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  • Issue Information
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-07-01

    Cover description : Forest fragment amongst industrial Acacia plantations on the Kampar Peninsula, Indonesia. In this issue Deere et al look at the effectiveness, and limits to it, of the protection of High Carbon Stock forest patches in fragmented tropical landscapes. Photo credit: Caine Delacy.

  • Incentivizing co‐management for impact: mechanisms driving the successful national expansion of tonga's special management area program
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-06-27
    Patrick F. Smallhorn‐West; Jason Sheehan; Siola'a Malimali; Tuikolongahau Halafihi; Tom C. L. Bridge; Robert L. Pressey; Geoffrey P. Jones

    The expansion of coastal marine protected areas can suffer from two key drawbacks: (a) the difficulty of incentivizing local communities to manage areas for conservation when their livelihoods also depend on resource use; and (b) that many protected areas get situated residually, or in locations with limited value for either biodiversity conservation or livelihoods. Here, we discuss and analyze key

  • Private rhino conservation: Diverse strategies adopted in response to the poaching crisis
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-06-15
    Hayley S. Clements; Mike Knight; Pelham Jones; Dave Balfour

    Private landowners in South Africa conserve roughly 40% of white rhinos globally. Given concerns that escalating poaching has caused private‐rhino owners to disinvest, we used a national survey to assess 171 private‐rhino owners’ responses to the crisis. Twenty‐eight percent of rhino owners are disinvesting in rhino, 57% are pursuing business‐as‐usual (largely ecotourism), and 15% are investing in

  • Land‐use history determines ecosystem services and conservation value in tropical agroforestry
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-06-14
    Dominic Andreas Martin; Kristina Osen; Ingo Grass; Dirk Hölscher; Teja Tscharntke; Annemarie Wurz; Holger Kreft

    Agroforestry is widely promoted as a potential solution to address multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals, including Zero Hunger, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, and Life on Land. Nonetheless, agroforests in the tropics often result from direct forest conversions, displacing rapidly vanishing and highly biodiverse forests with large carbon stocks, causing undesirable trade‐offs

  • Improving scientific rigour in conservation evaluations and a plea deal for transparency on potential biases
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-05-28
    Jonas Josefsson; Matthew Hiron; Debora Arlt; Alistair G. Auffret; Åke Berg; Mathieu Chevalier; Anders Glimskär; Göran Hartman; Ineta Kačergytė; Julian Klein; Jonas Knape; Ane T. Laugen; Matthew Low; Matthieu Paquet; Marianne Pasanen‐Mortensen; Zuzanna M. Rosin; Diana Rubene; Michał Żmihorski; Tomas Pärt

    The delivery of rigorous and unbiased evidence on the effects of interventions lay at the heart of the scientific method. Here we examine scientific papers evaluating agri‐environment schemes, the principal instrument to mitigate farmland biodiversity declines worldwide. Despite previous warnings about rudimentary study designs in this field, we found that the majority of studies published between

  • Dams and protected areas: Quantifying thespatial and temporal extent of global dam construction within protected areas
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-05-22
    Michele L. Thieme; Dmytro Khrystenko; Siyu Qin; Rachel E. Golden Kroner; Bernhard Lehner; Shalynn Pack; Klement Tockner; Christiane Zarfl; Natalie Shahbol; Michael B. Mascia

    Protected areas (PAs) are an essential tool for freshwater biodiversity conservation. Given past and expected future global increases in dams and impacts of dams on freshwater ecosystems, we document the number of dams existing or planned within PAs, their history, and the extent of PA downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD) proximally caused by dams. Globally, at least 1,249 large dams

  • Public attitudes toward biodiversity‐friendly greenspace management in Europe
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-05-13
    Leonie K. Fischer; Lena Neuenkamp; Jussi Lampinen; Maria Tuomi; Josu G. Alday; Anna Bucharova; Laura Cancellieri; Izaskun Casado‐Arzuaga; Natálie Čeplová; Lluïsa Cerveró; Balázs Deák; Ove Eriksson; Mark D. E. Fellowes; Beatriz Fernández de Manuel; Goffredo Filibeck; Adrián González‐Guzmán; M. Belen Hinojosa; Ingo Kowarik; Belén Lumbierres; Ana Miguel; Rosa Pardo; Xavier Pons; Encarna Rodríguez‐García;

