Protected areas

Protecting key sites for nature is central to global conservation action, but how effective are site protection measures and where, and for what species and habitats, should Protected Areas (PAs) be designated?
Belfast Lough RSPB reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland

Overview

We focus on four key areas in PA conservation:

  • Using extensive field monitoring data, GIS and remote sensing to identify important locations for PA designation.
  • Monitoring data to see how effective PA networks are for supporting species and, particularly in the face of climate change, enabling species to shift their range.
  • Providing scientific support to casework colleagues who assess the potential risks of development proposals to specific PAs, and in doing so, seeking to improve knowledge and environmental assessment practice.
  • Assessing the conservation effectiveness of land management practices on PAs and on the land designed to compensate for damage caused to PAs by development and other pressures.

Who's involved

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Dr Jennifer Smart

Principal Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

jennifer.smart@rspb.org.uk
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Dr Richard Bradbury

Head of Environmental Research, Conservation Science

richard.bradbury@rspb.org.uk
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Dr Rowena Langston

Principal Conservation Scientist, RSPB

rowena.langston@rspb.org.uk
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Dr Mark Hancock

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

mark.hancock@rspb.org.uk

Related publications

Assessing the Performance of EU Nature Legislation in Protecting Target Bird Species in an Era of Climate Change

International legislation forms a cornerstone of conservation, yet its efficacy is rarely quantified. We assess whether species listed on Annex I of the European Union (EU) Birds Directive, for which EU Member States are obliged to implement special conservation measures, differ

Date
25 August 2015
RSPB Authors
Dr Fiona Sanderson, Prof Richard Gregory, Dr Paul Donald
Authors
Sanderson, F.J., Pople, R.G., Ieronymidou, C., Burfield, I.J., Gregory, R.D., Willis, S.G., Howard, C., Stephens, P.A., Beresford, A.E. & Donald, P.F.
Published in
Conservation Letters
View publication Details
Climate change

Continued declines of Redshank Tringa totanus breeding on saltmarsh in Great Britain: is there a solution to this conservation problem?

Capsule: Over 50% of saltmarsh breeding Common Redshank have been lost since 1985, with current conservation management having only limited success at halting these declines. Aims: To update populati...

Date
29 April 2013
RSPB Authors
Lucy Mason, Dr Jennifer Smart
Authors
Malpas, L.R., Smart, J., Drewitt, A., Sharps, E. & Garbutt, A.
Published in
Bird Study
View publication Details
Redshank UK Identifying problems Protected areas UK species

Protecting important sites for biodiversity contributes to meeting global conservation targets

Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity...

Date
21 March 2012
Authors
Butchart, S.H.M., Scharlemann, J.P.W., Evans, M.I., Quader, S., Arico, S., Arinaitwe, J., Balman, M., Bennun, L.A., Bertzky, B., Besancon, C., Boucher, T.M., Brooks, T.M., Burfield, I.J., Burgess, N.D., Chan, S., Clay, R.P., Crosby, M.J., Davidson, N.C., De Silva, N., Devenish, C. et al.
Published in
PLoS ONE
View publication Details
International Protected areas

Seabird foraging ranges as a preliminary tool for identifying candidate Marine Protected Areas

There is a growing need to identify Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) for marine species. For seabirds, MPAs include those near breeding colonies, offshore foraging areas, inshore habitats for wintering...

Date
09 January 2012
RSPB Authors
Dr Rowena Langston, Dr Mark Bolton, Dr Staffan Roos
Authors
Thaxter, C.B., Lascellers, B., Sugar, K., Cook, A.S.C.P., Roos, S., Bolton, M., Langston, R.H.W. & Burton, N.H.K.
Published in
Biological Conservation
View publication Details
Gannet UK Marine Protected areas

Projects

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The Energy Futures project

Last Updated
03 July 2017