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Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling.

Nekaris KA, Arnell AP, Svensson MS - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Bottom Line: We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS.The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential.We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, OX3 0BP, UK. anekaris@brookes.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Flowchart of criteria used in the selection of a surrogate species for the Sri Lankan Wet Zone.
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animals-05-00027-f001: Flowchart of criteria used in the selection of a surrogate species for the Sri Lankan Wet Zone.

Mentions: To compose a list of selection criteria, we adapted existing literature on flagship and umbrella species, and also followed the criteria of Smith et al. [7] (Figure 1). We applied these criteria to all mammals with relatively forward facing large eyes within the study area to produce a shortlist of species, referred to as candidates. We chose only non-volant mammals as they are the most likely animals to be seen in fragments without the aid of specialist techniques. We recruited participants who would potentially pay to see or support wildlife, but at a local level, from target groups of Sri Lankan residents with an interest in wildlife (N = 84 out of 110). Participants completed a survey that we analysed to select candidates able to fulfil the role of flagship at a local scale. Possible bias for categories could result from varying levels of species recognition, with respondents being more likely to choose taxa they had heard of previously [31]. Only 21 candidates had heard of all ten species. Thus we expressed figures for each selection criterion as a percentage of the respondents recognizing a species. This technique allowed for consideration of species known to fewer respondents; this mechanism can also serve as a tool to highlight these lesser-known preferred species in future campaigns (cf. [5]). To qualify as a “finalist” the candidate had to score above the mean for three criteria, each chosen to represent a flagship characteristic: (1) the respondent ranked the animal as attractive to look at; (2) the respondent considered the animal to play an ecosystem role that has easily perceivable benefits to humans (e.g., pest management, pollination, ecotourism); and (3) wildlife tourism is a thriving local industry, with life lists for bird, mammal, insect, reptile and plant species—this question thus refers to the animal’s value to wildlife enthusiasts. We used SPSS 21 for non-parametric statistical analysis with significance values set to p ≤ 0.05.


Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling.

Nekaris KA, Arnell AP, Svensson MS - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Flowchart of criteria used in the selection of a surrogate species for the Sri Lankan Wet Zone.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494338&req=5

animals-05-00027-f001: Flowchart of criteria used in the selection of a surrogate species for the Sri Lankan Wet Zone.
Mentions: To compose a list of selection criteria, we adapted existing literature on flagship and umbrella species, and also followed the criteria of Smith et al. [7] (Figure 1). We applied these criteria to all mammals with relatively forward facing large eyes within the study area to produce a shortlist of species, referred to as candidates. We chose only non-volant mammals as they are the most likely animals to be seen in fragments without the aid of specialist techniques. We recruited participants who would potentially pay to see or support wildlife, but at a local level, from target groups of Sri Lankan residents with an interest in wildlife (N = 84 out of 110). Participants completed a survey that we analysed to select candidates able to fulfil the role of flagship at a local scale. Possible bias for categories could result from varying levels of species recognition, with respondents being more likely to choose taxa they had heard of previously [31]. Only 21 candidates had heard of all ten species. Thus we expressed figures for each selection criterion as a percentage of the respondents recognizing a species. This technique allowed for consideration of species known to fewer respondents; this mechanism can also serve as a tool to highlight these lesser-known preferred species in future campaigns (cf. [5]). To qualify as a “finalist” the candidate had to score above the mean for three criteria, each chosen to represent a flagship characteristic: (1) the respondent ranked the animal as attractive to look at; (2) the respondent considered the animal to play an ecosystem role that has easily perceivable benefits to humans (e.g., pest management, pollination, ecotourism); and (3) wildlife tourism is a thriving local industry, with life lists for bird, mammal, insect, reptile and plant species—this question thus refers to the animal’s value to wildlife enthusiasts. We used SPSS 21 for non-parametric statistical analysis with significance values set to p ≤ 0.05.

Bottom Line: We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS.The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential.We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, OX3 0BP, UK. anekaris@brookes.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus