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Conserving mobile species

Runge, C.A., Martin, T.G., Possingham, H.P., Willis, S.G. & Fuller, R.A. 2014. Conserving mobile species. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12, 395-402.

The distributions of many species are dynamic in space and time, and movements made by individuals range from regular and predictable migrations to erratic, resource-driven nomadism. Conserving such mobile species is challenging; the effectiveness of a conservation action taken at one site depends on the condition of other sites that may be geographically and politically distant (thousands of kilometers away or in another jurisdiction, for example). Recent work has shown that even simple and predictable linkages among sites caused by “to-and-fro” migration can make migratory species especially vulnerable to habitat loss, and substantially affect the results of conservation prioritizations. Species characterized by more erratic or nomadic movements are very difficult to protect through current conservation planning techniques, which typically view species distributions as static. However, collaborations between migration ecologists, conservation planners, and mathematical ecologists are paving the way for improvements in conservation planning for mobile species.

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