New study: 25 years of data from Marin County reaffirms conservation protects biodiversity

By Daniel Roman, Bay Nature, October 13, 2021

“Using data that was collected in protected riparian corridors in coastal Marin County over a period of 25 years, scientists from Point Blue analyzed the population growth rates of 14 bird species.

“The 14 bird species in the study were grouped by their migratory status and habitat association: migratory riparian specialists, resident riparian specialists, migratory riparian users, and resident riparian users. […]

“None of the 14 bird species had special conservation statuses. […]

“Of the 14 bird species the study analyzed (open access), nine had better population trends in protected areas compared to regional average population trends. The scientists found evidence of benefits to both resident and migratory species, as well as to both riparian users and specialists.

“Although the Point Blue analysis showed that the study areas do effectively conserve populations of many bird species, it doesn’t necessarily address how the conservation process works.

“Past evaluations of the effectiveness of protected areas have shown mixed results. … Whether or not protected areas safeguard animal populations from the negative effects of habitat loss and degradation, the scientists found, depends on the area being sufficiently secured and managed.

“The challenge going forward involves not only studying the reasons why some bird species fare better than others in protected areas, but it also involves suggesting conservation actions that are needed to sustain populations of species of all different kinds.”

Read the full article here. (~7 min.)

Read the research summary from Point Blue here. (~1 min.)

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