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Conservation Ecology - Science topic

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I'm studying MSc Conservation Ecology and am interested primarily in carrion as an ephemeral resource and habitat fragmentation. My undergrad dissertation was a pitfall trap study looking at woodland patch size on Silphid abundance and species richness. These beetles obviously provide vital ecosystem services therefore I went for a non-lethal methodology. I understand that my data will be severely limited, but I just don't agree with lethal methods for these organisms. I'm interested in whether urban areas (matrix) is in any way hospitable to these beetles, but most of what I can conjure up revolves around trapping, e.g. pitfall traps in a gradient or carcass placement in buildings (experimental)--still requiring a kill and collect method. Put simply and generally, is there a way I could study Silphids (any beetles, say) without killing them? I'm aware you can employ camera traps for visitation and whatnot, but I think that only really works with pollinators. It's a shame as I really want to answer this research question of permeability in an urban setting, but I simply don't know how to acquire insect data any other way.
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Hello Taylor; Here is a sketch of a non-lethal pitfall trap. Choose whatever bait you like and put the bait in a screen cage within the pitfall. The beetles can't get at the bait and they can't get out. You may need to put some litter in the bottom so that if you have several beetles in the trap they don't attack each other. You are likely to get more diversity than your target species. Best of luck, Jim Des Lauriers
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This species has historically been known as Viola rafinesquii and considered an exotic species in North America, but recently changed names and status to a native in some literature.  As at TNCer, my ability to track down the rational for this change has been elusive (we're cheap as have access to low end literature resources!).  Can anyone help me track down the basis of that change?
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Hi John, have you been able to solve the problem? I am asking because I have been wondering about the same.
As far as I understand, Viola rafinesquii Greene is the correct name for this species, because the name V. bicolor Pursh (1814) is a younger homonym of V. bicolor Hoffman (1904): https://reader.digitale-sammlungen.de/de/fs1/object/display/bsb10927537_00248.html?zoom=0.6000000000000001&numScans=2
An account of this is given by Shinners (1961; https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/23306642.pdf), and I have seen no reasons why Hoffman's publication would be invalid. Rather curiously, V. bicolor Hoffman is not listed by IPNI (and according to Shinners also not in Index Kewensis), which might be the reason why the name V. bicolor Pursh is still erronously in use.
Viola rafinesquii is doubtless native in North America. Morphology, reproductive distinctiveness (Clausen et al. 1964; https://www.jstor.org/stable/23306571), and phylogenetic placement (Marcussen et al. 2015; ) all show it is quite separate from all Europan taxa.
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As a geographer/geomorphologist with interest in nature (karst) protection, I'm dealing with one Natura 2000 site in Croatia under heavy pollution pressure. It is a sinking river in contact karst area exposed to pollution from nearby dump site and sewerage - consequences: pollution of river (destruction of water fauna), its ponor and underground stream possibly up to the distant karst springs. One of the basic problems is in bad delineation of borders not including larger catchment area (small city, suburban area with important percentage of arable land - a lot of anthropogenic pressure) but only small part of river bed. So it is completely inefficient because it does not prevent or reduce the pressure on the protected water habitat of interest. Second problem is that most of Natura 2000 sites in Croatia are poorly managed or not managed at all (no management plans), with badly determined borders/areas drawn without enough scientific fundamentals so their efficiency is questionable in many cases.
I'm searching for any updates on this topic - newer articles with examples. I'm interested in various habitats, not only karst and water, but all good examples of bad decisions in delineating Natura sites and repercussions to habitats, flora & fauna.
Maybe we can start some collaboration in this topic...
Thank you.
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Hi.
In my opinion, Natura 2000 network has a great importance in the Canary Islands. There are some areas not protected by local laws in 1994 ("Red de Espacios Naturales de Canarias"), but they have been designed as Natura 2000 protected areas, so (at least for the moment) were saved from any important threat. In any case, it's true that some Natura 2000 protected sites are under different types of threats, like new tourist complexes in the surroundings, increasing human presence, alien predators of local fauna (mainly cats and rats), invasive alien plants, etc. One of the main problems in the management of such areas is the low degree of surveillance or wardening inside them, mainly in coastal sites (the situation is much better in the forests), as we have an important proportion of our territory under legal protection and is necessary to have more people working in the protected areas.
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Taxonomic bias in research papers is well established, but the underlying drivers are poorly understood. As professional scientists, we are under enormous pressure to publish, and the type of sophisticated research that appeals to the top journals often requires a well researched study system. This potentially limits research on understudied species. Moreover, limited resources mean that scientists study what is practically convenient rather than the species in most need of research. We are also motivated by personal biases, with many of us drawn to work on charismatic/iconic species.
We are currently constructing a conceptual model to better understand the drivers of taxonomic bias in conservation research, and I would love to hear about people's experiences of why they ended up working on a particular species.
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Back in 2000 I had voiced my opinion on the subject for an Eartwatch issue. I have attached it here. To tell you the truth, I am even more convinced today of what I said back then. Relating to your question - my answer is "convenience." The other problem is that today academia advocates teaching students to be robots - ask a question, go out there and the answer in order to get your degree. There is no real Naturalist's approach. Hence, natural history studies also suffer and it is impossible today to publish any such, in my eyes VERY important studies, without fancy fangled statistics. Sorry if I got carried away.
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This would be to quantify the value of some Canadian national parks for the communities living around them. A case study would be fine.
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Hi Benoit,  I'm not sure if your question refers to the benefits of national parks to humans living near them or to communities of organisms.   For humans, I think the literature is quite large and if you dig into you'll find what you're looking for.  IUCN worked issues similar to this in the past 
We developed a framework for considering the benefits of protected areas to locations outside of them, but in the context of migratory species.
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Based on continuous habitat suitability values (from 0 to 1) for a butterfly species, I'm comparing different conservation strategies, that would output different possible networks of protected areas.
Based on the assumption that suitable habitat will be destroyed in unprotected areas because of high anthropic pressures, I would like to calculate a connectivity index for remaining habitat patches, based on different conservation scenarios. This connectivity index should take into account the distances among remaining habitat patches, but also their habitat suitability values.
Does such an index exist? If so, how to compute it?
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a research projects that i am doing for my college so i need some more documents to strengthen my approaches.
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Hello,
Here are some references that may be of interest to you.  Some of them use university/college samples. If they do not interest you, perhaps their references will be useful...
Corner, A., Roberts, O., Chiari, S., Völler, S., Mayrhuber, E. S., Mandl, S., & Monson, K. (2015). How do young people engage with climate change? The role of knowledge, values, message framing, and trusted communicators. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(5), 523-534.
Milfont, T. L., & Duckitt, J. (2010). The environmental attitudes inventory: A valid and reliable measure to assess the structure of environmental attitudes. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30(1), 80-94.
Milfont, T. L., Richter, I., Sibley, C. G., Wilson, M. S., & Fischer, R. (2013). Environmental consequences of the desire to dominate and be superior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 0146167213490805
Phillips, M. C., Cinderich, A. B., Burrell, J. L., Ruper, J. L., Will, R. G., & Sheridan, S. C. (2015). The effect of climate change on natural disasters: a college student perspective. Weather, climate, and society, 7(1), 60-68.
Santos, P. T., Bacelar-Nicolau, P., Pardal, M. A., Bacelar-Nicolau, L., & Azeiteiro, U. M. (2016). Assessing student perceptions and comprehension of climate change in portuguese higher education institutions. In Implementing climate change adaptation in cities and communities (pp. 221-236). Springer International Publishing.
Thompson, S. C. G., & Barton, M. A. (1994). Ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes toward the environment. Journal of environmental Psychology, 14(2), 149-157.
Wachholz, S., Artz, N., & Chene, D. (2014). Warming to the idea: university students' knowledge and attitudes about climate change. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 15(2), 128-141.
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Unfortunately, this species is extinction due to the climate change. Please, kindly  follow the link:
 Extensive searches for the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rat-like animal, have failed to find a single specimen from its only known habitat on a sandy island in far northern Australia (AFP Photo/Sarah Lai)
