Top 5 Digests of 2017

What is behind leopard attacks in northwest Pakistan? (February 9)

Human-leopard conflict in Pakistan is fueled by human encroachment in corridors and the greater availability of livestock compared to natural prey.  Relevant conservationists and wildlife managers have a variety of tools to lessen the conflict.  However, in the Galiat forests of Abbottabad in northwest Pakistan, they seem to have been unsuccessful so far in helping the threatened population of common leopards throughout Pakistan.


Ecography Special Issue highlights latest research on habitat fragmentation (January 10)

Habitat fragmentation is the most dominant human-driven cause of global environmental change.  Understanding the consequences of habitat fragmentation and how we can mitigate its most negative effects remains one of the key goals  in conservation.  The January issue of Ecography was highlighted as a Special Issue focusing habitat fragmentation, particularly the integration of long-term experiments and theory development.


Experimental evidence does not support the Habitat Amount Hypothesis (February 21)

Do patch size and isolation really affect species richness, or does only habitat size matter?  We address the latest critique of corridors and habitat fragmentation, Lenore Fahrig’s “habitat amount hypothesis”.  Fahrig questions whether the theory of island biogeography is relevant to landscapes and whether effects of habitat configurations (patch size, patch connectivity) can be distinguished from effects of habitat loss.  A new study shows that corridors do increase biodiversity, over and above habitat amount.


Photo by TREAT Inc.Single-species conservation obstructs Australian habitat corridor (September 12)

A fence constructed to protect endangered cassowaries impedes the ability of many organisms – including cassowaries themselves – to use a large habitat corridor. This Digest updates another from 2013 that featured Donaghy’s Corridor in tropical northern Australia and its role in re-connecting an isolated tropical forest fragment.


Albert Connectivity picture in MontrealApplying network theory to prioritize multi-species habitat networks that are robust to change (May 10)

A new framework provides habitat network design principles to maintain connectivity in the face of land-use and climate change.  The main message is that optimizing networks of protected areas for connectivity alongside habitat quality slows the breakdown of sparse habitat networks, even in landscapes where land-use change and climate change are ongoing.

2018-01-02T12:27:12-04:00 December 26th, 2017|

About the Author:

Heather Cayton
Heather Cayton is the Managing Director of and a Research Assistant at Michigan State University. She received her B.S. from the University of Virginia and her M.S. from Virginia Tech, and has spent the past ten years studying corridors and rare butterflies in North Carolina.