Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Camera trapping reveals trends in forest duiker populations in African National Parks
    O'Brien, Timothy G. ; Ahumada, Jorge ; Akampurila, Emmanuel ; Beaudrot, Lydia ; Boekee, Kelly ; Brncic, Terry ; Hickey, Jena ; Jansen, Patrick A. ; Kayijamahe, Charles ; Moore, Jennifer ; Mugerwa, Badru ; Mulindahabi, Felix ; Ndoundou-Hockemba, Mireille ; Niyigaba, Protais ; Nyiratuza, Madeleine ; Opepa, Cisquet K. ; Rovero, Francesco ; Uzabaho, Eustrate ; Strindberg, Samantha - \ 2020
    Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 6 (2020)2. - ISSN 2056-3485 - p. 168 - 180.
    Abundance - Africa - bushmeat - camera trapping - Forest duikers - occupancy - protected areas - Royle-Nichols models

    Bushmeat hunting is widely cited as cause for declines of wildlife populations throughout Africa. Forest duikers (Bovidae, Cephalophinae) are among the most exploited species. Whether current harvest rates imperil duikers is debated because of the difficulty of accurately assessing population trends. To assess population trends, we first reviewed literature for historical duiker population estimates. Second, we used systematic camera-trap monitoring to assess population trends for 15 populations of nine duiker species in six national parks in Central and East Africa. We analysed annual monitoring data using Royle-Nichols heterogeneity-induced occupancy models to estimate abundance/sample point and derive occupancy estimates. Published density estimates indicate that duiker populations declined significantly throughout Africa between 1973 and 2013. There was a wide range of densities depending on species ((Formula presented.) range: 0.26–20.6 km−1) and whether populations were hunted ((Formula presented.) =6.3 km−1) or unhunted ((Formula presented.) = 16.3 km−1). More recent analysis of camera-trap monitoring produced different results. Estimated mean point abundance over time was between 0 and 0.99 individuals/point for four populations, between 1.0 and 1.99 for six populations, and greater than 2.0 for five populations. We observed five populations of duikers with negative trends in point abundances, although only one trend was significant and point abundance estimates for three populations were above 2.0 in the final survey year. Six populations showed positive trends in point abundance (three significant), and the remaining populations displayed no trends. Average occupancy was high (Ψ > 0.60) except for three populations. While literature indicates that historical population declines have occurred, most duiker populations appear relatively healthy in monitored parks. Our results indicate that these parks are effective in protecting most duikers despite hunting pressure. We recommend that systematic, standardized camera-trap monitoring be initiated in other African parks in combination with point-abundance models to objectively assess forest ungulate population trends.

    Governing nature-based tourism mobility in National Park Torres del Paine, Chilean Southern Patagonia
    Barrena Ruiz, J.A. ; Lamers, M.A.J. ; Bush, S.R. ; Blanco-Wells, Gustavo - \ 2019
    Mobilities 14 (2019)6. - ISSN 1745-0101 - p. 745 - 761.
    spatial claims - tourism mobility - protected areas - governance - Patagonia
    Nature-based tourism is a mobile activity shaped by the capacity of tourists for displacement and the socio-material infrastructure allowing flows. However, the literature has scarcely addressed aspects of mobility in governing nature-based tourism. Taking the case of the National Park Torres del Paine we explore three aspects of mobility in nature-based tourism using the concepts of routes, frictions, and rhythms. Our findings show that the movement of tourists challenges spatially bounded forms of governance. Instead, we argue, new mobility-sensitive forms of nature-based tourism governance are needed that can complement the use of fixed-boundary conservation enclosures.
    License to Kill : Contesting the Legitimacy of Green Violence
    Fletcher, Robert - \ 2018
    Conservation and Society 16 (2018)2. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 147 - 156.
    biopower - Conservation - environmentalism - green wars - protected areas - the state - violence
    The predominant focus within the growing body of research addressing 'green violence' - that employed in the name of protecting nonhuman natures - has been the exercise of such violence by representatives of nation-state regimes. Largely overlooked thus far, therefore, is a remarkably similar discussion conducted among civil society environmental activists, who have long debated the legitimacy of employing analogous forms of violence in their own defense of 'nature.' Juxtaposing these two discussions, this article explores how green violence has been discussed and contested among state and non-state actors, respectively. At stake in this discussion is the essential question of when, and by whom, green violence can be legitimately exercised. This question, in turn, raises the related question of who can legitimately employ 'biopower' when both state and non-state actors commonly justify green violence with quite similar claims to be acting in defense of imperiled forms of nonhuman life. In addressing these questions, this analysis suggests that we may need to rethink how biopower is being mobilised in the contemporary world wherein the nation-state political order is increasingly challenged by manifold forces while environmental concerns have at the same time come to be seen as one of the principle security threats to states, their subjects, as well as life as a whole.