    Increasing urbanization worldwide calls for more sustainable urban development. Simultaneously, the global biodiversity crisis accentuates the need of fostering biodiversity within cities. Policies supporting urban nature conservation need to understand people's acceptance of biodiversity‐friendly greenspace management. We surveyed more than 2,000 people in 19 European cities about their attitudes

  • Evaluating the relationships between the legal and illegal international wildlife trades
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-05-09
    Derek P. Tittensor; Michael Harfoot; Claire McLardy; Gregory L. Britten; Katalin Kecse‐Nagy; Bryan Landry; Willow Outhwaite; Becky Price; Pablo Sinovas; Julian Blanc; Neil D. Burgess; Kelly Malsch

    The international legal trade in wildlife can provide economic and other benefits, but when unsustainable can be a driver of population declines. This impact is magnified by the additional burden of illegal trade, yet how it covaries with legal trade remains little explored. We combined law‐enforcement time‐series of seizures of wildlife goods imported into the United States (US) and the European Union

  • Life below water: Fish spawning aggregations as bright spots for a sustainable ocean
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-30
    Simon J. Pittman; William D. Heyman

    Transient fish spawning aggregations (FSAs) are critical life‐cycle events for many commercially important species, in which fish congregate in huge numbers to spawn at predictable times and places. This behavior makes them exceptionally vulnerable to fishing. The “illusion of plenty” and poor access to monitoring tools and techniques has resulted in some FSAs being overfished or unwittingly eliminated

  • Motivations for (non‐)compliance with conservation rules by small‐scale resource users
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-29
    Rodrigo Oyanedel; Stefan Gelcich; E.J. Milner‐Gulland

    Understanding compliance with conservation rules is key for biodiversity conservation. Here, we assess compliance and its underlying motivations in a small‐scale fishery in Chile. We adapt a framework originally developed for forestry to unpack compliance motivations at within‐individual and between‐individuals levels while accounting for contextual factors. We find that 92–100% fishers comply with

  • Issue Information
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-29

    Cover description: Wild populations of the western honeybee Apis mellifera were widely assumed as extinct in Europe. However, recent fieldwork studies revealed the use of tree cavities by wild honeybee colonies in European forests. Here is presented a honeybee colony in an old black woodpecker cavity in the beech forests of the Biosphere Reserve Swabian Alb (Germany). This highlights the conservation

  • We have a steak in it: Eliciting interventions to reduce beef consumption and its impact on biodiversity
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-28
    Matthew J. Selinske; Fiona Fidler; Ascelin Gordon; Georgia E. Garrard; Alexander M. Kusmanoff; Sarah A. Bekessy

    Beef production is a major driver of biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions globally, and multiple studies recommend reducing beef production and consumption. Although there have been significant efforts from the biodiversity conservation sector toward reducing beef‐production impacts, there has been comparatively much less engagement in reducing beef consumption. As a first step to address

  • Coloring and size influence preferences for imaginary animals, and can predict actual donations to species‐specific conservation charities
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-23
    Polly Curtin; Sarah Papworth

    As conservation has limited funds, numerous studies have identified aesthetic characteristics of successful flagship species which generate donations and conservation. However, prior information about species can also impact human preferences, and may covary with animal appearance, leading to different conclusions about which species will be most effective. To separate these two factors, we use images

  • Emerging illegal wildlife trade issues: A global horizon scan
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-23
    Nafeesa Esmail; Bonnie C. Wintle; Michael t Sas‐Rolfes; Andrea Athanas; Colin M. Beale; Zara Bending; Ran Dai; Michael Fabinyi; Sarah Gluszek; Cathy Haenlein; Lauren A. Harrington; Amy Hinsley; Kennedy Kariuki; Jack Lam; Matthew Markus; Kumar Paudel; Sofiya Shukhova; William J. Sutherland; Diogo Verissimo; Yifu Wang; John Waugh; Jon H. Wetton; Catherine Workman; Joss Wright; Eleanor J. Milner‐Gulland

    Illegal wildlife trade is gaining prominence as a threat to biodiversity, but addressing it remains challenging. To help inform proactive policy responses in the face of uncertainty, in 2018 we conducted a horizon scan of significant emerging issues. We built upon existing iterative horizon scanning methods, using an open and global participatory approach to evaluate and rank issues from a diverse

  • The need for a more inclusive science of elephant conservation
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-21
    Lin Cassidy; Jonathan Salerno

    Largely absent from the current scientific dialog is recognition of which voices should contribute to decisions on the future of Africa's elephants, particularly those living in the Kavango‐Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. We argue that elephant conservation policy must take into account the voices of the people bearing the cost of living with wildlife, as well as the nations with the responsibility

  • Integrating oceans into climate policy: Any green new deal needs a splash of blue
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-21
    Steven J. Dundas; Arielle S. Levine; Rebecca L. Lewison; Angee N. Doerr; Crow White; Aaron W. E. Galloway; Corey Garza; Elliott L. Hazen; Jacqueline Padilla‐Gamiño; Jameal F. Samhouri; Ana Spalding; Adrian Stier; J. Wilson White

    Recent warnings from scientists suggest there is limited time to enact policies to avert wide‐ranging ecological and social damage from climate change. In the United States, discussions about comprehensive national policies to avert climate change have begun, with “Green New Deal” proposals and climate plans put forth by members of Congress and presidential candidates. Oceans are largely absent or

  • The past and future role of conservation science in saving biodiversity
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-15
    David R Williams; Andrew Balmford; David S Wilcove

    Global biodiversity losses continue despite tremendous growth in the volume of conservation science and many local successes. Research that can achieve conservation science's aims—arresting declines in biodiversity and preventing extinctions—is therefore of ever greater importance. Here, we ask whether conservation science, as currently performed, is progressing in such a way as to maximize its impact

  • The elephant in the room: Madagascar's rosewood stocks and stockpiles
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-03-23
    Lucienne Wilmé; John L. Innes; Derek Schuurman; Bruno Ramamonjisoa; Marion Langrand; Charles V. Barber; Rhett A. Butler; George Wittemyer; Patrick O. Waeber

    To prevent the illegal trade in wild species, stock management is critical given stocks function as a buffer to supply chains during lean periods or as a mechanism for market speculation. The Madagascar government with backing by the World Bank recently promoted the sale of confiscated rosewood to reach a zero‐stocks situation. To better assess options, we contrast the risks and rewards of four stock

  • Biodiversity policy beyond economic growth
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-13
    Iago Otero; Katharine N. Farrell; Salvador Pueyo; Giorgos Kallis; Laura Kehoe; Helmut Haberl; Christoph Plutzar; Peter Hobson; Jaime García‐Márquez; Beatriz Rodríguez‐Labajos; Jean‐Louis Martin; Karl‐Heinz Erb; Stefan Schindler; Jonas Nielsen; Teuta Skorin; Josef Settele; Franz Essl; Erik Gómez‐Baggethun; Lluís Brotons; Wolfgang Rabitsch; François Schneider; Guy Pe'er

    Increasing evidence—synthesized in this paper—shows that economic growth contributes to biodiversity loss via greater resource consumption and higher emissions. Nonetheless, a review of international biodiversity and sustainability policies shows that the majority advocate economic growth. Since improvements in resource use efficiency have so far not allowed for absolute global reductions in resource

  • Toward a climate‐informed North American protected areas network: Incorporating climate‐change refugia and corridors in conservation planning
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-04-06
    Diana Stralberg; Carlos Carroll; Scott E. Nielsen

    Global and national commitments to slow biodiversity loss by expanding protected area networks also provide opportunities to evaluate conservation priorities in the face of climate change. Using recently developed indicators of climatic macrorefugia, environmental diversity, and corridors, we conducted a systematic, climate‐informed prioritization of conservation values across North America. We explicitly

  • Marine biodiversity offsets: Pragmatic approaches toward better conservation outcomes
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-03-04
    Céline Jacob; Jan‐Willem van Bochove; Suzanne Livingstone; Thomas White; John Pilgrim; Leon Bennun

    Increasing exploitation of marine natural resources and expansion of energy infrastructure, shipping, and aquaculture across the oceans are placing increased pressure on marine life. Biodiversity offsets, as the last stage of the mitigation hierarchy, provide an opportunity to promote a more sustainable basis for development by addressing residual impacts and achieving “no net loss” for biodiversity

  • Achieving cost‐effective landscape‐scale forest restoration through targeted natural regeneration
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-02-18
    Renato Crouzeilles; Hawthorne L. Beyer; Lara M. Monteiro; Rafael Feltran-Barbieri; Ana C. M. Pessôa; Felipe S. M. Barros; David B. Lindenmayer; Eric D. S. M. Lino; Carlos E. V. Grelle; Robin L. Chazdon; Marcelo Matsumoto; Marcos Rosa; Agnieszka E. Latawiec; Bernardo B. N. Strassburg

