March 2010 | Vol. 3 | Issue 1 | pages 1-116
Felipe Barragán, Consuelo Lorenzo, Alejandro Morón, Miguel A. Briones-Salas y Sergio López
Growth and needs of the human population in Mexico and all over the world have contributed to accelerate the use of natural resources, causing an evident transformation of the landscape. Currently, landscapes are a mixture of areas with representative vegetation, farmlands, pasture areas, areas without vegetation and human settlements; in other words, landscapes are fragmented areas that affect the establishment and displacement of plant and animal populations, particularly, indicators species of ecosystems, such as rodents and bats. In this work, we relate the patterns of diversity in communities of rodents and bats with the diversity of habitats and human disturbance in a fragmented landscape in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. The results show the importance of habitat diversity in patterns of diversity of mammals. Rodents are not distributed regularly through the landscape, because there are vegetation fragments that do not favor their presence. Contrary, bats are present and move across all the landscape, therefore, not all the species respond to changes in the environment in the same way. We propose to consider conservation strategies promoting the protection of vegetation corridors that provide shelter and food for mammals and that increase connectivity between fragments of vegetation in the study area.
The role of women in traditional farming systems as practiced in homegardens: a case study in Sylhet Sadar Upazila, Bangladesh | pages 17-30
Sayma Akhter, Mohammed Alamgir, Md. Shawkat Islam Sohel, Parvez Rana, S. J. Monjurul Ahmed, Mohammad Shaheed Hossain Chowdhury
Forests cover only 6 to 8 percent of the total land area of Bangladesh. While agricultural expansion continues to massively deplete the natural forests, a well-managed homegarden practice is vital for reversing the existing trend and promoting the ecological balance of the country. An understanding of the role of women in homegarden management within a traditional farming system is important in expanding and improving the practice. This paper seeks to explore the participation of women in homegarden management activities, understanding the impact of homegardens on women’s income and livelihoods and assessing women’s awareness of homegarden-oriented activities that support forest conservation. The study demonstrates a number of important conclusions: (1) women are mostly involved in homegarden management-related activities (2) women are interested in conserving homegardens because they obtain such substantial benefits as food security, income, health care, and environmental benefits (3) women were found to be aware of home-garden conservation and tuned to motivating husbands, children, and neighbors to conserve the agro-biodiversity of homegardens. Findings suggest that increased involvement of women in a broad range of homegarden management activities is not only beneficial for their own socio-economic well-being, but also imperative for sustaining the livelihoods of their communities and for preserving the agro-biodiversity in homegardens.
Influence of human population density upon the spatial structure of a forested landscape in the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of Congo. | pages 31-44
Issouf Bamba, Yao Sadaiou Sabas Barima and Jan Bogaert
The degradation and deforestation of the forest of the Congo Basin have a significant impact on the ecosystems involved and on local communities living from and nearby them. Habitat fragmentation reduces total forest area and increases of the number of forest patches; it constitutes one of the major threats for biodiversity. Conducted in the equatorial forest of the Oriental Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this study aimed to show the influence of population density on forest pattern. We determined forest cover using a classified Landsat ETM+ scene of 2001. Highly significant correlations between population density and forest fragmentation were observed. Due to the increase of population density and to the socio-economical situation in the study area, forests are found to be under various kinds of pressures. Indirectly, through human activities, population density leads to changes in the forest pattern as was evidenced by its degradation and area loss. The Congo Basin is the largest forest after the Amazon tropical forest complex; consequently, its change will influence negatively the global climate cycles. For a better ecological balance of the planet, the Congo Basin forests should be subjected to management programs, in which the position of the local communities should be taken into account.
Conservation of Colombian primates: an analysis of published research | pages 45-62
Stevenson, Pablo R., Guzmán,Diana C. and Defler, Thomas R.
Colombia is one of the countries with with the highest number of plant and animal species. About 30 monkey species inhabit Colombian forests and at least five of them are only found in this county. Through a detailed evaluation of scientific publication databases, we evaluated which of these species have been well studied, and which species deserve more studies. We found that research on Colombian monkeys has been undertaken in natural conditions, aiming to describe their behavior and ecology. In contrast, we found few studies in laboratories and zoos for the country. We additionally noticed that the most studied species (such as woolly monkeys, brown capuchins and red howlers) are usually present where research stations are established, and where long term studies have taken place (e.g., PNN Tinigua and Caparu Biological Station). However, research activities in these stations are frequently jeopardized by deforestation, hunting and illegal armed forces. In order to preserve Colombian monkeys it is necessary to know more about them, especially about species with high risk of extinction, such as the spider monkeys in Choco and the Magdelena valley, the grey tamarin, the cotton-topped tamarin, the Caqueta´s titi and the Andean woolly monkeys. Since some of these endangered monkeys are not found in national parks, new conservation areas and programs are needed. New world monkeys are generally good seed dispersers of many plant species, therefore, their conservation helps maintain the diversity of plants in the forests they inhabit.
Identifying important forest patches for the long-term persistence of the endangered golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas). | pages 63-77
Sara L. Zeigler, William F. Fagan, Ruth DeFries, and Becky E. Raboy
Habitat loss is the primary threat to the survival of species throughout the world. As habitat is lost, individual habitat patches become smaller and more isolated from other patches. In response to this decrease in resources, populations of species inhabiting those patches also become smaller with less genetic diversity and ultimately have a higher extinction risk. The protection of large tracts of contiguous habitat therefore becomes critical to reducing the extinction risk of such species. The golden-headed lion tamarin (GHLT; Leontopithecus chrysomelas) is one of many endemic species of the Brazilian Atlantic forest where deforestation is a significant threat. Large forest patches may be especially important for the survival of this endangered arboreal primate that maintains large home ranges at low population densities. The main objective of our study was to determine the number and location of forest patches that are large enough to support a population of GHLTs with a low risk of extinction and high genetic diversity despite the potential negative effects of fire and disease. Though we found multiple large forest patches, we found only one patch that is large enough to support a population of GHLTs with high genetic diversity under the highest level of threat from fire and disease. Considering that only one federally protected reserve known to currently support GHLTs exists within the species’ range while continuing deforestation and land conversion are major threats to remaining GHLT habitat, we recommend further research into the quality of the largest patches highlighted in our study as well as additional protection of habitat within the range of the species.
The role of monkeys, mosquitoes and humans in the occurrence of a yellow fever outbreak in a fragmented landscape in south Brazil: protecting howler monkeys is a matter of public health | pages 78-89
Júlio César Bicca-Marques and David Santos de Freitas
Seven people and over 2,000 howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya and A. guariba clamitans) died in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, during a recent (2008-2009) outbreak of sylvatic yellow fever, an infectious disease caused by a mosquito-transmitted virus. These deaths spread panic among the population leading howlers to become not only victims of the disease, but also of people's misinformation. In addition to being illegal, the killing of howler monkeys further endangers these primates and puts people at greater risk. Unlike humans, howler monkeys are extremely sensitive to the yellow fever and usually die within a few days of contracting it. The death of howlers alerts local health offices to the local spread of the virus in the region enabling the implementation of local vaccination campaigns. In this paper, Bicca-Marques and Freitas describe the theoretical background that allows them to contend howler monkeys were the major victims of the outbreak and that their protection is not only a matter of biodiversity conservation, it is also a matter of public health. Finally, the authors describe the activities of an outreach campaign called “Protect our Guardian Angels”, run and supported by an alliance of educational, scientific, governmental (health- and environment-related) and religious institutions and NGOs, that aimed at informing the public and the media about the actual relationship of these regionally threatened monkey species to the yellow fever.
A review of the present threats to tropical moist deciduous Sal (Shorea robusta) forest ecosystem of central Bangladesh | pages 90-102
Mohammed Mahabubur Rahman, Md. Motiur Rahman, Zhang Guogang, Kazi Shakila Islam
The tropical moist deciduous Sal (Shorea robusta) forest ecosystem of central Bangladesh is currently in a critical situation. Destructive anthropogenic and natural impacts coupled with overexploitation of forest resources have caused severe damage to the forest ecosystem. Sal is usually harvested for construction works, fuel wood, timbers, tannins, pillars, and furniture making purposes. The rapidly expanding agriculture in the forest land is a significant threat to the Sal forest ecosystem. This forest has been rapidly exhausted in recent times due to rubber monoculture and expanding commercial fuel-wood plantations. Due to illegal cutting, encroachment of forest areas, and illegal poaching of wildlife, the Sal forest is losing biodiversity at an alarming rate. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimated that about 36% of the Sal forest cover existed in 1985; while in 1990 only about 10% of the forest cover remained. Now it is crucial time to conserve this Sal forest from all kinds of threats. Silvicultural systems must be improved to promote effective regeneration. At the same time, sustainable alternatives to forest-based livelihoods such as home gardening, forest product-based small cottage industry, beekeeping, and poultry farming may be explored. Furthermore, the requirement of further scientific research for better understanding of the Sal forest ecosystem has been stressed. Finally, the future existence of the Sal forest in Bangladesh depends on the development and successful implementation of a sustainable management plan to protect and conserve these important resources.
Towards sustainable Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzania | pages 103-116
Current approaches to natural resources conservation emphasize active participation of local communities in conservation activities. Participation in conservation issues (or in other words participatory conservation), is a joint initiative of the governments, local communities and other stakeholders such as non-governmental organizations. A good example of the initiatives associated with participatory conservation can be vividly witnessed in the introduction of wildlife management areas (WMAs) especially in most African countries. WMAs are areas of community land in which local people have usage rights over the wildlife resources. It is envisaged that through WMAs local people will develop the sense of wildlife ownership, and realize actual and potential benefits of wildlife conservation. This paper presents some factors that need to be given due attention in the current interest in WMAs in Tanzania, and indeed elsewhere in Africa. Generally, the following issues are highlighted: historical background of WMAs in Tanzania, destruction of the wildlife habitat due to human land-use activities such as agriculture in the areas with WMA projects; human population density in relation to wildlife resource use-pressure; natural resource use diversification and access considerations in the wildlife management areas; finally, the paper recommends the following: simplification of the WMAs’ formation process in order to quicken and promote positive outcomes from their predetermined objectives; frequent monitoring in the areas with WMA projects; the need to promote conservation awareness amongst local communities; local capacity building towards ensuring sustainable access and utilization of the natural resources in the WMAs.
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Volume 3: Issue 1
Table of Contents
Estrada & Butler
Barragan et al
Sohel et al
Bamba et al
Stevenson et al
Zeigler et al
Bicca-Marques et al
Rahman et al
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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