Publications by authors named "Charlotte E Hacker"

5 Publications

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Implementing a comprehensive approach to study the causes of human-bear (Ursus arctos pruinosus) conflicts in the Sanjiangyuan region, China.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 2;772:145012. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China. Electronic address:

Personal injury and property loss caused by wildlife often deteriorates the relationship between humans and animals, prompting retaliatory killings that threaten species survival. Conflicts between humans and Tibetan brown bears (Ursus arctos pruinosus) (Human-Bear Conflicts, HBC) in the Sanjiangyuan region have recently dramatically increased, seriously affecting community enthusiasm for brown bears and the conservation of other species. In order to understand the driving mechanisms of HBC, we proposed six potential drivers leading to increased occurrences of HBC. We conducted field research in Zhiduo County of the Sanjiangyuan region from 2017 to 2019 to test hypotheses through semi-constructed interviews, marmot (Marmota himalayana) density surveys and brown bear diet analysis based on metagenomic sequencing. Analysis of herder perceptions revealed that the driving factors of HBC were related to changes in their settlement practice and living habits, changes in foraging behavior of brown bears and recovery of the brown bear population. Since the establishment of winter homes, brown bears have gradually learned to utilize the food in unattended homes. Although 91.4% (n = 285) of the respondents no longer store food in unattended homes, brown bears were reported to still frequently approach winter homes for food due to improper disposal of dead livestock and household garbage. The frequency and abundance of marmots were found to be high in brown bear diet, indicating that marmots were the bears' primary food. However, marmot density had no significant effect on brown bears utilizing human food (P = 0.329), and HBC appears to not be caused by natural food shortages. Distance to rocky outcrops (P = 0.022) and winter homes (P = 0.040) were the key factors linked to brown bears pursuing human food. The number of brown bears has increased over the past decade, and HBC is likely linked to its population recovery. Our findings will provide scientific basis for formulating effective mitigation measures and protection countermeasures for brown bears.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145012DOI Listing
June 2021

Identifying the risk regions of house break-ins caused by Tibetan brown bears () in the Sanjiangyuan region, China.

Ecol Evol 2019 Dec 8;9(24):13979-13990. Epub 2019 Dec 8.

Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection Chinese Academy of Forestry Beijing China.

Damage to homesteads by brown bears () has become commonplace in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Science-based solutions for preventing damages can contribute to the establishment of mechanisms that promote human-bear coexistence. We examined the spatial distribution patterns of house break-ins by Tibetan brown bears () in Zhiduo County of the Sanjiangyuan region in China. Occurrence points of bear damage were collected from field surveys completed from 2017 to 2019. The maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model was then used to assess house break-in risk. Circuit theory modeling was used to simulate risk diffusion paths based on the risk map generated from our MaxEnt model. The results showed that (a) the total risk area of house break-ins caused by brown bears was 11,577.91 km, accounting for 29.85% of Zhiduo County, with most of the risk areas were distributed in Sanjiangyuan National Park, accounting for 58.31% of the total risk area; (b) regions of alpine meadow located in Sanjiangyuan National Park with a high human population density were associated with higher risk; (c) risk diffusion paths extended southeast to northwest, connecting the inside of Sanjiangyuan National Park to its outside border; and (d) eastern Suojia, southern Zhahe, eastern Duocai, and southern Jiajiboluo had more risk diffusion paths than other areas examined, indicating higher risk for brown bear break-ins in these areas. Risk diffusion paths will need strong conservation management to facilitate migration and gene flow of brown bears and to alleviate bear damage, and implementation of compensation schemes may be necessary in risk areas to offset financial burdens. Our analytical methods can be applied to conflict reduction efforts and wildlife conservation planning across the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953560PMC
December 2019

Identifying climate refugia and its potential impact on Tibetan brown bear () in Sanjiangyuan National Park, China.

Ecol Evol 2019 Dec 14;9(23):13278-13293. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection Chinese Academy of Forestry Beijing China.

Climate change has direct impacts on wildlife and future biodiversity protection efforts. Vulnerability assessment and habitat connectivity analyses are necessary for drafting effective conservation strategies for threatened species such as the Tibetan brown bear (). We used the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model to assess the current (1950-2000) and future (2041-2060) habitat suitability by combining bioclimatic and environmental variables, and identified potential climate refugia for Tibetan brown bears in Sanjiangyuan National Park, China. Next, we selected Circuit model to simulate potential migration paths based on current and future climatically suitable habitat. Results indicate a total area of potential suitable habitat under the current climate scenario of approximately 31,649.46 km, of which 28,778.29 km would be unsuitable by the 2050s. Potentially suitable habitat under the future climate scenario was projected to cover an area of 23,738.6 km. Climate refugia occupied 2,871.17 km, primarily in the midwestern and northeastern regions of Yangtze River Zone, as well as the northern region of Yellow River Zone. The altitude of climate refugia ranged from 4,307 to 5,524 m, with 52.93% lying at altitudes between 4,300 and 4,600 m. Refugia were mainly distributed on bare rock, alpine steppe, and alpine meadow. Corridors linking areas of potentially suitable brown bear habitat and a substantial portion of paths with low-resistance value were distributed in climate refugia. We recommend various actions to ameliorate the impact of climate change on brown bears, such as protecting climatically suitable habitat, establishing habitat corridors, restructuring conservation areas, and strengthening monitoring efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5780DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912912PMC
December 2019

Zoo visitor perceptions, attitudes, and conservation intent after viewing African elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Zoo Biol 2016 Jul 13;35(4):355-61. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, Illinois.

Elephants in the wild face several conservation issues. With the rebranding of zoos as conservation and education pioneers, they have the ability to both educate and inspire guests to action. The purpose of this research was to analyze visitor perceptions and attitudes toward elephant conservation and outcomes post-exhibit visit. A one-page survey was randomly administered to assess perceptions of elephant behavior, attitudes about elephant conservation, and intended conservation-related outcomes from September 2013 to January 2014. Principle component analysis identified three major components: concern for elephants in zoos, importance of elephants in the wild, and modification of nature. Visitors who scored highly on conservation intent were those with positive attitudes towards elephants in the wild and negative attitudes regarding the modification of nature. The greatest changes in conservation intent were a result of a self-reported up-close encounter and the ability to witness active behaviors. Providing guests with the opportunity to witness or experience such occurrences may aid in a more successful delivery of the zoo's conservation message. Further research into guest emotions and affective states in relation to viewing elephants in a zoological institution would provide greater insight into improving the guest experience and helping zoos meet their conservation mission. Zoo Biol. 35:355-361, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/zoo.21303DOI Listing
July 2016

A Comparison of Walking Rates Between Wild and Zoo African Elephants.

J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2016 Jul-Sep;19(3):271-9. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

a Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global , San Diego , CA , USA.

With increased scrutiny surrounding the welfare of elephants in zoological institutions, it is important to have empirical evidence on their current welfare status. If elephants are not receiving adequate exercise, it could lead to obesity, which can lead to many issues including acyclicity and potentially heart disease. The goal of the current study was to compare the walking rates of elephants in the wild versus elephants in zoos to determine if elephants are walking similar distances relative to their wild counterparts. Eleven wild elephants throughout different habitats and locations in Botswana were compared to 8 elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Direct comparisons revealed no significant difference in average walking rates of zoo elephants when compared with wild elephants. These results suggest that elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park walk similar rates to those of wild elephants and may be meeting their exercise needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2015.1137755DOI Listing
June 2017