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Community-managed forests and wildlife-friendly agriculture play a subsidiary but not substitutive role to protected areas for the endangered Asian elephant

Goswami, Varun R and Sridhara, Sachin and Medhi, Kamal and Williams, Christy A and Chellam, Ravi and Nichols, James D and Oli, Madan K (2014) Community-managed forests and wildlife-friendly agriculture play a subsidiary but not substitutive role to protected areas for the endangered Asian elephant. In: BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 177 . pp. 74-81.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.06.013

Abstract

Global conservation policy is increasingly debating the feasibility of reconciling wildlife conservation and human resource requirements in land uses outside protected areas (PAs). However, there are few quantitative assessments of whether or to what extent these `wildlife-friendly' land uses fulfill a fundamental function of PAs-to separate biodiversity from anthropogenic threats. We distinguish the role of wildlife-friendly land uses as being (a) subsidiary, whereby they augment PAs with secondary habitat, or (b) substitutive, wherein they provide comparable habitat to PAs. We tested our hypotheses by investigating the influence of land use and human presence on space-use intensity of the endangered Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in a fragmented landscape comprising PAs and wildlife-friendly land uses. We applied multistate occupancy models to spatial data on elephant occurrence to estimate and model the overall probability of elephants using a site, and the conditional probability of high-intensity use given that elephants use a site. The probability of elephants using a site regardless of intensity did not vary between PAs and wildlife-friendly land uses. However, high-intensity use declined with distance to PM, and this effect was accentuated by an increase in village density. Therefore, while wildlife-friendly land uses did play a subsidiary conservation role, their potential to substitute for PAs was offset by a strong human presence. Our findings demonstrate the need to evaluate the role of wildlife-friendly land uses in landscape-scale conservation; for species that have conflicting resource requirements with people, PAs are likely to provide crucial refuge from growing anthropogenic threats. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ELSEVIER SCI LTD, THE BOULEVARD, LANGFORD LANE, KIDLINGTON, OXFORD OX5 1GB, OXON, ENGLAND.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2014 04:55
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2014 04:55
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/50019

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