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

WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 18-24 January 2022

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 10

Afifah, H., S. Sunarya, S. P. Dewi, L. Utoyo and M. C. Sibarani (2022). "Modeling the impact of climate change on general flowering in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra." IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 950(1), e012001. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/950/1/012001

Abstract: In Southeast Asian dipterocarp forests, a general flowering (GF) occurs at the multiannual interval. At this phenomenon, at least 40% of the trees in the stands flower in synchrony, dominated by the flowering of the Dipterocarpaceae family that hypothesized to be caused by changes in climate factors, especially ENSO. This study aimed to determine the pattern of flowering trees in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP) and to determine a model for predicting flowering patterns associated with climatic factors in 2021-2050. Flowers and fruits were observed every month from February 1998 to September 2020 at Way Canguk Research Station, BBSNP. The climatic factors used were temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, and the ENSO index. We used a generalized linear model to link climatic factors and flowering and model future flowering. The results showed no GF in BBSNP because the highest flower synchronization only reached 37.8%. The climatic factor with the highest coefficient was ENSO, but flowering was mostly influenced by fluctuations in climate factors, not its absolute value. The model estimated that the flowering in 2021 - 2050 will peak to 34.4% in December 2044 and further ensure good forest regeneration. Thus, BBSNP can still be suitable for conservation purposes.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 10

Caro, T., Z. Rowe, J. Berger et al. (Early View). "An inconvenient misconception: Climate change is not the principal driver of biodiversity loss." Conservation Letters, e12868. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12868

Abstract: The current perception that climate change is the principal threat to biodiversity is at best premature. Although highly relevant, it detracts focus and effort from the primary threats: habitat destruction and overexploitation. We collated causes of vertebrate extinctions since 1900, threat information for amphibia, birds, and mammals from the IUCN Red List, and scrutinized others’ attempts to compare climate change with commensurate anthropogenic threats. In each analysis, none of the arguments founded on climate change's wide-ranging effects are as urgent for biodiversity as those for habitat loss and overexploitation. Present conservation efforts must refocus on these issues. Conserving ecosystems by focusing on these major threats not only protects biodiversity but is the only available, economically viable, global strategy to reverse climate change.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 10

Fontoura, L., S. D’Agata, M. Gamoyo et al. (2022). "Protecting connectivity promotes successful biodiversity and fisheries conservation." Science 375(6578), 336-340. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abg4351

Abstract: The global decline of coral reefs has led to calls for strategies that reconcile biodiversity conservation and fisheries benefits. Still, considerable gaps in our understanding of the spatial ecology of ecosystem services remain. We combined spatial information on larval dispersal networks and estimates of human pressure to test the importance of connectivity for ecosystem service provision. We found that reefs receiving larvae from highly connected dispersal corridors were associated with high fish species richness. Generally, larval “sinks” contained twice as much fish biomass as “sources” and exhibited greater resilience to human pressure when protected. Despite their potential to support biodiversity persistence and sustainable fisheries, up to 70% of important dispersal corridors, sinks, and source reefs remain unprotected, emphasizing the need for increased protection of networks of well-connected reefs.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 10

Lobaloba Ingoba, L., J. C. Djontu, C. C. Mfoutou Mapanguy, ..., E. Kuisma et al. (In Press). "Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a population living in Bomassa village, Republic of Congo." IJID Regions. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijregi.2022.01.002

Abstract: Objectives: As limited data are available from Central Africa, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ab prevalence in indigenous residents, in Bomassa, a village located in the Sangha Region in the Republic of Congo. Methods: Plasma and oropharyngeal swabs samples were collected from 304 healthy adult individuals, randomly recruited in May 2021 before vaccine introduction in the area. In addition, 82 plasma samples from the same area in 2019 were included as controls for cross-reaction investigation against other Coronaviruses. The SARS-CoV-2 virus was detected by qRT-PCR and sequenced using Next-Generation Sequencing. ELISA method was used for detecting IgG, IgM and neutralizing Ab against SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Results: About 4.9% (15/304) of the participants were SARS-CoV-2 positive and B.1.631 was the only variant identified. Of 109 individuals harboring anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and/or IgM Ab, 45.9 % (50/109) had anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing Ab. A proportion of 3.7% (3/82) of control samples collected before the pandemic were positive to IgG, but negative for neutralizing Ab. Conclusions: While seroprevalence against SARS-CoV-2 represented 25% in indigenous population, almost 50% of seropositive participants had neutralizing antibodies. This finding highlights that the spread of the SARS-COV2 infection is under-estimate in the country.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 10

McMullin, R. T. and D. Kraus (2021). "Canada's endemic lichens and allied fungi." Evansia 38(4), 159-173. https://doi.org/10.1639/0747-9859-38.4.159

Abstract: We provide a list of 15 lichens and allied fungi that are currently only known to occur in Canada. Our analysis builds on previous initiatives to identify nationally endemic species. Some of these species are newly described and occur in southern Canada and may still be discovered in the United States. Five species occur in areas that have been identified as hotspots for nationally endemic species. These results can be used to prioritize species assessments and conservation actions in Canada. Our approach can also be applied to refine Canada's list of nationally endemic species for other cryptic taxonomic groups.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 10

Menzies, A., E. K. Studd, J. L. Seguin et al. (In Press). "Activity, heart rate, and energy expenditure of a cold-climate mesocarnivore, the Canada lynx." Canadian Journal of Zoology. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2021-0142

Abstract: The energetic consequences of body size, behaviour, and fine-scale environmental variation remain understudied, particularly among free-ranging carnivores, due to logistical and methodological challenges of studying them in the field. Here, we present novel activity, heart rate, and metabolic data on free-ranging Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis Kerr, 1792) to a) investigate intraspecific patterns of energy expenditure, particularly how they relate to body size, environmental conditions, and activity variation, and b) position lynx - a cold-climate, mesocarnivore - within interspecific allometries of carnivore energetics. Lynx demonstrated limited behavioural and metabolic responses to environmental conditions, despite extreme cold and moderate snow depths during our study, but marked body size patterns with larger lynx having higher activity and lower resting heart rate than smaller lynx. Compared to similar-sized carnivores, lynx were less active and had lower heart rate, likely due to their ambush hunting style, but higher energy expenditure, likely due to their cold-climate existence and access to abundant prey. Overall, lynx were more similar to other ambush hunters than to sympatric cold-climate species and mesocarnivores. Our data provide insight into the relative importance of abiotic and biotic drivers of carnivore energetics and the ways in which predators maintain energy balance in variable environments.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 10

Redford, K. H., G. A. B. da Fonseca, C. Gascon, ..., S. Andelman, ..., C. Walzer et al. (Early View). "Healthy planet healthy people." Conservation Letters, e12864. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12864

Abstract: One Health is a cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach that emphasizes the fundamental ways in which the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, fungi, plants, microbes, and natural and built ecosystems are interdependent. One Health approaches recognize the links between human health and a range of environmental concerns including biodiversity, climate, freshwater, food, harmful chemicals, and healthy oceans. Yet the conservation community and its broad interest in biodiversity and the natural world has been notably lacking in discussions about One Health. Partly as a result, both policy and practice have been narrowly focused on one or a few links between human and other healths, such as the human and wildlife health nexus. We provide a set of principles and components that will balance existing discussions by including the natural world and biodiversity and provide a framework for more active involvement by the conservation community. Incorporating these principles and components will enable One Health practice to guide inclusive, multidisciplinary, and cross-sectoral efforts that consider the shared costs and benefits of human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health and help readjust humanity's pursuit of a green, just, and equitable sustainability pathway.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 10

Senko, J. F., S. H. Peckham, D. Aguilar-Ramirez and J. H. Wang (In Press). "Net illumination reduces fisheries bycatch, maintains catch value, and increases operational efficiency." Current Biology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.12.050

Abstract: Small-scale fisheries are vital for food security, nutrition, and livelihoods in coastal areas throughout the world’s oceans. As intricately linked social-ecological systems, small-scale fisheries require management approaches that help ensure both ecological and socioeconomic sustainability. Given their ease of use and lucrative nature, coastal gillnet fisheries are globally ubiquitous. However, these fisheries often result in high discarded capture of non-target organisms (bycatch) that can lead to significant cascading effects throughout trophic chains and costly fisheries restrictions that result in important revenue losses in coastal communities with scarce economic alternatives. Despite these challenges, few solutions have been developed and broadly adopted to decrease bycatch in coastal gillnet fisheries, particularly in developing nations. Here we used controlled experiments along Mexico’s Baja California peninsula to show that illuminating gillnets with green LED lights—an emerging technology originally developed to mitigate sea turtle bycatch—significantly reduced mean rates of total discarded bycatch biomass by 63%, which included significant decreases in elasmobranch (95%), Humboldt squid (81%), and unwanted finfish (48%). Moreover, illuminated nets significantly reduced the mean time required to retrieve and disentangle nets by 57%. In contrast, there were no significant differences in target fish catch or value. These findings advance our understanding of how artificial illumination affects operational efficiency and changes in catch rates in coastal gillnet fisheries, while illustrating the value of assessing broad-scale ecological and socioeconomic effects of species-specific conservation strategies.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 10

Städele, V., M. Arandjelovic, S. Nixon, ..., T. Breuer, K. N. Cameron, ..., P. Reed, M. M. Robbins, C. Sanz, V. Smith, E. J. Stokes et al. (Early View). "The complex Y-chromosomal history of gorillas." American Journal of Primatology, e23363. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23363