    High costs of tree planting are a barrier to meeting global forest restoration targets. Natural forest regeneration is more cost‐effective than tree planting, but its potential to foster restoration at scale is poorly understood. We predict, map, and quantify natural regeneration potential within 75.5 M ha of deforested lands in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Of 34.1 M ha (26.4%) of current forest

  • Accelerating the monitoring of global biodiversity: Revisiting the sampled approach to generating Red List Indices
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-02-17
    Sérgio Henriques; Monika Böhm; Ben Collen; Jennifer Luedtke; Michael Hoffmann; Craig Hilton‐Taylor; Pedro Cardoso; Stuart H. M. Butchart; Robin Freeman

    Given the current biodiversity crisis, pragmatic approaches to detect global conservation trends across a broad range of taxa are critical. A sampled approach to the Red List Index (RLI) was proposed, as many groups are highly speciose. However, a decade after its conception, the recommended 900 species sample has only been implemented in six groups and trend data are available for none, potentially

  • The impact of paying for forest conservation on perceived tenure security in Ecuador
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-02-17
    Kelly W Jones; Nicolle Etchart; Margaret Holland; Lisa Naughton-Treves; Rodrigo Arriagada

    We study the impact of Ecuador's national forest conservation incentives program on reported land conflicts. Data come from a survey of >900 households located within 49 indigenous and Afro‐Ecuadorian communities holding communal conservation contracts. We use quasi‐experimental methods to test for relationships between program participation and changes in land conflicts. Respondents reported that

  • Shark fin trade bans and sustainable shark fisheries
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-02-13
    Francesco Ferretti; David M. P. Jacoby; Mariah O. Pfleger; Timothy D. White; Felix Dent; Fiorenza Micheli; Andrew A. Rosenberg; Larry B. Crowder; Barbara A. Block

    The U.S. Congress is currently discussing the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act to eliminate shark fin trade at the federal level. This bill was introduced in 2017 and has been proceeding very slowly in Congress because of mixed reviews from the scientific community. Debate exists on whether shark conservation and management are effectively addressed with tightened trade controls for imported shark products

  • Low fuel cost and rising fish price threaten coral reef wilderness
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-02-05
    Fraser A. Januchowski‐Hartley; Laurent Vigliola; Eva Maire; Michel Kulbicki; David Mouillot

    Wilderness areas offer unparalleled ecosystem conditions. However, growing human populations and consumption are among factors that drive encroachment on these areas. Here, we explore the threat of small‐scale fisheries to wilderness reefs by developing a framework and modeling fluctuations in fishery range with fuel costs and fish prices. We modeled biomass of four fishery groups across the New Caledonian

  • Integral chain management of wildlife diseases
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-02-04
    An Martel; Mireia Vila‐Escale; Daniel Fernández‐Giberteau; Albert Martinez‐Silvestre; Stefano Canessa; Sarah Van Praet; Pep Pannon; Koen Chiers; Albert Ferran; Moira Kelly; Mariona Picart; Dolors Piulats; Zhimin Li; Viviana Pagone; Laia Pérez‐Sorribes; Carolina Molina; Aïda Tarragó‐Guarro; Roser Velarde‐Nieto; Francesc Carbonell; Elena Obon; Diego Martínez‐Martínez; Daniel Guinart; Ricard Casanovas;

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has caused the most prominent loss of vertebrate diversity ever recorded, which peaked in the 1980s. Recent incursion by its sister species B. salamandrivorans in Europe raised the alarm for a new wave of declines and extinctions in western Palearctic urodeles. The European Commission has responded by restricting amphibian trade. However, private amphibian

  • Fishing restrictions and remoteness deliver conservation outcomes for Indonesia's coral reef fisheries
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-02-04
    Stuart J. Campbell; Emily S. Darling; Shinta Pardede; Gabby Ahmadia; Sangeeta Mangubhai; Amkieltiela; Estradivari; Eva Maire

    Coral reef fisheries depend on reef fish biomass to support ecosystem functioning and sustainable fisheries. Here, we evaluated coral reefs across 4,000 km of the Indonesian archipelago to reveal a large gradient of biomass, from <100 kg/ha to >17,000 kg/ha. Trophic pyramids characterized by planktivore dominance emerged at high biomass, suggesting the importance of pelagic pathways for reef productivity

  • Fish distributions reveal discrepancies between zonal attachment and quota allocations
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-01-27
    Paul G. Fernandes; Niall G. Fallon