    Can zoning resolve nature use conflicts? The case of the Numto Nature Park in the Russian Arctic
    Pristupa, A.O. ; Tysyachnyouk, M. ; Mol, A.P.J. ; Leemans, H.B.J. ; Minayeva, Tatiana ; Markina, Anastasia - \ 2018
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 61 (2018)10. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 1674 - 1700.
    Russia - protected areas - zoning - legitimacy - information
    In the Russian Arctic, nature protection is important to preserve valuable ecosystems and indigenous lifestyles against the rapidly expanding oil and gas activities. In this regard, zoning legitimately balances influential stakeholders versus weak ones, and can leverage stakeholders to exercise their rights. This study explores how various stakeholders employ zoning in the Numto Nature Park in the oil-rich Russian Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug–Yugra to advance their interests and how they use scientific information to achieve this. Through stakeholder interviews, analysis of electronic media and literature review, we conclude that a participatory and science-based zoning exercise stimulates the necessary deliberation. However, legal ambiguity, deficient law implementation and informal practices limit the zoning's potential to balance stakeholders’ interests. All the stakeholders calculatingly used scientific information to legitimize their own ambitions, activities and claims. Hence, zoning and the underlying information claims should be interpreted as both a resource and a battleground in nature-use conflicts.
    The Vietnamese State and Administrative Co-Management of Nature Reserves
    Nguyen, T.K.D. ; Bush, S.R. ; Mol, A.P.J. - \ 2016
    Sustainability 8 (2016)3. - ISSN 2071-1050 - 19 p.
    co-management - networks - nature conservation - protected areas - Vietnam
    The Vietnamese government has introduced co-management in its national system of special-use forests (SUFs) to improve the effectiveness of nature and biodiversity conservation. One of the major challenges is to allow flexibility and local adaptability of co-management coordinated by SUF management boards within the overall still-rigid structure of vertical state networks. Using a critical institutional perspective, this paper examines the influence of the vertical and horizontal linkages that underline the form and function of SUF co-management. Data is presented from a nation-wide survey of 113 SUFs, 22 random in-depth interviews, and four in-depth case studies of SUFs. The results show that the success of co-management in centralized states like Vietnam depends on the greater devolution of allocative power from central to district governments to facilitate horizontal networked collaboration with local communities. Yet the results also indicate that the central state maintains an important role in setting the conditions that allow for the success of these networked collaborations. Based on these findings the conclusions reflect on the need to further develop a critical institutional approach for understanding the purpose, interests, and resources of co-management in the context of centralized states.
    using genetic profiles of african forest elephants to infer population structure, movements, and habitat use in a conservation and development landscape in gabon
    Eggert, L.S. ; Buij, R. ; Lee, M.E. ; Campbell, P. ; Dallmeier, F. ; Fleischer, R.C. ; Alonso, A. ; Maldonado, J. - \ 2014
    Conservation Biology 28 (2014)1. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 107 - 118.
    loxodonta-africana - savanna elephants - protected areas - national-park - relatedness - demography - patterns - crisis - loci
    Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA containing energy and forestry concessions, we studied forest elephants to evaluate the importance of the MUA to wide-ranging species. We extracted DNA from elephant dung samples and used genetic information to identify over 500 individuals in the MUA and the parks. We then examined patterns of nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial control-region sequences to infer population structure, movement patterns, and habitat use by age and sex. Population structure was weak but significant, and differentiation was more pronounced during the wet season. Within the MUA, males were more strongly associated with open habitats, such as wetlands and savannas, than females during the dry season. Many of the movements detected within and between seasons involved the wetlands and bordering lagoons. Our results suggest that the MUA provides year-round habitat for some elephants and additional habitat for others whose primary range is in the parks. With the continuing loss of roadless wilderness areas in Central Africa, well-managed MUAs will likely be important to the conservation of wide-ranging species.
