Institut for Biologi

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

J.-C. Svenning

Enhancing monitoring of rewilding progress through wildlife tracking and remote sensing

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Defaunation is a global threat to biodiversity that can be counteracted through trophic rewilding, a restoration strategy that promotes self-regulating ecosystems through active reintroductions or passive management. In order to estimate success in restoration initiatives, progress of the rewilding projects is measured and monitored. However, a spatially explicit understanding of rewilding and rewilding potential in a rewilding site has been absent so far. We present a novel approach for monitoring rewilding progress that focuses on a spatially explicit estimate of progress and ecological integrity within rewilding initiatives. This framework uses habitat classification of the site and tracking data of the reintroduced animals, to model their habitat selection. Through this we measure and map realized and potential rewilding. We operationalize the framework in an ongoing rewilding project in the Iberá Wetlands, Corrientes, Argentina. The majority of areas (76%) predicted to be occupied by reintroduced fauna were only predicted to be selected by one species. Of the four species in the rewilding project, only the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) filled the majority of its potential distribution, whereas pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus), collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) and lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) filled less than 23% of theirs. After rewilding we found a 10% increase in the proportion of the study area with high ecological integrity. Through this case study, we showed that this framework can be used to assess the spatial progress of a rewilding site. By incorporating wildlife tracking and satellite-based remote sensing, we are integrating a spatial component to monitoring of rewilding projects that should lead to more detailed understanding of the progress of rewilding. Applying this framework would facilitate decision-making for practitioners and inform species management plans.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummere0253148
TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Vol/bind16
Nummer7 July
ISSN1932-6203
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by VILLUM FONDEN (grant 16549, https://veluxfoundations.dk/en), Carlsberg Foundation Semper Ardens (grant CF16-0005, https://www.carlsbergfondet.dk/ en), and Troels Myndel Petersens Botanisk Taxonomiske Forskningsfond (grant au-24910) all awarded to JCS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2021 Mata et al.

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