What We’re Reading: April 17, 2015

Conservation Leadership
Leaders have a number of common behaviors that have been studied from a management perspective. This opinion piece (open) discusses key themes for being a conservation leader. First, share a grand vision of desired conservation outcomes with staff; when staff buy-in to a vision, they will work towards the conservation goals of the organization. Second, conservation is a balance between stakeholders; therefore, learning to manage conflict must be a priority for conservation leaders. Third, leaders must be flexible as conservation priorities may shift rapidly.

Population History of the River Horse
A new study (sub) on the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) estimated that hippopotamus population size grew from 300 to 30 kya possibly as the African grasslands became wetter. However, their same analysis shows sharp population declines following the Last Glacial Maximum when African savannahs dried. Current habitat for this mega-herbivore is highly fragmented across both eastern and western Africa and the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN. This study has strong implications for conservation as the species was in decline before anthropogenic pressures, meaning that habitat preservation must be a priority for this species.


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