Abstract Conflict between people and felids is one of the most urgent wild cat conservation issues worldwide, yet efforts to synthesize knowledge about these conflicts have been few. For management strategies to be effective a thorough understanding of the dynamics of human-felid conflicts is necessary. Here we present the results of a cross-species, systematic review of human-felid conflicts worldwide. Using a combination of literature review and geographical information system analyses, we provide a quantitative as well as qualitative assessment of patterns and determinants that are known to influence the severity of human-felid conflicts, and a geographical overview of the occurrence of conflict worldwide. We found evidence of conflict affecting over 75% of the world's felid species. The severity of conflict increases with felid body mass and is of greatest conservation significance to nine species: caracal, cheetah, Eurasian lynx, jaguar, leopard, lion, puma, snow leopard and tiger. We also reveal specific gaps in knowledge about human-felid conflicts, and required actions within this aspect of felid conservation. With only 31% of implemented management strategies having been evaluated scientifically, there is a need for greater and more rigorous evaluation and a wider dissemination of results. Also urgently required are standardized reporting techniques to reduce the current disparity in conflict reporting methods and facilitate resolution of patterns and trends in the scale of human-felid conflict worldwide. This review provides a basis both for further synthesis and for the coordination of human-felid conflict management among researchers, practitioners and organizations. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT
Conflict between people and felids is one of the most urgent wild cat conservation issues worldwide, yet efforts to synthesize knowledge about these conflicts have been few. For management strategies to be effective a thorough understanding of the dynamics of human-fetid conflicts is necessary. Here we present the results of a cross-species, systematic review of human-fetid conflicts worldwide. Using a combination of literature review and geographical information system analyses, we provide a quantitative as well as qualitative assessment of patterns and determinants that are known to influence the severity of human-felid conflicts, and a geographical overview of the occurrence of conflict worldwide. We found evidence of conflict affecting over 75% of the world's felid species. The severity of conflict increases with felid body mass and is of greatest conservation significance to nine species: caracal, cheetah, Eurasian lynx, jaguar, leopard, lion, puma, snow leopard and tiger. We also reveal specific gaps in knowledge about human-felid conflicts, and required actions within this aspect of felid conservation. With only 31% of implemented management strategies having been evaluated scientifically, there is a need for greater and more rigorous evaluation and a wider dissemination of results. Also urgently required are standardized reporting techniques to reduce the current disparity in conflict reporting methods and facilitate resolution of patterns and trends in the scale of human-felid conflict worldwide. This review provides a basis both for further synthesis and for the coordination of human-felid conflict management among researchers, practitioners and organizations.
Non-government organizations (NGOs), agencies and research groups around the world have developed diverse approaches to conservation planning at the scale of landscapes and seascapes. This diversity partly reflects healthy differences in objectives, backgrounds of planners, and assumptions about data and conservation priorities. Diversity also has disadvantages, including confusion among donors and prospective conservation planners about what to fund and how to plan. To help reduce this confusion, we compared approaches described in separate articles by four major conservation NGOs. We structured our comparison with an 11-stage framework for conservation planning. We found considerable agreement between approaches in their recognition and ways of addressing many planning stages. The approaches diverged most obviously in ways of collecting socio-economic and biodiversity data and identifying explicit conservation objectives. Even here, however, the approaches tend to be complementary and there is potential to combine them in many landscapes and seascapes. Our review emphasizes that systematic methods are having real benefits in guiding effective conservation investments. We finish by outlining two challenges for conservation planning generally: (1) managing the transition from planning to applying conservation actions, and (2) assessing the costs and benefits of conservation planning.
