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Beirne C.,Global Vision International | Beirne C.,University of Exeter | Burdekin O.,Global Vision International | Burdekin O.,The crees Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Herpetological Journal | Year: 2013

One of the key drivers of worldwide species loss is habitat change, defined as habitat deforestation, fragmentation and deterioration. We studied the effects of structural habitat change on herpetological richness and diversity in the Yachana Reserve, Amazonian Ecuador, using pitfall traps and visual encounter surveys between 2009 and 2010, recording 1551 amphibians of 37 different species and 234 reptiles of 27 species. Estimated species richness and diversity was less in pastureland and plantation habitats. Abandoned plantations supported relatively high abundances of individuals, but were markedly depauperate in species richness and diversity. Abandoned pastureland showed the opposite trend, retaining higher species richness and diversity than abandoned plantation sites, but in significantly lower relative abundances. We emphasize the importance of small reserves with a matrix of anthropogenic disturbance in preserving areas of primary habitat and providing areas of secondary regeneration. Such reserves can aid in the identification of the factors that underlie inter-specific variation in response to habitat change at the species level.


Whitworth A.,Global Vision International | Whitworth A.,The Crees Foundation | Whitworth A.,University of Glasgow | Beirne C.,Global Vision International | And 9 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2015

Roads are an increasingly common feature of forest landscapes all over the world, and while information accumulates regarding the impacts of roads globally, there remains a paucity of information within tropical regions. Here we investigate the potential for biodiversity impacts from an unmarked road within a rainforest protected area in Western Amazonia. We focus on three key taxonomic groups; amphibians, butterflies and birds, each of which have been shown to be both sensitive and reliable indicators of forest disturbance. In total, 315 amphibians of 26 different species, 348 butterflies of 65 different species, 645 birds representing 77 different species were captured using mist netting and 877 bird records representing 79 different species were recorded using point counts. We provide evidence to show that the presence of a small unmarked road significantly altered levels of faunal species richness, diversity, relative abundance and community structure. This was true to a varying degree for all three taxa, up to and potentially beyond 350 m into the forest interior. Responses to the road were shown to be taxon specific. We found increasing proximity to the road had a negative effect on amphibian and understorey bird communities, whilst butterfly and overall diurnal bird communities responded positively. We show that the impact on biodiversity extends up to at least 32 % of the whole reserve area; a serious impact under any scenario. This work provides support for recently voiced calls to limit networks of unmarked roads in order to realistically and effectively preserve natural levels of tropical biodiversity. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Brown A.,The Crees Foundation | Whitworth A.,The Crees Foundation | Whitworth A.,University of Glasgow | Fowler A.,The Crees Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Check List | Year: 2015

We present a new distribution map, including new locality records for the Blue-fronted Lancebill (Doryfera johannae) from southeast Peru. One of these records is the first physical capture record for the Madre de Dios region and supposes a range extension of ca. 470 km to the southeast. We provide notes related to the environment in which this individual was found, along with photos of the captured female from the Manu Learning Centre in the buffer zone of Manu Biosphere Reserve. © 2015 Check List and Authors.


Villacampa Ortega J.,The crees foundation | Whitworth A.,The crees foundation | Whitworth A.,University of Glasgow | Burdekin O.,The crees foundation
Check List | Year: 2013

We report a new locality for Osteocephalus mimeticus from southeast Peru which is the first record for the Madre de Dios region and a first record for Manu Biosphere Reserve. Combined with data from recent literature it also supposes a range extension of ~210 km to the southeast. We provide notes related to the environment in which this species has been found, along with photos of different individuals. We have produced a potential range map for the species, derived from known confirmed localities in which O. mimeticus has been previously found, combined with environmental and climatic data. © 2013 Check List and Authors.


Whitworth A.,University of Glasgow | Whitworth A.,The Crees Foundation | Braunholtz L.D.,University of Glasgow | Braunholtz L.D.,The Crees Foundation | And 5 more authors.
Tropical Conservation Science | Year: 2016

