Researchers discover endangered species stay weak in some marine-protected areas


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Florida State University researchers have discovered that some marine-protected areas might not work as predicted in safeguarding and conserving endangered species.

A workforce of worldwide researchers discovered that hawksbill turtles in Brazil are most frequently trying to find meals and breeding exterior the boundaries of marine-protected areas, that are designated areas of seas, oceans, the Great Lakes and estuaries put aside for conservation functions.

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The examine is printed within the September 2021 version of the journal Biological Conservation.

“This means that established protections for marine migratory species are not having the intended effect, highlighting a lack of protection,” mentioned Armando Santos, a doctoral candidate within the FSU Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, a part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Santos and Associate Professor of Oceanography Mariana Fuentes assessed the effectiveness, design and influence of marine-protected areas off the coast of Brazil by means of the evaluation of critically endangered hawkbill turtles. Their work, nonetheless, is a place to begin to take a look at conservation methods for different marine species.

“Armando’s work helped highlight and identify areas that should be prioritized for management and conservation when thinking about sea turtle protection,” Fuentes mentioned. “When looking at the maps in his results, the important areas for turtles are extremely broad. It’s a huge undertaking to protect these large areas, so Armando is now using fine-scale information and data analysis to pinpoint specific areas for protection.”

Marine-protected areas are among the many most generally enacted methods to preserve marine ecosystems and are sometimes designed to guard particular habitats somewhat than sure species. There are about 1,000 marine protected areas positioned all through the United States, together with three within the Gulf of Mexico. Across the world, there are shut to twenty,000 marine-protected areas.

However, simply because an space is protected doesn’t imply that the measures at all times work. Fisheries, marine visitors, oil and gasoline extraction, mining and port areas all pose vital threats to marine life.

Different ranges of safety are supplied by marine-protected areas, starting from full safety from human actions to permitting for sustainable human use. By analyzing the prevailing threats hawksbill turtles encounter of their frequented areas, Santos and Fuentes assessed the effectiveness of every stage of marine-protected areas in safeguarding hawksbill turtle habitats.

“We looked at data crucial to species conservation: spatial distribution and threat exposure,” Santos mentioned. “This overlap of distribution and threats is important because these areas require conservation intervention. It’s also important to note that threats to species are cumulative, not individual, and consider how that magnifies the threat impact.”

This examine’s dataset is the second-largest dataset of hawksbill spatial distribution on the earth, and Santos plans to proceed this analysis by subsequent inspecting the diving profile of turtles to know what drives their distribution and habitat use. This will additional fine-tune the areas that require pressing safety and intervention.

“Though this research focuses on hawksbill turtles in Brazil, a lot of the work we’re doing contributes to the bigger picture of using satellite telemetry data—the collection of data at inaccessible points and their automatic transmission to satellites that’s often used in tagging marine species—and other information to inform species conservation,” Fuentes mentioned. “Hopefully, someone working across the globe with a different migratory species can learn from this study and implement some of the findings to their location. This work is all about making information digestible to stakeholders and providing the best information for use in conservation policies.”

‘Love thy neighbour’ is key to ocean conservation

More data:
Armando J.B. Santos et al, Effectiveness and design of marine protected areas for migratory species of conservation concern: A case examine of post-nesting hawksbill turtles in Brazil, Biological Conservation (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109229

Researchers discover endangered species stay weak in some marine-protected areas (2021, September 30)
retrieved 30 September 2021

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