Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve

Leah Gerber, James Estes, Tara Gancos Crawford, Lindsey E. Peavey, Andrew J. Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in 2006 was heralded as a major advance for marine conservation. The PMNM is one of the largest no-take marine reserves in the world (36,207,439 hectares) and includes all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). Despite the protection, within its boundaries one of Hawaii's most charismatic marine species, the endemic Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), is declining towards extinction. In contrast, monk seal abundance is increasing in the largely unprotected Main Hawaiian Islands. High juvenile mortality in the NWHI has been identified as the demographic factor responsible for the population decline. The ecological drivers of the dynamic are unknown. We evaluate an intervention proposed by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center within the PMNM in a situation in which there is little or no precedent of theory to support management decisions, and then examine the conflicting conservation mandates that pose challenges for monk seal conservation. Benefits of intervention include the potential to maintain subpopulations in the NWHI, and therefore preserve the metapopulation structure, and it will provide additional time for management agencies to continue studies to understand factors limiting population growth. If conditions inside the PMNM do not improve, however, juvenile seals will continue to experience poor survival and subpopulations in the NWHI will continue to decline in spite of intervention. The long-term success of any intervention requires the underlying ecological reason for the NWHI population decline, which is currently unclear. The failure of the PMNM to conserve endangered Hawaiian monk seals highlights conflicting goals of different conservation agendas, the need to understand ecosystem function and large-scale ecosystem interactions, and the necessity of adaptive management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalConservation Letters
Volume4
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Fingerprint

marine park
Hawaii
extinction
monument
seals
population decline
subpopulation
time management
fishery science
ecosystems
adaptive management
Pacific Ocean Islands
metapopulation
ecosystem function
limiting factor
preserves
population growth
indigenous species
demographic statistics
fisheries

Keywords

  • Adaptive management
  • Endangered species conservation
  • Extinction
  • Hawaiian monk seal
  • Intervention
  • Marine mammal
  • Marine protected areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve. / Gerber, Leah; Estes, James; Crawford, Tara Gancos; Peavey, Lindsey E.; Read, Andrew J.

In: Conservation Letters, Vol. 4, No. 6, 12.2011, p. 417-422.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gerber, Leah ; Estes, James ; Crawford, Tara Gancos ; Peavey, Lindsey E. ; Read, Andrew J. / Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve. In: Conservation Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 4, No. 6. pp. 417-422.
@article{0349bd83430a45daa975ae3d48d2f065,
title = "Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve",
abstract = "Establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in 2006 was heralded as a major advance for marine conservation. The PMNM is one of the largest no-take marine reserves in the world (36,207,439 hectares) and includes all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). Despite the protection, within its boundaries one of Hawaii's most charismatic marine species, the endemic Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), is declining towards extinction. In contrast, monk seal abundance is increasing in the largely unprotected Main Hawaiian Islands. High juvenile mortality in the NWHI has been identified as the demographic factor responsible for the population decline. The ecological drivers of the dynamic are unknown. We evaluate an intervention proposed by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center within the PMNM in a situation in which there is little or no precedent of theory to support management decisions, and then examine the conflicting conservation mandates that pose challenges for monk seal conservation. Benefits of intervention include the potential to maintain subpopulations in the NWHI, and therefore preserve the metapopulation structure, and it will provide additional time for management agencies to continue studies to understand factors limiting population growth. If conditions inside the PMNM do not improve, however, juvenile seals will continue to experience poor survival and subpopulations in the NWHI will continue to decline in spite of intervention. The long-term success of any intervention requires the underlying ecological reason for the NWHI population decline, which is currently unclear. The failure of the PMNM to conserve endangered Hawaiian monk seals highlights conflicting goals of different conservation agendas, the need to understand ecosystem function and large-scale ecosystem interactions, and the necessity of adaptive management.",
keywords = "Adaptive management, Endangered species conservation, Extinction, Hawaiian monk seal, Intervention, Marine mammal, Marine protected areas",
author = "Leah Gerber and James Estes and Crawford, {Tara Gancos} and Peavey, {Lindsey E.} and Read, {Andrew J.}",
year = "2011",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00197.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "4",
pages = "417--422",
journal = "Conservation Letters",
issn = "1755-263X",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Managing for extinction? Conflicting conservation objectives in a large marine reserve

AU - Gerber, Leah

AU - Estes, James

AU - Crawford, Tara Gancos

AU - Peavey, Lindsey E.

AU - Read, Andrew J.

PY - 2011/12

Y1 - 2011/12

N2 - Establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in 2006 was heralded as a major advance for marine conservation. The PMNM is one of the largest no-take marine reserves in the world (36,207,439 hectares) and includes all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). Despite the protection, within its boundaries one of Hawaii's most charismatic marine species, the endemic Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), is declining towards extinction. In contrast, monk seal abundance is increasing in the largely unprotected Main Hawaiian Islands. High juvenile mortality in the NWHI has been identified as the demographic factor responsible for the population decline. The ecological drivers of the dynamic are unknown. We evaluate an intervention proposed by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center within the PMNM in a situation in which there is little or no precedent of theory to support management decisions, and then examine the conflicting conservation mandates that pose challenges for monk seal conservation. Benefits of intervention include the potential to maintain subpopulations in the NWHI, and therefore preserve the metapopulation structure, and it will provide additional time for management agencies to continue studies to understand factors limiting population growth. If conditions inside the PMNM do not improve, however, juvenile seals will continue to experience poor survival and subpopulations in the NWHI will continue to decline in spite of intervention. The long-term success of any intervention requires the underlying ecological reason for the NWHI population decline, which is currently unclear. The failure of the PMNM to conserve endangered Hawaiian monk seals highlights conflicting goals of different conservation agendas, the need to understand ecosystem function and large-scale ecosystem interactions, and the necessity of adaptive management.

AB - Establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in 2006 was heralded as a major advance for marine conservation. The PMNM is one of the largest no-take marine reserves in the world (36,207,439 hectares) and includes all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). Despite the protection, within its boundaries one of Hawaii's most charismatic marine species, the endemic Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), is declining towards extinction. In contrast, monk seal abundance is increasing in the largely unprotected Main Hawaiian Islands. High juvenile mortality in the NWHI has been identified as the demographic factor responsible for the population decline. The ecological drivers of the dynamic are unknown. We evaluate an intervention proposed by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center within the PMNM in a situation in which there is little or no precedent of theory to support management decisions, and then examine the conflicting conservation mandates that pose challenges for monk seal conservation. Benefits of intervention include the potential to maintain subpopulations in the NWHI, and therefore preserve the metapopulation structure, and it will provide additional time for management agencies to continue studies to understand factors limiting population growth. If conditions inside the PMNM do not improve, however, juvenile seals will continue to experience poor survival and subpopulations in the NWHI will continue to decline in spite of intervention. The long-term success of any intervention requires the underlying ecological reason for the NWHI population decline, which is currently unclear. The failure of the PMNM to conserve endangered Hawaiian monk seals highlights conflicting goals of different conservation agendas, the need to understand ecosystem function and large-scale ecosystem interactions, and the necessity of adaptive management.

KW - Adaptive management

KW - Endangered species conservation

KW - Extinction

KW - Hawaiian monk seal

KW - Intervention

KW - Marine mammal

KW - Marine protected areas

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84859824579&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84859824579&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00197.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00197.x

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84859824579

VL - 4

SP - 417

EP - 422

JO - Conservation Letters

JF - Conservation Letters

SN - 1755-263X

IS - 6

ER -