    Ecological and economic conditions and associated institutional challenges for conservation banking in dynamic landscapes
    Teeffelen, A.J.A. van; Opdam, P.F.M. ; Wätzold, F. ; Hartig, F. ; Johst, K. ; Drechsler, M. ; Vos, C.C. ; Wissel, S. ; Quétier, F. - \ 2014
    Landscape and Urban Planning 130 (2014). - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 64 - 72.
    no net loss - biodiversity conservation - ecosystem services - metapopulation persistence - habitat networks - tradable permits - offset policies - protected areas - restoration - markets
    Protected areas are a cornerstone of current biodiversity policy. The continued loss of biodiversity, however, as well as the limited scope to extend protected area networks necessitates a conservation perspective that encompasses both protected areas and the wider landscape. This calls for policy instruments that can govern land use dynamics, simultaneously meeting demands for conservation (i.e. no net loss of biodiversity) and economic development. Conservation banking could be such an instrument, but only when certain criteria are met. Building on the theory of ecological networks, we combine ecological, economic and institutional perspectives on conservation banking to identify when and where conservation banking could be feasible. Economic prerequisites include sufficient market activity to match demand and supply. Adequate regulatory capacity is needed to design and enforce trading rules. From an ecological perspective, habitat turnover is least detrimental in large and well-connected networks. For many ecosystem types, those prerequisites will be rarely met in practice: sufficient market activity implies sufficient habitat turnover, but most ecological networks are not robust enough to buffer frequent habitat turnover. Therefore, banking is best limited to common and fast-regenerating ecosystem types (e.g. certain coastal systems, wetlands, nutrient-rich grasslands). Furthermore, conservation banking could be applied to a subset of the network only, i.e. the wider landscape, as a complementary instrument to protected area policy. With appropriate trading rules and institutional arrangements, the loss and gain of habitat could be governed to improve the spatial cohesion and size of ecological networks and the capacity of landscapes to support biodiversity.
    Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity
    Schroter, M. ; Rusch, G.M. ; Barton, D.N. ; Blumentrath, S. ; Nordén, B. - \ 2014
    PLoS ONE 9 (2014)11. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 12 p.
    protected areas - trade-offs - rich forests - conservation - landscapes - strategies - payments - benefits - science - norway
    Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway) with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone) or partially restricted (partial use zone). Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2%) and the non-use zone (+3.2%). Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%), which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1%) of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%.
    Drivers of extinction risk in African mammals: the interplay of distribution state, human pressure, conservation response and species biology
    Marco, M. Di; Buchanan, G.M. ; Szantoi, Z. ; Holmgren, M. ; Grottolo Marasini, G. ; Gross, D. ; Tranquili, S. ; Boitani, L. ; Rondini, C. - \ 2014
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological sciences 369 (2014). - ISSN 0962-8436 - 12 p.
    protected areas - population declines - tropical forest - human footprint - time-series - land-cover - strategy - deforestation - 21st-century - ecosystem
    Although conservation intervention has reversed the decline of some species, our success is outweighed by a much larger number of species moving towards extinction. Extinction risk modelling can identify correlates of risk and species not yet recognized to be threatened. Here, we use machine learning models to identify correlates of extinction risk in African terrestrial mammals using a set of variables belonging to four classes: species distribution state, human pressures, conservation response and species biology. We derived information on distribution state and human pressure from satellite- borne imagery. Variables in all four classes were identified as important predictors of extinction risk, and interactions were observed among variables in different classes (e.g. level of protection, human threats, species distribution ranges). Species biology had a key role in mediating the effect of external variables. The model was 90% accurate in classifying extinction risk status of species, but in a few cases the observed and modelled extinction risk mismatched. Species in this condition might suffer from an incorrect classification of extinction risk (hence require reassessment). An increased availability of satellite imagery combined with improved resolution and classification accuracy of the resulting maps will play a progressively greater role in conservation monitoring.
