Biodiversity & Conservation

Biodiversity & Conservation

  • Megan Foley added an answer:
    Can any one suggest for me variables which I should consider for canopy research?
    I am working on Project entitled “Protection and utilization concepts for biodiversity of epiphytic plants and of canopy fauna as indicators for sustainable land use management in central Himalayas/Nepal”. I am expecting your constructive idea and parameters which I should consider during field work to address the following points.

    We will establish a biodiversity experiment, which analyzes the influence of human impact on canopy flora and fauna.
    • Forests of different human impact (national park vs managed forest) will be compared.
    • The influence of collection of certain epiphyte groups on the ecosystem functioning of canopy communities will be analyzed by removal of one epiphyte taxon.
    • Most important: Epiphytes and arthropods will be analyzed on the same trees, so that their interrelationships can be studied.
    Based on our results we will develop guidelines for sustainable forest management and canopy biodiversity conservation.
    Megan Foley · Portland State University

    Canopy cover and leaf area index can be assessed using this instrument:

  • Rubén Barone added an answer:
    Anybody know any genus Casuarina work on acting as alien species?
    I've located some individuals naturalized and wanted to know if there are more cases in Europe.
    Rubén Barone · Independent Researcher

    In the Canary Islands we have some introduced populations (even big, of more than 1 km2) or isolated plants of Casuarina equisetifolia in public gardens and parks, and also in nature, but this species (at least for the moment) is not invasive here. 

  • Max Ringler added an answer:
    Does anyone know of a user friendly software for photo/pattern recognition of individual animals?
    I am trying to do a mark-recapture on a believed to be small populations of Northern Leopard frogs.
    Max Ringler · University of Vienna

    Wild-ID, which is around since ~2010, should work with the patterns of your frogs. We use it successfully with the dorsal patterns of Fire Salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) and the ventral patters of poison frogs (Allobates femoralis).

    Look here:

    And here:

  • Franklin M M White added an answer:
    Monarch butterfly numbers drop to lowest level since records started: what can be done about this?
    This concern was promoted in an article in the Guardian newspaper (Wednesday 29 January 2014) : According to this article, the number of Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) wintering in Mexico plunged this year to its lowest level since studies began in 1993, leading experts to announce Wednesday that the insects’ annual migration from the United States and Canada is in danger of disappearing. A study (cited below) released by the World Wildlife Fund, Mexico’s Environment Department and the Natural Protected Areas Commission blames the displacement of the milkweed the species feeds on by genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the United States, as well as the dramatic reduction of the butterflies’ habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging of the trees they depend on for shelter. What can be done about this? Reference: OMAR VIDAL, JOSÉ LÓPEZ-GARCÍA, EDUARDO RENDÓN-SALINAS. Trends in Deforestation and Forest Degradation after a Decade of Monitoring in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. Conservation Biology (2014) 28; 1: 177–186.
    Franklin M M White · Pacific Health & Development Sciences Inc. <>

    Thanks for your observations Luc, most welcome.

    I agree there is more complexity in this issue, than we can fully understand.

    We must remain on guard for the Monarch. As the political dictum goes: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."  And a butterfly species cannot be responsible for such vigilance.  So we humans, a flawed species, must remain vigilant for the Monarch.

    Moving now from one species to another (perhaps from one extreme to another), with "one health" and the role of human behaviour in mind, perhaps you may wish to comment on another question I have posted, on the plight of the rhinoceros?

    You can locate this on my RG page.  Any early comment would be most welcome. 

    Best wishes.

  • Vladimír Nemček added an answer:
    Is teaching basic natural history skills at colleges and universities still relevant?
    Job descriptions for new hires at colleges and universities rarely include desired expertise in natural history or field ecology. Are we then missing a basic, foundational skill set to pass on to new students? Or, do such skills lack relevance with the trajectories of environmental research, grants and funding opportunities?
    Vladimír Nemček · Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS)

    Great discuss, I have few thoughts to natural history. First - it was my interest to study animals in their environment. This is a key point why I have studied Protection and Exploitation of Nature and Landscape. But back to question - I think that it depends on departments, respective if it is biology, molecular biology, ecology, conservation biology...My opinion is that natural history is fundamental discipline for conservation biologists, ecologists and biologists. Because these people work regulary in the field. And also they can work in non-research sector - like for NGOs - where there are these skills very useful and demanded.   

