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Human footprint and vulture mortality

Events of non-natural mortality in human-dominated landscapes are especially challenging for populations of large vertebrates with K strategies. Among birds, vultures are one of the most threatened groups experiencing sharp population declines due to non-natural mortality. Factors causing non-natural mortality are usually studied separately. However, the potential use of an integrated index able to predict large-scale mortality risks of avian scavengers could be especially useful for planning conservation strategies. Here, the Human Footprint index was used to examine the impact of landscape anthropization on the survival rates of 66 GPS-tagged adult Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in two Spanish regions. Foraging in more anthropized areas resulted in a significantly higher individual mortality risk mainly due to collisions with vehicles, poisonings, electrocutions and fatalities with wind turbines. Mean yearly survival rates were estimated at 0.817 and 0.968 for individuals from the more and less anthropized regions, respectively. Additional research should investigate whether some vulture populations could be acting as sinks unnoticed due to metapopulation dynamics. From a broader point of view, this study shows that a straightforward Human Footprint was a useful index to predict the survival of top scavengers and can be highly applicable to planning large-scale conservation measures. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Arrondo et al (2020) Landscape anthropization shapes the survival of a top avian scavenger. Biodivers Conserv. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-020-01942-6


https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10531-020-01942-6#
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Brown bear attacks on humans: a worldwide perspective

Brown bear attacks on humans: a worldwide perspective

Negative encounters with brown bears are rare and mainly non-fatal. This is the main finding of this study where the authors investigated more than 600 brown bear attacks on humans in 2000-2015 across the range inhabited by the species. Defensive behavior of females protecting their cubs was documented in the majority of the attacks. Half of the attacked people were engaged in leisure activities in nature, such as hiking and berry or antler picking. Other frequent scenarios were the result of inappropriate and risk-enhancing human behaviors (e.g. walking in natural areas with an unleashed dog, or chasing a wounded bear while hunting), and could be reduced by improving public education and awareness of the issue. Bear attacks were more frequent in remote areas with low density of people and high density of bears. Authors highlight the importance of educating the large public about how to behave properly in bear country to increase both human and bear safety, as well as to promote coexistence. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Bombieri et al (2019) Brown bear attacks on humans: a worldwide perspective. Sci Rep https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44341-w


https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44341-w