Zoological Society of London
  • London, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Anthropogenic changes to the environment are facilitating the spread of animal pathogens into human populations. A global focus on detecting and containing emerging infectious diseases has deflected from the need for upstream prevention measures to reduce the risk of pathogen emergence. The drivers of infectious disease emergence have predominantly been considered as environmental and conservation issues and not as risks to human health. There is an opportunity for the UK to take a leadership position on this complex issue. This will require the establishment and maintenance of effective governance and policy mandates. Novel ways of policymaking are needed urgently to achieve three key aims: coordination and collaboration across sectors and government departments, the inclusion of diverse expertise, and the prioritisation of measures directed at prevention.
Active and passive restoration are both increasingly considered as options for nature recovery, with potential to help address the current climate and biodiversity crises. So far, however, there is little practical information on how to gauge the benefits and limitations of each approach, in terms of their effects on large-scale ecosystem composition, structure, and functioning. To address this knowledge gap, this study used satellite remote sensing to investigate changes in land cover and primary productivity within the forests of the Făgăraș Mountains in southern Romania, where large-scale restoration and land abandonment have simultaneously taken place across the past two decades. To our knowledge, this study is the first to contrast the impacts of active and passive restoration within a single landscape on components of ecosystem structure and functioning at such temporal and spatial scales. Results show active restoration activities to be very effective at facilitating the recovery of cleared forests in small parts of the landscapes; but they also highlight substantial areas of natural forest expansion following agricultural abandonment, in line with regional trends. Altogether, our approach clearly illustrates how freely available satellite data can (1) provide vital spatially explicit insights about large-scale and long-term transformations in ecosystem composition, structure and functioning; and (2) help contrast the impacts of restoration approaches on vegetation distribution and dynamics, in ways that complement existing ground-based studies.
Maternal strategies reflect the trade-off between offspring needs and maternal ability to invest, a concept described by the evolutionary theory of parent–offspring conflict. In mammals this conflict has often been investigated by studying weaning, the transition from maternal milk consumption to dietary independence. An investigation of individual variation in weaning can provide information on the adaptive significance of maternal strategies in relation to social and biological variables. We analysed stable nitrogen isotopes of hair samples collected from 22 mother–infant dyads in a wild population of chacma baboons, Papio ursinus, in conjunction with behavioural data on suckling, to explore the temporal dynamics of weaning, as well as the extent and determinants of individual variation in these dynamics. The weaning pattern suggested by isotope values and behavioural data were congruent. The difference between infant and mother stable nitrogen isotope values decreased faster with age in infants of low-ranking mothers, which suggests a faster progression towards weaning, perhaps due to subordinate females experiencing lower resource availability and so being less able to bear the costs of lactation over prolonged periods. Additionally, within-infant variation in stable nitrogen isotope values showed an increase with age (which was not detectable between infants), potentially highlighting the nutritional costs that weaning imposes on offspring. Our combination of isotope analysis and behavioural data from a wild population provides insight into the evolution of maternal strategies. In particular, it suggests that the quantity of care a mother can provide is affected by her rank, with subordinate females possibly not able to lactate for as long and perhaps benefiting from weaning earlier.
An unintended consequence of smallpox eradication and ending the smallpox vaccination campaign has been to render the global human population immunologically naïve to orthopoxvirus infection for the first time in history. This has occurred at a time when the majority of people worldwide live in high population densities in cities and when connectivity across the world has never been higher, both of which facilitate the emergence and spread of infectious diseases. It is not surprising, therefore, that novel zoonotic orthopoxvirus infections have been increasing in recent years, or that an international outbreak of human monkeypox disease has occurred. A One Health approach, including consideration of land-use change and the bushmeat and exotic pet trades, is required to prevent opportunities for the emergence of monkeypox, or diseases cause by other orthopoxviruses, and for a rapid and effective response to any outbreaks in order to limit their spread. One Health Impact Statement The current global outbreak of monkeypox is yet another warning for the adoption of a preventative, One Health, approach to minimise the risk of future emergence of known and unknown zoonotic pathogens. This includes the need to consider the roles, and to mitigate the impacts, of land-use change and the bushmeat and exotic pet trades in order to prevent opportunities for the emergence of monkeypox virus, or other orthopoxviruses, and for a rapid and effective response to any outbreaks in order to limit their spread. As of 9 September 2022, there have been 56,098 confirmed cases of monkeypox in people in 96 countries since an initial case was confirmed in the UK on 7 May (CDC, 2022). However, this does not include infections in Central and West Africa where the infection is endemic and where human cases of the disease have been escalating dramatically in recent years following smallpox eradication ( Tasamba, 2022 ). Monkeypox virus (MPV), the causative agent of monkeypox, is an orthopoxvirus (OPV) closely related to smallpox virus. Following a global vaccination campaign, the World Health Assembly confirmed the eradication of smallpox in 1980, after which vaccination against this disease was ended. During the following 40 years, therefore, and for the first time in history, the global human population has become immunologically naïve to OPVs ( Dye and Kraemer, 2022 ). This has created a gaping ecological niche that is open to exploitation by a new OPV. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that zoonotic infections with at least two previously unknown OPVs have emerged in recent years: Akhmeta pox and Alaska pox ( Vora et al ., 2015 ; Springer et al ., 2017 ). Monkeypox virus is also a zoonotic OPV and, although recognized for many years as a public health threat in waiting subsequent to the decline of smallpox vaccination ( Heymann et al ., 1998 ), monkeypox has remained a neglected disease ( Di Giulio and Eckburg, 2004 ; Parker et al ., 2007 ), which is only now receiving attention following its spread to high-income countries.
Captive insectivore nutrition is challenging due to the differing nutritional profiles of wild and captive diets and an incomplete understanding of both. Ultraviolet B (UVB)-irradiation has recently been explored as a means of improving prey-insect vitamin D3 and Ca content. Although short-term irradiation has been successful in some species, it has been unsuccessful in black field crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus)—a commonly cultured feeder insect. We exposed crickets to UVB irradiation from hatchling to adult stages and measured the vitamin D3 and mineral contents of crickets by sex. We did not detect vitamin D3 (detection limit 0.5 iU/g) or an effect of UVB irradiation on mineral content under either UV+ or UV− conditions. We identified large differences between sexes in Ca, K, Mg and P (females higher) and Cu, Fe, S and Zn (males higher), likely linked to reproductive investment. The differences do not straddle the minimum recommended concentrations of minerals for vertebrate growth and thus may be most relevant to animal nutrition in contexts of particular sensitivity or need. We demonstrate a UV-linked trade-off in cricket performance between individual cricket size and the numbers of crickets produced and characterise the energy costs associated with UVB provision. Our results do not support the use of UVB lighting for G. bimaculatus to improve nutrition but demonstrate previously unreported differences in the nutritional profiles between sexes in this species.
The shape and intensity of natural selection can vary between years, potentially resulting in a chronic reduction of fitness as individuals need to track a continually changing optimum of fitness (i.e., a “lag load”). In endangered species, often characterized by small population size, the lack of genetic diversity is expected to limit the response to this constant need to adjust to fluctuating selection, increasing the fitness burden and thus the risk of extinction. Here, we use long‐term monitoring data to assess whether the type of selection for a key fitness trait (i.e., lay date) differs between two reintroduced populations of a threatened passerine bird, the hihi (Notiomystis cincta). We apply recent statistical developments to test for the presence or absence of fluctuation in selection in both the Tiritiri Mātangi Island and the Kārori sanctuary populations. Our results support the presence of stabilizing selection in Tiritiri Mātangi with a potential moving optimum for lay date. In Kārori our results favour a regime of directional selection. Although the shape of selection may differ, for both populations an earlier lay date generally increases fitness in both environments. Further, the moving optimum models of lay date on Tiritiri Mātangi, suggesting that selection varies between years, imply a substantial lag load in addition to the fitness burden caused by the population laying too late. Our results highlight the importance of characterizing the form and temporal variation of selection for each population to predict the effects of environmental change and to inform management. Shape and fluctuation of selection on lay date varies between two re‐introduced populations of the threatened hihi in Aotearoa New Zealand, imposing very different constraints and potential burdens for individual fitness.
In 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) introduced a novel method for assessing species recovery and conservation impact: the IUCN Green Status of Species. The Green Status standardizes recovery using a metric called the Green Score, which ranges from 0% to 100%. This study focuses on one crucial step in the Green Status method—the division of a species’ range into so-called “spatial units”—and evaluates whether different approaches for delineating spatial units affect the outcome of the assessment (i.e., the Green Score). We compared Green Scores generated using biologically based spatial units (the recommended method) to Green Scores generated using ecologically based or country-based spatial units for 29 species of birds and mammals in Europe. We found that while spatial units delineated using ecoregions and countries (fine-scale) produced greater average numbers of spatial units and significantly lower average Green Scores than biologically based spatial units, coarse-scale spatial units delineated using biomes and countries above a range proportion threshold did not differ significantly from biologically based results for average spatial unit number or average Green Score. However, case studies focusing on results for individual species (rather than a group average) showed that, depending on characteristics of the species’ distribution, even these coarse-scale delineations of ecological or country spatial units often over- or under-predict the Green Score compared to biologically based spatial units. We discuss cases in which the use of ecologically based or country-based spatial units is recommended or discouraged, in hopes that our results will strengthen the new Green Status framework and ensure consistency in application.
The influence of supplementary feeding of wildlife on disease transmission and its consequent impacts on population dynamics are underappreciated. In Great Britain, supplementary feeding is hypothesised to have enabled the spread of the protozoan parasite, Trichomonas gallinae, from columbids to finches, leading to epidemic finch trichomonosis and a rapid population decline of greenfinch (Chloris chloris). More recently, chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), has also declined markedly from the second to fifth commonest bird in Britain. Using citizen science data, we show that both declines were driven primarily by reduced adult survival, with the greatest reductions occurring in peri-domestic habitats, where supplementary food provision is common. Post-mortem examinations showed a proportional increase in chaffinch trichomonosis cases, near-contemporaneous with its population decline. Like greenfinches, chaffinches often use supplementary food, but are less associated with human habitation. Our results support the hypothesis that supplementary feeding can increase parasite transmission frequency within and between common species. However, the dynamics behind resultant population change can vary markedly, highlighting the need for integrating disease surveillance with demographic monitoring. Other species susceptible to T. gallinae infection may also be at risk. Supplementary feeding guidelines for wildlife should include disease mitigation strategies to ensure that benefits to target species outweigh risks.
Escherichia albertii is a recently identified gastrointestinal bacterial pathogen of humans and animals which is typically misidentified and generally only detected during genomic surveillance of other Enterobacteriaceae. The incidence of E. albertii is likely underestimated and its epidemiology and clinical relevance are poorly characterised. Here, we whole genome sequenced E. albertii isolates from humans ( n = 83) and birds ( n = 79) in Great Britain and analysed a broader public dataset (n = 475) to address these gaps. We found human and avian isolates typically (90%; 148/164) belonged to host-associated monophyletic groups with distinct virulence and antimicrobial resistance profiles. Overlaid patient epidemiological data suggested that human infection was likely related to travel and possibly foodborne transmission. The Shiga toxin encoding stx2f gene was associated with clinical disease (OR = 10.27, 95% CI = 2.98–35.45 p = 0.0002) in finches. Our results suggest that improved future surveillance will further elucidate disease ecology and public and animal health risks associated with E. albertii .
The emergence of infectious diseases, such as COVID‐19, impacts livelihood strategies and conservation tools reliant on human‐wildlife interactions, such as wildlife‐based tourism and research. This is particularly relevant to great ape conservation, as humans and great apes are susceptible to being infected by similar pathogens. Evidence‐based strategies are required to prevent infectious disease transmission to great apes and people involved in, or living close to, tourism sites. The development of disease‐safe recommendations and their effective operationalisation require an understanding of what affects visitor compliance. Based on an international sample of past (N = 420) and potential future visitors (N = 569) to wild great ape tourism sites in Africa, we used an online questionnaire to characterise visitors' practices, assess expectations (e.g. about proximity to great apes) and identify key factors related to potential compliance with disease mitigation measures. This was implemented adapting a framework from health literature (the Health Belief Model; HBM), particularly focused on reducing COVID‐19 transmission at an early stage of the pandemic. Visitors expressed less willingness to being vaccinated against COVID‐19 (which, at the time our survey was conducted, had only just started being administered to very high‐risk groups), wearing a facemask during trekking (although willing when viewing the apes) and quarantine after international travel before visiting great apes. Region of nationality, expectations about the visitor experience and perceived effectiveness of specific measures were important factors explaining variation in potential compliance across multiple behaviours. By gaining a better understanding of what fosters compliance with disease mitigation measures, we obtained insights that are essential for assessing feasibility, facilitating effective communication, and guiding implementation at great ape tourism sites with importance not only for COVID‐19 but also for other infectious diseases more broadly, particularly at early stages of future pandemics. While requiring adaptive management as situations evolve (e.g. vaccination becoming more widely accessible), these will contribute towards a more sustainable visitor experience that can effectively deliver positive outcomes for people and biodiversity. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog. L'emergència de malalties infeccioses, com la COVID‐19, impacta les estratègies de subsistència i les eines de conservació que depenen de les interaccions entre els humans i la fauna salvatge, com ara el turisme i la investigació basats en la vida silvestre. Això és particularment rellevant per a la conservació dels grans simis, ja que els humans i els grans simis són susceptibles de ser infectats per patògens similars. Calen estratègies basades en l'evidència per prevenir la transmissió de malalties infeccioses als grans simis i a les persones que participen en el turisme o viuen a prop de llocs turístics. Elaborar recomanacions per evitar malalties i posar‐les en pràctica de manera efectiva requereix entendre què afecta el compliment d'aquestes per part dels visitants. Ens vam basar en una mostra internacional de visitants passats (N = 420) i possibles futurs visitants (N = 569) a llocs turístics de grans simis salvatges a l'Àfrica i vam utilitzar un qüestionari en línia per caracteritzar les pràctiques dels visitants, avaluar‐ne les expectatives (per exemple, sobre la proximitat amb els grans simis) i identificar‐ne els factors clau relacionats amb el possible compliment de les mesures de mitigació de malalties. Això es va dur a terme adaptant un marc de treball de la literatura sanitària (el Model de Creences de Salut; HBM, per les seves sigles en anglès), especialment centrat en reduir de la transmissió de la COVID‐19 en una fase primerenca de la pandèmia. Els visitants es van mostrar menys disposats a vacunar‐se contra la COVID‐19 (que, en el moment en què es va realitzar la nostra enquesta, tot just s'havia començat a administrar a grups de moult alt risc), a dur una mascareta durant la visita (tot i que estaven disposats a posar‐se‐la quan veiessin els simis) i a sotmetre's a una quarantena després d'un viatge internacional abans de visitar els grans simis. La regió on s'agrupa la nacionalitat dels visitants, les expectatives dels visitants sobre l'experiència i l'eficàcia percebuda de les mesures específiques van ser factors importants que expliquen la variació en el possible compliment de diversos comportaments. Arran d'entendre millor què fomenta el compliment de les mesures de mitigació de malalties, vam obtenir informació essencial per avaluar‐ne la viabilitat, facilitar‐ne una comunicació eficaç i orientar‐ne la implementació als llocs turístics de grans simis. Això és important, no només per a la COVID‐19, sinó també per altres malalties infeccioses en general, especialment en les primeres etapes de futures pandèmies. Malgrat calgui adaptar la gestió a mesura que les situacions evolucionen (per exemple, quan la vacunació esdevé àmpliament accessible), el coneixement obtingut contribuirà a una experiència més sostenible pels visitants, que pot oferir resultats positius per a la gent i la biodiversitat. L'apparition de maladie infectieuse comme le COVID‐19, a des impacts sur les moyens de subsistance ainsi que des approches de conservation telles que la recherche et le tourisme axé sur la faune. Ceci est particulièrement pertinent pour la conservation des grands singes, car les humains et les grands singes sont susceptibles d'être infectés par les mêmes agents pathogènes. L'identification en empirie de stratégies sont nécessaires pour éviter la transmission de maladies infectieuses aux grands singes et aux personnes impliquées dans les activités touristiques ou vivant à leur proximité. Le développement de recommandation pour éviter les maladies nécessitent une compréhension de ce qui détermine la conformité du comportement des visiteurs. En nous appuyant sur un échantillonage de touristes internationaux actuelles (N = 420), et potentielles (N = 569), de ces sites de tourisme des grands singes sauvages en Afrique, nous avons utilisé un questionnaire, pour caractériser les pratiques des visiteurs, évaluer leurs attentes (par exemple, envers la possibilité d'approcher les singes) et identifier les facteurs clés liés au respect potentiel des mesures d'atténuation des maladies. Ces recherches ont été mis en œuvre en adaptant un cadre de bonne pratique pour la santé humaine (Health Belief Model; HBM), avec l'objectif de réduire la transmission du COVID‐19 à un stade précoce de la pandémie. Les visiteurs exprimaient peux de volonté de se vacciner contre le COVID‐19 (qui, au moment où notre enquête a été menée, venait d'être administré qu'aux groupes les plus à risque), de porter un masque facial pendant le trekking (contrairement avec la volonté d'en porter pendant les rencontres avec les singes), et de se mettre en quarantaine après tout voyage international avant de visiter les singes. La région d'origine des visiteurs, les attentes concernant l'expérience du visiteur et la perception de l'efficacité des mesures spécifiques étaient des facteurs importants pour expliquer les différences en conformité potentielle entre plusieurs comportements. En ayant une meilleure compréhension de ce qui favorise l'appréciation des mesures pour limiter la transmission de maladie, nous avons obtenu des informations essentielles pour faciliter une communication efficace, et pour guider la mise en place de ces mesures pour le tourisme des grands singes, non seulement pour le COVID‐19 mais aussi pour d'autres maladies infectieuses, en particulier dans le début de futures pandémies. Nécessitant une gestion adaptative à mesure que les situations évoluent (par exemple, la vaccination devient plus largement accessible), ces mesures contribueront à une expérience des touristes plus durable et donc qui peuvent plus effectivement produire des résultats favorables pour les humains et la biodiversité. Das Auftreten von Infektionskrankheiten wie COVID‐19 hat Auswirkungen auf Lebensunterhaltstrategien und auf Naturschutzmaßnahmen, die von