Research Publications

Since our founding as the New York Zoological Society in 1895, one of WCS’s core strengths has been the quality of our research. Our world-class scientific staff—based in our zoos, aquarium, and conservation programs around the globe—produce hundreds of research publications each year. We use this science to discover and understand the natural world. This knowledge helps us engage and inspire decision-makers, communities, and millions of supporters to take action with us to protect  the wildlife and wild places we all care about.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

WCS-authored publications from this year are listed below and updated weekly. For annual bibliographies of WCS-authored publications, see here. To search our database of WCS publications, see here.

Media inquiries about these and other WCS publications can be directed to WCS Communications staff. For all other inquiries, please contact the WCS Library.

 

WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  26 July-8 August 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 1 of 13

Charruau, P., D. Ichbia, G. A. Gónzalez-Desales and S. G. Platt (2022). "Reproductive dynamics of an isolated population of American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) based on long-term monitoring data." Journal of Herpetology 56(2), 196-202. https://doi.org/10.1670/21-019

Abstract: The American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is still considered Vulnerable, with some populations remaining depressed and showing little evidence of recovery. An understanding of the reproductive dynamics and parameters of C. acutus is essential for its conservation and management. Although the knowledge of C. acutus reproductive ecology has greatly increased during recent years, some critical parameters such as breeding effort (i.e., proportion of adult females that nest each year in a population) remain poorly known. Herein we analyzed 14 yr of reproductive data from a C. acutus population in a Mexican atoll to better understand its reproductive dynamics in space and time. We estimated the number of reproductive females in the population and in each nesting area, compared nest characteristics and clutch parameters among nesting areas, and determined female breeding effort and breeding frequency (i.e., proportion of years that an adult female nested). We estimated that 35 reproductive female C. acutus inhabit the main island of the atoll, distributed among 12 nesting areas. The annual female breeding effort ranged from 27.3–60.6% and the breeding frequency of 15 selected females ranged from 57.1–92.3%. Breeding effort depends on the breeding effort in preceding years. We also found significant differences in reproductive attributes (i.e., number of nests, nest–water distance, nest depth, clutch size, and nesting success) among nesting areas that we explain by the quality of those habitats for crocodile nesting and by territorial behavior of females.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 2 of 13

Haislip, N. A., S. G. Platt and C. S. Doak (2022). "Manouria emys phayrei. (Burmese mountain tortoise). Nesting behavior." Herpetological Review 53(2), 249-250.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 3 of 13

Hopkins, S. R., K. D. Lafferty, C. L. Wood, S. H. Olson et al. (2022). "Evidence gaps and diversity among potential win–win solutions for conservation and human infectious disease control." The Lancet Planetary Health 6(8), e705. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(22)00148-6

Abstract: As sustainable development practitioners have worked to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all” and “conserve life on land and below water”, what progress has been made with win–win interventions that reduce human infectious disease burdens while advancing conservation goals? Using a systematic literature review, we identified 46 proposed solutions, which we then investigated individually using targeted literature reviews. The proposed solutions addressed diverse conservation threats and human infectious diseases, and thus, the proposed interventions varied in scale, costs, and impacts. Some potential solutions had medium-quality to high-quality evidence for previous success in achieving proposed impacts in one or both sectors. However, there were notable evidence gaps within and among solutions, highlighting opportunities for further research and adaptive implementation. Stakeholders seeking win–win interventions can explore this Review and an online database to find and tailor a relevant solution or brainstorm new solutions.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 4 of 13

Lagassé, B. J., R. B. Lanctot, S. Brown, ..., J. R. Liebezeit, ..., R. L. McGuire, ..., J. C. Slaght et al. (2022). "Migratory network reveals unique spatial-temporal migration dynamics of Dunlin subspecies along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway." PLoS ONE 17(8), e0270957. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0270957

Abstract: Determining the dynamics of where and when individuals occur is necessary to understand population declines and identify critical areas for populations of conservation concern. However, there are few examples where a spatially and temporally explicit model has been used to evaluate the migratory dynamics of a bird population across its entire annual cycle. We used geolocator-derived migration tracks of 84 Dunlin (Calidris alpina) on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) to construct a migratory network describing annual subspecies-specific migration patterns in space and time. We found that Dunlin subspecies exhibited unique patterns of spatial and temporal flyway use. Spatially, C. a. arcticola predominated in regions along the eastern edge of the flyway (e.g., western Alaska and central Japan), whereas C. a. sakhalina predominated in regions along the western edge of the flyway (e.g., N China and inland China). No individual Dunlin that wintered in Japan also wintered in the Yellow Sea, China seas, or inland China, and vice-versa. However, similar proportions of the 4 subspecies used many of the same regions at the center of the flyway (e.g., N Sakhalin Island and the Yellow Sea). Temporally, Dunlin subspecies staggered their south migrations and exhibited little temporal overlap among subspecies within shared migration regions. In contrast, Dunlin subspecies migrated simultaneously during north migration. South migration was also characterized by individuals stopping more often and for more days than during north migration. Taken together, these spatial-temporal migration dynamics indicate Dunlin subspecies may be differentially affected by regional habitat change and population declines according to where and when they occur. We suggest that the migration dynamics presented here are useful for guiding on-the-ground survey efforts to quantify subspecies’ use of specific sites, and to estimate subspecies’ population sizes and long-term trends. Such studies would significantly advance our understanding of Dunlin space-time dynamics and the coordination of Dunlin conservation actions across the EAAF.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 5 of 13

McClanahan, T. R., M. K. Azali and J. K. Kosgei (2022). "Fish catch responses to Covid-19 disease curfews dependent on compliance, fisheries management, and environmental contexts." Marine Policy 144, e105239. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2022.105239

Abstract: The responses of small-scale coastal fisheries to pauses in effort and trade are an important test of natural resource management theories with implications for the many challenges of managing common-pool resources. Three Covid-19 curfews provided a natural experiment to evaluate fisheries responses adjacent a marine reserve and in a management system that restricted small-mesh drag nets. Daily catch weights in ten fish landings were compared before and after the curfew period to test the catch-only hypothesis that the curfew would reduce effort and increase catch per unit effort, per area yields, and incomes. Interviews with key informants indicated that fisheries effort and trade were disrupted but less so in the gear-restricted rural district than the more urbanized reserve landing sites. The expected increase in catches and incomes was evident in some sites adjacent the reserve but not the rural gear restricted fisheries. Differences in compliance and effort initiated by the curfew, changes in gear, and various negative environmental conditions are among the explanations for the variable catch responses. Rates of change over longer periods in CPUE were stable among marine reserve adjacent landing sites but declined faster after the curfew in the gear-restricted fisheries. Two landing sites nearest the southern end of the reserve displayed a daily 45 % increase in CPUE, 25–30 % increase in CPUA, and a 45–56 % increase in incomes. Results suggest that recovering stocks will succeed where authorities can achieve compliance, near marine reserves, and fisheries lacking additional environmental stresses.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 6 of 13

Morrison, B. R., S. G. Platt and T. R. Rainwater (2022). "Clemmus guttata (spotted turtle). Attempted predation." Herpetological Review 53(2), 309-310.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 7 of 13

Nerpel, A., L. Yang, J. Sorger, A. Käsbohrer, C. Walzer and A. Desvars-Larrive (2022). "SARS-ANI: A global open access dataset of reported SARS-CoV-2 events in animals." Scientific Data 9(1), e438. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-022-01543-8

Abstract: The zoonotic origin of SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, is not yet fully resolved. Although natural infections in animals are reported in a wide range of species, large knowledge and data gaps remain regarding SARS-CoV-2 in animal hosts. We used two major health databases to extract unstructured data and generated a global dataset of SARS-CoV-2 events in animals. The dataset presents harmonized host names, integrates relevant epidemiological and clinical data on each event, and is readily usable for analytical purposes. We also share the code for technical and visual validation of the data and created a user-friendly dashboard for data exploration. Data on SARS-CoV-2 occurrence in animals is critical to adapting monitoring strategies, preventing the formation of animal reservoirs, and tailoring future human and animal vaccination programs. The FAIRness and analytical flexibility of the data will support research efforts on SARS-CoV-2 at the human-animal-environment interface. We intend to update this dataset weekly for at least one year and, through collaborations, to develop it further and expand its use.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 8 of 13

Platt, S. G., T. Lwin, S. H. Aung et al. (2022). "Batagur trivittata (Burmese roofed turtle). Female age at first reproduction." Herpetological Review 53(2), 304-305.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 9 of 13

Poyarkov, A. D., M. P. Korablev, E. Bragina and J. A. Hernandez-Blanco (2022). "Overview of current research on wolves in Russia." Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10, e869161. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.869161

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of wolf research in Russia at the beginning of the 21st century. Wolf research covered various directions, including population density estimation, management methods and minimization of human-wildlife conflicts, general and behavioral ecology, behavior, wolf population genetics and morphology, paleontology, dog domestication, helminthology and the wolves’ role in the rabies transmission. Some studies are performed with state-of-art methodology using molecular genetics, mathematical modeling, camera traps, and GPS telemetry.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 10 of 13

Reid, K. A., D. G. Reid and C. D. Brown (In Press). "Patterns of vegetation change in Yukon: Recent findings and future research in dynamic subarctic ecosystems." Environmental Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1139/er-2021-0110

Abstract: In Yukon, Canada, average air temperature has increased by 2 °C over the past 50 years and, by the end of the century up to 6.9 °C of further warming is predicted, along with increased climate variability. As a result of these and other changes, vegetation communities are predicted to shift in space and composition. Changes to the vegetation assemblages across multiple ecological units or bioclimate zones will impact carbon and nutrient cycling, animal habitat, biodiversity levels, and other ecosystem processes. Yukon has a wide variety of vegetation communities, and paleoecological evidence indicates that significant vegetation changes have occurred throughout the territory in the past. No documented synthesis of changes to vegetation assemblages exists, restricting predictions of their future likelihood, abundance, and influence. Here, we review the literature of documented examples of vegetation change throughout Yukon that have occurred (i) in different vegetation communities due to the persistent press of climate change and (ii) after natural disturbances. Future research into all vegetation responses under ongoing climate change is warranted. We identify critical research gaps for each vegetation community and disturbance type that should be addressed to produce a more encompassing understanding of the response of Yukon bioclimate zones and vegetation communities to future warming and disturbances.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 11 of 13

Slough, B. G., C. L. Lausen, B. Paterson, ..., J. Rae and D. van de Wetering (2022). "New records about the diversity, distribution, and seasonal activity patterns by bats in Yukon and northwestern British Columbia." Northwestern Naturalist 103(2), 162-182. https://doi.org/10.1898/NWN21-10

Abstract: The bat fauna of northwestern Canada remains poorly known, principally owing to a lack of dedicated surveys across this vast region. To better assess the diversity of bats in the region, we compiled records from several acoustic survey projects and capture sessions whose purpose was to inventory bats in Yukon and northwestern British Columbia (BC) from 2013 to 2018. During our surveys we obtained the 1st apparent acoustic records for Yuma Myotis (Myotis yumanensis), Californian Myotis (M. californicus), Long-eared Myotis (M. evotis), Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) and Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis) from this region. We also captured 2 Long-eared Myotis in northwestern BC. Additionally, our surveys provided range extensions of Northern Myotis (M. septentrionalis), Long-legged Myotis (M. volans), and Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus). Finally, by deploying bat detectors in late autumn, and in some cases throughout the winter, we provide data about seasonal patterns for bat activity in some locations, revealing that bats in northwestern BC may be active as late as 29 October and emerge as early as 30 March, a pattern similar to that observed in southern BC. By combining data from several disparate surveys, conducted for different reasons by different researchers, we were able to provide a fuller picture of the bat fauna of this vast region. Our data provides further evidence that the bat fauna of northwestern Canada is richer than previously documented.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 12 of 13

Vanderhoff, E. N. and N. Bernal Hoverud (2022). "Perspectives on antiphonal calling, duetting and counter-singing in non-primate mammals: An overview with notes on the coordinated vocalizations of bamboo rats (Dactylomys spp., Rodentia: Echimyidae)." Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10, e906546. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.906546

Abstract: Temporally coordinated interactive vocalizations are important means of communication between individuals in various animal taxa. In mammals, interactive calling and singing can be highly synchronized to create either overlapping or antiphonal duets while in others, competitors antagonistically vocalize, engaging in counter-singing. Among non-primate mammals these vocalizations are considered rare and poorly understood. We provide an overview of antiphonal calling, duetting and counter-singing in non-primate mammals. Many of these coordinated vocalizations play a role in social interactions and allow mammals to convey information to other members of the social unit in visually inaccessible environments. South American Bamboo rats Dactylomys spp. are arboreal bamboo specialists found in dense bamboo thickets in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia. These nocturnal rodents are rarely seen but can be easily heard because of their loud and distinctive staccato vocalizations. We provide some evidence that Bamboo rats engage in duetting, and as such they provide another case of a mammalian species, in which to investigate temporally coordinated interactive singing. We urge researchers to work toward common definitions of temporally coordinated vocalizations and to search for more mammals that utilize such vocalizations.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 13 of 13

Wicaksono, A., R. Raihandhany, T. V. Zen et al. (2022). "Screening Rafflesia and Sapria metabolites using a bioinformatics approach to assess their potential as drugs." Philippine Journal of Science 151(5), 1771-1791. https://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/accepted-articles/115-vol-151-no-5-october-2022/1694-screening-rafflesia-and-sapria-metabolites-using-a-bioinformatics-approach-to-assess-their-potential-as-drugs

Abstract: The Rafflesiaceae family consists of three genera of parasitic plants – Rafflesia, Rhizanthes, and Sapria – with purported ethnobotanical and ethnomedicinal properties. In this study, the inhibitory properties of 21 characterized metabolites associated with Rafflesia and Sapria were tested against eight proteins linked to human diseases – including seven pathogenic-associated HMGCR, VEGFR2, acetylcholinesterase, NMT, H1N1 neuraminidase, GSK3-β, and estrogen receptor α, and one plant-pathogenic associated Colletotrichum chitin deacetylase. Each metabolite was tested using drug-likeness screening, screening metabolite activity, and molecular docking to eight diseases and microbial physiological processes. Hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions between metabolite ligands and protein residues were characterized. Molecular dynamics were also assessed to analyze the stability of the protein-ligand interaction. Our results indicate that the gallotannins and flavonol phenolics from Rafflesia and Sapria display high inhibitory potential against disease proteins. All metabolite-protein pairs displayed stable fluctuations. However, some compounds disobeyed LRO5 drug-likeness and displayed moderate bioavailability and synthetic accessibility, so an improved drug delivery method is required. All 21 metabolites are available in other popular edible plants (mainly tea and certain berries) and could be used to create artificially mixed metabolite-based medicine to prevent the exploitation and endangerment of wild Rafflesia and Sapria populations. Our activity likelihood screening and molecular docking data indicate that Rafflesia and Sapria metabolites possess considerable potential as anti-cholesterol, respiratory antiviral, wound-healing, and antifungal properties. To protect Rafflesiaceae plants in the wild, metabolites can be assessed from other plant sources and combined as an artificial herbal mix.

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citations 1 of 3

Dhee (2022). Ethics and Safeguards for Research Involving Human Participants. Karnataka, India: Wildlife Conservation Society, India. https://library.wcs.org/en-us/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4447900000.aspx

Grey Literature Citations 2 of 3

Güiza Suárez, L., A. Balcazar Salazar and L. D. Acevedo-Cendales (2022). Tráfico Ilegal de Anfibios en Colombia: Un Análisis Jurídico. Bogota, Colombia: Editorial Universidad del Rosario and Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia. https://doi.org/10.12804/urosario9789587848519

Abstract: This publication provides a legal-sociological analysis of illegal wildlife trafficking in Colombia, focusing on amphibians. It identifies the existing gap between the legal system and the enforcement of regulations in the face of the dramatic situation of species trafficking in the country today. This work originates from a joint study between researchers from the Universidad del Rosario and the Wildlife Conservation Society, which lasted approximately one year and consisted of conducting interviews and collecting information through petition rights. We hope that this book—the result of this collaboration—will contribute to improving controls and institutional action by civil society on this vital issue for the protection and conservation of our national biodiversity.

Grey Literature Citations 3 of 3

Oakes, L. E., T. Rayden, J. Lotspeich and A. Bagwill (2022). Defining the Real Cost of Restoring Forests: Practical Steps Towards Improving Cost Estimates: A Trillion Trees White Paper. Bronx, NY: Trillion Trees. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.44483

Abstract: In this white paper, Trillion Trees sets out five considerations for effectively costing forest restoration. These include careful planning, ensuring local participation and local knowledge, through to monitoring outcomes and developing local capacity.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  19-25 July 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 12

Bishop, N. D., J. Polisar, P. J. Eliazar, R. R. Carthy and K. A. Bjorndal (2022). "Diet of Dermatemys mawii, an aquatic turtle that relies heavily on terrestrial vegetation." Chelonian Conservation and Biology 21(1), 37-45. https://doi.org/10.2744/CCB-1467.1

Abstract: Dermatemys mawii is a critically endangered freshwater turtle endemic to Central America. In the wild, these turtles are thought to be wholly herbivorous as adults and feed on a variety of vegetation; however, no studies have quantitatively assessed potential dietary differences based on biotic and abiotic factors. The purpose of our study was to describe and quantify the wild diet of D. mawii and assess differences based on habitat, maturity, and sex. We evaluated the stomach contents of 66 turtles legally harvested by local hunters for personal consumption throughout the country of Belize. Percent volume (by displacement) and percent frequency of each stomach item were used to calculate an index of relative importance (IRI). One algal and 6 plant families contributed to an overall diet composition consisting of leaves, flowers, stems, seedpods, seeds, and fruit. Rocks and invertebrates were also consumed, although we believe these to be incidental consumption. The leaves of the riparian tree Inga edulis were present in 73.1% of turtle stomachs and accounted for almost half of the total volume of all stomach contents combined. We used Spearman rank correlation coefficients to test the null hypothesis that there was no correlation in the rankings of stomach items (i.e., there were differences) when comparing turtles by habitat, age, and sex. There were significant differences in the ranking of food items between river and lagoon habitats, with lagoon turtles relying heavily on the algae Nitella sp.; however, the stomach contents from both habitats were equally diverse (Hrivers = 1.68, Hlagoons = 1.64). There were no differences in IRIs between adults and juveniles or between males and females. Our results emphasize the importance of habitat in D. mawii diet selection and the importance of leaves from riparian plants species that are shed into their aquatic habitats.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 12

Conners, M. G., N. B. Sisson, P. D. Agamboue, ..., A. Formia, ..., J. Nzegoue, C. K. Kouerey Oliwina, ..., R. Parnell, ..., H. C. Rosenbaum et al. (2022). "Mismatches in scale between highly mobile marine megafauna and marine protected areas." Frontiers in Marine Science 9, e897104. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.897104

Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPAs), particularly large MPAs, are increasing in number and size around the globe in part to facilitate the conservation of marine megafauna under the assumption that large-scale MPAs better align with vagile life histories; however, this alignment is not well established. Using a global tracking dataset from 36 species across five taxa, chosen to reflect the span of home range size in highly mobile marine megafauna, we show most MPAs are too small to encompass complete home ranges of most species. Based on size alone, 40% of existing MPAs could encompass the home ranges of the smallest ranged species, while only < 1% of existing MPAs could encompass those of the largest ranged species. Further, where home ranges and MPAs overlapped in real geographic space, MPAs encompassed < 5% of core areas used by all species. Despite most home ranges of mobile marine megafauna being much larger than existing MPAs, we demonstrate how benefits from MPAs are still likely to accrue by targeting seasonal aggregations and critical life history stages and through other management techniques.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 12

Farris, Z. J., B. D. Gerber, S. Karpanty, F. Ratelolahy, V. Andrianjakarivelo and M. J. Kelly (2022). "Spatio-temporal overlap between a native and an exotic carnivore in Madagascar: Evidence of Spatial Exclusion". In E. Do Linh San, J. J. Sato, J. L. Belant, M. J. Somers and [eds.], Small Carnivores: Evolution, Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Abstract: The exclusion or local extirpation of native species by exotic or introduced carnivores is a burgeoning issue for conservation. Exotic carnivores may indeed present a serious threat as they have the potential to negatively influence and/or interact with native wildlife via exploitative or interference competition, intraguild predation and/or transmission of pathogens. So far, studies investigating co-occurrence have failed to include both a spatial and temporal component which is likely to lead to improper inference. Here, we used a novel approach to investigate the relationship between native and exotic carnivores across both space and time and provide insight on the spatial exclusion of the native spotted fanaloka Fossa fossana (listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN), by the exotic small Indian civet, Viverricula indica, across Madagascar's eastern rainforest ecosystem. We combined both spatial (single-species and two-species occupancy analyses) and temporal (kernel density estimation) analyses to investigate potential spatio-temporal interactions across the landscape, comparing degraded and non-degraded forests. We found that the exotic Indian civet negatively influenced spotted fanaloka occupancy, which resulted in a strong decrease in occupancy across degraded forests. Further, spotted fanaloka occupancy decreased by 40% at sites where Indian civet were present, resulting in a strong lack of co-occurrence between these two species. Finally, we recorded strong spatio-temporal overlap during the nocturnal time period within degraded, patchy forests. As a result, we suggest that this reveals evidence of spatial exclusion of the spotted fanaloka. This novel approach provides a unique investigation across both time and space - allowing us to identify more accurately the precise locations where co-occurring carnivores are potentially interacting - and has wide-ranging implications for conservation managers working to address the negative impacts of exotic species on native wildlife.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 12

Goodrich, J., H. Wibisono, D. G. Miquelle et al. (2022). "Tiger. Panthera tigris." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, e.T15955A214862019. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2022-1.RLTS.T15955A214862019.en

Abstract: Tiger Panthera tigris has most recently been assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2021. Panthera tigris is listed as Endangered under criteria A2abcd.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 12

Greiner, A., M. Andrello, E. Darling et al. (Early View). "Limited spatial rescue potential for coral reefs lost to future climate warming." Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13571

Abstract: Aim: The aim was to determine reef connectivity and future coral cover levels under global scenarios of coral bleaching loss and potential recovery. Location: Global coral reefs. Time period: Present-day to 2100. Major taxa studied: Scleractinian coral. Methods: We used a global coral larval dispersal model that describes population connectivity among reefs at a resolution of ⅙° × ⅙° (c. 18 km × 18 km) cells. To simulate different patterns of bleaching events, we ran three scenarios at different levels of coral reef habitat loss followed by a reseeding of coral larvae from surviving reefs to simulate recovery. Results: We found a total of 604 distinct reef networks, but more than half of the world's reef cells are contained in six large coral reef networks (294–5,494 cells), whereas the rest form smaller networks. In the bleaching scenario where previously identified predicted climate refugia were maintained, initial connectivity was largely preserved even when 71% of global coral reef habitat was lost, but the relict reef cells were unable to reseed even 50% of former coral reef habitat because many of the relict reefs are in the same networks as each other. In scenarios where refugia were lost first or with random loss, less of the initial connectivity was maintained, but more widespread reseeding was possible because more reef cells within smaller networks were maintained. Main conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of maintaining functional coral reef habitat outside of predicted climate refugia to sustain connectivity globally, and suggest an important role for “stepping stone” reefs between the climate refugia. Without attention to these issues of habitat loss and connectivity, much of global coral reef habitat might not be reseeded without human intervention.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 12

Johnston, T. A., G. L. Lescord, M. Quesnel et al. (2022). "Age, body size, growth and dietary habits: What are the key factors driving individual variability in mercury of lacustrine fishes in northern temperate lakes?" Environmental Research 213, e113740. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2022.113740

Abstract: Fish total mercury concentration ([THg]) has been linked to various fish attributes, but the relative importance of these attributes in accounting for among-individual variation in [THg] has not been thoroughly assessed. We compared the contributions of ontogeny (age, length), growth (growth rate, body condition), and food web position (δ13C, δ15N) to among-individual variability in [THg] within populations of seven common fishes from 141 north temperate lakes. Ontogenetic factors accounted for most variation in [THg]; age was a stronger and less variable predictor than length for most species. Adding both indices of growth and food web position to these models increased explained variation (R2) in [THg] by 6–25% among species. Fish [THg] at age increased with growth rate, while fish [THg] at length decreased with growth rate, and the effect of body condition was consistently negative. Trophic elevation (inferred from δ15N) was a stronger predictor than primary production source (inferred from δ13C) for piscivores but not benthivores. Fish [THg] increased with δ15N in all species but showed a more variable relationship with δ13C. Among-individual variation in [THg] is primarily related to age or size in most temperate freshwater fishes, and effects of growth rate and food web position need to be considered in the context of these ontogenetic drivers.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 12

Lemieux, C. J., K. F. Beazley, D. MacKinnon, P. Wright, D. Kraus et al. (2022). "Transformational changes for achieving the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework ecological connectivity goals." FACETS 7(1), 1008-1027. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2022-0003

Abstract: The first draft of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) includes an unprecedented call for states that have ratified the treaty (Parties) to implement measures to maintain and enhance ecological connectivity as urgent actions to abate further biodiversity loss and ecosystem decline. Considering the challenges that lie ahead for Parties to the CBD, we highlight the ways in which effective and equitable connectivity conservation can be achieved through four transformative changes, including: (1) mainstreaming connectivity retention and restoration within biodiversity conservation sector and influencing sectors (e.g., transportation, energy, agriculture, forestry); (2) mainstreaming financial resources and incentives to support effective implementation; (3) fostering collaboration with a focus on cross-sector collective action; and (4) investing in diverse forms of knowledge (co-)production and management in support of adaptive governance. We detail 15 key actions that can be used to support the implementation of these transformative changes. While ambitious, the transformative changes and associated key actions recommended in this perspective will need to be put in place with unprecedented urgency, coherency, and coordination if Parties to the CBD truly aspire to achieve the goals and targets of the forthcoming Post-2020 GBF in this new decade of biodiversity.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 12

Miller, R. E., P. P. Calle, N. Lamberski [eds.] (2022). Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine: Current Therapy, Volume 10. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 12

Miteva, D. A., L. Fortmann and R. McNab (2022). "Beyond the traditional: Voluntary market-based initiatives to promote land tenure security". In M. B. Holland, Y. J. Masuda and B. E. Robinson [eds.], Land Tenure Security and Sustainable Development, 269-290. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81881-4_13

Abstract: Tropical forests in developing countries are important for the provision of global ecosystem services, but also tend to be characterized by weak formal governance, high dependence on natural resource use, and, hence, rapid depletion of natural resources. Depending on the context, informal institutions may be insufficient as well. Focusing on native forests and the Forest Stewardship Council forest management certification scheme, we examine the role of markets and global supply chains as a mechanism for overcoming institutional failures and legitimizing rights to natural resources by rural communities. We posit that, in the absence of effective local institutions, voluntary certification, under certain conditions, can be a viable mechanism for the fair delineation, monitoring, and enforcement of forest property rights in developing countries.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 10 of 12

Nana, E. D., K. Y. Njabo, F. N. Tarla, ..., L. Kinzonzi et al. (Early View). "Putting conservation efforts in Central Africa on the right track for interventions that last." Conservation Letters, e12913. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12913

Abstract: Interventions in Africa designed to stop biodiversity decline have often failed because they were based on a top-down approach to management and focused on enforcing restrictive rules and imposing bans. They were equally misaligned with the values and needs of local actors. This paper presents an African perspective on the discourse regarding the bushmeat crisis and shows that bushmeat in Africa goes beyond being a source of livelihood, having a multifaceted use that must be considered when designing interventions. We show that current conservation initiatives often do not address the right issues, by neglecting nonmonetary dimensions of bushmeat use, inadequately planning interventions, failing to align wildlife laws with realities on the ground, and carrying out ineffective law enforcement characterized by poor governance and corruption. We recommend a revision of current legal frameworks to enhance local ownership, tenure rights, and the sustainable economic empowerment of local communities to reduce hunting. We also call for development of regionally led innovative programs that invest in nature-based solutions and payments for environmental services. Finally, we identify where more research is needed to understand why wildlife use in Africa is overlooked in national development policies and not considered in national accounting.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 11 of 12

Smallhorn-West, P., P. J. Cohen, M. Phillips, S. D. Jupiter et al. (Accepted Article). "Linking small-scale fisheries comanagement to sustainable development goals." Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13977

Abstract: Small-scale fisheries account for 90% of global fishers and 40% of global catch. Effectively managing small-scale fisheries is therefore crucial for progressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Co-management and community-based fisheries management are widely considered the most appropriate forms of governance for many small-scale fisheries. In this study, we outline relationships between small-scale fisheries co-management and attainment of the SDGs, highlighting evidence and gaps, dominant logic, and persistent assumptions. We consider: i) 11 targets across five SDGs to which small-scale fisheries co-management (including community-based fisheries management) can contribute; ii) the impact pathways by which these contributions could be achieved; and iii) the strength of evidence for progress by various co-management strategies. For the 11 SDG targets, we present theories of change starting with the implementation of five common co-management strategies: access restrictions, permanent area closures, periodic closures, and gear and species restrictions. By reviewing 52 published case studies from the Pacific Islands – a region rich in local marine governance – we then evaluate evidence of where, to what degree, and with how much certainty, each theory of change unfolds in practice. While strong evidence connects many co-management strategies to improvements in resource status (SDG 14.4), there is limited evidence of follow-on effects such as improvements in catch (SDG 2.3, 2.4), livelihoods (SDG 1.2), consumption (SDG 2.1), and nutrition (SDG 2.2). Our findings suggest that ‘leaps of logic’ and assumptions are prevalent in co-management planning and evaluation. When evaluating against the SDGs, consideration of ultimate goals is required, otherwise there is a risk of shortfalls between aspirations and impact.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 12 of 12

Wyffels, J. T., R. George, E. F. Christiansen, T. M. Clauss, A. L. Newton, M. W. Hyatt et al. (2022). "Reproductive cycle and periodicity of in situ and aquarium female sand tiger sharks Carcharias taurus from the Western North Atlantic." Frontiers in Marine Science 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.925749

Abstract: Fundamental characteristics of the reproductive biology of female sand tiger sharks Carcharias taurus are needed to understand the periodicity, seasonality and environmental factors essential for reproduction in this iconic species. Animals in managed care, such as aquariums, provide the unique opportunity for longitudinal study in contrast to in situ sharks that are examined opportunistically, and at a single point in time. Additionally, comparison of reproductive observations from successfully reproducing in situ sharks and aquarium sharks may help elucidate reasons for lack of reproduction among aquarium sharks and aid the development of assisted reproductive techniques for managed populations. Reproductive status of in situ and aquarium female sharks was assessed using ultrasonography and plasma hormone (17β-estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone) monitoring. The reproductive cycle was divided into eight stages based on ovarian activity and uterine contents. In situ sharks were sampled from Delaware Bay (n = 29), North Carolina (n = 39) and South Carolina (n = 11) during April-November from 2015–2020. Nineteen aquarium females from five aquaria were examined longitudinally for two or more consecutive years. Reproductive regionalization was observed among in situ females with the majority (83%) of North Carolina females in an active state of reproduction and all Delaware females in a resting reproductive state. All aquarium females had a pattern of reproductive cycling that was consistent with alternating years of activity and rest with confirmed biennial (n = 7) or triennial (n = 3) reproductive cycles with spring seasonality. In contrast to in situ females, aquarium females often retained uterine eggs for 9-20 months after ovulation in the absence of a developing embryo(s). Pre-ovulatory aquarium females had significantly higher concentrations of 17β-estradiol, testosterone and progesterone than other reproductive stages. For females in the ovulatory stage, in situ females had higher testosterone than aquarium females. Endocrine differences between successfully reproducing in situ females and aquarium females likely contribute to the limited reproductive success observed for this species in managed care and may be a reflection of diminished seasonal cues and environmental differences.

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 1

Davenport, T.R.B. with illustrations by S. Markes (2021; PDF available 2022). The Marine Mammals of Tanzania & Zanzibar: An Illustrated Guide and Natural History. Arusha, Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation Society. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.44455

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  12-19 July 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 6

Brown, D. M., J. Robbins, P. L. Sieswerda, ..., C. D. King, ..., M. Rekdahl, H. C. Rosenbaum et al. (First View). "Site fidelity, population identity and demographic characteristics of humpback whales in the New York Bight apex." Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315422000388

Abstract: Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) exhibit maternally driven fidelity to feeding grounds, and yet occasionally occupy new areas. Humpback whale sightings and mortalities in the New York Bight apex (NYBA) have been increasing over the last decade, providing an opportunity to study this phenomenon in an urban habitat. Whales in this area overlap with human activities, including busy shipping traffic leading into the Port of New York and New Jersey. The site fidelity, population composition and demographics of individual whales were analysed to better inform management in this high-risk area. Whale watching and other opportunistic data collections were used to identify 101 individual humpback whales in the NYBA from spring through autumn, 2012–2018. Although mean occurrence was low (2.5 days), mean occupancy was 37.6 days, and 31.3% of whales returned from one year to the next. Individuals compared with other regional and ocean-basin-wide photo-identification catalogues (N = 52) were primarily resighted at other sites along the US East Coast, including the Gulf of Maine feeding ground. Sightings of mother-calf pairs were rare in the NYBA, suggesting that maternally directed fidelity may not be responsible for the presence of young whales in this area. Other factors including shifts in prey species distribution or changes in population structure more broadly should be investigated.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 6

Camp, J. V., A. Desvars-Larrive, N. Nowotny and C. Walzer (2022). "Monitoring urban zoonotic virus activity: Are city rats a promising surveillance tool for emerging viruses?" Viruses 14(7), e1516. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14071516

Abstract: Urban environments represent unique ecosystems where dense human populations may come into contact with wildlife species, some of which are established or potential reservoirs for zoonotic pathogens that cause human diseases. Finding practical ways to monitor the presence and/or abundance of zoonotic pathogens is important to estimate the risk of spillover to humans in cities. As brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) are ubiquitous in urban habitats, and are hosts of several zoonotic viruses, we conducted longitudinal sampling of brown rats in Vienna, Austria, a large population center in Central Europe. We investigated rat tissues for the presence of several zoonotic viruses, including flaviviruses, hantaviruses, coronaviruses, poxviruses, hepatitis E virus, encephalomyocarditis virus, and influenza A virus. Although we found no evidence of active infections (all were negative for viral nucleic acids) among 96 rats captured between 2016 and 2018, our study supports the findings of others, suggesting that monitoring urban rats may be an efficient way to estimate the activity of zoonotic viruses in urban environments.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 6

Cinner, J. E., I. R. Caldwell, L. Thiault, ..., J. Kuange et al. (2022). "Potential impacts of climate change on agriculture and fisheries production in 72 tropical coastal communities." Nature Communications 13(1), e3530. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30991-4

Abstract: Climate change is expected to profoundly affect key food production sectors, including fisheries and agriculture. However, the potential impacts of climate change on these sectors are rarely considered jointly, especially below national scales, which can mask substantial variability in how communities will be affected. Here, we combine socioeconomic surveys of 3,008 households and intersectoral multi-model simulation outputs to conduct a sub-national analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on fisheries and agriculture in 72 coastal communities across five Indo-Pacific countries (Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Tanzania). Our study reveals three key findings: First, overall potential losses to fisheries are higher than potential losses to agriculture. Second, while most locations (> 2/3) will experience potential losses to both fisheries and agriculture simultaneously, climate change mitigation could reduce the proportion of places facing that double burden. Third, potential impacts are more likely in communities with lower socioeconomic status.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 6

Masi, S., E. Pouydebat, A. San-Galli, E. Meulman, T. Breuer et al. (2022). "Free hand hitting of stone-like objects in wild gorillas." Scientific Reports 12(1), e11981. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-15542-7

Abstract: The earliest stone tool types, sharp flakes knapped from stone cores, are assumed to have played a crucial role in human cognitive evolution. Flaked stone tools have been observed to be accidentally produced when wild monkeys use handheld stones as tools. Holding a stone core in hand and hitting it with another in the absence of flaking, free hand hitting, has been considered a requirement for producing sharp stone flakes by hitting stone on stone, free hand percussion. We report on five observations of free hand hitting behavior in two wild western gorillas, using stone-like objects (pieces of termite mound). Gorillas are therefore the second non-human lineage primate showing free-hand hitting behavior in the wild, and ours is the first report for free hand hitting behavior in wild apes. This study helps to shed light on the morphofunctional and cognitive requirements for the emergence of stone tool production as it shows that a prerequisite for free hand percussion (namely, free hand hitting) is part of the spontaneous behavioral repertoire of one of humans’ closest relatives (gorillas). However, the ability to combine free hand hitting with the force, precision, and accuracy needed to facilitate conchoidal fracture in free hand percussion may still have been a critical watershed for hominin evolution.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 6

Oke, T. A., S. Y. Zhang, S. R. Keyser and L. A. Yeager (Early View). "Sea-surface temperature anomalies mediate changes in fish richness and abundance in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico estuaries." Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14451

Abstract: Aim: Anthropogenic warming of marine systems has caused biological and physiological responses that are fundamentally altering ecosystem structure. Because estuaries exist at the land-ocean interface, they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ocean warming as they can undergo rapid biogeochemical and hydrological shifts due to climate and land-use change. We explored how multiple components of estuarine fish diversity—turnover, richness, and abundance—have changed in the North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico estuaries across space and time and the drivers of change. Location: North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Taxa: Fish. Method: We compiled long-term (>30 years), continent-wide fisheries independent trawl surveys conducted in estuaries—from the Gulf of Maine to the Gulf of Mexico (U.S. waters)—and combined these with climate and land-use-land-cover data to examine trends and ecological drivers of fish richness, abundance and turnover using mixed-effect models. Results: Species richness, abundance and turnover have increased in North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico estuaries in the last 30 years. These changes were mediated largely by sea-surface temperature anomalies, especially in more northern estuaries where warming has been relatively pronounced. Main Conclusion: The increasing trajectory of turnover in many estuaries suggests that fish communities have changed fundamentally from the baselines. A fundamental change in community composition can lead to an irreversible trophic imbalance or alternative stable states among other outcomes. Thus, predicting how shifting community structures might influence food webs, ecosystem stability, and human resource use remain a pertinent task.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 6

Semper-Pascual, A., R. Bischof, C. Milleret, ..., J. Salvador et al. (2022). "Occupancy winners in tropical protected forests: A pantropical analysis." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 289(1978), e20220457. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2022.0457

Abstract: The structure of forest mammal communities appears surprisingly consistent across the continental tropics, presumably due to convergent evolution in similar environments. Whether such consistency extends to mammal occupancy, despite variation in species characteristics and context, remains unclear. Here we ask whether we can predict occupancy patterns and, if so, whether these relationships are consistent across biogeographic regions. Specifically, we assessed how mammal feeding guild, body mass and ecological specialization relate to occupancy in protected forests across the tropics. We used standardized camera-trap data (1002 camera-trap locations and 2–10 years of data) and a hierarchical Bayesian occupancy model. We found that occupancy varied by regions, and certain species characteristics explained much of this variation. Herbivores consistently had the highest occupancy. However, only in the Neotropics did we detect a significant effect of body mass on occupancy: large mammals had lowest occupancy. Importantly, habitat specialists generally had higher occupancy than generalists, though this was reversed in the Indo-Malayan sites. We conclude that habitat specialization is key for understanding variation in mammal occupancy across regions, and that habitat specialists often benefit more from protected areas, than do generalists. The contrasting examples seen in the Indo-Malayan region probably reflect distinct anthropogenic pressures.

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 2

Chetkiewicz, C., C. M. O'Connor, L. I. Harris and M. Southee (2022). Fawn River Indigenous Protected Area Ecological Atlas. WCS Canada Conservation Report No. 15. Toronto, Canada: Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.44069

 

Grey Literature Citation 2 of 2

Scrafford, M. and J. C. Ray (2022). Wolverine Denning Ecology and Ontario's Forest Management Guide for Conserving Biodiversity at the Stand and Site Scales: FAQ and Recommendations. Toronto, Canada: Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.44166

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  5-11 July 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 1 of 5

Abbott, B. W., M. Brown, J. C. Carey, ..., M. Robards et al. (2022). "We must stop fossil fuel emissions to protect permafrost ecosystems." Frontiers in Environmental Science 10, e889428. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2022.889428

Abstract: Climate change is an existential threat to the vast global permafrost domain. The diverse human cultures, ecological communities, and biogeochemical cycles of this tenth of the planet depend on the persistence of frozen conditions. The complexity, immensity, and remoteness of permafrost ecosystems make it difficult to grasp how quickly things are changing and what can be done about it. Here, we summarize terrestrial and marine changes in the permafrost domain with an eye toward global policy. While many questions remain, we know that continued fossil fuel burning is incompatible with the continued existence of the permafrost domain as we know it. If we fail to protect permafrost ecosystems, the consequences for human rights, biosphere integrity, and global climate will be severe. The policy implications are clear: the faster we reduce human emissions and draw down atmospheric CO2, the more of the permafrost domain we can save. Emissions reduction targets must be strengthened and accompanied by support for local peoples to protect intact ecological communities and natural carbon sinks within the permafrost domain. Some proposed geoengineering interventions such as solar shading, surface albedo modification, and vegetation manipulations are unproven and may exacerbate environmental injustice without providing lasting protection. Conversely, astounding advances in renewable energy have reopened viable pathways to halve human greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and effectively stop them well before 2050. We call on leaders, corporations, researchers, and citizens everywhere to acknowledge the global importance of the permafrost domain and work towards climate restoration and empowerment of Indigenous and immigrant communities in these regions.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 2 of 5

Hyatt, M. W. and T. J. Gerlach (2022). "Diagnosis and management of suspected congestive heart failure secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy in a sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) with establishment of preliminary normal echocardiographic indices." Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 53(2), 363-372. https://doi.org/10.1638/2021-0127

Abstract: Elasmobranch cardiac anatomy and physiology has been well described; however, there is a dearth of information regarding cardiac disease. In support of a clinical case of suspected congestive heart failure in a 22-yr-old male sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), a study was undertaken to identify feasible echocardiographic imaging planes and preliminary indices for this species. Eleven echocardiograms were performed on six apparently healthy sand tiger sharks. Echocardiographic parameters are presented using descriptive statistics, including mean, median, standard deviation (SD), minimum and maximum values. These data were utilized for the diagnosis and clinical management of the affected shark. The shark initially presented with increased respiratory effort, dependent, peripheral edema, and anemia. Echocardiography revealed atrial, ventricular, and sinus venosus dilation. As congestive heart failure secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy was strongly suspected, therapy was initiated with oral benazepril and torsemide, and later pimobendan. After a year of therapy, clinical signs resolved. Cardiac size and function improved on echocardiography with a reduction in sinus venosus dilation, maximum and minimum atrial and ventricular inner diameters, and an increase in atrial and ventricular fractional shortening. Cardiac disease in elasmobranchs may be underdiagnosed, so it may be necessary to develop standardized ultrasound techniques and cardiac measurements for each species of elasmobranch managed within zoos and aquaria.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 3 of 5

Lello-Smith, A., A. D. Rodewald, V. H. Ramos et al. (2022). "Repeated burning undermines the value of regenerating cattle pastures for tropical forest birds." Biological Conservation 271, e109593. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109593

Abstract: Forest restoration has become a central strategy to conserve biodiversity, especially in the global tropics, but many priority regions are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic stressors. Of particular concern is the growing frequency of fire in humid tropical systems due to agricultural expansion and regional drying. Yet little is known about how fire affects recovery of tropical biodiversity in restored lands, including forest-dependent and threatened species. Here we provide the first assessment of the impacts of burning within naturally regenerating cattle pastures on pasture use by Neotropical forest birds. Working within 1–11-year-old regenerating pastures in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve, we asked how occupancy rates of forest-dependent and threatened bird species differ between repeatedly burned and unburned pasture. To better understand the effect of fire on pasture use, we examined how species’ opportunistic use of regenerating pastures is a function of vegetation succession at local scales. We found that 70 forest-dependent and 19 threatened species used unburned pastures, but fire reduced or eliminated pasture use for 56% of forest-dependent and 53% of threatened species. Local vegetation succession explained the likelihood of colonizing pastures for nearly half of forest species that used regenerating pastures. Species closely associated with closed-canopy vegetation were most likely to be partially or fully excluded from burned pasture, suggesting that fire excluded certain species by impeding forest regrowth. Our results clearly demonstrate that burning undermines the high value of regenerating pastures for forest-dependent and threatened species and highlight the critical importance of preventing human-caused fires in restored tropical landscapes.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 4 of 5

Martinez, J., R. B. Wallace, E. Domic, P. Carvajal, A. Arnez, L. Morrison and K. A.-I. Nekaris (In Press). "Feeding ecology of the Beni titi monkey (Plecturocebus modestus): An endangered Bolivian endemic." International Journal of Primatology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-022-00306-x

Abstract: Primates can respond to food availability shortages by increasing the energy they invest in searching for alternative food resources or by conserving energy by altering their diet while reducing movement. To gain information on the ecological flexibility of Beni titi monkeys (Plecturocebus modestus), we assessed seasonal variation in the behavior and ranging and feeding patterns of two focal groups across a year. We recorded group behaviors using instantaneous group scan sampling and used all occurrence sampling to collect ranging and feeding data (1,178 observation hours in the dry season, and 1,202 in the wet season). We collected data on food availability via monthly phenology monitoring. We found that during the fruit-scarce dry season, these frugivorous primates significantly reduced their monthly investment in moving and increased their consumption of flowers. They also showed some decrease in fruit consumption, home ranges and daily path length. Our observations of a diet shift to a high intake of alternative foods and reduction of time spent on moving suggest that the P. modestus groups that we studied used an energy-area minimizing strategy when fruits were less available. While we found that P. modestus could find food in the naturally fragmented forests, high levels of ongoing anthropogenic forest fragmentation may lead to reductions in important food resources, threatening the survival of these Endangered primates. This study shows the ecological flexibility of primates and provides important information to be incorporated in the design of specific effective conservation actions for this threatened an endemic species, as well as highlights the importance of mitigating the current threats to these forest ecosystems.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 5 of 5

Rasphone, A., A. Bousa, C. Vongkhamheng, J. F. Kamler, A. Johnson and D. W. Macdonald (2022). "Diet and prey selection of clouded leopards and tigers in Laos." Ecology and Evolution 12(7), e9067. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.9067

Abstract: In Southeast Asia, conservation of ‘Vulnerable’ clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) and ‘Endangered’ tigers (Panthera tigris) might depend on the management of their preferred prey because large felid populations are limited by the availability of suitable prey. However, the diet of clouded leopards has never been determined, so the preferred prey of this felid remains unknown. The diet of tigers in the region has been studied only from one protected-area complex in western Thailand, but prey preferences were not determined. To better understand the primary and preferred prey of threatened felids, we used DNA-confirmed scats and prey surveys to determine the diet and prey selection of clouded leopards and tigers in a hilly evergreen forest in northern Laos. For clouded leopards, the primary prey was wild pig (Sus scrofa; 33% biomass consumed), followed by greater hog badger (Arctonyx collaris; 28%), small rodents (15%), and mainland serow (Capricornis sumatraensis; 13%; hereafter, serow). For tigers, the primary prey was wild pig (44%), followed by serow (18%), sambar (Rusa unicolor; 12%), and Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus; 10%). Compared to availability, serow was positively selected by both clouded leopards (D = 0.69) and tigers (0.61), whereas all other ungulate species were consumed in proportion to the availability or avoided. Our results indicate that clouded leopards are generalist predators with a wide prey spectrum. Nonetheless, mid-sized ungulates (50–150 kg) comprised nearly half of their diet, and were the preferred prey, supporting a previous hypothesis that the enlarged gape and elongated canines of clouded leopards are adaptations for killing large prey. Because serow was the only ungulate preferred by both felids, we recommend that serow populations be monitored and managed to help conservation efforts for clouded leopards and tigers, at least in hilly evergreen forests of Southeast Asia.

