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Serengeti IVSustaining biodiversity in a coupled human-natural system$
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Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Kristine L. Metzger, Simon A. R. Mduma, and John M. Fryxell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226195834

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226196336.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Future of Conservation

The Future of Conservation

Lessons from the Serengeti

(p.797) Twenty-Seven The Future of Conservation
Serengeti IV

Anthony R. E. Sinclair

Andy Dobson

Kristine L. Metzger

John M. Fryxell

Simon A. R. Mduma

University of Chicago Press

The studies of biodiversity comparing the natural system in Serengeti with that in the surrounding human modified areas showed a consistent loss of endemic biota in human areas; the local and endemic species are less able to withstand human disturbance. This pattern appears in every group studied, and in particular greater losses occur at higher trophic levels. Thus, the Park is essential for protecting species that cannot live in human dominated landscapes – particularly carnivores, mega-herbivores, and fragile species that require special habitats and ones with restricted ranges, as we have seen with birds and insects. Is the human-dominated system biologically sustainable? The distortion of the trophic cascade due to the loss of ecologically important species will have important impacts on the stability of human ecosystems – in the case of the Serengeti region through outbreaks of diseases, rodents, insects and invasive plants. The Protected Area was a necessary instrument in detecting these changes in ecology. The human ecosystem is a necessary component that allows the Protected Area to exist, and so we need to make that system self-sustaining.

Keywords:   community-based conservation, protected area, diversification of habitats, climate change

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