Niko Balkenhol

Niko Balkenhol
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen | GAUG · Department of Wildlife Sciences

PhD

About

122
Publications
46,407
Reads
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3,965
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2011 - present
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Position
  • University of Göttingen
September 2009 - September 2011
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
August 2005 - May 2009
University of Idaho

Publications

Publications (122)
Poster
Full-text available
Context: Gaining Knowledge on survival rates, reproduction, habitat use and diseases is crucial in wildlife biology and management. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) for instance can be a vector of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) and large American liver fluke (Fascioloides magna) which also infect livestock. Aims:Thus it is important to understand pop...
Article
Full-text available
The lack of suitable nesting sites is one key driver behind the farmland bird crisis in Europe. Winter cereals become impenetrable for ground‐breeding birds like the Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), curtailing breeding time. Stable Skylark populations depend on multiple breeding attempts per year; thus, the widespread cultivation of winter cerea...
Article
Full-text available
Context Connectivity between habitat patches is a recognized conservation action to conserve biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. Resistance surfaces, a spatial representation of cost of movement across the landscape, are often the foundation for connectivity analyses but working with them can be daunting due to the diversity and complexity of...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluating translocation success is essential for wildlife management and conservation; short‐term success can be evaluated by analysing settlement behaviour after release. We analysed GPS collar data from 47 white (Ceratotherimum simum simum, Burchell, 1817) and 25 black (Diceros bicornis minor, Drummond, 1876) rhinoceros translocated to the Okava...
Article
Full-text available
Many large mammalian carnivores are facing population declines due to illegal killing (e.g., shooting) and habitat modification (e.g., livestock farming). Illegal killing occurs cryptically and hence is difficult to detect. However, reducing illegal killing requires a solid understanding of its magnitude and underlying drivers, while accounting for...
Article
Poaching is a global driver of wildlife population decline, including inside protected areas (PAs). Reducing poaching requires an understanding of its cryptic drivers and accurately quantifying poaching scales and intensity. There is little quantification of how poaching is affected by law enforcement intensity (e.g., ranger stations) versus econom...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Reduced food availability during chick raising is a major driver of farmland bird declines. For the Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis), food availability is determined by various factors (i.e., arthropod abundance/diversity, accessibility of the vegetation, distance to foraging sites). In modern farmland, it is supposed to decrease over th...
Chapter
Despite a developing understanding of how landscape level processes moderate biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functioning, key questions remain unresolved, therefore limiting our ability to manage for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functioning at the most appropriate scales. These questions have remained unanswered because studies in ag...
Article
Context. Large carnivores are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activities, and their protection is among the main goals of biodiversity conservation. The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits high-mountain landscapes where livestock depredation drives it into conflicts with local people and poses an obstacle for its conservation. Aims. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic influences such as deforestation, increased infrastructure, and general urbanization has led to a continuous loss in biodiversity. Amphibians are especially affected by these landscape changes. This study focuses on the population genetics of the endangered yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata) in the northern Weser Hills of Germany...
Article
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The study of animal–habitat interactions is of primary importance for the formulation of conservation recommendations. Flying, gliding, and climbing animals have the ability to exploit their habitat in a three-dimensional way, and the vertical canopy structure in forests plays an essential role for habitat suitability. Forest bats as flying mammals...
Article
Full-text available
Background Human disturbance alters animal movement globally and infrastructure, such as roads, can act as physical barriers that impact behaviour across multiple spatial scales. In ungulates, roads can particularly hamper key ecological processes such as dispersal and migration, which ensure functional connectivity among populations, and may be pa...
Conference Paper
Traditional land use practices have shaped European landscapes for millennia. Agricultural intensification and declining popularity of pastoral farming in the past century have resulted in a tremendous loss of extensively used open landscapes and associated biodiversity. Today, conservation management needs to prevent secondary succession of many o...
Article
Globally, forests are under pressure to cope with an increasing human demand for forest products, while the need to protect forest biota increases. Old-growth forests are reference systems for the study of natural structures and processes in forest ecosystems. Results from such studies can be used to derive management practices that support and eve...
Article
Full-text available
Species' ranges are changing at accelerating rates. Species distribution models (SDMs) are powerful tools that help rangers and decision‐makers prepare for reintroductions, range shifts, reductions and/or expansions by predicting habitat suitability across landscapes. Yet, range‐expanding or ‐shifting species in particular face other challenges tha...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape genetic analyses of wildlife populations can exclude variation in a broad suite of potential spatiotemporal correlates, including consideration of how such variation might have similarly influenced people over time. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) populations in what is now known as coastal British Columbia, Canada, provide an opportunity to...
Article
Full-text available
Revealing patterns of genetic diversity and barriers for gene flow are key points for successful conservation in endangered species. Methods based on molecular markers are also often used to delineate conservation units such as evolutionary significant units and management units. Here we combine phylo-geographic analyses (based on mt DNA) with popu...
Article
Full-text available
The squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) is a threatened, gliding marsupial that persists in fragmented landscapes despite its restricted capacity to cross large gaps. As measures to maintain and/or restore suitable habitat depend on knowledge about the species' ecological requirements, we investigated the area used by squirrel gliders in an urb...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Connectivity conservation is ideally based on empirical information on how landscape heterogeneity influences species-specific movement and gene flow. Here, we present the first large-scale evaluation of landscape impacts on genetic connectivity in the European wildcat (Felis silvestris), a flagship and umbrella species for connectivity conserv...
Article
Full-text available
The age at which individuals reproduce for the first time is a key demographic factor impacting population dynamics and is subject to substantial variation across animal populations. There is also widespread empirical evidence that age of first reproduction responds to changes in population density over time, especially for long‐lived birds and mam...
Article
Forest ecosystems are shaped by internal dynamics and external factors like forest management. A modified physical appearance of ecosystems may affect the short- and long-term provision of ecosystem goods and services (EG&S) from forests. Ecosystem functioning research provides powerful tools for both, the mechanistic description of ecosystem dynam...
Article
Maintaining or restoring connectivity among wildlife populations is a primary strategy to overcome the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation. Yet, current connectivity planning efforts typically assess landscape resistance, the ability of organisms to cross various biophysical elements in a landscape, while overlooking the various ways in which...
Article
Full-text available
Large ungulate populations around the world are declining, experience range loss or even go extinct. Ecological theory predicts that a species’ vulnerability is greater at the edges of its geographic range compared to its core. However, edge populations may still be successfully managed inside reserves when the drivers of declines are addressed wit...
Article
Full-text available
Article impact statement: Combining native and non‐native species to evaluate biodiversity is overly simplistic and may undermine the conservation of ecosystems.
Article
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Linear structures in winter cereals like tramlines are frequently used but high-risk nesting sites for Eurasian Skylarks when crop vegetation becomes impenetrable during May. However, their influence on nest-site selection before vegetation greatly limits choice is less studied. Between 2017 and 2019, we located 32 nests in winter cereals during th...
Article
Full-text available
There is a growing agreement that conservation needs to be proactive and pay increased attention to common species and to the threats they face. The blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) plays a key ecological role in sensitive high-altitude ecosystems of Central Asia and is among the main prey species for the globally vulnerable snow leopard (Panthera unci...
Article
Large ungulate populations around the world are declining, experience range loss or even go extinct. Ecological theory predicts that a species’ vulnerability is greater at the edges of its geographic range compared to its core. However, edge populations may still be successfully managed inside reserves when the drivers of declines are addressed wit...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change can have particularly severe consequences for high-elevation species that are well-adapted to long-lasting snow conditions within their habitats. One such species is the wolverine, Gulo gulo, with several studies showing a strong, year-round association of the species with the area defined by persistent spring snow cover. This biocli...
Article
Full-text available
Questions Conservation management of semi‐natural open habitats today has to compensate for the decline of traditional practices of agricultural land use. Can wild and free‐ranging ungulates, such as red deer, contribute to the preservation of characteristic open habitat plant communities? Location Grafenwöhr military training area, Germany. Meth...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial and foraging ecology of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) has been well recognized, however due to the distinct taxonomic position and geographic isolation of its Balkan population, it is important to learn and compare its ecology to other populations of this felid. Therefore, the paper offers the first ever investigation into the spatial and f...
Article
Full-text available
Red deer (Cervus elaphus) throughout central Europe are influenced by different anthropogenic activities including habitat fragmentation, selective hunting and translocations. This has substantial impacts on genetic diversity and the long-term conservation of local populations of this species. Here we use genetic samples from 480 red deer individua...
Article
Semi‐natural grasslands represent ecosystems with high biodiversity. Their conservation depends on the removal of biomass, for example, through grazing by livestock or wildlife. For this, spatially explicit information about grassland forage quantity and quality is a prerequisite for efficient management. The recent advancements of the Sentinel sat...
Article