Traditionally, arboreal rainforest mammals have been inventoried using ground-based survey techniques. However, given the success of camera traps in detecting secretive terrestrial rainforest mammals, camera trapping could also be a valuable tool for inventorying arboreal species. Here we assess, for the first time, the effectiveness of arboreal camera traps for inventorying arboreal rainforest mammals and compare the results with those from other methodologies. We do so in one of the world’s most biodiverse conservation areas, the Manu Biosphere Reserve, Peru. We accumulated 1201 records of 24 arboreal mammal species. Eighteen species were detected by arboreal cameras, seven by diurnal line transects, six by nocturnal transects and eighteen through incidental observations. Six species were only detected using arboreal camera traps. Comparing arboreal camera traps with traditional ground-based techniques suggests camera traps are an effective tool for inventorying arboreal rainforest mammal communities. They also detected more cryptic species compared with other methodologies. Daily detection frequency patterns were found to differ between ground-based techniques and arboreal cameras. A cost-effort analysis indicated that despite greater upfront costs in equipment and training for arboreal camera trapping, when accounting for the additional survey hours required to provide similar numbers of records using ground-based methods, overall costs were similar. Our work demonstrates that arboreal camera trapping is likely to be a powerful technique for inventorying canopy mammals. The method has considerable potential for the study of charismatic and threatened arboreal mammal species that may otherwise remain largely unknown and could quietly disappear from the world’s tropical forests. © 2016, Mongaby.com e-journal. All rights reserved.


Whitworth A.W.,University of Glasgow | Whitworth A.W.,The CREES Foundation
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The debate as to which animals are most beneficial to keep in zoos in terms of financial and conservative value is readily disputed; however, demographic factors have also been shown to relate to visitor numbers on an international level. The main aims of this research were: (1) To observe the distribution and location of zoos across the UK, (2) to develop a way of calculating zoo popularity in terms of the species kept within a collection and (3) to investigate the factors related to visitor numbers regarding admission costs, popularity of the collection in terms of the species kept and local demographic factors. Zoo visitor numbers were positively correlated with generated popularity ratings for zoos based on the species kept within a collection and admission prices (Pearson correlation: n = 34, r = 0.268, P = 0.126 and n = 34, r = -0.430, P = 0.011). Animal collections are aggregated around large cities and tourist regions, particularly coastal areas. No relationship between demographic variables and visitor numbers was found (Pearson correlation: n = 34, r = 0.268, P = 0.126), which suggests that the popularity of a zoo's collection relative to the types and numbers of species kept is more indicative of a collection's visitor numbers than its surrounding demographic figures. Zoos should incorporate generating high popularity scores as part of their collection planning strategies, to ensure that they thrive in the future, not only as tourist attractions but also as major conservation organizations. © 2012 Andrew William Whitworth.


Whitworth A.,The Crees Foundation | Whitworth A.,University of Glasgow | Downie R.,University of Glasgow | von May R.,University of California at Berkeley | And 3 more authors.
Tropical Conservation Science | Year: 2016

The structure and underlying functions of the majority of the world’s tropical forests have been disrupted by human impacts, but the potential biodiversity and conservation value of regenerating forests is still debated. One review suggests that on average, regenerating tropical forests hold 57% (±2.6%) of primary forest species richness, raising doubt about a viable second chance to conserve biodiversity through rainforest regeneration. Average values, however, likely underestimate the potential benefit to biodiversity and conservation because they are drawn from many studies of short-term regeneration and studies confounded by on-going human disturbance. We suggest that the true potential biodiversity and conservation value of regenerating rainforest could be better assessed in the absence of such factors and present a multi-taxa case study of faunal biodiversity in regenerating tropical forest in lowland Amazonia. We found that biodiversity of this regenerating site was higher than might have been expected, reaching 87% (±3.5%) of primary forest alpha diversity and an average of 83% (±6.7) of species estimated to have occurred in the region before disturbance. Further, the regenerating forest held 37 species of special conservation concern, representing 88% of species of highest conservation importance predicted to exist in primary forest from the region. We conclude that this specific regenerating rainforest has high biodiversity and conservation value, and that whilst preserving primary forest is essential, our results suggest that under a best-case scenario of effective conservation management, high levels of biodiversity can return to heavily disturbed tropical forest ecosystems. © Andrew Whitworth, Roger Downie, Rudolf von May, Jaime Villacampa and Ross MacLeod.


Allen L.,The Crees Foundation | Allen L.,University of Glasgow | von May R.,University of California at Berkeley | Ortega J.V.,The Crees Foundation | And 3 more authors.
Check List | Year: 2014

Elachistocleis muiraquitan was recently described from fifteen specimens found at two sites in Acre state, northwestern Brazil. Prior to the description of E. muiraquitan, individuals fitting the description of this species found in southeastern Peru and northwestern Bolivia were identified as Elachistocleis bicolor, a species associated with markedly different habitat and environmental conditions. Here, we re-identified these specimens and also propose the first map of E. muiraquitan's potential distribution, based on known localities along with climatic and environmental parameters. © 2014 Check List and Authors.

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