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Zoning boundaries can make good neighbors in conservation
Date:10/28/2011

tant for pandas. Some 54 percent of land that is highly suitable for pandas in Wolong lies outside the protected core zone. Data showing Pan-Pan and Mei-Mei wandering frequently out of the core zone left no doubt pandas don't read zoning ordinances.

  • The rules of the buffer zone are ambiguous, making it susceptible for a buffer area to become a place of commerce and development. Without clear rules, land use manager can't rely on clear guidelines when fielding requests for variances.

  • Even small instances of disregard for zoning ordinances especially in the case of roaming livestock can have significant effects on panda habitat. Hull said it's becoming clear a few small herds of cattle or horses can decimate large swaths of a panda's feeding ground. Communicating zoning rules is a challenge, and a lack of enforcement compounds problems.

    "There are people who have no idea what the zoning rules are," Hull said. "Zoning is meaningful and helpful when a large hotel complex is being proposed, but less real to a farmer living in a rural area who has no idea he's likely wandering in and out of a core zone."

    She noted that enormous conservation efforts in China that pay people in nature reserves not to farm and to monitor to prevent timber removal have been crucial.

    "We're showing that you should have zoning in your toolbox to conserve habitat, but it shouldn't be the only tool you have," she said. "It needs to be paired with other policies when it comes to human behavior. We know that it is crucial to work directly with people and provide benefits to people to preserve habitat."


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  • Contact: Sue Nichols
    nichols@msu.edu
    517-432-0206
    Michigan State University
    Source:Eurekalert  

    Page: 1 2 3

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