    Applying the ecosystem services framework to pasture-based livestock farming systems in Europe
    Rodríguez-Ortega, T. ; Oteros Rozas, E. ; Ripoll Bosch, R. ; Tichit, M. ; Martín-López, B. ; Bernués, A. - \ 2014
    Animal 8 (2014)Special issue 08. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1361 - 1372.
    land-use - trade-offs - agricultural land - rural landscapes - nature conservation - indigenous cattle - plant-communities - protected areas - carbon storage - economic value
    The concept of ‘Ecosystem Services’ (ES) focuses on the linkages between ecosystems, including agroecosystems, and human well-being, referring to all the benefits, direct and indirect, that people obtain from ecosystems. In this paper, we review the application of the ES framework to pasture-based livestock farming systems, which allows (1) regulating, supporting and cultural ES to be integrated at the same level with provisioning ES, and (2) the multiple trade-offs and synergies that exist among ES to be considered. Research on livestock farming has focused mostly on provisioning ES (meat, milk and fibre production), despite the fact that provisioning ES strongly depends on regulating and supporting ES for their existence. We first present an inventory of the non-provisioning ES (regulating, supporting and cultural) provided by pasture-based livestock systems in Europe. Next, we review the trade-offs between provisioning and non-provisioning ES at multiple scales and present an overview of the methodologies for assessing biophysical trade-offs. Third, we present non-biophysical (economical and socio-cultural) methodologies and applications for ES valuation. We conclude with some recommendations for policy design.
    Law enforcement staff perceptions of illegal hunting and wildlife conservation in the Gonarezhou National Park, southeast Zimbabwe
    Gandiwa, E. ; Zisadza-Gandiwa, P. ; Mango, L. ; Jakarasi, J. - \ 2014
    Tropical Ecology 55 (2014)1. - ISSN 0564-3295 - p. 119 - 127.
    protected areas - communities adjacent - management - serengeti - tanzania - campfire - biodiversity - performance - abundance - impacts
    Globally, pressure from the illegal harvesting of wildlife is a recurrent issue for protected area management. In order to ensure the effective conservation of wildlife resources, law enforcement has been identified as one of the most important components of protected area management. Our study aimed at addressing the following two research questions: (1) what are the perceptions of law enforcement staff in Gonarezhou National Park (GNP), Zimbabwe, about illegal hunting practices, illegal hunter’s characteristics, wild animals commonly targeted and trends of poaching in the park; and, (2) what are the suggestions for reducing illegal hunting and enhancing wildlife conservation in GNP ecosystem? Data were collected using a semistructured questionnaire administered through interviews from 42 law enforcement staff representing 47 % of the total law enforcement staff in GNP from February to May 2011. Our results showed that 76 % (n = 32) of the patrol rangers perceived that most illegal hunters were between 21 and 30 years. Nearly all respondents (95 %; n = 40) reported that most poachers were residents of villages situated within 20 km from the boundary of GNP. Medium to large wild herbivores were reportedly the most illegally animal hunted species whilst large carnivores were the least illegally hunted animals. Most of the respondents (79 %, n = 33) perceived that poaching activities had declined in GNP ecosystem between 2005 and 2010 due to an increase in arrests. Increasing conservation awareness and education in adjacent communal areas would help to further reduce illegal hunting and promote wildlife conservation.
    Raptor habitat use in the lake Chad basin: insights into the effect of flood-plain transformation on afrotropical and paleartic raptors
    Buij, R. ; Croes, B.M. - \ 2013
    Bird Conservation International 23 (2013)02. - ISSN 0959-2709 - p. 199 - 213.
    protected areas - top predators - rice fields - land-use - conservation - biodiversity - cameroon - africa - impact
    West African flood-plains have undergone major land-use transformations in the second half of the 20th century. To obtain insight in the effect of flood-plain development for irrigated rice cultivation on the abundance, richness, and diversity of Palearctic and Afrotropical raptors, we conducted monthly transect surveys covering dry and wet seasons in four major habitats on the Waza-Logone flood-plain of Cameroon: dry grasslands, cultivated grasslands, rice fields, and seasonally flooded grasslands resembling natural flood-plain vegetation. We recorded 36 raptor species among 2,533 individuals, dominated by Black Kite Milvus migrans, which comprised 42% of counts. Although richness and diversity were not related to land-use for Palearctic raptors, Afrotropical raptor diversity was higher on the flooded grasslands compared to the newly created cultivated habitats and dry grasslands. The abundance of Afrotropical raptors did not significantly differ across habitats but was lower in rice-fields when Black Kite and Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus were excluded. Conversely, Palearctic raptor abundance was highest in post-harvest rice fields, demonstrating the importance of the rice fields as foraging habitat for Palearctic raptors. Further transformation of West Africa’s flood-plains is expected, reducing their capacity for Afrotropical raptors, while Palearctic raptors may benefit from expansion of rice-fields, but more research is needed on their vulnerability to pesticide use.
    Effects of land-use change and rainfall in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa on the diet and nestling growth rates of an avian predator
    Buij, R. ; Folkertsma, I. ; Kortekaas, K. ; longh, H.H. De; Komdeur, J. - \ 2013
    Ibis 155 (2013)1. - ISSN 0019-1019 - p. 89 - 101.
    field energetics - breeding success - protected areas - hatching order - climate-change - foraging mode - national-park - raptors - habitat - savanna
    Raptor populations in Sudano-Sahelian West Africa are being severely affected by widespread habitat alteration which depletes prey populations, potentially aggravated by changing rainfall patterns. We studied Grasshopper Buzzards Butastur rufipennis at nests in natural and transformed habitats in the Sudano-Sahelian region of northern Cameroon to assess the effects of habbitat transformation and rainfall on nestling diet and growth.
    Assessing, mapping and quantifying cultural ecosystem services at community level
    Plieninger, T. ; Dijks, S. ; Oteros Rozas, E. ; Bieling, C. - \ 2013
    Land Use Policy 33 (2013). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 118 - 129.
    land-use change - protected areas - social values - national-park - management - landscapes - conservation - perceptions - scales - stakeholders
    Numerous studies underline the importance of immaterial benefits provided by ecosystems and especially by cultural landscapes, which are shaped by intimate human–nature interactions. However, due to methodological challenges, cultural ecosystem services are rarely fully considered in ecosystem services assessments. This study performs a spatially explicit participatory mapping of the complete range of cultural ecosystem services and several disservices perceived by people living in a cultural landscape in Eastern Germany. The results stem from a combination of mapping exercises and structured interviews with 93 persons that were analyzed with statistical and GIS-based techniques. The results show that respondents relate diverse cultural services and multiple local-level sites to their individual well-being. Most importantly, aesthetic values, social relations and educational values were reported. Underlining the holistic nature of cultural ecosystem services, the results reveal bundles of services as well as particular patterns in the perception of these bundles for respondent groups with different socio-demographic backgrounds. Cultural services are not scattered randomly across a landscape, but rather follow specific patterns in terms of the intensity, richness and diversity of their provision. Resulting hotspots and coldspots of ecosystem services provision are related to landscape features and land cover forms. We conclude that, despite remaining methodological challenges, cultural services mapping assessments should be pushed ahead as indispensable elements in the management and protection of cultural landscapes. Spatially explicit information on cultural ecosystem services that incorporates the differentiated perceptions of local populations provides a rich basis for the development of sustainable land management strategies. These could realign the agendas of biodiversity conservation and cultural heritage preservation, thereby fostering multifunctionality.
    The role of breeding range, diet, mobility and body size in associations of raptor communities and land-use in a West African savannah
    Buij, R. ; Croes, B.M. ; Gort, G. ; Komdeur, J. - \ 2013
    Biological Conservation 166 (2013). - ISSN 0006-3207 - p. 231 - 246.
