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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Nov 6;115(45):E10788-E10796. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1805048115. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

More than $1 billion needed annually to secure Africa's protected areas with lions.

Author information

1
Panthera, New York, NY 10018; peter@wildnet.org.
2
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa.
3
Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD 4222, Australia.
4
Panthera, New York, NY 10018.
5
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
6
Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.
7
Centre for International Forestry Research, Bogor 16115, Indonesia.
8
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, The Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Tubney OX13 5QL, United Kingdom.
9
African Wildlife Foundation, Nairobi 00502, Kenya.
10
Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Gaborone, Botswana.
11
Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi 00100, Kenya.
12
School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3052, Australia.
13
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Harare, Zimbabwe.
14
Independent analyst/researcher, Maputo 1100, Mozambique.
15
Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY 10460.
16
Conservation Science Group, Zoology Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, United Kingdom.
17
Independent Economic Researchers, Cape Town 8001, South Africa.
18
School of Life Sciences, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa.

Abstract

Protected areas (PAs) play an important role in conserving biodiversity and providing ecosystem services, yet their effectiveness is undermined by funding shortfalls. Using lions (Panthera leo) as a proxy for PA health, we assessed available funding relative to budget requirements for PAs in Africa's savannahs. We compiled a dataset of 2015 funding for 282 state-owned PAs with lions. We applied three methods to estimate the minimum funding required for effective conservation of lions, and calculated deficits. We estimated minimum required funding as $978/km2 per year based on the cost of effectively managing lions in nine reserves by the African Parks Network; $1,271/km2 based on modeled costs of managing lions at ≥50% carrying capacity across diverse conditions in 115 PAs; and $2,030/km2 based on Packer et al.'s [Packer et al. (2013) Ecol Lett 16:635-641] cost of managing lions in 22 unfenced PAs. PAs with lions require a total of $1.2 to $2.4 billion annually, or ∼$1,000 to 2,000/km2, yet received only $381 million annually, or a median of $200/km2 Ninety-six percent of range countries had funding deficits in at least one PA, with 88 to 94% of PAs with lions funded insufficiently. In funding-deficit PAs, available funding satisfied just 10 to 20% of PA requirements on average, and deficits total $0.9 to $2.1 billion. African governments and the international community need to increase the funding available for management by three to six times if PAs are to effectively conserve lions and other species and provide vital ecological and economic benefits to neighboring communities.

KEYWORDS:

budget; comanagement; conservation effectiveness; deficit; funding need

PMID:
30348785
PMCID:
PMC6233108
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1805048115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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