Natural Resources Management

Contributed Paper
ROOM: HCCC, Room 23

8:10AM Climate Change Adaptation and Management for Terrestrial Wildlife: Beyond the Status Quo
Olivia LeDee; Ben Zuckerberg; Chris Hoving; Stephen Handler; Chris Swanston
For two decades, there has been a rapid acceleration of research on climate change effects on biodiversity and potential adaptation strategies to limit adverse changes. There have also been important contributions from researchers and practitioners to synthesize and structure recommended adaptation strategies. However, most adaptation recommendations are of limited use because they are too broad (e.g., protect large landscapes, create buffer zones), reflect current practices (e.g., reduce non-climate stressors), or are beyond the purview of an individual wildlife manager (e.g., increase connectivity). To advance climate change adaptation and management for wildlife, it is imperative to provide actionable recommendations for both population and habitat management. Importantly, recommendations should address not only vulnerable wildlife species, but also species that may benefit from climate change, increasing the potential for human-wildlife conflict. To advance these goals, we conducted a comprehensive review of over 1300 peer-reviewed articles for adaptation actions suitable for wildlife management in terrestrial ecosystems. To evaluate more than 3,000 recommendations, collected from the literature review, we used a hybrid approach of qualitative and quantitative textual analysis methods. We first identified primary strategies—11 related to population management and eight related to habitat management. We then identified numerous targeted actions—approaches and tactics— for each primary strategy. The result is a current, comprehensive review of relevant climate adaptation strategies for wildlife at a scale and resolution that can inform on-the-ground management. Finally, based on a successful climate change adaptation framework established for forest management, we engaged wildlife managers to develop the final product, a menu of adaptation actions, to inform planning and management decisions in an accessible format.
8:30AM Interagency Integration of Wilderness Monitoring
Peter Dratch; Marissa A. Edwards; Cindy N. Hoang
The 1964 Wilderness Act states that wilderness areas “shall be administered⋯ so as to provide for the protection of these areas, the protection of their wilderness character.” Until the last decade, determining how to monitor wilderness character proved challenging for the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service – the four agencies managing the National Wilderness Preservation System. In 2008 the agencies agreed on a strategy that calls for a common methodology: data will be collected for the same qualities and indicators at all wilderness areas, allowing the agencies and individual management units to select the measures that would address the indicators for their wildernesses. With 18% of all designated wilderness occurring in the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Fish and Wildlife Service, hired and trained recent college graduates as Wilderness Fellows to establish wilderness character monitoring on the 65 wildlife refuges with designated wilderness. Those initial inventories were completed in 2015, and the results informed the refinement of the interagency strategy and the publication of Keeping it Wild 2. The Wilderness Character Monitoring Database was also established to store the data from all four agencies. Here we present a summary of results from the first 5 years of wilderness character monitoring on national wildlife refuges, with a focus on the indicators of the Natural Quality: animals, plants, ecological processes, air and water.
8:50AM Evaluating an American Black Duck Full Annual Cycle Model for Conservation Decision Making
Richard A. Stanton; Orin J. Robinson; Conor P. McGowan; Patrick K. Devers
Natural resource managers must make decisions despite considerable uncertainty. However, decision making under uncertainty can be improved by simulating the consequences of management actions under multiple models of system function. We evaluated a spatially-explicit full annual cycle model for American black ducks (Anas rubripes) to determine which uncertainties in the model structure and parameterization were most consequential for allocating habitat management efforts across regions using elasticity and value-of-information analyses. We then applied the results to determine the best decision given different expert-elicited weightings of management objectives determined in a structured decision making process (meeting the North American Waterfowl Management Plan abundance goal, sustaining a suitable and equitable harvest, and using funds efficiently). Parameters with a large influence on the probability of meeting the management plan goal and number of ducks harvested included carrying capacity, recruitment, and the inflection point in the density-dependent recruitment curve. Likewise, inter-annual variability in carrying capacity and regional variation in the operation of density dependence on recruitment were also important uncertainties. Our results indicate that improving habitat on breeding grounds in Canada could lead to higher probabilities of meeting the management plan goal and higher harvests than other scenarios and this can be achieved by spending fewer dollars per duck added to carrying capacity. However, management actions can be better allocated in time and space if carrying capacity, recruitment, and the operation of density dependence are quantified more precisely and at finer grains than are currently available.
9:10AM The Complexities of Using Biological Based Prioritization for Land Acquisition in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Mindy B. Rice; Keenan Adams; Ken Fowler
Identifying priority landscapes for conservation and management is an important application for natural resource agencies tasked with acquiring land for wildlife. More than half of the 565 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) have unprotected lands and/or waters located within their approved land acquisition boundaries. Consistent with the Fish & Wildlife Service strategic growth policy, the NWRS emphasizes the use of biological criteria to evaluate and prioritize proposed land acquisitions at existing refuges, as well as proposed new refuges. This prioritization has been quantified with the development of the Targeted Resource Acquisition Comparison Tool (TRACT). This spatially explicit tool uses biological data from three primary species groups (waterfowl, birds of conservation concern, and threatened and endangered species) to identify priority tracts of land for purchase. Prioritizing land acquisition based on biological criteria across the country presents challenges related to data used, scales of inference, and the most appropriate measures to capture the biological importance of a landscape. In addition, TRACT has to be updated on a regular basis to reflect the most current science and data to remain relevant into the future. This overview of the current TRACT focuses on the sources of the data, the assumptions in its use, and the challenges to identifying priority tracts of land for conservation in a changing world.
9:30AM Effects of Different Attractants and Human Scent on Mesocarnivore Detection at Camera Traps
Bracy Heinlein; Rachael E. Urbanek; Colleen Olfenbuttel; Casey Dukes
Camera traps paired with baits and lures can provide population estimates of mesocarnivores across large areas; however, not all attractants may be equal in improving capture rates. From 13 January–30 March 2018, we investigated if 4 attractants and the presence of human scent affected capture success of canids at camera traps. We compared synthetic fermented egg (SFE), fatty acid scent (FAS) tablets, castor (Castor canadensis) oil, and sardines against a control of no attractant. We deployed each attractant and the control with either no regard to masking human scent or attempting to restrict human scent (n = 10 treatment types). Treatments were replicated (n = 8-9) using 1 camera per 2.6 km2 and cameras took bursts of 3 pictures per trigger for 7 nights. We recorded 43,414 photos over 616 trap nights; 21 of the 88 cameras recorded canids. Canids were captured at similar rates (χ2 = 0.40 P = 0.62) between cameras where human scent was not masked (27%) and where scent was restricted (21%). Across species, cameras baited with sardines (44%) had greater (χ2 = 7.26 P < 0.01) capture success compared to controls (6%). Oil (24%), SFE (22%), and FAS (24%) attractants were ineffective (χ2 = 2.09-2.31 P = 0.13-0.15). Cameras baited with sardines and oil (40% each) improved (χ2 = 4.66 P = 0.03) capture success of coyotes (Canis latrans) compared to controls (7%). FAS (63%) was the only attractant to improve (χ2 = 4.27 P = 0.04) fox (Vulpes vulpes and Urocyon cineroargenteus) capture success over controls (13%). Managers need not mask their scent when deploying camera traps for mesocarnivores, but should be aware that coyotes and fox respond differently to attractants. Future work will assess whether using 2 cameras per 2.6 km2 with the same attractant will increase capture success of canids.


Contributed Paper
Location: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Date: October 8, 2018 Time: 8:10 am - 9:50 am