Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Africa's Rift Valley Saved by Parks

07.05.2012
New book underscores importance of protected areas and long-term conservation monitoring

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.

WCS Digital Community:

Web Sites:
www.wcs.org ¡ñ www.bronxzoo.com ¡ñ www.centralparkzoo.com ¡ñ www.queenszoo.com ¡ñ www.prospectparkzoo.com¡ñ www.nyaquarium.com

Facebook:
Wildlife Conservation Society http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS
Bronx Zoo www.facebook.com/bronxzoo
Central Park Zoo http://www.facebook.com/centralparkzoo
Queens Zoo http://www.facebook.com/queenszoo
Prospect Park Zoo http://www.facebook.com/prospectparkzoo
New York Aquarium http://www.facebook.com/nyaquarium

WCS Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia

Stephen Sautner | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

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

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>