Editor: Jane Villa-Lobos
PROTECTION OF ATLANTIC FOREST IN SOUTH AMERICA
Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina have joined forces to
protect some of the world's most endangered tropical forest. A
new cross-border strategy is expected to lead to the creation of
a "green" corridor among remaining fragments of the Atlantic
Forest, which once rivaled the Amazon in its beauty and diversity
of plants and animals.
The area, which contains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the three countries - the spectacular falls of Iguazu, covers more than a million hectares. Its environmental corridor, co-ordinated by WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature, will run from the Maracayu Forest Reserve of eastern Paraguay through the Misiones Forest region, including the neighboring national parks of Iguazu in Argentina and Iguacu in Brazil. Supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the corridor will facilitate the exchange of genetic material among the rich variety of plant and animal species native to the forest.
The Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, once grew tall and rich over much of the Brazilian coast, extending inland as far as Argentina and Paraguay. Today it exists only as isolated patches totaling less than five percent of its former size. The remaining parcels are thought to be so small and fragmented that they cannot support rare tree species and such charismatic wildlife as the jaguar and the harpy eagle.
One of the best preserved transnational tracts is the Misiones region, which is home to threatened species such as the red howler monkey, the ocelot, the bush dog and the merganser duck. But efforts to preserve it have traditionally ended at national borders.
The plan is for the biological corridor to cross the Misiones area of the three nations in a mosaic of nature reserves and privately-owned lands managed for resource conservation. Though protected, much of the land policy would continue to allow sustainable use, including farming and some timber activities. This is especially critical in Paraguay, where more than 90% of all land is privately held and agricultural expansion has been a significant factor in the nation's deforestation rate, the highest in South America.
To demonstrate that human needs can be reconciled with conservation goals, some private wildlife refuges in Paraguay have been developing ecologically sound practices for the extraction of palm hearts and the production of the South American tea, yerba mate. The good news is that they also appear to be economically viable.
Independent initiatives were pioneered in the early 1990s by Paraguay's Moises Bertoni Foundation for the Conservation of Nature and by the Argentine Wildlife Foundation (Fundacion de Vida Silvestre Argentina). Their work in bringing together government officials, local community leaders and organizations, legislators and university researchers in each of their countries has been crucial to the extension of conservation activities across national borders.
WWF is helping the Misiones conservation partners to develop a management plan for the region that maximizes the care of areas under protection and minimizes the environmental damage of further development in unprotected areas. The first step will be the establishment of a 300,000-hectare reserve of protected areas, which include the Iguacu National Park in Brazil, Argentina's neighboring Iguazu National Park, and the Moises Bertoni Cultural Scientific Monument in Paraguay.
PROTECTION OF GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Ecuador's president, Fabian Alarcon, recently signed the Galapagos Conservation Law which provides extensive protective measures for the islands. The law expands the protected waters around the archipelago from 15 miles to 40 miles; bans industrial-scale fishing within protected waters; limits permanent resident status to Ecuadorians who have been on the islands for five years or more; approves the island's first inspection and quarantine system to combat invader species such as rats and goats; and mandates that 50% of tourist dollars support island conservation. These measures will help ensure that the unique biological diversity of the islands is preserved for future generations.
U.S. ECOREGIONS THREATENED
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has published its North American Conservation Assessment which is a result of a two year study to describe 116 ecoregions of North America and to evaluate their environmental health. Each ecoregion is a relatively large area that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities based on strong similarities in climate, geology and plant species. Many of them cross state, provincial and even national borders, with some as large as entire states themselves. The study found that more than 25% of the 116 North American ecoregions are globally outstanding which means their biological diversity equals or surpasses similar regions elsewhere on earth. Among the outstanding findings of the study are: 1) the Tennessee River basin contains more species of freshwater fish (244) than any ohter temperate waters in the world; 2) parts of the Southern California coast constitute one of only five Mediterranean zones on earth. These are small land masses that, largely due to climate, account for 20% of all plant species; 3) the two richest temperate forests in the world, in terms of plant species, are the Hunan-Setzuan forests of China and the Appalachian-Blue Ridge forest of North America; and 4) two of the world's rarest regions are found in the United States - the southeastern longleaf pine forests of northern Florida and the tallgrass prairies in and around Iowa.
Unfortunately, half of the 116 regions are suffering from severe degradation. As a result, WWF has announced it will invest $10 million in the initial phases of a campaign to protect five specific U.S. regions it believes are among the most valuable and most threatened in the country. These are: the Klamath Siskiyou Forests of Oregon and Northen California; the Chihuahuan desert bordering Mexico, Texas and New Mexico; Alaska's Bering Sea; the freshwater rivers and streams of the Southeast which flow through Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia; and the Florida Everglades. For more information on the North American Assessment as well as background on the ecoregions, visit WWF's Living Legacy Web site at http://www.wwfus.org.
GLOBAL OVERVIEW OF FOREST CONSERVATION
The World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) and the
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) have finished
a major analysis of the protection status of the world's forests.
This has produced an unprecedented amount of data on forest
location, by type, and the amount of each forest type protected
in each region of the world. The new CD-rom product contains all
the GIS spatial data files on forests, protected areas and
ecological zones that went into the analysis. It also contains a
copy of the statistical analysis with tables, figures, maps and
discussions. This statistical analysis is also available to read
on WCMC's Web site (http://www.wcmc.org.uk).
The philosophy behind the creation of the CD series is to make widely available the data that the WCMC compiles and analyzes. Access to information of this kind is vital for the scientists and decision-makers of the world, in this age of forest conversion and biodiversity decline.
The forest maps used in regional forest coverages on the CD- rom came from many different sources. The numerous varying resolutions and different forest classification systems used were harmonized by WCMC for this study into 25 distinct types, including tropical and non-tropical systems. Forest types such as "thorn forest" and categories for exotic or native species plantations were included, as well as areas with sparse tree cover.
The protected areas datasets have been drawn from the WCMC databank compiled over many years and continually updated for the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and United Nations List of Protected Areas. The spatial protected areas data used in this analysis were extracted towards the end of 1996. All records for areas designated within the IUCN categories I-IV were used in the study and are presented in GIS form on the CD. Extensive documentation is also provided.
In addition to the forest and protected areas GIS files, ecological zones files are included on the CD-rom. The spatial data cover all regions of the globe, the FAO ecofloristic zones for tropical regions and the Holdridge zones for elsewhere.
Price: US$250 (discount available for educational institutions). For further information, write to: Information Officer, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom; Tel.: (44) 1223 277314; Fax: (44) 1223 277136; E-mail: email@example.com.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is seeking a well qualified and dynamic individual who would be responsible for the development of a strong base of major donors on the West Coast of the United States for the Asia/Pacific program. The program manager will travel regularly and will supervise the Asia/Pacific region development staff in San Francisco including the communications manager and development coordinator. TNC preserves plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. Operating in the United States for the past forty years, TNC has its home office in Arlington, Virginia; the Asia/Pacific regional headquarters are in Honolulu, Hawaii. TNC's Asia/Pacific programs and offices are located in the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Hawaii. Applicants for the position must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience and a minimum of six years in fundraising, marketing, or other relevant communications fields. Individuals must have a willingness to work long hours and to travel often and on short notice. Experience in the Asia/Pacific region, conservation, or other not-for-profit fields and a strong commitment to the mission of TNC are required. Salary is commensurate with experience. Individuals interested in applying for this position should send a resume and cover letter to: Museum Management Consultants, Inc., 559 Pacific Avenue, Suite 8, San Francisco, CA 94133; Tel.: (415) 982-2288; Fax: (415) 982-0504; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 10-13. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will
sponsor a conference on the conservation of biological diversity
which will be held in Annapolis, Maryland. The conference will
include workshops on conservation biology, social ecology, and
public policy, with a focus on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. For
details contact: Biological Diversity Conference 1998, Maryland
Dept. of Natural Resources, 580 Taylor Avenue, E-1, Annapolis,
Maryland 21401; Tel.: (410) 260-8540; Fax: (410) 260-8595; E-
mail: email@example.com; Web:
May 21-31. The Seventh International Symposium on Society and Resource Management will be held at the University of Missouri's Memorial Union in Columbia, Missouri. This conference will be of interest to those concerned with the social, economic and cultural dimensions of natural resource issues and their importance to natural resource users and managers. Registration is $210; $150 for students. For more information on registration, contact: MU Conference Office, 348 Hearnes Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; Tel.: (573) 882-9558; Fax: (573) 882-1953; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: http://www.ssu.missouri.edu/ssu/issrm.
