Research Alert

Putting the “Protect” in Marine Protected Areas


  • newswise-fullscreen Putting the “Protect” in Marine Protected Areas

    Credit: GRAHAM HARRIS

Newswise — Each year, WCS scientists author or co-author nearly 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3 Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet – in bite sized helpings – of some of this published work.

1. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a critical defense against biodiversity loss in the world's oceans, but to realize near-term conservation benefits, they must be established where major threats to biodiversity occur and can be mitigated. 
2. Researchers looked at whether MPAs has targeted stoppable threats, finding that MPA establishment, a primary component of many conservation efforts, largely avoided abatable threats to biodiversity, and relatively high‐threat ecoregions were significantly less protected than expected by chance. 
3. The extent of the global MPA estate has increased, but the establishment of MPAs where they can reduce threats that are driving biodiversity loss is now urgently needed. 

Study and Journal:  "Quantifying biases in marine-protected-area placement relative to abatable threats"   from  Conservation Biology 
WCS Co-Author(s):  James Watson , Director WCS Science and Research Initiative

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