Aeroconservation for the fragmented skies

From birds to bacteria, airborne organisms face substantial anthropogenic impacts.

See our abstract below and read our new paper here:

Conservation Letters

© Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Aeroconservation for the Fragmented Skies

Authors: Christina M. Davy,
 Adam T. Ford,
 Kevin C. Fraser

Accepted manuscript online: 2 February 2017


From birds to bacteria, airborne organisms face substantial anthropogenic impacts. The airspace provides essential habitat for thousands of species, some of which spend most of their lives airborne. Despite recent calls to protect the airspace, it continues to be treated as secondary to terrestrial and aquatic habitats in policy and research. Aeroconservation integrates recent advances in aeroecology and habitat connectivity, and recognizes aerial habitats and threats as analogous to their terrestrial and aquatic counterparts. Aerial habitats are poorly represented in the ecological literature and are largely absent from environmental policy, hindering protection of aerial biodiversity. Here, we provide a framework for defining aerial habitats to advance the study of aeroconservation and the protection of the airspace in environmental policy. We illustrate how current habitat definitions explicitly disadvantage aerial species relative to non-aerial species, and review key areas of conflict between aeroconservation and human use of the airspace. Finally, we identify opportunities for research to fill critical knowledge gaps for aeroconservation. For example, aerial habitat fragmentation may impact biodiversity and ecosystem function similarly to terrestrial habitat fragmentation, and we illustrate how this can be addressed by extending existing methods and paradigms from terrestrial conservation biology up into the airspace.


This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



Assessing public commitment to endangered species protection: A Canadian case study

How much do Canadians REALLY care about protecting endangered species? We asked. See our abstract below and read the full paper here:

The paper is also covered in Canadian Geographic:









The Liber Ero Letter on Environmental Assessment in Canada: a call to strengthen science in decision making.

to-uploadCanada needs to mobilize knowledge – the best that science has to offer –  in order to understand and mitigate the impacts of large-scale industrial projects. Above:  an open pit oilsands operation in NE Alberta, such projects are routinely assessed as having a non-significant impact. 


The following letter was submitted on October 27th, 2016 to the Honourable Catherine McKenna  (Minister of Environment and Climate Change),the Honourable Dr. Kirsty Duncan (Minister of Science), the Expert Panel on Review of Environmental Assessment Processes, and all members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development.

This letter was uploaded to the Environmental Assessment Review website on 13-Dec-2016.

An oral presentation of this letter by Dr. Aerin Jacob is schedule TODAY (15-Dec-2016) at the Environmental Assessment Review Panel in Nanaimo, BC.

Download letter here.environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-001environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-002environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-003environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-004environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-005environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-006environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-007environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-008environmental-assessment-reform-letter-from-liber-ero-fellows-page-009