• Spatial and Temporal Prediction Models of Alaska’s 11 Species Mega-Predator Community: Towards a First State-wide Ecological Habitat, Impact, and Climate Assessment

      Semmler, Malte (2010-04-04)
      In this study, eleven mega predators, coyote (Canis latrans), wolf (Canis lupus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), black bear (Ursus americanus), brown bear (Ursus arctos), polar bear (Ursus maritimus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), marten (Martes americana), lynx (Lynx canadensis) and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) were selected to represent an Ecosystem Unit entitled “Mega Predator”. The most influential factors affecting this Ecosystem Unit were determined using a machine learning algorithm (TreeNet) and a Geographic Information System (GIS). Public available range layers were corrected for errors and detectability using occupancy model, and several ‘robust’ hotspots of the predator community were identified. Anthropogenic variables, such as proximity to railways, together with regionalized IPCC climate variables (precipitation and temperature), Alaska SNAP data and spatial variables (e.g. distance to coast) proved to be the main predictors. A second predictive TreeNet model based on climate data forecasting the next 100 years was also performed to assess the resilience of these predators. The results indicate that the Ecosystem Unit “Mega Predator” shall undergo extreme changes in the next decades, commencing in 30 years or less. The TreeNet model points to a complete shattering of the current mega predator community food chain within the next century as a direct consequence of climate change alone. Owing to the fact that IPCC models are underestimates and other factors co-occur, the findings displayed herewith are consequently underestimates. The results of the first TreeNet model and the second predictive model were used to find the optimal potential protected areas for the predator community. This prioritization search was performed with the program MARXAN. Results of the MARXAN Model indicate that the main importance of protected areas for predators lies in the Brooks Range of Northern Alaska. This study could serve as a first (digital) platform and a first step to provide a basis for landscape planners and conservationists to react properly to the upcoming impact of climate and other changes on entire ecosystems.
    • Vulture and other ornithological survey data in Annapurna and Manaslu Conservation regions

      Karmacharya, Dikpal Krishna; Gyawali, Seejan; Virani, Munir; Huettmann, Falk (2013-10-01)
      This dataset presents geo-referenced summaries of vulture and raptor sightings (from field work as well as from published sources 1977-2013), as well as general avian species lists and their detected abundances, for the Annapurna (ACA) and Manaslu Conservation Areas (MCA). In addition, compiled 'presence only' data of vultures are provided for Nepal and Northern India as well. The bounding box (decimal degrees) of the data coverage is 77.4966 til 87.0667 latitude and 26.3666 til 28.58333 longitude, and Altitude covers 100m til 7969m. The data consist of MS Excel and include 6 worksheets (all bird list, number of bird sighting and counting, descending number of individuals, vulture survey in ACA, raptors in Manaslu, and compiled presence only sightings of vultures for Nepal and Northern India). While this data set is reatively small, it includes a large and complex set of information for a vast and globally relevant region. The following raptor species are primarily covered in this data set: Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius, TSN 175385), Himalayan Griffon (Gyps fulvus, 175487), Golden Eagler (Aquila chrysaetos, 175407), Himalayan Vulture (Gyps himalayensis,175488), Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus,175483), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus, 175481) and White-Rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis, 175485). Smaller predators like Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus, 175620), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus,175604), Shikra (Accipiter badius, 55890), Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata, 175565), Black Kite (Milvus migrans,175469), Mountain Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis, 175580), Spotted Owlet (Athene brama, 555472), Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus, 175590) and Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela, 175506) were also reported, In addition, overall app. 763 sighting locations of 143 species of birds are also featured in the data (english names as well as scientific names). Naturalists, bird watchers, modelers as well as investigators of raptors and other birds in the Nepal and Northern Indian regions will find great value in this data set.