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Growing evidence that forests reduce flood risk

Growing evidence that forests reduce flood risk | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
In 2007, ALERT member Corey Bradshaw and colleagues published a
high-profile global analysis that suggested forests reduce flood risk. 

A tropical torrent -- flooding in the Amazon (photo by William Laurance)

However, their analysis was instantly controversial -- lauded in some
quarters and attacked in others -- in part because their study used complex
statistical models rather than simple experiments or direct observations to
draw their conclusions. 

Now a new study appears to provide key support for Bradshaw's assertions. 
Working in Peninsular Malaysia, Jie-Sheng Tan Soo and colleagues have found
strong evidence that areas with more native rainforest are less prone to
damaging floods in the wet season.

Specifically, the authors found that conversion of native rainforest to oil
palm or rubber plantations increased the number of days of downstream
flooding in 31 different areas.

Collectively, these findings are important because they provide another key
economic justification for conserving native forests -- including pristine
forests and those that have been selectively logged but still retain much
of their original tree cover. 

Not only do such forests harbor amazing biodiversity, store large stocks of
carbon, and help to drive global climate and rainfall patterns, they also
have a sizable impact on flooding -- which is vital to local communities in
forested regions.

Each years, destructive floods cause billions of dollars in damage to
properties, crops, and livestock.  They also kill hundreds of people and
displace tens of thousands more. 

With our growing human population and increasing tendency to live, build
dwellings, and farm in vulnerable floodplains, floods are becoming an
ever-more serious hazard. 

The poor are often forced to live in vulnerable flood-prone areas

The poor -- which are often forced to live in flood-prone areas -- are
especially vulnerable.  But we all suffer from flooding via increased
insurance rates and higher taxes for government disaster-aid efforts. 

With the added complications of rising sea levels and increasing
extreme-weather events, flooding might cost the world $1 trillion per year
by 2050, according to one analysis.

The studies by Bradshaw, Tan Soo, and colleagues show that native forests
can be vital for reducing flooding in regions that receive even occasional
heavy rains. 

Less native forest means more destructive flooding -- and that's not good
for any of us.
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Rewilding success stories | Environment | The Guardian

Rewilding success stories | Environment | The Guardian | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Reintroduction programmes of animals driven from their once-natural habits are a cause for optimism
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Making the most of conservation science (commentary)

Making the most of conservation science (commentary) | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Environmental science and conservation news
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How the Golden Lion Tamarin Is Helping to Heal Brazil’s Rainforest •

How the Golden Lion Tamarin Is Helping to Heal Brazil’s Rainforest • | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
It took a decade of hard work, but one of the world’s most important wildlife corridors is now emerging from the fragmented forests of coastal Brazil.
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Seek higher standards to honestly assess conservation effectiveness (commentary)

Seek higher standards to honestly assess conservation effectiveness (commentary) | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Environmental science and conservation news
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Brazil's Atlantic Coastal Forest - A New Legacy

Brazil's Atlantic Coastal Forest - A New Legacy | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Our work in the Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil is helping to protect the golden lion tamarin from extinction.By acquiring property that connects two large surviving forest fragments, we created a safe zone for a host of species crossing the BR-101 highway over an innovative tree topped wildlife crossing.Learn more!
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World’s second breeding population of Indochinese tigers discovered in Thailand’s forests

World’s second breeding population of Indochinese tigers discovered in Thailand’s forests | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
A newly discovered breeding site for Thailand’s wild tigers is ‘nothing short of miraculous’ according to John Goodrich, Panthera’s Senior Tiger Program Director.
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A Win in the Ground War Against Elephant Poachers in Africa - The New Yorker

A Win in the Ground War Against Elephant Poachers in Africa - The New Yorker | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Peter Canby on the arrest and imminent trial of Samuel Pembele, who is suspected of being a top figure in elephant-ivory poaching in northern Congo.
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It’s a girl: rare rhino gives birth to second calf in Sumatra

It’s a girl: rare rhino gives birth to second calf in Sumatra | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
A milestone in the international effort to bring a critically endangered species back from the brink of extinction.
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Nepal Celebrates Two Consecutive Years of Zero Rhino Poaching :: ANNAMITICUS

