Andrew Balmford, Senior Lecturer, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK
HUMAN DOMINANCE OF THE BIOSPHERE: EFFECTS ON BIRDS
How far, why, and how are people impacting birds, and what can we do about it? Humans have been changing the abundance and diversity of avian communities for millennia - Polynesians colonising the Pacific, for instance, may have wiped out as many as 2000 species of birds by 1000 y BP. But our impacts - whether measured through extinctions, levels of threat, or population sizes - are accelerating. Underlying drivers include not just human population growth, but accelerating per capita consumption, selfish and short-term decision-making, the growing disconnect between people and nature, and a broad tendency for people to settle in biologically rich areas. Proximate threats vary in space and over time, and increasingly interact with one another. Nevertheless, the greatest threats, both now and into the foreseeable future, are habitat loss and degradation, chiefly for farming. With this in mind, I consider potential conservation responses, focusing in particular on the emerging debate about whether the impact of agriculture is best met through wildlife-friendly farming, or through intensification of production on already cleared land.
Reed Bowman, Associate Research Biologist, Head, Avian Ecology Lab, Archbold Biological Station, Florida
IS HUMAN-PROVIDED FOOD AN EVOLUTIONARY TRAP? AN APPARENT PARADOX FOR SUBURBAN BIRDS
Urbanization can influence the distribution of foods for birds. Some natural foods, especially arthropods, may decline with urbanization but may be replaced with human-provided sources, which tend to be of relatively high quality and more predictable in space and time. Access to human-provided food has influenced the winter distribution of many birds but little attention has been paid to influences during the breeding season. We have examined the reproductive biology and behavior of wildland and suburban populations of Florida Scrub-Jays for 14 years. Using longitudinal observational studies and experiments, we have shown that predictable food in the suburbs reduces stress, and the combination of predictable food and reduced stress results in earlier breeding and markedly less between-year variation. This results in mis-timing the peak food demands of nestlings and food resources of sufficient quality to fuel nestling growth. Suburban parents feed their nestlings human-provided food which reduces growth and survival, leading to reduced recruitment. Coupled with other factors that influence demographic rates, this leads to a decline in the suburban population. Such physiological mechanisms may be relevant to other birds that are omnivores and use human-provided foods but feed their nestlings arthropods, but simple changes in human behaviors could eliminate the negative consequences.
Joanna Burger, Distinguished Professor of Biology, Rutgers University, Piscataway New Jersey
Co-author: Michael Gochfeld, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey
PEOPLE AND COASTAL BIRDS: HUMAN ACTIVITIES, HABITAT LOSS, POLLUTION, AND CO-EXISTENCE
As human populations continue to concentrate along coasts, there is increasing interaction between people and birds. This trend will continue, and conservationists must devise ways for birds and people to co-exist. Increasingly birds are exposed to multiple stressors at the same time in coastal environments, and each one exerts an incremental influence on reproductive success. Nowhere is the clash of people and birds more obvious than in coastal areas, where hordes of people visit beaches at the same time that birds are nesting. On top of human disturbance are the effects of habitat loss, fisheries take, and increasing pollution from urbanization and suburbanization. With changes in energy policy, there are increases in atmospheric deposition of chemicals, such as mercury, which have major implications for biodiversity of nesting birds. Human disturbance and fisheries take, during both nesting and migratory stop-overs, have resulted in population declines in some species (Red Knot), shifts in foraging locations (other shorebirds), and shifts in nesting locations (Common Terns), among other effects. Our 30-year New Jersey data set on reproductive success, population dynamics, and pollutants is one of the longest-running studies in the world (30 years), and shows that populations of some species are stable, while others are declining. We found that lead and cadmium levels have declined in birds, while mercury has not. These contaminants cause behavioral deficits, such as delayed recognition, decreased begging behavior and abnormal behavioral thermoregulation, lowering reproductive success. The management implications, at least for New Jersey, include integrating a wide range of stakeholder interests (recreationists, fishermen, commercial fishermen, beach house-owners) with avian needs.
