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Conservation challenge of dispersive fauna

Recher, H.F. (2007) Conservation challenge of dispersive fauna. Pacific Conservation Biology, 13 (2). pp. 81-83.

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The six papers in this theme issue of Pacific Conservation Biology were presented at a symposium organized by the WildCountry Science Council (see Recher 2003 for an account of WildCountry) at the Adelaide meeting of the Ecological Society of Australia in 2004. The symposium theme of ?dispersive fauna? is central to the philosophy and principles of WildCountry. The WildCountry philosophy is based on the argument that the long-term conservation of continental biodiversity is not possible with a system of spatially static conservation reserves by itself. Reserves form the core of WildCountry, but cannot fully sample continental biodiversity, nor allow for the full range of movements characteristic of the biota unless the total area set aside from development far exceeds what society would see as economically or politically acceptable. Because of these limits, a static and spatially limited reserve system cannot meet the challenge of ensuring the evolutionary viability of populations and species. A challenge that becomes increasingly difficult and urgent to resolve in the face of accelerating climate change and the loss and modification of habitat through land clearing, pastoralism, changed fire regimes, and the spread of weeds and feral animals among a myriad of environmental changes driven by human endeavour across the landscape. In my view, probably greater than 50% of the continent is the absolute minimum for a fixed system of reserves to meet the needs of biodiversity conservation, but see Archer (2002) who suggests a minimum of 20% may be required simply to meet the most basic evolutionary criteria.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: © Surrey Beatty & Sons
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