Habitat selection of animals is influenced by spatial heterogeneity as well as temporal environmental dynamics. In addition, human activities potentially have severe influences on the habitat selection of animals, often resulting in more nocturnal behavior. We investigated seasonal and circadian habitat selection patterns of red deer (Cervus elaphu...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Habitat fragmentation is a primary driver of wildlife loss, and the establishment of biological corridors is a conservation strategy to mitigate this problem. Identifying areas with high potential functional connectivity typically relies on the assessment of landscape resistance to movement. Many modeling approaches exist to estimate r...
Article
Full-text available
Collisions of vehicles with wildlife pose a serious risk to humans and animals, causing great financial and ecological damage each year. While various mitigation measures have been developed, only a few are economically and logistically feasible. Among these, wildlife warning reflectors arguably enjoy the greatest popularity, although recent studie...
Article
Conservation genetics is a well‐established scientific field. However, limited information transfer between science and practice continues to hamper successful implementation of scientific knowledge in conservation practice and management. To mitigate this challenge, we have established a conservation genetics community, which entails an internatio...
Article
Full-text available
Satellite telemetry is an increasingly utilized technology in wildlife research, and current devices can track individual animal movements at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. However, as we enter the golden age of satellite telemetry, we need an in-depth understanding of the main technological, species-specific and environmental fact...
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Fix acquisition rate). (R)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the fix acquisition rate. (PDF)
Data
Tagged individuals per species. (PDF)
Data
Covariate partial effects on the variability of the Overall fix success rate. (PDF)
Data
Trends in observed data. (PDF)
Data
Global dataset for boosted beta regressions. (CSV)
Data
Description of data fields in S1 Data. (CSV)
Data
Satellite telemetry articles published. (PDF)
Data
Distribution of response variables and covariates. (PDF)
Data
Unit purchase and operation costs. (PDF)
Data
R-code for boosted beta regression (Overall fix success rate). (R)
Data
Standardized data collection questionnaire. (PDF)
Data
Satellite telemetry evaluations. (PDF)
Article
Maintaining semi‐natural open habitats requires biomass removal, which can be achieved by extensive grazing with livestock species. However, implementing this established conservation management strategy in large or access‐restricted areas is often not possible. We investigated grazing by wild and free‐ranging red deer Cervus elaphus as an alternat...
Article
Full-text available
Context Resistance-based connectivity models are widely used conservation tools for spatial prioritization and corridor planning, but there are no generally accepted methods and recommendations for validating whether these models accurately predict actual movement routes. Hence, despite growing interest and recognition of the importance of protecti...
Article
Rewilding is emerging as a major issue in conservation. However, there are currently a dozen definitions of rewilding that include Pleistocene rewilding, island rewilding, trophic rewilding, functional rewilding and passive rewilding, and these remain fuzzy, lack clarity and, hence, hinder scientific discourse. Based on current definitions, it is u...
Article
Full-text available
1.Illegal hunting of ungulates can reduce the prey base of carnivores, which can increase human‐carnivore conflict (HCC) through livestock depredation. However, the relationship between ungulate poaching, wild prey abundance and livestock depredation has rarely been empirically studied. 2.We surveyed 18 sites across the Hyrcanian forest in northern...
Data
simulations to show how the model performs on ring recovery data with known survival and recovery parameters
Conference Paper
To understand the space use of animals, researchers often use home range estimators as the analytical tool of choice. Since the very early days of home ranges it was recognized that the space use within a home range is heterogeneous. Core areas are commonly used to characterize the internal structure of a home range. Knowledge of the structure of h...
Article
----------- READ ARTICLE FOR FREE: https://rdcu.be/bfxpn ----------------- The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is a raptor species of conservation concern in Europe and especially in Germany, where about 50% of all breeding pairs are found. Agricultural intensification and deteriorating food availability, but also anthropogenic mortality due to poisoning...
Article
Full-text available
Land cover mapping can be seen as a key element to understand the spatial distribution of habitats and thus to sustainable management of natural resources. Multi-temporal remote sensing data are a valuable data source for land cover mapping. However, the increased amount of data requires effective machine learning algorithms and data compression ap...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat loss can lead to non-linear declines in species abundance once the amount of landscape-wide habitat is reduced to a critical value. Previous studies have suggested that such non-linear responses to landscape-wide habitat loss might also exist in genetic variation, and an in-depth understanding of non-linear habitat loss effects on all level...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities can affect the behavior and well-being of wildlife, and there is high potential for wildlife disturbance due to human outdoor recreation. Hiking is a popular form of outdoor recreation in many countries, including Germany. In this study, we investigate the effects of hiking and hiking trails on space-use dynamics in GPS-collared re...
Article
Maintaining connectivity among remaining natural areas has become increasingly important to ameliorate the negative effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on wildlife populations. Early corridor networks were based on structural connectivity (i.e. habitat structure) and designed to connect protected areas. In recent decades, many methods have be...
Article
Mapping semi-natural grassland has become increasingly important with regard to climate variability, invasive species, and the intensification of land use. At the same time, adequate field data collection is of pivotal importance for national and international reporting obligations, such as the European Habitats Directive. We present a remote-sensi...