Nilsson L.,Biodiversity Inc.
Ornis Svecica | Year: 2011
Bean Geese Anser fabalis have been neck-banded extensively in the breeding areas in northern Finland during two periods: 1978-1994 and 2002-2009. The observations of these geese showed marked differences in timing of migration and location of wintering and staging areas between the two periods. The Bean Geese stayed further to the north in south Sweden during the autumn in the latter period and arrived later to wintering areas in southernmost Sweden. Moreover they did not go to the Netherlands and western Germany during cold winters in the second as they did in the first period. Spring migration started earlier in the second period. Most patterns revealed by the Finnish neck-banded geese were the same as those shown by the Bean Geese in general as observed by the national goose counts in southern Sweden. Source
Barendse J.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University |
Francis J.,Biodiversity Inc.
Marine Policy | Year: 2015
Seafood fraud is widespread and undermines attempts to achieve more sustainable fisheries and seafood trade. Deliberate mislabelling of fish was first detected in South Africa in 2009, exposing the lack of coherent or explicit naming and labelling regulations. It was followed by considerable media coverage and public outrage. This catalysed a series of events that led to the creation of a new space of engagement where scientists, academics, and industry could begin to jointly solve the issue of seafood mislabelling. This paper first evaluates and identifies the shortcomings of the existing policy and regulatory framework applicable to seafood naming and labelling in South Africa. Next, it examines approaches of some other countries to deal with seafood (mis)naming, and puts forward a set of suggestions that could be used to improve the status quo in South Africa, or any other country in a similar position. Finally, it reports on subsequent developments over the past five years following the seafood scandal, including the formation of a working group with representation from across the seafood supply chain, regulatory bodies, and experts: resulting in a submission of a proposal for a new national standard for seafood market names in South Africa. These findings show how diverse actors can work in a cooperative and practical manner, to solve a common problem. Finally, it highlights the importance of the "bridging" role that non-governmental organisations can play in achieving this. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source
Pavey C.R.,Biodiversity Inc. |
Burwell C.J.,Queensland Museum |
Burwell C.J.,Griffith University |
Benshemesh J.,La Trobe University
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2012
The two marsupial moles are the sole extant members of the order Notoryctemorphia, an ancient Australian lineage, with extreme adaptations for fossoriality. We tested whether the order conforms to the expectation that the low productivity of subterranean environments results in subterranean mammals being generalist feeders. To do this, we examined diet, invertebrate availability in foraging areas and prey selection by the southern marsupial mole or Itjaritjari Notoryctes typhlops, which occupies the sand deserts of southern and central Australia. Because the species is so infrequently encountered, we examined digestive tracts from museum specimens which themselves are rare; we obtained access to ∼12% of all specimens available in Australia's museums. Our invertebrate sampling protocol was based on a novel survey method, which, for the first time, enables quantification of the distribution and habitat use of N. typhlops. We sampled topographic positions on sandridges and areas of the soil profile (0-70cm) where marsupial moles forage. Rarefaction methods indicated our sample size was sufficient to record the majority of prey items. Material in digestive tracts of 16 specimens consisted of five insect orders (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera), scorpions, spiders and plant material. N. typhlops consumed two main prey types: social insects (ants and termites) and the larvae of beetles. Ants, termites and beetle larvae were also the main invertebrates captured in soil cores on sandridges; other invertebrates combined contributed <5% to abundance. Prey selection assessment using Jacobs' index and Bonferroni confidence intervals indicated an active avoidance of termites (D = -0.61), whereas ants (D = -0.13) and beetle larvae (D = 0.57) and all other prey categories were taken in proportion to availability. Our results show that N. typhlops is best classed as a dietary generalist despite its specialized adaptations for a subterranean lifestyle. © 2012 The Zoological Society of London. Source
Nano C.E.M.,University of New England of Australia |
Nano C.E.M.,Biodiversity Inc. |
Clarke P.J.,University of New England of Australia
Oecologia | Year: 2010
Predicting changes in vegetation structure in fire-prone arid/semi-arid systems is fraught with uncertainty because the limiting factors to coexistence between grasses and woody plants are unknown. We investigated abiotic and biotic factors influencing boundaries and habitat membership in grassland (Triodia or 'spinifex' grassland)-shrubland (Acacia aneura or 'mulga' shrubland) mosaics in semi-arid central Australia. We used a field experiment to test for the effects of: (1) topographic relief (dune/swale habitat), (2) adult neighbour removal, and (3) soil type (sand/clay) on seedling survival in three shrub and two grass species in reciprocal field plantings. Our results showed that invasion of the shrubland (swale) by neighbouring grassland species is negated by abiotic limitations but competition limits shrubland invasion of the grassland (dune). All species from both habitats had significantly reduced survival in the grassland (dune) in the presence of the dominant grass (Triodia) regardless of soil type or shade. Further, the removal of the dominant grass allowed the shrubland dominant (A. aneura) to establish outside its usual range. Seedling growth and sexual maturation of the shrubland dominant (A. aneura) was slow, implying that repeated fire creates an immaturity risk for this non-sprouter in flammable grassland. By contrast, rapid growth and seed set in the grassland shrubs (facultative sprouters) provides a solution to fire exposure prior to reproductive onset. In terms of landscape dynamics, we argue that grass competition and fire effects are important constraints on shrubland patch expansion, but that their relative importance will vary spatially throughout the landscape because of spatial and temporal rainfall variability. © Springer-Verlag 2009. Source
Jetz W.,Imperial College London |
Guralnick R.P.,Florida Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of FloridaGainesville |
Fritz S.A.,Senckenberg Biodiversity And Climate Research Center Bik nckenberg Gesellschaft For Naturforschung And Goethe University Frankfurtfrankfurt Germany |
Kreft H.,Biodiversity Inc.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2016
Aim: Despite the central role of species distributions in ecology and conservation, occurrence information remains geographically and taxonomically incomplete and biased. Efforts to address this problem, such as targeted data mobilization and advanced distribution modelling, all crucially rely on a solid understanding of the patterns and determinants of occurrence information. Numerous socio-economic and ecological drivers of uneven record collection and mobilization among species have been suggested, but the generality of their effects remains untested. Here, we provide the first global analysis of patterns and drivers of species-level variation in different metrics of occurrence information. Location: Global, including separate analyses for six zoogeographical realms. Methods: We evaluated three alternative metrics of occurrence information: (1) the record count per species, (2) the coverage of a range with records and (3) the geographical bias in how the records represent different range parts. To this end, we developed scale-independent metrics of range coverage and geographical record bias. We applied the three metrics to 2.8 million point-occurrence records and extent-of-occurrence range maps of 3625 mammalian species. We used multi-model inference to evaluate 13 putative drivers of species-level variation in data availability. Results: All three metrics of occurrence information revealed severe species-level biases. These data limitations were mainly linked to range size and shape, and the within-range geography of socio-economic conditions. Species attributes related to detection and collection probabilities, such as body size or diurnality, were remarkably weak predictors of record count and range coverage. Main conclusions: Species-level biases in mobilized occurrence information hamper its broader application in basic and applied biodiversity research. To successfully account for these limitations, the site-specific socio-economic constraints to record collection and mobilization, rather than species-specific constraints to detection, should be explicitly incorporated into ecological models. Furthermore, our results strongly suggest that range-restricted species should be prioritized in future data mobilization efforts. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source