Introduction Rapid land conversion is inevitable in many parts of the world. In the tropics, for example, the net deforestation rate exceeds 150,000 km2 per year (Whitmore 1997), and under present trends all five of the remaining large forest tracts in Amazonia, New Guinea, Sumatra, Borneo, and the Zaire Basin will be substantially reduced and fragmented during the next few decades (McCloskey 1993; Skole & Tucker 1993; Fearnside & Ferraz 1995; Whitmore 1997). Given the inevitability of further forest loss, we believe too little has been said about creatively fragmenting landscapesâthat is, searching for proactive strategies to reduce the ecological impacts of ongoing deforestation. This is an especially promising area of inquiry where landscape ecologists and conservation biologists can contribute meaningfully to practical land management. The urgency of this task is highlighted not only by the alarming contemporary rates of habitat conversion, but also by the realization that few nations have designated more than a small fraction (3â10%) of their total land area as nature reserves. It is becoming obvious that the managed and semi-natural landscapes that will dominate most regions will play a vital role in the conservation of threatened populations, species, and ecological processes (see Laurance
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Apr 20, 1997
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