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This is quite unfortunate situation that we are watching. One by one species are disappearing. We used to see house sparrow in each and every house in India. Credit goes to Cell towers, not a single sparrow is seen now-a-days. Seems the population is decreasing. In fact a pest eater and farmers friendly bird. Main problem is that their (animals) habitat is loosing because of urbanization and other effects of climate change. As mentioned by Krishnan in one of his answers "Urbanization presents opportunities and risks, as well as enormous challenges for maintain and improving human health and well being".
Interesting information to read
7 Species Hit Hard by Climate Change—Including One That's Already Extinct
Climate Change Impacts. Wildlife at Risk
One-fourth of the Earth's species could be headed for extinction by 2050 due to climate change.
Revealed: first mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change
Mankind just killed off its first species of mammal because of climate change
By 2050, up to 37 per cent of the world’s species could become committed to extinction due to climate change
Accelerating extinction risk from climate change. Mark C. Urban.
Many plants facing extinction due to climate change and rising temperatures
Effects of Climate Change | Threats | WWF
Where have the sparrows gone?
Extinction risk from global warming
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hi all, i would like to ask about the main principal different on conducting research in coniferous broadleaved forest and tropical forest? as we know that species regeneration in tropic is quite faster than subtropic, every life form, life stage are considered to be measured. 
if i do research in dynamic plot of coniferous broadleaved forest, what is the important thing which really should be considered for research on diversity? I am tropical man, please kindly explain it ~ thank you
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Dina, you have to phrase your  Question more precisely. Broad-leaf versus coniferous? Or mixed coniferous/broad-leaf? Evergreen or deciduous broad-leaf. And not associate climate ("subtropical") with life form. 
Once clarified the above we may address the diversity.
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Species conservation
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Dear Frances
You could do:
  • a Rapid Assessment of Biodiversity of the area to detect threatened species
  • a Rapid Assesment of Invasive Species (IS)
  • Evaluation of the impacts: fragmentation, contamination, invasive sp., and causes.
  • Strategic plan
  • Action plan: including habitat restoration and  control, and  eradication of IS, etc., You need take accound if is necesary, species  reintroduction or translocation.
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What are the most appropriate baselines for determining
the magnitude and direction of ecological
changes.
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"Baseline" simply means a starting point, so the most appropriate baseline depends on what you are measuring and why. I suggest you look at Krebs "Ecological Methodology" (1999), and Quinn & Keough (2002) "Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists" Look specifically at the chapters on repeated measures and power estimation (although power estimation has been criticised as being over-used). There are a variety of approaches to measuring change, such as Before-After-Control-Impact studies, or establishing a baseline using multivariate techniques based either on the variation within a number of initial sample sites, or the variation within the first few repeated samples. Anderson and Thompson 2004 describe Multivariate control charts for detecting the magnitude of change beyond the initial variation, although that doesn't describe the direction of change. I recommend you read Anderson's other work as well, as she addressed many of the statistical issues around detecting change.
For direction of change, it depends on whether you are tracking multiple or single variables. For multiple variables, the direction of change will be probably best shown by the shift of the sites along one or more axes of a multivariate plot over time. For univariate, it will be the slope (or shape) of the regression over time.
As with all studies, the selection of sites, the sample size and sampling strategy are all crucial. I've had to reject papers that have attempted to measure change over several years, simply because the initial sample design was so weak that the results were meaningless. Make sure that heterogeneity and other variables outside the scope of your study are accounted for.
See Mentis and Stalmans 1993 for an example of setting baselines, determining sample size and detecting change in grasslands.
Anderson MJ and Thompson AA. 2004. Multivariate control charts for ecological and environmental monitoring. Ecological Applications 14(6): 1921–1935.
Stalmans M and Mentis MT. 1993. Development of monitoring procedures for the herbaceous layer on the Northeastern Transvaal escarpment. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 10(3): 129–134.
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I have collected species data using sample plot of 400m2 (20 x 20 m). I am intended to analyse species distribution patterns as a function of topographic variables (TWI, curvature, slope, convergence index). I have a 2m DEM of the study area. Do I need to re-sample DEM to 20 or 30 before deriving the topographic variables or I shall take mean values calculated at 2m.
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Dear All, Thanks for your comments.
I found deriving the variables first, and then downgrade to the plot resolution more suitable and representative of the topography. 
Regards, 
Sawaid
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I am currently trying to find method that is suitable to be used to measure the nesting of a black naped monarch bird. It would be great if anyone can recommend to me suitable method for it. Thank you in advance.
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Thank you very much Mr. Abhishek
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I am generating data on the initial dispersal (compass) bearings taken by just-emerged hatchling turtles. Typically, each nest (and the total dataset for the year) yields several different bearings that would benefit by descriptors such as whether or not these vectors were randomly distributed and what the mean vector was. I know there are software packages out there that can be used for this, but I am without institutional funds and would like to keep things simple, if possible. I would like opinions as to whether less rigorous, but still accurate descriptions would pass peer review: For example, "hatchlings generally dispersed in a northeasterly direction (88.3% of dispersals within this quadrant, n = 64), a course which led directly to the nearest waterway."
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To answer with the opposite of what you asked for: programs like ORIANA and R package circular are built to handle such circular data, in addition the R package movMF allows you to fit von Mises Fisher distributions to circular data. However, I strongly agree with you that a simple description like "hatchlings generally dispersed in a northeasterly direction (88.3% of dispersals within this quadrant, n = 64)" is far more useful than looking at parameter estimates from fitted models!
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Considering the threat of extinction from interbreeding, inbreeding, cross breeding as well as the introduction of genetically and productively superior animals in line with the low input production systems in the developing world.
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It is true that uncontrolled introduction of exotic breeds and indiscriminate crossbreeding with local breeds may jeopardize the adaptability trait of the local breeds. Other significant risks and dangers facing conservation of local breeds can be signified by climate risk factors such as droughts and desertification that lead to shrinkage of pasture and overgrazing. Conservation for indigenous livestock breeds can be achieved through in-situ efforts exemplified by breeding stations which represent the focal points for conservation and sustainable use for so many gene pools from the national herd of any country. But the most important effort in this type of conservation is usually achieved by traditional communities who have conserved their genetic resource over centuries by traditional means. Ex-situ conservation is another type encompasses gene banks and public and private institutions.
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Dear Researchers and Academics;
I work on the 100% renewable power Global Grid subjects. I am interested in the locations of very large and large renewable power plants.
During my research, I define and describe the importance of the soil conservation regions, water conservation regions and forest conservations regions. These regions have to be untouchable (no settlement, no concrete, no metal, etc.; soil conservation only for agriculture, water conservation only for clean fresh water, forest conservation only for forests). These regions should be large and very large sites.
I thought and assumed that the international governing bodies (e.g. the United Nations) had already worked on these topics, defined, decided, and published a Global Soil Conservation Map (worldwide protected sites)‏, a Global Water Conservation Map‏ (protected lakes, rivers, underground water, etc.)  and a Global Forest Conservation Map (protected forests) for large protected areas agreed upon and published by international consensus (like by the United Nations).
All authorities (regional, national, international) have to obey the borders of these defined and published large protected areas.
I could not find any official map (a map for soil, a map for water, a map for forest) yet.
Can you please send me a Global Soil Conservation Map‏, a Global Water Conservation Map‏ and a Global Forest Conservation Map, if there is one for Global Soil Conservation‏, one for Global Water Conservation and one for Global Forest Conservation.
If there are GIS files for these maps in some formats such as for Google Earth, ESRI ArcGIS, they will be very useful for my research.
I would like to thank all of you who contribute to this question in advance.
Best Regards
Burak Omer Saracoglu
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Hi Burak,
you might find activities of ISRIC - World Soil Information of your interest. Especially their data can be useful for your research (global 1km soil grid, etc.)
Regards
Lukas
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What passive (preferred) or active control techniques are there to control a large invasive alien arboreal day gecko (Phelsuma grandis – reaching 30 cm or 12 inches long) in a semi-natural habitat, without negatively impacting smaller endemic arboreal Phelsuma geckos (half its size)? Are there any size selective traps or models someone may have tested and found useful in this kind of situation?
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A funnel trap modified for arboreal use would probably be a good bet.  Both species will be captured live and you can release the natives.  Good luck! -Alex
