Biodiversity & Conservation

Biodiversity & Conservation

  • Carlos E. Galindo Leal 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?
    Carlos E. Galindo Leal · Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad

    We have similar concerns in Mexico. The students do not get enough experience in the field. We are promoting learning natural history through citizen science. Have a look at

  • 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.



  • 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

  • Zdravko Lackovic 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?
    Zdravko Lackovic · University of Zagreb

    Dear Aditya

    PeerJ is unique journal. However, according to  "Authors are charged $99 to be able to publish one paper a year, $199 for two papers a year and $299 for unlimited publications." However, is there any other similar case? PLOS  journals, with high IF, do not belong to that group (personal experience)...

  • 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! :-)

  • 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 · 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.

  • 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 me how to use Arc GIS to observe the shifting treeline?
    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. 

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