Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: A Conservation Assessment

Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: A Conservation Assessment




"This book, along with its companions in this series, takes an ecoregional approach, dividing large regions into small, distinct units, each with its characteristic species, ecosystems, natural history, and threats. As such, it has no peers. It is the sourcebook for anyone who must look for where and how to act to save the variety of life on Earth." —from the foreword by Stuart L. Pimm

A number of conservation groups, including World Wildlife Fund, have in recent years adopted an approach to conservation that uses ecoregions to identify biological and conservation priority areas. Ecoregions define distinct ecosystems that share broadly similar environmental conditions and natural communities; as such, they make more sense for priority-setting efforts than do political units such as countries or provinces.

Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific offers a comprehensive examination of the state of the Indo-Pacific's biodiversity and habitats, moving beyond endangered or charismatic species to quantify for the first time the number of mammal and bird species, including endemics, in each ecoregion.

The book begins with a discussion of the background and basis for ecoregion delineation and definition of the objectives and approach used. Following that, chapters describe the biological distinctiveness and conservation status of ecoregions, quantifying the amount of habitat remaining, how it is distributed, and how much is protected. The analysis concludes with a set of ecoregions that deserve immediate attention and also highlights ecoregions that are still in relatively pristine condition. Substantial appendixes offer detailed descriptions of each ecoregion, including information on:

  • unique features of the ecoregion that set it apart from others
  • its biological distinctiveness, threats to habitats and wildlife, and important sites for conservation
  • an agenda and recommendations for where conservation efforts should be concentrated

Short essays by regional experts — including Derek Holmes, Tony Whitten, Indraneil Das, Walter Erdelen, John Seidensticker, Joyotee Smith, Kathy MacKinnon, and others — address special topics relating to finer-scale conservation issues or ecological processes that are typically overlooked in a regional-scale analysis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781559639231
Publisher: Island Press
Publication date: 12/28/2001
Series: World Wildlife Fund Ecoregion Assessments Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 824
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Eric Wikramanayake is affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund.

Eric Dinerstein is affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund.

Colby Loucks is affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund.

Table of Contents

List of Special Essaysxiii
List of Figuresxv
List of Tablesxix
List of Boxesxxi
1.Nature's End or a New Beginning?1
Assessment Overview3
Structure of the Book7
2.Assembling the Ecological Jigsaw Puzzle: The Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific17
Delineation of Ecoregions and Geographic Scope of the Study17
Geographic Scope18
Delineating Bioregions21
Delineating Biomes24
Delineating Ecoregions25
Representation of Ecoregions and Biomes in the Indo-Pacific Region26
3.Representation or Triage? Approaches to Setting Conservation Priorities in the Indo-Pacific Region39
Biological Distinctiveness Index (BDI)39
Conservation Status Index (CSI)41
Threat Analysis44
Integrating Biological Distinctiveness and Conservation Status45
Guidelines for Using the Integration Matrix46
Use of Proxies to Develop Indices46
Biodiversity Representation or Triage?47
4.Where Is Biodiversity Distributed?61
Broad Patterns in Biological Distinctiveness62
A Closer Look at the Indo-Pacific's Natural Wealth65
Ecoregions, Hotspots, and EBAs: Concordance and Overlap85
Concordance of Biological Priorities: The Overriding Importance of Indonesian Ecoregions89
5.Where Is Biodiversity under Greatest Threat?99
Snapshot Conservation Status: How Much Habitat Remains in Indo-Pacific Ecoregions?100
Threat-Modified Conservation Status: Projecting Future Integrity of Ecoregions109
Overarching Threats109
Degradation Threats: Human Population Density and Distribution111
High-Intensity Threats: Logging Concessions and Habitat Loss115
Final Conservation Status118
6.What to Save First? Setting Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation139
The Priority-Setting Matrix140
Regional and Bioregional Trends140
The Priority Portfolio140
7.Solutions to the Biodiversity Crisis Facing the Indo-Pacific Region165
Big Conservation: The Next Frontier165
Conservation Planning and Action at the Ecoregion Scale165
Landscape-Scale Conservation168
Innovative Mechanisms to Achieve Conservation Gains173
Reevaluating Existing Mechanisms in a New Light175
Bold Leadership: Who Will Be the Next Indira Gandhi of the Indo-Pacific?177
Nature's End or a New Beginning?177
A.Details on Ecoregion Delineation193
B.Terrestrial Biome Descriptions203
C.Methods for Assessing the Biological Distinctiveness of Terrestrial Ecoregions209
D.Methods for Assessing the Conservation Status of Terrestrial Ecoregions213
E.Summary of Ecoregion Scores for Species Richness, Endemism, and Biological Distinctiveness Index219
F.Summary of Ecoregion Scores for the Conservation Status Index and Integration Matrix225
G.Habitat Types by Ecoregion231
H.Near-Endemic and Strict Endemic Mammals by Ecoregion243
I.Near-Endemic and Strict Endemic Birds by Ecoregion255
J.Ecoregion Descriptions281
Literature Cited and Consulted607

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