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Home » WP3 exploring ways to generate, mobilize and disseminate long-term biodiversity information: from conservation baselines to management assessments

WP3 exploring ways to generate, mobilize and disseminate long-term biodiversity information: from conservation baselines to management assessments

The general aim of WP3 is to explore venues on how to mobilize, harmonize and disseminate historical information on biodiversity and its management in order to generate reference conditions for conservation, improve research and enhance its interface with management. Accurate and abundant historical information on biodiversity, its interactions with humans, and its management is provided by governmental and citizen initiatives, conserved in diverse formats, most of which is neither published nor readily available for researchers or managers. SUMHAL’s WP3 aims to produce useful information for the conservation of biodiversity by mobilizing information with three main focusses: 1) management actions and results in protected areas; 2) damages produced by animals on human activities or goods; and 3) historical biodiversity records.

Management actions

Biodiversity, natural resource and ecosystem management must incorporate uncertainties associated to the complexity of socio-natural systems and the increasing frequency and severity of disturbances, in the framework of global change. As a result, we apply new models based on the interweaving of research and managemnt, to allow ‘learning by doing’. To foster these approaches, we are building an inventory of current and historical management interventions in Andalusian protected áreas, starting with the Doñana National Park. Tothis aim, we are: (i) compiling management interventions registered in technical literature (e.g., annual reports, management documents), complemented with information derived from surveys and interviews; (ii) mapping the intervention areas; (iii) register the sequential components of the management cycle (objectives, technical design, implementation, impact, indicators and monitoring); (iv) complementing these components with current data, for a representative selectin of the compiled interventions; and (v) establishing benchmarking criteria to inform future management actions.

Damages by animals

The current increase of human population and the associated changes of land use is forcing wildlife to share habitat with humans. As a consequence, there has been an increase of wildlife-human interactions. These interactions, very diverse depending on the type of human activity and animal species involved, may hinder coexistence, compromising not only species conservation, but also the safety and well-being of human populations. In this context, subproject 2 of WP3 aims to describe, characterize and disseminate the main types of damage caused by wildlife to humans and their activities, both at Spanish and worldwide scales. To do this, we are (1) contacting the National and Regional Administrations, asking them what type of information they record about damages caused by wildlife in Spain. Additionally, we are (2) reviewing the scientific literature to describe the type of damages caused by wildlife and the species involved at global scale.

Historical records

Biodiversity is being lost worldwide, resulting from generalised declines in the abundance and geographical distributions of many species. To study biodiversity change, and generate tools to revert it, it is important to know historical baselines of biodiversity distribution. However, data on flora and fauna generated with scientific methods in centuries preceding the Industrial Revolution are almost inexistent. Given this lack of information, an alternative to know past biodiversity is to rely on numerous and diverse historical documents that include direct observations of fauna and flora. The objective is to gather and mobilise biodiversity records from historical sources, usually resulting from land survey initiatives, such as the Relaciones Topográficas de Felipe II (16th century) and the statistical dictionary by Pascual Madoz (19th century) in Spain.