Fecha de Publicación: 9 Aug 2018
Zarrate-Charry DA, Massey AL, Gonzalez-Maya JF and Betts MG. 2018. Multi‑criteria spatial identification of carnivore conservation areas under data scarcity and conflict: a jaguar case study in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Biodiversity and Conservation. 20pp.
Forest conversion as consequence of deforestation and agricultural expansion increases the proximity between carnivores and humans, thereby escalating conﬂicts. Knowledge about carnivore species in data-poor countries, such as Colombia, is scarce which has the potential to result in poor landscape planning decisions. For many species, the only existing spatial information resides in expert-driven approaches which result in coarse-resolution ‘extent-of-occurrence’ maps. There is an increasing need for the development of methodologies to identify conservation and management areas at appropriate scales. Multi-criteria approaches will allow the inclusion of diverse species attributes enabling environmental institutions to address complex landscape decisions that result in conservation and management of carnivore habitat. We present a multi-criteria spatial identiﬁcation tool for conservation and management areas, focused on Jaguars (Panthera onca) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in northern Colombia. Our approach identiﬁes areas based on the relationship between three spatial criteria: (1) suitable habitat patches, (2) habitat connectivity, and (3) zones of higher likelihood of human–jaguar conﬂict. We identiﬁed areas with the presence of at least one spatial criteria in 32% of the study area. Only 16.28% of these occur within protected areas (PAs) and the remaining fall on private lands (83.72%), either within (35.68%) or outside (48.04%) buﬀer zones of PAs.
Therefore, our results highlight the need for multi-stakeholder collaborative approaches given that most proposed conservation areas fall on private rather than public lands.
We also urge Colombian governmental institutions to implement greater conservation actions for jaguar in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta using the use the tools and results we have presented here.