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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.


News Article | November 1, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

London, November 1, 2016 -- The ZSL (Zoological Society of London) Awards Committee has presented the ZSL Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. John Robinson, Executive Vice President of Conservation and Science at the Wildlife Conservation Society. The ZSL Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made exceptional, long-term contributions to the conservation of wildlife and habitats. Dr. Robinson, a primatologist, received the award today at the ZSL London Zoo. "You, above all, have demonstrated excellence and achievement in implementing significant conservation action for the benefit of the international conservation community over many years, " said Jonathan Baillie, ZSL Conservation Programmes Director, about Dr. Robinson. "Your input into initial discussions with Georgina Mace and Glyn Davies to draw up a memorandum of understanding between our two organisations provided the framework for the establishment of a permanent WCS presence in Europe and a close, on-going relationship between WCS and ZSL. Over the years since scientific symposia on several issues of critical conservation importance have been held, both our organisations have worked with The Royal Foundation on the ground-breaking United for Wildlife Initiative, and coordinated on issues of common interest including the World Heritage Convention." While accepting the award, Dr. Robinson said: "Like ZSL's programs, at WCS, we emphasize the importance of scientific knowledge to define conservation action, we rely on field-based conservation implementation, and we work closely in partnership with national governments and local institutions. Our two organizations have a very distinct niche within the conservation world. There is an emphasis on the conservation of species." Dr. Robinson, also WCS Chief Conservation Officer, oversees the WCS Global Conservation Program in the Americas, Africa and Asia and in all the world's oceans. Under his leadership, the WCS field program has developed into one of the most effective science-based conservation efforts around the globe. Throughout his career, Dr. Robinson has been influential in all aspects of wildlife conservation, including in the field, in scientific research, in academia, and at the top levels of policy and global strategy. He has been a pivotal figure in forming WCS's great history of wildlife conservation. Said Cristian Samper, WCS President and CEO: "John has been one of the founders and leaders of conservation biology, using science to inform conservation practice. He has built the WCS conservation program from a collection of field research projects to a portfolio of long-term conservation programs spanning 60 countries. We extend our congratulations to John and thank our ZSL colleagues for recognizing his great impact on helping to save wildlife and wild places." Dr. Robinson received his doctorate in zoology from the University of North Carolina in 1977, focusing on primate behavior and ecology. His postdoctoral studies were with the Smithsonian Institution. In 1980, Dr. Robinson established the University of Florida Program for Studies in Tropical Conservation, a graduate program providing training to students from tropical countries. He joined WCS in 1990 as Director of Wildlife Conservation International. He is Past President of the Society for Conservation Biology, and is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Dr. Robinson has served on boards of the Christensen Fund, the Tropical Rainforest Foundation, TRAFFIC, and Foundations of Success. Since 2012, he has served as Councilor for North America with the World Conservation Union (IUCN). He serves as a Council member for United for Wildlife, and a Board member of Science for Nature and People, two multi-organizational partnerships. In 2003, Dr. Robinson was inducted into the Royal Order of the Golden Ark by King Bernhard of the Netherlands, in recognition of lifetime achievement and service to conservation. Through the years, Dr. Robinson has written extensively on the impact of subsistence and commercial hunting in tropical forests and has a long interest in the sustainable use of natural resources. He is often turned to as a leader in the areas of the relationship between conservation research and practice, and the application of conservation theory to conservation policy and implementation. He has over 180 publications, including "Neotropical Wildlife Use and Conservation" (1991), co-edited with Kent Redford, "Hunting for sustainability in tropical forests" (2000), co-edited by Elizabeth Bennett, "The Cutting Edge. Conserving wildlife in tropical forests" (2001), co-edited with Robert Fimbel and Alejandro Grajal, and "Conservation of exploited species" (2001), co-edited with John Reynolds, Georgina Mace and Kent Redford, and "Protected Areas. Are they safeguarding biodiversity?"(2016), co-edited by Lucas Joppa and Jonathan Baillie. MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world's oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.


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.


Collen B.,UK Institute of Zoology | Turvey S.T.,UK Institute of Zoology | Waterman C.,Conservation Programmes | Meredith H.M.R.,Conservation Programmes | And 3 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

Under the impact of human activity, global extinction rates have risen a thousand times higher than shown in the fossil record. The resources available for conservation are insufficient to prevent the loss of much of the world's threatened biodiversity during this crisis. Conservation planners have been forced to prioritize their protective activities, in the context of great uncertainty. This has become known as 'the agony of choice'. A range of methods have been proposed for prioritizing species for conservation attention; one of the most strongly supported is prioritizing those species that maximize phylogenetic distinctiveness (PD). We evaluate how a composite measure of extinction risk and phylogenetic isolation (EDGE) has been used to prioritize species according to their degree of unique evolutionary history (evolutionary distinctiveness, ED) weighted by conservation urgency (global endangerment, GE). We review PD-based approaches and provide an updated list of EDGE mammals using the 2010 IUCN Red List. We evaluate how robust this method is to changes in phylogenetic uncertainty, knowledge of taxonomy and extinction risk, and examine how mammalian species that rank highly in EDGE score are representative of the collective from which they are drawn. © 2011 The Royal Society.


Wronski T.,Conservation Programmes | Wronski T.,King Khalid Wildlife Research Center | Sandouka M.A.E.K.,Conservation Programmes | Sandouka M.A.E.K.,King Khalid Wildlife Research Center
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2010

This research project was designed to be of both academic and practical value in the conservation of Mountain gazelle and represents an attempt to provide data for sex and age classification of this endangered species hitherto unpublished. Growth data and ageing criteria of 177 individuals of known age, obtained from a captive population, kept under uniform conditions at King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre in Saudi Arabia, were examined. Measurements of horn length, shoulder height, living body weight, neck circumference and forehead-horn length ratio were established and a field classification for ageing female and male Mountain gazelles was suggested. © 2008 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.


Zamin T.J.,UK Institute of Zoology | Zamin T.J.,Queen's 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.


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.


Duncan C.,UK Institute of Zoology | Duncan C.,University College London | Primavera J.H.,Conservation Programmes | Pettorelli N.,UK Institute of Zoology | And 4 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2016

Mangroves provide vital climate change mitigation and adaptation (CCMA) ecosystem services (ES), yet have suffered extensive tropics-wide declines. To mitigate losses, rehabilitation is high on the conservation agenda. However, the relative functionality and ES delivery of rehabilitated mangroves in different intertidal locations is rarely assessed. In a case study from Panay Island, Philippines, using field- and satellite-derived methods, we assess carbon stocks and coastal protection potential of rehabilitated low-intertidal seafront and mid- to upper-intertidal abandoned (leased) fishpond areas, against reference natural mangroves. Due to large sizes and appropriate site conditions, targeted abandoned fishpond reversion to former mangrove was found to be favourable for enhancing CCMA in the coastal zone. In a municipality-specific case study, 96.7% of abandoned fishponds with high potential for effective greenbelt rehabilitation had favourable tenure status for reversion. These findings have implications for coastal zone management in Asia in the face of climate change. © 2016 The Authors


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.


Collen B.,UK Institute of Zoology | Whitton F.,UK Institute of Zoology | Dyer E.E.,UK Institute of Zoology | Dyer E.E.,University College London | And 7 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Global-scale studies are required to identify broad-scale patterns in the distributions of species, to evaluate the processes that determine diversity and to determine how similar or different these patterns and processes are among different groups of freshwater species. Broad-scale patterns of spatial variation in species distribution are central to many fundamental questions in macroecology and conservation biology. We aimed to evaluate how congruent three commonly used metrics of diversity were among taxa for six groups of freshwater species. Location: Global. Methods: We compiled geographical range data on 7083 freshwater species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crabs and crayfish to evaluate how species richness, richness of threatened species and endemism are distributed across freshwater ecosystems. We evaluated how congruent these measures of diversity were among taxa at a global level for a grid cell size of just under 1°. Results: We showed that although the risk of extinction faced by freshwater decapods is quite similar to that of freshwater vertebrates, there is a distinct lack of spatial congruence in geographical range between different taxonomic groups at this spatial scale, and a lack of congruence among three commonly used metrics of biodiversity. The risk of extinction for freshwater species was consistently higher than for their terrestrial counterparts. Main conclusions: We demonstrate that broad-scale patterns of species richness, threatened-species richness and endemism lack congruence among the six freshwater taxonomic groups examined. Invertebrate species are seldom taken into account in conservation planning. Our study suggests that both the metric of biodiversity and the identity of the taxa on which conservation decisions are based require careful consideration. As geographical range information becomes available for further sets of species, further testing will be warranted into the extent to which geographical variation in the richness of these six freshwater groups reflects broader patterns of biodiversity in fresh water. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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