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Special Issue "Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats"

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A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John L. Koprowski (Website)

Wildlife Conservation & Management, School of Natural Resources & the Environment (SNRE), University of Arizona, 325 Biological Sciences East, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Interests: conservation biology of terrestrial vertebrates; behavioral and population ecology; social behavior; forest management; urban wildlife; threatened and endangered species; ecology and conservation of squirrels; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While the value of biodiversity is increasingly appreciated by society, the challenges to stem the losses in biodiversity remain extensive and the timescale short. The pressures experienced by animal populations in the face of global change due to natural and anthropogenic forces are often immense. Persistence of animal populations in the face of environmental changes that alter habitat quality due to climate change, human population pressures and development, invasive species, disease spread, and a myriad of other factors is the issue that confronts many researchers studying biodiversity. The conservation of endangered animal species exemplifies the complexity of the challenges of the future. We must deal with the biological intricacies caused by rarity in numbers in concert with the nuances of habitat conservation and restoration that are influenced by social, economic, and ecological factors. The essays in this volume will detail a diversity of approaches to the challenges with examples of success tempered by a sense of the enormity of future efforts.

Prof. Dr. John L. Koprowski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 600 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections. For further details see here.

Keywords

  • animal conservation
  • threatened and endangered species
  • conservation biology
  • wildlife conservation
  • wildlife management
  • population viability
  • habitat restoration
  • red list species

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Uncertainty in Population Estimates for Endangered Animals and Improving the Recovery Process
Animals 2013, 3(3), 745-753; doi:10.3390/ani3030745
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 7 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
PDF Full-text (143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
United States recovery plans contain biological information for a species listed under the Endangered Species Act and specify recovery criteria to provide basis for species recovery. The objective of our study was to evaluate whether recovery plans provide uncertainty (e.g., variance) with [...] Read more.
United States recovery plans contain biological information for a species listed under the Endangered Species Act and specify recovery criteria to provide basis for species recovery. The objective of our study was to evaluate whether recovery plans provide uncertainty (e.g., variance) with estimates of population size. We reviewed all finalized recovery plans for listed terrestrial vertebrate species to record the following data: (1) if a current population size was given, (2) if a measure of uncertainty or variance was associated with current estimates of population size and (3) if population size was stipulated for recovery. We found that 59% of completed recovery plans specified a current population size, 14.5% specified a variance for the current population size estimate and 43% specified population size as a recovery criterion. More recent recovery plans reported more estimates of current population size, uncertainty and population size as a recovery criterion. Also, bird and mammal recovery plans reported more estimates of population size and uncertainty compared to reptiles and amphibians. We suggest the use of calculating minimum detectable differences to improve confidence when delisting endangered animals and we identified incentives for individuals to get involved in recovery planning to improve access to quantitative data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats)
Open AccessArticle Spatial and Temporal Habitat Use of an Asian Elephant in Sumatra
Animals 2013, 3(3), 670-679; doi:10.3390/ani3030670
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 25 July 2013 / Accepted: 25 July 2013 / Published: 31 July 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasingly, habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural and human development has forced Sumatran elephants into relatively small areas, but there is little information on how elephants use these areas and thus, how habitats can be managed to sustain elephants in the future. Using [...] Read more.
Increasingly, habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural and human development has forced Sumatran elephants into relatively small areas, but there is little information on how elephants use these areas and thus, how habitats can be managed to sustain elephants in the future. Using a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar and a land cover map developed from TM imagery, we identified the habitats used by a wild adult female elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus) in the Seblat Elephant Conservation Center, Bengkulu Province, Sumatra during 2007–2008. The marked elephant (and presumably her 40–60 herd mates) used a home range that contained more than expected medium canopy and open canopy land cover. Further, within the home range, closed canopy forests were used more during the day than at night. When elephants were in closed canopy forests they were most often near the forest edge vs. in the forest interior. Effective elephant conservation strategies in Sumatra need to focus on forest restoration of cleared areas and providing a forest matrix that includes various canopy types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats)
Open AccessArticle An Attempt at Captive Breeding of the Endangered Newt Echinotriton andersoni, from the Central Ryukyus in Japan
Animals 2013, 3(3), 680-692; doi:10.3390/ani3030680
Received: 7 June 2013 / Revised: 25 July 2013 / Accepted: 26 July 2013 / Published: 31 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anderson’s crocodile newt (Echinotriton andersoni) is distributed in the Central Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, but environmental degradation and illegal collection over the last several decades have devastated the local populations. It has therefore been listed as a class B1 [...] Read more.
Anderson’s crocodile newt (Echinotriton andersoni) is distributed in the Central Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, but environmental degradation and illegal collection over the last several decades have devastated the local populations. It has therefore been listed as a class B1 endangered species in the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is at high risk of extinction in the wild. The species is also protected by law in both Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures. An artificial insemination technique using hormonal injections could not be applied to the breeding of this species in the laboratory. In this study we naturally bred the species, and tested a laboratory farming technique using several male and female E. andersoni pairs collected from Okinawa, Amami, and Tokunoshima Islands and subsequently maintained in near-biotopic breeding cages. Among 378 eggs derived from 17 females, 319 (84.4%) became normal tailbud embryos, 274 (72.5%) hatched normally, 213 (56.3%) metamorphosed normally, and 141 (37.3%) became normal two-month-old newts; in addition, 77 one- to three-year-old Tokunoshima newts and 32 Amami larvae are currently still growing normally. Over the last five breeding seasons, eggs were laid in-cage on slopes near the waterfront. Larvae were raised in nets maintained in a temperature-controlled water bath at 20 °C and fed live Tubifex. Metamorphosed newts were transferred to plastic containers containing wet sponges kept in a temperature-controlled incubator at 22.5 °C and fed a cricket diet to promote healthy growth. This is the first published report of successfully propagating an endangered species by using breeding cages in a laboratory setting for captive breeding. Our findings on the natural breeding and raising of larvae and adults are useful in breeding this endangered species and can be applied to the preservation of other similarly wild and endangered species such as E. chinhaiensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Modelling Niche Differentiation of Co-Existing, Elusive and Morphologically Similar Species: A Case Study of Four Macaque Species in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, Laos
Animals 2013, 3(1), 45-62; doi:10.3390/ani3010045
Received: 8 January 2013 / Revised: 16 January 2013 / Accepted: 25 January 2013 / Published: 30 January 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Species misidentification often occurs when dealing with co-existing and morphologically similar species such as macaques, making the study of their ecology challenging. To overcome this issue, we use reliable occurrence data from camera-trap images and transect survey data to model their respective [...] Read more.
Species misidentification often occurs when dealing with co-existing and morphologically similar species such as macaques, making the study of their ecology challenging. To overcome this issue, we use reliable occurrence data from camera-trap images and transect survey data to model their respective ecological niche and potential distribution locally in Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area (NNT NPA), central-Eastern Laos. We investigate niche differentiation of morphologically similar species using four sympatric macaque species in NNT NPA, as our model species: rhesus Macaca mulatta (Taxonomic Serial Number, TSN 180099), Northern pig-tailed M. leonina (TSN not listed); Assamese M. assamensis (TSN 573018) and stump-tailed M. arctoides (TSN 573017). We examine the implications for their conservation. We obtained occurrence data of macaque species from systematic 2006–2011 camera-trapping surveys and 2011–2012 transect surveys and model their niche and potential distribution with MaxEnt software using 25 environmental and topographic variables. The respective suitable habitat predicted for each species reveals niche segregation between the four species with a gradual geographical distribution following an environmental gradient within the study area. Camera-trapping positioned at many locations can increase elusive-species records with a relatively reduced and more systematic sampling effort and provide reliable species occurrence data. These can be used for environmental niche modelling to study niche segregation of morphologically similar species in areas where their distribution remains uncertain. Examining unresolved species' niches and potential distributions can have crucial implications for future research and species' management and conservation even in the most remote regions and for the least-known species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Red Wolf (Canis rufus) Recovery: A Review with Suggestions for Future Research
Animals 2013, 3(3), 722-744; doi:10.3390/ani3030722
Received: 24 July 2013 / Revised: 6 August 2013 / Accepted: 7 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
By the 1970s, government-supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to a remnant population of less than 100 individuals on the southern border of Texas and Louisiana. Restoration efforts in the region were deemed unpromising because of predator-control programs and hybridization with coyotes. [...] Read more.
By the 1970s, government-supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to a remnant population of less than 100 individuals on the southern border of Texas and Louisiana. Restoration efforts in the region were deemed unpromising because of predator-control programs and hybridization with coyotes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the last remaining red wolves from the wild and placed them in a captive-breeding program. In 1980, the USFWS declared red wolves extinct in the wild. During 1987, the USFWS, through the Red Wolf Recovery Program, reintroduced red wolves into northeastern North Carolina. Although restoration efforts have established a population of approximately 70–80 red wolves in the wild, issues of hybridization with coyotes, inbreeding, and human-caused mortality continue to hamper red wolf recovery. We explore these three challenges and, within each challenge, we illustrate how research can be used to resolve problems associated with red wolf-coyote interactions, effects of inbreeding, and demographic responses to human-caused mortality. We hope this illustrates the utility of research to advance restoration of red wolves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats)

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