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Fencing For Conservation
The conflict between increasing human population and biodiversity conservation is one of the IUCN s key threatening processes. Conservation planning has received a great deal of coverage and research as a way of conserving biodiversity yet, while theoretically successful, it has never been tested. Simple lines on maps to illustrate conservation areas are unlikely to be successful in the light of human encroachment. It may be that some form of overt display is necessary to ensure the protection of reserves. This may be signage, presence of guards/rangers or physical fencing structures. "
The need for some form of barrier goes beyond restricting human access. The megafauna of Africa pose a genuine threat to human survival. In southern Africa, fences keep animals in and protect the abutting human population. Elsewhere, fencing is not considered important or viable. Where poverty is rife, it won t take much to tip the balance from beneficial conservation areas to troublesome repositories of crop-raiders, diseases and killers.
Conversely, in New Zealand fences are used to keep animals out. Introduced species have decimated New Zealand s endemic birds, reptiles and invertebrates, and several sites have been entirely encapsulated in mouse-proof fencing to ensure their protection. Australia faces the same problems as New Zealand, however surrounds its national parks with cattle fences. Foxes and cats are free to enter and leave at will, resulting in rapid recolonisation following poisoning campaigns. How long will these poison campaigns work before tolerance, aversion or resistance evolves in the introduced predator populations?
Poland s Bialowieza Primeval Forest conserves the last remnants of the forests that once covered much of Europe. Yet this forest is only 500 km2 and keystone species, such as bison, wolves and lynx, are restricted to it. Surrounding the forest is cleared agricultural land and persecuting humans that act as a metaphorical fence .
Clearly fencing is not the ideal solution. Other areas are implementing ancient animal husbandry practices or natural barriers of distasteful crops. How will global climate change affect conservation planning and the positioning of fences?
Match A Pair Of Shoes
An ideal gift for shoe lovers everywhere, this beautifully produced memory game tests your recollection of some of the world's most fabulous shoes - from vintage Ferragamo sandals to the latest Manolo's. Presented in a stylish mini-shoebox, the set of fifty cards contain images from the Metropolitan Museum of Artâ€™s world-renowned shoe collection. To play simply place the cards face down and see if you can remember where the matching shoe is located. Collect more pairs than your opponent to win! Suitable for 1 or more players from 6 years upwards.
About the Author
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's largest and finest art museums. Its world-renowned shoe collection within the Costume Institute contains over 5,000 examples ranging through history from fourteenth-century leathers to towering contemporary sculptures by internationally celebrated designers.
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