance transect sampling and likelihood-based hierarchical modelling to derive an empirical estimate of total population size and present a spatially explicit prediction of free-roaming cat density across an entire city. Our approach used simple geographical information that is readily available for most urban areas in North America and can be applied broadly to inform cat management in urban areas.

    4. Dolphin sociality, distribution and calving as important behavioural patterns informing management

      H. Smith, C. Frère, H. Kobryn and L. Bejder

      Version of Record online: 28 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12263

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      We combined the study of dolphin sociality, distribution and calving to identify important behavioural and ecological patterns to inform management. The density distribution of female dolphins was highest in the inner waters during December–February (austral summer) and March (early autumn), which also coincided in time with the majority of calving. The temporal stability of social bonds between adult females was measured (using lagged association rates) and remained stable over multiple years. A cyclic model best described female–female associations with an annual peak occurring each austral summer (Dec–Jan–Feb). These results informed the implementation of a legislative no-go area and vessel speed restriction areas.

    5. Habitat selection in a reintroduced population: social effects differ between natal and post-release dispersal

      K. M. Richardson and J. G. Ewen

      Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12257

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      We examine social and physical drivers of habitat selection in a reintroduced passerine population. Our findings lead us to suggest (1) that consideration of social effects and conspecific attraction should play a role in planning reintroduction release strategies, especially if reinforcement releases are considered necessary and (2) that it may not always be appropriate to assume post-release dispersal in reintroduced populations will be driven by the same factors that influence natal dispersal.

    6. Drivers' attitudes toward wildlife-vehicle collisions with reptiles and other taxa

      B. A. Crawford and K. M. Andrews

      Version of Record online: 2 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12261

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      By measuring drivers' attitudes toward wildlife-vehicle collisions, we found that people were generally concerned about impacts of this threat to wildlife; however, their concern was not equal across specific taxa. Our results support previous psychosocial findings regarding negative attitudes toward snakes but additionally demonstrate that these attitudes can remain alongside positive attitudes toward other taxa, such as mammals and turtles. These findings can inform our ability to predict the frequency of wildlife-vehicle collisions and tailor conservation messages toward taxa when negative attitudes exist.

    7. Use of biodegradable driftnets to prevent ghost fishing: physical properties and fishing performance for yellow croaker

      S. Kim, P. Kim, J. Lim, H. An and P. Suuronen

      Version of Record online: 1 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12256

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      When synthetic non-biodegradable fishing nets are lost, abandoned or discarded at sea, they may continue to catch fish and other animals for a long period of time. This phenomenon is known as ‘ghost fishing’. Biodegradable fishing nets, on the other hand, are intended to degrade or decompose after a certain period of time under water and thereby lose their ghost fishing capacity more quickly than conventional gear. A biodegradable net material, a blend of 82% polybutylene succinate (PBS) and 18% polybutylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT), was developed. We examined the physical properties and degradability of the biodegradable monofilament, and compared the fishing performance of driftnets made of conventional nylon and of the biodegradable material. The fishing performance showed that similar catches of yellow croaker were caught with both types of fishing net. We conclude that biodegradable netting may become a feasible alternative to conventional nylon netting and can contribute to reducing ghost fishing.

    8. Birding trip reports as a data source for monitoring rare species

      C. Camacho

      Version of Record online: 26 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12258

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      Field data on rare species are typically limited. Thus, looking for new data sources to monitor rare species is needed. This study highlights the potential of birding trip reports as an underappreciated source of retrospective data on rare species that would otherwise be impossible to collect. Fortunately, sightings of sought-after species are increasingly posted online as a form of tourist attraction and so made publicly accessible for researchers and managers. Looking forward, this paper describes several ways to address potential biases due to varying sampling effort or detectability.

    9. In the search of good biodiversity surrogates: are raptors poor indicators in the Baja California Peninsula desert?

      C. G. Estrada and R. Rodríguez-Estrella

      Version of Record online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12252

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      Raptors have been proposed and used as biodiversity surrogates. We evaluated the effect of spatial and environmental variability on the degree of assemblage concordance between raptors, as the surrogate group, and vascular plants, reptiles, birds and mammals, as target groups in Baja California peninsula. We found raptors to be poor biodiversity surrogates in the desert ecosystem. (Photo credit: Victor H. Luja).

    10. Vulnerability to climate warming of four genera of New World iguanians based on their thermal ecology

      C. Piantoni, C. A. Navas and N. R. Ibargüengoytía

      Version of Record online: 12 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12255

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      A rigorous analysis of the thermal biology of four genera of the New World iguanians suggests a general pattern of vulnerability to global warming. While thermoregulatory behavior typically increases with latitude and altitude, tropical and lowland lizards generally behave as thermoconformers. In a warming scenario, thermoconformity or poor thermoregulation in environments where body and operative temperatures exceed the population's preferenda will cause a reduction in the hours of activity and a higher risk of overheating. Thus, tropical populations, especially the ones inhabiting tropical open and low elevation sites, are at greater risk. Furthermore, these species occupy the least protected areas, which stresses the urgent need of mitigation measures as increase in conservation units to protect their underestimated biodiversity. In contrast, Patagonia and montane environments represent potential future thermal refuges for many equator-ward or lowland lizards capable of dispersion.

