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Frontier Publications

The publications produced by the Society for Environmental Exploration cover a wide range of conservation, biodiversity and development issues. Here you can download any of our publications, ranging from those created by our staff or research assistants working in the field, to those publications produced in collaboration with our in-country host partners which include local universities, government authorities and local and international NGOs.

 

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COSTA RICA FOREST RESEARCH PROGRAMME, Phase 181 science report

Assessing vertical canopy use in Ateles geoffroyii and Alouatta palliata will add to the current knowledge of these ecologically important species. In addition, vertical space use and activity budgets have never been described for these species. Comparing space use and activity patterns across varying forest types will provide insight on how these species are coping with increasing human disturbance and competition for space in less complex canopies. Finally, it is beneficial to understand how these species tolerate and accommodate the heat, as temperatures are increasing due to climate change.
year(s) of publication : 2018
author(s): Bond, G , Capria, L , Earl, S , Exley, L , Fanning, E , Hamm, J , Johnson, S.G , Korein, E
countries: Costa Rica
regions(s): Osa Peninsula

FRONTIER TANZANIA MARINE RESEARCH PROGRAM, Phase 181 science report

All field work carried out by Frontier Tanzania Research Assistants (RAs) in phases 174 and 181 was within Mafia Island Marine Park (MIMP) boundaries. Snorkeling surveys for seagrass and mangroves were continued over the last two phases. Having received training from whale shark experts, basic data was also collected on whale sharks around Mafia, and tourist-whale shark interaction research conducted. The data collected on coral genus instead of the previous benthic substrate and morphology method is reported here for the first time. Marine Protect Areas (MPA) are sanctuaries for coral reefs that can work towards mitigating the effects of anthropogenic exploitation and climate change, if effectively managed (Mora, et al. 2006). The Mafia Island Marine Park is a multi-user MPA consisting of three different zonation tiers: Core, specified and general use; with the overall aim to conserve and protect the biodiversity of Mafia Island reefs (MIMP 2011). There are approximately 23,000 people living within the Marine Park boundaries, many of whom depend on the marine ecosystems either directly eg through fishing or indirectly e.g. through tourism.
year(s) of publication : 2018
author(s): Cooper, J , Fanning, E , Mussa , Read, J. , Shahali, M
countries: Tanzania
regions(s): Mafia Island

MADAGASCAR MARINE CONSERVATION RESEARCH PROGRAMME, Phase 181

Madagascar, lying approximately 440km off the East coast of Africa, is the world’s fourth-largest island, its over 5000km coastline supporting over 3500km of coral reefs (Cook et al. 2000; McClanahan et al. 2009). The island is home to approximately 25 million people, who share the land with a variety of fauna and flora. Terrestrial faunal endemism is over 80% for many groups, whilst the marine environment shows lower endemism, characteristic of other areas of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) (Goodman and Benstead, 2005). The island exhibits high marine biodiversity; the highest coral diversity in the WIO region (62 genera and 323 species) (Veron and Turak, 2005), with reef fish diversity in the Northwest region comprising at least 576 species (McKenna and Allen, 2003). The nation of Madagascar faces challenges in regards to development. Human development index (HDI) for Madagascar was 0.483 (low) in 2012, with approximately 80% of the population living under the international poverty line (UNDP, 2013). Much of the country’s population is involved in subsistence agriculture and fishing, with over half of the population relying on the marine environment for income. Fisheries landings are poorly reported, and fisheries poorly managed, posing serious issues for marine ecosystems and future food security. Monitoring of Madagascar’s reefs is essential to understanding their state, and the effects of environmental and human impacts on reef ecosystems. Frontier Madagascar has been monitoring sites in Northwest Madagascar since 2010. Operating from Ambalahonko, Nosy Be, it uses trained scientists with the help of trained volunteers to collect data on marine fauna of the area, including benthic, invertebrate, and fish data. This report summarises the research and conservation work undertaken from January to March 2018.
year(s) of publication : 2018
author(s): Bennett, L , Ferriday, J , Price, N , Tomboravo, V
countries: Madagascar
regions(s): Nosy Be

