Despite broad recognition of the value of social sciences and increasingly vocal calls for better engagement with the human element of conservation, the conservation social sciences remain misunderstood and underutilized in practice. The conservation social sciences can provide unique and important contributions to society's understanding of the relationships between humans and nature and to improving conservation practice and outcomes. There are 4 barriers—ideological, institutional, knowledge, and capacity—to meaningful integration of the social sciences into conservation. We provide practical guidance on overcoming these barriers to mainstream the social sciences in conservation science, practice, and policy. Broadly, we recommend fostering knowledge on the scope and contributions of the social sciences to conservation, including social scientists from the inception of interdisciplinary research projects, incorporating social science research and insights during all stages of conservation planning and implementation, building social science capacity at all scales in conservation organizations and agencies, and promoting engagement with the social sciences in and through global conservation policy‐influencing organizations. Conservation social scientists, too, need to be willing to engage with natural science knowledge and to communicate insights and recommendations clearly. We urge the conservation community to move beyond superficial engagement with the conservation social sciences. A more inclusive and integrative conservation science—one that includes the natural and social sciences—will enable more ecologically effective and socially just conservation. Better collaboration among social scientists, natural scientists, practitioners, and policy makers will facilitate a renewed and more robust conservation. Mainstreaming the conservation social sciences will facilitate the uptake of the full range of insights and contributions from these fields into conservation policy and practice.
DNA barcodes can be used to identify cryptic species of skipper butterflies previously detected by classic taxonomic methods and to provide first clues to the existence of yet other cryptic species. A striking case is the common geographically and ecologically widespread neotropical skipper butterfly Perichares philetes (Lepidoptera, Hesperiidae), described in 1775, which barcoding splits into a complex of four species in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica. Three of the species are new, and all four are described. Caterpillars, pupae, and foodplants offer better distinguishing characters than do adults, whose differences are mostly average, subtle, and blurred by intraspecific variation. The caterpillars of two species are generalist grass-eaters; of the other two, specialist palm-eaters, each of which feeds on different genera. But all of these cryptic species are more specialized in their diet than was the morphospecies that held them. The four ACG taxa discovered to date belong to a panneotropical complex of at least eight species. This complex likely includes still more species, whose exposure may require barcoding. Barcoding ACG hesperiid morphospecies has increased their number by nearly 10%, an unexpectedly high figure for such relatively well known insects.
Background: Skipper butterflies (Hesperiidae) are a relatively well-studied family of Lepidoptera. However, a combination of DNA barcodes, morphology, and natural history data has revealed several cryptic species complexes within them. Here, we investigate three DNA barcode lineages of what has been identified as Urbanus belli (Hesperiidae, Eudaminae) in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), northwestern Costa Rica. Results: Although no morphological traits appear to distinguish among the three, congruent nuclear and mitochondrial lineage patterns show that "Urbanus belli" in ACG is a complex of three sympatric species. A single strain of Wolbachia present in two of the three cryptic species indicates that Urbanus segnestami Burns (formerly Urbanus belliDHJ01), Urbanus bernikerni Burns (formerly Urbanus belliDHJ02), and Urbanus ehakernae Burns (formerly Urbanus belliDHJ03) may be biologically separated by Wolbachia, as well as by their genetics. Use of parallel sequencing through 454-pyrosequencing improved the utility of ITS2 as a phylogenetic marker and permitted examination of the intra-and interlineage relationships of ITS2 variants within the species complex. Interlineage, intralineage and intragenomic compensatory base pair changes were discovered in the secondary structure of ITS2. Conclusion: These findings corroborate the existence of three cryptic species. Our confirmation of a novel cryptic species complex, initially suggested by DNA barcode lineages, argues for using a multi-marker approach coupled with next-generation sequencing for exploration of other suspected species complexes.
Understanding survival of precocial chicks in the period immediately following hatching has important conservation implications because population growth is often sensitive to post-hatching survival. We studied federally threatened Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus nivosus) broods at the northern limit of their range in coastal Oregon (n = 1,157) and Washington (n = 84) from 1991 to 2011 in an attempt to understand seasonal, annual, and spatial patterns of chick survival. In Oregon, plover chick survival increased with age, varied between sites, and was greater at sites with predator management. The mean probability of surviving from hatch to fledging at 28 days of age in Oregon was 0.57 (95% CI: 0.50, 0.63). In Washington, where predator management was not employed, we conducted separate analyses using individually banded and unbanded chicks and results indicated that survival generally increased with chick age. The mean estimated probability of surviving from hatch to fledging at 28 days of age in Washington was 0.27 (95% CI: 0.20, 0.35) for individually banded chicks when perfect detection was assumed. This probability increased to 0.67 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.83) when we analyzed unbanded chicks and included detection probability. Our findings confirm the importance of considering age effects in the survival of Snowy Plover chicks and raise questions about the validity of assuming perfect detection of plover chicks during brood checks. This work also highlights the benefit of predator management on chick survival.
Understanding human perspectives is critical in a range of conservation contexts, for example, in overcoming conflicts or developing projects that are acceptable to relevant stakeholders. The Q methodology is a unique semiquantitative technique used to explore human perspectives. It has been applied for decades in other disciplines and recently gained traction in conservation. This paper helps researchers assess when Q is useful for a given conservation question and what its use involves. To do so, we explained the steps necessary to conduct a Q study, from the research design to the interpretation of results. We provided recommendations to minimize biases in conducting a Q study, which can affect mostly when designing the study and collecting the data. We conducted a structured literature review of 52 studies to examine in what empirical conservation contexts Q has been used. Most studies were subnational or national cases, but some also address multinational or global questions. We found that Q has been applied to 4 broad types of conservation goals: addressing conflict, devising management alternatives, understanding policy acceptability, and critically reflecting on the values that implicitly influence research and practice. Through these applications, researchers found hidden views, understood opinions in depth and discovered points of consensus that facilitated unlocking difficult disagreements. The Q methodology has a clear procedure but is also flexible, allowing researchers explore long‐term views, or views about items other than statements, such as landscape images. We also found some inconsistencies in applying and, mainly, in reporting Q studies, whereby it was not possible to fully understand how the research was conducted or why some atypical research decisions had been taken in some studies. Accordingly, we suggest a reporting checklist. 理解人们的观点在许多保护的情境中都十分重要, 如解决冲突或开发能让利益相关者接受的项目。 Q 方法是一个独特的用于探究人们观点的半定量方法。它在其它学科中已有数十年的应用, 近来也被用于保护领域。本文帮助研究者评估 Q 方法何时可以用于给定的保护问题, 以及它的使用涉及到什么。为此, 我们解释了进行 Q 研究从研究设计到结果解读的必要步骤。我们提供了减少 Q 研究中研究者误差的建议, 其影响主要发生在实验设计和数据收集阶段。我们还进行了结构化文献综述来分析 Q 方法在哪类实证保护研究中得到应用。我们找出了 52 个研究, 大部分是国家以下或国家水平的案例, 但也有些涉及多国家或全球水平的问题。我们发现, Q 方法目前用于 4 大类保护目标:处理冲突、设计管理替代方案、分析政策可接受性, 以及批判地思考暗中影响研究和实践的价值观。通过这些应用, 研究者可以发现隐含的意见, 深度理解人们的观点, 并找到有助于解决分歧的共识点。 Q 方法有明确的操作步骤, 但也有一定灵活性, 可以让研究者探索长远的观点, 或是人们对事物 (如景观图像) 而非语句的看法。我们还发现 Q 方法在应用中存在不一致, 主要是对 Q 研究的报告, 据此我们难以完全理解研究是如何进行的, 以及一些研究中为何做出了非典型的研究决定。因此, 我们建议使用一份报告检查表。 【翻译: 胡怡思; 审校:魏辅文】
Zoos and aquariums are increasingly incorporating conservation education into their mission statements and visitor experiences to address global biodiversity loss. To advance knowledge and practice in the field, research is being conducted to evaluate the effect of zoo conservation‐education experiences on visitor psychosocial outcomes (e.g., knowledge, attitude, emotions, motivations, behavior). Following recent discussions among scholars and practitioners concerning logistical and methodological challenges that likely undermine the conclusions of such research, we identified and reviewed the methods and reporting practices in peer‐reviewed articles published in English from May 1998 to June 2016 that focused on adult visitor samples (47 articles, 48 studies). We examined elements of internal, external, construct, and statistical conclusion validity. Methodological quality of quantitative methods and reporting practices was determined using the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool. Each study was coded as either strong (no weak ratings), moderate (1 weak rating), or weak (≥2 weak ratings). The quantitative methods of 83.3% of studies were weak. The remaining 16.7% had methods of moderate quality. Using an existing checklist, we also assessed the quality and rigor of qualitative methods and reporting practices and found that some aspects of these methods were reported more comprehensively than others. For example, 69.6% of articles discussed methods for identifying key themes from the data, whereas only 34.8% reported how data verification was performed. We suggest increased application of intensive longitudinal methods (e.g., daily diary) to strengthen self‐reported data, experimental and repeated‐measures designs, and mixed‐methods approaches. Our findings and recommendations could strengthen and guide the research and evaluation agenda for the field and ultimately enhance the contribution zoos make to global biodiversity conservation. 目前, 越来越多动物园和水族馆将保护教育纳入它们的使命和游客体验活动中, 以应对全球生物多样性的丧失。为提高这一领域的知识和实践水平, 研究评估了动物园的保护教育对游客产生的社会心理学影响(如知识、态度、情感、动机和行为)。延续近期学者和保护实践者对可能削弱这类研究结论的运筹学、方法学挑战的讨论, 我们选定了 1998 年 5 月至 2016 年 6 月发表的针对成年游客样本的同行评议英文文章共 47 篇 (48 个研究), 并对其所采用的研究方法及报告规范进行了综述。我们检验了内部、外部、构造和统计结论可靠性的要素。利用 “有效公共卫生实践项目质量评估工具”, 我们评估了定量的方法和报告的方法学水平, 并将研究分为较高 (没有低等级评分)、中等 (一个低等级评分) 或较低 (两个以上低等级评分) 水平。 83.3% 的研究的定量方法被评为较低水平, 其余 16.7% 为中等水平。利用已有的检查表, 我们还评估了定性方法和报告的水平和严谨性, 发现这些方法对某些方面的报道比其它方面更详尽。例如, 有 69.6% 的文章讨论了从数据中识别关键主题的方法, 而只有 34.8% 的文章描述了如何进行数据审核。因此, 我们建议: 更多地应用密集的纵向方法 (如每天的日记) 来加强自我报告数据的收集; 注意实验和重复测量的设计; 采用多方法混合的方式。我们的发现和建议可以指导和强化该领域的研究和评估方法, 最终加大动物园对全球生物多样性保护的贡献。 【翻译: 胡怡思; 审校: 魏辅文】 Article impact statement : Zoo conservation‐education research can be strengthened by increasing methodological rigour and improving reporting practices.
Research on urban insect pollinators is changing views on the biological value and ecological importance of cities. The abundance and diversity of native bee species in urban landscapes that are absent in nearby rural lands evidence the biological value and ecological importance of cities and have implications for biodiversity conservation. Lagging behind this revised image of the city are urban conservation programs that historically have invested in education and outreach rather than programs designed to achieve high‐priority species conservation results. We synthesized research on urban bee species diversity and abundance to determine how urban conservation could be repositioned to better align with new views on the ecological importance of urban landscapes. Due to insect pollinators’ relatively small functional requirements—habitat range, life cycle, and nesting behavior—relative to larger mammals, we argue that pollinators put high‐priority and high‐impact urban conservation within reach. In a rapidly urbanizing world, transforming how environmental managers view the city can improve citizen engagement and contribute to the development of more sustainable urbanization.
