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Effectiveness of protected areas for representing species and populations of terrestrial mammals in Costa Rica.

González-Maya JF, Víquez-R LR, Belant JL, Ceballos G - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species.We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets.Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04318, México D. F., México; Proyecto de Conservación de Aguas y Tierras, ProCAT Colombia/Internacional, Carrera 13 No. 96-82 Of. 205, Bogotá, Colombia.

ABSTRACT
Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26%) of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS) of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species' geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Chronology of protected areas establishment and number of mammal species represented in protected areas (red line), and mean percentage species ranges within protected areas (black line ± SE) in Costa Rica.Inset maps denote locations of protected areas for each major increase in number of species protected in a) 1960, b) 1970, c) 1975 and d) 2009 as also indicated in the graph.
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pone.0124480.g001: Chronology of protected areas establishment and number of mammal species represented in protected areas (red line), and mean percentage species ranges within protected areas (black line ± SE) in Costa Rica.Inset maps denote locations of protected areas for each major increase in number of species protected in a) 1960, b) 1970, c) 1975 and d) 2009 as also indicated in the graph.

Mentions: About 82% of mammal species were represented in at least one protected area by 1961 and 97% were represented by 1975 (Fig 1). In 2014, the mean number of species per protected area is 123 (± 19) species (Median = 126), with the maximum number of species (n = 172) in La Amistad National Park and a minimum number of species (n = 93) in Costa Esmeralda Wildlife Refuge. More than 100 species are represented in >100 protected areas and 58 species in >140 protected areas; 76 species are protected in <60 protected areas (Fig 2). Although there is a significant positive relationship between the size of protected areas and the number of species, only 26% of the variation in the number of protected species is explained by the area of the reserve (R2 = 0.26, p>0.0001). Considering protected areas categories, National Parks contain the greatest species richness (98.10%), followed by Wildlife Reserves (97.60%), while National Absolute Reserves protect the fewest species (48.10%; Fig 3). National Parks and Protected Zones protect all endemic species, while National Wetlands and Absolute Natural Reserves protect 4 and 0 species, respectively. Considering threatened species, all protected area categories include all Endangered species (2 species). National Parks and Protected Zones protect all Data Deficient species (7 species) and these protected areas, along with Wildlife Refuges, include all Vulnerable species (4 species).


Effectiveness of protected areas for representing species and populations of terrestrial mammals in Costa Rica.

González-Maya JF, Víquez-R LR, Belant JL, Ceballos G - PLoS ONE (2015)

Chronology of protected areas establishment and number of mammal species represented in protected areas (red line), and mean percentage species ranges within protected areas (black line ± SE) in Costa Rica.Inset maps denote locations of protected areas for each major increase in number of species protected in a) 1960, b) 1970, c) 1975 and d) 2009 as also indicated in the graph.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4430271&req=5

pone.0124480.g001: Chronology of protected areas establishment and number of mammal species represented in protected areas (red line), and mean percentage species ranges within protected areas (black line ± SE) in Costa Rica.Inset maps denote locations of protected areas for each major increase in number of species protected in a) 1960, b) 1970, c) 1975 and d) 2009 as also indicated in the graph.
Mentions: About 82% of mammal species were represented in at least one protected area by 1961 and 97% were represented by 1975 (Fig 1). In 2014, the mean number of species per protected area is 123 (± 19) species (Median = 126), with the maximum number of species (n = 172) in La Amistad National Park and a minimum number of species (n = 93) in Costa Esmeralda Wildlife Refuge. More than 100 species are represented in >100 protected areas and 58 species in >140 protected areas; 76 species are protected in <60 protected areas (Fig 2). Although there is a significant positive relationship between the size of protected areas and the number of species, only 26% of the variation in the number of protected species is explained by the area of the reserve (R2 = 0.26, p>0.0001). Considering protected areas categories, National Parks contain the greatest species richness (98.10%), followed by Wildlife Reserves (97.60%), while National Absolute Reserves protect the fewest species (48.10%; Fig 3). National Parks and Protected Zones protect all endemic species, while National Wetlands and Absolute Natural Reserves protect 4 and 0 species, respectively. Considering threatened species, all protected area categories include all Endangered species (2 species). National Parks and Protected Zones protect all Data Deficient species (7 species) and these protected areas, along with Wildlife Refuges, include all Vulnerable species (4 species).

Bottom Line: We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species.We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets.Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04318, México D. F., México; Proyecto de Conservación de Aguas y Tierras, ProCAT Colombia/Internacional, Carrera 13 No. 96-82 Of. 205, Bogotá, Colombia.

ABSTRACT
Costa Rica has one of the greatest percentages (26%) of protected land in the world. The National Protected Areas System (NPAS) of Costa Rica was established in 1976 and currently includes >190 protected areas within seven different protection categories. The effectiveness of the NPAS to represent species, populations, and areas with high species richness has not been properly evaluated. Such evaluations are fundamental to understand what is necessary to strengthen the NPAS and better protect biodiversity. We present a novel assessment of NPAS effectiveness in protecting mammal species. We compiled the geographical ranges of all terrestrial Costa Rican mammals then determined species lists for all protected areas and the estimated proportion of each species' geographic range protected. We also classified mammal species according to their conservation status using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. We found almost complete representation of mammal species (98.5%) in protected areas, but low relative coverage (28.3% on average) of their geographic ranges in Costa Rica and 25% of the species were classified as underprotected according to a priori representation targets. Interestingly, many species-rich areas are not protected, and at least 43% of cells covering the entire country are not included in protected areas. Though protected areas in Costa Rica represent species richness well, strategic planning for future protected areas to improve species complementarity and range protection is necessary. Our results can help to define sites where new protected areas can have a greater impact on mammal conservation, both in terms of species richness and range protection.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus