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Old 11-16-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default Bigger Isn't Always Better for Wildlife Reserves

Bigger Isn't Always Better for Wildlife Reserves
By Lynne Peeples, OurAmazingPlanet Contributor
posted: 10 November 2010 10:03 am ET

For Threatened Species, Reserves Suffer From Poor Placement | Endangered Species & Biodiversity, Environment | LiveScience
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While setting aside massive swaths of land would seem to provide powerful strongholds for biodiversity, a new study finds that such reserves often don't reach their full conservation potential because of poor placement — they are put in areas that are convenient for people to avoid, but not for threatened species to thrive.

Still, the study researchers say that there are other key roles that the world's largest reserves play in environmental conservation, and highlight the importance of defending them from growing threats.

"These protected areas might not be representing a lot of rare species, but they contribute in other ways," said...
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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Bigger may not always be better but sometimes it is. It is not only the rare or endangered that needs space and protection. Ecosystem services need to remain intact to function at optimum efficiency. So much more knowledge, about what and how much of that what, is needed for continuity.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
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Bigger may not always be better but sometimes it is. It is not only the rare or endangered that needs space and protection. Ecosystem services need to remain intact to function at optimum efficiency. So much more knowledge about what and how much of that what is needed for continuity.
The really important benefit for wildlife is the existence of corridors between natural areas. This is being demonstrated out West in the corridor between the Grand Tetons and Canada, where grizzles, wolves, mountain lion, and lynx all travel and wonder from location to location as they reproduce. The opportunity to migrate offers the offspring an opportunity for looking for new territory to hunt and mate in.

Single areas can act as jails for offspring looking for areas of their own.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:05 PM   #4
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Very true Jack, I have been reading about conservation easements on private land that help create or maintain corridors. There is so much going on that doesn't get much mainstream coverage.
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:20 AM   #5
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Very true Jack, I have been reading about conservation easements on private land that help create or maintain corridors. There is so much going on that doesn't get much mainstream coverage.
A terrific book, current in 2010, is called Rewilding the World by Caroline Fraser. In it the author gives detailed reasons why the future of many predators will depend upon the establishment of corridors between national parks and wildlife refuges so that these critical components of a healthy ecosystem can maintain their numbers. She points out that studies have and are showing that most of the land set aside for nature isn't large enough, and that even the national parks we go to in droves are too small (except Yellowstone) to house and safely maintain the truly important predators.

Y2Y is the corridor between Yellowstone and the Yukon. It has realized great success in allowing the largest and most influential of the predators to migrate - even across major highways that had once been primary killers of any individual restless enough to try to cross one of them. She acknowledges that more work is to be done, but that the incipient stages of the project confirm its importance.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #6
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Check out the article "Think Big" in the current issue (13 January 2011) of 'Nature' magazine - Think big : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

"The best way to manage national parks in the face of the effects of climate change is not to manage at the park level, but to work with landscapes. A new US initiative shows the way."

"...conservation biologists, since at least the early 1990s, have called for parks to be connected to one another by unbroken corridors of nature, through which large species can move. For small mobile species, such as birds and insects, a stepping-stone scatter of protected areas close to one another has much the same effect. Climate change makes such connectivity even more important, as species challenged by the changing climate will need big gene pools to draw from and lots of different places to which they can move to. In particular, sites with microclimates to harbour species that can't take the heat need to be identified, protected and linked to existing protected areas."

"It would be unforgivable to lose honeyeaters, antelopes, grizzlies and orchids, not because scientists didn't know how to save them, but because they were mired in bureaucratic mud."
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