Nepal Celebrates Two Consecutive Years of Zero Rhino Poaching :: ANNAMITICUS | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Nepal's success is the result of a multi-pronged strategy - a strategy which does *not* include speculating on rhino horn trade nor does it include rhino trophy hunting.
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India's Tigers May Be Rebounding, in Rare Success for Endangered Species

India's Tigers May Be Rebounding, in Rare Success for Endangered Species | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Members of the tiger conservation community are hailing a rise in tiger numbers in India.
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72 tigers seen in camera traps at Nagarhole

72 tigers seen in camera traps at Nagarhole | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Meanwhile, Minister for Forests B. Ramanath Rai has said the process for declaration of Cauvery and M.M. Hills Wildlife Sanctuaries as tiger reserves was underway. With support from forest dwellers as
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In Tanzania, Conservation Benefits Communities

In Tanzania, Conservation Benefits Communities | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Since supporting the establishment of the College of African Wildlife Management (Mweka) on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1963, AWF has continued to work with the government of Tanzania and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
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Mountain gorilla population rises above 1,000 | Environment | The Guardian

Mountain gorilla population rises above 1,000 | Environment | The Guardian | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
New total represents an increase of 25% since 2010 in its central African heartland
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In Chad, the Elephants (So Many Elephants) Are Back - The New York Times

In Chad, the Elephants (So Many Elephants) Are Back - The New York Times | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Although it’s not well-known, Zakouma National Park is a showcase for a stunning conservation success story. It’s welcoming for tourists too.
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Response to critique on Conservation Effectiveness series (commentary)

Response to critique on Conservation Effectiveness series (commentary) | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Environmental science and conservation news
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Conservation Effectiveness series sparks action, dialogue

Conservation Effectiveness series sparks action, dialogue | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Environmental science and conservation news
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Sumatran tigers on path to recovery in 'in danger' UNESCO World Heritage site

Sumatran tigers on path to recovery in 'in danger' UNESCO World Heritage site | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
A new scientific publication from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Authority looks at the effectiveness of the park's protection zone and finds that the density of Sumatran tiger
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Ground-breaking initial success in protecting Mali’s elephants, but it must be sustained

Ground-breaking initial success in protecting Mali’s elephants, but it must be sustained | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Despite a surge in poaching combined with a deepening insurgency Mali has deployed its first ever anti-poaching unit to protect the remarkable desert-adapted elephants. Although it is very early da…
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National Parks

National Parks | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Just months after celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service, the mood is decidedly more somber as the national parks movement in the United States has hit a stumbling block or two, from the prospect of a significant budget cut to the loss of the Antiquities Act as a tool for presidents to use to set aside wondrous landscapes as part of the National Park System.
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Orangutans Rescued From Indonesian Forest Fires Released Back Into Wild | Jakarta Globe

Orangutans Rescued From Indonesian Forest Fires Released Back Into Wild | Jakarta Globe | Conservation Success | Scoop.it

Three orangutans rescued when forest fires destroyed their Indonesian rainforest habitats were returned to the wild on Borneo island last week


Via Wildlife Defence
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Safarious Journal - RWANDA'S ROARING SUCCESS

