29 Works

Data from: Combined Support for Wholesale Taxic Atavism in Gavialine Crocodylians

John Gatesy, George Amato, Mark Norell, Rob DeSalle & Cheryl Hayashi
Morphological and molecular data sets favor robustly supported, contradictory interpretations of crocodylian phylogeny. A longstanding perception in the field of systematics is that such significantly conflicting data sets should be analyzed separately. Here we utilize a combined approach, simultaneous analysis of all relevant character data, to summarize common support and to reconcile discrepancies among data sets. By conjoining rather than separating incongruent classes of data, secondary phylogenetic signals emerge from both molecular and morphological character...

Data from: Multiple processes drive genetic structure of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) populations across spatial scales

Francine Kershaw, Inês Carvalho, Jacqueline Loo, Cristina Pomilla, Peter B. Best, Ken P. Findlay, Salvatore Cerchio, Tim Collins, Marcia H. Engel, Gianna Minton, Peter Ersts, Jaco Barendse, P. G. H. Kotze, Yvette Razafindrakoto, Solange Ngouessono, Michael Meӱer, Meredith Thornton & Howard C. Rosenbaum
Elucidating patterns of population structure for species with complex life histories, and disentangling the processes driving such patterns, remains a significant analytical challenge. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) populations display complex genetic structures that have not been fully resolved at all spatial scales. We generated a data set of nuclear markers for 3,575 samples spanning the seven breeding stocks and substocks found in the South Atlantic and western and northern Indian Oceans. For the total sample,...

Data from: Network analysis of sea turtle movements and connectivity: a tool for conservation prioritization

Connie Y. Kot, Susanne Åkesson, Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto, Diego Fernando Amorocho Llanos, Marina Antonopoulou, George H. Balazs, Warren R. Baverstock, Janice M. Blumenthal, Annette C. Broderick, Ignacio Bruno, Ali Fuat Canbolat, Paolo Casale, Daniel Cejudo, Michael S. Coyne, Corrie Curtice, Sarah DeLand, Andrew DiMatteo, Kara Dodge, Daniel C. Dunn, Nicole Esteban, Angela Formia, Mariana M. P. B. Fuentes, Ei Fujioka, Julie Garnier, Matthew H. Godfrey … & Patrick N. Halpin
Aim: Understanding the spatial ecology of animal movements is a critical element in conserving long-lived, highly mobile marine species. Analysing networks developed from movements of six sea turtle species reveals marine connectivity and can help prioritize conservation efforts. Location: Global. Methods: We collated telemetry data from 1,235 individuals and reviewed the literature to determine our dataset’s representativeness. We used the telemetry data to develop spatial networks at different scales to examine areas, connections, and their...

Data from: Integrating molecular, phenotypic and environmental data to elucidate patterns of crocodile hybridization in Belize

Evon R. Hekkala, Steven G. Platt, John B. Thorbjarnarson, Thomas R. Rainwater, Michael Tessler, Seth W. Cunningham, Christopher Twomey & George Amato
The genus Crocodylus comprises 12 currently recognized species, many of which can be difficult to differentiate phenotypically. Interspecific hybridization among crocodiles is known to occur in captivity and has been documented between some species in the wild. The identification of hybrid individuals is of importance for management and monitoring of crocodilians, many of which are Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listed. In this study, both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers were evaluated...

Data from: Mothers may shape the variations in social organization among gorillas

Andrew M. Robbins, Maryke Gray, Thomas Breuer, Marie Manguette, Emma J. Stokes, Prosper Uwingeli, Innocent Mburanumwe, Edwin Kagoda & Martha M. Robbins
When mothers continue to support their offspring beyond infancy, they can influence the fitness of those offspring, the strength of social relationships within their groups, and the life-history traits of their species. Using up to 30 years of demographic data from 58 groups of gorillas in two study sites, this study extends such findings by showing that mothers may also contribute to differences in social organization between closely related species. Female mountain gorillas remained with...

Data from: Phylogeography, genetic structure and population divergence time of cheetahs in Africa and Asia: evidence for long-term geographic isolates

Pauline Charruau, Carlos Fernandes, Pablo Orozco-TerWengel, Joris Peters, Luke Hunter, H. Ziaie, A. Jourabchian, H. Jowkar, Georges Schaller, Stephane Ostrowski, Paul Vercammen, Thierry Grange, Christian Schlötterer, Antoinette Kotze, Eva-Maria Geigl, Chris Walzer & Pamela A. Burger
The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) has been described as a species with low levels of genetic variation. This has been suggested to be the consequence of a demographic bottleneck 10 000–12 000 years ago (ya) and also led to the assumption that only small genetic differences exist between the described subspecies. However, analysing mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites in cheetah samples from most of the historic range of the species we found relatively deep phylogeographic breaks between...

Data from: Pan-Atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries

Sabrina Fossette, Matthew J. Witt, Philip Miller, Michel A. Nalovic, Diego Albareda, Antonio P. Almeida, Annette C. Broderick, Didiher Chacón-Chaverri, Michael S. Coyne, Andres Domingo, Scott Eckert, Daniel Evans, Alejandro Fallabrino, Sandra Ferraroli, Angela Formia, Bruno Giffoni, Graeme C. Hays, George Hughes, Laurent Kelle, Aimee Leslie, Milagros López-Mendilaharsu, Paolo Luschi, Laura Prosdocimi, Sergio Rodriguez-Heredia, Avanaisa Turny … & Brendan J. Godley
Large oceanic migrants play important roles in ecosystems, yet many species are of conservation concern as a result of anthropogenic threats, of which incidental capture by fisheries is frequently identified. The last large populations of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, occur in the Atlantic Ocean, but interactions with industrial fisheries could jeopardize recent positive population trends, making bycatch mitigation a priority. Here, we perform the first pan-Atlantic analysis of spatio-temporal distribution of the leatherback turtle...

Data from: Detection dog efficacy for collecting fecal samples from the critically endangered Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) for genetic censusing

Mimi Arandjelovic, Richard A. Bergl, Romanus Ikfuingei, Christopher Jameson, Megan Parker & Linda Vigilant
Population estimates using genetic capture–recapture methods from non-invasively collected wildlife samples are more accurate and precise than those obtained from traditional methods when detection and resampling rates are high. Recently, detection dogs have been increasingly used to find elusive species and their by-products. Here we compared the effectiveness of dog- and human-directed searches for Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) faeces at two sites. The critically endangered Cross River gorilla inhabits a region of high...

Data from: Global terrestrial Human Footprint maps for 1993 and 2009

Oscar Venter, Eric W. Sanderson, Ainhoa Magrach, James R. Allan, Jutta Beher, Kendall R. Jones, Hugh P. Possingham, William F. Laurance, Peter Wood, Balázs M. Fekete, Marc A. Levy & James E.M. Watson
Remotely-sensed and bottom-up survey information were compiled on eight variables measuring the direct and indirect human pressures on the environment globally in 1993 and 2009. This represents not only the most current information of its type, but also the first temporally-consistent set of Human Footprint maps. Data on human pressures were acquired or developed for: 1) built environments, 2) population density, 3) electric infrastructure, 4) crop lands, 5) pasture lands, 6) roads, 7) railways, and...

Data from: ANDe™ : a fully integrated environmental DNA sampling system

Austen C. Thomas, Jesse Howard, Phong L. Nguyen, Tracie A. Seimon & Caren S. Goldberg
1. Species monitoring from environmental DNA (eDNA) is a powerful new technique for natural resource scientists and the number of research groups employing eDNA detection is growing rapidly. However, current eDNA sampling technologies consist mainly of do-it-yourself solutions, and the lack of purpose-built sampling equipment is limiting the efficiency and standardization of eDNA studies. 2. Here, we describe the first fully-integrated sampling system (ANDeTM) designed by a team of molecular ecologists and engineers for high-throughput...

Detectability and impact of repetitive surveys on threatened West African crocodylians: Data M1

Michel N'Dede Ahizi, Christine Yaoua Kouman, Allassane Ouattara, N’Dri Pascal Kouame, Azani Dede, Emilie Fairet & Matthew H. Shirley
West African crocodylians are among the most threatened and least studied crocodylian species globally. Assessing population status and establishing a basis for population monitoring is the highest priority action for this region. Monitoring of crocodiles is influenced by many factors that affect detectability, including environmental variables and individual or population-level wariness. We investigated how these factors affect detectability and counts of the Critically Endangered Mecistops cataphractus and the newly recognized Crocodylus suchus. We implemented 195...

A big data–model integration approach for predicting epizootics and population recovery in a keystone species

Gabriel Barrile, David Augustine, Lauren Porensky, Courtney Duchardt, Kevin Shoemaker, Cynthia Hartway, Justin Derner, Elizabeth Hunter & Ana Davidson
Infectious diseases pose a significant threat to global health and biodiversity. Yet, predicting the spatiotemporal dynamics of wildlife epizootics remains challenging. Disease outbreaks result from complex non-linear interactions among a large collection of variables that rarely adhere to the assumptions of parametric regression modeling. We adopted a non-parametric machine learning approach to model wildlife epizootics and population recovery, using the disease system of colonial black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPD, Cynomys ludovicianus) and sylvatic plague as an...

Data from: Genetic variation in blue whales in the eastern Pacific: implication for taxonomy and use of common wintering grounds

Richard G. LeDuc, F.I. Archer, Aimee R. Lang, Karen K. Martien, Brittany Hancock-Hanser, Juan P. Torres-Florez, Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete, Howard C. Rosenbaum, Koen Van Waerebeek, Robert L. Brownell, Barbara L. Taylor & F. I. Archer
Many aspects of blue whale biology are poorly understood. Some of the gaps in our knowledge, such as those regarding their basic taxonomy and seasonal movements, directly affect our ability to monitor and manage blue whale populations. As a step towards filling in some of these gaps, microsatellite and mtDNA sequence analyses were conducted on blue whale samples from the Southern Hemisphere, the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP), and the northeast Pacific. The results indicate that...

Data from: Influence of environmental parameters on movements and habitat utilization of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Madagascar breeding ground

Laurène Trudelle, Salvatore Cerchio, Alexandre N. Zerbini, Ygor Geyer, Francois-Xavier Mayer, Jean-Luc Jung, Maxime R. Hervé, Stéphane Pous, Jean-Baptiste Sallée, Howard C. Rosenbaum, Olivier Adam & Jean-Benoit Charrassin
Assessing the movement patterns and key habitat features of breeding humpback whales is a prerequisite for the conservation management of this philopatric species. To investigate the interactions between humpback whale movements and environmental conditions off Madagascar, we deployed 25 satellite tags in the northeast and southwest coast of Madagascar. For each recorded position, we collated estimates of environmental variables and computed two behavioural metrics: behavioural state of ‘transiting’ (consistent/directional) versus ‘localized’ (variable/non-directional), and active swimming...

When waterholes get busy, rare interactions thrive: Photographic evidence of a jaguar (Panthera onca) killing an ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

Lucy Perera-Romero, Rony García-Anleu, Roan McNab & Daniel Thornton
During a camera trap survey conducted in Guatemala in the 2019 dry season, we documented a jaguar killing an ocelot at a waterhole with high mammal activity. During severe droughts, the probability of aggressive interactions between carnivores might increase when fixed, valuable resources such as water cannot be easily partitioned.

Data from: Using satellite AIS to improve our understanding of shipping and fill gaps in ocean observation data to support marine spatial planning

Kristian Metcalfe, Nathalie Bréheret, Eva Chauvet, Tim Collins, Bryan K. Curran, Richard J. Parnell, Rachel A. Turner, Matthew J. Witt & Brendan J. Godley
1. A key stage underpinning marine spatial planning (MSP) involves mapping the spatial distribution of ecological processes and biological features, as well the social and economic interests of different user groups. One sector, merchant shipping (vessels that transport cargo or passengers), however, is often poorly represented in MSP due to a perceived lack of fine-scale spatially explicit data to support decision making processes. 2. Here, using the Republic of Congo as an example, we show...

Data from: Land‐sharing potential of large carnivores in human‐modified landscapes of western India

Iravatee M. Majgaonkar, Srinivas Vaidyanathan, Arjun Srivathsa, Shweta Shivakumar, Sunil Limaye & Vidya Athreya
The current Protected Area (PA)network is not sufficient to ensure long-term persistence of wide-ranging carnivore populations.Within India, this is particularly the case for species that inhabit non-forested areas since PAs disproportionately over-represent forested ecosystems. With growing consideration of human-use landscapes as potential habitats for adaptable large carnivores, India provides a model for studying them in densely populated landscapes, where there is little understanding about human-carnivore interactions in shared spaces. Using key informant interviews and an...

Genomic analyses show extremely perilous conservation status of African and Asiatic cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

Stefan Prost, Ana Paula Machado, Julia Zumbroich, Lisa Preier, Sarita Mahtani-Williams, René Meißner, Katerina Guschanski, Jaelle C. Braeley, Carlos Rodriguez Fernandes, Paul Vercammen, Luke T. B. Hunter, Alexei V. Abramov, Martin Plasil, Petr Horin, Lena Godsall-Botriell, Paul Bottriell, Desire Lee Dalton, Antoinette Kotze & Pamela Burger
We live in a world characterised by biodiversity loss and global environmental change. The extinction of large carnivores can have ramifying effects on ecosystems like an uncontrolled increase in wild herbivores, which in turn can have knock-on impacts on vegetation regeneration and communities. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) serve important ecosystem functions as apex predators; yet, they are quickly heading towards an uncertain future. Threatened by habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and illegal trafficking, there are only approximately...

Data and code for: Human density modulates spatial associations among tropical forest terrestrial mammal species

Daniel Gorczynski, Chia Hsieh, Jorge Ahumada, Emmanuel Akampurira, Mahandry Hugues Andrianarisoa, Santiago Espinosa, Steig Johnson, Charles Kayijamahe, Marcela Guimaraes Moreira Lima, Badru Mugerwa, Francesco Rovero, Julia Salvador, Fernanda Santos, Douglas Sheil, Eustrate Uzabaho & Lydia Beaudrot
The spatial aggregation of species pairs often increases with the ecological similarity of the species involved. However, the way in which environmental conditions and anthropogenic activity affect the relationship between spatial aggregation and ecological similarity remains unknown despite the potential for spatial associations to affect species interactions, ecosystem function, and extinction risk. Given that human disturbance has been shown to both increase and decrease spatial associations among species pairs, ecological similarity may have a role...

Data from: Genetic structure of fragmented southern populations of African Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer)

Nathalie Smitz, Daniel Cornélis, Philippe Chardonnet, Alexandre Caron, Michel De Garine-Wichatitsky, Ferran Jori, Alice Mouton, Alice Latinne, Lice-Marie Pigneur, Mario Melletti, Kimberly L. Kanapeckas, Jonathan Marescaux, Carlos Lopes Pereira & Johan Michaux
Background: African wildlife experienced a reduction in population size and geographical distribution over the last millennium, particularly since the 19th century as a result of human demographic expansion, wildlife overexploitation, habitat degradation and cattle-borne diseases. In many areas, ungulate populations are now largely confined within a network of loosely connected protected areas. These metapopulations face gene flow restriction and run the risk of genetic diversity erosion. In this context, we assessed the “genetic health” of...

Data from: Spatial and temporal patterns of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)

Clare D. Marsden, Rosie Woodroffe, Michael G. L. Mills, J. Weldon McNutt, Scott Creel, Rosemary Groom, Masenga Emmanuel, Sarah Cleaveland, Pieter Kat, Gregory S. A. Rasmussen, Joshua Ginsberg, Robin Lines, Jean-Marc André, Colleen Begg, Robert K. Wayne & Barbara K. Mable
Deciphering patterns of genetic variation within a species is essential for understanding population structure, local adaptation and differences in diversity between populations. Whilst neutrally evolving genetic markers can be used to elucidate demographic processes and genetic structure, they are not subject to selection and therefore are not informative about patterns of adaptive variation. As such, assessments of pertinent adaptive loci, such as the immunity genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), are increasingly being incorporated...

