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Conservation and management in human-dominated landscapes: Case studies from India

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... Ungulates are among the most vulnerable group of mammals (Ceballos et al. 2005;Schipper et al. 2008), which are under unrelenting pressures from humans (Brashares et al. 2001;DeFries et al. 2010). Hunting (Corlett 2007), habitat loss (Macdonald 2001), habitat change (Groom 2006) and intense market-driven forest resource extraction (Geist and Lambin 2002), have all contributed to the dramatic contraction of their range (Baillie et al. 2004;, as well as unprecedented reduction in their population levels (Dirzo et al. 2014;Ripple et al. 2015), particularly in increasingly human-dominated, fragmented landscapes of India (Karanth et al. 2009;Karanth and DeFries 2010). This is also the case with many other wild ungulates in other tropical forests of Asia (Baillie et al. 2004). ...
... This is a prime habitat for ~15 ungulate species. However, India's deciduous forests are heavily impacted by a variety of anthropogenic pressures (Chundawat et al. 1999;Sanderson et al. 2006;Karanth and DeFries 2010). Although ~40,000 km 2 of deciduous forest area is under designated nature reserves (Walston et al. 2010), the level of protection effectiveness varies greatly among them. ...
Chapter
A clear understanding of the complex interplay among factors such as species-specific life-history traits, environmental characteristics and anthropogenic impacts is necessary to provide the basis for mounting species recovery efforts for ungulate populations in tropical forests. However, reliable assessment of such drivers of ungulate abundance patterns poses many methodological challenges.
... Ungulate populations and distribution have declined globally due to excessive hunting, habitat degradation and fragmentation as well as competition for forage with domestic cattle ). In India, over the last 100 years, their historical range has decreased by nearly 52% (Karanth et al. 2010). Moreover, nearly 80% of India forest cover has been lost in the past 300 years (Sanderson et al. 2006). ...
... India's remaining ungulate habitat is largely shared with humans and livestock. Relatively undisturbed ungulate habitats are confined mostly to the protected areas that constitute less than 5% of the surviving forests (Karanth et al. 2009(Karanth et al. , 2010. ...
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Monitoring ungulates are essential for the long-term conservation of carnivores, especially in areas of the low prey base and high human disturbances. This arises the need for understanding status and ecology of prey and predator to provide a better framework for the conservation strategies. Therefore, we collected a baseline data on density, biomass, habitat utilization by ungulates and carrying capacity for tigers in Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, India. It is known for its tigers adaptation to survive in a unique mangrove ecosystem, representing an Evolutionary Significant Unit. Sustaining its prey base is very important for the longer goal of tiger conservation. Using boat transects based distance sa mpling (total efforts= 476.3km), we estimated the density of ungulates from January 2017 to March 2017. For evaluating the habitat preferences, vegetations sampling and bank slope gradient were recorded at every 500m and at the position of animal observed on the transect line. We have found the similar individual density for both the major tiger prey species (Axis axis, 2.27/km2 (SE 0.76) and Sus scrofa, 2.24/Km2 (SE 1.16)). Axis axis shown preference to Avicenia vegetation community while Sus scrofa showed preference for Exocoecaria. Carrying capacity for tigers were estimated around 4.62 tigers/100 Km2 based upon total prey biomass (152.21 kg/km2). We obtained low prey base in this area likely due to high human pressure and different protection regimes. There is a scope of increasing tiger carrying capacity in this forest division if proper management plans are taken for enhancing ungulate density and their habitat.
... Indeed, our own research (Ruiz Mallen et al., 2013) reveals that gender, age and land tenure status influence decision-making power since only ejidatarios or comuneros (usually older men with land-tenure rights) have the right to attend and vote in the assemblies. To this extent, and as widely documented ( Schultz et al., 2011;Waylen et al., 2010;Karanth and Defries, 2010; Currie-Alder, 2004;Huckfeldt, 1979), local cultural contexts have a role in shaping stakeholders' participation in decision-making processes and management of conservation initiatives, as they appear to operate as constraining factors in the case of all the different models. ...
... Indeed, our own research(Ruiz Mallen et al., 2013) reveals that gender, age and land tenure status influence decision-making power since only ejidatarios or comuneros (usually older men with land-tenure rights) have the right to attend and vote in the assemblies. To this extent, and as widely documented (Schultz et al., 2011;Waylen et al., 2010;Karanth and Defries, 2010; Currie-Alder, 2004;Huckfeldt, 1979), local cultural contexts have a role in shaping stakeholders' participation in decision-making processes and management of conservation initiatives, as they appear to operate as constraining factors in the case of all the different models.An important caveat of our work is that we base our paper in the assumption that local participation in conservation provides positive outcomes. In the international context, where local participation has become a "buzzword"(Cornwall and Brock, 2005), different actors, including governments, development and conservation agencies and representatives of communities, have adopted the concept in their narratives, emphasize the imperative of local participation in order to achieve successful biodiversity conservation (Lele et al., 2010;Elbroch et al., 2011;Schultz et al., 2011). ...
... Tigers hold high tourist value as people travel to Nepal to observe tigers in their natural habitat. Thus, tigers not only draw in valuable tourist income they also generate economic benefits for their conservation (Karanth and DeFries 2010). Moreover, the income generated also provides local socio-economic incentives and benefits such as providing education for the host communities (Higginbottom et al. 2001;Orams 1995). ...
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Wildlife tourism (WLT) in Nepal flourished after the establishment of Chitwan National Park (CNP) in 1973. Each year CNP receives a large number of international tourists wanting to observe a Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). As tiger numbers are relatively high within CNP, our study was aimed at assessing the impact of WLT on tiger conservation. A total of 151 locals, tourists, tourism operators, park officials and wildlife experts were interviewed. We used the wildlife tourism research framework model developed by Higginbottom and Tribe and found that WLT is the main source of revenue and employment for the local people around CNP. In addition to the economic benefits and financial security gained by the local community, these employment opportunities also provided motivation for them to participate in conservation activities, ultimately helping tiger conservation. Similarly, the WLT in CNP plays a significant role in conserving tigers.
... From a conservation point of view, our results further underline the need for maintaining trees in human-influenced tropical landscapes. While forest reserves in the tropics are strictly protected for biodiversity conservation, such areas might fall short of fulfilling their purpose without conservation management in the landscapes surrounding them Karanth and DeFries, 2010). Tree management in tropical landscapes under mounting anthropogenic pressures is challenging, calling for pragmatic solutions that support both biodiversity and people. ...
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Identifying the impacts of anthropogenic fires on biodiversity is imperative for human-influenced tropical rainforests because: i) these ecosystems have been transformed by human-induced fires for millennia; and ii) their effective management is essential for protecting the world's terrestrial biodiversity in the face of global environmental change. While several short-term studies elucidate the impacts of fires on local plant diversity, how plant diversity responds to fire regimes over long timescales (>100 years) is a significant knowledge gap, posing substantial impediment to evidence-based management of tropical social-ecological systems. Using wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats of India as a model system, we discuss the synergistic effects of anthropogenic fires and enhanced aridity on tropical plant diversity over the past 4000 years by examining fossil pollen-based diversity indices (e.g., pollen richness and evenness, and temporal β-diversity), past fire management, the intervals of enhanced aridity due to reduced monsoon rainfall and land use history. By developing a historical perspective, our aim is to provide region-specific management information for biodiversity conservation in the Western Ghats. We observe that the agroforestry landscape switches between periods of no fires (4000-1800 yr BP, and 1400-400 yr BP) and fires (1800-1400 yr BP, and 400-0 yr BP), with both fire periods concomitant with intervals of enhanced aridity. We find synergistic impacts of anthropogenic fires and aridity on plant diversity uneven across time, pointing towards varied land management strategies implemented by the contemporary societies. For example, during 1800–1400 yr BP, diversity reduced in conjunction with a significant decrease in the canopy cover related to sustained use of fires, possibly linked to large-scale intensification of agriculture. On the contrary, the substantially reduced fires during 400–0 yr BP may be associated with the emergence of sacred forest groves, a cultural practice supporting the maintenance of plant diversity. Overall, notwithstanding apparent changes in fires, aridity, and land use over the past 4000 years, present-day plant diversity in the Western Ghats agroforestry landscape falls within the range of historical variability. Importantly, we find a strong correlation between plant diversity and canopy cover, emphasising the crucial role of maintenance of trees in the landscape for biodiversity conservation. Systematic tree management in tropical social-ecological systems is vital for livelihoods of billions of people, who depend on forested landscapes. In this context, we argue that agroforestry landscapes can deliver win-win solutions for biodiversity as well as people in the Western Ghats and wet tropics at large.
... Comprising the eight countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, this region comprises only about 3.5%% of the global land surface area, yet accommodates nearly 25% of the world's human population (World Bank; https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/sar). South Asian economies are mostly based on agriculture, and intense competition for land has resulted in rapid habitat clearance and natural resource extraction (Nautiyal and Kaechele, 2009;DeFries et al., 2010;Karanth and DeFries, 2010;Watson et al., 2014;Reynolds et al., 2015;Chowdhury et al., 2021b). There are four global biodiversity hotspots Chowdhury et al. ...
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Natural ecosystems globally have been disrupted by anthropogenic activities, and the current biodiversity extinction rate exceeds the natural extinction rate by 1000-fold. Protected areas (PAs) help insulate samples of biodiversity from these human-induced threats; however, assessments of the factors threatening biodiversity in PAs are scarce in South Asia-one of the key global epicentres of human population growth. Here, by synthesizing published literature and analysing the current configuration of the PA estate, we discuss the trends and biases in existing knowledge, identify research gaps, measure the level of PA coverage and growth patterns, and discuss the threats to South Asian biodiversity inside PAs. We showed that published studies focused mainly on documenting species distributions in PAs, were heavily biased toward vertebrates, and had been mostly conducted in India. Nearly 70% of studies focused on the distribution of organisms, while only 9% performed conservation assessments or devised strategies to manage PAs; 70% of studies cover vertebrates, while only two studies focused on marine fauna; 50% of studies focused on India, with only a handful from Afghanistan. Only three (Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka) of the eight countries already meet a terrestrial PA representation target of 17%, while no country meets a marine representation target of 10%. Most PAs were very small, with nearly 80% below 100 km 2 , and 22% below 1 km 2. We identified that South Asian PAs are facing a broad range of anthropogenic threats-about three in five studies reported threats inside protected areas. Due to extensive anthropogenic pressures , biodiversity in South Asia is facing an existential crisis, and society-wide collaborative efforts are needed to arrest and reverse the declines. We hope this review will stimulate efforts to capitalise on the opportunity for efficient PA growth in the region on the eve of the post-2020 global biodiversity targets.
