Spatial and temporal patterns of fuelwood collection in Wolong Nature Reserve: Implications for panda conservation

Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA
Landscape and Urban Planning (Impact Factor: 3.04). 08/2009; 92:1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2009.01.010


Approximately 3 billion people, half of the World's population, are still using fuelwood in their daily lives. Fuelwood collection has been recognized as an important factor in habitat fragmentation and degradation and biodiversity loss, especially in developing countries. Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of fuelwood collection is fundamental to understanding human–environment interactions and designing effective conservation policies. Using Wolong Nature Reserve for giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in China as an example, we surveyed 200 rural households for the locations of their fuelwood collection sites in the past three decades (1970s, 1980s, and 1990s) and other ecological, economic, social, and demographic data. We found that fuelwood collection sites were becoming higher in elevation, more remote, and closer to highly suitable panda habitat from the 1970s to the 1990s. Consequently, fuelwood collectors were traveling longer distances to physically challenging areas, in our case, to areas of high-quality panda habitat. These spatial and temporal patterns of fuelwood collection suggest that future conservation policies for giant pandas, and other species worldwide, should also consider the needs of local communities.

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    • "In parallel, excessive and indiscriminate use of fertilizers –mainly derivatives of phosphorous and nitrogen and other chemicals in agriculture– are burdening the pollution of air, water, and soils, putting at risk both pristine terrestrial and marine ecosystems downstream, as well as human health (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013). A literature overview within the last three decades of analysis revealed that Asian countries are among the most well-investigated regions upon the issues of fuelwood policies (Gazull and Gautier, 2015), fuelwood exploitation for heating purposes – mainly in third world (Zafeiriou, 2011; Arabatzis, 2012; Arabatzis and Malesios, 2013; Arabatzis, 2013), endemic and exotic forestry species taxonomy/characteristics/chemical composition, as well as wood biomass yields, in the main socio-economic conditions (Specht, 2015) and environmental perspectives (He, 2009; Wang, 2012). Moreover, there are abundant studies regarding the India context (Goel and Behl, 1996; Goel and Behl, 1995; Dunkerley, 1990; Maikhuri, 1991; Bhatt, 1994; Jain, 1994; Jain, 1993; Amatya, 1993; Negi and Todaria, 1993; Jain, 1992; Garg, 1992). "
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    ABSTRACT: The introduction of fuelwood production into the regional patterns of energy production and consumption is controversial and imperative. Subsequently, the global policies upon sustainable use of fuelwood necessitate an integrated and systematic coordination upon environmental and anthropogenic issues. This study provides a literature overview upon the environmental perspectives of forestry management, while focusing on an overview upon the environmental features of a contemporary fuelwood market. Conclusively, the study reiterates the determining issues of fuelwood management, signifying those issues that determine the environmental perspective of a contemporary fuelwood market.
    7th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Agriculture, Food and Environment (HAICTA 2015), Kavala, Greece; 09/2015
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    • "Giant panda habitat suitability models often rely on binary classifications of forest versus non-forest as a primary measure to delineate areas suitable for panda inhabitance (Liu et al. 1999, 2004; Wang et al. 2010). Our findings suggest that it is also important to include other human disturbances in addition to timber harvesting (An et al. 2006; He et al. 2009; Linderman et al. 2006; Tuanmu et al. 2011), as current forested areas in otherwise suitable giant panda habitat may be subjected to threats such as livestock grazing that may only be detected using field surveys. Our habitat selection analysis showed both similarities and differences in habitat selection by pandas and horses. "
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    ABSTRACT: Livestock production is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity worldwide. However, impacts of livestock on endangered species have been understudied, particularly across the livestock-wildlife interface in forested protected areas. We investigated the impact of an emerging livestock sector in China's renowned Wolong Nature Reserve for giant pandas. We integrated empirical data from field surveys, remotely sensed imagery, and GPS collar tracking to analyze (1) the spatial distribution of horses in giant panda habitat, (2) space use and habitat selection patterns of horses and pandas, and (3) the impact of horses on pandas and bamboo (panda's main food source). We discovered that the horse distribution overlapped with suitable giant panda habitat. Horses had smaller home ranges than pandas but both species showed similarities in habitat selection. Horses consumed considerable amounts of bamboo, and may have resulted in a decline in panda habitat use. Our study highlights the need to formulate policies to address this emerging threat to the endangered giant panda. It also has implications for understanding livestock impacts in other protected areas across the globe.
    Journal for Nature Conservation 06/2014; 22(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jnc.2014.02.003 · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    • "This paper aims to study one form of CO 2 emission -wood heating, because households in poor countries make extensive use of this heating method. Fuelwood consumption is a particularly important problem, since approximately half of the world's population uses fuelwood in their daily lives (He et al., 2009). Furthermore, poverty levels are increasing in developed countries like Hungary and wood heating is becoming dominant especially in more underdeveloped rural areas. "
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to study the CO2 emissions of detached houses using firewood for heating, using the example of a Hungarian village (Milota). We presented Hungary’s CO2 emission structure and discussed the increasing ratio of firewood heating in households in relation to the increasing level of poverty in the population and the increasing price of natural gas. The annual firewood consumption of 22 households in an eastern Hungarian village in a rural environment was measured and the associated CO2 emissions were calculated. We found that the material of the walls was relevant; however, age structure was not important in the volume of the burnt firewood. Outdoor temperature determined significantly the amount of combusted wood and the analyses also revealed that heating habits (considering the daily routines of weekdays and weekends) can also influence CO2 emissions. It is argued that using firewood for heating is beneficial at both local and national levels since the absorption capacity of forests in Hungary can keep pace with firewood combustion emissions; although, they can absorb only 48.6% of total household CO2 emissions. At a global level, however, firewood combustion increases the CO2 content of the atmosphere.
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