• Chemical signals of age, sex and identity in black rhinoceros

      Linklater, W. L.; Mayer, K.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2013)
      Olfactory communication may be particularly important to black rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis, because they are solitary living and have comparatively poor eyesight but their populations are structured by inter-and intrasexual relationships. Understanding olfactory functions and processes might achieve better conservation management but their study in rhinoceros remains anecdotal or descriptive….
    • Does forest management and researchers’ presence reduce hunting and forest exploitation by local communities in Tsitongambarika, south-east Madagascar?

      Campera, Marco; Phelps, Megan; Besnard, Fiona; Balestri, Michela; Eppley, Timothy M.; Nijman, Vincent; Donati, Giuseppe (2019)
      Hunting of wildlife is one of the major threats to biodiversity. For effective conservation programmes in countries where hunting and shifting agriculture are the main sources of subsistence, forest management should aim to reduce hunting pressure and forest exploitation....
    • Ecology, livelihoods, and management of the Mauritia flexuosa palm in South America

      Virapongse, Arika; Endress, Bryan A.; Gilmore, Michael P.; Horn, Christa M.; Romulo, Chelsie (2017)
      Mauritia flexuosa is a key ecological and economic palm found throughout tropical South America. To inform improved management of M. flexuosa, we conducted a systematic review of published information about the ecology, livelihoods, and management of M. flexuosa, synthesized the information and identified knowledge gaps, and analyzed the spatial distribution of publications. A total of 143 documents (primary research, literature reviews, and grey literature) were reviewed. Most published information originates from Peru and Brazil, with a disproportionate number of documents based in the Loreto Department of Peru. Significant geographical gaps in published information exist, especially in the northern portion of the species range. Existing literature emphasizes M. flexuosa fruit, although leaves, oil, and other products play important roles economically. To improve M. flexuosa management, we recommend that future research focuses on: (1) M. flexuosa availability; (2) harvest and cultivation; (3) development of consistent methods and standards; (4) landscape-level issues like land use change; (5) M. flexuosa within broader systems; (6) spatial gaps in research; (7) long-term research; and (8) multi- and interdisciplinary approaches.
    • Efectos del manejo tradicional sobre la palma Brahea aculeata en una selva seca del sur de Sonora, México

      López-Toledo, Leonel; Espinosa-Hidalgo, Carlos; Horn, Christa M.; Endress, Bryan A. (2015)
      En este estudio se evaluaron los efectos del manejo tradicional de Brahea aculeata (Arecaceae), sobre algunos atributos funcionales (hojas totales, producción y tamaño de hojas) y demográficos (mortalidad, crecimiento y reproducción). Las hojas de la especie son utilizadas para techos de casas y artesanías; y debido al pastoreo libre de ganado vacuno en el bosque, la especie puede sufrir herbivoría. Para evaluar los efectos del pastoreo y la cosecha de hojas se estableció un experimento en la Reserva “Sierra de Álamos”, Sonora, México, en el que se simularon las diferentes prácticas del manejo tradicional. Se establecieron seis tratamientos que combinan el pastoreo (con/sin) e intensidades de cosecha (sin cosecha/baja/intensiva). En general, en palmas pequeñas (≤ 200 cm de largo de tallo), se encontraron efectos interactivos del pastoreo y la cosecha de hojas, mientras que en palmas grandes (> 200 cm) únicamente para la cosecha. En palmas pequeñas se encontraron efectos negativos en el número y tamaño de hojas; mientras que la producción de hojas, la mortalidad y el crecimiento, el efecto fue positivo. Para palmas grandes, el efecto fue positivo en todos los casos; excepto en la mortalidad, en los que no se encontraron efectos. Los efectos positivos se podrían explicar como una respuesta sobrecompensatoria en la que la pérdida de área foliar se puede suplir mediante la alteración de procesos relacionados con la fotosíntesis y/o la asignación de recursos. Este estudio contribuye con información útil para el establecimiento de un programa de manejo, basado en el aprovechamiento tradicional de la especie en el área.
    • Effects of selective logging on large mammal populations in a remote indigenous territory in the northern Peruvian Amazon

      Mayor, Pedro; Pérez-Peña, Pedro; Bowler, Mark; Puertas, Pablo; Kirkland, Maire; Bodmer, Richard (2015)
      We examined the effects of selective timber logging carried out by local indigenous people in remote areas within indigenous territories on the mammal populations of the Yavari-Mirin River basin on the Peru-Brazil border. Recent findings show that habitat change in the study area is minimal, and any effect of logging activities on large mammal populations is highly likely to be the result of hunting associated with logging operations. We used hunting registers to estimate the monthly and yearly biomass extracted during timber operations and to calculate the catch per unit effort (CPUE) in subsistence hunting in the community of Esperanza 2 to 5 years before logging activities started and 4 to 7 years after logging began. We also used line transects and the distance method to estimate animal densities before and after logging. We found that 1389 hunted animals and 27,459 kg of mammal biomass were extracted per year from logging concessions. CPUE for ungulates declined; however, it increased for other mammal orders, such as rodents and primates, indicating a shift to alternative prey items. Although collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu) and tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) may also have declined in numbers, this shift may have been caused by a possibly natural population crash in white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) that coincided with the logging periods. We found no evidence that populations of primates were reduced by the logging activities. Because primates are sensitive to hunting, and their populations were of principal concern as logging commenced, this indicates that these forests remain of high conservation value. The unusual socioeconomic situation of these remote territories may mean that they are compatible with wildlife conservation in the Yavari-Mirin basin.
    • Exit strategies for wildlife conservation: why they are rare and why every institution needs one

      Ruiz-Miranda, Carlos R.; Vilchis, L. Ignacio; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2020)
      Exit strategies – plans to end involvement in a project once selected criteria have been reached – are rare in conservation planning but can play a vital role in the conservation planning process; such strategies also prepare the institution, its staff, its partners, and a wider group of stakeholders for eventual success or failure and signal when it is time to move on. Exit strategies may indicate that the project has been terminated but may also signal success, or that project leadership has transitioned to another, more appropriate entity. We address why exit strategies are uncommon in conservation, why they are essential, what determines when to transition or leave, and how to plan for circumstances afterwards. A good exit strategy addresses financial and legal liabilities to employees, publication of results, and ownership of data, among other things. A comprehensive, thoughtful strategy can lead to “beautiful exits” that minimize negative consequences to the project.
    • Fear of failure in conservation: The problem and potential solutions to aid conservation of extremely small populations

      Meek, Mariah H.; Wells, Caitlin; Tomalty, Katharine M.; Ashander, Jaime; Cole, Esther M.; Gille, Daphne A.; Putman, Breanna J.; Rose, Jonathan P.; Savoca, Matthew S.; Yamane, Lauren; et al. (2015)
      …We describe methods for increased information sharing and improved decision-making in the face of uncertainty, and recommend a shift in focus to cooperative actions and improving methods for evaluating success. Our hope is that by tackling stumbling blocks due to the apprehension of failure, conservation and management organizations can take steps to move from fear to action.
    • Impact of ungulate exclusion on understorey succession in relation to forest management in the Intermountain Western United States

      Pekin, Burak K.; Endress, Bryan A.; Wisdom, Michael J.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; Parks, Catherine G. (2015)
      ...The strength and direction of specific vegetation and diversity responses to ungulate exclusion vary with forest management, and the influence of ungulate exclusion on plant succession is more pronounced in recently thinned and burned sites. Management of wild and domestic ungulates thus needs to account for forest management activities that alter vegetation seral stage and increase the sensitivity of vegetation to the ungulate grazing regime....
    • Mapping open space in an old-growth, secondary-growth, and selectively-logged tropical rainforest using discrete return LIDAR

      Jung, Jinha; Pekin, Burak K.; Pijanowski, Bryan C. (2013)
      Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) is a valuable tool for mapping vegetation structure in dense forests. Although several LIDAR-derived metrics have been proposed for characterizing vertical forest structure in previous studies, none of these metrics explicitly measure open space, or vertical gaps, under a forest canopy. We develop new LIDAR metrics that characterize vertical gaps within a forest for use in forestry and forest management applications....
    • Spatial and temporal response of wildlife to recreational activities in the San Francisco Bay ecoregion

      Reilly, M. L.; Tobler, Mathias W.; Sonderegger, D. L.; Beier, P. (2017)
      Non-motorized human recreation may displace animals from otherwise suitable habitat; in addition, animals may alter their activity patterns to reduce (or increase) interactions with recreationists. We investigated how hiking, mountain biking, equestrians, and recreationists with domestic dogs affected habitat use and diel activity patterns of ten species of medium and large-sized mammals in the San Francisco Bay ecoregion....
    • The importance of behavioral research in zoological institutions: An introduction to the special issue

      Miller, Lance J.; Mellen, Jill D.; Kuczaj, Stan, A.II (2013)
      Behavioral research within zoological institutions (zoos and aquariums) has a long history that has helped to increase basic scientific knowledge and to facilitate the ability of institutions to make informed animal management decisions. Kleiman (1992) stated that "behavior research in zoos has enormous potential to contribute positively to the science of animal management, long-term breeding programs, conservation biology, and the advancement of scientific theory" (p. 309). As evidenced by the papers in this issue, behavioral research in zoos continues to be important. The purpose of this special issue is to highlight some of the behavioral research being conducted within zoos and aquariums and to demonstrate the importance of such work to zoological institutions and the greater scientific community. With a better understanding of the importance of behavioral research, we hope to inspire more zoological facilities to become involved either through funding/conducting research or by actively promoting the use of their animal collections for behavioral research to both the zoological and academic communities....
    • Utilizing first occurrence, nursing behavior, and growth data to enhance animal management: An example with African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

      Miller, Lance J.; Andrews, J. (2013)
      One of the many goals of zoological institutions is to actively breed endangered species to enhance conservation efforts. Unfortunately, many of these species are not reproducing at high enough levels to sustain populations within zoos. Low reproductive success and high infant mortality are two areas of concern for some of these species. Collecting behavioral data on developmental milestones following successful births can create a database of information to aide animal management to help make more informed decisions during subsequent births. The current study provides valuable information for African elephant calf developmental norms and demonstrates how data on first occurrences, nursing behavior and growth patterns can aide animal management. Data were collected on eleven African elephants (Loxodonta africana) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, CA of which ten have survived. Results show that on average African elephant calves were standing within 40 minutes, attempted to nurse within an hour and a half, and successfully nursed within six hrs. There were no significant differences in nursing rates, growth patterns, or first occurrence behaviors between males and females during the first 75 days of life and elephants gained on average 0.59 kg/day over that same period of time. Results also show a significant change in nursing behavior on day 22 for the elephant calf that died. This information is intended to serve as a resource for elephant managers with newborn African elephants and to serve as a model to develop similar type databases for other species in need within zoological institutions.