National parks are safe havens for endangered and threatened species, but an analysis by Rice University data scientists finds parks and protected areas can preserve more than species.
In a study published online this week in the journal Biotropica, Rice ecologists and data scientists Daniel Gorczynski and Lydia Beaudrot used thousands of camera trap photos to assess the large mammal diversity in the protected rainforest of Costa Rica’s Braulio Carrillo National Park.
In wildlife conservation, diversity often refers to the variety of species in an ecosystem. But ecologists also study functional diversity, the abundance and variation of traits like body size, diet and reproductive rate. Trait diversity can be measured independent of species diversity and provide additional insight about the overall health of an ecosystem. MORE
Header image: TEAM Network.