Biodiversity & Conservation

Biodiversity & Conservation

  • Niki A Rust added an answer:
    Why the silence on human population amongst conservation scientists & practitioners?

    It strikes me as interesting that the conservation movement have yet to fully embrace the appreciation that almost all of the world's conservation problems come down to not just overconsumption, but also overpopulation too.  I appreciate that we must tackle overconsumption, and it is important to do so, but it is equally important to address the issue of human populations and their effect on biodiversity.


    Whenever I have brought this topic up with conservationists, they have been reluctant to offer an opinion, which leads me to believe that this is a taboo subject still.  What do you think?  Why is it OK for us to advise that the world stop consuming and  yet condone (through their silence) population growth?


    NB I am not just talking about population growth but the current population size of humans around the world.  I am also not purely referring to the effect of population growth in developing countries, but the current population of humans in developed countries who, at the moment, cause the most biodiversity destruction due to BOTH their numbers and consumption.


    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

    Niki A Rust · University of Kent

    Yes I shall also be presenting at Estes Park, on Tuesday I think.  Would be great to meet up and discuss our research, I'd love to hear more about your work!

  • Ingo Lehmann 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.
    Ingo Lehmann · Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (Bonn) and National Museums of Kenya (Nairobi)

    I made good experiences with rotten banana, mango and urine in various forests of Kenya.

  • 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. 

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

    position filled a while ago

  • Aditya Singh 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?
    Aditya Singh · University of Portsmouth

    PeerJ is awesome in every respect. They are very professional people and the cost of article procesing is equal to nothing, especially for the people living in developed countries - only $99 for your life time. I think many of us often spend $99 in just a day on unimportant things. So once you pay $99, you can publish a paper every year throughout your life. PeerJ is quick - and their staff is helpful. Once I was not able to submit my article for review, I wrote a mail and though it might take a little while to get a reply from them - so I was relaxed and thought of preparing tea. By the time, I came back to desk, there was an unread message in the inbox. It was from PeerJ staff ....I was like wow! He sorted out all my problems in just a few minutes. Plus they are so polite. What else do you need in just $99?  Once you submit the article, they will reply quickly if they need some additional information....unlike traditional journals which take ages to respond. Moreover, they take care of your referencing style....their message is "PeerJ wants scientists and research to do research and innovation, not formatting and referencing." I love PeerJ and would like recommend it to every researcher in STM. 

  • 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 · Ministry 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.

  • Anteneh Belayneh added an answer:
    Examples of very common species suffering rapid declines?
    I can think of two instances where very common species suffered severe rapid declines to the extent that they could be considered threatened with extinction - the Chytrid fungus and some species of frogs, and Geomyces destructans and three species of bats; can anyone think of other examples?
    Anteneh Belayneh · Haramaya University

    The most important African mammals like African elephants and Rhinos are on the verge of extinction from Africa! At the moment their habitat is drastically devastated by the booming population, and selfish investment beyond the well known fact of poachers.

  • Parviz Tavakoli-kolour added an answer:
    Can someone identify this Gastropod species?
    We found this species on Rocky shore In persian Gulf, We known this species is belongs to the genus Onchidium, we need identify to species level
    Parviz Tavakoli-kolour · Islamic Azad University - Bandar Abbas Branch

    Dear Dr. Hoeksema

    Thanks a lot  for your attention



  • Ljubomir Jacić added an answer:
    If I obtain the Shannon-Weiner diversity index as 2.85, what can I interpret from this about the diversity?
    I have calculated the Shannon-Weiner diversity for coral species and have obtained 2.85, what does this value infer about the diversity of the corals?
    Ljubomir Jacić · Technical College Požarevac

    Dear @Gianni, I do not like downvoters without the explanation for! Even then, You may write a critique on response that You do not like, but not to down vote!

  • Alexandra Richter added an answer:
    Can someone help me identify this marine mollusc?
    I got it from Okha, Gujarat, India
    Alexandra Richter · University of Oviedo

    It is certainly not Urosalpinx cinerea and neither Ocinebrellus inornatus. I've seen Musem collections from the first species and here in our BOS collections we have O. inornatus, and they look quite different. whether it is Chicoreus torrefactus or not, I don't know, but maybe you can check in the virtual Museum of Rotterdam, where there are Musem specimens on line.

  • Rubén Barone added an answer:
    Do you agree that weeds are a biological threat to diversity?
    Most of the protected areas are highly infested by few weed species. So can we considered invasive weed species are biological threat for other endemic species?
    Rubén Barone · Independent Researcher

    In the Macaronesian islands (e.g. in the Canaries) we have very good examples of invasive species which invade very easily good preserved and important habitats with a lot of endemic plants and animals (mainly invertebrates). One of the most dangerous species is Pennisetum setaceum, an African grass that modify the habitat and the landscape. Its eradication is very difficult (if not impossible), and at this moment we would need a lot of money to maintain the populations controled, at least in protected areas. The situation in the central islands of the Canary archipelago (Gran Canaria and Tenerife) is simply catastrophic in many areas, mainly in lower and middle zones, as this plant tends to colonize mostly arid and semiarid sites. 

  • Paul Scholte added an answer:
    Which conditions are used to define an ecosystem as a "woodland"?
    In Argentina, the National Law 26.331 defines a woodland as a "natural forestry ecosystem integrated by mature native trees, with different species of plants and animals, associated to the topsoil, subsoil, atmosphere, climate and hydric resources, [...] under a condition of dynamic equilibrium...". Its regulation also defines as prime conditions that the woodlands should have trees of at least 3 m high and should occupy a surface superior to 10 has.
    This question implies a series of questions:
    - What happens with mature plantations with exotic species that generated suitable conditions as an habitat for flora and fauna?
    - What happens with shrublands in desert systems, with isolated tree species or associated to specific ecological conditions?
    - Is a woodland an area of trees with less than 3 m high? What should be the minimal density of trees?
    - Is a woodland a patch of less than 10 has of extension, eg. 1 ha?
    - Are water beds "lineal riparian woodlands"?
    - What happens with its potential in the future, eg. an area with no trees but with high density of sprouts?
    Paul Scholte · Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

    Dear Marcos,

    Even in an environment as arid as Yemen, 'woodland' exists, at least we defined a structure based on cover of trees (>3 m) and shrubs (1-3 m), see  for its caracteristics and application:

  • Ripu M. Kunwar added an answer:
    Could anybody suggest to me how to use Arc GIS to observe the shifting treeline in the Himalayas?
    Ripu M. Kunwar · Florida Atlantic University

    Achyut, in GIS DEM model can be used. Over time you can use RS images using pseudo color images, true color images, thermal images and  SW and LW IR images. Then you can ground truth. Dendrochronology, age determination, and application of DEM and RS would be better. 

  • Carballeira C. asked a question:
    Does anyone need a professional on environmental impacts of aquaculture?

    I am looking for a job to allow me continue working on my phD topic.

  • Thomas L Fleischner 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?
    Thomas L Fleischner · Prescott College

    [sorry, pushed the wrong button!]  and its on-line, peer-reviewed Journal of Natural History Education and Experience (, or through the NHN site), which has been covering a lot of this ground.  I also might add that the liberal arts institution where I teach (Prescott College) has recently started a Natural History Institute ("Integrating Arts, Sciences, and Humanities;  Natural history is still alive and well more at small colleges than at large research universities.

  • Emiko K. Resende 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. 

    Emiko K. Resende · Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA)

    Pantanal floodplain was invaded by asian clam, Limnoperna fortunnei, but due a natural oxygen depletion caused as a consequence of floodwater spread trough the plain and consequent terrestrial plant decomposition, a natural control is occuring preventing the overpopulation of this asian clam.

  • Qefsere Doko Gjonbalaj added an answer:
    Nature-deficit disorder, is it a real phenomenon?
    In a recent book, Richard Louv coined the terms "nature-deficit disorder" and "ecophobia". He thinks that in modern society (North America at least) we are becoming too separated from the natural world and this separation contributes to many ills, such as obesity, attention-deficit disorder in children, and declining emotional well-being.

    Do you think it is a real phenomenon? Are people really suffering due to lack of contact with wild nature? I heard of studies which suggest that exposure to the natural world improves cognitive functions; are these reliable studies? If the phenomenon is real, how can we change our education systems to overcome it?

    See review of book at:
    Qefsere Doko Gjonbalaj · University of Prishtina

    If the phenomenon is real, we can change our education systems to overcome it only if we "respect the nature".

  • Kalidass C added an answer:
    APG III classification of angiosperm - what are your thoughts?
    What are the major changes found in the APG III angiosperm classification from the Bentham and Hooker classification.
    Kalidass C · Taxonomy & Conservation

    APG III classification is very much useful for everyone.  It is merged many families into single family and simplified for the identification of plant species.  Moreover it well clarified genetic (DNA) levels of all plants and many variety are merged into single species.  So it is more authentication of plant classification. 

  • Robert A D Cameron added an answer:
    Are "Cultural landscapes" valuable for nature conservation?
    Cultural landscapes (=CLs) are landscapes that are modified and/or shaped by human activities, in some cases this interaction extends to the cultural and spiritual meaning of a place or a region. In the central european tradition of nature conservation, CLs are playing a central role as a reference system for the most desirable state of a landscape. The underlying assumption is a proposed maximum of species diversity in landscapes shaped by pre-industrial agriculture. In many aspects this concept seems to be questionable, because European CLs are changing rapidly, and traditional land-use practises are declining. Are we doing the right thing by aiming at the conservation of traditional CLs or shall we make use of instruments like the AES (Agri-environment subsidies) in a more pragmatic way? Finally, shall CLs or at least certain CL-types become "objects" of nature conservation on their own behalf?
    Robert A D Cameron · The University of Sheffield

    I can think of a number of studies in both western and central Europe where CLs have been shown to harbour viable populations of nationally red-listed species. Mind you this is snails we are talking about, not large mammals or birds! But preserving a traditional mix of wetland, woodland, agriculture and recreational space around towns and villages may be extremely effective in protecting some species, and there may well be other interests sharing the same conservation outcomes.

    I am sad about the local reaction to coppicing in some places. Here in UK, where coppicing is a long-standing cultural practice, but one that went downhill in the 20th century, it is a recognised tool for maintaining plant diversity, without it, dense uniform tree stands destroy the ground flora, although seed banks take some of the strain. Here there is no doubt that maintaining long standing cultural practice is beneficial to many rare species.

  • Ljubomir Jacić added an answer:
    Ecological connectivity: Should we keep on looking for the best GIS tool or connectivity measure or should we better focus on the kind of data we use?
    An accepted goal of conservation is to build a conservation network that is resilient to fragmentation and environmental change. However, fragmentation is a relative concept as well as connectivity. Effective corridors should provide suitable and reliable connectivity among habitats across scales for species mobile or less mobile for gene exchange under uncertainty and change. However, often "static" background data of landscapes are used to this end (i.e. the cartography of land uses/covers) whereas landscapes (habitats included) are dynamic. Indeed, they do change either under different seasonal conditions, or under multiple driving forces like, for instance, climate change.Thus, how can we rely on connectivity we are going to measure?
    Ljubomir Jacić · Technical College Požarevac

    Do not pay attention to this phenomenon. Ignore it dear @Gianni!

  • Christiaan Winterbach added an answer:
    What are the daily energetic requirements of free ranging spotted hyenas in kJ/day and energetic output of elephant carcasses in kJ/kg of body-mass?
    I am looking at the influence of elephant carcasses on the ranging behaviour of spotted hyenas.

    I am trying to come up with some theoretical figures to estimate the number of days a number n of hyenas can feed on elephant carcasses, based on the daily energetic requirements of hyenas and on the energetic output from elephant carcasses.

    I then want to compare these figures with the results of my analysis of movement data.

    What I know is that hyenas need about 4-5 kg biomass/day but extrapolating for the weight of an elephant seems rather imprecise (4 kg of a zebra including skin and bones is very different from 4 kg of elephant biomass)

    Information on the energetic output of an elephant carcass (kJ/kg of body mass) and the energetic requirement of hyenas (kJ/day) will probably produce more precise estimates.
    Christiaan Winterbach · Tau Consultants (Pty) Ltd

    Hi Gabriele

    There are at least tow old publications (1960's) that give some breakdown of elephant carcasses and weights. One is the following:

    Robertson_Bullock, W. 1962. The weight of the African Elephant Loxodonta africana. Proc. zool. Soc. Lond. 138:133-135.

    Hope it helps

  • Koenraad Van Meerbeek added an answer:
    How do I define groups of sites having similar species composition in R?

    I performed an NMDS analysis in R and I have a cloud of sites in a two-dimension plot.  At first sight, it is not clear to me if some groups of sites can be recognized. I would like to know about the kind of analysis I should perform to group sites with similar species composition.  

    Koenraad Van Meerbeek · KU Leuven

    I would recommend a hierachical cluster analysis, followed by an Indicator Species Analysis (Dufrêne & Legendre, 1997) to find the optimal number of groups. I always perform this analysis in PC-ORD., so I don't know the functions in R.

    Cluster analysis: I use sorensen as a distance measure and flexible beta linkage as the group linkage method for cover (%) data.

    Indicator species analysis (ISA): Perform the ISA for each grouping level, which you think can be possible. You have to search for the grouping level with the maximum number of significant indicator species and/or the lowest average P-value of the indicator species.


  • Matt Burton-Kelly added an answer:
    What new technologies do we need for effective conservation?
    I am running an exercise at a workshop tomorrow on technology in conservation. Anyone any bright suggestions for technologies we could adapt for conservation or for new technologies we need? I will credit any suggestions mentioned. Many thanks.
    Matt Burton-Kelly · University of North Dakota

    J.Veni Madhavi, if  "All our ancestors from around the world, lived in rhythm with nature and its laws," there must have been a point in time where humans stopped living in rhythm.  When would that have been?  Conversely, if humans were a part of nature when we became humans, why have we ceased being part of nature today?

  • Qiang we 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?
    Qiang we · Shaanxi Normal University

    Phyml also is easy to use, I think.

  • Kamalaporn Kanongdate added an answer:
    Can anyone help me identify the bird species from its eggs in the picture?
    I found these eggs during I was cutting Typha for my research. The nest is above the ground around 50-70 cm. Before cutting the Typha it was very dense and we could not imagine that there was the nest of this bird. One day later, these eggs disappeared. No one can tell what predator up.
    Kamalaporn Kanongdate · Mahidol University

    Thank you very much Ana-Maria Ciobotaru

    It is totally same! even the number of eggs in the nest. Wow!

  • M. Ashokkumar Vimala 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.
    M. Ashokkumar Vimala · Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University

    Dear erim,

    you can try the software called I3S for identification of shape and spot patterns of animals



About Biodiversity & Conservation

Totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region.

Topic Followers (39935) See all