  • Can anyone help me about the details of Worldclim data for species distribution modeling?
    After I've modeled my species with Worldclim data, soils data, and topography data, the data that has had the most contribution in my modeling were BIO 4 and then BIO14.
    BIO 4 is temperature seasonality (standard deviation * 100), but the question is that Standard deviation of what? And how they have achieved these results?
    And BIO 14 is precipitation of driest month but what is the unit of Bio 14? Is it millimeter? Is it categorical or continuous? Because all of the values in the Bio 14 map that I have for my study area, are 0 or 1 and the precipitation in this area (the habitat of Rheum ribes) is more than 1 mm in driest month.
    I'm working with Maxent software for modeling and I got these results (the contribution of each map) from the part of Analysis of Variable Contribution.
    Daniel Felipe Zuleta Zapata · National University of Colombia

    However, as far as I know, MaxEnt uses the L1 regularization to pre select variables. 

  • Piotr Skórka added an answer:
    PLOS ONE, PeerJ or conventional journals for publication? - suggestions for early career professionals
    PLOS ONE, PeerJ and other open access peer reviewed journals are coming as the best alternative academic publications to the conventional journals. There is debate going on which one is better, the image of IMPACT FACTOR is also controversial. What are your thoughts for the early career professionals to publish on the emerging open access journals like PLOS ONE and PeerJ?
    Piotr Skórka · Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences

    If someone would like to go through submission and editorial process smoothly, then one should definitely publish in PeerJ. The contact with editorial board is very good. Moreover, fee is affordable for most scientists. I also have a few papers published in Plos One (and some rejected as well). However, recently we stumbled across with such hilarious difficulties with submission process in Plos One that it is worth mentioning. We have been trying to submit revised version of our paper for almost two months... unsuccessfully. First, it was our fault as we did not realized that some guidelines for authors changed in this year. Nevertheless, after correcting necessary things (file name style) we have submitted paper again. However, the manuscript can't go further, to the academic editor as we still receive the response that "Please check and if necessary rename your figure and supporting information files so that they comply with PLOS file naming conventions. For figures please use the format "Fig#.file type" and for supporting information files please use the format "S#_Type.file type." For example, "Fig1.tif" or "S2_Dataset.xls"." We have been checking everything again and again, and still receive the same message. The response from the journal is with one ot two week time lag thus it takes a lot of time. We were really irritated at the beginning but now we start to believe there are computers/robots working instead real human beings;-). We also attempted they explained what is wrong in detail but we received the same message. Yes, contact with the editorial team does not exist or is confined to such irrational exchange of e-mails in this journal. It is astonishing they put so many troubles in front of authors of manuscripts that are not even evaluated on the scientific merit, before acceptance. I never found such troubles with other journals, including PeerJ. In the latter you dont have to care about such specific details as file names in the manuscript submission system.

    Generally, I like the idea of open access journals like Plos, however for me Plos One is best of a bad job strategy when publishing papers. 

    Best wishes and good luck with Plos One....


  • Mikhail F. Bagaturov added an answer:
    Are chytrid fungus infections socially faciliated?
    Does any one know if amphibian chytrid fungus disease is socially facilitated? I recently heard talks about its presence in salamander speciesat low levels in the same habitat that frogs were succumbing to it at much higher levels. Maybe chytrid gets an advantage being spread in a chorus aggregations compared to the solitary or lower density salamander breeding aggregations?
    Mikhail F. Bagaturov · Russian Academy of Sciences

    Actually if is quite possible that BD and BS are residental infection which was always present in all parts of the world, but before was not affecting the amphibian populations.. I faced with it clearly with some captive animals. Changes of environment cause its deadly nature.

  • Sundar S added an answer:
    In what way will invasive plant and animal species affect native animal fauna of the freshwater aquatic ecosystems?

