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Meek P.D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Meek P.D.,University of New England of Australia | Ballard G.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Ballard G.,University of New England of Australia | And 11 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2014

Camera traps are used by scientists and natural resource managers to acquire ecological data, and the rapidly increasing camera trapping literature highlights how popular this technique has become. Nevertheless, the methodological information reported in camera trap publications can vary widely, making replication of the study difficult. Here we propose a series of guiding principles for reporting methods and results obtained using camera traps. Attributes of camera trapping we cover include: (i) specifying the model(s) of camera traps(s) used, (ii) mode of deployment, (iii) camera settings, and (iv) study design. In addition to suggestions regarding best practice data coding and analysis, we present minimum principles for standardizing information that we believe should be reported in all peer-reviewed papers. Standardised reporting enables more robust comparisons among studies, facilitates national and global reviews, enables greater ease of study replication, and leads to improved wildlife research and management outcomes. © 2014 Her majesty the Queen in Right of Australia. Source

Wilting A.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Cord A.,University of Wurzburg | Cord A.,German Aerospace Center | Hearn A.J.,Canopy | And 18 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: The flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) is one of the world's least known, highly threatened felids with a distribution restricted to tropical lowland rainforests in Peninsular Thailand/Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra. Throughout its geographic range large-scale anthropogenic transformation processes, including the pollution of fresh-water river systems and landscape fragmentation, raise concerns regarding its conservation status. Despite an increasing number of cameratrapping field surveys for carnivores in South-East Asia during the past two decades, few of these studies recorded the flatheaded cat. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we designed a predictive species distribution model using the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm to reassess the potential current distribution and conservation status of the flat-headed cat. Eighty-eight independent species occurrence records were gathered from field surveys, literature records, and museum collections. These current and historical records were analysed in relation to bioclimatic variables (WorldClim), altitude (SRTM) and minimum distance to larger water resources (Digital Chart of the World). Distance to water was identified as the key predictor for the occurrence of flat-headed cats (>50% explanation). In addition, we used different land cover maps (GLC2000, GlobCover and SarVision LLC for Borneo), information on protected areas and regional human population density data to extract suitable habitats from the potential distribution predicted by the MaxEnt model. Between 54% and 68% of suitable habitat has already been converted to unsuitable land cover types (e.g. croplands, plantations), and only between 10% and 20% of suitable land cover is categorised as fully protected according to the IUCN criteria. The remaining habitats are highly fragmented and only a few larger forest patches remain. Conclusion/Significance: Based on our findings, we recommend that future conservation efforts for the flat-headed cat should focus on the identified remaining key localities and be implemented through a continuous dialogue between local stakeholders, conservationists and scientists to ensure its long-term survival. The flat-headed cat can serve as a flagship species for the protection of several other endangered species associated with the threatened tropical lowland forests and surface fresh-water sources in this region. © 2010 Wilting et al. Source

Gascon C.,National Fish and Wildlife Foundation | Brooks T.M.,International Union for Conservation of Nature | Contreras-Macbeath T.,Autonomous University of the State of Morelos | Heard N.,Conservation Fund | And 13 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2015

Humans depend on biodiversity in myriad ways, yet species are being rapidly lost due to human activities. The ecosystem services approach to conservation tries to establish the value that society derives from the natural world such that the true cost of proposed development actions becomes apparent to decision makers. Species are an integral component of ecosystems, and the value they provide in terms of services should be a standard part of ecosystem assessments. However, assessing the value of species is difficult and will always remain incomplete. Some of the most difficult species' benefits to assess are those that accrue unexpectedly or are wholly unanticipated. In this review, we consider recent examples from a wide variety of species and a diverse set of ecosystem services that illustrate this point and support the application of the precautionary principle to decisions affecting the natural world. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Napolitano C.,University of Chile | Diaz D.,University of Chile | Sanderson J.,Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation | Johnson W.E.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Heredity | Year: 2015

Landscape fragmentation is often a major cause of species extinction as it can affect a wide variety of ecological processes. The impact of fragmentation varies among species depending on many factors, including their life-history traits and dispersal abilities. Felids are one of the groups most threatened by fragmented landscapes because of their large home ranges, territorial behavior, and low population densities. Here, we model the impacts of habitat fragmentation on patterns of genetic diversity in the guigna (Leopardus guigna), a small felid that is closely associated with the heavily human-impacted temperate rainforests of southern South America. We assessed genetic variation in 1798 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA sequences, 15 microsatellite loci, and 2 sex chromosome genes and estimated genetic diversity, kinship, inbreeding, and dispersal in 38 individuals from landscapes with differing degrees of fragmentation on ChiloCrossed D sign © Island in southern Chile. Increased fragmentation was associated with reduced genetic diversity, but not with increased kinship or inbreeding. However, in fragmented landscapes, there was a weaker negative correlation between pairwise kinship and geographic distance, suggesting increased dispersal distances. These results highlight the importance of biological corridors to maximize connectivity in fragmented landscapes and contribute to our understanding of the broader genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation, especially for forest-specialist carnivores. © 2015 The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. Source

Harris G.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Sanderson J.G.,Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation | Erz J.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Lehnen S.E.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Butler M.J.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation) and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence) predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014) using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryxgazella) and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature) and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits) predicted bobcat (Lynxrufus) visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans) visitation. Puma (Puma concolor) visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx). Most ungulate visitation peaked during May and June. Coyote, elk and puma visitation was relatively consistent throughout the year. Within the diel-period, activity patterns for predators corresponded with prey. Year-round water management may favor species with consistent use throughout the year, and facilitate predation. Providing water only during periods of high use by target species may moderate unwanted biological costs. Source

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