|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||23 Aug 2016|
My major interest in this research started two years ago when I studied the effects of climate change throughout the Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests’ distribution; where I observed important outcomes: (1) distribution and survival of species, and the ecosystems they inhabit, will be affected by climatic change; (2) species and communities are not static in time and space; thus, diversity patterns of species may change due species turnover in some determined areas by climate change; and (3) promoting the creation of new ecological areas (engaging local communities and promoting biological corridors) should be more seriously considered as a high priority measure for the mitigation of overall environmental perturbations.
Based on these ideas, I asked myself whether the national protected areas (PAs) satisfies biodiversity conservation needs in the Zulia state –an important biogeographic area with high diversity species and ecosystems, but at same time poorly understood and with high modification rates. The main human activities along the state (including the exploitation of fishery resources, livestock and agriculture, and mining activities –i.e. coal and oil) are a source of pollutants, and have reduced the natural vegetation and affect the ecosystems integrity. Thus, based on its biological importance and the necessity of sustainable management of their resources, this region is considered a priority to conservation. In this sense, identify new potential areas for conservation and management (including participatory spaces for local communities) is crucial to create a more representative, connected and efficient Pas network, in an effort to avoid species extinctions and to conserve the ecological integrity of ecosystems for region.
In order to attend this, I will apply an approach based in the systematic conservation planning (i.e. conservation goals), species distribution modelling (considering the birds’ species richness and their possible responses to climate change) and connectivity analysis areas, to estimate units with high biodiversity but insufficient or limited conservation efforts (i.e. conservation gaps). This empirical information will help to create local and international awareness of the endangered status of biodiversity in the Zulia state, and will allow also updating the conservation status (by identifying threats and the true role of protected area) to highlight those areas that require immediate and future action for conservation.
Read about David's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/david_prietotorres or for more information contact:
Website:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Prieto-Torres or http://cmc.org.ve/portal/colaboradores.php?colaborador=43