World Aquarium News
Abstract Compensation policies seek to counterbalance biodiversity losses caused by development; however, their effectiveness is rarely tested. We examined U.S. Species Conservation Banks (SCBs) in California, a compensation program initiated 30 years ago. We quantified the effect of 59 SCBs (15,350 ha) on habitat extent using statistical matching methods. SCBs averted a small, yet significant, amount of habitat loss (62 ha) between 2001 and 2011. However, unexpectedly, SCBs also averted significant habitat gains (1,424 ha). It is not possible to determine if losses averted by SCBs equaled losses caused by development for which credits were sold (because records of the latter [...]
Wed, Jun 12, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract The links between plantation expansion and deforestation in Borneo are debated. We used satellite imagery to map annual loss of old‐growth forests, expansion of industrial plantations (oil palm and pulpwood), and their overlap in Borneo from 2001 to 2017. In 17 years, forest area declined by 14% (6.04 Mha), including 3.06 Mha of forest ultimately converted into industrial plantations. Plantations expanded by 170% (6.20 Mha: 88% oil palm; 12% pulpwood). Most forests converted to plantations were cleared and planted in the same year (92%; 2.83 Mha). Annual forest loss generally increased before peaking in 2016 (0.61 Mha) and declining sharply [...]
Wed, Jun 12, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Birds feature prominently in the arts and folklore of practically every culture. Yet, in industrialized countries, this rich cultural heritage is largely ignored by conservation biologists. Taking the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) as a focal species, we conducted a classroom‐based survey to test the value of avian cultural heritage for inspiring a conservation ethos among UK schoolchildren, comparing it with the effects of other information types and factors. Although identified effects were not strong, species' cultural heritage was found to be valued and a positive driver of conservation concern—one, we suggest, that has the potential to endure into adulthood when [...]
Wed, Jun 12, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract International wildlife trade is a major source of current biological invasions. However, the power of trade regulations to reduce invasion risks at large, continental scales has not been empirically assessed. The European wild bird trade ban was implemented in 2005 to counter the spread of the avian flu. We tested whether the ban reduced invasion risk in two European countries, where 398 nonnative bird species were introduced into the wild from 1912 to 2015. The number of newly introduced species per year increased exponentially until 2005 (in parallel with the volume of wild bird importations), and then sharply decreased in [...]
Wed, Jun 12, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Much of conservation planning has focused on how we should prioritize areas for protection based on biodiversity and cost, but less is known about how we should prioritize areas based upon the level of threat they face. We discuss two opposing threat prioritization strategies: frontier conservation (prioritizing high‐threat areas) and wilderness conservation (prioritizing low‐threat areas). Using a temporally explicit model, we demonstrate that the best strategy depends on a variety of factors, including protection costs, heterogeneity in biodiversity, biodiversity–area relationships, the rate of biodiversity recovery, the rate of change in threats through time, and the timeframe within which we measure [...]
Wed, Jun 12, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Biodiversity conservation is essential for realizing China's new vision of an ecological civilization. China has been implementing numerous massive ecological sustainability and protected area (ES&PA) programs across the entire country. These programs have greatly restored degraded ecological environments, improved provisions of critical ecosystem services and increased rural livelihoods. However, despite the general improvements in environmental quality, the trend of rapid biodiversity loss has not been significantly reduced. We found that most of the current ES&PA programs lack explicit biodiversity goals, and thus have limited contributions to the conservation of biodiversity. Given the limited resources available for and huge investments associated [...]
Mon, Jun 10, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Coral reef experts from around the world are calling for an urgent re-evaluation of our climate goals in the light of increasing evidence of unprecedented speed of change to these fragile ecosystems. [...]
Fri, Jun 07, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
A new model is providing insight into the impact of invasive lionfish on coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The venomous predatory fish has invaded more than 7.3 million square kilometers in the Atlantic and Caribbean, wreaking havoc among native fish populations. [...]
Thu, Jun 06, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
New findings reveal significant damage to Miami's coral reefs from the 16-month dredging operation at the Port of Miami that began in 2013. The study found that sediment buried between half to 90 percent of nearby reefs, resulting in widespread coral death. [...]
Thu, May 30, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
When put to the test, corals and coralline algae are not able to acclimatize to ocean acidification. [...]
Wed, May 29, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Scientists have long sought to understand how coral reefs support such an abundance of fish life despite their location in nutrient-poor waters. According to a new study, an unlikely group fuels these communities: tiny, mostly bottom-dwelling creatures called 'cryptobenthic' reef fishes. [...]
Thu, May 23, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
With an ever-growing list of threats facing biodiversity on multiple scales, conservationists struggle to determine which to address. A common reaction is to prioritize their efforts on threats to individual species or management areas, but researchers say this narrow-minded approach is detrimental to the overall goal of saving species and ecosystems worldwide. Instead, they say large-scale, long-term collaboration is the answer. [...]
Thu, May 23, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Symbiotic algae living inside corals provide those animals with their vibrant color, as well as many of the nutrients they need to survive. That algae, and other microbes within the bodies of corals, have been extensively studied -- yet until now, researchers have largely ignored the microbial communities just outside of the coral colonies. A new study describes microbes that live just a few centimeters from the surface of corals, laying the groundwork for future studies. [...]
Tue, May 21, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Huge fish fences which are commonly used in tropical seas are causing extensive social, ecological and economic damage and are threatening marine biodiversity and human livelihoods, according to a new study. [...]
Tue, May 21, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Abstract The recent extensive loss of biodiversity raises the question of whether organisms will adapt in time to survive the current era of rapid environmental change, and whether today's conservation practices and policies are appropriate. We review the benefits and risks of inter‐ and intraspecific hybridization as a conservation management tool aimed at enhancing adaptive potential and survival, with particular reference to coral reefs. We conclude that hybridization is underutilized and that many of its perceived risks are possibly overstated; the few applications of hybridization in conservation to date have already shown positive outcomes. Moreover, perceptions of potential risk change significantly [...]
Fri, May 17, 2019
Source Conservation Letters