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Benign neglect: A model of faunal collapse in the game reserves of East Africa.

abstract1 (full description below): Biological Conservation 15:259-272.
Benign neglect.. PDF/Acrobat file     SoulĂ©, M.E., B. Wilcox and C. Holtby

Abstract. This paper employs a branch of island biogeography theory to analyse and predict the extinction of species of large mammals in 19 nature reserves in East Africa. The assumptions of the analysis include (I) the dynamics offaunal collapse in East Africa will not be significantly different from the dynamics of extinction of large mammals on the islands of the Sunda Shelf, and (2) the absence of either destructive or supportive human intervention (benign neglect). The results may serve as a baseline against which conservationists can discuss various management approaches. We conclude that the pace of extinctions is inversely related to the size of the reserve, but that even the largest reserves would lose most of their large species in a few centuries.