Special Issue "Wildlife in Natural and Altered Environments"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2022) | Viewed by 4387

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Francisco Javier Zamora-Camacho
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Biodiversidad, Ecología y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, C/José Antonio Novais 12, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: development; ecoimmunology; ethology; evolutionary ecology; locomotion; thermoregulation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Anthropocene is pushing wildlife to confront unprecedented scenarios of environmental human-induced alterations. These modifications of natural habitats come in a plethora of forms, spanning from physical (such as noise or light pollution, as well as the increase in average temperature due to the climate change) or chemical phenomena (such as contamination that stems from agriculture, mining or waste treatment) to profound transformations of the landscape (such as deforestation or urbanization), to mention but a few. In this situation, understanding the consequences that those alterations may have on organisms facing them, and the mechanisms involved, is crucial for an appropriate management of this global crisis. This Special Issue intends to bring together advancements on the knowledge of the processes that wildlife is undergoing in natural and altered environments, with the core aims of optimizing their management and understanding the ongoing degradation but also the evolutionary processes underlying.

Dr. Francisco Javier Zamora-Camacho
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • agrosystem
  • anthropic habitat
  • deforestation
  • global change
  • habitat degradation
  • natural habitat
  • land-use shifts
  • pollution
  • urban habitat
  • wildfire

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Wolves, Crows, Spiders, and People: A Qualitative Study Yielding a Three-Layer Framework for Understanding Human–Wildlife Relations
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080591 - 23 Jul 2022
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Abstract
Human dimensions research has proposed a multitude of variables impacting the viability of wildlife populations. Extant approaches to systematizing these variables have mostly focused on human relations to only one animal species or taxon and are largely descriptive, rather than explanatory. In this [...] Read more.
Human dimensions research has proposed a multitude of variables impacting the viability of wildlife populations. Extant approaches to systematizing these variables have mostly focused on human relations to only one animal species or taxon and are largely descriptive, rather than explanatory. In this study, we provide a three-layer framework for understanding people’s responses to a variety of human–wildlife encounters. We conducted a comparative qualitative study, interviewing 20 stakeholders on one of three ecologically disparate model animals. Through thematic analysis, we identified person-specific, species-specific, and overarching factors whose interplay shapes people’s reactions to encounters with wildlife. The person-specific factors, individual people’s biographic backgrounds and life themes, fuel the polarization of stances towards wildlife. The species-specific factors, people’s mental images of wild animals, explain the particular character of different human–wildlife relations. The overarching factors, fundamental questions regarding the place of humans in nature or motivations of control over animal agents, stir the intensity inherent in human encounters with wildlife. This three-layer framework amends existing proposals by providing a cohesive system and an in-depth portrayal of shared and specific factors and processes in various human–wildlife relations and by elucidating their interaction in influencing people’s responses to encounters with wild animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife in Natural and Altered Environments)
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Article
Habitat Selection by Brown Bears with Varying Levels of Predation Rates on Ungulate Neonates
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120678 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2958
Abstract
In northern Eurasia, large carnivores overlap with semi-domestic reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces). In Scandinavia, previous studies have quantified brown bear (Ursus arctos) spring predation on neonates of reindeer (mostly in May) and moose (mostly in [...] Read more.
In northern Eurasia, large carnivores overlap with semi-domestic reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces). In Scandinavia, previous studies have quantified brown bear (Ursus arctos) spring predation on neonates of reindeer (mostly in May) and moose (mostly in June). We explored if habitat selection by brown bears changed following resource pulses and whether these changes are more pronounced on those individuals characterised by higher predatory behaviour. Fifteen brown bears in northern Sweden (2010–2012) were fitted with GPS proximity collars, and 2585 female reindeers were collared with UHF transmitters. Clusters of bear positions were visited to investigate moose and reindeer predation. Bear kill rates and home ranges were calculated to examine bear movements and predatory behaviour. Bear habitat selection was modelled using resource selection functions over four periods (pre-calving, reindeer calving, moose calving, and post-calving). Coefficients of selection for areas closer to different land cover classes across periods were compared, examining the interactions between different degrees of predatory behaviour (i.e., high and low). Bear habitat selection differed throughout the periods and between low and high predatory bears. Differences among individuals’ predatory behaviour are reflected in the selection of habitat types, providing empirical evidence that different levels of specialization in foraging behaviour helps to explain individual variation in bear habitat selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife in Natural and Altered Environments)
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Article
Do Active and Passive Antipredator Defences in the Toad Epidalea calamita Differ between Males and Females from Natural Habitats and Agrosystems?
Diversity 2021, 13(12), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13120614 - 25 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Due to their assumed costs, simultaneous antipredator strategies are expected to face trade-offs, which, however, could be milder in individuals subjected to a more intense predator pressure. In this work, I studied the relationship between locomotion and parotoid glands in the natterjack toad, [...] Read more.
Due to their assumed costs, simultaneous antipredator strategies are expected to face trade-offs, which, however, could be milder in individuals subjected to a more intense predator pressure. In this work, I studied the relationship between locomotion and parotoid glands in the natterjack toad, Epidalea calamita. Specifically, I predicted that individuals with reduced sprint speed would rely more on their chemical defences, having larger and more aposematically coloured parotoid glands. In addition, I expected this trade-off to be more evident in females and toads from pine grove habitats, because, according to previous work, males and toads from agrosystems are under greater predator pressure. However, sprint speed showed no relationship with coloration, but toads with proportionally greater parotoid glands were also proportionally faster. Thus, the costs of these antipredator traits might not be high enough to make them interfere, or the benefits of simultaneous optimisation of sprint speed and parotoid gland size might outweigh the costs of it in some individuals. In any case, habitat and sex did not affect these relationships, so the trends detected are valid across sexes and the habitats studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife in Natural and Altered Environments)
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