Integration of private land conservation areas in a network of statutory protected areas: implications for sustainability

Maciejewski, Kristine, Baum, Julia, and Cumming, Graeme S. (2016) Integration of private land conservation areas in a network of statutory protected areas: implications for sustainability. Biological Conservation, 200. pp. 200-206.

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Private land conservation offers a way of expanding the global conservation estate, but its long-term sustainability is unclear. Most protected areas are members of networks that are formed by ecological, social, and economic interactions (such as animal dispersal, exchanges of management expertise, and tourism). These connections influence private land conservation area sustainability but little is known about them. We interviewed 90 private land conservation area managers and 30 statutory reserve managers in the Western Cape Province of South Africa about their interactions with other managers (sharing knowledge, resources or equipment; trading in wildlife; and engaging in discussions and/or forming collaborations with surrounding managers about education, research, tourism, marketing, legislation and/or finances). Twenty-one private land managers had no interactions with other protected area managers. The full network had 199 nodes (managers) and 460 links (socioeconomic interactions). Private land conservation areas were sparsely connected, with a degree of 4.61. Projected convergence of mean diameter between real and randomly generated networks at sample sizes equivalent to the full network suggested that private land conservation area managers do not form the tightly connected social groups that would be consistent with preferential attachment. Statutory protected areas were central in the network, which had 21 different communities. Despite their potential value, socioeconomic interactions were underexploited by private land conservation areas. Fostering collaboration in private land conservation networks should enhance their long-term sustainability and effectiveness, increasing their global conservation contribution. Improving support networks for private land conservation areas will involve both the creation of bridging organizations that improve connectivity and the further development of enabling policies and legislation.

Item ID: 45951
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: connectivity, network analysis, private land conservation, resilience, social-ecological systems, South Africa, sustainability, Western Cape Province
Funders: James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF), Percy FitzPatrick Institute
Projects and Grants: JSMF Complexity Grant
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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