Aerial Surveys Give New Estimates for Orangutans in Sabah, Malaysia

PLoS Biology, 3(1): e3, 2004

Marc Ancrenaz, Olivier Gimenez, Laurentius Ambu, Karine Ancrenaz, Patrick Andau, Benoît Goossens, John Payne, Azri Sawang, Augustine Tuuga, and Isabelle Lackman-Ancrenaz

“Great apes are threatened with extinction, but precise information about the distribution and size of most populations is currently lacking. We conducted orangutan nest counts in the Malaysian state of Sabah (North Borneo), using a combination of ground and helicopter surveys, and provided a way to estimate the current distribution and size of the populations living throughout the entire state. We show that the number of nests detected during aerial surveys is directly related to the estimated true animal density and that a helicopter is an efficient tool to provide robust estimates of orangutan numbers.

Distribution and Size of the 16 Major Orangutan Populations Identified during the Surveys in Sabah, Malaysia, Borneo

Distribution and Size of the 16 Major Orangutan Populations Identified during the Surveys in Sabah, Malaysia, Borneo

“Our results reveal that with a total estimated population size of about 11,000 individuals, Sabah is one of the main strongholds for orangutans in North Borneo. More than 60% of orangutans living in the state occur outside protected areas, in production forests that have been through several rounds of logging extraction and are still exploited for timber. The role of exploited forests clearly merits further investigation for orangutan conservation in Sabah.”

Does Location Really Matter? An Inter-colony Comparison of Seabirds Breeding at Varying Distances from Productive Oceanographic Features in the Bering Sea

Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in OceanographyDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Published Online 13 March 2013

Ann Harding, Rosana Paredes, Robert Suryan, Daniel Roby, David Irons, Rachael Orben, Heather Renner, Rebecca Young, Christopher Barger, Ine Dorresteijn, and Alexander Kitaysky

“Central place foragers, such as breeding seabirds, need to commute between their nests and foraging grounds, thus close proximity of the breeding colony to productive oceanographic features might be beneficial for seabird reproduction. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the at-sea foraging and breeding behavior of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) nesting at three colonies (Bogoslof, St. Paul, and St. George Islands) in the Bering Sea located at different distances from the productive continental shelf-break.

Study sites in the southeastern Bering Sea

Study sites in the southeastern Bering Sea

“We found that distances to feeding areas differed only during night trips among colonies. St. Paul murres foraged entirely on the shelf, whereas St. George murres commuted to the continental shelf-break at night and foraged on the shelf during the day. Bogoslof murres foraged in oceanic waters in close proximity to the colony. Murres breeding at the both Pribilof colonies spent less time attending nests and had higher levels of stress hormone corticosterone compared to murres breeding at Bogoslof, although chick-provisioning rates and fledging success were similar among the three colonies. Lower nest attendance and higher corticosterone suggest lower food availability in the Pribilof domain compared to the Bogoslof region. Murres breeding at the Pribilofs used different foraging strategies to buffer effects of food shortages on their reproduction: flight costs associated with longer distance night trips at St. George were presumably balanced by benefits of higher density and/or more lipid rich prey in the continental shelf-break regions, whereas the additional distance of St. Paul from the continental shelf-break may have outweighed any energetic gain. Murres exhibited a remarkable degree of plasticity of foraging strategies in response to changes in their food availability, but the breeding success of murres did not reflect either food limitations or the colony proximity to productive oceanographic features.”

Multimodal Accessibility Modeling from Coarse Transportation Networks in Africa

International Journal of Geographical Information ScienceInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, published online 20 November 2012

Jean-Paul Kibambe Lubamba, Julien Radoux, and Pierre Defourny

“Accessibility is a key driving factor for economic development, social welfare, resources management, and land use planning. In many studies, modeling accessibility relies on proxy variables such as estimated travel time to selected destinations. In developing countries, estimating the travel time is hindered by scarce information about the transportation network, making it necessary to take into account off-network travel coupled with considerations of multimodal options available within the existing network. This research proposes such a hybrid approach that computes the travel time to selected destinations by optimizing together a fully modeled multimodal network and off-network travel. The model was applied in a region around Kisangani located in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Travel times to Kisangani from the hybrid approach were found to be in close agreement with field-based information (R 2 = 0.98). The developed approach also proved to better support real-world transportation constraints (such as transfer points between travel modes or barriers) than cost-distance-based travel-time modeling. Demonstration results from the hybrid approach highlight the potential for impact assessment of road construction or rehabilitation, development of secondary towns or markets, and for land use planning in general.”

Testing for Quality Assurance in the Property Taxation Base using Spatial Analysis

jssJournal of Spatial Science, Volume 57, Issue 2, 2012

David Parker, Tony Lockwood, and Wayne Maranoa

“Against the broad background of international practice, this paper presents a methodology using the spatial analysis of the assessed value to the sales price ratio as an integral part of contributing to the quality control and assurance of the fiscal cadastre. It adopts Local Moran’s I and surface interpolation techniques to highlight potential geographical areas of inequity that may be more a function of a location differential than a price differential, the traditional indicator of inequity. Using the metropolitan area of Adelaide, South Australia, as a case study the paper explores a potential methodology to capture this dimension and include it as part of the overall quality assurance procedure. This could enhance the quality of the fiscal cadastre as an integrated part of a spatially enabled land administration system for all stakeholders.”

Mapping the Elevation Change of Lambert Glacier in East Antarctica using ICESat GLAS

Journal of MapsJournal of Maps, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2012, pages 473-477

Dong Zhang, Bo Sun, Chang-Qing Ke, Xin Li, Xiang-Bin Cui & Jing-Xue Guo

“We initially derived elevation changes of Geoscience Laser Altimeter System level-2 altimetry data of Lambert Glacier overlapping footprints during each mission from 2003 to 2008. Then, surface elevation changes during every two adjacent missions were interpolated using inverse distance weighted, natural neighbor, triangulated irregular network with linear method, radial basis functions and ANUDEM in ArcGIS. The best results were obtained by ANUDEM, so these data were clipped to conform to the study area boundary defined by hydrology tools. Finally, elevation changes over 10 periods were mapped. In these maps, we chose the Antarctic digital elevation model as background and used a translucent layer to mask the area outside Lambert Glacier, and then displayed elevation changes using gradient colors. Results indicate that elevation changes of the entire Lambert Glacier are not evident, particularly in the upstream area. There are a few elevation changes in some downstream areas. Elevation of the grounding zone in the southernmost Amery Ice Shelf decreased more than 2 m in 2004–2005, 2006–2007, and during 2008.”

Typhoid Fever and Its Association with Environmental Factors in the Dhaka Metropolitan Area of Bangladesh: A Spatial and Time-Series Approach

PLoS Negl Trop Dis PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 24 January 2013

Ashraf M. Dewan, Robert Corner, Masahiro Hashizume, and Emmanuel T. Ongee

“Typhoid fever is a major cause of death worldwide with a major part of the disease burden in developing regions such as the Indian sub-continent. Bangladesh is part of this highly endemic region, yet little is known about the spatial and temporal distribution of the disease at a regional scale. This research used a Geographic Information System to explore, spatially and temporally, the prevalence of typhoid in Dhaka Metropolitan Area (DMA) of Bangladesh over the period 2005–9. This paper provides the first study of the spatio-temporal epidemiology of typhoid for this region. The aims of the study were: (i) to analyse the epidemiology of cases from 2005 to 2009; (ii) to identify spatial patterns of infection based on two spatial hypotheses; and (iii) to determine the hydro-climatological factors associated with typhoid prevalence. Case occurrences data were collected from 11 major hospitals in DMA, geocoded to census tract level, and used in a spatio-temporal analysis with a range of demographic, environmental and meteorological variables. Analyses revealed distinct seasonality as well as age and gender differences, with males and very young children being disproportionately infected. The male-female ratio of typhoid cases was found to be 1.36, and the median age of the cases was 14 years. Typhoid incidence was higher in male population than female (χ2 = 5.88, p<0.05). The age-specific incidence rate was highest for the 0–4 years age group (277 cases), followed by the 60+ years age group (51 cases), then there were 45 cases for 15–17 years, 37 cases for 18–34 years, 34 cases for 35–39 years and 11 cases for 10–14 years per 100,000 people. Monsoon months had the highest disease occurrences (44.62%) followed by the pre-monsoon (30.54%) and post-monsoon (24.85%) season.

