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Biol Lett. 2006 Jun 22;2(2):184-8.

Protected areas and regional avian species richness in South Africa.

Author information

1
University of Sheffield, Biodiversity and Macroecology Group, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. karl.evans@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

Protected areas are generally regarded as essential for the long-term maintenance of biodiversity. Evidence for their effectiveness in this regard is, however, somewhat equivocal. Here, we document the relationship between the proportion of protected land and species richness in a region, both with and without taking spatial variation in environmental energy availability into account. Using the South African avifauna as a case study, we find that total and threatened species richness exhibit modest increases with the proportion of protected land. While the protected area network should be expanded, it is essential that conservation efforts also focus on maintaining biodiversity in the wider unprotected landscape that supports high species richness.

PMID:
17148358
PMCID:
PMC1618914
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2005.0435
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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