Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Farming crucial for threatened species in developing world

Date:
December 5, 2011
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
A number of threatened species in the developing world are entirely dependent on human agriculture for their survival, according to new research.

White-shouldered Ibis.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of East Anglia

A number of threatened species in the developing world are entirely dependent on human agriculture for their survival, according to new research by the University of East Anglia.

Published in the journal Conservation Letters, the study concludes that many species, rather than just using farmland to supplement their natural habitat, would actually be driven to extinction without it. Species such as the White-shouldered Ibis in Cambodia, the Sociable Lapwing in Kazakhstan and the Liben Lark in Ethiopia rely on local people and their agriculture.

Greatest benefit comes from local communities practising traditional agriculture with low ecological impact. Valuable practices include grazing animals on land where rare species breed and feed, and growing cereal crops which provide a rich source of food.

"Conservation efforts in the developing world focus a lot of attention on forest species and pristine habitats -- so people have usually been seen as a problem. But there are a number of threatened species -- particularly birds but probably a whole range of wildlife -- which heavily depend on the farmed environment," said lead author Hugh Wright of UEA's School of Environmental Sciences.

"Many of the traditional farming systems that benefit these species are now under threat both from industrial, large-scale agriculture and from more local economic development. We need to identify valuable farmland landscapes and support local people so that they can continue their traditional farming methods and help maintain this unique biodiversity."

Conserving biodiversity by supporting or mimicking traditional farming methods has long been a feature in Europe, but it has rarely been applied in developing countries. The UEA researchers found at least 30 threatened or near threatened species relying on farmland in the developing world, but further research is likely to find many more.

Where local communities are threatened by industrial agriculture, which often results in people being thrown off their traditional lands, conservation may be able to provide a win-win solution, helping to safeguard farming livelihoods for local people and for wildlife. In other cases, local communities could receive economic or development benefits in return for continuing valuable farming practices that benefit wildlife. Conservation must not prevent development so any lost livelihood opportunities must be adequately compensated for.

"We have seen some of the poorest villagers denied access to their traditional grassland grazing and fishing lands, once these have been allocated to large businesses for intensive rice production," said co-author Dr Paul Dolman.

"Although this helps produce food for export and helps the national economy, local people can suffer along with threatened birds which once nested in these grasslands. By identifying this link between people and threatened wildlife, we hope to help both."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hugh L. Wright, Iain R. Lake, Paul M. Dolman. Agriculture-a key element for conservation in the developing world. Conservation Letters, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00208.x

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Farming crucial for threatened species in developing world." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205082259.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2011, December 5). Farming crucial for threatened species in developing world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205082259.htm
University of East Anglia. "Farming crucial for threatened species in developing world." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205082259.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins