Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Can nature parks save biodiversity?

08.08.2012
The 14 years of wildlife studies in and around Madagascar's Ranomafana National Park by Sarah Karpanty, associate professor of wildlife conservation at Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment, and her students are summarily part of a paper on biodiversity published July 25 by Nature's Advanced Online Publication and coming out soon in print.
As human activities put increasing pressures on natural systems and wildlife to survive, 200 scientists around the world carved up pieces of the puzzle to present a clearer picture of reality and find ways to mitigate the destructive forces at work.

Titled "Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas," the paper was coordinated by William F. Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and James Cook University's Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science and School of Marine and Tropical Biology. Nature is the prestigious international weekly journal of science that focuses on the natural environment.

The study, which looked at more than 30 different categories of species, from butterflies to large predators, within protected areas across the tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, concludes that many of the world's tropical protected areas are struggling to sustain their biodiversity.

"But some of the arks are in danger of sinking, even though they are our best hope to sustain tropical forests and their amazing biodiversity in perpetuity," Laurance said.

The scientists estimated how these species groups had changed in numbers over the past two to three decades, while identifying environmental changes that might threaten the reserves, such as the deforestation advancing rapidly in tropical nations. Calling the tropical forests the biologically richest real estate on the planet, the team found many nature reserves acted like mirrors — partially reflecting the threats and changes in their surrounding landscapes.

Karpanty's role was to provide an expert review of her research in Madagascar since 1998, with attention on the state of the wildlife she studied, the threats to both the wildlife and the park, and how changes outside the park boundary impact wildlife inside the park.

In particular, the College of Natural Resources and Environment researcher contributed data on raptor, carnivore, and lemur populations in Ranomafana National Park. Assisting her in the research were master's students Brian Gerber and Mary Kotschwar, both of whom received their degrees in fisheries and wildlife sciences from Virginia Tech in 2010.

"This is a uniquely comprehensive, up-to-date, and honest assessment about the role of protected areas in saving biodiversity in the tropics," Karpanty said of the entire Nature paper. "The large project was a collaborative effort by scientists from around the world to contribute their data and insight to the question of whether nature and wildlife parks can save the world's biodiversity."

The answer? While most reserves were helping to protect their forests, about half were struggling to sustain their original biodiversity, including old-growth trees, big predators and other large-bodied animals, many primates, stream-dwelling fish and amphibians, and other wildlife. The researchers found that reserves that were suffering most were those that were poorly protected and suffered encroachment from illegal colonists, hunters, and loggers.

"The take-home point," Karpanty emphasized, "should not be viewed in a negative light, in terms of thinking that hope is lost for biodiversity in the tropics. We need to be as aggressive in eliminating threats outside of park boundaries as we are in establishing new parks or maintaining existing ones. In many ways, the findings are common sense. However, sometimes 'we,' meaning society, need a wake-up call about the obvious."

Helen Thompson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>