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Island ecosystems - priorities for conservation?

Heywood, V.H. (2003) Island ecosystems - priorities for conservation? In: II Symposium of Island Ecosystems, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.

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In terms of their land area, many islands contain a disproportionate number of taxa for certain groups of organisms. Thus the IUCN/WWF Centres of Plant Diversity project, which identifies 234 first order sites that are globally most important from a botanical point of view, includes a considerable proportion of islands, and in Conservation International’s Hotspot programme, Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands, the Philippines, and the Caribbean are identified as three of the five “hottest of the hotspots”. Priority for conservation action is often assumed for islands because of the often dramatic losses already suffered and the serious level of threats to which plant or animal populations are subjected, largely as a result of direct or indirect human action. The practicalities of conservation are not, however, straightforward in many cases. In the conservation of island hotspots of biodiversity, in addition to the many scientific and technical issues involved, political, financial and socio-economic factors also have to be addressed. The priorities for conservation will be examined in the light of targets set by the recently approved CBD Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and in the wider context of sustainable development of island ecosystems and the needs and aspirations of the people who inhabit them. Particular attention will be given to the threats from invasive species and the resultant increasing homogenization of floras and faunas, leading to the ‘deinsularization’ of islands.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:10779
Publisher:Centre for Macaronesian Studies

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