Abstract: Studies of the evolutionary relationships among gorilla populations using autosomal and mitochondrial sequences suggest that male-mediated gene flow may have been important in the past, but data on the Y-chromosomal relationships among the gorilla subspecies are limited. Here, we genotyped blood and noninvasively collected fecal samples from 12 captives and 257 wild male gorillas of known origin representing all four subspecies (Gorilla gorilla gorilla, G. g. diehli, G. beringei beringei, and G. b. graueri) at 10 Y-linked microsatellite loci resulting in 102 unique Y-haplotypes for 224 individuals. We found that western lowland gorilla (G. g. gorilla) haplotypes were consistently more diverse than any other subspecies for all measures of diversity and comprised several genetically distinct groups. However, these did not correspond to geographical proximity and some closely related haplotypes were found several hundred kilometers apart. Similarly, our broad sampling of eastern gorillas revealed that mountain (G. b. beringei) and Grauer's (G. b. graueri) gorilla Y-chromosomal haplotypes did not form distinct clusters. These observations suggest structure in the ancestral population with subsequent mixing of differentiated haplotypes by male dispersal for western lowland gorillas, and postisolation migration or incomplete lineage sorting due to short divergence times for eastern gorillas.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 10 of 10

Zhu, F., V. Duong, X. F. Lim, ..., L. Keatts et al. (2022). "Presence of recombinant bat coronavirus GCCDC1 in Cambodian bats." Viruses 14(2), e176. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020176

Abstract: Bats have been recognized as an exceptional viral reservoir, especially for coronaviruses. At least three bat zoonotic coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2) have been shown to cause severe diseases in humans and it is expected more will emerge. One of the major features of CoVs is that they are all highly prone to recombination. An extreme example is the insertion of the P10 gene from reoviruses in the bat CoV GCCDC1, first discovered in Rousettus leschenaultii bats in China. Here, we report the detection of GCCDC1 in four different bat species (Eonycteris spelaea, Cynopterus sphinx, Rhinolophus shameli and Rousettus sp.) in Cambodia. This finding demonstrates a much broader geographic and bat species range for this virus and indicates common cross-species transmission. Interestingly, one of the bat samples showed a co-infection with an Alpha CoV most closely related to RsYN14, a virus recently discovered in the same genus (Rhinolophus) of bat in Yunnan, China, 2020. Taken together, our latest findings highlight the need to conduct active surveillance in bats to assess the risk of emerging CoVs, especially in Southeast Asia.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 1

Pabón, C. (2022). Tecnologías Limpias y su Implementación en dos Cooperativas Mineras Piloto. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4363400000.aspx

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 11-17 January 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 12

Elsey, R. M. and S. G. Platt (2021). "Notes on the occurrence and reproductive ecology of an introduced population of Apalone ferox in coastal Louisiana, USA." Herpetological Review 52(4), 743-747.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 12

Elsey, R. M., S. Shipp and S. G. Platt (2021). "Apalone spinifera (spiny softshell). Color variation." Herpetological Review 52(4), 840-841.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 12

Klüg-Baerwald, B. J., C. L. Lausen, B. Wissel and R. M. Brigham (2021). "Meet you at the local watering hole? No use of an artificial water resource, and evidence of dehydration in hibernating bats in the prairies." Acta Chiropterologica 23(2), 405-411. https://doi.org/10.3161/15081109ACC2021.23.2.010

Abstract: While torpid, small hibernators experience negative water balance due to evaporative water loss. The use of humid hibernacula and ability to drink during periodic arousals allows most hibernators to manage this deficit over the course of a winter. Some populations of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) hibernate in relatively dry rock-crevices that do not contain free standing water. We monitored the winter behaviour and physiology of one such population in the Canadian prairies. Due to the semi-arid climate, we hypothesized that these bats would experience relatively high evaporative water loss and make frequent mid-winter flights to find water. We measured serum ion concentrations and hematocrit to assess level of dehydration in bats captured during winter. We also provided a heated water tank enriched in deuterium (2H) and used stable isotope analysis to test for elevated hydrogen isotope ratios (2H/1H; herein δ2H) in the blood of bats to determine if individuals drank from the tank. We also used passive acoustic monitoring, video surveillance, and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags to determine if bats visited the heated water tank. We found evidence of hypertonic dehydration (elevated hematocrit and concentrations of some serum ions) in bats as winter progressed. Blood δ2H of bats was similar to that of water on the landscape, and acoustic and video surveillance did not indicate any visits by bats to the water tank. Post-arousal dehydration is not uncommon in hibernators, which agrees with our observation that the water tank did not represent a water resource, despite it being the only open (not frozen) water available. It is unknown whether bats may exploit frozen sources of water (e.g., snow) to supplement metabolic water produced from fat catabolism.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 12

Kuehne, L. M., R. J. Rolls, K. J. Brandis, K. Chen, K. M. Fraley et al. (Accepted Article). "Benefits of permanent adoption of virtual conferences for conservation ecology and ecologists." Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13884

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 12

Mack, Z. E., A. R. Armwood and E. W. Howerth (2021). "Pathology in practice." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 259(S2). https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.19.07.0356

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 12

Ostrowski, S., A. Madad Rajabi and S. Pimm (2021). "The status of the red-backed shrike Lanius collurio in Afghanistan." Sandgrouse 43(2), 271-276.

Abstract: Unpublished evidence from 1970 and recent documented observations clarify the status of the red-backed shrike Lanius collurio in Afghanistan. The species is as a regular passage migrant in small numbers across most of the country.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 12

Platt, S. G., N. Lin and T. R. Rainwater (2021). "Arboreal foraging by Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) on swarming insects in Myanmar." The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 133(2), 339-343. https://doi.org/10.1676/20-00138

Abstract: Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) are active foragers that typically pursue and capture insects flushed by grazing mammals. Arboreal foraging by Cattle Egrets has occasionally been reported, although this behavior appears to be rare, poorly documented, and not well understood. We observed Cattle Egrets arboreally foraging at 2 locations in Myanmar: Yangon University (24 Dec 2018–7 Jan 2019) and Khamti (1 Apr 2019). We observed Cattle Egrets at Yangon University feeding in the canopy of a mango tree (Mangifera indica) on swarms of pollinating insects attracted to flowers. Foraging egrets were scattered throughout the canopy; most remained stationary beside a single flower cluster to catch insects, although on occasion more active behaviors were employed. In Khamti, we observed Cattle Egrets perched on trees above an emergence of winged termite alates (Isoptera). Egrets remained stationary and attempted to capture flying termites in close proximity. Our observations together with other published reports suggest arboreal foraging by Cattle Egrets may occur under the following conditions: (1) when insects are concentrated in trees (e.g., pollinators swarming at flowers) and/or (2) when an elevated perch provides access to flying insects. Our observations at Khamti appear to be the second record of Cattle Egrets among bird assemblages opportunistically preying on alate termites.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 12

Platt, S. G. and T. R. Rainwater (2021). "Pseudemys concinna (river cooter) and Trachemys scripta elegans (red-eared slider). Cleaning symbiosis." Herpetological Review 52(4), 848-849.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 12

Platt, S. G., S. Som, C. Poyser, B. D. Horne and T. R. Rainwater (2021). "Batagur affinis (southern river terrapin). Growth." Herpetological Review 52(4), 787-788.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 10 of 12

Quintero-Angel, M., J. Martínez-Girón and S. Orjuela-Salazar (In Press). "Agroindustrial valorization of the pulp and peel, seed, flour, and oil of moriche (Mauritia flexuosa) from the Bita River, Colombia: A potential source of essential fatty acids." Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-022-02298-3

Abstract: The expansion of the agricultural frontier in the eastern llanos region of Colombia has endangered the moriche palm (Mauritia flexuosa) which has an important ecological function and provides various ecosystem services. In particular, the moriche that grows in this region is wild and has been little studied; therefore, there are no reports of its potential as a source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, information that could be useful for the conservation of the species. This study performed a physicochemical characterization of the oil extracted from the dried pulp of moriche and identified the fatty acids present in the oil, pulp and peel, seed, and flour of this fruit from the Bita River Basin, Vichada, Colombia. The fatty acid composition was characterized by gas chromatography, including physicochemical tests of interest in the oil according to AOCS protocols. The results showed that the highest fatty acid content was found in the extracted oil, with a distribution of 81.64% unsaturated fat and 18.36% saturated fat. These fats included 79.20% oleic acid (omega-9), 0.26% palmitoleic acid (omega-7), 1.01% linoleic acid (omega-6), 1% linolenic acid (omega-3), 16.91% palmitic acid, and 1.33% stearic acid. We conclude that moriche from Bita Basin is an oleaginous fruit due to its high nutritional value in terms of unsaturated fatty acids and that both the flour and the oil obtained are bioproducts with potential industrial application.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 11 of 12

Rajaonarivelo, J. A., M. J. Raherilalao, A. Andrianarimisa and S. M. Goodman (2021). "Seasonal variation in the vertical distribution of birds in the dry deciduous forest of central western Madagascar." The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 133(2), 258-265. https://doi.org/10.1676/20-00088