 

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 1 of 4

Cichowski, D., R. S. McNay and J. C. Ray (2022). Caribou in Northern British Columbia: An Assessment of Range Condition and Population Status. Prepared for the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Victoria, B.C., and BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Smithers, B.C. Toronto, Canada: Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.44066

Abstract: Most populations of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in southern British Columbia (BC) have undergone dramatic declines, especially in the last 10-20 years, with seven herds already extirpated and another ten having fewer than 50 individuals. By comparison, information available on caribou numbers in northern BC suggests that populations are typically larger than in the south, but recent population estimates are not available for many herds, and quantitative information on their range condition is lacking. We know from abundant scientific information that caribou have a low tolerance for habitat disturbance, particularly from the combined impacts of anthropogenic (human-caused) habitat disturbance (e.g., from resource extraction activities and associated infrastructure) and fire, which results in changes to predator/prey dynamics. While not believed to be in as precarious a situation as their southern counterparts, there are still considerable concerns about the condition of northern caribou populations and their ranges, particularly due to: continued pressures from resource extraction activities, including mining, oil and gas exploration and development, and forest harvesting; roads associated with resource extraction, which can have wide impacts over large areas; and, limited information available about caribou population sizes and trends. In this report we assess the level of anthropogenic habitat disturbance and fire combined as an indicator of the condition of individual herds and their ranges. We also discuss potential future habitat trends, and review and summarize available information on population sizes and trends. This report is a summary of available technical information only. A much broader understanding of caribou in northern BC would be gained by the addition of Indigenous Knowledge.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 2 of 4

Cichowski, D., R. S. McNay and J. C. Ray (2022). Caribou in Northern British Columbia: An Assessment of Range Condition and Population Status: Appendix 3: Range Summaries. Toronto, Canada: Wildlife Conservation Society, Canada. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.44334

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 3 of 4

Kretser, H. E., M. Nuñez-Salas, J. Polisar and L. Maffei (Preprint). “Análisis de los instrumentos legales aplicables a la conservación del jaguar en su rango de distribución.” Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6657893

Abstract: El jaguar (Panthera onca) es uno de los cinco felinos del género Panthera que enfrenta amenazas para su conservación a nivel global. La Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (UICN) considera al jaguar como especie casi amenazada, y su población ha disminuido en un 25 % en los últimos 25 años. Actualmente, las poblaciones de jaguares se extienden de México a Argentina, con algunos especímenes registrados en Estados Unidos. En este artículo, compilamos y revisamos las protecciones legales que figuran en las constituciones nacionales, así como en normas de nivel legal e infralegal en los países donde se encuentra la especie, con el fin de identificar buenas prácticas legislativas. Entre ellas, listas nacionales de especies protegidas, leyes específicas de protección al jaguar, planes de gestión de la especie aprobados por el gobierno y regulaciones sobre conflictos entre humanos y fauna silvestre. Listamos también las sanciones administrativas y penales aplicables a supuestos de caza o comercio ilegal de fauna, y señalamos qué países permiten legalmente la caza de subsistencia, con fines deportivos o como resultado de conflicto. Recomendamos a estos países adoptar leyes específicas de protección al jaguar, así como establecer y actualizar sanciones administrativas y penales. Sugerimos modificar el lenguaje actual contenido en algunas normas para asegurar su comprensión, adopción e implementación, así como integrar planes de gestión no vinculantes al ordenamiento jurídico, y armonizar las políticas legales de estos países. Adicionalmente, proponemos una evaluación del tráfico ilegal de especies silvestres, el conflicto entre humanos y fauna silvestre, y el nivel de implementación de estas normas, entre otros criterios, para identificar brechas legales. Esta primera evaluación integral de la legislación aplicable al jaguar ilustra oportunidades para fortalecer la protección legal de la especie, al comparar la variedad de estructuras y enfoques utilizados en todo su rango de distribución.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 4 of 4

Zamudio-López, J. E. (2022). Escamas del llano: Guía de Peces del Distrito Nacional de Manejo Integrado Cinaruco, Arauca, Colombia. Cali, Colombia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia and Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia. https://library.wcs.org/en-us/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4432700000.aspx

Abstract: Esta obra es un ejercicio académico minucioso que reúne en una sola publicación la diversidad de peces del Distrito y brinda una herramienta didáctica para que las comunidades locales continúen conociendo, valorando, utilizando y manejando la biodiversidad de su territorio.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  21 June-4 July 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 1 of 17

Akramov, U., N. Najmiddinov, A. Ghoddousi, M. Khanyari, Z. Moheb et al. (2022). "Markhor Capra falconeri monitoring in Tajikistan shows population recovery." Oryx 56(4), 493. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605322000497

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 2 of 17

Allan, J. R., H. P. Possingham, S. C. Atkinson, ..., K. R. Jones et al. (2022). "The minimum land area requiring conservation attention to safeguard biodiversity." Science 376(6597), 1094-1101. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abl9127

Abstract: Ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global biodiversity crisis. In this study, we estimate the minimum land area to secure important biodiversity areas, ecologically intact areas, and optimal locations for representation of species ranges and ecoregions. We discover that at least 64 million square kilometers (44% of terrestrial area) would require conservation attention (ranging from protected areas to land-use policies) to meet this goal. More than 1.8 billion people live on these lands, so responses that promote autonomy, self-determination, equity, and sustainable management for safeguarding biodiversity are essential. Spatially explicit land-use scenarios suggest that 1.3 million square kilometers of this land is at risk of being converted for intensive human land uses by 2030, which requires immediate attention. However, a sevenfold difference exists between the amount of habitat converted in optimistic and pessimistic land-use scenarios, highlighting an opportunity to avert this crisis. Appropriate targets in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to encourage conservation of the identified land would contribute substantially to safeguarding biodiversity.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 3 of 17

Barnes, M. L., L. Jasny, A. Bauman, ..., J. T. Kuange et al. (Early View). "‘Bunkering down’: How one community is tightening social-ecological network structures in the face of global change." People and Nature. https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.10364

Abstract: 1. Complex networks of relationships among and between people and nature (social-ecological networks) play an important role in sustainability; yet, we have limited empirical understanding of their temporal dynamics. 2. We empirically examine the evolution of a social-ecological network in a common-pool resource system faced with escalating social and environmental change over the past two decades. 3. We first draw on quantitative and qualitative data collected between 2002 and 2018 in a Papua New Guinean reef fishing community to provide contextual evidence regarding the extent of social and environmental change being experienced. We then develop a temporal multilevel exponential random graph model using complete social-ecological network data, collected in 2016 and 2018, to test key hypotheses regarding how fishing households have adapted their social ties in this context of change given their relationships with reef resources (i.e. social-ecological ties). Specifically, we hypothesized that households will increasingly form tight-knit, bonding social and social-ecological network structures (H1 and H3, respectively) with similar others (H2), and that they will seek out resourceful actors with specialized knowledge that can promote learning and spur innovation (H4). 4. Our results depict a community that is largely ‘bunkering down’ and looking inward in response to mounting risk to resource-dependent livelihoods and a breakdown in the collaborative processes that traditionally sustained them. Community members are increasingly choosing to interact with others more like themselves (H2), with friends of friends (H1), and with those connected to interdependent ecological resources (H3)—in other words, they are showing a strong, increasing preference for forming bonding social-ecological network structures and interacting with like-minded, similar others. We did not find strong support for H4. 5. Bonding network structures may decrease the risk associated with unmonitored behaviour and help to build trust, thereby increasing the probability of sustaining cooperation over time. Yet, increasing homophily and bonding ties can stifle innovation, reducing the ability to adapt to changing conditions. It can also lead to clustering, creating fault lines in the network, which can negatively impact the community's ability to mobilize and agree on/enforce social norms, which are key for managing common resources.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 4 of 17

Correa, S. B., P. van der Sleen, S. F. Siddiqui, ..., M. Goulding and E. P. Anderson (In Press). "Biotic indicators for ecological state change in Amazonian floodplains." BioScience, biac038. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biac038

Abstract: Riverine floodplains are biologically diverse and productive ecosystems. Although tropical floodplains remain relatively conserved and ecologically functional compared to those at higher latitudes, they face accelerated hydropower development, climate change, and deforestation. Alterations to the flood pulse could act synergistically with other drivers of change to promote profound ecological state change at a large spatial scale. State change occurs when an ecosystem reaches a critical threshold or tipping point, which leads to an alternative qualitative state for the ecosystem. Visualizing an alternative state for Amazonian floodplains is not straightforward. Yet, it is critical to recognize that changes to the flood pulse could push tropical floodplain ecosystems over a tipping point with cascading adverse effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We characterize the Amazonian flood pulse regime, summarize evidence of flood pulse change, assess potential ecological repercussions, and provide a monitoring framework for tracking flood pulse change and detecting biotic responses.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 5 of 17

García-Borboroglu, P., L. M. Pozzi, A. M. Parma, P. Dell'Arciprete and P. Yorio (2022). "Population distribution shifts of Magellanic Penguins in northern Patagonia, Argentina: Implications for conservation and management strategies." Ocean & Coastal Management 226, e106259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2022.106259

Abstract: Wildlife populations are dynamic and changes in their spatial distribution and/or abundance at different locations may potentially change the scenarios under which conservation efforts should be allocated. To maximize success in management and/or conservation actions, regular monitoring and dynamic frameworks to re-adapt strategies are needed. Fluctuations in the size of penguin populations and shifts in the distribution pattern may reflect the combination of natural and anthropogenic alterations in their marine and coastal habitats where they forage and breed, respectively. This study updates information on the breeding distribution of Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) and their abundance along 1,200 km of coastline along its northernmost Atlantic breeding range, allowing to assess population trends at the colony level and to compare the status of the overall population at the regional scale. A total population of 643,070 pairs was estimated at 30 colonies, most of which were located on islands (70%). Colony size was highly variable, from 3 to 204,416 breeding pairs. Results show a clear northward redistribution with new recent settlements expanding the breeding range by 1° latitude. The overall breeding population in this coastal sector increased by about 19.7% (CI 10.7%–29.72%) from the mid-1990s to the 2015–2017 period. Growth rates varied among coastal sectors, but most colonies in the northernmost area (Rio Negro and northern Chubut) had consistently high rates of increase, while colonies in central and southern Chubut declined or remained relatively stable. Our results reflect the status of Magellanic penguins for over half of their global population and show considerable changes in their breeding distribution in a relatively short time. This dynamic scenario generates new conservation challenges, highlighting the importance of long-term monitoring and the need for coordination between resource managers of the different jurisdictions where Magellanic penguins breed.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 6 of 17

Gross, E. M., J. G. Pereira, T. Shaba, S. Bilério et al. (2022). "Exploring routes to coexistence: Developing and testing a human-elephant conflict-management framework for African elephant-range countries." Diversity 14(7), e525. https://doi.org/10.3390/d14070525

Abstract: Creating a future for elephants and people is a highly complex and dynamic challenge, involving social, behavioral, and ecological dimensions as well as multiple actors with various interests. To foster learning from human–elephant conflict (HEC) management projects and share best practices, a study was conducted to review the management of conflicts between elephants and humans in 12 African countries by qualitative expert interviews. Based on this information, a HEC management framework was developed in a two-tiered process. In the first phase, the theory of the framework was developed. In a second phase, the theoretical framework was validated and adjusted through stakeholder participation in two southern African projects (in Mozambique and Malawi). This holistic approach considers environmental as well as social, political, cultural, and economic factors directly or indirectly affecting interactions between people and wildlife. The framework integrates six interlinked strategies to guide managers and conservation practitioners to address HWC drivers and mitigate their impact. A legal environment and spatial planning form the basis of the framework. Social strategies, including meaningful stakeholder engagement and design of appropriate institutional structures and processes are considered the heart of the framework. Technical and financial strategies represent its arms and hands. At the top, monitoring steers all processes, provides feedback for adjustment, and informs decisions. The integration and coordination of these six strategies has great potential as a guiding route to human–wildlife coexistence in Africa and elsewhere.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 7 of 17

Huaranca, J. C., A. J. Novaro and C. E. Valdivia (2022). "Effects of livestock grazing on biodiversity: A meta-analysis on three trophic levels." Journal for Nature Conservation 66, e126126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2021.126126

Abstract: Livestock impact is one of the main causes of habitat loss globally. However, the effects of livestock on flora and fauna diversity have been contradictory, observing cases with positive, neutral, and negative effects. We performed a meta-analysis of the scientific information published in the last 15 years, using Google Scholar and WoS for the search. The inclusion criteria were if the studies presented a) changes in abundance, richness, biomass, plant cover, and consumers; b) included replicas; c) the size of the sample; d) study on domestic cattle, and e) reported the mean and standard deviation of effects of each treatment. We found 2450 scientific publications of which we selected 67 publications that reported the effects a) of grazing on the richness, abundance, cover, and biomass of plants (producers), and b) on richness and abundance of primary and secondary consumers, comparing grazed and non-grazed (or weakly grazed) environments. Grazing did not significantly affect the abundance of the plants or animals studied, regardless of whether they were primary or secondary consumers. The magnitude and direction of the observed effects on plants and consumers could be influenced by livestock type, the natural environments evaluated (forests, grasslands, or scrublands), the spatial and temporal scales involved, and the plant species origin (i.e., native versus non-native). The significant effect of livestock on plants and consumers, also can be differentiated in the characteristics of the species (e.g., life-history traits, etc.) that go beyond their position in the food chains. Evaluating the livestock grazing effect in more than one trophic level helps understand how grazing affects the species according to their way of life, in contrast to evaluations of a single trophic level.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 8 of 17

Innis, C. J., K. Conley, P. Gibbons, ..., J. Sykes, ..., N. T. T. Nga, I. Sebro et al. (In Press). "Veterinary observations and biological specimen use after a massive confiscation of Palawan forest turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis)." Chelonian Conservation and Biology 21(1). https://doi.org/10.2744/CCB-1510.1

Abstract: In 2015, nearly 4000 critically endangered Palawan forest turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis) were confiscated on their native island of Palawan in the Philippines after being illegally harvested for the international wildlife trade. Local conservation biologists and an international team of veterinary and husbandry personnel evaluated, treated, and repatriated the majority of turtles (88%) over a 3-mo period. Common pathologic findings included ophthalmic, dermatologic, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal lesions, including keratitis, osteomyelitis of the shell and digits, pododermatitis, and colonic nematodiasis. Hemogram results indicated severe leukocytosis in many individuals. Specimens for genetic analysis and molecular diagnostics were archived, and several intact carcasses were established as museum specimens. International collaboration may be required to ensure the confiscation and survival of illegally traded endangered wildlife, with ongoing efforts toward enhancing the law enforcement, husbandry, and veterinary capacity of range country personnel.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 9 of 17

Kretser, H. E., M. Nuñez-Salas, J. Polisar and L. Maffei (In Press). "A range-wide analysis of legal instruments applicable to jaguar conservation." Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy. https://doi.org/10.1080/13880292.2022.2077406 [Preprint: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6657625]

Abstract: The jaguar (Panthera onca) is one of five Panthera cats facing global conservation concerns. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers the jaguar to be Near Threatened, and its global population has declined by an estimated 25% in 25 years. Current jaguar populations range from Mexico to Argentina with some individuals confirmed in the United States. For this article we compile and review the legal protections categorized in the constitution, national laws, and infra-legal level in each of those countries to identify the presence of government-approved endangered species lists, specific jaguar protection laws, government-approved jaguar management plans and human?wildlife conflict regulations, and the administrative and criminal sanctions for hunting and wildlife trade. We also note which laws allowed for legal killings of jaguar for hunting, subsistence use or conflict. We recommend that countries adopt jaguar-specific protection laws, establish and update administrative and criminal penalties, modify existing legislative language to ensure improved adoption, enforcement and prosecution, recognize non-binding management practices through legal channels, and harmonize legal policies across countries. We propose additional reviews on illegal wildlife trafficking, human?wildlife conflict, and enforcement, among others, to continue identifying legal gaps. This first range-wide assessment of and perspective on jaguar legislation illustrates opportunities for strengthening legal protections by comparing the variety of structures and approaches employed to conserve this important species.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 10 of 17

Omeyer, L. C. M., T. J. McKinley, N. Bréheret, ..., A. Bitsindou, E. Chauvet, T. Collins, B. K. Curran, A. Formia, ..., H. VanLeeuwe and K. Metcalfe (2022). "Missing data in sea turtle population monitoring: A Bayesian statistical framework accounting for incomplete sampling." Frontiers in Marine Science 9, e817014. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.817014

Abstract: Monitoring how populations respond to sustained conservation measures is essential to detect changes in their population status and determine the effectiveness of any interventions. In the case of sea turtles, their populations are difficult to assess because of their complicated life histories. Ground-derived clutch counts are most often used as an index of population size for sea turtles; however, data are often incomplete with varying sampling intensity within and among sites and seasons. To address these issues, we: (1) develop a Bayesian statistical modelling framework that can be used to account for sampling uncertainties in a robust probabilistic manner within a given site and season; and (2) apply this to a previously unpublished long-term sea turtle dataset (n = 17 years) collated for the Republic of the Congo, which hosts two sympatrically nesting species of sea turtle (leatherback turtle [Dermochelys coriacea] and olive ridley turtle [Lepidochelys olivacea]). The results of this analysis suggest that leatherback turtle nesting levels dropped initially and then settled into quasi-cyclical levels of interannual variability, with an average of 573 (mean, 95% prediction interval: 554–626) clutches laid annually between 2012 and 2017. In contrast, nesting abundance for olive ridley turtles has increased more recently, with an average of 1,087 (mean, 95% prediction interval: 1,057–1,153) clutches laid annually between 2012 and 2017. These findings highlight the regional and global importance of this rookery with the Republic of the Congo, hosting the second largest documented populations of olive ridley and the third largest for leatherback turtles in Central Africa; and the fourth largest non-arribada olive ridley rookery globally. Furthermore, whilst the results show that Congo’s single marine and coastal national park provides protection for over half of sea turtle clutches laid in the country, there is scope for further protection along the coast. Although large parts of the African coastline remain to be adequately monitored, the modelling approach used here will be invaluable to inform future status assessments for sea turtles given that most datasets are temporally and spatially fragmented.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 11 of 17

Prost, S., A. P. Machado, J. Zumbroich, ..., L. T. B. Hunter et al. (Accepted Article). "Genomic analyses show extremely perilous conservation status of African and Asiatic cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)." Molecular Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16577

Abstract: We live in a world characterised by biodiversity loss and global environmental change. The extinction of large carnivores can have ramifying effects on ecosystems like an uncontrolled increase in wild herbivores, which in turn can have knock-on impacts on vegetation regeneration and communities. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) serve important ecosystem functions as apex predators; yet, they are quickly heading towards an uncertain future. Threatened by habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and illegal trafficking, there are only approximately 7,100 individuals remaining in nature. We present the most comprehensive genome-wide analysis of cheetah phylogeography and conservation genomics to date, assembling samples from nearly the entire current and past species' range. We show that their phylogeography is more complex than previously thought, and that East African cheetahs (A. j. raineyi) are genetically distinct from Southern African individuals (A. j. jubatus), warranting their recognition as a distinct subspecies. We found strong genetic differentiation between all classically recognised subspecies, thus refuting earlier findings that cheetahs show only little differentiation. The strongest differentiation was observed between the Asiatic and all the African subspecies. We detected high inbreeding in the Critically Endangered Iranian (A. j. venaticus) and North-western (A. j. hecki) subspecies, and show that overall cheetahs, along with snow leopards, have the lowest genome-wide heterozygosity of all the big cats. This further emphasizes the cheetah’s perilous conservation status. Our results provide novel and important information on cheetah phylogeography that can support evidence-based conservation policy decisions to help protect this species. This is especially relevant in light of ongoing and proposed translocations across subspecies boundaries, and the increasing threats of illegal trafficking.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 12 of 17

Reinking, A. K., S. Højlund Pedersen, K. Elder, N. T. Boelman, T. W. Glass et al. (2022). "Collaborative wildlife–snow science: Integrating wildlife and snow expertise to improve research and management." Ecosphere 13(6), e4094. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.4094

Abstract: For wildlife inhabiting snowy environments, snow properties such as onset date, depth, strength, and distribution can influence many aspects of ecology, including movement, community dynamics, energy expenditure, and forage accessibility. As a result, snow plays a considerable role in individual fitness and ultimately population dynamics, and its evaluation is, therefore, important for comprehensive understanding of ecosystem processes in regions experiencing snow. Such understanding, and particularly study of how wildlife–snow relationships may be changing, grows more urgent as winter processes become less predictable and often more extreme under global climate change. However, studying and monitoring wildlife–snow relationships continue to be challenging because characterizing snow, an inherently complex and constantly changing environmental feature, and identifying, accessing, and applying relevant snow information at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, often require a detailed understanding of physical snow science and technologies that typically lie outside the expertise of wildlife researchers and managers. We argue that thoroughly assessing the role of snow in wildlife ecology requires substantive collaboration between researchers with expertise in each of these two fields, leveraging the discipline-specific knowledge brought by both wildlife and snow professionals. To facilitate this collaboration and encourage more effective exploration of wildlife–snow questions, we provide a five-step protocol: (1) identify relevant snow property information; (2) specify spatial, temporal, and informational requirements; (3) build the necessary datasets; (4) implement quality control procedures; and (5) incorporate snow information into wildlife analyses. Additionally, we explore the types of snow information that can be used within this collaborative framework. We illustrate, in the context of two examples, field observations, remote-sensing datasets, and four example modeling tools that simulate spatiotemporal snow property distributions and, in some cases, evolutions. For each type of snow data, we highlight the collaborative opportunities for wildlife and snow professionals when designing snow data collection efforts, processing snow remote sensing products, producing tailored snow datasets, and applying the resulting snow information in wildlife analyses. We seek to provide a clear path for wildlife professionals to address wildlife–snow questions and improve ecological inference by integrating the best available snow science through collaboration with snow professionals.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 13 of 17

Sadarahalli, U. P., G. N. Manjunatha, T. C. Kuttappa, A. Sheshagiri and M. Kumbar (In Press). "Application of Pseudomonas strains for biocontrol of commercial crops susceptible to plant pathogens: A review." Agricultural Reviews. https://doi.org/10.18805/ag.R-245

Abstract: Indiscriminate use of chemicals as fertilizers and pesticides gives rise to substantial harm to the environment and ecosystem along with animals and humans. More importantly, to replace such hazardous agrochemicals, many biological solutions are available in nature which is present in the form of microorganisms having the capacity to promote plant growth substantially. Pseudomonas play a major role in plants like inducing systemic resistance, colonizing plant roots or tissue interior, helping in modulating plant hormone levels, biological control of pathogens and more over regulating the growth-related genes in plants. The fluorescent pseudomonads belong to plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and many strains of pseudomonas are well known to enhance plant growth promotion and decrease the severity of many diseases. Biocontrol strains of pseudomonas in plant bioassays synthesize one or more several antibiotic compounds. In vitro, these antibiotics have been proven as inhibitory compounds and have exhibited active responses for plant health management in field conditions. The current study mainly relies on the effective use of Pseudomonas spp. as a potential biocontrol agent for the biological control of many diseases in agriculture and horticultural crops

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 14 of 17

Seifert, S. N., R. J. Fischer, E. Kuisma, C. Goma-Nkoua, G. Bounga, M.-J. Akongo, ..., S. D. Kaba, ..., A. I. Ondzie, ..., S. H. Olson, C. Walzer et al. (2022). "Zaire ebolavirus surveillance near the Bikoro region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the 2018 outbreak reveals presence of seropositive bats." PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 16(6), e0010504. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0010504

Abstract: On the 8th of May, 2018, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) was declared, originating in the Bikoro region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) near the border with neighboring Republic of the Congo (ROC). Frequent trade and migration occur between DRC and ROC-based communities residing along the Congo River. In June 2018, a field team was deployed to determine whether Zaire ebolavirus (Ebola virus (EBOV)) was contemporaneously circulating in local bats at the human-animal interface in ROC near the Bikoro EVD outbreak. Samples were collected from bats in the Cuvette and Likouala departments, ROC, bordering the Équateur Province in DRC where the Bikoro EVD outbreak was first detected. EBOV genomic material was not detected in bat-derived samples by targeted quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or by family-level consensus polymerase chain reaction; however, serological data suggests recent exposure to EBOV in bats in the region. We collected serum from 144 bats in the Cuvette department with 6.9% seropositivity against the EBOV glycoprotein and 14.3% seropositivity for serum collected from 27 fruit bats and one Molossinae in the Likouala department. We conclude that proactive investment in longitudinal sampling for filoviruses at the human-animal interface, coupled with ecological investigations are needed to identify EBOV wildlife reservoirs.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 15 of 17

Sophanna, L., U. Sovannara, S. Visal, S. Virak, H. Chamnan et al. (2022). "Waterbirds". In C. Yoshimura, R. Khanal and U. Sovannara [eds.], Water and Life in Tonle Sap Lake, 355-365. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-6632-2_34

Abstract: In the floodplain, dense gallery forests, shrublands, large grasslands, exposed mud areas, and seasonally isolated ponds are favorable feeding and breeding grounds for bird species in Tonle Sap Lake. They are home to a number of globally threatened and near-threatened species. Prek Toal, one of the Ramsar sites, hosts around 135 bird species, of which five are globally threatened and another five are near-threatened. Currently, Prek Toal is the last breeding site in mainland Southeast Asia for the near-threatened spot-billed pelican and endangered milky stork, highlighting the importance of this Ramsar site. The northern Tonle Sap-protected landscape is a favorable site for the critically endangered Bengal Florican, owing to its vast grassland. Since 2004, there has been a marked increase in the total number of breeding pairs of many important waterbird species, namely, greater adjutant, lesser adjutant, spot-billed pelican, milky stork, painted stork, oriental darter, and Asian openbill. However, their habitats in TSL are under severe threats as the result of flooded forest fires, intensification and expansion of agriculture activities, hydrological alteration, and other negative impacts of human development.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 16 of 17

Talwar, B. S., B. Anderson, C. G. Avalos-Castillo, ..., P. A. Mejía-Falla et al. (Early View). "Extinction risk, reconstructed catches and management of chondrichthyan fishes in the Western Central Atlantic Ocean." Fish and Fisheries. https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12675

Abstract: Chondrichthyan fishes are among the most threatened vertebrates on the planet because many species have slow life histories that are outpaced by intense fishing. The Western Central Atlantic Ocean, which includes the Greater Caribbean, is a hotspot of chondrichthyan biodiversity and abundance, but has been characterized by extensive shark and ray fisheries and a lack of sufficient data for effective management and conservation. To inform future research and management decisions, we analysed patterns in chondrichthyan extinction risk, reconstructed catches and management engagement in this region. We summarized the extinction risk of 180 sharks, rays and chimaeras, including 66 endemic and 14 near-endemic species, using contemporary IUCN Red List assessments. Over one-third (35.6%) were assessed as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered, primarily due to overfishing. Reconstructed catches from 1950 to 2016 peaked in 1992, then declined by 40.2% thereafter. The United States, Venezuela and Mexico were responsible for most catches in the region and hosted the largest proportions of the regional distributions of threatened species, largely due to having extensive coastal habitats in their Exclusive Economic Zones. The quantity and taxonomic resolution of fisheries landings data were poor in much of the region, and national-level regulations varied widely across jurisdictions. Deepwater fisheries represent an emerging threat, although many deepwater chondrichthyans currently have refuge beyond the depths of most fisheries. Regional collaboration as well as effective and enforceable management informed by more complete fisheries data, particularly from small-scale fisheries, are required to protect and recover threatened species and ensure sustainable fisheries.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations 17 of 17

Tiller, L. N., E. Oniba, G. Opira et al. (2022). "'Smelly' elephant repellent: Assessing the efficacy of a novel olfactory approach to mitigating elephant crop raiding in Uganda and Kenya." Diversity 14(7), e509. https://doi.org/10.3390/d14070509

Abstract: Human–elephant conflict is increasing across many parts of Asia and Africa. Mitigating elephant crop raiding has become a major focus of conservation intervention, however, many existing methods for tackling this problem are expensive and difficult to execute. Thus, there is a need for more affordable, farm-based methods. Testing these methods is key to ensuring their effectiveness and feasibility. In this study, we tested a novel olfactory deterrent, the “smelly elephant repellent”, a foul-smelling organic liquid, on 40 farms in Uganda and Kenya. Our results show that the repellent was effective at deterring elephants from crop raiding. Over the study period, 82% of 309 elephant crop raids were deterred in Uganda. In Kenya, the repellent deterred 63% of 24 crop raiding incidents, and there was a significant effect of the repellent on test sites compared with control sites. The smelly repellent could be a helpful crop raiding mitigation tool for farmers, as this study showed it to be effective, relatively cheap, quick to produce from locally available ingredients, and communities have a positive attitude towards using it. Ongoing work is exploring the potential for a market-based approach to take this to scale in a financially sustainable way.

 

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations 1 of 4

Batpurev, K., C. Liu, S. J. Sinclair, O. Avirmed and K. Olson (2022). Monitoring the Condition of Rangelands in the Gobi Desert: Monitoring Strategies to Detect Change. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 337. Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia: The State of Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. https://www.ari.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0031/576913/ARI-Technical-Report-337-Monitoring-Rangeland-Condition-in-Gobi-Desert.pdf

Abstract: Context: Overgrazing of rangelands has become a signifciant issue in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. The South Gobi Cashmere Project (SGCP, part of the mitigation for the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine) intends to reduce grazing pressure by working with about 130-140 herding families to reduce their livestock numbers in exchange for certification and improved market access. SGCP is supported by a monitoring program that aims to assess whether the mitigation target is achieved: a 10 percentage point improvement in rangeland condition in the SGCP area, compared to a control area, measured by a published metric devised by the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. Monitoring commenced in 2017 and has been conducted annually by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). No on-ground action has yet occurred that would be expected to result in reduced grazing intensity, so all monitoring data available at the time of writing is considered pre-treatment data. The intervention program will begin shortly. It is timely to review the monitoring scheme and ensure it is likely to detect the anticipated change in rangeland condition. The Arthur Rylah Institute has been contracted by WCS to examine the monitoring data and provide advice. Aims: ARI committed to provide WCS with: • a review of the existing monitoring data, to understand any trends or patterns that influence the condition score, and are likely to be relevant to the design of a monitoring program, • a quantitative power analysis, using simulations informed by the existing data to assess the probability of detecting a 10 percentage point increase in condition score, under different sampling strategies, and • practical recommendations about the design of the future monitoring program. Methods: WCS provided all monitoring data between 2017 and 2021. We developed data visualisations to summarise the main patterns apparent in the data. We then used the monitoring data to structure a quantitative power analysis, which enabled us to examine the effect of sampling pastures of different numbers of families, with different levels of within-family replication and different spatial arrangements of plots, in summer-grazed or winter-grazed pastures. Results: We found that the SGCP project is being undertaken in a region of the Gobi Desert with particularly low rainfall and low vegetation condition. The SGCP area has similar stocking rates to the rest of the Gobi region. This suggests that the location of the program is well chosen. We confirmed that condition scores relate to rainfall (positive relationship) and grazing pressure (negative relationship), as expected. We found that the most important factor in increasing power was to increase the number of family pastures sampled (SGCP and non-SGCP). Of secondary importance is ensuring that each family’s pasture is sampled by multiple plots (3-6). We weigh up the benefits of sampling in summer or winter pastures. Conclusions and implications: We provide specific recommendations to WCS that may be used (alongside practical considerations of cost and logistics) to alter the design of the monitoring strategy in a way that improves the chance of detecting the impacts of the SGCP.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations 2 of 4

Mukhacheva, A. S., E. V. Bragina, D. G. Miquelle, H. E. Kretser and V. V. Derugina (Preprint). “Local attitudes toward Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) conservation in the Russian Far East.” Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6800046

Abstract: Public support is a necessary component of large carnivore conservation. We analysed public opinion on Amur tigers, Panthera tigris altaica, in Russia’s Far East, the northernmost stronghold of the world’s rarest big cat. We surveyed 1035 people in 5 settlements at increasing distances to tiger habitat. Overall support for tiger conservation was high (95.4%), although lower in more rural communities—especially among hunters—with limited socio-economic opportunities, and where tigers pose a higher perceived threat to livelihoods. Nearly 20% of respondents supported lethal removal of individual problem tigers that posed a threat to humans. Non-hunters, higher-income earners, and people who rated their communities’ pre-college education positively showed less support for even such restricted killing of tigers. Hunters were more likely to support the idea of legalising tiger hunting (hunting tigers is a felony in Russia), and less likely to attribute tiger decline primarily to poaching. Despite strong support for tiger conservation in both urban and rural settings, a subset of the local populace is still engaged in poaching and trading of tigers, making improved situational crime prevention a needed focus of future efforts, alongside behaviour change campaigns promoting active resistance to poaching among tiger supporters.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations 3 of 4

Sosa Botero, C. and L. Buitrago Garzón (2022). Cacao Agroforestal Amazónico: Planes De Negocio y Mecanismos de Financiación. Cali, Colombia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia. https://library.wcs.org/en-us/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4429500000.aspx

Abstract: Esta publicación reúne indicaciones para la generación de un plan de negocio y su articulación con la oferta de financiación para sistemas agroforestales de cacao en la Amazonía. Se espera que pueda servir como una guía general para facilitar el proceso de acceso a incentivos e instrumentos financieros, como el crédito.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations 4 of 4

Talwar, B. S., B. Anderson, C. G. Avalos-Castillo, ..., P. A. Mejía-Falla et al. (Preprint). “Extinction risk, reconstructed catches, and management of chondrichthyan fishes in the Western Central Atlantic Ocean.” bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.26.477854

Abstract: Chondrichthyan fishes are among the most threatened vertebrates on the planet because many species have slow life histories that are outpaced by intense fishing. The Western Central Atlantic Ocean, which includes the greater Caribbean, is a hotspot of chondrichthyan biodiversity and abundance, but is historically characterized by extensive shark and ray fisheries and a lack of sufficient data for effective management and conservation. To inform future research and management decisions, we analyzed patterns in chondrichthyan extinction risk, reconstructed catches, and regulations in this region. We summarized the extinction risk of 180 sharks, rays, and chimaeras using contemporary IUCN Red List assessments and found that over one-third (35.6%) were assessed as Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered largely due to fishing. Reconstructed catches from 1950 to 2016 reached their peak in 1992, then declined by 40.2% through the end of the series. The United States, Venezuela, and Mexico were responsible for most catches and hosted large proportions of the regional distributions of threatened species; these countries therefore held the greatest responsibility for chondrichthyan management. The abundance and resolution of fisheries landings data were poor in much of the region, and national-level regulations varied widely across jurisdictions. Deepwater fisheries represent an emerging threat, although many deepwater chondrichthyans currently find refuge beyond the depths of most fisheries. Regional collaboration as well as effective and enforceable management informed by more complete fisheries data, particularly from small-scale fisheries, are required to protect and recover threatened species and ensure sustainable fisheries.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  14-20 June 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 16

Amorntiyangkul, P., A. Pattanavibool, W. Ochakul et al. (2022). "Dynamic occupancy of wild asian elephant: A case study based on the SMART database from the Western Forest Complex in Thailand " Environmental and Natural Resources Journal 20(3), 320-322. https://doi.org/10.32526/ennrj/20/202200005

Abstract: Understanding distribution patterns is essential for the long-term conservation of megafauna, particularly the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). We investigated the dynamic occupancy of Asian elephants in the Thung Yai Naresuan West Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand. Asian elephant occurrences were recorded during patrol activities from 2012 to 2019. We applied a single-species dynamic occupancy model to examine the environmental factors influencing habitat occupancy of Asian elephant across multiple seasons. The best-supported model, based on the Akaike information criterion (AIC), indicated that the normalized difference vegetation index and elevation positively influenced the probability of colonization. In contrast, the distance to the nearest population source sites showed a negative association. The probability of local extinction was positively correlated with the distance to the nearest villages and population source sites. The predictive map indicated a higher probability of colonization in a remote mountainous region of the center of the protected area. Higher extinction probability was associated with areas of dense human activity and far from population source sites connecting the Asian elephant population to the east. This is the first study to utilize a patrol database for assessing the dynamic occupancy of Asian elephants across multiple years. Our model provides insight into the dynamic distribution patterns of Asian elephants within the wildlife sanctuary and the factors that most influence these patterns. Long-term ecological data provide crucial information for assessing biodiversity, population status, and the ecological processes of focal wildlife species and are valuable for both protected area management and conservation efforts.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 16

Campagna, C. and D. Guevara (2022). "“Save the whales” for their natural goodness.” In  Marine Mammals: the Evolving Human Factor, G. Notarbartolo di Sciara and B. Würsig [eds.], 397-424. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-98100-6_13

Abstract: Could the songs of the humpback whale be a reason for judging commercial whaling morally wrong? Something similar to that, we argue, was in fact judged in the 1970–80s, during the heyday of the Save the Whales movement. Some whale experts of the new era of field naturalists advocated for anti-whaling by reasoning like this: “because humpback whales ‘sing’ they cannot be slaughtered.” The natural history of whales and the judging of whaling as ethically wrong were connected by the logic of the language used to express both. We will discuss a possible philosophical ground for this connection, in the theory of Natural Goodness (NG), advanced by philosopher Philippa Foot, and based on philosopher Michael Thompson’s work on the logic and language of the “forms of life.” Natural goodness is the good of a creature satisfying the necessities of its life form. This is the primary value of life and it consists in the relation between life form and a particular bearer of the form (or “representative” of the form, as we will sometimes say). Thus, slaughtering whales is wrong primarily because it violates that relation. We explain the rationale and ethical power of this apparently simplistic statement by revisiting a movement whose effectiveness lay in its ethical commitment to forms of life other than human. The theory of NG provides a general, naturalistic standard for normative judgments about any and all living things. Our contribution to the theory is to show how NG serves as the primary standard for evaluating our treatment of other life forms such as marine mammals, and as an ethical grounding for conservation practice.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 16

Chaney, S. B., M. Loewinger, D. Doherty, C. M. McCann, K. J. Conley, D. McAloose, A. Rosenberg and J. M. Sykes IV (2022). "The use of intradermal skin testing and hyposensitization injections to control seasonal dermatitis in greater one-horned rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros unicornis)." Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 53(2), 485-491. https://doi.org/10.1638/2021-0129

Abstract: Allergic dermatitis was diagnosed in a 25-yr-old female greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) and her 6-yr-old female offspring by skin biopsy, intradermal skin testing (IDST), and allergen-specific serum IgE testing. Dam and offspring presented with seasonal, erosive, and ulcerative dermatitis affecting the face, legs, and trunk starting at 6 and 2 yr of age, respectively. IDST was performed at the caudal pinnal base using 61 regionally specific allergens. Specific serum allergen responses were detected using Heska's Equine ALLERCEPT® Allergen Panel. Histopathology of the lesions was consistent with an allergic etiology. Injectable allergen-specific immunotherapy was initiated in both animals and within 6 to 18 mon after commencing hyposensitization clinical improvement was noted. This report documents a repeatable methodology for IDST and serological allergen testing for use in rhinoceroses. The hyposensitization protocol detailed here can help guide future treatment protocols.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 16

Forsythe, A., N. Fontaine, J. Bissonnette, ..., C. Lausen et al. (2022). "Microbial isolates with Anti-Pseudogymnoascus destructans activities from Western Canadian bat wings." Scientific Reports 12, e9895. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-14223-9

Abstract: Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) is the causative agent of white-nose syndrome, which has resulted in the death of millions of bats in North America (NA) since 2006. Based on mortalities in eastern NA, the westward spread of infections likely poses a significant threat to western NA bats. To help prevent/reduce Pd infections in bats in western NA, we isolated bacteria from the wings of wild bats and screened for inhibitory activity against Pd. In total, we obtained 1,362 bacterial isolates from 265 wild bats of 13 species in western Canada. Among the 1,362 isolates, 96 showed inhibitory activity against Pd based on a coculture assay. The inhibitory activities varied widely among these isolates, ranging from slowing fungal growth to complete inhibition. Interestingly, host bats containing isolates with anti-Pd activities were widely distributed, with no apparent geographic or species-specific pattern. However, characteristics of roosting sites and host demography showed significant associations with the isolation of anti-Pd bacteria. Specifically, anthropogenic roosts and swabs from young males had higher frequencies of anti-Pd bacteria than those from natural roosts and those from other sex and age-groups, respectively. These anti-Pd bacteria could be potentially used to help mitigate the impact of WNS. Field trials using these as well as additional microbes from future screenings are needed in order to determine their effectiveness for the prevention and treatment against WNS.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 16

Franklin, A., A. Sandrin, S. Asaha, C. Abid and N. Kabangu (2022). "Insect farming in support of wildlife conservation efforts in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, D.R. Congo." Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 8(Supplement 1). https://www.wageningenacademic.com/toc/jiff/8/Supplement+1

Abstract: The trade in bushmeat (i.e. wildlife harvested for human consumption) provides a critical source of income and protein to rural communities throughout the Congo Basin. The growing demand for bushmeat by a burgeoning human population has led to overhunting and threatens many wildlife species with extinction. For example, between 2011 and 2018, within the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR), Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), okapi, bush pigs, and several species of primate and forest antelope have experienced significant population declines due to illegal hunting. To protect the welfare of humans and wildlife alike, replacing bushmeat-based livelihoods with alternative income-generating activities that also provide an affordable source of protein to meet the population’s nutritional needs is paramount. Because wild- harvested larvae of the African palm weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) is a popular seasonal protein in the Congo Basin, palm weevil larvae (PWL) farming is one such alternative. Farms for Orphans and the Wildlife Conservation Society are collaborating on a pilot project evaluating the efficacy of PWL farming at the household (hh) level in three villages within the OWR. Community surveys indicated >93% of respondents consume PWL when in season, >80% of respondents were interested in PWL farming and >90% of respondents were willing to consume farmed PWL. A demonstration farm was built in the village of Epulu, 38 people were trained in PWL farming techniques and farming materials for hh farms were distributed. One bin of breeding palm weevils and substrate, costing $3.20 USD, can produce 75 edible larvae (0.5 kg) every month. Thus, a small-scale PWL farmer harvesting 20 bins monthly can yield 10 kg PWL, bolstering hh nutrition. At $0.10 USD/larvae, this same farmer can make a net profit of $86 USD/month, compared to $45 USD/month for a commercial hunter. PWL farming is a promising approach to provide alternative livelihoods and year-round access to a preferred protein to communities surrounding critical wildlife habitat in the DRC and beyond.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 16

Galves, J., C. G. Galves, N. Auil Gomez et al. (FirstView). "Analysis of a long-term dataset of Antillean manatee strandings in Belize: Implications for conservation." Oryx. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605321000983

Abstract: We analysed 23 years of data on strandings of the Antillean manatee Trichechus manatus manatus in Belize, documented by the Belize Marine Mammal Stranding Network, to examine the threats to this population. A total of 451 stranding incidents were reported, of which 376 (83.4%) cases were verified. A total of 286 (63.4%) of the incidents occurred within Belize District, where the number of strandings has almost tripled since 2009. Watercraft collisions accounted for the highest number of strandings, with 131 confirmed cases, and is the leading cause of anthropogenic mortality for this population. Collision with watercraft is an emerging and major threat to manatees in Belize, and is correlated with increases in human activity, in particular associated with tourism. This finding of high levels of manatee deaths in Belize is consistent with trends previously reported for manatees in Florida and Puerto Rico. This work can provide guidance to detect and address similar patterns of mortality in other Antillean manatee populations across the species' range. There is a need for greater awareness of the threats facing the species and its habitat, for stakeholder partnerships to address these threats, implementation of legislation for the protection of manatees, and consistent enforcement of regulations to protect this population. Boating regulations, such as no-wake zones within areas of high manatee presence, as well as regulation of tourism boating activities, need to be implemented to reduce the threats to the species.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 16

Heilpern, S. A., S. A. Sethi, R. B. Barthem, ..., M. Goulding et al. (2022). "Biodiversity underpins fisheries resilience to exploitation in the Amazon river basin." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 289(1976), e20220726. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2022.0726