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Leg rings won't work as they usually sit on the water, so does any one have another technique? 
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That is tricky. Collars are an option. I know of someone banding American coots in Mexico and Europe with neck collars. The only option I can think of is something that is done with particular species of ducks where they have bill plates (but again that might be problematic with the public).
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Hi, 
I have been using the IUCN website (http://www.iucnredlist.org/) recently and they claim to be the largest conservation organisation in the world. Does anyone have any idea as to their effectiveness?
Aside, does anyone have any ideas as to the appropriateness of the Red List Categories (EX, CR, VU, etc.) and their respective criteria? If anyone has any ideas for any additional criteria or any alterations they feel appropriate, I would be very interested to know. 
Thank you for the help in advance! 
Matthew
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The IUCN critera and categories are well established and useful to enable us to compare within and between all groups of living beings, but for plants the criteria have proved to be of limited application as more often than not the information available regarding populations, generation time etc. are lacking, so we use herbarium specimens by proxy. Taylor, working in Brazilian Cacti (in Taylor & Zappi 2004) looked into Farjon & Page (1999), working in Gymnosperms, and attempted to give weights to different characteristics, such as Phylogenetic distinction (PD), Ecological Importance (EI), Genetic Diversity (GD). The formula used IUCN categories of threat x (PD scores + EI scores + GD scores). It was quite an interesting exercise, trying to refine further the IUCN categories, looking to prioritize species conservation. However, it is only as good as the data we have in hand!
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I need to create a simple map. However, I have been unable to find something simple, and hopefully free (it should have layers such as roads and protected areas). I have tried some applications such as map box and google map creator, but they are full of unnecessary layers. If you could suggest a mapping utility to create simple maps it will be greatly appreciated.
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QGIS is the best option.. lots of tutorials available in web..
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I am trying to compare the species composition between two of my sites, and have read up some similarity/dissimilarity indices. Because my data also contained abundance information, I thought of using the Bray-Curtis measure. I tried reading more about it and have found some sites interchanging 'Bray-Curtis Similarity Index', 'Sorensen Distance' and 'Bray-Curtis Distance' (suggesting that they are the same thing), whereas others have stated that these are different measures. Could anyone explain the difference or suggest a good reading? 
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Hello Zu Dienle Tan,
The Bray-Curtis and Sorensen indices are very similar. The difference, as you say, is that the Bray-Curtis index is based on abundance data, while the Sorensen index is based on presence/absence data. Both indices have similarity and dissimilarity (or distance) versions. 
Dissimilarity = 1 - Similarity 
Both indices take values from zero to one. In a similarity index, a value of 1 means that the two communities you are comparing share all their species, while a value of 0 means they share none. In a dissimilarity index the interpretation is the opposite: 1 means that the communities are totally different. 
Distance and dissimilarity are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the Wikipedia page of the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bray%E2%80%93Curtis_dissimilarity) says that it is incorrect to call it a distance, since it doesn't satisfy the triangle inequality (the sum of the lengths of two sides of a triangle is always greater than the length of the third side). That is, the sum of the dissimilarities between communities A and B and communities A and C is not necessarily greater than between communities B and C.
For more information, you can check:
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Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (SWR) (305 sqkm) of Western Nepal, as a part of Terai Arc Landscape, the global priority tiger conservation landscape, has a significant role in tiger conservation. But the reserve also gets immense pressure of cattle grazing (nearly 20,000 livestock enter SWR daily) from nearby village which is affecting the potential of reserve as tiger habitat. Most of the cattle are unproductive. In many cases local also don't want to keep these unproductive cattle but nobody would buy it. In Nepal cow is regarded as holy animal and killing is not allowed. With no option, they free their animals which ultimately goes into Wildlife Reserve. The cattle population is increasing as unwanted breeding continues during free grazing. In this scenario how could we reduce cattle grazing pressure in SWR? Is there any successful examples from others protected areas?
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I'm not sure if this is feasible but supplemental feeding (hay or other) of domestic ungulates is an option that is sometimes used in the US where there are wolves (similarly, water is sometimes provided to allow livestock to temporarily persist in an area where they otherwise could not in order to get them farther away from, for example, a denning wolf pack).  These can both very labor intensive and very costly but can help to solve immediate problems.   Long term solutions sometimes require changing land use patterns and that is very difficult if there is not social / community support. 
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The plant being studied is a small, annual, endangered lupine (wildflower; forb). Although seeds are dehissed from pods they do not travel very far. Would using just one slope with multiple replicates of a treatment on that one slope be considered psuedoreplication if they are distant enough and they have different microhabitat conditions?
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I'm guessing that by 'slope' you are talking about an experimental site that is on the slope of a hill?  In that case, what I'm envisioning is that you have an area in which you are running the experiment and in this area you have a number of plants, each of which is assigned to a treatment.  What are you measuring?  That can make a difference as to the independence of the replicates.
In general though, here's my answer.  Having just one experimental site is fine; many field studies do so, and virtually all laboratory studies do (i.e. they are all done in one lab).  That means your data has limits; it only absolutely applies to the site at which and time during which the experiment was conducted.  However, we generally infer that if it happens on one slope or lab, a similar pattern will occur at the next.  So, if I understand the design aright, you will not be pseudoreplicating.
This is provided that 1) the treatments are randomly distributed within the experimental area (this helps to avoid bias) and 2) as you've implied, the replicates are distributed far enough apart that they won't interfere with each other.  How far is far enough will depend on the biology of the system and on the measurements you're making. You'll have to make that determination based on what you know about the biology of the plants, what you're measuring, and what other studies have done. 
What would be pseudoreplcation would be having sub-blocks on the slope (e.g., high and low elevation), or having multiple slopes (several experimental areas) and then treating each of the plants within each of those blocks/slopes as independent of each other.  In that case you'd need another factor in your model; either elevation or slope. 
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Migration, poaching and overuse for direct or indirect consumption threaten biodiversity and ecosystems that the scientific community must preserve. I decided to introduce my undergraduate students to these areas of research in their final year project, to foster future ecologists but for 7years, I have been facing a fierce opposition from colleagues who brazenly discourage my students in their endeavours and external examiners who downgrade their reports on the basis that there was no wet lab component in their conservation investigations.
I am exasperated and now forced to quit such an exciting area of research in a part of the world where ECOLOGY is gradually relegated to the background.
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Dear Andrey, Danilo, Faraz, Abhijit, Milton, Truman, Rafael
Thank you all very much for your contributions.  I had wondered if it was necessary to share my fears and worries with another audience before taking a major decision. I am very glad I did because I now understand that my approach to conservation science is in tune with that of many biologists. The discipline is very much alive and has a great future although it is not a common ground for all.
Sure I will not give up, I can't quit because I am not understood, I will continue sowing these seeds in future generation scientists and hopefully someday, I will have a nest of researchers, with more practical perspectives to conservation biology/ecology.
Thank you again
Aline
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In May 1974, only 4 individuals including a single breeding female were left in the wild.
With an extensive breeding programme, the species was saved from the brink of extinction.
But what concern me the most is their genetic pool; having a single breeding female will this not increase the probability of expression of recessive alleles leading to complication or even death in the future. Resulting in a decrease in kestrel population.
I want to know if my thinking is right and your point of view on this matter.
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I do not think that the 'fitness' oi the surviving individuals is the issue; the hidden deleterious recessive are (and the general lack of heterozygosity).  I agree that inbreeding depression has a tendency to be transient, and that if humans help the population through these 'purging' generations, the species may come out alright with respect to inbreeding depression (although it will still be generally monomorphic).
An additional positive factor: the Mauritian falcon population has probably always been relatively small (a top predator on a small island), and may already have done some of this purging naturally. And as for a lack of heterozygosity, cheetahs have been essentially monomorphic for something like 10,000 years, and were doing just fine until moderns humans started killing them and destroying their habitat over the last couple hundred years.
