First Global Assessment of Tropical Ecosystem Conservation Sites

PRISM Director, Jacalyn Giacalone Willis, is co-author of an article published in the international journal of science, Nature, in which she contributed to the long-term outlook for protected sites in Panama. She served as a member of a large international network of 262 researchers with a minimum of 20 years experience working in 60 biological reserves around the world.  The article provides data to show why we need larger conservation areas, and protective buffer zones around them, if we hope to conserve biodiversity in the tropics.  The data yielded insights about reserves that were classified as “suffering,” and why they are in such danger, as well as the minority of “succeeding” reserves and the reasons for their success.  Natural disasters such as hurricanes and fires, in combination with encroachment by humans who hunt and farm, and by invasive non-native species, all make it important to monitor and protect fragile ecosystems even when they are within “protected” areas. 

The article reference is: Laurance, W. et al. 2012. Averting Biodiversity Collapse in Tropical Forest Protected Areas. Nature. July 25, 2012 online 11318.