World Aquarium News
Abstract Many studies have overestimated species' range shifts under climate change because they treat climate as the only determinant while ignoring biotic factors. To assess the response of giant pandas to climate change, we incorporated spatial effects in modeling bamboo distributions, which in turn was incorporated to represent giant panda–bamboo biotic interactions in predicting giant panda distribution. Our study revealed potential tolerance of giant pandas to climate change. We found significant residual spatial correlation in the bamboo models. The biotic interactions with bamboo understories and anthropogenic activities had large effects on panda distribution, which lowered the relative importance of climatic variables. [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Recovery planning is an essential part of implementing the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), but conservationists and government agencies recognize challenges with the current planning process. Using data from all U.S. domestic and transboundary ESA‐listed species, we quantify the completeness, timeliness, age, and other variation among ESA recovery plans over the past 40 years. Among eligible listed taxa (n = 1,548), nearly one‐fourth lack final recovery plans; half of plans have taken >5 years to finalize after listing; half of recovery plans are more than 20 years old; and there is significant variation in planning between agencies, and among regions [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Global areal protection targets have driven a dramatic expansion of the marine protected area (MPA) estate. We analyzed how cost‐effective global MPA expansion has been since the inception of the first global target (set in 1982) in achieving ecoregional representation. By comparing spatial patterns of MPA expansion against optimal MPA estates using the same expansion rates, we show the current MPA estate is both expensive and ineffective. Although the number of ecoregions represented tripled and 12.7% of national waters was protected, 61% of ecoregions and 81% of countries are not 10% protected. Only 10.3% of the national waters of the [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract New Zealand's policy to exterminate five introduced predators by 2050 is well‐meant but warrants critique and comparison against alternatives. The goal is unachievable with current or near‐future technologies and resources. Its effects on ecosystems and 26 other mammalian predators and herbivores will be complex. Some negative outcomes are likely. Predators are not always and everywhere the largest impact on biodiversity. Lower intensity predator suppression, habitat protection and restoration, and prey refugia will sometimes better support threatened biodiversity. The policy draws attention to where predators are easily killed, not where biodiversity values are greatest. Pest control operations are already contested and [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract We used data from a 2014 survey (n = 1,287) of U.S. residents and recent polls to assess how public support for the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) changed over time, and whether protecting controversial species affects support for the law. We assessed support for the ESA, trust in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and attitudes toward wolves across three regions with different experiences in conserving gray wolves through the ESA. We found: (a) ∼4 in 5 Americans support the ESA, whereas ∼1 in 10 oppose; (b) support for the ESA remained stable over the past two decades; [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Spatial conservation prioritization is used globally to guide decision making with the aim of delivering the best conservation gain per unit investment. However, despite many publications on the topic, the extent to which this approach is used by decision makers has been unclear. To investigate the degree to which prioritization has been adopted by practitioners to guide conservation implementation, we conducted an online survey, collecting data on the approaches used to develop prioritizations and the reported extent of translation to on‐the‐ground action. Using a cluster analysis, we identified two categories of prioritizations, those developed to advance the field (42% of [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Variability among climate change scenarios produces great uncertainty in what is the best allocation of resources among investments to protect environmental goods in the future. Previous research shows Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) can help optimize environmental investment targeting to reduce outcome uncertainty with minimal loss of expected level of environmental benefits, but no work has yet identified the types of cases for which MPT is most useful. This article assembles data on 26 different conservation cases in three distinct ecological settings and develops new metrics to evaluate how well MPT can reduce uncertainty in future outcomes of a set of [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Conservation conflict is widespread, damaging, and has proved difficult to manage using conventional conservation approaches. Conflicts are often “wicked problems,” lacking clear solutions due to divergent values of stakeholders, and being embedded within wickedly complex environments. Drawing on the concept of wicked environmental problems could lead to management strategies better suited to tackling conflict. However, it is unclear whether managers are embracing ideas from the wicked problems concept. There is currently a lack of guidance for applying strategies to tackle particular wicked problems, such as conservation conflict. We explored the suitability of wicked problems‐inspired management, using eight contemporary conflict case [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
The future of the world's coral reefs is uncertain, as the impact of global heating continues to escalate. However, according to a new study, the response of the Great Barrier Reef to extreme temperatures in 2017 was markedly different to one year earlier, following two back-to-back bouts of coral bleaching. [...]
Mon, Dec 10, 2018
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
How much of a reef's ability to withstand stressful conditions is influenced by the type of symbiotic algae that the corals hosts? New work investigates how the nutrients algae share with their coral hosts varies between species and what this could mean for a coral's ability to survive in a changing climate. They determined that in the wake of a bleaching event, even an algal tenant that's poor provider may be better than no provider. [...]
Thu, Dec 06, 2018
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Scientists have solved the mystery of why some closely-related species of an iconic reef fish have vastly different colour patterns, while others look very similar. [...]
Wed, Dec 05, 2018
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
A new study helping to improve how sustainability is measured for popular reef fish could help better assess the eco-friendly seafood options at the dinner table. [...]
Fri, Nov 30, 2018
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Researchers took a virtual reality experience into a variety of educational settings, including high school classrooms, to test the impact on awareness and understanding of ocean acidification. [...]
Fri, Nov 30, 2018
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
The unexpected results of a 20-year study into reef fisheries showed fisheries being maintained despite extreme coral bleaching. Remarkably, rapid proliferation of fishes with low dependence on corals led to catches remaining stable or even increasing. But the results also showed fishing success was 'patchy' and more dependent on fewer species. [...]
Thu, Nov 29, 2018
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily