By Emma Muench, 1st July 2019
In our July 2019 issue we are shining a light on plant conservation, featuring a selection of research articles and a Briefly spotlight that provides a global overview of recent news stories on imperilled trees, rare flowers, technological advances in plant conservation, and more! The Plant conservation special section includes five articles on research being carried out to understand and safeguard species of threatened plants:
- The future of walnut–fruit forests in Kyrgyzstan and the status of the iconic Endangered apple Malus niedzwetzkyana – Wilson et al. (our cover story)
- The ecology of plant extinction: rates, traits and island comparisons – Gray
- A trait-based approach to the conservation of threatened plant species – Álvarez-Yépiz et al.
- Rescuing Christensenia aesculifolia (Marattiaceae), a plant species with an extremely small population in China – Cai et al.
- Threatened species in a threatened ecosystem: the conservation status of four Solanum species in the face of ongoing habitat loss – Fensham et al.
Behind the cover Forest ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services, but are declining worldwide. Malus niedzwetzkyana, an Endangered wild relative of domesticated apples, is an important component of the walnut–fruit forests of Central Asia. Its iconic pink blossom and genetic properties give it special cultural and scientific significance, but livestock grazing and firewood collection threaten its survival. Population enhancement is required, in combination with increased protection of individuals in pristine sites. Access the full article here, and for a behind-the-scenes look at this fascinating research project read Brett Wilson’s blog.
This latest issue of Oryx also contains a special section on Rangers in conservation. Rangers play a vital role in many conservation organizations and projects around the world. Here, the authors of four featured articles explore aspects of rangers’ well-being, tactics, motivation and effectiveness in various conservation contexts.
- Occupational motivation and intergenerational linkages of rangers in Asia – Moreto et al.
- Understanding ranger motivation and job satisfaction to improve wildlife protection in Kahuzi–Biega National Park, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo – Spira et al.
- Effects of anti-poaching patrols on the distribution of large mammals in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire – Kablan et al.
- Fostering adoption of conservation technologies: a case study with wildlife law enforcement rangers – Sintov et al.
Editorial Bill Sutherland’s Editorial delves into the Japanese concept of kaizen—the quest for continuous improvement. Alongside examples of effective conservation measures there are many studies demonstrating ineffective conservation interventions. Evidence complacency, or ignoring existing evidence, can lead to ineffective techniques being used repeatedly, with dire consequences for conservation. Sutherland therefore advocates a collective commitment to identifying and delivering good practice, and argues that only by learning from past experience will we be able to achieve continual improvement going forward. Read the Editorial here.
- Beyond payments for ecosystem services: considerations of trust, livelihoods and tenure security in community-based conservation projects – Davis & Goldman
- Buying through your teeth: traditional currency and conservation of flying foxes Pteropus in Solomon Islands – Lavery & Fasi
- Attitudes to illegal behaviour and conservation in western Tanzania – Wilfred et al.
- Refining conservation strategies using distribution modelling: a case study of the Endangered Arabian tahr Arabitragus jayakari – Ross et al.
Conservation news Our latest Conservation news section features nine stories, from turtle conservation in Myanmar and the trade of wild finches in Algeria, to efforts to halt the release of pangolins in China and the latest Whitley Award winners! Discover them here.
Publications For insights into recently published books on various aspects of conservation, check out our Publications section:
- Social Science Theory for Environmental Sustainability: a Practical Guide
- Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature in Protected Areas
- Conservation and Development in Uganda
- Large Carnivore Conservation and Management—Human Dimensions
Grants and opportunities Find out about available funding and recognition for conservationists in our Grants & opportunities section:
- Tony Whitten Conservation Prize – applications now open
- MPhil Conservation Leadership – applications and scholarship support for October 2020
- Whitley Fund for Nature – call for applications for the Whitley Awards 2020
- Conservation Leadership Programme – applications for Future Conservationist Awards open