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The government of Mauritius has decided to have a culling of our endemic fruit bat Pteropus niger based on the ground that the population is exploding and that they are acting as a pest, devastating fruit trees. This decision goes against all scientific studies carried out in Mauritius. The culling has already started and they have killed thousands of bats so far. Despite online petitions sent to the government, the decision was not re-considered.
Does anyone know a strategy that might help protect this important species?
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Unfortunately, this sounds more like a political rather than a scientific question. Politicians oblivious to science (something we in the US are coming to know all too much about) can do a great deal of harm, and there are limits to what can be done if there's no local political backlash against the policy. Appeals from international conservation organizations may have some effect, but their pleas are likely to be ignored if there's a strong local constituency in favor of culling. 
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RAN, INEGI or other data representing distribution of private property parcels and federal property (not protected areas) in SE Mexico.
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hi
yes why not
Hossam
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Dear colleagues, 
I was reading the paper "Integrated biomarker response: a useful tool for ecological risk assessement", by Beliaeff et al 2002, and I was trying out the computations as in the example (Computation of IBR at station W3 (Warnemunde Estuary) in March 1995, p1318) and there's one thing I couldn't quite follow.
When the authors write about the minimum value (Min) for all stations and/or surveys for each biomarker, I would think the minimum value (that later on we add to Z to calculate the score S) would be obtained directly from the original dataset (not shown in the article), but what I don't understand is how the Min values are below zero for biomarker levels. I mean, measured enzyme activities are always above zero.
Therefore my questions are: i) how is it we obtain the Min value? or iii) are the minimum values relative values, such as a fold-change in enzyme activity?
In addition, when we have to place a + or - sign in Z (showing upregulation or downregulation in biomarker levels), does that correspond to what is expected in theory or to what was actually observed in the data?
Thanks a lot.
Kind regards
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I can send you reference of more two papers where some details are available in the supplementary data. Hope that works. If not you can just contact Nuno Ferreira (the first author) and ask him for details.
Susana
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How can we quantify ecosystems health? What are the criteria to be consider for us to say that a certain ecosystem is healthy?
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Personally I would avoid using the term "ecosystem health".  It's one of those phrases that is used without any real thought as to what it means, and once you start pulling it apart means nothing at all.  Any ecosystem that supports its component species could be considered "healthy". but that would include ecosystems that appear very degraded from a human perspective, e.g. a highly eutrophic lake.  It's much better to think in terms of ecosystem functions, flows of energy and nutrients, presence of native species and their interactions, etc.  
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I am trying to determine the season of occupation of archaeological sites in the Port Clarence area of the Seward Peninsula, AK. The majority of bones are from eiders and ringed seals, suggesting that they were captured during the early breakup in ice leads, but I have not been able to find modern eider migration/nesting data from this specific portion of the Seward Peninsula. I would like to determine the earliest month different eider species are found near the coastline, if they nest in the immediate area, and when they leave the nest and return to the open ocean.
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Hello Stephanie,
I don't know the answer to this specific question, but I can point you to some sources likely to either have the information in them, or contain references to search further.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Subsistence has over 400 reports online about uses of fish and wildlife in Alaska.  Google the website and use the search function to narrow down reports for Port Clarence area (Teller, Brevig Mission, and further to include Wales, Nome, Shishmaref and Deering).  You might also look at the annual reports in the Subsistence Division technical report series dealing with annual household surveys of migratory waterfowl harvests.  Those reports may have references to waterfowl biology that address your question, and to TEK about seasonality.
Work by Henry Huntington and others looked at TEK for belugas in eastern Norton Sound....not your species of concern and east of Port Clarence, but again, may have references that are more on target with your question. 
Huntington, Henry P. and the communities of Buckland, Elim, Koyuk, Point Lay, and Shaktoolik
1999 Traditional Knowledge of the Ecology of Beluga Whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the Eastern Chukchi and Northern Bering Seas, Alaska. Arctic 52(1):49-61.
Another recent publication that might be of interest and have relevant data or references:
Mason, Owen K., Matthew L. Ganley, Mary Ann Sweeney, Claire Alix and Valerie Barber
2007 An Ipiutak Outlier: A 1,500 Year Old Qarigi at Qitchauvik on the Golovnin Lagoon. Final Report on the Golovin Heritage Field School, 1998-2000. NPS Technical Report Number NPS/AR/CRR/2007-67. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Alaska Region, Shared Beringian Heritage Program, Anchorage, AK.
Finally, you might want to contact Madonna Moss and look at her blog about faunal analysis.  Madonna is at University of Oregon, Eugene, and has a faunal reference collection.  mmoss@uoregon.edu
Moss, Madonna L. and Peter M. Bowers
2007 Migratory Bird Harvest in Northwestern Alaska: A Zooarchaeological Analysis of Ipiutak and Thule Occupations from the Deering Archaeological District. Arctic Anthropology 44(1):37-50.
What is the Port Clarence project you are working on?  I know BLM and other agencies have been looking at the beach ridges out there since the USCG abandoned the LORAN site several years ago.  Please let me know if any of these leads help you.  Would enjoy seeing any of the reports that come out of your work....we strive to stay on top of the research going on in Alaska.
Cheers, Richard
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Hi
I'm plan a new study that will focus on Eliomys melanurus community. I'm aware for two sample methods. the first one is to use Sherman traps and the second is to use IR camera. Do you have other ideas how to sampling population size of this extremely rare species?
Many thanks
Guy
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Because you are dealing with an extremely rare species I would recommend non-invasive sampling techniques like DNA from hair of feces. Once you have a working sampling design it will be easy to do a CMR analysis.
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I'm talking about the whole range from basic understanding of conservation status and occurrence to mechanisms by which drivers of decline operate.
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Francesco, that is true, but I'm looking for a very general discussion of the issue, one that is applicable across taxa.
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The question: Does anybody know scientific papers, measures or medicaments against the avian influenza H5N1 as reason for the death during March 2015 of more than 140 Dalmatian pelicans in Srebarna nature reserve (Bulgaria) and Danube Delta (Romania)?           Additional explanation: On 25 March 2015 21 Dalmatian pelicans from Srebarna nature reserve were found dead in the breeding colony. An avian influenza H5N1 was proved for two of them. Several days later over 100 Dalmatian pelicans from Danube Delta in Romania were found dead. Nobody knows what to do! It is not known if the arriving Great White Pelicans will be affected also. The problem is of great importance and urgency.
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You can find some information on WAHID Interface (http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Wahidhome/Home):
Here is what they document on the outbreak in Romania: "On 25 March, the County Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Directorate (CSVFSD) of Tulcea was notified by the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Administration (ARBDD) about the identification of 64 carcasses of pelicans in an inhabited area, on Ceaplace island, Sinoe lake. This area is located at the border of Tulcea and Constanta Counties, and no other localities with domestic birds are found on a radius more than 10 km. The entire population of pelicans counted initially more than 250 birds, adults and young. Excluding the dead pelicans (found in different stages of putrefaction), no other birds were observed with clinical signs in the area. Also, in the area were observed other birds species, still unspecified."
And about the outbreak in Bulagaria: "Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) real-time PCR positive for HPAI subtype H5N1 was found dead on 22 January in Poda protected area. The samples will be tested for confirmation by inoculation of chicken embryos. The pelican was found dead together with a black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in the framework of the passive surveillance under the national avian influenza surveillance and control program approved by European Commission. The black-headed gull was tested with negative result for avian influenza."
Measures applied: 
- Control of wildlife reservoirs
- Screening
- Zoning
- Vaccination prohibited
- No treatment of affected animals
There is actually not much that you can do when wild birds are affected. You can only try to prevent transmission to other birds, and especially try to protect domestic poultry flocks by increasing biosecurity measures.
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I have a large set of habitat polygons (over 10,000) between which I wish to calculate least-cost distances and cumulative costs for a subset of polygon pairs (nearest edge to nearest edge), using a series of pre-existing resistance/cost rasters. The size of my datasets mean this is something I'd like to script in R or Python, but so far surprisingly the best option I've found (the gdistance R package) only allows calculation of least-cost paths between points, not polygons.
Is anyone aware of an R package or Python module which allows for least-cost calculations between polygons, or an alternative approach I could use to achieve similar results?
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Hi Robbi,
There are tool boxes in QGIS and ARCGIS that do this automatically. Try Patch analyst also.
Best,
Guy
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I'm studying the habitat preferences of European woodpecker species in riparian forests with high densities of the above mentioned two invasive tree species. I'm interested in every aspects of community ecology of these species.
Thank you!
All the best,
Gábor Ónodi
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There is book on vegetation communities of the Oder River valley ca 854 km by Władysław Danielewicz, PhD titled: Ekologiczne uwarunkowania zasięgu drzew i krzewów na aluwialnych obszarach doliny Odry.  River In English: Ecological determinants of distribution of trees and shrubs in the Odra river valley. The employed in this book has high resolution since it is based on transects set every few hudred meters along the whole river course and and many fitosociological relevés done in place.  He's done hudge work indeed. The species of your interest are quite invasive in Poland, especially A.negundo  and it is prolified in river valleys. You could contact dr W.Danielewicz at danw@up.poznan.pl. He is researcher from Poznan University of Life Sciences. Unfortunatelly the book is in Polish. Maybe he has published the data in English or can make it avilable for you.
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I came across figures of number of elephants in 2007 and 2012. The Indian government's official figures are 669 (2007) to 21908 (2012).
Is it possible? what kind of factors might be affecting?? and effect of such sudden change on environment?
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Even if one of the two estimates contains an order of magnitude error by a numerical typo (e.g. 6690 instead of 669; or 2198 instead of 21908), reproduction cannot  let numbers triple over 5 years. Not in a large mammal anyhow. Doubling over one and a half decade would be the maximum, from experience and a back-of-the-envelop-calculation.
That leaves mobility as explanation; either the elephant largely left your area of interest (or its non-forested portion) during the first estimate or congregated there while the second census was going on. Such one of more orders of magnitude differences in counted numbers between years, season or daytime (see Tanzania articles in profile) are common in Africa for elephant and other large, gregarious, migrating mammals (e.g. zebra, wildebeest, springbok).
In my elephant articles (profile) you find two migratory patterns that lead to orders of magnitude in numbers between two counts for East Africa; the difference in Namibia and Botswana between counts are probably even larger, depending on season and daytime as well as census method.
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Focus on: criteria for selection, establishment, conservation, management and  monitoring
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Dear Louhaichi,
You can surf Journal of Arid Environmental (http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-arid-environments/). There you'll find papers a lot about conservation in that arid habitats. Good luck.
Best regards.
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Indeed, I would like to conduct a study on the analysis of the reliability of ape populations (Bonobo) and the probability of extinction over a defined time interval. This study is in order to improve protection strategies for this iconic and endangered species in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a demographic study with statistics, but a good read enable me to clearly define my question. Thank you for your recommendations
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Morris and Doak 2002 "Quantitative Conservation Biology" is a good intro to pop. viability analysis, goes through non-demographic and deterministic models through demographic and environmental stochastic PVA's, and comes with Matlab scripts you can get started with.
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Replantation succees is investigated through the measurement (height,diameter) of mangrove seedling/sapling/adult and the analysis of mangrove sediment as well as the environmental factors.
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Dear
Mangroves re-plantation success depends on many factors
  • Elevation of the re-plantation site
  • Salinity variation of the site
  • Fresh water input rate from other sources
  • Physical damage and other factors
  • Reference sites and history of the re-planting sites
  • Normal hydrology (depth, duration, frequency of inundation)
  • Natural disasters (sudden floods, drought)
Those are the main factors that contribute the success story of the replanted mangroves. Choice of species selection is very crucial. This could be done from the history of the proposed planting sites.
Species selection is an important task and it needs to have mixture of species rather than a single species. Mixture of species can selected from the historical evidences, which may more suitable. Single species may not be successful in most of the cases. Single species is more vulnerable to natural disasters. The success rate of mangrove re-plantation was 1.52% in India in 1988.  
Please see my profile. It has some inputs that may help you.
Best of luck.
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I recently work on the diet analyses for woodland migrants. I found couple of spring-like and brown or pinkish structures from bird fecal samples. It feels like rock or iron when I try to break it. Does anybody know what they are? Thanks in advance!
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They resemble some sort of pupae a little like #3. Cant really see the ends in the photo. Were you able to break them?
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I wonder how a carrying capacity in a vehicle overcrowded protected area could be developed. It is for a dry mediterranean peninsula under high seasonal touristic pressure. As it is a protected area (Natura 2000 site), how to develop a CC that will include not only parking places but the ecological impact?
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Hi Martina,
I may be wrong, but are you using "carry capacity" in the sense of "tourist density?" This being the case, then your question is really about how much human impact -- in the form of visiting tourists and their cars -- the protected area can sustain before negative effects occur for the ecosystem.  If I've got this right, you might consider a couple of approaches.  
One is to measure impacts in terms of established ecosystem metrics, such as plant cover, plant diversity or presence/absence of sensitive (i.e., indicator) species.  A second approach might be to develop metrics that were specific to your concerns and that directly addressed tourist impacts. For example, you might measure soil compaction (from visitor traffic), litter density (trash particles/m2) or perhaps noise levels (from people and cars) in heavily impacted vs. lightly-impacted sites and establish criterion for "acceptable" vs. "unacceptable" impacts.  Of course, establishing good management policy would likely involve a a combination of both approaches.
Hope this helps somewhat.  Good luck with your project.
-Todd
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Which of the Natura 2000 habitats are more sensitive to global climate change impacts?
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Hello Maia,
Generally, in Europe  the locality with water deficit are more sensitive …, and in tropics, extreme temperature caused a dramatic in coral reef growth
for exemple,
OLE P. OSTERMANN 2008. The need for management of nature conservation sites designated under Natura 2000. ...Out of the 198 listed habitat types of the Habitats Directive, 28 (14%) could be threatened by the abandonment of low-intensity agricultural practices.
Osvaldo E. SALA, et al. Global Biodiversity Scenarios for the Year 2100. Science 287
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I am proposing a study along similar lines, and so was wondering how often would I have to re-new the scents with fresh scent?
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We had good success with both of the scents we tried: catnip and men's obsession.....yes, the cologne for humans!!  (as far as I know ours is the only paper that compares this scent to other attractors, however they are many anecdotal notes in popular media about the use of this scent for cat surveys).   You can find the paper here in researchgate:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229980652_HairTrap_Efficacy_for_Detecting_Mammalian_Carnivores_in_the_Tropics?ev=prf_pub
We were using nail and velcro carpet squares.  We would put the scent on the carpet surface and leave those in place for long periods of time (access to the transects was very difficult).   So, we did not replenish at all and still had good results.   To me it was amazing that after a couple of months the obsession carpets still had some smell detectable by us!!   But as you can read in this paper we found no differences between these two scents.
I agree that cats get likely attracted to this as a "novelty" scent in their territories.  It would be interesting to find out if any other men commercial fragance also draws them.  I also assume they might lose interest over time.   So, instead of scent renewing I would suggest putting a new set of hair-traps (parallel locations maybe?) with different scents.  But then you face the issue of comparability and replication.
I will go against constant visits to a hair trap station as every visit will bring human odor to the site.  Aversion to the scent can be very strong and this might be the reason cats stop using heavily a station.   Most people do not take great care to handle and set up these stations.   I have even seen people smoking while preparing these hair traps!!!  You should wear gloves while building them, use an odor remover and pack them in thick zipper bags.  In the field we de-scent (commercial product used by hunters), use rubber boots, cotton gloves and only ONE person sets the station.   Need to have the mindset of a trapper.  If you know a person with those skills get some advice from them.   Hope this helps.
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Dear Colleagues
What is the sex ratio in carabids?
As you all know pitfall trapping gives a bias estimate of abundance due to various reasons. Therefore higher abundance of males or females in the trap does not have to relate to their abundance. Do you know sex ratio of ground beetle populations obtained with more reliable methods than Barbet traps? Do you have some unpublished data on this topic?
With kind regards
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Hi Marcin
We did some hand sampling in alluvial areas of Aare and Bünz. At each site we have cought Carabids in fourty parcels three time periods spring, summer, late summer, 20 minutes per parcel and time period.  See below the pooled species and the sex ratios. I will not test it yet but I guess the results endorse your 1:1 sex ratio for most species and the total too.
 
 
 
Art (lateinisch)
Male
Female
Acupalpus meridianus
1
2
Agonum micans 
6
8
Agonum muelleri 
12
19
Agonum sexpunctatum 
 
1
Agonum viduum 
2
4
Amara aenea 
12
15
Amara familiaris
 
1
Amara ovata 
5
5
Amara schimperi 
4
2
Amara similata 
3
1
Anchomenus dorsalis 
4
6
Anisodactylus signatus
3
1
Anisodactylus signatus 
4
3
Asaphidion pallipes
1
1
Badister lacertosus
 
1
Bembidion articulatum 
 
2
Bembidion ascendens 
7
20
Bembidion atrocaeruleum 
78
63
Bembidion decoratum 
1
1
Bembidion decorum 
52
46
Bembidion fasciolatum 
14
21
Bembidion femoratum 
46
44
Bembidion genei illigeri 
1
 
Bembidion lampros
3
2
Bembidion milleri 
 
1
Bembidion prasinum 
12
6
Bembidion properans  
9
5
Bembidion pseudascendens 
9
12
Bembidion punctulatum 
22
19
Bembidion pygmaeum 
1
 
Bembidion quadrimaculatum 
1
1
Bembidion schueppeli 
1
 
Bembidion semipunctatum 
1
2
Bembidion testaceum 
31
25
Bembidion tetracolum 
47
63
Bembidion tibiale 
1
 
Bembidion varicolor 
5
3
Brachinus explodens 
3
 
Bradycellus verbasci
 
1
Carabus granulatus 
 
1
Chlaenius tibialis 
8
7
Chlaenius vestitus 
4
5
Clivina collaris 
9
5
Clivina fossor 
2
2
Demetrias monostigma 
1
 
Diachromus germanus 
9
10
Elaphrus aureus
 
3
Harpalus affinis 
35
24
Harpalus distinguendus 
14
8
Harpalus luteicornis
 
1
Harpalus progrediens
1
 
Harpalus rubripes    
3
3
Harpalus rufipes 
4
8
Harpalus signaticornis 
1
1
Lionychus quadrillum 
41
42
Loricera pilicornis
4
2
Nebria brevicollis 
2
6
Nebria picicornis 
1
5
Notiophilus palustris
1
1
Oodes helopioides
 
1
Ophonus ardosiacus
3
2
Ophonus azureus 
9
6
Ophonus puncticeps
2
 
Oxypselaphus obscurus
1
 
Panagaeus cruxmajor 
2
2
Paranchus albipes 
30
25
Parophonus maculicornis
1
 
Patrobus atrorufus 
2
2
Platynus assimilis 
4
3
Poecilus cupreus 
8
13
Pterostichus anthracinus 
1
1
Pterostichus melanarius
1
1
Pterostichus nigrita
 
1
Pterostichus vernalis 
 
1
Stenolophus teutonus
8
8
T. parvula
4
4
Tachys bistriatus 
1
 
Tachys micros 
4
4
Tachyura quadrisignata 
59
67
Tachyura sexstriata
3
3
Thalassophilus longicornis
1
 
