Conservation Evidence Journal
Journal of Conservation Evidence
The journal publishes research, monitoring results and case studies on the effects of conservation interventions. All papers include some monitoring of the effects of the intervention and are written by, or in partnership with, those who did the conservation work. It includes interventions such as habitat creation, habitat restoration, translocations, reintroductions, invasive species control, and education or integrated conservation development programmes, from anywhere around the world.
Winder J.S. (2013), 10, 20-23
Concern over the decline in species-rich grassland in the UK has led to a focus on restoration. This study looks at the rate of natural colonisation of species into semi-improved grassland from adjacent unimproved species rich grassland over a 12 year period. During this period the grassland had been managed traditionally with an annual hay cut followed by aftermath grazing and no input of fertilizer or farm yard manure. During 2000 and 2012 vegetation surveys were carried out on two unimproved fields and two semi-improved fields. These data were analysed for species-richness using two variables; Total species, and Wildlife Site Indicator species. A National Vegetation Classification survey was undertaken in 2012. Species-richness increased significantly in the semi-improved meadows during the study period. These meadows now meet the criteria for Wildlife Site designation and the National Vegetation Classification community is shifting from MG6 to the target community MG5.
Grange I. (2013), 10, 16-19
The objective of this work was to test the effectiveness of reducing bracken density by cutting once or twice a year, or by hand-pulling, compared with a control. The experimental site had already been managed by annually cutting bracken for about 10 years. One year after the management treatments were applied to the plots, both the cut treatments had significantly shorter fronds than the control, but no difference was seen with the pulling treatment. Frond densities and frond coverage were not significantly different from the control, with each showing high variability between plots.
Taylor D.L., Ramsey A., Convery I., Lawrence A. & Weatherall A. (2013), 10, 10-15
Although the effects on biodiversity in woodland managed for conservation have been studied for a range of species, there is very little empirical data on the potential impacts of commercial woodland management on biodiversity in the UK. This study measured species richness and abundance of diurnal butterflies as a proxy for the habitat quality of three different woodland management techniques in the Morecambe Bay limestone woodland region. Butterflies were sampled at two sites; Gait Barrows and Witherslack, where three woodland management techniques were carried out: low management woodland (woodland with no recent intervention); traditional coppice management for conservation; and commercial woodland management. Both coppice management for conservation and commercial management had significantly higher butterfly species richness and abundance when compared to low management woodland; neither butterfly species richness nor abundance were significantly different between the traditional coppice management for conservation and commercial woodland management. UK Biodiversity Action Plan fritillary species (high brown fritillary Argynnis adippe; pearl bordered fritillary Boloria euphrosyne; and small pearl bordered fritillary Boloria selene) were not significantly different between the traditional coppice management for conservation and commercial management.
Westerman K. & Gardner C.J. (2013), 10, 4-9
Local and co-management approaches are increasingly adopted in marine conservation to increase compliance with rules, which is essential for effective management. Here, we evaluate an innovative approach to increasing compliance with community laws restricting access to permanently closed marine reserves within a locally managed marine area in southwest Madagascar. Drawing upon strong cultural bonds with ancestors and local taboos, permanent reserves were sanctified through a traditional ceremonies in which ancestral benediction was requested during reserve closures. We evaluated the effectiveness of the ceremonies in increasing respect for the rules through structured interviews with 161 fishers and local leaders from 10 villages located near established permanent reserves. Almost half of the respondents believed that respect for the rules is increased by the ceremonies. If this is reflected in actual behaviour change, it will help reduce rule infringement, enforcement costs and social conflict. At a one-off cost of approximately 500 US$ each, we believe the ceremonies provide value-for-money as a conservation intervention in the context of southwest Madagascar.
Sutherland W.J., Mitchell R, Walsh J., Amano T., Ausden M., Beebee T.J.C., Bullock D., Daniels M., Deutsch J., Griffiths R.A., Prior S. V., Whitten T. & Dicks L.V. (2013), 10, 1-3
Effective conservation requires a step change in the way practitioners can contribute to science and can have access to research outputs. The journal Conservation Evidence was established in 2004 to help practitioners surmount several obstacles they face when attempting to document the effects of their conservation actions scientifically. It is easily and freely accessible online. It is free to publish in and it enables global communication of the effects of practical trials and experiments, which are virtually impossible to get published in most scientific journals. The driving force behind Conservation Evidence is the need to generate and share scientific information about the effects of interventions.