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Biodiversity


A Collection of News by Moos
  • 201623MayMon

    Reintroduction of lynx requires larger numbers to avoid genetic depletion

    | News biodiversity

    For successful reintroduction of lynx into the wild, the number of released animals is crucial. If only a few lynx are reintroduced to found a population, the genetic diversity is too low to ensure th...
  • 201623MayMon

    Toxin in wood used for enclosures could harm zoo animals

    | News zoos

    When zoo animals gnaw on wood their enclosures are made of, they may be risking their health by ingesting toxic levels of arsenic. So, zoo managers need to pay attention to the potential risk of the w...
  • 201620MayFri

    Ocelot density in Brazilian Amazon may be lower than expected

    | News biodiversity

    The population density of ocelots in the Brazilian Amazon may be stable but lower than expected, according to a study published May 18, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daniel Gomes da Roch...
  • 201612MayThu

    New enclosure design tool created for UK zoos helping chimps behave natural...

    | News zoos

    University of Birmingham scientists have developed a new way to redesign chimpanzee enclosures. It translates research on wild chimpanzees into zoos' facilities to help preserve the behavioural and ph...
  • 201606MayFri

    Saharan Addax antelope faces imminent extinction

    | News biodiversity

    Regional insecurity and oil industry activities in the Sahara desert have pushed the Addax – a migratory species of desert-adapted antelope - to the very knife-edge of extinction according to a recent...
  • 201606MayFri

    Evolution of the Javan leopard and the urgent need for its conservation

    | News evolution

    An international team of researchers from Germany and Indonesia has discovered new insights into the evolutionary history of the Javan leopard. The results of the study confirm that Javan leopards are...
  • 201605MayThu

    Bad news: leopard's have lost 75 percent of their historic range

    | News biodiversity

    The leopard (Panthera pardus), one of the world's most iconic big cats, has lost as much as 75 percent of its historic range, according to a paper published on 4 May in the open access scientific jour...
  • 201605MayThu

    Stem-cell plan to save the northern white rhinoceros – crazy or not?

    | News zoos

    In December 2015 an international group of scientists convened in Vienna, Austria, to discuss the imminent extinction of the northern white rhinoceros and the possibility of bringing the species back...
  • 201630AprSat

    The value of zoos according to WAZA

    | News zoos

    The (WAZA) provides the following reasons to justify the keeping of wild animals in captivity,and why people need to support and celebrate zoos. Wildlife conservation and Species preservationExtinctio...
  • 201630AprSat

    Birds of prey constrained in the beak evolution race

    | News evolution

    New research reveals that eating different foods does not determine how birds of prey’s beaks evolve. A classic example of evolution by natural selection is the way the beaks of bird species evolved i...
  • 201627AprWed

    Controversial tiger temple in Thailand gets zoo license

    | News zoos

    by Shreya Dasgupta Thailand’s Tiger Temple has been mired in controversy. Earlier this year, a National Geographic investigation and a report released by Cee4life (Conservation and Environmental Educa...
  • 201627AprWed

    Better data needed to stop sixth mass extinction

    | News biodiversity

    Call for better data as study reveals just 5 percent of datasets meet a 'gold standard' needed for effective biodiversity conservation. To prevent a new mass extinction of the world's animal and plant...

    201202MayWed

    Overhunting bush animals threatens food security of Central Africa’s rural communities

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    archived

    Wild animals such as bonobos and large antelopes are being unsustainably hunted to meet overwhelming domestic demand for bushmeat. This is having serious impacts on both species diversity and rural forest communities

    who depend on wild sources of meat for up to 80% of the protein in their diets.

    Scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) are encouraging Africa’s city dwellers to stop the consumption of protected species and consume sustainable sources of meat, whether from domestic animals or from resilient species that are hunted in a sustainable way.

    For people in the countryside, bushmeat is a crucial part of their diets, and we cannot simply tell them not to eat it – they will always continue to


    Robert Nasi, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry and co-author of the recent study The role of wildlife for food security in Central Africa: a threat to biodiversity?

