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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2254

Title: Designing protected areas to conserve riverine biodiversity: Lessons from a hypothetical redesign of the Kruger National Park
Authors: Roux, JR
Nel, JL
Ashton, PJ
Deacon, AR
de Moor, FC
Hardwick, D
Hill, L
Kleynhans, CJ
Maree, GA
Moolman, J
Scholes, RJ
Keywords: Protected area design
Biodiversity representation
Hydrologic connectivity
River types
Aquatic invertebrates
Issue Date: Jan-2008
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V
Citation: Roux, JR, Nel, JL and Ashton, PJ et al. 2008. Designing protected areas to conserve riverine biodiversity: Lessons from a hypothetical redesign of the Kruger National Park.Biological Conservation, Vol. 141(1), pp 100-117
Abstract: The process of designing protected areas to represent all ecosystems in an area adequately is becoming increasingly sophisticated. To date freshwater aquatic ecosystems have seldom been considered in this process. How much of a difference does it make when they are considered as well? This study examined the conservation of riverine biodiversity within 17 assessment units contained by the catchment areas of five perennial rivers flowing through Kruger National Park and two seasonal rivers that are largely contained within this park. Physical river types, fish species and invertebrate families or genera were used as surrogates of riverine biodiversity. Conservation planning software was used to select an optimal set of planning units to represent and maintain riverine biodiversity. The current spatial configuration of Kruger National Park, largely an accident of history, is particularly poor when assessed against the objective of conserving riverine biodiversity. Several alternative layouts are examined. These options are theoretical since there is little current opportunity to reassign land uses in the region. This study shows that substantially improved layouts for both riverine and terrestrial biodiversity are possible, under the constraint of the same total area under protection. The study also shows that even these optimal layouts are only partially successful in efforts to conserve fully representative samples of riverine biodiversity. Because of the longitudinal connectivity of rivers, conservation strategies that extend beyond protected areas are essential. Explicit conservation visions, targets and strategies need to be included in integrated water resource management plans. Based on the results of this study, nine recommendations are provided for increasing the effectiveness of current and future protected areas in conserving riverine biodiversity. These are to use systematic conservation planning to make biodiversity benefits explicit; mend the disconnect between terrestrial and freshwater conservation; use multiple surrogates wherever possible; be strategic about the collection and management of primary data; strive for maximum hydrologic connectivity; resist development pressure; foster good relationships across park fences; where relevant, pursue multi-national cooperation at the basin scale; and engage the value debate and resolve awareness and capacity constraints.
Description: Copyright: 2008 Elsevier Science B.V
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2254
ISSN: 0006-3207
Appears in Collections:Ecosystems processes & dynamics
General science, engineering & technology

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