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03 October 2005


Wild Canid Conservation Survey - NOT for CanidSG Members



The Canid Specialist Group (CSG) is entering a new quadrennium and I would like to canvass the opinion of those with an interest on the conservation of canids that are not formal Members of the CSG (if you are a Member you would have seen a similar survey I sent out last week; there is no need to fill this one as well!).


With this in mind I have prepared a short questionnaire which can be completed online (by clicking on the link at the end of this message). The objective of this survey is to develop a better idea of peoples’ interests, skills and areas of expertise, and to invite you into a broader “Canid Family”, from which I could draw support from in addition to that I receive from the formal CSG Members. Please pass this on to other people you think might be interested.


You will notice that the last question of the survey enquires about the level of participation you would be prepared to consider. I propose three levels of participation:


1.       Friend of Canids - General interest on canid conservation and research that wish to be kept informed of CSG’ activities and receive canid relevant information through the Canids-L list.


2.       Canid ContactResident or regular visitor to a country with important canid populations, and have detailed knowledge on their distribution and status. We aspire to have at least one Canid Contact person in each Canid Range country.


3.       Young Professional - Students and/or young researchers actively involved in protecting and studying canids. We have found that the CSG resources are actively used by young students and researchers and we answer many queries from them. We aspire to promote CSG activities amongst those up-coming canid conservation practitioners.


[Please note that this participation will not equate to full SSC Members by the IUCN. However, those Young Professionals will be fostered to become members once they acquire the relevant expertise]


Click here to get to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=98731384891. It should not take you more than 2 minutes to complete. Survey closes on Friday 28 October 2005


While I have your attention… if you are planning, are undertaking, or have recently completed a project on any aspect of canid biology and/or conservation please submit it to the Canid Project Database: http://www.canids.org/canid-db-add.php


I look forward to hearing back from you


Best wishes


Claudio Sillero, Chair 

IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group


New canid publication: An empirical test of source-sink dynamics induced by hunting

Journal of Applied Ecology - Volume 42 Issue 5 Page 910 - 920 –October 2005

An empirical test of source-sink dynamics induced by hunting

1. Under the source-sink model, persistence of populations in habitat sinks, where deaths outnumber births, depends on dispersal from high-quality habitat sources, where births outnumber deaths. The persistence of the regional population depends on the proportion of sink relative to source habitat.
2. Hunting that occurs in some parts of the landscape and not in others can create patches where deaths outnumber births. We tested whether hunting of culpeo foxes Pseudalopex culpaeus, which is patchily distributed in relatively homogeneous habitat in Argentine Patagonia, induces source-sink dynamics.
3. On Patagonian sheep ranches, culpeos are hunted for fur and to protect sheep, and on cattle ranches hunting is usually banned. We monitored culpeo densities using scent stations and estimated survival, fecundity and dispersal by radio-tracking 44 culpeos and analysing carcasses collected from hunters on two cattle and four sheep ranches between 1989 and 1997.
4. Survival of juvenile culpeos was lower on hunted than unhunted ranches, mainly as a result of hunting mortality. Reproduction could not compensate for high mortality on hunted ranches. Interruption of hunting led to an increase in juvenile survival, indicating that hunting and natural mortality were not compensatory. We concluded that sheep ranches were sinks because of the high mortality and that sink populations may be maintained by dispersal from cattle ranches.
5. We used a simulation model to assess implications of changes in the proportion of source and sink areas on population dynamics. The percentage of land on cattle ranches in the study area was 37%. Current hunting pressure on culpeos would not be sustainable if that percentage fell below 30%.
6. Synthesis and applications. Source-sink dynamics may occur in landscapes where hunting is intense and spatially heterogeneous. Wildlife management traditionally monitors demographic rates to evaluate the sustainability of hunting, but our results suggest that the size and spatial arrangement of areas with and without hunting should be considered as well. In regions where enforcement and monitoring are limited, securing large and regularly distributed source areas for hunted species may be more effective than trying to regulate harvest size.

Correspondence: Andrés J. Novaro, CONICET and Wildlife Conservation Society, CEAN, CC 7, Junín de los Andes, 8371 Neuquén, Argentina (e-mail novawalk@smandes.com.ar)

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