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Conservation Maven reviews the latest groundbreaking research and books in the field of conservation.

Rob Goldstein
249 posts

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  • November 18, 2009
  • 02:30 PM

The challenge of passively restoring farmland to natural fields

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers from the University of Sweden demonstrates that the passive restoration of abandoned farms to semi-natural grassland can take a very long time - greater than 50 years. However, the study also finds that sowing a mix of grassland seeds can aid establishment...... Read more »

  • November 18, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The impacts of wild horses on a desert ecosystem

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Bands of wild horses roaming the remote deserts of the southwestern United States conjure up an iconic image in many people's minds. But for conservationists, the introduced equines have fueled controversy over their impacts to desert ecosystems.... Read more »

Ostermann-Kelm, S., Atwill, E., Rubin, E., Hendrickson, L., & Boyce, W. (2009) Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment. BMC Ecology, 9(1), 22. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6785-9-22  

  • November 17, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

When abandoned farmland passively restores back to tidal wetlands

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study looks at wetland recovery on formerly reclaimed agricultural lands once farming practices are abandoned and the levees are breached...... Read more »

  • November 16, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Improving the success of endangered species reintroduction

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists from Australia have presented a tool for improving the success of reintroducing species for conservation.

The reintroduction of threatened and endangered species has emerged as a widespread method for reestablishing populations to stave of extinction. But unfortunately success rates of establishing self-sustaining populations are low - typically less than 50%.
... Read more »

  • November 15, 2009
  • 02:22 PM

Can wildlife farming save rare animals from being hunted to extinction?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Wildlife farming in Southeast Asia has emerged as a potential conservation tool for rare and threatened species that are regularly poached in the wild primarily for upscale consumers in urban markets. But a new study finds that it has unintended negative more... Read more »

  • November 13, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Recovery of albatross may depend on removing paint

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists estimate that lead paint chips from deteriorating buildings on the Midway Atoll are killing thousands of Laysan albatross juveniles every year. The poor chicks eat the paint chips, which cause toxic effects such as droopwing.

The research team led by Myra Finkelstein developed a demographic model to calculate the benefit that removing the lead paint would have for conserving the species. Their findings published in the journal Animal Conservation run counter to conventional thinkin........ Read more »

  • November 12, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

When fishermen co-manage marine protected areas: the case of Italy

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • November 11, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The fate of freshwater mussels in a suburbanizing landscape

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

The fate of threatened mussels in the southeastern United States illustrates the potential problems that suburbanization of rural landscapes can cause to freshwater ecosystems. Of the roughly 250 species of mussels historically found in the Southeast, scientists believe that 75% are either extinct or highly threatened.

A new study in the journal Hydrobiologia finds evidence that suburban development may be at least partly to be blame.... Read more »

  • November 10, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

The permeability of the urban landscape to wildlife movement

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study looks at roads, bridges, train tracks, and rivers as potential barriers to wildlife mobility. The researchers wanted to figure out what factors make these features more or less permeable to the movement of birds...... Read more »

  • November 9, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Invasional meltdown: exotic deer nibbling on native plants

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Under invasional meltdown, the activity of one exotic species facilitates the invasion of another. This concept is particularly relevant to herbivores given their ability to cause widespread disturbance to plants through grazing and trampling that may affect some species much more than others.... Read more »

  • November 8, 2009
  • 03:39 PM

'Is plant diversity beautiful?' study asks

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study addresses a simple but seldomly asked question: "Is plant diversity beautiful?"Researchers set out to answer this by asking study participants to rate the attractiveness of different meadow plots with varying levels of species richness.... Read more »

  • November 6, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The fate of tall grass prairie remnants in North America...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

North American tall grass prairie holds an unfortunate distinction of having faced one of the highest conversion rates of any ecosystem in the world. In Manitoba, 99% of the historic tall grass prairie has been lost, mostly to agriculture.

So if 99% is gone, how is the remaining 1% making out?... Read more »

Koper, N., et al. (2009) Recent declines in northern tall-grass prairies and effects of patch structure on community persistence . Biological Conservation. info:/

  • November 5, 2009
  • 06:55 AM

Making commercial plantations better for birds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

From palm oil to eucalyptus to rubber, researchers have generally found that commercial plantations are bad for biodiversity compared to natural forests. Now a new study in the journal Conservation Biology finds that increasing the structural complexity of plantations could make them better for birds.

The study reflects a pragmatic way of thinking on the part of many conservationists who accept the reality that plantations are here to stay and maybe they can complement protected areas in cons........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The impact from recreational power boating on freshwater turtles

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Attention all boaters, please slow down for wildlife! A new study finds that recreational power boating can pose serious threats to freshwater turtles.

Researchers from the University of Ontario measured the occurrence of power boating injuries to northern map turtles ... Read more »

  • November 3, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

The danger of restoring native plants using non-local sources

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study on ecological restoration efforts in Minnesota illustrates the dangers of establishing native plant species using non-local sources.

For the last 30 years, organizations and landowners have been working to restore native vegetation to dunes at Park Point along the western shore of Lake Superior. At first glance, it might not seem like such a big deal that these projects have been planting American beachgrass in Minnesota using propagules from source populations in Michigan.

But........ Read more »

  • November 2, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Coyotes in Chicago: conflict or coexistence?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

For the people of Chicago, a new study should ease their fears somewhat about the packs of coyotes that roam their city. ... Read more »

  • October 30, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Shade-grown coffee: the benefit for wintering migratory birds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • October 29, 2009
  • 09:17 AM

Should conservation focus on threatened species? The case of Borneo...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists test whether a focus on threatened mammals in Borneo leads to a cost-effective outcome for conservation read more... Read more »

DRUMMOND, S., WILSON, K., MEIJAARD, E., WATTS, M., DENNIS, R., CHRISTY, L., & POSSINGHAM, H. (2009) Influence of a Threatened-Species Focus on Conservation Planning. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01346.x  

  • October 28, 2009
  • 01:38 AM

When an invasive species becomes media hype

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Purple-loosestrife may be considered enemy plant # 1. But an ecologist argues that this is the product of undeserved media more... Read more »

  • October 27, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Evaluating ecotourism in Costa Rica...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Koens, J., Dieperink, C., & Miranda, M. (2009) Ecotourism as a development strategy: experiences from Costa Rica. Environment, Development and Sustainability. DOI: 10.1007/s10668-009-9214-3  

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