Book documents changes in climate, habitat, wildlife, and conservation in globally important region spanning five countries
Chimpanzee populations have remained relatively stable in protected areas but have been lost outside of parks as forests have been cleared.
The Ecological Impact of Long-Term Changes in Africa's Rift Valley is published by Nova Publishers
A new book produced by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Albertine Rift Conservation Society documents how well-managed protected areas with good law enforcement have saved wildlife in Africa's Albertine Rift Valley despite decades of insecurity and war.
The book documents how the Rift Valley, one of the most wildlife-rich regions on the planet, faces a variety of challenges from climate change, pressures on wildlife and plant communities, and changes in both human demography and attitudes toward conservation.
Entitled ¡°The Ecological Impact of Long-Term Changes in Africa's Rift Valley¡± (Nova, 2012), the book is edited by Director of WCS's Albertine Rift Program, Andrew Plumptre, and was a product of a conference supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The book looks at changes at 11 research sites in the Albertine Rift over the past 50-100 years. Each chapter is authored by several scientists who synthesized data from their respective sites from the time when data were first collected until the present.
¡°The Albertine Rift, which contains not only spectacular wildlife, but also some of the highest human densities on the continent, gives us insight into where Africa is heading as human populations increase and the effects of climate change are increasingly felt and recognized,¡± said Plumptre. ¡°The conclusions of the book show that areas that were not designated as protected have largely been lost. As some currently question whether protected areas are the best strategy for conservation, this book is a strong argument for their important role.¡±
In Uganda for example, where 95 percent of all large mammals were killed during the 1970s and 1980s by poachers, there are virtually no elephants, lions, hyenas, buffalos, and large antelope species living outside of protected areas. In fact, throughout the Albertine Rift, large mammal sightings are increasingly rare in natural areas outside of protected areas.
Decreases in wildlife ¨C particularly elephants and hippos, which play a key role in shaping the savanna vegetation through their grazing/browsing effects ¨Care leading to changes in plant communities. Meanwhile, as climate change together with forest clearance affects rainfall levels and temperatures, there is evidence that fruiting patterns of trees are being affected at some sites with a decline in fruit production, while some high altitude species may be lost as their habitat vanishes.
¡°One of the key findings is that most sites are not stable and that their ecology is changing meaning that conservation of the sites needs to be flexible and plan for these changes,¡± said Plumptre. ¡°Scientists and conservation practitioners in many disciplines will need to combine their efforts to ensure this biodiverse region is still conserving the unique species found here, such as the mountain and Grauer's gorillas, in the next 100 years.¡±
The Albertine Rift is about the size of Maine, spanning some 33,700 square miles (87,500 km) across five countries. It contains more than half of Africa's bird species along with large numbers of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. More threatened species are found in the Albertine Rift than any other region on the continent¡ªincluding critically endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and elephants. The region's mountains and forests provide many crucial resources to local people, such as clean water, fuel wood, and non-timber products such as rattan cane and honey, and draw a growing number of ecotourists.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the Flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit: www.wcs.org
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at www.macfound.org.Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to wcs.org.
Stephen Sautner | Newswise Science News
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
20.07.2017 | Information Technology
20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy