• Human visual identification of individual Andean bears Tremarctos ornatus

      Van Horn, Russell C.; Zug, Becky; LaCombe, Corrin; Velez-Liendo, Ximena; Paisley, Susanna (2014)
      It is often challenging to use invasive methods of individual animal identification for population estimation, demographic analyses, and other ecological and behavioral analyses focused on individual-level processes. Recent improvements in camera traps make it possible to collect many photographic samples yet most investigators either leap from photographic sampling to assignment of individual identity without considering identification errors, or else to avoid those errors they develop computerized methods that produce accurate data with the unintended cost of excluding participation by local citizens. To assess human ability to visually identify Andean bears Tremarctos ornatus from their pelage markings we used surveys and experimental testing of 381 observers viewing photographs of 70 Andean bears of known identity. Neither observer experience nor confidence predicted their initial success rate at identifying individuals. However, after gaining experience observers were able to achieve an average success at identifying adult bears of 73.2%, and brief simple training further improved the ability of observers such that 24.8% of them achieved 100% success. Interestingly, observers who were initially more likely to falsely identify two photos of the same bear as two different bears than vice versa were likely to continue making errors and their bias became stronger, not weaker. Such biases would lead to inaccurate population estimates, invalid assessments of the bears involved in conflict situations, and underestimates of bear movements. We thus illustrate that in some systems accurate data on individual identity can be generated without the use of computerized algorithms, allowing for community engagement and citizen science. In addition, we show that when using observers to collect data on animal identity it is important to consider not only the overall frequency of observer error, but also observer biases and error types, which are rarely reported in field studies.
    • Human-Giraffe Interactions: Characterizing Poaching and Use of Parts as a Threat to Giraffe in Northern Kenya

      Ruppert, Kirstie (The University of Maine, 2020)
      Giraffe (Giraffe spp.) are iconic wildlife species to Africa, yet relatively little conservation funding and research have been directed at protection of giraffe in the wild. A growing number of national governments and conservation organizations are implementing management strategies to address the threats that giraffe face. To inform these plans, there is a need for social science that examines the human pressures associated with decline of giraffe populations, including poaching and the use of giraffe parts. As the large majority of reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata) range occurs outside formally protected areas, conservation plans must be made with pastoralist communities and other actors in northern Kenya where the land is shared between people, their livestock, and wildlife. The research presented in this dissertation was conducted as part of a community-based program focused on reticulated giraffe, called the Twiga Walinzi Initiative (“Giraffe Guards” in Swahili), and represents the first quantitative study on the human dimensions of giraffe conservation. Goals of the research project were to examine key cognitions to human-giraffe interactions (i.e. attitudes, beliefs, perceptions), assess relationships between certain cognitions within areas that adopt a community-based conservation approach, and understand the extent and drivers of giraffe meat and part usage. Face-to-face interviews were conducted at two study sites over survey periods in 2016/17 (n=579) and 2019 (n=680). Results from these studies provide insights to how pastoralist communities view and act toward local giraffe. Factors that significantly influenced support for giraffe conservation differed between study sites, suggesting that local context is important to shaping human-giraffe interactions (Chapter 2). For instance, perceived benefits had stronger influence on normative belief in communities more recently connected with wildlife-based tourism. The linkages between perceived benefits, attitudes, and behaviors were further explored by assessing the relationships between these concepts within a community-based conservation setting (Chapter 3). Findings suggest a positive association between perceived benefits and attitudes toward giraffe, but there was less evidence that perceptions of wildlife-related benefits influenced use of giraffe meat/parts. As human behavior is of central interest to conservation, we also assessed levels of giraffe meat consumption (Chapter 4) and determinants of intention to consume giraffe meat (Chapter 5). Specialized questioning techniques were utilized to estimate prevalence of giraffe meat consumption preceding the two surveys. Estimated prevalence of giraffe meat consumption declined after establishment of the Twiga Walinzi. Perceived behavioral control had stronger relative influence than attitudes and subjective norms on future intention to consume
    • Human–wildlife conflicts and the need to include coexistence

      Frank, Beatrice; Glikman, Jenny A.; Frank, Beatrice; Glikman, Jenny A.; Marchini, Silvio (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
    • Human–wildlife interactions: Multifaceted approaches for turning conflict into coexistence