Abstract: The annual patterns of precipitation in the dry deciduous forest of Madagascar are characterized by a dry season when the majority of trees lose their leaves and a wet season with full foliage development. Such variation allows the examination in shifts in the vertical distribution of birds and to their response to changing environmental conditions. Patterns of birds in the dry deciduous forest of Kirindy CNFEREF, central western Madagascar, were analyzed related to the vertical variation of vegetation structure and microclimate during 2 study periods: the dry (24 Aug to 16 Sep 2017) and wet seasons (25 Jan to 17 Feb 2018). Six line transects in forest habitat of 1,000 m each were used to survey birds, and each was associated with linear sampling to quantify vegetation structure. Data loggers were employed to record temperature and relative humidity across the vertical strata. During the dry season, associated with the microclimate aridity and reduction in vegetation cover in the upper strata, the number of species and individual birds found on the ground increased. During the wet season, fewer birds occurred on the ground, and abundance and species richness increased in the canopy. These results show the sensitivity of birds with regard to environmental fluctuations. However, regardless of the season, birds frequented mainly the mid-story, which had the highest abundance of species as compared to upper and lower vertical strata.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 12 of 12

Yocum, L. F., L. Vanegas and B. A. Day (In Press). "From the forest to the fork: Why we need to 'reframe conservation' for conservation behavior change campaigns." Applied Environmental Education & Communication. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533015X.2022.2025653

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 1 of 28

Aung, S. H. N. (2021). Turtle Conservation in Myanmar. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: Myanmar hosts one of the most diverse, yet critically imperiled turtle faunas in Southeast Asia; 29 species of tortoises, and freshwater and marine turtles are known to occur within the country, including 8 endemic forms. Most species are at risk from a variety of anthropogenic threats. A WCS/TSA program using in- and ex-situ conservation strategies is improving the survival prospects for many of these species. A captive-breeding and head-starting program for Burmese Star Tortoise is restoring populations at three protected areas in the Dry Zone. A similar program for the Burmese Roofed Turtle is augmenting the small remaining population (<10 adult females) in the Chindwin River and producing 150-200 offspring/year through captive-breeding. Captive-breeding is also being used to boost numbers of Asian Giant Tortoise and Burmese Eyed Turtles, with the latter being reintroduced into the wild. An assurance colony was established for the Arakan Forest Turtle, which is also being studied in the wild. Community-based Marine Turtle Conservation Programs have been established to increase hatchling recruitment with village hatcheries, rescue stranded turtles, and encourage turtle-friendly fishing practices. Finally, a Turtle Rescue Center was developed along a major trade route into China to provide care for turtles confiscated from wildlife traffickers.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 2 of 28

Bartlett, S. L., K. N. Koeppel, A. C. Cushing, ... and P. P. Calle (2021). Global Retrospective Review of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Non-Domestic Felids. 2021 Joint AAZV/EAZWV Conference. C. Kirk Baer. Online: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians: 163-163.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 3 of 28

Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes (2021). Estrategia para el Desarrollo y la Promoción de la Actividad Turística en el Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka 2021-2030. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4311000000.aspx

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 4 of 28

Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes (2021). Estrategia para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad para el Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka 2021-2030. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4310700000.aspx

Abstract: La conservación del patrimonio natural es uno de los desafíos más importantes dentro de la gestión territorial ya que requiere de una visión de planificación a corto, mediano y, principalmente, a largo plazo.

Con esta estrategia de conservación se pretende asegurar la permanencia de los recursos naturales, base para el sostenimiento, desarrollo y salud de la población humana, la cual en sí misma constituye una parte de la biodiversidad (Agrawal y Redford 2006, Brooks et al., 2006, Sandifer et al., 2015, Venter et al., 2016). La eficiencia de todos los sistemas productivos desarrollados por actividades humanas depende, en mayor o menor grado, del buen estado del entorno natural, por lo que la conservación de la biodiversidad incide directamente en el éxito de cualquier iniciativa de desarrollo socioeconómico (Constanza et al., 2017).

El municipio de Los Santos Reyes se encuentra en una zona de gran riqueza natural al albergar un conjunto de hábitats representativos de ecosistemas de bosques, sabanas y ambientes acuáticos (GAM Reyes, 2021). Esta riqueza natural, propia de la región, constituye el componente fundamental por el que la actividad turística se ha ido desarrollando en la misma, siendo la zona preferida para los turistas que desean conocer la Amazonía boliviana. Esto ha generado el interés del Gobierno Municipal de Reyes para sumarse a esta actividad económica como una alternativa de desarrollo local sostenible para sus habitantes. Así, el 2008 se estableció un espacio de conservación (Los Santos Reyes) que, aunque desafortunadamente no pudo continuar con las actividades de gestión, mostró el interés local en el entorno natural y en su conservación como base para su desarrollo.

Este interés de las autoridades municipales se ha mantenido en el tiempo, reactivándose la idea en 2018 y, como resultado de un fuerte proceso de consulta y concertación con la población local, el 2019 se crea el Área Protegida Municipal (APM) Rhukanrhuka (L.M. 197-2019, Figura 1), cuyo nombre significa ‘mono lucachi’ en lengua maropa.

Este espacio de conservación y desarrollo sostenible, de casi 860 mil hectáreas, alberga a las dos especies de monos lucachi endémicos de Bolivia y al único grupo remanente de la cultura maropa, aspectos destacados en su nombre. Asimismo, el APM Rhukanrhuka incluye una importante riqueza natural de flora y fauna, así como espacios fiscales, comunitarios y privados, todos interconectados a través de la conservación y el uso de recursos naturales (GAM Reyes, 2021). En este contexto, el APM Rhukanrhuka se constituye como un espacio donde el Gobierno Municipal de Reyes puede gestionar el uso de los recursos naturales de manera sostenible, en coordinación con sus habitantes, buscando las mejores vías de desarrollo, promoviendo que las generaciones presentes y futuras puedan disfrutar de los beneficios de su adecuada gestión y aprovechamiento.

La presente Estrategia para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad del APM Rhukanrhuka, es una de las herramientas de gestión de este espacio de conservación derivadas del Plan de Manejo (GAM Reyes, 2021), instrumento base de la planificación para la gestión de este espacio de conservación. Esta estrategia incluye una evaluación de la situación de distintas especies de fauna silvestre que representan al entorno natural, con relación a distintas amenazas presentes y potenciales. A partir de esta evaluación técnica, se presentan distintas acciones que, de concretarse, se traducirían en beneficios de conservación para las especies consideradas y toda la biodiversidad del APM. De esta manera, la estrategia se orienta al objetivo común de varios instrumentos de gestión del APM: contribuir a la conservación del patrimonio natural del municipio de Los Santos Reyes, base para el desarrollo sostenible y responsable que asegure el bienestar de las actuales y futuras generaciones.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 5 of 28

Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes. (2021). Plan de Acción Ambiental Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4310100000.aspx

Abstract: El Plan de Acción Ambiental del Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka es un instrumento elaborado entre el Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Reyes y la Sociedad para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre (WCS – Bolivia) siguiendo la metodología establecida por el Servicio Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (Guía para la elaboración de Planes de Acción Ambiental para Áreas Protegidas del SNAP; SERNAP, 2018).

Este documento tiene por objeto proponer y priorizar acciones dentro del área protegida con el fin de reducir y evitar los impactos negativos que puedan ocasionar sobre su biodiversidad y recursos naturales las Actividades, Obras y Proyectos (AOP) dentro de Rhukanrhuka, facilitando el cumplimiento de sus objetivos de gestión ambiental.

El Área Protegida Municipal (APM) Rhukanrhuka, en el municipio de Los Santos Reyes, es de muy reciente creación (Ley Municipal Nº 197 de 25 de junio de 2019). Con una extensión de 859.451,37 hectáreas (ha), nace con una doble categoría de Parque (404.821,92 ha) y Área Natural de Manejo Integrado (ANMI, 454.629,45 ha). Sus objetivos de creación establecen un claro compromiso entre la conservación de su medio natural con la promoción del desarrollo sostenible de su población (artículo 4), lo que demanda mantener un equilibrio eficiente entre la conservación de la naturaleza y la gestión sostenible de sus recursos naturales.

Con este fin, se hace necesario disponer de un instrumento que, en el marco de la normativa ambiental vigente sobre las Actividades, Obras y Proyectos, identifique las que ocurren en Rhukanrhuka y facilite a los gestores del APM tomar decisiones respecto a su adecuada gestión ambiental.

Si bien la metodología empleada ha seguido los procedimientos establecidos en el documento guía del SERNAP (2018), para la valoración de los impactos de las AOP y la priorización de acciones se ha considerado el análisis de amenazas y vulnerabilidad realizado para los Objetos de Conservación identificados para Rhukanrhuka en su Plan de Manejo (GAM Reyes, 2021), que incluyen cinco especies de fauna y siete zonas con características relevantes para el entorno natural de la región.

Estos 12 objetos de conservación seleccionados representan una escala general o de paisaje para todo Rhukanrhuka, lo cual es fundamental para la organización de las distintas actividades de gestión de este espacio de conservación (Gonzales et al., 2015).

Objetivo general

Desarrollar una adecuada gestión ambiental del Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka, encaminada al cumplimiento de sus objetivos de creación, mediante el establecimiento de acciones y plazos de ejecución que permitan el seguimiento y minimización de los potenciales impactos ambientales generados por las AOP.

Objetivos específicos

- Establecer y cuantificar la totalidad de AOP que se desarrollan y podrían ocurrir al interior del APM Rhukanrhuka.

- Clasificar y valorar los impactos generados por las AOP sobre los objetos de conservación del APM.

- Definir las acciones, su priorización y los plazos de ejecución con relación al nivel del impacto generados por el desarrollo de AOP en el APM.

- Realizar una evaluación periódica de la eficacia de las acciones propuestas y emprendidas para el cumplimiento de los objetivos establecidos por el Plan de Acción Ambiental.

