Skip to main content
×
Home

Conserving a globally threatened species in a semi-natural, agrarian landscape

  • Harriet Ibbett (a1), Chansetha Lay (a2), Ponlork Phlai (a2), Det Song (a3), Chamnan Hong (a2), Simon P. Mahood (a2) and E. J. Milner-Gulland (a4)...
Abstract
Abstract

Agriculture threatens biodiversity across the tropics, particularly in semi-natural grassland landscapes, where human populations are high, habitat is easily converted and agriculture is prone to intensification. Over the last 20 years intensive, commercial dry season rice cultivation has emerged as the dominant threat to the Bengal florican Houbaropsis bengalensis, a globally threatened bustard that breeds in the seasonally inundated grasslands of central Cambodia. Although floricans have been extensively monitored for 10 years, no socioeconomic research has been undertaken to examine how local livelihood activities interact with the florican. We conducted household questionnaires and focus groups in 21 villages in the Northern Tonle Sap Conservation Landscape to gather information on household demographics, rice farming and bird hunting in protected and unprotected areas of florican breeding habitat. We identified a significant increase in dry season rice adoption by local communities since 2005. Dry season rice cultivation was strongly associated with agrochemical use and rice fields directly overlapped with florican breeding habitat, reducing habitat availability throughout the breeding season. We identified a low but significant level of bird hunting in grassland households (8%) and revealed a demand for wild bird meat amongst local communities. Our findings suggest an urgent need for conservation interventions in unprotected farmland and emphasize the role of enforcement and community engagement in improving protection within protected areas. We highlight the potential of private sector initiatives such as the Sustainable Rice Platform in reconciling conservation and development for impoverished rural communities.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Conserving a globally threatened species in a semi-natural, agrarian landscape
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Conserving a globally threatened species in a semi-natural, agrarian landscape
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Conserving a globally threatened species in a semi-natural, agrarian landscape
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
(Corresponding author) E-mail Harriet.ibbett@zoo.ox.ac.uk
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Present address: Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, The Tinbergen Building, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK

Also at: Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Adams W., Aveling R. & Brockington D. (2004) Biodiversity conservation and the eradication of poverty. Science, 306, 11461149.
BirdLife International (2003) Saving Asia's Threatened Birds: A Guide for Government and Civil Society. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
BirdLife International (2015) Houbaropsis bengalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015. Http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T22692015A82252874.en [accessed 19 April 2016].
Blair G., Imai K., Park B. & Coppock A. (2015) Statistical Methods for the Item Count Technique and List Experiment. Version 8.0 Https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/list/index.html [accessed 12 October 2015].
Bond W.J. & Parr C.L. (2010) Beyond the forest edge: ecology, diversity and conservation of the grassy biomes. Biological Conservation, 143, 23952404.
Bonheur N. & Lane B.D. (2002) Natural resources management for human security in Cambodia's Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve. Environmental Science & Policy, 5, 3341.
Clements T. & Milner-Gulland E.J. (2015) Impact of payments for environmental services and protected areas on local livelihoods and forest conservation in northern Cambodia. Conservation Biology, 29, 7887.
Curtin C. & Western D. (2008) Grasslands, people, and conservation: over-the-horizon learning exchanges between African and American pastoralists. Conservation Biology, 22, 870877.
Dutta S. & Jhala Y. (2014) Planning agriculture based on land use responses of threatened semiarid grassland species in India. Biological Conservation, 175, 129139.
Ellis F. (1999) Rural livelihood diversity in developing countries: evidence and policy implications. Natural Resource Perspectives, 40, 110.
Fry D.M. (1995) Reproductive effects in birds exposed to pesticides and industrial-chemicals. Environmental Health Perspectives, 103, 165171.
Gavin M.C., Solomon J.N. & Blank S.G. (2010) Measuring and monitoring illegal use of natural resources. Conservation Biology, 24, 89100.
Gray T.N.E. (2008) The conservation and ecology of the Bengal florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in Cambodia: grasslands, people and management. PhD thesis. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
Gray T.N.E., Chamnan H., Borey R., Collar N.J. & Dolman P.M. (2007) Habitat preferences of a globally threatened bustard provide support for community-based conservation in Cambodia. Biological Conservation, 138, 341350.
Gray T.N.E., Chamnan H., Collar N.J. & Dolman P.M. (2009) Sex-specific habitat use by a lekking bustard: conservation implications for the Critically Endangered Bengal florican in an intensifying agroecosystem. The Auk, 126, 112122.
Green R.E., Cornell S.J., Scharlemann J.P.W. & Balmford A. (2005) Farming and the fate of wild nature. Science, 307, 550555.
Hoekstra J.M., Boucher T.M., Ricketts T.H. & Roberts C. (2005) Confronting a biome crisis: global disparities of habitat loss and protection. Ecology Letters, 8, 2329.
IUCN (2016) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. [accessed 14 February 2017].
Lambin E.F., Geist H.J. & Lepers E. (2003) Dynamics of land-use and land-cover change in tropical regions. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 28, 205241.
MAFF (2015) Agricultural Sector Strategic Development Plan 2014–2018. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Mahood S. & Hong C. (2013) Finding a Place for the Bengal Florican in an Agricultural Landscape. Wildlife Conservation Society, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Martínez C. & Tapia G. (2002) Density of the little bustard Tetrax tetrax in relation to agricultural intensification in central Spain. Ardeola, 49, 301304.
Milner-Gulland E.J. (2012) Interactions between human behaviour and ecological systems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367, 270278.
Norris K., (2008) Agriculture and biodiversity conservation: opportunity knocks. Conservation Letters, 1, 211.
Nuno A., Bunnefeld N., Naiman L.C. & Milner-Gulland E.J. (2013) A novel approach to assessing the prevalence and drivers of illegal bushmeat hunting in the Serengeti. Conservation Biology, 27, 13551365.
Packman C.E. (2011) Seasonal landscape use and conservation of a Critically Endangered bustard: Bengal florican in Cambodia. PhD thesis. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
Packman C.E., Gray T.N.E., Collar N.J., Evans T.D., Van Zalinge R.N., Virak S. et al. (2013) Rapid loss of Cambodia's grasslands. Conservation Biology, 27, 245247.
Packman C.E., Showler D.A., Collar N.J., Virak S., Mahood S.P., Handschuh M. et al. (2014) Rapid decline of the largest remaining population of Bengal florican Houbaropsis bengalensis and recommendations for its conservation. Bird Conservation International, 24, 429437.
Parr C.L., Lehmann C.E.R., Bond W.J., Hoffmann W.A. & Andersen A.N. (2014) Tropical grassy biomes: misunderstood, neglected, and under threat. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29, 205213.
QGIS (2015) QGIS: A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System. Http://www.qgis.org/en/site/ [accessed 18 June 2015].
R Development Core Team (2015) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Http://www.R-project.org [accessed 10 December 2015].
Roberts A. (2011) Phytosociology, history and diversity in farmer-managed landscapes on the Tonle Sap floodplain, Cambodia. PhD thesis. The City University of New York, New York, USA.
Tilman D., Fargione J., Wolff B., D'Antonio C., Dobson A., Howarth R. et al. (2001) Forecasting agriculturally driven global environmental change. Science, 292, 281284.
Translinks (2007) Livelihood Surveys. A Tool for Conservation Design, Action and Monitoring. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, USA, and USAID, Washington, DC, USA.
White R., Rohweder M. & Murray S. (2000) Grassland ecosystems. In Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Grassland Ecosystems. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA.
Wright H.L., Lake I.R. & Dolman P.M. (2012) Agriculture—a key element for conservation in the developing world. Conservation Letters, 5, 1119.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 91
Total number of PDF views: 119 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 327 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 29th May 2017 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.