Current global marine protection targets aim to protect 10-30% of marine habitats within the next 3-5 years. However, these targets were adopted without prior assessment of their achievability. Moreover, ability to monitor progress towards such targets has been constrained by a lack of robust data on marine protected areas. Here We present the results of the first explicitly marine-focused global assessment of protected areas in relation to global marine protection targets. Approximately 2.35 million km(2) 0.65% of the world's oceans and 1.6% of the total marine area within Exclusive Economic Zones, are currently protected. Only 0.08% of the world's oceans, and 0.2% of the total marine area under national jurisdiction is no-take. The global distribution of protected areas is both uneven and unrepresentative at multiple scales, and only half of the world's marine protected areas are part of a coherent network. Since 1984 the spatial extent of marine area protected globally has grown at an annual rate of 4.6%, at which even the most modest target is unlikely to be met for at least several decades rather than within the coming decade. These results validate concerns over the relevance and utility of broad conservation targets, However, given the low level of protection for marine ecosystems, a more immediate global concern is the need for a rapid increase in marine protected area coverage. In this case, the process of comparing targets to their expected achievement dates may help to mobilize support for the policy shifts and increased resources needed to improve the current level of marine protection.
In recognition of the fact that orang-utans (Pongo spp.) are severely threatened, a meeting of orangutan experts and conservationists, representatives of national and regional governmental and non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders, was converted in Jakarta, Indonesia, in January 2004. Prior to this meeting we surveyed all large areas for which orang-utan population status was unknown. Compilation of all survey data produced a comprehensive Picture of orang-utan distribution on both Borneo and Sumatra. These results indicate that in 2004 there were c. 6,500 P. abehii remaining on Sumatra and at least 54,000 P. pygniaeus on Borneo. Extrapolating to 2008 on the basis of forest loss on both islands Suggests the estimate for Borneo Could be 10% too high but that for Sumatra is probably still relatively accurate because forest loss in orang-utan habitat has been low during the conflict in Aceh, where most P. abehi Occur. When those population sizes are compared to known historical sizes it is clear that the Sumatran orang-utan is in rapid decline, and unless extraordinary efforts are made soon, it could become the first great ape species to go extinct. In contrast, Our results indicate there are more and larger populations of Bornean orang-utans than previously known. Although these revised estimates for Borneo are encouraging, forest loss and associated loss of orang-utans are occurring at an alarming rate, and Suggest that recent reductions of Bornean orang-utan populations have been far more severe than previously supposed. Nevertheless, although orang-utans on both islands are Under threat, we highlight some reasons for cautious optimism for their long-term conservation.
Within the last few years three key concerns have come to dominate the conservation-poverty debate: (1) the activities and accountability of big international conservation NGOs, and their impacts on local communities; (2) the increasingly I protectionist focus of conservation policy and the implications for communities resident in and around protected areas, in particular regarding involuntary, displacements and evictions; (3) the lack of attention to biodiversity conservation on the development agenda, with the Current focus On poverty reduction. The roots of these different strands of the debate lie in much older discussions of the links between environment and development. There have been periods of convergence, especially around issues Of Sustainable development, participation and decentralization during the 1980s and 1990s. There have also been periods of divergence, in particular the disenchantment with community-based approaches to conservation and the prioritization of poverty over environment, during the 1990s and 2000s. Reactions to the outcomes of the 2003 World Parks Congress brought the three strands of the modern debate to a head. Ongoing discussions around these strands continue at a different pace but the debate appears to be moving fastest on biodiversity's place within the development agenda, although concerns over biodiversity remain marginal compared to the current focus on climate change. But it is within the climate change agenda, and particularly the escalation of discussions around reduced emissions from deforestation, that the next formulations of the conservation-poverty debate are likely to develop.
Over the past 15 years the Tanzanian government has promoted participatory forest management (both joint forest management and community-based forest management) as a major strategy for managing natural forests for Sustainable use and conservation. Such management is currently either operational or in the process of being established in > 3.6 million ha of forest land and in > 1,800 villages. Data from three case studies of forests managed using participatory and non-participatory forest management approaches suggest that community involvement in forest management is correlated with improving forest condition. In our First case study we demonstrate increasing basal area and volume of trees per ha over time in miombo woodland and coastal forest habitats under participatory forest management compared with similar forests under state or open access management. In our second case study three coastal forest and sub-montane Eastern Arc forests under participatory forest management show a greater number of trees per ha, and mean height and diameter of trees compared to three othenwise similar forests under state management. In our third case Study levels of Cutting in coastal forest and Eastern Arc forests declined over time since initiation in participatory forest management sites. We conclude that participatory forest management is showing signs of delivering impact in terms of improved forest condition in Tanzanian forests but that further assessments need to be made to veritfy these initial findings.
The Green Corridor of Argentina and Brazil is the largest forest remnant of the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest. The jaguar Population of this region is highly fragmented and reduced. To assess the status of the subpopulation of jaguars of the Green Corridor we conducted four camera-trap surveys in three sites with different levels of protection. At Urugua-i (34 stations, 1,495 trap-days) we recorded one individual (minimum density=0.12-0.33 per 100 km(2)). At Yaboti Biosphere Reserve (42 stations, 1,871 trap-days) we recorded two individuals (minimum density= 0.11-0.25 per 100 kin 2). At Iguazu National Park we conducted two surveys. In 2004 (39 stations, 1,839 trap-days) we recorded I-Our adult individuals, estimating a density of between 0.49 +/- 0.16 and 1.07 +/- 0.33 per 100 km(2). In 2006, we increased the area sampled (47 stations, 2,059 trap-days) and recorded I I adult individuals, estimating a density of 0.93 +/- 0.2 to 1.74 +/- 0.34 per 100 km(2). These density estimates are the lowest recorded for the species. Estimates for Ignazu are between 2-7.5 times lower than those reported in the early 1990s. This Population decline probably results from the interaction of several factors, including lack of prey as a result of poaching and persecution. We estimate that there is currently a Population of 25-53 adult jaguars in the Green Corridor. In spite of having sufficient potential habitat available this Population is threatened and urgent conservation action is required.
Conflict between people and elephants in Africa is widespread yet many solutions target the symptoms, rather than the underlying causes, of this conflict. To manage this conflict better the underlying causes of the problem need to be examined. Here we examine factors underlying spatial use by elephants and people along the Okavango Panhandle in Ngamiland, northern Botswana, to provide ways to address the causes of the conflict between elephants and people. We found that (1) elephant spatial use was a function of season, (2) spatial use did not differ between breeding herds and bull groups, (3) spatial use by elephants and people only overlapped significantly at night, during the dry season, (4) crop raiding by elephants was a function of season and social grouping, and (5) crop raiding by elephants had social and economic implications. Based on these results we suggest measures to manipulate elephant spatial use to reduce the causes of this conflict. We also reflect on present compensation measures for elephant crop damage and advocate that a more direct performance payment approach may benefit both the Botswana Government and local farmers.
One of the main threats to the survival of Asian turtles is the demand in China for turtles for use as food and medicine products. As the demand for turtle products escalated over the past 20 years entrepreneurs initiated commercial breeding facilities for profit. To gain a better understanding of the scale of the captive turtle trade we conducted a survey of the 1,499 large turtle farms known by branch offices of the Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office and the Provincial Forestry Bureaus. The results from the 684 respondent farms (46%) indicated that a total of >300 million turtles are sold per year and are worth c. USD 750 million. Although the bulk of these figures comprise the common Chinese softshell turtle Pelodiscus sinensis many other species are also farmed, including Critically Endangered species and even species native to North America. As 54% of known farms did not respond to our survey we suggest that the trade in captive turtles is probably a multi-billion dollar industry. This is likely considering that many Chinese turtle farms operate covertly and are thus impossible to survey. The large scale of turtle farming in China raises questions about the impact of so many threatened turtles being bred and sold for profit. Because the commercial breeding of these species is so well developed and large in scale, the deleterious impact is serious and difficult to control.
Managers in southern Africa are concerned that continually increasing elephant populations will degrade ecosystems. Culling, translocation and birth control are flawed solutions. An alternative is providing elephants more space but this hinges on identifying landscape preferences. We examined two diverse ecosystems and uncovered similarities in elephant habitat use, expressing these as 'rules'. We considered and Etosha National Park, (Namibia) and the tropical woodlands of Tembe Elephant Park (South Africa) and Maputo Elephant Reserve (Mozambique). Landscape data consisted of vegetation types, distances from water and settlements. To surmount issues of scale and availability we incorporated elephant movements as a function that declined as distance from an elephant's location increased. This presumes that elephants optimize trade-offs between benefiting from high-quality resources and costs to find them. Under a likelihood-based approach we determined the important variables and shapes of their relationships to evaluate and compare models separated by gender, season and location. After considering elephants' preferences for areas nearby, habitat use usually increased with proximity to water in all locations. Elephants sought places with high proportions of vegetation, especially when neighbouring areas had low vegetative cover. Lastly, elephants avoided human settlements (when present), and cows more so than bulls. In caricature, elephants preferred to move little, drink easily, eat well, and avoid people. If one makes more areas available, elephants will probably favour areas near water with high vegetative cover (of many different types) and away from people. Managers can oblige elephants' preferences by supplying them. If so, they should anticipate higher impacts to neighbouring vegetation.
Human-elephant conflict, in particular the damage caused by elephants to smallholder crops, is a major challenge to the conservation of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Conventional tools used to address this problem are capital intensive and require high levels of expertise. In recent years simple, affordable farm-based elephant deterrents, using locally available materials, have been encouraged by a number of human-elephant conflict researchers. There are very few published studies demonstrating the performance of these deterrents, however, and little is known about levels of uptake among smallholder farmers. We trialled a number of such farm-based elephant deterrents with local farmers in three sites within Laikipia District, Kenya. Levels of crop raiding declined after the introduction of treatments but not significantly when compared with control farms. Variable levels of uptake among the participating farmers made it difficult to draw clear conclusions from the trials. However, participating farmers were positive about the deterrent effect of the tools introduced, corroborated by their willingness to make financial commitments towards sustaining future trials. Availability of household labour, local politics, and insecurity were identified as important barriers to uptake of some of the deterrents introduced. Household labour availability should be a key consideration in future endeavours to trial farm-based elephant deterrents.
Conservation planners often seek short cuts when making decisions about land use by directing management towards one or a few species that will benefit the wider ecosystem. The umbrella species concept is one such proposed short cut. An umbrella species comprises a population of individuals of a particular species whose resource requirements and habitat needs encompass the sufficient home ranges and resource needs of viable populations of co-occurring species. We examined the 17 published criteria available to identify a potential umbrella species and recommend that conservation managers wishing to apply this concept could focus on only seven criteria: well-known biology; large home range size; high probability of population persistence; co-occurrence of species of conservation interest; management needs that are beneficial to co-occurring species; sensitivity to human disturbance; and ease of monitoring. We note however, that rigorous assessment of candidate umbrella species requires such detailed knowledge of candidate and co-occurring species that it seems less of a short cut than planners may wish.
Population units that merit separate management and are of conservation concern have been called evolutionary significant units. Two divergent lineages of the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus occur naturally in Spain, with a well-marked geographical distribution. We analysed the frequency and importance of rabbit translocations in central-southern Spain and whether this practice, carried out by hunters and conservationists, could cause the mixture of two clearly different evolutionary significant units. We carried out interviews in 1993 and 2002 at 60 locations to determine the presence and intensity of translocations during both decades. The distribution of the lineages was obtained using mtDNA analysis of hunted rabbits in 2003-2005. We demonstrate that rabbit translocation was used frequently in the 1980s and increased in the 1990s. Up to 43% of the studied areas translocated rabbits in the latter decade, whereas only 25% did so in the 1980s. Our results show that neither the origin of the introduced rabbits nor their genetic lineage were taken into account in most of the translocations. We found rabbits of lineage A in several localities within the distribution area of lineage B, and vice versa, probably as a consequence of translocations. The distribution of both lineages is likely to have been altered by human activity and this could represent the loss of the results of 2 million years of genetic differentiation with possible attendent ecological consequences. Consequently, authorities should more closely regulate rabbit translocations and convey to both hunters and conservationists the importance of not mixing the lineages by translocations.