der Interaktion zwischen Mensch und Wildtieren abhängen, wie z. B. Wildtiertourismus und Forschung. Dies ist besonders wichtig für den Schutz von Menschenaffen, da Menschen und Menschenaffen von ähnlichen Krankheitserregern befallen werden können. Es werden evidenzbasierte Strategien benötigt, um die Übertragung von Infektionskrankheiten auf Menschenaffen und Menschen, die an touristischen Attraktionen beteiligt sind oder in deren Nähe leben, zu verhindern. Die Entwicklung von Empfehlungen zur Vermeidung von Krankheiten und ihre wirksame Umsetzung erfordern ein Verständnis der Faktoren, die die Einhaltung der Vorschriften seitens der Besucher beeinflussen. Auf der Grundlage einer internationalen Stichprobe ehemaliger (N = 420) und potenzieller künftiger Besucher (N = 569) von Tourismusgebieten für wildlebende Menschenaffen in Afrika haben wir einen Online‐Umfrage durchgeführt, um die Gewohnheiten der Besucher zu erfassen, ihre Erwartungen (z. B. in Bezug auf die Nähe zu Menschenaffen) zu bewerten und Schlüsselfaktoren im Zusammenhang mit der potenziellen Einhaltung von Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung von Krankheiten zu ermitteln. Dabei wurde ein Framework aus der Gesundheitsliteratur (Health Belief Model; HBM) adaptiert, das sich insbesondere auf die Reduzierung der COVID‐19‐Übertragung in einem frühen Stadium der Pandemie konzentriert. Die Besucher waren weniger bereit, sich gegen COVID‐19 impfen zu lassen (diese Impfung war zum Zeitpunkt unserer Umfrage gerade erst für Hochrisikogruppen freigegeben worden), während des Trekkings einen Mundschutz zu tragen (obwohl sie dazu bereit waren, wenn sie die Affen sahen) und nach internationalen Reisen in Quarantäne zu gehen, bevor sie Menschenaffen besuchten. Die Nationalität, die Erwartungen an das Besuchererlebnis und die wahrgenommene Wirksamkeit spezifischer Maßnahmen waren wichtige Faktoren, die die Unterschiede in der potenziellen Einhaltung der verschiedenen Verhaltensweisen erklären. Durch ein besseren Verständnisses darüber, was die Einhaltung von Maßnahmen zur Krankheitsbekämpfung fördert, haben wir Erkenntnisse gewonnen, die für die Bewertung der Durchführbarkeit, die Verbesserung einer wirksamen Kommunikation und die Steuerung der Umsetzung in touristischen Standorten für Menschenaffen von Bedeutung sind, und zwar nicht nur für COVID‐19, sondern auch für andere Infektionskrankheiten im Allgemeinen, insbesondere in frühen Stadien künftiger Pandemien. Diese Maßnahmen erfordern zwar ein anpassungsfähiges Management, je nachdem, wie sich die Situation entwickelt (z. B. wenn die Impfung besser zugänglich wird), werden aber zu einem nachhaltigeren Besuchererlebnis beitragen, das sich positiv auf die Menschen und die biologische Vielfalt auswirkt. कोविड ‐19 जैसे संक्रामक रोगों के उद्भव का दुष्प्रभाव मानवों‐वन्यजीवों के पारस्परिक सम्बन्धों से जुड़ी आजीविका के साधनों एवं संरक्षण के उपायों पर देखा गया है, जैसे कि, वन्यजीव‐आधारित पर्यटन और अनुसंधान । यह विशेष रूप से वनमानुषों के संरक्षण के लिए प्रासंगिक है, क्योंकि मनुष्य और वनमानुष के रोगाणुओं में समानता होने की प्रबल संभावना हैं । वनमानुषों और इंसानो के बीच पारस्परिक रोगों के आदान‐प्रदान की रोकथाम के लिए और पर्यटन स्थलों में शामिल या उनके करीब रहने वाले लोगों के बीच होने वाले संक्रमणों के तहत साक्ष्य जुटाने की आवश्यकता है । रोग‐संक्रमण सुरक्षा से जुड़ी अनुशंसा के विकास और उन मापदंडो के प्रभावी संचालन के लिए यह समझने की आवश्यकता है कि पर्यटकों में रोग‐शमन का अनुपालन किन बिंदुओं से प्रभावित होता है । रोग‐शमन के संभावित अनुपालन से संबंधित प्रमुख कारकों की पहचान करने के लिए हमने अफ्रीका में जंगली वनमानुषों वाले पर्यटन स्थलों के पूर्व (संख्या = 420) और निकट भविष्य में संभावित आगंतुकों (संख्या = 569) के एक अंतरराष्ट्रीय नमूने का आकलन किया । एक ऑनलाइन प्रश्नावली का उपयोग कर हमने आगंतुकों की उन प्रथाओं एवं अपेक्षाओं को चिह्नित किया जो रोगाणुओं के आदान‐प्रदान को प्रभावित करते हैं । उदाहरण के लिए, पर्यटकों द्वारा वनमानुषों को निकट से अनुभव करने की इच्छा । इसे समझने के लिए हमने स्वास्थ्य से जुड़े साहित्य (हेल्थ बिलीफ मॉडल; एचबीएम) के अंतर्गत स्वीकृत रूपरेखा को आधार बनाया । विशेषतः, इस प्रक्रिया के लिए हमने कोविड ‐19 महामारी के प्रारंभिक चरण में संचरण को कम करने वाले बिंदुओं पर ध्यान केंद्रित किया । पर्यटकों ने अंतर्राष्ट्रीय उड़ान के बाद क्वारेंटीन, ट्रेकिंग के दौरान फेसमास्क पहनने (हालाँकि वो वनमानुषों को देखते समय मास्क पहनने को तैयार थे) और कोविड ‐19 टीकाकरण को लेकर उत्साह दिखाया (जबकि हमारे सर्वेक्षण के समय प्रारंभिक स्तर पर टीकाकरण केवल बहुत उच्च जोखिम वाले समूहों के लिए ही उपलब्ध था) । पर्यटकों के व्यवहारों में संभावित अनुपालन में भिन्नता को स्पष्ट करने वाले महत्वपूर्ण कारक थे: उनकी राष्ट्रीयता, उनकी अपेक्षाएँ और उनके द्वारा विशिष्ट उपायों की प्रभावशीलता का महसूस किया जाना । इस शोध कार्य के तहत हमने रोग‐शमन के अनुपालन को बढ़ावा देने की बेहतर समझ के उपयोग से ऐसी अंतर्दृष्टि विकसित की जो व्यवहार्यता का आकलन करने, प्रभावी संचार की सुविधा प्रदान करने और वनमानुषों से जुड़े पर्यटन स्थलों पर कार्यान्वयन का मार्गदर्शन करने के लिए न केवल कोविड ‐19, बल्कि अन्य संक्रामक रोगों के लिए भी महत्वपूर्ण है; विशेषतः भविष्य में होने वाली महामारियों के प्रारंभिक चरणों के लिए । हमारे परिणाम बताते हैं की विषम परिस्थितियों में अनुकूल प्रबंध पर्यटकों के लिए एक अधिक स्थायी और सुखद अनुभव की दिशा में योगदान देंगे जो लोगों और जैव‐विविधता के लिए सकारात्मक सिद्ध होगा । टीकाकरण अभियानों का विकसित होता व्यापक रूप और इसकी सुलभता इस बात का उदाहरण है । Kemunculan penyakit menular, seperti COVID‐19, berdampak pada strategi penghidupan dan upaya konservasi yang bergantung pada interaksi manusia‐satwa liar, seperti wisata dan penelitian berbasis satwa. Fenomena ini terutama relevan bagi konservasi kera besar, karena manusia dan kera besar rentan terinfeksi oleh patogen yang serupa. Strategi berbasis bukti dibutuhkan untuk mencegah transmisi penyakit menular terhadap kera besar dan masyarakat yang terlibat, atau tinggal di dekat, area wisata. Pengembangan rekomendasi untuk mencapai kondisi bebas penyakit dan pelaksanaannya yang efektif membutuhkan pemahaman akan apa yang memengaruhi kepatuhan pengunjung. Menggunakan sampel pengunjung internasional terdahulu (N = 420) dan pengunjung potensial (N = 569) yang akan datang ke lokasi wisata kera besar liar di Afrika, kami melakukan survei kuesioner online untuk mengkarakterisasi perilaku pengunjung, mengkaji harapan mereka (contoh: tentang jarak ke kera besar) dan mengindentifikasi faktor kunci terkait potensi kepatuhan terhadap tindakan mitigasi penyakit. Implementasi ini dilakukan dengan mengadaptasi pendekatan dari literatur kesehatan (the Health Belief Model/Model Kepercayaan Kesehatan, HBM), dengan fokus pada pengurangan transmisi COVID‐19 di tahap awal pandemi. Pengunjung melaporkan keengganan untuk divaksinasi COVID‐19 (dimana, ketika survei kami dilakukan, vaksinasi baru diberikan kepada kelompok sangat rentan), menggunakan masker wajah selama perjalanan (walaupun mereka bersedia memakainya ketika melihat kera) dan karantina setelah perjalanan internasional sebelum mengunjungi kera besar. Wilayah kewarganegaraan, harapan atas pengalaman kunjungan dan persepsi akan efektivitas tindakan yang diberlakukan menjadi faktor penting yang menjelaskan variasi potensi kepatuhan seseorang di berbagai tipe perilaku. Melalui pemahaman akan faktor yang mendorong kepatuhan terkait mitigasi penyakit, kami memperoleh