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Conservation in the real world: Real conserve or conservation-as-usual.

abstract1 (full description below): Pp. 46-65 in A. V. Hall (ed.) Conservation of Threatened Natural Habitats. South African National Science Programmes Report No. 92. CSIR Foundation for Research Development. P.O. Box 395, Pretoria
Conservation in the real world. PDF/Acrobat file  

INTRODUCTION Most conservation pundits agree that we have something like 20 to 30 years to create a highly buffered conservation system on this planet. Habitats and biota uncaptured and unsecured by the end of the century are doomed, particularly in the tropics. This is precious little time. The situation calls for a ruthless approach to the evaluation of tactics and programmes which includes, in their planning and execution, a realistic cultural analysis. In short, conservation projects must be assessed in light of what we know of human nature and recent social-political trends. We need a 'human-nature litmus* for conservation. The objective of this paper is to examine certain aspects of long-term habitat and species management using such a litmus for reality testing. No attempt is made to review all or even most points of contact between conservation programmes and their social and scientific milieu. Rather, I have chosen some examples, that, in one way or another, influence the long-term survival and evolutionary potential of populations residing in nature reserves.