Integration of Land-Sharing and Land-Sparing Conservation Strategies Through Regional Networking: The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor as a Lifeline for Carnivores in El Salvador
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Nations with little remaining natural habitat and small extent are challenged when trying to achieve biodiversity targets. We show that the Central American nation of El Salvador cannot viably sustain populations of 87 % of its extant carnivores, especially in the case of large-bodied species with low population densities. Current land-sparing strategies will not suffice; therefore we propose that land-sharing strategies be implemented in tandem with protected areas to expand current conservation efforts via new regional networks. In Central America such a network can be established by linking international protected area systems in a way that implements the existing vision for the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Specifically, we propose a re-envisioning of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor in which land-sharing practices are adopted throughout the agricultural matrix while ensuring formal protection of the remaining natural habitat. Such an integration of land-sparing and land-sharing could result in the creation of an effective network of protected areas, thereby increasing the probability of safeguarding species with populations that overlap national borders.
KeywordsInternational cooperation Conservation networking Conservation targets Agro-productive matrix Spatial requirements
S.J.C. is a fellow of the Chilean International Cooperation Agency (AGCI), as well as fellow of the Faculty of Science, University of Chile. Their support is appreciated. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for careful reading of our manuscript and insightful suggestions which helped improve the quality.
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