A directory of people interested in the study and
conservation of herons and other wading birds of the Americas is
being compiled. Anyone interested in being listed should contact:
Luis Gonzalo Morales, Instituto Zoologia Tropical, Fac. Ciencias,
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Apartado 47058, Caracas 1041-A,
Venezuela; Fax: 58-2-605-2204; E-mail:
The 1997-98 Directory of the Consortium of Aquariums,
Universities and Zoos was published in January listing 500
people from 45 countries, including e-mail addresses. It can be
purchased for $20 (US and Canada) and $30 (for other areas), by
sending a check or money order (payable to C.S.U.N. Foundation)
to Donna FitzRoy Hardy, California State University, Northridge,
CA 91330-8255; Tel.: (818) 677-4970; Fax: (818) 677-2829; E-mail:
Fundacion Sirena, a non-profit, non-governmental organization, has developed DECA: Directory of Ecologists and Environmental Scientists of Latin America, the Caribbean, Portugal and Spain. It provides a rich source of information (3,305 people) on who is doing what, where, and how in the environmental sciences in those countries. The searchable data base is available in a Windows version, to be used under any Windows platform. For orders and more information, contact: Dr. Jorge Rabinovich, Fundacion Sirena, Casilla 1395, Correo Central, (1000) Buenos Aires, Argentina; Tel./Fax: (54) (21) 71-4762; E- mail: email@example.com.
Aguilar Hernandez, A. 1997. Legal declaration of Patuca
National Park in Honduras. MESOAMERICANA 2(3): 22-23.
Alten, M. 1998. A tale of 3 boobies. Int. Wildlife 28(1): 28-35. (Red-footed, blue-footed, and masked booby in Galapagos Islands)
Anon. 1998. Evaluation of the status, methods, and accomplishments of state natural area protection programs in conserving biological diversity. Natural Area News 2(2): 7. (USA)
Anon. 1997. Southern African centres of plant diversity and endemism. SABONET News 2(3): 102-103, 106.
Anon. 1998. WWF unveils "Year of the Tiger" conservation targets. Focus 20(1): 1, 7.
Barth, S. 1997. Roadblocks to reauthorization: the latest controversies in the ESA debate. End. Species UPDATE 14(11 & 12): 8-11.
Bayne, E. and Hobson, K. 1997. Comparing the effects of landscape fragmentation by forestry and agriculture on predation of artificial nests. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1418- 1429. (Canada)
Birstein, V., Betts, J. and Desalle, R. 1998. Molecular identification of Acipenser sturio specimens: a warning note for recovery plans. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 97-102. (Baltic sturgeon)
Boom, B. 1997. Ecological tree inventories and Mesoamerican forests. Mesoamericana 2(3): 20-21.
Brownless, P., Latta, J. and Moncreif, S. 1997. Germination of Podocarpus nubigenus. The New Plantsman 4(4): 215-217.
Byatt, A. 1998. In the wake of the humpback. BBC Wildlife 16(1): 10-18.
Catterall, C., Kingston, M., Park, K. and Sewell, S. 1998. Deforestation, urbanisation and seasonality: interacting effects on a regional bird assemblage. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 65-81. (Queensland, Australia)
Colfer, C., Peluso, N. and Chung, C. 1997. Beyond Slash and Burn: Building on Indigenous Management of Borneo's Tropical Rain Forests. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 248 pp. (Advances in Economic Botany, Vol. 11)
Cullen, W., Wheater, C. and Dunleavy, P. 1998. Establishment of species-rich vegetation on reclaimed limestone quarry faces in Derbyshire, UK. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 25-33.
Cunningham, M., Cunningham, A. and Schippmann, U. 1997. Trade in Prunus africana and the Implementation of CITES. German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 52 pp. (Overexploited African species)
Da Silveira, R., Magnusson, W. and Campos, Z. 1997. Monitoring the distribution, abundance, and breeding areas of Caiman crocodilus and Melanosuchus niger in the Anavilhanas Archipelago, Central Amazonia, Brazil. J. Herpetology 13(4): 514-520.
Denton, J., Hitchings, S., Beebee, T. and Gent, A. 1997. A recovery program for the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) in Britain. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1329-1338.
DeRoy, T. 1998. Baptisms of fire. BBC Wildlife 16(1): 60-66. (Galapagos iguanas)
Dunham, J. and Minckley, W. 1998. Allozymic variation in desert pupfish from natural and artificial habitats: genetic conservation in fluctuating populations. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 7-15. (Colorado River Basin, USA)
Dutta, S. 1997. Amphibians of India and Sri Lanka (Checklist and Bibliography). Odyssey Publishing House, Orissa, India. 375 pp.
