Local and expert knowledge improve conservation assessment of rare and iconic Fijian tree species

Keppel, Gunnar, Naikatini, Alifereti, Rounds, Isaac A., Pressey, Robert L., and Thomas, Nunia T. (2015) Local and expert knowledge improve conservation assessment of rare and iconic Fijian tree species. Pacific Conservation Biology, 21. pp. 214-219.

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In many developing countries, threatened species lists are unavailable and IUCN Red Lists are very incomplete. Because limited resources are available for conservation in developing countries, detailed field assessments and scientific study of threatened species are often not feasible. However, considerable knowledge about biodiversity exists among experts and local land users. We used questionnaires as part of field surveys to compile information about the abundance, conservation threats, distribution, and ecology of populations of four threatened and iconic target species in Fiji (Acmopyle sahniana, Dacrydium nausoriense, Podocarpus affinis [all Podocarpaceae], and Cynometra falcata [Leguminosae]). These questionnaires were completed in the field for all known populations by an assessor, compiling field observations and measurements with information from local land users and local and outside experts. For the four species in this study, the questionnaires improved estimates of population size, identified previously unknown populations, provided estimates of regeneration, and identified key conservation threats. Species of highly fragmented remnants in drier climates were less protected than those in more contiguous forests of moist climates. The methods employed provided rapid, cost-effective information that can be used to revise IUCN Red List and conservation status assessments and are applicable to other Pacific Island and developing countries.

Item ID: 44397
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1038-2097
Keywords: conservation threat assessment, developing nations, endangered species, extinction risk, expert knowledge, islands, IUCN Red List, traditional knowledge, South Pacific
Funders: Asia-Pacific Science Foundation (APSF)
Projects and Grants: APSF 10/4
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 03:44
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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