informasi penting untuk mengkaji kelayakan, memfasilitasi komunikasi efektif, dan mengarahkan pelaksanaan aturan di lokasi wisata kera besar yang penting tidak hanya bagi COVID‐19 tapi juga penyakit menular lainnya, terutama di awal masa pandemi ke depannya. Walaupun pengelolaan adaptif dibutuhkan seiring dengan perkembangan situasi (contoh: ketika vaksinasi dapat diakses secara luas), tahapan di atas akan berkontribusi terhadap keberlanjutan pengalaman pengunjung yang secara efektif menghasilkan luaran positif bagi manusia dan biodiversitas. L'emergenza delle malattie infettive, come il COVID‐19, può avere un impatto sulle strategie di sostentamento e di conservazione che si basano sulle interazioni tra uomo e gli animali selvatici, come il turismo e la ricerca volti all'osservazione e allo studio della fauna selvatica. Ciò è particolarmente rilevante per la conservazione delle scimmie antropomorfe, dal momento che gli uomini e le scimmie antropomorfe possono essere infettati dagli stessi o simili patogeni. Sono richieste strategie basate su evidenze scientifiche che possano aiutare a prevenire la trasmissione di malattie infettive tra le antropomorfe e le persone che sono coinvolte nel turismo o vivono in prossimità di siti turistici. Lo sviluppo di linee guida per diminuire il rischio della trasmissione di malattie infettive e la loro effettiva applicazione richiede una comprensione dei fattori che influenzano il rispetto di tali linee guida da parte dei visitatori. Abbiamo somministrato un questionario a un campione di visitatori internazionali passati (N = 420) e futuri (N = 569) di siti turistici delle scimmie antropomorfe in Africa per descrivere i loro comportamenti, valutare le loro aspettative (ad esempio riguardo la consentita prossimità nei confronti degli animali) e identificare i fattori chiavi associati al potenziale rispetto delle misure di mitigazione della trasmissione di malattie uomo‐animale. Ciò è stato conseguito adottando un modello preso in prestito dalla letteratura medica (l'Health Belief Model; HBM), che si focalizza particolarmente nel ridurre la trasmissione del COVID‐19 in una fase iniziale della pandemia. I visitatori hanno espresso un minor desiderio di essere vaccinati contro il COVID‐19 (la cui somministrazione, nel periodo in cui il questionario è stato condotto, era appena iniziata nei confronti dei soggetti ad alto rischio), di indossare la mascherina durante il trekking (sebbene fossero disposti ad indossarla in presenza delle scimmie antropomorfe) e di fare una quarantena dopo un volo internazionale prima di vedere le scimmie. La nazionalità, le aspettative riguardo l'esperienza da visitatore e l'efficacia percepita di specifiche misure sono risultati dei fattori importanti nello spiegare la variazione nel rispetto delle linee guida da parte dei visitatori. Attraverso una migliore comprensione dei fattori che influenzano il rispetto delle misure di mitigazione della trasmissione delle malattie uomo‐animale, abbiamo ottenuto dati utili che sono essenziali per valutare la fattibilità, facilitare l'efficace comunicazione, e guidare l'attuazione di tali misure presso i siti turistici delle scimmie antropomorfe, con notevole importanza, non solo per prevenire la trasmissione del COVID‐19, ma anche la trasmissione di altre malattie infettive, specialmente in una fase iniziale di una futura pandemia. Mentre tali dati richiedono una gestione adattativa della situazione, in relazione alla sua evoluzione (ad esempio se la vaccinazione diventa accessibile a un gruppo più ampio di persone), essi contribuiranno a un'esperienza da visitatore più sostenibile che può effettivamente produrre risultati positivi sia per le persone che la biodiversità. Kuibuka kwa magonjwa ya kuambukiza, kama vile Covid‐19, inaathiri mikakati ya maisha na zana za hifadhi zinazotegemea ushirikiano wa wanyamapori, kama vile utalii wa utafiti wa wanyamapori na utafiti. Hii ni muhimu hasa kwa uhifadhi mkubwa wa ape, kama wanadamu na apes kubwa huathiriwa na vimelea sawa. Mikakati ya msingi ya ushahidi inahitajika kuzuia maambukizi ya ugonjwa wa kuambukiza kwa apes kubwa na watu wanaohusika, au wanaoishi karibu na maeneo ya utalii. Maendeleo ya mapendekezo ya magonjwa na ufanisi waoutekelezajiInahitaji uelewa wa kile kinachoathiri kufuata mgeni. Kulingana na sampuli ya kimataifa ya zamani (N = 420) na wageni wa baadaye (N = 569) kwa maeneo makubwa ya utalii wa Afrika katika Afrika, tulitumia donsorey onlinetabiaMazoezi ya wageni, tathmini matarajio (k.m., kuhusu ukaribu na apes kubwa) na kutambua mambo muhimu kuhusiana na uwezo wa kufuata hatua za kupunguza magonjwa. Hii ilitekelezwa kurekebisha mfumo kutoka kwa maandiko ya afya (mfano wa imani ya afya; HBM),Hasa kulenga kupunguza maambukizi ya Covid‐19 katika hatua ya mwanzo ya janga hilo. Wageni walionyesha nia ya kuwa na chanjo dhidi ya Covid‐19 (ambayo, wakati uchunguzi wetu ulifanyika, ulikuwa umeanza tu kutumiwa kwa makundi ya hatari sana), amevaa facemask wakati wa safari (ingawa tayari wakati wa kutazama apes) na karantini baada ya kusafiri kimataifa kabla ya kutembelea apes kubwa. Mkoa wa utaifa, matarajio kuhusu uzoefu wa mgeni na ufanisi wa ufanisi wa hatua maalum walikuwa mambo muhimu kuelezea tofauti katika kufuata uwezotabia. Kwa kupata ufahamu bora wa kile kinachofanya ufuatiliaji na hatua za kupunguza magonjwa, tulipata ufahamu ambao ni muhimu kwa kutathmini uwezekano, kuwezesha mawasiliano bora, na utekelezaji wa utekelezaji katika maeneo makubwa ya utalii wa uzazi na umuhimu tu kwa wakazi wa miaka 19 lakini pia magonjwa mengine ya kuambukiza zaidi, hasa katika hatua za mwanzo za kondomu za baadaye. Wakati unahitaji kuhitaji usimamizi wa kutosha kama hali ya evolve (k.m. chanjo kuwa inapatikana zaidi), haya yatasaidia uzoefu zaidi wa wageni wa kudumu ambao unaweza kutoa matokeo mazuri kwa watu na viumbe hai. COVID‐19等一些人兽共患的传染性疾病的出现,影响了以人和野生动物相互作用为基础的动物生存策略以及相关保护措施的实施,例如野生动物生态旅游、对野生动物的相关研究等。而由于人类和类人猿更易受相同病原体的感染,科学合理地应对人兽共患病,在类人猿相关的生态旅游及保护中就显得尤为重要。 因此,研究者有必要通过循证来采取有效手段,以防止人兽共患的传染性疾病在类人猿、游客以及旅游景点附近居民中的传播。而相关疾病安全建议的制定及其有效实施,则需要研究者对影响游客对这些措施遵从性的相关因素进行深入的调查和了解。 我们通过对曾经到过非洲野生类人猿旅游景点的420位游客以及569位有此意向的潜在游客进行了线上问卷调查,了解了游客在旅游中对人兽互动的预期(比如是否打算接近类人猿个体)、具体做法,以及游客是否遵从疾病防御措施的相关影响因素。这是基于健康信念模式(Health Belief Model; HBM)为理论基础编制的调查量表,旨在疫情初期减少COVID‐19的传播。 调查显示,游客对接种新冠疫苗(该调查进行时,新冠疫苗刚开始在高风险人群中接种)、徒步旅行时佩戴口罩(尽管愿意在参观类人猿时佩戴口罩)的意愿较低,且不太愿意在国际旅行后、参观类人猿之前被隔离。游客的国籍区域、对旅行体验的预期以及对相关防御措施有效性的感知,是影响游客对规定行为遵从性的重要因素。 通过更好地了解影响人们对疾病防御措施遵从性的相关因素,我们对评估防御措施的可行性、促进有效沟通以及该措施在大型类人猿旅游景点的有效实施提供了重要见解,这不仅对COVID‐19,而且对其他传染性疾病的初期防御尤为重要。随着疫情的发展需要有适应性的管理措施(例如,新冠疫苗接种要更加普及),这将有助于提供更加可持续的游客旅行体验,并为人类和生物多样性带来积极有效的成果。 