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Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones

The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. An experiment was conducted to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. The study analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates' groups). The results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals increased as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. The study suggests that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ferrer et al (2020) Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 12(11): 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

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https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/12/11/439
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Waddling on the dark side: ambient light affects attendance behavior of little penguins

Waddling on the dark side: ambient light affects attendance behavior of little penguins

The little penguin is the smallest and the only penguin species whose activity on land is strictly nocturnal. Thirteen years of attendance data were used to study the effects of sun, moon, and artificial light on the attendance pattern at Phillip Island, Australia. Automated monitoring systems recorded individually marked penguins every time they arrived (after sunset) at or departed (before sunrise) from 2 colonies under different lighting conditions: natural night skylight and artificial lights used to enhance penguin viewing for ecotourism around sunset. Sunlight had a strong effect on attendance as penguins arrived on average around 81 min after sunset and departed around 92 min before sunrise. The effect of moonlight was also strong, its effect was stronger on departure than arrival times. Moonlight could be overridden by artificial light at the artificially lit colony, but the similar attendance patterns between colonies suggest that artificial light did not mask the moonlight effect. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es Rodriguez et al (2016) Waddling on the dark side. Ambient light affects attendance behavior of little penguins. J Biol Rhythms doi: 10.1177/0748730415626010


http://jbr.sagepub.com/content/31/2/194