Galindo-Leal, C. 1997. Diseno de reservas: el "mal congenito" de Calakmul. Ecotono Winter: 4-7. (Mexican reserve)
Gardner, M. 1997. The Berberidopsis story: an account of the Chilean coral plant. The New Plantsman 4(4): 225- 231.
Gowdy, J. (Ed). 1997. Limited Wants, Unlimited Means. A Reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environment. Island Press, Covelo, California. 300 pp.
Gutkauskas, A. 1997. The reorganization of Lithuanian agriculture towards sustainable farming. Ambio 26(7): 442- 444.
Hagedorn, K. 1997. Agriculture in Germany: some considerations on economic, political and environmental sustainability. Ambio 26(7): 456-461.
Hahn, N. 1997. Plant diversity statistics of the Soutpansberg. SABONET News 2(3): 106-109. (South Africa)
Hiers, J. and Evans, J. 1997. Effects of anthracnose on dogwood mortality and forest composition of the Cumberland Plateau (U.S.A.). Conservation Biology 11(6): 1430-1435. (Tennessee)
Hill, K., Padwe, J., Bejyvagi, C., Bepurangi, A., Jakugi, F., Tykuarangi, R. and Tykuarangi, T. 1997. Impact of hunting on large vertebrates in the Mbaracayu Reserve, Paraguay. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1339-1353.
Hinrichsen, D. 1998. On a slow trip back from hell. Int. Wildlife 28(1): 36-43. (Pollution in Czech Republic)
Hoffman, T. 1997. Bibliography of southern African arid zone literature up to 1996. SABONET News 2(3): 111-112.
Howe, J., McMahon, E. and Propst, L. 1997. Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities. Island Press, Covelo, California. 175 pp.
Keast, A. and Miller, S. (Eds). 1996. The Origin and Evolution of Pacific Island Biotas, New Guinea to Eastern Polynesia: Patterns and Processes. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands. 531 pp.
Kenworthy, T. 1998. In desert Southwest, a vigorous species endangers a way of life. Washington Post February 1: A3. (Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, Arizona)
Kenworthy, T. 1998. Mexican wolves return to Southwest, despite ranchers' howls. Washington Post January 27: A3. (New Mexico/Arizona)
Khoshoo, T. 1998. Assessing genetic diversity in wild mega animals using non-invasive methods. Current Science 74(1): 13-14.
Khoshoo, T. 1997. Conservation of India's endangered mega animals: tiger and lion. Current Science 73(10): 830-842.
Kremen, C. 1997. Paternidad responsable: el nacimiento de Masoala. Ecotono Winter: 10-11. (Malagasy park)
Lara, A. and Fraver, S. 1997. Forest conservation in Chile: a Chilean perspective. The New Plantsman 4(4): 218-224.
Loughry, W. and McDounough, C. 1997. Survey of the Xenarthrans inhabiting Poco das Antas Biological Reserve. Edentata 3(1): 5-7. (Atlantic coastal rainforest of Brazil)
Malik, S., Wilson, P., Smith, R., Lavigne, D. and White, B. 1997. Pinniped penises in trade: a molecular-genetic investigation. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1365-1374.
Marinho-Filho, J., Guimaraes, M., Reis, M., Rodrigues, F., Torres, O. and Almeida, G. 1997. The discovery of the Brazilian three banded armadillo in the Cerrado of Central Brazil. Edentata 3(1): 11-13. (Rare species)
Marsh, D. and Pearman, P. 1997. Effects of habitat fragmentation on the abundance of two species of leptodactylid frogs in an Andean montane forest. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1323-1328. (Ecuador)
Marsh, H., Harris, A. and Lawler, I. 1997. The sustainability of the indigenous dugong fishery in Torres Strait, Australia/Papua New Guinea. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1375-1386.
Mendez, C. 1997. La Reserva de la Biosfera Maya: un esquema no sustentado de conservacion hacia la sostenibilidad. Ecotono Winter: 8-9. (Mexican reserve)
Mills, M. and Gorman, M. 1997. Factors affecting the density and distribution of wild dogs in the Kruger National Park. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1397-1406. (South Africa)
Mueller-Dumbois, D. and Fosberg, R. (Eds). 1998. Vegetation of the Tropical Pacific Islands. Springer- Verlag, New York, New York. 733 pp.