    The oceans’ fisheries contribute to human wellbeing by providing essential nutrients, employment, and income. Changes in fish distribution, due to climate change or stock expansion, jeopardize conservation objectives because fishers catch more than is allocated as quota. Quotas, or catch shares, should, therefore, correspond to the share of the fish stock biomass present within a country's Exclusive

  • Subsidizing extinction?
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-01-24
    Jessica Dempsey; Tara G Martin; U. Rashid Sumaila

    In 2010 world governments agreed to eliminate, phase out or reform incentives that harm biodiversity by 2020. Yet few governments have even identified such incentives, never mind taking action on them. While some subsidies are well studied, such as in fisheries and fossil fuel production, there is an urgent need for the conservation community to study the potential effects a broader array of subsidies

  • Implications of zero‐deforestation commitments: Forest quality and hunting pressure limit mammal persistence in fragmented tropical landscapes
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-01-19
    Nicolas J. Deere; Gurutzeta Guillera‐Arroita; Philip J. Platts; Simon L. Mitchell; Esther L. Baking; Henry Bernard; Jessica K. Haysom; Glen Reynolds; Dave J. I. Seaman; Zoe G. Davies; Matthew J. Struebig

    Zero‐deforestation commitments seek to decouple agricultural production and forest loss to improve prospects for biodiversity. However, the effectiveness of methods designed to meet these commitments is poorly understood. In a highly fragmented tropical landscape dominated by oil palm, we tested the capacity for the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach to prioritize forest remnants that sustain mammal

  • How feasible are global forest restoration commitments?
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-01-16
    Matthew E. Fagan; J. Leighton Reid; Margaret B. Holland; Justin G. Drew; Rakan A. Zahawi

    Numerous countries have made voluntary commitments to conduct forest landscape restoration over millions of hectares of degraded land in the coming decade. We consider the relative likelihood these countries will achieve their restoration commitments. Across countries, the area committed to restoration increased with existing forest and plantation area, but was inversely related to development status

  • Digital conservation in biosphere reserves: Earth observations, social media, and nature's cultural contributions to people
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-01-10
    Ana Sofia Vaz; Ricardo A. Moreno‐Llorca; João F. Gonçalves; Joana R. Vicente; Pablo F. Méndez; Eloy Revilla; Luis Santamaria; Francisco J. Bonet‐García; João P. Honrado; Domingo Alcaraz‐Segura

    In the “digital conservation” age, big data from Earth observations and from social media have been increasingly used to tackle conservation challenges. Here, we combined information from those two digital sources in a multimodel inference framework to identify, map, and predict the potential for nature's cultural contributions to people in two contrasting UNESCO biosphere reserves: Doñana and Sierra

  • Synthesis of wild orchid trade and demography provides new insight on conservation strategies
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-01-07
    Tamara Ticktin; Demetria Mondragón; Leonel Lopez‐Toledo; Daniela Dutra‐Elliott; Ernesto Aguirre‐León; Mariana Hernández‐Apolinar

    Illegal wildlife trade represents a global conservation priority, but the booming illegal trade in wild plants remains understudied. We use the Mexican orchid trade to illustrate an interdisciplinary approach to provide novel insight on conservation strategies and policies. We synthesize studies of orchid markets, national orchid confiscation records, CITES registers, and global population dynamics

  • Tree diversity and carbon storage cobenefits in tropical human‐dominated landscapes
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2020-01-01
    Anand M. Osuri; Siddarth Machado; Jayashree Ratnam; Mahesh Sankaran; N. Ayyappan; S. Muthuramkumar; N. Parthasarathy; Raphaël Pélissier; B. R. Ramesh; Ruth DeFries; Shahid Naeem

    A lack of spatial congruence between carbon storage and biodiversity in intact forests suggests limited cobenefits of carbon‐focused policies for conserving tropical biodiversity. However, whether the same applies in tropical human‐dominated landscapes (HDLs) is unclear. In India's Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, we found that while HDL forests harbor lower tree diversity and aboveground carbon

  • Growth‐inducing infrastructure represents transformative yet ignored keystone environmental decisions
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-12-16
    Chris J. Johnson; Oscar Venter; Justina C. Ray; James E. M. Watson

    As the defining force of the Anthropocene, human enterprise is reshaping Earth's surface and climate. As part of that process, growth‐inducing infrastructure, such as electrical transmission lines, export facilities, and roads, presents nonincremental changes in where and how natural resources are exploited. These projects open intact areas, induce or intensify industrial development, and accelerate

