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Countryside biogeography: Utilization of human-dominated habitats by the avifauna of southern Costa

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    ABSTRACT: In the United States, voluntary incentive programs that aid conservation of plant and wildlife species on private lands provide a structural solution to the problem of protecting endangered species by reducing costs and enhancing benefits to landowners. We explored the potential for incentives to encourage landowners to manage land cover for the benefit of endangered songbirds in central Texas (U.S.A.) by asking landowners to indicate their preferences for financial incentives, technical assistance, and regulatory assurances. We identified owners of potential songbird habitat and collected data in face-to-face interviews and self-administered questionnaires. We used a latent-class stated-choice model to identify 3 classes of landowners whose choices varied on the basis of their attitudes and perceived social norms: (1) strong positive attitude, perceived social pressure to participate, and willing to participate with relatively few incentives, (2) weak positive attitude, perceived no social pressure to participate, and required strongest incentives, and (3) negative attitude, perceived social pressure not to enroll, and unwilling to participate regardless of incentive structure. Given this heterogeneity in preferences, conservation incentives may increase management of land cover to benefit endangered species on private lands to some degree; however, exclusive reliance on incentives may be insufficient. Promoting conservation on private lands may be enhanced by integrating incentives into an approach that incorporates other strategies for conservation, including social networks and collaborative processes that reinforce social norms.
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    ABSTRACT: Using information from two recently published atlases of threatened invertebrate species in peninsular Spain, we examined the climatic, land use and geographic characteristics of the 100 km2 UTM cells with most likelihood of suffering extinctions (extinction cells), as well as the attributes of the species prone to population extinctions. Extinction cells have had significantly (1) lower precipitation values, (2) higher temperatures, (3) higher percentages of anthropic land uses or (4) higher rates of anthropization during the last 20 years than the remaining cells. Nevertheless, probable extinctions may occur under a wide range of climatic and anthropization change rates and these variables can only explain a low proportion (~5 %) of variability in the occurrence or number of extinction cells. Aquatic species seem to suffer higher local extinction rates than terrestrial species. Interestingly, many invertebrate species with approximately 25 or less occurrence cells are on a clear trajectory towards extinction. These results outline the difficulties and uncertainties in relating probable population extinctions with climatic and land use changes in the case of invertebrate data. However, they also suggest that a third of the considered Spanish threatened species could have lost some of their populations, and that current conservation efforts are insufficient to reverse this tendency.
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