Safarious Journal - RWANDA'S ROARING SUCCESS | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
A good news conservation story. When you think about Conservation in Africa you probably think of a battle that is being lost. The local and international conservation headlines read desperate times for wildlife. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
Good news arrived on the evening of May 12th, as Shema, one of five lionesses reintroduced to Akagera National Park in Rwanda, was spotted with three new cubs. Two of the other lionesses, sisters Umwari and Kazi are also suspected to be pregnant after mating with the dominant male, Ntwari.
Lions have not been present here since the Rwandan Genocide two decades ago. But In June 2015, the quiet was broken by a roar when African Parks successfully relocated seven South African lions to Akagera, including five females and two males.
Akagera has a host of success stories, from fragile dragonflies to mighty lions. It is the oldest of Rwanda’s three national parks and the only protected Savannah region in the country. At 112,000 Hectares it is viable size for a thriving ecosystem and is home to more than 8,000 large mammals and 500 bird species. At present her wildlife populations are flourishing thanks to effective law enforcement and community engagement, and it’s not just the wildlife that is thriving, local communities are too. But it wasn’t always like this.
In 1994 the Rwandan genocide not only decimated Rwanda’s people but its wildlife populations too. After the cessation of violence, portions of parkland were distributed to returning refugees as farmland. However, an absence of park management coupled with one of the highest population densities in Africa resulted in human wildlife conflict and lion populations quickly disappeared from Akagera.
In 2010 The Akagera Management Company was established. Spearheaded by African Parks and The Rwandan Development board this partnership launched a number of flagship projects and is one of the main reasons why the park is returning to its once wild abundance. These projects not only create employment opportunities for local communities but also mitigate human wildlife conflict in the settlements around the park.
The ripple effects are far-reaching for both wildlife and humans; with increased community involvement and a flourishing wildlife population, the tourism appeal of Akagera is growing and guides and rangers in the park are improving their skills.
A number of livelihood diversification projects have been successfully implemented to address these needs, such as the Community Freelance Guides organisation which offers professional guiding services. This enables local guides to gain financially from growing tourism at Akagera, and encourages locals to appreciate and get more involved in conservation.
The most recent success at Akagera has been the reintroduction of lions to the park. The new lions are genetically diverse, specifically selected from two different lion families to ensure the strongest possible gene pool for the founding stock. The two male lions come from a government reserve on the Mozambican border called Tembe Elephant Park, and they are totally unrelated. The females come from three different prides and were bonded prior to their relocation. All the lions were thoroughly vetted and each has been microchipped so that they can be individually identified.
Every detail was taken care of in the procurement of the lions; Rwanda is a very specific environment, humid and prone to rain with lush green and swampy landscapes. The lions come from a humid area not far from the coastal regions in South Africa, so little adaptation is necessary.
Even the Community members have welcomed the lions back to Rwanda. They identify the arrival of lions as a new draw card for their growing tourism market and are excited to be involved in the success of the park.
It has been several months and the lions appear to be doing well. After their long absence, many rangers at Akagera had never experienced lions and did not know what to expect when patrolling in the field. African Parks drew on the expertise of Lion Guardians to train their rangers to become protectors and ambassadors for these lions. Lion Guardians is a conservation organisation dedicated to finding and enacting long-term solutions for people and lions to coexist.
Plans are also in place to reintroduce black rhino, a species that has not been seen in the park for almost a decade. Canine dog units have been trained to reduce the risk of poaching and already poaching numbers on the downfall, from 180 in 2012 to just 29 in 2014.
On a smaller scale but no less impressive, three German conservationists surveying the Dragonfly populations in Rwanda for their research on the status of East African Dragonflies recently discovered that Akagera is home to a much wider variety of Dragonfly species than previously recorded! This kingdom of flying jewels went from 36 to 89 separate species with an estimated 50 still to add. Amongst these discoveries, two species are potentially new to science, and 20 are new to the country.
With so much potential and a strong working relationship between locals and park management, Akagera appears to be a hotspot for conservation success. Visitor numbers grow year on year with Rwandan Nationals comprising of 50% of the visitors including school children on educational visits. With the reintroduction of rhino, Akagera will be Rwanda’s only big five national park, further enhancing the country’s appeal as an international tourism destination.Images ©African Parks/Sean Carter
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Minister and Acehnese leaders declare moratorium on palm oil and mining expansion in the Leuser Ecosystem

Minister and Acehnese leaders declare moratorium on palm oil and mining expansion in the Leuser Ecosystem | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Minister and Acehnese leaders declare moratorium on palm oil and mining expansion in Leuser Ecosystem
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The secret to preserving Namibia's big cats? Big dogs

The secret to preserving Namibia's big cats? Big dogs | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
They maybe man's best friend, but dogs in Namibia have been making a new acquaintance: the cheetah.
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A Hedge Fund Manager Helped Save Siberian Tigers

A Hedge Fund Manager Helped Save Siberian Tigers | Conservation Success | Scoop.it
Investor Whitney Tilson publicized Lumber Liquidators’ use of contaminated wood, driving down the stock of a company that bought timber illegally logged from endangered wildlife habitat.
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