    long-term assessment - protected areas - southern-africa - burkina-faso - conservation - habitat - declines - cameroon - biodiversity - population
    To provide insight into raptor declines in western Africa, we investigated associations between land-use and raptor distribution patterns in Cameroon. We examined the role of breeding distribution, species’ migratory mobility, diet, body size, and thus area requirements, on 5-km scale patterns of raptor richness and abundance. We recorded 15,661 individuals, comprising 55 species during road surveys, spanning four annual cycles. Results revealed evidence for the importance of National Parks (N.P.’s), natural vegetation, humans, and cotton in shaping raptor assemblages, but responses differed between functional groups and biogeographical zones. Human populations and natural habitat, interacting with zone, were important predictors of Afrotropical raptor richness, and N.P.’s of Palearctic raptor richness. Areas cleared of natural habitat in the Guinea zone had comparatively rich and abundant large, small sedentary and migratory Afrotropical raptor assemblages, but humans limited positive effects. Palearctic raptor abundance peaked at higher levels of human land-use than Afrotropical raptors. Vertebrate-hunting Palearctic raptor richness was positively associated with cropland, while cotton and human land-use in the Inundation zone had a stronger negative impact on insectivorous Palearctic raptors. Richness of large sedentary raptors declined with increasing distance to N.P.’s, contrary to communal scavenger richness, which increased with human populations. Humans, habitat loss and cotton in the Inundation and Sudan zones had similar, negative effects on small sedentary and small migratory Afrotropical raptor assemblages. We conclude that increasing human populations, natural vegetation loss, and expanding cotton will negatively affect the majority of Afrotropical and insectivorous Palearctic raptors, while vertebrate-hunting Palearctic raptors may benefit from cropland expansion.
    Payments for ecosystem services and the financing of global biodiversity conservation
    Hein, L.G. ; Miller, D.C. ; Groot, R.S. de - \ 2013
    Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 5 (2013)1. - ISSN 1877-3435 - p. 87 - 93.
    environmental services - protected areas - tropical biodiversity - developing-countries - efficiency - parks - pay
    It is generally recognized that addressing the ongoing loss of global biodiversity requires a substantial increase in funding for conservation activities, particularly in developing countries. An increasing interest in Payment Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services (PES) begs the question of whether a focus on developing payment mechanisms will also reduce the ongoing loss of global biodiversity. We review, firstly, current flows of funds for biodiversity conservation, including PES and other market mechanisms, and secondly, the opportunities and constraints of PES to contribute to biodiversity protection globally. We argue that PES can and should make an important contribution, but that it will not be sufficient to rely on PES alone to finance the actions necessary to substantially reduce biodiversity loss. In response to the identified constraints, we believe there is a need to develop additional funding mechanisms specifically targeted at biodiversity conservation.
    Taxonomic novelties in the genus Campylospermum (Ochnaceae)
    Bissiengou, P. ; Chatrou, L.W. ; Wieringa, J.J. ; Sosef, M.S.M. - \ 2013
    Blumea 58 (2013)1. - ISSN 0006-5196 - p. 1 - 7.
    protected areas - africa - gabon - plants
    Four new species, one with two subspecies, of the genus Campylospermum are described, all endemic or sub-endemic to Gabon. These are C. auriculatum, C. gabonensis, C. gabonensis subsp. australis, C. glaucifolium and C. occidentalis. Distribution maps and scans of the holotypes are provided as well as preliminary IUCN Red List assessments. New combinations for nine species formerly assigned to the genus Ouratea and/or Gomphia are proposed: C. andongensis, C. glomeratum, C. longestipulatum, C. lunzuensis, C. lutambensis, C. nutans, C. plicatum and C. warneckei. Finally, one taxon is raised from the variety to species level, leading to the new combination C. costatum.
    Breeding performance of the Grasshopper Buzzard (Butastur rufipennis) in a natural and a human-modified West African savanna
    Buij, R. ; Kortekaas, K. ; Krimpen, R.R.D. ; Wijk, H.J. van; Zanden, S. ; Iongh, H.H. de; Heitkonig, I.M.A. ; Snoo, G.R. de; Komdeur, J. - \ 2013
    Condor 115 (2013)1. - ISSN 0010-5422 - p. 47 - 57.
