RECENT PUBLICATIONS

 

Also see Annual Bibliographies of  WCS-authored research publications, or search for all WCS research publications in the Publications Database.

WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 23-29 November 2021

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 5

Ayala, G. M., M. E. Viscarra and R. B. Wallace (In Press). "First records of the seven-banded armadillo (Dasypus septemcinctus) and the six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus) in northwestern Bolivia." Endentata. https://xenarthrans.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Ayala-et-al_First-records-of-D.septemcinctus-and-E.sexcinctus-in-NW-Bolivia.pdf

Armadillos are poorly studied in Bolivia and there is little information on their ecology, natural history, and distribution in the country. Here we increase the knowledge of the geographic distribution of two species of armadillos, Dasypus septemcinctus and Euphractus sexcinctus, with new camera trap-derived distribution records in northwestern Bolivia, in the department of La Paz. These new records are the westernmost records of the geographic distribution of both armadillos and are also new records for Madidi National Park and Natural Area of Integrated Management.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 5

Davis, K. P., J. Heinrichs, E. Fleishman, ..., J. Berger and L. Pejchar (Early View). "Strengths and shortcomings of habitat exchange programs for species conservation." Conservation Letters, e12846. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12846

Habitat exchange programs, a form of biodiversity offsetting, aim to compensate for negative impacts in one area by conservation in another. A newer subset of habitat exchange programs includes programs that have three distinct characteristics: they allow for temporary (as opposed to only permanent) credits; they are centralized and overseen by nonregulatory, independent administrators; and they exist in the absence of mandatory mitigation policy. As a result, these programs may be relatively flexible and practical in areas where environmental regulation is unpalatable politically. We synthesized gray and peer-reviewed literature to evaluate these programs’ strengths and shortcomings. On the basis of our synthesis, we suggest that temporary conservation credits in habitat exchanges could encourage participation of landowners in conservation and enable programs to respond to environmental change. However, temporary credits can lead to trade-offs between flexibility and uncertainty. Moreover, there is little evidence that these habitat exchange programs have benefited target species, and many challenges associated with offsetting programs persist. Newer forms of habitat exchange programs may have potential to achieve no net loss or net gains of biodiversity to a greater extent than other forms of offsetting, but this potential has not yet been realized.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 5

Dietz, S., K. F. Beazley, C. J. Lemieux, ..., J. C. Ray et al. (2021). "Emerging issues for protected and conserved areas in Canada." FACETS 6(1), 1892-1921. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2021-0072

Horizon scanning is increasingly used in conservation to systematically explore emerging policy and management issues. We present the results of a horizon scan of issues likely to impact management of Canadian protected and conserved areas over the next 5?10 years. Eighty-eight individuals participated, representing a broad community of academics, government and nongovernment organizations, and foundations, including policymakers and managers of protected and conserved areas. This community initially identified 187 issues, which were subsequently triaged to 15 horizon issues by a group of 33 experts using a modified Delphi technique. Results were organized under four broad categories: (i) emerging effects of climate change in protected and conserved areas design, planning, and management (i.e., large-scale ecosystem changes, species translocation, fire regimes, ecological integrity, and snow patterns); (ii) Indigenous governance and knowledge systems (i.e., Indigenous governance and Indigenous knowledge and Western science); (iii) integrated conservation approaches across landscapes and seascapes (i.e., connectivity conservation, integrating ecosystem values and services, freshwater planning); and (iv) early responses to emerging cumulative, underestimated, and novel threats (i.e., management of cumulative impacts, declining insect biomass, increasing anthropogenic noise, synthetic biology). Overall, the scan identified several emerging issues that require immediate attention to effectively reduce threats, respond to opportunities, and enhance preparedness and capacity to react.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 5

le Roex, N., G. K. H. Mann, L. T. B. Hunter and G. A. Balme (Early View). "Big competition for small spots? Conspecific density drives home range size in male and female leopards." Journal of Zoology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzo.12942

Variation in home range size exists among and within wildlife populations. Home range size variation may be driven by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including sex, food and reproductive resources, density and competition. In this study, we investigated the sex-specific impacts of prey and reproductive resources, conspecific density and competition on leopard Panthera pardus home range size at two spatio-temporal scales in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa. Male leopard home ranges were more than twice the size of those of females, in line with expectations for a solitary, polygamous species. Both male and female leopard space-use were primarily driven by short-term changes in intra-sexual conspecific density. Females were influenced by both short and long-term drivers, with long-term prey availability (home range and core) and refugia (core) further impacting size. Males were almost exclusively influenced by short-term drivers; home range size was further impacted by short-term changes in female leopard and prey density, and age. Long-term prey availability contributed to male leopard core size. The difference in impact of short- and long-term drivers between the sexes likely relates to tenure expectations; males may be forced out of their territories at any time and should therefore optimize their space-use based on present conditions. Female leopards, however, must secure a home range that maximizes their reproductive success in the short- and long-term in order to raise cubs to independence. Our findings challenge expectations that space-use is primarily resource-driven and demonstrate the critical role of social factors in saturated populations of solitary species. Furthermore, we illustrate the importance of considering temporally variable factors across different timescales to fully understand their impact on mammalian spatial organization.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 5

Marion, G. S., S. D. Jupiter, V. Z. Radice et al. (2021). "Linking isotopic signatures of nitrogen in nearshore coral skeletons with sources in catchment runoff." Marine Pollution Bulletin 173(Part B), e113054. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113054

We use a multi-tracer approach to identify catchment sources of nitrogen (N) in the skeletons of nearshore Porites corals within the Great Barrier Reef. We measured δ15N, δ13C and C:N ratios of particulate organic matter (POM) sampled from the Pioneer River catchment and identified five distinct end-members: (1) marine planktonic and algal-dominated matter with higher δ15N values from the river mouth and coastal waters; (2) estuarine planktonic and algal matter with lower δ15N values associated with estuarine mixing; (3) lower river freshwater phytoplankton and algal-dominated matter in stratified reservoirs adjacent to catchment weirs, with the 15N-enriched source likely caused by microbial remineralization and denitrification; (4) upper river low δ15N terrigenous soil matter eroded from cane fields bordering waterways; and (5) terrestrial plant detrital matter in forest streams, representing a low δ15N fixed atmospheric nitrogen source. The δ15N values of adjacent, nearshore Porites coral skeletons is reflective of POM composition in coastal waters, with 15N-enriched values reflective of transformed N during flood pulses from the Pioneer River.

 

Grey Literature Citations

 

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 2

Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada (2021). Red Lake Wolverine Project Field Report Winter 2020-2021. Toronto, Canada: Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4085500000.aspx

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada’s current wolverine study has been ongoing in Red Lake, Ontario since 2018. Our study involves identifying individual wolverines with bait stations and live traps to estimate wolverine abundance, collect biological samples, attach GPS collars. We then track wolverines to document foraging behaviours, sources of mortality, and reproduction. Our major accomplishments thus far include: • Building 29 live traps and 10 run poles across a 5,470 km2 study area • Monitoring 45 wolverines with GPS collars: 14 females and 31 males. We confirmed an additional 14 wolverines on camera that we were not able to live trap, bringing the total to 59 known wolverines in our study area. • Collecting over 54,000 GPS locations from collared wolverines which has enabled us to understand wolverine home-range size, territory overlap, dispersal movements, habitat use, and denning behaviour. Notably, M31 dispersed over 350 km from Red Lake during spring and summer 2021 and now lives on the northwest edge of Lake Winnipeg. • Documenting 10 wolverine mortalities: 8 human caused and 2 from predation. • Visiting 88 “clusters” of GPS points to investigate wolverine activities. We found prey remains at 52 clusters with the majority of remains from moose and beaver. • Locating 5 reproductive dens and working with the Ontario government to create bestmanagement practices for protecting these areas. • Collecting 292 wolverine biological samples: 147 scat samples, 75 hair samples, 26 blood samples, and 44 tissue samples. • Providing the Cascades Carnivore Project with 132 wildlife tracks to help understand the accuracy of wolverine track identification by citizen scientists and professionals. • Working with grade 12 students at Red Lake District High School to develop and write scientific reports using field data we have collected. • Participating in the filming of a documentary on wildlife in the Great Lakes region

Grey Literature Citation 2 of 2

Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru (2021). Guía de Mejores Prácticas para los Estudios de Línea Base Biológica en Ecosistemas Acuáticos: Evaluaciones del Fondo de Grandes Ríos Amazónicos. Lima, Peru: Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4083300000.aspx