Abstract: Inland fisheries feed greater than 150 million people globally, yet their status is rarely assessed due to their socio-ecological complexity and pervasive lack of data. Here, we leverage an unprecedented landings time series from the Amazon, Earth's largest river basin, together with theoretical food web models to examine (i) taxonomic and trait-based signatures of exploitation in inland fish landings and (ii) implications of changing biodiversity for fisheries resilience. In both landings time series and theory, we find that multi-species exploitation of diverse inland fisheries results in a hump-shaped landings evenness curve. Along this trajectory, abundant and large species are sequentially replaced with faster growing and smaller species. Further theoretical analysis indicates that harvests can be maintained for a period of time but that continued biodiversity depletion reduces the pool of compensating species and consequently diminishes fisheries resilience. Critically, higher fisheries biodiversity can delay fishery collapse. Although existing landings data provide an incomplete snapshot of long-term dynamics, our results suggest that multi-species exploitation is affecting freshwater biodiversity and eroding fisheries resilience in the Amazon. More broadly, we conclude that trends in landings evenness could characterize multi-species fisheries development and aid in assessing their sustainability.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 16

Houde, M., E. M. Krümmel, T. Mustonen, ..., M. Robards et al. (In Press). "Contributions and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples to the study of mercury in the Arctic." Science of the Total Environment, e156566. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156566

Abstract: Arctic Indigenous Peoples are among the most exposed humans when it comes to foodborne mercury (Hg). In response, Hg monitoring and research have been on-going in the circumpolar Arctic since about 1991; this work has been mainly possible through the involvement of Arctic Indigenous Peoples. The present overview was initially conducted in the context of a broader assessment of Hg research organized by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. This article provides examples of Indigenous Peoples' contributions to Hg monitoring and research in the Arctic, and discusses approaches that could be used, and improved upon, when carrying out future activities. Over 40 mercury projects conducted with/by Indigenous Peoples are identified for different circumpolar regions including the U.S., Canada, Greenland, Sweden, Finland, and Russia as well as instances where Indigenous Knowledge contributed to the understanding of Hg contamination in the Arctic. Perspectives and visions of future Hg research as well as recommendations are presented. The establishment of collaborative processes and partnerships/co-production approaches with scientists and Arctic Indigenous Peoples, using good communication practices and transparency in research activities, are key to the success of research and monitoring activities in the Arctic. Sustainable funding for community-driven monitoring and research programs in Arctic countries would be beneficial and assist in developing more research/monitoring capacity and would promote a more holistic approach to understanding Hg in the Arctic. These activities should be well connected to circumpolar/international initiatives to ensure broader availability of the information and uptake in policy development.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 16

Lok, S., T. N. H. Lau, B. Trost, ..., E. Stacy, L. P. Waits, M. Scrafford and S. W. Scherer (Accepted Article). "Chromosomal-level reference genome assembly of the North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus): A resource for conservation genomics." G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics, jkac138. https://doi.org/10.1093/g3journal/jkac138

Abstract: We report a chromosomal-level genome assembly of a male North American wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus) from the Kugluktuk region of Nunavut, Canada. The genome was assembled directly from long-reads, comprising: 758 contigs with a contig N50 of 36.6 Mb; contig L50 of 20; base count of 2.39 Gb; and a near complete representation (99.98%) of the BUSCO 5.2.2 set of 9,226 genes. A presumptive chromosomal-level assembly was generated by scaffolding against two chromosomal-level Mustelidae reference genomes, the ermine and the Eurasian river otter, to derive a final scaffold N50 of 144.0 Mb and a scaffold L50 of 7. We annotated a comprehensive set of genes that have been associated with models of aggressive behaviour, a trait for which the wolverine is purported to have in the popular literature. To support an integrated, genomics-based wildlife management strategy at a time of environmental disruption from climate change, we also annotated the principal genes of the innate immune system to provide a resource to study the wolverine’s susceptibility to new infectious and parasitic diseases. As an illustrative example, we annotated genes involved in the modality of infection by the coronaviruses, an important class of viral pathogens of growing concern as shown by the recent spillover infections by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 to naïve wildlife. Tabulation of heterozygous single nucleotide variants in our specimen revealed a heterozygosity level of 0.065%, indicating a relatively diverse genetic pool that would serve as a baseline for the genomics-based conservation of the wolverine, a rare cold-adapted carnivore now under threat.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 10 of 16

Platt, S. G., O. Thongsavath, S. C. Leslie et al. (In Press). "On the occurrence of the Khorat snail-eating turtle (Malayemys khoratensis) in Lao People's Democratic Republic with notes on traditional ecological knowledge and exploitation." Chelonian Conservation and Biology. https://doi.org/10.2744/CCB-1525.1

Abstract: The Khorat snail-eating turtle (Malayemys khoratensis) is a recently described (2016), poorly studied freshwater turtle known from the Khorat Plateau in Thailand and a small area near Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic. We investigated the occurrence and natural history of M. khoratensis during field surveys of Xe Champhone Ramsar Site (XCRS) and Nong Louang Wetland Complex (NLWC) in Savannakhet Province, and also examined museum specimens and published and unpublished photographs of Malayemys spp. from Lao. Our field surveys confirmed the occurrence of M. khoratensis in the XCRS and NLWC, where populations remain subject to harvest at levels unlikely to be sustainable. We examined 7 museum specimens from Vientiane, Savannakhet, Khammouan, and Champasak provinces. Museum specimens from Vientiane, Savannakhet, and Khammouan provinces were referable to M. khoratensis. Published photographs confirm the occurrence of M. khoratensis in Vientiane Province, and Malayemys subtrijuga in Champasak Province. Collectively, our records extend the geographic distribution of K. khoratensis by &gt; 300 km from previously reported localities. We posit the existence of a biogeographic barrier in southern Lao and adjacent Thailand that separates the allopatrically occurring M. khoratensis and M. subtrijuga.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 11 of 16

Rasal, V., M. Dhakad and D. Khandal (2022). "Ecological invasion of the giant African snail Lissachatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822) in a semi-arid forest of western India." Biodiversity Observations 12, 60-64. https://doi.org/10.15641/bo.876

Abstract: The giant African snail Lissachatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822) (also known as Achatina fulica) is indigenous to the coastal region of con-tinental East Africa. It is one of the most invasive ecological pests in the world and threatens native flora, agriculture, human and animal health outside its natural range. While dry and semi-arid climatic re-gions are supposed to be immune to its invasion, our data show that this is not always the case. Ranthambhore National Park is dry, de-ciduous forest located in semi-arid part of western India. We have observed the progressive invasion of L. fulica in this fragile land-scape since its first introduction in 2010. Subsequently, it has spread over a large area at an alarming rate. We discuss the observations on behaviour and the factors responsible for the rapid spread of L. fulica in the park.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 12 of 16

Tejedor, A., L. Fernando Giraldo Gallego, G. Calatayud and M. Lehnert (2022). "Cyathea fabiolae (Cyatheaceae, Polypodiopsida), a new scaly tree fern from the northern Andes." Phytotaxa 550(2), 201-207. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.550.2.9  

Abstract: A new species of Cyathea is described for Peru and Ecuador. The new species differs from congeners by a combination of traits including glabrescent and scurfless mature axes abaxially, concolorous orange-brown petiole scales, winged costae, and lack of indusium. It is illustrated and compared to similar species, and its biogeography is discussed.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 13 of 16

Valencia Velasco, J. D., F. A. Estela, E. Fierro-Calderón, L. Valenzuela and D. Osorio-Domínguez (2022). "Densidad y uso de hábitat de la pava caucana (Penelope perspicax) en los Farallones de Cali, Colombia." Biota Colombiana 23(1), e1003. https://doi.org/10.21068/2539200X.1003

Abstract : La pava caucana (Penelope perspicax) es un ave endémica de las laderas del valle geográfico del río Cauca en Colombia, considerada en peligro de extinción. La pérdida de hábitat y la cacería han sido sus principales amenazas, lo que ha generado la reducción y aislamiento de sus poblaciones. El objetivo de este estudio fue determinar la densidad poblacional en una localidad en los Farallones de Cali y desarrollar modelos de ocupación, para evaluar factores que expliquen el uso de hábitat de la especie. Obtuvimos una densidad de 9 ind.km-2 el valor más bajo de los estimados disponibles para la especie; además, encontramos una relación estrecha entre el área de cobertura boscosa y el uso del hábitat de la especie. Los resultados indican la necesidad de conservar los remanentes de bosque y mantener la conectividad, ya que a pesar de que la especie puede utilizar gran variedad de hábitats, la probabilidad de uso aumenta en relación a las áreas disponibles de bosque. Recomendamos que se aumenten los esfuerzos de muestreo en este núcleo poblacional, asegurando variabilidad temporal y espacial, con el fin de contar con mejor información para su manejo en este núcleo.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 14 of 16

van der Wal, J. E. M., C. N. Spottiswoode, N. T. Uomini, ..., B. D. Smith et al. (Early View). "Safeguarding human–wildlife cooperation." Conservation Letters, e12886. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12886

Abstract: Human–wildlife cooperation occurs when humans and free-living wild animals actively coordinate their behavior to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. These interactions provide important benefits to both the human and wildlife communities involved, have wider impacts on the local ecosystem, and represent a unique intersection of human and animal cultures. The remaining active forms are human–honeyguide and human–dolphin cooperation, but these are at risk of joining several inactive forms (including human–wolf and human–orca cooperation). Human–wildlife cooperation faces a unique set of conservation challenges, as it requires multiple components—a motivated human and wildlife partner, a suitable environment, and compatible interspecies knowledge—which face threats from ecological and cultural changes. To safeguard human–wildlife cooperation, we recommend: (i) establishing ethically sound conservation strategies together with the participating human communities; (ii) conserving opportunities for human and wildlife participation; (iii) protecting suitable environments; (iv) facilitating cultural transmission of traditional knowledge; (v) accessibly archiving Indigenous and scientific knowledge; and (vi) conducting long-term empirical studies to better understand these interactions and identify threats. Tailored safeguarding plans are therefore necessary to protect these diverse and irreplaceable interactions. Broadly, our review highlights that efforts to conserve biological and cultural diversity should carefully consider interactions between human and animal cultures.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 15 of 16

Wilkie, D., H. E. Kretser, M. Painter, F. O'Brien, A. Holmes, K. Mastro, M. Wieland, G. Sriskanthan, S. Mangubhai, S. Jupiter, L. Painter and C. Chetkiewicz (Early View). "Tailoring social safeguards in conservation to reflect the local context and level of risk." Conservation Science and Practice, e12747. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12747

Abstract: This evidence piece argues that social safeguards in the context of conservation should not be put in place using a formulaic, one size fits all approach Rather safeguards should be tailored to the conservation approaches and actions being implement and the social risks. The piece uses the Wildlife Conservation Society as an example of how a tailored approach is being implemented in the field.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 16 of 16

Xu, W., W. Liu, W. Ma, ..., C. Walzer and P. Kaczensky (2022). "Current status and future challenges for khulan (Equus hemionus) conservation in China." Global Ecology and Conservation 37, e02156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2022.e02156

Abstract: Understanding the changes in population size, distribution and threats, is essential for assessing the status of threatened species. Northern China is believed to be an important stronghold for the Near Threatened Asiatic wild ass or khulan (Equus hemionus), but a recent assessment of the species has been lacking. To document change and updated the current status of khulan in China, we conducted a literature review targeting peer-reviewed and grey literature, newspaper articles, and summarized the results own field surveys and interviews from part of the species range. For a better understanding of the threats to khulan in China, we summarized the results of studies on environmental habitat factors and human disturbances for khulan, most of which are only available in Chinese language. Our results suggest that khulan in China have experienced a dramatic decline and fragmentation of their distribution range caused by excessive anthropogenic interferences. The remaining khulan range in China covers probably less than 40,000 km2 and is scattered over several nature reserves and the border areas in northern Xinjiang, northwestern Gansu, and western Inner Mongolia. We estimate the remaining population at about 4000 individuals, with ~80% found in Kalamaili Mountain Ungulate National Nature Reserve in Xinjiang. The occurrences along the border with Mongolia are small and dependent on cross-border movements, which are currently severely hindered by border fences. Over the past 15 years, Kalamaili Mountain Ungulate National Nature Reserve was exposed to various human pressures and experienced dramatic population fluctuation in the khulan population size. Key factors which negatively influenced khulan were habitat loss, fragmentation, and disturbance due to mining exploration and infrastructure development. No systematic monitoring of khulan is done in the rest of the khulan range, but whereas illegal hunting seems no longer a serious threat, infrastructure development and land use changes (including increasing livestock numbers) are happening throughout the remaining range of khulan in China. Hence there is an urgent need to develop a national khulan conservation strategy and initiate cross-border cooperation with Mongolia to safeguard the long-term survival of the species in the Gobi region.

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 2

Grimaud, P., D. Gumbo, S. Le Bel and [eds.] (2022). Towards Sustainable Wildlife Management: An In-Depth Study for the Promotion of Community Conservancies in Zambia And Zimbabwe. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, CIRAD, C for International Forestry Research and Wildlife Conservation Society. https://doi.org/10.4060/cb9082en

Abstract: Zambia and Zimbabwe, with Angola, Botswana and Namibia, constitute the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KaZa-TFCA), which is the largest transfrontier conservation area in the world (520 000 km²), and whose key objective is to join fragmented wildlife habitats to form an interconnected mosaic of protected areas and transboundary wildlife corridors. In this region, wildlife populations have declined over the past three decades, mainly due to poaching and loss of habitat. In this TFCA, the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme aims to address these challenges by promoting the model of community conservancy (CC) to diversify income-generating activities and supply a well-balanced source of wild and domestic protein. In Zimbabwe, the SWM project in KaZa supports the emerging project of Mucheni CC encompassing three wards of Binga District, in Matabeleland North Province. In Zambia, the target implementation sites are the Simalaha and Inyasemu CC, located in Southern Zambia. The SWM Programme is an initiative of the Organization of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) funded by the European Union and co-financed by the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the French Development Agency (AFD). This seven-year programme (2017–2024) is being implemented in 15 OACPS member countries by a consortium of partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Centre for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Grey Literature Citation 2 of 2

Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru (2022). Humedales y Turberas en la Amazonía Peruana. Lima, Peru: Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru. https://library.wcs.org/en-us/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4428500000.aspx

 

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  7-13 June 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 9

Clark-Shen, N., A. Chin, S. Arunrugstichai, J. Labaja, M. i. Mizrahi et al. (Accepted Article). "Status of Southeast Asia's marine sharks and rays." Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13962

Abstract: In Southeast Asia elasmobranchs are particularly threatened. We synthesized knowledge from the peer-reviewed and gray literature on elasmobranchs in the region, including their fisheries, status, trade, biology, and management. Our assessment included x species of sharkes and y species of rays. We found that 59% of assessed species are threatened with extinction and 72.5% are in decline; rays were more threatened than sharks. Research and conservation is complicated by the socioeconomic contexts of the countries, geopolitical issues in the South China Sea, and the overcapacity and multispecies nature of fisheries that incidentally capture elasmobranchs. The general paucity of data, funds, personnel, and enforcement hinders management. Reduced capacity in the general fishery sector and marine protected areas of sufficient size (for elasmobranchs and local enforcement capabilities) are among recommendations to strengthen conservation.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 9

Duarte-Marín, S., M. Rada, M. Rivera-Correa, ..., G. González-Durán and F. Vargas-Salinas (In Press). "Tic, Tii and Trii calls: Advertisement call descriptions for eight glass frogs from Colombia and analysis of the structure of auditory signals in Centrolenidae." Bioacoustics: The International Journal of Animal Sound and its Recording. https://doi.org/10.1080/09524622.2022.2077833

Abstract: In anurans, vocalisations are the main behavioural modality of communication. Hence, the description of acoustic signals in anurans is important for understanding many aspects of their biology. We describe for the first time the advertisement calls for eight glass frog species (Centrolene antioquiensis, ”Centrolene” robledoi, Nymphargus caucanus, N. chami, N. ignotus, N. rosada, N. spilotus, Sachatamia orejuela) and provide additional data on the recently described advertisement calls of Espadarana audax. In addition, we review the current knowledge of advertisement calls for all glass frog species (Centrolenidae). Based on the predominant temporal and the spectral structure, we identified three major types of calls in the family: 1) calls consisting of unpulsed short notes with amplitude modulation, similar to a ‘Tic’, 2) calls consisting of one long note (whistled) without amplitude modulation, similar to a ‘Tii’ and 3) calls consisting of pulsed or pulsatile notes, similar to a ‘Trii’. We mapped these acoustic characters in the context of the evolutionary history of Centrolenidae. Descriptions presented here offer evidence to recognise most centrolenid calls using measurable characters in the field or laboratory. As such, we hope to stimulate future studies based on bioacoustical analysis in this widespread and highly diverse Neotropical clade.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 9

Green, K., J. Rogan, L. Sauls, N. Cuba, R. K. Pennell and D. Bebbington (2022). "Tracking forest dynamic trends in Belize: The role of protected areas, agriculture, and fire in the South Eastern Selva Maya." Remote Sensing Letters 13(8), 778-788. https://doi.org/10.1080/2150704X.2022.2079017

Abstract: The Selva Maya represents the largest expanse of tropical forest in Mesoamerica, encompassing parts of Belize, northern Guatemala, and south-eastern Mexico. Patterns and processes of forest loss in Belize are less comprehensively studied than other regions in the Selva Maya. Hence, this research tracks twenty years of forest loss in relation to Protected Areas (PAs) and transborder activity in the country. Results show that since 2000, Belize lost 11% of its forest cover. In that same period, 39.7% of this loss has seen forest recovery, predominantly in southern portion of the country, and within PAs. Ongoing forest loss in the north has expanded towards central and southern Belize. Forest loss in PAs account for 14.3% of overall loss nationwide, with fires and agricultural expansion playing a prominent role in the encroachment on forestland. A better understanding of forest loss in Belize reinforces distinctions between forest loss in the north and the south of the country and demonstrates the need for enhanced forest protection. This research provides new information to conservation planners to better understand the dynamics and drivers of forest loss and regrowth in the Selva Maya region.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 9

Katlam, G., S. Prasad, A. Pande and N. Ramchiary (2022). "Plastic ingestion in Asian elephants in the forested landscapes of Uttarakhand, India." Journal for Nature Conservation 68, e126196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126196

Abstract: Ecological impacts of plastic contamination on marine environment have been documented extensively, however its spread and impacts on terrestrial and freshwater fauna are still poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated diet of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) for plastic ingestion around forested habitats of Uttarakhand state in India. We quantified plastic particles and other anthropogenic waste from elephant dung samples collected from edges and interiors of forest areas, confirming plastic ingestion by this endangered mammal species. Each human-derived item was identified, measured, and sub-categorized into plastic or other anthropogenic waste. About one-third (32%) of the elephant dung samples showed presence of anthropogenic waste. Plastic particles ranging from size 1–355 mm, comprised of 85% of the waste recovered from elephant dung samples (47.08 ± 12.85 particles per sample). We found twice as many plastic particles (85.27 ± 33.7/ 100 g) in samples collected from inside forest as compared to forest edge (35.34 ± 11.14 plastic particles/100 g). A higher count (34.79 ± 28.41 items/100 g sample) of non-biodegradable anthropogenic waste (glass, metal, rubber bands, clay pottery and tile pieces) was obtained from samples collected inside the forest area samples as compared to forest edge samples (9.44 ± 1.91items/100 g). There were higher proportion of macroplastic (>5 mm) retrieved than microplastic (1–5 mm) in the elephant dung. The present study is the first systematic documentation of non-biodegradable waste ingestion by Asian elephants. High plastic presence in elephant dung highlights its widespread use near protected habitats and lack of waste segregation practices underlining the vulnerability of wild animals to plastic ingestion risk. We provide recommendations for developing a comprehensive solid waste management strategy to mitigate the threat of plastic pollution around critical elephant habitats in India.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 9

Mason, B., K. J. Petrzelkova, J. Kreisinger, ..., E. Fairet et al. (Accepted Article). "Gastrointestinal symbiont diversity in wild gorilla: A comparison of bacterial and strongylid communities across multiple localities." Molecular Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16558

Abstract: Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) are Critically Endangered and show continued population decline. Consequently, pressure mounts to better understand their conservation threats and ecology. Gastrointestinal symbionts, such as bacterial and eukaryotic communities, are believed to play vital roles in the physiological landscape of the host. Gorillas host a broad spectrum of eucaryotes, so called parasites, with strongylid nematodes being particularly prevalent. While these communities are partially consistent, they are also shaped by various ecological factors, such as diet or habitat type. To investigate gastrointestinal symbionts of wild western lowland gorillas, we analysed 215 faecal samples from individuals in five distinct localities across the Congo Basin, using high-throughput sequencing techniques. We describe the gut bacterial microbiome and genetic diversity of strongylid communities, including strain-level identification of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs). We identified strongylid ASVs from eight genera and bacterial ASVs from twenty phyla. We compared these communities across localities, with reference to varying environmental factors among populations, finding differences in alpha diversity and community compositions of both gastrointestinal components. Moreover, we also investigated covariation between strongylid nematodes and the bacterial microbiome, finding correlations between strongylid taxa and Prevotellaceae and Rikenellaceae ASVs that were consistent across multiple localities. Our research highlights complexity of the bacterial microbiome and strongylid communities in several gorilla populations and emphasizes potential interactions between these two symbiont communities. This study provides a framework for ongoing research into strongylid nematode diversity, and their interactions with the bacterial microbiome, amongst great apes.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 9

Mora-Soto, A., C. Aguirre, J. L. Iriarte, M. Palacios et al. (2022). "A song of wind and ice: Increased frequency of marine cold-spells in southwestern Patagonia and their possible effects on giant kelp forests." JGR Oceans 127(6), e2021JC017801. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JC017801

Abstract: In contrast to other coastal regions of the world, the giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) ecosystem in southwestern Patagonia has been persistent in area and associated biodiversity in the last decades. In this ecoregion, sea surface temperature (SST) records have consistently remained below the upper thermal threshold for kelp survival, however, no studies have analyzed the spatiotemporal variability of SSTs and their anomalies across the geographical diversity of the southwestern Patagonian coastline. We explored the geographical distribution of extreme warm and cold events in this region from latitudes 47°–56°S in a range of ∼1,000 km, identifying the dates and spatial distribution of marine heatwaves (MHWs) and marine cold-spells (MCSs) from 1982 to 2020. Results show that a peak in the number of MHWs occurred in the great El Niño year of 1998. Additionally, the 2014–2019 period has had more severe and extreme MCSs than the previous decades. We discuss the origin of these events with a focus on three main processes: (a) geographically constrained cold events caused by glacier melting, (b) regional cold events caused by extreme winds linked to the position of the polar front, and (c) extensive SST anomalies linked to planetary-scale events such as El Niño and La Niña. Overall, those processes were conductive to counteract global warming trends locally/regionally, highlighting southwestern Patagonia as a possible climatic refugium for the giant kelp ecosystem. Despite this, the effects of freshwater inputs and storm turbulence on the exposed coasts facing the Southern Ocean may cause new kinds of stress on this ecosystem.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 9

Rebstock, G. A., P. García Borboroglu and P. D. Boersma (2022). "Variability in foraging range and direction among colonies in a widespread seabird, the Magellanic penguin." Frontiers in Marine Science 9, e815706. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.815706

Abstract: Most seabirds forage far from land, making them hard to observe when foraging. Satellite tracking of seabirds shows where they come into conflict with human uses of the ocean, and whether they use protected areas. Because tracking data are expensive, data from one colony and/or year are sometimes used to design marine protection for a species across its range. Two assumptions commonly made are that foraging distance increases with colony size and individuals are uniformly distributed around colonies. We tested these assumptions using Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus as an example. We used a large tracking dataset of 338 penguins foraging for chicks at 10 colonies in Argentina from 1996 to 2019. Foraging distance increased with population size among colonies, but predicted distances would not cover foraging areas for all colonies. There was no relationship between population size and foraging distance within colony among years for colonies with ten and 23 years of data. Penguins were not uniformly distributed around colonies. Penguins used ~24% (12-40%) of the ocean available within the colony’s maximum foraging distance. We also show that overlap between penguin foraging areas and marine protected areas (MPA) and hydrocarbon concessions varied among colonies partly because of variation in how far offshore penguins forage. Overlap with MPAs was low (0% – 20%) for seven of the ten colonies and high (23% – 100%) for the other three. Overlap with a large area permitted for hydrocarbon exploration (seismic surveys) was relatively high (23% – 81%) for seven colonies where penguins forage offshore. Data from one colony are unlikely to indicate the most effective marine spatial planning for all colonies. Our data show that to be effective, marine planning should consider the temporal and spatial dynamics of ocean conditions and the response of marine wildlife to these changes. Climate variability is predicted to increase, making knowledge of foraging-location variation among colonies and years critical to conservation planning.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 9

Weatherley-Singh, J., M. Rao, E. Matthews, L. Painter, L. Rasolofomanana, K. T. Latt, M. i. Mizrahi and J. E. M. Watson (2022). "Transformative biodiversity governance for protected and conserved areas". In Transforming Biodiversity Governance, I. J. Visseren-Hamakers and M. T. J. Kok [Eds.], 221-243. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108856348.012

Abstract: This chapter analyzes the potential for transformative change for biodiversity conservation in the governance of protected areas and other conserved areas (which incorporates other effective area-based conservation measures or OECMs). This is achieved by analyzing efforts to achieve Aichi Target 11 under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) strategic plan to 2020, and discussing the need for a new outcome-based approach under the CBD’s Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which is under discussion at the time of writing but expected to be adopted during 2022.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 9

Zarbá, L., M. Piquer-Rodríguez, S. Boillat, ..., M. Gonzalez-Roglich et al. (2022). "Mapping and characterizing social-ecological land systems of South America." Ecology and Society 27(2), e27. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-13066-270227

Abstract: Humans place strong pressure on land and have modified around 75% of Earth’s terrestrial surface. In this context, ecoregions and biomes, merely defined on the basis of their biophysical features, are incomplete characterizations of the territory. Land system science requires classification schemes that incorporate both social and biophysical dimensions. In this study, we generated spatially explicit social-ecological land system (SELS) typologies for South America with a hybrid methodology that combined data-driven spatial analysis with a knowledge-based evaluation by an interdisciplinary group of regional specialists. Our approach embraced a holistic consideration of the social-ecological land systems, gathering a dataset of 26 variables spanning across 7 dimensions: physical, biological, land cover, economic, demographic, political, and cultural. We identified 13 SELS nested in 5 larger social-ecological regions (SER). Each SELS was discussed and described by specific groups of specialists. Although 4 environmental and 1 socioeconomic variable explained most of the distribution of the coarse SER classification, a diversity of 15 other variables were shown to be essential for defining several SELS, highlighting specific features that differentiate them. The SELS spatial classification presented is a systematic and operative characterization of South American social-ecological land systems. We propose its use can contribute as a reference framework for a wide range of applications such as analyzing observations within larger contexts, designing system-specific solutions for sustainable development, and structuring hypothesis testing and comparisons across space. Similar efforts could be done elsewhere in the world.

 

Preprint Citations

Preprint Citation 1 of 1

Eakin, C. M., D. Devotta, S. Heron, ..., V. Patankar et al. (Preprint). “The 2014-17 global coral bleaching event: The most severe and widespread coral reef destruction.” Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1555992/v1

Abstract: Ocean warming is increasing the incidence, scale, and severity of global-scale coral bleaching and mortality, culminating in the third global coral bleaching event that occurred during record marine heatwaves of 2014-2017. While local effects of these events have been widely reported, the global implications remain unknown. Analysis of 15,066 reef surveys during 2014-2017 revealed that 80% of surveyed reefs experienced significant coral bleaching and 35% experienced significant coral mortality. The global extent of significant coral bleaching and mortality was assessed by extrapolating results from reef surveys using comprehensive remote-sensing data of regional heat stress. This model predicted that 51% of the world’s coral reefs suffered significant bleaching and 15% significant mortality, surpassing damage from any prior global bleaching event. These observations demonstrate that global warming’s widespread damage to coral reefs is accelerating and underscores the threat anthropogenic climate change poses for the irreversible transformation of these essential ecosystems.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  31 May-6 June 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 6

Cooke, S. J., S. Michaels, E. A. Nyboer, ..., A. Murdoch, D. Roche, P. Soroye et al. (2022). "Reconceptualizing conservation." PLoS Sustainability and Transformation 1(5), e0000016. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pstr.0000016

Abstract: Early definitions of conservation focused largely on the end goals of protection or restoration of nature, and the various disciplinary domains that contribute to these ends. Conservation science and practice has evolved beyond being focused on just issues of scarcity and biodiversity decline. To better recognize the inherent links between human behaviour and conservation, “success” in conservation is now being defined in terms that include human rights and needs. We also know that who engages in conservation, and how, dictates the likelihood that conservation science will be embraced and applied to yield conservation gains. Here we present ideas for reconceptualizing conservation. We emphasize the HOW in an attempt to reorient and repurpose the term in ways that better reflect what contemporary conservation is or might aspire to be. To do so, we developed an acrostic using the letters in the term “CONSERVATION” with each serving as an adjective where C = co-produced, O = open, N = nimble, S = solutions-oriented, E = empowering, R = relational, V = values-based, A = actionable, T = transdisciplinary, I = inclusive, O = optimistic, and N = nurturing. For each adjective, we briefly describe our reasoning for its selection and describe how it contributes to our vision of conservation. By reconceptualizing conservation we have the potential to center how we do conservation in ways that are more likely to result in outcomes that benefit biodiversity while also being just, equitable, inclusive, and respectful of diverse rights holders, knowledge holders, and other actors. We hope that this acrostic will be widely adopted in training to help the next generation of conservation researchers and practitioners keep in mind what it will take to make their contributions effective and salient.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 6

Gore, M. L., L. R. Schwartz, K. Amponsah-Mensah, ..., M. Carbo-Penche et al. (2022). "Voluntary consensus based geospatial data standards for the global illegal trade in wild fauna and flora." Scientific Data 9(1), e267. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-022-01371-w

Abstract: We have more data about wildlife trafficking than ever before, but it remains underutilized for decision-making. Central to effective wildlife trafficking interventions is collection, aggregation, and analysis of data across a range of source, transit, and destination geographies. Many data are geospatial, but these data cannot be effectively accessed or aggregated without appropriate geospatial data standards. Our goal was to create geospatial data standards to help advance efforts to combat wildlife trafficking. We achieved our goal using voluntary, participatory, and engagement-based workshops with diverse and multisectoral stakeholders, online portals, and electronic communication with more than 100 participants on three continents. The standards support data-to-decision efforts in the field, for example indictments of key figures within wildlife trafficking, and disruption of their networks. Geospatial data standards help enable broader utilization of wildlife trafficking data across disciplines and sectors, accelerate aggregation and analysis of data across space and time, advance evidence-based decision making, and reduce wildlife trafficking.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 6

Kusumaningrum, T., A. Latinne, S. Martinez et al. (2022). "Knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with zoonotic disease transmission risk in North Sulawesi, Indonesia." One Health Outlook 4(1), e11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42522-022-00067-w

Abstract: Hunters, vendors, and consumers are key actors in the wildlife trade value chain in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, and potentially face an elevated risk of exposure to zoonotic diseases. Understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) associated with the risk of zoonotic disease transmission in these communities is therefore critical for developing recommendations to prevent or mitigate zoonotic outbreaks in the future.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 6

Link, A., S. Alvarez-Solas, J. Blake, ..., J. Salvador and L. Valenzuela (2022). "Insights into the habits of the elusive nocturnal curassow (Nothocrax urumutum)." Ornitología Neotropical 33, 74-78. https://journals.sfu.ca/ornneo/index.php/ornneo/article/view/1051

Abstract: Nocturnal Curassows (Nothocrax urumutum) are enigmatic birds from South American rainforests. Their elusive habits and nocturnal vocal behavior have led to the generalized assumption that they are primarily nocturnal. Here, we compiled camera trap da ta from long-term projects in the Amazon rainforest and the Andes foothills to describe the temporal activity of Nocturnal Curassows. Based on an overall sampling effort of 68,838 camera-days (operated for 24-hour periods), we obtained 274 independent records of their activity. Results of this study showed that Nocturnal Curassows have diurnal habits and that their activity pattern resembles those of other cracids more than previously assumed. This study highlights the use of field technologies and collaborative research towards a better understanding of the natural history, ecology, and behavior of animals with cryptic behaviors, such as the Nocturnal Curassow.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 6

Mangubhai, S., S. Lawless, A. Cowley et al. (2022). "Progressing gender equality in fisheries by building strategic partnerships with development organisations." World Development 158, e105975. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.105975

Abstract: Gender equality, a universal agreed principle and value, has been adopted widely but implemented to varying levels in different sectors. Our study was designed to contrast how gender development (hereafter 'development') and fisheries sectors view and invest in gender, and then explore opportunities to strengthen collaborative relationships and networks between the two, with the aim of improving capacity for gender inclusion in practice in fisheries. We conducted key informant interviews with fisheries (n = 68) and development (n = 32) practitioners (including managers) in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu between 2018 and 2019. We found three points of divergence between fisheries and development practitioners and/or their organisations when it comes to the inclusion of gender into their work: (1) fundamental differences in organisational motivations for working on gender – (i.e., fisheries organisations viewed gender equality as a means to achieve fisheries objectives (instrumental), while development organisations viewed it as a core value or principle (inherent); (2) fisheries practitioners had comparatively little to no access to qualified gender focal points and training, and limited networks with gender experts; and (3) differences in what each considered successful versus failed approaches to gender integration. Our findings illustrate opportunities, as well as limitations or challenges (e.g. resistance and indifference), to transfer knowledge and capacity to integrate gender into fisheries policies and practice. We suggest using these divergences to ‘pivot change’ in the fisheries sector by building on decades of knowledge, learning and experience from the development sector focusing on four areas for strategic partnership: (1) shifting values; (2) gender mainstreaming; (3) adopting gender best practice; and (4) investing in gender networks and coalitions. We argue that fundamental to the success of such a partnership will be the ability and willingness of fisheries and development practitioners and their organisations to break down silos and work collaboratively towards gender equality in the fisheries sector.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 6

McClanahan, T. R. (Accepted Manuscript). "Coral responses to climate change exposure." Environmental Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac7478

Abstract: A brief historical narrative of coral responses to climate change exposures is followed by a review of evidence. I trace the history of investigations and summarize the findings from 112 multiple-site field studies that examined environmental exposure variables and coral bleaching and mortality response relationships. A total of 59 environmental variables in 6 topic areas were studied of which excess thermal exposure was the most common topic and variable. Investigations were broadly classified into two categories; those focused on either excess thermal stress thresholds (TM) or on continuous variables (VM). The TM investigations considered a total of 28 variables, but only 1.7 ± 1.3 (SD) variables per publication, and only 11% completed a variable selection process that competed variables for fit or parsimony. The 65 VM publications considered 59 variables, more variables per publication (4.1 ± 4.3), and 43% of the studies followed a variable selection procedure. TM investigations received more citation and were most frequently used to identify future climate change impacts and sanctuaries. VM investigations often report excess heat threshold variables as weak single predictors of coral bleaching and mortality. Coral responses to exposure favors mechanisms of causation that are additive and interactive; specifically, the interactions between chronic and acute stresses within the geographic and habitat contexts of local environmental and coral genetic histories. Some of the potentially most important variables for predicting coral responses to exposure have seldom been studied or modelled. The implication is that the future status and health of coral reefs will be better than predicted by TMs. Moreover, impacts and sanctuaries are expected to be patchy and influenced by space, time, genetics, and taxa heterogeneity that will reflect a mix of avoidance, resistance, and recovery processes and their associated sanctuary locations.

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 2

Fraley, K. M., M. Lunde and M. Robards (2022). Project Chariot Revisited: Cape Thompson Coastal Lagoons Ecological Investigations Final Report. Fairbanks, AK: Wildlife Conservation Society, Arctic Beringia. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.44211

Abstract: The southeastern Chukchi Sea is a seasonally productive marine ecosystem. Nearshore habitats are heavily used by local people for subsistence harvest; they also provide important foraging habitat, proximity to shelter, and overwintering habitat for many ecologically and locally important fish species (Craig 1984; George et al. 2007; Johnson et al. 2007; Whiting et al. 2011; Logerwell et al. 2015). Coastal lagoons are a dominant landscape feature in this region, comprising over a third (37%) of the Arctic coastline between Wales and the Canadian border (Figure 1). These bodies of water provide critical habitat for migratory fish (e.g., Pacific salmon and whitefishes) and other ecologically important forage fish (e.g., Pacific herring and pond smelt), as well as staging habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Coastal residents are increasingly interested in documenting the ecology and importance of fish and invertebrates in these lagoons due to concerns about potential impacts from climate change, increased human development, and the possibility of coastal oil spills (LGL 2011; Rand and Logerwell 2011). Previously, the two most significant lagoon research efforts between Kivalina and Cape Thompson along the Chukchi coast occurred in the 1950s as part of the Project Chariot Environmental Assessment (Johnson 1961; Willimovsky and Wolfe 1966; Tash and Armitage 1967; Tash 1971) and the Environmental Assessment for the Red Dog Mine port facility (Dames and Moore 1983). Apart from these research efforts, little has been published about the ecology of coastal habitats of this area, despite their importance for food security and ecosystem health. Our research efforts during summer 2018 focused on the coastal areas around Cape Thompson in the North Slope Borough of Alaska, addressing the need for current baseline information on the structure and function of lagoons in the area. Four lagoons were visited within the boundary of the North Slope Borough during 2018: Kemegrak, Akoviknak, Atosik, and Mapsorak. We also sampled one additional lagoon in 2018 (Singoalik) just south of the others, in the Northwest Arctic Borough. Logistic constraints and the Covid-19 Pandemic precluded a repeat visit in 2019 and 2020, respectively. In 2021, Atosik, Mapsorak (North Slope Borough), and Singoalik Lagoons (Northwest Arctic Borough) were revisited. We collected data in both 2018 and 2021 on physical water parameters including primary productivity, with samples at 4-7 individual sites per lagoon, based on established protocols developed as part of the National Park Service’s Arctic Lagoon Vital Signs (Jones and Apsens 2017). We surveyed fish assemblage composition and abundance using a beach seine and experimental gill net during both years of sampling, and performed zooplankton tows at each study site in 2018 (3-5 tows per lagoon). Lagoon connectivity to the ocean was assessed during site visits and via Sentinel-2 daily-weekly satellite imagery. Additionally, we recorded presence and activity of waterbirds at each lagoon. Physiochemical parameters varied between lagoons, and within lagoons between years. None of the lagoons sampled were open to the marine environment at the time of sampling in 2018, and only Singoalik Lagoon was connected to the ocean in 2021. Temperature readings varied between lagoons and years, with the highest overall temperature occurring at Kemegrak Lagoon (16.35 ± 1.82°C) and the lowest at Mapsorak (8.86 ± 0.25°C). Salinity levels at all lagoons were relatively low, except for at Singoalik in 2021, where a marine connection was present. Low salinity levels and higher temperature readings likely reflect the absence of recent influxes of colder saline water from the marine system in the other lagoons. Reliable marine connections generally exist in the lagoons of nearby Cape Krusenstern (Smith et al. 2019a), which are typically open to the marine environment in the spring, but gradually close as summer progresses. Temperature readings in Cape Thompson lagoons recorded in the 1983 report by Dames and Moore, for instance, also revealed lower overall temperatures at lagoons open to the marine environment, particularly at sample stations directly inside the mouth of the lagoon, indicating that influx of colder water from the ocean has significant impact on the overall temperature in the main body of the lagoon. Primary production was highest at Kemegrak Lagoon in 2018, and blue-green algae concentrations in lagoons during that year indicated algal blooms may be common. Zooplankton assemblages were predominantly freshwater and brackish in nature in Akoviknak, Kemegrak, and Atosik Lagoons in both the 1960s and in 2018. The most common taxa were Daphnia middendorffiana, Limnocalanus johanseni, and Cyclops vernalis. Singoalik Lagoon contained more marine species during both periods (1960s and 2018), presumably due to its seasonal connection to the ocean. Overall, there were minor changes in zooplankton composition within individual lagoons in the ~60 years between sampling, except in Mapsorak Lagoon, where marine-oriented taxa were replaced by freshwater species, which is consistent with being closed to the ocean at the time of sampling. In 2018, we recorded 264 total fish comprising seven species, and one unidentified larval fish. In 2021, we found 183 total fish comprising six species, and several unidentified larval fishes. Highest species diversity occurred at Singoalik Lagoon during both years sampled. This is consistent with our work in the Cape Krusenstern area where lagoons connected to the ocean generally had higher fish diversity. Fishes of the largest size class (100-199mm and 200+mm) were found in 2018 at Akoviknak, all of which were least cisco, while 100-199mm starry flounder and a 300+mm humpback whitefish were captured in Singoalik in 2021. Sampling at both Atosik and Mapsorak did not yield any fish during either year they were visited. Important forage species captured included ninespine stickleback, pond smelt, threespine stickleback, and capelin. Interestingly, humpback whitefish and capelin were found in 2021 but were not present in 2018, while ninespine stickleback, least cisco, and pond smelt were sampled in 2018 but were absent in 2021. Dolly Varden, cod species, and pink salmon were found in Singoalik Lagoon in 1959 and 1983, or were noted anecdotally by subsistence fishers, but were not encountered in 2018 and 2021. We conducted opportunistic informal interviews with members of the local community through chance encounters during fieldwork, telephone correspondence, and a 2018 visit to Point Hope. Conversations with Kivalina and Point Hope residents indicate that multiple subsistence activities occur throughout the year along the coast from Chariot to Singoalik Lagoon, including hunting, beachcombing, fishing, and seabird egg-gathering, and Point Hope community members were keen to see more scientific monitoring in the area. Point Hope residents also indicated that the lagoons north of Chariot have been consistently closed during the last decade. Overall, our results are consistent with our work in the Cape Krusenstern and Bering Land Bridge National Park Units – specifically, that the most productive, biodiverse lagoons are those that for at least part of the early season are connected to the ocean. With respect to spill response, it would be these lagoons with regular connection that provide the most important seasonal habitats for fish of both ecological and subsistence importance. Within this study Singoalik was the most ecologically valuable (Northwest Arctic Borough) followed by Akoviknak (North Slope Borough). The other coastal lagoons around Cape Thompson did not appear to have any regular connectivity with the ocean in recent times.

