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Ives C.D.,RMIT University | Biggs D.,University of Queensland | Hardy M.J.,RMIT University | Lechner A.M.,University of Tasmania | And 4 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2015

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is increasingly used to assess land use plans in a way that is broader in spatial, temporal and conceptual scope than traditional Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Meanwhile, conservation scientists have recognised that successful biodiversity conservation outcomes rely on information about both biological priorities and the feasibility of undertaking conservation actions. SEA provides a framework for integrating information on the social determinants of conservation feasibility with supporting environmental legislation in order to achieve enhanced conservation outcomes. In this paper we argue that data on the social context of land use plans are vital to ensure effective biodiversity conservation outcomes that result from SEAs. We explore the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) (EPBC Act) as a case example of how the integration of these data can be practically achieved within an existing legal process. While a range of social data is relevant to this type of assessment, we focus on the use of spatially-referenced social data in the context of land use planning. When applied to the design and implementation of land use plans, this type of information can improve the acceptability of conservation actions, enhance environmental stewardship, and minimise land use conflict through taking stock of the values and attitudes (precursors to behaviour) that are relevant to proposed land use change and conservation action. Through exploring the integration of these data into each of the stages of SEA under the EPBC Act, we show that opportunities exist to strengthen the effectiveness of SEA in delivering conservation outcomes without altering existing legal processes. Yet, for this to be done effectively, practitioners need to be cognisant of a range of theoretical and methodological challenges related to the generation and interpretation of these data, as well as the socio-political context in which they are applied. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Engeman R.M.,National Wildlife Research Center | Massei G.,Animal Health Veterinary Laboratory Agency | Sage M.,Wildlife | Gentle M.N.,Robert Wicks Pest Animal Research Center
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2013

Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are widespread across many landscapes throughout the world and are considered to be an invasive pest to agriculture and the environment, or conversely a native or desired game species and resource for hunting. Wild pig population monitoring is often required for a variety of management or research objectives, and many methods and analyses for monitoring abundance are available. Here, we describe monitoring methods that have proven or potential applications to wild pig management. We describe the advantages and disadvantages of methods so that potential users can efficiently consider and identify the option(s) best suited to their combination of objectives, circumstances, and resources. This paper offers guidance to wildlife managers, researchers, and stakeholders considering population monitoring of wild pigs and will help ensure that they can fulfill their monitoring objectives while optimizing their use of resources. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA).

Shah S.A.,Wildlife
Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences | Year: 2011

The Government of North West Frontier Province (Kyber Paktun Khawan) renamed Kyber Pakhtunkhwan in April 2010, attaches a high priority to the conservation of rich diversity of flora and fauna in the Province. In 1975, the Kyber Paktun Khawan Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act was promulgated to provide a legal framework for conservation efforts. The Kyber Paktun Khawan Wildlife Department is mandated to protect, preserve, conserve and manage the wildlife resources of the Province. The Province is a land of diverse physio-climatic factors. In a short stretch of 700 km from south to north, the Province exhibits an altitude of 174m asl in Dera Ismail Khan to 7,690 m asl at Tirichmir peak in Chitral. Similarly an extreme arid hot climate in Dera Ismail Khan desert with a mean annual rainfall of 230 mm and maximum summer temperature of 50oC is contrasted by arid cold conditions on northern high mountains peaks with perpetual snow and subzero temperatures. A great range of physical and climatic conditions has given rise to eleven major habitat types with over 100 species of mammals, over 456 species of birds, 46 species of reptiles and over 4000 species of plants (IUCN, 1996).

Hammock B.G.,University of California at Davis | Hobbs J.A.,Wildlife | Slater S.B.,2109 Arch Airport Road | Acuna S.,Metropolitan Water District of Southern California | Teh S.J.,University of California at Davis
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

The abundance of Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), a fish species endemic to the upper San Francisco Estuary (SFE), is declining. Several causes for the population decline have been proposed, including food limitation and contaminant effects. Here, using juvenile Delta Smelt collected from throughout their range, we measured a suite of indices across three levels of biological organization (cellular, organ, individual) that reflect fish condition at temporal scales ranging from hours to weeks. Using these indices, the relative conditions of fish collected from five regions in the SFE were compared: Cache Slough, Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel, Confluence, Suisun Bay and Suisun Marsh. Fish sampled from Suisun Bay and, to a lesser extent the Confluence, exhibited relatively poor short-term nutritional and growth indices and morphometric condition, while fish from the freshwater regions of the estuary, and Cache Slough in particular, exhibited the most apparent histopathological signs of contaminant exposure. In contrast, fish from the Suisun Marsh region exhibited higher short-term nutrition and growth indices, and better morphometric and histopathological condition. For instance, fish collected from Suisun Marsh had a mean stomach fullness, expressed as a percentage of fish weight, that was 3.4-fold higher than fish collected from Suisun Bay, while also exhibiting an incidence of histopathological lesions that was 11-fold lower than fish collected from Cache Slough. Thus, our findings support the hypothesis that multiple stressors, including food limitation and contaminants, are contributing to the decline of Delta Smelt, and that these stressors influence Delta Smelt heterogeneously across space. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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