... The adaptive management of wildlife populations is an essential component of the interaction between biodiversity and human societies. Management can promote the conservation of threatened species in human-dominated landscapes (Chapron et al., 2014;Karanth & DeFries, 2010), sustain economic, cultural and recreational human activities that rely on the extractive use of wild populations (Di Minin et al., 2019;Fischer et al., 2013), or minimise negative interactions that arise when wildlife affects, or is perceived to affect, human livelihoods (de Boon et al., 2021;Raithel et al., 2017;Redpath et al., 2013). In theory, decisions taken in the context of wildlife management aim to achieve one or more stated goal, such as protect threatened species, promote the sustainable use of harvested populations or reduce negative interactions between wildlife and humans. ...
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Recovering or threatened carnivore populations are often harvested to minimise their impact on human activities, such as livestock farming or game hunting. Increasingly, harvest quota decisions involve a set of scientific, administrative and political institutions operating at national and sub‐national levels whose interactions and collective decision‐making aim to increase the legitimacy of management and ensure population targets are met. In practice, however, assessments of how quota decisions change between these different actors and what consequences these changes have on population trends are rare. We combine a state‐space population modelling approach with an analysis of quota decisions taken at both regional and national levels between 2007 and 2018 to build a set of decision‐making models that together predict annual harvest quota values for Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Norway. We reveal a tendency for administrative decision‐makers to compensate for consistent quota increases by political actors, particularly when the lynx population size estimate is above the regional target. Using population forecasts based on the ensemble of decision‐making models, we show that such buffering of political biases ensures lynx population size remains close to regional and national targets in the long term. Our results go beyond the usual qualitative assessment of collaborative governance systems for carnivore management, revealing a system of checks and balances that, in the case of lynx in Norway, ensures both multi‐stakeholder participation and sustainable harvest quotas. Nevertheless, we highlight important inter‐regional differences in decision‐making and population forecasts, the socio‐ecological drivers of which need to be better understood to prevent future population declines. Synthesis and applications. Our work analyses the sequence of decisions leading to yearly quotas for lynx harvest in Norway, highlighting the collaborative and structural processes that together shape harvest sustainability. In doing so, we provide a predictive framework to evaluate participatory decision‐making processes in wildlife management, paving the way for scientists and decision‐makers to collaborate more widely in identifying where decision biases might lie and how institutional arrangements can be optimised to minimise them. We emphasise, however, that this is only possible if wildlife management decisions are documented and transparent. Our work analyses the sequence of decisions leading to yearly quotas for lynx harvest in Norway, highlighting the collaborative and structural processes that together shape harvest sustainability. In doing so, we provide a predictive framework to evaluate participatory decision‐making processes in wildlife management, paving the way for scientists and decision‐makers to collaborate more widely in identifying where decision biases might lie and how institutional arrangements can be optimised to minimise them. We emphasise, however, that this is only possible if wildlife management decisions are documented and transparent.
... The changing climate is also responsible for the shift of distribution ranges of 53 various species of plants and animals and for their local extinction in various regions 54 of India (Gokhle 2015). Besides high population densities, population pressure, 55 poverty, rapid economic growth, industrialization, urbanization, agricultural intensi-56 fication, and the development of infrastructures including roads, power lines, 57 railways, etc. are the most serious threats to biodiversity loss in the tropical regions 58 (Bargali et al. 2019;Karanth and de Fries 2010). Developmental projects mainly 59 mining and power plants in India predominantly in mineral-rich states such as 60 Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh have posed serious risks to wildlife habitats 61 over the past many decades resulting in biodiversity loss (Gokhle 2015). ...
Chapter
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Protected areas (PAs) are the terrestrial or marine regions that are preserved for conserving biodiversity and their habitats to serve a range of socioecological functions including scientific research and education, protection of wildlife, conservation of biodiversity, and securing a range of ecological goods and services. India has strong legislation for the protection and conservation of biodiversity through the protected area network (PAN) through government investment. In India being a developing country, PA management has a great challenge due to the rapidly growing human population and their higher dependency on natural forests for their sustenance needs and livelihood security, political and economic instability, and higher poverty. Local socioeconomic conditions, the long-term scientific ecological studies on biodiversity in buffer and transition zones, development of assessment and monitoring techniques, and evaluation of economic and ecological benefits are some of the key aspects that become more important to determine the success of PAs towards environmental and socioeconomic sustainability. Therefore, the present chapter focused on the scientific, environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural values of Indian PAs and their specific role in the conservation of biodiversity.
... This increase, particularly in less-developed countries is tied to international tourists (Balmford et al., 2009). "Nature-based tourism is a rapidly growing sector of the global economy, is an important ecosystem service, and generates support for conservation" (Karanth & DeFries, 2010). This increase suggests that international tourists generally have a positive experience. ...
Article
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Environmental conservation efforts internationally and in Malaysia are focused on the establishment, maintenance and conservation of Protected Areas. The phenomenon of Protected Areas is justified by both biological considerations and social considerations. Biological considerations are commonly articulated. This research attempts to balance the narrative by focusing on social considerations, specific on the component of social capital, as derived from Social Capital Theory. Social capital is not commonly employed in the discourse on conservation policies of Protected Areas. However, social capital is postulated to have a tangible influence, as witnessed by its successful application in other contexts such as housing policy and social development. To explore the applicability of social capital towards Protected Areas, a case study of Penang in Malaysia is utilized. Document analysis and field observations are adopted as the research methodology and the data is analyzed thematically. The findings indicate that social capital has a tangible effect on the conservation policies of Protected Areas. Subsequently, public policy recommendations are proposed in light of the findings.
... The management of human land uses has long been a dilemma for wildlife conservation (Karanth & DeFries, 2010), and is an important issue for the development of protected areas. Human land use areas are often highly populated and/or are typically areas with a high intensity of human activities, which may result in human-wildlife conflict situations or animal spatial avoidance, in effect, decreasing habitat availability or quality (Hebblewhite et al., 2014;Polfus et al., 2011;Qiu et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Protected areas are considered the cornerstone of endangered wildlife conservation. However, quantified conservation potentials and limitations of large carnivores in protected areas are lacking. In the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park (NTLNP) in China, our camera trap survey in 2019 found 26–27 adult Amur tigers and 49–59 adult Amur leopards occurring in the park. Based on spatial area, current prey populations, and environmental carrying capacity of prey, we estimated the supportable number of tigers to be 55, 90, and 101 individuals, respectively. For leopard, these values were 95, 356, and 572, respectively. Further simulations indicated that human land use change scenarios did not contribute much to increasing the potential prey‐supportable populations of Amur tiger and leopard. Our results showed that the number of tigers and leopards in NTLNP is currently low and has a high recovery potential. However, even the highest supportable population is not enough to support the sustainable existence of an Amur tiger population. Therefore, we suggest that, in addition to further restoration and improvement of the prey population and habitat quality in NTLNP, managers should strengthen the connectivity between NTLNP and other habitat patches to form a well‐connected network of protected areas. Promoting the spread of tigers and leopards outwards from this source population in NTLNP through ecological corridor construction would enlarge the area of habitat and is a crucial measure for realizing the sustainable survival of an Amur tiger population in Northeast China. For different large carnivores, protected areas might have different conservation potentials and limitations. Scientific assessment of conservation potential is of great significance for identifying the capabilities and adequacy of protected areas and making long‐term cost‐effective conservation plans to realize the sustainable survival of large carnivores.
... This is largely due to the exclusion of local people in PA governance and absence of alternative income generation opportunities to people who have traditionally been dependent on forests for sustaining their livelihoods (Mukul et al. , 2014(Mukul et al. , 2012a. Further to that, land-use change around PAs, agricultural expansion, illegal logging, fuelwood, and fodder collection making many PAs vulnerable particularly in the developing tropics (Mondal and Nagendra 2011;Karanth and DeFries 2010;DeFries et al. 2007;Ervin 2003). ...
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Despite of being an exceptionally biodiversity rich country, the forest coverage of Bangladesh is declining at an alarming rate. Declaration and management of protected areas in this regard is one of the efforts from government side to tackle the loss of biodiversity. The limited numbers of forest-protected areas (FPA), established to conserve the dwindling forest biodiversity of the country with high pressure on them for timber, non-timber forest products, and fuelwood - makes their management challenging. Moreover, most of the FPAs of the country declared only in the recent decades with very limited infrastructure, manpower and policy support for monitoring and governance. Some people-centred approaches for the management of FPAs and alternative livelihood and income generation subsidies although made available through a few project interventions, their number are still inadequate and performance remains less than satisfactory. This chapter provides a critical review of the FPAs of Bangladesh looking at their role in biodiversity conservation, management challenges, and key lessons from previous management interventions with recommendations for the future. It has been revealed that the FPA system of Bangladesh still poorly represents the diverse forest ecosystems with relatively small forest size and lack of corridors for the movement of wildlife. There are ample opportunities to render co-management of FPAs an effective strategy to minimize the conflicts in FPAs management in the country. It is, however, important to ensure the access of local forest-dependent people to different alternative income generating options that may adequately support their livelihoods.
... Conservation of biodiversity through a network of rotected Areas (PAs) has been a dominant conservation strategy all over the world and has probably helped prevent part of biodiversity and wildlife from being destroyed by development induced land use change (Karanth and DeFries, 2010;Skonhoft, 1998). PAs are owned and managed by public agencies and conservation organizations all over the world. ...
Article
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Project Tiger, a flagship programme for conservation of the tiger launched in 1973 in India has expanded over the years in terms of its geographical coverage and volume of expenditure. However, the tiger is still an endangered species in India and conservation efforts face multiple challenges like widespread loss of tiger habitat, decline in the density of prey animals, illegal poaching, humananimal conflicts and revenge killing. This study explores the trends and patterns of government expenditure over the years by reviewing the annual plan of operation of different tiger reserves and examines whether the volume or the pattern of expenditure has any relationship with performance, measured by the change in the number of tigers and occupancy in 28 tiger reserves. Analysis of the financial outlay data in the Annual Plan of Operation of the tiger reserves suggest that habitat improvement, which includes relocation, gets the highest share whereas humananimal conflict and eco-development gets the least, though more than 0.5 million households are located in and around the tiger reserves 0.3 million. Allocations are neither proportional to the size of the reserve nor to the tiger population. The relationships between expenditure categories and tiger populations are explored through a negative binomial regression model. Among the expenditure categories, expenditure on habitat improvement, excluding relocation, is found to be negatively related to tiger population whereas all other expenditures like infrastructure, protection, and human-animal conflict are positively related.
... Community participation is critical part of conserving biodiversity, especially in developing countries where there is high population density and poverty (Karanth and DeFries, 2010). Nepal has played an exemplary role in community participation for conservation. ...
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Biodiversity conservation especially in Protected Areas (PA) depends on Community Based Conservation (CBC) programs. Sharing of PA revenues with local communities in the buffer zone of PA's is a major component of CBC. Herein, we assess the effectiveness of the CBC programs in Chitwan National Park, Nepal by evaluating people's perception of benefits shared from PA with the existence of the PA. The communities around Chitwan were found to be economically well off compared to national averages, majority (71%) had concrete houses, with all households having electricity and water supply. Majority (79%) of the people were aware of park revenue being shared and 73.6% linked community welfare works to the existence of the PA. Most people (55%) were aware of ecological concepts like impacts of deforestation and loss of large carnivores. We found no differences amongst the respondents based on gender, economic strata or educational levels in their responses. Park management would benefit by focusing on awareness campaigns that link shared benefits to existence of the PA and streamlining payment of compensation for crop and livestock damage by wildlife.
... The spatial heterogeneity of habitats has an influence on the population status and distribution of grazing and browsing mammals in landscapes at temporal scales [8,38]. Complex human-environmental interactions at different spatiotemporal scales also pose major challenges, such as in human-dominated landscapes [39,40]. A study in the Democratic Republic of Congo used an RGB sensor to estimate the population status of the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious L.) [30]. ...
Article
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have recently emerged as a new remote sensing aerial platform, and they are seemingly advancing real-time data generation. Nonetheless, considerable uncertainties remain in the extent to which wildlife managers can integrate UAVs into ecological monitoring systems for wildlife and their habitats. In this review, we discuss the recent progress and gaps in UAV use in wildlife conservation and management. The review notes that there is scanty information on UAV use in ecological monitoring of medium-to-large mammals found in groups in heterogeneous habitats. We also explore the need and extent to which the technology can be integrated into ecological monitoring systems for mammals in heterogeneous habitats and in topographically-challenging community wildlife-management areas, as a complementary platform to the traditional techniques. Based on its ability to provide high-resolution images in real-time, further experiments on its wider use in the ecological monitoring of wildlife on a spatiotemporal scale are important. The experimentation outputs will make the UAV a very reliable remote sensing platform that addresses the challenges facing conventional techniques.
... The Western Ghats in India also provides an illustrative example of dynamism in species composition over long-time scales in a fragmented landscape. This region exhibits high levels of forest fragmentation due to heavy pressure to support agricultural activities (Giriraj et al., 2010), which is a common reality across tropical forest regions (Karanth and DeFries, 2010). Using paleoecological data obtained from four small forests fragments (∼5 ha) in a coffee (Coffea arabica) agroforestry landscape in Karnataka, India, it was possible to reconstruct 7,500 years of vegetation dynamics (Figure 3, Studies A and G-I). ...
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In the face of dramatic climate change and human pressure acting on remaining forest areas across tropical, temperate and boreal biomes, there has emerged a coordinated effort to identify and protect forests that are currently considered “intact”. These forests are hypothesized to be more resilient to future abiotic perturbations than fragmented or degraded forests, and therefore, will provide more reliable carbon storage and/or biodiversity services into an uncertain future. Research in the fields of contemporary and paleoecology can offer valuable insights to enhance our ability to assess resilience of forests and whether these would be comparable across forest biomes. Contemporary ecological monitoring has been able to capture processes acting over the short-to-medium term, while paleoecological methods allow us to derive insights of the long-term processes affecting forest dynamics. Recent efforts to both identify intact forests, based on area definitions, and assess vegetation climate sensitivity globally have relied on satellite imagery analysis for the time period 2000–2013. In this paper, we compare these published datasets and do find that on average intact forests in boreal and tropical biomes are less sensitive to temperature and water availability, respectively; however, the patterns are less clear within biomes (e.g., across continents). By taking a longer perspective, through paleoecology, we present several studies that show a range of forest responses to past climatic and human disturbance, suggesting that short-term trends may not be reliable predictors of long-term resilience. We highlight that few contemporary and paleoecology studies have considered forest area when assessing resilience and those that have did find that smaller forest areas exhibited greater dynamism in species composition, which could be a proxy for declining resilience. Climatic conditions in the Anthropocene will be pushing forest systems across biomes into novel climates very rapidly and with current knowledge it is difficult to predict how forests will react in the immediate term, which is the most relevant timeframe for global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
... The major challenges faced by megabiodiverse countries like India in conserving their natural heritage are: high human density (1.2 billion people with an average human density of 382 people/km 2 ; Human Census Report 2011, Government of India available at www.census2011. co.in), poverty, agrarian economy, and rapid development (Karanth and DeFries, 2010). Though 5% of India's geographical area is secured as Protected Areas (PAs), these PAs are small (average size of <300 km 2 ), with several of them having human settlements and varying levels of anthropogenic activities within them (Rodgers et al., 2003). ...
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Asiatic lions typify most challenges faced by large carnivores: single population, historical bottlenecks, habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans. Their recovery from <50 in a few hundred km2 to >500 occupying 13,000 km2 of agro-pastoral Saurashtra landscape, Gujarat, India is an enigma. We review and evaluate the multidisciplinary aspects of lion conservation-strategy that covers ecology, conflict, community perceptions, economics, management, and politics. The history of modern lions in India dates back to ~4–6,000 BP, but evidence suggests presence as early as 10–15,000 BP. Asiatic lions can be distinguished from African lions by their belly-folds; adult males and females weighing 160 (SE 4.7) and 116 (SE 3.7) kg, respectively. Lion density ranged from 2 to 15/100 km2 in the Saurashtra landscape. Demographic parameters of Asiatic lions were comparable to African lions. Prides were related females and cubs; males lived separately in hierarchical coalitions having overlapping ranges with multiple prides. Lionesses mated with multiple coalitions to reduce infanticide and enhance genetic diversity of their progeny. Few hectares of scrub sufficed as daytime refuges, while >4 km2 patches were required for breeding. Sink populations outside Gir Protected Area (PA) were maintained by immigrants. Lions within PA fed primarily on wild-prey, while scavenging and predation on livestock was the mainstay outside. Monetary compensation for livestock-depredation, legal-protection, lion-related profits, combined with religious and cultural sentiments were major drivers of population recovery. The lion has become a socio-political instrument in Gujarat, which despite a Supreme Court directive, has not parted with founders to establish another population. Threats from epidemics loom large and currently a canine distemper virus outbreak is prevalent. Attacks on humans were rare, however, with increasing lion density the intensity of conflict is increasing. This, coupled with lowered tolerance of communities due to erosion of traditional values sets the stage for retaliation. Future of lions outside PA is uncertain as breeding refuges and their connecting corridors are vanishing rapidly. A human-free National Park of ~1,000 km2 is essential for ensuring a viable population that retains its ecological role and evolutionary potential. Legalizing lion based ecotourism by forming village consortia holds promise to prevent land conversion and promoting lion-human coexistence.
... In addition, crop damage by wild herbivore, livestock depredation and human casualties by tiger and other carnivores impose diverse and pervasive cost on local communities resulting in hostility towards conservation [14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22]. Therefore, a fair understanding of such issues impacting local communities living in and around PAs is fundamental in balancing conservation goals [23,24,25,26,27,28]. ...
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India with estimated more than 2000 tigers (across 18 states) accounts for more than half of the remaining tigers across its range countries. Long-term conservation requires measures to protect the large carnivores and its prey base beyond the Protect Areas. The Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) and adjoining forest divisions with high density of tigers play a crucial role in conservation of tiger in Uttarakhand state as well as the Terai-Arc Landscape. However, CTR is surrounded with multiple-use forest (forest divisions), agriculture land, human habitation, townships and developmental projects. The movement of large carnivores and other wildlife through such habitats adds to the chances of human-wildlife conflict. The aim of the current study was to understand the patterns of livestock depredation by tigers and leopards in and around CTR. We examined a total of 8365 incidents of livestock depredation between 2006 and 2015 with tigers killing more livestock in a year (573.3±41.2) than leopards (263.2±9.9). Geographically, in north zone of CTR leopards were the major livestock predator (166.6±11), whereas tigers (547.7±40.1) in south zone. Examination of livestock kills indicated cows (75%) as the main victim, followed by buffaloes and other species. Analysis revealed that the livestock depredation by tigers varied significantly among seasons in south zone but not in north zone. However, such an explicit seasonal variation was not observed for leopards in north and south zone of CTR. Hotspots of livestock predation were identified around CTR. Addressing a conflict situation in a time-bound manner, timely disbursement of ex-gratia payment, involving locals at various tourism related activities and consistent rapport building initiatives are required to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict.
... National Parks, and especially TRs, have the highest protection and enforcement from the Indian government for conservation of endangered species. Central India is globally recognized for tiger tourism with a sharp increase in tourism around PAs over the last decade Karanth and DeFries 2010). Around PAs, local economies flourish and falter alongside the seasonality of ecotourism with livelihood options dwindling during off-season (Neelakantan et al. 2019). ...
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We assessed local knowledge of and attitudes towards a large, endemic bovid, the Bhutan takin Budorcas whitei , within its seasonal range in Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan. Using semi-structured questionnaires, data were collected in March 2015 from interviews with 169 park residents. A conditional inference tree analysis was used to explore associations between demography, locality, and secondary response variables through questions relating to respondents’ knowledge of the takin's status as a protected species, a Vulnerable species, and as the national animal. Most respondents knew the takin was Bhutan's national animal, and of those, a significantly high proportion also knew of its protected status. Significantly more respondents residing in the species’ summer, rather than winter, range were aware of the takin's Vulnerable status. Most respondents expressed positive feelings towards the takin and supported its protection. This strong positive attitude, in conjunction with awareness-raising efforts, could be valuable for promoting the takin as a montane flagship species.
