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Da Silva I.M.,University do Lurio | Da Silva I.M.,University of Aveiro | Hill N.,Conservation Programmes | Shimadzu H.,Center for Biological Diversity | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The value of no-take marine reserves as fisheries-management tools is controversial, particularly in high-poverty areas where human populations depend heavily on fish as a source of protein. Spillover, the net export of adult fish, is one mechanism by which no-take marine reserves may have a positive influence on adjacent fisheries. Spillover can contribute to poverty alleviation, although its effect is modulated by the number of fishermen and fishing intensity. In this study, we quantify the effects of a community-managed marine reserve in a high poverty area of Northern Mozambique. For this purpose, underwater visual censuses of reef fish were undertaken at three different times: 3 years before (2003), at the time of establishment (2006) and 6 years after the marine reserve establishment (2012). The survey locations were chosen inside, outside and on the border of the marine reserve. Benthic cover composition was quantified at the same sites in 2006 and 2012. After the reserve establishment, fish sizes were also estimated. Regression tree models show that the distance from the border and the time after reserve establishment were the variables with the strongest effect on fish abundance. The extent and direction of the spillover depends on trophic group and fish size. Poisson Generalized Linear Models show that, prior to the reserve establishment, the survey sites did not differ but, after 6 years, the abundance of all fish inside the reserve has increased and caused spillover of herbivorous fish. Spillover was detected 1km beyond the limit of the reserve for small herbivorous fishes. Six years after the establishment of a community-managed reserve, the fish assemblages have changed dramatically inside the reserve, and spillover is benefitting fish assemblages outside the reserve. © 2015 da Silva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Collen B.,UK Institute of Zoology | Mcrae L.,UK Institute of Zoology | Deinet S.,UK Institute of Zoology | de Palma A.,UK Institute of Zoology | And 5 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

Global species extinction typically represents the endpoint in a long sequence of population declines and local extinctions. In comparative studies of extinction risk of contemporary mammalian species, there appear to be some universal traits that may predispose taxa to an elevated risk of extinction. In local population-level studies, there are limited insights into the process of population decline and extinction. Moreover, there is still little appreciation of how local processes scale up to global patterns. Advancing the understanding of factors which predispose populations to rapid declines will benefit proactive conservation and may allow us to target at-risk populations as well as at-risk species. Here, we take mammalian population trend data from the largest repository of population abundance trends, and combine it with the PanTHERIA database on mammal traits to answer the question: what factors can be used to predict decline in mammalian abundance? We find in general that environmental variables are better determinants of cross-species population-level decline than intrinsic biological traits. For effective conservation, we must not only describe which species are at risk and why, but also prescribe ways to counteract this. © 2011 The Royal Society. Source

Zamin T.J.,UK Institute of Zoology | Zamin T.J.,Queens University | Baillie J.E.M.,Conservation Programmes | Miller R.M.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | And 3 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2010

Following creation of the 2010 Biodiversity Target under the Convention on Biological Diversity and adoption of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, information on status and trends of biodiversity at the national level has become increasingly important to both science and policy. National red lists (NRLs) of threatened species may provide suitable data for reporting on progress toward these goals and for informing national conservation priority setting. This information will also become increasingly important for developing species- and ecosystem-based strategies for climate change adaptation. We conducted a thorough global review of NRLs in 109 countries and analyzed gaps in NRL coverage in terms of geography and taxonomy to determine priority regions and taxonomic groups for further investment. We then examined correlations between the NRL data set and gross domestic product (GDP) and vertebrate species richness. The largest geographic gap was in Oceania, followed by middle Africa, the Caribbean, and western Africa, whereas the largest taxonomic gaps were for invertebrates, fungi, and lichens. The comprehensiveness of NRL coverage within a given country was positively correlated with GDP and negatively correlated with total vertebrate richness and threatened vertebrate richness. This supports the assertion that regions with the greatest and most vulnerable biodiversity receive the least conservation attention and indicates that financial resources may be an integral limitation. To improve coverage of NRLs, we propose a combination of projects that target underrepresented taxa or regions and projects that provide the means for countries to create or update NRLs on their own. We recommend improvements in knowledge transfer within and across regions as a priority for future investment. ©2010 Society for Conservation Biology. Source

Hill N.A.O.,Imperial College London | Hill N.A.O.,UK Institute of Zoology | Rowcliffe J.M.,UK Institute of Zoology | Koldewey H.J.,Conservation Programmes | Milner-Gulland E.J.,Imperial College London
Conservation Biology | Year: 2012

Alternative occupations are frequently promoted as a means to reduce the number of people exploiting declining fisheries. However, there is little evidence that alternative occupations reduce fisher numbers. Seaweed farming is frequently promoted as a lucrative alternative occupation for artisanal fishers in Southeast Asia. We examined how the introduction of seaweed farming has affected village-level changes in the number of fishers on Danajon Bank, central Philippines, where unsustainable fishing has led to declining fishery yields. To determine how fisher numbers had changed since seaweed farming started, we interviewed the heads of household from 300 households in 10 villages to examine their perceptions of how fisher numbers had changed in their village and the reasons they associated with these changes. We then asked key informants (people with detailed knowledge of village members) to estimate fisher numbers in these villages before seaweed farming began and at the time of the survey. We compared the results of how fisher numbers had changed in each village with the wealth, education, seaweed farm sizes, and other attributes of households in these villages, which we collected through interviews, and with village-level factors such as distance to markets. We also asked people why they either continued to engage in or ceased fishing. In four villages, respondents thought seaweed farming and low fish catches had reduced fisher numbers, at least temporarily. In one of these villages, there was a recent return to fishing due to declines in the price of seaweed and increased theft of seaweed. In another four villages, fisher numbers increased as human population increased, despite the widespread uptake of seaweed farming. Seaweed farming failed for technical reasons in two other villages. Our results suggest seaweed farming has reduced fisher numbers in some villages, a result that may be correlated with socioeconomic status, but the heterogeneity of outcomes is consistent with suggestions that alternative occupations are not a substitute for more direct forms of resource management. © 2011 Society for Conservation Biology. Source

Craigie I.D.,University of Cambridge | Craigie I.D.,UK Institute of Zoology | Craigie I.D.,World Conservation Monitoring Center | Baillie J.E.M.,Conservation Programmes | And 5 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2010

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. Population abundance time series were aggregated to form a multi-species index of overall change in population abundance. The index reveals on average a 59% decline in population abundance between 1970 and 2005. Indices for different parts of Africa demonstrate large regional differences, with southern African PAs typically maintaining their populations and western African PAs suffering the most severe declines. These results indicate that African PAs have generally failed to mitigate human-induced threats to African large mammal populations, but they also show some successes. Further development of our index could help to measure future progress towards post-2010 targets for reducing biodiversity loss. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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