MPA Science Corner: Network of no-take reserves - Drones for conservation - Coral Triangle conservation atlas - Designing MPA networks with multiple objectives - Converting an ad hoc MPA system to a real network

MPA News

These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.

Article: Rolim, F. A. et al. Network of small no-take marine reserves reveals greater abundance and body size of fisheries target species. PLOS ONE 14, e0204970 (2019).

Finding: This study of Brazilian no-take marine reserves used Baited Remote Underwater stereo-Video and Diver Operated stereo-Video systems to sample reef fish and habitat inside MPAs and at comparable fished sites. It is the first study using these survey methods in the southwestern Atlantic, and demonstrates how a network of no-take reserves can provide benchmarks for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management.


Article: López, J. Jiménez & Mulero-Pázmány, M. Drones for Conservation in Protected Areas: Present and Future. Drones 3, 10 (2019).

Finding: This study reviews the current use of drones in five aspects of protected area management – wildlife monitoring and management; ecosystem monitoring; law enforcement; ecotourism; and environmental management and disaster response. The authors conclude that although drones hold value for management, there remain various shortcomings that undermine the fuller integration of drones in protected areas.


Article: Asaad, I., Lundquist, C. J., Erdmann, M. V. & Costello, M. J. An interactive atlas for marine biodiversity conservation in the Coral Triangle. Earth System Science Data 11, 163 - 174 (2019).

Finding: A new online atlas of the Coral Triangle region of the Indo-Pacific biogeographic realm compiles information on biodiversity features, areas of importance for conservation, and recommended priorities for MPA network expansion. The atlas comprises the most comprehensive biodiversity datasets that have been assembled for the region.


Article: Fox, A. D. et al. An Efficient Multi-Objective Optimization Method for Use in the Design of Marine Protected Area Networks. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).

Finding: This study describes in detail an efficient search method designed to identify optimal configurations of MPA networks in cases where two or more conflicting objectives must be considered.


Article: Stratoudakis, Y. et al. Environmental representativity in marine protected area networks over large and partly unexplored seascapes. Global Ecology and Conservation, Volume 17, January 2019, e00545.

Finding: This study proposes a framework for converting Portugal’s existing ad hoc system of MPAs (which covers 4% of the nation’s EEZ) into a robust and representative network of sites that meets a politically expressed target of 14% coverage by 2020. The framework offers particular support to the prioritization of new habitats to protect.


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In addition, OCTO – the organization that produces MPA News and OpenChannels – also runs MarXiv, the free research archive for marine conservation science and marine climate science. Each week the MarXiv team produces brief summaries of selected papers for an audience of managers and policymakers. Share your research in MarXiv now and we may summarize your paper, too.

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