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Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation$
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John N. Kittinger, Loren McClenachan, Keryn B. Gedan, and Louise K. Blight

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520276949

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520276949.001.0001

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What Recovery of Exploited Marine Animals Tells Us about Management and Conservation

What Recovery of Exploited Marine Animals Tells Us about Management and Conservation

(p.15) Two What Recovery of Exploited Marine Animals Tells Us about Management and Conservation
Marine Historical Ecology in Conservation

Heike K. Lotze

University of California Press

Over the past centuries and decades, high exploitation pressure has led to strong declines in a wide range of marine mammal, bird, reptile, and fish populations. Today, many species are at low abundance levels, endangered, or extinct on a regional or global scale. Yet throughout history, people have responded to declining resource abundance by implementing management and conservation measures. Sometimes these measures were successful and resulted in recovery; other times, they failed. Such successes and failures can serve as guides for conservation and management efforts aiming at preventing further biodiversity loss and restoring functioning ecosystems. This chapter, by Heike Lotze, highlights the role of marine historical ecology in assessing the magnitude and success of recovery by analyzing long-term population trends. It presents an overview of trajectories of recovery and non-recovery across a range of species and taxonomic groups, and it discusses the major drivers enabling recovery. It also assesses how common recovery is among depleted populations and what the timeline and magnitude of recoveries have been. Finally, it evaluates how knowledge from marine historical ecology can be applied to improve current management strategies and future conservation planning to foster further recoveries in marine ecosystems.

Keywords:   endangered species, historical ecology, resource management, biodiversity, recovery

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