World Aquarium News
Abstract Millions of people across the tropics rely on wildlife for food and income. However, overhunting to satisfy this demand is causing the decline of many species; an issue known as the wild meat crisis. We applied a before-after control-intervention design to assess the effects of social marketing (an information campaign and community engagement) with and without an economic incentive (discount coupons for chicken) on wild meat consumption. Coupons increased chicken consumption, as expected, but did not reduce wild meat consumption. In contrast, social marketing without the price incentive reduced wild meat consumption by ∼62%. This study demonstrates how social marketing [...]
Tue, Aug 22, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
After nearly two years of planning, a team of scientists from the US and Cuba has explored never-before-studied mesophotic coral reefs during a month-long circumnavigation of the entire coast of Cuba, spanning about 1,500 miles. Except for a few places along the coast, prior to this expedition, there were virtually no data or charts indicating what was beyond the shallow reef zone. [...]
Thu, Aug 17, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
As corals face threats from ocean warming, a new study uses the latest genetic-sequencing tools to help unravel the relationships between three similar-looking corals. [...]
Wed, Aug 16, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Mon, Aug 14, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Researchers studying turtle-headed seasnakes living on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific noticed something unusual about the snakes' color patterns: seasnakes living in more pristine parts of the reef were decorated with black-and-white bands or blotches. Those in places with more human activity -- near the city or military activity -- were black. Those color differences are explained by differences in the snakes' exposure to pollution. [...]
Thu, Aug 10, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Abstract Social considerations in conservation are increasingly recognized as important for successful environmental outcomes. However, social measures lack consistency and may underreport key issues. This paper analyses social indicators and well-being dimensions used in protected area effectiveness tools, with specific attention to local communities and Indigenous peoples' contexts. Using the Global Protected Area Management Effectiveness database, we reviewed 2736 indicators from 38 methodologies applied in over 180 countries. We analyzed: (1) representation of human well-being dimensions, (2) direction of impacts, and (3) level of neutrality in indicators. We found limited diversity and representation of important well-being dimensions such as health and [...]
Wed, Aug 09, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Despite unprecedented efforts at reforestation in recent decades, China's native forests continue to be displaced by plantations. Collective forest land (CFL)—land owned by rural households/communities—accounts for 60% of China's total forest land and harbors nearly half of its remaining native forests. However, China's existing policy structure for native forests suffers from considerable deficiencies with regard to CFL, most notably because policies provide no mechanism for restoring native forests on CFL. Rectifying these deficiencies requires that China's management approach toward CFL forests recognize the value of forests, especially native forests, for things other than tree crop production. In particular, policies must [...]
Thu, Aug 03, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Behavioral change interventions are increasingly widely used in conservation. Several projects addressing rhino horn consumption were recently launched in Vietnam. We used key informant interviews, document analysis, and marketing theory to explore their strategies for intervention design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. We developed a framework to evaluate whether they followed best practice and identify implementation challenges. Interventions could make greater use of key project design steps, including basing interventions on robust research to understand the behavior in question, identifying the target audience whose behavior interventions aim to change, and developing measures that can provide reliable evidence of success or not. [...]
Wed, Aug 02, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
A study of spearfishing on a Caribbean coral reef illustrates how understanding the process of fishing can help in developing management strategies to address overfishing and coral reef protection worldwide. Understanding which fish are targeted, when, why and where in a coral reef habitat, are important details that extend beyond catch limits or even bans that so often define fishing regulations. [...]
Mon, Jul 31, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Disease outbreaks in corals have followed El Niño-fueled coral bleaching events in the past, leading to speculation about the connection between the diseases and the El Niño cycles. This new study confirms the speculation. [...]
Mon, Jul 31, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Abstract A socioecological approach to biodiversity conservation has recently been encouraged. We examined farmer perceptions of ecosystem services provided by scavenging vertebrates in Spain through face-to-face surveys with farmers in seven large extensive livestock systems. Scavenging services (i.e., carrion consumption) was the most perceived benefit whereas the role of some scavengers as predators was the most recognized damage. The most beneficial scavengers perceived were vultures. Overall, we detected a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” paradox as the same species and species within the same guild can be dually perceived as beneficial or harmful. Our findings provide evidence that traditional extensive farming [...]
Mon, Jul 31, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a salient threat to many animal taxa, causing local and global extinctions, altering communities and ecosystem function. The EID chytridiomycosis is a prominent driver of amphibian declines, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). To guide conservation policy, we developed a predictive decision-analytic model that combines empirical knowledge of host-pathogen metapopulation dynamics with expert judgment regarding effects of management actions, to select from potential conservation strategies. We apply our approach to a boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) and Bd system, identifying optimal strategies that balance tradeoffs in maximizing toad population persistence and [...]
Mon, Jul 31, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Voluntary incentive programs are a keystone policy tool for increasing private landowner conservation behavior. Although landowner participation in conservation incentive programs is well studied, limited empirical research has focused on whether and why landowners continue to conduct conservation practices on their land after payments end, which we term persistence. The assumption is that a landowner who participates in an incentive program will likely continue the conservation practice after the payments end. This assumption fits with conservation policies that limit the number of years or times a landowner can receive payments for a given practice. If persistence occurs, it would provide [...]
Thu, Jul 27, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Conservation in human-dominated landscapes is challenging partly due to the high costs of land acquisition. We explored a property tax mechanism to finance conservation easements or related contracts as a partial-property acquisition strategy to meet Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) treaty targets to conserve critically imperiled coastal Douglas fir ecosystems in Canada. To maximize cost-efficiency, we used systematic planning tools to prioritize 198,058 parcels for biodiversity values, estimated the cost of eliminating property tax on high-priority parcels to engage land owners in conservation, and then calculated the tax increase on nonpriority parcels necessary to maintain tax revenue. Marginal tax rate [...]
Wed, Jul 26, 2017
Source Conservation Letters
A new study found that Caribbean staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis) are benefiting from 'coral gardening,' the process of restoring coral populations by planting laboratory-raised coral fragments on reefs. [...]
Tue, Jul 25, 2017
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily