New model determines when conservationists should manage speciesAugust 28th, 2008 - 3:51 pm ICT by ANI
Canberra, August 28 (ANI): A research team from Australia, France and the UK has used mathematic modelling to determine when conservationists should manage species.
According to a report by ABC News, the model indicates that when conservationists should switch their efforts from managing the environment, to actively searching for a vanished species or giving up altogether.
“The most cost-effective strategy is to assume a species still exists, even if it hasn”t been seen for some time,” said the researchers.
“Conservationists should carry on managing the environment as if a seemingly vanished species is still around, rather than rushing to check whether it is extinct,” they added.
The research, headed by Dr Iadine Chades from the University of Queensland, appears online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
According to research group leader, Professor Hugh Possingham, animals or plants that have not been seen for some time are known to scientists as “cryptic species”.
“A lot of threatened species are cryptic. The question is how do you know how to best protect them?” he said.
The researchers found that assuming the species is still around, even though it has not been seen for some time, is the most cost-effective strategy.
“It’’s really about what do you do for a cryptic species if you haven”t seen it for a long time,” said Possingham.
“What was counterintuitive was the length of time you should keep for managing the environment. We showed that often you should manage for a lot longer without seeing them,” he added.
Several factors influenced just how long conservationists should wait before starting to search for a species, according to Possingham .
Those factors include the value of the species, its detectability and its probability of extinction.
The bottom line, however, was that money should be spent first in managing the environment to give a threatened species the best chance of survival, rather than engaging in efforts to survey for its presence.
“Thus, the optimal strategy is to invest in active protection,” said Possingham.
In their paper, the researchers focused on a population of the Sumatran tiger that had apparently vanished from certain areas, but may or may not have become extinct.
Their models suggest that if the Sumatran tiger is detected in the reserve, the optimal strategy is to manage it for 12 years from that time.
However, if the species is not observed during that 12-year period, all resources should be switched from managing the tiger back to surveying.
“If the species remains unobserved for a further 3 years of dedicated surveying, the optimal strategy is to stop investing resources in conserving this species,” said the researchers. (ANI)
- Habitat loss drives Sumatran tiger to verge of extinction - Feb 29, 2012
- Sumatran tiger kills 5-year-old in western Indonesia - Nov 07, 2011
- Australia to lose 45 animal species in 20 years - Mar 23, 2011
- Report: 88 percent of logging in Indonesia is illegal - Jun 23, 2011
- Dhaka, Delhi join global move to save tigers - Jul 30, 2010
- Rise in tiger count due to new areas counted: Experts - Mar 28, 2011
- Is Earth already on the brink of 6th mass extinction? - Mar 03, 2011
- Sumatran tiger may become extinct in 2015 - Feb 07, 2010
- Battle for tiger tops global conservation for 2010 - Jan 04, 2010
- Camera traps yield images of rare tigress, cubs - Jan 08, 2010
- Tiger count up in India, but habitat shrinks (Roundup) - Mar 28, 2011
- Moving species could save them, says expert - Mar 18, 2011
- Penguins rally from brink of extinction - Feb 27, 2012
- Extreme weather threatens rich ecosystems - Apr 01, 2012
- Efforts to save tiger to intensify in 2010 - Jan 03, 2010
Tags: abc news, conservationists, cryptic species, journal proceedings, national academy of science, proceedings of the national academy, proceedings of the national academy of science, professor hugh, research group leader, university of queensland