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Nat Commun. 2016 Sep 1;7:12747. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12747.

Wildlife population trends in protected areas predicted by national socio-economic metrics and body size.

Author information

1
School of Geography Planning and Environmental Management, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia.
2
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, the University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia.
3
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia.
4
Redpath Museum, McGill University, 859 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0C4, Canada.
5
Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, Copenhagen E 2100, Denmark.
6
Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.
7
Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
8
Indicators and Assessment Unit, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, UK.
9
United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), 219 Huntington Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK.
10
International Union for Conservation of Nature, 28 rue Mauverney, Gland 1196, Switzerland.
11
World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna 4031, Philippines.
12
School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania TAS 7001, Australia.
13
Woodley and Associates, Chelsea, Quebec J9B 1T3, Canada.

Abstract

Ensuring that protected areas (PAs) maintain the biodiversity within their boundaries is fundamental in achieving global conservation goals. Despite this objective, wildlife abundance changes in PAs are patchily documented and poorly understood. Here, we use linear mixed effect models to explore correlates of population change in 1,902 populations of birds and mammals from 447 PAs globally. On an average, we find PAs are maintaining populations of monitored birds and mammals within their boundaries. Wildlife population trends are more positive in PAs located in countries with higher development scores, and for larger-bodied species. These results suggest that active management can consistently overcome disadvantages of lower reproductive rates and more severe threats experienced by larger species of birds and mammals. The link between wildlife trends and national development shows that the social and economic conditions supporting PAs are critical for the successful maintenance of their wildlife populations.

PMID:
27582180
PMCID:
PMC5025815
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms12747
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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