LAMBERTUCCI Sergio Agustin
congresos y reuniones científicas
The need for expanded conservation in arid Patagonia: a preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of the existing protected area network and identification of areas important for conservation.
Rio Branco – Acre , Brasil
Congreso; VIII Congresso Internacional sobre Manejo de Fauna Silvestre na Amazônia e América Latina; 2008
Institución organizadora:
Argentine Patagonia encompasses >700,000 km2, representing 28% of the territory of Argentina, is comprised primarily of two major ecoregions, the Patagonian steppe and the Argentine monte, and is considered a high priority for conservation by many organizations.  Officially, existing protected areas capture approximately 4.7% of Argentine Patagonia, although <1% is in IUCN Level I, II, or III protected areas.  Our goals were to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing network of protected areas in capturing the biodiversity of the region and identify a preliminary, expanded network of areas important for biodiversity conservation.  Our quantitative objective was to capture a minimum of 10% of the distribution of 341 biodiversity elements in a network of conservation areas.  These elements included mammals, reptiles, plants, insects, 15 vegetation communities, endemic and restricted distribution species, and iconic surrogate species such as the guanaco.  We compiled existing distribution information on this biodiversity, and used the conservation planning software Marxan to identify possible networks of conservation areas under several scenarios (e.g., different scenarios of network connectivity).   The existing network of protected areas in Argentine Patagonia is insufficient to meet our relatively modest goals of capturing biodiversity.  Existing protected areas capture > 10% of the distribution of only 19 of our biodiversity elements, and <1% of the distribution for 212 (62%) elements. According to our modeling, between 10.3 and 12.5% of Argentine Patagonia would be needed to meet the 10% targets for all elements, depending on the scenario.  1.35% of the study region was “irreplaceable” and, by itself, fully captured 58.7% of our elements (199 elements). In our scenarios, connected networks of conservation areas were only about 0.7% larger (5,200 km2) than unconnected networks (i.e., networks which exclude boundary costs in Marxan).  In a scenario beginning with no protected areas (i.e., ignoring existing ones), there was only a 16% overlap, in terms of land area, between our network and existing protected areas, indicating that existing protected areas are poorly places with respect to the distribution of current biodiversity.  Our results clearly demonstrate that an expanded system of conservation areas is needed in Argentine Patagonia, and that even a few new areas could capture a large percentage of biodiversity.  Our analysis also demonstrates that beyond a few irreplaceable sites, the placement of new conservation areas is largely flexible with respect to biodiversity, such that other considerations including alternative land uses can be easily accommodated into decision-making. We recommend that an expanded, participatory effort to consider new conservation areas to undertaken, and that improved information on of the distribution and vulnerability of biodiversity be included.