Global Conservation Significance of Ecuador's Yasun National Park


Show simple item record Bass, Margot S. en_US Finer, Matt en_US Jenkins, Clinton N. en_US Kreft, Holger en_US Cisneros-Heredia, Diego F. en_US McCracken, Shawn F. en_US Pitman, Nigel C. A. en_US English, Peter H. en_US Swing, Kelly en_US Villa, Gorky en_US Di Fiore, Anthony en_US Voigt, Christian C. en_US Kunz, Thomas H. en_US 2012-01-11T16:55:01Z 2012-01-11T16:55:01Z 2010-1-19 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Bass, Margot S., Matt Finer, Clinton N. Jenkins, Holger Kreft, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, Shawn F. McCracken, Nigel C. A. Pitman, Peter H. English, Kelly Swing, Gorky Villa, Anthony Di Fiore, Christian C. Voigt, Thomas H. Kunz. "Global Conservation Significance of Ecuador's Yasuní National Park" PLoS ONE 5(1): e8767. (2010) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en_US
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND. The threats facing Ecuador's Yasuní National Park are emblematic of those confronting the greater western Amazon, one of the world's last high-biodiversity wilderness areas. Notably, the country's second largest untapped oil reserves-called "ITT"-lie beneath an intact, remote section of the park. The conservation significance of Yasuní may weigh heavily in upcoming state-level and international decisions, including whether to develop the oil or invest in alternatives. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS. We conducted the first comprehensive synthesis of biodiversity data for Yasuní. Mapping amphibian, bird, mammal, and plant distributions, we found eastern Ecuador and northern Peru to be the only regions in South America where species richness centers for all four taxonomic groups overlap. This quadruple richness center has only one viable strict protected area (IUCN levels I-IV): Yasuní. The park covers just 14% of the quadruple richness center's area, whereas active or proposed oil concessions cover 79%. Using field inventory data, we compared Yasuní's local (alpha) and landscape (gamma) diversity to other sites, in the western Amazon and globally. These analyses further suggest that Yasuní is among the most biodiverse places on Earth, with apparent world richness records for amphibians, reptiles, bats, and trees. Yasuní also protects a considerable number of threatened species and regional endemics. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE. Yasuní has outstanding global conservation significance due to its extraordinary biodiversity and potential to sustain this biodiversity in the long term because of its 1) large size and wilderness character, 2) intact large-vertebrate assemblage, 3) IUCN level-II protection status in a region lacking other strict protected areas, and 4) likelihood of maintaining wet, rainforest conditions while anticipated climate change-induced drought intensifies in the eastern Amazon. However, further oil development in Yasuní jeopardizes its conservation values. These findings form the scientific basis for policy recommendations, including stopping any new oil activities and road construction in Yasuní and creating areas off-limits to large-scale development in adjacent northern Peru. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The Blue Moon Fund, the Conservation; Food & Health Foundation; the Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation; The US National Science Foundation (Graduate Research Fellowship Program); Texas State University-Department of Biology; TADPOLE; The US National Science Foundation; the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation; the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; Primate Conservation, Inc.; US National Science Foundation (DBI-0434875) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.rights Bass et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. en_US
dc.title Global Conservation Significance of Ecuador's Yasun National Park en_US
dc.type article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0008767 en_US
dc.identifier.pubmedid 20098736 en_US
dc.identifier.pmcid 2808245 en_US

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