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Conservation in Protected Areas

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Jennifer Dever

on 12 March 2015

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Transcript of Conservation in Protected Areas

Establishing Areas with limited data
1) RBAs = Rapid Biodiversity Assessments
2) Gap Analysis
Map species distributions & existing vegetation +physical features = conservation units
Map public & private lands – determine what is protected, and what is not (identify “gaps”)
Acquire additional areas to fill in the “gaps” and Determine corridors to link them with current protected areas

Goals for protected Areas
Flagship Species Approach

Types of Protected Areas
14% of the globe lies within a "protected area"; 157,897 protected areas worldwide (2011, ICUN http://www.wdpa.org/Statistics.aspx)
Landscape components:
Habitat Heterogeneity
Variation in the environment
Habitat Patchiness – quality of habitat arrangement (β diversity)
Patches – areas smaller than a landscape that contain one type of habitat
Form of spatial heterogeneity in which boundaries may be discerned

What is a protected area?
Region where nature has been set aside for protection from at least some human activities; usually designated with the specific intention of safeguarding biodiversity.
Cornerstone of conservation
Focus: habitat
Conservation & Protected Areas
Habitat – the physical and biological surroundings of an organism
Habitat Selection – a species’ use of a habitat type at frequencies that differ from the relative availability of that habitat in the total area occupied by the population of interest
Habitat Use – the pattern of occupancy of a recognized habitat type by members of the population of interest
Habitat Quality – a measure of the reproductive success and survival rates (i.e. fitness) of members of the population using a given habitat type relative to other habitat types also used by the population.

Can determine a species preferred habitat – can come up w/a Habitat Matrix

Most species use more than one kind of habitat
Habitat use is different from habitat availability
Habitat use changes over time
Habitat use differs among individuals in a population

- an association or assemblage of plant and animal populations that are spatially delimited (i.e., they live in a particular habitat) and are often dominated by one or more prominent species, or by a characteristic physical attribute; e.g., the oak- savanna community of Mt. Tam
– a large area that comprises more than one type of habitat distributed in numerous patches

Habitat Patch Characteristics:
Area – size of patches
Perimeter – circumference of patches
Type – cover type or ecological attribute represented by each patch
Neighbors – patches adjacent to the patch of interest

Landscape composition:
Structure is determined by the composition, the configuration, and the proportion of different patches across the landscape,
Pattern is the term for the contents and internal order of a heterogeneous area of land
Connectedness, functional joinings between patches

"A clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values" IUCN Guidelines for protected areas
IUCN Protected Area Designations I-VI
Ia. Strict nature reserve
Ib. Wilderness area
II. National park
III. Natural monument
IV. Managed wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves
V. Protected landscape/seascape
VI.Managed resource protected area

Goal 1: Preserve States
GOAL 2: Preserve Processes
Approaches used in establishing protected areas (depends on the goal)
Umbrella Species Approach

Hot Spot Approach

Footprint-impacted species

Landscape Approach
Eccosystem Approach
Distinctiveness (irreplaceability)
Endangerment (vulnerability)
Issues for successful Protected Areas
Managing sites & Managing processes
Need to determine what habitats are important to preserve and how to maintain them

Components to keep in mind:
Species composition (keystone species present?); MVPs
Patchiness; Patch quality, Heterogeneity
Edge effects, minimize fragmentation
Connectivity & metapopulation dynamics
Ecological dynamics
Land-use dynamics and potential threats outside of the reserve

Individual areas must be sited accurately (preferably within a network)
Networks must also be configured to optimize their conservation potential
Algorithms for Designing Protected Areas:
select, from a pre-determined collection of land parcels, the minimum area (or cost) subset that embraces the greatest amount of diversity, or whatever metric of biological value is applied
some algorithms take into account species abundances rather than presence/absence data
no universal algorithm exists to handle all reserve planning scenarios
gap analysis appears to offer the most practical guidance for reserve selection
It is a matter of judgment whether money is better spent on acquiring data or on land purchase based on imperfect (or sometimes no) data

"bigger is better"
species-area relationship reveals that more species are accommodated in larger reserves
persistence of individual species is a positive function of reserve size
larger reserves are more likely to accommodate disturbances

Heterogeneity is important:
Landscape might contain large expanses of uniform habitat & only a few small areas of rare habitat types… important to include representatives of all the habitats in a system

corridors can link protected areas into networks
Buffer Zones will only work if the core is large enough to protect viable populations and if people “respect” the core

Ecological considerations important too!
Cultural Considerations are important too!
Must consider the local residents and their needs
Must respect traditional land uses of indigenous peoples & cultural norms and practices
Must consider the population at large
Population density requires extensive farming
Restrictions in land use will create conflict
Political and economic constraints
Must consider visitors needs

Managing habitat on non-reserve lands/private lands
Conservation of species & their habitats can’t be achieved entirely through conservation reserves – no matter how well designed!
Must incorporate careful management of human activity on private lands
Conservation Banks - http://www.fws.gov/sacramento/es/cons_bank.htm
Conservation easements

Direct incentives for private conservation action
Market creation and improvement
Regulatory prohibitions/requirements (EPA)
Educational programs
Full transcript