O aparecimento de doenças infeciosas, tais como a COVID‐19, tem impacto nas estratégias de subsistência e nos instrumentos de conservação dependentes das interações entre o homem e a vida selvagem, tais como o turismo de natureza e a investigação. Isto é particularmente relevante para a conservação de grandes símios, uma vez que os humanos e os grandes símios são suscetíveis de serem infetados por agentes patogénicos semelhantes. São necessárias estratégias baseadas em evidência para prevenir a transmissão de doenças infeciosas a grandes símios e a pessoas envolvidas em turismo ou que vivem perto de locais de turismo. O desenvolvimento de recomendações contra doenças e a sua operacionalização efetiva requer uma compreensão do que afeta o cumprimento por parte dos visitantes. Com base numa amostra internacional de visitantes anteriores (N = 420) e possíveis visitantes (N = 569) a sítios de turismo de grandes símios selvagens em África, utilizámos um questionário online para caracterizar as práticas dos visitantes, avaliar as expectativas (por exemplo, sobre a proximidade aos grandes símios) e identificar factores‐chave relacionados com o possível cumprimento de medidas de mitigação de doenças. Isto foi implementado adaptando um modelo da literatura sobre saúde (o “Modelo de Crença em Saúde”; HBM), particularmente centrada na redução da transmissão COVID‐19 numa fase inicial da pandemia. Os visitantes expressaram estar menos dispostos a serem vacinados contra a COVID‐19 (que, na altura em que o nosso inquérito foi realizado, tinha apenas começado a ser administrada a grupos de muito alto risco), de usarem uma máscara facial durante as caminhadas (embora dispostos quando vissem os símios) e de ficarem de quarentena após a viagem internacional antes de visitarem os grandes símios. Região de nacionalidade, expectativas sobre a visita e a percepção da eficácia de medidas específicas foram fatores importantes que explicam a variação no possível cumprimento de vários comportamentos. Ao obter uma melhor compreensão do que promove o cumprimento das medidas de mitigação de doenças, obtivemos informação essencial para avaliar a viabilidade, facilitar a comunicação eficaz, e orientar a implementação em locais de turismo de grandes símios com importância não só para a COVID‐19 mas também para outras doenças infeciosas, particularmente nas fases iniciais de futuras pandemias. Embora exigindo uma gestão adaptativa à medida que as situações evoluem (por exemplo, a vacinação torna‐se mais amplamente acessível), esta informação contribuirá para uma experiência mais sustentável do visitante que pode efetivamente produzir resultados positivos para as pessoas e a biodiversidade. La aparición de enfermedades infecciosas, como la COVID‐19, afecta a las estrategias de subsistencia y a las herramientas de conservación que dependen de las interacciones entre los seres humanos y la vida silvestre, tales como el turismo basado en la fauna silvestre o la investigación. Esto es particularmente relevante para la conservación de los grandes simios, ya que los humanos y los grandes simios son susceptibles de ser infectados por patógenos similares. Para prevenir la transmisión de enfermedades infecciosas a los grandes simios, así como a las personas involucradas en sitios turísticos o que viven cerca de ellos, son necesarias estrategias basadas en evidencias científicas. El desarrollo y efectividad operacional de recomendaciones de protección frente a enfermedades, requiere comprender los factores que afectan su cumplimiento por parte de los visitantes. Basándonos en una muestra de visitantes internacionales que acudieron el pasado a sitios de grandes simios en África (N = 420), así como potenciales visitantes que planean visitarlos en un futuro (N = 569) utilizamos un cuestionario online para caracterizar sus prácticas, evaluar sus expectativas (p. ej., sobre la proximidad a los grandes simios) e identificar los factores clave relacionados con el cumplimiento de medidas de mitigación de enfermedades. Esto fue implementado adaptando un marco metodológico procedente de la literatura de la salud (el Modelo de Creencias de Salud; HBM), enfocado especialmente a reducir la transmisión de la COVID‐19 en una etapa temprana de la pandemia. Los visitantes expresaron menos disposición a vacunarse contra el COVID‐19 (en el momento en que se realizó nuestro cuestionario, comenzaba a administrarse solo a los grupos de alto riesgo), usar una mascarilla durante el trekking (aunque si estaban dispuestos a usarla en caso de ir a ver a los grandes simios) y hacer cuarentena tras viajes internacionales antes de visitar a los grandes simios. La región de nacionalidad, las expectativas sobre la visita y la eficacia percibida de la medida en cuestión, fueron factores importantes que explican la variación en el cumplimiento potencial de varios comportamientos. Al obtener una mejor comprensión de aquello que fomenta el cumplimiento de las medidas de mitigación de enfermedades, obtuvimos conocimientos que son esenciales para evaluar su viabilidad, facilitar su comunicación efectiva, y guiar su implementación en los sitios turísticos de grandes simios. Esto no solo es aplicable para la COVID‐19, sino también para otras enfermedades infecciosas a gran escala, particularmente en las primeras etapas de futuras pandemias. Si bien será necesaria una gestión adaptativa a medida que evolucionen las situaciones (por ejemplo, que la vacunación sea más accesible), esto puede contribuir a una experiencia de visitante más sostenible que genere resultados positivos para las personas y la biodiversidad. कोभिड १९ जस्ता संत्रफमक रोगका उत्पतिल मानव वन्यजन्त अर्न्तत्रिफ्यामा आश्रित जिविकोपार्जन र संरक्षणका गतिविधि जस्त वन्यजन्तु आश्रित पर्यटन र अनुसन्धानलाइ नकारात्मक प्रभाव पारेका छ । या समस्या मुख्यत वानर संरक्षणमा लाग भएका पाइन्छ, किनकी मानव र वानर उस्त प्रकारका रोगजनक किटाण बाट ग्रस्त हुन सम्भावना बढि हुन्छ । पर्यटकीय क्षेत्रमा वा त्यस नजिक बसोबास गन मानव समुदायमा वानरबाट मानवमा वा मानवबाट वानरमा संत्रफमक रोग सन नदिन तथ्यमा आधारित रणनीतिका आवश्यकता छ । रोगबाट सुरक्षित रहन रणनीतिका विकास र त्यसका प्रभावकारी कार्यान्वयनका लागि पर्यटकल लिनुपन सावधानीका उचित बुभफइ हुन अत्यन्त जरुरी छ । पछिल्ला वषमा अप्रिफ्की वानर पर्यटन क्षेत्रमा आएका अर्न्तराष्ट्रिय पर्यटक (४२०) र भविष्यका संभावित पर्यटक (५६९) लाइ हामील अनलाईन प्रश्नावलीबाट उनीहरुका अभ्यासहरु, आकांक्षाहरु (उदाहरणका लागी वानरसग कति नजिक हुन चाहन) र संत्रफमक रोग न्यूनीकरण गर्नका लागि अपनाउन सम्भावित उपायहरुका पालना कतिका गन चहान्छन भनी सोधेका थिया । या प्रश्नावली हामील स्वास्थ्य क्षेत्रमा विद्यमान अध्ययनहरु, मुख्यत कोभिड १९ महामारी का प्रारम्भिक चरणमा संत्रफ्मणका जोखिम न्यूनीकरण गन अध्ययनका आधारमा तयार पारी लाग गरेका थिया । हाम्रा अध्ययनल पर्यटकहरुल कोभिड १९ का विरुद्घ खोप लगाउन ईच्छा नदेखाएका (अध्ययन अवधिमा भर्खर अति संवेदनशील समुहका लागि खोप अभियान सुरु भएका थियो), ट्रेकिङ्गका समयमा मास्क लगाउन अनिच्छा देखाएका (वानर हेन समयमा भने लगाउन सहमत), र अर्न्तराष्ट्रिय यात्रा पछि र वानर हेन अगाव केहि समय क्वारेन्टाइनमा बस्न अनिच्छा देखाएका देखिया । उल्लेखित नतिजाहरु राष्ट्रियता, पर्यटकीय अनुभव र संत्रफमक रोग न्यूनीकरण गर्नका लागि अपनाउन सम्भावित उपायहरुका प्रभावकारिताहरु जस्ता महत्वपूण कारणका आधारमा आएका पनि हामील पाया । संत्रफमक रोग न्यूनीकरण गर्नका लागि अपनाउन सम्भावित उपायहरु पालना गराउनका निम्ति आवश्यक कुराहरु केक हुन भन्न कारणका उचित बुभफइका आधारमा हामील केही महत्वपूण बुदाँहरुका, जस्त सम्भाव्यता मूल्यांकन, प्रभावकारी संवाद, र वानर पर्यटकीय क्षेत्रमा रोग न्यूनीकरणका उपायहरु (कोभिड १९ मात्र नभएर अरु संत्रफमक रोगहरु न्यूनीकरणका निम्ति पनि, मुख्यत भविष्यमा आउन सक्न अरु महामारीलाइ प्रारम्भिक चरणमै प्रभावकारी ढङ्गल लडनका निम्ति) अन्तर्दृष्टि पाएका छा । बदलिदा परिस्थिती अनुरुप व्यवस्थापन गदा (उदाहरणका लागि, प्रभावकारी खोप पहुँच) दिगा पर्यटकीय अनुभव दिन सकिन्छ, जसल मानिस र जैविक विविधता दुव प्रति सकारात्मक नतिजा दिन सक्छ । Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.
