• An ancient icon reveals new mysteries: mummy DNA resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile

      Hekkala, Evon; Shirley, Matthew H.; Amato, George; Austin, James D.; Charter, Suellen J.; Thorbjarnarson, John; Vliet, Kent A.; Houck, Marlys L.; Desalle, Rob; Blum, Michael J. (2011)
      ...Our analyses reveal a cryptic evolutionary lineage within the Nile crocodile that elucidates the biogeographic history of the genus and clarifies long‐standing arguments over the species’ taxonomic identity and conservation status. An examination of crocodile mummy haplotypes indicates that the cryptic lineage corresponds to an earlier description of C. suchus and suggests that both African Crocodylus lineages historically inhabited the Nile River....
    • Andean Bear Priority Conservation Units in Bolivia and Peru: Results of the Binational Workshop for the Conservation of the Andean Bear in Bolivia and Peru, November 8th & 9th 2008, held as part of the II International Symposium on the Andean Bear in Lima, Peru.

      Pitman, Renata Leite; Reinaga, A.; Siles, T.; Baiker, J.; Goldstein, B.; Ríos-Uzeda, R.; Van Horn, Russell C.; Vargas, X.; ADD MORE (2014)
      ...Given the importance of the Andean bear for conservation efforts across the Tropical Andes and the lack of systematized information regarding distribution and ecology, an effort was made at the beginning of the millennium to gather and collectively analyze existing Andean bear data for the Northern Andes. Lead by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with institutional support from a number of other conservation NGO’s, particularly the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Ecociencia, this exercise encompassed the entire known northern range for the species in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, as well as the extreme northern portions of Peru (Rodríguez et al., 2003). A parallel analysis of these results were also published in an internationally recognized journal (Kattan et al., 2004), and the fIndings and recommendations have been widely cited (Garcia-Rangel, 2012) and incorporated into conservation planning efforts across the range covered by the analysis (Peralvo et al., 2005)....
    • Distribution and population patterns of the threatened palm Brahea aculeata in a tropical dry forest in Sonora, Mexico

      López-Toledo, Leonel; Horn, Christa M.; Endress, Bryan A. (2011)
      The use of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has great potential for the conservation of natural resources and rural development…. However, in most cases basic ecological information, such as distribution and abundance of the species is unknown, as is information on the ecological implications of human impacts, such as leaf harvest and livestock grazing…. Results from this study will be used to develop appropriate conservation, management and restoration plans of B. aculeata in the area.
    • Ecology and conservation of the Turks Island boa (Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster: Squamata: Boidae) on Big Ambergris Cay

      Reynolds, R.G.; Gerber, Glenn P. (2012)
      The boid genus Epicrates contains 10 species in the West Indies, several of which are listed as threatened or endangered, whereas the status of the others remains unknown. Little is known about Turks Island Boas (Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster), a subspecies of the Southern Bahamas Boa endemic to the Turks and Caicos Islands, and no published ecological studies exist for this subspecies. A long history of human habitation, greatly exacerbated by exponentially increasing development in the last several decades, appears to be threatening the remaining populations of these boas. However, a lack of basic ecological information is holding back conservation efforts. Here we report on the first multiyear ecological study of Turks Island Boas, focusing on an important population located on the small island of Big Ambergris Cay in the southeastern margin of the Caicos Bank. Encounter rates of up to 3.5 snakes per person-hour make this population especially easy to study. We captured 249 snakes, 11 of which were recaptures. We provide basic natural history information including size, color pattern, girth, body temperature, abundance, diet, activity, diurnal refuge selection, and population size. We also clarify the known distribution and discuss the conservation concerns of this species. This study fills a gap in our ecological knowledge of Bahamian boas and will provide important baseline data for the Big Ambergris Cay population of Turks Island Boas as this small island undergoes extensive development over the next several decades.
    • Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

      Swaisgood, Ronald R.; McShea, William M.; Wildt, David; Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Owen, Megan A.; Zhang, Zejun; Dvornicky-Raymond, Zachary; Valitutto, Marc; Li, Dihua; et al. (Cambridge University PressCambridge, 2020)
      This chapter comprises the following sections: names, taxonomy, subspecies and distribution, descriptive notes, habitat, movements and home range, activity patterns, feeding ecology, reproduction and growth, behavior, parasites and diseases, status in the wild, and status in captivity.
    • Green iguanas (Iguana iguana) in the Dominican Republic