Grey Literature Citation 2 of 2

Wildlife Conservation Society, Viet Nam (2022). S Tay Nhn Biết Và Báo Cáo Vi Phm Pháp Lut Liên Quan Đến Đng Vt Hoang Dã. Ha Noi, Viet Nam: Wildlife Conservation Society, Viet Nam. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4418900000.aspx

Abstract: Sổ tay nhận biết và báo cáo vi phạm pháp luật liên quan đến động vật hoang dã (ĐVHD) được Tổ chức Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Chương trình Việt Nam biên soạn nhằm cung cấp thông tin cơ bản về các quy định pháp luật điều chỉnh hoạt động quản lý và bảo vệ ĐVHD; đặc điểm nhận dạng các loài ĐVHD và sản phẩm ĐVHD thường bị xâm hại; các hành vi vi phạm quy định pháp luật về bảo vệ ĐVHD phổ biến, cách thức nhận biết và báo cáo vi phạm.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  24-30 May 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 8

Aninta, S. G., S. Noerfahmy, S. Wiantoro and D. T. Iskandar (First View). "Natural history collections reveal species richness on a small isolated tropical island: The bats of Siberut." Oryx. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605321001022

Abstract: The paucity of biodiversity assessments in the Palaeotropics has constrained recommendations for tropical forest conservation in areas such as Siberut, one of the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia known for its high endemicity. Taking advantage of information from museum collections amassed from the Indo-Malaya archipelago from the early 20th century onwards, we show how species records available through online databases of natural history collections can be used to assess the state of biodiversity when used in conjunction with a field survey, using bat species on Siberut as a study case. We obtained a total of 15 years of records from 1903 to 2013 (following searches of databases up to 2020), documenting 20 bat species on Siberut. Of these, our field survey contributed records of three additional species not previously recorded on the island. The species accumulation curve has not levelled off, suggesting that future surveys may discover additional bat species and highlighting Siberut's importance as bat habitat and source of tropical biodiversity.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 8

González, A. D., I. Lotta-Arevalo, G. A. Fuentes, J. Macías-Zacipa, L. D. Acevedo-Cendales and N. E. Matta (In Press). "Haemoproteus gabaldoni a valid species? An approach from morphology and molecular tools applied to parasites of Anseriformes." Acta Tropica, e106540. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2022.106540

Abstract: Currently, there are three recognized species of haemoproteids infecting Anseriformes: Haemoproteus nettionis, H. macrovacuolatus, and H. greineri. Unfortunately, genetic information associated with a morphotype is available only for H. macrovacuolatus. We recently found a parasite morphologically compatible with Haemoproteus gabaldoni, a species Bennet (1993) described in a Cairina moschata (Muscovy duck) from Venezuela. This species was synonymized to H. nettionis by Valkiunas (2005), arguing not enough morphological differentiation between them; it was even said that H. greineri could be as well a synonym of H. nettionis. In this study, we aimed to provide evidence to determine if Haemoproteus gabaldoni is a different species of H. nettionis and help to clarify other species status. We first performed morphological and morphometrical analyses and compared this information against the parahapantotypes of H. greineri, H. gabaldoni and material diagnosed as H. nettionis provided by the International Reference Centre for Avian Haematozoa (IRCAH), and H. macrovacuolatus from the Host-Parasite Relationship Study Group (GERPH, in Spanish Grupo de Estudio Relación Parásito Hospedero) biological collection. We used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of dimensionless standard morphometrical variables from gametocytes. Furthermore, we amplified a small fragment of cytochrome b (cyt b) to compare the sequence with information in GenBank and Malavi through phylogenetic analyses and haplotype networks. PCA. analyses revealed the presence of three distinct groups in the samples studied, supported in the morphological traits of each parasite species analyzed; phylogenetic analyses grouped parasite lineages separately according to the host and continent of provenance. Such results indicate that, H. gabaldoni, is a different species from H. nettionis. One more time, it is demonstrated the importance of linking barcode surveys to morphological studies. Finally, it is highlighted the importance of biological collections as repositories of worldwide biodiversity.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 8

Johnson, C. J., J. C. Ray and M.-H. St-Laurent (Early View). "Efficacy and ethics of intensive predator management to save endangered caribou." Conservation Science and Practice, e12729. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12729

Abstract: Lethal population control has a history of application to wildlife management and conservation. There is debate about the efficacy of the practice, but more controversial is the ethical justification and methods of killing one species in favor of another. This is the situation facing the conservation of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Canada. Across multiple jurisdictions, large numbers of wolves (Canis lupus), and to a lesser extent bears (Ursus americanus) and coyotes (C. latrans), are killed through trapping, poisoning or aerial shooting to halt or reverse continued declines of woodland caribou. While there is evidence to support the effectiveness of predator management as a stop-gap solution, questions remain about the extent to which this activity can make a meaningful contribution to long-term recovery. Also, there are myriad ethical objections to the lethal removal of predators, even if that activity is in the name of conservation. Debates about predator management, just one of numerous invasive actions for maintaining caribou, are made even more complex by the conflation of ethics and efficacy. Ultimately, long-term solutions for the recovery of caribou require governments to stop delaying difficult decisions that address the real causes of population decline, habitat change.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 8

Kale, N., M. Manoharakrishnan, D. K. Bharti et al. (2022). "The island hoppers: How foraging influences green turtle Chelonia mydas abundance over space and time in the Lakshadweep Archipelago, India." Endangered Species Research 48, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01181  

Abstract: Adult green turtles are known to display either preference in their foraging habits or fidelity to their foraging sites which, in turn, influences their migrations and the availability of forage. With an abundant supply of seagrass and algae, the lagoons of the Lakshadweep Archipelago off the Indian west coast serve as significant feeding grounds for green turtles. In the last 2 decades, the numbers of foraging green turtles have varied across islands, leading to speculation about their foraging patterns and movements. We collated secondary data and conducted periodic surveys between 2013 and 2019 to record trends in green turtle abundance and seagrass characteristics and investigate relationships between them. Over the last decade, green turtle abundances have fluctuated widely with increases followed by sharp declines within different lagoons. Our results also show that a reduction in seagrass density, particularly Thalassia sp. and Cymodocea sp., coincided with the decline in green turtle abundance. Moreover, turtle presence was observed at sites with higher seagrass density and canopy height. Our findings indicate that green turtles appeared to forage in particular lagoons until their preferred resources declined, before moving to other islands within the Archipelago or other unknown locations. Therefore, to devise effective management strategies, it is crucial to understand how this green turtle population will adapt to the decline in foraging resources. The declining seagrass populations also suggest the need for an ecosystem approach towards green turtle conservation.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 8

Latinne, A. and S. Morand (2022). "Climate anomalies and spillover of bat-borne viral diseases in the Asia-Pacific region and the Arabian Peninsula." Viruses 14(5), e1100. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14051100

Abstract: Climate variability and anomalies are known drivers of the emergence and outbreaks of infectious diseases. In this study, we investigated the potential association between climate factors and anomalies, including El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and land surface temperature anomalies, as well as the emergence and spillover events of bat-borne viral diseases in humans and livestock in the Asia-Pacific region and the Arabian Peninsula. Our findings from time series analyses, logistic regression models, and structural equation modelling revealed that the spillover patterns of the Nipah virus in Bangladesh and the Hendra virus in Australia were differently impacted by climate variability and with different time lags. We also used event coincidence analysis to show that the emergence events of most bat-borne viral diseases in the Asia-Pacific region and the Arabian Peninsula were statistically associated with ENSO climate anomalies. Spillover patterns of the Nipah virus in Bangladesh and the Hendra virus in Australia were also significantly associated with these events, although the pattern and co-influence of other climate factors differed. Our results suggest that climate factors and anomalies may create opportunities for virus spillover from bats to livestock and humans. Ongoing climate change and the future intensification of El Niño events will therefore potentially increase the emergence and spillover of bat-borne viral diseases in the Asia-;Pacific region and the Arabian Peninsula.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 8

Murphy, B. and L. Maynard (Early View). "Connecting workplace attachment and pro-environmental behaviors in zoo and aquarium professionals." Zoo Biology. https://doi.org/10.1002/zoo.21703

Abstract: Emerging conservation psychology literature shows that there is a strong link between positive attachment to a workplace and the performance of pro-environmental behaviors by employees at work. The present study explores the validity of a pilot survey based in previous literature that explores these constructs to determine whether a relationship between the two exists among zoo and aquarium professionals. The survey was distributed to employees of the Wildlife Conservation Society's city zoos—Prospect Park, Central Park, and Queens Zoos—during the first year of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Two of the survey scales used had a high internal consistency and data from these responses informed this case study to show that there is a weak, positive correlation between workplace attachment (WPA) and self-reported frequency of performance of pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) among the respondents. Isolating the responses by department revealed that staff working in Operations departments (1) exhibit lower frequencies of PEB than those in Education and Animal departments and (2) have a very strong, positive correlation between WPA and PEB. The results suggest that zoo and aquarium employees who are positively attached to their workplace are more likely to perform PEBs, especially those working in Operations departments. These findings help support that workplace practices seeking to increase WPA could increase the performance of PEBs at work by all employees.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 8

Trabue, S. G., M. L. Rekdahl, C. D. King, S. Strindberg, S. K. Adamczak and H. C. Rosenbaum (2022). "Spatiotemporal trends in bottlenose dolphin foraging behavior and relationship to environmental variables in a highly urbanized estuary." Marine Ecology Progress Series 690, 219-235. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps14041

Abstract: Marine predator foraging influences community structure and ecosystem functions, which are all linked with environmental variables. Determining variables that are associated with foraging can facilitate the identification of important habitats, which is particularly important in heavily urbanized systems. In the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus are exposed to various stressors, including vessel activity and forthcoming offshore wind development. Here, we used passive acoustic monitoring to identify foraging conditions for dolphins from April-October of 2018-2020. When foraging, dolphins produce a series of rapid clicks (‘foraging buzzes’) which can be used as a proxy for foraging activity. We analyzed the relationship between acoustic detections of dolphins and environmental variables using a generalized additive modeling framework. The variables week, sea surface temperature (SST), and chlorophyll a (chl a) concentration were significantly associated with foraging activity at seasonal timescales. Foraging increased with increasing SST and water levels, with the peak of foraging occurring in autumn. The relationship between chl a concentration and foraging was not straightforward and warrants further research. Diel foraging trends varied seasonally and annually. These results suggest that passive acoustic monitoring and environmental variables may be used to investigate marine mammal behavior and assess seasonal foraging habitat for marine predators within dynamic, heterogenous, and human-dominated environments. Baseline data on dolphin habitat use is vital given the continued expansion of anthropogenic activities and climate-driven shifts in oceanographic conditions that are occurring in this region.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 8

Ward, M., J. Carwardine, J. E. M. Watson et al. (Accepted Article). "How to prioritize species recovery after a megafire." Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13936

Abstract: Due to climate change, megafires are increasingly common, and have sudden, extensive impacts on many species over vast areas, leaving decision-makers uncertain about how best to prioritize recovery. Here, we provide a decision-support framework to prioritize conservation actions to improve species outcomes immediately after a megafire. The framework selects complementary locations to extend actions across all impacted species' habitats. We then assess the conservation advantages of this approach by comparing it to a site-richness approach (i.e., identifying areas that can cost-effectively recover the most species in any one location). Using the 2019-2020 Australian megafires as a case study, we show that 290 threatened species have likely been severely impacted and likely require immediate conservation action to ensure their survival. Our framework identified 179 subregions, found mostly in south-east Australia, as key locations to extend actions that benefit multiple species. We compare our complementarity-based prioritization with a conventional site-richness approach and demonstrate cost savings of more than AUD$300 million to reduce 95% of threats across all species. In addition to cost efficiencies, our complementarity-based prioritization spreads post-fire management actions across a wider proportion of the study area compared with site richness (43% versus 37% of the landscape managed, respectively), and ensures more of each species' range is managed (average 90% versus 79% of every species' habitat managed). In addition to wildfire response, our complementarity-based management allocation framework can be used to prioritize conservation actions that will best mitigate threats impacting species following other environmental disasters like floods and drought, all of which are likely to increase in intensity and frequency under future climate change.

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 1

Horne, B. D., A. D. Walde and C. M. Poole (2022). “Setting Priorities for the Conservation of Asia's Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles: A Ten-Year Update.” Singapore: IUCN SSC Asian Species Action Partnership. https://www.speciesonthebrink.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Horne-et-al_2022_Setting-priorities-for-the-conservation-of-Asias-tortoises-and-freshwater-turtles_a-ten-year-update.pdf

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  17-23 May 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 6

Broekman, M. J. E., J. P. Hilbers, M. A. J. Huijbregts, ..., K. A. Olson et al. (Early View). "Evaluating expert-based habitat suitability information of terrestrial mammals with GPS-tracking data." Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13523

Abstract: Aim: Macroecological studies that require habitat suitability data for many species often derive this information from expert opinion. However, expert-based information is inherently subjective and thus prone to errors. The increasing availability of GPS tracking data offers opportunities to evaluate and supplement expert-based information with detailed empirical evidence. Here, we compared expert-based habitat suitability information from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with habitat suitability information derived from GPS-tracking data of 1,498 individuals from 49 mammal species. Location: Worldwide. Time period: 1998–2021. Major taxa studied: Forty-nine terrestrial mammal species. Methods: Using GPS data, we estimated two measures of habitat suitability for each individual animal: proportional habitat use (proportion of GPS locations within a habitat type), and selection ratio (habitat use relative to its availability). For each individual we then evaluated whether the GPS-based habitat suitability measures were in agreement with the IUCN data. To that end, we calculated the probability that the ranking of empirical habitat suitability measures was in agreement with IUCN's classification into suitable, marginal and unsuitable habitat types. Results: IUCN habitat suitability data were in accordance with the GPS data (> 95% probability of agreement) for 33 out of 49 species based on proportional habitat use estimates and for 25 out of 49 species based on selection ratios. In addition, 37 and 34 species had a > 50% probability of agreement based on proportional habitat use and selection ratios, respectively. Main conclusions: We show how GPS-tracking data can be used to evaluate IUCN habitat suitability data. Our findings indicate that for the majority of species included in this study, it is appropriate to use IUCN habitat suitability data in macroecological studies. Furthermore, we show that GPS-tracking data can be used to identify and prioritize species and habitat types for re-evaluation of IUCN habitat suitability data.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 6

Fagundes, C. K., M. Amend and C. R. Ferrara (2022). "The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to study a freshwater turtle population in the Brazilian Amazon." Herpetological Conservation and Biology 17(1), 43-50. http://www.herpconbio.org/Volume_17/Issue_1/Fagundes_etal_2022.pdf

Abstract: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones have been widely adopted recently for the conservation, management, and research of a variety of taxa with various purposes and have given good results. This study was the first one to analyze behavioral patterns and to evaluate the disturbance effect of the drone on individuals of a freshwater turtle species in a white river in the Brazilian Amazon. We found no turtles returned to the water during drone flights while nesting. We recorded that a safe altitude for observing Giant South American River Turtle (Podocnemis expansa) individuals that were in the water and basking during the nesting period was above 20 m and 40 m, respectively. Different categories of image acquisition had no significant effect on the number of individuals we counted. Also, the number of individuals detected by drones were not significantly different among the sampling times. The interaction of image acquisition type and time was also not significantly different. Data suggest that drones have performed efficiently for studying freshwater turtle populations in the Amazon. The tool can provide information about abundance, distribution, density, and reproductive behavior, which is particularly important in areas with mass nesting and mass hatching.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 6

Mendoza, A. P., S. Shanee, N. Cavero, C. Lujan-Vega, Y. Ibañez, C. Rynaby, M. Villena, Y. Murillo, S. H. Olson et al. (2022). "Domestic networks contribute to the diversity and composition of live wildlife trafficked in urban markets in Peru." Global Ecology and Conservation 37, e02161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2022.e02161

Abstract: Amazonian countries have historically sourced the international wildlife trade. However, little is known about their domestic trade, which is often overlooked in estimates of trafficking. Peruvian law prohibits the unauthorized trade and possession of wildlife, but illegal sales are common in urban markets. To describe the dynamics, diversity, and composition of this illegal trade, we surveyed live wildlife for sale in urban markets in 16 Peruvian departments from 2007 to 2012. We identified the main hotspots of market trafficking, detected 193 species being sold alive, and estimate that 0.35–1.25 million animals were trafficked in this period. Iquitos, Lima, Pucallpa, and Tumbes were the most active and diverse trafficking nodes. Amazonian cities trafficked mostly local species, whereas in other cities the proportion of local species varied significantly (39–67%). Species dissimilarity across cities was high and correlated with their distance along trafficking routes. To assess if the market-based trade was representative of the national trade, we compared species richness in markets with that of country-wide confiscations. At least 430 species were confiscated in Peru between 2001 and 2019, but only 50% of species overlapped with markets in the same cities and period of our surveys. Our data suggest that urban markets are connected in a structured network that provides consumers with a diverse selection of species from across the country. Authorities should consider organizational aspects of trafficking networks to ensure success. Failure to eradicate wildlife trafficking in markets constitutes a serious threat to wildlife conservation and One Health in Peru and beyond.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 6

Platt, S. G., S. H. N. Aung, M. M. Soe, T. Lwin et al. (2022). "Reproduction of translocated Geochelone platynota (Testudines: Testudinidae) at two wildlife sanctuaries in Myanmar." Salamandra 58(2), 161-165. https://www.salamandra-journal.com/index.php/home/contents/2022-vol-58/2085-platt-s-g-swann-htet-naing-aung-me-me-soe-tint-lwin-k-platt-a-d-walde-t-r-rainwater

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 6

Turschwell, M. P., S. R. Connolly, R. B. Schäfer, ..., C. Mantyka-Pringle et al. (Early View). "Interactive effects of multiple stressors vary with consumer interactions, stressor dynamics and magnitude." Ecology Letters. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.14013

Abstract: Predicting the impacts of multiple stressors is important for informing ecosystem management but is impeded by a lack of a general framework for predicting whether stressors interact synergistically, additively or antagonistically. Here, we use process-based models to study how interactions generalise across three levels of biological organisation (physiological, population and consumer-resource) for a two-stressor experiment on a seagrass model system. We found that the same underlying processes could result in synergistic, additive or antagonistic interactions, with interaction type depending on initial conditions, experiment duration, stressor dynamics and consumer presence. Our results help explain why meta-analyses of multiple stressor experimental results have struggled to identify predictors of consistently non-additive interactions in the natural environment. Experiments run over extended temporal scales, with treatments across gradients of stressor magnitude, are needed to identify the processes that underpin how stressors interact and provide useful predictions to management.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 6

Yadana, S., T. Cheun-Arom, H. Li, ..., A. Latinne et al. (2022). "Behavioral–biological surveillance of emerging infectious diseases among a dynamic cohort in Thailand." BMC Infectious Diseases 22(1), e472. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-022-07439-7

Abstract: Interactions between humans and animals are the key elements of zoonotic spillover leading to zoonotic disease emergence. Research to understand the high-risk behaviors associated with disease transmission at the human-animal interface is limited, and few consider regional and local contexts.

 

Preprint Citations

Preprint Citation 1 of 1

Rawal, P., D. Chatrath and G. Shahabuddin (Preprint). “The role of street fig trees as avian resource providers in a tropical megacity: Study of patterns and drivers.” Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1657686/v1

Abstract: Street trees are known to mitigate the negative effects of urbanization on biodiversity, particularly bird fauna. Despite their acknowledged benefits for birds, studies so far have been largely limited to relatively coarse scales; an understanding of the role of local environments and individual tree characteristics is lacking. We studied patterns of bird visitation at individual street Ficus (fig) trees in Delhi, India, where Ficus spp. were found to be a relatively common tree choice. We also studied the drivers of bird visitation patterns at different scales including tree characteristics and local and landscape variables. 106 trees of three common fig species were surveyed for bird visitors across three study sites with varying urban patterns in Delhi. Fig trees were found to be a relatively common street tree choice in Delhi. Surveyed fig trees were visited by 29 bird species, including 7 obligate frugivores. We found that reducing green cover in surrounding landscape and increasing noise levels did not deter birds from visiting these trees. Instead, variables at finer scales like tree canopy diameter, tree species and local resource density had significant effects on both species’ richness and abundance of bird visitors. Our results highlight that an understanding of avian responses at different scales is useful for maximising the value of street trees for urban birds. Coarse-scale studies can provide insights into bird diversity of city landscapes, but micro-scale studies are more important in making fine scale management decisions, such as selection of street trees.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  10-16 May 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 8

Antunes, A. C., A. Montanarin, D. M. Gräbin, ..., R. B. Wallace, ..., A. M. Herrera, ..., C. C. Durigan, ..., C. Zárate-Castañeda, ..., E. Isasi-Catalá, ..., F. Anaguano, ..., G. Zapata-Ríos, G. Forero-Medina, ..., G. Ayala, ..., J. Palacios, ..., J. Polisar, J. Salvador, ..., K. Didier, ..., L. Valenzuela, ..., M. Viscarra, ..., R. d. N. Leite, ..., R. Cueva et al. (Accepted Article). "AMAZONIA CAMTRAP: A dataset of mammal, bird, and reptile species recorded with camera traps in the Amazon forest." Ecology, e3738. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3738

Abstract: The Amazon forest has the highest biodiversity on earth. However, information on Amazonian vertebrate diversity is still deficient and scattered across the published, peer-reviewed and grey literature and in unpublished raw data. Camera traps are an effective non-invasive method of surveying vertebrates, applicable to different scales of time and space. In this study, we organized and standardized camera trap records from different Amazon regions to compile the most extensive dataset of inventories of mammal, bird and reptile species ever assembled for the area. The complete dataset comprises 154,123 records of 317 species (185 birds, 119 mammals and 13 reptiles) gathered from surveys from the Amazonian portion of eight countries (Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela). The most frequently recorded species per taxa were: mammals - Cuniculus paca (11,907 records); birds - Pauxi tuberosa (3,713 records); and reptiles - Tupinambis teguixin (716 records). The information detailed in this data paper opens-up opportunities for new ecological studies at different spatial and temporal scales, allowing for a more accurate evaluation of the effects of habitat loss, fragmentation, climate change and other human-mediated defaunation processes in one of the most important and threatened tropical environments in the world. The dataset is not copyright restricted; please cite this data-paper when using its data in publications and we also request that researchers and educators inform us of how they are using this data.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 8

Farr, M. T., T. O'Brien, C. B. Yackulic and E. F. Zipkin (Accepted Article). "Quantifying the conservation status and abundance trends of wildlife communities with detection-nondetection data." Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13934

Abstract: Effective conservation requires understanding species' abundance patterns and demographic rates across space and time. Ideally, such knowledge should be available for whole communities, as variation in species' dynamics can elucidate factors leading to biodiversity losses. However, collecting data to simultaneously estimate abundance and demographic rates is often prohibitively time-intensive and expensive for communities of species. We developed a “multi-species dynamic N-occupancy model” to estimate unbiased, community-wide relative abundance and demographic rates. Our model uses detection-nondetection data (e.g., repeated presence-absence surveys) to estimate both species- and community-level parameters as well as the effects of environmental factors. We conducted a simulation study that validated our modeling framework, demonstrating how and when such an approach can be valuable. Using data from a network of camera traps across tropical equatorial Africa, we then used our model to evaluate the statuses and trends of a forest-dwelling antelope community. We estimated relative abundance, rates of recruitment (i.e., reproduction and immigration), and apparent survival probabilities for each species' local population. Our analysis indicated that the antelope community was fairly stable in this region (although 17% of populations [species-park combinations] declined over the study period), with variation in apparent survival linked more closely to differences among national parks rather than individual species' life histories. The multi-species dynamic N-occupancy model requires only detection-nondetection data to evaluate the population dynamics of multiple sympatric species and can thus be a valuable tool for conservation efforts seeking to understand the reasons behind recent biodiversity loss.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 8

Francomano, D., M. I. Rodríguez González, A. E. J. Valenzuela, Z. Ma, A. N. Raya Rey et al. (2022). "Human-nature connection and soundscape perception: Insights from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina." Journal for Nature Conservation 65, e126110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2021.126110

Abstract: Human disconnection from nature is thought to have contributed to the environmental crises we currently face, and increasing connection with nature has been proposed as one way of promoting pro-environmental behavior, nature conservation, and social-ecological sustainability. Some efforts to increase connection with nature (“nature relatedness”) have centered on exploring the social-ecological importance of soundscapes, but there is a paucity of empirical evidence supporting the theoretical linkage between soundscape perception and nature relatedness. Using prerecorded and in situ soundscape prompts, we conducted a street intercept survey in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina to assess: 1) the relative importance of senses in experiences of nature, 2) the relationship between nature relatedness and soundscape perception, 3) differences in soundscape perception between various soundscapes, and 4) possible sociodemographic influences on sense importance, nature relatedness, and soundscape perception. Participants reported that hearing was of secondary importance to vision in experiences of nature. We also found that nature relatedness was positively correlated with the valuation of soundscapes—particularly more natural ones—but not with the discernment of soundscapes or identification of where soundscapes were recorded. Valuation of more natural soundscapes was higher than valuation of more technophonically dominated soundscapes, while soundscape discernment and location identification were higher for soundscapes that were likely more familiar to listeners. Sociodemographic influences on these variables were minor, but women reported higher sense importance, and having a nature-based occupation was associated with higher nature relatedness and valuation of a soundscape from a penguin colony. Our study highlighted a number of potential research areas concerning soundscape perception, including differences between prerecorded and in situ soundscape prompts, defining various aspects of soundscape perception, and the relative influences of sound sources and quantitative acoustic parameters on soundscape perception. Further research is certainly needed to account for global diversity in cultures and soundscapes, but we found some promising empirical support for the use of natural-soundscape-focused educational programs in efforts to promote nature relatedness.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 8

Martín-Arias, V., C. Evans, R. Griffin, ..., N. A. Gomez et al. (2022). "Modeled impacts of LULC and climate change predictions on the hydrologic regime in Belize." Frontiers in Environmental Science 10, e848085. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2022.848085

Abstract: Land use and land cover (LULC) change can have detrimental effects on water quality. In Belize, agricultural expansion creates the risk of increased sediment load and excess nutrients in runoff water, while deforestation removes potential infiltration sites for this outflow. Climate change and evolving precipitation rates can intensify the quantity of runoff, further enabling the flow of sediments and excess nutrients out to the lagoon surrounding the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS). This study sought to estimate potential impacts on future water quality in Belize by first modeling LULC change through 2090 across Belize’s major watersheds based on observed trends from 2008 to 2018. Those LULC projections were subsequently combined with soil type data, elevation, and precipitation rates into a hydrologic model to produce runoff flow estimates as a proxy for water quality. The two Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP-6) scenarios employed in the study represented bookend climate change scenarios, and both indicated generally lower precipitation rates in Belize over the next century due to climate change. The most extreme scenario predicted a 46% decrease in precipitation. When holding LULC change constant, these climate scenarios projected a decrease in runoff, suggesting a positive relationship between precipitation and runoff. In contrast with the northern watersheds, the southern watersheds are projected to experience greater decreases in annual rainfall and runoff by 2090. When holding climate constant, runoff increased by approximately 2.8% in the Conservation-focused LULC scenario by 2090, which was 28% lower than the Business as Usual scenario, and 42% lower than the Development scenario. The study’s integration of CMIP6 climate scenarios into LULC and hydrologic modeling provides a more holistic view of the future of Belize’s water quality and supports the long-term planning efforts of local decision-making agencies.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 8

Morin, D. J., J. Boulanger, R. Bischof, ..., A. Gopalaswamy et al. (2022). "Comparison of methods for estimating density and population trends for low-density Asian bears." Global Ecology and Conservation 35, e02058. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2022.e02058

Abstract: Populations of bears in Asia are vulnerable to extinction and effective monitoring is critical to measure and direct conservation efforts. Population abundance (local density) or growth (λ) are the most sensitive metrics to change. We discuss the value in implementing spatially explicit capture-recapture (SCR), the current gold standard for density estimation, and open population SCR (OPSCR) to monitor changes in density over time. We provide guidance for designing studies to provide estimates with sufficient power to detect changes. Because of the wide availability of camera traps and interest in their use, we consider six density estimation methods and their extensions developed for use with camera traps, with specific consideration of assumptions and applications for monitoring Asian bears. We conducted a power analysis to calculate the precision in estimates needed to detect changes in populations with reference to IUCN Red List criteria. We performed a systematic review of empirical studies implementing camera trap abundance estimation methods and considered sample sizes, effort, and model assumptions required to achieve adequate precision for population monitoring. We found SCR and OPSCR, reliant on “marked” individuals, are currently the only methods with enough power to reliably detect even moderate to major (20–80%) declines. Camera trap methods with unmarked individuals rarely achieved precision sufficient to detect even large declines (80–90%), although with some exceptions (e.g., situations with moderate population densities, large number of sampling sites, or inclusion of ancillary local telemetry data. We describe additional estimation options including line transects, direct observations, monitoring age-specific survival and reproductive rates, and hybrid/integrated methodologies that may have potential to work for some Asian bear populations. We conclude monitoring changes in abundance or density is possible for most Asian bear populations but will require collaboration among researchers over broad spatial extents and extensive financial investment to overcome biological and logistical constraints. We strongly encourage practitioners to consider study design and sampling effort required to meet objectives by conducting simulations, power analyses, and assumption checks prior to implementing monitoring efforts, and reporting standardized dispersion measures such as coefficients of variation to allow for assessment of precision. Our guidance is relevant to other low-density and wide-ranging species.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 8

Nawtaisong, P., M. T. Robinson, K. Khammavong, P. Milavong, ..., A. E. Fine, M. Pruvot et al. (2022). "Zoonotic pathogens in wildlife traded in markets for human consumption, Laos." Emerging Infectious Diseases 28(4), 860-864. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2804.210249

Abstract: We tested animals from wildlife trade sites in Laos for the presence of zoonotic pathogens. Leptospira spp. were the most frequently detected infectious agents, found in 20.1% of animals. Rickettsia typhi and R. felis were also detected. These findings suggest a substantial risk for exposure through handling and consumption of wild animal meat.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 8

Tewfik, A., E. A. Babcock, M. Phillips, J. F. Moreira-Ramírez, F. Polanco, J. Marroquin, M. Castillo, N. Auil Gomez and R. McNab (Early View). "Simple length-based approaches offer guidance for conservation and sustainability actions in two Central American small-scale fisheries." Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3827

Abstract: 1. Many species targeted by multi-gear small-scale fisheries in developing countries are poorly studied in terms of fisheries sustainability even as their contributions to biodiversity, livelihoods, export earnings and food security are well documented. 2. This study presents new information on more than 150 fish species that constitute the bulk of small-scale fishery landings in Belize and on the Pacific coast of Guatemala to provide guidance for improved biodiversity conservation and fisheries management. This includes a number of species listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List and Appendix II of CITES. 3. Simple, length-based approaches and thresholds of size at maturity show that many of the elasmobranch and bony fish species examined have many immature individuals landed (Belize 51%, Guatemala 77%) across several gears. 4. In both countries, maximum size is negatively correlated with the intensity of overfishing for several common metrics: proportions of mature, optimal sized and mega-spawners. The disproportionate removal of the largest species first will have cascading effects on biodiversity, community structure and species interactions, as well as livelihood opportunities and food security for fishing communities. 5. Status indicators, such as fishing mortality rate relative to natural mortality rate and estimates of depletion based on lengths are sensitive to the assumed values of life history parameters, indicating the importance of improved data on growth, maturity and mortality for these populations. 6. Our study emphasizes the use of a combination of fisheries conservation strategies, including size and effort controls, in conjunction with the closed area concept (i.e. marine protected areas) and meaningful consultation with resource users in order to maximize benefits for nature and people.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 8

Vora, N. M., L. Hannah, S. Lieberman et al. (2022). "Want to prevent pandemics? Stop spillovers." Nature 605, 419-422. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-022-01312-y

Abstract: Decision-makers discussing landmark agreements on health and biodiversity must include four actions to reduce the risk of animals and people exchanging viruses.

 

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 1 of 4

Cinner, J. E., I. Caldwell, L. Thiault, ..., J. Kuange et al. (Preprint). “The potential impacts of climate change on agriculture and fisheries production in 72 tropical coastal communities.” Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1620392/v1

Abstract: Climate change is expected to profoundly affect key food production sectors, including fisheries and agriculture. However, the potential impacts of climate change on these sectors are rarely considered jointly, and when they are, it is often at a national scale, which can mask substantial variability in how communities will be affected. Here, we combine socioeconomic surveys and intersectoral multi-model simulation outputs to conduct a sub-national analysis of the potential impacts of climate change on fisheries and agriculture in 72 coastal communities across five Indo-Pacific countries. Our study reveals three key findings: First, we find that the overall potential losses to fisheries is higher than potential losses to agriculture, but there is substantial within-country variability. Second, while more than two-thirds of locations will bear a double burden of potential losses to both fisheries and agriculture simultaneously, mitigation could reduce the proportion of places facing a double burden. Third, lower socioeconomic status communities are more likely to experience potential impacts than higher socioeconomic status communities.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 2 of 4

Pandong, J., M. Balang, Y. Anyie, M. Manggat, S. Ng, M. Gumal and D. M. Rayan (2022). Preliminary Results of Orangutan Distribution using Occupancy Modelling at the Sedilu-Sebuyau-Lesong Landscape in Sarawak. Malaysia Conservation Conference, 29-31 March 2022. Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia: Sarawak Forestry Corporation. https://sarawakforestry.com/mcc2022/files/paper/st4-5.pdf

Abstract: The knowledge on orangutan distribution is currently imperfect and investigation into methods such as occupancy modelling could be used to map orangutan occurrence over time and space. For this pilot study, we spatially indexed 303 hexagonal tiles, each 1 km2 in size, to represent plots over the Sedilu-Sebuyau-Lesong (SSL) landscape. We integrated rapid assessments of orangutan nest and occupancy modelling to generate proxy orangutan distribution for the survey period between July 2018 to November 2019. Preliminary results showed an estimate of 11%-22% probability of orangutans occupying 13 out of the 303 hexagonal tiles. These predicted occupied hexagonal tiles represent areas that are around the Ulu Sebuyau National Park and its proposed extension. Our study not only aids in refining monitoring methodology but also guides where management interventions are most needed to ensure the long-term survival of orangutans within the landscape.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 3 of 4

Wildlife Conservation Society (2022). Building a Blue Future for Ecosystems and People on the East African Coast. Annex A: Stakeholder Engagement Plan. Version 2. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society and Blue Action Fund. https://www.blueactionfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WCS_Mz_SEP.pdf

Abstract: Stakeholder engagement refers to a process of sharing information and knowledge, seeking to understand and respond to the concerns and needs of the counterpart, and building relationships based on mutual respect, collaboration and trust. Stakeholder consultation and disclosure are key elements for mobilization, engagement and ownership by the beneficiaries, and key for delivery of successful and sustainable projects. The present document is a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) for the project entitled, “Building a Blue Future for Ecosystems and People on the East African Coast”, funded by the Blue Action Fund and implemented by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with “Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo (ADPP)”, “Fundação para a Conservação da Biodiversidade (BIOFUND)”, ProAzul Trust Fund, “Associação do Meio Ambiente (AMA)”, “Instituto Oceanográfico de Moçambique” (InOM), formerly known as “Instituto Nacional de Investigação Pesqueira (IIP)”, “ProAzul”, “Departamento de Ciências Biológicas - Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (DBIO UEM)” and Faculdade de Ciências – Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (FC UEM) in Mozambique. The purpose of the SEP is to document all stakeholder information, sensitization, consultation, mobilization activities for a participative and informed commitment towards the project presented. This SEP is a public, “living document” that will be revised and updated throughout the lifetime of the project to account for the ongoing stakeholder engagement activities and potential changes to the project. The overall aim of the SEP is to ensure that a timely, consistent, comprehensive, coordinated and culturally appropriate approach is taken to consultation and project disclosure. It is intended to demonstrate the commitment of WCS and partners to an international best practice approach to engagement in line with IFC’s Performance Standards (PS) on Environmental and Social Sustainability. In this context, good stakeholder relations and trust are also a prerequisite for good risk management. The SEP has been prepared by the WCS Social Safeguards Management Team, with input from the project implementation teams and local partners in Mozambique (WCS Mozambique and ADPP), and oversight from the WCS Conservation Measures and Communities staff. This SEP is based on the fieldwork carried out in November 2020 by the local NGO partners ADPP and AMA, in the Districts of Memba, Nacala-Porto and Mossuril for the socio-economic component of the intervention and on subsequent contacts established in 2021 (particularly between June and August). The assessment framework results from the Terms of Reference presented by WCS and approved by consensus by the project partners. While Nacla-Porto was assessed, we ultimately decided against including the site in our project intervention area because it is very industrialized, which could create bottlenecks due to opposition from local governments and private companies. The information gathered has allowed the partners to detail project's objectives, activities and target indicators at social and economic levels as well as to show clear evidence of community and local authority support for it. The fieldwork conducted has enabled a good understanding of the local context and needs. The assessment involved local communities and relevant stakeholders in the target districts to inform about the project and gather all the necessary information, including insight on vulnerable groups living in these areas and accessing resources within the proposed MPA, to develop a complete and viable proposal. The work included identification and confirmation of the target areas to intervene within the project scope as well as the real challenges that will be faced by it. A rapid assessment was carried out. The collection methods included: - Interviews with Key Informants: local authorities, community leaders and other key influencers in the community about their observations, the data they have and the experience they can share. - Focus Group Discussions: with Community Fishery Councils, existing fisher associations, local leaders and other community groups to discuss the challenges they face, opportunities that exist locally and their willingness/availability to participate in the project. - Direct or participatory observation: visiting community spaces, such as community meeting places, subsistence project sites to observe and talk to those at field level, as well as participate in ongoing programmes and activities taking place during the visit. - Direct engagement with several stakeholders at the national level. The project team consulted 128 people including 32 women. People from economically disadvantaged groups were also included in the FDGs. The local leaders were asked to identify other vulnerable groups and give insights about their socio-economic situation. The socio-economic assessment was conducted as a pre-implementation baseline study. The filed assessment was funded by BAF. Between November 2020 and August 2021 WCS engaged with several stakeholders at the national level (Government institutions) and conservation partners with projects being implemented in the study area (RARE, IUCN, OIKOS, Blue Ventures and Solidariedade Moçambique). This engagement was particularly intensive between June and August 2021 when AMA and ADPP also re-established contacts with local stakeholders from Memba and Mossuril, including the District authorities and several Community Fishing Councils. Finally, additional field work was conducted in December 2021 and 130 people, including 21 women, were consulted during this second site visit, including representatives of the District Services of Economic Activities, technicians from Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and community focal points, local leaders, CCPs, fishers and private sector.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 4 of 4

Wildlife Conservation Society (2022). Building a Blue Future for Ecosystems and People on the East African Coast. Annex B: Preliminary Process Framework. Version 2. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society and Blue Action Fund. https://www.blueactionfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/WCS_Mz_Process-Framework.pdf

Abstract: This preliminary Process Framework (hereafter, PF) is prepared by WCS in the scope of the Building a Blue Future for Ecosystems and People on the East African Coast project (the “Project”) as the potential for economic displacement due to access restrictions inhered to the Project has been identified. The overall objective for the Project is to create a new, sustainable-use MPA in the coastal area of the Districts of Memba and Mossuril, in the Nampula province — covering an area of at least 1000 km2 and potentially 7 000 km2 — that includes a network of well-operated community- managed fishing areas This coastline is very important for biodiversity, especially for coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves, and it also includes important coastal forest patches. It has been identified over time by different initiatives as an area needing protection. It is also an area that has been overfished. Some of the main drivers of threats in this area include high poverty rates and lack of opportunities for local communities. There is a significant number of displaced people in the Memba district, as a result of the military conflict in the northern part of the Cabo Delgado province. No Indigenous Peoples/ Sub-Saharan African Historically Underserved Traditional Local Communities are present in the Project area or in Mozambique and therefore none will be potentially affected by the project. The project will support local CCPs to improve the management of their community-managed fishing areas to promote a sustainable use of the ecosystems, contributing to increase access to food while improving marine biodiversity. The project will enhance priority biodiversity and ecosystem services that contribute to reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience of local communities to climate change impacts, promoting effective prevention and adaptation, aiding coastal protection and supporting resource- based livelihoods, especially fisheries, and contributing to national climate and conservation targets. To achieve this goal, the present project will achieve two Outcomes: 1) improve resilience of climate-relevant ecosystems through increased protection and management; and 2) provide improved resilience and enhanced livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities. The Project formulation implies that only during the implementation stage, based on the results of substantial stakeholder engagement activities and of biodiversity, socio-economy and climate vulnerability assessments, the proposal of the MPA, the community-based ecological mangrove restoration/rehabilitation component and the climate resilient and sustainable livelihoods will be defined. At this stage several aspects of the Project are dependent on the initial baseline. Therefore, the E&S safeguard tools, like the PF, to be initially prepared pre-project implementation are preliminary and subject to review / being complemented along the project implementation process.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  3-9 May 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 3

Ayala, G. M., M. E. Viscarra, H. Ticona and R. B. Wallace (2022). "The "Death Road" or wildlife road: Fauna surveys in the ANMI Cotapata National Park (La Paz, Bolivia)." Ecología en Bolivia 57(1), 19-28.

Abstract: The "Death Road", so called because of the high number of fatal accidents, was formerly the only connection between La Paz and northern Bolivia; even then it caused displacement and disruption of wildlife populations due to its high traffic flow. Since 2007, the new Cotapata-Santa Bárbara road has replaced this connection, causing a 90% decrease in vehicle flow. Currently, the Death Road also has considerable wildlife biodiversity and has become a popular tourist route. This work aims to report the richness and relative abundance of medium and large mammals, recorded with camera trap methodology and bird surveys on this road and adjacent areas, 10 years after it ceased to be a heavily traveled road. A total of 35 camera trap stations were installed, obtaining an effort of 515.43 traps per night (TN), recording a total of 16 species of medium and large mammals and 94 species of wild birds. The species with the highest abundances were Zentrygon frenata, Mazama chunyi, Penelope montagni, Cuniculus taczanowskii and Leopardus tigrinus. This work is the first carried out on this road and therefore contributes valuable information on the richness and abundance of mammals and birds, being relevant as a baseline. However, a long-term monitoring is necessary.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 3

O’Connor, V. L., P. Thomas, M. Chodorow and N. Borrego (2022). "Exploring innovative problem-solving in African lions (Panthera leo) and snow leopards (Panthera uncia)." Behavioural Processes 199, e104648. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2022.104648

Abstract: Cognitive ability is likely linked to adaptive ability; animals use cognition to innovate and problem-solve in their physical and social environments. We investigated innovative problem-solving in two species of high conservation importance: African lions (Panthera leo; n = 6) and snow leopards (Panthera uncia; n = 9). We designed a custom multi-access puzzle box (MAB) to present a simple and effective behavioral test for the cats to explore. We measured Repeated Innovation, Persistence, Success, Contact Latency, and the Exploration Diversity of individuals interacting with the MAB. Of the six African lions, three (50%) solved one door to the box, one solved two doors (16.67%), and one solved three doors (16.67%). Of the nine snow leopards, one solved one door (11.11%), three solved two doors (33.33%), and none solved all three doors (0%). Persistence was a significant predictor of Success in African lions and snow leopards; more Persistent individuals were more likely to open a door. We also observed significant individual variation in Persistence for both species, but only snow leopards also exhibited differences in Contact Latency and Exploration Diversity. These results suggest individuals vary in their problem-solving approaches. Our findings support both species as successful, repeated innovators. Carnivores face ecological and social challenges and, presumably, benefit from cognitive abilities facilitating the successful navigation of these challenges in captivity and the wild.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 3

Reid, J. L., J. N. Bergman, A. N. Kadykalo, ..., C. M. O'Connor and S. J. Cooke (2022). "Developing a national level evidence-based toolbox for addressing freshwater biodiversity threats." Biological Conservation 269, e109533. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109533

Abstract: Freshwater biodiversity is in a state of crisis. The recent development of a global emergency recovery plan to “bend the curve” for freshwater biodiversity lacks the necessary details for implementation in a regional context. Using Canada as an example, we describe a toolbox intended to equip decision-makers and practitioners with evidence-based tools for addressing threats to freshwater biodiversity. The toolbox includes two rubric-based scoring tools to inform users about the level of the reliability (e.g., transparent methods, critical appraisal) and relevancy to Canadian freshwater systems (e.g., habitat, species) of an evidence synthesis. Those scoring tools were applied to 259 evidence syntheses, also included in the toolbox, across fifty freshwater management actions. Habitat Creation, Invasive Species Removal, and Revegetation were found to have reliable evidence syntheses but there remain several actions for which the syntheses are not robust and where the evidence base is unreliable. We suggest the need for more rigorously conducted empirical tests of freshwater management actions, further evidence synthesis, and clearer conveyance of implications for decision-makers and practitioners. Decision-makers and practitioners should use the two scoring tools on syntheses outside this project and tailor them to their regions. Given the global interest in addressing the freshwater biodiversity crisis and the necessity to engage and empower decision-makers and practitioners on a regional basis, we anticipate this toolbox will serve as a model for regions beyond Canada. Future studies to understand if and how the toolbox is used will be needed to make refinements and ensure it benefits freshwater biodiversity.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  26 April-2 May 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 6

Aloisio, J. M., S.-J. Roberts, R. Becker-Klein, S. Dunifon, ... and K. Tingley (2022). "Impacts of a near-peer urban ecology research mentoring program on undergraduate mentors." Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10, e803210. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.803210

Abstract: Environmental educators have used guided-inquiry in natural and supportive learning environments for decades, but comparatively little programming and research has focused on experiences in urban environments, including in constructed ecosystems like green roofs, or impacts on older youth and adults. To address this gap, we designed a tiered, near-peer research mentoring program called Project TRUE (Teens Researching Urban Ecology) and used a mixed-methods approach to evaluate impacts on undergraduates serving as research mentors. During the 11-week program, undergraduates conducted independent urban ecology research projects in a variety of New York City green spaces, including green roofs. They mentored a team of high school students working on their research projects, providing support throughout design, data collection, and dissemination. Our results indicate that these types of hands-on experiences can effectively support youth in learning research and mentoring skills and applying them to effectively manage and support high school students. Furthermore, 18 months after participation, mentors reported a sustained influence on their professional development, career paths, and science interest, especially in the context of their appreciation for nature. These results suggest that tiered, near-peer urban ecology research mentoring programs that utilizes urban green spaces, such as green roofs, can be an effective environmental education tool, especially in densely populated urban areas lacking traditional green space.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 6

Ballejo, F., P. Plaza, A. di Virgilio, ..., A. Novaro, M. Funes and S. A. Lambertucci (In Press). "Unravelling negative interactions between humans, mammalian carnivores and raptors in South America." Ecología Austral.