As the top predator in African ecosystems, lions have lost more than 90% of their historical range, and few countries possess strong evidence for stable populations. Translocations (broadly defined here as the capture and movement of lions for various management purposes) have become an increasingly popular action for this species, but the wide array of lion translocation rationales and subsequent conservation challenges stemming from poorly conceived or unsuitable translocations warrants additional standardized evaluation and guidance. At their best, translocations fill a key role in comprehensive strategies aimed at addressing the threats facing lions and fostering the recovery of wild populations in their historic range. At their worst, translocations can distract from addressing the major threats to wild populations and habitats, divert scarce funding from more valuable conservation actions, exacerbate conflict with humans in recipient sites, disrupt local lion demography, and undermine the genetic integrity of wild lion populations in both source and recipient sites. In the interest of developing best practice guidelines for deciding when and how to conduct lion translocations, we discuss factors to consider when determining whether a translocation is of conservation value, introduce a value assessment for translocations, and provide a decision matrix to assist practitioners in improving the positive and reducing the negative outcomes of lion translocation.
threatened with extinction, resulting in a sampled RLI of 0.914 for all species, 0.968 in marine and 0.862 in freshwater ecosystems. Our sample showed fishing as the principal threat for marine species, and pollution by agricultural and forestry effluents for freshwater fishes. The sampled list provides a robust representation for tracking trends in the conservation status of the world's fishes, including disaggregated sampled indices for marine and freshwater fish. Reassessment and backcasting of this index is urgent to check the achievement of the commitments proposed in global biodiversity targets. Abstract Global biodiversitytargets require us to identify species at risk of extinction and quantify status and trends of biodiversity. The Red List Index (RLI) tracks trends in the conservation status of entire species groups over time by monitoring changes in categories assigned to species. Here, we calculate this index for the world's fishes in 2010, using a sampled approach to the RLI based on a randomly selected sample of 1,500 species, and also present RLI splits for freshwater and marine systems separately. We further compare specific traits of a worldwide fish list to our sample to assess its representativeness. Overall, 15.1% of species in the sample were estimated to be
Rhino rays, such as guitarfishes, are increasingly targeted or retained as incidental catch and have become an economically important component in fisheries worldwide. Despite their importance, information about the catch and socioeconomics of these fisheries are virtually non-existent in West Africa. We address a significant knowledge gap about the characteristics and drivers of guitarfish fisheries in four key ray-fishing communities in the Western and Central Regions in Ghana. We conducted landing and market surveys of guitarfishes over 80 days from November 2020 to August 2021. We also interviewed 51 fishers actively involved in the guitarfish fishery across the four communities during this period using semi-structured interviews. The findings confirm the likely disappearance of sawfishes Pristis spp., as most fishers have not captured any in their lifetime. We also confirm no known catches of the African wedgefish Rhynchobatus luebberti. Our surveys documented 537 individuals from four guitarfish species across the various landing and market sites. The spineback guitarfish (Rhinobatos irvinei) was the most frequently landed species comprising 71 % (n = 383) of all guitarfishes, with 57 % of the specimens not yet sexually mature. Most fishers (71 %) stated that catches of the two larger guitarfishes (blackchin guitarfish Glaucostegus cemiculus and common guitarfish Rhinobatos rhinobatos) have declined by 80–90 % based on their recollection. At the same time, over half (59 %) of the fishers indicated that the catches of the smaller guitarfishes (spineback guitarfish and whitespotted guitarfish Rhinobatos albomaculatus) have declined by 40–60 %. The main drivers for the catch or retention of guitarfishes were for both international trade of their fins, and meat which are both traded locally (45 % of 51 fishers) and used as a source of food for local consumption (37 %). While we know high economic value drives the catch and trade of giant guitarfishes and wedgefishes, we show that this trade extends to the other guitarfish species. The interviews and contemporary pattern of catches are consistent with a serial depletion of rhino rays from the largest, most valuable species to the remaining smaller-bodied, less valuable guitarfishes. We recommend the development of national regulations for their protection complemented by education programs to ensure that fishers are aware of the threatened status of guitarfishes.
Species distribution models are valuable tools for conservation management. However, there remain challenges in developing and interpreting these models in the marine environment, such as the nature of the species used for the modelling process. When working with mobile species in dynamic environments, lack of observation is usually interpreted as an observation of absence, which can result in the introduction of biases by methodological (false) absences. Here, we explore the role of absences when modelling marine megafauna distributions. To better understand how the use of absences (or equivalent) affects the niche modelling algorithms, we used a set of 20 virtual species with different relations to the habitat (generalist static, specialist static, generalist dynamic and specialist dynamic) with different encounter rates. We tested six different modelling techniques divided into three distinct groups: presence-only, presence-background and presence-absence. We compared the outputs of the models using traditional validation metrics and overlap metrics in the geographical and environmental spaces. Algorithms characterized the ecological niche for the simulated species differently. Approaches using background data generally outperformed the other methods, suggesting that the non-observation of a species in a given location and time should not be considered as an absence. A very intense (practically unrealistic) sampling schema would be required to obtain a genuine unbiased absence when working with these species and habitats. For highly mobile species, a precautionary approach would be to consider the non-observation of a species as part of the background (a sample of the conditions available in the study area) rather than an absence. A good starting point would be to use presence-background models, complemented with presence-absence and/or presence-only models, comparing outputs from the different algorithms tested in the geographic and environmental space. Improving model performance for highly mobile marine species should lead to better-informed decision making for conservation.
