Demographic Consequences of Human Stressors on Wildlife Populations

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Predicting the ecological and conservation significances of human influences on wildlife populations is difficult. However, methodological developments can help make the transition from count-based field data on individuals to rate-based demographic estimates. 

Researchers synthesized tools from multiple fields of study to assess population-level consequences of anthropogenic stressors on terrestrial wildlife. The five steps to this framework are: 1) framing the problem to identify species, populations, and assessment parameters; 2) field-based measurement of the effect of the stressor on individuals; 3) characterizing the location and size of the populations of interest; 4) demographic modeling for those populations; and 5) assessing the significance of stressor-induced changes in demographic rates. They use two example species to illustrate their technique, which reveal unexpectedly greater potential risks from stressors for the more common and widely distributed species. Authors discuss key strengths of the framework and identify important developments to make it still more broadly applicable.

Katzner, T.E., Braham, M.A., Conkling, T.J., Diffendorfer, J.E., Duerr, A.E., Loss, S.R., Nelson, D.M., Vander Zanden, H.B., Yee, J.L., 2020, Assessing population-level consequences of anthropogenic stressors for terrestrial wildlife: Ecosphere, v. 11, no. 3, p. e03046, https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3046

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Date published: November 13, 2017
Status: Active

Interaction Between Alternative Energy Development and Raptors

Energy production has become essential for modern society. At the same time, this process can have negative effects on wildlife and ecosystems. It is in the best interest of society and the environment to understand these effects and to manage and mitigate for them. Our team focuses on measuring how energy development influences birds of prey and learning how to minimize impacts.

Contacts: Todd E Katzner