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... Unfortunately, these animals are facing extinction due to global spread of zoonotic disease (Rödder et al. 2009, Brito et al. 2011, O'Hanlon et al. 2018, habitat destruction and fragmentation (Margono et al. 2014, Harris et al. 2017, and anthropogenic climate change (Rödder et al. 2010, Bickford et al. 2010. Southeast Asia is a hotspot of amphibian diversity (Inger 1999), but still poorly understood (Brown & Stuart 2012, Chan & Grismer 2019, Coleman et al. 2019) and with many new species awaiting discovery (Bickford et al. 2010). Here, Sumatra is one of the least explored lands in terms of herpetological research (Harvey et al. 2017a). ...
... Here, Sumatra is one of the least explored lands in terms of herpetological research (Harvey et al. 2017a). Extensive surveys are needed to understand its biodiversity (Brown & Stuart 2012) and to develop conservation strategies of this island (Bickford et al. 2010, Coleman et al. 2019. ...
... About 32% of amphibian species are threatened globally, the highest percentage among all threatened quadruped vertebrate classes (IUCN 2017). Southeast Asian amphibians are no exception to the threats, and they are facing a grave conservation crisis (Rowley et al. 2009, Coleman et al. 2019, compounded day by day by global climate change (Bickford et al. 2010, Kusrini et al. 2017, overexploitation (Natusch & Lyons 2012), habitat loss and deforestation (Daszak et al. 2003), chytrid fungus infestation (Kusrini et al. 2017, and lack of information on conservation status (Tapley et al. 2018). In Indonesia, 41.4% of amphibians are endemic (Sodhi et al. 2004), and 65.6% of these are threatened (IUCN 2017). ...
Article
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Using a combination of morphological and molecular data we recognize three new species of Puppet Toad, Sigalegalephrynus Smart, Sarker, Arifin, Harvey, Sidik, Hamidy, Kurniawan & Smith, a recently described genus endemic to the highland forests of Sumatra, Indonesia. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences recovered a monophyletic relationship among all Puppet Toads, with two distinct evolutionary clades, a northern and a southern. The northern clade includes Sigalegalephrynus gayoluesensis sp. nov., and S. burnitelongensis sp. nov., and the southern clade includes S. harveyi sp. nov., S. mandailinguensis, and S. minangkabauensis. With the discovery of these three new species, Sigalegalephrynus contains more endemic species than any other genus of toad in Indonesia. We used maximum entropy, implemented in MaxEnt, to identify suitable habitats and occurrence probability of additional undescribed new species from the island. The most important predictors of Sigalegalephrynus distribution were elevation (64.5%) and land cover (7.11%). Based on the probability of presence, it is likely that there are many more species of the genus awaiting discovery in Sumatra. Our analysis, based on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species category and criteria, shows that all of the five species of Sigalegalephrynus are in great risk of extinction and should be placed into the Endangered (EN) category of IUCN Red List.
... From the pool, workshop participants selected the high-performance and rewarding indicators using a multi-tier framework adapted from Gardner (2010). The approach utilized in this study recognizes the value of the collaborative exercise (Coleman et al. 2019). This study aims to contribute to current literature related to biodiversity indicators and biodiversity monitoring, and to the development of a PFBMS. ...
Technical Report
This methodological guidance is one of the results of the collaborative work between University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; the University of Srivijaya, Palembang, Indonesia; and the GIZ Biodiversity and Climate Change Project (BIOCLIME) within the “Biodiversity and Carbon Monitoring Project in South Sumatra” (BiCaMSu). The BiCaMSu project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) through the GIZ BioClime project. The aim of the BIOCLIME project is to “preserve biodiversity and the carbon sequestration capacity of the selected forest ecosystems of South Sumatra as a contribution to the implementation of Indonesia’s emission reductions target”. The project contributes to the implementation of Indonesia’s Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (IBSAP)1 . One of the main objectives of the BiCaMSu project is to design a Participatory Forest Biodiversity Monitoring System (PFBMS) at Forest Management Unit (FMU) level in South Sumatra. The PFBMS should assist stakeholders to develop and select highly rewarding/ high-performance criteria and indicators (C&I), and to develop a system to monitor C&I integrating the system into a FMU Forest Management Plan (FMP). The system is a vital component of the FMU FMP within a broader framework of adaptive and responsible forest management. This document provides guidance on how such a system might be put in place. This report follows the guideline “How to setup a Biodiversity Information System (BIS) for South Sumatra” prepared by the BiCaMSu team. Chapter 1 of this guideline provides a brief overview of forest and biodiversity status and signifies the importance of biodiversity monitoring. We also outline the initiatives and challenges on biodiversity monitoring with particularly focus on developing indicators. Chapter 2 outlines the importance of selecting the context based approach for biodiversity monitoring. It gives an overview of hierarchical characterization approach of biodiversity monitoring. Chapter further discusses on the detail process of selecting highly rewarding and high performance indicators that are useful for Sumatra Province level and the forest management unit level forest biodiversity monitoring. Chapter 3 presents the results of extensive literature review and the final outcomes of the two – days expert level workshop held in Palembang, Indonesia. Chapter 4 synthesis the workshop outcome with the literatures and discuss on the application of selected indicators on establishing a participatory forest biodiversity monitoring system at forest management unit level. Criteria and indicators are being promoted internationally as a basis of local stakeholder self-monitoring. As a consequence, indicator development has been one of the most popular research topics in natural resource management and conservation (Noss, 1999). Although the overall sustainability of a nation’s forests depends substantially on actions taken at the national scale, in principle, the national-level analysis of indicators may involve the aggregation of data collected at the FMU scale. Therefore, analysis of indicators at the FMU scale is the key to assessing, monitoring and reporting on SFM (ITTO, 2016). Thus, a monitoring tool, that allows the FMU and local stakeholders to track the progress towards the goal of sustainability, is essential. This guideline provides a conceptual framework to develop rewarding and high-performance indicators and to establish a PFBMS at the FMUL level. Moreover, the selection of forest biodiversity indicators and forest biodiversity monitoring approaches are determined by numerous factors. The PFBMS, as a tool for responsible/ adaptive forest management, should be always flexible and adaptive.
... From the pool, workshop participants selected the high-performance and rewarding indicators using a multi-tier framework adapted from Gardner (2010). The approach utilized in this study recognizes the value of the collaborative exercise (Coleman et al. 2019). This study aims to contribute to current literature related to biodiversity indicators and biodiversity monitoring, and to the development of a PFBMS. ...
Article
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There is often a striking disconnect between communities that create biodiversity frameworks, set targets, and design monitoring system and those that actually implement them. This study aims to (i) develop an integrated (participatory) approach to contextualize available sets of biodiversity indicators to meet specific stakeholders' needs, and (ii) select high-performance and rewarding indicators for participatory forest biodiversity monitoring systems (PFBMS). We used a hierarchical characterization approach to biodiversity to create a global pool of indicators. Specialists then used a framework consisting of multi-tiered filters to select high performance and rewarding indicators from the pool applicable to PFBMS at province and forest management unit levels in Indonesia. Selected indicators are able to reflect changes taking place at various levels in the ecological hierarchy from landscape, habitat, to species level including complete ecosystem attributes, i.e., structural, functional, and compositional. The integrated approach combines the expert guidance and experience of professionals at province and local levels; ensures global-local connection; and follows the participatory approach.
