The purpose of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat) is to create a continent-wide program to monitor bats at local to rangewide scales that will provide reliable data to promote effective conservation decisionmaking and the long-term viability of bat populations across the continent. This is an international, multiagency program. Four approaches will be used to gather monitoring data to assess changes in bat distributions and abundances: winter hibernaculum counts, maternity colony counts, mobile acoustic surveys along road transects, and acoustic surveys at stationary points. These monitoring approaches are described along with methods for identifying species recorded by acoustic detectors. Other chapters describe the sampling design, the database management system (Bat Population Database), and statistical approaches that can be used to analyze data collected through this program.
NABat -- The North American Bat Monitoring Program
Loeb, S.C., T.J. Rodhouse, L.E. Ellison, C.L. Lausen, T. Ingersoll, J. Reichard, K. Irvine, W.E. Thogmartin, J.T.H. Coleman, and J.R. Sauer
Parent Publication Title:
94th Annual Meeting American Society of Mammalogists, 6-10 June, 2014, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Habitat prioritization across large landscapes, multiple seasons, and novel areas: An example using Greater Sage-Grouse in Wyoming
Fedy, B.C., K.E. Doherty, C.L. Aldridge, M. O’Donnell, J.L. Beck, B. Bedrosian, D. Gummer, M.J. Holloran, G.D. Johnson, N.W. Kaczor, C.P. Kirol, C.A. Mandich, D. Marshall, G. McKee, C. Olson, A.C. Pratt, C.C. Swanson, and B.L. Walker
Animal habitat selection is an important and expansive area of research in ecology. In particular, the study of habitat selection is critical in habitat prioritization efforts for species of conservation concern. Landscape planning for species is happening at ever-increasing extents because of the appreciation for the role of landscape-scale patterns in species persistence coupled to improved datasets for species and habitats, and the expanding and intensifying footprint of human land uses on the landscape. We present a large-scale collaborative effort to develop habitat selection models across large landscapes and multiple seasons for prioritizing habitat for a species of conservation concern. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse) occur in western semiarid landscapes in North America. Range-wide population declines of this species have been documented, and it is currently considered as “warranted but precluded” from listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. Wyoming is predicted to remain a stronghold for sage-grouse populations and contains approximately 37% of remaining birds. We compiled location data from 14 unique radiotelemetry studies (data collected 1994–2010) and habitat data from high-quality, biologically relevant, geographic information system (GIS) layers across Wyoming. We developed habitat selection models for greater sage-grouse across Wyoming for 3 distinct life stages: 1) nesting, 2) summer, and 3) winter. We developed patch and landscape models across 4 extents, producing statewide and regional (southwest, central, northeast) models for Wyoming. Habitat selection varied among regions and seasons, yet preferred habitat attributes generally matched the extensive literature on sage-grouse seasonal habitat requirements. Across seasons and regions, birds preferred areas with greater percentage sagebrush cover and avoided paved roads, agriculture, and forested areas. Birds consistently preferred areas with higher precipitation in the summer and avoided rugged terrain in the winter. Selection for sagebrush cover varied regionally with stronger selection in the Northeast region, likely because of limited availability, whereas avoidance of paved roads was fairly consistent across regions. We chose resource selection function (RSF) thresholds for each model set (seasonal regional combination) that delineated important seasonal habitats for sage-grouse. Each model set showed good validation and discriminatory capabilities within study-site boundaries. We applied the nesting-season models to a novel area not included in model development. The percentage of independent nest locations that fell directly within identified important habitat was not overly impressive in the novel area (49%); however, including a 500-m buffer around important habitat captured 98% of independent nest locations within the novel area. We also used leks and associated peak male counts as a proxy for nesting habitat outside of the study sites used to develop themodels.A1.5-kmbuffer around the important nesting habitat boundaries included 77% of males counted at leks in Wyoming outside of the study sites. Data were not available to quantitatively test the performance of the summer and winter models outside our study sites. The collection of models presented here represents large-scale resource-management planning tools that are a significant advancement to previous tools in terms of spatial and temporal resolution.
Range-wide genetic connectivity in greater sage-grouse: measuring the challenges against the siren of potential
Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.
Interactive energy atlas for Colorado and New Mexico: an online resource for decisionmakers
Carr, N.B., J. Diffendorfer, S. Hawkins, D. Ignizio, N. Latysh, K. Leib, J. Linard, A.M. Matherne, and N. Babel
Throughout the western United States, increased demand for energy is driving the rapid development of nonrenewable and renewable energy resources. Resource managers must balance the benefits of energy development with the potential consequences for ecological resources and ecosystem services. To facilitate access to geospatial data related to energy resources, energy infrastructure, and natural resources that may be affected by energy development, the U.S. Geological Survey has developed an online Interactive Energy Atlas (Energy Atlas) for Colorado and New Mexico. The Energy Atlas is designed to meet the needs of varied users who seek information about energy in the western United States. The Energy Atlas has two primary capabilities: a geographic information system (GIS) data viewer and an interactive map gallery. The GIS data viewer allows users to preview and download GIS data related to energy potential and development in Colorado and New Mexico. The interactive map gallery contains a collection of maps that compile and summarize thematically related data layers in a user-friendly format. The maps are dynamic, allowing users to explore data at different resolutions and obtain information about the features being displayed. The Energy Atlas also includes an interactive decision-support tool, which allows users to explore the potential consequences of energy development for species that vary in their sensitivity to disturbance.
Coupled hydrogeomorphic and woody-seedling responses to controlled flood releases in a dryland river
 Interactions among flow, geomorphic processes, and riparian vegetation can strongly influence both channel form and vegetation communities. To investigate such interactions, we took advantage of a series of dam-managed flood releases that were designed in part to maintain a native riparian woodland system on a sand-bed, dryland river, the Bill Williams River, Arizona, USA. Our resulting multiyear flow experiment examined differential mortality among native and nonnative riparian seedlings, associated flood hydraulics and geomorphic changes, and the temporal evolution of feedbacks among vegetation, channel form, and hydraulics. We found that floods produced geomorphic and vegetation responses that varied with distance downstream of a dam, with scour and associated seedling mortality closer to the dam and aggradation and burial-induced mortality in a downstream reach. We also observed significantly greater mortality among nonnative tamarisk (Tamarix) seedlings than among native willow (Salix gooddingii) seedlings, reflecting the greater first-year growth of willow relative to tamarisk. When vegetation was small early in our study period, the effects of vegetation on flood hydraulics and on mediating flood-induced channel change were minimal. Vegetation growth in subsequent years resulted in stronger feedbacks, such that vegetation's stabilizing effect on bars and its drag effect on flow progressively increased, muting the geomorphic effects of a larger flood release. These observations suggest that the effectiveness of floods in producing geomorphic and ecological changes varies not only as a function of flood magnitude and duration, but also of antecedent vegetation density and size.
Black-footed ferret conservation: a mix of scientific investigation and operational tasks
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Parent Publication Title:
93rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, June 14-18, 2013, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania