The first ever pan-Asia gathering on the region’s national parks and protected areas concluded with a pledge for stronger collaboration that will capture the energy of the current Asia boom to ensure protected areas contribute to human progress while also conserving the region’s rich biodiversity.
Posts Tagged ‘protected’
A new scientific study has identified the protected areas most critical to preventing extinctions of the world’s mammals, birds and amphibians. Resulting from an international collaboration, including BirdLife International, this analysis provides practical advice for improving the effectiveness of protected areas in conserving global biodiversity.
The study, published in the latest edition of international journal Science, calculates the ‘irreplaceability’ of individual protected areas, based on data on 173,000 terrestrial protected areas and assessments of 21,500 species on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The analysis compares the contribution each protected area makes to the long-term survival of species.
Seventy-eight sites (comprising 137 protected areas in 34 countries) have been identified as exceptionally irreplaceable. Together, they harbour the majority of the populations of more than 600 birds, amphibians, and mammals, half of which are globally threatened.
In many cases these areas protect species that cannot be found anywhere else, such as the Critically Endangered Laysan Duck Anas laysanensis endemic to the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, USA, and the 13 species of amphibians restricted to Canaima National Park in Venezuela.
Many of these irreplaceable areas are already designated as being of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. These sites include Ecuador’s famed Galápagos Islands, Peru’s Manú National Park, and India’s Western Ghats.
However, half of the land covered by these areas does not have World Heritage recognition. This includes for example Tanzania’s Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Cuba’s Ciénaga de Zapata Wetland of International Importance, and – the most irreplaceable site in the world for threatened species – Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Natural National Park.
Unlike previous assessments that focussed on increasing the number of protected sites, this study highlights the need for, and provides guidance for, improving the often insufficient management of existing protected areas.
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Endangered whales off the New Zealand coast are to be protected from ship strikes thanks to a deal reached this week. The ships will now slow down and alter their courses in the Hauraki Gulf which, it is hoped, will reduce the number of fatalities in the Bryde’s whale population.
This voluntary agreement between the Ports of Auckland and the shipping industry was the result of a six-year campaign by Rochelle Constantine, a marine biologist at Auckland University. Constantine preformed post-mortem examinations on the washed-up carcasses, highlighting the damage done to the whales when ships collided with them.
The whales, of which there are less than 200 left in the wild, lurk just below the surface and spend long periods resting which make them vulnerable to ship strikes. Tony Gibson, Ports of Auckland chief executive, praised Dr Constantine for her practical approach to securing this agreement.
He said this was a collaborative effort between the shipping companies, the port authority, university researchers, the Department of Conservation, Hauraki Gulf Forum and Environmental Defence Society.
The ships will also have to post whale lookouts in daylight hours, steer at least 1km clear of sighted whales and report sightings so other ships can change their course. They are advised to avoid the channel between the Great Barrier and Little Barrier Islands, where so many whales and dolphins gather because of the vast supply of plankton, krill and small fish.
Andy Mitchell, operations manager for vehicle and heavy cargo carrier Armacup, explained that reducing the speed of ships from 15 knots to 10 would add up to an hour onto the journey- time that cannot be regained on short haul trips. He said this could mean more work for the crew and potentially cause additional costs but if it reduced the risk to whales, his firm was happy to do it
Mitchell said, “The last thing that anyone on a ship wants to do is kill a whale.”
Gulf forum chairman John Tredidga congratulated the industry and port company.
The port company have pledged $ 30,000 to a project that will use aerial surveys to map the distribution of marine mammals over the course of a year, which could lead to more changes in shipping routes.
Image Copyright Jolene Bertoldi, Courtesy Flickr
Pastoralists and wildlife conservation in western China: collaborative management within protected areas on the Tibetan Plateau
Background Pastoralists have long inhabited vast areas of western China, including the Tibetan Plateau region. Their traditional land use practices and cultural conservation ethic have helped to protect the natural resource base upon which they depend and the wildlife that co-exist with them in the grassland landscapes. However, in a rapidly changing socio-economic environment, including significant expansion of the protected area system and regional comprehensive development plans, local communities do not always have an evident voice in the conservation and development dialogues that closely affect their lives.
With introduction and development of collaborative management – that is, a partnership between local communities, nature reserve authorities and other stakeholders – a landscape-level approach to conservation is now being modelled in Qinghai Province. Central to effective co-management are bi-directional relationships. There are also a wealth of direct and indirect services that may be provided by pastoralists under co-management, and in the compensation and payment options available to them in return for their critical services.
As this paper concludes, the contributions of pastoralists to wildlife conservation efforts are significant, but up to now insufficiently recognised. New insights regarding the relationship between pastoralists and wildlife conservation – including the potential role of community ecotourism, the development of local herders’ cooperatives and of trust funds, and the need for greater clarity in local regulatory frameworks – are provided herein, with presentation of specific experiences and lessons learned from a project piloted in the headwaters of the Yangtze River over the past decade. A fuller, richer model of co-management is recommended.
Two Florida Butterflies Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection, 17,546 Acres of Protected Habitat
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Following an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity to speed decisions on protection of 757 imperiled species across the country, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed August 14 to protect two butterflies in south Florida under the Endangered Species Act, along with 17,546 acres of critical habitat. The Florida leafwing is a beautiful butterfly that looks like a dead leaf when at rest. Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak is a medium-sized gray butterfly with delicate dashes of white and rust. Both butterflies have lost a significant amount of their habitat due to development, also now facing the serious and compounding threats of climate change.
“Our land-use practices in south Florida have eliminated these butterflies from most of their former range,” said Jaclyn Lopez, a Florida-based attorney at the Center. “But it’s not too late — protection under the Endangered Species Act will guarantee that we’re taking the necessary steps to ensure their survival.”
The Florida leafwing now only occurs in Everglades National Park, while Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak can be found in Big Pine Key, Everglades National Park, and other areas of Miami-Dade County. The Service is proposing to protect 8,285 acres for the leafwing and 9,261 acres for the scrub-hairstreak. Most of the lands proposed for protection are managed by federal, state and local governments.
The butterflies have suffered decline due to habitat fragmentation and destruction, including development and foliage burning. They are now direly threatened by sea-level rise. The best-case scenario projections for sea-level rise at Big Pine Key are for a rise of 7 inches, which would flood an 34 percent of the island. The worst-case scenario projection is for 4.6 feet, which would put an astounding 96 percent of the Key under water.
Both butterflies were first recognized as candidates for protection in 1984. The Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the candidate list in 1996, and then added them again in 2006. In 2011 the Center and the Service reached a landmark agreement that will ensure all the species on the federal waiting list for protection as of 2010 will get decisions within the next four years. To date, a total of 101 species have been protected under the agreement, and another 59 have been proposed for protection, counting the two butterflies. Six Florida species have received final protection under the agreement, including the Miami blue butterfly and five freshwater mussels. Three Florida species have been proposed for protection — the Florida bonneted bat, aboriginal prickly apple and Florida semaphore cactus.
“Kudos go to the Fish and Wildlife Service for undertaking this important, species-saving action — these rare butterflies desperately need our help,” said Lopez. “The plight of these butterflies should be a wake-up call for Floridians to demand more from our elected officials to take climate change seriously.”
Contact Info: Jaclyn Lopez, (727) 490-9190
Website : Center for Biological Diversity
Why Some Obese People are Protected from Heart Attack and Stroke? Lycotec Harnesses this Phenomenon for its New Technology
Obesity is one of the major risk factors in the development of Hypertension, Heart Attacks and Strokes. However, this link is not always straightforward.
Mexican Americans have one of the highest levels of obesity in the US, but the prevalence of Cardio- and Cerebrovascular Diseases and mortality rate from such diseases is the lowest of other ethic groups including non-Hispanic whites.
For example, the prevalence of obesity in non-Hispanic white women is 35% and in Mexican American women 45%. At the same time the death rate for the first group from the Coronary Heart Disease is 243 per 100,000 of population, but for the second group is one-third lower 182. For Ischemic Stroke this difference is even more profound – more than 40% lower, 45 versus 32 deaths per 100,000 of population.
One of the most distinctive elements of the Mexican Diet is cooked tomatoes. Scientists in Lycotec, Cambridge UK, www.lycotec.com led by Dr Ivan Petyaev, have discovered that certain components of tomato extracts during the cooking process can cluster around health valuable molecules from other fruit and vegetables and protect them from being inactivated not only during cooking but during digestion too.
Therefore more bioactive molecules, antioxidants and vitamins can be delivered and absorbed when the meal is cooked with tomatoes or in a tomato sauce.
Similar “technology” is at the core of another culinary practice for which significant cardio- and cerebrovascular health benefit has already been established, the Mediterranean Diet.
Lycopene, the red pigment of tomatoes, plays the key role in this cooking process and is the central element of a new, patented technology which models it – LycosomeTM.
This technology can boost delivery and efficacy of biologically active molecules and can be used for a new generation of composite nutraceuticals, and fortification of functional food and beverages.
The superior efficacy of LycosomeTM has been validated in a number of clinical trials, the results of one of which, when efficacy of whey protein was increased by more than 100 fold, has recently been published: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3541600/
Lycotec has now initiated a transfer of its LycosomeTM technology for the industrial production of new more efficient health valuable food extracts, vitamins and minerals. These ingredients could be used by other culinary practices outside Mexican–Mediterranean diets, or by nutraceutical and functional food and beverage industries to create a new generation of products for cardio- and cerebrovascular support and protection.
What may Protect some Obese People from Heart Attack and Stroke may Protect Others
About the Lycotec Team:
Lycotec focuses on the development and licencing out of its proprietary bio-medical technologies for functional food, nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
Montecristi, Dominican Republic – Senior marine resource professionals from the Bahamas, Belize, Bonaire, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Mexico and St. Lucia are gathering to improve marine protected areas (MPAs) across the Wider Caribbean. The weeklong event is launching the first ever Caribbean Marine Protected Area Managers (CaMPAM) ‘Mentor and Peer Exchange Program’ for marine resource managers and scientists working in the region. Organized by the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP), the effort is financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop national networks of effectively managed MPAs across the Caribbean.
According to Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, Senior Program Officer at UNEP-CEP, “MPAs are proven tools that protect the ecosystem services which local communities across the Caribbean are dependent upon, such as food, coastal protection from storms and the natural beauty that drives tourism visitation.”
“Significant progress has been made in recent years through the establishment of a growing number of MPAs in the region,” adds Ms. Khouri. “Yet many of these sites struggle to build management capacity, acquire and train staff, and secure widespread public support for the sustainable use and conservation of marine resources. CaMPAM has been addressing these challenges since 1997 through information sharing and communication, collaboration and technical assistance.”
Globally, the evolution of effectively managed MPAs remains a slow process. CaMPAM stands out as an exceptional example of progress among a social network of marine resource professionals, though many challenges lie ahead for building effective, ecologically resilient and socially equitable MPA networks in the region. The mentor program will improve the professional capacities of managers from across the Wider Caribbean by responding to emerging training, capacity and technical assistance needs, particularly those faced by Caribbean countries.
“MPA managers face many difficult challenges,” says Dr. Georgina Bustamante, Coordinator of CaMPAM. She adds, “The mentor program is a welcome addition to the suite of CaMPAM tools that facilitate information exchange, provide professional development opportunities for new managers and foster dissemination of important lessons learned.” The initiative represents a kind of graduate program of the ‘Training of Trainers Course on Marine Protected Area Management,’ CaMPAM’s flagship training that started in 1999 and has since enhanced professional development for hundreds of MPA managers across the Caribbean.
To learn more about the CaMPAM Mentor and Peer Exchange Program, please contact:
Rich Wilson, Coordinator (on behalf of CaMPAM), [email protected]
Additional information on CaMPAM’s programmes in the Wider Caribbean:
Contact Info: Rich Wilson, Coordinator (on behalf of CaMPAM), [email protected]
Website : UNEP