Michael Evans

Michael Evans
Chesapeake Conservancy

PhD University of Connecticut

About

24
Publications
3,254
Reads
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146
Citations
Introduction
I am the Senior Conservation Data Scientist at the Conservation Innovation Center at the Chesapeake Conservancy. My background is in wildlife biology, having studied the space use and movements of black bears and mountain lions. Now, I work with spatial, remote sensing, and ecological data to develop tools and approaches to better conserve imperiled species.

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
1. The puma Puma concolor is the fourth largest wild felid and the most widespread native terrestrial mammal of the Americas. We synthesised published literature documenting the biotic interactions of pumas, in order to: 1) advance our understanding of the ecological roles pumas play in natural systems, and 2) support strategic decision-making abou...
Article
Full-text available
Addressing the biodiversity crisis will mean developing and adopting new resources and methods that effectively improve public conservation efforts. Technologies have a long track record of increasing the efficiency of carrying out time-consuming tasks or even making new feats possible, and if applied thoughtfully, can serve as a key means of stren...
Preprint
Addressing the biodiversity crisis will mean developing and adopting new resources and methods that effectively improve public conservation efforts. Technologies have a long track record of increasing the efficiency of carrying out time-consuming tasks or even making new feats possible, and if applied thoughtfully, can serve as a key means of stren...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental laws need sound data to protect species and ecosystems. In 1996, a proliferation of mountaintop removal coal mines in a region home to over 50 federally protected species was approved under the Endangered Species Act. Although this type of mining can degrade terrestrial and aquatic habitats, the available data and tools limited the ab...
Preprint
We have an unprecedented ability to map the Earth’s surface as deep learning technologies are applied to an abundance of high-frequency Earth observation data. Simple, free, and effective methods are needed to enable a variety of stakeholders to use these tools to improve scientific knowledge and decision making. Here we present a trained U-Net mod...
Article
Full-text available
A significant limitation in biodiversity conservation has been the effective implementation of laws and regulations that protect species’ habitats from degradation. Flexible, efficient, and effective monitoring and enforcement methods are needed to help conservation policies realize their full benefit. As remote sensing data become more numerous an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Environmental laws need sound data to protect species and ecosystems. In 1996, a proliferation of mountaintop removal coal mines in a region home to over 50 federally protected species was approved under the Endangered Species Act. Although this type of mining can degrade terrestrial and aquatic habitats, the available data and tools limited the ab...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing biodiversity, and solutions to reduce carbon emissions are needed to conserve species. Renewable energies are a prominent means to achieve this goal, but the potential for direct harm to wildlife has raised concerns as these technologies proliferate. To protect biodiversity, approaches that facil...
Preprint
Full-text available
We have an unprecedented ability to analyze and map the Earth's surface, as deep learning technologies are applied to an abundance of Earth observation systems collecting images of the planet daily. In order to realize the potential of these data to improve conservation outcomes, simple, free, and effective methods are needed to enable a wide varie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recovering species is one of the main goals of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the face of limited budgets, diverse tools are needed to find efficient solutions. Recovery units may be one such tool -designated portions of a species range that must be recovered individually before an entire species can be considered recovered. Recovery units al...
Article
Full-text available
To stem the ongoing loss of biodiversity, conservation practitioners must distinguish between effective and ineffective approaches for protecting species habitats. Using Google Earth Engine and 31 years of Landsat images, we quantified changes in the habitats of 24 vertebrates listed under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) and on the Internationa...
Article
Full-text available
To protect biodiversity, conservation laws should be evaluated and improved using data. We provide a comprehensive assessment of how a key provision of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) is implemented: consultation to ensure federal actions do not jeopardize the existence of listed species. Data from all 24,893 consultations recorded by the Nat...
Article
Full-text available
The ecology of wildlife living in proximity to humans often differs from that in more natural places. Animals may perceive anthropogenic features and people as threats, exhibiting avoidance behavior, or may acclimate to human activities. As development expands globally, changes in the ecology of species in response to human phenomena may determine...
Preprint
Full-text available
A significant limitation in biodiversity conservation has been the effective implementation of laws and regulations that protect species habitats from degradation. Flexible, efficient, and effective monitoring and enforcement methods are needed to help conservation policies realize their full benefit. As remote sensing data become more numerous and...
Preprint
Full-text available
To stem the ongoing loss of biodiversity, there is an urgent need to distinguish effective and ineffective approaches to protecting species and their habitats. Conservation laws may be strong on paper but ineffective in practice, or vary in effectiveness across different contexts, such as different land ownership and management settings. Using Goog...
Preprint
Full-text available
A BSTRACT Data on the implementation of laws and policies are essential to the evaluation and improvement of governance. For conservation laws like the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), such data can inform actions that may determine the persistence or extinction of species. A central but controversial part of the ESA is section 7, which requires...
Article
1.Remote cameras have become a promising, cost‐effective tool for monitoring wildlife populations. Yet, for species where individuals are indistinguishable, remote cameras’ ability to provide robust and precise density estimates has been limited without the use of invasive marking. 2.Using the American black bear as a model species, we evaluated me...
Article
Full-text available
Patterns of human development are shifting from concentrated housing toward sprawled housing intermixed with natural land cover, and wildlife species increasingly persist in close proximity to housing, roads, and other anthropogenic features. These associations can alter population dynamics and evolutionary trajectories. Large carnivores increasing...
Article
Housing development is often intermixed within natural land cover, creating coupled human-natural systems that benefit some species, while eliminating critical habitat for others. As carnivore populations recover and expand in North America, understanding how populations may recolonize human-dominated landscapes is an important goal for conservatio...
Article
Full-text available
Global patterns of human land use have shifted towards increasingly sprawled development intermixed with natural land cover, creating coupled human and natural systems. To understand how these patterns may affect the persistence of wildlife populations, I studied changes in American black bear (Ursus americanus) population density, dispersal, movem...
Article
The distribution and arrangement of habitats and human use areas are important to understanding where and why conflicts with wildlife occur; such data may inform proactive management activities to minimize conflicts. Black bear (Ursus americanus) abundance and the number of human-black bear conflicts are increasing in the northeast United States, p...
Article
Full-text available
Recruits of the Caribbean scleractinian coral Porites astreoides and the octocoral Briareum asbestinum were established on artificial substrata and reared on a reef in cages designed to exclude various classes of organisms known to feed on corals. Post-settlement survivorship of recruits was measured for periods of 2 weeks (B. asbestinum) and 1 mon...

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