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Evaluating the success of conservation actions in safeguarding tropical forest biodiversity


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Brooks, TM, Wright, SJ and Sheil, D 2009 , 'Evaluating the success of conservation actions in safeguarding tropical forest biodiversity' , Conservation Biology, vol. 23, no. 6 , pp. 1448-1457 , doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01334.xx.

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We reviewed the evidence on the extent and efficacy of conservation of tropical forest biodiversity
for each of the classes of conservation action defined by the new International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN) classification. Protected areas are the most tested conservation approach, and a number of
studies show they are generally effective in slowing deforestation. There is some documentation of the extent
of sustainable timber management in tropical forest, but little information on other landscape-conservation
tactics. The extent and effectiveness of ex situ species conservation is quite well known. Forty-one tropical-forest
species now survive only in captivity. Other single-species conservation actions are not as well documented. The
potential of policy mechanisms, such as international conventions and provision of funds, to slow extinctions
in tropical forests is considerable, but the effects of policy are difficult to measure. Finally, interventions to
promote tropical conservation by supporting education and livelihoods, providing incentives, and furthering
capacity building are all thought to be important, but their extent and effectiveness remain poorly known. For
birds, the best studied taxon, the sum of such conservation actions has averted one-fifth of the extinctions that
would otherwise have occurred over the last century. Clearly, tropical forest conservation works, but more is
needed, as is critical assessment of what works in what circumstances, if mass extinction is to be averted

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Brooks, TM and Wright, SJ and Sheil, D
Keywords: conservation actions, extinction rates, landscape conservation, protected areas, species management, tropical forests
Journal or Publication Title: Conservation Biology
ISSN: 0888-8892
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01334.xx
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