Peter Daszak, Executive Director, Consortium for Conservation Medicine, New York City
DISEASE THREATS TO BIRD POPULATIONS THROUGH HISTORY
Just as people have been burdened by plagues throughout history, bird populations have also been threatened by infectious agents. During the early nineteenth century, the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus was introduced to Hawaii, driving a surge in avian malaria and pox and the extinction of as much as a third of the endemic bird fauna. In the last few decades, Gyps vultures have disappeared across much of their range in India due to the presence of a veterinary drug in cattle carcasses. In 1999, a pathogen of European and African birds, West Nile virus, made its entrance into the New World and is now the most significant vector-borne disease in the USA. The most recent - the global emergence of a new strain of avian influenza - has been spread through trade in poultry and pet birds as well as natural bird migration. The common theme in all of these diseases is increasing impact of people on ecosystems: introducing diseases through trade and travel (pathogen pollution); spreading toxic chemicals in the environment; and promoting the spread of wildlife diseases. Despite history, the future is bright. Our growing understanding of the links between conservation and medicine has led to new strategies for combating these threats and a new agenda for conservation policy.
Janis L. Dickinson, Arthur A. Allen Director of Citizen Science and Associate Professor of Natural Resources, Cornell Laboratory of
Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE: CITIZEN SCIENCE AS A CONSERVATION TOOL IN HUMAN-DOMINATED LANDSCAPES
Citizen Science approaches, whether in the classroom or the neighborhood, have demonstrated potential to educate and empower the public to confront and learn about key conservation issues in a rewarding way. As Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's (CLO) pioneering Citizen Science initiative approaches the end of its second decade, it is now possible to evaluate the scientific contributions, scientific potential, as well as the impacts on public scientific literacy, conservation efforts, and conservation outcomes. As we move into the third decade of Citizen Science at Cornell, we are planning to apply our experience to the development of new projects that not only attract the public to explore biodiversity across the urban gradient, but engage them in hands-on activities that test the cumulative impacts of local habitat enhancement efforts on the diversity, abundance, and nesting success of birds in their backyards, parks, and green spaces. The goal is to test the effects of regionally specific restoration activities using a suite of powerful internet-based data collection tools developed at CLO, determining the cumulative impacts of habitat modification in a quantitative way. Bottom-up approaches like this represent the only possibility for improving the conservation value of residential landscapes and may also prove effective in agricultural landscapes, where top-down restrictions on habitat destruction are minimal. Use of Citizen Science as a tool for action research can create residential conservation communities that address these challenges at a scale that was unimaginable a decade ago, emphasizing the summative effects of small, personal, land use decisions.
Aldina M.A. Franco, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biology, University of York, UK
THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS IN STEPPE BIRD CONSERVATION IN EUROPE
The European landscape has been transformed by agriculture for millennia. Many species adapted to these transformed landscapes and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity in Europe is intrinsically related to agricultural practices. However, agriculture has been changing dramatically in recent decades, causing huge declines in numbers of many species. Currently, agricultural and grassland habitats contain the largest numbers of endangered bird species in Europe. In Portugal, European Union agricultural policies such as large incentives for forestry and irrigation projects are the main force causing land use changes. These changes are occurring even within protected areas. To prevent further loss of habitat and species population declines, conservation projects and agri-environmental measures were implemented in the largest steppe area in Portugal aiming to maintain and/or promote low intensity agriculture that is more compatible with the conservation of steppe birds. Monitoring showed a significant increase of endangered birds species populations in the areas where low intensity, extensive agriculture was promoted. However, in Europe, not all agri-environmental schemes delivered positive outcomes. The outputs of agri-environmental schemes should be better assessed to guarantee that positive results are delivered. In addition, the attractiveness of the scheme to farmers should be improved in order to guarantee an effective conservation of biodiversity in human-transformed landscapes.
Andrew J. Hansen, Professor, Ecology Department, Montana State University
HUMAN IMPACTS ON BIRD DIVERSITY: REGIONAL TO CONTINENTAL SCALES
Much of what we know about humans and birds come from field studies across wildland to urban gradients. An intriguing new set of studies using satellites is finding continental-scale controls on biodiversity and on land use. Results from these studies set the broad context for understanding local controls on biodiversity and ways to effectively tailor conservation strategies to local landscapes. Using data from the new MODIS satellite and the North American Breeding Bird Survey, we found that native bird species richness is positively correlated with measures of ecosystem energy including heat and plant productivity. This suggests that available energy sets an upper limit on biodiversity potential. Human density and land use are also positively correlated with energy. Our results indicate that human activities reduce native bird species diversity below the biophysical potential. The effects of human activities on bird diversity vary across energy gradients such that low-energy ecoregions are especially susceptible to human impacts. We illustrate these ecoregion-scale impacts and implications for conservation with case studies from the high-energy Pacific Northwest Ecoregion and the low-energy Greater Yellowstone Ecoregion.
Rex R. Johnson, Ph.D., Leader, Habitat and Population Evaluation Team, Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
A NEW PARADIGM FOR RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AGENCIES WORKING IN HUMAN-DOMINATED SYSTEMS
The magnitude of the challenge of conserving the full spectrum of migratory birds and their habitats dwarfs traditional wildlife management resources. To be successful, conservationists must expand their reach and modes of operation beyond the bounds of the traditional paradigm. This requires unambiguous goals and explicit objectives, cost-effective conservation strategies that are based on a systematic application of reliable science, and means for dealing with the uncertainty inherent in managing ecological systems. These attributes are attained through the use of systematic, science-based planning and evaluation founded on the use of models describing population-habitat relationships at local and landscape scales. Examples of model-based biological planning will be presented that illustrate how its use can increase management efficiency; serve as a framework for identifying and prioritizing among management information needs; and direct habitat conservation conducted with programs seeking diverse environmental and socio-economic benefits, but for which wildlife benefits are secondary goals, thereby enhancing the impact of these programs on bird populations.
Madhusudan Katti, Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Project, Arizona State University & Department of Biology,
California State University, Fresno
Co-authors: Diane Hope, Corinna Gries, Paige Warren and Eyal Shochat, Central Arizona--Phoenix Long-Term
Ecological Research Project, Arizona State University
ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC DRIVERS OF URBAN BIRD COMMUNITIES: INSIGHTS FROM THE CENTRAL ARIZONA PHOENIX LONG-TERM ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH PROJECT
Urban bird communities are strongly influenced by environmental changes due to human activities. While urban bird studies address the effects of habitat modification by humans, they rarely incorporate underlying socioeconomic factors. We combine bird census (from 2000-2005, four times annually) data with habitat and socioeconomic measurements in the Phoenix metro area to ask: Do socioeconomic factors have detectable effects on bird communities? Does adding socioeconomic variables to traditional ecological models of urban bird communities increase their statistical explanatory power? We examine bird diversity and abundance in multivariate models using measures of habitat (e.g., vegetation composition, structure, land cover) and socioeconomics (e.g., income, housing age, population density) as predictor variables. We show that while bird species richness increases with traditional variables (plant diversity, foliage volume), it is also driven strongly by socioeconomics--rising with median family income in particular. Likewise, bird abundance rises with income, human population density, and median housing age in addition to plant diversity and foliage volume. In general, the explanatory power (r2 values) of multivariate models nearly doubles upon incorporating socioeconomic variables. We examine the relative importance of these factors on seasonal and annual trends in the bird community as Phoenix continues to grow, and argue that ecologists must explicitly address socioeconomic factors to better understand and manage the dynamics of urban biodiversity.
Miguel Ângelo Marini, Professor, Department of Zoology, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Brazil
CONSERVING BIRDS IN FRAGMENTED FORESTS: PERSPECTIVES FROM THE BRAZILIAN ATLANTIC FOREST
The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is a highly degraded ecosystem, and a world hotspot, with 118 endemic birds and 112 threatened taxa. However, until today only one species has gone extinct, due mostly to hunting and not fragmentation. Recently collected mist-net and observation data revealed that most forest dependent birds from Atlantic Forest sites are able to cross open habitats among forest fragments, in spite of widespread belief that forest birds have a "fear" of open habitats. Also, nest predation estimates and experiments in the region have shown that after a certain decrease in fragment size, nest predation rates do not increase. Further, a new estimate of the amount of Atlantic forest left revealed that when small fragments are considered, the picture is much better than previously thought. Overall, most Atlantic Forest birds apparently have been able to survive in fragmented forests immersed in human-dominated landscapes, probably through meta-population dynamics. The movement of birds between small fragments also indicates that management of birds in these landscapes may rely more on stepping-stones than on corridors, a practice that may save thousands of dollars and decrease conflicts with human activities, such as roads.
John M. Marzluff, Denman Professor of Sustainable Resource Science and Professor of Wildlife Science, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle
IS URBANIZATION FOR THE BIRDS?
Urbanization reduces, converts, perforates, and fragments native vegetation. It also provides food, water, and shelter for birds. I review some of these processes at national and global scales and detail how they affect bird demography, relative abundance, and community composition in the Seattle metropolitan region. Bird diversity peaks at intermediate levels of human settlement primarily because of the colonization of intermediately disturbed forests by early successional, native species. Extinction of native forest birds and colonization of settlements by synanthropic birds have lesser effects on the overall pattern of avian diversity with respect to the level of urbanization. However, extinction increases linearly with loss of forest and colonization by synanthropic species decreases curvilinearly with a reduction of urbanization. It appears that the response of adult survivorship (not reproduction or dispersal) to human activities is an important demographic mechanism determining which species live with or away from people. These findings have biological, theoretical, and practical implications. Biologically, intermediate disturbance appears to drive diversity by increasing the heterogeneity of the local land cover. Theoretically, models can be developed that pose testable hypotheses about how extinction and colonization are affected by urbanization to determine standing diversity. Practically, the maintenance of high local and regional diversity will require planning and cooperation among a diverse group of planners, ecologists, policy makers, home owners, educators, and activists so that the same landscapes are not promulgated everywhere. Maintaining high bird diversity where people live may engage humanity to value nature. Even common species have wide-ranging and lasting effects on human culture that conservationists should recognize and work to maintain in urbanizing lands.
Julia K. Parrish, Associate Professor, Biology, and Associate Director, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of
FROM THE ESTUARY TO THE OPEN OCEAN: INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN MARINE BIRDS AND PEOPLE
The ocean is the last great habitat to be touched by man. Only recently have humans ventured beyond the coastal environment, as explorers laying claim to new lands, trade routes, and resources. Only within the last hundred years has industrial technology allowed humanity to invade the world’s oceans as fishers, shippers, and tourists. And yet, in that short time period, the tide of humanity has swept in at the expense of many marine bird species.
Unlike most other avifauna, marine birds evolved largely in the absence of predators. Nesting on islands with no humans and no mammals, boobies, penguins, albatross and great auks were unprepared for sailors, and later egg and feather hunters, that would eventually decimate colonies and extinct species. With people came a wave of introductions – both plant and animal – that changed the face of seabird colonies and island ecosystems. Nesting and foraging habitats were further eroded as colonizers developed coastal landscapes, a trend that still continues in tropical ecosystems. As coastal and later open ocean fisheries developed to meet the needs of human demands, millions of seabirds were – and are – caught inadvertently in lines and nets; others face increased competition for prey resources; while still others are subject to a cascade of ecosystem change brought about by industrial fishing. Instead of fish eggs, petrels now find colorful plastic pieces collecting along ocean currents. Oil from spills, ballast water, and terrestrial run-off fouls murres and puffins. And even as regulation, restoration, and an increasing conservation ethic has seen many threatened species stabilize and increase, climate change looms, endangering nesting habitat, altering species’ ranges, and fundamentally changing nearshore ecosystems worldwide.
Is there hope? The increasing reach of humanity comes with an increasing responsibility – to act, to conserve, to preserve, and to restore. And while lobbying our leaders for good environmental protection is essential, every person can vote with their feet, their wallets, and their time. Choosing your vacation, or even your next meal, wisely can make a difference. Finding a citizen science project to monitor change and put data and patterns in the heads of all the people can change the world.
Tess Present, Director of Science and Bird Conservation Programs, National Audubon Society
ACHIEVING BIRD CONSERVATION IN HUMAN-DOMINATED LANDSCAPES: GOALS, STRATEGIES, AND CHALLENGES
There is increasing acknowledgement of the enormous need and the great potential to improve native-bird habitat and diversity in human-dominated landscapes. Whether these landscapes are metropolitan urban-suburban mosaics or working lands, we recognize that they can rarely be restored to pristine ecosystems. There is significant opportunity, however, to enhance their habitat value and ecological function to improve the status of native bird populations and increase species diversity. How might we achieve such outcomes? Involving people who live, work, and play in these landscapes is key. As is having explicit and realistic targets and goals for our conservation work. We need to recognize that not all species can be conserved in human-dominated landscapes. We also need to define and promote actions that science tells us have the greatest likelihood of achieving our bird population and diversity goals, and in which we can involve the most people. We already engage people in bird conservation in human-dominated landscapes through citizen science and community-based stewardship programs. We now need to expand these efforts, to refine what we aim to achieve, and to increase opportunities for involving diverse constituencies in our conservation efforts. A major challenge will be to align our goals and priorities with those of partners and stakeholders, and establish their relevance to quality of life by linking bird conservation to community well being.
Michael L. Rosenzweig, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
SURE WE CAN...IF WE WANT TO
The science of species diversity warns that we cannot save most species in our national parks and biological reserve systems. We must also adjust the way we use the land and sea so that a very large proportion of Earth's species can make their livings alongside us. This strategy of conservation is called reconciliation ecology. The practice of reconciliation ecology is growing around the world. Much of what is now called restoration ecology is actually reconciliation ecology because it does not withdraw the land from human use. Heartening examples of reconciliation come from our farms, our rangelands, and our forests. Together, these three categories constitute an extremely large fraction of the land we use. Biology cannot prove that we ought to preserve biodiversity. Fundamentally, that choice is ethical and aesthetic. Citizens will make it. And most citizens live in urban areas. Conservation must touch them in their everyday lives and reconciliation ecology can accomplish that. So, though it may be a minor part of the Earth's surface, we must also pay attention to reconciling the land we actually live on: our cities, our suburbs, our towns. Then our numbed sense of biophilia will reemerge and our largely frustrated religious commitment to stewardship will begin to bear fruit.
Paul R. Schmidt, Assistant Director for Migratory Birds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
BIRD CONSERVATION: THE NORTH AMERICAN LANDSCAPE
There is a long and robust history of migratory bird conservation in the United States, with more than a century of cooperation and legislation guiding the way. The maturing of conservation design has come just as we are confronting the myriad of issues accompanying the increasingly human-dominated landscape. After building a good foundation in science, the many conservation partners in the continent came together in the 1980s and 1990s to develop cooperative initiatives to address the challenges facing waterfowl, landbirds, shorebirds, waterbirds and more. Modeled after the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in 1986, organizations and leading individuals joined forces to develop continental plans for landbirds (Partners in Flight), shorebirds, and waterbirds. Partnerships on the landscape sprung up in the 1990s, called joint ventures, to design and deliver landscape changes to benefit migratory birds in accordance with the continental plans. These joint ventures were formed on a local and regional level by Federal and state governments, non-governmental organizations, industry, and private citizens to conserve sustainable populations of birds in the face of challenges affecting populations; whether loss of habitat, collisions with human structures (building, towers, wind turbines, etc.), contaminants, etc. Throughout the last several decades, the professional focus has been to conserve birds at the population level. This is significant, as we face the delicate balance of where to invest limited resources. Working together to advance the vision of the international effort known as North American Bird Conservation Initiative ("biologically-based, landscape-oriented partnerships delivering the full spectrum of bird conservation") is a sound approach that gives us hope in the face of these huge challenges in conserving birds.
Navjot S. Sodhi, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore
FOREST BIRD SPECIES IN HUMAN-DOMINATED LANDSCAPES OF SOUTHEAST ASIA: LOSSES, PERSISTENCE, AND CONSERVATION
Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) contains not only the highest mean proportion of endemic (national level) bird species but also the highest mean proportion of threatened bird species compared to other tropical regions. However, among the world's tropical regions, Southeast Asia is of particular conservation concern because it has the highest rate of habitat loss. As with other tropical regions, Southeast Asia is losing native habitats due to anthropogenic actions such as logging, agriculture, and urbanization. However, the effects of such activities on bird species of Southeast Asia are poorly understood. In fact, the bird fauna of Southeast Asia remains one of the least studied in the tropics. Over the past several years, we have studied the effects of human activities on forest birds in relatively more disturbed (Singapore, Java, and the Philippines) as well as relatively less disturbed (Peninsular Malaysia and Sulawesi) Southeast Asian landscapes. Data at various elevations, ranging from lowlands to highlands, and levels of human dominance (i.e. selective logging, plantation, and urbanizations) were collected. Forest-dependent bird species and those living at higher elevations were found to be particularly sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance. The presentation will include pertinent conservation and /management recommendations.
Will Turner, Research Scientist, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International
LONG-TERM, CITYWIDE MONITORING FOR BIRD SCIENCE AND CONSERVATION IN URBAN LANDSCAPES: KEY RESULTS AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE TUCSON BIRD COUNT
As urban populations grow, cities can take on an increasing role in sustaining biodiversity. Yet our cities generally remain inhospitable to most native birds. Long-term data collected throughout a city can aid in developing approaches for sustaining birds in and around urban areas. But long-term, spatially extensive (i.e. citywide) data are scarce. Volunteer-based, citywide surveys offer high-visibility, efficient means to acquire data unobtainable by other methods, presenting great potential to advance conservation and organize urban ecology research. The Tucson Bird Count (TBC) has successfully monitored birds at ~1000 sites throughout Tucson, Arizona and surrounding desert for five consecutive years. The TBC uses a rigorous survey design, producing data of genuine use to scientific research and planning. TBC data have already served many purposes, including scientific research, land-use planning, and conveying ecological issues dramatically to a large local audience. I will discuss: 1) key results of the TBC to date, including an international study quantifying the extent to which urban humans are separated from biodiversity; 2) particular data needs filled by citywide monitoring programs; 3) logistical and survey-design challenges and their solutions; and 4) the benefits of and potential for a global network of cities with long-term avian monitoring programs.
Juliet Vickery, Head of Terrestrial Ecology Unit, British Trust for Ornithology, United Kingdom
BIRDS IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES: LESSONS FROM BRITAIN
The decline of farmland birds is currently one of the biggest conservation issues facing conservation science in Europe. In Britain, long term national data sets shows clear temporal and spatial matching between increases in agricultural production and declines, often dramatic ones, in both the population size and distribution of breeding birds. The species affected encompass a broad suite of functional groups that differ widely in their ecological requirements. I will show how a combination of national surveys of birds and their habitats, combined with detailed ecological studies, have been used to identify the ecological and demographic mechanisms driving these declines. I will focus on two case studies representative of a range of species in Britain and Europe: granivorous finches and buntings that have been affected by a loss of winter foraging habitat, and the Skylark Alauda arvensis that has declined as a result of a loss of nesting habitat. I will show how a detailed scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying declines has been used to develop and test land management solutions and how these can be integrated into farming systems as options within agri-environment schemes. In concluding, I will consider the generality of the British experience in relation to addressing the decline of farmland birds and highlight some key lessons and future challenges.
Paige West, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Barnard College, Columbia University
VALUE AND MEANING: CONSERVING NEW GUINEA BIRDS OF PARADISE IN A HUMAN LANDSCAPE
In the Eastern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea, Gimi-speaking landowners and conservation activists have been working together to conserve birds of paradise since the early 1980s. The Gimi forests, although seemingly pristine to western visitors, are human-dominated landscapes, imprinted with Gimi history, identity, and cosmology. Birds of paradise play an important role in Gimi notions of their relations with their ancestors and in their relationship with conservation scientists. They can also help us to understand how Gimi value their surroundings, as this is one of the first steps in conserving birds and other animals that are important to Gimi. This talk will examine how Gimi come to value and understand birds of paradise, and then show how Gimi and conservation scientists, through working together over long periods of time, come to respect each other and work together to establish the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area. Through these examples from a seemingly out-of-the-way place, the talk will attempt to make some suggestions for how we might work to conserve species important to science, and landscapes important for human livelihoods.
Steve Zack, Pacific West Coordinator, Portland Office, North America Program, Wildlife Conservation Society
RESTORING OVERGRAZED RIPARIAN LANDSCAPES FOR SONGBIRDS AND WITH BEAVER
Riparian habitat is the most important habitat for migratory songbirds in Western North America It is also the most degraded of habitats, with as much as 80 percent badly degraded by cattle grazing alone. Over 60 percent of Neotropical migratory birds use riparian areas in the western U.S. at some point during the year, and breeding diversity of birds is higher in western riparian habitat than all other western habitats combined. We have engaged with diverse private and governmental stakeholders in putting a bird’s-eye-view of different progressive riparian restoration efforts and the management of grazing, including an evaluation of the reintroduction of American Beaver. When restoration results in reestablishing woody vegetation, migratory birds return, and more vegetation means more species. Beaver reintroductions have powerful, positive effects for riparian habitat and bird diversity. As repaired riparian systems retain soil, recharge water tables, and improve water quality, these efforts suggest viable solutions to an important problem.
Karl Zimmerer, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison
THE HUMAN ECOLOGY OF GLOBALIZATION, CONSERVATION, AND LIVELIHOODS
While globalization is associated with extensive environmental damage, it must also be recognized that globalization has contributed to the expansion of certain types of environmental conservation. The worldwide expansion of designated protected areas is a prime example of the potential environmental benefits of globalization. During the past twenty years the global coverage of designated protected areas has nearly tripled. In addition, globalization leads toward the adoption of a human ecology perspective as a broad umbrella that integrates humans and their livelihoods into conservation. I present a global overview of trends in space and time concerning three facets of globalization in relation to protected-area conservation: 1) overall expansion and geographical distribution of protected-area expansion in world regions, showing the notable increase in developing countries; 2) the designation and expansion of transnational protected areas and ecoregion-based designs including projects for conservation corridors; and 3) the role of designations of sustainable land use in global protected-area expansion. My presentation then argues that these globalization trends have brought environmental conservation into significantly increased interaction with human livelihood activities, including agriculture and other types of resource use (e.g., soil, water, and forestry resources) as well as migration and non-resource-based economic activities. I use regional and local-scale examples to show how the global trends in conservation must be scaled to these more local levels in order to understand the growing interaction and changing relations between conservation and livelihoods.