Lucherini, M., Palacios, R., Villalba, L. & Iverson, E. (2012). A new Strategic Plan for the conservation of the Andean cat. Oryx 46: 16-17.
The Andean cat Leopardus jacobita is the most threatened felid in the Americas. The Andean Cat Alliance (AGA) is an international and interdisciplinary network that aspires to achieve the conservation and long-term maintenance of Andean cat populations and its habitat, in harmony with local communities. The newly-released Strategic Plan for the species launches a new phase for AGA and consolidates all its conservation efforts. For each of the threats the Strategic Plan provides a list of indicators that permit the recognition of the studies required to understand how the threat is affecting Andean cat populations, and the actions required for mitigation.
Suryawanshi, K.R., Bhatnagar, Y.V. & Mishra, C. (2012) Standardizing the double observer survey method for estimating mountain ungulate prey of the endangered snow leopard. Oecologia: 1-10. doi: 10.1007/s00442-011-2237-0.
Mountain ungulates around the world have been threatened by illegal hunting, habitat modification, increased livestock grazing, disease and development. Mountain ungulates play an important functional role in grasslands as primary consumers and as prey for wild carnivores, and monitoring of their populations is important for conservation purposes. However, most of the several currently available methods of estimating wild ungulate abundance are either difficult to implement or too expensive for mountainous terrain. A rigorous method of sampling ungulate abundance in mountainous areas that can allow for some measure of sampling error is therefore much needed. This paper provides the first statistically robust estimates of the ungulate populations that form the primary prey for the snow leopard.
Thong, V.D., Puechmaille, S.J., Densinger, A., Bates, P.J.J., Dietz, C., Csorba, G., Soisook, P., Teeling, E.C., Matsumura, S., Furey, N.M & Schnitzler, H-U. (2011) Systematics of the Hipposideros turpis complex and a description of a new subspecies from Vietnam. Mammal Review, 42: 166192. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2907.2011.00202.x.
Hipposideros turpis is traditionally known as a species composed of three subspecies, H. t. turpis, H. t. alongensis and H. t. pendleburyi, distributed disjunctly in south-west Japan, north-east Vietnam and south-west Thailand, respectively. Prior to the present study, the systematic status of forms within the species remained unclear. Using morphological (external, bacular, cranial and dental characters), genetic and echolocation data, we demonstrate that turpis, alongensis and pendleburyi represent three distinct species, and that these species are endemic to Japan, Vietnam and Thailand, respectively. They are very distinct genetically and do not even form a monophyletic group.
Verissimo, D., & Metcalfe, K. (2012). Whaling: Quota trading wont work. Nature 482,162-162.
The quota-trading scheme proposed by Christopher Costello and his colleagues is a promising market-based solution for whale conservation, but is unlikely to succeed. For some countries, such as Japan, whaling is a symbol of national and cultural identity, so the economic returns may not provide sufficient incentive. Also, this is strictly a moral issue for the anti-whaling lobby, driven not by environmental conservation but by the suffering imposed on individual whales.
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