- Fortalecer la relación interinstitucional del Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes con otras instituciones públicas y privadas que coadyuven con la gestión ambiental del APM.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 6 of 28

Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes (2021). Plan de Manejo Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka 2021-2030. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4310400000.aspx

Abstract: El presente Plan de Manejo del Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka es un instrumento elaborado entre el Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Reyes y la Sociedad para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre (WCS Bolivia) siguiendo la metodología establecida por el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua (MMyA) (SERNAP, 2013). Este documento tiene por objeto orientar y priorizar las acciones y actividades dentro del área protegida con el fin de conservar la riqueza natural y cultural del municipio y la región. Fue desarrollado siguiendo un activo proceso de consulta y participación entre actores locales, regionales, especialistas y autoridades.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 7 of 28

Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes (2021). Plan de Manejo del Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka 2021–2030. Resumen Ejecutivo. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4311900000.aspx

Abstract: La creación del Área Protegida Municipal (APM) Rhukanrhuka ha sido fruto de un largo proceso de construcción social sustentado en una visión colectiva de conservación del patrimonio natural y cultural del municipio de Reyes, vinculado a la voluntad y a la necesidad de generar un desarrollo sostenible para su población. Este proceso comienza el año 2008, con la creación del APM Los Santos Reyes por Ordenanza Municipal Nº 025/2008.

Esta APM tenía una superficie de 505.590,8828 hectáreas (ha)categorizada como Área Natural de Manejo Integrado (ANMI). Diez años después de su creación no se había iniciado una gestión efectiva, sin embargo, nuevas amenazas y oportunidades ambientales impulsaron al Gobierno Autónomo Municipal (GAM) de Los Santos Reyes a reactivar la idea de su creación.

En este contexto, en septiembre de 2018, el GAM de Reyes solicita apoyo técnico a la Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS-Bolivia) y, observando que el marco normativo nacional había variado sustancialmente desde esa fecha, con significativos cambios en las competencias municipales, se decide refundar el APM con un nuevo e intenso proceso de consulta y concertación con todos los sectores y actores sociales involucrados, realizado entre septiembre de 2018 y marzo de 2019.

Fruto de esta concertación se definen aspectos esenciales de la nueva APM: nombre, límites y superficie, categorías y objetivos de creación y gestión. El resultado es el Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka, con una superficie total de 859.451,37 ha y con las categorías de Parque y Área Natural de Manejo Integrado, formalizadas mediante Ley Municipal Nº 197 de 25 de junio de 2019.

A partir de su creación, se requería disponer de instrumentos de planificación que orienten la gestión del APM. Para ello, con apoyo técnico de WCS, se elabora participativamente su Plan de Manejo, documento fundamental por el que se ordena espacialmente el área protegida, asignando usos y actividades permitidas para cada zona, se definen modalidades de manejo, así como las directrices, lineamientos y políticas para su gestión. Este documento se encuentra adjunto en el CD que acompaña el presente resumen.

Este resumen ejecutivo del Plan de Manejo está organizado en cuatro capítulos:

Capítulo 1. Presenta una introducción de la creación del APM y el marco referencial del Plan de Manejo.

Capítulo 2. Resume el diagnóstico integral, natural y sociocultural del APM Rhukanrhuka.

Capítulo 3. Muestra la zonificación concertada para el APM Rhukanrhuka.

Capítulo 4. Presenta los objetivos estratégicos generales de conservación y desarrollo establecidos por la población del APM para los próximos 10 años y recomendaciones para su implementación.

Al margen del Plan de Manejo en versión completa, en el CD adjunto se han incluido otros instrumentos esenciales para una gestión integral del APM Rhukanrhuka. Estos son: el Plan de Protección, la Estrategia de Conservación, el Plan Estratégico de Turismo, el Plan de Monitoreo Integral, el Plan de Acción Ambiental, la Ley de creación del área protegida y la Ley de aprobación del Plan de Manejo. También se incluye la versión digital del Resumen Ejecutivo del Plan de Manejo.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 8 of 28

Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes (2021). Plan de Monitoreo Integral para el Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4311600000.aspx

Abstract: El monitoreo de los impactos producidos por las actividades humanas (y eventos naturales) sobre los ecosistemas y la biodiversidad en las áreas protegidas es un componente esencial para su gestión eficiente y efectiva (Villaseñor y Botello, 2016), por tanto, es un instrumento imprescindible para lograr sus objetivos de sostenibilidad (Monjeau, 2002).

Esta necesidad de mejorar la gestión integral de las áreas protegidas, mediante la medición y verificación en el cumplimiento de sus objetivos de creación y conservación, impulsó la elaboración de una herramienta que pudiera aplicarse al Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (SNAP), que se concreta con la “Guía para el diseño e implementación de Programas de Monitoreo Integral en áreas protegidas del SNAP” (SERNAP, 2018), en la que se establecen indicadores en los diferentes ámbitos de gestión enunciados en el Plan Maestro del SNAP 2012- 2022 (SERNAP, 2012).

El gran aporte de esta guía metodológica es que vertebra, estructura y estandariza un sistema de monitoreo mínimo para todas las áreas protegidas de Bolivia, lo que puede permitir hacer evaluaciones y seguimientos a todo el SNAP bajo indicadores similares.

El monitoreo en áreas nacionales de Bolivia es relativamente reciente. En 2001 se implementa la metodología MEMS (Medición de Efectividad de Manejo del SNAP), que tenía una serie de deficiencias, la más importante es que no evaluaba el estado de conservación del espacio protegido (Daza, 2009).

Posteriormente, se elabora el Sistema de Monitoreo de Áreas Protegidas de Bolivia (SIMAP) (Monjeau, 2004), sistema que resultaba muy complejo de llevar a la práctica, pero del que derivaron programas de monitoreo específicos para nueve áreas protegidas (Amboró, Carrasco, Cotapata, Eduardo Avaroa, Estación Biológica del Beni, Madidi, Pilón Lajas, Sajama y Tariquía), pero no tuvo continuidad, sólo hubo un reporte en 2006 (SERNAP, 2018).

Es en 2010, cuando la Dirección de Monitoreo Ambiental (DMA) del SERNAP, con el apoyo de WCS-Bolivia, inicia la implementación de un programa de monitoreo integral en el Área Natural de Manejo Integrado (ANMIN) Apolobamba, que se replica en 2011 en el Parque Nacional y Área Natural de Manejo Integrado (PN ANMI) Madidi y la Reserva de la Biosfera y Territorio Comunitario de Origen (RB TCO) Pilón Lajas. Ambas experiencias, fueron la base del Sistema de Monitoreo Integral para Áreas Protegidas del SNAP (SMIAP) que se presenta en la guía metodológica elaborada en 2018 por el SERNAP.

Las áreas protegidas subnacionales, departamentales o municipales no participaron de todo este proceso, tampoco los responsables de su gestión participaron en el desarrollo de las capacidades necesarias. Por ello, el uso de sistemas de monitoreo integrales en estos espacios protegidos, si existen, son excepcionales y muy posiblemente no estandarizados bajo la metodología propuesta por el SERNAP. Por esta razón, la incorporación de las áreas protegidas subnacionales a estos sistemas de monitoreo integrales es fundamental para la gestión de estos espacios, así como la construcción y objetivos del SNAP.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 9 of 28

Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Los Santos Reyes. (2021). Plan de Protección del Área Protegida Municipal Rhukanrhuka 2021-2025. La Paz, Bolivia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Bolivia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4311300000.aspx

Abstract: El Estado boliviano, desde la promulgación de la Ley del Medio Ambiente (Ley Nº 1333) en 1992, ha priorizado preservar, conservar, restaurar y promover el aprovechamiento sostenible de los recursos naturales renovables, bióticos y abióticos, a través del establecimiento de áreas protegidas. Estas son concebidas como “áreas naturales con o sin intervención humana, declaradas bajo protección del Estado mediante disposiciones legales, con el propósito de proteger y conservar la flora y fauna silvestre, recursos genéticos, ecosistemas naturales, cuencas hidrográficas y valores de interés científico, estético, histórico, económico y social, con la finalidad de conservar y preservar el patrimonio natural y cultural del país” (Art. 60, Ley 1333).

Con la actual Constitución Política del Estado, se ratifica la importancia de las áreas protegidas para el país, como se muestra en su artículo 385, parágrafo I: “Las áreas protegidas constituyen un bien común y forman parte del patrimonio natural y cultural del país; cumplen funciones ambientales, culturales, sociales y económicas para el desarrollo sustentable”. Además, incorpora atribuciones a los Gobiernos Autónomos Municipales, con competencias exclusivas para contribuir a la protección del medio ambiente y la gestión de los recursos naturales a través de la creación y gestión de áreas protegidas municipales (artículo 302, parágrafo I, numerales 5, 11 y 16).

Esta decisión de dar prioridad a la conservación de los recursos naturales fue incorporada en la Ley Marco de la Madre Tierra (Ley Nº 300) que busca el desarrollo integral en armonía y equilibrio con la Madre Tierra para el Vivir Bien, garantizando la continuidad de la capacidad de regeneración de los componentes y sistemas de vida de la Madre Tierra, así como recuperando y fortaleciendo los saberes locales y conocimientos ancestrales.

El Reglamento General de Áreas Protegidas (RGAP), establece que las áreas protegidas que conforman el Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (SNAP) deben ser administradas en base a planes de manejo, que constituyen “el instrumento fundamental de planificación y ordenamiento espacial que define y coadyuva a la gestión y conservación de los recursos del área protegida y contiene las directrices, lineamientos y políticas para la administración del área, modalidades de manejo, asignaciones de usos y actividades permitidas, con sujeción a lo establecido en este reglamento” (Art. 28, D.S. 24781).

Para poder implementar el Plan de Manejo, uno de los instrumentos técnicos más importantes que se requiere es el Plan General de Protección (Art. 67, inc. b, Reglamento General de Áreas Protegidas), que incorpora las medidas de protección, control y vigilancia en base a una estrategia de conservación del patrimonio natural y cultural existentes en el espacio definido del área protegida.

El plan de protección es una herramienta para el área protegida que proporciona directrices generales orientadas a actividades específicas para control y vigilancia y que incorpora acciones de monitoreo, sensibilización y fiscalización. Las mismas son ejecutadas por el Cuerpo de Protección (compuesto por un director, guardaparques y equipo técnico de apoyo), con el propósito de cumplir los objetivos de creación y las metas o programas de los instrumentos de gestión del área protegida.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 10 of 28

Henger, C., C. C. Y. Xu, B. Nightingale, X. Zhang, L. Li, D. McAloose and T. Seimon (2021). A New DNA Tool Kit for Monitoring Big Cat Species in the Wildlife Trade. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: Big cat species, already vulnerable from habitat loss, are experiencing further population declines due to the illegal wildlife trade. Tigers, of which there are less than 4,000 left in the wild, are the most highly prized of the big cats. Poaching is the greatest threat to tigers, and the primary means by which these animals are obtained for the trade. Most of the demand for tiger products is for traditional medicines, wines, skins and souvenirs. As tiger populations dwindle, products from other big cat species, including lions, leopards, and jaguars, are being substituted and passed off as tiger to meet demand. Enforcing wildlife trafficking laws is challenging in general, and it is made more difficult when products cannot be visually identified. To address this issue, we developed a rapid, field-friendly genetic test to detect big cat DNA in bones, teeth, and skin. Our DNA extraction protocol takes 10 minutes and requires less equipment and consumables than commercial extraction kits. This is paired with a sensitive and specific, multiplex qPCR assay that can distinguish seven big cat species (tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, cheetah, snow leopard, ocelot). Pilot testing in a real-world setting using products confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade will be performed in partnership with a forensic center in China. This DNA tool kit will allow us to collect more accurate information about the species and volumes of products that are being illegally trafficked, and can be used to hold accountable the people who traffic in wild animals.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 11 of 28

Hyatt, M. W. and T. J. Gerlach (2021). My Heart Will Go On: Suspected Dilated Cardiomyopathy with Secondary Congestive Heart Failure in a Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus). 2021 IAAAM Virtual Conference. Online: International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine. https://www.iaaam.org/2021-iaaamconference

Abstract: Elasmobranch cardiac anatomy and physiology has been well described; however, cardiac disease has not been documented until recently where a leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) at a public aquarium was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. Herein, an approximate 22-year-old male sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) is diagnosed with suspected congestive heart failure secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy with subsequent successful medical management. The shark initially presented with increased respiratory effort through increased mouth gape and buccal pumping; and focal, dependent, peripheral edema involving both claspers and base of the pelvic fins. Echocardiography revealed a heart rate of 20 beats per minute with a normal rhythm, atrial and ventricular dilation, and marked sinus venosus-hepatic sinus dilation within the cranial liver. Coelomic ultrasonography was unremarkable. Bloodwork including complete blood count, biochemistries, protein electrophoresis and blood gas analysis was unremarkable except for a moderate anemia at 11%. Therapy for congestive heart failure was initiated with oral benazepril 0.5 mg/kg and torsemide 0.5 mg/kg three times weekly, but after six months of therapy with dosage increases, clinical and echocardiographic signs of suspected congestive heart failure progressed; particularly the dependent edema that now involved most of the ventrum from the caudal peduncle cranial to the pectoral girdle. Pimobendan 0.5 mg/kg orally was added to the therapeutic regimen, but then increased to 0.8 mg/kg after minimal improvement echocardiographically after three weeks of therapy. After three months of pimobendan clinical signs improved with reduction in respiratory effort, near resolution of dependent edema, and improvement of anemia. Cardiac size and function improved on echocardiography with a reduction in both end-diastolic atrial and ventricular inner diameter, increase in atrial and ventricular fractional shortening and reduction in sinus venosus-hepatic sinus dilation. At the time of this writing, the shark has remained stable after eleven months of pimobendan with no adverse effects. Cardiac disease in elasmobranchs may be underdiagnosed providing a necessity for standardizing ultrasound techniques and cardiac measurements for each species of elasmobranch managed within zoos and aquaria building upon the work by Lai et al.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 12 of 28

Kretser, H. E. (2021). Technology and Training to Enable Practitioners to Rapidly Generate Accurate High-Quality Social Science Information for Conservation Decision Making. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: Technology opens new and exciting opportunities for conservation practitioners to quickly gather, analyse and use accurate information. The Conservation Social Science Partnership (ConSoSci) aims to support a community of academia, NGOs, government agencies, and donors working together to bring conservation social science data collection, curation, analysis, and results visualization into the 21st century. By linking technology with targeted training, the ConSoSci Partnership is opening conservation social science best practices to the world. Today, new technology enables social scientists to see results in hours rather than months after completing data collection. ConSoSci brings together a combination of 1) KoBoToolbox to design e-forms for social science surveys, and enable off-line data collection on handheld devices, 2) OpenFN to move data between platforms and databases, and 3) ConSoSci Connect an open-source platform for secure online data storage, analysis and results visualization. To enable practitioners to use the new methods and technology, the ConSoSci Partnership is building an open access library of online training resources. The ConSoSci approach allows researchers and practitioners to share methods and protocols, store data in private or publicly available databases, and, when new data are uploaded from the field, automatically update analyses and results dashboards on their own organization’s websites. This presentation will provide an overview of the suite of tools, e-forms and methods library, online training available through the ConSoSci Partnership, and the results of our recent survey and gap analysis of the capacity needs of conservation practitioners in the social sciences.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 13 of 28

Krishnan, S., D. McAloose and S. L. Bartlett (2021). Retrospective Analysis of Morbidity and Mortality in Babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis) in zoological institutions from 1995 to 2020. 2021 Joint AAZV/EAZWV Conference. C. Kirk Baer. Online: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians: 117-117.

Abstract: A retrospective study of the causes of morbidity and mortality in babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis) managed by Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions from 1995-2020 was performed. Trends associated with age, sex, cause of death, disease process, and organ system were examined. Of the 110 medical records reviewed, the most common ante-mortem clinical problems were lameness (65 individuals), traumatic tusk fractures (36 individuals) and dermatitis (24 individuals). Males were 41 times more likely than females to experience dental trauma due to the presence of large maxillary canine tusks. Of the 40 necropsy reports reviewed, death was more common in geriatric individuals than in other age groups (45%). The most common cause of death or euthanasia in adults was muscoloskeletal disease (52.9%). Male babirusa were 10 times more likely than females to die or be euthanized due to musculoskeletal disease. The most common cause of death in geriatric animals was neoplasia, with seven different neoplastic processes identified across the 10 individuals. The most common organs affected by neoplasia were the adrenal and thyroid glands. Considering the high prevalence of degenerative joint disease, captive management of babirusa should focus on developing strategies for early diagnosis, management, and potential prevention of joint disease. Consideration should also be given to the high incidence of tusk trauma, which may be prevented by modifications in exhibit design and group organization based on age and sex. This is the first comprehensive study of the causes of morbidity and mortality in the babirusa zoo population in North America.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 14 of 28

Kyaw, P. P. (2021). When do Cats Nap? A Study into Spatio-Temporal Behaviour of Felid Species in Myanmar. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: Myanmar is home to at least nine felid species, whose conservation ecology is poorly understood. In this study, we used data from 493 camera-trap stations over a period of 5 years, to quantify space use, temporal activity, and multi-dimensional niche overlap of five felid species: tigers, clouded leopards, marbled cat, leopard cat, and Asiatic golden cat, in the Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary of northern Myanmar. We hypothesized that the spatio-temporal behaviour of smaller cats would reflect avoidance of the larger cats, and similar-sized guild members would partition their niches in space or time to reduce competition for resources. We used single-species occupancy modelling to identify site covariates, pairwise spatial overlap using Bayesian inference, and activity overlap with Kernel density estimation and multivariate analyses to test hypotheses. Results suggest that tigers and marbled cats were primarily diurnal, clouded leopard and leopard cat were nocturnal and golden cat exhibited cathemeral activity. We observed a complex pattern of guild assembly and potential competition between the golden cat and marbled cat involving strong niche displacement. No significant evidence of mesopredator release was observed and the felid assembly appeared to be partitioned mainly on a spatial, rather than temporal factors. Nonetheless, the temporal association between the three mesopredators was inversely related to the similarity in their body sizes. This study offers new insights into carnivore guild assembly of five of the least known felids of conservation concern, and can support our understanding of their conservation needs.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 15 of 28

Laguardia, A. (2021). Counting the Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) of Gabon: Feasibility of Density Estimation Methodologies and Application at a National Level. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: The more accurately we can count forest elephants, the more we can measure whether conservation efforts are successful. The "Great Elephant Census Forest Initiative" (GEC-FI) is a multi-organization collaborative project with the primary aim of testing and applying novel methods to update our knowledge on the status and distribution of and threats to forest elephants Loxodonta cyclotis across its Central African range. First, we compared DNA- and camera trap based-spatial capture-recapture approaches (DNA-SCR and CT-SCR) to the widely-used, dung-based line transect distance sampling (LTDS) method to assess their performance when applied to three relatively large populations of forest elephants (> 500 individuals). We designed a new metric with which to compare survey methods: an integrated feasibility index (IFI). This combined three typical survey components: total area covered, level of precision achieved, and cost. The IFI suggests that DNA-SCR and LTDS were equally acceptable in terms of the combination of the three survey components and that either survey method was suitable for large (national or regional) spatial scales for forest elephant density estimation. CT-SCR provided more precise estimates, but had double the IFI, due to the high cost per km2. Finally, we successfully performed the first systematic survey of forest elephants of Gabon using DNA-SCR across 18 sites and derived a nationwide mean. We are hopeful that the results of this study will help governments and conservation partners protect this Critically Endangered species throughout its range.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 16 of 28

Mack, Z. E., E. L. Buckles and E. A. Demeter (2021). Klebsiella pneumonia-associated necrosuppurative lymphadenitis and peritonitis in juvenile raccoons. 2021 American College of Veterinary Pathologists Annual Meeting. Online: American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 17 of 28

Mack, Z. E., L. C. Caserta, R. W. Renshaw, R. S. Gerdes, D. G. Diel, S. E. Childs-Sanford and J. Peters-Kennedy (2021). Histopathologic and Molecular Characterization of Erethizon Dorsatum Papillomavirus 1 and Erethizon Dorsatum Papillomavirus 2 in North American Porcupines. 2021 American College of Veterinary Pathologists Annual Meeting. Online: American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 18 of 28

Mendis, A. (2021). Scale of the Issue: Mapping the Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Illegal Pangolin Trade across India. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: Studies have linked COVID-19 induced lockdowns to an increase in wildlife crime in many parts of the world. This has potentially severe but poorly understood implications for threatened species such as pangolins. In this study, we analyzed online media-reported seizure incidents to understand trends in illegal trade in pangolins in India before (2018–2019) and during the COVID-19 lockdown (March–August 2020). Our analysis indicates an increase in reported pangolin seizures during the lockdown months of March to August 2020, compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019. Out of the 19 states that reported pangolin seizures during the overall study period (January 2018-August 2020), 11 states continued to record pangolin seizures during the lockdown period (March-August 2020), implying that pangolin trade continued to some extent in spite of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Maharashtra, on the west coast and Odisha on the east coast had the highest number of pangolin seizures recorded, 25 and 20 respectively during the overall study period (January 2018–August 2020). Of these 20% in the case of Maharashtra, and 25% in the case of Odisha occurred during the lockdown months. Our study hints at the opportunity to use open source information to evaluate illegal wildlife trade, and the need to continue monitoring illegal pangolin trade during and post COVID-19, to timely raise conservation concerns. Findings of the study were included in the Special Issue of Biological Conservation Journal, ‘Conservation and ecological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic’ (Volume 257; May 2021).

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 19 of 28

Olson, S. H. (2021). Wildmeat, Zoonotic Viruses and One Health: Understanding Dynamics, Risks, and Strategies to Prevent Another Pandemic. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: The potential for wildmeat to be the source of the next regional epidemic or pandemic is firmly established. In Central Africa, humans hunting, handling and consuming wildmeat represent the origins of Ebola virus disease outbreaks and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Focusing on that region, this presentation will review the latest viral findings in free-ranging mammals, patterns of risky human exposure to wildlife reservoirs and the pathogens they carry, and the perception of risk by those involved in the trade. Factors to consider when assessing risk within the wildlife trade include species characteristics, presence of environmental stressors such as deforestation, and numerous attributes of the trade itself. Insights on spillover dynamics from other regions will be shared to highlight important research questions and One Health interventions (e.g., wildlife health surveillance, behavior campaigns to reduce commercial demand, introduction of alternative proteins or livelihoods) to reduce pandemic threats associated with consumption and trade of wildmeat.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 20 of 28

Pusparini, W., A. Cahyana, H. Grantham, ... and M. Linkie (Preprint). “A bolder conservation future for Indonesia: Conserving biodiversity, carbon and unique ecosystem in Sulawesi.” Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1219965/v1

Abstract: As more ambitious protected area (PA) targets for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is set beyond Aichi Target 11, new spatial prioritisation thinking is required to expand protected areas to maximise different environmental values. Our study focuses on the biodiversity and forest-rich Indonesian island of Sulawesi, which has a terrestrial PA network that covers 10% of the island. We run scenarios to identified areas outside the current PA network and their representativeness of conservation features. We use Marxan to investigate trade-offs in the design of a larger PA network with varying coverage targets (17%, 30%, and 50%) that prioritises forest area, karst ecosystem, and carbon value as conservation features. Our first scenario required PAs to be selected at all times, and it required larger areas to meet these targets than our second scenario, which did not include existing PAs. The vast Mekongga, Banggai, and Popayato-Paguat landscapes were consistently identified as high priorities for protection in the various scenarios. The final section of our analysis used a spatially explicit three-phase approach to achieve this through PA expansion, the creation of new PAs, and the creation of corridors to connect existing PAs. Our findings identified 13,039 km2 of priority areas to be included in the current PA network, potentially assisting Indonesia in meeting the post-2020 GBF target if our approach is replicated elsewhere across Indonesia as a national or sub-national analysis like this study. We discuss various land management options through OECMs and the costs to deliver this strategy.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 21 of 28

Rainey, H. (2021). Mainstreaming Conservation into National Development Policy and Practice: The COMBO Approach. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: The COMBO Project supports improved biodiversity outcomes from development through better application of mitigation practices in partner countries. Our activities support progress towards national and global biodiversity targets by contributing to the definition and implementation of policies aimed at no net loss or a net gain in biodiversity. The COMBO partnership is led by the Wildlife Conservation Society, working closely with Biotope, Guinée Ecologie, BIOFUND, and other national partners in the program’s focal countries of Guinea, Lao PDR, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar and Uganda. These countries present global opportunities for the conservation of global biodiversity and are faced with rapid development of large potentially impacting infrastructure projects.

There is increasing recognition of the opportunity to integrate international best practice for mitigating biodiversity and social impacts into national development. Alignment of national policy aligned with the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards and the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme’s Standard facilitates better outcomes from development.

COMBO supports better outcomes for nature and people from development through a four-pronged approach. We work closely with government to strengthen policy and governance systems for mitigation of development impacts. We support improved integration of biodiversity data into development to improve decision-making for avoiding and offsetting impacts. We are developing and testing models and institutional mechanisms for offsets. These themes are supported by capacity-building activities to strengthen application of policy by national and global stakeholders.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 22 of 28

Sengottuvel, R. R. (2021). From Pets to Plates: Network Analysis of Trafficking in Tortoise and Freshwater Turtles Representing Different Types of Demand. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: Tortoises and freshwater turtles (TFT) are highly threatened by illegal trade, as pets, food, and medicines. Social network analysis (SNA) has been increasingly used to derive insights on illegal wildlife trade (IWT) and specifically to investigate single-species or-product trafficking. Here, we have used SNA to compare the district-level trafficking of two highly trafficked TFT taxa from India – Indian star tortoise (IST) and softshell turtles, each in demand for illegal pet and food consumption trade, respectively. We used 49 and 61 media-reported seizures between 2013 and 2019 for each species. We applied a set of SNA metrics to compare the networks at two levels: individual nodes (districts/cities) and overall network. We found that the IST trafficking network was smaller with more international trafficking links than the softshell network. There was bi-directional trafficking of ISTs between some nodes, whereas the softshell network was entirely unidirectional. Both networks also differed in their overall centralization structure. At the node level, few key nodes played a disproportionately important role in both networks. Our results indicate that illegal TFT trade differs depending on demand or product type, which must be duly considered by enforcement and policy makers. It also highlights the asymmetric roles of certain locations and routes, where targeted enforcement interventions can effectively disrupt IWT. Future research should focus on understanding factors that influence the preferential use of these locations and trafficking routes. Overall, comparing IWT networks involving different species and products can potentially generate more valuable insights than examining individual networks in isolation.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 23 of 28

Sharma, G. (2021). Saving Rhinos Amidst Ethnic Conflict in Karbi Anglong, India. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: War and civil conflicts are known to impact wildlife conservation through many direct and indirect pathways. It is now widely recognized that the impact of conflicts on wildlife is predominantly negative and conflict acts as a threat multiplier for many endangered species. We conducted semi-structured interviews in the Karbi Anglong district of India, home to the endangered one-horned rhino and also a landscape marred by historic civil unrest, to understand how the local community perceives conservation and the role of politics in it. The data was subsequently viewed in the colonial and post-colonial political history of Assam to understand how access over natural resources governs rhino conservation in this historically contested space. We found that identity politics rooted in the binary of native/foreigner and a rejection of the Assamese identity by the State has led to the framing of rhino conservation as a problem of local sovereign rights over natural resources. Furthermore, the tying of the agenda of rhino conservation and demand for complete statehood for Karbi Anglong by the Karbi tribe and their political leaders has led to a lower prioritization of conservation. This retelling of rhino conservation story through a political lens offers important insights on why it is important to view conservation interventions in locally relevant contexts. Such nuanced understanding of local politics is important for long term conservation of the rhino at this location and also offers lessons relevant to many other species that live in conflict zones globally.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 24 of 28

Svensson, B. (2022). Tour Guide Training Manual – Solomon Islands. Honiara, Solomon Islands: Wildlife Conservation Society, Solomon Islands. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43122

Abstract: Tour guides play a crucial role in tourism and are often described as hosts and ambassadors of the destination. Of all the people working in tourism, local guides spend the most time interacting with tourists. This means the visitor’s experiences and impressions are largely shaped by the tour guide.

