How conservation GIS leads to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Success in conservation requires that everyone maximize his or her individual impact, because resources are limited and the challenge of saving biodiversity is great. Ten years ago, we asked how best a small, but energetic and passionate group could act to prevent bird extinctions in the Americas. We discuss our long-term approach to the problem and the resulting successful conservation actions and, in doing so provide a possible guide for others trying to focus their conservation efforts. Through a progressive series of intuitive GIS analyses, we showed that the Atlantic Forest has the highest concentration of threatened birds in the Americas. Within the Atlantic Forest, the state of Rio de Janeiro has the highest concentration of those threatened birds. Within Rio de Janeiro state, an isolated lowland forest fragment of a few thousand hectares stands out as the highest priority for preventing bird extinctions. We identified the creation of a small forest corridor to that fragment as the most effective action we could take to prevent bird extinctions, in all of the Americas. Today, we know that corridor as the Fazenda Dourada and the trees are growing back. That success was the result of a specific research and conservation agenda, one that is long-term, based on quantitative science, and guided by local conservation actors. © 2011 ABECO.
Jenkins, CN; Pimm, SL; Alves, MADS
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