Trechus obtusus 
1
2
Trechus quadristriatus 
2
2
Trechus secalis 
1
2
Total
690
691
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Is anyone currently examining stream grazer foraging strategies in terms of how they partition periphytic resources?
In particular, are there any trait-based models (or ideas) out there predicting how stream grazers will forage across larger scales (e.g. meters)?
There is the classic Steinman model of small-scale (micrometer) utilization based on periphytic structure, but I'm trying to think "big" here.
I welcome people's thoughts & ideas.
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Check out the publications in the Researchgate profile of Jan J. Verspoor. He looked at salmon interactions with stream periphyton at  watershed scales - might be some useful resources in his work.
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I am planning to prepare fact sheets and quizzes for secondary school and pre-university students in order to promote awareness of environment education in regard to climate and conservation.
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Dear All
Thanks. Will digest, screen and create class based  Demo for one hour. Schools and Pre University  colleges are enthusiastic but preoccupied with stereotyped syllabus. I will be satisfied if an awareness is planted wherever necessary and fill up the gap where awareness is visible. 
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I'm actually doing a project on the distribution and diet of the African Common toad and for this I'm going to measure the population density of arthropods as possible food preferences using pit fall trap with antifreeze.
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In ethylene glycol between 5 and 9 days in my experience - it depends on the temperature.
The propylene glycol is better and is low toxic.
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Laurans et al. (2013) have found that there is little documentation on the actual use of monetary valuation of ecosystem services in practice (policy, planning).
Do you know of documented cases where valuation made a difference, in the sense that it convinced policy makers and planners to conserve an area?
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Hi Mattias, 
I do not know any particular case where the monetary valuation entails a difference for conserving an area. But I can contribute to the discussion broadening it beyond monetary valuation. There are few studies that analyze the role of ecosystem services (besides the monetary valuation) in decision-making processes. And they show that there is a gap between science and policy. See for example:
Ruckelshaus, M., et al., Notes from the field: Lessons learned from using ecosystem service approaches to inform realworld decisions, Ecological Economics (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.07.009 
Sitas N., Prozesky H. E; Esler K.J. and Reyers B. 2014. Exploring the gap between ecosystem service research and management in development planning. Sustainability, 6, doi:10.3390/su6063802 
Some of the reasons for this gap are the lack of strong interdisciplinary integration in ecosystem service science and limited collaboration between scientists and decision makers. 
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I'm planning to start a new biodiversity conservation project based on citizen science in Sri Lanka. I don't seem to find any local bodies providing small grants for research like this. I would much appreciate if anyone could suggest a potential opportunity to me.
Thanks.
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The best source for grant opportunity is found at the following website: Terra Viva Grants. You'll get a full list and deadlines of a bunch of them... Good luck.
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In ecology and conservation biology  identifying keystone species and quantify their population is very important. Even, the study of their role in the habitats to maintain overall niche interaction is very imperative for species level conservation program. is their any standard tools for quantifying their population and role within a forest ecosystem?
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Hi Koushir,
As Nishith pointed out, a simple estimation of IVI could solve your problem since it involves abundance and also biomass, so, at the end you will rank the tree species according to their "volume" in your forest. Then, several options could work to make this more complex, depending on what do you want (or what do people in your location take care about this particular forest). the first thing i think are native (endemic) species, the most rare and also the most used; you seek for keystone species, but kestone species are, in certain way, circumpstantial, and could be justified from very different contexts
As source of fruits and flowers, some trees are the main support of nutritional resources for several species (particularly in summer), as well, structurally complex trees (taller and sinuous trunks for example), would provide microhabitats and support for more species (epifitic plants) A count of inter-specific interactions could help here, also the "volume of resource" in terms of flowers, nectar, fruitsetc...). this is particurarly important if there are animals (in some IUCN risk-category) that only fed certain tree resource.
Functional traits are also a way to characterize the variability of niches that are included in thelocal  tree-community, the idea is to conserve species from all the identifyed functional groups (nitrogen-fixers, pollinator refugee, gap-pioneers, ec...)
Finally, species with local antropogenic uses are important just for that, and they have the unique value that people already knows them and are prone to help in their conservation. A popular "good-feeling" with some tree species of the forest could be exploited "politically" for the managment and conservation of that ecosystem.
At the end, good keystone species are those that allows you to negotiate economic resources for conservation and management actions, in most cases the ecological value of the species talk by itself, but not always.
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Does anyone have experience with (standard) frameworks for evaluation of effectiveness of nature conservation projects versus multiple (ecologic, social) goals?
Thanks
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Hi there, good question, as evaluation of conservation projects is not a straightforward subject!  A project can be evaluated relatively simply based on the goal(s) it started with, although that's not straightforward if it had multiple social and environmental aims (these often do not covary - as shown by https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233909495_How_national_context_project_design_and_local_community_characteristics_influence_success_in_community-based_conservation_projects) .  And/or it can be evaluated according to external standards of how projects should be designed, and what they should achieve. (i.e. process and outcome) It may help to consider whose views count or are most important to you - the people affected by the project, the funders... other external actors like conservation professionals...?  
There's lots of interesting and relevant publications out there.   I suggest http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.98553.x/pdf  provides some interesting thoughts and is a good starting point.  If the projects to be evaluated are participatory, this paper provides some interesting thoughts about if/how to include the perspectives of these stakeholders http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800912000791 It can get complicated! But whatever method and critieria you choose, just be transparent about what criteria you chose, and why. 
Good luck - I'll be interested to know what choices you make!
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It is always hard to find habitability percentage for the land birds ( Black winged stilt, Oriental Pratincole, etc) as their babies soon after hatching leave the nests. How to find this in such an area where we cannot put cameras due to human interference? And specially if their nests are on small islands, and in large numbers, and even walking on that island can cause considerable damage to birds and can attract predators.
According to various papers and nest monitoring guidelines we should not visit nests too often and should wait for minimum 3 days to visit that place again. So in presence of all these problems how to get an accurate hatchability percentage for those birds?
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Building on what Fernando suggested, you will probably want to use Program MARK to analyze nest success. It shouldn't be a problem to have incomplete data for this - I think that's very common for nest success/ hatchability analyses, as these same limitations often apply. An older methodology that you might also look into is Mayfield nest success.
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I'm especially interested on the effects of forest fragmentation and patch size on forest dwelling species such as Platystictidae species.
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MONTEIRO-JÚNIOR, C.S. ; Juen, L. ; HAMADA, N. . Effects of urbanization on stream habitats and associated adult dragonfly and damselfly communities in central Brazilian Amazonia. Landscape and Urban Planning, v. 127, p. 28-40, 2014.
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If an area is invaded by alien plant species, for the conservation purpose of a native plant species within that area. Would it be wise to remove all the alien species? Is there any possible interaction that makes the native plant species adapt to the alien plant species?
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The first thing to be determined is whether the alien species are really 'invasive'. It is difficult to determine it at an early stage, especially for the tree species in a forest ecosystem.
Removal of the invasive herbs and shrubs as well as the seedlings and saplings of the tree species could definitely be an option. At the same time, it is to be kept in mind that usually the alien species utilize those ecosystem resources which have not been utilized by the native species. Thus they build their own niche and get an edge over the native species.
The removal of these species will obviousy result into soil degradation which will facilitate the spatio-temporal expansion of the alien species at a faster rate thereby aggrevating the problem. Control burning could be one option as practised in different parts of the world. Implementing suitable agro-forestry techniques would be helpful to restore the degraded soil.
As far as adaptation is concerned, it may occur only when genetic changes will take place in the native species. Hence, ex-situ conservation of the native species at the initial stage followed by their proper re-introduction at a rate higher than the rate of invasion could help to check the problem.
Till now, there is no evidence at least where the native species adapted fast enough to outcompete the growth and spatio-temporal eapansion of the alien invasive species.
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We are evaluating the effect of tropical dry forest successional stages on water fluxes including water quality. Most of the literature comes from temperate forest and there is a lack of comprehensive information about tropical dry forest.
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Dear Julio, a very good question. I know there is no such data for the Pacific Islands or Australia.
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I am working on some plant species from high altitude Himalayan region. I have done soil moisture content test, organic carbon, nitrogen test for those plants. I think there is a relation between organic carbon, nitrogen and different forest type. How to measure the aspect value?
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This will take a few days, but I will send the papers, definitely
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Thousands of tourists go to protected areas. Many of them move from one area to another and use the same backpacks, raincoats, boots, pants. .. even without cleaning them enough. What mechanism or substance can be used to clean the visitors without damaging the elements that they carry... but reducing human-mediated risk dispersal?
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Thak all. I appreciate your words.
We have protected areas where thousands of people get into, almost at the same time.
Only for an apart zone we can do control (se attachment) but only for quitridiomicosis..
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Since in a multi use MPA, zoning of activities is done, socio- economic factors are taken into consideration, how would this be approached on a terrestrial area.
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The zoning approach in terrsetrial areas has a long tradition (longer than in MPAs), zee for instance reports of IUCN or national states on National P:arks and other large nature reserves.
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Ecosystem services::: hidden cost benefit analysis
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For Carbon storage if you mean CO2 sequestered there is a standard cost per unit weight that is fixed by world bank for carbon credits. For oxygen generation i dont think we have such formulla. However Raj is right if it can be measured we can value it. soil moisture retention capacity can have a value both positive and negative depending on wher it is ?
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Ecosystem services approach is an applied branch of Ecology. The field to assess and investigate the benefits people obtains from ecosystems/natural resources, the trends under direct human induced threats, global change and natural hazards. To know the kinds and status of these services, regulation limitations/threats and effective mitigation measures for conservation has become prime important. I need to know approaches, research methods, and articles about "Ecosystem services of National Parks under current climate change scenario".
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Hello Arshad,
Try Badola, et al. It is an assessment of ecosystem services in Corbett Tiger Reserve (national park). Perhaps you will find some information there. Good luck to you.
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The Dutch part of the North Sea is predominantly sandy or muddy and its benthic life consists of animal species adapted to these sediments. Life on and around shipwrecks shows a strong contrast because it is made up of species preferring hard substratum. Consequently, wreck fauna adds significantly to the total biodiversity. Moreover, it contains several higher taxa such as sponges, hydroids, sea anemones, bryozoans and nudibranchs, which are hardly represented on sandy and muddy substrates. Also the fish community seems to be enriched as we encounter high numbers of fish like Gadoids swimming close to wrecks, a phenomenon well known to the sport-fishing community. Not surprisingly, wrecks have been compared to ‘oases in a desert’.