    11. Evaluation of alternative management strategies for maintenance of genetic variation in wildlife populations

      R. M. Giglio, J. A. Ivy, L. C. Jones and E. K. Latch

      Version of Record online: 11 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12254

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      For species like bison Bison bison, where management includes regular removal of individuals to maintain restricted population sizes on constrained landscapes, management actions can be tailored to address genetic diversity retention. Using an individual-based modeling approach, we provide an assessment of alternative culling strategies for maintenance of genetic variation in intensively managed wildlife populations. We found that a strategy that uses mean kinship to guide culling decisions maximized retention of genome-wide variation, outperforming strategies based on demographic criteria or variation at a suite of genetic loci.

    12. Lifelong and carry-over effects of early captive exposure in a recovery program for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

      C. N. Clarke, D. J. Fraser and C. F. Purchase

      Version of Record online: 8 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12251

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      Over the life cycle of endangered Atlantic salmon, we measured the effects on wild fitness resulting from two widely applied captive rearing strategies in a conservation program that releases juveniles before the onset of feeding (reduced exposure) or after 5 months of captive feeding (extended exposure). Fish were released into the wild and monitored 1–3 years later as seaward migrating juveniles. A sample of migrating fish from both rearing strategies was held captive in the ocean until mature, and artificially bred to monitor offspring viability. Extended early captive exposure resulted in smaller size-at-stage throughout life, less wild exposure at maturation, shorter generation time and smaller, less viable offspring in the next generation. Our results demonstrate how brief alterations in captive exposure generate long-term effects on fitness and life history traits and hence provide insight into the effective recovery strategy design.

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      High genetic variability of vagrant polar bears illustrates importance of population connectivity in fragmented sea ice habitats

      V. E. Kutschera, C. Frosch, A. Janke, K. Skírnisson, T. Bidon, N. Lecomte, S. R. Fain, H. G. Eiken, S. B. Hagen, U. Arnason, K. L. Laidre, C. Nowak and F. Hailer

      Version of Record online: 7 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12250

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      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections of climate change suggest a reduction of suitable polar bear sea ice habitat by the late 21st century, but the population genetic implications of this have not been addressed, and current management plans implicitly rely on high gene flow levels. Here we compare genetic variability (mtDNA, Y-chromosomal and autosomal markers) of four vagrant polar bears that reached Iceland with that in recognized subpopulations, and find that already few vagrant individuals represent a substantial portion of the species' gene pool. Based on demographic simulations, we show that long-distance dispersers will be important for maintaining genetic variability, necessitating management that promotes population connectivity.(© Hansruedi Weyrich,

    14. Evaluating the probability of avoiding disease-related extinctions of Panamanian amphibians through captive breeding programs

      B. Gratwicke, H. Ross, A. Batista, G. Chaves, A. J. Crawford, L. Elizondo, A. Estrada, M. Evans, D. Garelle, J. Guerrel, A. Hertz, M. Hughey, C. A. Jaramillo, B. Klocke, M. Mandica, D. Medina, C. L. Richards-Zawacki, M. J. Ryan, A. Sosa-Bartuano, J. Voyles, B. Walker, D. C. Woodhams and R. Ibáñez

      Version of Record online: 4 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12249

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      We surveyed amphibian experts to determine the probability of avoiding chytridiomycosis-related extinctions of Panamanian species using captive breeding programs. We found that the following species already represented in captive collections had the highest chances of avoiding extinction: Atelopus zeteki (top left), A. varius (top middle), A. limosus (top right), A. certus (second row left), A. glyphus (second row right), Agalychnis lemur, (third row left) Hemiphractus fasciatus (third row right), Gastrotheca cornuta (bottom left) and Anotheca spinosa (bottom right). Other species that experts predicted were highly susceptible to chytridiomycosis that might also benefit from ex situ management include Craugastor tabasarae, C. azueroensis, C. evanesco, Strabomantis bufoniformis and Colostethus panamansis.

    15. Consequences of individual removal on persistence of a protected population of long-lived turtles

      C. K. Dodd, V. Rolland and M. K. Oli

      Version of Record online: 4 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12253

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      We used a dataset based on a 16-year mark-recapture study of a Florida box turtle population inhabiting an isolated island to model the effects of rare and chronic removal of individuals from the population. Even this large increasing population could only sustain a small annual loss, but if the population was stable or declining, extirpation would occur rapidly within a few decades. Long-lived turtles, such as this species, are particularly vulnerable to both chronic and rare episodic disturbances.


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