D’Lima, C., Marsh, H., Hamann, M., Sinha, A., & Arthur, R. (2013) Positive Interactions Between Irrawaddy Dolphins and Artisanal Fishers in the Chilika Lagoon of Eastern India are Driven by Ecology, Socioeconomics, and Culture. AMBIO doi: 10.1007/s13280-013-0440-4
In human-dominated landscapes, interactions and perceptions towards wildlife are influenced by multidimensional drivers. Understanding these drivers could prove useful for wildlife conservation. We surveyed the attitudes and perceptions of fishers towards threatened Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) at Chilika Lagoon India. To validate the drivers of fisher perceptions, we : (1) observed dolphin foraging behavior at stake nets, and (2) compared catch per unit effort (CPUE) and catch income of fishers from stake nets in the presence and absence of foraging dolphins. We found that fishers were mostly positive towards dolphins, believing that dolphins augmented their fish catch and using culture to express their perceptions. Foraging dolphins were observed spending half their time at stake nets and were associated with significantly higher catch income and CPUE of mullet (Liza sp.), a locally preferred food fish species. Wildlife conservation efforts should use the multidimensional drivers of human–wildlife interactions to involve local stakeholders in management.
D’Souza, E., Patankar, V., Arthur, R., Alcoverro, T., Kelkar, N. (2013) Long-Term Occupancy Trends in a Data-Poor Dugong Population in the Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago. PLoS ONE 8(10): e76181. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076181
We estimated long-term (over 50 years) occupancy, persistence and extinction of a data-poor dugong (Dugong dugon) population across multiple seagrass meadows in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India. This study was based on historical sighting, stranding and mortality records from 1959-2004 and extensive surveys carried out by us between the years 2010 and 2012 in all potential dugong habitats covering c. 75 % of the coastline. Dugong populations are currently restricted to a few areas where they seem to have persisted over several years. We found that dugong occupancy had declined by 60% over the last 20 years and the present-day occurrences were mainly in sheltered bays and channels with persistent seagrass meadows dominated by Halophila and Halodule sp. Availability of suitable seagrass habitat is not a limiting factor for dugong presence, but entanglement in gillnets and direct hunting appears to have likely resulted in local extinction of dugongs from several locations.
Garbino, G.S.T., Silva, F.E., & Davis, B.J.W. (2013) Range extension of the vulnerable dwarf marmoset, Callibella humilis (Roosmalen et al. 1998), and first analysis of its long call structure. Primates 54(4): 331-334.
We present two new records for the vulnerable dwarf marmoset, Callibella humilis. The first record, based on observed and photographed individuals, is from a campinarana area on the left (west) bank of the Rio Madeirinha, a left (west)-bank tributary of the Rio Roosevelt in the state of Amazonas, municipality of Novo Aripuanã and extends the distribution of the species ~270 km southwards, to the left (west) bank of the rio Roosevelt. The second record is based on an individual collected from the mouth of the Rio Roosevelt, at less than 10 km from the type locality of Mico marcai. This indicates that the species occurs sympatrically with M. marcai and probably Mico melanurus. We also present the first sonogram analysis of its long call structure, which shows some similarities, in the note duration and frequency, with Cebuella pygmaea and Mico argentatus.
Ma, Z., Hua, N., Peng, H., Choi, C., Battley, P.F., Zhou, Q., Chen, Y., Ma, Q., Jia, N., Xue, W., Bai, Q., Wu, W., Feng, X., & Tang, C. (2013) Differentiating between stopover and staging sites: functions of the southern and northern Yellow Sea for long-distance migratory shorebirds. Journal of Avian Biology 44: 504-512.
Many migratory shorebirds along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway are declining due to habitat loss. There is an urgent need to determine the roles of different stopping sites (rest vs refuelling) for migratory birds during northward migration in the Yellow Sea in East Asia, where many of the critical stopping areas are located. Our study indicate that the study sites in the southern Yellow Sea provide temporary resting sites for birds in poor condition and for birds that encounter unfavorable weather conditions, while the northern Yellow Sea provide critical refueling sites for the entire population. The rapid turnover rate in the southern Yellow Sea indicates that many more birds use that area than are indicated by peak counts.
Mao, X., Thong, V. D., Bates, P. J. J., Jones, G., Zhang, S. & Rossiter, S. J. (2013) Multiple cases of asymmetric introgression among horseshoe bats detected by phylogenetic conflicts across loci. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 110: 346–361. doi: 10.1111/bij.12138
Phylogenetic discordance among taxa can provide powerful insights into past episodes of introgressive hybridization, as well as lineage sorting. Previously, we showed that the taxonomically distinct taxon Rhinolophus sinicus septentrionalis has undergone historical introgression with its sympatric sister subspecies Rhinolophus sinicus sinicus. To examine in more detail the extent of gene flow between these two taxa, and also between these and their sister species Rhinolophus thomasi, we obtained new samples from China, Myanmar, and Vietnam, and combined new and published genetic data from these, Rhinolophus rouxii, and Rhinolophus indorouxii from India. Phylogenetic analyses revealed three separate cases of discordance: between R. s. septentrionalis and adjacent populations of R. s. sinicus, between R. s. septentrionalis and R. thomasi and between eastern populations of R. s. sinicus and a newly-identified lineage. In both former cases the mitochondrial DNA introgression appears to be asymmetric, which is likely to have resulted from mating between R. s. septentrionalis females with smaller R. s. sinicus and R. thomasi males, although we cannot rule out other scenarios completely. Further conflicts between genetic data and accepted species arrangements across the genus, with paraphyly of members of the rouxii-group, suggest the need for a thorough systematic revision of relationships within this group.
Pereyra, L.C., Akmentins, M.S., Laufer, G., & Vaira, M. (2013) A new species of Elachistocleis (Anura: Microhylidae) from north-western Argentina. Zootaxa 3694(6): 525-544.
Elachistocleis haroi sp. nov. is described from El Algarrobal, Jujuy province, north-western Argentina. The new species is diagnosed by the dorsal pattern of mid-longitudinal bright yellow stripe from the intraocular zone, surpassing the post-cephalic transverse skin fold, to vent; dorsum grayish brown mottled with a paravertebral symmetric pattern of dark spots resembling a pine tree; and a thin regular yellow line on the posterior surface of the thighs and tibiae. The advertisement call is a long trill with an average duration of 3.18 seconds, multipulsed with a mean dominant frequency of 4.56 kHz. The tadpole is characterized by the oral dermal flaps with papillae-like edges.
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