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The Satoyama Initiative is “a global e ort to realise societies in harmony with nature”, started through a joint collaboration between the United Nations University (UNU) and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. The initiative focuses on the revitalisation and sustainable management of “socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes” (SEPLS), areas where production activities help maintain biodiversity and ecosystem services in various forms while sustainably supporting the livelihoods and well-being of local communities. In 2010, the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) was established to implement the concept of the Satoyama Initiative and promote various activities by enhancing awareness and creating synergies among those working with SEPLS. IPSI provides a unique platform for organisations to exchange views and experiences and to nd partners for collaboration. At the time of writing, 220 members have joined the partnership, including governmental, intergovernmental, nongovernmental, private-sector, academic and indigenous peoples’ organisations. The Satoyama Initiative promotes the concept of SEPLS (through a three-fold approach that argues for connection of land- and seascapes holistically for management of SEPLS (Figure 1). This often means involvement of several sectors at the landscape scale, under which it seeks to: 1. consolidate wisdom in securing diverse ecosystem service and values, 2. integrate traditional ecosystem knowledge and modern science and 3. explore new forms of co-management systems. Furthermore, activities for SEPLS conservation cover multiple dimensions, such as equity, addressing poverty and deforestation, and incorporation of traditional knowledge for sustainable management practices in primary production processes such as agriculture, sheries and forestry. (UNU-IAS & IGES 2015) Resource use within the carrying capacity of the environment Vision: Societies in harmony with nature Three-fold Approach: 1. Consolidate wisdom on securing diverse ecosystem services and values 2. Integrate traditional ecological knowledge and modern science 3. Explore new forms of co-management systems Improved community resilience Cyclic use of natural resources Recognition of local traditions and culture Multi- stakeholder participation and collaboration Contributions to sustainable socio- economies Figure 1. The conceptual framework of the Satoyama Initiative Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review vol. 3 v As one of its core functions, IPSI serves as a knowledge-sharing platform through the collection and sharing of information and experiences on SEPLS, providing a place for discussion among members and beyond. More than 110 case studies have been collected and are shared on the IPSI website, providing a wide range of knowledge covering diverse issues related to SEPLS. Discussions have also been held to further strengthen IPSI’s knowledge-facilitation functions, with members suggesting that e orts should be made to produce knowledge on speci c issues in SEPLS in order to make more targeted contributions to decision-makers and on-the-ground practitioners. It is in this context that a project to create a publication series titled the “Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review” was initiated in 2015 as a joint collaboration between UNU’s Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), which hosts the IPSI Secretariat, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), an IPSI partner and research institute based in Japan. The Thematic Review was developed as a compilation of case studies providing useful knowledge and lessons focusing on a speci c theme that is important for “socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS)”. The overall aim of the Thematic Review is to collect experiences and relevant knowledge, especially from practitioners working on the ground, considering their usefulness in providing concrete and practical knowledge and information as well as their potential to contribute to policy recommendations. Each volume is also accompanied by a synthesis chapter which extracts lessons learned through the case studies, presenting them for policy-relevant academic discussions. The rst volume of the Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review was published in 2015 with the theme “enhancing knowledge for better management of SEPLS”. The second volume’s theme was “mainstreaming concepts and approaches of SEPLS into policy and decision- making “, covering topics including advocacy, multi-stakeholder engagement, facilitation and coordination of institutions, concrete tools and information useful for policymakers and stakeholders. Purpose of the Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review Volume 3 (SITR-3) A notable characteristic of SEPLS is the ‘intangible cultural’ link, formed between humans and nature through production processes, that has been the basis for resilient landscapes and seascapes and the communities that reside in them (UNU-IAS, Bioversity International, IGES and UNDP, 2014). The cases in this volume depict biodiversity-rich landscapes and seascapes with signi cant traditional knowledge (TK), skills, and practices associated with natural resources that are in decline to various degrees. Despite this decline, these socio-ecological systems continue to maintain certain principles of management and use, and have, according to their individual contexts and various challenges, undertaken to strengthen underlying natural and social features. The focus of this volume is to identify drivers linked to sustainable livelihoods in SEPLS that are crucial to meet needs for human well-being and to foster sustainable use of natural resources. The eleven case studies in this volume describe experiences from countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America, with various socio-political and ecosystem contexts. Authors were asked to identify challenges and opportunities in sustaining livelihoods, social and ecological changes that have occurred and approaches being deployed to strengthen natural and social resilience in the landscapes and seascapes where they work. Some of these experiences are very speci c to certain sites, while others have elements in common, indicating similarities in drivers a ecting the landscape or seascape and thereby livelihoods. Responses vary among the sites, determined primarily by socio-political considerations, but can be clustered under various broad categories from market-based approaches to integrated solutions deploying both modern and traditional practices for management and value addition. Like previous volumes, this publication was developed through a multi-stage process including both peer review and discussion among the authors at a workshop. Authors had several opportunities to get feedback, which helped them to make their manuscripts more useful and easy to understand for readers. First, each manuscript received comments from the editorial team relating primarily to their contributions to the theme of the volume. Peer review was then conducted by the authors of other chapters, with each author receiving feedback from two other authors who were requested to comment on whether the manuscript was easy to understand and informative, provided useful lessons, and so on. The aforementioned workshop was then held to enable the exchange of feedback between authors. Here, the authors presented their case studies and received comments both from the two designated reviewers and from the other workshop participants. The vi Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review vol. 3 workshop also served as a place for discussion to further deepen understanding on the theme and to extract ndings across all the case studies. The basic ideas contained in the synthesis chapter were developed from the presentations and discussions during the workshop, and the chapter was made available for review by authors and selected experts before nalisation. We believe that the above process used for developing this publication o ers an opportunity for authors from both academic and non-academic organisations to contribute to knowledge-building in an accessible and interactive way, as well as to provide high-quality papers written in simple language for academics and a broader audience alike. It is our hope that this publication will be useful in providing information and insights on sustainable management of SEPLS for practitioners, researchers and policymakers. We would like to thank all of the authors who contributed their case studies and the other participants in the case study workshop. We also greatly appreciate the e orts of IGES for their continued collaboration in the publication process of this volume. Our grateful thanks are also due to the Ministry of the Environment, Japan for supporting the activities of IPSI and its secretariat hosted by UNU-IAS.
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This study assesses the causes of forest resource depletion in the Poba reserve forest, Assam, India. Although many activities, such as hunting and grazing, are banned, the Poba reserve forest is being degraded. The results of a household survey show local communities have experienced a decrease in forest resources in 2012 compared to 2002. Lack of community-based institutions and proper forest management plan has opened access to the forest, resulting in illegal logging and over extraction of forest products. These activities have limited the ability of Poba reserve forest to deliver ecosystem goods and services, and prevented forest restoration. Change is forest cover and availability of forest products has adversely affected the livelihoods of more than two-thirds of local households. The study suggests that participatory involvement of local communities in forest management can reverse trends in deforestation and forest degradation and restore the ecosystem. The forest cannot stand alone; it needs active support of the local community.
Chapter
Adverse human impacts have often been drivers of general biodiversity loss, and specifically decline of large ungulates in tropical forests, even within designated nature reserves. However, effectiveness of conservation efforts in protected areas is constrained in the absence of reliable assessments of prevalent threats to wild ungulate populations. Similar constraints are faced while assessing population responses to specific management or conservation actions. In this study, using five threatened species of ungulates in the Nagarahole-Bandipur landscape as examples, we illustrate how rigorous assessments of both human impacts and management actions can be made at landscape scales. We submit these approaches have broader application to efforts to protect and recover other mammalian taxa and even overall biodiversity.
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This study assesses the causes of forest resource depletion in the Poba reserve forest, Assam, India. Although many activities, such as hunting and grazing, are banned, the Poba reserve forest is being degraded. The results of a household survey show local communities have experienced a decrease in forest resources in 2012 compared to 2002. Lack of community-based institutions and proper forest management plan has opened access to the forest, resulting in illegal logging and over extraction of forest products. These activities have limited the ability of Poba reserve forest to deliver ecosystem goods and services, and prevented forest restoration. Change is forest cover and availability of forest products has adversely affected the livelihoods of more than two-thirds of local households. The study suggests that participatory involvement of local communities in forest management can reverse trends in deforestation and forest degradation and restore the ecosystem. The forest cannot stand alone; it needs active support of the local community. La forêt peut-elle survivre seule? Obstacles à la restauration de la dernière forêt vierge en existence à Assam, en Inde S. RANABHAT, L.D. BHATTA, R.K. RAI, B. PANT, N. TIMALSINA, P.J. DAS et N. BISHT Cette étude évalue les causes de l'amoindrissement des ressources forestières dans la réserve forestière de Poba dans l'Assam, en Inde. Bien que de nombreuses activités soient proscrites, telles que la chasse et la création de pâturages, la réserve forestière de Poba est en voie de dégradation. Les résultats d'une étude auprès des foyers montre que les communautés locales ont été témoin d'une baisse des ressources forestières en 2012, les rendant inférieures à celles disponibles en 2002. Le manque d'institutions à base communautaire et de plan de gestion à proprement parler a laissé un accès ouvert à la forêt, qui a résulté en coupes de bois illégales et une extraction outrée des produits forestiers. Ces activités ont limité la capabilité de la réserve forestière de Poba à fournir biens et services de l'écosystème. Elles ont également fait obstacle à la restauration forestière. Le changement du couvert forestier et de la disponibilité des produits forestiers ont impacté négativement les revenus de plus des deux tiers des populations locales. L'étude suggère qu'une implication participative des communautés locales dans la gestion forestière pourrait faire faire demi-tour aux courants de déforestation et de dégradation forestière et restaurer l'écosystème. La forêt ne peut survivre seule; elle a besoin du soutien de la communauté locale. ¿Puede el bosque mantenerse por sí solo? Barreras a la restauración de la última pluviselva de Assam en la India S. RANABHAT, L.D. BHATTA, R.K. RAI, B. PANT, N. TIMALSINA, P.J. DAS y N. BISHT Este estudio evalúa las causas del agotamiento de los recursos forestales en la reserva forestal de Poba en Assam (India). A pesar de la prohibición de muchas actividades como la caza y el pastoreo, la reserva forestal de Poba sigue degradándose. Los resultados de una encuesta en hogares muestran que las comunidades locales experimentaron una disminución de los recursos forestales en 2012, en comparación con 2002. La falta de instituciones comunitarias y un Plan de Manejo Forestal adecuado han abierto el acceso al bosque, lo que ha resultado en talas ilegales y la sobreexplotación de los productos procedentes del bosque. Estas actividades han limitado la capacidad del bosque de la reserva forestal de Poba para proporcionar bienes y servicios ecosistémicos y han impedido la restauración del bosque. El cambio en la cober-tura forestal y la disponibilidad de productos del bosque han afectado negativamente a los medios de vida de más de dos tercios de los hogares locales. El estudio sugiere que la participación de las comunidades locales en el manejo forestal puede revertir las tendencias de deforestación y degradación forestal y restaurar el ecosistema. El bosque no puede mantenerse por sí solo: necesita el apoyo activo de la comunidad local. Can forest stand alone? Barriers to the restoration of the last remaining rainforest in Assam, India 63
Chapter
Designing and optimising management strategies for human-carnivore coexistence is the greatest challenge and it requires a detailed understanding of the ecological and sociological circumstances associated with conflict, particularly in multi-use, human-dominated landscapes. The sloth bear is a key example of a large-bodied, wide-ranging, conflict-prone species that is gradually threatened by various anthropogenic activities across its geographical range. To understand the temporal and spatial pattern of sloth bear attacks on humans, records of sloth bear attacks on humans were collected from seven divisional forest offices of northern Odisha. Sloth bear attack victims were interviewed to collect conflict details. The victim's age, sex, occupation, and activity at the time of the attack were recorded, as well as the date and time of the incident, followed by physical verification of the incident location. From 2001 through 2016, 529 sloth bear attack incidents were recorded in the study area. Forty-five people were killed and 685 injured due to sloth bear attacks. Seventeen sloth bears were killed as a result of retaliation by the local villagers. There was a significant increase in incidents of conflict during 2009-2016 compared with 2001-2008. Although sloth bear attacks were reported throughout the year, they were more frequent during monsoon season and August month. Attacks were more frequent during the morning between 0601 and 0800 hours. Most of the sloth bear attack incidents occurred along the forest fringes than other habitat types. Sloth bear attacks were recorded in six forest divisions and most of the attacks were recorded in Keonjhar Forest Division (37.88 percent) followed by Balasore Wildlife Division (36.89 percent) and Keonjhar Wildlife Division (17.05 percent). Sloth bear attack hotspot maps from spatially explicit models showed a patchy probability of high conflict risk with the presence of definite clusters or hot spots of attack. High-risk sites were noticeable Biodiversity Conservation and Livelihood Management 174 | in Balasore Wildlife Division and Keonjhar Forest Division. Although incidents of sloth bear attacks were reported in all age groups, the majority of victims were 31-45 years of age. Attacks occurred most frequently when victims were using forest fringes for toilets. Approaches to mitigate human-sloth bear conflict should emphasize avoiding sloth bears when they are sighted and conducting activities near forests during morning and evening and in groups when possible. Avoid sloth bear encounter by removing or not cultivated sloth bear attractants or food near home. Strategies such as improving sanitation facilities, developing effective compensation schemes, forming conflict management teams, and establishing sloth bear conservation awareness programs for villagers, as well as improving cooperation among various stakeholders, are necessary to foster human-sloth bear coexistence.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Article
Woodlands in the Sudanian zone are under different management regimes, including total protection and controlled use mainly for feeding livestock and collecting fuelwood. This study conducted in Sudanian woodlands of Benin, around the Biosphere Reserve of Pendjari (BRP) aimed to: (i) determine the effect of selective stem thinning and branch pruning on the production of standing biomass of the woodlands; and (ii) assess the effectiveness of Sudanian woodlands to meet the fuelwood demand of the local population. Three vegetation units of about 80 m × 80 m each were identified, relatively uniform floristically and structurally, and representing three woodland development stages in Sudanian woodlands. Three random blocks (replications) of 20 m × 20 m each were demarcated within each vegetation unit. Each block was then divided into four treatment plots of 10 m × 10 m each. Treatments were randomly allocated and consisted of i) no thinning (T1), ii) 30% thinning (T2), iii) 60% thinning (T3), and iv) 100% thinning (T4). Standard branch pruning was applied to all remaining stems. The species name, diameter and/or height of the remaining stems ≥ 1 m height were recorded twice during the year period between 2015 and 2016. A semi-structured questionnaire was randomly applied to 150 households to record detailed information on the tree species as well as the quantity of fuelwood used or sold each day. Thinning and pruning had a positive effect on biomass production. The best biomass production (0.88 t/ha/year or 15,028.5 t/year for an area of 16,938.7 ha) was obtained with 60% thinning and pruning. Whatever the treatment, the biomass production did not meet the demand for fuelwood of the local population around the BRP. A deficit between 69.5% (T1) and 64.6% (T3) was observed. The mean per capita fuelwood needs of the households was 1.3 kg/day, and decreased with increasing household size. Extending the experimentation over a longer period (at least ten years), and establishing and using the allometric equations of recorded tree species will improve the estimation of the biomass production of these woodlands.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
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1. Recovering or threatened carnivore populations are often harvested to minimise their impact on human activities, such as livestock farming or game hunting. Increasingly, harvest quota decisions involve a set of scientific, administrative and political institutions operating at national and sub-national levels whose interactions and collective decision-making aim to increase the legitimacy of management and ensure population targets are met. In practice, however, assessments of how quota decisions change between these different actors and what consequences these changes have on population trends are rare. 2. We combine a state-space population modelling approach with an analysis of quota decisions taken at both regional and national levels between 2007 and 2018 to build a set of decision-making models that together predict annual harvest quota values for Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Norway. 3. We reveal a tendency for administrative decision-makers to compensate for consistent quota increases by political actors, particularly when the lynx population size estimate is above the regional target. Using population forecasts based on the ensemble of decision-making models, we show that such buffering of political biases ensures lynx population size remains close to regional and national targets in the long-term. 4. Our results go beyond the usual qualitative assessment of decentralised governance systems for carnivore management, revealing a system of checks and balances that, in the case of lynx in Norway, ensures both multi-stakeholder participation and sustainable harvest quotas. 5. Our work provides a predictive framework to evaluate co-participatory decision-making processes in wildlife management, paving the way for scientists and decision-makers to collaborate more widely in identifying where decision biases might lie and how institutional arrangements can be optimised to minimise them. We emphasise, however, that this is only possible if wildlife management decisions are documented and transparent.
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Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
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Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
Chapter
Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
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People worry about crop and livestock destruction by wild animals in the nearby protected region, which might lead to opposition to the preservation of a protected area. We surveyed 360 households from 30 villages in the eco-sensitive region of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the period of December 2021 to May 2022 to assess the annually loss in the crops by the wild animals and livestock attacked by the wild animals. One-way variance followed by DMRT post hoc was used to analyse losses in crop. It was observed that farmers getting losses, in Rabi season farmers get much loss in the mustard crop, and in Kharif season farmers get loss in maize crop due to wild animals in the form of crop raiding foraging, and eating. 335 number of incidents happened with livestock in the last five years among them 155 got injured and 180 were killed by wild animals, majority of incidents happened with goat followed by calves and buffalo. Our comparative analysis helps to further ongoing conservation and compensation efforts by shedding light crops and livestock that influence conflict loss and tolerance.
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The birds (avian) in India are endemic to different hotspots play a vital role in balancing the ecosystem and its functions. They have a significant role in providing the pollination of various plant species. Eco-tourism plays a very important economic activity in any protected area and institution. Habitats disturbance has been shown to negatively impact avifauna nesting and foraging and also disturb the fledging times. The study was conducted to illustrate the fluctuation in the numbers of individuals of avifauna by daily vis-itor's entries in Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, In-dia. We observed daily tourists and some surrounding common species of avifauna in Forest Research Institute , Dehradun Campus. The objectives of this study are to find out the visitors' impacts on populations of birds species and habitat conservation and disruption. During the study, we found that the species which habitats are in near-human settled areas are the least influenced by visitors, and those species which habitats are generally natural forest types are effectively most. The finding shows that increasing numbers of visitors per day also impact the individual number of species. The study concludes an early warning alarm for the habitat perturbation as the number of visitors increases, the species populations are showing disturbed and the number of individuals appears less.
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The value of wildlife is incalculable for any country, and its conservation is of paramount importance. Human activities have pushed many species to the brink, and the current rate of species extinctions is way above the rate of background extinction. In India, the ever-expanding human population and the efforts to meet its ever-increasing demands have led to an unprecedented human impact on wildlife and ecosystems through changes in habitat, biota, and communities. The causative factors are interwoven in a complex web of relationships and augment the threats to increase the vulnerability of species. Suitable habitats for wildlife are exponentially shrinking over time as human populations encroach wild habitats for various purposes like agriculture, grazing livestock, and building infrastructure. Consequently, human-wildlife conflict is escalating at an alarming rate with detrimental consequences to both human and wildlife. There is the destruction of property, and many human and animal lives are lost due to human-wildlife conflict. As a result, people turn against wildlife, protest against the existing and established protected areas failing conservation plans. This paper presents a synthesis of the recent status of wildlife research and its conservation in India. Although there are a large number of factors responsible for the depletion of wildlife, the focus on the three most critical factors. Degradation and loss of habitat, habitat fragmentation leading to restricted movements of wild populations and the ensuing human-wildlife conflict are discussed regarding current knowledge, leading to a roadmap for the future. In India, a paradigm shift is required for the long-term conservation plans that must include the perspectives and fundamental requirements of the stakeholders (e.g., human populations living near protected areas, tribal populations). Ultimately, understanding current stakeholder attitudes will determine our ability to foster support for conservation of wildlife in the country.
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Around the world, Indigenous peoples have stories about wildlife that reflect knowledge and feelings about animals and their relationship to humans. Different people's experiences speak to the variety of interactions people have with animals in the spaces where humans and non-human animals live and interact. These stories are often told by women, reflecting the ways in which gender mediates human–environment relations. Yet gendered differences in knowledge and experience are rarely addressed in wildlife conservation research and action. Even community-based conservation efforts often ignore or marginalize the knowledge and experiences of women. We present women's stories and experiences of wildlife from Maasai communities in Tanzania and Soliga communities in India. We show that women have the desire and knowledge to participate in conservation decision-making but are currently marginalized from community conservation practice. We argue that including women in research and action is key for successful community-based wildlife conservation.
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Conflicts over the conservation of biodiversity are increasing and are serious obstacles to wildlife conservation efforts worldwide. Changing patterns in land use, over-exploitation, pollution, climate change and the threat posed by invasive species all challenge the way we currently maintain and protect biodiversity - from the local management of single species to the international management of resources. Integrating approaches from different academic disciplines, policy makers and practitioners, this volume offers a radically new, cross-disciplinary, multi-scale approach to deal with conflicts. Groundbreaking strategies for conservation are analysed and a large section of the book is devoted to exploring case studies of conflict from around the world. Aimed primarily at academics, researchers and students from disciplines relating to conservation, ecology, natural resources management and environmental governance, this book will be equally valuable to conservation NGOs and practitioners, and the policy community at national and international levels.
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Deforestation and forest degradation are impairing the amplitude of forests to produce various ecosystem products and services, livelihood security, and its contribution towards mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Indian forests support the sustenance needs of ~300 millions of tribal people and forest dwelling rural populations. India is experiencing an increased pace of deforestation and destruction of forest resources leading to overall forest degradation in the past few decades. Around 40% of the Indian forests are degraded and over-exploited, 70% have lost the natural regeneration potential, and 55% are prone to fire. India is one of the parties to all the potentially notable world’s agreements and conventions encompassing forests and their degradation prevention. India has committed to accomplish restoration of 21 Mha of damaged, degraded, and deforested lands by 2030 under the Bonn Challenge. The forestry sector constitutes an important part of India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and can be achieved through several ongoing programmes such as the National Mission for a Green India, National Afforestation Programme, compensatory afforestation, and plantations to increase the area under forest in the country. India’s forestry sector is committed to establish a supplementary forest cover as a terrestrial carbon sink of 2.5–3.0 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent under the Paris Agreement by 2030. Besides, investment in natural ecosystems, through reduction in carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), and reducing GHGs emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, and other forest related activities (REDD+) related strategies, contribute significantly to a reduction in GHGs emissions and improvement of carbon storage capacity of natural forests. It also helps in generating alternative income sources for the rural, tribal, and forest-dependent communities that will give essential financial inducements to avoid deforestation and to provide supplementary livelihood advantages from the protection and restoration of forest ecosystems. This chapter will particularly focus on the tropical forest, as it is currently experiencing the highest rates of deforestation and over-exploitation.KeywordsForest destructionDegradationLivelihood securityTropical forestsIndian initiatives
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Despite the fact that tropical dry forests are being exploited on a large scale for various forest products, there has been limited evaluation of the accompanying ecological impacts. In particular, there is no information on the effects of widespread biomass extraction such as grazing and firewood collection. This study was carried out in Sariska Tiger Reserve in northern India, to investigate the effects of biomass extraction on forest vegetation composition, diversity and structure.
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Fortress conservation”, based solely on strict nature protection, is under a scanner from those who see its severe limitations. There are also changes in the larger landscape, especially the unleashing of commercial and industrial pressures that require remedies beyond park boundaries. At the same time, resource conflicts have escalated to the extent that, today, wildlife may be competing with some of India’s most underprivileged people for the hope of survival. Yet, the recent tiger crisis showed that the conservation debate has never been more polarized between votaries of strict nature protection and those advocating community-based solutions. There is an obvious need for dialogue across traditional disciplinary divides and for synthesis of different new approaches that explore middle ground. Biological conservation can only proceed further via deeper engagement with sociologically informed views of our current predicament while still being rooted in biology. The papers in this volume critically engage with the dominant conservation regimes in India, analyzing their historical and political origins, and also others outline ongoing people-friendly paradigms. Grappling with complexity, both ecological and social, these innovative approaches move well beyond the bounds of parks and sanctuaries. The authors explore means of conservation that can give biodiversity a positive meaning to the lives of people most closely coexisting with wild nature. ‘Making Conservation Work’ promotes a fresh conservation discourse, one that attempts to move the debate from generalities to specifics, from ideological battles to pragmatic solutions and from exclusivity to dialogue. Today's biodiversity crisis is best seen as providing opportunity to think afresh to take conservation forward in this new century.
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Quantitative measurements of changes in tropical biodiversity are sparse, despite wide agreement that maintaining biodiversity is a key conservation goal. Pan-tropical networks to systematically measure plot-level biodiversity are currently being developed to close this gap. We propose that a key component of such networks is the monitoring of human activities at broader scales around plots, to enable interpretation of biodiversity trends. This monitoring goal raises questions about the spatial extent and variables needed to capture interactions between human activities and biodiversity at multiple scales. We suggest a pragmatic approach to delineate and monitor a "zone of interaction" around biodiversity measurement sites to bridge across these scales. We identify the hydrologic, biological, and human interactions that connect local-scale measurements with broader-scale processes. We illustrate the concept with case studies in the Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania and Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar; however, the framework applies to other biodiversity measurement sites and monitoring networks as well.
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Collection of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has been promoted in India as a strategy to aid wildlife conservation whilst simultaneously alleviating poverty, and recent legislation now gives communities living within protected areas the legal right to collect NTFPs. However, research on the financial rewards from NTFP collection and its contribution to sustainable development is equivocal. In a case study in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, India, we examined whether NTFP collection can solve livelihood problems by analysing revenues obtained from various NTFP species, estimating the economic returns to collectors from various social backgrounds, and exploring the attitudes of collectors towards their profession. We found that black damar resin from the tree Canarium strictum (61.3%) and mace from Myristica spp. (35.5%) were the most commonly collected NTFPs, and the most valuable NTFPs were honey from Apis cerana indica (USD 4.12 kg-1), cardamom Elettaria cardamomum (USD 3.67 kg-1) and Myristica spp. (USD 2.77 kg-1). Mean daily revenue from NTFP collection was USD 3.15 ± SD 4.19 day-1, and the lowest daily revenues were earned by part-time collectors with low socio-economic status such as migrants, forest-dwellers or those without access to agricultural land. Most collectors (82%) did not wish to continue harvesting NTFPs if alternative livelihoods from agriculture could be provided, and none wanted their children to be NTFP collectors. Our findings suggest that, with respect to social justice, poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability, the role of NTFP collection in sustainable development is questionable.
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Central Indian forested lands, biologically one of the most diverse regions in India, are facing the serious problem of habitat fragmentation both at small and large scales. While the entire conservation programme in this region revolves around a network of protected areas (PAs), safeguarding the genetic exchanges amongst wildlife populations, located in spatially separated but biologically rich PAs, is a prerequisite for the longevity of these conservation areas. We present here the results of a new methodological framework that evaluates the potential of forested tracts for functioning as viable corridors between Kanha Tiger Reserve and Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary located in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively. We use 1 : 250,000 scale Indian remote sensing (IRS LISS-I) data to generate a detailed landuse map. The landscape suitability model is developed in GIS domain and is essentially based on two spatial characteristics of the landscape, viz. interspersion and juxtaposition, using landuse map. The landscape suitability model was refined by overlaying the human pressure map. The model underlines that a combination of moderate and highly suitable habitats can establish habitat connectivity between the two PAs. The model results are also substantiated by ground information collected from about 200 sample points across the forested landscape. We also identify a few forest patches and various management strategies that are critical for the viability of the entire corridor within the landscape.
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Food habits of tigers Panthera tigris in terms of prey abundance were studied in the semi-arid deciduous forests of Ranthambhore National Park, western India, between November 2000 and April 2001. Wild prey availability was assessed by line transects (n=8) and prey selection by the tigers was determined from analysis of scats (n=109). Compared to some other parts of the country, prey abundance was found to be high at 96.65 animals km−2. Chital Axis axis was the most abundant wild prey in the study area, followed by common langur Presbytis entellus, sambar Cervus unicolor, nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, wild pig Sus scrofa and chinkara Gazella bennetti. Chital (c. 31%) and sambar (c. 47%) constituted the bulk of the tigers' diet and were preferred prey. Nilgai and chinkara contributed minimally to the tigers' diet (c. 5–7% and <1%, respectively) and were used less than their availability. Domestic livestock made up 10–12% of the tigers' diet. The average weight of an animal consumed was between 107 and 114 kg reflecting a preference for large prey. The analysis reveals that parts of Ranthambhore have high prey abundance, thus making it important for long-term tiger conservation. Despite the high prey abundance, tigers were still considerably dependent on domestic livestock, posing challenges for the park management to resolve potential areas of conflict.
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Although conservation and management of tropical ecosystems requires that we understand the threats to these areas, there are no standardized methods to quantify threats to ecosystems. We used a geographic information system-based protocol with several physical and socioeconomic attributes to assess the threats to a protected area, a wildlife sanctuary in southern India. Physical attributes included threats from major and minor roads and the accessibility of an area (given as inverse of the slope of the area), and socioeconomic attributes included the number of human settlements and human, cattle, and sheep populations. We divided the sanctuary into 30-ha grids, and for each grid we computed three threat categories: (1) settlement-associated threat from humans, cattle, and sheep; (2) development-associated threat resulting from major and minor roads; and (3) accessibility-related threat caused by the steepness of the terrain. Combining all three threats, we derived a composite threat index for each grid and mapped five levels of threats in the sanctuary. We collected data on human activities, tree species richness, and diversity in the transects laid in areas corresponding to these five threat levels. Although the threat levels of the transects were strongly correlated with the human-related disturbance activities, the composite threat indices of the transects were negatively correlated with tree species richness, indicating that the threat values we derived served as a good surrogate of the actual threat experienced by the sanctuary. With appropriate modifications, the protocol developed here can be applied to other ecosystems as well.
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Illegal hunting poses a dual threat to large carnivores through direct removal of individuals and by prey depletion. We conducted a camera-trapping survey in the Namdapha National Park, north-east India, conducted as part of a programme to evaluate carnivore and prey species abundance. Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) was the only large carnivore detected by camera-trapping. Indirect evidences indicated the presence of the wild dog (Cuon alpinus) and leopard (Panthera pardus), however, there was no evidence of tigers (Panthera tigris), suggesting their possible extinction from the lower elevation forests. Of the major ungulate prey species, sambar (Cervus unicolor) and wild pig (Sus scrofa) were the only large prey detected, while the Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) was the only small prey species detected. Relative abundances of all species were appreciably lower than estimates from other tropical forests in south-east Asia. We suspect that illegal hunting may be the cause for the low carnivore and prey species abundance. An ongoing community-based conservation programme presents an opportunity to reduce local people’s dependence on hunting by addressing their socio-economic needs and for using their skills and knowledge of the landscape for wildlife conservation. However, long-term wildlife monitoring is essential to assess the efficacy of the socio-economic interventions in bringing about wildlife recovery.
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Under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the world’s governments set a goal of protecting 10% of all ecological regions by 2010. We evaluated progress toward that goal for the world’s major terrestrial biomes, realms, and ecoregions. Total land area under any legal protection has increased from previous estimates to 12.9%, a notable achievement, although only 5.8% has strict protection for biodiversity. For biomes, protection ranges from 4% to 25%, with six of 14 biomes still below the 10% level. Geographic patterns of protection have a distinct bias, with higher rates of protection in New World realms than Old World realms. Of the world’s terrestrial ecoregions, half do not meet the 2010 Target and 76% have less than 10% of their area strictly protected. Approximately 13% of ecoregions have no strict protected areas. Recent years have seen an expansion of the protected area network, with an average of 0.13% of the global land area added per year. Most of the expansion since 2003 though has been in Brazil, particularly the Amazon. Without major investments in conservation, spread across the world’s ecosystems, the world will likely miss the 2010 target.
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Biodiversity conservation issues are often contentious and complex. Polarized debates on the effectiveness of protected areas and role of people inside them, charismatic species as conservation foci, and on specific policy initiatives are common among Indian and global conservationists. We surveyed Indian conservationists about the conservation effectiveness of protected areas and charismatic species, as well as status of conservation and research efforts. We expected differences among people based on professional affiliation, and educational background. We examined participants’ opinions on conservation policies like Project Tiger and Elephant, the Forest Rights Act, and the Tiger Task Force Report. Participants ranked Indian research efforts as average, and identified a bias towards terrestrial species and ecosystems. Ninety-percent of participants considered reserves to be effective, many (61%) participants felt that the situation of people living inside reserves is unsustainable, and many (76%) felt the use of force to protect reserves from illegal human activities is acceptable. Classification and regression tree models for these questions suggested that non-academics were more likely than academics to agree with these positions. On the success of Project Tiger and Elephant, older participants were more likely to think these initiatives were a success. Many (63%) participants felt the Forest Rights Act needed revision, particularly if they had doctoral degrees. Sixty-two percent of participants did not think Tiger Task Force was effective. Overall, participants’ professional affiliation, age, and academic degree were important predictors of participants attitudes towards conservation initiatives.
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Mammal extinctions are widespread globally, with South Asian species being most threatened. We examine local extinctions of 25 mammals in India. We use historical records to obtain a set of locations at which each species was known to have been present at some time in the last 200 years. We then use occupancy estimation models to draw inferences about current presence at these same locations based on field observations of local experts. We examine predictions about the influence of key factors such as protected areas, forest cover, elevation, human population density and cultural tolerance on species extinction. For all 25 species, estimated local extinction probabilities (referenced to a 100 year time frame) range between 0.14 and 0.96. Time elapsed since the historical occurrence record was an important determinant of extinction probability for 14 species. Protected areas are positively associated with lower extinction of 18 species, although many species occur outside them. We find evidence that higher proportion of forest cover is associated with lower extinction probabilities for seven species. However, for species that prefer open habitats (which have experienced intensive land-use change), forest cover alone appears insufficient to ensure persistence (the complement of extinction). We find that higher altitude is positively associated with lower extinction for eight species. Human population density is positively associated with extinction of 13 species. We find that 'culturally tolerated' species do exhibit higher persistence. Overall, large-bodied, rare and habitat specialist mammals tend to have higher extinction probabilities.
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The loss of livestock to wild predators is an important livelihood concern among Trans-Himalayan pastoralists. Because of the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, few studies have been carried out to quantify livestock depredation by wild predators. In the present study, we assessed the intensity of livestock depredation by snow leopard Uncia uncia, Tibetan wolf Canis lupus chanku, and Eurasian lynx Lynx l. isabellina in three villages, namely Gya, Rumtse, and Sasoma, within the proposed Gya-Miru Wildlife Sanctuary in Ladakh, India. The three villages reported losses of 295 animals to these carnivores during a period of 2.5 years ending in early 2003, which represents an annual loss rate of 2.9% of their livestock holdings. The Tibetan wolf was the most important predator, accounting for 60% of the total livestock loss because of predation, followed by snow leopard (38%) and lynx (2%). Domestic goat was the major victim (32%), followed by sheep (30%), yak (15%), and horse (13%). Wolves killed horses significantly more and goats less than would be expected from their relative abundance. Snow leopards also killed horses significantly more than expected, whereas they killed other livestock types in proportion to their abundance. The three villages combined incurred an estimated annual monetary loss of approximately $USD 12,120 amounting to approximately $USD 190/household/y. This relatively high total annual loss occurred primarily because of depredation of the most valuable livestock types such as yak and horse. Conservation actions should initially attempt to target decrease of predation on these large and valuable livestock species.
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Tropical forest habitat continues to decline globally, with serious negative consequences for environmental sustainability. The small mountain country of Nepal provides an excellent context in which to examine trajectories of forest-cover change. Despite having experienced large-scale forest clearing in the past, significant reforestation has taken place in recent years. The range of biophysical and ecological environments and diversity of tenure arrangements provide us with a context with sufficient variation to be able to derive insight into the impact of a range of hypothesized drivers of forest change. This article draws on a dataset of 55 forests from the middle hills and Terai plains of Nepal to examine the factors associated with forest clearing or regeneration. Results affirm the central importance of tenure regimes and local monitoring for forest regrowth. In addition, user group size per unit of forest area is an important, independent explanator of forest change. These variables also can be associated with specific practices that further influence forest change such as the management of social conflict, adoption of new technologies to reduce pressure on the forest, and involvement of users in forest maintenance activities. Such large-N, comparative studies are essential if we are to derive more complex, nuanced, yet actionable frameworks that help us to plan better policies for the management of natural resources. • community forestry • group size • institutions • monitoring • Nepal
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Tropical moist forests contain the majority of terrestrial species. Human actions destroy between 1 and 2 million km² of such forests per decade, with concomitant carbon release into the atmosphere. Within these forests, protected areas are the principle defense against forest loss and species extinctions. Four regions—the Amazon, Congo, South American Atlantic Coast, and West Africa—once constituted about half the world's tropical moist forest. We measure forest cover at progressively larger distances inside and outside of protected areas within these four regions, using datasets on protected areas and land-cover. We find important geographical differences. In the Amazon and Congo, protected areas are generally large and retain high levels of forest cover, as do their surroundings. These areas are protected de facto by being inaccessible and will likely remain protected if they continue to be so. Deciding whether they are also protected de jure—that is, whether effective laws also protect them—is statistically difficult, for there are few controls. In contrast, protected areas in the Atlantic Coast forest and West Africa show sharp boundaries in forest cover at their edges. This effective protection of forest cover is partially offset by their very small size: little area is deep inside protected area boundaries. Lands outside protected areas in the Atlantic Coast forest are unusually fragmented. Finally, we ask whether global databases on protected areas are biased toward highly protected areas and ignore “paper parks.” Analysis of a Brazilian database does not support this presumption. • biodiversity • tropical forest • conservation • deforestation
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Protected areas (PAs) have long been criticized as creations of and for an elite few, where associated costs, but few benefits, are borne by marginalized rural communities. Contrary to predictions of this argument, we found that average human population growth rates on the borders of 306 PAs in 45 countries in Africa and Latin America were nearly double average rural growth, suggesting that PAs attract, rather than repel, human settlement. Higher population growth on PA edges is evident across ecoregions, countries, and continents and is correlated positively with international donor investment in national conservation programs and an index of park-related funding. These findings provide insight on the value of PAs for local people, but also highlight a looming threat to PA effectiveness and biodiversity conservation.
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This study is focused on the global expansion of protect-ed-area coverage that occurred during the 1980–2000 period. We examine the multi-scale patterning of four of the basic facets of this expansion: i) estimated increases at the world-regional and country-level scales of total pro-tected-area coverage; ii) transboundary protected areas; iii) conservation corridor projects; and iv) type of conser-vation management. Geospatial patterning of protected-area designations is a reflection of the priorities of global conservation organizations and the globalization of post-Cold War political and economic arrangements. Local and national-level factors (political leadership and infra-structure) as well as international relations such as mul-tilateral and bilateral aid combine with these globalization processes to impact the extent, type, and location of pro-tected-area designations. We conclude that the interaction of these factors led to the creation and reinforcement of marked spatial differences (rather than tendencies toward worldwide evenness or homogenization) in the course of protected-area expansion during the 1980–2000 period.
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This article is an analysis of the India Eco-Development Project (IEP) implemented in Sasan Gir National Park and Sanctuary. Statistical data describing the consumption patterns and financial status of the Maldharis was collected from 13 nesses. This information demonstrates the impact of the Maldharis on Gir, a lack of willingness among people to change environmentally harmful behavior when forest-dependent activities are economically beneficial, and that participatory approaches under IEP have resulted in positive changes in the lifestyle of the Maldharis and enhanced relationships with the forest department but have failed to improve conservation. The research seeks to assess the effectiveness of IEP in reducing the dependency of Maldharis on natural resources by considering (a) appropriateness of IEP strategies for the Maldharis; (b) methods used to apply IEP strategies; (c) amount of understanding of IEP among the Maldharis, particularly women; and (d) the ability and willingness of Maldharis to participate in IEP.
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Available secondary suspended sediment data from the 1980s was analyzed together with new data collected during 2001–2003 at instrumented sites upstream and downstream of open-cast mining activities (∼4.2km2) in an enclosure within the Kudremukh National Park in south India. More than 50% of the suspended sediment load in both the Bhadra River and Bhadra Reservoir comes from mining-affected lands that occupy
Article
Aim To present an up to date account of the Mesozoic history of India and its relationship to the other Gondwana continents and to Eurasia. Location Continents surrounding the Western Indian Ocean. Methods Utilization of recent evidence of continental relationships based upon research in stratigraphy, palaeomagnetism, palaeontology, and contemporary biotas. Results The physical data revealed a sequence of events as India moved northward: (1) India–Madagascar rifted from east Africa 158–160 Ma (million years ago), (2) India–Madagascar from Antarctica c. 130 Ma, (3) India–Seychelles from Madagascar 84–96 Ma, (4) India from Seychelles 65 Ma, (5) India began collision with Eurasia 55–65 Ma and (6) final suturing took place c. 42–55 Ma. However, data from fossil and contemporary faunas indicate that, throughout the late Cretaceous, India maintained exchanges with adjacent lands. There is an absence in the fossil record of peculiar animals and plants that should have evolved, had India undergone an extended period of isolation just before its contact with Eurasia. Main conclusions The depiction of India in late Cretaceous as an isolated continent is in error. Most global palaeomaps, including the most recent one, show India, as it moves northward, following a track far out in the Indian Ocean. But the evidence now indicates that India's journey into northern latitudes cannot have taken place under such isolated circumstances. Although real breaks among the lands were indicated by the physical data, faunal links were maintained by vagile animals that were able to surmount minor marine barriers. India, during its northward journey, remained close to Africa and Madagascar even as it began to contact Eurasia.
Article
Forest reserves are increasingly becoming isolated, embedded in a matrix of various kinds of human land-use. Coffee plantations form the dominant matrix around many forest reserves in the tropics. In such a situation, the species richness and abundance of animals in coffee plantations can be expected to be determined by their proximity to the forest reserve and characteristics of the local vegetation. We tested this hypothesis with data on mammals (excluding bats, murids and insectivores) collected from 15 coffee plantations around the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in India, between December 2005 and May 2006. We estimated mammal species richness and abundance from indirect evidence in belt transects and track plots, and from sightings during night surveys. We sampled the vegetation of the plantations from 36 plots of 5 m × 5 m, in each estate. Twenty-eight species of mammals were recorded from 15 plantations. The number of species recorded in individual estates ranged from 5 to 19, with an average of 11.8. Distance from the Sanctuary was the most important factor that negatively influenced species richness, and the abundance of many species. Local vegetation characteristics influenced only the abundance of some small species. Coffee plantations can be a buffer around forest reserves and improve connectivity between them. However, increasing conversion of native shade into silver oak and hunting are two issues that must be addressed if coffee plantations are to form high-quality matrix around forest reserves in the Western Ghats.
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Protected areas are one of the cornerstones for conserving the world's re-maining biodiversity, most of which occurs in tropical forests. We use multiple sources of satellite data to estimate the extent of forest habitat and loss over the last 20 years within and surrounding 198 of the most highly protected areas (IUCN status 1 and 2) located throughout the world's tropical forests. In the early 1980s, surrounding habitat in the 50-km unprotected or less highly protected ''buffers'' enhanced the protected areas' effective size and their capacity to conserve richness of forest-obligate species above the hypothetical case of complete isolation. However, in nearly 70% of the surrounding buffers, the area of forest habitat declined during the last 20 years, while 25% experienced declines within their administrative boundaries. The loss of habitat occurred in all tropical regions, but protected areas in South and Southeast Asia were most severely affected because of rela-tively low surrounding forest habitat in the early 1980s and high subsequent loss, particularly in dry tropical forests. The future ability of protected areas to maintain current species richness depends on integrating reserve management within the land use dynamics of their larger regional settings.
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1. Many Indian mammals face range contraction and extinction, but assessments of their population status are hindered by the lack of reliable distribution data and range maps. 2. We estimated the current geographical ranges of 20 species of large mammals by applying occupancy models to data from country-wide expert. We modelled species in relation to ecological and social covariates (protected areas, landscape characteristics and human influences) based on a priori hypotheses about plausible determinants of mammalian distribution patterns. 3. We demonstrated that failure to incorporate detection probability in distribution survey methods underestimated habitat occupancy for all species. 4. Protected areas were important for the distribution of 16 species. However, for many species much of their current range remains unprotected. The availability of evergreen forests was important for the occurrence of 14 species, temperate forests for six species, deciduous forests for 15 species and higher altitude habitats for two species. Low human population density was critical for the occurrence of five species, while culturally based tolerance was important for the occurrence of nine other species. 5. Rhino Rhinoceros unicornis, gaur Bos gaurus and elephant Elephas maximus showed the most restricted ranges among herbivores, and sun bear Helarctos malayanus, brown bear Ursus arctos and tiger Panthera tigris were most restricted among carnivores. While cultural tolerance has helped the survival of some mammals, legal protection has been critically associated with occurrence of most species. 6. Synthesis and applications. Extent of range is an important determinant of species conservation status. Understanding the relationship of species occurrence with ecological and socio-cultural covariates is important for identification and management of key conservation areas. The combination of occupancy models with field data from country-wide experts enables reliable estimation of species range and habitat associations for conservation at regional scales.
Article
Strict protected areas are a critical component in global biodiversity conservation, but the future of biodiversity conservation may well depend upon the ability to experiment successfully with a range of institutional forms, including those that permit human use. Here, we focus on forest commons in human-dominated landscapes and their role in biodiversity conservation at the same time as they provide livelihood benefits to users. Using a dataset of 59 forest commons located in Bhutan, India, and Nepal, we estimated tree species richness from plot vegetation data collected in each forest, and drew on interview data to calculate a livelihoods index indicating the overall contribution of each forest to villager livelihoods for firewood, fodder, and timber. We found that tree species richness and livelihoods were positively and significantly correlated (rho = .41, p < 0.001, N = 59). This relationship held regardless of forest type or country, though significance varied somewhat across these two factors. Further, both benefits were similarly associated with several drivers of social-ecological change (e.g., occupational diversity of forest users, total number of users, and forest size), suggesting identification of potential synergies and complexes of causal mechanisms for future attention. Our analysis shows that forest commons in South Asia, explicitly managed to provide livelihoods for local populations, also provide biodiversity benefits. More broadly, our findings suggest that although strict protected areas are effective tools for biodiversity conservation, a singular focus on them risks ignoring other resource governance approaches that can fruitfully complement existing conservation regimes.
Article
The view that biodiversity-rich areas partially or largely managed by local residents, sometimes referred to as community-conserved areas (CCAs), can be effective in biological conservation has gained considerable ground over the past decade. In this paper, we review available scientific information on the conservation effectiveness of such areas globally. We compiled studies undertaken during the last 5 years (2004–2009) that use quantifiable ecological attributes to: (1) compare CCAs with strictly protected areas (SPAs); (2) compare CCAs with open-access ecosystems and (3) study trends in biological attributes of CCAs over time. We found that there were few consistent differences in diversity/species richness of flora or fauna protected under the two types of management or in deforestation rates. However, CCAs tend to harbour a species complement distinct from that of SPAs and show lowered abundances of monitored taxa that are of conservation importance. CCAs conserve biological values more effectively than open-access areas. Also, biological values tend to decline in CCAs over time. We conclude that CCAs could represent a significant improvement over open-access areas in terms of conservation effectiveness, yet fall short of the needs of comprehensive biological conservation. While extremely few studies have been undertaken in India, the trends seen largely concur with global ones. This review, based on a limited sample size, is only a beginning, and is expected to serve as an invitation for further research to address both the question of biological effectiveness of diverse forest governance regimes as well as the socio-economic, demographic and institutional reasons underlying these differences.
Article
Global and regional species conservation efforts are hindered by poor distribution data and range maps. Many Indian primates face extinction, but assessments of population status are hindered by lack of reliable distribution data. We estimated the current occurrence and distribution of 15 Indian primates by applying occupancy models to field data from a country-wide survey of local experts. We modeled species occurrence in relation to ecological and social covariates (protected areas, landscape characteristics, and human influences), which we believe are critical to determining species occurrence in India. We found evidence that protected areas positively influence occurrence of seven species and for some species are their only refuge. We found evergreen forests to be more critical for some primates along with temperate and deciduous forests. Elevation negatively influenced occurrence of three species. Lower human population density was positively associated with occurrence of five species, and higher cultural tolerance was positively associated with occurrence of three species. We find that 11 primates occupy less than 15% of the total land area of India. Vulnerable primates with restricted ranges are Golden langur, Arunachal macaque, Pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, Phayre’s leaf monkey, Nilgiri langur and Lion-tailed macaque. Only Hanuman langur and rhesus macaque are widely distributed. We find occupancy modeling to be useful in determining species ranges, and in agreement with current species ranking and IUCN status. In landscapes where monitoring efforts require optimizing cost, effort and time, we used ecological and social covariates to reliably estimate species occurrence and focus species conservation efforts.
Article
Protected areas (PAs) often depend on landscapes surrounding them to maintain flows of organisms, water, nutrients, and energy. Park managers have little authority over the surrounding landscape although land use change and infrastructure development can have major impacts on the integrity of a PA. The need for scientifically-based regional-scale land use planning around protected areas is acute in human-dominated landscapes to balance conservation goals with livelihood needs for fuelwood, fodder, and other ecosystem services. As a first step, we propose the designation of a “zone of interaction” (ZOI) around PAs that encompasses hydrologic, ecological, and socioeconomic interactions between a PA and the surrounding landscape. We illustrate the concept by delineating the ZOI in three Indian PAs – Kanha, Ranthambore, and Nagarahole – using remote sensing, population census, and field data. The ZOI in Ranthambore is three times the size of the park and is largely defined by the socioeconomic interactions with surrounding villages. Ranthambore is located in headwaters and wildlife corridors are largely severed. In Nagarahole, the ZOI is more than seven times larger than the park and includes upstream watershed and elephant corridors. Kanha’s ZOI is approximately four times larger than the park and is mostly defined by contiguous surrounding forest. The three examples highlight the differing extents of ZOIs when applying equivalent criteria, even though all are located in densely-populated landscapes. Quantitative understanding of which activities (e.g. collection of forest products, grazing, road construction, tourism development) and which locations within the ZOI are most crucial to conservation goals will enable improved land use planning around PAs in human-dominated landscapes.
Article
With growing pressure for conservation to pay its way, the merits of compensation for wildlife damage must be understood in diverse socio-ecological settings. Here we compare compensation programs in Wisconsin, USA and Solapur, India, where wolves (Canis lupus) survive in landscapes dominated by agriculture and pasture. At both sites, rural citizens were especially negative toward wolves, even though other wild species caused more damage. Wisconsin and Solapur differ in payment rules and funding sources, which reflect distinct conservation and social goals. In Wisconsin, as wolves recolonized the state, some periodically preyed on livestock and hunting dogs. Ranchers and some hunters were more likely to oppose wolves than were other citizens. The Wisconsin compensation program aimed to restore an iconic species by using voluntary contributions from wolf advocates to pay affected individuals more for wolf losses than for other species. By contrast, wolves had been continuously present in Solapur, and damages were distributed amongst the general populace. Government-supported compensation payments were on offer to anyone suffering losses, yet claims registered were low. There were no significant differences in attitudes of any particular segment of the population, but those losing high value livestock applied for compensation. Residents at both sites did not report (Wisconsin) or expect (Solapur) a change in attitude towards wolves as a result of compensation, yet they support the existence of such programs. To assess the merits of any compensation program, one must disentangle the multiple goals of compensation, such as reducing wolf killing or more fairly sharing the costs of conserving large carnivores.
Article
The relocation and resettlement of people from nature reserves is a controversial issue in the conservation community. The perceived poor success rate of resettlement efforts, combined with availability of few well-documented studies, warrants a detailed examination of this issue. I have analyzed a relocation and resettlement project in India’s Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. I examine the relocation experience of 419 households who moved to two villages located outside the reserve. I interviewed 61% of relocated households in 2002 and 55% relocated households in 2006. In 2002, 71% of households were satisfied with the relocation effort and their quality of life. In 2006, 52% of households were satisfied with their quality of life. Four years after relocation, all households have access to electricity, water, schools, health care, transportation, and communication facilities. Many households have increased their income and assets. Yet, there were differences between the two different-resettlement villages, with one of them faring better in terms of economics, hardships, and uncertainty. This paper draws out insights important for improving conservation practices related to resettlement efforts. It documents short to mid-term successes and challenges that affect the communities involved. I submit that in specific contexts, relocation may be a viable conservation tool. Successful conservation resettlement requires substantial financial support to meet people’s socio-economic needs, active consultation of the people involved, and partnerships of committed non-governmental and governmental organizations.
Article
Areas of high conservation value were identified in the Western Ghats using a systematic conservation planning approach. Surrogates were chosen and assessed for effectiveness on the basis of spatial congruence using Pearson’s correlations and Mantel’s tests. The surrogates were, threatened and endemic plant and vertebrate species, unfragmented forest areas, dry forests, sub-regionally rare vegetation types, and a remotely sensed surrogate for unique evergreen ecosystems. At the scale of this analysis, amphibian richness was most highly correlated with overall threatened and endemic species richness, whereas mammals, especially wide-ranging species, were better at capturing overall animal and habitat diversity. There was a significant relationship between a remote sensing based habitat surrogate and endemic tree diversity and composition. None of the taxa or habitats served as a complete surrogate for the others. Sites were prioritised on the basis of their irreplaceability value using all five surrogates. Two alternative reserve networks are presented, one with minimal representation of surrogates, and the second with 3 occurrences of each species and 25% of each habitat type. These networks cover 8% and 29% of the region respectively. Seventy percent of the completely irreplaceable sites are outside the current protected area network. While the existing protected area network meets the minimal representation target for 88% of the species chosen in this study and all of the habitat surrogates, it is not representative with regard to amphibians, endemic tree species and small mammals. Much of the prioritised unprotected area is under reserve forests and can thus be incorporated into a wider network of conservation areas.
Article
Habitat fragmentation, land cover change and biodiversity loss are often associated with village communities in protected areas, but the extent and intensity of such impacts are often inadequately assessed. We record resource use and depletion by human inhabitants by conducting ecological surveys in six villages and social surveys in all 13 villages of varying sizes in India’s Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary (492 km2). We examined the occurrence of 10 regionally-specific ecological indicators that encompassed several aspects of human activities. Thirty transects with 180 total sampling locations recorded the occurrence of these specific habitat disturbance variables. High correlations between the variables led to the use of principal component analysis to derive an effective summary index that reflected disturbance intensity and determined village ecological impacts spatially. A generalized linear model was fit to determine the rate at which disturbance decreases as we move away from village centers. Our model indicates that village size class, distance from the village and proximity to other villages were significant predictors of the disturbance index. The index distinguished each village’s spatially explicit ecological impact. We estimated that an average area of 23.7 km2 of the forest surrounding the six focal villages was altered by human activities. These six villages have directly impacted 8–10% of this protected area.
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Parks represent spatially and socially heterogeneous conservation units, yet are often assessed and managed using spatially homogeneous approaches. This paper represents an effort to focus on the larger social–ecological landscapes within which protected areas are embedded, to understand why conservation succeeds and fails in different parts of the landscape. In a wildlife sanctuary in the central plains of India (Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve), we address: (i) how people living within and immediately outside a park differentially impact its resources and (ii) how the park differentially impacts communities living within. Using forest plots, satellite imagery and interviews, we evaluate park conservation by assessing plant diversity, land cover change, forest fragmentation, and attitudes of local communities towards conservation. We find that interior villages have a negative impact on regeneration, but there is a decline in tree species diversity, and increased forest cover change and fragmentation at the park periphery. Interior villages suffer greatly from crop and livestock depredations by wildlife and consider park rules to be unfairly devised. Yet, they affirm the importance of the park for conservation, and are willing to work with park authorities for stricter protection. Park authorities largely focus on resettlement of interior villages, when they should also pay attention to protecting the peripheral areas of the park from severe degradation by surrounding villages. In summary, we find that different parts of the park landscape face different conservation challenges. Taking into account spatial variations in the factors influencing conservation can greatly benefit the management of protected areas.