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 Europeans have unknowingly contributed to the spread of invasive plant species in North America
01.07.2015 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ

nachricht Darwin's finches have reached their limits on the Galápagos
23.06.2015 | University of Groningen

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: X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time

New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions

A new technique pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real...

Im Focus: Iron: A biological element?

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago.

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and...

Im Focus: Thousands of Droplets for Diagnostics

Researchers develop new method enabling DNA molecules to be counted in just 30 minutes

A team of scientists including PhD student Friedrich Schuler from the Laboratory of MEMS Applications at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of...

Im Focus: Bionic eye clinical trial results show long-term safety, efficacy vision-restoring implant

Patients using Argus II experienced significant improvement in visual function and quality of life

The three-year clinical trial results of the retinal implant popularly known as the "bionic eye," have proven the long-term efficacy, safety and reliability of...

Im Focus: Lasers for Fast Internet in Space – Space Technology from Aachen

On June 23, the second Sentinel mission was launched from the space mission launch center in Kourou. A critical component of Aachen is on board. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and Tesat-Spacecom have jointly developed the know-how for space-qualified laser components. For the Sentinel mission the diode laser pump module of the Laser Communication Terminal LCT was planned and constructed in Aachen in cooperation with the manufacturer of the LCT, Tesat-Spacecom, and the Ferdinand Braun Institute.

After eight years of preparation, in the early morning of June 23 the time had come: in Kourou in French Guiana, the European Space Agency launched the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine: Abstract Submission has been extended to 24 June

16.06.2015 | Event News

MUSE hosting Europe’s largest science communication conference

11.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Offshore wind park Westermost Rough officially inaugurated

01.07.2015 | Press release

Siemens Velaro train wins "Red Dot" award

01.07.2015 | Awards Funding

Liquids on Fibers - Slipping or Flowing?

01.07.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>