33 Works

Data from: Spotted in the news: using media reports to examine leopard distribution, depredation, and management practices outside protected areas in southern India

Vidya Athreya, Arjun Srivathsa, Mahi Puri, Krithi K. Karanth & N. Samba Kumar
There is increasing evidence of large carnivore presence outside protected areas, globally. Although this spells conservation success through population recoveries, it makes carnivore persistence in human-use landscapes tenuous. The widespread distribution of leopards in certain regions of India typifies this problem. We obtained information on leopard-human interactions at a regional scale in Karnataka State, India, based on systematic surveys of local media reports. We applied an innovative occupancy modelling approach to map their distribution patterns...

Mountain goat molt from community photographs

Katarzyna Nowak, Shane Richards, Joel Berger, Amy Panikowski, Aerin Jacob, Donald Reid, Greg Newman, Nicholas Young & Jon Beckmann
Participatory approaches, such as community photography, can engage the public in questions of societal and scientific interest while helping advance understanding of ecological patterns and processes. We combined data extracted from community-sourced, spatially-explicit photographs with research findings from 2018 fieldwork in the Yukon, Canada, to evaluate winter coat molt patterns and phenology in mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), a cold-adapted, alpine mammal. Leveraging the community science portals iNaturalist and CitSci, in less than a year we...

Data from: Nesting success and nest-site selection of white-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis) in western Maharashtra, India

Iravatee D Majgaonkar, Christopher G. R. Bowden, Suhel Quader & Iravatee Majgaonkar
A few breeding populations of White-rumped Vultures Gyps bengalensis still survive in pockets of their original vast range in India, having weathered a diclofenac induced population decline of 99.9% since the early 1990s. These breeding populations are potential sources of recruits, now that the overall population appears to be stabilising or even recovering in some areas. We studied two White-rumped Vulture nesting colonies in the Raigad district of coastal Maharashtra in 2013-14, to investigate site-specific...

Elevation and landscape change drive the distribution of a montane, endemic grassland bird

Abhimanyu Lele, V. V. Robin, M. Arasumani, C. K. Vishnudas, Devcharan Jathanna & Viral Joshi
This dataset documents the presence and abundance of the Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) in 170 survey sites across most of its global range. Between one and four surveys were carried out at each site between November 2017 and May 2018 by experienced observers. Survey duration was proportional to site area. A wide range of habitat characteristics were also surveyed, and additional habitat characteristics for each site were gathered from remotely sensed data.

Historical (1901-1920), contemporary (1979-2013), and future (2061-2080) terrestrial life zones

Paul R. Elsen, Earl C. Saxon, B. Alexander Simmons, Michelle Ward, Brooke A. Williams, Hedley S. Grantham, Salit Kark, Noam Levin, Katharina-Victoria Perez-Hammerle, April E. Reside & James E. M. Watson
Datasets depicting historical (1901-1920), contemporary (1979-2013), and future (2061-2080) life zones as global rasters at 30 arc-second resolution in GeoTiff format are included, which were produced for the study "Accelerated shifts in terrestrial life zones under rapid climate change", published in Global Change Biology by Elsen et al. Life zones are determined by distinct combinations of biotemperature and precipitation and represent broad-scale ecosystem types (sensu Holdridge[1]). For the future period, life zone maps were produced...

Kelp forests at the end of the earth: 45 years later

Alan Friedlander, Enric Ballesteros, Tom Bell, Jennifer Caselle, Claudio Campagna, Mathias Hune, Alex Munoz, Pelayo Salinas-De-Leon, Enric Sala & Paul Dayton
The kelp forests of southern South America are some of the least disturbed on the planet. The remoteness of this region has, until recently, spared it from many of the direct anthropogenic stressors that have negatively affected these ecosystems elsewhere. Re-surveys of 11 locations at the easternmost extent of Tierra del Fuego originally conducted in 1973 showed no significant differences in the densities of adult and juvenile Macrocystis pyrifera kelp or kelp holdfast diameter between...