Tourists come to Solomon Islands to experience what is interesting and unique about this country. For some, it may be the underwater world, or the colourful birds. For others, it may be the traditional culture or World War II history. Tourists’ experiences can be enhanced by well-trained tour guides. Since the reason tourists come is for the experiences, tour guides are some of the most important people in the tourism sector. If experiences and activities are not interesting or are delivered unprofessionally, tourists would stop coming. Any destination that strives to have a successful tourism sector should focus on developing unique experiences led by well-trained tour guides.

This manual outline basic guiding skills for those starting out as guides, or those who guide tourists as part of their w ork. This may be staff from resorts, or rangers working in conservation areas. It explains the role of the tour guide and the tools and techniques used. It does not include the subject knowledge a guide needs but focuses on how to develop and guide tours.

This manual is based on established guide training from other countries and the experiences of professional tour guides, both overseas and in Solomon Islands. Many great guides have not had formal training, they just happened to have the right personality and passion for the job. This manual, and associated training, combines the key components of formal guide training with real-life experiences from the field. The goal is to prepare new guides with skills that are relevant to tour guiding in Solomon Islands. This manual can be used as a separate source of reference for tour guides.

During workshops, the manual accompanies a Tour guide trainee workbook.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 25 of 28

Thant, N. M. L. (2021). Myanmar's First National Species Red List Assessment. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: Myanmar is the second largest country in mainland South-East Asia with significant forest, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems that support an extraordinary biological diversity. Identifying threatened species at the national level is important to prioritize conservation actions, build ownership and capacity for species conservation, and to meet international commitments.

We conducted national level assessments of endangered species in Myanmar between 2017-20, engaging experts from across the country through a series of targeted training courses, and six national technical workshops. Taxonomic Working Groups were formed, and IUCN guidelines for national Red List assessments were closely followed.

Species expected to be Data Deficient were excluded, and only a subset where expert opinion was readily available were formally assessed for the first version of the National Red List.  44 mammals out of 329 present in the country (13%), 31 birds out of 1147 (2.8%) and 110 herpetofauna out of 410 (27%) were assessed.

The process documented 29 threatened mammals (2 Critically Endangered [CR], 17 Endangered [EN], 10 Vulnerable [VU]), 21 threatened birds (16 CR, 4 EN and 1 VU), and 26 threatened turtles (21 CR, 3 EN, 2 VU). One crocodile was also listed as Endangered.

A total of 149 contributors were involved, representing IUCN experts (n=4), university faculty (n=42), GIS experts (n=6), INGO staff (n=46), NGO staff (n=18), government staff (n=26) and freelancers (n=7). This broad expert group now has the ability to continue, revise, and expand national species status assessments, to support effective conservation planning and monitoring.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 26 of 28

Vanegas, L. (2021). Reducing Large-Scale Demand for Wildmeat in Urban Areas of Central Africa: Experiences from Pointe Noire and Kinshasa. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: The scale of demand for wildmeat in urban areas has prompted the development of large-scale demand reduction campaigns based on social marketing and behavioral change principles.  During this presentation, we will share details of key components, success factors and lessons learned from two urban wildmeat campaigns in Central Africa - a pilot campaign in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, launched in 2019 and a larger campaign in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, launched in March 2021. These campaigns built upon a strong research component aimed at understanding the overall context in each city and the dynamics of wildmeat trade and consumption, as well as collaborations between different influential actors, including national government and coalitions of local organizations. Key lessons learnt include: i) the need to understand perceptions of conservation in each context and reframe conservation if necessary to ensure messages resonate with key target audiences, and ii) the need to embed campaigns within local value systems, represent local realities and the lifestyles of consumers, and avoid them being perceived as uninformed foreign interventions. Behavior change takes time and long-term strategies must be put in place with local partners to guarantee continuity and sustained effort over the medium and long term, with periodic assessments incorporated into these strategies to evaluate the level of impact. Wildmeat demand reduction campaigns in urban areas are essential to secure the future of Central Africa's wildlife. Documenting and sharing experiences is key to the continued refinement of this approach.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 27 of 28

Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru (2021). Guía para Elaborar Líneas de Base en Contextos Multiculturales: Identificación, Caracterización y Análisis de los Impactos de Grandes Proyectos de Infraestructura Sobre los Sistemas Culturales. Lima, Peru: Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4309500000.aspx

Abstract: El desarrollo de la infraestructura es importante para el crecimiento económico y para superar la desigualdad en América Latina. A pesar de que el Perú ha hecho un gran esfuerzo en este sentido, aún se tiene una amplia brecha de infraestructura que se busca superar, incluyendo la mejora en la calidad de los servicios que dicha infraestructura brinda. Las empresas privadas han jugado un papel importante en el desarrollo de infraestructura en zonas rurales. El Perú busca continuar estas alianzas para el desarrollo de infraestructura por intermedio de empresas privadas a través de diferentes iniciativas, como por ejemplo las de obras por impuestos.

La ejecución de grandes proyectos de infraestructura no está exenta de polémica debido a los potenciales impactos adversos que estos generan, en especial en poblaciones vulnerables, rurales e indígenas. Normas nacionales e internacionales exigen a las empresas el cumplimiento de diversos requisitos para evitar o mitigar los efectos adversos que los proyectos de infraestructura pueden generar. En ese sentido, las empresas deben contar con estudios que garanticen un adecuado recojo de los factores posiblemente impactados.

En un país pluricultural y multilingüe como el Perú, uno de los factores más importantes a evaluar es el de los potenciales impactos culturales que puede traer un proyecto de infraestructura. Sin embargo, son muy escasos los documentos que describen cómo elaborar un diagnóstico de los elementos culturales, previendo los cambios generados por un proyecto o un conjunto de proyectos en un mismo territorio. La visión de la presente guía es brindar las herramientas que permitan recoger las características culturales de una población (sea o no población indígena) con el objetivo de determinar los potenciales impactos culturales de un proyecto de infraestructura. En ese sentido, la presente guía busca apoyar a la identificación de los elementos que deben recogerse en una línea de base desde el punto de vista cultural, por lo que complementa y no reemplaza el recojo de información socioeconómica que forma parte de la línea de base social.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 28 of 28

Wright, J. (2021). Profiling Wildmeat Consumers and their Motives to Inform Demand Reduction Efforts in Central Africa. 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Online: Society for Conservation Biology. https://www.xcdsystem.com/iccb/program/fzZ4pKv/index.cfm?pgid=155&RunRemoveSessionFilter=1

Abstract: One of the main drivers of wildlife population declines across Central Africa is the flow of wildmeat to satisfy demand in urban centres. Although wildmeat consumption is widespread among city dwellers, there are differences in the frequency and motives for consumption. Segmenting different types of wildmeat consumers according to socio-demographic and psychographic variables can enable more targeted demand reduction interventions. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we profiled wildmeat consumers in two of the largest cities in Central Africa: Kinshasa in DR Congo, and neighbouring Brazzaville in Congo. We conducted interviews using a randomised street-intercept approach to determine socio-demographic factors associated with wildmeat consumption and held focus groups with key population segments to learn about their motives for consumption, personal values and sense of identity. This research led to the identification and profiling of three consumer segments that are now the target audience for a demand reduction campaign in Kinshasa. The most frequent wildmeat consumers were found to have a higher level of education, which is correlated with wealth. University students and graduates are among those who eat wildmeat regularly. Before and after mobile phone surveys will determine whether the campaign ultimately has an impact on the behaviour of the consumer segments identified.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 4-10 January 2022

 

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 7

Carvalho, J., B. Graham, F. Maisels et al. (2021). "Predicting range shifts of African apes and effectiveness of protected areas under global change scenarios." Gorilla Journal 63, 16-18. https://www.berggorilla.org/en/journal/issues/journal-no-63/article-view/?tx_news_pi1%5Bnews%5D=1122&tx_news_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D=News&tx_news_pi1%5Baction%5D=detail&cHash=2dfbe478198e47c1aee86e0a678e0ccd

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 7

Carvalho, S., E. G. Wessling, E. E. Abwe, ..., C. Sanz and K. Koops (Early View). "Using nonhuman culture in conservation requires careful and concerted action." Conservation Letters, e12860. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12860

Discussions of how animal culture can aid the conservation crisis are burgeoning. As scientists and conservationists working to protect endangered species, we call for reflection on how the culture concept may be applied in practice. Here, we discuss both the potential benefits and potential shortcomings of applying the animal culture concept, and propose a set of achievable milestones that will help guide and ensure its effective integration existing conservation frameworks, such as Adaptive Management cycles or Open Standards.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 7

Chea, S., F. L. Goutard, M. Pruvot and S. Thongyan (2021). "Assessing the acceptability of a pilot multi-stakeholder wildlife health surveillance network in Cambodia." Journal of Kasetsart Veterinarians 31(1), 33-50.

The wildlife conservation society in collaboration with the government of Cambodia, established a pilot wildlife health surveillance network in Cambodia. The pilot surveillance system was based on the existing of human resources and infrastructures, focused on increasing collaboration of multiple stakeholders across sectors. This study aimed to assess the acceptability of pilot wildlife health surveillance network of stakeholders using participatory approaches, based on three main criteria, acceptability of the objective of the pilot wildlife health surveillance network, the operations, and the trust. Overall, participants expressed good acceptability of the objective, the system operation, their own roles within the system, and the trust among stakeholders in the system. Various issues related to barriers of stakeholders to involved in the surveillance system were raised during group discussion which were essential for implementation to improve current wildlife health surveillance system.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 7

Kyaw, P. P., D. W. Macdonald, U. Penjor, S. Htun, H. Naing et al. (2021). "Investigating carnivore guild structure: Spatial and temporal relationships amongst threatened felids in Myanmar." ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 10(12), e808. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10120808

The co-occurrence of felid species in Southeast Asia provides an unusual opportunity to investigate guild structure and the factors controlling it. Using camera-trap data, we quantified the space use, temporal activity, and multi-dimensional niche overlap of the tiger, clouded leopard, Asiatic golden cat, marbled cat, and leopard cat in the Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar. We hypothesised that the spatio-temporal behaviour of smaller cats would reflect the avoidance of the larger cats, and similar-sized guild members would partition their niches in space or time to reduce resource competition. Our approach involved modelling single-species occupancy, pairwise spatial overlap using Bayesian inference, activity overlap with kernel density estimation, and multivariate analyses. The felid assembly appeared to be partitioned mainly on a spatial rather than temporal dimension, and no significant evidence of mesopredator release was observed. Nonetheless, the temporal association between the three mesopredators was inversely related to the similarity in their body sizes. The largest niche differences in the use of space and time occurred between the three smallest species. This study offers new insight into carnivore guild assembly and adds substantially to knowledge of five of the least known felids of conservation concern.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 7

Maisels, F., S. Strindberg and A. J. Plumptre (2021). "New Grauer's gorilla population estimate." Gorilla Journal 63, 6-7. https://www.berggorilla.org/en/journal/issues/journal-no-63/article-view/?tx_news_pi1%5Bnews%5D=1110&tx_news_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D=News&tx_news_pi1%5Baction%5D=detail&cHash=a9d1fb4fbf18ab5ec1559226b9a515d2

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 7

Mariac, C., F. Duponchelle, G. Miranda-Chumacero, C. Ramallo, R. Wallace, G. Tarifa et al. (2022). "Unveiling biogeographical patterns of the ichthyofauna in the Tuichi basin, a biodiversity hotspot in the Bolivian Amazon, using environmental DNA." PLoS ONE 17, e0262357. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262357

To date, more than 2400 valid fish species have been recorded in the Amazon basin. However, some regions remain poorly documented. This is the case in the Beni basin and in particular in one of its main sub-basins, the Tuichi, an Andean foothills rivers flowing through the Madidi National Park in the Bolivian Amazonia. The knowledge of its ichthyological diversity is, however, essential for the management and protection of aquatic ecosystems, which are threatened by the development of infrastructures (dams, factories and cities), mining and deforestation. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been relatively little used so far in the Amazon basin. We sampled eDNA from water in 34 sites in lakes and rivers in the Beni basin including 22 sites in the Tuichi sub-basin, during the dry season. To assess the biogeographical patterns of the amazonian ichthyofauna, we implemented a metabarcoding approach using two pairs of specific primers designed and developed in our laboratory to amplify two partially overlapping CO1 fragments, one of 185bp and another of 285bp. We detected 252 fish taxa (207 at species level) among which 57 are newly identified for the Beni watershed. Species compositions are significantly different between lakes and rivers but also between rivers according to their hydrographic rank and altitude. Furthermore, the diversity patterns are related to the different hydro-ecoregions through which the Tuichi flows. The eDNA approach makes it possible to identify and complete the inventory of the ichthyofauna in this still poorly documented Amazon basin. However, taxonomic identification remains constrained by the lack of reference barcodes in public databases and does not allow the assignment of all OTUs. Our results can be taken into account in conservation and management strategies and could serve as a baseline for future studies, including on other Andean tributaries.

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 7

Panebianco, A., P. F. Gregorio, N. M. Schroeder, ..., L. Heidel et al. (2022). "Where are the males? The influence of bottom-up and top-down factors and sociability on the spatial distribution of a territorial ungulate." Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 76, e10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-021-03104-2

The factors that regulate the abundance and distribution of wild herbivores are key components of a species’ ecology and include bottom-up and top-down mechanisms, as well as aspects related to social organization. In territorial ungulates, males distribute themselves to enhance access to females by anticipating how resources will influence female distribution. Although the variables that influence the distribution of territorial males have implications for mating opportunities and reproductive success, these relationships remain largely unknown. We assessed how bottom-up, top-down and social factors influence the spatial distribution of territorial male guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in a semiarid ecosystem during three periods of the reproductive season, in a population with two alternative mating tactics: a resource-defence tactic adopted by family group males and a clustered territorial tactic adopted by solitary males. We conducted ground surveys of males from both social units and used density surface models to assess the influence of primary productivity, predation risk and female grouping on their spatial distribution. Our results showed that territorial males were more abundant in areas of increased primary productivity during the group formation period in years of good plant growth and higher number of females/female groups throughout the reproductive season, suggesting that both bottom-up and social traits regulate their spatial distribution. Predation risk did not significantly influence the abundance of territorial males. Overall, our research contributes to the understanding of territorial systems in ungulates and reinforces the current theory that bottom-up processes are relatively more important than top-down processes in regulating populations of large herbivores.

 

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

 

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 3

Rakotoarivony, R., P. Walter and C. Spira (2021). Protocole de Suivi de la Production Avicole autour du Parc Naturel Makira. Antananarivo, Madagascar: Wildlife Conservation Society, Food and Agriculture Organization, Center for International Forestry Research and CIRAD. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.43080

Autour du Parc Naturel Makira, la population est essentiellement rurale, avec une économie basée sur les cultures de rentes (vanille, girofle) et de subsistance où la riziculture est dominante. Le manque d’alternatives pour se procurer de la viande conduit les communautés à chasser pour se nourrir. Avec l’appui du programme SWM, les activités d’aviculture et de pisciculture ont été choisies comme source de protéines alternatives. Afin de mesurer l’impact du programme sur ce Résultat d’élevage et d’orienter au mieux les activités d’élevage, il est important de suivre les appuis et les activités mises en oeuvre. C’est l’objectif de ce protocole, qui est relié à un Data Management Plan (DMP) en annexe. Ce protocole permet de répondre à ces 4 questions :

- Quelles sont les pratiques d’élevage piscicole employées par les bénéficiaires ?

- Quel est le niveau de production avicole de chaque ménage bénéficiaire dans les sites cibles ?

- Quel est le revenu généré par l’aviculture pour les ménages bénéficiaires ?

- Quels sont les problèmes rencontrés par les bénéficiaires au cours de la production ?

 

Grey Literature Citation 2 of 3

Rakotoarivony, R., P. Walter and C. Spira (2021). Protocole de Suivi de la Production Piscicole autour du Parc Naturel Makira. Antananarivo, Madagascar: Wildlife Conservation Society, Food and Agriculture Organization, Center for International Forestry Research and CIRAD. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.43077

Autour du Parc Naturel Makira, la population est essentiellement rurale, avec une économie basée sur les cultures de rentes (vanille, girofle) et de subsistance où la riziculture est dominante. Le manque d’alternatives pour se procurer de la viande conduit les communautés à chasser pour se nourrir. Avec l’appui du programme SWM, les activités d’aviculture et de pisciculture avec des espèces de poissons endémiques ont été choisies comme source de protéines alternatives. Afin de mesurer l’impact du programme sur ce Résultat d’élevage et d’orienter au mieux les activités d’élevage, il est important de suivre les appuis et les activités mises en oeuvre. C’est l’objectif de ce protocole, qui est relié à un Plan de Gestion des Données (Data Management Plan, DMP). Ce protocole décrit comment le suivi de la pisciculture va être réalisé dans les sites SWM a Makira, pour répondre à ces questions : - Quelles sont les pratiques d’élevage piscicole employées par les bénéficiaires ? - Quel est le niveau de production piscicole de chaque ménage bénéficiaire dans les sites cibles ? - Quel est le revenu généré la pisciculture pour les ménages bénéficiaires ? - Quels sont les problèmes rencontrés par les bénéficiaires au cours de la production ?

 

Grey Literature Citation 3 of 3

Spira, C., P. Walter and B. R. Andrianasoloarivah (2021). Protocole de Suivi de la Consommation de Viande de Lémuriens et de Fossas Autour du Parc Naturel Makira. Antananarivo, Madagascar: Wildlife Conservation Society, Food and Agriculture Organization, Center for International Forestry Research and CIRAD. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.43092

A Madagascar, la chasse d’espèces animales sauvages est à la croisée de plusieurs enjeux : i) conservation de la biodiversité, ii) revenus et alimentation des populations rurales et iii) santé des animaux domestiques et des hommes. La consommation de viande d’origine sauvage est très répandue dans les villages voisins du Parc Naturel Makira (95% des ménages dans certains villages), mais peu fréquente. Faute d’alternatives pour répondre à leurs besoins alimentaires, les communautés voisines du parc dépendent fortement des ressources fauniques qu’il abrite pour se nourrir, et la faune sauvage représente jusqu’à 75% de l’alimentation en viande des ménages et jusqu’à 10% de leur apport protéique. Afin de mesurer l’impact du Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme à Madagascar sur la consommation de viande de lémuriens et de fossas, qui sont des espèces sauvages protégées, des enquêtes sont menées tous les 2 ans pour évaluer la prévalence de ce comportement dans la population humaine des sites SWM et de sites contrôles avoisinants. Entre novembre 2019 et mars 2020, le premier déploiement de cette étude a révélé que 53 % des ménages de la zone d’étude avaient mangé de la viande de lémurien au cours de l’année passée, et 24 % avaient mangé de la viande de fossa.

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