    nest-site selection - owls asio-otus - land-use - climate-change - survival estimation - raptor community - protected areas - arid savanna - habitat - success
    Few studies have examined raptor reproduction in response to land-use change in sub-Saharan Africa, hampering conservation efforts to address regional declines. To further our understanding of mechanisms underlying the dramatic declines of West African raptors, we examined the relationship between environmental conditions, nest density, and measures of reproduction in the Grasshopper Buzzard (Butastur rufipennis). Analyses were based on 244 nest sites divided between transformed and natural habitat in northern Cameroon. At the landscape scale, nest density increased with the density of preferred nest trees. Nests were more widely spaced in transformed than in natural habitat. Dispersion was adjusted to differences in availability of small mammals, which was negatively associated with distance to nearest neighbor, and in the area under cultivation, which was positively associated with distance to nearest neighbor. Productivity was positively associated with rainfall, canopy shielding the nest, availability of grasshoppers, and the nest's visibility from ground level; canopy shielding, grass cover, rainfall, and distance to nearest neighbor were positively associated with nest success. In natural habitat, losses of eggs and nestlings to natural predators were greater than in transformed habitats, while losses through human predation were small. Productivity and nest success were unaffected by land use because of the opposing effects of greater predation pressure, closer spacing of nests, and more food in natural habitat than in transformed habitat. Thus transformed habitat may provide adequate breeding habitat for the Grasshopper Buzzard, but declining rainfall and intensifying anthropogenic land use are likely to affect future reproductive output
    Illegal hunting and law enforcement during a period of economic decline in Zimbabwe: A case study of northern Gonarezhou National Park and adjacent areas
    Gandiwa, E. ; Heitkonig, I.M.A. ; Lokhorst, A.M. ; Prins, H.H.T. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2013
    Journal for Nature Conservation 21 (2013)3. - ISSN 1617-1381 - p. 133 - 142.
    protected areas - communities adjacent - central-africa - wildlife consumption - equatorial-guinea - western serengeti - nature-reserves - luangwa valley - local people - south-africa
    Illegal hunting of wildlife, or top-down harvesting, is a major issue in today's society, particularly in tropical ecosystems. There has been widespread concern about increasing illegal hunting of wildlife in most conservation areas in Zimbabwe following the political instability and economic decline the country faced since 2000. In this study, we focused on the northern Gonarezhou National Park (GNP), a large and unfenced protected area, and adjacent communal areas in southern Zimbabwe. We hypothesised that illegal hunting activities would (1) be perceived to have increased due to economic collapse and (2) vary with law enforcement efforts. A total of 236 local residents from eight villages adjacent to the northern GNP were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires from December 2010 to May 2011, and law enforcement data for northern GNP between 2000 and 2010 were retrieved from the park law enforcement database. A total of 26 animal species were reportedly hunted. Bushmeat consumption and the need for local trade to raise income were reported as the main reasons behind illegal hunting. Contrary to the first hypothesis, the majority of respondents (n = 156, 66%) reported that illegal hunting activities had declined between 2000 and 2010 largely due to increased park protection as also supported by law enforcement data. A total of 22 animal species were recorded as having been illegally hunted in northern GNP. The number of illegal hunters arrested declined with increased law enforcement efforts although the number of wire snares recovered and hunting dogs shot appeared to increase following increased law enforcement efforts. These results partly support the second hypothesis that illegal hunting activities would vary with law enforcement efforts
    Wildlife as insurance against rainfall fluctuations in a semi-arid savanna setting of southeastern Zimbabwe
    Poshiwa, X. ; Groeneveld, R.A. ; Heitkonig, I.M.A. ; Prins, H.H.T. ; Ierland, E.C. van - \ 2013
    Tropical conservation science 6 (2013)1. - ISSN 1940-0829 - p. 108 - 125.
    protected areas - conservation - poverty - africa - countries - livestock - botswana - drought - reserve - risk
    This paper presents modeling approaches for wildlife conservation in a semi-arid savanna setting where there are frequent occurrences of drought. The model was used to test the extent to which wildlife income offers opportunities to reduce fluctuations in income as a result of variations in annual rainfall. For the application of the model the wildlife and agro-pastoral systems of southeastern Zimbabwe were simulated. Results show that wildlife income has the potential to compensate for some of the losses in expected income from livestock during droughts. However, wildlife income becomes second best to irrigated agriculture in stabilizing income in areas that show highly fluctuating rainfall. Possible reasons for this include high costs of exploiting the wildlife resource, and the small fraction of wildlife revenues received by households and communities. In order to search for sustainable solutions in areas such as the southeastern low veld of Zimbabwe, it is also important to be aware that the current human population and livestock densities are far above current sustainable levels. Our results therefore suggest that current and future efforts to conserve biodiversity are doomed to fail if there are no efforts made to decongest areas surrounding parks of high densities of human and herbivore populations, and to let local households earn more revenues from wildlife
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