Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Preserved habitat near national parks helps species conservation

31.01.2012
National parks often are established to help preserve species native to a particular region, but it appears that some species preservation is more successful if a significant portion of land adjacent to a park also is left as natural habitat.

The Cerrado region in Brazil has been identified as the most biologically diverse savanna on Earth, and Emas National Park is an important protected area for populations of wide-ranging large mammals such as giant anteaters, jaguars and puma.

But at about 500 square miles, the park is too small on its own to protect those species, said Carly Vynne, director of wildlife and habitat for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, who studied the effect of land-use changes on mammals in the Cerrado as part of her University of Washington doctoral work.

A major concern is that areas around the park are rapidly being converted to farmland, making the park more like "an island in a sea of agriculture," Vynne said.

A Brazilian law requiring landowners to leave 20 percent of their farms' original vegetation intact could be key in preservation efforts, giving the animals significantly more room to roam outside the park, though there are some efforts to change that.

The effect of the law is to create "an interesting mosaic" combining a well-managed preserve linked to a network of forested river corridors and patches of woodland left intact on adjacent private land, Vynne said.

She led a team that studied how keeping some private land in natural habitat affected preservation efforts in the Cerrado, and the work was published last month in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.

"We often hear about the bison trying to leave Yellowstone (National Park), or the grizzlies trying to move out. This was the same kind of situation," she said.

The researchers gathered evidence on the range and habitat favored by five species of large mammals – jaguar, puma, giant anteater, giant armadillo and maned wolf – in 2004 and again from 2006 through 2008. Using a team of dogs from the Center for Conservation Biology's famed troupe of scat-hunting conservation canines, the scientists gathered scat from each species and pieced together profiles of areas the animals tended to inhabit.

They found that the giant armadillos and jaguars favored the protected habitat of the park, possibly because they are more sensitive to disturbances involved with working agricultural land outside the park.

"The jaguars and the giant armadillos need 50 percent natural area for the habitat to be effective," Vynne said. For the other species, "just having habitat available outside the park allows them to use the landscape as a whole."

The finding comes at a time when some are trying to reduce the amount of land property owners in the Cerrado must keep in natural habitat, or to allow them to alter the use of their land near the park in exchange for keeping land elsewhere in its natural state.

"Reducing the land near the park that is left in natural habitat would likely have pretty significant implications," Vynne said.

She noted that already some agriculture land is being converted to sugar cane from soy beans, again altering the habitat and potentially changing significantly how the large mammals can use the area.

Coauthors of the PLoS One paper are Jonah Keim of Matrix Solutions Inc. of Edmonton, Alberta; Ricardo Machado and Jader Marinho-Filho of Brazil's University of Brasilia; Leandro Silveira of Brazil's Jaguar Conservation Fund; and Martha Groom and Samuel Wasser of the UW. The project was funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.

For more information, contact Vynne at 206-437-5247 or carly.vynne@nfwf.org

Vince Stricherz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uw.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness
02.04.2019 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Deep decarbonization of industry is possible with innovations
25.03.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>