Monthly Archives: January 2011


Golden Jackal Subspecies is Actually First True African Wolf

Posted 30 January 2011 by Anne-Marie Hodge

An extremely exciting new paper published in PLoS ONE this week has reported a fascinating and significant overhaul of the wolf family tree, with significant implications for our knowledge about the past, present, and future of canids in Africa. The golden jackal, Canis aureus, is comprised of thirteen currently recognized subspecies (Wilson and Reeder 2005). Previous work has shown that members of what is known as the Egyptian jackal, Canis aureus lupaster, has some significant morphological differences from other subspecies,... Read more

Allee Effects, Round Two: Component versus Demographic Effects

Posted 20 January 2011 by Anne-Marie Hodge

In my last post, we discussed Allee effects and the importance of taking those factors into consideration when making plans for managing threatened species. This time, I’m going to pick the Allee effect apart just a little bit more. Much work has been done on it since its initial conception, and it can get more complicated than the basic definitions often suggest. (Just a reminder, the Allee effect describes the phenomenon in which fitness gets lower and lower as densities... Read more

African Wild Dogs and the Allee Effect

Posted 10 January 2011 by Anne-Marie Hodge

It does not take a card-carrying conservation biologist to realize that shrinking populations put endangered animals at risk of extinction. Dwindling numbers are a bad sign for the survival of a species—especially large mammals with relatively specific requirements for successful reproduction. But in some situations, the population issue can snowball and go from being an effect of outside pressures (such as hunting, habitat destruction, or disease) to becoming a force all its own, as smaller populations suffer ever decreasing reproductive... Read more