• Body size, demography, and body condition in Ctenosaura bakeri

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Montgomery, C.E.; Martinez, A.; Belal, N.; Clayson, S.; Faulkner, S. (2012)
      Abstract.—Utila Spiny-tailed Iguanas, Ctenosaura bakeri, are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Redlist Assessment and are listed under Appendix II of CITES. This species occupies a portion of Utila, a small continental island located off the northern coast of Honduras, in the Bay Islands chain. Habitat destruction and overharvesting for consumption and the pet trade are among the top threats facing this species. Though first described in 1901 (Stejneger) and currently the focus of a local conservation program, little is known concerning that basic biology of this species. Combining data from six years we examined body size, sexual size dimorphism, and changes in demography and body condition over the study period. Our results indicate that males are larger and heavier than females on average, and have a longer tail for a given snout-vent length, as is the case with most iguanas. Over the study period we found an increase in the ratio of males to females, suggesting that female biased hunting pressure is increasing. This is consistent with an increase in the human population size and a preference for consuming gravid females. The body condition of both males and females declined over the duration of the study, which is suggestive of a decrease in habitat quality. These results indicate that the situation for this endangered species is becoming increasingly threatening. Conservation measures should focus on alleviating these threats through increased law enforcement, outreach, and education.
    • Elephants, ivory, and trade

      Wasser, Samuel; Poole, Joyce; Lee, Phyllis; Lindsay, Keith; Dobson, Andrew; Hart, John; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George; Granli, Petter; Morgan, Bethan J.; et al. (2010)
      ...Tanzania and Zambia (1 5, 1 6) are exploit- ing this restricted moratorium in their peti- tions. Approval requires demonstration that their elephant populations are secure, law enforcement is effective, and sales will not be detrimental to elephants....
    • Got hybridization? A multidisciplinary approach for informing science policy

      Ellstrand, Norman C.; Biggs, David; Kaus, Andrea; Lubinsky, Pesach; McDade, Lucinda A.; Preston, Kristine; Prince, Linda M.; Regan, Helen M.; Rorive, Veronique; Ryder, Oliver A.; et al. (2010)
      ...Developing sound science-based conservation policy that addresses hybridization requires cross-disciplinary social-science and life-science research to address the following two questions: (1) How do human decisions with regard to species protection, trade, transportation, land use, and other factors affect the opportunities for, and rates of hybridization between, rare species and more common relatives? and (2) How do the positive or negative perceived values regarding hybrids and hybrid-derived individuals compare with values regarding their nonhybridized counterparts from social, cultural, economic, and environmental perspectives...?
    • Insights for reducing the consumption of wildlife: The use of bear bile and gallbladder in Cambodia

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Veríssimo, Diogo; Crudge, Brian; Lim, Thona; Roth, Vichet; Glikman, Jenny A. (2020)
      Unsustainable wildlife use is one of the leading threats to earth's biodiversity. Historically, efforts to address this issue have been focused on increasing enforcement and anti-poaching measures. However, recognition that such supply-reduction measures may be inefficient has spurred a movement towards consumer research and behaviour change. Here, we used consumer research to investigate the consumption of bear bile and gallbladder in Cambodia. Our aim was to gather key consumer insights such as demographics, beliefs and the identification of trusted individuals and communication channels, which could be used to underpin future behaviour change efforts to reduce the consumption of bear bile and gallbladder. To accomplish this, we conducted 4,512 structured quantitative interviews and 132 qualitative, semi-structured interviews across Cambodia. We found that although the level of bear bile and gallbladder consumption varied across the country, consumers were largely homogenous in their beliefs and choice of trusted messengers. This indicates that behaviour change interventions grounded in these results may be effective in any of the eight areas surveyed. We believe our study strategy can be adapted and followed by other conservation organizations to ensure they are capturing essential information necessary for designing effective behaviour change campaigns. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
    • Insights into medicinal wildlife consumption and bear part use in Rakhine, Myanmar

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Gaffi, Lorenzo; Mussoni, Giulia; Zaw, Thet; Glikman, Jenny A. (2020)
      Myanmar is an area of high diversity with prolific illegal wildlife trade, including trade in bear products for medicine. We focused on Rakhine State, Myanmar, which retains sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) populations despite poaching….
    • Morphological and demographic analyses of Ctenosaura melanosterna across its range: Implications for population level management

      Pasachnik, Stesha A.; Montgomery, C.E.; Ruyle, L.E.; Corneal, J.P.; Antunez, E.E. (2012)
      The Black-chested Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura melanosterna, is listed as Endangered by the IUCN Redlist Assessment and under Appendix II of CITES. The species has two evolutionarily significant units (ESUs), found in the Valle de Aguán and the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago, Honduras. Each ESU has been shown to be genetically distinct and each is listed, for differing reasons, as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Habitat destruction and overharvesting for consumption and the pet trade are among the top threats facing the mainland, Valle de Aguán, population. The Cayos Cochinos population faces similar threats to a lesser degree; however, its restricted range (2.2 km2 ) heightens the potential severity of these threats, and makes this population highly susceptible to the impact of hurricanes. We examined body size, demography, and body condition in both populations. Our results show that the average adult size is smaller on the mainland, and there are more than expected small individuals in that population. Additionally the sex ratio is significantly male biased on the mainland relative to the islands. These results demonstrate evidence of a more severe poaching pressure on the mainland that is biased towards larger individuals and females. Body condition index did not differ between the more disturbed mainland area and the more pristine island area, suggesting that habitat alteration does not pose as serious a threat to the mainland population as poaching. Potential negative effects of a restricted range on the morphology and demography of the island ESU were observed. Conservation measures should acknowledge the differences between the ESUs when defining management initiatives for this species.