However, wrecks are considered artificial substrates and as such do not gain much protection in frameworks such as the European Habitat Directive, which often focus on more ‘natural’ communities. We may ask ourselves whether this is correct: next to the added value in terms of biodiversity, the biological communities of wrecks and other hard-substrate objects such as oil rigs resemble communities that have been present in the past such as oyster banks and exposed peat (‘moorlog’). These substrata have almost disappeared during the last century probably due to anthropogenic activities.
What is the ecological relevance of life on and around shipwrecks in your country?
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Dear Godfried. In Portugal, especially in the Azores, artificial reefs either shipwrecks or others, are divided into two main groups: archaeological parks and artificial wrecks. Both are monitored also for biodiversity and ecological successions and atract an increased interest from both the scientific community and tourism operators. In my personal oppinion and experience I generally favour artificial reefs and structures especially when over sandy/muddy bottoms since they give us a chance to accompany ecological successions as in no other way they can be done. Presently, I've almost completed a paper dealing with the biodiversity associated to Azorean marinas and a another one dealing with a similar study that I did with co-authors in an offshore oil platform off S Brazil is accepted. Please find attached the 'popular' version of the latter (sorry its in Portuguese).
I totally disagree with the "political correct"m somehow electoralist and turned towards non-professional, albeit eventually well intentioned, ONG's that press politicians towards a false idea of something "pristine" while forgeting that underwater environments are full of extraordinary biodiversity sites based on wrecks and artificial reefs (e.g. Austrália, Mediterranean, Caribbean, etc...).
The EU Habitat Directive is getting, in my oppinion more and more politicized and less scientific. I'm affraid they pay much more attention to some kind of "surrealistic Garden of Eden" than to biology and ecology in particular.
Many thanks for your important and extremely usefull question and further discussion in this fórum.
Best regards,
JP
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The rich biodiversity hotspots
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Dear Shrishail
Take a look at our site for an overview of one very important site in Europe (the Azores): http://www.gba.uac.pt/
Best regards,
JP
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I am currently looking into circuit theory resistance modelling (http://goo.gl/fPOSVw) as an alternative to least-cost path approaches for modelling ecological connectivity throughout a major surface water network in Australia.
The Circuitscape (http://www.circuitscape.org/) software package seems to do everything I would like to do, but ideally I would prefer to conduct my analyses completely within the R environment. The "commuteDistance" function within the "gdistance" R package (http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/gdistance/) comes close, but seems to only support resistance modelling between points/nodes, rather than two-dimensional patches/polygons as is possible in Circuitscape.
Is anyone aware of an R package which allows for circuit theory resistance distance modelling between patches, or an alternative approach I could use to achieve similar results?
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From my understanding it's pretty easy to call Circuitscape from R. All you need to do is create the .ini files and then call cs_run.exe, which is located in the installation directory. We do that in Python, and I know others (Bill Peterman, who is in the Circuitscape user group comes to mind) do it using R. Note that we will be releasing a completely overhauled version (4.0) in the next 2 weeks (there's a beta version on GitHub if you want to see it sooner) that runs about 2.5 times faster and solves grids that are 4-5x larger. Hope this helps.
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We are trying to make cost-efficient management of Danish Natura-2000 areas, also aiming at making nature less fragmented and thus more viable. We consider combining clusters of small occurrences of rich fens, spring-areas, acid grassland etc. with non-nature in to single management units in order to attain minimum grazing pastures of 30-40 hectares (smaller areas are not profitable by cattle owners). At the same time discard small isolated occurrences of nature as these often put restrains on the cultivation of the surrounding farmland, f. ex. amount of fertilizers allowed. Information on practical experience or guidance to relevant literature will be much appreciated.
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In the context of sustainable development of entire social-ecological systems, to me an adaptive approach still provides a fundamental framework for the implementation and adaptation of land management and polices over time as more information is collected. A crucial issue then could be developing landscape planning (e.g., restoration) that might accommodate for surprises and for variation of land-use pattern as humans will change land-use, and especially land management, to adjust to climate change. In this respect, new conceptual frameworks for the design of landscape sustainability are emerging to establish how landscape condition can be made sustainable in face of unpredictable disturbance and change (e.g., Olsson et al., 2004; Folke et al., 2005; Musacchio, 2009; Opdam et al., 2009; Ostrom, 2009; Benayas and Bullock 2012; Zurlini et al., 2013; Jones et al., 2013).
Strategies to this end could involve the design and management of landscape elements and structure to create less contagious and more heterogeneous rural landscapes enhancing biodiversity-oriented connectivity. In this respect, smallholder farming systems are crucial for rural sustainability. This can imply the strategic placement of managed and semi-natural ecosystems in landscapes to reduce stress intensity, so the services of natural ecosystems (e.g., commodities, water availability, pollination, reduced land erosion, soil formation) can be even enhanced (Jones et al., 2013). Land separation and land sharing are examples of such strategies (Benayas and Bullock, 2012). The first involves restoring or creating non-farmland habitat in agricultural landscapes through, for example, woodlands, natural grasslands, hedgerows, wetlands, and meadows on arable lands (Benayas and Bullock, 2012), or riparian habitats (Jones et al., 2010) to benefit wildlife and specific services. Land sharing involves the adoption of biodiversity-based agricultural practices, learning from traditional farming practices, transformation of conventional agriculture into organic agriculture and of „„simple‟‟ crops and pastures into agro-forestry systems. Some existing smallholder farming systems already have high water-, nutrient-, and energy-use efficiencies and conserve resources and biodiversity without losing yield (Kiers et al., 2008).
A key aspect is to implement monitoring programs to evolve iteratively as new information emerges and research and managing questions change. This helps evaluate how environmental targets and ecosystem services respond to specific landscape pattern designs, and whether or not certain landscape patterns at multiple scales result in synergies and trade-offs among different types of ecosystem services. In a nutshell, learning from what we are doing and from what we have already done.
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Most forests in Poland belong to one public company called 'National Forests'. Because the National Forests manage an area of ca. 30% of the country it has relatively good economic results, but the opinions about how this situation influences the conservation of forests ecosystems are divided. Some ecologists are convinced that is easier to influence the environmental strategy of one public enterprise. On the other hand, the Polish government plans the privatization of National Forests and dividing it property among many private owners. Now in Poland there is a debate about future of National Forests. What is your opinion and could you give some examples about research that support some of the parties to the dispute.
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”belong to one public company called 'National Forests'”
Here is the same kind of situation: ”RomSilva” National Forestry Company is managing most of the forested areas. After privatizing some forests, on huge areas the forests were cleaned (totally) due to the lack of proper control of the activities (up to the privatization the control was performed by the employes of the state company, but after privatization most of the employees from the respective zones were fired...).
Actually, in case of the forests is somehow the same rule as in case of aquariums: large ones are easier to manage in order to have a properly balanced system on long-term...
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Can anyone suggest publications that examine synergies, differences, successes and failures in conservation programs on land and aquatic?
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Ecosystems map
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Mass change change life
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The Queensland government is proposing to introduce new laws to "streamline and simplify the legislation that manages the harvesting and clearing of Queensland’s native plants under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, while improving conservation outcomes."
I am very concerned that if the laws have their intended impact of reducing clearing permits and flora surveys by 97% and saving industry $50 million per year will lead to significantly reduced protection of both plant and animal biodiversity in Queensland in direct contradiction to the government's claim to "improve conservation outcomes."
The whole reform rests on highly flawed risk analysis which takes only confirmed point records of threatened (endangered and vulnerable) flora species since 1990 and adds a small buffer then makes these areas "high risk" all areas containing no data are by default considered "low risk" so native vegetation that is not considered to be an endangered regional ecosystem can be cleared without a permit within two months of downloading the risk map as long as the person clearing the vegetation has no knowledge that threatened flora is present.
So much data is missing from the database that areas in Western Queensland can clearly be seen to have numerous records of threatened flora along roads and no data in adjacent private properties that are likely to also contain threatened flora. Of the state 97% of all private land not containing endangered regional ecosystems is now able to be cleared as long as it is not marked as a white dot on this map: http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/licences-permits/plants-animals/documents/flora-survey-trigger-map.pdf
We are still discovering on average 50 new flora species each year in Queensland and most surveys turn up new records of threatened flora while other species remain not listed as threatened even though they are known only from the type locality or have not been recorded in the wild for several decades.
Additionally the cumulative impacts flowing from increased native vegetation clearing is likely to directly impact threatened fauna through loss of habitat.
Is this a serious misuse of conservation planning and risk management principles that will increase species extinctions?
and here:
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Twenty nine new vascular plant species were named last year and a additional species including both vascular and non vascular plants were discovered and not formally named. http://www.qld.gov.au/environment/plants-animals/plants/new-plants/
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I am looking for a free tool to use in ArcGis or a stand alone app that will calculate measures of habitat connectivity in a fragmented landscape. The project aims to use connectivity calculations to inform optimal ecological corridor design.
A number of tools are listed on this webpage though I am not familiar with any of them: http://www.conservationcorridor.org/corridor-toolbox/
Any advice on a nice efficient tool to use would be greatly appreciated.
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This is just to add an important point to the comment by Paola, which otherwise I agree with, and to complement previous contributions to this question.
Conefor is not based in Euclidean distances but open to any form of distance measure that may be relevant in each particular application, such as effective distances from least-cost paths, effective resistances from circuit theory or others (for example, even genetic distances could be used). To see the variety of distance measures that have been used with Conefor you can have a look at http://www.conefor.org/applications.html.
Assuming that, among all possible options, you may want to use the popular least-cost effective distances for a given species, some of the many examples of Conefor being used with such effective distances can be found in the following publications:
- Trainor, A.M., Walters, J.R., Urban, D.L., Moody, A. 2013. Evaluating the effectiveness of a Safe Harbor Program for connecting wildlife populations. Animal Conservation. doi: 10.1111/acv.12035.
- Decout, S., Manel, S., Miaud, C., Luque, S. 2012. Integrative approach for landscape-based graph connectivity analysis: a case study with the common frog (Rana temporaria) in human-dominated landscapes. Landscape Ecology 27: 267-279.
- Carranza, M.L., D'Alessandro, E., Saura, S., Loy, A. 2012. Connectivity providers for semi-aquatic vertebrates: the case of the endangered otter in Italy. Landscape Ecology 27: 281-290.
- Gurrutxaga, M., Rubio, L., Saura S. 2011. Key connectors in protected area networks and the impact of highways: a transnational case study from the Cantabrian Range to the Western Alps. Landscape and Urban Planning 101: 310-320.
- Fu, W., Liu, S., DeGloria, S.D., Dong, S., Beazley, R. 2010. Characterizing the "fragmentation-barrier" effect of road networks on landscape connectivity: a case study in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. Landscape and Urban Planning 83: 91-103.
In many cases you would use Conefor in combination with other software tools that calculate such least-cost effective distances or some other form of distance. The Conefor Inputs extension for ArcGIS only calculates Euclidean distances, but this not the only option and of course is not always the best option. Some of the other software packages or GIS extensions that calculate these effective distances (or resistances) in a format that can be readily used as an input for Conefor are the following (this is not an exhaustive list):
Conefor will not calculate any type of distance among patches for you (you will have to do this externally to Conefor), but can take any type of distance among patches as an input and calculate the habitat connectivity in the landscape, its changes, and the individual elements (patches or linkages) that most contribute to conserve connectivity (or that would contribute most to restore it).
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Conservation of biodiversity.
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This is a complex question and the answer depends on your study system !
Apart from your own answer, there is also the case when we (human) extirpated natural predators and we now have overabundance of prey that reduce vegetal diversity.