    Aquatic biodiversity is increasingly affected and declined through various factors including increasing of temperature due to climate change, anthropogenic effects, invasive species slowly adapted in a particular environmental condition and replaced native species etc. 

    Sundar S · Pondicherry University

    Thanks Dr.Julian for valuable answer.

  • Sarwan Kumar Dubey added an answer:
    Can street art be a valuable tool for promoting biodiveristy awareness to the general public?
    project overview:
    Sarwan Kumar Dubey · Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute

    Dear Diane Arrieta; I do feel that street art is a very very important and valuable tool for promoting not only biodiversity awareness to the general public but all other sorts of scientific information which we want to disseminate in public. I used this method in my research field "Watershed Development". it really do the magic. Regards

  • Rubén Barone added an answer:
    Do you know how many species of critically endangered terrestrial mammals you have in your country?
    I'm interested to consolidate the information for everyone to see the number of species of critically endangered mammals globally.
    Rubén Barone · Independent Researcher

    In the Canary Islands we have very few native terrestrial mammals, apart from three extinct endemic rodents. One of them is Crocidura canariensis, endangered and present only in Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and some nearby islets. Also, Barbastella barbastellus guanchae is an endangered bat, probably the most scarce Chiroptera species in the archipelago and considered an endemic subspecies. In any case, none of them has been classified by IUCN as "Critically Endangered". In the case of the shrew, its conservation category is Endangered B1ab(ii,iii). 

  • Libor Dvořák added an answer:
    What's the best bait for butterfly traps?
    I know about rotting fruit, mammal dung and rotten fish or meat, but I don't know which one is the most efficient.
    Libor Dvořák · Municipal Museum Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic

    John, if you have any Dermaptera and Mecoptera from your bait traps, I would highly appreciate such material.

  • Jordi Salmona added an answer:
    July 2012, the IUCN determines that lemurs (i.e., infraorder Lemuriformes) are the most endangered group of mammals. What strategies can address this?
    Lots of mammals are endangered at the taxonomic levels of the species, genus, or family. But, for virtually an entire infraorder of species -- 91 of 103 recognized species in the infraorder Lemuriformes, endemic to Madagascar -- to be declared by the IUCN as either "Vulnerable", "Endangered" or "Critically Endangered" is extraordinary. The Lemuriformes represent approximately a quarter of all species in the Order Primates, so their future has implications for our capacity to achieve a comparatively-based understanding of patterns of behaviour across primate species.
    Jordi Salmona · Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)

    Dear all,

    For people interested in that discussion, the Lemur Conservation Plan was publish last year (first link), followed by a policy forum paper in Science and the reaction comments it created (second and third links).

    Yet, this controversial declaration has also been the subject of a large discussion on Madagascar environmental justice forum (fourth link).

    Several points in these documents (specially the conservation plan) echoes the conservation suggestions of Sarah Papworth. However no strategies will solve conservation issues in Madagascar without political determination. Some recent political declarations seem to show regain of interest towards environmental concerns, but let see what really happens in the next couples of years.

    The conservation status of the other primates will be updated soon and could change the balance (or not).

    Have a good time reading.



  • Doris Elster added an answer:
    Ethical issues in the context of biodiversity and conservation
    In science education in the context of biodiversity and conservation (especially plants) we deal with the question which ethical issues are given on the country specific level. Could you support with helpful links?
    Doris Elster · University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

    Dear Followers

    In the attachment you find the final Ethical Guidelines we developed within the European Project INQUIRE. In this project we developed IBSE activities for Botanic Gardens.

    Kind regards


  • Hari Prasad Sharma added an answer:
    How could we estimate the population density of red panda?
    This species are arboreal.
    Hari Prasad Sharma · Tribhuvan University

    Thank you for your suggestions

  • Ricard Sole added an answer:
    What are likely to be the most important changes to conservation from synthetic biology?
    Synthetic biology will enable us to modify existing species, resurrect extinct species and create new life forms. I am interested to know what people consider the greatest opportunities and risks for conservation. I am involved in a panel discussion tomorrow and will summarise the most interesting answers.
    Ricard Sole · University Pompeu Fabra

    I have just uploaded a couple of days ago a position paper (version 1.0) on approaching climate change+diversity decline-ecosystem degradation using synthetic biology and plat engineering to "Terraform" Earth: 

    Comments and criticisms are welcome. 