      Glikman, Jenny A.; Frank, Beatrice; Marchini, Silvio; Frank, Beatrice; Glikman, Jenny A.; Marchini, Silvio (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
    • Human–Wildlife Interactions: Turning Conflict into Coexistence

      Frank, Beatrice; Glikman, Jenny A.; Marchini, Silvio; Frank, Beatrice; Glikman, Jenny A.; Marchini, Silvio (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
    • Identification of California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) estrogen receptor variants and their activation by xenoestrogens

      Felton, Rachel G.; Owen, Corie M.; Cossaboon, Jennifer M.; Steiner, Cynthia C.; Tubbs, Christopher W. (2020)
      California condors released in costal sites are exposed to high levels of xenoestrogens, particularly p,p'-DDE, through scavenging of marine mammal carcasses. As a result, coastal condors carry a higher contaminant loads and experience eggshell thinning when compared to their inland counterparts....
    • Identification of California condor estrogen receptors 1 and 2 and their activation by endocrine disrupting chemicals

      Felton, Rachel G.; Steiner, Cynthia C.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Keisler, Duane H.; Milnes, Matthew R.; Tubbs, Christopher W. (2015)
      ...There is evidence that coastal-dwelling condors experience reproductive issues, such as eggshell thinning, likely resulting from exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). To address this problem, we have identified and cloned condor estrogen receptors (ESRs) 1 and 2 and characterized their activation by EDCs present in the coastal habitats where condors reside....
    • Identifying priority conservation landscapes and actions for the Critically Endangered Javan leopard in Indonesia: Conserving the last large carnivore in Java Island

      Wibisono, Hariyo Tabah; Wahyudi, Hariyawan Agung; Wilianto, Erwin; Pinondang, Irene Margareth Romaria; Primajati, Mahendra; Liswanto, Darmawan; Linkie, Matthew (2018)
      With the extirpation of tigers from the Indonesian island of Java in the 1980s, the endemic and Critically Endangered Javan leopard is the island’s last remaining large carnivore. Yet despite this, it has received little conservation attention and its population status and distribution remains poorly known. Using Maxent modeling, we predicted the locations of suitable leopard landscapes throughout the island of Java based on 228 verified Javan leopard samples and as a function of seven environmental variables. The identified landscapes covered over 1 million hectares, representing less than 9% of the island. Direct evidence of Javan leopard was confirmed from 22 of the 29 identified landscapes and included all national parks, which our analysis revealed as the single most important land type. Our study also emphasized the importance of maintaining connectivity between protected areas and human-modified landscapes because adjacent production forests and secondary forests were found to provide vital extensions for several Javan leopard subpopulations. Our predictive map greatly improves those previously produced by the Government of Indonesia’s Javan Leopard Action Plan and the IUCN global leopard distribution assessment. It shares only a 32% overlap with the IUCN range predictions, adds six new priority landscapes, all with confirmed presence of Javan leopard, and reveals an island-wide leopard population that occurs in several highly fragmented landscapes, which are far more isolated than previously thought. Our study provides reliable information on where conservation efforts must be prioritized both inside and outside of the protected area network to safeguard Java’s last remaining large carnivore.
    • Iguanas: Biology, Systematics, and Conservation

      Editors; Iverson, John B.; Grant, Tandora D.; Knapp, Charles R.; Pasachnik, Stesha A. (2016)
    • Illegal wildlife trade: Scale, processes, and governance

      Sas-Rolfes, Michael T.; Hinsley, Amy; Veríssimo, Diogo; Milner-Gulland, E. J.; Challender, Daniel W. S. (2019)
      Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) has increased in profile in recent years as a global policy issue, largely because of its association with declines in prominent internationally trafficked species. In this review, we explore the scale of IWT, associated threats to biodiversity, and appropriate responses to these threats. We discuss the historical development of IWT research and highlight the uncertainties that plague the evidence base, emphasizing the need for more systematic approaches to addressing evidence gaps in a way that minimizes the risk of unethical or counterproductive outcomes for wildlife and people. We highlight the need for evaluating interventions in order to learn, and the importance of sharing datasets and lessons learned. A more collaborative approach to linking IWT research, practice, and policy would better align public policy discourse and action with research evidence. This in turn would enable more effective policy making that contributes to reducing the threat to biodiversity that IWT represents.
    • 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....
    • Impacts of upper respiratory tract disease on olfactory behavior of the Mojave desert tortoise

      Germano, Jennifer M.; Van Zerr, Vanessa E.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Ken E.; Lamberski, Nadine (2014)
      Upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) caused by Mycoplasma agassizii is considered a threat to desert tortoise populations that should be addressed as part of the recovery of the species. Clinical signs can be intermittent and include serous or mucoid nasal discharge and respiratory difficulty when nares are occluded. This nasal congestion may result in a loss of the olfactory sense....
    • Implementing the reintroduction

      Maschinski, Joyce; Albrecht, Matthew A.; Font, Jeremie; Monks, Leonie; Haskins, Kristin E.; Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) (Center for Plant ConservationEscondido, California, 2019)
      Good logistical preparation will make installation day run smoothly. Ensure that the plants or seed plots are labeled, mapped, and recorded in such a way that they can be monitored for many years into the future.
    • Implications of population and metapopulation theory for restoration science and practice

      Maschinski, Joyce; Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro F (Springer, 2016)
    • Improving success of rare plant seed reintroductions: a case study of Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana, a rare legume with dormant seeds

      Maschinski, Joyce; Possley, Jennifer; Walters, Christina; Hill, Lisa; Krueger, Lisa; Hazelton, Dallas (2018)
      Recent reviews of rare plant reintroduction success indicate that far fewer studies have been conducted with seeds than whole plants, and of these, less than 10% have established or had long-term population persistence reported. Because seed reintroductions are relatively less expensive than plant reintroductions, determining ways to increase efficacy of using seeds to establish rare populations has conservation benefits....
    • Improving the sustainability of ex situ populations with mate choice

      Martin-Wintle, Meghan S.; Wintle, Nathan J. P.; Díez-León, María; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Asa, Cheryl S. (2019)
      Many breeding programs managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plans® (SSPs) are not meeting goals for population size and genetic diversity due to failure of recommended pairs to breed successfully....
    • In Memory of Kurt Benirschke, MD: Pioneer in mammalian cytogenetics, founder of the Frozen Zoo®, and champion of comparative medicine

      Ryder, Oliver A. (2019)
      Kurt Benirschke, MD, was born on May 26, 1924, in Glückstadt, Germany and died on September 10, 2018 in La Jolla, California. Known to the broader genetics community as a pioneering investigator in the field of comparative mammalian cytogenetics, Benirschke’s scientific accomplishments spanned several fields....
    • Inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance in wild giant pandas

      Hu, Yibo; Nie, Yonggang; Wei, Wei; Ma, Tianxiao; Van Horn, Russell C.; Zheng, Xiaoguang; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Zhou, Zhixin; Zhou, Wenliang; Yan, Li; et al. (2017)
      Inbreeding can have negative consequences on population and individual fitness, which could be counteracted by inbreeding avoidance mechanisms. However, the inbreeding risk and inbreeding avoidance mechanisms in endangered species are less studied....
    • Incorporating indels as phylogenetic characters: Impact for interfamilial relationships within Arctoidea (Mammalia: Carnivora)

      Luan, P.T.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Davis, H.; Zhang, Y.P.; Yu, L. (2013)
      Insertion and deletion events (indels) provide a suite of markers with enormous potential for molecular phylogenetics. Using many more indel characters than those in previous studies, we here for the first time address the impact of indel inclusion on the phylogenetic inferences of Arctoidea (Mammalia: Carnivora)….
    • Incorporating mortality into habitat selection to identify secure and risky habitats for savannah elephants

      Roever, C. L.; van Aarde, R. J.; Chase, Michael J. (2013)
      Empirical models of habitat selection are increasingly used to guide and inform habitat-based management plans for wildlife species. However, habitat selection does not necessarily equate to habitat quality particularly if selection is maladaptive, so incorporating measures of fitness into estimations of occurrence is necessary to increase model robustness. Here, we incorporated spatially explicit mortality events with the habitat selection of elephants to predict secure and risky habitats in northern Botswana....