The Earth’s biodiversity includes the entire range of living species (species diversity), the genetic variation that occurs among individuals within a species (genetic diversity), and, at a higher level, the biological communities in which species live and their associations with the physical and chemical environment (ecosystem diversity). A disproportionately large amount of the world’s biodiversity is hosted by tropical forests, coral reefs, and Mediterranean-type ecosystems. For practical purposes, most ecologists and conservationists identify species in the field according to their morphology, although improvements in genetic techniques are allowing more species to be identified according to their evolutionary past, revealing many cryptic species that people did not realise were there. There are several ways to measure and compare this biodiversity. The most popular of which is species richness in a particular community, such as a forest or grassland (alpha diversity), species richness across a larger landscape, such as a mountain range (gamma diversity), and the rate of change of species composition as one crosses a large region (beta diversity). Patterns of species richness are affected by variation in climate, topography, and geological age. Geological age and complexity provide environmental variation, which in turn allows opportunities for genetic isolation, local adaptation, and speciation, given enough time. It is estimated that there may be as many as 2 billion species on Earth, most of which already described are insects, while the best-known species include birds and mammals. The majority, however, still need to be discovered.


  • Introduction to SubSaharan Africa2.1 Sub-Saharan Africa’s Natural Environment2.2 History of Conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa2.4 Ongoing Conservation Challenges p. 24 p. 29 p. 37 p. 44

  • Some impacts are an unavoidable consequence of human activities; vast resources are currently invested in finding ways to mitigate those impacts

  • Many threatened species continue to be illegally exploited in an unsustainable manner; in the worst cases, the profits from poaching are funding human-rights atrocities and organised criminal networks

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14.5 Summary

Box 1.2 The Okapi Wildlife Reserve: Protecting Nature and Providing for People 14 Rosmarie Ruf & Marcel Enckoto. Box 5.1 The Importance of Liberia’s Forest Network to the Survival of the Pygmy Hippopotamus. Box 5.3 Migratory Birds of Africa: The Largest of the Last Great Migrations? Box 6.1 Does Oil Palm Agriculture Threaten Biological Diversity in Equatorial Africa?. Box 8.3 Fenced Reserves Conserving Cheetahs and African Wild Dogs in South Africa. Box 11.1 The Overlooked Role of Behavioural Ecology in the Conservation of African Mammals. Box 12.3 Thoughts on Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trafficking in Sub-Saharan Africa. Box 13.3 Marine Protected Areas in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean 481 Abraham J. Box 14.2 Importance of Protected Areas in Cities: Insights from the City of Cape Town. Box 15.3 Tracking Species in Space and Time: Citizen Science in Africa Phoebe Barnard