  • Moving from biodiversity offsets to a target‐based approach for ecological compensation
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Jeremy S. Simmonds; Laura J. Sonter; James E.M. Watson; Leon Bennun; Hugo M. Costa; Guy Dutson; Stephen Edwards; Hedley Grantham; Victoria F. Griffiths; Julia P.G. Jones; Joseph Kiesecker; Hugh P. Possingham; Philippe Puydarrieux; Fabien Quétier; Helga Rainer; Hugo Rainey; Dilys Roe; Conrad E. Savy; Mathieu Souquet; Kerry ten Kate; Ray Victurine; Amrei von Hase; Martine Maron

    Loss of habitats or ecosystems arising from development projects (e.g., infrastructure, resource extraction, urban expansion) are frequently addressed through biodiversity offsetting. As currently implemented, offsetting typically requires an outcome of “no net loss” of biodiversity, but only relative to a baseline trajectory of biodiversity decline. This type of “relative” no net loss entrenches ongoing

  • Vulnerable species and ecosystems are falling through the cracks of environmental impact assessments
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Jeremy S. Simmonds; April E. Reside; Zoe Stone; Jessica C. Walsh; Michelle S. Ward; Martine Maron

    Proponents of development projects (e.g., new roads, mines, dams) are frequently required to assess and manage their impacts on threatened biodiversity. Here, we propose that the environmental legislation and standards that mandate such assessments are failing those threatened species and ecological communities listed as vulnerable. Using a case study of Australia's key environmental legislation, we

  • Biodiversity means business: Reframing global biodiversity goals for the private sector
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Thomas Smith; Lucy Beagley; Joseph Bull; E. J. Milner‐Gulland; Matt Smith; Francis Vorhies; Prue F. E. Addison

    The Convention on Biological Diversity strategic goals direct the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity from global to local scales. Yet business’ role in meeting the strategic goals and being accountable for their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity are still not fully and coherently outlined. We demonstrate how business actions can contribute to the strategic goals using 10 publicly

  • Protected areas and freshwater biodiversity: a novel systematic review distils eight lessons for effective conservation
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-12-02
    Michael Acreman; Kathy A. Hughes; Angela H. Arthington; David Tickner; Manuel‐Angel Dueñas

    Protected areas are a global cornerstone of biodiversity conservation and restoration. Yet freshwater biodiversity is continuing to decline rapidly. To date there has been no formal review of the effectiveness of protected areas for conserving or restoring biodiversity in rivers, lakes, and wetlands. We present the first assessment using a systematic review of the published scientific evidence of the

  • Contribution of European forests to safeguard wild honeybee populations
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-28
    Fabrice Requier; Yoan Paillet; Fabien Laroche; Benjamin Rutschmann; Jie Zhang; Fabio Lombardi; Miroslav Svoboda; Ingolf Steffan‐Dewenter

    Recent studies reveal the use of tree cavities by wild honeybee colonies in European forests. This highlights the conservation potential of forests for a highly threatened component of the native entomofauna in Europe, but currently no estimate of potential wild honeybee population sizes exists. Here, we analyzed the tree cavity densities of 106 forest areas across Europe and inferred an expected population

  • Substantial losses in ecoregion intactness highlight urgency of globally coordinated action
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-25
    Hawthorne L. Beyer; Oscar Venter; Hedley S. Grantham; James E.M. Watson

    Human activities are altering natural areas worldwide. While our ability to map these activities at fine scales is improving, a simplistic binary characterization of habitat and non‐habitat with a focus on change in habitat extent has dominated conservation assessments across different spatial scales. Here, we provide a metric that captures both habitat loss, quality and fragmentation effects which

  • Watershed complexity increases the capacity for salmon–wildlife interactions in coastal ecosystems
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-20
    Jonathan B. Armstrong; Daniel E. Schindler; Curry J. Cunningham; William Deacy; Patrick Walsh

    Habitat alteration and species exploitation are fundamental issues in conservation, yet their interacting effects on food webs are rarely considered. We used a foraging model based on the Wood River basin (Alaska, USA) to explore how watershed development and commercial fisheries affect energy flow from sockeye salmon to brown bears. We found that, where salmon are abundant, fisheries can harvest large

  • The ecological outcomes of biodiversity offsets under “no net loss” policies: A global review
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-07-17
    Sophus O. S. E. zu Ermgassen, Julia Baker, Richard A. Griffiths, Niels Strange, Matthew J. Struebig, Joseph W. Bull

    No net loss (NNL) biodiversity policies mandating the application of a mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimize, remediate, offset) to the ecological impacts of built infrastructure are proliferating globally. However, little is known about their effectiveness at achieving NNL outcomes. We reviewed the English‐language peer‐reviewed literature (capturing 15,715 articles), and identified 32 reports that

  • Voluntary, permanent land protection reduces forest loss and development in a rural‐urban landscape
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-04-22
    Christoph Nolte, Spencer R. Meyer, Katharine R. E. Sims, Jonathan R. Thompson

    Voluntary, permanent land protection is a key conservation process in many countries. Concerns with the effectiveness of such decentralized processes exist due to the potential for (1) selection bias, that is, the protection of parcels whose land cover would have been conserved in the absence of protection, and (2) local spillover effects, that is, protection increasing the likelihood that adjacent

  • Easement or public land? An economic analysis of different ownership modes for nature conservation measures in California
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-04-12
    Oliver Schöttker, Maria João Santos

    Biodiversity conservation requires space where conservation measures are implemented for a desired purpose. Setting land aside for conservation has been widely applied, while novel conservation modes (private–public partnerships, private multipurpose land management) may be fundamental to achieve conservation goals. We perform an economic analysis of the cost development for two conservation options

  • The dynamics of proclaimed privately protected areas in South Africa over 83 years
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-03-20
    Alta De Vos, Hayley S. Clements, Duan Biggs, Graeme S. Cumming

    Views that protected area (PA) expansion relies predominantly on land purchased by government are increasingly being challenged. The inclusion of privately owned PAs (PPAs) in national conservation strategies is now commonplace, but little is known about their long‐term persistence and how it compares to that of state‐owned PAs. We undertook the first long‐term assessment of the dynamics of a national

  • Estimating IUCN Red List population reduction: JARA—A decision‐support tool applied to pelagic sharks
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-18
    Richard B. Sherley; Henning Winker; Cassandra L. Rigby; Peter M. Kyne; Riley Pollom; Nathan Pacoureau; Katelyn Herman; John K. Carlson; Jamie S. Yin; Holly K. Kindsvater; Nicholas K. Dulvy

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List is the global standard for quantifying extinction risk but assessing population reduction (criterion A) of wide‐ranging, long‐lived marine taxa remains difficult and controversial. We show how Bayesian state–space models (BSSM), coupled with expert knowledge at IUCN Red List workshops, can combine regional abundance data into indices

  • Molecular tools for coral reef restoration: Beyond biomarker discovery
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-18
    John Everett Parkinson; Andrew C. Baker; Iliana B. Baums; Sarah W. Davies; Andréa G. Grottoli; Sheila A. Kitchen; Mikhail V. Matz; Margaret W. Miller; Andrew A. Shantz; Carly D. Kenkel

    As coral reefs continue to decline due to climate change and other stressors, scientists have proposed adopting genomic tools, such as biomarkers, to aid in the conservation and restoration of these threatened ecosystems. Biomarkers are easily measured indicators of biological processes that can be used to predict or diagnose health, resilience, and other key performance metrics. The ultimate goal

  • Better biodiversity accounting is needed to prevent bioperversity and maximize co‐benefits from savanna burning
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-13
    Ben Corey; Alan N. Andersen; Sarah Legge; John C. Z. Woinarski; Ian J. Radford; Justin J. Perry

    Strategies for mitigating climate change through altered land management practices can provide win–win outcomes for the environment and the economy. Emissions trading for greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement in Australia's remote, fire‐prone, and sparsely populated tropical savannas provides a financial incentive for intensive fire management that aims to reduce fire frequency, severity, and extent, and

  • Gender differences in poaching attitudes: Insights from communities in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe living near the great Limpopo
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-12
    Aksel Sundström; Amanda Linell; Herbert Ntuli; Martin Sjöstedt; Meredith L. Gore

    To what extent and how do men and women differ in their attitudes about poaching? Although research suggests that women can be more concerned about environmental degradation than men, inquiries about communities in protected areas are ambiguous: women are disproportionately affected by anti‐poaching laws and can have greater motivations to violate rules. We conducted a large‐scale survey in communities

  • Ecosystem indices to support global biodiversity conservation
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-11
    Jessica A. Rowland; Lucie M. Bland; David A. Keith; Diego Juffe‐Bignoli; Mark A. Burgman; Andres Etter; José Rafael Ferrer‐Paris; Rebecca M. Miller; Andrew L. Skowno; Emily Nicholson

