A new study of the world’s seven sea turtle species provides evidence that their numbers are growing overall (unlike many endangered vertebrates), thanks to years of conservation efforts that have played a key role in sea turtle recovery — even for small sea turtle populations. Sea turtles have historically suffered population declines for reasons that include accidental catch and harvesting adults and eggs…
Antonios D. Mazaris, Gail Schofield, Chrysoula Gkazinou, Vasiliki Almpanidou and Graeme C. Hays. Global sea turtle conservation successes. Science Advances, 20 Sep 2017 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600730
Conservation initiatives led by local and indigenous groups can be just as effective as schemes led by government, according to new research. In some cases in the Amazon rainforest, grassroots initiatives can be even more effective at protecting this vital ecosystem
…”Policy makers must focus on a more diverse set of mechanisms for protecting the rapidly disappearing tropical forests,” said Schleicher. “Our analysis shows that local stewardship of the forest can be very effective at curtailing forest degradation and conversion in the Peruvian Amazon. Local conservation initiatives deserve more political, financial and legal support than they currently receive.”
“Our analysis shows that there is no single way of protecting tropical forests, and multiple approaches are required to stem the relentless tide of forest conversion and degradation,” said co-author Professor Carlos Peres from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences.
Judith Schleicher, Carlos A. Peres, Tatsuya Amano, William Llactayo, Nigel Leader-Williams. Conservation performance of different conservation governance regimes in the Peruvian Amazon. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-10736-w
Earth Optimism celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution in the area of global conservation with an unprecedented gathering of thought leaders, scientists, environmentalists, artists, civic leaders and international media.
The global conservation movement has reached a turning point. We have documented the fast pace of habitat loss, the growing number of endangered and extinct species, and the increasing speed of global climate change. Yet while the seriousness of these threats cannot be denied, there are a growing number of examples of improvements in the health of species and ecosystems, along with benefits to human well-being, thanks to our conservation actions. Earth Optimism is a global initiative that celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution, from a sense of loss to one of hope, in the dialogue about conservation and sustainability.
Many farmers, ranchers, and landowners rely on voluntary conservation incentive programs within the Farm Bill to make improvements to their land and operations that benefit them, the environment, and society. According to a recent study by researchers from Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment andPoint Blue Conservation Science published in the scientific journal Conservation Letters, it is necessary to find ways to sustain the benefits from these practices after the incentive program ends. This finding is crucial as Congress discusses the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.
In the United States, federal incentive programs aimed at promoting private land conservation fall under the umbrella of the Farm Bill, a package of legislation that promotes conservation efforts on farms and private lands, among other purposes. Typically taking the form of cash payments, tax credits, or cost-share agreements, these incentive programs allow landowners to participate in conservation activities while maintaining ownership of their land.
Persistence…is the continuation of a conservation practice after incentives from voluntary conservation programs end….
Dayer worked with Seth Lutter, a master’s student in fish and wildlife conservation, and Kristin Sesser, Catherine Hickey, and Thomas Gardali from Point Blue Conservation Science, a California-based wildlife conservation and research nonprofit, to examine the existing research literature on landowner behavior after incentive programs ended to determine what factors contributed to landowners continuing conservation efforts on their own….
In this study, supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the authors developed five research-based explanations for whether or not persistence outcomes could be expected. The pathways include landowners’ attitudes toward the conservation practices, landowners’ motivations for participating in incentive programs, habit formation, access to resources, and social influences.
…”More research is needed in this social science side of landowner conservation incentive programs“…. Ultimately, incentive programs that assist landowners with conservation efforts benefit the population as a whole.
“Private lands conservation is critical,” Dayer said. “Often when we think about land for wildlife, we think about national parks or protected areas, but those are a small proportion. In the U.S., 60 percent of the land is privately owned.“…
Major policy decisions are being made right now that will affect the future of hunting and fishing. To learn how America’s 40 million hunters and anglers perceive these issues, the TRCP teamed up with Public Opinion Strategies, one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms, in May 2017 to conduct a national poll. Here’s what sportsmen told us:
97% agree that protecting and conserving public lands for future generations is important
4 out of 5 respondents support Clean Water Act protections for smaller headwater streams and wetlands;
87% of hunters and anglers do not want to see cuts to conservation programs;
82% of sportsmen support the BLM’s plans for conserving greater sage-grouse habitat, and
75% support providing financial incentives for farmers and ranchers to conserve land for habitat and clean water through Farm Bill conservation programs.
