Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


National Park Service and outside experts collaborate to conserve migratory wildlife

A new paper details a collaboration between the National Park Service (NPS) and outside experts, including Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists, in developing recommendations to conserve aerial, marine, and terrestrial populations of migrating wildlife that move in and out of U.S. national parks, often coming from distant regions of the globe.

The paper, "Optimism and Challenge for Science-based Conservation of Migratory Species in and out of U.S. National Parks," currently appears in the online version (early view) of the international journal, Conservation Biology.

Pronghorn antelope is the longest land migrant in the contiguous USA (photo from south of Grand Teton National Park).

Credit: Joel Berger

The NPS reached out to leading scientists to bring together diverse scientific expertise to help frame and address this challenging issue. Among the scientists involved in the effort were Joel Berger of WCS and the University of Montana, Missoula, and Steve Zack of WCS.

Defining migration as "the cyclical movement of individuals or populations of animals across different ecosystems between seasonal ranges," the authors offer a blueprint for the conservation of species that seasonally occupy America's national parks.

Examples of wildlife that move in and out of national parks include pronghorn that migrate to lower elevation areas seasonally in the American West, humpback whales that calve their young near Hawaii and move through shipping lanes to summer feeding areas in Southeast Alaska, and shorebirds like the American golden plover that breeds in Arctic Alaska and migrates to wintering grounds in southern South America.

"The challenges of conserving migratory species that use national parks involve daunting ecological, social and philosophical questions," said lead author Joel Berger, a professor at the University of Montana and Senior Scientist with WCS. "If we can educate landowners, counties and agencies in the U.S., and even foreign governments, to see that migration is an essential wildlife process, the likelihood that we can conserve these species increases. There is reason for optimism."

Adding to that optimism are existing precedents such as that seen in the Path of the Pronghorn—the first federally- designated migration corridor in the United States. Collaboration among the NPS, WCS and Bridger Teton National Forest led to the identification and protection of this 93-mile (150 km) pronghorn migration route that links the animals' wintering grounds in the Upper Green River Basin and summering grounds in Grand Teton National Park.

Study co-author, Dr. Herbert C. Frost, Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science in the NPS said, "The National Parks Service is thrilled to have the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of the Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Montana, and others. This collaborative effort, both nationally and internationally, comes at a time when the need to conserve key species that move across local jurisdictions (including in and out of our national parks) could not be higher."

Among the many recommendations in the article is to launch a series of conservation efforts with high-profile migratory species. By so doing, "these pilot projects may provide transferable lessons for a more comprehensive effort and build capacity for a migratory species initiative within and outside of NPS." These pilots may also provide an indication of the challenges associated with bringing together different coalitions to conserve key species across their geographically complicated movements.

Wildlife Conservation Society Senior Scientist Steve Zack said, "The National Park Service is internationally recognized as a leader in managing parks and protecting our wildlife heritage. For migratory species, protected areas are essential but not sufficient. We look forward to working more with NPS in conserving long-distant species such as those that nest in our national parks but winter south of the Equator and need coordinated conservation across their range."

The authors note that with nearly as many people visiting national parks as professional baseball, football, and basketball games combined, the opportunities to work with the public to elicit more protection for migrating wildlife appear to be ample.

Co-authors of the paper include: Joel Berger of the University of Montana, Missoula and the Wildlife Conservation Society; Steve Cain of Grand Teton National Park; Ellen Chang of Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (Bhutan); Peter Dratch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Kevin Ellison, World Wildlife Fund; Steve Zack of the Wildlife Conservation Society; John Francis of the National Geographic Society; Herbert C. Frost, Gary Machlis and Scott Gende of the National Park Service; Craig Groves of The Nature Conservancy; William A. Karesh of Ecohealth Alliance; Elaine Leslie of Biological Resource Management Division of the National Park Service, Ft. Collins; Rodrigo A. Medellin of Instituto de Ecologia (Mexico); Reed F. Noss of University of Central Florida, Orlando; Kent H. Redford of Archipelago Consulting; Michael Soukup of Schoodic Education and Research Center (Maine); and David Wilcove of Princeton University.

Scott Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>