The WCS Working Paper Series is designed to share with the conservation and development communities in a timely fashion information from the various settings where WCS works. These papers address issues that are of immediate importance to helping conserve wildlife and wild lands either through offering new data or analyses relevant to specific conservation settings, or through offering new methods, approaches, or perspectives on rapidly evolving conservation issues. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in the papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

WCS staff interested in publishing a working paper should contact the WCS Library for guidelines.

WCS Working Papers

American Bison Society Working Papers

WCS Canada Conservation Reports

WCS Working Paper No. 01 - Management recommendations for conservation of the Guizhou golden monkey and the biodiversity of Fanjing Mountain Reserve
Author(s): William V. Bleisch
Year: 1993
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 02 - Exploration of the Maiko National Park of Zaire, 1989-1994: History, environment and the distribution and status of large mammals
Author(s): John A. Hart, Claude Sikubwabo
Year: 1994
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 03 - Un relevamiento de mamíferos y algunas aves grandes de la Reserva de Vida Silvestre Ríos Blanco y Negro, Bolívia: Situación actual y recomendaciones
Author(s): Damian Rumiz, Andrew Taber
Year: 1994
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 04 - Avian diversity at El Imposible National Park and San Marcelino Wildlife Refuge, El Salvador
Author(s): Oliver Komar, Nestor Herrera
Year: 1995
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 05 - Notes on the Adirondack Blowdown of July 15th, 1995: Scientific background, observations, and policy issues
Author(s): Jerry Jenkins
Year: 1995
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 06 - Projets integres de conservation et de developpement: Un cadre pour promouvoir la conservation et la gestion des ressources naturalles
Author(s): Paul Ferraro, Richard Tshombe, Robert Mwinyihali, John Hart
Year: 1996
Description/Abstract: This report summarizes the proceedings of a workshop held at the Centre de Formation et de Recherche en Conservation Forestière (CEFRECOF) at Epulu, in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, northeastern Zaire from 15 - 18 August, 1996. The general problem dealt with was “How effective are Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) at furthering nature conservation objectives?” Specifically, the workshop presented an analytical framework to assist project leaders to foresee and evaluate the impact of ICDPs on protected areas and natural resource use. Over thirty individuals participated in the workshop. They represented both governmental departments, and non-governmental organizations involved in nature conservation and development activities in eastern Zaire. It is increasingly appreciated that rural residents living within or adjacent to protected areas are major agents of destructive change to the biodiversity and natural resources of these protected areas. The long term sustainability of protected areas will depend upon the support of rural communities. The design of projects that generate behaviors supporting protected areas and favoring management of their natural resources is not well understood. The framework presented in this report identifies those interventions that link the wellbeing of rural communities with the objectives of biodiversity conservation. The analysis focuses on the level of the household and the specific ways in which interventions can affect household behaviors. These include interventions that encourage investment of labor and capital to reduce negative impacts on biological resources; interventions to enhance the use of biological resources in ways that are nondestructive; interventions that educate households in the benefits of conservation, and interventions that alter preferences. To successfully promote conservation, the choice by a household for behaviors favorable to conservation must exclude options to invest labor or capital in behaviors that have a negative impact on nature conservation. The workshop applied the analytical framework to case studies drawn from the literature as well as to projects presented by the non-governmental organizations collaborating with the Zaire National Parks Institute.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 07 - An assessment of potential habitat for eastern timber wolves in the northeastern United States and connectivity with occupied habitat on southeastern Canada
Author(s): Daniel J. Harrison, Theodore G. Chapin
Year: 1997
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 08 - Wolf restoration in the Adirondacks? The question of local residents
Author(s): Angie Hodgson
Year: 1997
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 09 - Hardwood regeneration failure in the Adirondacks: Preliminary studies of incidence and severity
Author(s): Jerry Jenkins
Year: 1997
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 10 - Propuesta técnica de ordenamiento territorial con fines de conservación de biodiversidad en Costa Rica: Proyecto GRUAS
Author(s): Randall García Víques
Year: 1996
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 11 - Venezuela’s caiman harvest program: An historical perspective and analysis of its conservation benefits
Author(s): John Thorbjarnarson, Alvaro Velasco
Year: 1998
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 12 - The availability of tiger-based traditional Chinese medicine products and public awareness about the threats to the tiger in New York City’s Chinese communities: A pilot study
Author(s): Dorene Bolze, Cheryl Chetkiewicz, Qui Mingjiang, Douglas Krakower
Year: 1998
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 13 - Effects of the 1997 fires on the forest and wildlife of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra
Author(s): O’Brien, Timothy, Margaret F. Kinnaird, Sunarto, Asri A. Dwiyahreni, William M. Rombang, Kiki Anggraini
Year: 1998
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 14 - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, gorilla and large mammal census, 1997
Author(s): Alastair McNeilage, Andrew J. Plumptre, Andy Brock-Doyle, Amy Vedder
Year: 1998
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 15 - Mesocarnivores of northeastern North America: Status and conservation issues
