Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 765–775 | Cite as

Conservation management for the past, present and future

Original Paper

Abstract

Conservation managers are in the unenviable position of trying to conserve and restore biodiversity, without having a definitive timeframe to restore it to. Currently, managers around the world focus on various timeframes from recent to historical, but without a definitive target, countless conservation problems arise. Managers need to determine what constitutes a native species, which species to reintroduce, whether selective breeding should be implemented to resurrect supposedly extinct organisms, targets on population levels, whether assisted migration should be employed when climate change alters the environmental envelope of a species surrounded by human-altered landscapes, and how to manage for stochasticity and evolutionary processes. Without having definitive goals to target, these issues are difficult/impossible to address. It is only by discussing these important issues that some consensus will be attained that allow us to stop responding to crises and start predicting the future of biodiversity and plan and respond accordingly.

Keywords

Conservation management Conservation benchmarks Restoration Reintroduction Extinction Introduced species 

References

  1. Archer M, Brammall J, Field J et al (2002) The evolution of Australia: 110 million years of change. Australian Museum Publishing Unit, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  2. Breitenmoser U (1998) Large predators in the Alps: the fall and rise of Man’s competitors. Biol Conserv 83:279–289. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(97)00084-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caro TM (2007) The Pleistocene re-wilding gambit. TREE 22:281–283. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2007.03.001 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Carruthers J (1995) Wildlife and Warfare: the Life of James Stevenson-Hamilton. University of Natal Press, PietermaritzburgGoogle Scholar
  5. Clout MN, Craig JL (1995) The conservation of critically endangered flightless birds in New Zealand. Ibis 137(Supplement):S181–S190. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1995.tb08440.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Creel S, Creel NM (1996) Limitation of African wild dogs by competition with larger carnivores. Conserv Biol 10:526–538. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.1996.10020526.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Davies-Mostert HT, Mills MGL, MacDonald DW (2008) South Africa’s wild dog Lycaon pictus meta-population management programme. In: Hayward MW, Somers MJ (eds) The reintroduction of top-order predators. Blackwell Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Diamond JM (1997) Guns, germs and steel: a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. Vintage Press, Great BritainGoogle Scholar
  9. Dinerstein E, Loucks C, Wikramanyake ED et al (2007) The fate of wild tigers. Bioscience 57:508–514. doi:10.1641/B570608 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Donlan J, Greene HW, Berger J et al (2005) Re-wilding North America. Nature 436:913–914PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Durant SM (1998) Competition refuges and coexistence: an example from Serengeti carnivores. J Anim Ecol 67:370–386. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2656.1998.00202.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Flannery TF (1994) The future eaters: an ecological history of the Australasian lands and people. Reed Books, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  13. Fox D (2007) When worlds collide. Conserv Mag 8:28–34Google Scholar
  14. Friend JA, Beecham B (2004) Return to Dryandra: Western shield review—February 2003. Conserv Sci WA 5:174–193Google Scholar
  15. Hanby JP, Bygott JD (1979) Population changes in lions and other predators. In: Sinclair ARE, Norton-Griffiths M (eds) Serengeti: Dynamics of an ecosystem. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  16. Harrington R, Owen-Smith N, Viljoen PC et al (1999) Establishing the causes of the roan antelope decline in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Biol Conserv 90:69–78. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00120-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hartley EH (1988) The retrieval of the quagga. S Afr J Sci 84:158–159Google Scholar
  18. Hayward MW, de Tores PJ, Dillon MJ et al (2003) Local population structure of a naturally-occurring metapopulation of the quokka (Setonix brachyurus Macropodidae: Marsupialia). Biol Conserv 110:343–355. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00240-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hayward MW, de Tores PJ, Augee ML et al (2004) Home range and movements of the quokka Setonix brachyurus (Macropodidae: Marsupialia), and its impact on the viability of the metapopulation on the Australian mainland. J Zool 263:219–228. doi:10.1017/S0952836904005060 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hayward MW, de Tores PJ, Banks PB (2005) Habitat use of the quokka Setonix brachyurus (Macropodidae: Marsupialia) in the northern jarrah forest of Australia. J Mammal 86:683–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hayward MW, Adendorff J, O’Brien J et al (2007) The reintroduction of large carnivores to the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: an assessment. Oryx 41:205–214. doi:10.1017/S0030605307001767 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hetherington DA (2006) The lynx in Britain’s past, present and future. ECOS 27:68–74Google Scholar
  23. Hetherington DA, Gorman ML (2007) Using prey densities to estimate the potential size of reintroduced populations of Eurasian lynx. Biol Conserv 137:37–44. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2007.01.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hofmeyr M, Davies R, Nel P et al (2003) Operation phoenix—the introduction of larger mammals to Madikwe Game Reserve. In: Brett M (ed) Madikwe Game Reserve: a decade of progress. North West Parks & Tourism Board, RustenbergGoogle Scholar
  25. Johnsingh AJT, Goyal SP (2005) Tiger conservation in India: the past, present and the future. Indian Forestor:1279–1299Google Scholar
  26. Jones R (1969) Fire-stick farming. Aust Nat Hist 3:224–228Google Scholar
  27. Kerley GIH, Boshoff AF (1997) A proposal for a Greater Addo National Park: a regional and national conservation and development opportunity, Report No. 17. Terrestrial Ecology Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth, pp 1–63Google Scholar
  28. Kerley GIH, Landman M, Kruger L et al (2007) Effects of elephants on ecosystems and biodiversity. In: 2007 South African Assessment of Elephant Management, South African Government, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  29. Linnell JDC, Promberger C, Boitani L et al (2005) The linkage between conservation strategies for large carnivores, and biodiversity: the view from the “half-full” forests of Europe. In: Ray JC, Redford KH, Steneck RS, Berger J (eds) Large carnivores and the conservation of biodiversity. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  30. Macdonald DW (2001) Postscript—carnivore conservation: science, compromise and tough choices. In: Gittleman JL, Funk SM, Macdonald DW, Wayne RK (eds) Carnivore Conservation, Cambridge University Press and The Zoological Society of London, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  31. McLachlan JS, Hellmann JJ, Schwartz MW (2007) A framework for debate of assisted migration in an era of climate change. Conserv Biol 21:297–302. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00676.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mills MGL, Broomhall LS, du Toit JT (2004) Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus feeding ecology in the Kruger National Park and a comparison across African savanna habitats: is the cheetah only a successful hunter on open grassland plains? Wildl Biol 10:177–186Google Scholar
  33. O’Connor CEO, Matthews LR (1999) 1080-Induced bait aversions in wild possums: influence of bait characteristics and prevalence. Wildl Res 26:375–381. doi:10.1071/WR98057 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pauly D (1995) Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries. Trends Res Ecol Evol 10:430. doi:10.1016/S0169-5347(00)89171-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Peterson AT, Ortega-Huerta MA, Bartley J et al (2002) Future projections for Mexican faunas under global climate change scenarios. Nature 416:626–629. doi:10.1038/416626a PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Richards JD, Short J (2003) Reintroduction and establishment of the western barred bandicoot Perameles bouganville (Marsupialia: Peramelidae) at Shark Bay, Western Australia. Biol Conserv 109:181–195. doi:10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00140-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rubenstein DR, Rubenstein DI, Sherman PW et al (2006) Pleistocene Park: does re-wilding North America represent sound conservation for the 21st century? Biol Conserv 132:232–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sanderson EW (2006) How many animals do we want to save? The many ways of setting population target levels for conservation. Bioscience 56:911–922. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2006)56[911:HMADWW]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Saunders DA, Hobbs RJ, Margules CR (1991) Biological consequences of ecosystem fragmentation: a review. Conserv Biol 5:18–32. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.1991.tb00384.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sigwela A (2004) Restoration of sub-tropical thicket following degradation by introduced goats and native herbivores. University of Port ElizabethGoogle Scholar
  41. Sinclair ARE (1979) The eruption of the ruminants. In: Sinclair ARE, Norton-Griffiths M (eds) Seregenti: dynamics of an ecosystem, University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  42. Smith DW (2006) Re-introduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park, USA. Re-introd NEWS 25:29–31Google Scholar
  43. Smithers RHN (1983) The mammals of the Southern African subregion. University of Pretoria Press, PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  44. Sunquist ME, Karanth KU, Sunquist F (1987) Ecology, behaviour and resilience of the tiger and its conservation needs. In: Tilson RL, Seal US (eds) Tigers of the world: the biology, biopolitics, management and conservation of an endangered species. Noyes Publishing, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  45. Whyte IJ, van Aarde RJ, Pimm SL (2003) Kruger’s elephant population: its size and consequences for ecosystem heterogeneity. In: du Toit JT, Rogers KH, Biggs HC (eds) The Kruger experience: ecology and management of savanna heterogeneity. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  46. Wilton AN (2001) Methods of assessing dingo purity. In: Dickman CR, Lunney D (eds) A symposium on the Dingo, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, MosmanGoogle Scholar
  47. Zimov SA (2005) Pleistocene park: return of the mammoth’s ecosystem. Science 308:796–798. doi:10.1126/science.1113442 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Centre for African Conservation EcologyNelson Mandela Metropolitan UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Biological, Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Mammal Research InstitutePolish Academy of ScienceBialowiezaPoland

Personalised recommendations