Global Map of 21st Century Forest Changes

With the first high-resolution global map of 21st century changes in forest cover, Matthew Hansen and colleagues have provided a detailed view of which areas of the world are losing and gaining these natural resources and the critical ecosystem services they provide. The researchers built their map using satellite images of the Earth’s surface on a 30-meter resolution scale. The trends revealed by the map can guide future efforts to conserve forest cover, the researchers suggest.

Read more about this research from the 15 November issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Rebecca McCulley. Please click the image for more information.]

© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Fragmented Forests: More Harm Than Good?

Deforestation typically results in fragmented patches of forest surrounded by land that has been converted for agriculture or other non-forest uses — and a new study demonstrates that the small, fragmented forests that result from this process can actually hasten the extinction of the mammals dwelling within. In light of this finding, researchers are suggesting that conservation efforts focus on the preservation of large expanses of forest.

Read more about this research from the 27 September issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Antony Lynam. Click the image for more information.]

© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Learning From Captivity: Zoos Offer Insights on Conservation

Zoos have been instrumental in helping researchers develop management techniques and conservation strategies for threatened species around the world. However, raising wild populations in isolation remains a difficult task and the most effective conservation strategies tend to integrate approaches developed in zoos with those pioneered in the wild, according to Kent Redford and colleagues.

Read more about this research from the 30 November issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo; click the image for more information.]

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Science Cover Flashback: 20 April 2001

Female African elephants and their dependent offspring live in matrilineal groups led by the oldest female, or matriarch. Research reveals that group members are dependent on the matriarch for their store of social knowledge. The removal of these key individuals, often targets for illegal hunters because of their large size, could have serious consequences for the conservation of this endangered species. See page 491.

[Photograph: K. McComb]

Anyone wishing to use the cover of Science must contact AAAS to request permission to do so.

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

To Boost Biodiversity, Keep Farmed and Wild Lands Separate

Protecting the largest possible area of natural habitats while growing food on the smallest possible area of farmland could be the best way to reconcile food production with conservation, researchers say. In the debate over how to preserve biodiversity, some experts argue for “land sharing,” in which land serves as both wildlife habitat and farmland for crops grown using wildlife-friendly farming methods. Other experts recommend “land sparing,” in which some land is set aside for conservation and some is used for high-yield farming.

Read more about this research here.

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© 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.