Use of modified Threat Reduction Assessments to estimate success of conservation measures within and adjacent to Kruger National Park, South Africa

TitleUse of modified Threat Reduction Assessments to estimate success of conservation measures within and adjacent to Kruger National Park, South Africa
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAnthony, Brandon P.
Journal titleConservation Biology
Year2008
Pages1497 - 1505
Volume22
Issue6
Abstract

Abstract The importance of biodiversity as natural capital for economic development and sustaining human welfare is well documented. Nevertheless, resource degradation rates and persistent deterioration of human welfare in developing countries is increasingly worrisome. Developing effective monitoring and evaluation schemes and measuring biodiversity loss continue to pose unique challenges, particularly when there is a paucity of historical data. Threat reduction assessment (TRA) has been proposed as a method to measure conservation success and as a proxy measurement of conservation impact, monitoring threats to resources rather than changes to biological parameters themselves. This tool is considered a quick, practical alternative to more cost- and time-intensive approaches, but has inherent weaknesses. I conducted TRAs to evaluate the effectiveness of Kruger National Park (KNP) and Limpopo Province, South Africa, in mitigating threats to biodiversity from 1994 to 2004 in 4 geographical areas. I calculated TRA index values in these TRAs by using the original scoring developed by Margoluis and Salafsky (2001) and a modified scoring system that assigned negative mitigation values to incorporate new or worsening threats. Threats were standardized to allow comparisons across the sites. Modified TRA index values were significantly lower than values derived from the original scoring exercise. Five of the 11 standardized threats were present in all 4 assessment areas, 2 were restricted to KNP, 2 to Limpopo Province, and 2 only to Malamulele municipality. These results indicate, first, the need to integrate negative mitigation values into TRA scoring. By including negative values, investigators will be afforded a more accurate picture of biodiversity threats and of temporal and spatial trends across sites. Where the original TRA scoring was used to measure conservation success, reevaluation of these cases with the modified scoring is recommended. Second, practitioners must carefully consider the need and consequences of generalizing threats into generic categories for comparative assessments. Finally, continued refinement of the methodology and its extension to facilitate the transfer of successful conservation strategies is needed.

Languageeng
Notes

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