As the importance of mountain spaces is more widely recogised, it seems necessary to establish a coherent definition of these spaces. The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) proposed the first global delineation in 2000. However, certain European countries have used national definitions of mountain spaces since the 1950s. Within the framework of social and economic integration policies at the heart of the European Union, an agreed delineation of European mountain spaces has been established, based on the definition proposed by UNEP-WCMC. The process of adaptation of the global definition to the European context is described, as well as the results for 29 European countries.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Small local hunting communities in Siberia are very distant from any governmental control. Hunted waterbird species, including globally and regionally threatened species, rely for their well-being on the self regulation of remote hunting communities. Interviewed hunters showed a profound knowledge of Baikal Teal, its population status, and the causes of their past decline. Whether the knowledge is shared by other communities in the region and beyond in Northern Siberia needs verification.
Aquilaria spp. are the main source of gaharu, one of the most valuable non-timber products harvested from tropical forests. In order to assess the impact of gaharu harvesting on populations of Aquilaria spp. in Indonesia, the activities of gaharu collectors were assessed by accompanying them on collecting expeditions.
Given current harvesting practices, it is unlikely that gaharu is being sustainably harvested at present. The results suggest that the gaharu trade may have had a substantial impact on the population size of Aquilaria spp. in Indonesia, and their implications are discussed in the context of setting harvest quotas for regulation of trade, as required by CITES.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Biologists view Protected Areas (PAs) as natural areas established and managed primarily for the conservation of nature. However, many early Pas were established for aesthetic or socio-economic reasons and received little scientific input to their design. More recently, scientists have identified gaps in PA networks and various contemporary PAs have been established to provide for habitats and species in need of protection.
Scientists have also modelled minimum areas and population sizes that should be protected to prevent extinctions arising from demographic or chance causes. However, these theoretical ideals are difficult to put into practice, particularly as PAs increasingly face more immediate external threats. If scientists are to influence future PA design, and if PAs are to succeed in the long term, these concepts must be applied in practice. Therefore, sufficient protection must be integrated with human needs and aspirations in the design of future protected areas.
We briefly review recent global trends in habitat area in as many broadly-defined natural habitats as possible, and in indices of animal populations characteristic of those habitats. The information available indicates continuing declines in habitat area and species, but those data are extremely sparse.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to rural income was examined in a highland community in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve, Jalisco-Colima, Mexico. Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) techniques were used to interview 70 of households in the community of El Terrero. Of the nine plant species identified as NTFP sources, the two principal species traded by the community were tila (derived from the flowers and fruits of the tree Ternstroemia lineata), and blackberry (Rubus spp.). Collecting and selling of NTFPs was almost exclusively undertaken by women, with 80 of respondents participating. NTFP sale ranked as the most important source of cash income for 30 of women interviewed, and either second- or third-most important for the remainder. The research examined harvesting impact on populations of T. lineata, an understory tree species characteristic of cloud forest, which this was assessed in the four most-frequented collecting sites. Our results suggested that current harvesting approaches appear to be sustainable, although 95 of the women interviewed reported a decline in resource availability within the last 15 years, apparently resulting from illegal cutting. Suggestions are made with respect to the sustainable development of NTFP resources to help alleviate poverty within the Reserve.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The number of environmental variables used during modelling could affect the outcome, but we found no correlation between these and our estimates of extinction risk in global samples. Although further investigation is needed, it is unlikely to result in substantially reduced estimates of extinction. Anthropogenic climate change seems set to generate very large numbers of species-level extinctions.Resource Type: Journal Papers
With a view to the future, the book points the reader to the Mountain Biodiversity Portal (http://www.mountainbiodiversity.org) that has just been launched by the GMBA and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). This tool has the potential to greatly facilitate access to mountain biodiversity data because it allows users to find GBIF data for specific elevational and thermal belts within their region of interest. A very similar tool already allows users of the World Database on Protected Areas (http://www.wdpa.org) to find GBIF data for a protected area of interest. Thanks to these collaborative efforts, researchers will increasingly get the data they require without the need to carry out time-consuming overlays of species and other data sets for their region of interest. The GMBA/GBIF Mountain Biodiversity Portal is a fine example for the technical possibilities of our time and will certainly help to further stimulate the creative use of georeferenced biodiversity data promoted by this book.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the world’s governments recently adopted a target to protect at least 17% of the global land area by 2020. This paper evaluates current levels of protection for mountains at multiple scales. It shows that the CBD’s 17% target has already been almost met at a global scale: 16.9% of the world’s mountain areas outside Antarctica fall within protected areas. However, protection of mountain areas at finer scales remains uneven and is largely insufficient, with 63% (125) of countries, 57% (4) of realms, 67% (8) of biomes, 61% (437) of ecoregions and 53% (100) of Global 200 priority ecoregions falling short of the target. The CBD target also calls for protected areas to be focussed “especially [at] areas of particular importance for biodiversity”. Important Bird Areas and Alliance for Zero Extinction sites represent existing global networks of such sites. It is therefore of major concern that 39% and 45% respectively of these sites in mountain areas remain entirely unprotected. Achievement of the CBD target in mountain regions will require more focused expansion of the protected area network in addition to enhanced management of individual sites and the wider countryside in order to ensure long term conservation of montane biodiversity and the other ecosystem services it provides.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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