Google+

Impacts outside parks drive poor health within

One of the first broad looks at how well tropical reserves protect biodiversity has found that while some are relatively stable, others are in decline due to conditions just beyond their borders.

Logging, deforestation and fires just outside a park had strong effects on a reserve’s health, whereas factors such as air and water pollution were less significant, new research finds. “These parks are like imperfect mirrors,” says team leader William Laurance, an ecologist at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. “They’re partially reflecting what’s going on around them.”

Laurance and nearly 200 coauthors report the findings online July 25 in Nature. Their study, which surveyed 60 reserves across 36 nations, “is shining some of the first light on something that we’ve talked about for quite a while,” says Lucas Joppa, a conservation biologist at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, England, who was not involved in the work. “It’s the first crack at an extremely important problem.”

Park managers and other officials may now be able to use the information to help figure out where to deploy their limited time and money, Laurance says. “Protected areas are our best bet for conserving nature into the future,” he says, “and we have to find ways to make them work as well as we possibly can.”

Many scientists have looked at how individual nature reserves have fared, or at how specific animals or plants have done across regions. Laurance and his colleagues decided to search instead for broad trends across large groups of organisms in the tropics, the world’s most biodiverse region.

The researchers identified and interviewed four to five expert field biologists for each site — people who averaged nearly two decades’ worth of mud on their boots. In detailed questionnaires and interviews, the local experts reported trends in 31 animal and plant groups. The researchers also asked about 21 potential drivers of ecosystem change such as illegal mining, hunting and selective logging.

After cross-checking the experts’ knowledge with published scientific literature, Laurance’s group came up with a “reserve-health index.” About four-fifths of the reserves had a declining index. The drop in about half of all reserves was relatively serious. “What’s most striking is just how sweeping the changes were,” says Laurance.

The next step, Joppa says, is to calculate the actual impact of protected areas — how conditions would have changed had the nature reserve never been set up. “That’s what we really want to know,” he says.

Source: Science News / Alexandra Witze / photo

Credit: Christian Ziegler/Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Entertainment

Dom Goes Rogue for Damsel-in-Distress in 8th episode of High-Octane Franchise

  The Fate of the Furious Film Review by Kam Williams Dom Goes Rogue for Damsel-in-Distress in 8th episode of High-Octane Franchise There are a number of action films whose opening scenes alone are well worth the price of admission. Taken (2008), District B-13 (2004) Super 8 (2011) and Dawn of the Dead (2004)  are four which automatically come to mind. Feel free to add The Fate of the Furious to the list of flicks that grab you by the … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

All Hail the Easter Bunny!

  All Hail the Easter Bunny! by Amy Lignor From Country Living to Home and Garden to your very own traditions that began when your Grandmother was just a baby, there are things you can do for Easter that your friends, family and especially the children will never forget. You can even start new traditions that your own beautiful grandchild can carry on with their own kids one day. Let’s start with the Easter party. Perhaps you’re … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Terminally Well

  Terminally Well   By Capt. Gus Cane Even the most expensive rods and reels are worthless without critical hardware. Catching coastal fish requires a wide variety of terminal tackle—the hooks, swivels, line, leader, crimps and other components that complete the rigs. You might be targeting a certain species. But in the briny, you never know what might show up so it pays to be fully prepared to capitalize on whatever opportunities might … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

It’s Time to Play Ball!

  It’s Time to Play Ball! by Amy Lignor   As far back as you can remember, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day comes with pomp, pageantry, good food, excitement, and a whole lot of fun for the family. Cincinnati, home to the very first professional baseball team, will once again hold the annual Findlay Market Parade, making it official to the whole world that baseball has returned. In Cincinnati it is a holiday for one and all, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses

  Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses by Amy Lignor   The popular show called “Shark Tank” offers investors that back up small businesses – businesses that then turn around and make millions and are able to hire more and more American workers each year, still mentions something that breaks the heart in almost every episode. The fact that overseas manufacturers could save the entrepreneur who’s speaking a great … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor   We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]