track2KBA: An R package for identifying important sites for biodiversity from tracking data

This research article introduces an R package tool known as 'track2KBA', for identifying important sites for biodiversity from tracking data. The authors propose this bespoke tool to aid in conservation and managament, by informing the delienation of ecological sites for diverse taxa, and providing output useful for assessing their importance to a population or species. Using tracking data of three different species, a step by step analysis of identifying important sites for conservation using track2KBA is outlined in this paper.

Date published: 2022/01/07

Title: track2KBA: An R package for identifying important sites for biodiversity from tracking data

Authors: Martin Beal, Steffen Oppel, Jonathan Handley, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Virginia Morera- Pujol, Ana P. B. Carneiro,Tammy E. Davies,Richard A. Phillips, Philip R. Taylor, Mark G. R. Miller, Aldina M. A. Franco, Inês Catry, Ana R. Patrício, Aissa Regalla, Iain Staniland, Charlotte Boyd, Paulo Catry, Maria P. Dias.

Journal: Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Citation: Beal, M., Oppel, S., Handley, J., Pearmain, E. J., Morera- Pujol, V., Carneiro, A. P. B., Davies, T. E., Phillips, R. A., Taylor, P. R., Miller, M. G. R., Franco, A. M. A., Catry, I., Patrício, A. R., Regalla, A., Staniland, I., Boyd, C., Catry, P., & Dias, M. P. (2021). track2KBA: An R package for identifying important sites for biodiversity from tracking data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1– 7. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041- 210X.13713

Open access: Yes

Abstract

Identifying important sites for biodiversity is vital for conservation and management. However, there is a lack of accessible, easily-applied tools that enable practitioners to delineate important sites for highly mobile species using established criteria. We introduce the R package ‘track2KBA’, a tool to identify important sites at the population level using tracking data from individual animals based on three key steps: (1) identifying individual core areas, (2) assessing population-level representativeness of the sample, and (3) quantifying spatial overlap among individuals and scaling up to the population. We describe package functionality and exemplify its application using tracking data from three taxa in contrasting environments: a seal, a marine turtle, and a migratory land bird. This tool facilitates the delineation of sites of ecological relevance for diverse taxa and provides output useful for assessing their importance to a population or species, as in the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) Standard. As such, ‘track2KBA’ can contribute directly to conservation planning at global and regional levels.

Key words: animal movement, biologging, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, key biodiversity areas, protected areas, site- based conservation, utilization distribution

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