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.
Growing deterministic and stochastic threats to many wild populations of large vertebrates have focused attention on the conservation significance of captive breeding and subsequent reintroduction. However, work on both gorillas and black rhinos questions this shift in emphasis. In these species, field-based conservation can be effective if properly supported and, although this is not cheap, per capita costs may still be considerably lower than for ex situ propagation in captivity. Here we attempt to broaden the scope of this debate by contrasting the breeding success and costs of in situ and captive programmes for a range of threatened mammals.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Our results show that any further infrastructure development will put the remaining European population of wild mountain reindeer at great risk, as further habitat fragmentation will make the remaining undisturbed patches too small for holding viable populations. We discuss the importance of controlling piecemeal development in infrastructure for conservation of wildlife and argue that minimizing infrastructure development is likely one of the largest challenges in wildlife conservation ahead.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Nineteen different areas in south-west Saudi Arabia from which mountain gazelle Gazella gazella cora were reported between 1988 and 1992 were visited during a field survey conducted between August 1992 and February 1993. Evidence of the continued presence of gazelle was found at 11 of these locations. All populations were small: estimated population sizes ranged from 5 to 50. In the remaining eight areas it appeared that gazelle had become locally extinct since the last report. Thus gazelle populations appear to be becoming extinct at an alarming rate (eight out of 19, or 42, in five years). The major cause of extinctions and threat to existing populations is illegal hunting. Traditional conservation measures will take time to implement, and may be too late to save most gazelle populations. Instead, protection enforced by a system of auxiliary rangers, recruited from among the local population and working in cooperation with the forces of the local civilian administration, is recommended.Resource Type: Journal Papers
A reduction in forest area should result in a reduction of its number of species and, moreover, do so in a characteristic way according to the familiar species-area relationship. Brooks, Pimm & Collar (1997) applied this formula to the losses in forest area in the Philippines and Indonesia. Independently derived totals of the number of endemic bird species that are threatened with extinction broadly agree with these predicted losses. In some cases, however, predicted losses overestimate or underestimate the actual numbers of threatened species.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The countries affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami contain the most diverse and extensive coral reefs and mangroves of the Indian Ocean, and some of the richest in the world. Not only are these ecosystems among the most threatened in the world, they also provide numerous essential ecosystem services.
It is thus not surprising that reefs and mangroves received widespread attention after the tsunami, with three principal questions posed: Are the tsunami's impacts on reefs and mangroves a further threat to their future survival? Did reefs and mangroves play a role in shoreline protection and reduce structural damage and human mortality? How could reconstruction efforts include actions to maintain these ecosystems and reduce further threats to them?Resource Type: Journal Papers
In the past few years, a number of analyses have been undertaken to measure progress towards the 2010 and 2012 CBD targets. This report demonstrates how the measurement of progress is influenced by decisions on which protected areas are included (for instance, whether internationally designated sites, or sites without an assigned IUCN category are included) and which biogeographic datasets used (for instance which mountain dataset is chosen), and highlights the need for standardised methods and datasets.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Two recent analyses have measured protected area coverage for each of the world’s realms, biomes and ecoregions - UNEP-WCMC, 2008 and Jenkins and Joppa, 2009 Expansion of the global terrestrial protected area system, Biological Conservation 142 (2009), pp. 2166–2174, using the WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World.
However, data handling procedures differ between these analyses, resulting in differences in the protection statistics reported. Here we outline differences in the use of datasets, present alternative analyses of the protected area coverage of WWF realms, biomes and ecoregions for 2009, and compare the two estimates of protected area coverage.
Protected areas can act as a case study for REDD: lessons can be learnt from their success or otherwise in reducing deforestation and supporting local livelihoods. Further research into the most effective management and governance frameworks for acheiving goals on carbon emissions, biodiversity and communities, and the extent to which protected areas reduce (or merely displace) deforestation within national boundaries would be useful in informing REDD implementation.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstone of global conservation efforts but their performance in maintaining populations of their key species remains poorly documented. Here, we address this gap using a new database of 583 population abundance time series for 69 species of large mammals in 78 African PAs.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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