Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

National Park Service and outside experts collaborate to conserve migratory wildlife

17.01.2014
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:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Marine vessel tracking system also a lifesaver for wildlife
12.02.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Stability in ecosystems: Asynchrony of species is more important than diversity
12.02.2016 | Technische Universität München

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: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Symposium on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa 2016

12.02.2016 | Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

LIGO confirms RIT's breakthrough prediction of gravitational waves

12.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Gene switch may repair DNA and prevent cancer

12.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Using 'Pacemakers' in spinal cord injuries

12.02.2016 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>