In the 2003 Durban Vision the Malagasy government committed to tripling the amount of protected areas in Madagascar by 2009. This extensive expansion needs to involve an assessment of the potential impacts on the people who rely on forest resources for subsistence. Wildlife for human consumption (bushmeat) is one such resource that has received great attention on mainland Africa but has largely been ignored in Madagascar until recently. In terms of biomass, hunting in Madagascar appears to be on a lesser scale compared to areas of mainland Africa. However, because of the life-history characteristics associated with hunted primate and carnivore species in Madagascar even small-scale hunting is a major threat to long-term conservation. In this study I used semi-structured interviews to quantify annual rates of bushmeat harvest in 14 villages adjacent to the Makira Forest in north-eastern Madagascar. Interviews revealed that 23 mammal species were hunted for consumption, providing a new insight into the scale and frequency of bushmeat use. Harvest data and life-history information were sufficient to allow quantitative assessments of sustainability for four species of lemur (black and white ruffed lemur Varecia variegata, indri Indri indri, eastern bamboo lemur Hapalemur griseus and white-fronted brown lemur Eulemur albifrons) and a species of the carnivore family Eupleridae (fossa Cryptoprocta ferox). Model results suggest hunting of these species is probably unsustainable. This research presents clear evidence that hunting is a major conservation and livelihoods issue in Madagascar and needs to be considered in the planning stages of protected area development to address better the needs of local people.
The Nature Conservancy takes a strategic and systematic approach to conservation planning. Ecoregional assessments are used to set goals and identify geographical priorities, and Conservation Action Planning is used to develop strategic plans for conservation areas. This study demonstrates how these planning processes were applied at the seascape scale based on a case study of Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. Conservation Action Planning was used to identify key threats and strategies, and systematic conservation planning (similar to that used for ecoregional assessments) was used to design a network of marine protected areas to be resilient to the threat of climate change. The design was based on an assessment of biodiversity and socio-economic values, and identified 14 Areas of Interest that meet specific conservation goals. A detailed community-based planning process is now underway with local communities that own and manage these areas to refine and implement the marine protected area network.
A questionnaire survey and literature review revealed the extent of hunting of bats for bushmeat in the Old World tropics. High levels of offtake were reported throughout Asia, the Pacific islands and some Western Indian Ocean islands, where fruit bats of the genus Pteropus are eaten extensively. Most hunting in Africa was reported in western states and the largest fruit bat Eidolon helvum was preferred. Insectivorous bats are also eaten, particularly Tadarida in Asia. Hunting is both for local consumption and commercial, sometimes involving cross-border transactions. The high levels of hunting reported and the low reproductive rate of bats indicate there are likely to be severe negative effects on bat populations, and declines of several species are documented. Although there has been only one reported attempt to manage offtake, this indicates that it is possible and apparently successful. Furthermore, voluntary controls on hunting have halted declines in bat numbers. There have been several initiatives to reduce hunting pressure and conserve threatened bat species, mainly on islands that, when sustained, have been successful. More education projects and community-based conservation initiatives should be encouraged together with further attempts at sustainable harvesting in situations where disease risk has been evaluated.
We conducted a questionnaire survey among 77 cattle posts and farms to investigate human-carnivore conflicts in northern Botswana, with a particular focus on Endangered African wild dog Lycaon pictus, persecuted throughout their shrinking range in sub-Saharan Africa for allegedly predating livestock. Predator attacks on livestock (n = 938 conflict reports) represent an economic concern for livestock owners, particularly alleged predation by black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas, which were blamed for 77% of all reported livestock losses. The presence of two known resident packs of wild dogs did not result in corresponding conflict reports with livestock owners, as wild dogs accounted for only 2% of reported predator attacks and largely subsisted on wild prey. Nevertheless, most of these wild dogs were killed in the months following this survey. Reported conflicts involving the two largest predator species (lion Panthera leo and spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta) declined with increasing distance from protected areas. Leaving livestock unattended during the day seems to facilitate predation but kraaling livestock at night reduces predation. Compensation payments for livestock losses did not demonstrably change livestock owners' willingness to coexist with predators. Our results corroborate studies from elsewhere that simple improvements in livestock husbandry practices would help mitigate human-carnivore conflicts.
The idea of direct payments for biodiversity conservation in developing countries has generated much debate. Despite substantial experience with related economic instruments in high-income countries such approaches are rare in tropical developing countries, where conservation action is most urgently needed. We explore current experience with the application of direct payments in developing countries through an extensive review and subsequent analysis of the efforts of Conservation International. Our review identifies a broad spectrum of possible direct payment contracts. However, we focus on those involving international conservation interests. Firstly, we develop a framework for the design of direct payment applications, addressing four major aspects: contractual arrangements, definition of conservation services, performance payments, and monitoring and enforcement systems. Secondly, we discuss implementation issues, highlighting the need to consider social factors such as participatory processes, property rights, local institutions and contract legitimacy. Finally, we discuss important considerations for future payment schemes. These include the need for social responsibility, as well as rigorous assessments of effectiveness. We conclude that direct payments show potential as an innovative tool for engaging local communities or resource users in conservation and as a mechanism for channelling global investments in biodiversity conservation services to site-based initiatives.
To use more effectively the limited resources available for conservation there is an urgent need to identify which conservation approaches are most likely to succeed. However, measuring conservation success is often difficult, as it is achieved outside the project time frame. Measures of implementation are often reported to donors to demonstrate achievement but it is unclear whether they really predict conservation success. We applied a conceptual framework and score-card developed by the Cambridge Conservation Forum (CCF) to a sample of 60 conservation activities to determine the predictive power of implementation measures versus measures of key outcomes (later steps in the models defined in the CCF tools). We show that assessing key outcomes is often more difficult than quantifying the degree of implementation of a project but that, while implementation is a poor predictor of success, key outcomes provide a feasible and much more reliable proxy for whether a project will deliver real conservation benefits. The CCF framework and evaluation tool provide a powerful basis for synthesizing past experience and, with wider application, will help to identify factors that affect the success of conservation activities.
Ecotourism is often suggested as a tool for promoting conservation but evidence for its usefulness is mixed. The success of conservation projects is Widely recognized to depend upon the positive attitudes of local communities and thus it is important to know if ecotourism affects local perceptions of natural resources and conservation, as these can be important determinants of conservation behaviour. Rapid Rural Appraisal and questionnaire-based interviews were used to investigate this issue in the village of Grande Riviere, Trinidad. This has a community-based ecotourism programme for leatherback turtles Dermochelys coriacea, and is also one of the few sites where the Critically Endangered endemic Trinidad piping-guan Pipilepipile maybe sighted. Topics addressed were knowledge and awareness of local conservation issues, focusing on attitudes to the environment in general, turtles and the Trinidad piping-guan. Ecotourism significantly affected perceptions. Villagers showed more awareness and support for turtle conservation than for the piping-guan or any other wildlife. Moreover, those households directly benefiting from the ecotourism industry had better knowledge of local natural resources and greater general awareness of conservation issues (not limited to turtles). Other socio-economic factors such as education and income also affected attitudes and knowledge but the ecotourism effect was still present after accounting for these. Hunting was seen as the main threat to wildlife but was also a popular pastime, illustrating the potential for mismatch between attitudes and conservation behaviours.
Identifying individuals through time can provide information on population size, composition, survival and growth rates. Identification using photographs of distinctive physical characteristics has been used in many species to replace conventional marker tagging. We evaluated photographic records over 7 years of Vulnerable whale sharks Rhincodon typus, at an aggregation in the Seychelles, for estimation of population size and structure. We collected 11,681 photographs of which only 1,149 were suitable for comparison using semi-automated matching software ((IS)-S-3) of individual spot patterns behind the gills. Photo-identification showed that there was considerable loss of marker tags and enabled an estimation of the rate of tag loss. The combination of photo-identification with marker tagging identified a total Of 512 individual sharks over 2001-2007. Of these, there were 115 resightings in Subsequent years with two sharks identified in 2001 resighted 5 years later in 2006 and another shark sighted in 2001 resighted in 2007. Estimates of abundance using conventional open mark-recapture models for 2004-2007 were 348-488 sharks (95% confidence interval), with a high level of entry into the population by itinerants. Annual apparent survival probability was 0.343-0.781 over 2004-2007, with an average annual recapture probability Of 0.201. These results are the first to suggest a highly transient population of whale sharks around the Seychelles, indicating that international or at least regional-scale conservation approaches are required.
The Indonesian pastime of keeping wild birds as pets is threatening the long-term survival of many songbird species on the islands of Java and Bali. Here we present the results of a large-scale household survey of bird-keeping in the six largest cites of Java and Bali that investigates: (1) the scale and conservation significance of bird-keeping and (2) the relative merits of regulatory versus market-based approaches as means to reduce the enormous demand for wild-caught birds. We found bird-keeping is widespread across social groups, with a rising demand for certain species of conservation importance. Specifically, 35.7% of households surveyed keep a bird and 57.6% of households had kept a bird in the last 10 years. Overall, we project that 584,000 households keep almost 2 million songbirds, the category of most conservation concern. just over half of songbirds kept are wild-caught. We identified an increase in popularity (since 1999) of three native species (long-tailed shrike Lanius schach, orange-headed thrush Zoothera citrina and white-rumped shama Copsychus malabaricus) attributable to their popularity in bird song contests. In the latter two species this has caused 'rolling' local extinctions across West Indonesia. Given the huge popularity and deep cultural significance of bird-keeping we argue that, in this case, lobbying for stricter regulation is undesirable, impractical and may alienate a potential future supporter base for bird conservation in Indonesia. We argue in favour of a portfolio of softer policy instruments that may include market-based and voluntary mechanisms and engage a wider range of people and organizations.
China is the largest consumer of turtles in the world and international trade has been cited as the greatest threat to Asian turtles. Two main types of trade in live turtles occur in China: for food and traditional Chinese medicine, and for pets, including those for release by Buddhists. The food trade involves the largest quantities of turtles. In recent years, however, the international pet turtle trade has increased dramatically. Yuehe Pet Market in Guangzhou is the largest pet market in China. selling live chelonians and other animals. To understand the potential impacts of the pet trade on chelonians we conducted seven surveys in Yuehe Pet Market from August 2006 to March 2008. Over 39,000 individual chelonians of 61 species were recorded (19.1% of the global total of 319 species). Fifteen (24.6%) of these species are native to China and 46 (75.4%) are native to other countries. Two are designated as grade II key state-protected species in China. Thirty-eight (62.3%) are CITES listed species (four in CITES Appendix 1, 26 in CITES II and eight in CITES III). Four are categorized on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered, 16 as Endangered and 19 as Vulnerable. Our surveys indicate that increasing demand and the illegal international pet trade could behaving a severe impact on chelonian conservation, and we make recommendations for law enforcement and conservation.
We present a study from Katavi National Park and surrounding areas that assessed the size and structure of the lion population as a baseline for wildlife management. We assessed lion and prey species density directly by sample surveys that incorporated specific detection probabilities. By using three prey-biomass regression models we also indirectly estimated lion density based on the assumption that these indirect estimates represent the Park's carrying capacity for lions. To identify key factors influencing lion abundance we conducted Spearman Rank correlation and logistic regression analyses, using prey species abundance and distance to Park boundary as explanatory variables. The mean size of the lion population was 31-45% of the estimated carrying capacity, with considerably fewer subadult males observed than expected. Lions generally avoided areas of up to 3 km from the Park boundary and were not observed outside the Park. Abundance of common prey species was significantly correlated with distance to the Park boundary and lion abundance. Lion abundance was most strongly associated with waterbuck abundance/presence. Based on observed lion demography, an evaluation of hunting quotas in adjacent hunting blocks, and anecdotal information on traditional lion hunting, we hypothesize that anthropogenic mortality of lions outside Katavi National Park is affecting lion abundance within the Park. Our results suggest that estimating lion densities with prey-biomass regression models overestimates densities even inside protected areas if these areas are subject to natural and anthropogenic edge effects.
Although hunting is still critical to the subsistence of many people throughout Amazonia, this practice may not be sustainable under current socio-economic conditions. Native societies are rapidly undergoing socioeconomic changes that exacerbate the pressure on wildlife and habitats, indicating the urgent need to assess the impacts of subsistence hunting. In a 12-month study we assessed hunting patterns in four Shuar native communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Hunting patterns and impact of hunting activities were documented using interviews, direct observations, self-monitoring records, community landscape mapping and mammal surveys. Although Shuar harvest a wide-range of wildlife species, including insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals we only report information about mammals. A total of 3,181 individuals (c. 26,000 kg) of 21 mammal species were hunted during the 12 months. We used three algorithms for assessing the sustainability of hunting: the production, stock-recruitment and harvest models. Of the 21 mammal species hunted there were sufficient data to assess 15, 12 of which were hunted above maximum sustainable levels within the 243 km(2) hunting catchment area. The immediate need to conserve wildlife populations is not obvious to Shuar hunters who still enjoy what they perceive to be an inexhaustible source of wild meat. In this context management of Shuar hunting practices to control harvest levels is complex. The assessment presented here is the first step of what needs to be a long-term wildlife management process.
The population of the Vulnerable Spanish imperial eagle Aquila adalberti has experienced a gradual recovery from 38 pairs (1974) to 198 (2004). We analysed the spatial and temporal variation of the demographic parameters for 1981-2004. Annual productivity was 1.19-1.32 chicks per female and adult survival rate 0.918-0.986. Survival during the post-fledging period was 0.894 and the annual survival rate of the dispersing individuals was 0.561. Three phases of population evolution were distinguished: growth (1981-1993), stability or slight decrease (19941999) and growth (2000-2004). Variation in adult survival seems to explain this pattern for the first two periods. However, a large disparity between the observed growth rate and the modelled population growth in 2000-2004 is best explained if we assume that a decrease in the age of recruitment took place. This is supported by the recent increase in the frequency of non-adult birds in breeding pairs. The survival of unpaired eagles in dispersal areas is becoming more important for the maintenance of current population growth. Spatial variation of adult survival and breeding success is not congruent with the observed growth rate of the population, which suggests the existence of an important flow of individuals between populations. These results highlight the importance of addressing the conservation of the species from a global perspective and the need to focus on adult survival in breeding territories and on non-adult survival in dispersal areas.
Abstract The impact of alien American mink on the native fauna of oceanic islands has been demonstrated in a number of locations. In the sub-Antarctic Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve of southern Chile the species is currently expanding in an area where the native fauna evolved in the absence of terrestrial predators. To evaluate any emerging problems we therefore investigated seasonal variation in prey use by mink on Navarino Island within the Reserve. We identified undigested remains in 414 scats collected from the shores of 27 ponds over January-November 2006. Diet consisted mainly of mammals and birds. Mammals, including both native and exotic rodents, were the predominant prey in all seasons but birds were of equal importance during the summer (when birds breed and their abundance and diversity increases on the island). Exotic rodents were the only identifiable mammalian prey item during winter. Native wetland birds constituted a substantial proportion of mink diet, and greater than that reported in other areas. Many birds breeding on Navarino Island are ground-nesting, a strategy that evolved in the absence of native mammalian predators. Considering the international importance of this region, our results emphasize the need for an assessment of the impact of mink predation on the populations of native prey. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT
Information on large mammals in Turkey is limited, and widely applicable, reliable field methods need to be used to gather appropriate data for conservation and management. To evaluate local information on mammal species we conducted interview and ground surveys, followed by a camera trap survey, during January-May 2006 in Yenice Forest, a globally important and intact region for mammals in Turkey. Interviews with local people provided information on the occurrence of wolf Canis lupus, brown bear Ursus arctos, wild cat Felis silvestris, red fox Vulpes vulpes, Eurasian badger Meles meles, pine marten Martes martes, roe deer Capreolus capreolus, wild boar Sus scrofa and Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx. The ground and camera trap surveys confirmed the presence of all these species except lynx. In addition, the camera trap survey documented the presence of jackal Canis aureus and brown hare Lepus europaeus, signs of which were not found in the ground survey and whose presence was not known by local people. Local information on wildlife is important but management and conservation initiatives should not solely depend on such information and, as our study indicates, inter-view surveys cannot replace field research. The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry needs to consider the establishment of a protected area large enough to secure the future of the large mammals of Yenice Forest.
Laos harbours globally significant populations of small carnivores, including mustelids and viverrids of conservation concern and felids that are relatively rare or unknown from other parts of Asia. However, few have received conservation attention as managers still lack basic information on the status and distribution of even the most common species. We conducted the country's first systematic camera-trap monitoring of carnivores in the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area on the Laos-Vietnam border, with intensive sampling across 500 km(2) from 543 to 2,288 m altitude for 8,499 camera-trap days during 2003-2006. Surveys detected 14 species of small carnivores, including the first record of Owston's civet Chrotogale owstoni for Laos. Preliminary occupancy estimates for the seven most common species ranged from 11% for marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata to 42% for Asian golden cat Pardofelis temminckii. Activity patterns of viverrids were primarily nocturnal whereas mustelids, except for hog badger Arctonyx collaris, were diurnal. Leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis was largely nocturnal, marbled cat primarily diurnal and Asian golden cat as likely detected during the day as at night. Our results led to the establishment of a contiguous 3,000-km(2) protected area core zone and regulations that protect threatened species and control harvest of managed species.