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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Affluent countries contribute less to wildlife conservation than the rest of the world

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Less affluent countries are more committed to conservation of their large animals than richer ones, a new research collaboration has found.

May 4, 2017 University of Oxford  ScienceDaily

…they found that in comparison to the more affluent, developed world, biodiversity is a higher priority in poorer areas such as the African nations, which contribute more to conservation than any other region….

…the findings show that poorer countries tend to take a more active approach to biodiversity protection than richer nations. Ninety per cent of countries in North and Central America and 70 per cent of countries in Africa were classified as major or above-average in their mega-fauna conservation efforts.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/cache/MiamiImageURL/1-s2.0-S2351989416300804-gr2_lrg.jpg/0?wchp=dGLbVlB-zSkzk&pii=S2351989416300804Standardised Megafauna Conservation Index scores for the 20 top performing countries.

…Firstly, [countries] can ‘re-wild’ their landscapes by reintroducing mega-fauna and/or by allowing the distribution of such species to increase. They can also set aside more land as strictly protected areas. And they can invest more in conservation, either at home or abroad.”

Lindsey, Peter A et al. Relative efforts of countries to conserve global megafauna Global Ecology and Conservation Volume 10, April 2017, Pages 243–252

From Abstract: …we developed a Megafauna Conservation Index (MCI) that assesses the spatial, ecological and financial contributions of 152 nations towards conservation of the world’s terrestrial megafauna. We chose megafauna because they are particularly valuable in economic, ecological and societal terms, and are challenging and expensive to conserve. We categorised these 152 countries as being above- or below-average performers based on whether their contribution to megafauna conservation was higher or lower than the global mean; ‘major’ performers or underperformers were those whose contribution exceeded 1 SD over or under the mean, respectively…. Our analysis points to three approaches that countries could adopt to improve their contribution to global megafauna conservation, depending on their circumstances: (1) upgrading or expanding their domestic protected area networks, with a particular emphasis on conserving large carnivore and herbivore habitat, (2) increase funding for conservation at home or abroad, or (3) ‘rewilding’ their landscapes. Once revised and perfected, we recommend publishing regular conservation rankings in the popular media to recognise major-performers, foster healthy pride and competition among nations, and identify ways for governments to improve their performance.

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