... Southeast Asia is one key region of global biodiversity (Coleman et al., 2019;Hughes, 2017). It is also one of the key hubs of the legal and illegal trade of wildlife where transfer of goods within this region is also porous and poorly regulated (Grieser-Johns & Thomson, 2005;Nijman, 2010). ...
Article
The impact of the wildlife trade has been accentuated in the Internet age where social media platforms have offered accessible and consumer-friendly avenues in the way species are legally and illegally traded. We explored the exotic pet trade on a social media platform, Facebook, in Thailand. Over the 18-month period, we recorded 761 posts of primates and carnivores’ species, totalling 1190 individuals from 42 species. Using Generalised Linear Models, we developed hypotheses to explain price dynamics. Variables include, species’ native status (if species are found in Thailand), domestic protection (if species are protected under Thai wildlife laws), international regulation (species CITES listing) and species threatened status (species IUCN Red Listing). Overall, we found evidence of an anthropogenic Allee effect where exotic imports from South America and Africa were significantly more expensive than native species (Wald χ² = 969.72, df = 13, p < 0.05). Trade in these legally imported non-native wildlife species contributed to 11% of posts. Illegal trade of native species contributed to 66% of posts. When considering only native species, trends toward an anthropogenic Allee effect were observed where protected illegal species called for higher prices than legal species. Illegal wildlife trade on Facebook was blatant, easily accessible and unchecked. Discrepancies in current domestic wildlife legislation lead to intentional evasion of laws and a lack of enforcement. Disproportionate desire for rare or protected species encourages a cycle of exploitation that threatens species to extinction.
... A global review was deemed infeasible due to the vast collection of citations that would require double review to achieve PRISMA standards (~50,000 citations). We considered a narrower focus on SE Asia (defined here as the ASEAN region, including, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos PDR, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, East Timor and Brunei) as an appropriate model system given its combination of biologically diverse landscapes 8 , differing land-uses 45 and because it is considered a zoonotic, parasitic and emerging disease hotspot area 46,47 . Specifically, we quantified an overall association between where people live or work in SE Asia and disease risk, finding that those in agricultural land are on average almost twice as likely to be infected with a pathogen than controls (odds ratio (OR) 1.74, confidence interval (CI) 1.47-2.07, ...
Article
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Agriculture has been implicated as a potential driver of human infectious diseases. However, the generality of disease-agriculture relationships has not been systematically assessed, hindering efforts to incorporate human health considerations into land-use and development policies. Here we perform a meta-analysis with 34 eligible studies and show that people who live or work in agricultural land in Southeast Asia are on average 1.74 (CI 1.47–2.07) times as likely to be infected with a pathogen than those unexposed. Effect sizes are greatest for exposure to oil palm, rubber, and non-poultry based livestock farming and for hookworm (OR 2.42, CI 1.56–3.75), malaria (OR 2.00, CI 1.46–2.73), scrub typhus (OR 2.37, CI 1.41–3.96) and spotted fever group diseases (OR 3.91, CI 2.61–5.85). In contrast, no change in infection risk is detected for faecal-oral route diseases. Although responses vary by land-use and disease types, results suggest that agricultural land-uses exacerbate many infectious diseases in Southeast Asia.
... These studies demonstrate a wide range in scope from studies prioritizing research on single species in a given region [38,43], to those identifying research priorities for the conservation of global biodiversity as a whole [6], and have focused on a wide diversity of topics (table 1). Some studies focused on issues that were a subset of issues covered in other CRP studies, for example Kaiser et al. [43] prioritized knowledge needs Antarctic and Southern Ocean [12] afforested peatlands [13] animal behaviour [14] bark beetles [15] Canada [16] agricultural landscapes [17] conservation biology [4] cetaceans [18] Estonia [19] coral reefs [20,21] drought research [22] microbes [23] Europe [24] coupled human and natural systems [25] fundamental ecology [26] northern quoll [27] European Alps [28] forests [29] historical ecology [30] Pilbara leaf-nosed bats [31] Hungary [32] freshwater [33,34] hydrology [35] weeds [36] India [37] marine [38,39] Island biogeography [40] wild insect pollinators [41] Israel [42] seabeds [43] palaeoecology [44] New Zealand [39] soil science [45] North America [46] Oceania [47] Southeast Asia [48] Switzerland [49] UK [5,13,17,29,33] USA [50] royalsocietypublishing.org/journal/rspb Proc. R. Soc. ...
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Collaborative research prioritization (CRP) studies have become increasingly popular during the last decade. By bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, and using a democratic process to create a list of research priorities, these methods purport to identify research topics that will better meet the needs of science users. Here, we review 41 CRP studies in the fields of ecology, biodiversity conservation and environmental science that collectively identify 2031 research priorities. We demonstrate that climate change, ecosystem services and protected areas are common terms found in the research priorities of many CRP studies, and that identified research priorities have become less unique over time. In addition, we show that there is a considerable variation in the size and composition of the groups involved in CRP studies, and that at least one aspect of the identified research priorities (lexical diversity) is related to the size of the CRP group. Although some CRP studies have been highly cited, the evidence that CRP studies have directly motivated research is weak, perhaps because most CRP studies have not directly involved organizations that fund science. We suggest that the most important impact of CRP studies may lie in their ability to connect individuals across sectors and help to build diverse communities of practice around important issues at the science-policy interface.
... Bird species are far more widely represented in trade than mammals, and a disproportionate number of avian taxa are threatened by overexploitation (Alves, Lima, & Araújo, 2013;Bush, Baker, & Macdonald, 2014). This is particularly prevalent in Southeast Asia (Coleman et al., 2019;Harris et al., 2017), where intense demand has precipitated an 'Asian Songbird Crisis' (Lee, Chng, & Eaton, 2016;Rentschlar et al., 2018;Sykes, 2017). ...
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Over 70 million cage‐birds are kept across 12 million households on the island of Java, Indonesia, fuelling serious concerns for the health of regional wild bird populations. Understanding the behaviours, preferences and demographic profiles of bird‐keepers will guide attempts to reduce demand for wild birds and hence the impact of trade on wild populations and their host ecosystems. We profile three songbird‐keeping user‐groups based on interviews of nearly one thousand people across Java: hobbyists , who own birds primarily as pets; contestants , who own birds to enter in singing contests; and breeders , who own birds to breed and train for resale or as a pastime. User‐groups diverged in their bird‐keeping habits and preferences. Hobbyists tended to own small numbers of inexpensive and typically native birds, while contestants and breeders owned larger numbers of often valuable birds. Hobbyists were far less likely to consider origin when buying a bird, owned a larger proportion of both potentially wild‐caught and globally threatened birds, but showed no preference for any taxon. By contrast, owning relatively large numbers of lovebirds Agapornis spp. and Zebra Doves Geopelia striata were key characteristics of contestants, while breeders owned the largest number of birds and species, in particular White‐rumped Shamas Kittacincla malabarica . Within a 2‐year period, user‐group membership was fluid, with much transitioning between non‐bird ownership and hobbyists, recruitment of non‐bird owners to contestants and movement both in and out of the breeder group. Our study provides behavioural change efforts with demographic and geographic profiles to target bird‐keepers, who tended to be more affluent and urban and to live in the eastern provinces. Among bird‐keepers, hobbyists tended to be middle‐aged and lived in the western provinces, contestants were younger urban bird‐keepers employed in business and breeders were commoner in the eastern provinces, reflecting the cultural importance of bird‐keeping among the Javanese. Efforts to increase the sustainability of bird‐keeping in Java should focus on emphasizing the importance of captive‐bred birds, in particular to hobbyists, the largest user‐group, whose bird‐keeping behaviour poses the biggest threat to wild bird populations, whilst also incentivizing legitimate breeding enterprises among contestants and breeders.
... The tropical genus Kaempferia, belonging to family Zingiberaceae, has 60 species [92] distributed throughout South and Southeast Asia, a region beset with high rates of biodiversity loss [7,26,50,72,88,107]. Plants of the genus Kaempferia are mostly small perennial herbs with short rhizomes, tuberous roots and short pseudostems [81]. ...
Article
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The genus Kaempferia L., consisting of aromatic and ornamental species found in east and south-east Asia, have profound ethno-medicinal usages as antimicrobial and anticancer agents, attributable to presence of novel cyclohexane derivatives, flavonoids and di-terpenes. Represented by only 7 species in India, a comprehensive genetic study of Kaempferia from the country is lacking. We present here a study of 4 species of this genus from India, namely, K. rotunda, K. galanga, K. elegans and K. angustifolia. Cytological analyses revealed distinct inter-specific ploidy and consequent somatic chromosome number variations (2n = 22 to 2n = 54). High inter- and intra-chromosomal variability was observed with chromosome lengths ranging from 0.87 to 6.63 μm, constriction types varying from median to sub-median range and different secondary constrictions, along with contrasting values of asymmetry indices. RAPD and ISSR analyses of 8 accessions produced 1,398 polymorphic bands, their sizes ranging from 100 to 2000 bp; percentage polymorphism varying from 84 to 100%. UPGMA dendrogram generated using the polymorphic fragments showed Jaccard’s similarity coefficient value varying between 0.07 and 0.93, producing 3 separate clusters for the studied Kaempferia species. ITS, matK and rbcL loci sequence analyses also confirmed high level of inter-specific variability of Kaempferia. Genetic variation revealed in this study could indicate chemotypic differences in Kaempferia and will direct our future research for a wider cytogenetic and phytochemical investigation including all the Indian species that would open up avenues for judicious exploitation of these medicinally important plants.
... These prospects can be paralleled with Curtis et al.'s (2018) results showing that forestry, shifting agriculture, and wildfire are the main causes of forest loss around the world. These studies point to the importance of forests in tropical countries and the current and future challenges they face for their conservation (Coleman et al., 2019). Forests provide a range of ecosystem services that are benefitial to human societies, and a recent assessment found that these services have generally increased during the past few decades (Miura et al., 2015). ...
Article
Forest cover has decreased dramatically in Southeast Asia over the last decades. Understanding the drivers behind these changes is critical to predict changes and minimise their adverse effects. The objectives of the present study were to provide accurate estimates of forest gains and losses in each country of Southeast Asia, and to test the hypothesis that changes in forest cover are linked to national socioeconomic changes. Temporal changes in forest cover were quantified in eleven countries using mid-resolution land cover data. Decline in forest cover between 1992 and 2018 varied considerably among countries with evidence of reforestation in some countries during the last few years. Some countries showed a positive relationship between GDP and forest cover changes while others showed a negative relationship. Some countries were synchronised, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia where forest conversion predominantly involved agricultural lands. A contrast among these countries was also shown by examining the lands converted from and to forests. The present study supports the hypothesis that changes in forest cover is, at least in part, driven by socioeconimic changes and suggests that future changes in forest cover in Southeast Asia will be determined by countries with important agroforestry sectors.
... A key remaining question is how best to restore degraded forests (Coleman et al., 2019), and how much climate mitigation potential can be delivered, given large uncertainty in existing estimates (Griscom et al., 2017). A variety of methods have been developed for overall restoration of biodiversity and productivity in degraded forests, from "natural restoration" where human activity is simply removed, to enrichment planting where trees are planted to enhance natural restoration . ...
Article
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Huge areas of tropical forests are degraded, reducing their biodiversity, carbon, and timber value. The recovery of these degraded forests can be significantly inhibited by climbing plants such as lianas. Removal of super-abundant climbers thus represents a restoration action with huge potential for application across the tropics. While experimental studies largely report positive impacts of climber removal on tree growth and biomass accumulation, the efficacy of climber removal varies widely, with high uncertainty as to where and how to apply the technique. Using meta-analytic techniques, we synthesize results from 26 studies to quantify the efficacy of climber removal for promoting tree growth and biomass accumulation. We find that climber removal increases tree growth by 156% and biomass accumulation by 209% compared to untreated forest, and that efficacy remains for at least 19 years. Extrapolating from these results, climber removal could sequester an additional 32 Gigatons of CO2 over 10 years, at low cost, across regrowth, and production forests. Our analysis also revealed that climber removal studies are concentrated in the Neotropics (N = 22), relative to Africa (N = 2) and Asia (N = 2), preventing our study from assessing the influence of region on removal efficacy. While we found some evidence that enhancement of tree growth and AGB accumulation varies across disturbance context and removal method, but not across climate, the number and geographical distribution of studies limits the strength of these conclusions. Climber removal could contribute significantly to reducing global carbon emissions and enhancing the timber and biomass stocks of degraded forests, ultimately protecting them from conversion. However, we urgently need to assess the efficacy of removal outside the Neotropics, and consider the potential negative consequences of climber removal under drought conditions and for biodiversity.
... The global biodiversity hotspot of Southeast Asia (Myers et al., 2000) has little representation in global terrestrial studies, despite the region experiencing one of the highest intensities of human pressure (Venter et al., 2016), and rapid biodiversity declines and extinctions of large-bodied fauna even in intact forests (Benítez-López et al., 2019). Lack of clear evidence on the effectiveness of conservation interventions is a research gap reported by Southeast Asian conservation practitioners following several failed interventions aiming to prevent the local extinction of critically endangered species (Coleman et al., 2019). ...
Preprint
Protected areas aim to conserve nature by providing safe havens for biodiversity. However, protection from habitat loss, poaching and other threats, is not guaranteed without adequate investment in their management. Here, we examine the relationship between management effectiveness using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) and trends of 79 populations of mammals and birds in 12 Southeast Asian protected areas from Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Despite the negative influence of corruption on species population change, we find evidence that adequate financial and human resourcing are important determinants in achieving good biodiversity outcomes. Management resourcing, national government transparency and body size collectively explain 29% of the variation in animal population trends in our model. Our paper contributes to a growing evidence base linking management resourcing shortfalls to declining biodiversity populations in protected areas. Our key findings are relevant to international funding agencies, governments and NGOs, to aid decision making around the allocation of conservation resources in Southeast Asia.
... "top 100 research questions for biodiversity conservation in Southeast Asia" (Coleman et al., 2019). Given the ubiquity of snares and their highly indiscriminate impacts, we urge greater recognition of the severe and cryptic threats of these malignant traps. ...
Article
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Tropical forests are under severe threat from over-hunting. Subsistence harvests and poaching have decimated wildlife populations to the extent that nearly 50% of Earth’s tropical forests are partially or fully devoid of large mammals. Declines are particularly acute in Southeast Asia where ongoing defaunation, largely attributable to indiscriminate snare trapping, is widespread. Using the extensively forested Aceh province in northern Sumatra as a case study, we document rampant snaring, which threatens Earth’s last sympatric population of tigers, rhinoceros, elephants, and orangutans. To prevent catastrophic hunting-induced impacts already experienced in mainland Southeast Asia, we call for more comprehensive conservation planning assessments that strengthen wildlife law enforcement, promote collaborative anti-poaching, and research species-specific snaring impacts, particularly in the context of human-wildlife conflict. We conclude with a discussion of the important linkages between poaching, wildlife trade, and zoonotic disease risk.
... Our findings reveal an uneven spatial distribution of studies on poaching for both their origin and study location. Researchers showed particular interest in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and China, which could be explained by significant poaching and trafficking activities in these regions (Lemieux and Clarke, 2009;Liu et al., 2011;Gao and Clark, 2014;Zhou et al., 2018;Coleman et al., 2019;Lunstrum and Giva, 2020). This finding contrasts with the report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2020), which demonstrates that every country in the world plays a role in combating wildlife crime. ...
Article
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Poaching is a widespread activity that affects wildlife management goals and undermines conservation efforts worldwide. Despite its complexity, poaching is still commonly addressed by researchers as a one-dimensional phenomenon. To deepen the scientific understanding of poaching, we conducted a systematic literature review in the Web of Science and Scopus databases for the last 10 years, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses methodology. We found that most studies were carried out in Africa, although 43% of all articles on poaching were published by researchers from the United States and the United Kingdom. The most studied species are elephants (22%), rhinos (19%), wolves (9%), and bears (6%). Although this study identified a wide range of motives and drivers behind poaching activities, more than half of the analyzed articles do not attempt to provide a deeper understanding of this phenomenon. Its understanding of poaching usually does not go beyond the environmental impact of illegal hunting. Our study’s potential limitations may relate to the focus on exclusively English-language articles and, among them, only those discussing mammal, bird, and reptile species. Our findings indicate that global scientific knowledge on poaching in the last 10 years is biased. There is an imbalance between the developed countries that mostly produce knowledge on poaching (usually from Northern America and Europe) and the developing countries commonly an object of interest. This bias is potentially challenging, as the global scientific knowledge on poaching comes from limited experience based on charismatic species and selective case studies. To overcome this gap and develop a deeper understanding of poaching, the scientific community needs to overcome this bias and address illegal hunting wherever it affects the environment and undermines conservation efforts.
... In terms of overall conservation research, Southeast Asia is clearly below global standards (Di Marco et al., 2017). All is not lost however; awareness of the dire situation the region finds itself in is improving, and a comprehensive list for research priorities (Coleman et al., 2019) has been compiled. In the context of the current study, we would additionally recommend testing the patterns presented here with data from additional taxa and metrics, to cement the assertion made here that Southeast Asia likely represents one of world's primary macrorefugia [as defined by Keppel et al. (2012)]. ...
Article
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The plight of Southeast Asia's animals, plants and ecosystems in the face of unsustainable exploitation and habitat destruction has been illustrated in several recent studies, despite often falling outside the global discourse on global conservation priorities. Here, we collate biogeographic and phylogenetic information to argue that this beleaguered region is one of world's primary macrorefugia, and possibly its best chance of regaining its natural biodiversity distribution patterns after the current Anthropocene upheaval. The region uniquely combines top diversity values in (a) ancient lineage diversity and (b) cosmopolitan lineage diversity, suggesting that it has acted in the past as a biodiversity museum and source of global colonization. This is at least partly due to the interplay between latitudinal diversity gradients and continental connectivity patterns. However, the peak values in South China/North Indochina for cosmopolitan tetrapods and their sister lineages suggest that a key feature is also the availability of diverse climatic conditions. In particular, the north-south orientation of the mountain ranges here has allowed for rapid recolonization within the region following past climatic changes, resulting in high survival values and overall exceptional relict lineage diversity. From this starting point, global colonization occurred on multiple occasions. It is hoped that, with urgent action, the region can once again fulfill this function.
... Best practice policies and the aim to achieve "biodiversityfriendly" conditions in plantations were among the top questions identified for biodiversity research (Coleman et al. 2019). Creating wildlife corridors by reserving forest patches in and around OP plantations, reforestation of underproductive OP plantation areas, and creation of forest buffer zones along rivers are necessary mitigation measures to enhance fitness of transient and vulnerable wildlife populations in OP landscapes (Wilting et al. 2012;Faruk et al. 2013;Bernard et al. 2014;Hearn et al. 2016aHearn et al. , b, c, 2018Yamada et al. 2016;Holzner et al. 2019). ...
Article
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Palm oil (PO) is an important source of livelihood, but unsustainable practices and widespread consumption may threaten human and planetary health. We reviewed 234 articles and summarized evidence on the impact of PO on health, social and economic aspects, environment, and biodiversity in the Malaysian context, and discuss mitigation strategies based on the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The evidence on health impact of PO is equivocal, with knowledge gaps on whether moderate consumption elevates risk for chronic diseases, but the benefits of phytonutrients (SDG2) and sensory characteristics of PO seem offset by its high proportion of saturated fat (SDG3). While PO contributes to economic growth (SDG9, 12), poverty alleviation (SDG1, 8, 10), enhanced food security (SDG2), alternative energy (SDG9), and long-term employment opportunities (SDG1), human rights issues and inequities attributed to PO production persist (SDG8). Environmental impacts arise through large-scale expansion of monoculture plantations associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions (SDG13), especially from converted carbon-rich peat lands, which can cause forest fires and annual trans-boundary haze; changes in microclimate properties and soil nutrient content (SDG6, 13); increased sedimentation and change of hydrological properties of streams near slopes (SDG6); and increased human wildlife conflicts, increase of invasive species occurrence, and reduced biodiversity (SDG14, 15). Practices such as biological pest control, circular waste management, multi-cropping and certification may mitigate negative impacts on environmental SDGs, without hampering progress of socioeconomic SDGs. While strategies focusing on improving practices within and surrounding plantations offer co-benefits for socioeconomic, environment and biodiversity-related SDGs, several challenges in achieving scalable solutions must be addressed to ensure holistic sustainability of PO in Malaysia for various stakeholders. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11625-021-01052-4.
... Many collaborative research prioritisation studies are thematically similar (Dey et al., 2020), but vary either in regional focus: e.g. studies focusing on UK (Sutherland et al., 2006), USA (Fleishman et al., 2011), Hungary (Mihók et al., 2015), Oceania's small-island developing states (Weeks and Adams, 2018), Estonia (Lõhmus et al., 2019), Southeast Asia (Coleman et al., 2019), or in objective: e.g. on the Belt and Road Initiative . Many studies exist where a group of experts identified and prioritised the main questions in the field of conservation biology as well as terrestrial and marine restoration ecology (see Ockendon et al., 2018;Lõhmus et al., 2019;Trevathan-Tackett et al., 2019;Sutherland et al., 2021). ...
Article
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One of the main goals of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 is to avoid further loss of biodiversity and to restore ecosystems. These efforts can be facilitated by compiling the main research topics related to conservation biology to provide new evidence for the most urgent knowledge gaps, and publicise it to researchers, research funders and policy makers. We used the possible future statements from the Hungarian Environmental Foresight Report for 2050 which identified region-specific problems. To highlight likely future environmental and conservation questions, in this study we asked researchers from the fields of ecology and conservation to define research questions addressing these future statements in line with international research trends and challenges. The study resulted in fourteen priority research topics, split into seven clusters relevant to biological conservation that should be targeted by stakeholders, primarily policy makers and funders to focus research capacity to these topics. The main overarching themes identified here include a wide range of approaches and solutions such as innovative technologies, involvement of local stakeholders and citizen scientists, legislation, and issues related to human health. These indicate that solutions to conservation challenges require a multidisciplinary approach in design and a multi-actor approach in implementation. Although the identified research priorities were listed for Hungary, they are in line with European and global biodiversity strategies, and can be tailored to suit other Central and Eastern European countries as well. We believe that our prioritisation can help science–policy discussion, and will eventually contribute to healthy and well-functioning ecosystems.
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Southeast Asia’s diverse coastal wetlands, which span natural mudflats and mangroves to man-made salt pans, offer critical habitat for many migratory waterbird species in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Species dependent on these wetlands include nearly the entire population of the Critically Endangered spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and Endangered spotted greenshank Tringa guttifer, and significant populations of several other globally threatened and declining species. Presently, more than 50 coastal Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in the region (IBAs) (7.4 % of all Southeast Asian IBAs) support at least one threatened migratory species. However, recent studies continue to reveal major knowledge gaps on the distribution of migratory waterbirds and important wetland sites along Southeast Asia’s vast coastline, including undiscovered and potential IBAs. Alongside this, there remain critical gaps in the representation of coastal wetlands across the protected area networks of many countries in this region (e.g. Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia), therefore hindering effective conservation. Amidst a better understanding of the value of coastal wetlands to people and their importance to migratory species, governments and other stakeholders need to do far more to strengthen the conservation of these ecosystems through improving protected area coverage, restoration, better coastal governance and management. This must be underpinned by the judicious use of evidence-based approaches, including satellite-tracking of migratory birds, ecological research and on-ground surveys.
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en Conservation and restoration interventions can be mutually reinforcing and are converging through an increased focus on social dimensions. This paper examines how to more effectively integrate the complementary goals of conservation and restoration of tropical forests. Forest conservation and restoration interventions are integral components of a broad approach to forest ecosystem and landscape management that aims to maintain and restore key ecological processes and enhance human well‐being, while minimizing biodiversity loss. The forest transition model provides a useful framework for understanding the relative importance of forest conservation and restoration interventions in different regions. Harmonizing conservation and restoration presents serious challenges for forest policy in tropical countries, particularly regarding the use and management of secondary forests, fallow vegetation, and forests degraded by logging and fire. Research to implement restoration more effectively in tropical regions can be stimulated by transforming questions that initially focused on conservation issues. Examination of papers published in Biotropica from 2000–2018 shows that most studies relevant to tropical forest conservation do not address forest restoration issues. Forest restoration studies, on the other hand, show a consistent association with conservation issues. There is much scope for further integration of conservation and restoration in research, practice, and policy. Securing a sustainable future for tropical forests requires developing and applying integrated approaches to landscape management that effectively combine knowledge and tools from multiple disciplines with practical experience and engagement of local stakeholders. Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material. Abstrato pt As intervenções de conservação e restauração podem se reforçar mutuamente e estão convergindo através de um foco maior nas dimensões sociais. Este artigo examina como integrar mais efetivamente as metas complementares de conservação e restauração de florestas tropicais. Intervenções de conservação e restauração florestal são componentes integrais de uma ampla abordagem ao manejo florestal e ecossistêmico florestal que visa manter e restaurar os principais processos ecológicos e melhorar o bem‐estar humano, minimizando a perda de biodiversidade. O modelo de transição florestal fornece uma estrutura útil para entender a importância relativa das intervenções de conservação e restauração florestal em diferentes regiões. Harmonizar a conservação e a restauração apresenta sérios desafios para a política florestal em países tropicais, particularmente no que diz respeito ao uso e manejo de florestas secundárias, vegetação em pousio e florestas degradadas pela extração de madeira e pelo fogo. A pesquisa para implementar a restauração de forma mais eficaz em regiões tropicais pode ser estimulada pela transformação de questões que inicialmente se concentravam em questões de conservação. O exame de artigos publicados na Biotropica de 2000 a 2018 mostra que a maioria dos estudos relevantes para a conservação de florestas tropicais não aborda questões de restauração florestal. Estudos de restauração florestal, por outro lado, mostram uma associação consistente com questões de conservação. Há ampla oportunidade para melhor integração de conservação e restauração em pesquisa, prática e política. Assegurar um futuro sustentável para as florestas tropicais requer o desenvolvimento e a aplicação de abordagens integradas para o manejo da paisagem que combinem efetivamente conhecimento e ferramentas de várias disciplinas com experiência prática e participação das comunidades locais. Abstract in French is available with online material. Resumen fr Las intervenciones de conservación y restauración pueden reforzarse mutuamente y están convergiendo a través de un mayor enfoque en las dimensiones sociales. Este artículo examina cómo integrar más eficazmente los objetivos complementarios de conservación y restauración de los bosques tropicales. Las intervenciones de conservación y restauración de bosques son componentes integrales de un enfoque amplio del ecosistema forestal y la gestión del paisaje que tiene como objetivo mantener y restaurar procesos ecológicos clave y mejorar el bienestar humano, al tiempo que minimiza la pérdida de biodiversidad. El modelo de transición forestal proporciona un marco útil para comprender la importancia relativa de las intervenciones de conservación y restauración de bosques en diferentes regiones. La armonización de la conservación y restauración presenta serios desafíos para la política forestal en los países tropicales, en particular con respecto al uso y manejo de bosques secundarios, vegetación en barbecho y bosques degradados por la tala y el fuego. La investigación para implementar la restauración de manera más efectiva en las regiones tropicales puede ser estimulada por preguntas transformadoras que inicialmente se enfocaron en temas de conservación. El examen de los artículos publicados en Biotropica entre 2000 y 2018 muestra que la mayoría de los estudios relacionados con la conservación de los bosques tropicales no abordan asuntos de restauración de bosques. Los estudios de restauración de bosques, por otro lado, muestran una asociación consistente con los asuntos de conservación. Hay amplia oportunidad para mejor integración de la conservación y restauración en la investigación, la práctica y la política. Asegurar un futuro sostenible para los bosques tropicales requiere el desarrollo y la aplicación de enfoques integrados para la gestión del paisaje que combinen de manera efectiva el conocimiento y las herramientas de múltiples disciplinas con la experiencia práctica y participación de las comunidades locales.
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The overexploitation of the world's biomes for natural products calls for the prioritization of biologically important ecosystems for conservation. Here we show that limestone karsts are “arks” of biodiversity and often contain high levels of endemism. Humans have exploited karsts for a variety of products and services, but unsustainable practices have caused population declines and extinctions among site-endemic taxa. Limestone quarrying is the primary threat to karst biodiversity in Southeast Asia, where quarrying rates exceed those in other tropical regions. Several socioeconomic, political, and scientific issues undermine the stewardship of these karsts. Mitigation of these problems will involve (a) better land-use planning to prevent karst resources from being exhausted in developing regions, (b) comprehensive assessments of a karst's economic and biological value before development, (c) improved legislation and enforcement to protect karst biodiversity, and (d) increased research and activities to promote public awareness of the importance of karsts and the threats facing them.
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The rapid erosion of biodiversity is among the biggest challenges human society is facing. Concurrently, major efforts are in place to quantify changes in biodiversity, to understand the consequences for ecosystem functioning and human wellbeing, and to develop sustainable management strategies. Based on comprehensive bibliometric analyses covering 134,321 publications, we report systematic spatial biases in biodiversity-related research. Research is dominated by wealthy countries, while major research deficits occur in regions with disproportionately high biodiversity as well as a high share of threatened species. Similarly, core scientists, who were assessed through their publication impact, work primarily in North America and Europe. Though they mainly exchange and collaborate across locations of these two continents, the connectivity among them has increased with time. Finally, biodiversity-related research has primarily focused on terrestrial systems, plants, and the species level, and is frequently conducted in Europe and Asia by researchers affiliated with European and North American institutions. The distinct spatial imbalances in biodiversity research, as demonstrated here, must be filled, research capacity built, particularly in the Global South, and spatially-explicit biodiversity data bases improved, curated and shared.
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1.Conversion of forest to oil palm agriculture is a significant and ongoing threat to tropical biodiversity. Despite this, little is known about the value of riparian reserves in oil palm and how these conservation set‐asides might best be managed to maintain biodiversity. 2.We characterised bird communities of 28 sites in an oil palm‐forest mosaic in Sabah, Malaysia using 6104 encounters from 840 point counts. Sites included oil palm riparian reserves of various vegetation quality and reserve widths, which were compared to oil palm streams without a riparian reserve as well as riparian and non‐riparian control areas in continuous logged forest. 3.Riparian reserves, oil palm waterways, and control sites in riparian and non‐riparian forest supported distinct avifaunal communities. Riparian reserve width, forest quality and amount of forest cover were the strongest predictors of bird species richness. For forest‐dependent species, each of these predictors had stronger effect size when compared with all species. On average, reserves held 31% of all species and 30% of forest specialists, whereas riparian forest controls averaged 32% of all species, but 38% of forest species. 4.Riparian reserves with >40 m of natural vegetation on each bank supported similar bird diversity to riparian forest control habitats found in continuous forest. However, to support equivalent numbers of forest‐dependent species and species of conservation concern, reserves would need to be at least 100m wide on each bank. The largest numbers of species were found in riparian reserves with above‐ground carbon densities exceeding 75 tC ha−1, highlighting the importance of forest quality, as well as width, in supporting riparian bird communities. 5.Synthesis and applications. If designed and protected appropriately, riparian reserves in oil palm estates support diverse bird communities, including many species of conservation concern. This can be achieved by designating large reserves (80‐200 m total width). But, to maximize species numbers, forest disturbance should also be minimised prior to conversion as well as during plantation operations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Industrial oil palm plantations in South East Asia have caused significant biodiversity losses and perverse social outcomes. To address concerns over plantation practices and in an attempt to improve sustainability through market mechanisms, civil society organisations and industry representatives developed the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004. The effectiveness of RSPO in improving the sustainability of the palm oil industry is frequently debated and to date, few quantitative analyses have been undertaken to assess how successful RSPO has been in delivering the social, economic and environmental sustainability outcomes it aims to address. With the palm oil industry continuing to expand in South East Asia and significant estates being planted in Africa and South America, this paper evaluates the effectiveness of RSPO plantations compared to non-certified plantations by assessing the relative performance of several key sustainability metrics compared to business as usual practices. Using Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) as a case study, a novel dataset of RSPO concessions was developed and causal analysis methodologies employed to evaluate the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the industry. No significant difference was found between certified and non-certified plantations for any of the sustainability metrics investigated, however positive economic trends including greater fresh fruit bunch yields were revealed. To achieve intended outcomes, RSPO principles and criteria are in need of substantial improvement and rigorous enforcement.
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Plastic waste can promote microbial colonization by pathogens implicated in outbreaks of disease in the ocean. We assessed the influence of plastic waste on disease risk in 124,000 reef-building corals from 159 reefs in the Asia-Pacific region. The likelihood of disease increases from 4% to 89% when corals are in contact with plastic. Structurally complex corals are eight times more likely to be affected by plastic, suggesting that microhabitats for reef-associated organisms and valuable fisheries will be disproportionately affected. Plastic levels on coral reefs correspond to estimates of terrestrial mismanaged plastic waste entering the ocean. We estimate that 11.1 billion plastic items are entangled on coral reefs across the Asia-Pacific and project this number to increase 40% by 2025. Plastic waste management is critical for reducing diseases that threaten ecosystem health and human livelihoods.
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Many major corporations and countries have made commitments to purchase or produce only "sustainable" palm oil, a commodity responsible for substantial tropical forest loss. Sustainability certification is the tool most used to fulfill these procurement policies, and around 20% of global palm oil production was certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2017. However, the effect of certification on deforestation in oil palm plantations remains unclear. Here, we use a comprehensive dataset of RSPO-certified and noncertified oil palm plantations (∼188,000 km2) in Indonesia, the leading producer of palm oil, as well as annual remotely sensed metrics of tree cover loss and fire occurrence, to evaluate the impact of certification on deforestation and fire from 2001 to 2015. While forest loss and fire continued after RSPO certification, certified palm oil was associated with reduced deforestation. Certification lowered deforestation by 33% from a counterfactual of 9.8 to 6.6% y-1 Nevertheless, most plantations contained little residual forest when they received certification. As a result, by 2015, certified areas held less than 1% of forests remaining within Indonesian oil palm plantations. Moreover, certification had no causal impact on forest loss in peatlands or active fire detection rates. Broader adoption of certification in forested regions, strict requirements to avoid all peat, and routine monitoring of clearly defined forest cover loss in certified and RSPO member-held plantations appear necessary if the RSPO is to yield conservation and climate benefits from reductions in tropical deforestation.
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Currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus is being driven towards extinction throughout most of its range by unregulated illegal trade supplying the demand for songbirds. We conducted surveys of bird markets in North and West Kalimantan, and Central, West and East Java between July 2014 and June 2015, and observed a total of 71 Straw-headed Bulbuls in 11 markets in eight cities. Comparing our data with the literature, we found that as numbers in markets are decreasing, prices are increasing to over 20 times the prices recorded in 1987, indicating that numbers in the wild are diminishing. This is corroborated by widespread extirpations throughout their range and reports from traders that Straw-headed Bulbuls are increasingly difficult to locate, while demand from consumers remains high. Concerted efforts from a variety of stakeholders are urgently needed to prevent the extinction of this species in the wild. We recommend that the Straw-headed Bulbul be included in Indonesia’s list of protected species, considered for uplisting to Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We also urge the Indonesian Government to effectively enforce existing laws, targeting the open bird markets to shut down the trade in this and other threatened species.
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Background: Potential synergies between public health and environmental protection that offer new opportunities for achieving health and sustainable development targets have been postulated. However, empirical evidence of the effect of ecosystem degradation and protection on public health outcomes is scarce, which restricts policy makers' ability to assess the net health effects of land-use change. Methods: We used generalised linear mixed-effects models to analyse data for 35 547 households in 1766 communities from the Cambodian Demographic Health Surveys to investigate the relation between health and protected areas across deforestation gradients in Cambodia between Feb 1, 2005, and April 30, 2014. Diarrhoea, acute respiratory infection, and fever in children younger than 5 years were used as population health indicators. Dense and mixed forest coverage were derived from Open Development Cambodia, and forest loss was calculated from 2000 to 2004, 2004 to 2009, and 2009 to 2014. The incidence of non-specific illness and injury in people older than 15 years was used as a negative control. Our analyses included rich pseudo-panel data (combining cross-sectional datasets from 2005, 2010, and 2014) that accounted for socioeconomic, demographic, and behavioural characteristics, and had a negative control, approximating a quasi-experimental study design. Findings: Deforestation of dense forest was associated with an increased incidence of diarrhoea (p=0·007), fever (p=0·0495), and acute respiratory infection in children (p=0·003). For example, a 10 percentage point increase in loss of dense forest was estimated to be associated with an increase of 14·1% (95% CI 2·6–35·8) in the incidence of diarrhoea in children younger than 5 years per household in the 2 weeks before the Cambodian Demographic Health Surveys. Protected area coverage, but not type, was associated with decreased incidences of diarrhoea (p=0·028) and acute respiratory infection (p=0·030). Apart from an association between mixed forest coverage and increased incidence of diarrhoea, forest coverage was not associated with any health outcomes. Interpretation: Deforestation is associated with increased risk of several major sources of global childhood morbidity and mortality. Although causal mechanisms are unclear, our findings suggest that protected areas could help to alleviate the global health burden, presenting new possibilities for simultaneous achievement of public health and conservation goals. Funding: Ministry of Education of Singapore.
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For conservation science to effectively inform management, research must focus on creating the scientific knowledge required to solve conservation problems. We report the outcomes of an exercise to identify research questions that, if answered, would increase the effectiveness of conservation and natural resource management practice and policy within Oceania's small island developing states. Respondents from academia, government, and nongovernment organizations across the region surveyed online proposed 270 questions, and subsequently identified 38 of these as high priority. High priority questions speak to the particular challenges of undertaking conservation within small island developing states, and the need for a research agenda that is responsive to the socio-cultural context of Oceania. Our comparison with research priorities identified globally and for other regions revealed broad thematic similarities but also highlighted important differences in specific issues that are relevant to particular conservation contexts. This emphasizes the importance of involving local practitioners in the identification of research priorities. We found that priorities were reasonably well aligned between sectoral groups. Only a few questions were widely considered to be already answered; this may indicate a smaller than expected knowledge-action gap. We hope that these questions can act to strengthen research collaborations between scientists and practitioners working to further conservation and natural resource management in this region. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Myanmar offers unique opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and foreign direct investment due to projected economic growth linked to natural resource exploitation. Industrial-scale development introduces new land uses into the landscape, with unknown repercussions for local communities and biodiversity conservation. We use participatory mapping of 31 communities, focus groups in 28 communities, and analyses of forest cover change during 2000–2010 using MODIS vegetation continuous fields images, to understand the social and environmental impacts of gold mining and agricultural concessions in Myanmar’s Hukaung Valley (~21,800 km²). Local communities, particularly the poorest households, benefit from work and trade opportunities offered by gold mining and agricultural companies but continue to depend on forests for house construction materials, food, and income from the sale of forest resources. However, gold mining and agricultural concessions reduce tree cover, potentially reducing access to forest resources and further marginalizing these households. Our analyses do not provide evidence that long-term resident communities contributed to forest cover loss between 2000 and 2010. We argue that landscape management, which recognizes local community rights to customary community use areas, and appropriate zoning for commercial land uses and protected areas could contribute to both local livelihoods and protect biodiversity throughout Myanmar during economic growth.
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Southeast Asia (SE Asia) is a known global hotspot of biodiversity and endemism, yet the region is also one of the most biotically threatened. Ecosystems across the region are threatened by an array of drivers, each of which increases the probability of extinction of species in a variety of ecosystems. These issues are symptomatic of the issues that face the global tropics; however, with around 4 billion people in the wider region and the associated pressures on biodiversity, this region may be under some of the greatest levels of biotic threat. Deforestation rates in SE Asia are some of the highest globally, additionally Southeast Asia has the highest rate of mining in the tropics, the around the greatest number of hydropower dams under construction, and a consumption of species for traditional medicines which is a threat to biodiversity globally. In this review, the greatest threats to regional biodiversity in the SE Asian region are discussed. Tree-plantations and deforestation represents one of the most imminent threats, and some countries have already lost over half their original forest cover (i.e., the Philippines, parts of Indonesia), with projections of as much as 98% loss for some regions in the coming decade. Hunting and trade represents a significant threat as demand stems not only for food, but also for medicine, for ornamentation, and as a status symbol. Mining represents a frequently overlooked threat, as the Asian region is one of the greatest exporters of limestone and various minerals globally, and the cost of this to biodiversity is not only through the direct loss of areas for mines, but also through the development of roads that further fragment the landscape, the leakage of heavy metals, and the destruction of limestone karsts, which represent global endemicity hotspots. Reservoir construction, wetland drainage, fires, pollution, invasive species, disease, and finally climate change are also considered. Once each issue has been discussed, the overall prognosis of regional biodiversity and priority actions to protect SE Asian biodiversity in the future is discussed.
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Fire is a common tool for land conversion and management associated with oil palm production. Fires can cause biodiversity and carbon losses, emit pollutants that deteriorate air quality and harm human health, and damage property. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) prohibits the use of fire on certified concessions. However, efforts to suppress fires are more difficult during El Niño conditions and on peatlands. In this paper, we address the following questions for oil palm concessions developed prior to 2012 in Sumatra and Kalimantan, the leading producers of oil palm both within Indonesia and globally: (1) for the period 2012–2015, did RSPO-certified concessions have a lower density of fire detections, fire ignitions, or 'escaped' fires compared with those concessions that are not certified? and (2) did this pattern change with increasing likelihood of fires in concessions located on peatland and in dry years? These questions are particularly critical in fuel-rich peatlands, of which approximately 46% of the area was designated as oil palm concession as of 2010. We conducted propensity scoring to balance covariate distributions between certified and non-certified concessions, and we compare the density of fires in certified and non-certified concessions using Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests based on moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer Active Fire Detections from 2012–2015 clustered into unique fire events. We find that fire activity is significantly lower on RSPO certified concessions than non-RSPO certified concessions when the likelihood of fire is low (i.e., on non-peatlands in wetter years), but not when the likelihood of fire is high (i.e., on non-peatlands in dry years or on peatlands). Our results provide evidence that RSPO has the potential to reduce fires, though it is currently only effective when fire likelihood is relatively low. These results imply that, in order for this mechanism to reduce fire, additional strategies will be needed to control fires in oil palm plantations in dry years and on peatlands.
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Recent bark beetle outbreaks in North America and Europe have impacted forested landscapes and the provisioning of critical ecosystem services. The scale and intensity of many recent outbreaks are widely believed to be unprecedented. The effects of bark beetle outbreaks on ecosystems are often measured in terms of area affected, host tree mortality rates, and alterations to forest structure and composition. Impacts to human systems focus on changes in property valuation, infrastructure damage from falling trees, landscape aesthetics, and the quality and quantity of timber and water resources. To advance our understanding of bark beetle impacts, we assembled a team of ecologists, land managers and social scientists to participate in a research prioritization workshop. Synthesis and applications. We identified 25 key questions by using an established methodology to identify priorities for research into the impacts of bark beetles. Our efforts emphasize the need to improve outbreak monitoring and detection, educate the public on the ecological role of bark beetles, and develop integrated metrics that facilitate comparison of ecosystem services across sites.
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The threats of old are still the dominant drivers of current species loss, indicates an analysis of IUCN Red List data by Sean Maxwell and colleagues.
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The trade in wild animals involves one third of the world's bird species and thousands of other vertebrate species. While a few species are known to be imperiled as a result of the wildlife trade, the lack of field studies makes it difficult to gauge how serious a threat it is to biodiversity. We combined data on changes in bird abundances across space and time with trapper interviews to evaluate the effects of trapping wild birds for pets in Sumatra, Indonesia, an international pet trade hotspot. In southern Sumatra we analyzed bird abundance changes over time using a rare 14-year dataset of repeated bird surveys from the same extensive forest. In northern Sumatra we surveyed birds along a gradient of trapping accessibility, from the edge of roads to five km into the forest interior. We also interviewed 49 bird trappers in northern Sumatra to learn which species they target and how far they go into the forest to trap. We found that market price was a significant predictor of species declines over time in southern Sumatra, implicating the pet trade in those declines. In northern Sumatra, we found no relationship between price and change in abundance as a function of remoteness. However, high-value species were rare or absent across our surveys there. Notably, the median maximum distance trappers went into the forest each day was 5.0 km. This suggests that trapping has depleted bird populations across our remoteness gradient. Alarmingly, we found that less than half of Sumatra's remaining forests are >5km from a major road. These results indicate that trapping for the pet trade is a threat to birds in Sumatra. Given the popularity of pet birds across Southeast Asia, additional studies are urgently needed to determine the extent and magnitude of the threat posed by the pet trade. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Target 19, set by the Convention on Biological Diversity, seeks to improve the knowledge, science base, and technologies relating to biodiversity. We will fail to achieve this target unless prolific biases in the field of conservation science are addressed. We reveal that comparatively less research is undertaken in the world's most biodiverse countries, the science conducted in these countries is often not led by researchers based in-country, and these scientists are also underrepresented in important international fora. Mitigating these biases requires wide-ranging solutions: reforming open access publishing policies, enhancing science communication strategies, changing author attribution practices, improving representation in international processes, and strengthening infrastructure and human capacity for research in countries where it is most needed.
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Several projects aimed at identifying priority issues for conservation with high relevance to policy have recently been completed in several countries. Two major types of projects have been undertaken, aimed at identifying (i) policy-relevant questions most imperative to conservation and (ii) horizon scanning topics, defined as emerging issues that are expected to have substantial implications for biodiversity conservation and policy in the future. Here, we provide the first overview of the outcomes of biodiversity and conservation-oriented projects recently completed around the world using this framework. We also include the results of the first questions and horizon scanning project completed for a Mediterranean country. Overall, the outcomes of the different projects undertaken (at the global scale, in the UK, US, Canada, Switzerland and in Israel) were strongly correlated in terms of the proportion of questions and/or horizon scanning topics selected when comparing different topic areas. However, some major differences were found across regions. There was large variation among regions in the percentage of proactive (i.e. action and response oriented) versus descriptive (non-response oriented) priority questions and in the emphasis given to socio-political issues. Substantial differences were also found when comparing outcomes of priority questions versus horizon scanning projects undertaken for the same region. For example, issues related to climate change, human demography and marine ecosystems received higher priority as horizon scanning topics, while ecosystem services were more emphasized as current priority questions. We suggest that future initiatives aimed at identifying priority conservation questions and horizon scanning topics should allow simultaneous identification of both current and future priority issues, as presented here for the first time. We propose that further emphasis on social-political issues should be explicitly integrated into future related projects.
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Nature Communications 6: Article number:6819 (2015); Published 14 April 2015; Updated 14 June 2016 The original version of this Article contained an error in the spelling of the author Hugh P. Possingham, which was incorrectly given as Hugh P. Posssingham. This has now been corrected in both the PDFand HTML versions of the Article.
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Many interventions to stem wildlife poaching have overlooked insights into human behaviour offered by the social sciences. South-East Asia suffers the world's highest rate of wildlife declines, due mainly to poaching, yet there is little scientific attention on behaviour change, and few evaluations of the effectiveness of different approaches for stemming poaching.We used social-psychology principles to design a community outreach programme aimed at reducing poaching in a reserve in Thailand, and we monitored biological and social outcomes over 4-6 years. Outreach aimed to build trust, raise awareness, motivate, offer opportunities for action, increase perceived behavioural control of villagers and generate social pressure against poaching. Behaviour change is promoted when these conditions converge.We conducted 116 outreach events, focusing on adult farmers, children and local leaders. We assessed poaching trends using encounter rates with poaching signs and questionnaires. We monitored population status of six hunted mammal species (five ungulates and one rodent) using sign-based occupancy surveys and camera trapping.Poaching pressure dropped by a factor of four across the park, with multiple short-term declines (usually to zero) immediately following outreach in seven of nine patrol zones. Park patrol effort was uncorrelated with poaching trends, contrary to expectations. Questionnaire responses (n = 311) corresponded to empirical observations: 88% stated that poaching declined over previous years; the top reason given for this decline was park outreach.In response to safer conditions, occupancy and abundance of five of the six focal species increased significantly or was stable in all three monitoring sites. Patrol effort was statistically unrelated to wildlife trends.Synthesis and applications. The weight of evidence in our study points to outreach as the main driver of a biologically significant decline in poaching that initiated the recovery of hunted species within the national park. This experiment provides one of the first demonstrations that scientifically designed and proactive park outreach activities might suppress poaching and initiate wildlife recovery in South-East Asia.
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Analysis of production and trade data from 176 countries reveals that patterns of wood product consumption and harvest differ significantly across income groups. Poorer countries’ consumption consists primarily of domestic fuelwood, yet between 1972 and 2009, low-income countries harvested >171 million hectares of forest products for export. High-income countries were the only group to act as net importers, suggesting that rich countries practice preservation within borders but appropriate resources from poorer countries to sustain consumption. Harvests in poorer countries do occur at relatively low harvest efficiencies, implying that losses may be attenuated via technological improvement. However, efficiency does not mitigate the effects of high consumption. Despite exceptionally high efficiencies, high-income countries are still responsible for just as much (or more) consumption-driven forest loss as any other group. These findings highlight the importance of reducing consumption and suggest that neither technocentric solutions nor national-level conservation policies are sufficient means to preserve global forests.
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This paper examines the impact of development, including the impact of government and donor programmes, on ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia. Through an examination of government policy, it considers arguments that mainstream development strategies tend to generate conflicts between states and ethnic minorities and that such strategies are, at times, ethnocidal in their destructive effects on the latter. In looking at more recent government policy in the region, it considers the concept of ethno-development (ie development policies that are sensitive to the needs of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples and where possible controlled by them), and assesses the extent to which such a pattern of development is emerging in the region. Since the late 1980s, it argues, governments across the region have made greater efforts to acknowledge the distinct identities of both ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, while donors have begun to fund projects to address their needs. In many cases, these initiatives have brought tangible benefits to the groups concerned. Yet in other respects progress to date has been modest and ethnodevelopment, the paper argues, remains confined to a limited number of initiatives in the context of a broader pattern of disadvantage and domination.