71% of Republican sportsmen support conservation on private lands through Farm Bill programs, as reported in this survey.
To put it simply, science matters—especially as global climate change and habitat loss continue to escalate.
But the alarming gag orders, recently issued to our natural resource science partners in Washington, put U.S. environmental leadership and the very well being of our planet in jeopardy.
Point Blue is trusted by our federal partners to manage millions of bird and other ecological observations to achieve our common climate-smart conservation goals. We pledge to continue stewarding this valuable information collaboratively and transparently.
Central Sierra Project Leader Alissa Fogg. Photo by Ryan DiGaudio
In these challenging times, Point Blue’s collaborative science, grounded in 52 years of conservation expertise, will continue to be a beacon of hope.
With your support, we and our many public and private partners will:
Enhance the benefits nature provides to humans—including clean air, fresh water, fisheries, carbon sequestration, flood control and recreation;
Expand climate-smart restoration from mountain meadows and rangelands to coastal streams and tidal wetlands;
Sustain healthy populations of birds, whales and other wildlife; and,
Train the next generation of conservation leaders in nature-based solutions.
In late October, 2016, just as Point Blue’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Grant Ballard, and colleagues left for their austral summer field work on Adélie Penguins and environmental changein Antarctica, the 24-nation Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) unanimously agreed to establish the Ross Sea as the world’s largest marine protected area.
Working over seven years to make this conservation dream a reality, Point Blue and partners established the scientific basis for the protection of the Ross Sea, the world’s last near-pristine ocean. See here for a summary of the seminal 2012 publication led by Point Blue and here for the full list of recent publications we co-authored and presented on to leaders of CCAMLR’s member countries.
The agreement provides that certain human activities, such as commercial fishing, will be prohibited across a vast area in order to meet a set of conservation and wildlife habitat protection goals that Point Blue helped to establish. Some concessions were made – for example, commercial fishing interests will be allowed to continue fishing within a designated zone for the long-lived Antarctic toothfish, a critical member of the Ross Sea food web. Also, many had sought for this agreement to be permanent, however a “sunset clause” allows it to be reviewed in 35 years.
The good news is that the Ross Sea will remain relatively protected from human-driven impacts, helping to sustain thriving marine wildlife during this time of rapid climate change. What a significant milestone for conservation.
Please join me in congratulating Grant and his science team with a gift to Point Bluein their honor.
– Close to 15% of the Earth’s land and 12% of its territorial waters are covered by national parks and other protected areas.
– Coverage of marine protected areas more than quadrupled in the last decade.
– Eight in 10 key biodiversity areas worldwide lack complete protection.
2 September 2016 – With 14.7 per cent of the Earth’s land and 12 per cent of its territorial waters under protection, the world is on track to meet a major global conservation target according to UN Environment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). But in their 2016 Protected Planet report, launched today at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaiʻi, UN Environment and IUCN also show that crucial biodiversity areas are being left out, key species and habitats are underrepresented and inadequate management is limiting the effectiveness of protected areas.
“The huge gains in the number and size of protected areas made in the last decade have to be matched by improvements in their quality,” said UN Environment Head Erik Solheim. “The world needs to do more to effectively protect our most biologically diverse spaces. Protected areas need to be better connected, to allow populations of animals and plants to mix and spread. Also important is ensuring local communities are involved in protection efforts. Their support is fundamental to long-term conservation.” … According to scientists at IUCN and UN Environment’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, there are 202,467 protected areas today, covering almost 20 million square kilometres or 14.7 per cent of the world’s land, excluding Antarctica. That falls just short of the 17 per cent target set for 2020 by the Convention on Biological Diversity under the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Areas of importance for biodiversity–Currently less than 20 per cent of the world’s key biodiversity areas are completely covered by protected areas.
Lack of effective management –Less than 20 per cent of countries have met their commitments to assess the management of their protected areas, raising questions about the quality and effectiveness of existing conservation measures.
Protected areas are fundamental for sustainable development –The report recommends investing in protected areas to strengthen sustainable management of fisheries, control invasive species, cope with climate change and reduce harmful incentives, such as subsidies, which threaten biodiversity….