Author(s): Justina C. Ray
Year: 2000
Description/Abstract: Members of the order Carnivora form a unique mammalian group from an historical perspective. They have been subject to centuries of persecution and exploitation—maligned and feared as predators, but valued for their fur coats. They also have exhibited remarkable resilience in the face of such pressures (Schaller 1996). This paper discusses the principal conservation issues facing mesocarnivores in northeastern North America, followed by detailed accounts for each of 14 species that summarize the status and distribution of each, and review what is known about their habitat associations and responses to human-induced disturbance. It takes an historical perspective, and focuses upon issues that are salient and unique to the region.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 16 - Adirondack communities and conservation program: Linking communities and conservation inside the blue line
Author(s): Heidi Kretser
Year: 2001
Description/Abstract: The Adirondack Communities & Conservation Program (ACCP) takes an information-based approach to understanding socio-economic and political factors in the regional conservation equation within the Adirondack Park. The intended result is an integrated approach to problem identification and resolution. A number of participatory studies and cooperative activities have provided constructive points of entry into selected communities located inside the Park. This report synthesizes the findings from three community case studies and a broader tourism study and identifies links among community development efforts, the supporting natural environment, and conservation issues in the Adirondack Park.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 17 - The ecology of northeast coyotes: Current knowledge and priorities for future research
Author(s): Matthew E. Gompper
Year: 2002
Description/Abstract: When Europeans first settled North America, wolves and puma dominated the large-predator community of the eastern deciduous forests. The coyote was a resident of the Great Plains and western North America and was unknown to settlers of the east. These days, puma are virtually extirpated east of the Mississippi, and aside from a handful of red wolves reintroduced in the southeastern United States and possibly an occasional transient gray wolf in the Northeast, wolves are also effectively absent. In contrast, coyotes are now found from Nova Scotia to Florida and exist at high enough population densities in virtually every region to have become an important component of the ecological community. Therefore a solid understanding of coyote ecology is necessary for conservation planning at many levels. This paper summarizes what is known of the ecology of coyotes in northeastern North America (including New England, New York and Canada east of the Ontario-Québec border), and identifies areas of research requiring immediate attention. While much is known regarding coyote natural history and ecology in this region, there are also major gaps in our knowledgebase. In particular, four aspects of coyote ecology are suggested as priorities for future research: • The demographics and growth rates of the northeastern coyote populations. • The role of northeastern coyotes in structuring communities. • The important parasites and diseases of northeastern coyotes. • The impact of wolf-coyote hybridization on the population genetics and ecology of northeastern coyotes. A focus on these research areas will allow for informed management decisions in the face of an array of conservation priorities in the Northeast.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 18 - The transboundary Flathead: A critical landscape for carnivores in the Rocky Mountains
Author(s): John L. Weaver
Year: 2001
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 19 - Biodiversity surveys of the Nyungwe Forest Reserve in southwest Rwanda
Author(s): Andrew J. Plumptre, Michel Masozera, Peter J. Fashing, Alastair McNeilage, Corneille Ewango, Beth A. Kaplin, Innocent Liengola
Year: 2002
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 20 - The common loon in the Adirondack Park: An overview of loon natural history and current research
Author(s): Nina Schoch
Year: 2003
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 21 - All-terrain vehicles in the Adirondacks: Issues and options
Author(s): Leslie N. Karasin
Year: 2003
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 22 - Trade in dried Asian seafood: Characterization, estimation, and implications for conservation
Author(s): Shelley Clarke
Year: 2002
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 23 - Wildlife farming: A viable alternative to hunting in tropical forests?
Author(s): Miranda H. Mockrin, Elizabeth L. Bennett, Danielle T. LaBruna
Year: 2005
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 24 - Setting conservation and research priorities for larger African carnivores
Author(s): Justina C. Ray, Luke Hunter, Joanna Zigouris
Year: 2005
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 25 - Natural alliances between conservationists and indigenous peoples
Author(s): Kent H. Redford, Michael Painter
Year: 2006
Description/Abstract: The survival of both indigenous peoples and much of what remains of nature lies in the ability of both sides to find common ground. However, parks and protected areas have become the focus of conflict between conservationists and indigenous peoples. This antipathy is based on differing views about the nature of human impact on the natural world and masks the strong potential for these two groups to work together. In this paper we provide a case study illustrating how effective such cooperation can be. The Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco National Park and Integrated Management Area was designed and implemented as the result of a collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Capitanía de Alto y Bajo Izozog, the organization representing the 10,000 Guaraní people known as Isoceños. The park, encompassing approximately 3.5 million hectares of Bolivian Chaco, is the only national park in the Americas established on the initiative of a Native American People, and the only one where a Native American organization shares primary administrative responsibilities with the national government.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 26 - Poverty, development, and biodiversity conservation: Shooting in the dark?
Author(s): Arun Agrawal, Kent Redford
Year: 2006
Description/Abstract: Poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation are basic social goals and part of the policy agenda of postcolonial states and international agencies. It is not surprising therefore that a large number of programmatic interventions have aimed to achieve the two goals at the same time. These interventions are funded by governments, conservation NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, and private sector organizations. In this paper, we first examine the concep¬tual discussion around poverty and biodiversity, and then analyze three such interventions: community-based wildlife management, extractive reserves, and ecotourism. Our discussion shows that the literature on these programmatic interventions depends on relatively simplified understandings of poverty and biodiversity in stark contrast to the theoretical literature on the two concepts. Further, writings on programmatic interventions tend to operationalize poverty and biodiversity in distinct and quite different ways. Our analysis focuses on peer-reviewed writings and finds that 34 of the 37 identified studies share two common features: a focus on processes and out¬comes in a single case and single time period, and a drastic simplification of the complex concepts of poverty and biodiversity. In addition, the cases we exam¬ine are relatively inattentive to the relationships between observed outcomes and the contextual features of programmatic interventions. As a result of these shared features, the mass of scholarly work on the subject does not permit sys¬tematic and context-sensitive generalizations about the conditions under which it may be possible to achieve poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation simultaneously. The vast sums channeled toward joint achievement of poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation are all the more remarkable in light of the basic lack of evidence on the extent to which these goals can jointly be reached. In conclusion, we discuss steps toward a rejuvenated research agenda for better knowledge and policies related to the links between poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 27 - Thinking about dolphins thinking
Author(s): Jessica Sickler ,John Fraser, Sarah Gruber, Paul Boyle, Tom Webler, Diana Reiss
Year: 2006
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 28 - Casting for conservation actors: People, partnerships, and wildlife
Author(s): Oscar Castillo, Connie Clark, Peter Coppolillo, Heidi Kretser, Roan McNab, Andrew Noss, Helder Quieroz, Yemeserach Tessema, Amy Vedder, Robert Wallace, Joseph Walston, David Wilkie
Year: 2006
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 29 - Protected areas and human displacement: A conservation perspective
Author(s): Kent H. Redford, Eva Fearn, eds.
Year: 2007
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 30 - Ecological future of bison in North America: A report from a multi-stakeholder, transboundary meeting
Author(s): Kent H. Redford, Eva Fearn, eds.
Year: 2007
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 31 - Status and conservation of freshwater populations of Irrawaddy dolphins
Author(s): Brian D. Smith, Robert G. Shore, Alvin Lopez
Year: 2007
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 32 - Protected areas and human livelihoods
Author(s): Kent H. Redford, Eva Fearn, eds.
Year: 2007
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 33 - Coexisting with black bears: Perspectives from four case studies across North America
Author(s): Jon P. Beckmann, Leslie Karasin, Cecily Costello, Sean Matthews, Zoë Smith
Year: 2008
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 34 - Landscape conservation in the Amazon: Progress and lessons
Author(s): Michael Painter, Ana Rita Alves, Carolina Bertsch, Richard Bodmer, Oscar Castillo, Avecita Chicchón, Félix Daza, Fernanda Marques, Andrew Noss, Lilian Painter, Claudia Pereira de Deus, Pablo Puertas, Helder Lima de Queiroz, Esteban Suárez, Mariana Varese, Eduardo Martins Venticinque, Robert Wallace
Year: 2008
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 35 - A Review of American bison (Bos bison) demography and population dynamics
Author(s): Jedediah F. Brodie
Year: 2008
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 36 - Protected areas, governance, and scale
Author(s): Kent H. Redford, Catherine Grippo, eds.
Year: 2008
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 37 - Status of the wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) in the wild, 1967-2005
Author(s): Richard D. Estes, Rod East
Year: 2009
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 38 - An analysis of socioeconomics of bushmeat hunting at major hunting sites in Uganda
Author(s): William Olupot, Alaistair J. McNeilage, Andrew J. Plumptre
Year: 2009
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 39 - Wildlife picture index - Implementation manual version 1.0
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Year: 2010
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 40 - Conservation value of roadless areas for vulnerable fish and wildlife species in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, Montana.