Data from: A standardized assessment of forest mammal communities reveals consistent functional composition and vulnerability across the tropics

Francesco Rovero, Jorge Ahumada, Patrick Jansen, Douglas Sheil, Patricia Alvarez, Kelly Boekee, Santiago Espinosa, Marcela Lima, Emanuel Martin, Timothy O’Brien, Julia Salvador, Fernanda Santos, Melissa Rosa, Alexander Zvoleff, Chris Sutherland & Simone Tenan
Understanding global diversity patterns has benefitted from a focus on functional traits and how they relate to variation in environmental conditions among assemblages. Distant communities in similar environments often share characteristics, and for tropical forest mammals, this functional trait convergence has been demonstrated at coarse scales (110-200 km resolution), but less is known about how these patterns manifest at fine scales, where local processes (e.g., habitat features and anthropogenic activities) and biotic interactions occur. Here,...

The expansion wave of an invasive predator leaves declining waterbird populations behind

Marcin Brzeziński, Michał Żmihorski, Marek Nieoczym, Piotr Wilniewczyc & Andrzej Zalewski
Aim: Theory predicts that the evolutionary adaptations of prey to reduce predator pressure often fail in confrontation with non-native predators; thus, their predation usually leads to sharp declines of prey populations. However, over time, prey can develop anti-predator adaptations, reduce predator impact and recover its population. We analyse the numerical response of multiple prey species to the impact of a non-native predator on a large spatiotemporal scale. Location: Poland Methods: Long-term population dynamics of 13...

Analytic dataset informing prediction of subterranean cave and mine ambient temperatures

Meredith McClure, Daniel Crowley, Catherine Haase, Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, David Hayman, Cori Lausen, Raina Plowright, Brett Dickson & Sarah Olson
Caves and other subterranean features provide unique environments for many species. The importance of cave microclimate is particularly relevant at temperate latitudes where bats make seasonal use of caves for hibernation. White-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has devastated populations of hibernating bats across eastern and central North America, has brought renewed interest in bat hibernation and hibernaculum conditions. A recent review synthesized current understanding of cave climatology, exploring the qualitative relationship between cave...

Data and code for simulation study and case study in \"A Bayesian Dirichlet process community occupancy model to estimate community structure and species similarity\"

Rahel Sollmann, Mitchell Eaton, William Link, Paul Mulondo, Samuel Ayebare, Sarah Prinsloo & Devin Johnson
This dataset contains the R and JAGS code underlying the simulation study, as well as the data and code underlying the case study on bird occurrence in Murchison Falls National Park, presented in the paper "A Bayesian Dirichlet process community occupancy model to estimate community structure and species similarity".

Isotope analysis combined with DNA barcoding provide new insights into the dietary niche of khulan in the Mongolian Gobi

Martina Burnik Šturm, Steve Smith, Oyunsaikhan Ganbaatar, Bayarbaatar Buuveibaatar, Boglarka Balint, John C. Payne, Christian C. Voigt & Petra Kaczensky
With increasing livestock numbers, competition and avoidance are increasingly shaping resource availability for wild ungulates. Shifts in the dietary niche of wild ungulates are likely and can be expected to negatively affect their fitness. The Mongolian Gobi constitutes the largest remaining refuge for several threatened ungulates, but unprecedentedly high livestock numbers are sparking growing concerns over rangeland health and impacts on threatened ungulates like the Asiatic wild ass (khulan). Previous stable isotope analysis of khulan...

Data from: Alternative reproductive tactics and inverse size-assortment in a high-density fish spawning aggregation

Rucha Karkarey, Amod Zambre, Kavita Isvaran & Rohan Arthur
Background: At high densities, terrestrial and marine species often employ alternate reproductive tactics (ARTs) to maximize reproductive benefits. We describe ARTs in a high-density and unfished spawning aggregation of the squaretail grouper (Plectropomus areolatus) in Lakshadweep, India. Results: As previously reported for this species, territorial males engage in pair-courtship, which is associated with a pair-spawning tactic. Here, we document a previously unreported school-courtship tactic; where territorial males court multiple females in mid-water schools, which appears...

Dog in the matrix: Envisioning countrywide connectivity conservation for an endangered carnivore

Ryan G. Rodrigues, Arjun Srivathsa & Divya Vasudev
Elevated rates of anthropogenic impacts on land-use regimes have pushed terrestrial megafauna to the brink of extinction. Consequently, it is critical to adopt conservation approaches that safeguard individual populations, while retaining connectivity among these populations. Conserving spatially structured populations of imperiled species at large scales is often complex; the past decades have therefore seen a rise in spatial conservation prioritization exercises aimed at shaping landscape-scale conservation programmes. We present a framework for informing nationwide connectivity...

Data from: A burning issue: Savanna fire management can generate enough carbon revenue to help restore Africa’s rangelands and fill protected area funding gaps

Timothy Tear, Nicholas Wolff, Geoffrey Lipsett-Moore, Mark Ritchie, Natasha Ribeiro, Lisanne Petracca, Peter Lindsey, Luke Hunter, Andrew Loveridge & Franziska Steinbruch
Many savanna-dependent species in Africa including large herbivores and apex predators are at increasing risk of extinction. Achieving effective management of protected areas (PAs) in Africa where lions live will cost an estimated USD >$1-2 B/year in new funding. We explored the potential for fire management-based carbon-financing programs to fill this funding gap and benefit degrading savanna ecosystems. We demonstrated how introducing early dry season fire management programs could produce potential carbon revenues (PCR) from...

Data from: Competition and specialization in an African forest carnivore community

David Mills, Emmanuel Do Linh San, Hugh Robinson, Sam Isoke, Rob Slotow & Luke Hunter
Globally, human activities have led to the impoverishment of species assemblages and the disruption of ecosystem function. Determining whether this poses a threat to future ecosystem stability necessitates a thorough understanding of mechanisms underpinning community assembly and niche selection. Here, we tested for niche segregation within an African small carnivore community in Kibale National Park, Uganda. We used occupancy modelling based on systematic camera trap surveys and fine-scale habitat measures, to identify opposing preferences between...

Hidden treasure of the Gobi: understanding how water limits range use of khulan in the Mongolian Gobi

John C. Payne, Bayarbaatar Buuveibaatar, Diana E. Bowler, Kirk A. Olson, Chris Walzer & Petra Kaczensky
Most large herbivores in arid landscapes need to drink which constrains their movements and makes them vulnerable to disturbance. Asiatic wild ass or khulan (Equus hemionus) were widespread and abundant throughout the arid landscapes of Central Asia and Mongolia, but have undergone dramatic population declines and range constrictions; denying khulan access to water is believed to have played a major role. Mongolia’s South Gobi Region now houses the world largest remaining khulan population, but is...

Data from: Wild ungulate decision-making and the role of tiny refuges in human-dominated landscapes

Yarlagadda Chaitanya Krishna, Ajith Kumar & Kavita Isvaran
Wildlife conservation in human-dominated landscapes requires that we understand how animals, when making habitat-use decisions, obtain diverse and dynamically occurring resources while avoiding risks, induced by both natural predators and anthropogenic threats. Little is known about the underlying processes that enable wild animals to persist in densely populated human-dominated landscapes, particularly in developing countries. In a complex, semi-arid, fragmented, human-dominated agricultural landscape, we analyzed the habitat-use of blackbuck, a large herbivore endemic to the Indian...

Change in terrestrial human footprint drives continued loss of intact ecosystems

Brooke Williams, Oscar Venter, James Allan, Scott Atkinson, Jose Rehbein, Michelle Ward, Moreno Di Marco, Hedley Grantham, Jamison Ervin, Scott Goetz, Andrew Hansen, Patrick Jantz, Rajeev Pillay, Susana Rodríguez-Buriticá, Christina Supples, Anne Virnig & James Watson
Human pressure mapping is important for understanding humanity's role in shaping Earth’s patterns and processes. Our ability to map this influence has evolved, thanks to powerful computing, earth observing satellites, and new bottom-up census and crowd-sourced data. Here, we provide the latest temporally inter-comparable maps of the terrestrial human footprint, and assessment of change in human pressure at global, biome, and ecoregional scales. In 2013, 42% of terrestrial Earth could be considered relatively free of...

Analytic dataset informing modeling of winter species distributions of North American bat species

Sarah Olson, Meredith McClure, Catherine Haase, Carter Hranac, David Hayman, Brett Dickson, Liam McGuire, Daniel Crowley, Nathan Fuller, Cori Lausen & Raina Plowright
The fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans and resultant white-nose syndrome (WNS) continues to advance across North America, infecting new bat populations, species, and hibernacula. Western North America hosts the highest bat diversity in the U.S. and Canada, yet little is known about hibernacula and hibernation behavior in this region. An improved understanding of where bats hibernate and the conditions that create suitable hibernacula is critical if land managers are to anticipate and address the conservation needs...

Data from: Length polymorphisms at two candidate genes explain variation of migratory behaviors in blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata)

Joel Ralston, Lydia Lorenc, Melissa Montes, William Deluca, Jeremy Kirchman, Brad Woodworth, Stuart Mackenzie, Amy Newman, Hilary A. Cooke, Nikole Freeman, Alex Sutton, Lila Tauzer & D. Ryan Norris
Migratory behaviors such as the timing and duration of migration are genetically inherited and can be under strong natural selection, yet we still know very little about the specific genes or molecular pathways that control these behaviors. Studies in candidate genes Clock and Adcyap1 have revealed that both of these loci can be significantly correlated with migratory behaviors in birds, though observed relationships appear to vary across species. We investigated geographic genetic structure of Clock...

Lean mass dynamics in hibernating bats and implications for energy and water budgets

Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, Catherine Haase, Kirk Silas & Sarah Olson
Hibernation requires balancing energy and water demands over several months with no food intake for many species. Many studies have considered the importance of fat for hibernation energy budgets because it is energy dense and can be stored in large quantities. However, protein catabolism in hibernation has received less attention and whole animal changes in lean mass have not previously been considered. We used quantitative magnetic resonance body composition analysis to measure fat and lean...

Data from: Species-specific spatiotemporal patterns of leopard, lion and tiger attacks on humans

Craig Packer, Shweta Shivakumar, Vidya Athreya, Meggan E. Craft, Harshawardhen Dhanwatey, Poonam Dhanwatey, Bhim Gurung, Anup Joshi, Hadas Kushnir, John D.C. Linnell, Nicholas M. Fountain-Jones & John D. C. Linnell
1. Large carnivores of the genus Panthera can pose serious threats to public safety. Although the annual number of attacks on humans is rare compared to livestock depredation, such incidents undermine popular support for wildlife conservation and require immediate responses to protect human life. 2. We used a space-time scan method to perform a novel spatiotemporal analysis of 908 attacks on humans by lions, leopards and tigers to estimate the risks of further attacks in...

Data from: Leopard in a tea-cup: a study of leopard habitat-use and human-leopard interactions in north-eastern India

Aritra Kshettry, Srinivas Vaidyanathan & Vidya Athreya
There is increasing evidence of the importance of multi-use landscapes for the conservation of large carnivores. However, when carnivore ranges overlap with high density of humans, there are often serious conservation challenges. This is especially true in countries like India where loss of peoples’ lives and property to large wildlife are not uncommon. The leopard (Panthera pardus) is a large felid that is widespread in India, often sharing landscapes with high human densities. In order...

Similar hibernation physiology in bats across broad geographic ranges

Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, Yvonne Dzal, Catherine Haase, Kirk Silas, Craig Willis, Sarah Olson & Cori Lausen
Species with broad geographic ranges may experience varied environmental conditions throughout their range leading to local adaptation. Variation among populations reflects potential adaptability or plasticity, with implications for populations impacted by disease, climate change, and other anthropogenic influences. However, behavior may counteract divergent selection among populations. We studied intraspecific variation in hibernation physiology of Myotis lucifugus (little brown myotis) and Corynorhinus townsendii (Townsend’s big-eared bat), two species of bats with large geographic ranges. We studied...

Interspecific variation in evaporative water loss and temperature response, but not metabolic rate, among hibernating bats

Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, Yvonne Dzal, Catherine Haase, Brandon Klüg-Baerwald, Kirk Silas, Raina Plowright, Cori Lausen, Craig Willis & Sarah Olson
Hibernation is widespread among mammals in a variety of environmental contexts. However, few experimental studies consider interspecific comparisons, and for many unstudied (or understudied) species we must assume the underlying physiology of hibernation is comparable to the relatively few species that have been studied in detail. Studies of interspecific variation provide insight into general patterns of hibernation strategies. We studied 13 species of free-living bats, including populations spread over thousands of kilometers and diverse habitats....

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