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.
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!
Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences