Journal: Environmental Conservation
Location: Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, Kerala, India

The Periyar Tiger Reserve, India, is supported by the India Eco-Development Project (PTR-IEDP), an integrated conservation and development project (ICDP) funded by donors. The project has been internally evaluated as successful, although out of the US$6million received, only 43.2% went to community-based conservation activities. When an independent survey of 180 people (half of whom had benefited from the PTR-IEDP, half of whom had not) was carried out, 71.1% of those who had benefited said their attitude to conservation was not changed by the project, and of the 55 community benefits only 36.4% were still being used.

Gubbi S, Linkie M, Leader-Williams N, 2008. “Evaluating the legacy of an integrated conservation and development project around a tiger reserve in India.” Environmental Conservation, 35: 331-339, doi:10.1017/S0376892908005225
Affiliations: Wildlife Conservation Society: India (WCS), University of Kent

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Journal: Ecological Entomology
Location: ?, Canada

The Elm Spanworm hatching boom is 2 weeks after the Sycamore Maple budburst. 85% more eggs were laid on the lower trunk than the crown (although those in later stages of development moved up towards the crown) and it had nothing to do with avoiding parasites (only one pupa was parasitised) or getting better quality leaves, although feeding on older leaves (three leaves expanded per bud) significantly improved the caterpillars’ chance of surviving to adulthood (90%, or 45% higher than when feeding on on younger leaves). Sycamore Maple leaves mature acropetally (from the base up).

Elm Spanworm – Ennomos subsignaria
Sycamore Maple – Acer pseudoplatanus

Fry HRC, Quiring DT, Ryall KL, Dixon PL, 2009. “Influence of intra-tree variation in phenology and oviposition site on the distribution and performance of Ennomos subsignaria on mature sycamore maple.” Ecological Entomology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.2009.01091.x
Affiliations: University of New Brunswick, Canadian Forest Service, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Journal: Insect Conservation and Diversity
Location: Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pelon, Mexico

Monarch butterflies overwinter in the Sierra Chincua and Cerro Pelon, Mexico, for a period of 154 days. During this time, they cluster on oyamel fir trees, which are on average 1.4 °C warmer than surrounding temperatures at night (protecting from freezing) and 1.2 °C cooler during the day (slowing the loss of fat stores). Older trees (with wider trunks) had more beneficial microclimates.

Monarch Butterfly – Danaus plexippus
Oyamel Fir – Abies religiosa

Brower LP, Williams EH, Slayback DA, Fink LS, Ramirez MI, Zubieta RR, Garcia MIL, Gier P, Lear JA, van Hook T, 2009. “Oyamel fir forest trunks provide thermal advantages for overwintering monarch butterflies in Mexico.” Insect Conservation and Diversity, DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2009.00052.x
Affiliations: Sweet Briar College, VA; Hamilton College, NY; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM); Huntingdon College, AL; National Cathedral School, Washington, DC.

Journal: African Journal of Ecology
Location: Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia

Of 612 Mediterranean Killifish caught in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, 54 (8.8%) had deformed spines, and were 8 times more likely to be deformed when from polluted areas. Deformities occurred less frequently as size increased, more often in fish under 25mm long.

Mediterranean Killifish: Aphanius fasciatus

Messaoudi I, Kessabi K, Kacem A, Saïd K, 2009. “Incidence of spinal deformities in natural populations of Aphanius fasciatus Nardo, 1827 from the Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia.” Africal Journal of Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2008.00972.x
Affiliations: ISBM (Institut Superieur de Biotechnologie de Monastir)

Journal: Animal Conservation
Location: Mary River?, Australia

The length of each underwater dive by hatchlings of the endangered Mary River Turtle was reduced by 51% in in hypoxic (depleted oxygen) water, as one would find at a dam, indicating there was insufficient oxygen for the turtles to respire underwater for as long, which in turn may cause them to be preyed upon more often. Evidence suggests that the turtles do not become accilimatised to hypoxia.

Mary River Turtle – Elusor macrurus

Clark NJ, Gordos MA, Franklin CE, 2009. “Implications of river damming: the influence of aquatic hypoxia on the diving physiology and behaviour of the endangered Mary River turtle.” Animal Conservation, 12(2): 147-154, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2009.00234.x
Affiliations: The University of Queensland, NSW DPI (New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Journal: African Journal of Ecology
Location: Serengeti, Tanzania

In the Tanzanian Serengeti, several female ostriches contribute their clutch to the same nest, with each nest containing up to 38 eggs. Eggs were laid sooner in the western low-altitude area than in the eastern uplands.

Ostrich – Struthio camelus

Magige FJ, Stokke BG, Sortland R, Røskaft E, 2009. “Breeding biology of ostriches (Struthio camelus) in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania.” DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2008.01002.x
Affiliations: University of Dar es Salaam, Norwegian University of Science and Technology