Abstract: Human-wildlife interactions can be negative when the needs and behavior of wildlife negatively influence human goals, or vice-versa, and management of these interactions may lead to conflict. Here, we review information on negative interactions between humans and wildlife in South America contained in 136 scientific publications, focusing on terrestrial mammalian predators and raptors. We found that most studies were conducted in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. The methodology most commonly used to investigate negative interactions was interviews with rural inhabitants. Studies were performed mainly on interactions involving large felids such as Panthera onca and Puma concolor, and —to a lesser extent— on other mammalian predators and raptors such as eagles or scavenger birds. The main drivers of negative interactions involved perceived or actual impacts on human economy (material) (e.g., livestock or crop losses) or were based on non-material (intangible) aspects (e.g., fear, myths, and religious beliefs). The studies showed that negative attitudes and perceptions toward terrestrial mammalian predators and raptors are widespread in South America. Although non-lethal strategies for mitigation of negative interactions have been proposed, most are not widely used and lethal controls are still very common. A multidisciplinary approach is required, based on multiple actions (e.g., improving livestock practices, running educational programs, increasing stakeholder involvement, providing farmers with solutions), which would minimize negative interactions and promote coexistence between humans and wildlife. This is key to maintaining threatened species, ecological interactions and healthy environments in the anthropized landscapes of biodiverse South America.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 6

Das, D. K., N. Khandakar, I. Sultana, M. Shamsuddoha, A. J. Galib et al. (2022). "Population size, behavior and threats to Indian skimmers (Rhynchops albicollis) at their largest known wintering site." Waterbirds 44(3), 382-388. https://doi.org/10.1675/063.044.0314

Abstract: Bangladesh hosts most of what is left of Indian Skimmer (Rhynchops albicollis) populations, a globally endangered species. Each October-March from 2015-2020, 21 surveys of nonbreeding birds were made in Nijhum Dweep National Park, Bangladesh. High tide or evening roosts were counted from vantage points whenever a buildup or breakdown of skimmer concentrations was noticed, and site use noted by marking all observations of presence and activity on maps. The largest single count was 3,108 skimmers on 18 February 2020, constituting 30-50% of the known global population. Indian Skimmers mostly occurred in Damar Char West and at the tip of the Majher Char. Throughout the day with incoming tide, skimmers moved between preferred roosting areas to forage in the shallows. We describe a unique group-foraging strategy in which skimmers chase fish from deep water to shallow water along the shoreline. Circling high over the tidal channel, the flock of skimmers dives down in unison to just above the water surface, then spreading like a net towards the shore. Raptors caused disturbances to roosting skimmers, and we observed one instance of predation of a skimmer by a White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). Human fishing activities disturbed nearshore foraging and shoreline roosting skimmers. We suggest protecting Damar Char West by regulating human activities to minimize disturbance from December to March.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 6

Grant, M. I., A. Bicknell, T. Htut, A. Maung, T. Maung, K. Myo Myo, T. Rein, M. K. San, W. T. White, K. Z. Ya and M. Mizrahi (Accepted Article). "Market surveys and social media provides confirmation of the Endangered giant freshwater whipray Urogymnus polylepis in Myanmar." Journal of Fish Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.15073

Abstract: The giant freshwater whipray Urogymnus polylepis is a threatened species that is vulnerable to riverine and coastal marine pressures. Despite its threatened status, the range of U. polylepis is still being determined. In this study, photographic evidence of U. polylepis in Myanmar was provided through market surveys (2017–2018), and social media (Sharks and Rays of Rakhine Facebook page, 2021). Urogymnus polylepis is exposed to fisheries and habitat degradation pressures in Myanmar, therefore conservation management is likely needed to ensure populations persist into the future.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 6

Oakes, L. E., G. Peterson St-Laurent, M. S. Cross, T. Washington, E. Tully and S. Hagerman (Early View). "Strengthening monitoring and evaluation of multiple benefits in conservation initiatives that aim to foster climate change adaptation." Conservation Science and Practice, e12688. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12688

Abstract: As the need to monitor and evaluate progress on climate change adaptation is increasingly recognized, practitioners may benefit from applying lessons about effective monitoring from the conservation field. This study focuses on monitoring conservation interventions that aim to foster climate change adaptation by assessing: what ways practitioners are adopting best practices from monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in conservation; what practitioners are monitoring in relation to reported outcomes; how monitoring comprehensiveness varies in practice and what factors enable more comprehensive monitoring; and practitioner views on what could improve M&E of adaptation actions. We conducted this study using a portfolio of 76 adaptation projects implemented across the United States and employed a mixed-methods design that included document analysis, an online survey, and semi-structured interviews. The majority (84%) of projects reported social outcomes at project completion in addition to ecological outcomes (100%), but monitoring plans focused primarily on ecological and biophysical changes. Only 21% of projects connected monitoring metrics to a theory of change linking actions to expected outcomes. Involvement of an external research partner was identified as a key factor in supporting more comprehensive monitoring efforts. Results provide applied insights for enhancing delivery of social and ecological outcomes from adaptation projects, and suggest research pathways to improve monitoring and effectiveness of climate-informed conservation.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 6

Orenstein, R. I., D. Freyer, S. Lieberman et al. (2022). "Commentary: Think before you act: Improving the conservation outcomes of CITES listing decisions." Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10, e889234. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.889234

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 1

Brink, C. W. (2022). Report on the Niassa Taita Falcon Survey of November 2021. Report prepared for The Peregrine Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Mozambican Government. Maputo, Mozambique: The Peregrine Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society and Bird Life South Africa. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4406200000.aspx

 

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  19-25 April 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 5

de Lima, R. A. F., O. L. Phillips, A. Duque, ..., E. Vilanova et al (In Press). "Making forest data fair and open." Nature Ecology & Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-022-01738-7

Abstract: Data on tropical forests are in high demand. But ground forest measurements are hard to sustain and the people who make them are extremely disadvantaged compared to those who use them. We propose a new approach to forest data that focuses on the needs of data originators, and ensures users and funders contribute properly.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 5

Grantham, H. S., T. Evans, S. Lieberman, J. G. Robinson, P. R. Elsen, ..., G. Surya, ... and J. E. M. Watson (2022). "Response: Where Might We Find Ecologically Intact Communities?" Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 5, e730546. https://doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2022.730546

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 5

Heimlich, J. E., D. Wasserman, K. Tingley, S.-J. Roberts and J. Aloisio (2022). "An influence among influences: The perceived influence contribution scale development and use." Evaluation and Program Planning 92, e102091. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2022.102091

Abstract: Many youth programs seek to understand their influence over time on participant outcomes. This paper offers a methodology for measuring a participant’s perception of a program’s contribution amid their perception of other youth influences such as those from family, school, peer groups, hobbies, and other organized activities. The instrument built on the large body of work on youth influences in order to capture the dominant factors in development of the item bank. In addition to item development, the paper documents face validity followed by content assessment of items using a research panel, a principal component analysis using a second panel, and a full pilot with older teens in other summer intensive programs. The scale’s implementation for baseline and annual follow-up measures of an intensive summer research experience revealed stable and high relative contribution to older teen participants’ academic and career decision making over time. The final scale includes 19 items in 6 factors of family & religion; interests organized by others; adult responsibilities; school; arts; and interests organized by self. The scale proved to be responsive to changes in influences while remaining stable over time

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 5

Plenderleith, L. J., W. Liu, Y. Li, ..., C. M. Sanz, D. B. Morgan et al. (2022). "Zoonotic origin of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium malariae from African apes." Nature Communications 13(1), e1868. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-29306-4

Abstract: The human parasite Plasmodium malariae has relatives infecting African apes (Plasmodium rodhaini) and New World monkeys (Plasmodium brasilianum), but its origins remain unknown. Using a novel approach to characterise P. malariae-related sequences in wild and captive African apes, we found that this group comprises three distinct lineages, one of which represents a previously unknown, highly divergent species infecting chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas across central Africa. A second ape-derived lineage is much more closely related to the third, human-infective lineage P. malariae, but exhibits little evidence of genetic exchange with it, and so likely represents a separate species. Moreover, the levels and nature of genetic polymorphisms in P. malariae indicate that it resulted from the zoonotic transmission of an African ape parasite, reminiscent of the origin of P. falciparum. In contrast, P. brasilianum falls within the radiation of human P. malariae, and thus reflects a recent anthroponosis.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 5

Pomerantz, A., K. Sahlin, N. Vasiljevic, A. Seah, M. Lim et al. (In Press). "Rapid in situ identification of biological specimens via DNA amplicon sequencing using miniaturized laboratory equipment." Nature Protocols. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41596-022-00682-x

Abstract: In many parts of the world, human-mediated environmental change is depleting biodiversity faster than it can be characterized, while invasive species cause agricultural damage, threaten human health and disrupt native habitats. Consequently, the application of effective approaches for rapid surveillance and identification of biological specimens is increasingly important to inform conservation and biosurveillance efforts. Taxonomic assignments have been greatly advanced using sequence-based applications, such as DNA barcoding, a diagnostic technique that utilizes PCR and DNA sequence analysis of standardized genetic regions. However, in many biodiversity hotspots, endeavors are often hindered by a lack of laboratory infrastructure, funding for biodiversity research and restrictions on the transport of biological samples. A promising development is the advent of low-cost, miniaturized scientific equipment. Such tools can be assembled into functional laboratories to carry out genetic analyses in situ, at local institutions, field stations or classrooms. Here, we outline the steps required to perform amplicon sequencing applications, from DNA isolation to nanopore sequencing and downstream data analysis, all of which can be conducted outside of a conventional laboratory environment using miniaturized scientific equipment, without reliance on Internet connectivity. Depending on sample type, the protocol (from DNA extraction to full bioinformatic analyses) can be completed within 10 h, and with appropriate quality controls can be used for diagnostic identification of samples independent of core genomic facilities that are required for alternative methods.

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 2

Andrachuk, M., S. H. Peckham, S. Box, ..., E. S. Darling, ..., E. Matthews et al. (2022). The Role of Coral Reef Small-Scale Fisheries for Addressing Malnutrition & Avoiding Biodiversity Loss: A Vibrant Oceans Initiative Whitepaper. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Vibrant Oceans Initiative, Coral Reef Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, WorldFish, Oceana, RARE Conservation, Environmental Defense Fund, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, Arizona State University, University of British Columbia, Lancaster University, Talanoa Consulting, and Conservation International. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.44039

Abstract: Integrated management of coral reef foods, as a highly diverse set of blue foods, can contribute to addressing the dual challenges of malnutrition and biodiversity loss. Advances in nutrition research have made it possible to understand nutritional benefits on a species by species basis, and to make comparisons with benefits derived from land-based foods. We provide a series of considerations about current understanding of nutrition from coral reef foods, including the predominance of finfish in nutritional assessments, the importance of contaminants for food safety, uncertainty stemming from climate and cumulative impacts, and the need for locally specific assessments of food systems. Next we outline how nutrition, coral reef small-scale fisheries, and communities intersect. Aspects of equity and food sovereignty are reviewed as a basis for contextualizing current scientific understanding of nutrition while acknowledging who is actually benefiting nutritionally and materially from coral reef fisheries. Given this understanding of the state of knowledge of nutrition from coral reef foods, we encourage the development of nutrition-sensitive coral reef governance. We conclude with a set of recommendations for governance institutions, fishing organizations, philanthropic foundations, funding agencies, conservation organizations, and researchers, among others. To ensure coherence, we encourage these stakeholders to work with each other and with communities for implementation of the following recommendations: prioritize coral reef foods for local nutrition; advance gender equity and social inclusion; adopt a systems approach for coral reef foods; integrate food system policies with fisheries, public health, and development; strengthen small-scale fisheries rights, access, and governance; and assess and monitor coral reef foods systems

Grey Literature Citation 2 of 2

Quintero, J. D. (2022). La Evaluación de Impactos Acumulativos: Oportunidades y Desafíos para su Implementación en el Perú. Lima, Peru: Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4401700000.aspx

Abstract : A pesar de los requisitos legales, la práctica de la Evaluación de Impactos Acumulativos (CEA) no se ha consolidado como instrumento de gestión ambiental en el Perú. Algunas CEA se han llevado a cabo principalmente por requisito de la Banca internacional o por iniciativa de algunos emprendimientos. En este momento, existe un consenso en las autoridades ambientales sobre la necesidad de aplicar la CEA en el Perú. Esta necesidad es urgente en territorios frágiles como la región amazónica, pero es también necesaria en otras regiones del país como la región andina (Sierra) y la región costera. Esta necesidad es aún más crítica dados los programas de inversión en infraestructura acelerados que se están planificando en el país. La implementación de esta herramienta en el Perú deberá ser gradual, utilizando los sistemas e instituciones de gestión ambiental ya existentes en el país. En paralelo, se necesita fortalecer la capacidad de aplicar esta herramienta en todos los actores que participan en el sistema incluyendo las autoridades ambientales, las agencias sectoriales, los promotores de proyectos y los consultores ambientales. Con base en el análisis de las restricciones ambientales y sociales para la implementación de la herramienta de evaluación de impactos acumulativos en el Perú, se propone un Plan de Acción que consta de 5 grandes líneas que son: • Establecer criterios para definir la necesidad de una CEA en la Evaluación Ambiental Preliminar, utilizando los procedimientos e instrumentos ya establecidos en la legislación ambiental nacional. • Preparación de los Términos de Referencia (TdR) para la CEA en las EIA-d y algunas EIAsd, a ser incluida en la Guía anterior. La metodología que se proponga en estos TdR deberá estar basada en los 6 pasos fundamentales aceptados internacionalmente. • Desarrollo de pilotos de CEA en el Perú, buscando ajustar los términos de referencia, identificar recursos ambientales y servicios ecosistémicos y ajustar los mecanismos de coordinación interinstitucional. Los pilotos que se recomiendan incluyen proyectos de energía y transporte en la región amazónica, proyectos mineros en la Sierra, desarrollos portuarios en la Costa y proyectos en zonas urbanas. También se destaca la oportunidad para pilotos de CEA que brinda el Plan Nacional de Infraestructura para la Competitividad (PNIC). • Diseñar y divulgar un manual técnico para la CEA en el Perú, estableciendo metodologías prácticas y una clara definición de responsabilidades para la gestión de impactos acumulativos, e incluyendo la necesidad de procesos de consulta en la evaluación. • Programa de capacitación y entrenamiento en la CEA, a todos los nivele s, incluyendo instituciones de gestión ambiental, agencias sectoriales (hidrocarburos, energía, transporte, agricultura,), regionales, entidades municipales y urbanas, y consultores ambientales. El fortalecimiento de esta capacidad deberá ser un programa de varios años, Como eje central de este plan, liderado por el MINAM, se recomienda una estrategia de coordinación institucional que facilite la elaboración, aplicación y seguimiento de las evaluaciones de impactos acumulativos. La participación de la OEFA en el seguimiento y supervisión de los requisitos resultantes de la evaluación de impactos acumulativos será clave. La participación de Organizaciones no Gubernamentales, como Wildlife Conservation Society, ayudará a fortalecer el Plan de Acción propuesto.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  12-18 April 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 9

Carroll, K. A., L. S. Farwell, A. M. Pidgeon, ..., P. R. Elsen and V. C. Radeloff (Accepted Article). "Mapping breeding bird species richness at management-relevant resolutions across the United States." Ecological Applications, e2624. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2624

Abstract: Human activities alter ecosystems everywhere, causing rapid biodiversity loss and biotic homogenization. These losses necessitate coordinated conservation actions guided by biodiversity and species distribution spatial data that cover large areas yet have fine-enough resolution to be management-relevant (i.e., ≤ 5 km). However, most biodiversity products are too coarse for management or are only available for small areas. Furthermore, many maps generated for biodiversity assessment and conservation do not explicitly quantify the inherent tradeoff between resolution and accuracy when predicting biodiversity patterns. Our goals were to 1) generate predictive models of overall breeding bird species richness and species richness of different guilds based on nine functional or life history-based traits across the conterminous US at three resolutions (0.5, 2.5, and 5 km), and 2) quantify the tradeoff between resolution and accuracy, and hence relevance for management, of the resulting biodiversity maps. We summarized eighteen years of North American Breeding Bird Survey data (1992–2019) and modeled species richness using random forests, including 66 predictor variables (describing climate, vegetation, geomorphology, and anthropogenic conditions), 20 of which we newly derived. Among the three spatial resolutions, the percent variance explained ranged from 27% to 60% (median = 54%; mean = 57%) for overall species richness and 12% to 87% (median = 61%; mean = 58%) for our different guilds. Overall species richness and guild-specific species richness were best explained at 5-km resolution using approximately 24 predictor variables based on percent variance explained, symmetric mean absolute percentage error, and root mean squared error values. However, our 2.5-km resolution maps were almost as accurate and provided more spatially detailed information, which is why we recommend them for most management applications. Our results represent the first consistent, occurrence-based, and nationwide maps of breeding bird richness with a thorough accuracy assessment that are also spatially detailed enough to inform local management decisions. More broadly, our findings highlight the importance of explicitly considering tradeoffs between resolution and accuracy to create management-relevant biodiversity products for large areas.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 9

Farhan Adyn, M., M. C. Sibarani, L. Utoyo et al. (2022). "Role of siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) as seed dispersal agent in a Sumatran lowland tropical forest." Biodiversitas: Journal of Biological Diversity 23(4), 2101-2110. https://doi.org/10.13057/biodiv/d230445

Abstract: Seed dispersal is mutualistic interaction between angiosperms and dispersal agents. One of the important dispersers for lowland tropical forests, including in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP), is siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus Raffles, 1821). This study aimed to determine the seed dispersal pattern, composition of dispersed seeds, and the seed fate dispersed by siamangs at Way Canguk Research Station, BBSNP, Lampung, Indonesia, from February-April 2021. We used the continuous focal sampling method to observe siamang behavior, while the purposive sampling method collected feces and seeds. Siamangs dispersed endozoochory dominantly, all fecal contained seeds, deposited more in the morning, and more scattered than clumped. With a gut passage time of 22.5 ± 3 hours, the seed dispersal distance was 223.9 ± 142 meters from the parents. Seeds < 3 mm were more numerous, but seeds > 3 mm were dispersed more often. Siamang was recorded to disperse a mean of 3.3 ± 1.4 species/feces, and 22 species were dispersed. The germination test showed that only 28% of total planted seeds successfully germinated. Based on in situ monitoring, the remaining deposit sites only accounted for 12% of total records, while the germination rate of dispersed seeds from these deposit sites varied. Further studies are needed with a larger sample to test the consistency of these findings.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 9

Fitriansyah, R. A., A. Setiawan, E. L. Rustiati, L. Utoyo and M. C. Sibarani (2022). "Spatial distribution and temporal patterns of food tree availability of hornbills (Bucerotidae) at Way Canguk Research Station, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Indonesia." Biodiversitas: Journal of Biological Diversity 23(4), 1990-1997. https://doi.org/10.13057/biodiv/d230433

Abstract: The presence of hornbills in an area is associated with food availability. As more food sources become available, the hornbill population in the area may increase. The purpose of this research was to determine the spatial distribution of hornbill food trees and to determine the long-term temporal fruiting pattern of hornbill food trees at Way Canguk Research Station (WCRS), Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Indonesia. We surveyed vegetation plots across the research station to assess the spatial distribution and analyzed long-term phenology survey data of the research station that have been collected from February 1998 to December 2020. We recorded 64 species of hornbill food trees with a total of 911 individuals in 197 of 200 survey plots. The temporal fruiting pattern of hornbill food trees during the last 22 years was relatively stable, with an average of fruiting tree percentage of 10.4% (SD: 3.2%, N: 260 months). The highest percentage of fruiting food trees occurred in September 2008, which amounted to 18.3% and the lowest percentage occurred in September 1998 with a percentage of 2.2%.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 9

Ingram, D. J., M. Prideaux, N. K. Hodgins, ..., T. Collins et al. (2022). "Widespread use of migratory megafauna for aquatic wild meat in the tropics and subtropics." Frontiers in Marine Science 9, e837447. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.837447

Abstract: Wild animals are captured or taken opportunistically, and the meat, body parts, and/or eggs are consumed for local subsistence or used for traditional purposes to some extent across most of the world, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. The consumption of aquatic animals is widespread, in some places has been sustained for millennia, and can be an important source of nutrition, income, and cultural identity to communities. Yet, economic opportunities to exploit wildlife at higher levels have led to unsustainable exploitation of some species. In the literature, there has been limited focus on the exploitation of aquatic non-fish animals for food and other purposes. Understanding the scope and potential threat of aquatic wild meat exploitation is an important first step toward appropriate inclusion on the international policy and conservation management agenda. Here, we conduct a review of the literature, and present an overview of the contemporary use of aquatic megafauna (cetaceans, sirenians, chelonians, and crocodylians) in the global tropics and subtropics, for species listed on the Appendices of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). We find that consumption of aquatic megafauna is widespread in coastal regions, although to varying degrees, and that some species are likely to be at risk from overexploitation, particularly riverine megafauna. Finally, we provide recommendations for CMS in the context of the mandate of the Aquatic Wild Meat Working Group.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 9

Jones, K. R., A. von Hase, H. M. Costa, H. Rainey, N. Sidat, ... and H. S. Grantham (Early View). "Spatial analysis to inform the mitigation hierarchy." Conservation Science and Practice, e12686. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12686

Abstract: Human activities such as urbanization, infrastructure and agriculture are driving global biodiversity declines. In an attempt to balance economic development goals with biodiversity conservation, governments and industry apply a decision-making framework known as the mitigation hierarchy, with a goal of achieving no net loss or net gain outcomes for biodiversity. Successful application of the mitigation hierarchy requires biodiversity assessments and spatial planning to inform the design of mitigation policies, identify priority areas for biodiversity conservation and impact avoidance, assess the biodiversity impacts of developments, and identify appropriate mitigation measures including offsetting residual impacts. However, guidance on the necessary data and assessment techniques is often lacking, especially in countries where formal mitigation policies do not exist or are in their infancy. Here, we discuss and demonstrate analyses that can help answer some key questions for formulating effective mitigation policies and applying the mitigation hierarchy. We focus on data and analyses that can inform the avoidance and offset steps in particular, and demonstrate these techniques using a case study in Mozambique. While these analyses will not replace field-based assessments for projects, they offer rapid, low-cost approaches to support scoping and development of mitigation policy, planning and decision-making, especially in relatively data-poor regions.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 9

Ladd, R., R. Crouthers, S. Brook and J. C. Eames (In Press). "Reviewing the status and demise of the Endangered Eld’s deer and identifying priority sites and conservation actions in Cambodia." Mammalia. https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2021-0151

Abstract: Eld’s deer (Rucervus eldi) was once widely distributed across Southeast Asia, however the species is now listed as Endangered, having suffered severe population declines and range contractions. Cambodia has been considered a strong hold for the Eld’s deer subspecies R. e. siamensis, however there is limited population data available for this species within Cambodia, making its status unclear. Here, we collated all records of Eld’s deer presence between 2000 and 2020 to provide an insight into the current status of the species in Cambodia. Data was sourced through literature review as well as the internal databases of conservation organisations and biodiversity surveys. Our findings reveal that very small, spatially isolated populations of Eld’s deer are now largely restricted to nine areas in the eastern and northern parts of the country and that urgent conservation action is required to secure the future of this species in Cambodia. Effective law enforcement and anti-hunting strategies, implementation of management plans within protected areas as well as investigation into the potential of captive populations to support the conservation of Eld’s deer in the wild are essential for preserving this species.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 9

Wen, D., J. Qi, Z. Long, ..., E. Yang et al. (Early View). "Conservation potentials and limitations of large carnivores in protected areas: A case study in Northeast China." Conservation Science and Practice, e12693. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12693

Abstract: Protected areas are considered the cornerstone of endangered wildlife conservation. However, quantified conservation potentials and limitations of large carnivores in protected areas are lacking. In the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park (NTLNP) in China, our camera trap survey in 2019 found 26–27 adult Amur tigers and 49–59 adult Amur leopards occurring in the park. Based on spatial area, current prey populations, and environmental carrying capacity of prey, we estimated the supportable number of tigers to be 55, 90, and 101 individuals, respectively. For leopard, these values were 95, 356, and 572, respectively. Further simulations indicated that human land use change scenarios did not contribute much to increasing the potential prey-supportable populations of Amur tiger and leopard. Our results showed that the number of tigers and leopards in NTLNP is currently low and has a high recovery potential. However, even the highest supportable population is not enough to support the sustainable existence of an Amur tiger population. Therefore, we suggest that, in addition to further restoration and improvement of the prey population and habitat quality in NTLNP, managers should strengthen the connectivity between NTLNP and other habitat patches to form a well-connected network of protected areas. Promoting the spread of tigers and leopards outwards from this source population in NTLNP through ecological corridor construction would enlarge the area of habitat and is a crucial measure for realizing the sustainable survival of an Amur tiger population in Northeast China.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 9

Williams, B. A., H. S. Grantham, J. E. M. Watson, ..., S. Ayebare, E. Goldman and A. I. T. Tulloch (In Press). "Reconsidering priorities for forest conservation when considering the threats of mining and armed conflict." Ambio. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-022-01724-0

Abstract: Many threats to biodiversity can be predicted and are well mapped but others are uncertain in their extent, impact on biodiversity, and ability for conservation efforts to address, making them more difficult to account for in spatial conservation planning efforts, and as a result, they are often ignored. Here, we use a spatial prioritisation analysis to evaluate the consequences of considering only relatively well-mapped threats to biodiversity and compare this with planning scenarios that also account for more uncertain threats (in this case mining and armed conflict) under different management strategies. We evaluate three management strategies to address these more uncertain threats: 1. to ignore them; 2. avoid them; or 3. specifically target actions towards them, first individually and then simultaneously to assess the impact of their inclusion in spatial prioritisations. We apply our approach to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and identify priority areas for conserving biodiversity and carbon sequestration services. We found that a strategy that avoids addressing threats of mining and armed conflict more often misses important opportunities for biodiversity conservation, compared to a strategy that targets action towards areas under threat (assuming a biodiversity benefit is possible). We found that considering mining and armed conflict threats to biodiversity independently rather than simultaneously results in 13 800–14 800 km2 and 15 700–25 100 km2 of potential missed conservation opportunities when undertaking threat-avoiding and threat-targeting management strategies, respectively. Our analysis emphasises the importance of considering all threats that can be mapped in spatial conservation prioritisation.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 9

Zandler, H., S. P. Faryabi and S. Ostrowski (2022). "Contributions to satellite-based land cover classification, vegetation quantification and grassland monitoring in Central Asian Highlands using Sentinel-2 and MODIS data." Frontiers in Environmental Science 10, e684589. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2022.684589

Abstract: The peripheral setting of cold drylands in Asian mountains makes remote sensing tools essential for respective monitoring. However, low vegetation cover and a lack of meteorological stations lead to uncertainties in vegetation modeling, and obstruct uncovering of driving degradation factors. We therefore analyzed the importance of promising variables, including soil-adjusted indices and high-resolution snow metrics, for vegetation quantification and classification in Afghanistan’s Wakhan region using Sentinel-2 and field data with a random forest algorithm. To increase insights on remotely derived climate proxies, we incorporated a temporal correlation analysis of MODIS snow data (NDSI) compared to field measured vegetation and MODIS-NDVI anomalies. Repeated spatial cross-validation showed good performance of the classification (80–81% overall accuracy) and foliar vegetation model (R2 0.77–0.8, RMSE 11.23–12.85). Omitting the spatial cross-validation approach led to a positive evaluation bias of 0.1 in the overall accuracy of the classification and 25% in RMSE of the cover models, demonstrating that studies not considering the spatial structure of environmental data must be treated with caution. The 500-repeated Boruta-algorithm highlighted MSACRI, MSAVI, NDVI and the short-wave infrared Band-12 as the most important variables. This indicates that, complementary to traditional indices, soil-adjusted variables and the short-wave infrared region are essential for vegetation modeling in cold grasslands. Snow variables also showed high importance but they did not improve the overall performance of the models. Single-variable models, which were restricted to areas with very low vegetation cover (<20%), resulted in poor performance of NDVI for cover prediction and better performance of snow variables. Our temporal analysis provides evidence that snow variables are important climate proxies by showing highly significant correlations of spring snow data with MODIS-NDVI during 2001–2020 (Pearson’s r 0.68) and field measured vegetation during 2006, 2007, 2016 and 2018 (R 0.3). Strong spatial differences were visible with higher correlations in alpine grasslands (MODIS NDVI: 0.72, field data: 0.74) compared to other regions and lowest correlations in riparian grasslands. We thereby show new monitoring approaches to grassland dynamics that enable the development of sustainable management strategies, and the mitigation of threats affecting cold grasslands of Central Asia.

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 1

Sanderson, E. W., E. W. Sanderson and C. McClennen (2022). Wild for All: The Rationale. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43990

Abstract: The purpose of this white paper is to support an initial set of recommended individual actions for Wild for All, an effort to encourage more people to experience the wonders of nature, and to take steps to protect the world’s wildlife and wild spaces – not only in faraway places, but also the everyday wild at our doorsteps too. Wild For All is a collaborative initiative with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Freeborne Impact, and Higher Ground. The campaign was launched in conjunction with the Netflix series Our Great National Parks, a five-part series narrated by President Barack Obama. Wild For All is powered by Count Us In.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  29 March-11 April 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 16

Bunholi, I. V., B. L. da Silva Ferrette, R. R. Domingues, M. M. Rotundo, J. M. Cuevas et al. (In Press). "Multilocus phylogeography of the endemic and endangered angular angelshark (Squatina guggenheim) in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean." Hydrobiologia. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-022-04855-3

Abstract: The angular angelshark (Squatina guggenheim) is a coastal endangered angel shark from the Southwest Atlantic Ocean and one of the major bycatch victims. Despite major concerns about this species, little is known about its evolutionary connectivity across its whole geographic distribution. Here, genetic connectivity and phylogeographic patterns of S. guggenheim for 122 individuals were assessed across the Southwest Atlantic Ocean regions based on a multilocus mitochondrial DNA approach to support conservation strategies. The concatenated mitochondrial dataset (control region, cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase I) showed high levels of haplotype diversity and low nucleotide diversity in S. guggenheim, with distinct genetic diversity patterns among populations. Although signs of stepping-stone gene flow were observed, a strong and statistically significant genetic structure into at least two populations was detected, matching with the species’ biological traits and region’s oceanographic particularities. Contrasting demographic patterns were detected, in which only southernmost Atlantic populations showed signs of population expansion. Despite the existence of connectivity among regions, our results suggest that conservation plans should be carried out following the uniqueness of each management unit.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 16

Elsey, R. M. and S. G. Platt (2022). "Alligator mississippiensis (American alligator). Frugivory." Herpetological Review 53(1), 127-128.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 16

Goutard, F., C. Calba, S. Chea, N. Antoine-Moussiaux, M. Pruvot et al. (2022). "The use of participatory methods in the evaluation of health surveillance systems.” In M. Peyre, F. Roger and F. Goutard. Eds., Principles for Evaluation of One Health Surveillance: The EVA Book, 163-177. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82727-4_8

Abstract: Surveillance systems rely on a network of stakeholders who share information. Socioeconomics factors have an influence on their decision to share or not the information within the system. Those factors are rarely taken into consideration, especially in the evaluation of surveillance systems. Participatory approaches derived from social sciences have proven useful to take these factors into account and have been adapted over the past 15 years to the context of health surveillance system evaluation. The “AccePT” (Acceptability Participatory Toolkit) method based on participatory approaches has been developed to assess the acceptability of surveillance systems. The method takes into consideration the adequacy of objectives and operation in the system for the stakeholders, the satisfaction of their roles, and their level of trust within the system. This approach allows stakeholders to freely discuss or think about how they experience working or not working with other partners, and to provide context-based recommendations taking into consideration their perceptions, expectations, and needs.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 16

Koenig, C. M. R., B. L. Koenig and C. M. Sanz (2022). "Portrayals of wild primates in documentary films: Reason for concern?" American Journal of Biological Anthropology 177(S73), 153. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24514

Abstract: Documentaries are the primary means by which many people observe the behavior of wild primates. By influencing layperson perceptions of wild primates, documentaries could impact viewer conservation-related beliefs and behaviors and therefore the wellbeing of wild primates. To investigate such portrayals, we examined 210 documentaries depicting the four species that were most represented in documentaries: rhesus macaques, chimpanzees, ring-tailed lemurs, and mountain gorillas. For each documentary, we continuously coded behavior, conducted scan samples of age-sex classes at three-minute intervals, and made ad   libitum observations of inaccuracies and misleading content. We expected that representation of age-sex classes and activity budgets in documentaries would differ from those reported in the primary literature for the same species in the wild. In addition, we expected inaccurate depictions for every species. For ring-tailed lemurs, adult males were under-represented in documentaries. For macaques, chimpanzees, and gorillas, representation of age-sex classes did not differ from observations in the wild. Documentary depictions of activity budgets differed from researcher accounts of wild primate behavior for rhesus macaques, chimpanzees, and mountain gorillas, but not for ring-tailed lemurs. In general, documentaries overrepresented traveling and social behaviors such as play and grooming. Documentaries may have emphasized traveling because such footage allows storyline narration, whereas the emphasis on social behavior was likely due to the appeal of such footage to audiences. Inaccuracies were documented for all four species, with rhesus macaques having the most inaccuracies. We propose that primatologists have an ethical imperative to enhance the accuracy of primate portrayals to audiences.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 16

Longenecker, K., E. C. Franklin, R. Hill-Lewenilovo, W. Lalavanua, R. Langston, S. Mangubhai and S. Piovano (2022). "Many immature individuals and largest size classes lacked females for three coral reef fishes (Actinopterygii) in Fiji market surveys: Implications for fishery management." Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 52(1), 53-65. https://doi.org/10.3897/aiep.52.80586

Abstract: Data-limited fisheries benefit from using life-history traits as biological indicators of targeted stocks. We used histology-based reproductive analyses to estimate size at maturity, per capita egg production, and the number and biomass of immature individuals in the catch for three common coral reef fishes in Fiji market surveys during 2010–2019. We studied Lutjanus gibbus (Forsskål, 1775), Parupeneus indicus (Shaw, 1803), and Chlorurus microrhinos (Bleeker, 1854), which represent three families: Lutjanidae, Mullidae, and Scaridae, respectively. Fork length comprising 50% mature individuals for females of L. gibbus was 22.7 cm, that of P. indicus was 25.9 cm, attaining 38.0 cm for C. microrhinos. Females were rare or absent in the largest size classes of all three species. Immature fish represented up to 50% by number and 41% by biomass of the catch in market surveys, with P. indicus having the greatest immature number (8%‒50%) and biomass (6%‒41%), followed by C. microrhinos (20%‒30% by count, 11%‒18% by biomass) and L. gibbus (9%‒28% by count, 5%‒14% by biomass). Individuals ≤ 30 cm for L. gibbus and P. indicus and ≤ 45 cm for C. microrhinos were responsible for ≥ 90% of egg production per spawning. Skewed size-specific sex ratios suggested that exploitation of the largest size classes had minimal effect on overall egg production. Decreased catches of immature fishes would increase the reproductive population sizes for these species.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 16

Malhi, Y., T. Lander, E. le Roux, ..., T. D. Evans et al. (2022). "The role of large wild animals in climate change mitigation and adaptation." Current Biology 32(4), R181-R196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.01.041

Two major environmental challenges of our time are responding to climate change and reversing biodiversity decline. Interventions that simultaneously tackle both challenges are highly desirable. To date, most studies aiming to find synergistic interventions for these two challenges have focused on protecting or restoring vegetation and soils but overlooked how conservation or restoration of large wild animals might influence the climate mitigation and adaptation potential of ecosystems. However, interactions between large animal conservation and climate change goals may not always be positive. Here, we review wildlife conservation and climate change mitigation in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. We elucidate general principles about the biome types where, and mechanisms by which, positive synergies and negative trade-offs between wildlife conservation and climate change mitigation are likely. We find that large animals have the greatest potential to facilitate climate change mitigation at a global scale via three mechanisms: changes in fire regime, especially in previously low-flammability biomes with a new or intensifying fire regime, such as mesic grasslands or warm temperate woodlands; changes in terrestrial albedo, particularly where there is potential to shift from closed canopy to open canopy systems at higher latitudes; and increases in vegetation and soil carbon stocks, especially through a shift towards below-ground carbon pools in temperate, tropical and sub-tropical grassland ecosystems. Large animals also contribute to ecosystem adaptation to climate change by promoting complexity of trophic webs, increasing habitat heterogeneity, enhancing plant dispersal, increasing resistance to abrupt ecosystem change and through microclimate modification.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 16

Marambio, C., H. n. Molina and B. Saavedra (2022). "Careful thinking: Pensar cuidando—henvupen yaconso". In S. Alexander, S. Chandrashekeran and B. Gleeson Eds., Post-Capitalist Futures: Paradigms, Politics, and Prospects, 165-178. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-6530-1_15

Abstract: Three authors and activists write collaboratively about the Patagonian peatbogs. The peatbogs have been degraded and continue to be endangered by numerous practices related to careless thinking. The authors link the threat of exploitation of the Fuegian peatbog to the colonisation of the First Nations’ Selk’nam peoples through state-sanctioned extermination policies. Repudiating the narrative of extinction, the authors compose a multi-vocal score that imagines futures of conservation, self-determination, and care. The practice of thinking and writing together makes visible the epistemological challenges of imagining post-capitalist, conserved futures, and performs the emancipatory practices of re-valuing, reclaiming, and re-visioning local sites.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 16

McGuire, L. P., N. W. Fuller, C. G. Haase, K. A. Silas and S. H. Olson (In Press). "Lean mass dynamics in hibernating bats and implications for energy and water budgets." Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. https://doi.org/10.1086/720160

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 16

Moreira-Soto, A., C. Walzer, G. Á. Czirják et al. (2022). "Serological evidence that SARS-CoV-2 has not emerged in deer in Germany or Austria during the COVID-19 Pandemic." Microorganisms 10(4), e748. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10040748

Abstract: Spillover of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to North American white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) has been documented. However, it is unclear if this is a phenomenon specific to North American deer or is a broader problem. We evaluated pre and pandemic exposure of German and Austrian deer species using a SARS-CoV-2 pseudoneutralization assay. In stark contrast to North American white-tailed deer, we found no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 10 of 16

Mouele, A. M., S. Brogan and C. Stephan (Early View). "Allo- and autocoprophagy events in wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)." African Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.13003

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 11 of 16

Ng, L. W. K., C. Chisholm, L. R. Carrasco, E. S. Darling et al. (Early View). "Prioritizing phylogenetic diversity to protect functional diversity of reef corals." Diversity and Distributions. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13526

Abstract: Aim: The ecosystem functions and services of coral reefs are critical for coastal communities worldwide. Due to conservation resource limitation, species need to be prioritized to protect desirable properties of biodiversity, such as functional diversity (FD), which has been associated with greater ecosystem functioning but is difficult to quantify directly. Selecting species to maximize phylogenetic diversity (PD) has been shown to indirectly capture FD in certain other taxa but not corals. Here, we test this hypothesis, the “phylogenetic gambit”, on corals within global marine protected areas (MPAs). Location: Global coral reefs. Methods: Based on the global distributions of reef corals, a complete species-level phylogeny and trait data, we compared the FD of coral assemblages within MPAs when selected to maximize PD versus FD for assemblages selected randomly. The relationships between PD and FD were also tested as predictors of surrogacy. We then used coral FD and PD to perform spatial prioritization of reefs for protection and assessed the congruence between the two approaches. Results: Selecting assemblages to maximize PD captured significantly more FD than a random subset of species for 83.1% of all selection scenarios across MPAs and would protect on average 18.7% more FD than random selection. Spatial prioritization analyses showed some mismatches between PD- and FD-optimized planning units, particularly in the Tropical Western Atlantic, but the high degree of overlap between the optimizations for other reef regions lends further credence to the PD-maximizing strategy in conserving coral FD. Main Conclusions: A PD-maximizing strategy generally protects greater FD of coral assemblages relative to random selection of species, suggesting that the “phylogenetic gambit” is valid for reef corals. There are risks, however, and the mismatches between PD-maximized and FD-maximized MPA networks highlight specific shortcomings of the PD-maximization approach. Nevertheless, in data-deficient circumstances, maximizing PD may provide a viable alternative.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 12 of 16

Platt, S. G., E. A. Measures, D. M. Rohr et al. (2022). "Chelydra serpentina (snapping turtle) and Chrsemys picta (painted turtle). Nesting habitat." Herpetological Review 53(1), 112-114.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 13 of 16

Platt, S. G. and T. R. Rainwater (2022). "Terrapene carolina (Eastern box turtle). Behavior in flood." Herpetological Review 53(1), 125.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 14 of 16

Seidu, I., D. van Beuningen, L. K. Brobbey et al. (2022). "Species composition, seasonality and biological characteristics of Western Ghana’s elasmobranch fishery." Regional Studies in Marine Science 52, e102338. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2022.102338

Abstract: Despite the fact that elasmobranchs are now targeted in artisanal fisheries in the wake of continuous declines of teleosts in Ghana, data on any aspects of these fisheries are poor. This study aims to document the spatial and temporal variation, and biological composition of elasmobranchs in five key elasmobranch-dominated fishing communities in Western Ghana, which include Adjoa, Axim, Busua, Dixcove and Shama. A total of 2157 elasmobranchs comprising 1414 sharks and 743 rays, belonging to 34 species in 15 families, were recorded over the course of 9 months. Prionace glauca (81.2%) and Raja parva (29.3%) were the dominant shark and ray species, respectively. Shama had the highest mean shark catch (33.3 ± S.D 29.7), followed by Dixcove (19.1 ± 14.7) and Axim (18.2 ± 12.4). However, Axim exhibited the greatest mean ray catch (25.8 ± 10.6), followed by Adjoa (10.9 ± 3.8) and Busua (9.6 ± 5.4). The greatest relative catch and species richness for all the sites was documented in the minor rainy season (August to November). Sexual segregation was typical among most of the common elasmobranch species landed. This study serves as a baseline for monitoring future changes in the artisanal shark and ray fisheries in Western Ghana.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 15 of 16

Tinsley-Marshall, P., H. Downey, G. Adum, ..., K. Mastro et al. (2022). "Funding and delivering the routine testing of management interventions to improve conservation effectiveness." Journal for Nature Conservation 67, e126184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126184

Abstract: Evidence-based approaches are key for underpinning effective conservation practice, but major gaps in the evidence of the effectiveness of interventions limit their use. Conservation practitioners could make major contributions to filling these gaps but often lack the time, funding, or capacity to do so properly. Many funders target the delivery of conservation and can be reluctant to fund primary research. We analysed the literature testing the effectiveness of interventions. Of a sample of 1,265 publications published in 2019 that tested conservation interventions, 96% included academics. Only 21% included conservation practitioners, of which just under half were first or last author. A community of conservation funders and practitioners undertook a series of workshops to explore means of improving the quality and quantity of intervention testing. A survey of the suggested proportion of conservation grants that should be allocated to testing intervention effectiveness showed practitioners tended to prefer larger percentages (median 3–6%) than funders (median 1–3%), but the overlap was considerable. Funders can facilitate the testing of interventions through a range of measures, including welcoming applications that incorporate testing, allocating funds to testing, and providing training and support to deliver testing. The funders represented by the authors of this paper have committed to these actions. Practitioners can contribute by committing to routine testing, benefiting from funding allocated specifically to testing, and establishing processes for testing interventions. The organisations of the practitioner authors have committed to test at least one intervention per year and share findings, regardless of outcome. Currently, practitioners rarely lead the testing of conservation actions. We suggest processes by which both funders and practitioners can make this routine. This will not only improve the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of practice, but also make conservation more attractive to funders.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 16 of 16

Western, G., N. B. Elliot, S. L. Sompeta, F. Broekhuis, S. Ngene and A. M. Gopalaswamy (2022). "Lions in a coexistence landscape: Repurposing a traditional field technique to monitor an elusive carnivore." Ecology and Evolution 13(3), e8662. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.8662

Abstract: Throughout Africa, lions are thought to have experienced dramatic population decline and range contraction. The greatest declines are likely occurring in human-dominated landscapes where reliably estimating lion populations is particularly challenging. By adapting a method that has thus far only been applied to animals that are habituated to vehicles, we estimate lion density in two community areas in Kenya's South Rift, located more than 100 km from the nearest protected area (PA). More specifically, we conducted an 89-day survey using unstructured spatial sampling coupled with playbacks, a commonly used field technique, and estimated lion density using spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models. Our estimated density of 5.9 lions over the age of 1 year per 100 km2 compares favorably with many PAs and suggests that this is a key lion population that could be crucial for connectivity across the wider landscape. We discuss the possible mechanisms supporting this density and demonstrate how rigorous field methods combined with robust analyses can produce reliable population estimates within human-dominated landscapes.

 

Preprint and Grey Literature Citations

Preprint and Grey Literature Citation 1 of 5

Barkhasbaatar, A., M. Gilbert, A. E. Fine, E. Shiilegdamba, B. Damdinjav, B. Buuveibaatar, ..., L. Jambal, ... and S. H. Olson (Preprint). “Characterization of low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds in Mongolia from 2009 to 2018.” Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1515739/v1

Abstract: Background: Since 2005, highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (Goose/Guangdong/1/96-H5 lineage) have spread from Asia to Africa and Europe, infecting poultry, humans and wild birds. Subsequently, avian influenza surveillance has increased worldwide. Mongolia is a good location to study influenza viruses in wild birds within Asia because the country has very low densities of domestic poultry and supports large concentrations of migratory water birds. We conducted avian influenza surveillance in Mongolia over two time periods from 2009 to 2018, utilizing environmental fecal sampling.Methods: Fresh fecal samples were collected in areas where wild water birds, including orders Anseriformes and Charadriiformes, congregated. Hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) subtypes of positive samples were identified through viral isolation or molecular assays, with pathogenicity determined by HA subtype or sequencing the HA cleavage site.Results: A total of 10,222 samples were collected and tested for avian influenza virus. Of these, 7,025 fecal samples were collected from 2009-2013, and 3,197 fecal samples were collected from 2016-2018 period. Testing revealed 175 (1.7%) positive samples for low pathogenicity influenza A, including 118 samples from 2009-2013 (1.7%) and 57 samples from 2016-2018 (1.8%). Over the period and locations of surveillance no influenza A viruses were detected in association with a wild bird mortality event. HA and NA subtyping of all positives identified eleven subtypes of HA (H1-H8; H10-H12) and nine subtypes of NA (N1-N9) in 29 different combinations. Within periods, viruses were detected more frequently during the fall season (August to October, 2.5%; 95% CI 2.1-2.9%; 146/5,750) than the early summer (April to July, 0.6%; 95% CI 0.4-0.9%; 29/4,472).Conclusion: Mongolia is an important location for wild birds and is positioned as a crossroad of multiple migratory bird flyways. Breeding birds from Mongolia and further north pass through the country to wintering areas as widespread as southern Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australasia. Our work demonstrates the feasibility of using an affordable environmental fecal sampling approach for avian influenza surveillance and contributes to understanding the prevalence and ecology of low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses in this important location, where birds from multiple flyways mix.

Preprint and Grey Literature Citation 2 of 5

Venticinque, E., B. Forsberg, R. Barthem, ..., A. Mercado, C. Cañas, M. Montoya, C. Durigan and M. Goulding (2022). A New GIS-Based River Basin Framework for Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation in the Amazon. Lima, Peru: Amazon Waters Initiative. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.40050

Abstract: The Amazon Waters Initiative is a call to action to conceptualize the vast Amazon aquatic ecosystem as a whole, bringing together people to work across a myriad of borders: the borders of the river basins, the riverbanks, the protected areas, the nations of the Amazon, and the institutions that work within it. Its actions focus on maintaining the integrity of the interlinked and dynamic Amazon freshwater system in order to sustain human wellbeing, wildlife, and the environments on which they depend. This document summarizes the development and use of a multiple scale GIS-based “roadmap” for spatial analysis in the Amazon basin. This framework was first published1 in a peer-reviewed journal, Earth System Science Data by Eduardo Venticinque of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte; Bruce Forsberg of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia; Ronaldo B. Barthem of the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi; Paulo Petry of The Nature Conservancy; Laura Hess of the Earth Research Institute; Armando Mercado, Carlos Cañas, Mariana Montoya, Carlos Durigan, and Michael Goulding of Wildlife Conservation Society, in December of 2016. The development of this GIS Framework was coordinated by Michael Goulding. This scalable basin framework2 is a contribution of the Amazon Waters Initiative and SNAPP, and a product of a 15+ year collaboration between hydrologists, limnologists, and freshwater ecologists.

Preprint and Grey Literature Citation 3 of 5

Venticinque, E., B. Forsberg, R. Barthem, ..., A. Mercado, C. Cañas, M. Montoya, C. Durigan and M. Goulding (2022). Um Novo Sistema de Informações Geográficas (SIG) Sobre Rios e Bacias para a Conservação de Ecossistemas Aquáticos na Amazônia. Lima, Peru: Amazon Waters Initiative. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.40051

A Iniciativa Águas Amazônicas é uma chamada para ações afim de promover uma visão do vasto ecossistema aquático amazônico como um todo, juntando diversos atores que atuam em inúmeras fronteiras: nas margens de rios, em áreas protegidas, em cada uma das nações amazônicas e em todas as instituições que trabalham dentro dessas fronteiras. Suas ações focam na manutenção da integridade desse sistema interligado e dinâmico de águas amazônicas, com objetivo de preservar o bem-estar humano, a vida silvestre, e as paisagens de que ambos dependem. Esse documento resume o processo de construção e uso de um novomarco geográfico para a bacia amazônica em múltiplas escalas. Esse novo marco foi primeiramente publicado1 na revista científica Earth System Science Data por por Eduardo Venticinque da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte; Bruce Forsberg do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia; Ronaldo B. Barthem do Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi; Paulo Petry da The Nature Conservancy; Laura Hess do Earth Research Institute; Armando Mercado, Carlos Cañas, Mariana Montoya, Carlos Durigan, e Michael Goulding da Wildlife Conservation Society, em dezembro de 2016. Este marco geográfico dpara a bacia amazônica é uma contribuição da Iniciativa Águas Amazônicas e SNAPP, e produto de um esforço colaborativo de mais de 15 anos entre hidrólogos, limnólogos, e ecólogos de água doce. O desenvolvimento desse marco SIG foi coordenado por Michael Goulding.

Preprint and Grey Literature Citation 4 of 5

Venticinque, E., B. Forsberg, R. Barthem, ..., A. Mercado, C. Cañas, M. Montoya, C. Durigan and M. Goulding (2022). Un Nuevo Sistema de Información Geográfica (SIG) Sobre Cuencas y Ríos para la Conservación de Ecosistemas Acuáticos en la Amazonia. Lima, Peru: Amazon Waters Initiative. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.40052

La Iniciativa Aguas Amazónicas es una llamada a la acción para promover una visión del vasto ecosistema acuático amazónico como un todo, congregando a diversos actores que trabajan en un sinnúmero fronteras: en las márgenes de los ríos, en las áreas protegidas, en cada una de las naciones amazónicas y en todas las instituciones que trabajan en ella. Las acciones de la iniciativa se enfocan en mantener la integridad del sistema interconectado y dinámico de las aguas amazónicas para la sostenibilidad del bienestar humano, la vida silvestre y el hábitat de los que dependen. Este documento resume el proceso de construcción y uso del marco geográfico de cuencas en la Amazonía en múltiples escalas. Esta investigación fue publicada en la revista científica Earth System Science Data por Eduardo Venticinque, de la Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte; Bruce Forsberg, del Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia; Ronaldo B. Barthem, del Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi; Paulo Petry, de The Nature Conservancy; Laura Hess, del Earth Research Institute; Armando Mercado, Carlos Cañas, Mariana Montoya, Carlos Durigan y Michael Goulding, de Wildlife Conservation Society en diciembre del 2016. Este marco geográfico de cuencas es un aporte de la Iniciativa Aguas Amazónicas y SNAPP, y es el producto de un esfuerzo colaborativo de más de quince años de trabajo entre limnólogos, hidrólogos y ecólogos de aguas continentales. coordinado por Michael Goulding.

Preprint and Grey Literature Citation 5 of 5

Wildlife Conservation Society, Viet Nam (2022). Viet Nam's Legal Atlas 2021: Wildlife, Trade and Pandemics - Where Are We Now? Ha Noi, Vietnam: Wildlife Conservation Society, Viet Nam. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4396300000.aspx

The Viet Nam’s Legal Atlas 2021 provides a unique, easy-to-use reference to key new regulations promulgated from January 2021 to January 2022 and legal issues related to wildlife in Viet Nam, including certain comparison with previous framework. Designed with color maps, infographics and charts, the Atlas gives vital information on how law develops on major legal topics, among them are wildlife conservation, trade, zoonosis and penalty. It seeks to produce several of the visual analytics and shed light on the legal complexities for protecting wildlife.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  22-28 March 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 8

Chiou, K. L., M. C. Janiak, I. A. Schneider-Crease, ..., C. McCann et al. (In Press). "Genomic signatures of high-altitude adaptation and chromosomal polymorphism in geladas." Nature Ecology & Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-022-01703-4

Abstract: Primates have adapted to numerous environments and lifestyles but very few species are native to high elevations. Here we investigated high-altitude adaptations in the gelada (Theropithecus gelada), a monkey endemic to the Ethiopian Plateau. We examined genome-wide variation in conjunction with measurements of haematological and morphological traits. Our new gelada reference genome is highly intact and assembled at chromosome-length levels. Unexpectedly, we identified a chromosomal polymorphism in geladas that could potentially contribute to reproductive barriers between populations. Compared with baboons at low altitude, we found that high-altitude geladas exhibit significantly expanded chest circumferences, potentially allowing for greater lung surface area for increased oxygen diffusion. We identified gelada-specific amino acid substitutions in the alpha-chain subunit of adult haemoglobin but found that gelada haemoglobin does not exhibit markedly altered oxygenation properties compared with lowland primates. We also found that geladas at high altitude do not exhibit elevated blood haemoglobin concentrations, in contrast to the normal acclimatization response to hypoxia in lowland primates. The absence of altitude-related polycythaemia suggests that geladas are able to sustain adequate tissue-oxygen delivery despite environmental hypoxia. Finally, we identified numerous genes and genomic regions exhibiting accelerated rates of evolution, as well as gene families exhibiting expansions in the gelada lineage, potentially reflecting altitude-related selection. Our findings lend insight into putative mechanisms of high-altitude adaptation while suggesting promising avenues for functional hypoxia research.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 8

Dejid, N., K. Olson, T. S. M. Stratmann and T. Mueller (Early View). "A gazelle's extraordinary, 18,000-km-long journey through the steppes of Mongolia." Ecology, e3660. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3660

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 8

Marsh, C. J., Y. V. Sica, C. J. Burgin, ..., T. R. B. Davenport, ..., F. G. Maisels et al. (Early View). "Expert range maps of global mammal distributions harmonised to three taxonomic authorities." Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14330

Abstract: Aim: Comprehensive, global information on species' occurrences is an essential biodiversity variable and central to a range of applications in ecology, evolution, biogeography and conservation. Expert range maps often represent a species' only available distributional information and play an increasing role in conservation assessments and macroecology. We provide global range maps for the native ranges of all extant mammal species harmonised to the taxonomy of the Mammal Diversity Database (MDD) mobilised from two sources, the Handbook of the Mammals of the World (HMW) and the Illustrated Checklist of the Mammals of the World (CMW). Location: Global. Taxon: All extant mammal species. Methods: Range maps were digitally interpreted, georeferenced, error-checked and subsequently taxonomically aligned between the HMW (6253 species), the CMW (6431 species) and the MDD taxonomies (6362 species). Results: Range maps can be evaluated and visualised in an online map browser at Map of Life (mol.org) and accessed for individual or batch download for non-commercial use. Main conclusion: Expert maps of species' global distributions are limited in their spatial detail and temporal specificity, but form a useful basis for broad-scale characterizations and model-based integration with other data. We provide georeferenced range maps for the native ranges of all extant mammal species as shapefiles, with species-level metadata and source information packaged together in geodatabase format. Across the three taxonomic sources our maps entail, there are 1784 taxonomic name differences compared to the maps currently available on the IUCN Red List website. The expert maps provided here are harmonised to the MDD taxonomic authority and linked to a community of online tools that will enable transparent future updates and version control.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 8

Mavah, G., B. Child and M. E. Swisher (Early View). "Empty laws and empty forests: Reconsidering rights and governance for sustainable wildlife management in the Republic of the Congo." African Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.12953

Abstract: Like their ancestors, forest dwellers in the Republic of the Congo depend heavily on bushmeat for their livelihoods. National regulations and enforcement are ineffective, yet undermine indigenous institutions. In common with many forest communities globally, this is creating an open-access resource at the same time that demand for bushmeat is increased by roads, towns, markets and new harvesting technology (guns, wire). We argue that the intractability and contradictions of the bushmeat problem globally reflect outdated institutions of exclusionary conservation and that the disempowerment of local people can be framed as an ‘empty laws’ open-access syndrome in which neither national nor local controls are working. We propose that this is an institutional predicament that needs to be resolved by re-establishing local tenure and rights, and drawing on the commons literature, New Institutional Economics and the long experience with private and community wildlife in southern Africa to design alternative governance regimes. In proposing measures to re-build local commons (private-community ownership), this review highlights community rights, the controversial issue of commercial use and markets, and the substantial advantages of participatory face-to-face community governance relative to the representational committee-based governance associated with development projects.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 8

Riddell, M., F. Maisels, A. Lawrence, E. Stokes et al. (Early View). "Combining offtake and participatory data to assess the sustainability of a hunting system in northern Congo." African Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.13001

Abstract: Research suggests that bushmeat is hunted at unsustainable rates throughout much of the Congo basin, although accurately measuring hunting sustainability is challenging. Offtake data can contribute towards sustainability assessments, and when incorporated with information on hunters' strategies, can be used to monitor changes in hunting dynamics. We used a combination of (1) a long-term, quantitative yet low-resolution hunting offtake data set, (2) qualitative data acquired through participatory methods, and (3) a high-resolution offtake survey, to examine the changes in a hunting system undergoing change due to new roads and associated socio-economic developments in northern Republic of the Congo. Our results indicated that while the conclusions drawn from the different data sets were broadly the same (indicating wildlife depletion, particularly in one hunting zone), the results of the analysis of the participatory and the high-resolution offtake data set provided an explanation for trends in the long-term low-resolution offtake data set, including the degree to which long-term trends are due to changes in hunting strategy, or in underlying wildlife populations. We discuss how participatory hunter surveys can be used to distinguish between changes in prey populations and changes in hunting strategy in long-term low-resolution hunting offtake data sets, therefore, improving the effectiveness of long-term offtake data sets to assess sustainability of hunting.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 8

Shahin, K., K. Mukkatira, Z. Yazdi, ..., M. W. Hyatt et al. (Early View). "Development of a quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay for detection of the aetiological agents of piscine lactococcosis." Journal of Fish Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13610

Abstract: Piscine lactococcosis is an emergent bacterial disease that is associated with high economic losses in many farmed and wild aquatic species worldwide. Early and accurate detection of the causative agent of piscine lactococcosis is essential for management of the disease in fish farms. In this study, a TaqMan quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) targeting the 16S–23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer region was developed and validated. Validation of the qPCR was performed with DNA of previously typed L. petauri and L. garvieae recovered from different aquatic hosts from distinct geographical locations, closely related bacterial species and common pathogens in trout aquaculture. Further diagnostic sensitivity and specificity was investigated by screening of fish, water and faecal samples. The developed qPCR assay showed high specificity, sensitivity and accuracy in detection of L. petauri and L. garvieae with lack of signals from non-target pathogens, and in screening of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) posterior kidney and environmental samples. The detection limit of the qPCR was four amplicon copies. Moreover, the sensitivity of the qPCR assay was not affected by presence of non-target DNA from either fish or environmental samples. The robustness, specificity and sensitivity of the developed qPCR will facilitate fast and accurate diagnosis of piscine lactococcosis to establish appropriate control measures in fish farms and aquaria.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 8

Wieland, M., L. Frost Yocum, L. Vanegas, J. Wright and R. Mwinyihali (Early View). "From the forest to the fork: A conceptual framework of the wild meat supply–demand system to guide interventions in tackling unsustainable trafficking and consumption in the Congo Basin." African Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.12964

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 8

Wright, J. H., D. Malekani, S. M. Funk, J. Ntshila, L. Mayet, R. Mwinyihali, J. E. Fa and M. Wieland (Early View). "Profiling the types of restaurants that sell wild meat in Central African cities." African Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.12993

Abstract: Central African cities are major centres of demand for wild meat, even when affordable alternative proteins are widely available. Many people eat wild meat in restaurants; therefore, restaurateurs are well placed to provide insights into the wild meat trade and consumer preferences. We surveyed 326 restaurants in Brazzaville and Kinshasa, the adjoining capital cities of the Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo, to determine which types of restaurants sell wild meat, how sales of wild meat dishes compared with those containing other proteins, and the importance of wild meat to these businesses. The majority of wild meat-selling restaurants are informal establishments owned by women. Although most only sell wild meat dishes weekly, we estimate that nearly 10,000 wild meat dishes are consumed daily in restaurants across Brazzaville and Kinshasa. Its wide availability reinforces the social norm around eating wild meat, yet few restaurateurs considered wild meat to be central to the viability of their business. It is important to distinguish between restaurants reliant on wild meat sales and those that offer it to diversify their menus. Forging partnerships with restaurateurs offer untapped potential to develop mutually beneficial allegiances to further wild meat demand reduction efforts.

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 2

Victurine, R., D. Meyers, J. Bohorquez, ..., M. Callow, S. Jupiter et al. (2022). Conservation Finance for Coral Reefs: A Vibrant Oceans Initiative Whitepaper. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Vibrant Oceans Initiative, Conservation Finance Alliance, Stony Brook University, Brock University, RARE Conservation, Asian Development Bank, and The Nature Conservancy. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43864

Abstract: Coral reefs face threats from climate change and local pressures, but many initiatives designed to deliver conservation outcomes for them and the social-economic systems they support are limited by sustainable finance and the availability of funds over the long term. Conservation finance is viewed as part of a holistic approach to coral reef conservation that integrates science-based biodiversity, social, and economic solutions tailored to local socio-cultural, environmental, and economic conditions to ensure their effective design and implementation. Specifically, conservation finance is defined as the “mechanisms and strategies that generate, manage, and deploy financial resources and align incentives to achieve nature conservation outcomes” (Meyers et al. 2020). Increasingly, there are diverse finance solutions that could support coral reef conservation and associated community wellbeing. This whitepaper reviews a broad range of finance solutions related to coral reef conservation, including conservation trust funds, blended finance, small and medium-sized enterprises, blue carbon, blue bonds, environmental impact bonds, debt for nature swaps, insurance products and biodiversity offsets. We highlight opportunities and solutions for both well-documented successful finance solutions and a range of innovative approaches that are currently being piloted. We also provide guidance on how governments, reef managers, and conservation stakeholders can identify, prioritize and implement a portfolio of finance mechanisms to achieve their desired conservation outcomes. We highlight a practical approach to conservation finance that requires an understanding of the objectives of conservation and resilience initiatives, the threats facing coral reef social-ecological systems, the actors who either benefit from the ecosystems or impact them, and how capital and incentives can be used to mitigate threats and improve equitable social and ecological outcomes. In its most simplistic terms, we suggest conservation finance solutions can be broken down into the following four interrelated approaches: discourage harmful actions; incentivize positive actions; optimize cost efficiencies; and increase capital for conservation. While most finance solutions for coral reefs focus on increasing the funds available for conservation, all four approaches are needed since some actions - especially those that reduce harm or optimize costs - can be extremely cost efficient and rapidly implemented to great effect. Additionally, achieving coral conservation and resilience outcomes requires a combination of finance solutions and management approaches as a portfolio of solutions. Successfully financing coral reef conservation will require a mix of funding sources, finance mechanisms, and partnerships. Funding sources will include governments, institutional investors, foundations, companies, donors, financing institutions, NGOs and individuals. Success will require expanding and enhancing existing finance mechanisms and sources, developing and testing new programs and ensuring that resources are deployed effectively. As well, it is essential to ensure that measures to improve reef conservation are not canceled out by capital investments and public finance flows that degrade the environment or put greater pressures on reef resources. Here, we explore how diverse conservation finance mechanisms can be used to provide effective and sustainable finance for coral reef protection and management and better align the financial and economic incentives of governments, companies, and individuals towards ensuring reef conservation and resilience. Ultimately, the ability of conservation finance to scale up requires that available funds can reach programs on the ground that are typically characterized by limited project pipelines, low absorptive capacity of local groups, and complex mechanisms for deploying capital. Finally, we address the potential risks that exist for local communities engaging with the various financing mechanisms, and highlight the ongoing need for equitable and effective coral reef finance in the blue economy (Bennett et al. 2021). We conclude with the following key recommendations: -Strong collaboration between the public and private sectors, and greater inclusion of the informal sector to strengthen local economies; -Adequate planning for the long-term financing needs that build on the demonstrated successes of blended finance models, debt swaps, blue bonds, trust funds, and insurance products; -High quality safeguards to minimize unintended social and environmental impacts from market interventions; -Mainstream coral reef protection into investment decisions to avoid and reduce coastal ecosystem harm; -Support regional development banks to mobilize resources for coral reef conservation and leverage support from multilateral and bilateral donors and impact investors; -Address climate change with blue carbon projects at jurisdictional scales.

Grey Literature Citation 2 of 2

Wakwella, A., A. Wenger, S. Jupiter, ... and H. S. Grantham (2022). Managing Watersheds for Coral Reefs and Public Health: A Vibrant Oceans Initiative Whitepaper. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Vibrant Oceans Initiative, University of Queensland, University of California, Irvine, United Nations Environment Programme, University of Sydney, Edith Cowan University, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, and Coral Reef Alliance. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43854

Abstract: The health and integrity of coral reef ecosystems are in decline worldwide due to an increasing suite of human activities, which threaten biodiversity and human wellbeing. One of the major drivers of coral reef ecosystem decline is poor water quality from human activities on land. Land-based pollutants from human activities travel downstream via watersheds - through groundwater flow and land areas drained by streams – and are funnelled into coastal environments. There is now ample evidence of the linkages between human activities in watersheds and elevated levels of pollutants in water discharged to coastal marine ecosystems. There is also a growing understanding of the myriad and often interacting impacts these pollutants have on coral reef ecosystems and the critical services they provide for associated dependent communities. This white paper reviews the linkages between landbased runoff and coral reef ecosystems, with four specific objectives to: (1) review how sediments, nutrients, chemicals, and pathogens affect corals and reef-associated organisms at a variety of life stages; (2) assess how these processes impact associated dependent human populations; (3) identify existing knowledge needs; and (4) provide science-based management options. Improving the management of upstream human activities within watersheds has great potential to alleviate the severe local threats of poor water quality on coral reef ecosystems and preserve the critical functions and services they provide (e.g., tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection). Improving water quality can reduce coral disease risk and increase vital biological functions needed for corals to grow (e.g., reproduction), which also improves the resilience of corals to global impacts such as climate change. Yet, despite the breadth of research demonstrating critical land-sea linkages for coral reef ecosystem health, there are few standout examples of successful improvements to coral reef ecosystem condition that can be directly linked to upstream management action. This is largely because investments in both interventions and monitoring often need to be large in scale and sustained over long (i.e., decadal) periods to detect measurable downstream impacts. There are also a variety of human health impacts resulting directly from poor water quality flowing within watersheds onto coastal environments. The direct impacts to human health from declining water quality include: (1) enhanced transmission of diseases (e.g., gastrointestinal and upper respiratory diseases); (2) reduced food availability and nutritional deficit from decline of fisheries associated with coral reef habitat; and (3) food poisoning from consumption of seafood contaminated with pollutants and pathogens. Poor water quality is consequently a major contributor to global disease burdens and conservatively estimated to cost 12 billion USD in economic losses annually, a cost disproportionately borne by the poorest countries (Alhamlan et al. 2015). The overlapping drivers of coral reef and human health from watershed alteration provides an opportunity to create strategic management interventions within watersheds that will address the goals of both the conservation and public health sectors and enhance human and ecosystem health outcomes. This paper presents innovative solutions that incentivize the large-scale, sustained action required to both improve water quality in watersheds and prevent water quality impacts on coral reef ecosystems. The solutions use holistic approaches to integrated watershed management that bridge social and ecological systems and provide important co-benefits to human wellbeing. Focusing on the combined economic, human health and wellbeing impacts across linked watersheds and reef areas can motivate action and leverage investment that result in co-benefits across multiple sectors. Designing appropriate solutions, therefore, requires taking a multi-sector, systems approach, that accounts for both social and ecological systems, with collaboration required across environmental, agricultural, public health, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors, and across the land-sea interface. Having a wide range of informed stakeholders sharing resources and taking an integrated approach will assist in buffering risks and create more effective and proactive governance. We provide several recommendations of key actions to promote successful outcomes for nature and people from improved watershed management: -Undertake risk assessments to identify main sources of land-based impacts to coral reef ecosystems, and consider where these risks overlap with risks to public health, especially in the context of future climate change scenarios. -Ensure engagement of the full range of actors, landowners, and beneficiaries within watershed boundaries and provide platforms for transparent, participatory planning, and decision-making. -Develop guidance materials to integrate coral reef ecosystem health into integrated watershed management, public health, and WASH planning. -Engage and/or establish multi-sector management authorities (e.g., watershed commissions) with the mandate and resources to coordinate action across marine resource users/managers, logging, mining, agricultural, public health, and WASH sectors. -Undertake policy gap analysis to improve implementation of existing policies and identify opportunities to strengthen best-practice management guidelines for land use including logging, mining, food production, and wastewater treatment to properly account for downstream human and ecosystem health impacts. -Conduct research and synthesis to improve the quantity and quality of data available on thresholds and indicators of water quality and impacts on coral reef ecosystems, and make the information easily accessible (i.e., through an open-source water quality database) to support monitoring and assessment programs. -Develop/enhance sustainable and innovative financing mechanisms, through impact investment and private sector engagement, business case studies and integrated resource mobilization strategies, to provide the resources required to implement phased, integrated watershed management interventions across nested scales. -Advocate for integrated watershed management in places where pollution is likely to undermine other conservation interventions being implemented (e.g., within marine protected areas). -Document the process of developing and implementing integrated watershed management strategies in order to create communication materials for the broader conservation, WASH and public health communities on lessons learned.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  15-21 March 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 7

Brenn-White, M., B. L. Raphael, N. A. T. Rakotoarisoa and S. L. Deem (2022). "Hematology and biochemistry of critically endangered radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata): Reference intervals in previously confiscated subadults and variability based on common techniques." PLoS ONE 17(3), e0264111. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264111

Abstract: Madagascar’s radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) are critically endangered, threatened by illegal collection, and confiscated in alarming numbers in recent years. Robust population- and technique-specific hematology and biochemistry reference intervals are valuable yet heretofore missing tools for triage, rehabilitation, and reintroduction of confiscated radiated tortoises. We determined reference intervals in 120 previously confiscated, clinically healthy subadult radiated tortoises living under human care within their native habitat at the Tortoise Conservation Center (TCC). Specific analytes measured were manual packed cell volume, total solids, white blood cell (WBC) count and differentials, and biochemistry analytes using a point of care system. To evaluate the effects of different commonly used techniques on these analytes, we compared results between two venipuncture sites (subcarapacial sinus and brachial vein) and three different WBC quantification methods (Natt and Herrick, Leukopet, and slide estimate). Reference intervals were narrower for most analytes, and sodium and potassium were qualitatively higher in the TCC population compared to previously published values from radiated tortoises housed in North American institutions. Creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase, glucose and inorganic phosphorus were all significantly greater in brachial samples than in subcarapacial samples. There was poor agreement and evidence of constant and/or proportional bias between all WBC quantification methods. Differences based on time of sample collection were incidentally found in some analytes. These results highlight the need for considering technique, demographic, and environmental factors in creating and applying reference intervals, and contribute foundational knowledge for improving care of radiated tortoises throughout the confiscation-to-release pathway.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 7

Calderón, A. P., J. Louvrier, A. Planillo, ..., R. Garcia-Anleu, ..., R. McNab et al. (Early View). "Occupancy models reveal potential of conservation prioritization for Central American jaguars." Animal Conservation. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12772

Abstract: Understanding species-environment relationships at large spatial scales is required for the prioritization of conservation areas and the preservation of landscape connectivity for large carnivores. This endeavour is challenging for jaguars (Panthera onca), given their elusiveness, and the local nature of most jaguar studies, precluding extrapolation to larger areas. We developed an occupancy model using occurrence data of jaguars across five countries of Central America, collected from camera-trap studies of 2–12 months' duration, deployed over an area of 14 112 km2 from 2005 to 2018. Our occupancy model showed that habitat use of jaguars increased with primary net productivity and distance to human settlements, and decreased with distance to rivers. Detection of the species was related to survey effort and research team identity. Within the jaguar extent of occurrence, 73% was deemed suitable for the species, with 47% of it lying within Jaguar Conservation Units (JCU) and 59% of JCU land being legally protected. Suitable areas were divided into four distinct clusters of continuous habitat shared across country borders. However, large areas of predicted low habitat suitability may constrict connectivity in the region. The reliability of these spatial predictions is indicated by the model validation using an independent dataset (AUC = 0.82; sensitivity = 0.766, specificity = 0.761), and concordance of our results with other studies conducted in the region. Across Central America, we found that human influence has the strongest impact on jaguar habitat use and JCUs are the main reservoirs of habitat. Therefore, conservation actions must focus on preventing habitat loss and mitigating human pressure, particularly within the clusters of continuous areas of high suitability, and on restoring habitat to foster connectivity. The long-term persistence of jaguars in the region will depend on strong international cooperation that secures jaguar populations and their habitat across Central American borders.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 7

Ciriyawa, A., M. Fox and R. Batibasaga (2022). "Assessing mud crab livelihood projects in Bua Province, Fiji." SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin 35, 15-16.

Abstract: We evaluated the effectiveness of mud crab projects implemented in two districts in Bua Province, Fiji in 2017. The lessons learned will help other fisheries practitioners interested in implementing projects with this women-dominated fishery.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 7

Kane, A., A. Monadjem, H. K. O. Aschenborn, ..., M. Mgumba, R. Nathan, A. Nicholas et al. (2022). "Understanding continent-wide variation in vulture ranging behavior to assess feasibility of Vulture Safe Zones in Africa: Challenges and possibilities." Biological Conservation 268, e109516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109516

Abstract: Protected areas are intended as tools in reducing threats to wildlife and preserving habitat for their long-term population persistence. Studies on ranging behavior provide insight into the utility of protected areas. Vultures are one of the fastest declining groups of birds globally and are popular subjects for telemetry studies, but continent-wide studies are lacking. To address how vultures use space and identify the areas and location of possible vulture safe zones, we assess home range size and their overlap with protected areas by species, age, breeding status, season, and region using a large continent-wide telemetry datasets that includes 163 individuals of three species of threatened Gyps vulture. Immature vultures of all three species had larger home ranges and used a greater area outside of protected areas than breeding and non-breeding adults. Cape vultures had the smallest home range sizes and the lowest level of overlap with protected areas. Rüppell's vultures had larger home range sizes in the wet season, when poisoning may increase due to human-carnivore conflict. Overall, our study suggests challenges for the creation of Vulture Safe Zones to protect African vultures. At a minimum, areas of 24,000 km2 would be needed to protect the entire range of an adult African White-backed vulture and areas of more than 75,000 km2 for wider-ranging Rüppell's vultures. Vulture Safe Zones in Africa would generally need to be larger than existing protected areas, which would require widespread conservation activities outside of protected areas to be successful.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 7

Mangubhai, S. and A. Cowley (2022). "Gender equity and social inclusion analysis for coastal fisheries." SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin 35, 42-42.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 7

Mangubhai, S., C. E. Ferguson, C. Gomese and A. Vunisea (2022). "Practical ways to implement gender-sensitive fisheries and aquaculture research in the Pacific." SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin 35, 17-20.

Abstract: Want to do gender-sensitive fisheries and aquaculture research but not sure what this means, or where to start? Do you wonder if gender matters for the work you do, and want to explore these ideas? We provide some practical ways to get you started on your journey to implementing gender-sensitive social science research. Although we have developed this tool through a Pacific lens, this easy-to-use, step-by-step guide can be adapted and applied to other regions.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 7

Stratton, C., K. M. Irvine, K. M. Banner, W. J. Wright, C. Lausen and J. Rae (Accepted Article). "Coupling validation effort with in situ bioacoustic data improves estimating relative activity and occupancy for multiple species with cross-species misclassifications." Methods in Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13831

Abstract: 1. The increasing complexity and pace of ecological change requires natural resource managers to consider entire species assemblages. Acoustic recording units (ARUs) require minimal cost and effort to deploy and inform relative activity, or encounter rates, for multiple species simultaneously. ARU-based surveys require post-processing of the recordings via software algorithms that assign a species label to each recording. The automated classification process can result in cross-species misidentifications that should be accounted for when employing statistical modeling for conservation decision-making. 2. Using simulation and ARU-based detection counts from 17 bat species in British Columbia, Canada, we investigate three strategies for adjusting statistical inference for species misclassification: 1) “coupling” ambiguous and unambiguous detections by validating a subset of survey events post-hoc, 2) using a calibration data set on the software algorithm’s (in)accuracy for species identification, or 3) specifying informative Bayesian priors on classification probabilities. We explore the impact of different Bayesian prior specifications for the classification probabilities on posterior estimation. We then consider how the quantity of data validated post-hoc impacts model convergence and resulting inferences for bat species relative activity as related to nightly conditions and yearly site occupancy after accounting for site-level environmental variables. 3. Coupled methods resulted in less bias and uncertainty when estimating relative activity and species classification probabilities relative to calibration approaches. We found that species that were difficult-to-detect and those that were often inaccurately identified by the software required more validation effort than more easily detected and/or identified species. 4. Our results suggest that, when possible, acoustic surveys should rely on coupled validated detection information to account for false-positive detections, rather than uncoupled calibration data sets. However, if the assemblage of interest contains a large number of rarely detected or less prevalent species, an intractable amount of effort may be required, suggesting there are benefits to curating a calibration data set that is representative of the observation process. Our findings provide insights into the practical challenges associated with statistical analyses of ARU data and possible analytical solutions to support reliable and cost-effective decision-making for wildlife conservation/management in the face of known sources of observation errors.

 

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 1 of 4

Abercrombie, D. L. and R. W. Jabado (2022). CITES Sharks and Rays - Implementing and Enforcing Listings: Volume III - Dried Product ID. Bronx, New York: Wildlife Conservation Society. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4379800000.aspx

Abstract: This guide forms part of a three-volume series of identification guides: Volume I - Full Carcas ID, Volume II - Processed Carcass ID, and Volume III - Dried Product ID [this guide]. Each of these guides has been designed to follow a similar simple structure to guide users with no previous knowledge of sharks and rays with identification of whole carcasses or different derivative products. This Dried Product ID guide was created to enable wildlife inspectors and enforcement personnel to provisionally identify fins, rostra, and gill plates derived from commercially traded shark and ray species listed in Appendix I and II of CITES. This identification is based on morphological characteristics of their most distinctive fins (dorsal, pectoral and/or caudal), dried rostra (family Pristidae, sawfishes), and gill plates in their commonly traded form (frozen and/or dried and unprocessed). This preliminary visual identification will establish reasonable or probable cause in enforcement contexts so that expert opinion can be sought, or genetic testing can confirm field identification. This will aid governments in successfully implementing and enforcing CITES listings and promoting legal, sustainable trade.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 2 of 4

Ferrier, S., C. Ware, J. M. Austin, H. S. Grantham, T. D. Harwood and J. E. M. Watson (Preprint). “An integrative indicator linking area-based actions to national and global outcomes for forest biodiversity.” EcoEvoRxiv. https://doi.org/10.32942/osf.io/3eyvs

Abstract: Indicators supporting implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) are likely to be used not only to monitor progress toward achieving agreed goals and targets, but also to help prioritise specific actions to address shortfalls in this achievement as efficiently as possible. To perform this dual role, adopted indicators must be derived from data of sufficient rigour and spatial resolution to inform decision-making at national and subnational scales. They also need to account for relevant interdependencies between, and within, individual goals and targets. Here we focus on a particularly prominent set of such dependencies –the impact that area-based actions under draft GBF Targets 1, 2 and 3 will have on outcomes for ecosystem area and integrity (including connectivity) under Goal A, and for the flow-on effect that these changes will, in combination, have on the persistence of species diversity. We show how these various linkages can now be addressed across all forests globally, by coupling state-of-the-art mapping of ecosystem integrity withthe integrative analytical capability of an advanced habitat-based biodiversity indicator. Results generated for the world’s forest-supporting countries demonstrate that rigorous consideration of the above interdependencies can profoundly alter understanding of the present state of forest biodiversity, and of the spatial distribution of priorities for area-based action, relative to that based on an indicator of ecosystem extent alone.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 3 of 4

Jabado, R. W. and D. L. Abercrombie (2022). CITES Sharks and Rays - Implementing and Enforcing Listings: Volume 1 - Full Carcass ID. Bronx, New York: Wildlife Conservation Society. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4379700000.aspx

Abstract: This guide forms part of a three-volume series of identification guides: Volume I - Full Carcas ID [this guide], Volume II - Processed Carcass ID, and Volume III - Dried Product ID. Each of these guides has been designed to follow a similar simple structure to guide users with no previous knowledge of sharks and rays with identification of whole carcasses or different derivative products. This Full Carcass ID guide is intended for field use  to assist the fishing industry, fisheries observers, enforcement bodies, researchers, policy makers, and non-specialists. It was created to enable visual identification of all shark and ray species listed in Appendix I and II of CITES that might be captured and/or landed and eventually enter the trade. It has been designed to meet the need expressed by inspectors for an identification tool that is quick and easy to use when faced with the identification of carcasses present at landing sites. Technical terms are kept to a minimum and identification features are mostly those that can be readily observed on freshly caught animals without the need for dissection or further examination.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 4 of 4

Mittermeier, R. A., A. B. Rylands, C. Schwitzer, ..., E. E. Abwe et al. (2022). IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group: Report 2018-2021. A Report to the International Primatological Society (IPS). Quito, Ecuador: IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group and Re:Wild. https://internationalprimatologicalsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/PSG-report-2018-2021-IPS-FINAL.pdf

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  8-14 March 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 12

Chiaverini, L., D. W. Macdonald, H. M. Bothwell, ..., L. T. B. Hunter et al. (Early View). "Multi-scale, multivariate community models improve designation of biodiversity hotspots in the Sunda Islands." Animal Conservation. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12771

Abstract: Species occur in sympatric assemblages, bound together by ecological relationships and interspecific interactions. Borneo and Sumatra host some of the richest assemblages of biota worldwide. The region, however, faces the highest global deforestation rates, which seriously threaten its unique biodiversity. We used a large camera trap dataset that recorded data for 70 terrestrial species of mammals and birds, to explore the drivers of regional species richness patterns. Using a multi-scale, multivariate modelling framework which quantified the main environmental factors associated with patterns of biodiversity, while simultaneously assessing individual relationships of each species, we determined the ecological drivers of sampled biodiversity, and their contributions to community assemblages. We then mapped predicted species richness, evaluated the effectiveness of protected areas in securing biodiversity hotspots, performed gap analysis to highlight biodiverse areas lacking protection and compared our predictions with species richness maps produced by using IUCN range layers. Finally, we investigated the performance of each species as an indicator of sampled biodiversity. We demonstrate that biodiversity in Borneo and Sumatra is primarily affected by gradients of ecological and anthropogenic factors, and only marginally by topographic and spatial factors. In both islands, species are primarily associated with elevational gradients in vegetation and climate, leading to altitudinal zonation in niche separation as a major factor characterizing the islands' biodiversity. Species richness was highest in north-eastern Borneo and in western Sumatra. We found that most predicted biodiversity hotspots are not formally protected in either island; only 9.2 and 18.2% of the modelled species richness occurred within protected areas in Borneo and Sumatra, respectively. We highlighted that our prediction for Borneo performed better than, and differed drastically from, the IUCN species richness layer, while for Sumatra our modelled species richness layer and the IUCN one were similar, and both showed low predictive power. Our analysis suggests that common and generalist carnivores are the most effective indicators of sampled biodiversity and have high potential as focal, umbrella or indicator species to assist multi-species vertebrate conservation planning. Understanding existing drivers and patterns of biodiversity is critical to support the development of effective community conservation strategies in this rapidly changing region.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 12

Dobson, A., G. Hopcraft, S. Mduma, ..., J. Berger et al. (2022). "Savannas are vital but overlooked carbon sinks." Science 375(6579), 392. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abn4482

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 12

Leisher, C., N. Robinson, M. Brown, D. Kujirakwinja, M. C. Schmitz, M. Wieland and D. Wilkie (In Press). "Ranking the direct threats to biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa." Biodiversity and Conservation. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-022-02394-w

Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa receives large investments in biodiversity conservation, and if these investments can be concentrated on the highest threats to biodiversity, the benefits to conservation from the investments would increase. Yet there is no available prioritization of the many direct threats to biodiversity to inform organizations developing sub-Saharan or sub-regional conservation strategies. Consequently, regional investments by funders of biodiversity conservation such as international conservation organizations, foundations, and bilateral and multilateral donors may be suboptimal. The objective of this study was to determine what are the highest direct threats to biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa and its sub-regions. To do this, we collected threat data using standardized IUCN threat categories from a Delphi consensus of sub-Saharan Africa biodiversity experts, known threats to IUCN Red-listed sub-Saharan African species, and National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans from 40 sub-Saharan African countries. After averaging the threat ranking from the three sources, the highest threats were: (1) annual and perennial crops (non-timber); (2) fishing and harvesting aquatic resources in marine and freshwater areas; (3) logging and wood harvesting in natural forests; and (4) hunting and collecting terrestrial animals. The highest-ranked sub-regional threats were hunting in Central Africa and agriculture in East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa. Aligning biodiversity investments to address these threats and tailoring activities to reflect local socio-ecological contexts would increase the conservation of biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 12

Mackenzie, E., S. Milne, L. van Kerkhoff and B. Ray (In Press). "Development or dispossession? Exploring the consequences of a major Chinese investment in rural Cambodia." The Journal of Peasant Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2022.2026929

Abstract: China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is facilitating massive infrastructure investment globally. Yet little is known about the BRI's local impacts, especially in countries like Cambodia where regulations are weak and government enthusiasm for the BRI is high. This article examines a set of BRI-linked investments in rural Cambodia, involving five agro-industrial concessions and a sugar-processing factory. We explore how these investments interacted with the local political economy and land governance. We find that, despite being couched in rhetoric of opportunity and progress, the investments caused Indigenous and Khmer villagers to lose access to customary land and forest resources, with disastrous consequences for livelihoods and the environment. We invoke Tsing's ?economy of appearances' to suggest that generation of speculative value is a key aspect of the BRI. This case confirms that ?development? of this kind can instigate and accelerate local dispossession, while failing to deliver on grandiose promises.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 12

McClanahan, T. R. (In Press). "Fisheries yields and species declines in coral reefs." Environmental Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac5bb4

Abstract: Negative trade-offs between food production and biodiversity and the positive functional diversity - productivity relationships are potentially conflicting paradigms that are frequently evoked in conservation and sustainability science and management. While the complementary niches of species could potentially increase fisheries yields, stark food-diversity trade-offs have been proposed for wild-caught fisheries. Nevertheless, this first evaluation of stock biomass, yields, and species relationships in 115 coral reef locations in the Western Indian Ocean found that management for multispecies-maximum sustained yield (MMSY) will increase both food production and numbers of species relative to open access fisheries. A precipitous loss of >50% of species did not occur until >70% of the fishable and target biomasses was depleted. At MMSY, 6-15% of total predicted number of fish species were lost indicating a need for other conservation mechanisms. These patterns occurred because the best-fit to the yield-numbers of species relationship was either a saturation or convex parabolic relationship. Fishing at MMSY in coral reefs should provide considerable diversity required to support many ecosystem services. Low biomass and overfishing were common and around 80% of studied locations were losing ~2.0-2.5 tons.km-2.y -1 and 15-40% of their species relative to MMSY.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 12

Movin, N., T. Gamova, S. G. Surmach, J. C. Slaght et al. (In Press). "Using bioacoustic tools to clarify species delimitation within the Blakiston’s Fish Owl (Bubo blakistoni) complex." Avian Research, e100021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avrs.2022.100021

Abstract: Although Blakiston’s Fish Owl (Bubo blakistoni) is widely treated as a single species, marked differences in the structure of pair duets between continental and insular populations have been documented. However, no study has quantitatively assessed these vocal differences. We obtained 192 duets from 22 pairs of Blakiston’s Fish Owl: 15 pairs of B. b. blakistoni from the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the Russian Kuril island of Kunashir, and seven pairs of B. b. doerriesi from Primorye on the Russian mainland. This is a sizeable dataset for such a large, retiring, and rare owl. We conducted bioacoustic examinations of 14 vocal parameters using principal component analysis and the Isler criterion to quantitatively test species boundaries within the B. blakistoni complex. We found that the insular populations on Hokkaido and Kunashir emerged as vocally similar to each other but markedly different from the continental populations of B. blakistoni, corresponding closely with presently accepted subspecies limits. Bioacoustic differences in the duets of the insular and continental groups are greater than the pairwise comparisons of territorial vocalisations between other sympatric owl species. Based on the reproductive importance of vocal duets in owl biology, we propose the taxonomic elevation of the continental subspecies to species level as Northern Fish Owl B. doerriesi. Our study corroborates the importance of bioacoustics in ascertaining species boundaries in owls and has important implications for the management of the two newly delimited species, each likely to be assessed as Endangered. Both species should be managed independently to optimise conservation outcomes.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 12

Nga, N. T. T., A. Latinne, H. B. Thuy, N. V. Long, P. T. B. Ngoc, N. T. L. Anh, ..., S. I. Roberton, C. Walzer, S. H. Olson and A. E. Fine (2022). "Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses circulating in Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade in Viet Nam." Frontiers in Public Health 10, e826116. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.826116

Abstract: Despite the discovery of several closely related viruses in bats, the direct evolutionary progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been identified. In this study, we investigated potential animal sources of SARS-related coronaviruses using archived specimens from Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) and Chinese pangolins (Manis pentadactyla) confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade, and from common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) raised on wildlife farms in Viet Nam. A total of 696 pangolin and civet specimens were screened for the presence of viral RNA from five zoonotic viral families and from Sarbecoviruses using primers specifically designed for pangolin coronaviruses. We also performed a curated data collection of media reports of wildlife confiscation events involving pangolins in Viet Nam between January 2016 and December 2020, to illustrate the global pangolin supply chain in the context of Viet Nam where the trade confiscated pangolins were sampled for this study. All specimens from pangolins and civets sampled along the wildlife supply chains between February 2017 and July 2018, in Viet Nam and tested with conventional PCR assays designed to detect flavivirus, paramyxovirus, filovirus, coronavirus, and orthomyxovirus RNA were negative. Civet samples were also negative for Sarbecoviruses, but 12 specimens from seven live pangolins confiscated in Hung Yen province, northern Viet Nam, in 2018 were positive for Sarbecoviruses. Our phylogenetic trees based on two fragments of the RdRp gene revealed that the Sarbecoviruses identified in these pangolins were closely related to pangolin coronaviruses detected in pangolins confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces, China. Our curated data collection of media reports of wildlife confiscation events involving pangolins in Viet Nam between January 2016 and December 2020, reflected what is known about pangolin trafficking globally. Pangolins confiscated in Viet Nam were largely in transit, moving toward downstream consumers in China. Confiscations included pangolin scales sourced originally from Africa (and African species of pangolins), or pangolin carcasses and live pangolins native to Southeast Asia (predominately the Sunda pangolin) sourced from neighboring range countries and moving through Viet Nam toward provinces bordering China.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 12

Noll, D., F. Leon, D. Brandt, ..., A. R. Rey et al. (2022). "Positive selection over the mitochondrial genome and its role in the diversification of gentoo penguins in response to adaptation in isolation." Scientific Reports 12, e3767. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-07562-0

Abstract: Although mitochondrial DNA has been widely used in phylogeography, evidence has emerged that factors such as climate, food availability, and environmental pressures that produce high levels of stress can exert a strong influence on mitochondrial genomes, to the point of promoting the persistence of certain genotypes in order to compensate for the metabolic requirements of the local environment. As recently discovered, the gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) comprise four highly divergent lineages across their distribution spanning the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions. Gentoo penguins therefore represent a suitable animal model to study adaptive processes across divergent environments. Based on 62 mitogenomes that we obtained from nine locations spanning all four gentoo penguin lineages, we demonstrated lineage-specific nucleotide substitutions for various genes, but only lineage-specific amino acid replacements for the ND1 and ND5 protein-coding genes. Purifying selection (dN/dS < 1) is the main driving force in the protein-coding genes that shape the diversity of mitogenomes in gentoo penguins. Positive selection (dN/dS > 1) was mostly present in codons of the Complex I (NADH genes), supported by two different codon-based methods at the ND1 and ND4 in the most divergent lineages, the eastern gentoo penguin from Crozet and Marion Islands and the southern gentoo penguin from Antarctica respectively. Additionally, ND5 and ATP6 were under selection in the branches of the phylogeny involving all gentoo penguins except the eastern lineage. Our study suggests that local adaptation of gentoo penguins has emerged as a response to environmental variability promoting the fixation of mitochondrial haplotypes in a non-random manner. Mitogenome adaptation is thus likely to have been associated with gentoo penguin diversification across the Southern Ocean and to have promoted their survival in extreme environments such as Antarctica. Such selective processes on the mitochondrial genome may also be responsible for the discordance detected between nuclear- and mitochondrial-based phylogenies of gentoo penguin lineages.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 12

Robinson, O. J., J. B. Socolar, E. F. Stuber, ..., P. Yorio et al. (2022). "Extreme uncertainty and unquantifiable bias do not inform population sizes." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 119(10), e2113862119. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2113862119

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 10 of 12

Stacy, N. I., C. Hollinger, J. E. Arnold et al. (Early View). "Left shift and toxic change in heterophils and neutrophils of non-mammalian vertebrates: A comparative review, image atlas, and practical considerations." Veterinary Clinical Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1111/vcp.13117

Abstract: Heterophils and neutrophils are important first cellular responders to inflammatory conditions. In addition to quantitative shifts in the numbers of these cells in blood, inflammatory disease states often have accompanying increases in immature precursor stages (left shift) and/or evidence of toxic change on blood film evaluation. Recognition of left shift and toxic change morphologies is a salient diagnostic finding with clinical relevance across species. The objectives of this report are to (a) review heterophil and neutrophil function and structure across the vertebrate animal kingdom, (b) compare morphologic features of left shift and toxic change in heterophils and neutrophils of non-mammalian vertebrates (NMV) to mammals, (c) provide an image guide demonstrating the breadth of morphologic diversity of heterophil and neutrophil lineages in health and disease across taxa, and (d) discuss practical considerations for clinical pathologists and other professionals involved in the recognition and interpretation of observations in the inflammatory leukogram of NMV.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 11 of 12

Walther, E. J., D. E. Arthur, A. Cyr, K. M. Fraley et al. (In Press). "Ecotoxicology of mercury in burbot (Lota lota) from interior Alaska and insights towards human health." Chemosphere, e134279. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.134279

Abstract: Fish consumption has many health benefits, but exposure to contaminants, such as mercury (Hg), in fish tissue can be detrimental to human health. The Tanana River drainage, Alaska, USA supports the largest recreational harvest of burbot (Lota lota) in the state, yet information to evaluate the potential risks of consumption by humans is lacking. To narrow this knowledge gap, we sought to (i) quantify the concentrations of total Hg ([THg]) in burbot muscle and liver tissue and the ratio between the two tissues, (ii) assess the effect of age, length, and sex on [THg] in muscle and liver tissue, (iii) evaluate if [THg] in muscle tissue varied based on trophic information, and (iv) compare observed [THg] to consumption guidelines and statewide baseline data. The mean [THg] was 268.2 ng/g ww for muscle tissue and 62.3 ng/g ww for liver tissue. Both muscle [THg] and liver [THg] values were positively associated with fish length. Trophic information (δ15N and δ13C) was not significantly related to measured [THg] in burbot muscle, which is inconsistent with typical patterns of biomagnification observed in other fishes. All burbot sampled were within the established categories for consumption recommendations determined by the State of Alaska for women of childbearing age and children. Our results provide the necessary first step towards informed risk assessment of burbot consumption in the Tanana drainage and offer parallels to fisheries and consumers throughout the subarctic and Arctic region.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 12 of 12

Yong, D. L., A. Jain, S. U. Chowdhury, E. Denstedt, K. Khammavong, P. Milavong et al. (Early View). "The specter of empty countrysides and wetlands—Impact of hunting take on birds in Indo-Burma." Conservation Science and Practice, e212668. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12668

Abstract: Hunting for the wild meat trade, medicines and other human uses has decimated Indo-Burma's vertebrate biota and has led to widespread defaunation. Yet, there is surprisingly little data on how hunting impacts wild bird assemblages in different landscapes here. Based on concurrent snapshot surveys of bird hunting, food markets and hunting attitudes across six Indo-Burma countries, we found that hunting threatens species not only in forested landscapes but also wetlands and farmlands such as orchards and paddy fields—ecosystems overlooked by past studies, with at least 47 species associated with wetlands and agricultural lands identified from market surveys across the region. High rates of mortality are suffered when hunting tools such as nets are used to exclude perceived bird pests in both aquaculture and agricultural landscapes, with over 300 individual carcasses of at least 29 identifiable species detected in one aquaculture landscape sampled in Thailand. We warn that the potentially unsustainable trapping of species for consumption and trade in Indo-Burma, coupled with high incidental mortalities, could decimate the populations of erstwhile common and/or legally unprotected species. There is an urgent need for stronger regulatory oversight on the hunting take of wild birds and the use of hunting tools such as nets. Alongside this, conservation practitioners need to better engage with rural communities to address unsustainable hunting practices, especially outside of protected areas.

 

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 1 of 7

García Dávila, C. R., M. Ruiz Tafur, H. Sánchez Riveiro et al. (2022). Guía de Identificación de Peces de Consumo de la Amazonía Peruana. Lima, Peru: Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana and Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43787

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 2 of 7

Gutiérrez-Chacón, C., D. Vélez and V. H. González (2022). Abejas de la Subcuenca del Río Meléndez, Valle del Cauca, Colombia: Guía de campo. Cali, Colombia: Wildlife Conservation Society, Colombia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4378800000.aspx

Abstract : En el mundo existen más de 20.000 especies de abejas. En Colombia, hasta ahora, se han registrado alrededor de 600 especies, pero el número real podría ser, al menos, el doble. ¿Cuántas especies de abejas conoces o puedes diferenciar? Aunque la importancia de las abejas es cada vez más reconocida debido a su vital papel como polinizadores, la mayoría de personas no pueden identificar las especies con las que conviven; esas que están en las ciudades, en los jardines o en los campos. Así que el propósito de esta guía es mostrar la gran diversidad de abejas que pueden existir en una zona específica, en este caso, a lo largo del río Meléndez, en el Valle del Cauca. Para sus habitantes y visitantes, esta guía busca ayudarles a diferenciar algunas de las abejas más comunes, y esperamos que les despierte la curiosidad por encontrar y observar esas otras que, por lo general, pasan inadvertidas. Para aquellas personas ajenas al río Meléndez, es decir, quienes están en otras regiones de Colombia o del mundo, esta guía también puede ayudarles a diferenciar “tipos” de abejas y motivarlos a estudiar la diversidad de este grupo en sus territorios. Esta primera versión de la guía incluye 44 especies o tipos de abejas que han sido observadas y fotografiadas a lo largo de más de dos años. Debido a la falta de herramientas e información, no todas cuentan con identificación al nivel más detallado, es decir, a nivel de especie, pero sí al nivel taxonómico siguiente, o sea, a nivel de género. En un futuro, esperamos publicar nuevas versiones de esta guía para precisar la identidad de algunas abejas y añadir más especies, pues sabemos que quedan varias por registrar, especialmente en la parte alta y baja de la subcuenca.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 3 of 7

Vargas, A. V., D. Sheil, A. Semper-Pascual, ..., V. Estienne, ..., J. Salvador et al. (Preprint). “Consistent daily activity patterns across tropical forest mammal communities.” Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1330544/v1

Abstract: Most animals follow distinct daily activity patterns reflecting their adaptations1, requirements, and interactions2-4. Specific communities provide specific opportunities and constraints to their members that further shape these patterns3,4. Here, we ask whether community-level diel activity patterns among long-separated biogeographic regions differ or converge and whether the resulting patterns indicate top-down (predation risk) or bottom-up processes (prey availability)? We estimated the diel activity of ground-dwelling and scansorial mammals in 16 protected areas across the tropics, using an extensive network of camera traps, and examined the relationship to body mass and trophic guild. We found that mammalian guilds exhibited consistent diel activity patterns across regions, indicating similar responses to similar evolutionary and ecological opportunities and constraints. Larger herbivores tended to be more nocturnal than smaller herbivores, whereas carnivores and omnivores showed the opposite pattern. Insectivores were exceptions, revealing regional differences in which larger insectivorous species were more nocturnal than smaller ones in the Afrotropical and Indo-Malayan regions, while the pattern reversed in the Neotropics. The consistent contrast between predators and prey suggests that diel activity within these communities is primarily determined by large predators and associated risk of predation.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 4 of 7

Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program (2022). Measuring Family Wellbeing with The Basic Necessities Survey. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43799

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 5 of 7

Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program (2022). Medir el Bienestar de las Familias con el Sondeo de Necesidades Básicas. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43805

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 6 of 7

Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program (2022). Medir o Bem-Estar Familiar com o Sondagem de Necessidades Básicas. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43808

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 7 of 7

Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program (2022). Mesurer le Bien-Être des Familles avec l'Enquête sur les Nécessités de Base. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43802

 

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS,  1-7 March 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 7

Gray, H., K. van Waerebeek, J. Owen, T. Collins et al. (2022). "Evolutionary drivers of morphological differentiation among three bottlenose dolphin lineages, Tursiops spp. (Delphinidae), in the northwest Indian Ocean utilizing linear and geometric morphometric techniques." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 135(3), 610-629. https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blab133

Abstract: Local adaptation and adaptive radiations are typically associated with phenotypic variation suited to alternative environments. In the marine environment, the nature of relevant ecological or environmental transitions is poorly understood, especially for highly mobile species. Here we compare three genetic lineages in the genus Tursiops (bottlenose dolphins), using linear measurements and geometric morphometric techniques, in the context of environmental variation in the northwest Indian Ocean. Cranial morphology was clearly differentiated comparing Tursiops truncatus and Tursiops aduncus, while a recently discovered genetic lineage, found in the Arabian Sea, was morphologically most similar to T. aduncus from the same region, but distinct for various measures, particularly metrics associated with the lateral dimension of the skull. The extent of divergence between T. truncatus and T. aduncus compared to differences between the T. aduncus lineages is consistent with the recent phylogeny for these species. Therefore, with the corroboration of genetic and morphological inference, we propose two conservation units of T. aduncus be recognized in the region at a sub-specific level so that their conservation can be managed effectively. We consider possible evolutionary mechanisms associated with regional habitat characteristics and the exploitation of distinct prey resources.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 7

Martinez, J., R. B. Wallace, E. Domic, L. López and K. A.-I. Nekaris (In Press). "Seasonal ecological flexibility of a threatened Bolivian endemic: Olalla's titi monkey (Plecturocebus olallae)." International Journal of Primatology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-021-00276-6

Abstract: In the face of reduced food availability, primates must choose between expending energy to look for adequate foraging options, or saving energy by reducing activity and intake requirements. In a 1-year study of two groups of Olalla’s titi monkey (Plecturocebus olallae) in the fragmented forests of the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivia, we assessed seasonal variations in behavior, ranging, and diet to examine their ecological flexibility. We observed groups in the wet and dry seasons, recording behavior with instantaneous group scan sampling (743.5 observation hours in the dry season and 733.0 hours in the wet season) and ranging and feeding data with all occurrence sampling. At the same time, we collected data on food availability via monthly phenology monitoring. The titi monkeys fed mainly on fruits and significantly reduced the time they spent consuming fruit during the dry season compared with the wet season while showing some (nonsignificant) increase in their consumption of leaves, and other foods (seeds, lichens, and fungi). Home ranges remained relatively constant, but titi monkeys spent less time moving in the dry season than in the wet season, although this difference was not significant. The observed shift in diet toward consuming alternative foods during the fruit lean period and reducing movement instead of expanding ranging behavior to look for higher-quality foods suggests that P. olallae follows an energy–area minimizing strategy that may enable these primates to inhabit fragmented forests. Nevertheless, deforestation and further fragmentation in the range of these endemic and Critically Endangered primates must be addressed, as they represent significant threats to the severely range-restricted P. olallae populations. Our study illustrates the relevance of understanding primate ecological flexibility in response to food reductions to the development of conservation actions, especially in the light of increasing forest degradation and loss in the study region.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 7

Nelson, S., A. Jenkins, S. D. Jupiter, P. Horwitz, S. Mangubhai et al. (2022). "Predicting climate-sensitive water-related disease trends based on health, seasonality and weather data in Fiji." The Journal of Climate Change and Health 6, e100112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joclim.2022.100112

Leptospirosis, typhoid and dengue are three water-related diseases influenced by environmental factors. We examined whether seasonality and rainfall predict reported syndromes associated with leptospirosis, typhoid and dengue in Fiji. Poisson generalised linear models were fitted with s6 early warning, alert and response system (EWARS) syndromic conditions from March 2016 until December 2020, incorporating seasonality, temperature and rainfall. Watery diarrhoea, prolonged fever and suspected dengue displayed seasonal trends with peaks corresponding with the rainy season, while bloody diarrhoea, acute fever with rash and acute jaundice syndrome did not. Seasonality was the most common predictor for watery and bloody diarrhoea, prolonged fever, suspected dengue, and acute fever plus rash in those aged 5 and over, explaining between 0.4% – 37.8% of the variation across all conditions. Higher rainfall was the most common predictor for acute fever plus rash and acute jaundice syndrome in children under 5, explaining between 1.0% – 7.6% variation across all conditions. Each EWARS syndromic condition case peak was associated with a different rainfall lag, varying between 0 and 11 weeks. The relationships between EWARS, rainfall and seasonality show that it is possible to predict when outbreaks will occur by following seasonality and rainfall. Pre-positioning of diagnostic and treatment resources could then be aligned with seasonality and rainfall peaks to plan and address water-related disease outbreaks.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 7

Nelson, S., J. Thomas, A. Jenkins, ..., M. Ravoka, S. D. Jupiter, S. Mangubhai et al. (In Press). "Perceptions of drinking water access and quality in rural indigenous villages in Fiji." Water Practice and Technology, wpt2022022. https://doi.org/10.2166/wpt.2022.022

Abstract: Poor rural water quality is a health challenge in Fiji. A mixed-methods study in six iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) villages was conducted to understand local perceptions of drinking water access and quality, how this changes drinking water source choices, and impacts of age and gender. Seventy-two household surveys, 30 key informant interviews (KIIs) and 12 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted. Household surveys revealed 41.7% of community members perceived their water as dirty and 76.4% perceived their water as clean. Two-thirds of households reported that they always or usually had enough water. FGDs and KIIs revealed water access and quality was influenced by population size, seasonality, and rainfall. Perceptions of water quality caused villages to shift to alternative water sources. Alignment of the qualitative and quantitative data identified four themes: sources and infrastructure, access, quality and contamination. There was mixed alignment of perceptions between access and quality between the household surveys, and KIIs and FGDs with partial agreement sources and infrastructure, and quality. Gender was found to influence perceptions of dirty water, contamination, and supply and demand. Perceptions of water quality and access shape decisions and choices for water sources and can be used to inform resilience and inclusive water strategies.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 7

Ponton, D. E., J. Ruelas-Inzunza, R. A. Lavoie, G. L. Lescord et al. (In Press). "Mercury, selenium and arsenic concentrations in Canadian freshwater fish and a perspective on human consumption intake and risk." Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances, e100060. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hazadv.2022.100060

Abstract: Mercury (Hg) and arsenic (As) contamination of fish can be toxic and limit safe human consumption, whereas selenium (Se) can potentially protect fish and consumers from the adverse effects of Hg and As. We assembled datasets of the above-mentioned elements in Canadian freshwater fish and compare them with risk assessment thresholds. We further assessed linkages between the elemental concentrations and anthropogenic activities and ecozones. Mercury concentrations exceeded the retail fish Canadian threshold (0.5 µg/g wet weight) in 31% of all Walleye; this proportion rose to 64% in reservoirs. Reservoirs and lakes impacted by logging and urbanization had higher fish [Hg] than other types of impacted systems. Se and As concentrations exceeded Canadian guidelines in 5% (aquatic life) and 0.2% of all fish, respectively. In mining areas, fish [Hg] were low and negatively correlated with [Se], and fish [Se] were positively correlated with [As]. In all areas, we observed an important overall and previously unpublished negative relationship between mean fish [As] and [Hg], suggesting an inverse consumption risk for these two elements. The ratio Se/Hg was lower than the protective value of 1 for 14% of all fish and was negatively correlated with fish length. However, the benefit-risk value (BRV) threshold, which accounts for the Se intake from other food products, did not suggest any fish consumption limitations, except for few very contaminated top predators (> 2 µg/g ww). More studies need to assess the role of Se against Hg toxicity and adjust fish consumption guidelines accordingly.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 7

Prestes, L., R. Barthem, A. Mello-Filho, ... and M. Goulding (2022). "Proactively averting the collapse of Amazon fisheries based on three migratory flagship species." PLoS ONE 17(3), e0264490. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264490

Abstract: Migratory species are the most important commercial fishes in the Amazon. They are also now the most threatened directly by some combination of overfishing, floodplain deforestation, and dam construction. Limited governmental monitoring and implemented regulations impede adequate management of the fisheries at adequate scale. We summarize the current stock status of the three most heavily exploited long-distance migratory species, which are two goliath catfishes (Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii and B. vaillantii) and the characiform Colossoma macropomum. In addition, we analyze impacts beyond overfishing on these species. Our results indicate: (i) the overfishing trends for these important species are either ominous or indicate the verge of collapse of the commercial fisheries based on them, and (ii) a dangerous synergy between overfishing, hydroelectric dams, and floodplain deforestation further challenge fisheries management of migratory species in the Amazon. We propose eight direct governmental actions as a proactive approach that addresses the main impacts on the fisheries. We consider that the most practical way to assess and manage overfishing of migratory species in the short run in an area as large as the main commercial fishing area in the Amazon is at market sites where enforced regulations can control fish catch. The management of the three species considered here has implications beyond just their sustainability. Their management would represent a paradigm shift where the governments assume their legal responsibilities in fishery management. These responsibilities include regulation enforcement, data collecting, inter-jurisdictional cooperation to protect migratory species at realistic life history scales, mitigation of the Madeira dams to assure goliath catfish passage to the largest western headwater region, and recognition of monitoring and managing wetland deforestation for the protection of fish and other aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 7

Stacy, N. I., C. Hollinger, J. E. Arnold et al. (Early View). "Proposal for standardized classification of left shift, toxic change, and increased nuclear segmentation in heterophils and neutrophils in non-mammalian vertebrates." Veterinary Clinical Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1111/vcp.13120

 

Grey Literature Citations

Grey Literature Citation 1 of 1

Хилти, Ж., Г. Л.Ворбойс, А. Кили, ..., Ж. Э. М. Уотсон et al. (2022). Экологийн сүлжээ ба коридор нутгуудаар дамжуулан холбоос нутгуудыг хадгалах тухай удирдамж. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2020.PAG.30.mn

Аливаа экологийн холбоос нь төрөл зүйлийн саадгүй хөдөлгөөн, дэлхий дээрх амьдралыг тэтгэх байгалийн үйл явцын урсгал юм. Уг тодорхойлолтыг Зэрлэг Амьтдын Нүүдлийн Зүйлүүдийг Хамгаалах Конвенци (CMS, 2020) баталж, холбоос нутгуудыг хамгаалах нь нэн чухал болохыг онцолсон бөгөөд түүний янз бүрийн элементүүд тухайлбал тархалт, улирлаас хамаарах шилжилт хөдөлгөөн, флювиаль процессууд болон илт харагддаг холбоосууд нь уудам, хөндөгдөөгүй нутагт байдаг. Хүний үйл ажиллагааны улмаас үүссэн хэсэгчлэн хуваагдах үйл явц нь амьдрах орчныг тасалдуулсаар, биологийн олон янз байдлыг доройтуулж, уур амьсгалын өөрчлөлтөд дасан зохицох үйл явцыг удаашруулж байна. Тусгай хамгаалалттай газар нутгийн хүрээнд энэхүү асуудлыг шийдвэрлэхийн тулд шинжлэх ухаан, онолын томоохон хэсэг боловсруулагдаж байна. Уг зорилгын хүрээнд Экологийн сүлжээ ба коридор нутгаар дамжуулан аливаа холбоос нутгуудыг хадгалж үлдэх тухай тус удирдамж нь хуваагдмал байдалтай тэмцэх хүчин чармайлтыг дэмжихийн сацуу энэ чиглэлийн баялаг мэдлэг болон хамгийн сайн туршлагуудыг нэгтгэх явдал юм. Энэхүү удирдамж нь дараах арга хэрэгсэл, жишээг хамрах бөгөөд үүнд: Тусгай хамгаалалттай газар нутгуудын хоорондох экологийн холбоос нутаг (1) болон хамгааллын арга хэмжээ нь үр дүн үзүүлсэн газар нутаг мөн (2) байгаль орчныг хамгаалах экологийн сүлжээг хөгжүүлэх зэрэг юм. Ингэхдээ уг удирдамжаар дамжуулан бүрэн бүтэн байх, хүн зонхилсон системүүдийн хооронд байх холбоос нутгуудыг хадгалж, сайжруулж, сэргээж буй экологийн сүлжээг хамгаалах шилдэг туршлагуудыг дэвшүүлж байгаа юм. Олон улсын болон үндэсний хэмжээнд шинэлэг шийдлүүдийн эрэлт өсөхийн хэрээр энэхүү удирдамжид байгаль орчныг хамгаалах сүлжээг хөгжүүлэх, ингэснээр биологийн олон янз байдлын хамгааллын үр дүнг хадгалахын тулд экологийн коридор нутгуудыг бий болгох хэрэгтэй. Гол санаа • Хүний оролцоотой системүүд, ялангуяа уур амьсгалын өөрчлөлтийн үед харилцан холбоогүй хэсгүүдээс илүүтэйгээр биологийн олон янз байдлыг хамгаалахад харилцан холбоотой тусгай хамгаалалттай газар болон бусад газрууд нь илүү үр дүнтэй байдгийг дийлэнх судалгааны ажлууд харуулж байна. • Экологийн холбоос нутаг нь биологийн олон янз байдлыг хадгалахад чухал үүрэг гүйцэтгэдэг хэдий ч үүнийг сайжруулах, тодорхойлох арга замууд нь хоорондоо нийцэхгүй байна. Үүний зэрэгцээ бүх тивийн улс орнууд бүс нутгийн болон орон нутгийн засаг захиргааны хүрээнд дайран өнгөрөх коридор нутгуудын янз бүрийн хэлбэрт хамаарах хууль тогтоомж, холбоос нутгуудыг сайжруулах бодлогыг боловсронгуй болгосоор байна. • Экологийн холбоос нутгийг хамгаалахад дэлхий даяарчлагдах хандлагад шилжих нь зайлшгүй хэдий ч холбоос нутгийг хамгаалах, ингэснээр экологийн функциональ сүлжээг бий болгох хүчин чармайлтын үр дүнг хэмжиж, хянаж эхлэх нь чухал юм. Уг удирдамжид экологийн коридор нутгуудын холболтыг тодорхойлох, хадгалах, сайжруулах, сэргээх арга зам гэж тодорхойлсон. Мөн үүнд хамаарах шинжлэх ухааны томоохон хэсгийг нэгтгэн дүгнэж, экологийн коридор нутгийн, сүлжээг албан ёсны болгох зорилгыг агуулан зөвлөв.

 

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 22-28 February 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 10

Aliaga-Rossel, E., C. J. Quiroga, X. Velez-Liendo, A. Romero-Muñoz, Z. Porcel, R. B. Wallace, G. M. Ayala, M. E. Viscarra et al. (2021). "Distribution, ecology, and conservation of Xenarthra in Bolivia — Update to 2021." Edentata 22, 16-37. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2021.Edentata-22-1.4.en

Abstract: We present an update on the taxonomy, distribution, ecology, threats, and conservation status of Bolivian Xenarthra (orders Cingulata and Pilosa) based on articles published between 2010 and 2021. The Andean hairy armadillo Chaetophractus nationi has been synonymized with the less threatened C. vellerosus. Cabassous squamicaudis has been revalidated for Bolivia. Dasypus kappleri has been divided into three species; D. beniensis is the species present in Bolivia. Cyclopes didactylus was divided into seven species; C. catellus is the species in Bolivia. Chlamyphorus was divided into two genera; Calyptophractus retusus is the species in Bolivia. Recent camera trap and biodiversity surveys extend records of Xenarthra into the dry forests of the central and southern Andes of Bolivia. No comprehensive population assessment or basic ecological studies were undertaken for any Xenarthra species in the country during the period. However, indirectly, armadillos and anteaters have been included in recent studies using camera traps to evaluate effects of forest management, forest fragmentation, agriculture, and hunting on terrestrial mammals. Deforestation is the major threat to Xenarthra, exacerbated by economic pressures, policy changes, and frequent extensive fires in the past decade. The majority of xenarthrans are affected by hunting for subsistence consumption, meat sales, and/or cultural purposes. Overall, the conservation status of Xenarthra species in Bolivia is thought to be relatively stable, with vast protected areas, indigenous territories, and certified forestry concessions where deforestation and hunting are limited. However, outside of protected areas, threats are increasing. Direct research on Bolivian Xenarthra is needed, especially studies on longterm population trends, habitat preferences, and distribution in less-studied and threatened ecosystems such as the Chiquitano Dry Forest and the Bolivian-Tucumán Forest.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 10

Benfield, C. T. O., S. Hill, M. Shatar, E. Shiilegdamba, B. Damdinjav, A. Fine et al. (In Press). "Molecular epidemiology of peste des petits ruminants virus emergence in critically endangered Mongolian saiga antelope and other wild ungulates." Virus Evolution 7(2), veab062. https://doi.org/10.1093/ve/veab062

Abstract: Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) causes disease in domestic and wild ungulates, is the target of a Global Eradication Programme, and threatens biodiversity. Understanding the epidemiology and evolution of PPRV in wildlife is important but hampered by the paucity of wildlife-origin PPRV genomes. In this study, full PPRV genomes were generated from three Mongolian saiga antelope, one Siberian ibex, and one goitered gazelle from the 2016–2017 PPRV outbreak. Phylogenetic analysis showed that for Mongolian and Chinese PPRV since 2013, the wildlife and livestock-origin genomes were closely related and interspersed. There was strong phylogenetic support for a monophyletic group of PPRV from Mongolian wildlife and livestock, belonging to a clade of lineage IV PPRV from livestock and wildlife from China since 2013. Discrete diffusion analysis found strong support for PPRV spread into Mongolia from China, and phylogeographic analysis indicated Xinjiang Province as the most likely origin, although genomic surveillance for PPRV is poor and lack of sampling from other regions could bias this result. Times of most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) were June 2015 (95 per cent highest posterior density (HPD): August 2014 to March 2016) for all Mongolian PPRV genomes and May 2016 (95 per cent HPD: October 2015 to October 2016) for Mongolian wildlife-origin PPRV. This suggests that PPRV was circulating undetected in Mongolia for at least 6 months before the first reported outbreak in August 2016 and that wildlife were likely infected before livestock vaccination began in October 2016. Finally, genetic variation and positively selected sites were identified that might be related to PPRV emergence in Mongolian wildlife. This study is the first to sequence multiple PPRV genomes from a wildlife outbreak, across several host species. Additional full PPRV genomes and associated metadata from the livestock–wildlife interface are needed to enhance the power of molecular epidemiology, support PPRV eradication, and safeguard the health of the whole ungulate community.Recent mass mortality of critically endangered Mongolian saiga antelope due to peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) has dramatically highlighted the threat this viral disease represents for biodiversity. The genome of viruses such as PPRV evolves fast, so virus genetic data gathered from infected animals can be used to trace disease spread between livestock and wildlife and to determine if the virus is adapting to infect wildlife more efficiently. Here, we obtained PPRV virus genomes from Mongolian wildlife and compared them with other published PPRV genomes. Using a molecular clock, we estimated that the disease was circulating in Mongolia well before it was first reported. Genetic analyses support the hypothesis of virus spread from livestock to wildlife, with genetic changes potentially helping infection in Asian wild ungulates. However, more PPR virus genomes and epidemiology data are needed from disease outbreaks in areas shared between livestock and wildlife to confirm these results and take efficient actions to safeguard the health of the whole ungulate community.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 10

Feng, Y., Z. Zeng, T. D. Searchinger, ... P. R. Elsen, et al (2022). "Doubling of annual forest carbon loss over the tropics during the early twenty-first century." Nature Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-022-00854-3

Abstract: Previous estimates of tropical forest carbon loss in the twenty-first century using satellite data typically focus on its magnitude, whereas regional loss trajectories and associated drivers are rarely reported. Here we used different high-resolution satellite datasets to show a doubling of gross tropical forest carbon loss worldwide from 0.97 ± 0.16 PgC yr−1 in 2001–2005 to 1.99 ± 0.13 PgC yr−1 in 2015–2019. This increase in carbon loss from forest conversion is higher than in bookkeeping models forced by land-use statistical data, which show no trend or a slight decline in land-use emissions in the early twenty-first century. Most (82%) of the forest carbon loss is at some stages associated with large-scale commodity or small-scale agriculture activities, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia. We find that ~70% of former forest lands converted to agriculture in 2001–2019 remained so in 2020, confirming a dominant role of agriculture in long-term pan-tropical carbon reductions on formerly forested landscapes. The acceleration and high rate of forest carbon loss in the twenty-first century suggest that existing strategies to reduce forest loss are not successful; and this failure underscores the importance of monitoring deforestation trends following the new pledges made in Glasgow.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 10

Hanberry, B. B., S. J. DeBano, T. N. Kaye, M. M. Rowland, C. R. Hartway and D. Shorrock (2021). "Pollinators of the Great Plains: Disturbances, stressors, management, and research needs." Rangeland Ecology & Management 78, 220-234. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.006

Abstract: Recent global declines of pollinator populations have highlighted the importance of pollinators, which are undervalued despite essential contributions to ecosystem services. To identify critical knowledge gaps about pollinators, we describe the state of knowledge about responses of pollinators and their foraging and nesting resources to historical natural disturbances and new stressors in Great Plains grasslands and riparian ecosystems. In addition, we also provide information about pollinator management and research needs to guide efforts to sustain pollinators and by extension, flowering vegetation, and other ecosystem services of grasslands. Although pollinator responses varied, pollinator specialists of disturbance-sensitive plants tended to decline in response to disturbance. Management with grazing and fire overall may benefit pollinators of grasslands, depending on many factors; however, we recommend habitat and population monitoring to assess outcomes of these disturbances on small, isolated pollinator populations. The influences and interactions of drought and increasingly variable weather patterns, pesticides, and domesticated bees on pollinators are complex and understudied. Nonetheless, habitat management and restoration can reduce effects of stressors and augment floral and nesting resources for pollinators. Research needs include expanding information about 1) the distribution, abundance, trends, and intraregional variability of most pollinator species; 2) floral and nesting resources critical to support pollinators; 3) implications of different rangeland management approaches; 4) effects of missing and reestablished resources in altered and restored vegetation; and 5) disentangling the relative influence of interacting disturbances and stressors on pollinator declines. Despite limited research in the Great Plains on many of these topics, consideration of pollinator populations and their habitat needs in management plans is critical now to reduce future pollinator declines and promote recovery.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 10

Martinez, J. and R. Wallace (2021). "Plecturocebus olallae." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, e.T3554A17975516. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-1.RLTS.T3554A17975516.en

Abstract: Olalla Brothers’ Titi Plecturocebus olallae has most recently been assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2020. Plecturocebus olallae is listed as Critically Endangered under criteria A3cd.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 10

Odorico, D., E. Nicosia, C. Datizua, ..., E. Matusse et al. (2022). "An updated checklist of Mozambique’s vascular plants." PhytoKeys 189, 61-80. https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.189.75321

Abstract: An updated checklist of Mozambique’s vascular plants is presented. It was compiled referring to several information sources such as existing literature, relevant online databases and herbaria collections. The checklist includes 7,099 taxa (5,957 species, 605 subspecies, 537 varieties), belonging to 226 families and 1,746 genera. There are 6,804 angiosperms, 257 pteridophytes, and 38 gymnosperms. A total of 6,171 taxa are native to Mozambique, while 602 are introduced and the remaining 326 taxa were considered as uncertain status. The endemism level for Mozambique’s flora was assessed at 9.59%, including 278 strict-endemic taxa and 403 near-endemic. 58.2% of taxa are herbaceous, while shrubs and trees account respectively for 26.5% and 9.2% of the taxa. The checklist also includes ferns (3.6%), lianas (1.7%), subshrubs (0.5%) and cycads (0.3%). Fabaceae, Poaceae and Asteraceae are the three most represented families, with 891, 543 and 428 taxa, respectively. The extinction risk of 1,667 taxa is included, with 158 taxa listed as Vulnerable, 119 as Endangered and as 24 Critically Endangered. The geographical distribution, known vernacular names and plants traditional uses are also recorded.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 10

Poley, L. G., R. Schuster, W. Smith and J. C. Ray (Early View). "Identifying differences in roadless areas in Canada based on global, national, and regional road datasets." Conservation Science and Practice, e12656. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12656

Abstract: Roads are an overwhelming component of the global human footprint and their absence helps identify intact areas with high ecological value. Road-free areas are decreasing globally, making accurate estimation of their location and size of great importance. Identification of such regions requires accurate data, but substantial variability exists in road network datasets created and maintained at different spatial scales. We compared estimates of road length, density, and roadless areas across Canada, which contains a high proportion of the world's remaining undisturbed and road-free areas. Global- and national-scale datasets included, on average, only 11%–14% of roads represented in regional-scale data or volunteered geographic information (VGI), with the most pronounced differences in less-developed areas. Regional-scale datasets, with the lowest estimates of amount of roadless area and smallest mean roadless patch size, are likely the most complete road datasets but are not available for all jurisdictions, limiting their national-scale utility. VGI provides a national-scale alternative but still lacks many low-use roads. Available global and national datasets have insufficient information for accurate assessments of roadless areas in Canada, which will require detailed, consistent subnational datasets assembled and maintained by each province and territory in a coordinated fashion to achieve national coverage.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 10

Punjabi, G. A., L. Worsøe Havmøller, R. Worsøe Havmøller, D. Ngoprasert and A. Srivathsa (2022). "Methodological approaches for estimating populations of the endangered dhole Cuon alpinus." PeerJ 10, e12905. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.12905

Abstract: Large carnivores are important for maintaining ecosystem integrity and attract much research and conservation interest. For most carnivore species, estimating population density or abundance is challenging because they do not have unique markings for individual identification. This hinders status assessments for many threatened species, and calls for testing new methodological approaches. We examined past efforts to assess the population status of the endangered dhole (Cuon alpinus), and explored the application of a suite of recently developed models for estimating their populations using camera-trap data from India’s Western Ghats. We compared the performance of Site-Based Abundance (SBA), Space-to-Event (STE), and Time-to-Event (TTE) models against current knowledge of their population size in the area. We also applied two of these models (TTE and STE) to the co-occurring leopard (Panthera pardus), for which density estimates were available from Spatially Explicit Capture–Recapture (SECR) models, so as to simultaneously validate the accuracy of estimates for one marked and one unmarked species. Our review of literature (n = 38) showed that most assessments of dhole populations involved crude indices (relative abundance index; RAI) or estimates of occupancy and area of suitable habitat; very few studies attempted to estimate populations. Based on empirical data from our field surveys, the TTE and SBA models overestimated dhole population size beyond ecologically plausible limits, but the STE model produced reliable estimates for both the species. Our findings suggest that it is difficult to estimate population sizes of unmarked species when model assumptions are not fully met and data are sparse, which are commonplace for most ecological surveys in the tropics. Based on our assessment, we propose that practitioners who have access to photo-encounter data on dholes across Asia test old and new analytical approaches to increase the overall knowledge-base on the species, and contribute towards conservation monitoring of this endangered carnivore.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 10

Shamon, H., O. G. Cosby, C. L. Andersen, ..., B. L. Brock, ..., C. Hartway, ..., C. Mormorunni et al. (2022). "The potential of bison restoration as an ecological approach to future tribal food sovereignty on the Northern Great Plains." Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10, e826282. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.826282

Abstract: Future climate projections of warming, drying, and increased weather variability indicate that conventional agricultural and production practices within the Northern Great Plains (NGP) will become less sustainable, both ecologically and economically. As a result, the livelihoods of people that rely on these lands will be adversely impacted. This is especially true for Native American communities, who were relegated to reservations where the land is often vast but marginal and non-tribal operators have an outsized role in food production. In addition, NGP lands are expected to warm and dry disproportionately relative to the rest of the United States. It is therefore critical to identify models of sustainable land management that can improve ecological function and socio-economic outcomes for NGP communities, all while increasing resilience to a rapidly changing climate. Efforts led by Native American Nations to restore North American Plains bison (Bison bison bison) to tribal lands can bring desired socio-ecological benefits to underserved communities while improving their capacity to influence the health of their lands, their people, and their livelihoods. Ecological sustainability will depend on the restoration of bison herds and bison’s ability to serve as ecosystem engineers of North America’s Plains. The historically broad distribution of bison suggests they can adapt to a variety of conditions, making them resilient to a wide range of management systems and climates. Here we review bison’s ecological, cultural, and economic value using four case studies from tribal communities within the NGP. We discuss the potential contributions of bison to food sovereignty, sustainable economies, and conservation of a working landscape with limited protections and significant risk of conversion. The ecological role of bison within this setting has potential due to cultural acceptance and the vast availability of suitable lands; however, it is critical to address tribal needs for funding support, enhanced community capacity, and solving complex landownership for these goals to be achieved.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 10 of 10

Wallace, R. B., A. Reinaga, N. Piland, ..., M. Funes, A. Kusch, A. Naveda-Rodríguez, C. Silva, G. Zapata-Ríos et al. (In Press). "Defining spatial conservation priorities for the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)." The Journal of Raptor Research. https://doi.org/10.3356/JRR-20-59

Abstract: The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is a culturally iconic wildlife symbol for the South American Andes, but is naturally found at very low population densities, and is increasingly threatened. Using the Range Wide Priority Setting methodology, we (a group of 38 Andean Condor experts) updated the Andean Condor historical range (3,230,061 km2), systematized 9998 Andean Condor distribution points across the range, and identified geographic areas for which there was expert knowledge (66%), including areas where Andean Condors no longer occur (7%), and geographic areas where condors are believed to range, but for which there was not expert knowledge about condor presence (34%). To prioritize conservation action into the future and identify existing Andean Condor population strongholds, we used expert knowledge to identify 21 of the most important areas for the conservation of the species (i.e., Andean Condor Conservation Units [ACCUs]) that cover 37% of the revised historical range, and range in size from 837 km2 to 298,951 km2. In general, ACCUs were relatively small in the northern portion of the range in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and northern Peru, and significantly larger in the central and southern portion of the range in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, reflecting the reduced and narrower historical range in the northern portion of the range, as well as increased threats. Andean Condors can fly extremely long distances and so the populations of many neighboring ACCUs are probably still functionally connected, although this situation also underlines the need for integrated and large-scale conservation efforts for this species. As a function of the Range Wide Priority Setting results, we make recommendations to ensure population connectivity into the future and engage a wide range of actors in Andean Condor conservation efforts.

Preprint Citations

Preprint Citation 1 of 1

Pouilly, M., S. Gomez, C. Pécheyran, S. Bérail, G. Alvarez and G. Miranda-Chumacero (Preprint). “Revealing capture sites and movements by strontium isotope analyses in bones of Caiman yacare in the Beni river floodplain, Bolivia.” bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.14.439857

Abstract: Studying the distribution of organisms and their movements is fundamental to understand population dynamics. Most studies indicated that crocodilians do not move around much but several studies demonstrated that some species showed movement patterns. Detection of these movements along the individual life is still a challenge. In this study we analyzed the variation of strontium isotopic ratio (87Sr/86Sr) in the femur bones of 70 Caimanya care individuals caught in 16 sites located in five hydrological sectors of the Beni river floodplain in Bolivia. Our results demonstrated for the first time that such a methodology could yield indications about the capture sites and reconstruct individual life history. Analyses of the outer part of the femur of 70 individuals showed that capture sites could be differentiated between sectors and even between sites or groups of sites in each sector. Studies of complete 87Sr/86Sr profiles along the femur, representing the individual’s entire life, were performed on 33 yacares. We found that most of the individuals did not show any significant isotopic variation throughout their lives. This absence of variation could result from a high fidelity to the birth site, and/or from an insignificant isotopic variation between the water bodies through which the animal has potentially moved. However, 24% of the analyzed individuals presented significant variations that can be considered as movements between different habitats. Based on the observed low proportion of moving yacares, we advocated that each water body should be considered an individual management unit.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 15-21 February 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

 

Peer-Reviewed Citation 1 of 5

Bragina, E. V., I. V. Balan, N. V. Kuznetsova, M. P. Parilov and J. C. Slaght (2022). "Reintroduction of parent-reared and semi-wild chicks of red-crowned Grus japonensis and white-naped cranes Antigone vipio in Russia: Lessons from 29 years of experience." Ornithological Science 21(1), 53-62. https://doi.org/10.2326/osj.21.53

Abstract: Red-crowned Grus japonensis (IUCN status: Endangered) and White-naped Antigone vipio (IUCN status: Vulnerable) cranes are both rare, with wild populations of ∼3,000 and ∼6,000 individuals, respectively. Since 1991, the Rare Bird Reintroduction Station at the Khingansky State Nature Reserve, Russia, has been rearing and reintroducing chicks of both species to bolster wild populations. The station uses two different chick-rearing methods: (1) the “parent-reared” method, in which chicks are raised in enclosures by natural parents and stay with them until their release into the wild, and (2) the “semi-wild” method, a modification of hand-rearing, in which cohorts of 2–7 chicks spend most of their time together in an enclosure but are guided on daily excursions outside the enclosure, under supervision of a keeper from a distance of 30–50 m. We have assessed and compared apparent survival of crane chicks reared under these methods. Of the 165 juveniles released into the wild from 1991–2019 (104 Red-crowned; 61 White-naped), no difference was found between apparent survival of parent-reared and semi-wild chicks. Six-month apparent survival of Red-crowned Cranes was 84.2% (95% confidence interval: 75.3–90.3%); for White-naped Cranes –89.5% (95% CI: 83.9–93.3%). Both parent-reared and semi-wild chicks were later observed in mated pairs with their own offspring (17 chicks in total), coupling with either other reintroduced birds or with wild individuals. We conclude that both the parent-reared and semi-wild methods had similar outcomes with respect to apparent survival. However, since the semi-wild method is less costly with respect to time (i.e., more juveniles can be released annually using this method) we recommend that it be used whenever possible to bolster these Endangered and Vulnerable populations.

Peer-Reviewed Citation 2 of 5

Flecker, A. S., Q. Shi, R. M. Almeida, ..., C. M. Cañas, ..., M. Goulding, ..., M. Montoya, ..., M. Varese et al. (2022). "Reducing adverse impacts of Amazon hydropower expansion." Science 375(6582), 753-760. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abj4017

Abstract: Proposed hydropower dams at more than 350 sites throughout the Amazon require strategic evaluation of trade-offs between the numerous ecosystem services provided by Earth’s largest and most biodiverse river basin. These services are spatially variable, hence collective impacts of newly built dams depend strongly on their configuration. We use multiobjective optimization to identify portfolios of sites that simultaneously minimize impacts on river flow, river connectivity, sediment transport, fish diversity, and greenhouse gas emissions while achieving energy production goals. We find that uncoordinated, dam-by-dam hydropower expansion has resulted in forgone ecosystem service benefits. Minimizing further damage from hydropower development requires considering diverse environmental impacts across the entire basin, as well as cooperation among Amazonian nations. Our findings offer a transferable model for the evaluation of hydropower expansion in transboundary basins.

Peer-Reviewed Citation 3 of 5

Kot, C. Y., S. Åkesson, J. Alfaro-Shigueto, ..., A. Formia et al. (Early View). "Network analysis of sea turtle movements and connectivity: A tool for conservation prioritization." Diversity and Distributions. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13485

Abstract: Aim: Understanding the spatial ecology of animal movements is a critical element in conserving long-lived, highly mobile marine species. Analyzing networks developed from movements of six sea turtle species reveals marine connectivity and can help prioritize conservation efforts. Location: Global. Methods: We collated telemetry data from 1235 individuals and reviewed the literature to determine our dataset's representativeness. We used the telemetry data to develop spatial networks at different scales to examine areas, connections, and their geographic arrangement. We used graph theory metrics to compare networks across regions and species and to identify the role of important areas and connections. Results: Relevant literature and citations for data used in this study had very little overlap. Network analysis showed that sampling effort influenced network structure, and the arrangement of areas and connections for most networks was complex. However, important areas and connections identified by graph theory metrics can be different than areas of high data density. For the global network, marine regions in the Mediterranean had high closeness, while links with high betweenness among marine regions in the South Atlantic were critical for maintaining connectivity. Comparisons among species-specific networks showed that functional connectivity was related to movement ecology, resulting in networks composed of different areas and links. Main conclusions: Network analysis identified the structure and functional connectivity of the sea turtles in our sample at multiple scales. These network characteristics could help guide the coordination of management strategies for wide-ranging animals throughout their geographic extent. Most networks had complex structures that can contribute to greater robustness but may be more difficult to manage changes when compared to simpler forms. Area-based conservation measures would benefit sea turtle populations when directed toward areas with high closeness dominating network function. Promoting seascape connectivity of links with high betweenness would decrease network vulnerability.

Peer-Reviewed Citation 4 of 5

Phillips, B. E., E. S. Dierenfeld, R. English et al. (2022). "Retrospective analysis of cataract formation and nutritional etiology in a managed collection of parakeet auklets (Aethia psittacula)." Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 35(4), 390-401. https://doi.org/10.1647/20-00037

Abstract: The parakeet auklet (Aethia psittacula) is a piscivorous seabird with a natural diet of various invertebrate and teleost species, which is challenging to replicate in a managed collection. A high prevalence of early onset cataracts was observed in a managed collection of parakeet auklets at the North Carolina Zoo (Asheboro, NC, USA), which was hypothesized to be related to inappropriate vitamin A and E levels. From 1994 to 2002, these parakeet auklets were offered dietary supplementation comprising Vita-Zu small bird tablets. In June 2002, the birds were transitioned to only Thiamin-E paste (vitamin E and thiamin only). Plasma samples were collected from birds with and without cataracts from 1998 to 2005 and submitted for vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin E (α-tocopherol) analysis. Food items comprising the birds' diet were also evaluated for vitamin content. This information was combined with clinical and necropsy data from medical records from 1994 to 2015. A total of 78% of birds (39/50) developed cataracts, with a median age of onset of 7 years (range, 2–12 years). Cataracts ranged from incipient to hypermature during both routine ophthalmic examinations and postmortem evaluations. The median (range) of plasma retinol and α-tocopherol values were 1.99 µg/mL (0.20–6.68 µg/mL) and 15.39 µg/mL (3.40–96.27 µg/mL), respectively. There were no significant differences in plasma concentrations of vitamins based on the animals' sex, origin, presence of cataracts, or administered vitamin supplementation product. No other etiologies for cataract development were identified in the population. Further research in free-ranging parakeet auklet nutrition and cataract occurrence is warranted for continued species collection management.

Peer-Reviewed Citation 5 of 5

Valenzuela Ospina, L. and G. H. Kattan (2022). "Downscaling plant-frugivore interaction networks in an assemblage of fig consumers." Biota Colombiana 23(1), e1011. https://doi.org/10.21068/2539200X.1011

Abstract: Measuring interaction strength is key to understand the dynamics of mutualistic networks. However, how intraspecific variation within species traits can affect the patterns and outcomes of an interaction has been poorly measured. In this study, we explored how individual variation in fruit production in a fig tree species influences fruit consumption by frugivorous birds. Degree, expressed as the number of bird species, and visitation rates, expressed as number of individuals and its equivalent biomass, were independent of crop size. However, the cumulative number of visits for the three variables mentioned above was proportional to crop size. The number of small bird species (100 g) was twice that from large species. However, the biomass of both groups was equivalent. Fruit consumption, expressed both as intake rate and total intake, was proportional to bird body mass. Our results suggest that the interaction between birds and fig trees depends on the size distribution of both organisms and the forest successional stage. In addition, from the consumers’ perspective, the amount of energy that each bird obtains depends on individual tree characteristics.

Preprint Citations

Preprint Citation 1 of 1

Blount, D., E. Bohnett, J. Holmberg, J. Parham, S. P. Faryabi, ... and S. Ostrowski (Preprint). “Comparison of two individual identification algorithms for snow leopards after automated detection.” bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.20.477059

1. Photo-identification of individual snow leopards (Panthera uncia) is the primary technique for density estimation for the species. A high volume of images from multiple projects, combined with pre-existing historical catalogs, has made identifying snow leopard individuals within the images cost- and time-intensive. 2. To speed the classification among a high volume of photographs, we trained and evaluated image classification methods for PIE v2 (a triplet loss network), and we compared PIE’s accuracy to the HotSpotter algorithm (a SIFT based algorithm). Analyzed data were collected from a curated catalog of free-ranging snow leopards photographed across years (2012-2019) in Afghanistan and from samples in captivity provided by zoos from Finland, Sweden, Germany, and the United States. 3. Results show that PIE outperforms HotSpotter. We also found weaknesses in the initial PIE model, like a minor amount of background matching, which was addressed, although likely not fully resolved, by applying background subtraction (BGS) and left-right mirroring (LR) methods. The PIE BGS LR model combined with Hotspotter showed a Rank-1: 85%, Rank-5: 95%, Rank-20: 99%. 4. Overall, our results recommend implementing PIE v2 simultaneously with HotSpotter on Whiskerbook.org.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 8-14 February 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 9

Alter, S. E., C. D. King, E. Chou, S. C. Chin, M. Rekdahl and H. C. Rosenbaum (2022). "Using environmental DNA to detect whales and dolphins in the New York Bight." Frontiers in Conservation Science 3, e820377. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcosc.2022.820377

Abstract: Determining how cetaceans and other threatened marine animals use coastal habitats is critical to the effective conservation of these species. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging tool that can potentially be used to detect cetaceans over broad spatial and temporal scales. In particular, eDNA may present a useful complementary method for monitoring their presence during visual surveys in nearshore areas, and for co-detecting prey. In conjunction with ongoing visual surveys, we tested the ability of eDNA metabarcoding to detect the presence and identity of cetaceans in the New York Bight (NYB), and to identify fish species (potential prey) present in the area. In almost all cases in which humpback whales and dolphins were visually observed, DNA from these species was also detected in water samples. To assess eDNA degradation over time, we took samples in the same location 15 and 30 min after a sighting in seven instances, and found that eDNA often, but not always, dropped to low levels after 30 min. Atlantic menhaden were detected in all samples and comprised the majority of fish sequences in most samples, in agreement with observations of large aggregations of this important prey species in the NYB. While additional data are needed to better understand how factors such as behavior and oceanographic conditions contribute to the longevity of eDNA signals, these results add to a growing body of work indicating that eDNA is a promising tool to complement visual and acoustic surveys of marine megafauna.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 9

Chao, N., T. A. C. Loffeld, K. Mastro, D. H. A. Willcox, V. Guthrie and M. Rao (First View). "Strengthening capacity for species conservation in South-East Asia: A provisional assessment of needs and opportunities for the Asian Species Action Partnership." Oryx. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605321001010

Abstract: South-east Asia is home to exceptional biodiversity, but threats to vertebrate species are disproportionately high in this region. The IUCN Species Survival Commission Asian Species Action Partnership aims to avert species extinctions. Strengthening individual and organizational capacity is key to achieving long-term, sustainable conservation impact, and is a core strategic intervention for the Partnership. To look at the needs and opportunities for developing capacity for species conservation in South-east Asia, we undertook a needs assessment with organizations implementing species conservation within this region. We conducted a review of available training opportunities, mapping them against a list of identified competences needed for species conservation to determine gaps in current training. Our assessments revealed an imbalance in the focus of training opportunities vs the actual competences needed for effective species conservation, and that training opportunities within South-east Asia are limited in number and highly competitive. These findings corroborate other similar reviews, particularly on capacity gaps in the Global South. We discuss the implications of our review and use the findings to generate recommendations.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 9

Davenport, T. R. B., S. J. Machaga, N. E. Mpunga, S. P. Kimiti, W. Mwalwengele, O. Mwaipungu and P. M. Makumbule (In Press). "A reassessment of the population size, demography, and status of Tanzania’s endemic kipunji Rungwecebus kipunji 13 years on: Demonstrating conservation success." International Journal of Primatology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-022-00281-3

Abstract: Long-term population data on endangered species are fundamental to measure conservation implementation objectively, but they are rare, especially in remote forest locations and with total counts. Following the scientific description of the kipunji (Rungwecebus kipunji), we implemented a range of long-term conservation interventions. Thirteen years later, we reassess with a complete count the population size, demography, and distribution of R. kipunji in Tanzania’s Southern Highlands, employing the identical sweep census methods across 1,428 km. We also monitored a habituated group daily over the same period. We report a total of 1,866 individuals in 59 groups (μ = 31.63 ± SE 1.2) in Livingstone Forest (within Kitulo National Park), Mt Rungwe Nature Reserve, and Madehani Village Forest. We estimate a 65% increase in individuals, a 59% increase in group numbers, and a 19% increase in area of occupancy (AoO). Mean group sizes were similar in Mt Rungwe (32.9) and Livingstone (31.9), but lower in the unprotected Madehani (24). The ratio of adult females to adult males was significantly higher in Mt Rungwe than Livingstone. The ratio of subadults/juveniles to adult females, a proxy for survival, was good (1.77), but higher in Livingstone (2.61) than Mt Rungwe (1.11). In the habituated group, we recorded a 121% increase in group size. Signs of human activity fell by 81%, with a 100% and 98% reduction in the number of charcoal pits and timber felling, respectively, in Mt Rungwe. Both temporal and spatial data demonstrate that long-term holistic conservation leads to increased primate numbers.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 9

Eric, A., C. Mantyka-Pringle, A. Erik et al. (In Press). "Evaluating ecosystem services for agricultural wetlands: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Wetlands Ecology and Management. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-022-09857-5

Abstract: Globally, the extent of inland wetlands has declined by approximately 70% since the start of the twentieth century, resulting in the loss of important wetland-associated ecosystem services. We evaluate the drivers of wetland values in agricultural landscapes to increase the effectiveness and reliability of benefit transfer tools to assign values to local wetland services. We reviewed 668 studies that analyzed wetland ecosystem services within agricultural environments and identified 45 studies across 22 countries that provided sufficient economic information to be included in a quantitative meta-analysis. We developed meta-regression models to represent provisioning and regulating wetland ecosystem services and identify the main drivers of these ecosystem service categories. Provisioning wetland ecosystem service values were best explained (direction of effects in parenthesis) by high-income variable (+), peer-reviewed journal publications (+), agricultural total factor productivity index (−) and population density (+), while agricultural total factor productivity index (−), income level ( +) and wetland area (−) had significant effects on regulating wetland ecosystem service values. Our models can help estimate wetland values more reliably across similar regions because they have significantly lower transfer errors (66 and 185% absolute percentage error for the provisioning and regulating models, respectively) than the errors from unit value transfers. Model predicted wetland values ($/Ha/Year) range from $0.62 to $11,216 for regulating services and $0.95 to $2,122 for provisioning services and vary based on the differences in the levels of the variables (in the wetland locations) that best explained the estimated models.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 9

Rincon-Parra, V. J., M. A. Echeverry-Galvis and S. J. Alvarez (2022). "Functional responses of bird assemblages to land-use change in the Colombian Llanos Region." Frontiers in Environmental Science 9, e689745. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2021.689745

Abstract: Land-use change in the Colombian Llanos due to agro-industrial expansion affects biodiversity. This change alters species occurrence probability, consequently impacting species’ composition. For some species, the occurence probability increases with land-use changes, while it stays unchanged or decreases for others. This interspecific variation in the response to land-use change may be mediated by functional traits, among other factors. We investigated response functional traits to land-use changes and their influence on the occurrence probability of bird species in the Colombian Orinoquia region. We compiled data for 13 morphological and life-history traits of 364 species recorded in forests, savannas, rice fields, palm oil crops, and livestock pastures in the piedmont and flooded savanna landscapes. We used a novel framework to identify response functional traits (i.e., traits with a significant effect on occurrence probability) through multiple statistical tests. We used random forest models to identify response functional traits to land-use change for pairwise comparisons of natural vs. agricultural land use types. For the functional traits, we estimated the influence of their states as trait attributes on species’ responses to land-use changes. We identified functional groups based on hierarchical clustering analysis. Functional groups corresponded to different levels of response, that is, different changes in probability occurrence. Land-use changes altered the multidimensional space of bird traits (i.e., functional diversity), implying modifications in species' composition, functional redundancy, and functional group turnover. Functional traits were similar for random forest classifications of the same natural cover but differed among landscapes. In the piedmont forests, social behavior—migratory status—was a functional trait combination common to all classifications, while foraging behavior-nest location trait combination was common to all forests scenarios in flooded savannas landscape classifications. Migratory status was a functional trait for all savanna classifications. Functional groups described the impacts of land-use changes on bird assemblages. Identification and characterization of these groups using trait attributes can help predict species' responses to land-use changes and guide conservation efforts toward groups with decreased occurrence probability, including recommendations for agricultural practices that can reduce impacts on the Orinoquia biodiversity.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 9

Thompson, D. K., D. A. Yip, E. Koo et al. (In Press). "Quantifying firebrand production and transport using the acoustic analysis of in-fire cameras." Fire Technology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10694-021-01194-y

Abstract: Firebrand travel and ignition of spot fires is a major concern in the Wildland-Urban Interface and in wildfire operations overall. Firebrands allow for the efficient breaching across fuel-free barriers such as roads, rivers and constructed fuel breaks. Existing observation-based knowledge on medium-distance firebrand travel is often based on single tree experiments that do not replicate the intensity and convective updraft of a continuous crown fire. Recent advances in acoustic analysis, specifically pattern detection, has enabled the quantification of the rate at which firebrands are observed in the audio recordings of in-fire cameras housed within fire-proof steel boxes that have been deployed on experimental fires. The audio pattern being detected is the sound created by a flying firebrand hitting the steel box of the camera. This technique allows for the number of firebrands per second to be quantified and can be related to the fire's location at that same time interval (using a detailed rate of spread reconstruction) in order to determine the firebrand travel distance. A proof of concept is given for an experimental crown fire that shows the viability of this technique. When related to the fire's location, key areas of medium-distance spotting are observed that correspond to regions of peak fire intensity. Trends on the number of firebrands landing per square metre as the fire approaches are readily quantified using low-cost instrumentation.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 9

Ulises, B., L. Marcela, P. Lida, ... and R.-R. Andrea (In Press). "Status of breeding birds at Observatorio and Goffré Islands, Argentina." Polar Biology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-022-03019-2

Abstract: Continental islands are often sites of low diversity and endemism, as well as important areas for the protection of bird populations, especially seabirds. On Isla Observatorio and the Año Nuevo Islands, in the Southwestern Atlantic, the latest assessment of avifauna dates from more than 20 years ago. In this study, we use a combination of methods to update the status of the main seabird colonies and the most abundant avian terrestrial predator at Observatorio and Goffré Islands during the breeding season. In only 4.5 km2, the islands would harbour ~ 90,000 breeding seabirds. Seabird colonies occupied different areas of the islands and varied in their population status, with Imperial Shags (Leucocarbo atriceps) showing an increase and Southern Giant Petrels (Macronectes giganteus) a decrease according to the last surveys. Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) population estimations also suggest a decrease but the last survey was based on total, and not on occupied nest sites. We recorded and assessed one new breeding species: The globally near-threatened Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis), which has an important breeding population of around 15 territorial pairs at Observatorio Island. These islands appear to be an important regional bird site and future studies would determine their trends and threats, especially those related with invasive species.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 9

Williams, B. A., J. E. M. Watson, H. L. Beyer, ..., H. S. Grantham, ... and A. Wenger (Early View). "Global rarity of intact coastal regions." Conservation Biology, e13874. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13874 [Accessible preprint here: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.05.10.443490]

Abstract: Management of the land–sea interface is essential for global conservation and sustainability objectives because coastal regions maintain natural processes that support biodiversity and the livelihood of billions of people. However, assessments of coastal regions have focused strictly on either the terrestrial or marine realm. Consequently, understanding of the overall state of Earth's coastal regions is poor. We integrated the terrestrial human footprint and marine cumulative human impact maps in a global assessment of the anthropogenic pressures affecting coastal regions. Of coastal regions globally, 15.5% had low anthropogenic pressure, mostly in Canada, Russia, and Greenland. Conversely, 47.9% of coastal regions were heavily affected by humanity, and in most countries (84.1%) >50% of their coastal regions were degraded. Nearly half (43.3%) of protected areas across coastal regions were exposed to high human pressures. To meet global sustainability objectives, all nations must undertake greater actions to preserve and restore the coastal regions within their borders.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 9

Yorio, P., N. Suárez, C. Ibarra et al. (2022). "Anthropogenic debris in Kelp Gull and other seabird nests in northern Patagonia, Argentina." Marine Pollution Bulletin 175, e113404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.113404

Abstract: Anthropogenic debris is used as nesting material by many seabirds and may result in negative impacts. We assessed the frequency of occurrence of debris (>5 mm) in Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) nests at six locations along 2400 km of the Argentine coast, at different distances from urban centres, and in nests of other seven seabird species nesting syntopically. Frequencies in Kelp Gull nests were in general relatively low, ranging between 3.3 and 37.5%, and differed significantly among colonies. No relationship was found between frequency and distance to urban centres. Debris were recorded with frequencies of less than 19.2% in nests of Olrog's Gulls (L. atlanticus), Dolphin Gulls (L. scoresbii), Imperial Cormorants (Leucocarbo atriceps) and Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus), but not in nests of Neotropical Cormorants (Nannopterum brasilianus), Rock Shags (Leucocarbo magellanicus) and Southern Skuas (Catharacta antarctica). This information obtained along a wide coastal sector provides a baseline for future monitoring.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 1 of 2

Fraley, K. M., M. Robards and M. Lunde (2022). Coastal Lagoon Monitoring in the Southern Chukchi Sea National Park Units: Fieldwork Summary 2021. Fairbanks, AK: Wildlife Conservation Society, Artic Beringia. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4371200000.aspx

Abstract: Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has worked with the National Park Service since 2012 to design and implement the Coastal Lagoon Vital Signs component of the Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network. This program is intended to establish biotic and abiotic reference conditions for assessing long-term changes in the coastal lagoons of Cape Krusenstern National Monument and Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. The Vital Signs program focuses on monitoring both the structure and ecological function of lagoons, as well as the fish resources used for subsistence by coastal communities. A standardized Vital Signs Protocol was developed for these lagoons, informed by our field efforts throughout 2015-2018. Our 2021 Vital Signs fieldwork sought to build upon the pre-existing database of in-depth temporal and spatial information on lagoon ecology. There are nine coastal lagoons described in the boundary of Cape Krusenstern National Monument – Aukulak, Imik, Ipiavik, Kotlik, Krusenstern, Port, Sisualik, Tasaycheck, and Atilagauraq. We collected seasonal physical and biological data at three Cape Krusenstern lagoons including Kotlik, Krusenstern and Aukulak, which have been previously sampled in 2012 and 2015-2018. We measured physical and chemical water properties, primary productivity, and performed benthic Mysidae tows at all three lagoons. We also assessed lagoon fish assemblage diversity and abundance, sampled a variety of fish to evaluate contaminant loads in subsistence-harvested species, and collected stickleback species for proximate composition and food web analyses. Additionally, we conducted sampling at the mouth of the Tukrok River, a riverine matrix which acts as the connection between Krusenstern Lagoon and the Chukchi Sea, with the outlet to the marine environment located 14 km away from the main body of the lagoon. Given the significant distance between the two sampling locations we treated the Tukrok River mouth as an entirely different sampling site than Krusenstern Lagoon. While ease of access and logistics allowed for two sampling efforts at Cape Krusenstern lagoons via wheeled airplanes (June and August), the lack of a floatplane or a helicopter prevented sampling efforts at Bering Land Bridge lagoons during the 2021 field season. We generally accessed the various Park unit lagoons via fixed-wing plane equipped with tundra tires. Within and among each visited lagoon, we used a small inflatable boat equipped with a 9.9 horsepower outboard motor. Four long-term stations (center, outflow, inflow, and marine edge) and three random sampling stations were sampled at each lagoon. At each station and during each season we collected water quality and primary productivity data (YSI Sonde instrumentation) at all long-term and random sites. Fish sampling occurred at the outflow, marine edge, and inflow sites during both seasons, including a total of 40 beach seine pulls, 14 2-hour fyke net sets, and 74 gillnet sets (varying durations). Additionally, certain stations were sampled for Mysidae diversity and abundance using a benthic tow net. These investigations will supplement results from ongoing and future laboratory analyses of fish and Mysidae samples in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lagoons varied in their seasonal connectivity with the ocean. Krusenstern and Kotlik Lagoons were open to the marine environment during the first round of sampling in June, and closed during the second round of sampling in August. Aukulak Lagoon remained closed throughout the 2021 summer season. Evaluation of water quality data indicates that physical water properties varied by lagoon and season. Seasonal salinity levels tracked those of previous years, and were related to a lagoon’s connection with the marine environment; the more directly connected the lagoon is to the Chukchi Sea, the higher its salinity. Average salinity levels at all lagoons dropped between the first and second sampling rounds, likely because of closure to the marine environment and significant rainfall that preceded the final sampling excursion. Because Aukulak Lagoon remained closed to the ocean, and Krusenstern is 14 km distant from the marine opening, they exhibited low salinity throughout the year. Mean water temperatures at all three lagoons decreased over the course of the field season and were largely comparable to temperatures from previous years. However, average temperatures in Aukulak and Kotlik Lagoons in the early season (20.30 and 16.47 C, respectively) were higher than any from 2012-2018, indicating a warmer-than-average June in 2021. Dissolved oxygen saturation decreased at all lagoons over the course of the season, but saturation was higher than 96% at all times, indicating normoxic conditions. Lagoon pH was lower in 2021 compared to previous years, and lower in the late season. This indicates a shift towards greater acidity, yet levels are comparable to adjacent environments and remain well above thresholds of concern for biota. Turbidity of lagoons was low overall (0.71-11.44 FNU), and increased from the early to late sampling season, likely a result of suspended sediment entrained by persistent storms in August 2021. As in previous years, Krusenstern Lagoon exhibited the highest turbidity, likely due to wind-driven turbation caused by the lagoon’s considerable fetch. Primary productivity was low during the 2021 season, likely due to an uncommonly stormy and cloudy summer that was not conducive for optimal autotrophic growth and reproduction. Total chlorophyll ranged from 1.01 – 3.56 RFU and blue-green algae concentration ranged from 0.17 – 0.92 RFU. Algal blooms were not observed visually like they had been during previous sampling years. Experimental Mysidae sampling with a benthic tow net was effective in lagoons where Mysidae were present (Krusenstern and Kotlik) and yielded ample sample volumes, which have been frozen and are being held by WCS for future taxonomic sorting, counting, proximate composition analyses, and food web studies. We captured and processed 1,726 fish at the lagoons and the Tukrok River mouth, which represented much lower overall abundance than previous years. We attribute this to fewer small-bodied forage fish being present across sites, and the near-absence of fish in Aukulak Lagoon due to winterkill. Species richness of fishes and their abundance in lagoons fluctuated during the course of each field season with population composition and relative abundance varying between both season and lagoon. We recorded a total of 20 different fish species, including the typical suite of key forage and important subsistence species. This was similar to species diversity in 2018, but lower than the most speciose year in 2016 (25 species). Diversity was highest at Kotlik Lagoon, and diversity and abundance were lowest at Aukulak Lagoon with only four individuals of two species encountered because of winterkill and lack of lagoon marine connectivity. Several species that had rarely or never been encountered in previous lagoons investigations were caught, including broad whitefish, yellowfin sole, Arctic grayling, Alaska blackfish, and slimy sculpin. Conversely, notable absent taxa included Pacific salmon species, belligerent sculpin, capelin, and sand lance. Interestingly, the largest Dolly Varden and Arctic grayling ever recorded in the lagoons by WCS were captured in Kotlik Lagoon in June 2021. Overall, our research builds on prior lagoon ecology monitoring and research, providing information vital for understanding long-term change, monitoring and managing Arctic lagoons of these Park units. This data will help prioritize spill contingency planning (by establishing the most productive lagoons), and will continue to inform a comprehensive understanding of the Story of the Lagoons – a key priority for the Native Village of Kotzebue, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the National Park Service. Future planned efforts include evaluation of lagoon basal prey resource taxonomy and food web ecology, fish seasonal movements and life history chronology investigations, and community outreach efforts through film and other media.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 2 of 2

Opyene, V. and C. Haenlein (2021). Policy Brief on Illegal Wildlife Trade in Uganda. Kampala, Uganda: USAID, RUSI, African Wildlife Foundation, NRCN Conservation and Wildlife Conservation Society, Uganda. https://static.rusi.org/295-OP-IWT-Uganda.pdf

Abstract: This policy brief aims to concisely communicate research findings from the RUSI Occasional Paper ‘Illegal Wildlife Trade in Uganda: Tracking Progress on “Following the Money”’ to policy actors working in and with Uganda. Based on research under the USAID Uganda Combatting Wildlife Crime Activity, the paper assesses the link between illegal wildlife trade (IWT) and illicit finance in Uganda and considers how effectively the country is responding to the financial dimensions of IWT. Based on 35 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, a rigorous review of open-source literature and analysis of confidential information, the paper offers an in-depth assessment of experience in a single, critically placed jurisdiction. In doing so, it highlights lessons learned, analyses ongoing obstacles and makes targeted recommendations to enhance the response.

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 1-7 February 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 9

Cáceres-Saez, I., D. Haro, O. Blank, A. Aguayo-Lobo, C. Dougnac, C. Arredondo et al. (In Press). "Macro-elements K, Na, Cl, Mg, and Ca in body tissues of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) from the Southern Ocean." Polar Biology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-022-03012-9

Abstract: Macro-elements such as potassium (K), sodium (Na), chlorine (Cl), magnesium (Mg), and calcium (Ca) are essential in marine mammals’ nutrition. These elements are involved in physiological processes. Upon consumption, they are assimilated and accumulate in tissues. For the first time, they were detected in lung, spleen, liver, kidney, muscle, uterus, ovary, and testis of 5, and in skin of 12, stranded false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in sub-Antarctic waters of the South Atlantic Ocean. Results showed that testis reached the highest potassium mean concentration, 1.62 (0.25) wt% dry weight (DW) (standard deviation in parentheses), followed by muscle, 1.11 (0.12) wt% DW, and decreasing in skin to 0.351 (0.098) wt% DW. Testis and lung exhibited among the highest sodium concentrations, with 0.96 (0.20) and 0.93 (0.18) wt% DW, respectively. Chlorine concentration was highest in testis, (1.55 wt% DW) followed by uterus (1.26 wt% DW) and kidney [1.13 (0.16) wt% DW]. Magnesium reached higher concentrations in uterus (0.134 wt% DW) and muscle [0.109 (0.054) wt% DW]. Calcium was higher in lung [0.230 (0.05) wt% DW] and kidney (0.149; 0.294 wt% DW). Hepatic levels of K, Na, Cl, and Mg in false killer whales are generally within the range of other studied species, while Ca levels are the highest reported. Macro-element concentration ranges were established for diverse tissues and organs of the false killer whale as the current best available baseline reference values for assessments of general condition.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 9

Flowers, K. I., E. A. Babcock, Y. P. Papastamatiou, ..., R. Nuñez et al. (2022). "Varying reef shark abundance trends inside a marine reserve: Evidence of a Caribbean reef shark decline." Marine Ecology Progress Series 683, 97-107. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13954

Abstract: Spatial comparisons of reef shark abundance inside and outside marine protected areas (MPAs) are common and generally report positive MPA effects, yet few studies have tracked abundance trends over long time periods. This is problematic because inside:outside comparisons at a single point in time cannot evaluate whether populations are declining. In Belize, the Caribbean reef shark <i>Carcharhinus perezi</i> is one of the most fished shark species and is more abundant inside MPAs. Although the relative abundance of <i>C. perezi</i> was stable inside Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve (GRMR) from 2001 to 2013, using standard baited remote underwater video station surveys, we document a decline in relative abundance inside the no-take marine reserve from 2009 to 2019. We used a negative binomial generalized linear model and model averaging to test the effect of year, depth, and water temperature on <i>C. perezi</i> and nurse shark <i>Ginglymostoma cirratum</i> relative abundance. While model-averaged results indicated a <i>C. perezi</i> decline, <i>G. cirratum</i> remained stable from 2009 to 2019. We hypothesize that the <i>C. perezi</i> decline is a result of fishing along the edge of GRMR, while <i>G. cirratum</i> stability is related to their behavior and nationwide protection. Given the dynamic nature of fisheries regulations, economic pressures, and site-specific environmental conditions, our results emphasize the need for standardized long-term monitoring of reef sharks inside and around MPAs globally.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 9

Kaczensky, P., G. Gantulga, D. Lkhagvasuren, ... and C. Walzer (2021). "First experience with a camera collar in a free-ranging Przewalski's horse group in the Mongolian Gobi." Exploration into the Biological Resources of Mongolia 14, 13-26.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 9

Kaczensky, P., J. Payne, O. Ganbaatar, N. Altansukh and C. Walzer (2021). "Water use by khulan in the Dzungarian Gobi in SW Mongolia." Exploration into the Biological Resources of Mongolia 14, 27-38.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 9

Kaczensky, P., A. Salemgareyev, J. D. C. Linnell, S. Zuther, C. Walzer et al. (2021). "Post-release movement behaviour and survival of kulan reintroduced to the steppes and deserts of Central Kazakhstan." Frontiers in Conservation Science 2, e703358. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcosc.2021.703358

Abstract: Asiatic wild ass, or kulan (Equus hemionus kulan) were once a key species of the Eurasian steppes and deserts. In Kazakhstan they went extinct by the 1930s. Early reintroductions have reestablished the species in two protected areas, but the species has reclaimed <1% of their former range and remained absent from central Kazakhstan. To initiate restoration in this vast region, we captured and transported a first group of nine wild kulan to a large pre-release enclosure in the Torgai region in 2017, and two more in 2019. We used direct observations and post-release movement data of four kulan equipped with GPS-Iridium collars to document their adaptation process in a vast novel habitat without conspecifics. For comparison with movements in the source populations, we additionally equipped two kulan in Altyn Emel National Park and six in Barsa Kelmes State Nature Reserve. The nine transported kulan formed a cohesive group with very high movement correlation in the enclosure. After release, the group initially stayed tightly together but started to break up by mid-May and all kulan travelled independently by mid-August. With 48,680–136,953 km2, the 95% Autocorrelated Kernel Density Estimation ranges of the reintroduced kulan were huge and about 10–100 times larger than those in the source populations. The reintroduced mares never reconnected, there was no evidence of successful reproduction, and two of the four collared mares were killed by poachers and one died of natural causes. At least one stallion survived in the wild, but the fate of the other uncollared animals remains unclear. We speculate that the fission-fusion dynamics and low movement correlation of kulan societies and the need for migratory movements harbours the risk that animals released into a novel environment loose contact with each other. This risk is likely enhanced in steppe habitats where movement constraining factors are absent. Further kulan reintroductions to the steppes and deserts of central Kazakhstan should aim to release larger groups and build up the free-ranging population quickly to reach a critical mass, increasing the chance of kulan encountering conspecifics to successfully breed and increase their chances of survival.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 6 of 9

Metcalfe, K., L. White, M. E. Lee, J. M. Fay, G. Abitsi, R. J. Parnell, R. J. Smith, P. D. Agamboue, ..., G. De Bruyne, F. Cardiec, E. Chartrain, T. Collins, P. D. Doherty, A. Formia, M. Gately, ..., J. Nzegoue, C. K. Kouerey Oliwina, F. M. Otsagha, D. Savarit, ..., H. Rainey, L. A. D. Kingbell Rockombeny, H. C. Rosenbaum, D. Segan, G.-P. Sounguet, E. J. Stokes, D. Tilley, R. Vilela et al. (Early View). "Fulfilling global marine commitments; lessons learned from Gabon." Conservation Letters, e12872. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12872

Abstract: As part of the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, nations are assessing progress over the past decade in addressing the underlying drivers that influence direct pressures on biodiversity and formulating new policies and strategies for the decade to come. For marine conservation, global marine protected area (MPA) coverage is still falling short of the 10% target set in 2010. Here we show that while this reflects a lack of progress in many low- and middle-income countries, a few of these nations have met or exceeded international commitments. To provide an in-depth explanation of how this was achieved in Gabon, we summarize the lessons learnt by our consortium of policy makers and practitioners who helped implement a comprehensive and ecologically representative network of 20 MPAs. We show the importance of creating a national framework, building long-term stakeholder support, and focusing on research that guides implementation and policy; and outline a four-step approach that countries and donors could use as an example to help meet international commitments. By responding to calls to share lessons learned to inform future Convention on Biological Diversity targets, we show how Gabon's experiences could inform change elsewhere.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 7 of 9

Porzecanski, A. L., E. J. Sterling, J. A. Copsey, ..., D. Rakotobe et al. (First View). "A systems framework for planning and evaluating capacity development in conservation: Recommendations for practitioners." Oryx. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003060532100154X

Abstract: Capacity development is increasingly recognized as central to conservation goals. Efforts to develop individual, organizational and societal capacity underpin direct investments in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management, and sustain their impact over time. In the face of urgent needs and increasingly complex contexts for conservation the sector not only needs more capacity development, it needs new approaches to capacity development. The sector is embracing the dynamic relationships between the ecological, political, social and economic dimensions of conservation. Capacity development practitioners should ensure that individuals, organizations and communities are prepared to work effectively in these complex environments of constant change to transform the systems that drive biodiversity loss and unsustainable, unequitable resource use. Here we advocate for a systems view of capacity development. We propose a conceptual framework that aligns capacity development components with all stages of conservation efforts, fosters attention to context, and coordinates with parallel efforts to engage across practitioners and sectors for more systemic impact. Furthermore, we highlight a need for practitioners to target, measure and support vital elements of capacity that have traditionally received less attention, such as values and motivation, leadership and organizational culture, and governance and participation by using approaches from psychology, the social sciences and systems thinking. Drawing from conservation and other sectors, we highlight examples of approaches that can support reflective practice, so capacity development practitioners can better understand the factors that favour or hinder effectiveness of interventions and influence system-wide change.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 8 of 9

Simmonds, J. S., A. von Hase, F. Quétier, ..., H. M. Costa and L. J. Sonter (Early View). "Aligning ecological compensation policies with the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to achieve real net gain in biodiversity." Conservation Science and Practice, e12634. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12634

Abstract: Increasingly, government and corporate policies on ecological compensation (e.g., offsetting) are requiring “net gain” outcomes for biodiversity. This presents an opportunity to align development with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework's (GBF) proposed ambition for overall biodiversity recovery. In this perspective, we describe three conditions that should be accounted for in net gain policy to align outcomes with biodiversity recovery goals: namely, a requirement for residual losses from development to be compensated for by (1) absolute gains, which are (2) scaled to the achievement of explicit biodiversity targets, where (3) gains are demonstrably feasible. We show that few current policies meet these conditions, which risks undermining efforts to achieve the proposed Post-2020 GBF milestones and goals, as well as other jurisdictional policy imperatives to halt and reverse biodiversity decline. To guide future decision-making, we provide a supporting decision tree outlining net gain compensation feasibility.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 9 of 9

Walzer, C. and G. Plassman (2021). "Mountain Biodiversity Day 2021 - biodiversity and pandemics." eco.mont: Journal of Protected Mountain Areas Research and Management 13(2), 62-63. https://dx.doi.org/10.1553/eco.mont-13-2s62

Abstract: On 13 January 2021, the French Ministry of the Environment in cooperation with ALPARC, UNEP and the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention organized the virtual Mountain Biodiversity Day. The event gathered together experts in the field of mountain biodiversity and political representatives from mountain regions all over the world in order to stress the importance of mountain biodiversity within the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, especially in the context of the on-going pandemic and discussions on building back better. The Alpine session of the event, introduced by Guido Plassmann, was moderated by Chris Walzer and focused on the link between biodiversity and zoonoses – a major challenge for environmental policies worldwide. The topic is developed by the short text which follows.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citations

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 1 of 6

Andrachuk, M., G. Epstein, G. Andriamalala, ..., E. S. Darling et al. (2022). Coral Reef Governance: Strengthening Community and Collaborative Approaches: A Vibrant Oceans Initiative Whitepaper. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society and Vibrant Oceans Initiative. https://doi.org/10.19121/2022.Report.43695

Abstract: Climate change, unsustainable fishing, and land-based pollution (Ainsworth et al. 2016, Cinner et al. 2018, Hughes et al. 2018, Wenger et al. 2020) are among the top pressures to coral reefs globally, resulting in substantial losses of live coral cover (Eddy et al. 2021) and the loss of ecosystem services valued at more than $10 trillion dollars per year (Costanza et al. 2014). Strengthening the enabling conditions for successful coral reef conservation is one of the most pressing challenges facing communities, scientists, managers, policymakers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and philanthropic donors in the 21st century, and will require significant investments to improve governance of coral reefs and the human activities that threaten them (Morrison et al. 2019). Successful local governance underpins two key aspirations of conservation success: better outcomes for biodiversity goals and ensuring that the needs and aspirations of local communities connected to coral reefs are met with sustainable, equitable, and just management. This whitepaper offers insights for improving coral reef governance, drawn from leading research on biodiversity conservation and environmental governance. The paper identifies a set of foundational principles for strong community-based coral reef governance grounded in the work of Elinor Ostrom and further lessons for building, strengthening and supporting community-based governance. These include support for local decision-making, building and linking social, institutional, natural, human and financial capital across scales, scaling-up conservation successes, diversifying approaches to conservation, supporting equity, rights, and justice, and monitoring and management of emerging threats. Although coral reef conservation and governance is place-based and context-specific, there remain several opportunities for stakeholders to contribute to conservation objectives by: rebuilding and strengthening local institutions; planning for long-term funding; sharing diverse voices and experiences; ensuring diverse knowledge for decision-making; and monitoring progress towards social and ecological objectives.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 2 of 6

DeGemmis, A., D. Claar, E. Corcoran, C. Cooper, S. Cripps, T. Dallison, E. Darling, G. Grimsditch, S. Jupiter, S. Lieberman et al. (2021). Opportunities for Coral Reefs at the Ocean-Climate Policy Nexus: A Vibrant Oceans Initiative Whitepaper. Bronx, NY: Wildlife Conservation Society, Vibrant Oceans Initiative, Rare, United Nations Environment Programme, Vulcan Inc., and International Coral Reef Initiative. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.43698

Abstract: Ocean ecosystems play a key role in maintaining the integrity of our biosphere, but vary widely with respect to their biodiversity attributes, their relationship with the atmosphere and climate change processes, and the ecosystem services that they provide to humans. Coral reefs and ecologically associated coastal ecosystems, such as intertidal mangrove forests and seagrass meadows, are complex systems that are often managed together but are also subject to different governance frameworks. The implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement and development of global biodiversity goals and targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity offer examples of these governance challenges, but they also offer significant opportunities to maximize biodiversity outcomes while building on increasing support for nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This whitepaper summarizes the scientific and policy consensus at the oceanclimate nexus, specifically with respect to the role of coral reefs and closely associated tropical coastal ecosystems in climate change processes, and explicitly identifies gaps within key intergovernmental climate and biodiversity policy frameworks that must be addressed to maximize their potential as naturebased solutions during a key decade of conservation action. It concludes with recommendations for national governments and other stakeholders.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 3 of 6

Lecu, A., M. Bertelsen and C. Walzer (2022). “Science-based facts & knowledge about wild animals, zoos and SARS-CoV-2 virus, 9th edition.” In Transmissible Diseases Handbook, 5th edition. Bern, Switzerland: European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians. https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.eazwv.org/resource/resmgr/files/transmissible_diseases_handbook/5th_ed_transmissible_diseases_handbook/chapters/2_covid19_faq_v9_17_january_.pdf

Abstract: The COVID-19 is a viral infectious disease (last “d” =disease) transmitted between humans, first described in Wuhan China on the 31st December 2019. As of December 2021, the virus spread globally to more than 192 countries, causing the death of more than five million people worldwide, with infections rising again due to the emergence of highly transmissible variants. The virus name is SARS-COV-2 and it belongs to Coronavirus family. This name was given because of real genetic proximity of this virus with the SARS virus of 2002-2003 outbreak. On the 11th of March 2020, the WHO officially declared it pandemic. One month later, it was also declared as a notifiable disease in animals by O.I.E. as SARS-Cov-2 was found able to infect some domestic and wild species.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 4 of 6

Pandit, P., S. Anthony, T. Goldstein, ..., A. Latinne, ..., S. H. Olson, L. Keatts, A. P. Mendoza, A. Perez, C. Dejuste de Paula, ..., E. Shiilegdamba, ..., E. A. Robles, ..., D. Joly, K. Saylors, A. Fine et al. (Preprint). “Predicting the potential for zoonotic transmission and host associations for novel viruses.” Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-846253/v1

Abstract: Host-virus associations have co-evolved under ecological and evolutionary selection pressures that shape cross-species transmission and spillover to humans. Observed virus-host associations provide relevant context for newly discovered wildlife viruses to assess knowledge gaps in host range and estimate pathways for potential human infection. Using models to predict virus-host networks, we predicted the likelihood of humans as host for 513 newly discovered viruses detected by large scale wildlife surveillance at high-risk animal-human interfaces in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Predictions indicated that novel coronaviruses are likely to infect a greater number of host species than viruses from other families. Our models further characterize novel viruses through prioritization scores and directly inform surveillance targets to identify host ranges for newly discovered viruses.

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 5 of 6

SNAPP Governance Working Group and Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program (2021). Community and Governance: An Attempt to Define these Terms. Bronx, NY: SNAPP Governance Working Group and Wildlife Conservation Society, Rights + Communities Program. https://doi.org/10.19121/2021.Report.43689

Grey Literature and Preprint Citation 6 of 6

Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru (2022). Conociendo las Normas Pesqueras para la Amazonía: Guía para Pescadores, Procesadores y Comercializadores Artesanales. Lima, Peru: Wildlife Conservation Society, Peru. https://library.wcs.org/Scientific-Research/Research-Publications/Publications-Library/ctl/view/mid/40093/pubid/DMX4368600000.aspx

Abstract : Muchas veces se confunden normas con prohibiciones; sin embargo, esta guía demuestra que la normativa pesquera artesanal no solo establece leyes que debemos cumplir para cuidar el recurso pesquero y ordenar la pesquería. También ofrece beneficios y ventajas para quien estrabajan y viven de la pesca. Esta guía está preparada especialmente para pescadores como tú, que quieren informarse sobre cuáles son sus derechos al dedicarse a la pesca y sus responsabilidades al realizar la actividad pesquera, especialmente en la Amazonía peruana. Y si piensas que la normativa no es adecuada o no ofrece todo lo que te hace falta para trabajar, tendrás las herramientas y el conocimiento suficiente para solicitar a las autoridades que estas normas se mejoren o se cambien.

 

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WCS-AUTHORED PUBLICATIONS, 25-31 January 2022

 

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citations

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 1 of 5

Brown, M. B., J. C. Morrison, T. T. Schulz, M. S. Cross, N. Püschel-Hoeneisen, V. Suresh and A. Eguren (2022). "Using the conservation standards framework to address the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services." Climate 10(2), e13. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10020013
Abstract: Climate change has challenged biodiversity conservation practitioners and planners. In this paper, we provide scalable guidance on integrating climate change into conservation planning and adaptive management that results in the most appropriate conservation strategies. This integrated “Climate-Smart Conservation Practice” focuses on analyzing the potential impact of climate change on species, ecosystems, and ecosystem services, combined with “conventional” (non-climate) threats, and incorporating this knowledge into projects. The guidance is based on the already widely-used “Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation”, an application of systems thinking and adaptive management, which has been successfully applied to thousands of conservation projects. Our framework emphasizes a methodical analysis of climate change impacts for projects to support more productive goals and strategy development. We provide two case studies showing the applicability and flexibility of this framework. An initial key element is developing “situation models” that document both current and future threats affecting biodiversity while showing the interactions between climate and conventional threats. Guidance is also provided on how to design integrated, climate-smart goals and strategies, and detailed theories of change for selected strategies. The information and suggestions presented are intended to break down the steps to make the process more approachable, provide guidance to teams using climate change information within a systematic conservation planning process, and demonstrate how climate scientists can provide appropriate information to conservation planners.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 2 of 5

Chen, C., J. F. Brodie, R. Kays, ..., C. Kiebou-Opepa et al. (Early View). "Global camera trap synthesis highlights the importance of protected areas in maintaining mammal diversity." Conservation Letters, e12865. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12865
Abstract: The establishment of protected areas (PAs) is a central strategy for global biodiversity conservation. While the role of PAs in protecting habitat has been highlighted, their effectiveness at protecting mammal communities remains unclear. We analyzed a global dataset from over 8671 camera traps in 23 countries on four continents that detected 321 medium- to large-bodied mammal species. We found a strong positive correlation between mammal taxonomic diversity and the proportion of a surveyed area covered by PAs at a global scale (β = 0.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.19–0.60) and in Indomalaya (β = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.19–1.2), as well as between functional diversity and PA coverage in the Nearctic (β = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.09–0.85), after controlling for human disturbances and environmental variation. Functional diversity was only weakly (and insignificantly) correlated with PA coverage at the global scale (β = 0.22, 95% CI = −0.02–0.46), pointing to a need to better understand the functional response of mammal communities to protection. Our study provides important evidence of the global effectiveness of PAs in conserving terrestrial mammals and emphasizes the critical role of area-based conservation in a post-2020 biodiversity framework.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 3 of 5

Haidir, I. A., Ż. Kaszta, L. L. Sousa, M. I. Lubis, D. W. Macdonald and M. Linkie (2021). "Felids, forest and farmland: Identifying high priority conservation areas in Sumatra." Landscape Ecology 36(2), 475-495.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-020-01146-x
Abstract: Context: Effective planning for protected areas and wildlife population management requires a firm understanding of the location of the species’ core habitat patches, the dispersal corridors connecting them, and the risk they face from key threats, notably deforestation. Objectives: To quantify and map core habitat patches and dispersal corridors for Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi diardi), Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) and marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) across the 16,000 km2 tropical rainforest Kerinci Seblat landscape, Sumatra. Also, to model future forest loss and fragmentation and its effect on landscape connectivity for populations of these threatened species. Methods: Using data from camera trap (671 sites/55,856 trap nights), and occupancy modelling, we developed habitat use maps and converted these into species-specific landscape resistance layers. We applied cumulative resistant kernels to map core areas and we used factorial least-cost paths to define dispersal corridors. A 17-year deforestation dataset was used to predict deforestation risk towards the integrity of corridors and core areas. Results: The occupancy estimates of the three cats were similar (0.18–0.29), with preference shown for habitats with dense tree cover, medium elevation and low human disturbance. The overlap between core areas and corridors across the three species was moderate, 7–11% and 10%, respectively. We predicted future loss of 1052 km2 of forest in the landscape, of which 2–4% and 5% in highly importance core areas and corridors. Conclusions: This study provides a valuable guidance for identifying priority areas in need of urgent protection within and outside the protected area network, and where infrastructure development planning can incorporate wildlife conservation goals.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 4 of 5

McClanahan, T. R. and N. A. Muthiga (2021). "Oceanic patterns of thermal stress and coral community degradation on the island of Mauritius." Coral Reefs 40(1), 53-74. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-020-02015-4
Abstract: Knowing the responses of high-latitude corals to thermal impacts will be critical to predicting the possibility for range expansion of reefs provoked by climate change. We, therefore, tested how oceanographic and island geography variation and subsequent interactions between chronic and acute environmental stresses would influence the temperate corals of Mauritius (~ 20°S). Specifically, we predicted higher impacts of thermal stress due to rare events on ocean-impacted windward than leeward reefs. To test this prediction, surveys of benthic cover and corals in the shallow lagoon’s perimeter reefs were repeated between 2004 and 2019—an interval with frequent warm thermal anomalies. Hard and soft coral cover declined 40% and 83%, respectively, and erect algae increased 78% over the 15-yr interval. Coral taxa were distributed along a Montipora-community axis dominant on the island’s leeward reefs and an Acropora-axis dominant on the windward reefs. Nine of the 30 originally encountered sub-genera were not observed in the second sampling, of which most losses were on the windward reefs and among taxa that were initially uncommon during the initial 2004 sampling. The largest declines occurred in the southeast where rare acute stress was higher and open-ocean conditions interacted strongly with the island. The north and western corals experienced less acute stress and greater persistence of taxa. Searching an additional 15 sites in 2019 found six of the missing coral taxa, often in deeper reef edges. Screening of potential environmental variables indicated that that skewness of the degree heating weeks and thermal stress anomalies were the strongest predictor of the changes. A chronic stress metric was more difficult to identify but water flow variability and chlorophyll-a concentrations were part of the oceanographic conditions associated with attenuated responses to acute stress. Frequent acute stress was associated with lower thermal acclimation rates over the 15-yr interval and more evident for the dominant than subdominant taxa. The extra-equatorial location of Mauritius will not ensure latitudinal sanctuary, apart from the leeward reefs.

Peer-Reviewed Literature Citation 5 of 5

Milner-Gulland, E. J., P. Addison, W. N. S. Arlidge, J. Baker, H. Booth, ... and J. E. M. Watson (2021). "Four steps for the Earth: Mainstreaming the post-2020 global biodiversity framework." One Earth 4(1), 75-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.12.011
Abstract: The upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting, and adoption of the new Global Biodiversity Framework, represent an opportunity to transform humanity's relationship with nature. Restoring nature while meeting human needs requires a bold vision, including mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in society. We present a framework that could support this: the Mitigation and Conservation Hierarchy. This places the Mitigation Hierarchy for mitigating and compensating the biodiversity impacts of developments (1, avoid; 2, minimize; 3, restore; and 4, offset, toward a target such as "no net loss" of biodiversity) within a broader framing encompassing all conservation actions. We illustrate its application by national governments, sub-national levels (specifically the city of London, a fishery, and Indigenous groups), companies, and individuals. The Mitigation and Conservation Hierarchy supports the choice of actions to conserve and restore nature, and evaluation of the effectiveness of those actions, across sectors and scales. It can guide actions toward a sustainable future for people and nature, supporting the CBD's vision.

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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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