  • Aníbal Gusso added an answer:
    How to calculate "Air temperature" from "land surface temperature"?
    Air temperature from LST (day and night).
    Aníbal Gusso · Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos

    Hi Miss Sally,

    In situ measurements for several regions, when temperature is above zero, we can observe that this difference is usually 3oC at night. I mean surface temperature is 3oC below air temperature at the meteorological station (1,5m). However, during the day, surface temperature is higher than air temperature but it depends highgly on latent and sensible heat fluxes. Specially due to surface coverage, i.e. vegetation structure, soil moisture etc.


  • Bassam Alkindy added an answer:
    Which program is best to use for phylogeny analysis?
    I'm a bit lost. After having the sequences of the different samples for chilli species in Mauritius, a phylogenetic tree is to be constructed, which program can I use?
    Bassam Alkindy · University of Franche-Comté

    @Richard, you are right, in all cases sequence alignment should be done all-by-all comparisons. From this comparisons a distance matrix will take place, then using a hierarchical clustering algorithm to construct unrooted phylogenetic tree. For rooting it, one or more outgroups could be selected to root the phylogeney. 

  • Franz Cardoso added an answer:
    Is someone working or has previously worked on Ellobiidae such as Melampus, Laemodonta, Ellobium, Pythia?
    I might need some notes on the taxonomy for identification for certain species like Melampus and Pythia.
    Franz Cardoso · National University of San Marcos

    Paredes Carlos, Aldo Indacochea, Franz Cardoso y Kelly Ortega. 2005. Family Ellobiidae  (Gastropoda: Archaeopulmonata) in the Peruvian coast. Rev. peru. biol. 12(1):69-76.

    Download: or

  • Robert F Baldwin added an answer:
    How Road Ecology research could be improved by Landscape Ecology approach?
    Landscape Ecology metrics and aproach could help to improve experimental design or mitigation measures on Road Ecology?
    Robert F Baldwin · Clemson University

    Most road ecology work began in a landscape ecology context. The role of roads in fragmenting habitats was recognized long ago. Even back in the 90s studies were being conducted to detect the degree to which roads caused genetic differentiation in populations. To read up on the early work, I suggest:

    Forman et al. (eds) Road Ecology:Science and Solutions

    Trombulak, S. C. and C. A. Frissell. 2000. Review of ecological effects of roads on terrestrial and aquatic communities. Conservation Biology 14:18-30.

    Steen, D. A. and J. P. Gibbs. 2004. Effects of roads on the structure of freshwater turtle populations. Conservation Biology 18:1523-1739.

    Reh, W. and A. Seitz. 1990. The influence of land use on the genetic structure of populations of the common frog, Rana temporaria. Biological Conservation 54:239-249.

    There is much more recent work, including influences of roads on landscape permeability. Such resistance models have been incorporated into connectivity analyses. For that, there is much literature.

    And, planners study how roads themselves grow. Interesting work in Amazonia. See

    Laurance, W. F., M. A. Cochrane, S. Bergen, P. M. Fearnside, P. Delamonica, C. Barber, S. D'Angelo, and T. Fernandes. 2001. The future of the Brazilian Amazon. Science 291:438-439.

  • Rafael garcia velasco added an answer:
    Have we already observed a link between the disappearance of species and the disappearance or modification of cultural rites?
    As MEA explain biodiversity has different values (provisioning services etc), biodiversity has cultural values, but how much biodiversity loss impact it?
    Rafael garcia velasco · National Distance Education University

    Is it for a class lesson or you are researching on it? (a green arrow is the best thank you, mercí! :-)

  • Juan Martínez-Gómez added an answer:
    Interested in a job position at the Institute of Ecology in Xalapa, Mexico?
    Juan Martínez-Gómez · Instituto de Ecología, A.C. INECOL

    position filled a while ago

  • Simon Linke added an answer:
    Is ecological niche modelling (Maxent) a suitable method for identifying species richness hotspots?
    Currently attempting to identify Ficus richness hotspots in New Guinea by combining individual Maxent models of each species.
    Simon Linke · Griffith University

    Hi Thomas! 

    We use systematic planning methods to identify key areas for biodiversity protection, which is different to a pure richness-based hotspot analysis, but the inputs for both are very similar.

    And yes - we often use niche models for this. There is a plethora of models - I recommend reading up about Biomod, which forecasts using a variety of techniques

    For single-technique papers from our group, you can for example look at:

    1. GAM models

    2. MARS

    3. Artificial Neural Networks

    4. And finally an ensemble model including Maxent :)

    Let me know if you have any more questions!

  • Hein Van Gils added an answer:
    How to mange the Human Elephant Conflict in Human dominated landscape?
    Every year about a dozen people are killed by wild elephants in Nepal, mostly by the solitary bulls and the conflict is increasing every year. There are a few retaliatory killings of the elephants also in recent years. Most of the elephant habitat is fragmented and there is a high pressure of resource extraction in the remaining forest patches outside protected areas. In such situation, what are the best practices around the world to manage such a conflict?
    Hein Van Gils · Min of Environment & Tourism, Namibia

    Here in southern Africa more elephants are killed by humans than vice versa. It is mostly the economy that counts. In broad terms, high input farming and upmarket wildlife tourism can be economically separate by elephant-proof fences (e.g. Addo NP in RSA). The rate of return on capital investment in fences is likely to be positive. Where low value farming and upmarket wildlife tourism prevail (northern Namibia) you can afford compensation of crop loss resulting from sharing land between farmers and safari-tourists. In such situation provisions (regulations, institutions, armed guards) need to be in place to quickly cull problem elephants, often old male loners. May be the described Nepal situation is low input farming on land shared with elephant without much income from tourism? Please get the idea by browsing my articles on East African elephant, Mountain Gorilla and Apennine bear sharing resources with humans.

  • Essam Yassin Mohammed added an answer:
    How to set up a conservation trust fund?
    I am trying to find a written document (published or unpublished) that explains the ABC of setting up conservation funds particularly in the developing world.
    Essam Yassin Mohammed · International Institute for Environment and Development

    We've just produced this report
    we reviewed 12 CTFs and pulled together some lessons or 'conditions for success'

  • Paulraj Jawahar added an answer:
    How could we strengthen the classical taxonomical study of flora and fauna in the developing world?
    Correct identification of individual species is a must for conserving them. In most of the developing and underdeveloped countries much interest have not be given to study the species or classification of animals. Where as in the developed countries, research has moved towards documenting available germplasm and living resources through molecular taxonomy. But such intiatives are yet to take up and it needs reasonably good investment on equipments. These countries harbour most of the biodiversity. The classical taxonomist also become rare and extinct in these region. The scientists or researchers opted for taxonomy is becoming less. So classical taxonomic related studies should be strengthened to document and conserve these living diversity.
    Paulraj Jawahar · Tamil Nadu Fisheries University

    Yes I do agree.  Some of the works on fish taxonomy were started earlier in this region. The recent revisions in this region for catfish group and carps, indicates need for further strengthening taxonomy.  I am very much particular about wet land biodiversity which need further support in this region.  From India, taxonomist are becoming rarer group.    I must appreciate the attempt initiated at Australian National university which would help the students understand the voucher collection.

  • Closed account added an answer:
    I am looking for museum collections of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) skulls from western Europe. Can anyone help?
    To my research about differences in body size I need complete, non broken skull of bank vole with known sex and localities. At each locality I need at least 5 adults of each sex. Does anyone known any museum/university/institute where I can find such collection and do my own measurements?

    also in Brussels, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, they have certainly a good series of skulls. G.Lenglet is the curator.

About Biodiversity & Conservation

Totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region.

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