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Carreras De León, Rosanna; Reynoso, Víctor; Rupp, Ernst; León, Yolanda; Incháustegui, Sixto (2012)
      Iguana iguana has a natural distribution from México (Sinaloa and Veracruz) southward through Central America and into northeastern South America to the Tropic of Capricorn in Paraguay and southeastern Brazil. The species also occurs on numerous islands, including Cozumel, Utila, Roatán, Guanaja, the Corn Islands, Providencia, San Andrés, Aruba, Trinidad, Tobago, and others in the Lesser Antilles (Henderson and Powell 2009). It has been introduced to Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Guadeloupe, Grand Cayman, Les Îles de Saintes, Marie Galante, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten, St. Barthélemy, St. Croix, Turks and Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States (Florida, Hawaii) (Henderson and Powell 2009, Kraus 2009, Lindsay and Mussington 2009, Harlow and Thomas 2010, Powell et al. 2011)....
    • Informing species conservation at multiple scales using data collected for marine mammal stock assessments

      Grech, Alana; Sheppard, James; Marsh, Helene (2011)
      Background Conservation planning and the design of marine protected areas (MPAs) requires spatially explicit information on the distribution of ecological features. Most species of marine mammals range over large areas and across multiple planning regions. The spatial distributions of marine mammals are difficult to predict using habitat modelling at ecological scales because of insufficient understanding of their habitat needs, however, relevant information may be available from surveys conducted to inform mandatory stock assessments. Methodology and Results We use a 20-year time series of systematic aerial surveys of dugong (Dugong dugong) abundance to create spatially-explicit models of dugong distribution and relative density at the scale of the coastal waters of northeast Australia (∼136,000 km2). We interpolated the corrected data at the scale of 2 km * 2 km planning units using geostatistics. Planning units were classified as low, medium, high and very high dugong density on the basis of the relative density of dugongs estimated from the models and a frequency analysis. Torres Strait was identified as the most significant dugong habitat in northeast Australia and the most globally significant habitat known for any member of the Order Sirenia. The models are used by local, State and Federal agencies to inform management decisions related to the Indigenous harvest of dugongs, gill-net fisheries and Australia's National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. Conclusion/Significance In this paper we demonstrate that spatially-explicit population models add value to data collected for stock assessments, provide a robust alternative to predictive habitat distribution models, and inform species conservation at multiple scales.
    • Patterns of genetic partitioning and gene flow in the endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami parvus) and implications for conservation management

      Hendricks, Sarah; Navarro, Asako Y.; Wang, Thea B.; Wilder, Aryn P.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Shier, Debra M. (2020)
      ...We examined the genetic diversity, population structure, and phylogeography of this subspecies using partial mitochrondrial DNA sequencing and microsatellite genotyping. Our study indicates that currently, the three remaining populations seem to be highly fragmented....
    • Recent decline in suitable environmental conditions for African great apes

      Junker, Jessica; Blake, Stephen; Boesch, Christophe; Campbell, Geneviève; Toit, Louwrens du; Duvall, Chris; Ekobo, Atanga; Etoga, Gilles; Galat-Luong, Anh; Gamys, Joel; et al. (2012)
      To predict the distribution of suitable environmental conditions (SEC) for eight African great ape taxa for a first time period, the 1990s and then project it to a second time period, the 2000s; to assess the relative importance of factors influencing SEC distribution and to estimate rates of SEC loss, isolation and fragmentation over the last two decades....
    • Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae): A review of conservation status

      Wibisono, Hariyo T.; Pusparini, Wulan; (2010)
      The majority of wild Sumatran tigers are believed to live in 12 Tiger Conservation Landscapes covering approximately 88 000 km2. However, the actual distribution of tigers across Sumatra has never been accurately mapped. Over the past 20 years, conservation efforts focused on the Sumatran tigers have increased, but the population continues to decline as a result of several key threats. To identify the status of the Sumatran tiger distribution across the island, an island-wide questionnaire survey comprised of 35 respondents from various backgrounds was conducted between May and June 2010. The survey found that Sumatran tigers are positively present in 27 habitat patches larger than 250 km2 and possibly present in another 2. In addition, a review on major published studies on the Sumatran tiger was conducted to identify the current conservation status of the Sumatran tiger. Collectively, these studies have identified several key factors that have contributed to the decline of Sumatran tiger populations, including: forest habitat fragmentation and loss, direct killing of tigers and their prey, and the retaliatory killing of tigers due to conflict with villagers. The present paper provides management authorities and the international community with a recent assessment and a base map of the actual distribution of Sumatran tigers as well as a general overview on the current status and possible future conservation challenges of Sumatran tiger management.