Author(s): John L. Weaver
Year: 2011
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 41 - A decision tree for monitoring wildlife to assess the effectiveness of conservation interventions
Author(s): Samantha Strindberg, Tim O'Brien
Year: 2012
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 42 - Using systematic monitoring to evaluate and adapt management of a tiger reserve in northern LAO PDR
Author(s): Arlyne Johnson, Chanthavy Vongkhamheng, Santi Saypanya, Troy Hansel, Samantha Strindberg
Year: 2013
Description/Abstract: Although considerable effort and resources have been dedicated to biodiver¬sity conservation over the last three decades, the effectiveness of these conserva¬tion actions is still frequently unclear. Thus, practitioners are being called on to be ever more strategic in their use of often limited resources available for the scale of the work required. To address this problem, several frameworks have been developed to guide the practice of conservation and facilitate adaptive manage¬ment. Although these frameworks now exist and monitoring is key to adaptive management, there are still relatively few detailed examples of projects that have successfully implemented monitoring plans and then analyzed the data to gener¬ate results that were in turn used to adapt management. Reasons cited for this include insufficient funding for monitoring and evaluation, inappropriate monitor¬ing designs that are unable to generate results to answer management questions, ineffectively managed monitoring information, and institutional arrangements that do not facilitate the feedback of monitoring results (should they exist) to man¬agement. Given these challenges, there is a need for case studies that illustrate how monitoring and evaluation can be done in the context of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation to support learning and provide evidence for the effectiveness of a conservation action. This paper provides a detailed case study of adaptive management in practice. In this case the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Landscape Species Approach was used over a seven-year period to plan, execute, evaluate and adapt a project to recover wild tigers Panthera tigris and their ungu¬late prey (Gaur Bos gaurus, Southwest China serow Capricornis milneedwardsii, Sambar deer Cervus unicolor, wild pig Sus spp., and muntjacs Muntiacus spp.) in Lao PDR. After several iterations of the project management cycle, we assess to what degree the framework supported rigorous monitoring and evaluation that was used to inform and adapt management and what conditions were present and/or needed to overcome the constraints that commonly impede the practice of adaptive management in conservation.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 43 - Conservation legacy on a flagship forest: Wildlife and wildlands on the Flathead National Forest, Montana
Author(s): John L. Weaver
Year: 2014
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 44 - Vital lands, sacred lands: Innovative conservation of wildlife and cultural values Badger-Two Medicine area, Montana
Author(s): John L. Weaver
Year: 2015
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 45 - An annotated bibliography of camera trap literature, 1991-2013
Author(s): Timothy O'Brien
Year: 2015
Description/Abstract: The growth of camera trapping as a tool for monitoring and ecological studies has been exponential in the past 15 years. To help interested people find information on camera trap studies, this is a bibliography on camera trap publications in journals that are tracked by the Web of Science (accessed 5 November 2013 and 27 January 2014).
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 46 - Occupancy-related metrics for wildlife status assessment
Author(s): Timothy O'Brien, Samantha Strindberg, Robert Wallace
Year: 2015
Description/Abstract: Results of WCS workshop held in August 2012 on the use of occupancy as a metric for conservation effectiveness in WCS programs.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS Working Paper No. 47 - Conserving and eating wildlife in Africa
Author(s): David S. Wilkie, Michelle Wieland
Year: 2015
Description/Abstract: Unsustainable hunting of wildlife for food risks: a) loss of an important source of dietary protein and income for many of the poorest families across sub-Saharan Africa (Bennett et al. 2007; Nasi et al. 2011), and b) emptying Africa’s forests and savannas of their wildlife and the loss of the important ecological roles these wildlife species play in the functioning and productivity of these ecosystems (Abernethy et al. 2013; Effiom et al. 2013; Lindsey et al. 2011; Nunez-Iturri & Howe 2007). Both the drivers of and solutions to unsustainable bushmeat hunting are largely known (Foerster et al. 2012; Forget & Jansen 2007; Laurance et al. 2006; Lindsey et al. 2013; Wilkie & Carpenter 1999; Wilkie et al. 2005; Wright et al. 2007), and they vary according to biome, market access and availability of substitutes, human population density and urbanization, and wildlife use rights and governance. This paper explores what we know current about the challenges to conserving and eating wildlife in Africa and offers some practical policies and practices to address these issues in both rural and urban contexts across Africa.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Picture Index- Implementation Manual Version 1.0
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Year: 2010
Description/Abstract: Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) is a biodiversity indicator which combines camera trapping with occupancy analysis and generalized additive models. This manual is intended to serve as practical guide to developing sampling designs and analytical approaches for species richness surveys and biodiversity monitoring.
Publisher: Wildlife Conservation Society

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