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 Clean air for a sustainable future in Manila
22.08.2019 | Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung e. V.

nachricht A Rescue Plan for the Ocean
16.08.2019 | Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V.

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: Hamburg and Kiel researchers observe spontaneous occurrence of skyrmions in atomically thin cobalt films

Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.

The existence of magnetic skyrmions as particle-like objects was predicted 30 years ago by theoretical physicists, but could only be proven experimentally in...

Im Focus: Physicists create world's smallest engine

Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.

Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.

Im Focus: Quantum computers to become portable

Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.

Ion traps have proven to be a very successful technology for the control and manipulation of quantum particles. Today, they form the heart of the first...

Im Focus: Towards an 'orrery' for quantum gauge theory

Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics

The interaction between fields and matter is a recurring theme throughout physics. Classical cases such as the trajectories of one celestial body moving in the...

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracing the evolution of vision

23.08.2019 | Life Sciences

Software for diagnostics and fail-safe operation of robots developed at FEFU

23.08.2019 | Information Technology

Structure of protein nano turbine revealed

23.08.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>