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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    In: Ecological Applications, March 2012, Vol.22(2), pp.393-399
    Description: The non‐equilibrium concept of rangeland dynamics predicts that the potential for grazing‐induced degradation is low in rangelands with relatively variable precipitation. To date, evidence in support of the non‐equilibrium concept has been inconsistent. Using a standardized protocol, including a newly developed global map of rainfall variability, we reviewed the incidence of degradation in relation to rainfall variability across 58 published studies. We distinguished between (1) zonal degradation (i.e., degradation independent of water and key resources), (2) degradation in the presence of key resources, and (3) degradation in the presence of water. For studies not affected by proximity to permanent water or key resources, we found strong support for the non‐equilibrium concept for rangelands. Zonal degradation was absent at CV (coefficient of variation) values above 33%, which has been proposed as a critical threshold. Grazing degradation was almost entirely restricted to areas with relatively stable annual precipitation as expressed by a low CV, or to rangelands with key resources or water points nearby. To better understand rangeland dynamics, we recommend that future studies use globally comparable measures of degradation and rainfall variability. Our work underlines that rangelands with relatively stable rainfall patterns, and those with access to water or key resources, are potentially vulnerable to degradation. Grazing management in such areas should incorporate strategic rest periods. Such rest periods effectively mimic natural fluctuations in herbivore populations, which are a defining characteristic of non‐degraded rangelands occurring under highly variable precipitation regimes.
    Keywords: Climatic Variability ; Degradation ; Drylands ; Grazing ; Rainfall ; Rangeland Management
    ISSN: 1051-0761
    E-ISSN: 1939-5582
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Biological Conservation, Sept, 2012, Vol.153, p.219(8)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2012.05.006 Byline: Jason I. Ransom (a), Petra Kaczensky (b), Bruce C. Lubow (c), Oyunsaikhan Ganbaatar (d)(e), Nanjid Altansukh (d) Keywords: Asiatic wild ass; Distance sampling; Equus; Gazelle; Gobi; Khulan; Mongolia; Point count; Population estimation Abstract: a* We developed a collaborative method for estimating terrestrial wildlife abundance. a* Local peoples were included as observers and the method addressed observer bias. a* No expensive equipment was needed to quantify the necessary metrics. a* Asiatic wild ass and goitered gazelle populations in Mongolia were estimated. a* This is a functional model for integrating local people into conservation projects. Author Affiliation: (a) US Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building C, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA (b) Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Savoyenstrasse 1, A-1160 Vienna, Austria (c) Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA (d) Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, Mongolia (e) International Takhi Group, Switzerland Article History: Received 17 January 2012; Revised 1 May 2012; Accepted 12 May 2012
    Keywords: Wildlife -- Analysis
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 3
    In: Conservation Biology, August 2015, Vol.29(4), pp.978-985
    Description: A key controversy in conservation is the framing of the relationship between people and nature. The extent to which the realms of nature and human culture are viewed as separate (dualistic view) or integrated is often discussed in the social sciences. To explore how this relationship is represented in the practice of conservation in Europe, we considered examples of cultural landscapes, wildlife (red deer, reindeer, horses), and protected area management. We found little support, for a dualistic worldview, where people and nature are regarded as separate in the traditional practice of conservation in Europe. The borders between nature and culture, wild and domestic, public land and private land, and between protected areas and the wider landscape were blurred and dynamic. The institutionalized (in practice and legislation) view is of an interactive mutualistic system in which humans and nature share the whole landscape. However, more dualistic ideals, such as wilderness and rewilding that are challenging established practices are expanding. In the context of modern day Europe, wilderness conservation and rewilding are not valid for the whole landscape, although it is possible to integrate some areas of low‐intervention management into a wider matrix. A precondition for success is to recognize and plan for a plurality of values concerning the most valid approaches to conservation and to plan for this plurality at the landscape scale.
