Among the most popular are radar products (Figure 10.4), which have become standard methods for obtaining elevation and terrain data (NASA as well as carbon stock estimates (Carreiras et al., 2012). Most importantly, remote sensing applications cannot be considered reliable without verification using field data (see Burton 2017,).
Maintaining Complex and Adaptive Ecosystems
- Maintaining critical ecosystem processes
- Minimising external threats
- Adaptive management
- Being minimally intrusive
Biocontrol also offers the opportunity to control invasive species that are difficult to manage with chemical pesticides and mechanical control (at least without significant additional damage to the environment), such as submerged aquatic weeds (Coetzee et al., 2011). The tick berry, for example, continues to thrive despite the release of over 40 biocontrol agents (Zalucki et al., 2007).
Restoring Damaged Ecosystems
Ecological restoration approaches
Land managers restore some ecosystem functions and some of the species that were dominant or characteristic of the ecosystem. Land managers restore an area to determine ecosystem structure, species mix, and ecosystem functioning.
Major restoration targets
Fortunately, many African plant species are also good candidates for sustainable restoration initiatives, including camphor bush (Tarchonanthus camphoratus), sickle-leaved false thistle (Albizia harveyi), silverleaf (Terminalia sericea), and weeping eyelash (Peltophorum ; Friencandy 2005; 2005). They are also among the most important carbon sinks in the world, storing four times more carbon per hectare than other tropical forest types (Donato et al., 2011).
The future of ecological restoration
They provide food to local communities, support ecotourism industries and protect coasts by reducing wave energy by as much as 97% (Ferrario et al., 2014). Still, restoring coral reefs is worth the effort; a meta-analysis found that it is almost 20 times cheaper to restore coral reefs than to construct artificial coastal protection systems (Ferrario et al., 2014).
Combatting Climate Change Through Ecosystem Conservation
100 years to develop (Bonnell et al., 2011) – so it may take decades for even effective restorations to deliver full benefits. For example, there are concerns that REDD+ programs could develop into a form of perverse subsidies, for example when native vegetation is cut down to create plantations (Figure 10.12) with trees at high risk of becoming invasive (Lindenmayer et al., 2012).
Similarly, there are concerns about the strong emphasis on forests, possibly at the expense of other important ecosystems and ecosystem services (Bond, 2016). However, there are concerns that some REDD+ funds have become a form of perverse subsidies, for example when native vegetation is cleared to establish plantations of invasive trees.
Topics for Discussion
Studying Species and Populations
- Obtaining natural history data
To save a species from extinction, it is essential to have a firm grip on the species. To save a species from extinction, it is essential to have a firm grip on the species' distinctive characters, in others.
Saving Species Through Translocations
- Important considerations for translocations
Great progress has also been made in calculating predator carrying capacity by monitoring prey densities (Hayward et al., 2007a). Another study found that reintroduced cheetahs were all killed within a year of release (Houser et al., 2011).
Managing and Facilitating Movement Dynamics
- Connectivity in terrestrial ecosystems
- Connectivity in freshwater ecosystems
- Connectivity in marine ecosystems
- Mimicking connectivity
- Management considerations in connectivity conservation
In contrast, protection of riparian zones has been found to increase palm oil yields (Horton et al., 2018). See also Dupuis-Desormeaux et al.,  for the use of fence gaps and exclusion fences to mitigate some negative fence impacts.).
Managing Species Sensitive to Climate Change
While slowing habitat loss could slow the overall impacts of climate change (Section 10.4), preventing the extinction of many climate-sensitive species will require a range of proactive conservation management strategies that allow species to adapt at their own pace as and when necessary. Supported colonization, also called supported migration, involves the proactive relocation of climate-sensitive species.
Ex Situ Conservation Strategies
- Types of ex situ facilities
- Challenges facing ex situ facilities
Ex situ and in situ conservation are complementary strategies (Figure 11.13; see also Conde et al., 2011). Protecting a well-represented sample of the world's biodiversity plays only a minor role in ex situ conservation efforts.
Thoughts on Neglected Taxa
However, conservation biologists working in ex situ facilities are constantly trying to find ways to overcome these challenges. Others use cryopreservation and genome resource banks for long-term storage of embryos, eggs, sperm, or purified DNA, at least until those tissues can be used to increase the genetic diversity of a species, or perhaps even to revive an extinct species (see extinction, Section 8.8).
One explanation for this difference is that plants are often seen as the background of the environment rather than the critical basis (as primary producers) of any food web on Earth. Some groups of experts are also organized into Specialist Groups (https://www.iucn.org/ssc-groups) of the IUCN.
Topics for Discussion
Patterns of elephant impact on woody plants in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Options for moose: A multiscale assessment of antipredator responses of a vulnerable prey species to their main predator in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Identifying Legislative Priorities
As with other crimes, environmental crimes are generally defined by legislative action, when governments pass environmental laws and regulations that restrict certain types of activities. The effectiveness of these laws and regulations in protecting the environment rests on three main factors: (1) identification of conservation priorities, (2) establishment of regulations that address those needs, and (3) enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.
Environmental Laws and Policies
- International agreements
- National and local laws
One of the most important international environmental treaties is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, https://www.cbd.int). International treaties are particularly important for the marine environment, as about two-thirds of the world's oceans (50% of the planet) fall outside any.