We DNA barcoded 2,597 parasitoid wasps belonging to 6 microgastrine braconid genera reared from parapatric tropical dry forest, cloud forest, and rain forest in Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica and combined these data with records of caterpillar hosts and morphological analyses. We asked whether barcoding and morphology discover the same provisional species and whether the biological entities revealed by our analysis are congruent with wasp host specificity. Morphological analysis revealed 171 provisional species, but barcoding exposed an additional 142 provisional species; 95% of the total is likely to be undescribed. These 313 provisional species are extraordinarily host specific; more than 90% attack only 1 or 2 species of caterpillars out of more than 3,500 species sampled. The most extreme case of overlooked diversity is the morphospecies Apanteles leucostigmus. This minute black wasp with a distinctive white wing stigma was thought to parasitize 32 species of ACG hesperiid caterpillars, but barcoding revealed 36 provisional species, each attacking one or a very few closely related species of caterpillars. When host records and/or within-ACG distributions suggested that DNA barcoding had missed a species-pair, or when provisional species were separated only by slight differences in their barcodes, we examined nuclear sequences to test hypotheses of presumptive species boundaries and to further probe host specificity. Our iterative process of combining morphological analysis, ecology, and DNA barcoding and reiteratively using specimens maintained in permanent collections has resulted in a much more fine-scaled understanding of parasitoid diversity and host specificity than any one of these elements could have produced on its own.
Although central to much biological research, the identification of species is often difficult. The use of DNA barcodes, short DNA sequences from a standardized region of the genome, has recently been proposed as a tool to facilitate species identification and discovery. However, the effectiveness of DNA barcoding for identifying specimens in species-rich tropical biotas is unknown. Here we show that cytochrome c oxidase I DNA barcodes effectively discriminate among species in three Lepidoptera families from Area de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica. We found that 97.9% of the 521 species recognized by prior taxonomic work possess distinctive cytochrome c oxidase I barcodes and that the few instances of interspecific sequence overlap involve very similar species. We also found two or more barcode clusters within each of 13 supposedly single species. Covariation between these clusters and morphological and/or ecological traits indicates overlooked species complexes. If these results are general, DNA barcoding will significantly aid species identification and discovery in tropical settings.
La Península de Baja California es reconocida como una de las áreas silvestres mejor conservadas a nivel mundial. Ante el incremento de proyectos productivos, de alto impacto ambiental en la región, surge la necesidad de dotar de elementos que fortalezcan la protección de esta Península. Para ello, se propone un conjunto de áreas prioritarias de geo-conservación, tomando como base una regionalización físico-geográfica y la distribución de la riqueza y el endemismo biótico. Mediante un análisis de vacíos de conservación, se obtuvo que entre el 24 y el 39 por ciento de la superficie de la Península no está protegida. Se propone que para tener un espacio geográfico que proteja adecuadamente los objetos de conservación, es necesario sumar las áreas de vacíos de conservación detectados en este estudio, al 37 porciento del área de la Península que está legalmente protegida. The Baja California Peninsula is acknowledged as one of the best-preserved wilderness areas worldwide. With the increase of productive projects with high environmental impact in the region, the need arises to provide elements that strengthen the protection of this Peninsula. For this purpose, a set of priority areas of biodiversity geo-conservation were proposed through a physical-geographical regionalization, and using the distribution of biotic richness and endemism. Through conservation gap analysis it was found that between 24 and 39 percent of the peninsula surface in not protected. With the aim of having a geographic space that adequately protects conservation objects it is necessary to add the conservation gaps detected by this work to the 37 percent of the Peninsula that is legally protected.