Spatial regression between typhoid incidence (per 100,000 people) and distance to water bodies.

Spatial regression between typhoid incidence (per 100,000 people) and distance to water bodies. A) Shows spatial distribution of the t-value, B) shows the parameter estimates.

“The Student’s t test revealed that there is no significant difference on the occurrence of typhoid between urban and rural environments (p>0.05). A statistically significant inverse association was found between typhoid incidence and distance to major waterbodies. Spatial pattern analysis showed that there was a significant clustering of typhoid distribution in the study area. Moran’s I was highest (0.879; p<0.01) in 2008 and lowest (0.075; p<0.05) in 2009. Incidence rates were found to form three large, multi-centred, spatial clusters with no significant difference between urban and rural rates. Temporally, typhoid incidence was seen to increase with temperature, rainfall and river level at time lags ranging from three to five weeks. For example, for a 0.1 metre rise in river levels, the number of typhoid cases increased by 4.6% (95% CI: 2.4–2.8) above the threshold of 4.0 metres (95% CI: 2.4–4.3). On the other hand, with a 1°C rise in temperature, the number of typhoid cases could increase by 14.2% (95% CI: 4.4–25.0).”

SCGIS Offers Preconference Workshops on GIS for Conservation

Register for both the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) Conference and a training workshop specifically designed for conservationists. The following workshops will be held prior to the conference, on Monday, July 15, 2013.

  • Using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and ModelBuilder for Habitat Analysis — Learn about raster GIS. Analyze cost distance, viewshed and proximity grids, and site suitability. Learn to use digital elevation model (DEM) elevation files, map algebra, and the raster calculator.
  • Tools, Concepts, and Case Studies in Marine Spatial Planning — Get an overview of marine spatial planning (MSP) processes, relevant GIS-based tools, techniques, and modeling and assessment.
  • SeaSketch — Learn how to build an end-to-end, web-based mapping solution for MSP using SeaSketch and ArcGIS Online services.

Register for workshops when you register for the conference. Preconference workshops are limited to 20 seats per class, so register early.

Register Today

Spatial Analysis to Support Geographic Targeting of Genotypes to Environments

Frontiers in Plant Physiology 4:40, 2013

Glenn Hyman1, Dave Hodson, and Peter Jones

“Crop improvement efforts have benefited greatly from advances in available data, computing technology and methods for targeting genotypes to environments. These advances support the analysis of genotype by environment interactions to understand how well a genotype adapts to environmental conditions. This paper reviews the use of spatial analysis to support crop improvement research aimed at matching genotypes to their most appropriate environmental niches. Better data sets are now available on soils, weather and climate, elevation, vegetation, crop distribution and local conditions where genotypes are tested in experimental trial sites. The improved data are now combined with spatial analysis methods to compare environmental conditions across sites, create agro-ecological region maps and assess environment change. Climate, elevation and vegetation data sets are now widely available, supporting analyses that were much more difficult even five or ten years ago. While detailed soil data for many parts of the world remains difficult to acquire for crop improvement studies, new advances in digital soil mapping are likely to improve our capacity. Site analysis and matching and regional targeting methods have advanced in parallel to data and technology improvements. All these developments have increased our capacity to link genotype to phenotype and point to a vast potential to improve crop adaptation efforts.”