Conservation and restoration of Central Asian aridlands megafauna
http://Conservation Biology Unit IRSNB


Eurasia and North Africa are traversed by the largest and most complex continuous belt of arid lands on earth, comprising an entirely interconnected ensemble of hot deserts, cold deserts, semi-deserts, sub-desert steppes, temperate steppes and cold steppes. The desert, more than any other ecosystem, has, by the very nature of the challenges it provides, generated extraordinarily elaborate responses both by the process of biological evolution and by that of human technological and cultural development. The achievements of these processes can still be admired today in animal and plant species of unique emblematic value as well as in manifestations of traditional cultural know-how. This exceptional heritage is gravely threatened, in part by ignorance of its significance. Deserts have a negative image in dominant socio-economic models, even among organisations concerned with environment and sustainable development.Restore the large mammal fauna of the arid lands of Eurasia and their peripheral biomes to a substantial amount of its past magnificence, ensuring at least that the fauna regains a richness and abundance sufficient to ensure its emotional and aesthetic appeal, that key-stone constituents of the fauna are in sufficient numbers to enable them to completely fulfil their role, and that the major processes that underpin its functioning, and, in particular, eco-ethological interactions and migratory phenomena are able to take place and be enjoyed un-impeded. The objectives of the programme is to organize this restoration around a network of secure and adequately protected areas, distributed throughout the region, and holding viable populations of each of the species within all, or at least a large part, of the historical range of each species. It also endeavor to link in due course these areas by ecologically adequate corridors, adapted to the needs of each relevant species, to avoid fragmentation of populations and favour large scale migrations. It also seeks to base the needed re-deployment of the fauna on facilitation and encouragement of natural recolonisation whenever possible, on reinforcement or reintroduction with original material otherwise, on use of surrogates only if no original material exists and sufficiently satisfactory surrogates are available. The programme wishes to found all these steps on a sound evaluation of historical ranges and past environmental conditions so as to ensure solid cultural, aesthetic and ecological authenticity and credibility to the restored fauna.

The programme aims to promote the restored megafauna as an essential part of the regional heritage, to link this promotion closely to the cultural, archaeological, artistic and literary heritage the large mammal fauna has inspired in each of the regions concerned, and to insure that these closely associated natural and cultural heritages constitute for the countries, regions and communities concerned a major resource and a pole of attraction, interest and visibility that radiates widely to other assets.


conservation biology, aridland, central asia, megafauna, corridors, protected areas


Name Role Start End
Conservation biology, Biological evaluation, Belgian Ringing Scheme member 2002-01-01

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform