Think of parks as arks . . .
The 14 years of wildlife studies in and around Madagascar’s Ranomafana National Park by Sarah Karpanty, associate professor of wildlife conservation at Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, and her students are summarily part of a paper on biodiversity published July 25 by Nature’s Advanced Online Publication and coming out soon in print.
As human activities put increasing pressures on natural systems and wildlife to survive, 200 scientists around the world carved up pieces of the puzzle to present a clearer picture of reality and find ways to mitigate the destructive forces at work.
Titled “Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas,” the paper was coordinated by William F. Laurance of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and James Cook University’s Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science and School of Marine and Tropical Biology. Nature is the prestigious international weekly journal of science that focuses on the natural environment.
The study, which looked at more than 30 different categories of species, from butterflies to large predators, within protected areas across the tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, concludes that many of the world’s tropical protected areas are struggling to sustain their biodiversity.
“But some of the arks are in danger of sinking, even though they are our best hope to sustain tropical forests and their amazing biodiversity in perpetuity,” Laurance said.
The scientists estimated how these species groups had changed in numbers over the past two to three decades, while identifying environmental changes that might threaten the reserves, such as the deforestation advancing rapidly in tropical nations. Calling the tropical forests the biologically richest real estate on the planet, the team found many nature reserves acted like mirrors — partially reflecting the threats and changes in their surrounding landscapes.
via Virgina Tech
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