    Keywords: Cultural Landscape ; Dualism ; Europe ; Protected Area ; Red Deer ; Wild Horses ; Wilderness ; Área Protegida ; Caballos Silvestres ; Ciervo Rojo ; Dualismo ; Europa ; Naturaleza ; Paisaje Cultural
    ISSN: 0888-8892
    E-ISSN: 1523-1739
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 2011, Vol.6(12), p.e28057
    Description: Large mammals re-introduced into harsh and unpredictable environments are vulnerable to stochastic effects, particularly in times of global climate change. The Mongolian Gobi is home to several rare large ungulates such as re-introduced Przewalski's horses ( Equus ferus przewalskii ) and Asiatic wild asses ( Equus hemionus ), but also to a millennium-old semi-nomadic livestock herding culture. ; The Gobi is prone to large inter-annual environmental fluctuations, but the winter 2009/2010 was particularly severe. Millions of livestock died and the Przewalski's horse population in the Gobi crashed. We used spatially explicit livestock loss statistics, ranger survey data and GPS telemetry to provide insight into the effect of a catastrophic climate event on the two sympatric wild equid species and the livestock population in light of their different space use strategies. ; Herders in and around the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area lost on average 67% of their livestock. Snow depth varied locally, resulting in livestock losses following an east-west gradient. Herders had few possibilities for evasion, as competition for available winter camps was high. Przewalski's horses used three different winter ranges, two in the east and one in the west. Losses averaged 60%, but differed hugely between east and west. Space use of Przewalski's horses was extremely conservative, as groups did not attempt to venture beyond their known home ranges. Asiatic wild asses seemed to have suffered few losses by shifting their range westwards. ; The catastrophic winter 2009/2010 provided a textbook example for how vulnerable small and spatially confined populations are in an environment prone to environmental fluctuations and catastrophes. This highlights the need for disaster planning by local herders, multiple re-introduction sites with spatially dispersed populations for re-introduced Przewalski's horses, and a landscape-level approach beyond protected area boundaries to allow for migratory or nomadic movements in Asiatic wild asses.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Veterinary Science ; Ecology
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Applied Ecology, 2017, Vol.54(4), p.1110(10)
    Description: Byline: Martina Burnik A turm, Oyunsaikhan Ganbaatar, Christian C. Voigt, Petra Kaczensky, Tomas Part Keywords: Asiatic wild ass; Dzungarian Gobi; Equus ferus przewalskii ; Equus hemionus ; feeding ecology; isotope analysis; isotopic dietary niche; pasture competition; Przewalski's horse Summary Competition among sympatric wild herbivores is reduced by different physiological, morphological and behavioural traits resulting in different dietary niches. Wild equids are a rather uniform group of large herbivores which have dramatically declined in numbers and range. Correlative evidence suggests that pasture competition with livestock is one of the key factors for this decline, and the situation may be aggravated in areas where different equid species overlap. The Dzungarian Gobi is currently the only place where two wild equid species coexist and share the range with the domesticated form of a third equid species. In the winter-cold Gobi desert pasture productivity is low, highly seasonal, and wild equids additionally face increasing livestock densities. We used stable isotope chronologies of tail hairs to draw inferences about multi-year diet seasonality, isotopic dietary niches and physiological adaptations in the Asiatic wild ass (khulan), re-introduced Przewalski's horse, and domestic horse in the Mongolian part of the Dzungarian Gobi. Our results showed that even in the arid Gobi, both horse species are predominantly grazers, whereas khulan are highly seasonal, switching from being grazers in summer to mixed feeders in winter. The isotopic dietary niches of the two horse species were almost identical, did not vary with season as in khulan and were narrower than in the latter. Higher I[acute accent].sub.15N values point towards higher water use efficiency in khulan, which may be one reason why they can exploit pastures further away from water. Synthesis and applications. The high degree of isotopic dietary niche overlap in the two horse species in the Mongolian Gobi points towards a high potential for pasture competition during the critical nutritional bottleneck in winter and highlights the need to severely restrict grazing of domestic horses on the range of the Przewalski's horses. The evolutionary more distant khulan are less constrained by water and seem more flexible in their choice of diet or less successful in exploiting grass-dominated habitats in winter due to human presence. Providing additional water sources could increase the competition between khulan and livestock and should, therefore, only be done following careful consideration. CAPTION(S): Appendix S1. Supplementary information on livestock in Mongolia, the Dzungarian Gobi, and Central Asia. Appendix S2. Plant sampling and stable isotope values of plants in Great Gobi B SPA. Appendix S3. Stable isotope analysis methods and isotope values in hair. Appendix S4. Estimation of isotopic niche widths. Appendix S5. GPS locations of khulan in Great Gobi B SPA.