In this paper we provide an empirically-based way to address the general question of the broad-scale spatial relationship between poverty Occurrence and areas of interest to those seeking conservation of large wild areas. We address the question of the spatial relationship between poor people and areas less impacted by human activity by asking three questions about the global spatial relationship between poor people and ecological intactness and how it varies by major biome and geographical region. We use infant mortality rate as a proxy for poverty and the Human Footprint as a proxy for ecological intactness, comparing global terrestrial maps of both. The analysis shows that the vast majority of the world's poor people live in extremely urban and very transformed (peri-transformed) areas. Only a small percentage of the world's most poor are found in areas that are somewhat or extremely wild: about 0.25% of the world's population. This fact has implications for the calls being made for conservation organizations to Undertake poverty alleviation, suggesting that at a global scale those groups with interest in conserving Wild areas would be able to contribute little to globally significant poverty alleviation efforts. However, these conservation groups are well positioned to develop new partnerships for delivery of benefits to some of the least accessible poor people in the wildest places of the World.
The debate about poverty and conservation draws mainly on local case studies, particularly of the impacts of protected areas. Although it is clear that local and contingent variables have important effects on the social and economic impacts of protected area establishment, it is not known whether there is a general relationship between national wealth and the area, number and type of protected area designated. Here we conduct such an analysis. Our results suggest that wealthy countries have a larger number of protected areas of smaller size than poorer countries. However, we find few significant relationships between indicators of poverty and the extent of protected areas at a national scale. Our analysis therefore confirms that relationships between poverty and conservation action are dynamic and locally specific. This conclusion has implications for opposing positions within the debate on poverty and conservation. Critics of conservation who build upon local case studies to argue that protected areas make a significant contribution to poverty risk exaggerating the scale of the problem. However, conservation advocates also need to temper their enthusiasm. Outcomes in which both poverty alleviation and conservation goals are achieved may be possible in specific circumstances but clear choices will often need to be made between conservation and livelihood goals.
The globally distributed leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is subject to fisheries bycatch throughout its range. Protection from fisheries within pelagic foraging habitats is difficult to achieve but may be more tractable when populations are concentrated near neritic breeding and nesting grounds. We used satellite telemetry to describe patterns of habitat utilization during the inter-nesting period for seven leatherback turtles nesting at Mayumba National Park in Gabon on the equatorial West African coast. The National Park includes critical nesting grounds and a marine protected area to 15 km offshore. Turtles dispersed widely from the nesting beach spending a mean of 62 +/- SD 26% of tracking time outside the confines of the National Park. This propensity to disperse is likely to increase the chance of deleterious interactions with fisheries in the region. Patterns of habitat utilization indicate the need for wider spatial scale planning on the West African continental shelf to enhance protection of leatherback turtles when they are seasonally occupying these habitats in great numbers for breeding and nesting.
Polar bears Ursus maritimus have a circumpolar distribution that is directly tied to the Arctic sea ice. Although they are wide-ranging, polar bears do not belong to a single population but rather are comprised of 19 largely discrete subpopulations, 13 of which are fully or partly under Canadian jurisdiction. These subpopulations are used to manage the sustainable harvest of polar bears in Canada but for conservation purposes the species is Currently considered a single biological unit. Long-term climate warming has reduced the availability of sea ice that polar bears require for feeding, movement and reproduction, and continued declines in ice extent and duration are forecast to have significant negative effects on polar bears in some areas. Under the Canadian Species at Risk Act separate legal protection may be given to intraspecific groups (SO called designatable units, DUs) that are genetically, geographically and/or biogeographically distinct. We examined the conservation status of polar bears across their Canadian range and compared large-scale ecosystem properties across subpopulations. We found that threats to the conservation of polar bears are not spatially uniform and we identified five DUs that captured broad patterns of polar bear biodiversity. We Conclude that the use of DUs provides a biologically-sound framework for the conservation of polar bears.
Hunting of wildlife in Central Africa is largely considered to be unsustainable. Several studies indicate that most mammal species should already have disappeared from many Central African forests but markets continue to be Supplied with bushmeat, with no sign of large scale extinction of the most common species. Most studies of the sustainability of duiker (Cephalophus spp.) hunting in Central Africa are based on the same index of hunting. We illustrate how uncertainty is accumulated in these estimations of sustainability. We show that the results obtained in different sites are not comparable because a variety of methods have been used to calculate the parameters of the model and each of the methods has different sources of error. For the assessment of maximum sustainable harvest for duikers, the studies reviewed differ mainly in the value chosen for the hypothetical adjustment factor, and the method used to calculate the rate of maximum population increase and to estimate duiker population densities. For the assessment of annual hunting offtake the studies differ mainly in the scale at which they were conducted (village or regional), and sampling and extrapolation methods. Without evaluation of accuracy and standardization of methods for the estimation of maximum sustainable harvest and annual offtake, conclusions regarding harvesting based on biological indices should be treated with extreme caution.
The endemic Mediterranean yelkouan shearwater Puffinus yelkouan, elevated to the rank of species in 2002, is poorly monitored and studied. Despite this lack of data and the susceptibility of closely related species to threats at breeding sites and foraging areas, the yelkouan shearwater is currently considered to be at low risk of extinction. This review, based on published documents, personal communications with scientists and our own observations, summarizes available data on range, population size and trends, and on threats to the species' existence. Breeding sites range from the Marseille islands (France) to Bulgarian islands in the Black Sea but many are not confirmed. The estimated global population is 11,355-54,524 pairs but most censuses are probably overestimates and the global population could be only a few thousand breeding pairs. There is evidence of a population decline and susceptibility to introduced mammals, particularly feral cats Felis catus and ship rats Rattus rattus, and to accidental bycatch in fishing gear. We highlight the lack of accurate and regular censuses of the species, and the alarming situation suggested by the little data available. We recommend that the yelkouan shearwater be categorized as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, encourage collaborative work to clarify its status, and make a plea for more data on the species' demography and ecology, and for the evaluation of terrestrial and marine threats.
Private sector bodies can be important owners and managers of conservation areas. However, little is known about the extent, scale and scope of private protected areas. Understanding and defining the characterizations of private protected areas are problematic, as private sector involvement in protected areas can involve an array of different tenure arrangements, management approaches and levels of control. This review examines the challenges of developing protected area categorization beyond the traditional state-led model. We review private protected areas in Kenya and Tanzania, exploring their tenure, the nature of the private sector organizations managing them, and the extent of control exercised within them. Drawing on this we develop a working typology with the aim to encourage further discourse amongst the conservation community on the emerging phenomenon of private protected areas.
Biodiversity conservation is increasingly expected to reduce poverty where the two coincide. Yet conservation and poverty are multifaceted concepts and the linkages between them are complex and variable; whether and how conservation contributes to poverty reduction in practice will depend on the specific nature of those linkages. To unravel this complexity we explored the portfolio of Fauna & Flora International, an international conservation organization operating in some of the poorest countries and regions. We examined reports from 88 projects and categorized the rationales, approaches and Outcomes of a sample of 34 livelihoods-focused projects. Rationales varied among and within projects and included apparent I 'win-win' scenarios (reducing poverty improves conservation outcomes), trade-offs (conservation action hurts the poor or poverty reduction damages biodiversity), and situations Where livelihoods interventions were not directly linked to conservation gains. Projects revealed a balance of direct (income, food security, health) and indirect (capacity building, reduced Vulnerability, governance, empowerment) livelihood goals. Overall, empowerment, security and social network development were more significant short-term Outcomes than income generation. Social responsibility was widely embedded but does not necessarily translate into a positive impact on poverty. Conservation organizations have the potential to improve the lives of the poor in many places where they operate, and arguably a duty to ensure that conservation does not make poor people worse off. Yet it is important to be clear about the reasons for engaging and the scope and scale of likely .
The relationship between conservation and poverty has received extensive attention recently, and the impacts of protected areas on the welfare of communities surrounding them has been debated. I seek to contribute to this debate by using a unique sub-national database of infant mortality rates for an analysis of such mortality surrounding protected areas in developing countries. The paper tests the hypotheses that poverty rates in regions surrounding protected areas in developing countries are higher than national averages and that poverty rates are highest around large and strictly protected areas. Preliminary evidence suggests that infant mortality rates surrounding protected areas, and even those surrounding the most strictly protected areas, are not very different from national rates. Infant mortality rates are significantly higher among populations surrounding larger protected areas but the causal relationship is uncertain. Data limitations and other problems related to this kind of global analysis are discussed. Information of the kind presented in this paper can assist management authorities to assess the relative poverty surrounding protected areas in their countries so as to set priorities for poverty alleviation interventions, and may serve as a useful sampling frame for local case studies and long-term monitoring.