Thursday, April 10, 2008

How To Do Brazilan Waxing At Home

An international team of researchers presented a plan to save all species endemic to the African island

( Image: A tiny chameleon from Madagascar. JULIE LARSEN / WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY)


Half of all plant species and three-quarters of the known vertebrates are concentrated in a few hot spots of biodiversity, which occupy only 2, 3% of the planet's surface. The island of Madagascar, southeastern Africa, is one of these displays of nature. The fauna seems taken from another galaxy. 80% of Malagasy animals can be found anywhere else on the planet. Half of all chameleon species of lemurs in the world are there. And nowhere else.

in Madagascar Scientists discover new species to the same speed as other extinct without having been described. To stop the bleeding, the country's government announced in 2003 its intention to triple the protected areas, reaching 60,700 square kilometers, 10% of the total land area. But how do you protect an island with 13,000 endemic species?

An international team of 80 experts has solved the puzzle posed by the government of Marc Ravalomanana. Their work, published today in Science, highlights the weaknesses that must be kept to protect all species of the island. The researchers used a complex mathematical algorithm to detect species that require priority attention and have developed a road map of unparalleled biodiversity.

According to project coordinator, Claire Kremen of the University of California at Berkeley (USA), this project marks a turning point in the history of conservation. "Conservation has traditionally focused on protecting one species or group of them at once, but with this approach as individual not arrive in time in our race against extinction," says Kremen.

Leeches and storms

Researchers have spent three years on the island to collect all data needed for study. The topography of Madagascar has not made it easy. The terrain is steep and there are few roads, so that in many cases, researchers were forced to walk 30 kilometers to the field. "Simply identifying the species of the island and determine its location is very complicated," says Kremer.

"We have lived for months in tents, enduring leeches and torrential rain, eating rice and beans, to document the distribution of animals and plants in a specific area. Each data is hard-earned," he adds proudly.

"It is gratifying to know that this work has put many species on the map of protection"

Through this effort, researchers have classified some areas as priority items that, to date, had been neglected in favor of large trees, including coastal forests and mountain ranges in the interior of the island. According to scientists, there are collections of similar data in other parts of the world, so that his method of analysis can be exported to other centers of biodiversity.

"We have spent years of our lives collecting this data and many people wonder why, but it is rewarding to know that this work has put many species on the map of protection, "says Kremen.


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