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We review the current and future threats to duck populations that breed, stage, moult and/or winter in the Nordic countries. Migratory duck species are sensitive indicators of their changing environment, and their societal value confirms the need to translate signals from changes in their distribution, status and abundance into a better understanding of changes occurring in their wetland environments. We used expert opinion to highlight 25 major areas of anthropogenic change (and touch briefly on potential mitigation measures through nature restoration and reserve management projects) that we consider key issues likely to influence Nordic duck populations now and in the near future to stimulate debate, discussion and further research. We believe such reviews are essential in contributing to development of successful management policy as well as stimulating specific research to support the maintenance of duck species in favourable future conservation status in the face of multiple population pressures and drivers.
Forest management has altered forested environments and provoked stress to many natural habitats and biodiversity. The goal of biodiversity management is the long-term persistence of populations in human-modified environments. We demonstrate a spatio-temporal modeling approach to address the relationship between various management objectives and population persistence in the long-term in a commercial forest landscape. We used the flying squirrel (Pteromys volans), the three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) and the long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus) as example species. They are all forest species but they have distinctly different habitat requirements. In the model, forest growth, forest clearing and regional population dynamics were simulated and operated simultaneously. We addressed regional population persistence by varying the conservation goal: First, there are no obligations to protect the species. Second, forest stands where the species occur are not cleared. Third, the entire species' habitat is preserved. The general message from our analysis is that the sustainable area cleared annually depends on the species' habitat requirements, and species' responses to management have various time lags.
In this study, we investigated whether social parasitic species would be more threatened than their host species. Cuckoo bumblebees Bombus (Psithyrus) (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombini) live in naturally-fragmented environments composed of host bumblebee (Bombus) colonies upon which they are exclusively dependent. We collected literature data on ten social parasitic cuckoo bumblebee species and their host bumblebee species in Europe. We found that cuckoo bumblebee species are more vulnerable to extinction than their hosts. When we controlled for the host species threat index, extinction risk was unexpectedly lower in specialist than generalist species. Finally, we showed a co-extinction risk of host bumblebee species and their social parasitic species — if a host species was threatened, the cuckoo bumblebee species was also threatened, and vice versa. Thus, to lessen the risk of extinction of social parasitic cuckoo bumblebees, it is important to conserve their bumblebee host species.
The dynamic spread of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Hungary results in human—carnivore conflicts. We presumed that in an area of intensive big-game management the jackal's diet would contain an increased proportion of ungulates (or their viscera). We collected and analysed the stomachs of 62 jackals during a period of two years. Viscera and carrion of wild ungulates were found to be the primary food of jackals in every season (wet weight: 55%), and in addition, consumption of adult wild boar and cervids proved remarkable. A deer calf was detected in one stomach. Adult jackals added a higher proportion of big game to their primary diet, while younger animals tended to consume plants and invertebrates to supplement their diet. There was no relevant detectable difference between the sexes. Our study did not find evidence for substantial damage to big-game populations caused by jackals.