    Governments have committed to global targets to slow biodiversity loss and sustain ecosystem services. Biodiversity state indicators that measure progress toward these targets mostly focus on species, while indicators synthesizing ecosystem change are largely lacking. We fill this gap with three indices quantifying past and projected changes in ecosystems using data from the International Union for

  • Spending to save: What will it cost to halt Australia's extinction crisis?
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-06
    Brendan A. Wintle, Natasha C.R. Cadenhead, Rachel A. Morgain, Sarah M. Legge, Sarah A. Bekessy, Matthew Cantele, Hugh P. Possingham, James E.M. Watson, Martine Maron, David A. Keith, Stephen T. Garnett, John C. Z. Woinarski, David B. Lindenmayer

    As with most governments worldwide, Australian governments list threatened species and proffer commitments to recovering them. Yet most of Australia's imperiled species continue to decline or go extinct and a contributing cause is inadequate investment in conservation management. However, this has been difficult to evaluate because the extent of funding committed to such recovery in Australia, like

  • Looking to aquatic species for conservation farming success
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Rebecca R. Gentry, Steven D. Gaines, Jeremy S. Gabe, Sarah E. Lester

    Thousands of species worldwide are threatened with extinction due to human activities. For some animals, such as elephants, totoaba, and bluefin tuna, population declines are largely driven by hunting. High prices and large profits create a strong incentive for illegal hunting, even in the face of penalties and strict international restrictions against trade. One innovative solution to help reverse

  • Alternative pathways to sustainable seafood
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Joshua S. Stoll; Megan Bailey; Malin Jonell

    Seafood certifications are a prominent tool being used to encourage sustainability in marine fisheries worldwide. However, questions about their efficacy remain the subject of ongoing debate. A main criticism is that they are not well suited for small‐scale fisheries or those in developing nations. This represents a dilemma because a significant share of global fishing activity occurs in these sectors

  • An experimental test of community‐based strategies for mitigating human–wildlife conflict around protected areas
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-10-16
    Paola S. Branco; Jerod A. Merkle; Robert M. Pringle; Lucy King; Tosca Tindall; Marc Stalmans; Ryan A. Long

    Natural habitats are rapidly being converted to cultivated croplands, and crop‐raiding by wildlife threatens both wildlife conservation and human livelihoods worldwide. We combined movement data from GPS‐collared elephants with camera‐trap data and local reporting systems in a before–after‐control‐impact design to evaluate community‐based strategies for reducing crop raiding outside Mozambique's Gorongosa

  • Collaborative conservation planning: Quantifying the contribution of expert engagement to identify spatial conservation priorities
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-10-03
    Katherine E. Selwood, Brendan A. Wintle, Heini Kujala

    The importance of expert input to spatial conservation prioritization outcomes is poorly understood. We quantified the impacts of refinements made during consultation with experts on spatial conservation prioritization of Christmas Island. There was just 0.57 correlation between the spatial conservation priorities before and after consultation, bottom ranked areas being most sensitive to changes. The

  • Operationalizing vulnerability for social–ecological integration in conservation and natural resource management
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-10-01
    Lauric Thiault; Stefan Gelcich; Nadine Marshall; Paul Marshall; Frédérique Chlous; Joachim Claudet

    Sustaining human well‐being is intimately linked to maintaining productive and healthy ecosystems. Avoiding trade‐offs and fostering co‐benefits is however challenging. Here, we present an operational approach that integrates biodiversity conservation, human development, and natural resource management by (1) examining resource and resource user interactions through the lens of social–ecological vulnerability

  • Natural history films raise species awareness—A big data approach
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-09-30
    Darío Fernández‐Bellon; Adam Kane

    In urbanized societies that are increasingly disconnected from nature, communicating ecological and species awareness is crucial to revert the global environmental crisis. However, our understanding of the effectiveness of this process is limited. We present a framework for describing how such awareness may be transferred and test it on the popular BBC show Planet Earth 2 by analyzing Twitter and Wikipedia

  • Reaching consensus for conserving the global commons: The case of the Ross Sea, Antarctica
    Conserv. Lett. (IF 6.766) Pub Date : 2019-09-20
    Cassandra M. Brooks; Larry B. Crowder; Henrik Österblom; Aaron L. Strong

    In October 2016, the international community made history by adopting the world's largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea, Antarctica—by consensus. Achieving this feat required trade‐offs and compromise among the 24‐Member States (plus the European Union) comprising the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The process took 5 years of intense international negotiations

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