World Aquarium News
Abstract Tropical coasts face unprecedented sustainability challenges for advancing human welfare and maintaining ecosystem functioning and diversity. These coupled social–ecological processes exist within interdependent relationships across multiple levels and scales. Reflection is needed on the knowledge tropical marine science generates to advance a research agenda for sustainability. In this article we systematically review 753 social and natural science articles conducted within the tropical coastal marine sector. Our results are organized in five themes. (1) The spatial distribution and disciplinary composition of research is not homogeneous across regions. (2) A third of all research lacks a stated problem orientation and coral reefs [...]
Mon, Feb 27, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Recently, Stawitz et al. collated existing primary literature on DNA identification of finfish products and conducted a series of analyses to explore the environmental and economic ripples of species substitution. While we agree that the assessment of the impacts of seafood mislabeling is paramount, we show that the main conclusion of the study, which hints at a positive ecological impact arising from misnaming traded finfish species, is not warranted by the data, and may inadvertently cause damage to public perceptions of seafood provision, sustainability, and marine resource management. [...]
Mon, Feb 27, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Natural systems are declining at an unparalleled rate. To prompt conservation of ecosystems, the IUCN has developed a framework to assess ecosystem threat. By 2025, the IUCN aims to assess the collapse risk of all the world's ecosystems using this framework. This increases the pressure to refine tractable methods to predict collapse. However, there has been no systematic review of whether predicting collapse is possible and practical, which is impeding consistent and comparable assessments of ecosystem threat. Here, we conduct such a review and highlight six areas of concern – stemming from the findings of our review – in need [...]
Mon, Feb 27, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract O'Leary et al. sought to evaluate the scientific basis for global targets for marine protected area (MPA) coverage (e.g., 10% of marine habitats) using a meta-analysis of published MPA modeling studies. Unfortunately, their approach was flawed in both methodology and philosophy, as we explain in this letter. [...]
Fri, Feb 24, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract The paper “Are Brazil deforesters avoiding detection?” recently published in Conservation Letters by Richards et al. 2016 has critical shortcomings and conclusions based on biased and not very robust analyses. Here we provide clarifications to some of the most critical points regarding the monitoring of land use changes in the Brazilian Amazon and related greenhouse emissions. Such clarifications are relevant to the readers of Conservation Letters and to a broader audience that rely on sound and robust science for a better management of environmental issues. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved [...]
Fri, Feb 24, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Can social media data be used as an alternative to traditional surveys to understand tourists' preferences for nature-based experiences in protected areas? We explored this by comparing preferences for biodiversity obtained from a traditional survey conducted in Kruger National Park, South Africa, with observed preferences assessed from over 13,600 pictures shared on Instagram and Flickr by tourists visiting the park in the same period. We found no significant difference between the preferences of tourists as stated in the surveys and the preferences revealed by social media content. Overall, large-bodied mammals were found to be the favorite group, both in the [...]
Wed, Feb 22, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Improving the effectiveness of voluntary biodiversity policies requires developing trans-disciplinary conservation plans that consider social constraints to achieving ecological objectives. We integrated data on landowners' willingness to participate in voluntary conservation efforts with ecological data on conservation values in a spatial prioritization, and found that doing so considerably reduced the loss in conservation value caused by landowners' reluctance to participate. We learned that conducting prioritization with stakeholder input gained through dialogue during field visits could be beneficial for increasing the legitimacy of conservation plans with stakeholders. Thus, in addition to developing a methodology for using data on stakeholder perceptions of [...]
Wed, Feb 22, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Migratory movements of animals frequently span political borders and the need for international collaboration in the conservation of migratory species is well recognized. There is, however, less appreciation of the need for coordinated protection within nations. We explore consequences of multilevel governance for top-down implementation of international agreements, drawing on examples from Australia and with reference to the United States and European Union. Coherent implementation of legislation and policy for migratory species can be challenging in federal jurisdictions where environmental law making can be split across multiple levels of governance and local and federal priorities may not necessarily be aligned. [...]
Wed, Feb 22, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Understanding the drivers of restoration success is a central issue for marine conservation. Here, we explore the role of life-history strategies of sessile marine species in shaping restoration outcomes and their associated timescales. A transplantation experiment for the extremely slow-growing and threatened octocoral Corallium rubrum was highly successful over a relatively short term due to high survival and reproductive potential of the transplanted colonies. However, demographic projections predict that from 30 to 40 years may be required for fully functional C. rubrum populations to develop. More broadly, a comprehensive meta-analysis revealed a negative correlation between survival after transplanting and growth [...]
Wed, Feb 22, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract If efforts to conserve endangered species lack long-term visions and neglect the human dimensions, conservation success will be questionable. Exclusion of stakeholders in decisions can lead to mistrust and polarization of groups. The story of the vaquita marina (Phocoena sinus) in the Upper Gulf of California provides a unique opportunity to discuss this paradigm. A proposed gear-switch in the regional fisheries addresses the bycatch issue that threatens the vaquita but neglects livelihoods, the traditions and heritage of the community, and the ecological integrity of the area, and it increases dependence on fishing subsidies. We estimate it will cost an additional [...]
Wed, Feb 22, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Stawitz et al. (2016) have attempted to quantifiably address the impacts of seafood mislabeling in a powerful statistical fashion, an admirable goal. However, their conclusion that mislabeling increases conservation status of consumed items is not well supported. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved [...]
Tue, Feb 21, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Stawitz and colleagues (2016) present an analysis of seafood mislabeling and make inferences about its financial and ecological implications. We applaud the authors for tackling this important topic. As presented, however, we have reservations about the research which call into question the main conclusions. First, based on the data and results that are presented, there appear to be errors and some of the conclusions are not supported. Second, there may be a bias in the analyses that favors the conclusions. Third, details are lacking regarding the analyses, challenging their verification. We briefly describe some of the issues. This article is protected [...]
Tue, Feb 21, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Professor is studying how a variety of marine organisms are responding to changes in their environment. Focusing on reef-building corals and other shelled creatures that are threatened by increasing temperatures and ocean acidification, she is testing them to determine how species may acclimatize to the new circumstances. [...]
Tue, Feb 21, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Warming seawaters, caused by climate change and extreme climatic events, threaten the stability of tropical coral reefs, with potentially devastating implications for many reef species and the human communities that reefs support. [...]
Mon, Feb 20, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Abstract The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is no longer Endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) storied Redlist. The decision to downlist the panda to Vulnerable has its foundation in a systematic assessment of population parameters as determined by China State Forestry Administration's circa decadal national survey and other scientific outputs, compared against standardized criteria used by IUCN to determine the status of all species. This decision has not been without controversy and disagreement, perhaps reflecting disparities between how people view the term “Endangered” and the criteria established by the IUCN. Here, we explore the architecture of [...]
Fri, Feb 17, 2017
Source Conservation Letters