Madagascar Forest Conservation Programme Phase 181 science report

The major achievement of phase 181 was the construction of nine new terrestrial survey routes to be used for herpetile and lemuriform surveys; with the intent of further incorporating lemur behaviour and invertebrate projects. This will underlie MGF’s core biodiversity monitoring research that aims to explore the changes in our study area’s biological community with reference to human influences over time. While is a long-term aim, the infrastructure used here can allow smaller, more hypotheses based projects to take place; this is our aim in the coming phases. Completion of terrestrial survey route tracking/mapping is an immediate priority at the beginning of phase 182, with the aim of producing a comprehensive map of all our routes. We also aim to explore new routes for each habitat type. Lemur behaviour surveys will be introduced during phase 182. The central aim of this investigation will be to determine if black lemur behaviour towards human observers differs in its composition and/or frequency along a human disturbance gradient. This project will run in tandem with an attempt to measure disturbance on our routes. This project is expected to be completed during phase 182. Introducing butterfly and dragonfly surveying is also a priority for the next phase. This will take the form of point counts where random GPS points are chosen and teams survey the surrounding area for target species; water way surveys where forest streams into the forest are followed for an extended period to scan for target species; and opportunistic surveying when teams are out in our study area with different objectives. With these research plans in place our understanding of ecological workings in our research area will be greater than ever before and provide a platform for continued elucidating of biological dynamics on Nosy Be.
year(s) of publication : 2018
author(s): Smart, M , Clark, R , Fanning, E
countries: Madagascar
regions(s): Nosy Be

Tenerife Phase 181 Science Report

The whale-watching industry in Tenerife has increased exponentially over the past few years, with the introduction of the ‘Barco Azul’ flag. There are 4 resident species of the Canary Islands, 2 of which are of particular interest for this research: the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Through the use of data collected during boat surveys on whale-watching vessels in South Tenerife, the behaviours of the 2 target species were recorded in respect to their initial behavioural state on encounters, any behavioural events during the encounters and behavioural response toward the boats; against the boat activity (proxy: number of boats present). The necessary data was statistically analysed by the means of one-way ANOVA and linear regression. The result showed a mixture of significant and insignificant results based on the 6 different combinations of boats and species’; however, behaviours did change depending on how many boats were present. A variety of factors could have caused the results seen, such as boat proximity to the cetaceans, boat size, engine size, human vocalisations etc. One main limitation to this methodology however is human error, perspectives of multiple boats during one encounter could alter the data and cause multicollinearity in the process. It was concluded that boat activity does not have a big effect on cetacean behaviour during the months this survey was conducted. However, if this survey were to be conducted during busy tourist months such as April to May, and July to August, the result may be different.
year(s) of publication : 2018
author(s): Fanning, E , Foster, C , Negulescu, R , Patel, T
countries: Tenerife
regions(s): Los Cristianos & Puerto Colon

year(s) of publication : 2018
author(s): Collins, C , Dosell, A , Fanning, E , Green, H , Jeursen, J , Saleh, C
countries: Fiji
regions(s): Beqa Island

year(s) of publication : 2018
author(s): Fanning, E , Ferriday, J , Price, N
countries: Madagascar
regions(s): Nosy Be

Tenerife Phase 174 Science Report

It is known that there are various factors influencing the behaviour of cetaceans in their natural habitat. This study was designed to investigate whether or not the behavioural state of the two cetacean species in focus – the short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) and the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) – is affected by either the location or the time of the encounter. Data was collected aboard accredited ethical whale watching vessels which travel to locations in the south of Tenerife. The results show a strong linkage between the time of the observation and the behavioural state, with a larger range of behaviours being recorded earlier rather than later in the day for both species. While the short-finned pilot whales were usually observed resting, the common bottlenose dolphins showed a peak in feeding behaviour around noon. The location of the encounter however, did not produce any statistically significant change in the behavioural state of the two studied cetacean species.
year(s) of publication : 2017
author(s): Fanning, E , Foster, C , Negulescu, R , Patel, T
countries: Tenerife
regions(s): Los Cristianos & Puerto Colon

Morphological and Roosting Variation in the Dwarf Chameleon Brookesia stumpffi Between Prim ary, Secondary, and Degraded Habi tats in Nosy Be, Madagascar

Morphological, behavioral, and genetic variation of a species in different habitats is central to understanding how and if a species will survive the demands of habitat change. It is well known that the morphology and behavior of ectotherms can diverge due to ecological variation, but there is limited research on chameleons, and their habitat is under threat by deforestation in Madagascar. I aimed to identify if Brookesia stumpffi, a dwarf chameleon from northern Madagascar, differed in their morphology and roosting behaviors in primary, secondary, and degraded habitats. I and volunteers conducted surveys at night by recording the type of substrate and the height at which adult B. stumpffi were roosting. Measurements of the morphology of chameleon were then taken using analog calipers. I found that B. stumpffi roosted on higher perches in secondary and degraded habitats compared to primary forests. Furthermore, there was a significant divergence in chameleons morphology between the habitat types. I conclude that B. stumpffi have diverged between habitats and that deforestation may be responsible.
year(s) of publication : 2017
author(s): Miller, C
countries: Madagascar
regions(s): Nosy Be

year(s) of publication : 2017
author(s): Clark, R , Fanning, E , Szabo, O
countries: Madagascar
regions(s): Nosy Be


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