Study finds urbanization in Asia a beacon of hope for tigers

Recognizing that whether tiger populations on the Asian continent recover or disappear into history depends on the decisions we make about how we live on this planet. , suggests the latest research.

“If we want a planet with tigers, forests and wilderness to survive beyond the 21st century, conservation efforts will help alleviate poverty, increase women’s education, reduce meat consumption, sustain We need to work with organizations that are working to build cities that are viable,” said Joe Walston, co-author of the study and deputy director of the Field Conservation Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). ing.

Recent trends in Asia’s population and tiger populations show diametrically opposed trends. Since 1850, Asia’s population has grown by 560% to 4.44 billion. Meanwhile, the tiger (Panthera tigris) population has plummeted from 100,000 in the early 1990s to less than 4,000 now, and is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN. Finding that these two trends have been – and still are – intertwined, Watson and his colleagues explore how policy decisions about our societies and where we live affect tiger conservation. I set out to elucidate how it affects

What is unique in this regard, both historically and in the near future, is that Asia is on the brink of a demographic transition. In other words, people are having fewer children in their lifetimes due to declining poverty, rising levels of education, and population migration to cities. As a result, population growth in Asia has leveled off.

“Urbanization and the ensuing demographic transition are arguably the most important historical trends shaping the conservation landscape,” said senior conservation ecologist at WCS, lead author of the study. Eric Sanderson said.

In April 2018, Sanderson and Walston showed that global trends in urban migration could change the landscape of conservation. In a paper published in the journal BioScience, they note that conservation efforts may be focused on restoring species loss rather than damming it.

But the researchers in the latest paper, published in the March issue of the journal Biological Conservation, say that the success of conservation efforts does not simply depend on whether more people move to cities. I also understand that no.

“Demographic trends and socioeconomic factors and their consequences are notoriously difficult to predict,” said geographer at Baruch College in New York City and author of the study. says Bryan Jones, one of the “So biophysical predictions are similarly fraught with uncertainties.”

“The ability to predict the future depends in part on how well we understand urbanization in terms of land-use and demographic trends,” Jones added.

The research team therefore used five ‘socioeconomic pathways’ to present possible scenarios for different policies on immigration, urbanization, education and the economy. This ‘socio-economic pathway’ was originally developed to predict greenhouse gas levels in the air, and it is likely that growth will grow more or less if countries invest in sustainable technologies or more efficient energy. In the case of dividing by, it is assumed that humankind will continue to use fossil fuels as the world’s energy source.

As a result of the study, over the next 82 years, the number of people living in tigers’ range will peak around 2030, at about 63 million, if the sustained scenario is chosen. Furthermore, if these “eco” policies continue, the number of people living in tiger habitat will continue to decline, and by 2100 there will be less than 40 million people, about 30% less than in 2010. Become. This creates room for tiger populations to recover further, and urban tiger conservation education programs may help city dwellers to help restore tiger populations.

Even if we choose a fossil fuel-dependent scenario, by the end of the century fewer than 40 million people will live in tiger range, and more people will live in cities. But without sustainability, urbanization only comes at the cost of reduced sprawl.

In contrast, if countries stop cooperating, think only of their own interests, and fail to address urbanization – this is called the “regional conflict” scenario – then by 2100 More than about 106 million people, or 85% more than in 2010, will have to share habitat with tigers, researchers estimate.

Instead of being prophetic of the future, the researchers say, these results represent what could happen (without saying what matters) while dramatic changes spread across Asia. Described.

“You can’t know in advance how the migration will play out,” Sanderson said. “Rather, they depend on government and societal policy decisions on important matters such as urban management and education, economic reform, and the movement of people and goods. It’s very similar.”

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