As a key parameter in population genetics, relatedness has found wide applications in molecular ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation, forensics and in studies of human inheritable diseases. It is defined as the probability that two individuals share an allele due to recent common ancestry. Many estimators have been developed to estimate relatedness from genotype data. However, they are invariably biased when a sample is small or contains a high proportion of close relatives, because allele frequencies required for inferring relatedness are poorly estimated in both cases under the impracticable and yet indispensable assumption of a large sample of unrelated genotypes. In this study, I develop a likelihood method to estimate relatedness and allele frequencies jointly from a sample of multilocus genotypes. I propose an expectation maximization (EM) algorithm to update allele frequencies and the nine condensed identical by descent (IBD) coefficients (∆i,i=1,2,…,9$$ {\Delta }_i,i=1,2,\dots, 9 $$) of each pair of sampled individuals iteratively till convergence. Relatedness between and inbreeding coefficients of individuals is then calculated from the estimated nine IBD coefficients. The EM algorithm is also implemented in the reduced non‐inbreeding model (∆i≡0,i=1,2,…,6$$ {\Delta }_i\equiv 0,i=1,2,\dots, 6 $$) to estimate three condensed IBD coefficients (∆i,i=7,8,9$$ {\Delta }_i,i=7,8,9 $$) and relatedness. Using simulated and empirical data, I show that the new method is much less biased and more accurate than previous methods, providing almost unbiased relatedness and inbreeding estimates, when the sampled individuals are few or/and contain many close relatives. The EM algorithm for the likelihood estimator is fast enough to handle a sample with thousands of individuals and millions of markers, thanks to the parallelization using openMP and MPI. The method is implemented in a software package, EMIBD9, that runs on all major computer platforms. This study shows allele frequencies and relatedness, although highly correlated and difficult to disentangle from each other when the only information available is a sample of multilocus genotypes, can be estimated jointly from genotype data of diallelic and multiallelic markers in a likelihood framework. The new method and software are especially useful for analysing small samples (such as ancient samples from museums, or samples from endangered species) and samples with a strong genetic structure.
The level of detail on host communities needed to understand multihost parasite invasions is an unresolved issue in disease ecology. Coarse community metrics that ignore functional differences between hosts, such as host species richness, can be good predictors of invasion outcomes. Yet if host species vary in the extent to which they maintain and transmit infections, then explicitly accounting for those differences may be important. Through controlled mesocosm experiments and modeling, we show that interspecific differences between host species are important for community-wide infection dynamics of the multihost fungal parasite of amphibians (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]), but only up to a point. The most abundant host species in our system, fire salamander larvae (Salamandra salamandra), did not maintain or transmit infections. Rather, two less abundant "auxiliary" host species, Iberian tree frog (Hyla molleri) and spiny toad (Bufo spinosus) larvae, maintained and transmitted Bd. Frogs had the highest mean rates of Bd shedding, giving them the highest contributions to the basic reproduction number, R0. Toad contributions to R0 were substantial, however, and when examining community-level patterns of infection and transmission, the effects of frogs and toads were similar. Specifying more than just host species richness to distinguish salamanders from auxiliary host species was critical for predicting community-level Bd prevalence and transmission. Distinguishing frogs from toads, however, did not improve predictions. These findings demonstrate limitations to the importance of host species identities in multihost infection dynamics. Host species that exhibit different functional traits, such as susceptibility and infectiousness, may play similar epidemiological roles in the broader community.
Mountains are an essential component of the global life-support system. They are characterized by a rugged, heterogenous landscape with rapidly changing environmental conditions providing myriad ecological niches over relatively small spatial scales. Although montane species are well adapted to life at extremes, they are highly vulnerable to human derived ecosystem threats. Here we build on the manifesto ‘World Scientists' Warning to Humanity’, issued by the Alliance of World Scientists, to outline the major threats to mountain ecosystems. We highlight climate change as the greatest threat to mountain ecosystems, which are more impacted than their lowland counterparts. We further discuss the cascade of “knock-on” effects of climate change such as increased UV radiation, altered hydrological cycles, and altered pollution profiles; highlighting the biological and socio-economic consequences. Finally, we present how intensified use of mountains leads to overexploitation and abstraction of water, driving changes in carbon stock, reducing biodiversity, and impacting ecosystem functioning. These perturbations can provide opportunities for invasive species, parasites and pathogens to colonize these fragile habitats, driving further changes and losses of micro- and macro-biodiversity, as well further impacting ecosystem services. Ultimately, imbalances in the normal functioning of mountain ecosystems will lead to changes in vital biological, biochemical, and chemical processes, critically reducing ecosystem health with widespread repercussions for animal and human wellbeing. Developing tools in species/habitat conservation and future restoration is therefore essential if we are to effectively mitigate against the declining health of mountains.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is highlighted by conservation practitioners as an ongoing threat to many overharvested plant and animal species, including several charismatic threatened vertebrates. However, studies that provide evidence‐based and practical recommendations on how to better regulate the TCM trade for sustainability and biodiversity conservation remain limited. China is the biggest promotor of and market for TCM and understanding the TCM trade in China is important for global biodiversity conservation. In particular, conservation researchers need to better understand how the TCM trade and its regulations interact with China’s development needs, and should collaborate with TCM communities to propose locally‐adapted suggestions to decision‐makers. However, progress in these areas has been restricted by language, cultural, and knowledge barriers. In this paper, we provide an overview of the current status of TCM‐related regulations in China, identify weaknesses in regulation frameworks, and highlight issues that currently limit our understanding of the magnitude, dynamics, and impact of the trade. We propose changes in trade regulations, actions to enhance law enforcement, and future research directions to encourage a more sustainable TCM trade that benefits both global biodiversity conservation and TCM development.
The Caucasian grouse Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi, one of the most poorly known species of grouse, is experiencing population declines associated with multiple threats. Evaluating species' population status in relation to different local human activities is important to inform conservation and identify suitable management methods, but determining status and threats for poorly known taxa may require assessment of non‐standard sources of ecological information. We investigated what novel insights can be provided by local ecological knowledge (LEK) about population status and threats to the Caucasian grouse, in relation to the comparative status of other co‐occurring wildlife and to different local land‐use activities, and how data on local awareness and attitudes can guide conservation planning for this species. We conducted an interview survey in rural communities in the Arasbaran Biosphere Reserve (ABR), Iran, and collected LEK from 95 respondents within villages situated close to the locations of surviving and extirpated grouse populations. LEK is a useful tool for assessing the status of grouse populations: 41.1% of respondents recognized grouse and 30.5% had seen the species, and respondents within villages situated close to surviving grouse populations had greater awareness, sighting likelihood, and more recent sightings. More respondents considered that grouse and other galliforms had declined in comparison to other wildlife. Decline and disappearance of grouse populations is associated with alteration and disturbance of grouse habitat, with potential drivers including increased cattle grazing and local bans on harvesting fodder. These findings provide a new baseline to guide the development of suitable grassland management strategies (e.g. grazing regimes) for this species, and highlight the importance of further assessment of the effects of habitat disturbance on grouse survival, including understanding local histories of human–environmental interaction. Current landscape management methods are not supported by local people within the ABR, with most respondents disagreeing with the strict conservation measures currently in place, and we recommend that a new management system should be developed for Caucasian grouse conservation, including targeted conservation education and involving local community participation and co‐management. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.
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126 members
Patricia Brekke
  • Institute of Zoology
Chris Carbone
  • Institute of Zoology
James Hansford
  • Institute of Zoology
Andrew A Cunningham
  • Institute of Zoology
Nathalie Pettorelli
  • Institute of Zoology
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