Issue 5.11 is now online!
This month we include 2 freely available application articles:
– ENMeval: An R package for conducting spatially independent evaluations and estimating optimal model complexity for Maxent ecological niche models
– enaR: An r package for Ecosystem Network Analysis
We also have 4 interesting open access papers, ‘The accuracy of Fastloc-GPS locations and implications for animal tracking‘ by Antoine Dujon et al., ‘Quantifying levels of animal activity using camera trap data‘ by Marcus Rowcliffe et al., ‘A method to detect subcommunities from multivariate spatial associations‘ by Anton Flügge et al. and ‘A method for calculating minimum biodiversity offset multipliers accounting for time discounting, additionality and permanence‘ by Jussi Laitila et al.
This month’s cover image shows a great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran) captured on a fishing line being brought towards a research vessel for satellite tagging by scientists. Great hammerheads are Endangered with a high risk of extinction due to over-fishing. The attached satellite tag will be used by researchers to study their movement patterns and behaviors to identify their critical habitats to enable effective conservation planning. The use of electronic tagging to study the behaviors and ecology of marine animals has increased dramatically over the past decade. As scientists continue to use these tools, it is inevitable that other researchers and the public at-large will encounter animals carrying such tags. If the animals appear to be burdened or injured by the tag or if the tag appears non-functional, these encounters have the potential to generate conflict among different wildlife stakeholders (e.g. wildlife tourists, divers, fishers, hunters) which could negatively affect research efforts and undermine conservation work. However, these encounters also present an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the fate of the tags, providing insights for improving animal welfare, tagging technology, practices, as well as gaining the trust and support of other wildlife stakeholders.
You can read more about the fate of electronic tags on aquatic animals in Hammerschlag et al.’s ‘Considering the fate of electronic tags: interactions with stakeholders and user responsibility when encountering tagged aquatic animals’.
Photo © Christine Shepard.