Tropical ‘Arks’ Reach Tipping Point
July 30, 2012
Almost half of the tropical forest reserves study are ineffective, according to results of a new study published in the journal Nature by William Laurance
Almost half of the tropical forest reserves study are ineffective, according to results of a new study published in the journal Nature by William Laurance, research associate at STRI now at James Cook University, and 215 co-authors.
“Biodiversity is declining rapidly at reserves including Kahuzi Biega in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Xishuangbanna in southern China, and Northern Sierra Madre in the Philippines, among others,” said Laurance. “Reserves that are doing relatively well include Bwindi Impenetrable N.P. in Uganda, Santa Rosa in Costa Rica, and Los Amigos in Peru.”
Laurance asked experts from the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific including STRI staff scientists Joe Wright and the late Elisabeth Kalko and communication associate Jackie Giacalone-Willis to rate the effectiveness of the reserves where they worked over the last two to three decades based on changes in abundance of 31 different animal and plant groups.
Those suffering the most were encroached upon by illegal colonists, hunters and loggers. Reserve health mirrored the environmental health of surrounding landscapes.