[Coral-List] New paper on applying different species vulnerability assessments in conservation planning (Katherine Kaplan)

RainbowWarriorsInternational southern_caribbean at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 24 01:27:06 EDT 2014

It seems that a lot more tweaking needs to be done on setting adequate upper and lower bounds for vulnerability variables and how to arrive at these. As a trained mathematician I cannot help but wonder in how many cases vulnerability modelling is done based on assigning upper and lower bound values to vulnerability variables which do not really reflect the true dynamics of complex biological ecosystems.

It would be better to use thresholds and incorporate resilience. Data from IUCN based vulnerability calculation procedures and from FishBase can help define threshold intervals.

IMHO spatiotemporal modelling incorporating resilience and thresholds is a more robust way to model.

Milton Ponson, President
Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
(Rainbow Warriors International)
Tel. +297 568 5908
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Email: southern_caribbean at yahoo.com

To unite humanity in a global society dedicated to a sustainable way of life
On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 3:38 PM, Katherine Kaplan <kak323 at cornell.edu> wrote:
Dear Colleagues,

The following paper was published recently:

*Kaplan, K*; Montero-Serra, I; Vaca-Pita, L; Sullivan, P; Suarez, E;
Vinueza, L. (2014) Applying complementary species vulnerability assessments
to improve conservation strategies in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
and Conservation *DOI 10.1007/s10531-014-0679-5

Abstract:  Marine biodiversity can be protected by identifying vulnerable
species and creating marine protected areas (MPAs) to ensure their
survival. A wide variety of methods are employed by environmental managers
to determine areas of conservation priority, however which methods should
be applied is often a subject of debate for practitioners and scientists.
We applied two species vulnerability assessments, the International Union
for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species and
FishBase’s intrinsic vulnerability assessment, to fish communities in three
coastal habitats (mangrove, rocky and coral) on the island of San
Cristobal, Galapagos. When using the IUCN red list of threatened species,
rocky reefs hosted the greatest number of vulnerable species, however when
applying the FishBase assessment of intrinsic vulnerability mangroves
hosted the greatest abundance of ‘very-highly’ vulnerable species and coral
ecosystems hosted the greatest abundance of ‘highly’ vulnerable species.
The two methods showed little overlap  in determining habitat types that
host vulnerable species because they rely on different biological and
ecological parameters. Since extensive data is required for IUCN red list
assessments, we show that the intrinsic vulnerability assessment from
FishBase can be used to complement the IUCN red list especially in
data-poor areas. Intrinsic vulnerability assessments are based on less
data-intensive methods than the IUCN red list, but nonetheless may bridge
information gaps that can arise when using the IUCN red list alone.
Vulnerability assessments based on intrinsic factors are not widely applied
in marine spatial planning, but their inclusion as a tool for forming
conservation strategies can be useful in preventing species loss.

Those interested in receiving a PDF of this article please email me at
kak323 at cornell.edu.

Best regards,

Katherine Kaplan
PhD Student
Department of Natural Resources
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
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