Deforestation in an African biodiversity hotspot: Extent, variation and the effectiveness of protected areas

Jonathan M. H. Green*, Cecilia Larrosa, Neil D. Burgess, Andrew Balmford, Alison Johnston, Boniface P. Mbilinyi, Philip J. Platts, Lauren Coad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania show exceptional endemism that is threatened by high anthropogenic pressure leading to the loss of natural habitat. Using a novel habitat conversion model, we present a spatially explicit analysis of the predictors of forest and woodland conversion in the Eastern Arc over 25 years. Our results show that 5% (210 km(2)) of evergreen forest and 43% (2060 km(2)) of miombo woodland was lost in the Eastern Arc Mountains between 1975 and 2000. Important predictors of habitat conversion included distance to natural habitat edge, topography and measures of remoteness. The main conservation strategy in these mountains for the past 100 years has been to develop a network of protected areas. These appear to have reduced rates of habitat loss and most remaining evergreen forest is now within protected areas. However, the majority of miombo woodland, an important source of ecosystem services, lies outside formal protected areas, where additional conservation strategies may be needed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume164
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Tanzania
  • Eastern Arc Mountains
  • Tropical forest
  • Miombo woodland
  • Generalised additive models
  • Habitat conversion
  • LAND-COVER CHANGE
  • EASTERN ARC MOUNTAINS
  • PROXIMATE CAUSES
  • MODEL SELECTION
  • FOREST-COVER
  • BASE-LINE
  • TANZANIA
  • ECOREGIONS
  • MANAGEMENT
  • ECOSYSTEM

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