Lisa Mogensen

Lisa Mogensen

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Lisa Mogensen

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Start Year

2014 (Cohort 1)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Identifying key threats and conservation priorities for the Critically Endangered Yangtze finless porpoise

Research Theme

Biodiversity and Ecology

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Secondary Supervisor
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It is often the case that conservation decisions have to be made with insufficient robust data to inform them, which can result in detrimentally ineffective actions that waste resources and time. The Yangtze finless porpoise is a Critically Endangered freshwater cetacean that is endemic to the heavily industrialised Yangtze River, China. This unique sub-species is in rapid population decline and is believed to be on an accelerating path to extinction. Urgent, effective action is required to conserve what remains. The relative impact of direct and indirect anthropogenic threats to this taxon has yet to be reliably quantified, meaning any mitigation is not prioritised to primary drivers of current porpoise mortality. In order to prioritise threats, this study aims to use a combination of boat based surveys, local fisherman interview data, and population modelling to quantify and map the spatial and temporal concurrence of threats with porpoise presence. In addition to other social data and bio-economic analyses, the outputs made here will be used to formulate an effective management plan that prioritises conservation requirements to reduce porpoise mortality. It is hoped the framework used here can be adapted to optimise conservation of other data deficient threatened species.

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