Avoiding Biodiversity Collapse in Tropical Protected Areas
Featuring William F. Laurance, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor, James Cook University, Australia
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About the Lecture
Many of the world's leading tropical protected areas are now fragments or man‐made islands surrounded by drastically modified landscapes. Even some of the historically most‐remote sites suffer from hunting and other forms of human encroachment. Will these protected areas function as arks to help conserve tropical biodiversity, or are the arks sinking? Moreover, does each protected area face a unique suite of threats, or do they suffer from similar drivers of change? Using data from 262 expert interviews, I assess long‐term shifts in biodiversity and ecosystem processes and identify their potential drivers within 60 key protected areas stratified across the American, Asia‐Pacific, and African tropics. Many reserves are suffering, whereas others are faring better. I identify key differences between failing and successful reserves and highlight strategies for avoiding a collapse of biodiversity in tropical protected areas.
Published: Monday, June 04, 2012