1 Tahrcountry Musings: Theory and practice of conservation – Importance of quantitative recommendations

Monday, October 17, 2011

Theory and practice of conservation – Importance of quantitative recommendations

Quantitative recommendations for amphibian terrestrial habitat conservation derived from habitat selection behavior

Lukas Indermaur and Benedikt R. Schmidt

Ecological Applications 21:2548–2554, Volume 21, Issue 7 (October 2011)

When it comes to practice of conservation there is often a big slip  between the cup and the lip. Conservation managers rarely use scientific information when making decisions.
The grouse of the manger is that conservation scientists rarely provide their knowledge in a way that can directly be used by conservation practitioners. Often the reports are couched in words not understood by the practitioner.
In this paper the researchers show how quantitative recommendations for conservation can be derived.
Past research on terrestrial habitat selection behavior of toads (Bufo bufo and Bufo viridis) showed that wood deposits are a key resource in the terrestrial habitat. The researchers used habitat-dependence analysis to estimate the amount of this key resource, wood deposits, that individual toads require. Based on these estimates they quantified the requirements for wood deposits for a population. The also quantified the area that a population requires.
The researches say although wood deposits vary strongly in size, they found little evidence for size preferences: only one species preferred smallest sizes of wood deposits.
The researchers report all the estimates in a way that can be directly used by conservation managers.
The researchers sign off with the following words “Habitat-dependence analysis is a simple and useful tool to quantify habitat requirements. Provisioning of wood deposits may improve the quality of terrestrial habitat for amphibians. Thereby, managers may increase the carrying capacity of terrestrial habitats and support elevated population densities”

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