Data from: Population differentiation of 2 forms of Bryde’s whales in the Indian and Pacific Oceans

Francine Kershaw, Matthew S. Leslie, Tim Collins, Rubaiyat M. Mansur, Brian D. Smith, Gianna Minton, Robert Baldwin, Richard G. LeDuc, R. Charles Anderson, & Howard C. Rosenbaum
Accurate identification of units for conservation is particularly challenging for marine species as obvious barriers to gene flow are generally lacking. Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera spp.) are subject to multiple human-mediated stressors, including fisheries bycatch, ship strikes, and scientific whaling by Japan. For effective management, a clear understanding of how populations of each Bryde’s whale species/subspecies are genetically structured across their range is required. We conducted a population-level analysis of mtDNA control region sequences with 56...

Coronavirus testing indicates transmission risk increases along wildlife supply chains for human consumption in Viet Nam, 2013-2014

Sarah H. Olson, Nguyen Quynh Huong, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nga, Nguyen Van Long, Bach Duc Luu, Alice Latinne, Mathieu Pruvot, Nguyen Thanh Phuong, Le Tin Vinh Quang, Vo Van Hung, Nguyen Thi Lan, Nguyen Thi Hoa, Phan Quang Minh, Nguyen Thi Diep, Nguyen Tung, Van Dang Ky, Scott I. Roberton, Hoang Bich Thuy, Martin Gilbert, Leanne Wicker, Jonna A. K. Mazet, Christine Kreuder Johnson, Tracey Goldstein, Alex Tremeau-Bravard, Victoria Ontiveros … & Nguyen Van Long
Outbreaks of emerging coronaviruses in the past two decades and the current pandemic of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that emerged in China highlight the importance of this viral family as a zoonotic public health threat. To gain a better understanding of coronavirus presence and diversity in wildlife at wildlife-human interfaces in three southern provinces in Viet Nam 2013-2014, we used consensus Polymerase Chain Reactions to detect coronavirus sequences. In comparison to previous studies, we observed...

Mapping breeding bird species richness at management-relevant resolutions across the United States

Kathleen Carroll, Laura Farwell, Anna Pidgeon, Elena Razenkova, David Gudex-Cross, David Helmers, Katarzyna Lewińska, Paul Elsen & Volker Radeloff
Human activities alter ecosystems everywhere, causing rapid biodiversity loss and biotic homogenization. These losses necessitate coordinated conservation actions guided by biodiversity and species distribution spatial data that cover large areas yet have fine-enough resolution to be management-relevant (i.e., ≤ 5 km). However, most biodiversity products are too coarse for management or are only available for small areas. Furthermore, many maps generated for biodiversity assessment and conservation do not explicitly quantify the inherent tradeoff between resolution...

The minimum land area requiring conservation attention to safeguard biodiversity

James Allan, Hugh Possingham, Scott Atkinson, Anthony Waldron, Moreno Di Marco, Stuart Butchart, Vanessa Adams, Daniel Kissling, Thomas Worsdell, Chris Sandbrook, Gwili Gibbon, Kundan Kumar, Piyush Mehta, Martine Maron, Brooke Williams, Kendall Jones, Brendan Wintle, April Reside & James Watson
Ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global biodiversity crisis. Here, we estimate the minimum land area to secure important biodiversity areas, ecologically intact areas, and optimal locations for representation of species ranges and ecoregions. We discover that at least 64 million km2 (44% of terrestrial area) would require conservation attention (ranging from protected areas to land-use policies) to meet this goal. Over 1.8 billion people live on these lands, so responses that promote...

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  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
  • Rice University
  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • New England Aquarium
  • Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi
  • New York University
  • University of Lisbon