Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats
Wildlife Research

Wildlife Research

Volume 44 Number 5 2017

WR17018The invisible harm: land clearing is an issue of animal welfare

Hugh C. Finn and Nahiid S. Stephens
pp. 377-391
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Despite evidence of the harm that land clearing causes to individual animals, such harm is either ignored or considered only indirectly in environmental decision-making. The clearing of native vegetation kills many of the animals present and causes injuries and other conditions that are physically painful and psychologically stressful. Environmental decision-makers should identify and evaluate the harm that proposed clearing actions will cause.

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It is vital to understand what times and places are important to animals, but determining these can be challenging to research and conservation efforts. We show that the SaTScan is effective for quickly identifying peaks in bat activity. SaTScan is a valuable tool for understanding and studying bat activity and has potential for many more uses in ecology.

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One-fifth of mammal species are at risk of extinction in the wild, and more research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas in achieving conservation objectives. Therefore, I evaluated the effectiveness of conservation objectives in the Lar Protected Area (LPA) in northern Iran by documenting the spatial and temporal distribution of seven large- and medium-sized mammals and humans with camera traps and determined the areas and seasons most used by poachers that will definitely be useful for improving the conservation of focal species in the LPA. Photograph by Jamshid Parchizadeh.

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Identifying high-quality Gunnison sage-grouse habitat is critical to successful conservation and recovery of this threatened species. We identified seasonal habitat preferred by Gunnison sage-grouse and found our more refined models more accurately reflected reality than the critical habitat designation currently being used for species recovery. Using a hierarchical approach to identify critical habitat with higher quality data when available may provide a better alternative to generalizations for threatened and endangered species.

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Stoats are a serious conservation pest in New Zealand, but current monitoring methods are often not sensitive enough to detect them. We compared the effectiveness of the established footprint-tracking tunnel method with two alternative methods, camera traps and artificial nests and found that both were more efficient at detecting stoats in alpine habitat during spring, when they are known to be difficult to detect. Our study demonstrates the importance of calibration among different monitoring methods, particularly when the target species is difficult to detect.

WR16203Home range, den selection and habitat use of Carolina northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus)

Corinne A. Diggins, Alexander Silvis, Christine A. Kelly and W. Mark Ford
pp. 427-437
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The Carolina northern flying squirrel is an endangered subspecies that occurs in the southern Appalachian Mountains. To better conserve and manage this species, we conducted a study using radio-telemetry to determine habitat selection across the range of this species. We found Carolina northern flying squirrels preferentially select high-elevation spruce-fir forests over northern hardwood forests.

WR17016Translocating ratsnakes: does enrichment offset negative effects of time in captivity?

Brett A. DeGregorio, Jinelle H. Sperry, Tracey D. Tuberville and Patrick J. Weatherhead
pp. 438-448
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We investigated the behaviour and survival of translocated ratsnakes. Even if snakes were held captive in complex, naturalistic enclosures (environmental enrichment) before release, the longer they had been in captivity, the less likely they were to survive. Our results suggest that translocation programs should minimize the amount of time animals are in captivity before release when possible.

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