Conservation Biology is Still
Conservation Biology is Still Evolving
The Role of Conservation Biologists
The Value of Scientific Methods
Environmental Ethics
Conservation biology’s ethical principles
Topics for Discussion
Suggested Readings
History of Conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa’s Natural Environment
The 1800s and launching of formal conservation efforts
Conservation efforts after colonialism
Conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa Today
Ongoing Conservation Challenges
Persistent poverty
Obstructive mindsets
Weak governance/institutional structures
Skills shortages
Species Diversity
What is a species?
Genetic Diversity
Ecosystem Diversity
Patterns of Biodiversity
Challenging species identifications
Implications of challenging species identifications
Measuring species diversity
How many species exist?
Where are most species found?
Material Contributions
Regulating Services
Maintaining ecosystem stability
Maintaining ecosystem productivity
Climate regulation
Conserving soil and water quality
Pollination and seed dispersal
Hazard detection and mitigation
Pest and disease control
Nonmaterial Contributions
Inspiration and learning support
Supporting psychological and physical experiences
Supporting individual and group identities
The Long-Term View
Environmental Economics
Placing a price on the natural world by examining the contribution of ecosystem
Environmental economics’ biggest contributions
Environmental economics’ biggest challenges
What is Habitat Loss?
What is habitat fragmentation?
What are edge effects?
Drivers of Habitat Loss and Fragmentation
Tropical forests
Rivers and deltas
Seasonal drylands
Population Growth and Consumption?
Concluding Remarks
Drivers of Climate
Drivers of Climate Change
Predicting Earth’s Future Climate
The Impact of Climate Change
Climate change’s impact on people
Climate change’s impact on terrestrial ecosystems
Climate change’s impact on freshwater ecosystems
Climate change’s impact on marine ecosystems
Climate change interacts with habitat loss
Beneficiaries of Climate Change
The Overall Impact of Climate
Pollution in Its Many
Pollution in Its Many Forms
Water pollution
Air pollution
Soil pollution
Light pollution
Noise pollution
Thermal pollution
The Bushmeat Crisis
The impact of traditional medicine
The impact of live animal trade
Overharvesting of plant products
Challenges in managing overharvesting
Invasive Species
Spread of invasive species
Impact of invasive species
Genetically modified organisms
Parasites and Diseases
Problems of Small
What is Extinction?
Rates of Extinction
When is a Species Extinct?
History of Extinctions in Sub-Saharan Africa
Which Species are at Risk of Extinction?
Small and declining populations
Course-filter assessments
Characteristics of Threatened Species
Problems of Small Populations
Loss of genetic diversity
Demographic stochasticity
Environmental stochasticity and catastrophes
The extinction vortex
Is there any hope for small populations?
Is De-extinction a Solution?
8.10 Topics for Discussion
8.11 Suggested Readings
Monitoring Population
Monitoring Population Size
Biodiversity inventories
Population censuses
Demographic studies
Recent progress in collecting survey data
Estimating Extinction Risk
A word of warning
Probability of extinction
Minimum viable population
Effective population size
Maximum sustainable yield
Sensitivity analysis
Lack of adequate data
Data reliability
Model reliability
10.3 Restoring Damaged Ecosystems
10.1 Ecosystem Monitoring
10.1.1 Monitoring ecosystems with geospatial analysis
10.2 Maintaining Complex and Adaptive Ecosystems
10.2.1 Maintaining critical ecosystem processes
10.2.2 Minimising external threats
10.2.3 Adaptive management
10.2.4 Being minimally intrusive
10.3 Restoring Damaged Ecosystems
10.3.1 Ecological restoration approaches
10.3.2 Major restoration targets
10.3.3 The future of ecological restoration
10.4 Combatting Climate Change Through Ecosystem
10.5 Summary
10.6 Topics for Discussion
10.7 Suggested Readings
11.1 Studying Species and Populations
11.1.1 Obtaining natural history data
11.2 Saving Species Through Translocations
11.3 Managing and Facilitating Movement Dynamics
11.3.1 Connectivity in terrestrial ecosystems
11.3.2 Connectivity in freshwater ecosystems
11.3.3 Connectivity in marine ecosystems
11.3.4 Mimicking connectivity
11.3.5 Management considerations in connectivity conservation
11.4 Managing Species Sensitive to Climate Change
11.5 Ex Situ Conservation Strategies
11.5.1 Types of ex situ facilities
11.5.2 Challenges facing ex situ facilities
11.6 Thoughts on Neglected Taxa
11.8 Topics for Discussion
11.9 Suggested Readings
12. Biodiversity and the Law
12.1 Identifying Legislative Priorities
12.2 Environmental Laws and Policies
12.2.1 International agreements
Reduce pressures on biodiversity
20. Mobilise resources to address Aichi Targets
12.2.2 National and local laws
12.3 Environmental Law Enforcement
12.3.1 New technologies in environmental law enforcement
12.4 The Limits of Environmental Laws and Regulations
12.4.1 Lack of capacity
12.4.2 Conflicting government priorities
12.4.4 Trade embargoes and sanctions
12.5 Conclusion
12.6 Summary
12.7 Topics for Discussion
12.8 Suggested Readings
13. The Importance of Protected Areas
13.1 Establishing Protected Areas
13.1.1 Government protected areas
13.1.2 Community conserved areas
13.1.3 Privately protected areas
13.1.4 Co-managed protected areas
13.1.5 Field stations and marine laboratories
13.2 Classification of Protected Areas
13.3 Prioritisation
Managedresource protected area
13.3.1 Species approach
13.3.2 Ecosystem approach
13.3.3 Wilderness approach
13.3.4 Hotspot approach
13.3.5 Gap analysis approach
13.3.6 Optimisation approach
13.4 How Much Land Should We Protect?
13.4.1 A neglected system: marine protected areas
13.5 Designing Protected Areas
13.5.1 What size should a protected area be?
13.5.2 Zoning as a solution to conflicting demands
13.5.3 Connectivity among protected areas
13.5.4 What about small isolated reserves?
13.6 Managing Protected Areas
13.6.1 The importance of monitoring
13.6.2 The importance of working with local people
13.6.3 The importance of accommodating visitors
13.6.4 The IUCN Green List of Protected Areas
13.7 Challenges for Protected Areas
13.7.1 Funding limitations
13.7.2 Planning for climate change
13.7.3 Facing degazettement
13.9 Topics for Discussion
14.1 Human-Dominated Landscapes
14.1.1 The impact of agriculture
14.2 Smart Development Outside Conservation Areas
14.3 Linking Conservation to Socio-Economic Development
14.4 Confronting Human-Wildlife Conflict
14.4.1 Dealing with predators
14.4.2 Dealing with crop raiders
14.4.3 Concluding thoughts on human-wildlife conflict
14.6 Topics for Discussion
14.7 Suggested Readings
15. An Agenda for the Future
15.1 Achieving Sustainable Development
15.2 Dealing with Technological Advances
15.3 Funding Conservation Activities
15.3.1 How effective is conservation funding?
15.4 Building Lasting Partnerships
15.4.1 Partnerships with local people
15.4.2 Partnerships among conservation professionals
15.5 Environmental Education and Leadership
15.6 Summary
15.7 Topics for Discussion
15.8 Suggested Readings
21 November 4 December 5 December 11 December
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