Archive | March, 2014

2014 DTC Annual Symposium


The annual Desert Tortoise Council Symposium was full of interesting topics and discussions. This year, Kathy Simon (Ironwood) chaired the final session on desert tortoise connectivity, which included presentations from Ken Nussear (USGS), Roy Averill-Murray (DTRO), Chris Blandford (Ironwood) and Rick Simon (Cordoba Corporation). Roy Averill-Murray and the DTRO recently produced guidance documents with regard to the importance of demographic connectivity in terms of recovery efforts. Conserving functional linkages between tortoise conservation areas strengthens the network of conserved lands and helps mitigate against the adverse of effects of population declines, stochastic events, and population isolation. Roy Averill-Murray presented a new method of modeling population dynamics within a spatial context to better understand how local populations or habitat patches contribute to long-term, regional population viability. Ken Nussear introduced a new technique of identifying contact networks among individual tortoises within linkages under study. His study sites consisted of high-elevation, relatively narrow passes that potentially bridge occupied habitat located in neighboring valleys. The

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