    Keywords: Livestock – Physiological Aspects ; Livestock – Analysis
    ISSN: 0021-8901
    E-ISSN: 13652664
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Biological conservation, 2012, Vol.153, pp.219-226
    Description: Accurately estimating abundance of wildlife is critical for establishing effective conservation and management strategies. Aerial methodologies for estimating abundance are common in developed countries, but they are often impractical for remote areas of developing countries where many of the world’s endangered and threatened fauna exist. The alternative terrestrial methodologies can be constrained by limitations on access, technology, and human resources, and have rarely been comprehensively conducted for large terrestrial mammals at landscape scales. We attempted to overcome these problems by incorporating local peoples into a simultaneous point count of Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) and goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) across the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, Mongolia. Paired observers collected abundance and covariate metrics at 50 observation points and we estimated population sizes using distance sampling theory, but also assessed individual observer error to examine potential bias introduced by the large number of minimally trained observers. We estimated 5671 (95% CI=3611–8907) wild asses and 5909 (95% CI=3762–9279) gazelle inhabited the 11,027km² study area at the time of our survey and found that the methodology developed was robust at absorbing the logistical challenges and wide range of observer abilities. This initiative serves as a functional model for estimating terrestrial wildlife abundance while integrating local people into scientific and conservation projects. This, in turn, creates vested interest in conservation by the people who are most influential in, and most affected by, the outcomes. ; p. 219-226.
    Keywords: Human Resources ; Developing Countries ; Fauna ; Gazella ; Wildlife ; Asses ; Gazelles ; Population Size ; Conservation Areas ; Landscapes ; Equus ; Developed Countries
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    Source: AGRIS (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Biological Conservation, December 2016, Vol.204, pp.313-321
    Description: In resource-poor environments many large herbivores do not perform seasonal migrations but show unpredictable, long-range movements within a given season. The few studies that have examined drivers for within season long-range movements suggest that these movements are a response to spatiotemporal dynamics of foraging resources. We tested this hypothesis and were especially interested in detecting dynamics of foraging habitat which may influence high mobility of khulan, , during summers in the Dzungarian Gobi of Mongolia. We used six years of ground census data combined with remotely sensed imagery of vegetation productivity (NDVI) to build a dynamic habitat model. We subsequently predicted khulan habitat suitability for each of the seven 16-day NDVI intervals every summer between 2004 and 2009 and examined variability of the resulting 42 prediction maps to characterize spatiotemporal dynamics in khulan foraging habitat. Our analyses showed khulan summer foraging habitat was highly predictable with little spatiotemporal variability making it unlikely that broad scale variability of foraging habitats can explain the high mobility of khulan. The few and small areas that did show khulan habitat variability were related to locations around water sources. In addition, we found that khulan avoided habitats beyond 21 km from water sources. Together these findings suggest that water availability and switching among the sparsely located water bodies rather than broad scale dynamics of foraging habitats may be the key driver for the high mobility of khulan in the Dzungarian Gobi. Our findings highlight the importance of securing access to and connectivity among water bodies for wild ungulates and the need for further studies on possible drivers of nomadic movements in drylands.
    Keywords: Nomadic Movement ; Habitat Dynamic ; Water Availability ; Dryland ; Khulan ; Habitat Connectivity ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    E-ISSN: 18732917
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Biological Conservation, September 2012, Vol.153, pp.219-226
    Description: ► We developed a collaborative method for estimating terrestrial wildlife abundance. ► Local peoples were included as observers and the method addressed observer bias. ► No expensive equipment was needed to quantify the necessary metrics. ► Asiatic wild ass and goitered gazelle populations in Mongolia were estimated. ► This is a functional model for integrating local people into conservation projects. Accurately estimating abundance of wildlife is critical for establishing effective conservation and management strategies. Aerial methodologies for estimating abundance are common in developed countries, but they are often impractical for remote areas of developing countries where many of the world’s endangered and threatened fauna exist. The alternative terrestrial methodologies can be constrained by limitations on access, technology, and human resources, and have rarely been comprehensively conducted for large terrestrial mammals at landscape scales. We attempted to overcome these problems by incorporating local peoples into a simultaneous point count of Asiatic wild ass ( ) and goitered gazelle ( ) across the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, Mongolia. Paired observers collected abundance and covariate metrics at 50 observation points and we estimated population sizes using distance sampling theory, but also assessed individual observer error to examine potential bias introduced by the large number of minimally trained observers. We estimated 5671 (95% CI = 3611–8907) wild asses and 5909 (95% CI = 3762–9279) gazelle inhabited the 11,027 km study area at the time of our survey and found that the methodology developed was robust at absorbing the logistical challenges and wide range of observer abilities. This initiative serves as a functional model for estimating terrestrial wildlife abundance while integrating local people into scientific and conservation projects. This, in turn, creates vested interest in conservation by the people who are most influential in, and most affected by, the outcomes.
