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News and Opinion

Coverage of habitat fragmentation since April 26, 2021.

LETTER: Changes to leash rules reduce environmental protection

"...With climate change, density and habitat fragmentation, etc. we must increase protection in our parks for future generations of people and wildlife. I am deeply saddened to say that this decision of council has eroded the trust of many of our residents..."

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Humans As Drivers of Evolution

"...[p]ollution, eutrophication, urbanization, habitat fragmentation, climate change, domestication/agriculture, hunting/harvesting (including fishing), invasion/extinction, medicine and emerging/disappearing diseases..."

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Human activities affect wildlife — even in nature reserves

"...The study used results from one of the largest long-term standardized camera-trap wildlife surveys to date. It produced millions of camera images, which researchers analyzed to see how human activity has affected 159 mammal species in 16 protected areas across tropical regions on three continents. The camera traps across 1,000 sites collected images over up to 10 years across tropical forests..."

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Preserving the Natural Jewel: Join the Movement to Protect Gatineau Park Nature Canada

"...One of the major concerns is the encroachment of urbanization and development in the surrounding areas. The absence of an adequate land-use strategy between the park and adjacent development zones has led to habitat fragmentation and increased human presence at the park's edges. The encroachment of urbanization and development in the areas surrounding Gatineau Park has led to a concerning level of habitat fragmentation, which not only disrupts the park's delicate ecological balance but also poses significant risks to the well-being of both wildlife and human populations..."

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Keremeos Columns protected area to grow ten-fold

"...“Recovering Canada’s species at risk and restoring biodiversity requires local, regional and national action. Conservation efforts at the Keremeos Columns Grassland is a terrific example of how we can work together with partners to protect nature, build ecological corridors and help species at risk,” said Minster of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault. “The Government of Canada is committed to conserving 25 percent of Canada’s land and inland waters and 25 percent of oceans by 2025, and is working toward 30 percent of each by 2030..."

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The Nature Trust of BC Purchases 479 Acres of the Keremeos Columns Grasslands to Conserve Crucial Similkameen Biodiversity

"...The Keremeos Columns Grassland conservation area is located in the Similkameen Valley within the traditional territory of the Smelqmix and Syilx Peoples. The conservation area is adjacent to the 20 hectare Keremeos Columns Provincial Park, increasing the size of the protected land by almost ten-fold and connecting seven crucial and sensitive ecosystems..."

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Restoration at a Snail's Pace

"...The Oregon Forestsnail is endemic to western North America and as an adult, it is identified by a thick white apertural lip (the lip surrounding the opening of a snail shell) and a deep central pit (the central hole on the underside of the shell). The shell is pale brown or straw-yellow and ranges from 28 to 35 mm. Since large native land snails are rare in the coastal forests of BC, the Oregon Forestsnail is a valuable component of the biodiversity of these environments..."

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World Habitat Day 2021: There is no protected habitat too small to benefit biodiversity

"...Returning to cities, the implications of Lenore’s work are exciting. If even small, fragmented patches of habitat are important for biodiversity conservation, we can no longer overlook cities. Every patch of native habitat counts, including your favourite local forest or wetland..."

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Wildlife Wednesday: Animals are “shape-shifting” to cope with climate change

"...Before the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Ottawa student Megan Reich embarked on a 74-day, 20,000 kilometre scientific odyssey over 22 states to better understand the migration pathway of monarch butterflies. Since then, she’s been crunching data on milkweed distribution — the host plant for monarchs — with the results published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution this week. Reich and colleagues from the University of Guelph and the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science matched up strontium isotopes — different variations of the same atomic element — from milkweed and butterfly samples to track the monarchs and more precisely pinpoint where monarchs were born, and how migratory routes are connected..."

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What about after the wildfires? B.C. Wildlife Federation

"...The B. C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF) has been working with the provincial government and First Nations to proactively address post-fire recovery..."

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Limited value of tree plantations for biodiversity conservation

"...In light of declining natural forests, tree plantations may seem like a good way to replace forest habitats. But what are the possible benefits of these plantations for biological diversity? A team of researchers led by led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) investigated this question using the example of beetles. Beetles account for 27% of all insect species worldwide and are often used as indicators for the effects of climate change and habitat fragmentation on biodiversity..."

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Recommended Reading

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Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about habitat fragmentation relevant to the latest news.

Land potential for ecotourism development and assessing landscape ecology in areas on protection of Iran

"...This research has evaluated environmental potential to determine suitable zones for ecotourism development in Lar National Park (NP) and Kavdeh Wildlife Refuge (WR) and also evaluated landscape ecology changes to investigate ecological function (EF) and status of EC in these areas..."

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Population genomics and conservation of Gila Trout (Oncorhynchus gilae)

"...All lineages have experienced population bottlenecks associated with mortality from drought and severe wildfires..."

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Temporal dynamics of a subtropical floodplain pool after 2 years of supra-seasonal drought: a mesocosm study

"...A need exists to understand how drought and its linked consequences threaten aquatic ecosystems and their associated biota in semi-arid countries, as climate change is predicted to increase the effects of these events..."

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Effects of landscape configuration on the occurrence and abundance of an arboreal marsupial from the Valdivian rainforest

"...Background Habitat fragmentation and degradation processes affect biodiversity by reducing habitat quantity and quality, with differential effects on the resident species..."

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Detecting nestedness in city parks for urban biodiversity conservation

"...We believe these strategies can help reduce the impact of urbanization to retain healthy interactions and connections of metacommunities among habitats for effective biodiversity conservation in urban areas..."

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Genome-wide assessment of population genetic and demographic history in Magnolia odoratissima based on SLAF-seq

"...Magnolia odoratissima is a highly threatened species, with small distribution and scattered populations due to habitat fragmentation and human activity..."

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Genetic diversity, gene flow, and source-sink dynamics of cougars in the Pacific Northwest

"...We found that cougars in the Olympic, Cascade, Kettle, Selkirk, and Blue Mountains ecosystems are genetically differentiated into two clusters with varying degrees of admixture, indicating moderate levels of gene flow across the area with the exception of the Olympic Peninsula and the Blue Mountains which form more distinct genetic groups..."

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A modularity total environment network model for sustainable forest transportation

"...Forest road network planning and development is important in providing accessibility to remote forest areas for timber harvesting, transportation to markets, and recreational activities, as well as preventing environmental degradation, soil erosion, water pollution, and an increased risk of forest fires and wildlife habitat fragmentation..."

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Reproductive success of captive-reared Allegheny Woodrats (Neotoma magister) released into genetically depauperate populations

"...Habitat fragmentation and degradation have led to a proliferation of small and isolated populations that are vulnerable to genetic erosion..."

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Life in the margins: host-parasite relationships in ecological edges

"...Transitional zones, such as edge habitat, are key landscapes for investigating biodiversity..."

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Local Overfishing Patterns Have Regional Effects on Health of Coral, and Economic Transitions Can Promote Its Recovery

"...We find that coral and reef fish react in opposite ways to habitat fragmentation driven by overfishing, and that a potential spillover effect from marine protected areas into overfished patches helps coral populations far less than it does reef fish..."

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An enigma: how can freshwater eels (Anguilla spp.) be such a successful genus yet be universally threatened?

"...Many reasons have been advanced to explain the significant declines of eels including habitat fragmentation and loss, spread of parasites and diseases, pollution, impacts of hydro dams, overfishing and oceanic changes..."

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