Wildlife Conservation Evaluation

pp 45-67

Assessing representativeness

  • Mike P. Austin
  • , Christopher R. Margules

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The idea that a reserve or system of reserves should represent the range of biological variation in a given region has been advocated widely. In 1970 UNESCO, through its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program, initiated a project to conserve natural areas throughout the world by establishing biosphere reserves (UNESCO, 1974). The immediate and main aim of biosphere reserves was to represent the range of Dasmann’s (1973) global biotic provinces, as updated by Udvardy (1975), in an international system of reserves. Achievement of that aim was seen as necessary to provide sample ecosystems in a natural state, maintain ecological diversity and environmental regulation, conserve genetic resources and provide education, research and environmental monitoring (IUCN, 1978).