Protected area networks around the globe: adequate or not?

Much of the recent literature on climate change and connectivity has focused on the viability of protected area networks, and whether they will remain useful as landscapes shift. Recent research has highlighted several key findings about the fate of protected area networks, including:

protected_areas

©ProtectedPlanet

Added to this body of literature is recent research by Prieto-Torres et al., recently published in Global Change Biology, examining the future of protected area networks in Mexico. Focusing on tropical dry forests, they used ecological niche modeling to project the distribution of these forests under climate change along with 30 plant and bird species that inhabit them.

They found that although tropical dry forests are likely to persist, they will occupy areas outside their current range, and the current Mexican protected areas network is not sufficient to address this shift. Like much of the previous research on these networks, they advocate for dynamic protected areas that shift with the landscape and are connected through ecological corridors.  They add more evidence to the growing body of work that shows protected areas need to be dynamic and well-connected in order to remain relevant under future climate change.

2016-10-14T10:10:28+00:00 January 28th, 2016|

About the Author:

Heather Cayton
Heather Cayton is the Managing Director of ConservationCorridor.org and a Research Technician at North Carolina State University. She received her B.S. from the University of Virginia and her M.S. from Virginia Tech, and has spent the past eight years studying corridors and rare butterflies in North Carolina.