Naumov, A. and Romanova, E. 1997. Sustainable development of Baltic agriculture: Russia. Ambio 26(7): 435-438.
Neufeld, D. 1998. Nest site use and changes in habitat of the Seychelles black paradise flycatcher. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 103-105. (rare bird)
Ovsyanikov, N. 1998. Living with the white bear. Int. Wildlife 28(1): 12-21. (Siberian Islands)
Platt, R. 1997. Ships passing in the night: current prospects for reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act. End. Species UPDATE 14(11 & 12): 3-7.
Pollard, E., Woiwod, I., Greatorex-Davies, J., Yates, T. and Welch, R. 1998. The spread of coarse grasses and changes in numbers of lepidoptera in a woodland nature reserve. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 17-24. (Monks Wood, England)
Porter, J. and Petersen, E. 1997. Danish agriculture and its sustainability: a profile. Ambio 26(7): 462-465.
Pounds, J., Fogden, M., Savage, J. and Gorman, G. 1997. Tests of null models for amphibian declines on a tropical mountain. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1307-1322. (Cordillera de Tilaran, Costa Rica)
Reed, J., Elphick, C. and Oring, L. 1998. Life-history and viability analysis of the endangered Hawaiian stilt. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 35-45.
Rivza, B. 1997. Economical, social and environmental conditions in Latvian rural areas. Ambio 26(7): 439-441.
Roberts, J., Allman, L., Beale, C., Butter, R., Crook, K. and McGough, H. 1997. CITES Orchid Checklist Volume 2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England. 312 pp.
Rosser, A. 1997. Report on CITES, the Tenth Conference of the Parties. Species 29: 25-28.
Ruckelshaus, M., Hartway, C. and Kareiva, P. 1997. Assessing the data requirements of spatially explicit dispersal models. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1298-1306.
Salvesen, D. 1998. Manatees: supremely adapted, seriously endangered. Zoogoer 27(1): 17-23. (Florida)
Schaller, G. 1998. Howling skies, empty spaces. Int. Wildlife 28(1): 44-51. (Tibet)
Shackleton, D. (Ed). 1997. Wild Sheep and Goats and Their Relatives: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Caprinae. IUCN Publication Services Unit, Cambridge, England. 390 pp.
Shinneman, D. and Baker, W. 1997. Nonequilibrium dynamics between catastrophic disturbances and old-growth forests in ponderosa pine landscapes of the Black Hills. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1276-1287. (South Dakota and Wyoming)
Sites, Jr. J. and Crandall, K. 1997. Testing species boundaries in biodiversity studies. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1289-1297.
Sorrie, B., Van Eerden, B. and Russo, M. 1997. Noteworthy plants from Fort Bragg and Camp MacKall, North Carolina. Castanea 62(4): 239-259. (83 taxa of state and federally rare native species)
Stevens, S. 1997. Conservation through Cultural Survival. Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas. Island Press, Covelo, California. 383 pp.
Struck, D. 1998. Two men and a missing beetle. Washington Post (Metro) February 8: B1, B4. (Seth Forest scavenger beetle, Maryland)
Student Conservation Association. 1997. The Guide to Graduate Environmental Programs. Island Press, Covelo, California. 462 pp.
Sweitzer, R., Jenkins, S. and Berger, J. 1997. Near- extinction of porcupines by mountain lions and consequences of ecosystem change in the Great Basin Desert. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1407-1417. (USA)
Tapia, M. and de la Torre, A. 1997. La Mujer Campesina y las Semillas Andinas. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy. 48 pp.
Tetali, P., Tetali, S., Kulkarni, D. and Kumbhojkar, M. 1997. Association of Frerea indica Dalz., an endangered plant species with Euphorbia neriifolia L. and its importance in habitat conservation. Current Science 73(7): 563-565.
Thin, N. 1997. The vegetation of Cucphuong National Park, Vietnam. Sida 17(4): 719-759.
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Troumbis, A. and Dimitrakopoulos, P. 1998. Geographic coincidence of diversity threatspots for three taxa and conservation planning in Greece. Biol. Conservation 84(1): 1-6.
Valpasvuo-Jaatinen, P., Rekolainen, S. and Latostenmaa, H. 1997. Finnish agriculture and its sustainability: environmental impacts. Ambio 26(7): 448-455.
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