Animal Conservation

Cover image for Vol. 19 Issue 1

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: 2.852

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 8/44 (Biodiversity Conservation); 44/145 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1469-1795

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


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  1. Original Articles

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

      B. A. Crawford and K. M. Andrews

      Article first published 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.

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      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

      Article first published 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.

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      Birding trip reports as a data source for monitoring rare species

      C. Camacho

      Article first published 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.

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

      C. G. Estrada and R. Rodríguez-Estrella

      Article first published 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).

    5. 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

      Article first published 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.

    6. 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

      Article first published 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.

    7. 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

      Article first published 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

      Article first published 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,

    9. Non-lethal management of carnivore predation: long-term tests with a startle reflex-based deterrence system on a fish farm

      T. Götz and V. M. Janik

      Article first published online: 4 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12248

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      Carnivore predation on livestock is a worldwide phenomenon that causes a range of conservation problems. These could be alleviated by non-lethal predator deterrent methods. In this study, we tested the long-term effectiveness of a deterrence system for seals around fish farms. This system harnesses the autonomous startle reflex to selectively cause avoidance responses in a target species. Seal predation was monitored at several Atlantic salmon farms before, during and after sound exposure periods and at control sites with no sound exposure. Statistical models showed that our system caused a reduction of 91–97% in fish lost due to predation. Abundance of non-target species such as harbour porpoises was unaffected by sound exposure. By adjusting the frequency composition of startle stimuli, our method has the potential to help in the management of human–wildlife conflicts in terrestrial and marine habitats by selectively deterring predators while not affecting other species.

    10. 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

      Article first published 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.

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

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

      Article first published 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.

    12. Sex-related variation in the vulnerability of wandering albatrosses to pelagic longline fleets

      S. Jiménez, A. Domingo, A. Brazeiro, O. Defeo, A. G. Wood, H. Froy, J. C. Xavier and R. A. Phillips

      Article first published online: 24 NOV 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12245

  2. Reviews

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  3. Original Articles

    1. Avian community responses to post-fire forest structure: implications for fire management in mixed conifer forests

      A. M. White, P. N. Manley, G. L. Tarbill, T. W. Richardson, R. E. Russell, H. D. Safford and S. Z. Dobrowski

      Article first published online: 28 SEP 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12237

    2. Post-release monitoring of Antillean manatees: an assessment of the Brazilian rehabilitation and release programme

      I. C. Normande, A. C. M. Malhado, J. Reid, P. C. Viana Junior, P. V. S. Savaget, R. A. Correia, F. O. Luna and R. J. Ladle

      Article first published online: 22 SEP 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12236

    3. Conservation implications of consistent foraging and trophic ecology in a rare petrel species

      I. Ramírez, V. H. Paiva, I. Fagundes, D. Menezes, I. Silva, F. R. Ceia, R. A. Phillips, J. A. Ramos and S. Garthe

      Article first published online: 24 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12227

    4. Chytrid infection and post-release fitness in the reintroduction of an endangered alpine tree frog

      L. A. Brannelly, D. A. Hunter, L. F. Skerratt, B. C. Scheele, D. Lenger, M. S. McFadden, P. S. Harlow and L. Berger

      Article first published online: 17 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/acv.12230

  4. Letter from the Conservation front Line

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