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Use of opportunistic sightings and expert knowledge to predict and compare Whooping Crane stopover habitat

Predicting a species’ distribution can be helpful for evaluating management actions such as critical habitat designations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or habitat acquisition and rehabilitation. Whooping Cranes () are one of the rarest birds in the world, and conservation and management of h... Full description

Journal Title: Conservation Biology October 2015, Vol.29(5), pp.1337-1346
Main Author: Hefley, Trevor J.
Other Authors: Baasch, David M. , Tyre, Andrew J. , Blankenship, Erin E.
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
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ID: ISSN: 0888-8892 ; E-ISSN: 1523-1739 ; DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12515
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recordid: wj10.1111/cobi.12515
title: Use of opportunistic sightings and expert knowledge to predict and compare Whooping Crane stopover habitat
format: Article
creator:
  • Hefley, Trevor J.
  • Baasch, David M.
  • Tyre, Andrew J.
  • Blankenship, Erin E.
subjects:
  • Detection
  • Expert Elicitation
  • Grus Americana
  • Nebraska
  • Platte River Recovery Implementation Program
  • Sampling Bias
  • Detección
  • Grus Americana
  • Información De Expertos
  • Nebraska
  • Programa De Implementación De La Recuperación Del Río Platte
  • Sesgo De Muestreo
ispartof: Conservation Biology, October 2015, Vol.29(5), pp.1337-1346
description: Predicting a species’ distribution can be helpful for evaluating management actions such as critical habitat designations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or habitat acquisition and rehabilitation. Whooping Cranes () are one of the rarest birds in the world, and conservation and management of habitat is required to ensure their survival. We developed a species distribution model (SDM) that could be used to inform habitat management actions for Whooping Cranes within the state of Nebraska (U.S.A.). We collated 407 opportunistic Whooping Crane group records reported from 1988 to 2012. Most records of Whooping Cranes were contributed by the public; therefore, developing an SDM that accounted for sampling bias was essential because observations at some migration stopover locations may be under represented. An auxiliary data set, required to explore the influence of sampling bias, was derived with expert elicitation. Using our SDM, we compared an intensively managed area in the Central Platte River Valley with the Niobrara National Scenic River in northern Nebraska. Our results suggest, during the peak of migration, Whooping Crane abundance was 262.2 (90% CI 40.2−3144.2) times higher per unit area in the Central Platte River Valley relative to the Niobrara National Scenic River. Although we compared only 2 areas, our model could be used to evaluate any region within the state of Nebraska. Furthermore, our expert‐informed modeling approach could be applied to opportunistic presence‐only data when sampling bias is a concern and expert knowledge is available.
language:
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0888-8892 ; E-ISSN: 1523-1739 ; DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12515
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 0888-8892
  • 08888892
  • 1523-1739
  • 15231739
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titleUse of opportunistic sightings and expert knowledge to predict and compare Whooping Crane stopover habitat
creatorHefley, Trevor J. ; Baasch, David M. ; Tyre, Andrew J. ; Blankenship, Erin E.
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descriptionPredicting a species’ distribution can be helpful for evaluating management actions such as critical habitat designations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or habitat acquisition and rehabilitation. Whooping Cranes () are one of the rarest birds in the world, and conservation and management of habitat is required to ensure their survival. We developed a species distribution model (SDM) that could be used to inform habitat management actions for Whooping Cranes within the state of Nebraska (U.S.A.). We collated 407 opportunistic Whooping Crane group records reported from 1988 to 2012. Most records of Whooping Cranes were contributed by the public; therefore, developing an SDM that accounted for sampling bias was essential because observations at some migration stopover locations may be under represented. An auxiliary data set, required to explore the influence of sampling bias, was derived with expert elicitation. Using our SDM, we compared an intensively managed area in the Central Platte River Valley with the Niobrara National Scenic River in northern Nebraska. Our results suggest, during the peak of migration, Whooping Crane abundance was 262.2 (90% CI 40.2−3144.2) times higher per unit area in the Central Platte River Valley relative to the Niobrara National Scenic River. Although we compared only 2 areas, our model could be used to evaluate any region within the state of Nebraska. Furthermore, our expert‐informed modeling approach could be applied to opportunistic presence‐only data when sampling bias is a concern and expert knowledge is available.
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abstractPredicting a species’ distribution can be helpful for evaluating management actions such as critical habitat designations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or habitat acquisition and rehabilitation. Whooping Cranes () are one of the rarest birds in the world, and conservation and management of habitat is required to ensure their survival. We developed a species distribution model (SDM) that could be used to inform habitat management actions for Whooping Cranes within the state of Nebraska (U.S.A.). We collated 407 opportunistic Whooping Crane group records reported from 1988 to 2012. Most records of Whooping Cranes were contributed by the public; therefore, developing an SDM that accounted for sampling bias was essential because observations at some migration stopover locations may be under represented. An auxiliary data set, required to explore the influence of sampling bias, was derived with expert elicitation. Using our SDM, we compared an intensively managed area in the Central Platte River Valley with the Niobrara National Scenic River in northern Nebraska. Our results suggest, during the peak of migration, Whooping Crane abundance was 262.2 (90% CI 40.2−3144.2) times higher per unit area in the Central Platte River Valley relative to the Niobrara National Scenic River. Although we compared only 2 areas, our model could be used to evaluate any region within the state of Nebraska. Furthermore, our expert‐informed modeling approach could be applied to opportunistic presence‐only data when sampling bias is a concern and expert knowledge is available.
doi10.1111/cobi.12515
pages1337-1346
date2015-10