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Bamako, Mali

Sutherland W.J.,University of Cambridge | Clout M.,University of Auckland | Cote I.M.,Simon Fraser University | Daszak P.,Wildlife Trust | And 19 more authors.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2010

Horizon scanning identifies emerging issues in a given field sufficiently early to conduct research to inform policy and practice. Our group of horizon scanners, including academics and researchers, convened to identify fifteen nascent issues that could affect the conservation of biological diversity. These include the impacts of and potential human responses to climate change, novel biological and digital technologies, novel pollutants and invasive species. We expect to repeat this process and collation annually. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Zhang X.,Nanjing Normal University | Liu H.,Nanjing Normal University | Baker C.,Wetlands International | Graham S.,Wetlands International China
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2012

Sedge dominated peatlands do not rehabilitate well after being drained for rangelands and specific approaches are required in order to restore these sites. Restoration by blocking drainage canals aims to recover peatland functions, principally by raising the water table. Field surveys in Ruoergai, China identified the status of peatland degradation and satellite image analysis concluded that most of Ruoergai's peatlands are degraded mainly due to drainage and overgrazing. The restoration approach used in Ruoergai resulted in increased water levels up to 26. cm higher than previously recorded in canals. Levels in shallow water canals also increased up to 50. cm, which led to an overflow of water and rewetting of the adjacent peatlands. This resulted in one peat-mining site being filled with water and aquatic vegetation. Pioneering vegetation including Heleocharis Horsetail (Equisetum heleocharis) and Halerpestes (Halerpestes tricuspis) colonized in the restored sites. It was concluded that blocking canals could be an effective method to restore hydrological function of drained peatlands and contribute to vegetation recovery. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Rebelo L.-M.,International Water Management Institute | Johnston R.,SRI International | Hein T.,WasserCluster Lunz | Weigelhofer G.,WasserCluster Lunz | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2013

Wetlands are too often perceived as standalone elements and are poorly integrated into river basin management. The Ramsar Convention recognizes the critical linkage between wetlands, water and river basin management; the governments that are party to the Convention have committed to conserving their wetlands within a framework of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The "Critical Path" approach and related guidance have been adopted by Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention in order to effectively integrate wetland conservation and management into river basin management planning and decision-making. However, despite international acceptance of the approach, it is not widely implemented. This paper provides one of the first case study based assessments of the Critical Path approach. The analysis of two contrasting Ramsar sites is presented in order to better understand the barriers to implementation in different development contexts. These are the Lobau wetland in Austria, where management institutions and regulatory frameworks are highly developed; and the Inner Niger Delta in Mali, where the capacity to implement IWRM is less evolved. A planning approach is proposed which involves structured and transparent methods for assessing ecosystem services and institutional capacity, and is suitable as a tool for identifying, prioritizing and negotiating trade-offs in ecosystem services and improving livelihoods. Based on the analysis, two main barriers to implementation are identified; mismatch between local and national or basin level priorities, and a lack of recognition of the ecosystem services provided by wetlands. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Dalby L.,University of Aarhus | Fox A.D.,University of Aarhus | Petersen I.K.,University of Aarhus | Delany S.,Wetlands International | Svenning J.-C.,University of Aarhus
Ibis | Year: 2013

To predict future changes in wintering dabbling duck (Anas sp.) distributions in response to climate change, it is necessary to understand their response to temperature at a continental scale. Food accessibility, competition and thermoregulatory costs are likely to play a major role in determining the wintering distribution of short- to medium-distance migratory bird species and in determining how this distribution varies between years. As avian thermoregulatory costs scale allometrically with body size, it would be expected that the mean mid-winter temperature experienced by six species of dabbling ducks wintering in Western Europe would be negatively correlated with body mass. We found no clear evidence for such a relationship in a large-scale analysis, nor were there relationships between weighted mean latitude and longitude and mean January temperature experienced by each species. These results suggest that temperature is less important in shaping mid-winter duck distributions than factors such as feeding ecology. © 2012 British Ornithologists' Union.

Gaidet N.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Cappelle J.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Takekawa J.Y.,U.S. Geological Survey | Prosser D.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2010

1. Migratory birds are major candidates for long-distance dispersal of zoonotic pathogens. In recent years, wildfowl have been suspected of contributing to the rapid geographic spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus. Experimental infection studies reveal that some wild ducks, geese and swans shed this virus asymptomatically and hence have the potential to spread it as they move.2. We evaluate the dispersive potential of HPAI H5N1 viruses by wildfowl through an analysis of the movement range and movement rate of birds monitored by satellite telemetry in relation to the apparent asymptomatic infection duration (AID) measured in experimental studies. We analysed the first large-scale data set of wildfowl movements, including 228 birds from 19 species monitored by satellite telemetry in 2006-2009, over HPAI H5N1 affected regions of Asia, Europe and Africa.3. Our results indicate that individual migratory wildfowl have the potential to disperse HPAI H5N1 over extensive distances, being able to perform movements of up to 2900 km within timeframes compatible with the duration of asymptomatic infection.4. However, the likelihood of such virus dispersal over long distances by individual wildfowl is low: we estimate that for an individual migratory bird there are, on average, only 5-15 days per year when infection could result in the dispersal of HPAI H5N1 virus over 500 km.5. Staging at stopover sites during migration is typically longer than the period of infection and viral shedding, preventing birds from dispersing a virus over several consecutive but interrupted long-distance movements. Intercontinental virus dispersion would therefore probably require relay transmission between a series of successively infected migratory birds.6. Synthesis and applications. Our results provide a detailed quantitative assessment of the dispersive potential of HPAI H5N1 virus by selected migratory birds. Such dispersive potential rests on the assumption that free-living wildfowl will respond analogously to captive, experimentally-infected birds, and that asymptomatic infection will not alter their movement abilities. Our approach of combining experimental exposure data and telemetry information provides an analytical framework for quantifying the risk of spread of avian-borne diseases. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

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