Conservation Targets: Do They Help?

Conservation Targets: Do They Help? By Michael E. Soulé & M. A. Sanjayan; Science, New Series, Vol. 279, No. 5359. (Mar. 27, 1998), pp. 2060-2061. The most irreversible environmental problem of this era is the projected rapid loss of biodiversity, including the disappearance of up to half the world’s species. In response, many international commissions and nature conservation organizations have called for the near-term protection of at least 10 or 12% of the total land area in each nation or in each ecosystem. If successful, this campaign would double or triple the land area now designated as national parks or similar strict reserves. We are concerned, however, that these target percentages could become de facto ceilings of protection and imply that protecting 10% or so of the land is sufficient to prevent the predicted major extinction event. >>Read the full...

How Much is Enough?

Center for Large Landscape Conservation; Literature Review on Select Topics in Landscape Conservation; May 27, 2010 How much is enough? What is the minimum area required to ensure the maintenance of biodiversity in an area? A 10 percent (or 12%) conservation target of land area in each nation (Myers 1979, Miller 1984, Soule and Sanjayan 1998) is frequently cited and has been recurrently used in setting policy, though with little biological support. Soule and Sanjayan (1998) interviewed a set of biologists and land managers about this target and most agreed that it was developed for political expediency and was too small to protect biodiversity. Based on published parameters for the species-area relationship, there would be a 50% decline in species with a 90% loss of area. A sample of conservation estimates from published studies with varying biodiversity objectives found that approximately 50% (range: 33 – 75%) of the land area needs to be protected (Soule and Sanjayan 1998). >>Read the full...

As Roads Spread in Rainforests, The Environmental Toll Grows

Article by: William Laurance From Brazil to Borneo, new roads are being built into tropical forests at a dizzying pace, putting previously intact wilderness at risk. If we hope to preserve rainforests, a leading researcher says, new strategies must be adopted to limit the number of roads and reduce their impacts. >>Read the full article from Yale Environment...
Living Planet: Connected Planet

Living Planet: Connected Planet

PREVENTING THE END OF THE WORLD’S WILDLIFE MIGRATIONS THROUGH ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS This rapid-response assessment was recently produced by GRID-Arendal, an official United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborating centre, supporting informed decision making and awareness-raising through: * Environmental information management and  assessment * Capacity building services * Outreach and communication tools,  methodologies and products PREFACE Through the air, over land and in water, over ten thousand species numbering millions of animals travel around the world in a network of migratory pathways. The very foundation of these migratory species is their connection to places and corridors across the planet. The loss of a single point in their migration can jeopardize the entire population, while their concentrations make them highly vulnerable to over harvesting and poaching. In the northern regions of the world, the V-shaped formation of loudly honking geese in spring and in autumn symbolize that a new season is coming. In the 1900s people in northern Norway marvelled at the abundance of lesser white-fronted geese, which then numbered in the thousands. Today the Norwegian stock of these geese is so small that researchers are on first-name terms with each and every bird. Iconic animals such as wildebeest and antelopes have declined by 35–90 per cent in a matter of decades, due to fences, roads and other infrastructure blocking their migration routes, and from overharvesting. Indeed, the current rise in poaching calls for renewed international efforts for controlling illegal hunting and creating alternative livelihoods, against the backdrop of increasing trade in endangered animals for their fur, meat, horns or tusks. We are only just beginning to grasp the consequences that climate change is having...
Marine Conservation References

Marine Conservation References

A short list of marine conservation reference texts. Barr, B. 2007. Ocean Wilderness: Interesting Idea or Ecological Imperative? International Journal of Wilderness Special Issue: The Wild Planet Project. Dudley, N. (Editor). 2008. Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories. IUCN. Gland, Switzerland, IUCN. x + 86pp. Halpern, B.S., Walbridge, S., Selkoe, K.A. Kappel, C.V., Micheli, F, D’Agrosa, C., Bruno, J.F., Casey, K.S., Ebert, C., Fox, H.E., Fujita, R., Heinemann, D., Lenihan, H.S., Madin, E.M.P., Perry, M.T., Selig, E.R., Spalding, M., Steneck, R., Watson, R., 2008. A Global Map of Human Impact on Marine Ecosystems. Science 319: 948-952 Hoegh-Guldberg, O. and Bruno, J.F. 2010. The Impact of Climate Change on the World’s Marine Ecosystems. Science 328: 1523-1528. International Union for the Conservation of Nature – Species Survival Commission. 2008. Status of the World’s Marine Species. Kimball, L.A. 2005.The International Legal Regime of the High Seas and the Seabed Beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction and Options for Cooperation for the Establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Marine Areas Beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Technical Series no. 19, 64 pages. Kormos, C.F. (Editor) 2008. A Handbook on International Wilderness Law and Policy. Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, Colorado. Laffoley, D. d’A., (ed.) 2008. Towards Networks of Marine Protected Areas. The MPA Plan of Action for IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. IUCN WCPA, Gland, Switzerland. 28 pp. Lubchenko, J. and Petes, L.E., The Interconnected Biosphere: Science at the Ocean’s Tipping Points; in Sherman, K. and Adams, S. (Eds.). 2010. Sustainable Development of the World’s Large Marine Ecosystems during Climate Change: A commemorative volume...

The A-Z of Areas of Biodiversity Importance

The terminology of conservation can be confusing.  Endless acronyms and very specific terms that only the ‘specialists’ can decode.  For Nature Needs Half, we use the protected area categories as defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  The IUCN categories define protected areas according to the management objectives, but don’t always mesh with in-country or local definitions and terminology. There are many other terms to define important biodiversity areas, including RAMSAR Sites, Marine Protected Areas and Transboundary Protected Areas.  To help demystify the terminology of protected areas and biodiversity areas, UNEP-WCMC and partners launched A-Z Areas of Biodiversity, a glossary of various important systems to assign and protect areas for biodiversity conservation. Check it...
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