    Keywords: Asiatic Wild Ass ; Distance Sampling ; Equus ; Gazelle ; Gobi ; Khulan ; Mongolia ; Point Count ; Population Estimation ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    E-ISSN: 18732917
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Biological Conservation, February 2011, Vol.144(2), pp.920-929
    Description: Long-distance migrations of wildlife have been identified as important biological phenomena, but their conservation remains a major challenge. The Mongolian Gobi is one of the last refuges for the Asiatic wild ass ( ) and other threatened migratory mammals. Using historic and current distribution ranges, population genetics, and telemetry data we assessed the connectivity of the wild ass population in the context of natural and anthropogenic landscape features and the existing network of protected areas. In the Mongolian Gobi mean biomass production is highly correlated with human and livestock density and seems to predict wild ass occurrence at the upper level. The current wild ass distribution range largely falls into areas below the 250 gC/m /year productivity isoline, suggesting that under the present land use more productive areas have become unavailable for wild asses. Population genetics results identified two subpopulations and delineated a genetic boundary between the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi for which the most likely explanation are the mountain ranges separating the two areas. Home ranges and locations of 19 radiomarked wild asses support the assumed restricting effects of more productive habitats and mountain ranges and additionally point towards a barrier effect of fences. Furthermore, telemetry data shows that in the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi individual wild ass rarely ventured outside of the protected areas, whereas in the southeast Gobi asses only spend a small fraction of their time within the protected area network. Conserving the continuity of the wild ass population will need a landscape level approach, also including multi-use landscapes outside of protected areas, particularly in the southeast Gobi. In the southwest Gobi, allowing for openings in the border fence to China and managing the border area as an ecological corridor would connect three large protected areas together covering over 70,000 km of wild ass habitat.
    Keywords: Asiatic Wild Ass ; Barriers ; China ; Equus Hemionus ; Fragmentation ; Landscape Genetics ; Mongolia ; Protected Areas ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    E-ISSN: 18732917
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Biological Conservation, November 2016, Vol.203, pp.168-175
    Description: The Southern Gobi of Mongolia is an iconic ungulate stronghold that supports the world's largest populations of Asiatic wild ass (or khulan – ) and goitered gazelle ( ). A growing human population, intensifying exploitation of natural resources, and the development of infrastructure in the region place increasing pressure on these species and their habitats. During 2012–2015, we studied factors influencing the distribution of these two ungulate species in the Southern Gobi to better inform management. We built Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs) to predict the location of suitable habitat for the two species using environmental and human-associated factors. These models were validated using independent telemetry data for each species. The GLMMs suggest that the probability of ungulate presence decreased with increasing human influence and increased in areas with intermediate values of elevation and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (except for goitered gazelle). Notably, human-associated factors were more important than environmental variables in explaining the distribution of the two species. Habitat models predicted between 45 and 55% of the study area to be suitable for khulan and between 50 and 55% suitable for goitered gazelles during 2012–2015. Models for both species had good predictive power, as nearly 90% of khulan and 100% of goitered gazelle telemetry locations from separate data sets were found within the predicted preferred areas. Our approach quantifies the key drivers of their distribution and our findings are useful for policy makers, managers, and industry to plan mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of development.
    Keywords: Spatial Modelling ; Equus Hemionus ; Mining Development ; Gobi Desert ; Mongolia ; Gazella Subgutturosa ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    E-ISSN: 18732917
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