    Nonetheless, in cities it is somewhat easier to find other sources of protein than in a village in the middle of the forest, so it is here that we have an opportunity to reduce unnecessary demand by shifting their meat consumption to other sources and thus preserving Africa’s biodiversity.”

    bushmeat gabon  bushmeat suriname

    Though the word “bushmeat” may be synonymous with ecological exploitation and species extinction, in Africa it could mean a potentially sustainable source of food: unlike cattle, which require large tracts of forest to be cleared, small, fast reproducing animals can be harvested without significant impacts on the ecology of the forests. Bushmeat is de facto one of the most readily available sources of nutrition and protein in regions of Africa that are struggling with maintaining a secure food supply.

    For a minority of people living in Africa’s growing number of large cities in Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon, bushmeat is considered a luxury product, due to the exotic nature of the meat compared to farmed animals. New migrants from the countryside often highly value bushmeat over farmed meat due to its cultural familiarity, having eaten it throughout their childhoods.

    But for the majority of the urban poor however, as Nasi points out in another new paper, Empty forests, empty stomachs? Bushmeat and livelihoods in Congo and Amazon Basins, in cities which are neither isolated rural areas nor major capitals, bushmeat is not a luxury but rather a necessity for urban poor as it is one of the most cheaply acquired sources of protein. Unfortunately, due to population growth, deforestation, civil conflicts, weak governance and inadequate law enforcement, hunting for bushmeat is increasing dramatically and many species of wildlife are struggling to bounce back.

    Researchers know that the volumes of meat caught are high: Nasi et al. estimate bushmeat consumption across the Congo basin and the Amazon is in the range of 6 million tonnes a year. However, estimating the true size of total bushmeat catches is extremely challenging, as the ultimate source of the meat is difficult to determine. It is also difficult to know the true size of what is caught, as the volume of meat that reaches markets will inevitably be smaller than the initial harvest.

    To develop a new set of tools for estimating bushmeat harvests, Nasi and colleagues examined the meat on sale in urban markets in the African city of Kisangani and documented which animals were on sale, which were abundant or threatened species, and the pricing for each type of meat. They found that partially protected species represented 50 per cent of the total bushmeat sold in Kisangani in 2002, but had increased to 66 per cent in 2009. Market data thus can be valuable for policy makers and academics for “raising the alarm” when rapid changes in wild population numbers are documented.

    But understanding the importance of bushmeat to local cultures, both in terms of livelihood as well as nutrition, is essential, said Nathalie Van Vliet, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Copenhagen.

    Appreciating the kinds of meat that regional people value and why, is crucial for developing effective policies and strategies

    In the case of rural communities, where reliable sources of protein may be hard to come by, simply prescribing an abandonment of bushmeat will not work.

    We should not criminalise the whole system – it’s like with any other essential resources, the trade will just go underground and continue with even less options for control,” Nasi said.

    But what can be done, through policies and careful public education programmes, is to discourage the hunting and consumption of animals that reproduce slowly and do not recover quickly from culls, such as fruit bats. Other species, such as rats, are abundant, and due to high reproduction rates recover quickly from hunting impacts. They are also highly valued by local communities. “In some markets, the most expensive form of meat is in fact rat,” Van Vliet said.

    People do in fact like the taste of the meat, showing that neither rarity nor size is the only indicator of price, and that some species that are resilient to the impacts of hunting are preferred, thus creating options for management.” Despite there being only a few policies that effectively manage the levels of bushmeat hunting sustainably, at the governmental level, there has been come recognition of the need to monitor and regulate the trade in bushmeat.

    Since COP11 in 2000, three central African countries have drafted national bushmeat action plans: Cameroon, Gabon, and both the Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo. But these drafts are still very much incomplete and ineffective. Nasi is working with the Convention on Biological Diversity’s liaison group on bushmeat, which recognizes that existing policies and legal frameworks are unpractical or unfeasible. But in his experience, Nasi and colleagues say that working with governments in Africa has not been sufficient. Conversely, they have found that partnering with logging companies – who themselves can become big drivers of hunting through the creation of roads that penetrate forests, combined with remote camps populated with hungry workers – has often resulted in a high degree of success in achieving sustainable hunting.

    In the future we think developing private-public partnerships to manage hunting of resilient species while protecting vulnerable ones would be an effective element of the solution

     

    The above news item is reprinted from materials available at Center for International Forestry Research via AlertNet. Original text may be edited for content and length.

    (Source: Forests Blog CIFOR, 05.04.2012)

    UN Biodiversity decade

    Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

    Tiger range countries map

     

    "Tiger map" (CC BY 2.5) by Sanderson et al., 2006.

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