Upgrading protected areas to conserve wild biodiversity

Nature. 2017 May 31;546(7656):91-99. doi: 10.1038/nature22902.


International agreements mandate the expansion of Earth's protected-area network as a bulwark against the continued extinction of wild populations, species, and ecosystems. Yet many protected areas are underfunded, poorly managed, and ecologically damaged; the conundrum is how to increase their coverage and effectiveness simultaneously. Innovative restoration and rewilding programmes in Costa Rica's Área de Conservación Guanacaste and Mozambique's Parque Nacional da Gorongosa highlight how degraded ecosystems can be rehabilitated, expanded, and woven into the cultural fabric of human societies. Worldwide, enormous potential for biodiversity conservation can be realized by upgrading existing nature reserves while harmonizing them with the needs and aspirations of their constituencies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild*
  • Biodiversity*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / economics
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Costa Rica
  • Mozambique
  • Parks, Recreational / economics
  • Parks, Recreational / supply & distribution*
  • Parks, Recreational / trends*
  • Research / trends
  • Wilderness*