Environmental Law Enforcement
- New technologies in environmental law enforcement
An example is South Africa, where over 500 current and potential invasive species are classified into three categories (http://www.invasives.org.za): Category 1 (immediately destroyed, cannot be owned), Category 2 (kept only by permit, no trade) and Category 3 (no trade, no breeding, but no need to remove) (Z). Conservationists have also become more aware of the strategies they use to plan and conduct law enforcement monitoring.
Analyse information and identify a potential incident
The Limits of Environmental Laws and Regulations
- Lack of capacity
- Conflicting government priorities
- Informal economies, traditional activities, and the law
- Trade embargoes and sanctions
Today, the $91–258 billion environmental crime industry is the world's fourth largest illegal enterprise, after drug smuggling, counterfeiting, and human trafficking ( Nellemann et al., 2016 ). It is therefore important to carefully explain the reasoning behind those changes (e.g. “bushmeat hunting drives away tourist dollars”, Rogan et al., 2017).
The two main causes of the alarmingly rapid loss of wildlife in Africa today are: (1) unsustainable use of land and natural resources, mostly related to decision-making that does not prioritize conservation considerations; and (2) overharvesting of wild animals and plants through poaching and illegal logging. Poaching and illegal logging may be driven locally for subsistence use, due to poverty; due to a lack of other protein, energy and income sources;.
Topics for Discussion
A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa. Exposing the illegal trade of cycad species (Cycadophyta: Encephalartos) in two traditional medicine markets in South Africa using DNA barcoding.
Establishing Protected Areas
- Government protected areas
- Community conserved areas
- Privately protected areas
- Co-managed protected areas
- Field stations and marine laboratories
Because the ecotourism potential of these privately protected areas depends on how well the property is managed (Clements et al., 2016), private landowners often invest significant efforts to maintain and even expand the wildlife populations on their land. In some areas, private conservation areas can even employ more people, pay better wages, and contribute more to the local economy than government protected areas (Sims-Castley et al., 2005).
Classification of Protected Areas
Today, there are biological field stations in at least 24 sub-Saharan African countries (Tydecks et al., 2016). Among them are Namibia's Gobabeb Research and Training Center which focuses on desert conservation, Kenya's Mpala Research Center (Box 13.1) which investigates the potential for wildlife and livestock to coexist, Nigeria's A.P.
Prioritisation: What Should be Protected?
- Species approach
- Ecosystem approach
- Wilderness approach
- Hotspot approach
- Gap analysis approach
- Optimisation approach
Existing protected areas (all marked) were enclosed, but proposed protected areas such as Itombwe and Kabobo and community reserves (purple border) were not. One of the most popular packages is Marxan (http://marxan.org), a freely available program that identifies the optimal location for protected areas based on flexible, user-defined criteria (Watts et al., 2009).
How Much Land Should We Protect?
- A neglected system: marine protected areas
Furthermore, the amount of protected land does not necessarily mean adequate protection for all ecosystems (Watson et al., 2016). There is also an urgent need to increase law enforcement in the marine environment (Brashares et al., 2004).
Designing Protected Areas
- What size should a protected area be?
- Zoning as a solution to conflicting demands
- Connectivity among protected areas
- What about small isolated reserves?
But we now know that wildlife populations are often distributed among protected areas through the surrounding habitat matrix (Pryke et al., 2015). Many of the strategies used to maintain and restore ecosystem connectivity (Section 11.3) can be applied to the management of protected areas.
Managing Protected Areas
- The importance of monitoring
- The importance of working with local people
- The importance of accommodating visitors
- The IUCN Green List of Protected Areas
This is the case in South Africa, where the regional conservation authority Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife allows local people to sustainably harvest plant resources, such as thatched grasses and medicinal plants, from protected areas they manage (Beale et al., 2013b; see also Section 13.5.2). Developing plans that accommodate outside visitors is also an important aspect of protected area management.
Challenges for Protected Areas
- Funding limitations
- Planning for climate change
- Facing degazettement
The cost of these resources can add up quickly; for example, researchers estimate that more than $1 billion is needed each year to manage Africa's protected areas, including lion populations (Lindsey et al., 2018). Yet, Africa's protected areas are often understaffed, lacking basic equipment and facing funding gaps (Tranquilli et al., 2014; Watson et al., 2014).
While there are legitimate reasons for some PADDDs (Fuller et al., 2010), few have been conducted with conservation goals in mind. As a general guideline, protected areas should be large and not fragmented where possible.
Topics for Discussion
Managing interactions with local residents and visitors is essential to the success of protected areas and should be part of a management plan.
Assessing the relationship between pathways of alien plant invaders and their impacts in protected areas. Well-managed protected areas are essential tools for ensuring intact ecosystems and the biodiversity they sustain.
Damage to ecosystems such as rivers and streams in unprotected areas has repeatedly been shown to reduce biodiversity even within protected areas (Colvin et al., 2011; Woodborne et al., 2012). Furthermore, many species only occur in unprotected areas (Beresford et al. 2011), and some species even do better outside protected areas (Murgatroyd et al., 2016).
Turning the Page
As an alternative to retaliatory killing, the Kenyan government financially compensates herders for predation losses; however, the government has not always been consistent in this compensation (Goldman et al., 2010). Communal lands in East Africa dedicated to pastoralism are a good example illustrating the compatibility between traditional peoples and conservation efforts (McGahey et al., 2007).
Insights from the City of Cape Town
The impact of agriculture
To make matters worse, much of sub-Saharan Africa's arable land has already been degraded to such an extent that it can no longer support viable food production (Drechsel et al., 2001). Such land conflicts are only going to get worse with climate change (Zabel et al., 2014).