Cover image for Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific : a conservation assessment
Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific : a conservation assessment
Wikramanayake, Eric D.
Publication Information:
Washington D.C. : Island Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxix, 643 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 28 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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QH77.I55 T47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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"This book, along with its companions in this series, takes an ecoregional approach, dividing large regions into small, distinct units, each with its characteristic species, ecosystems, natural history, and threats. As such, it has no peers. It is the sourcebook for anyone who must look for where and how to act to save the variety of life on Earth." --from the foreword by Stuart L. Pimm

A number of conservation groups, including World Wildlife Fund, have in recent years adopted an approach to conservation that uses ecoregions to identify biological and conservation priority areas. Ecoregions define distinct ecosystems that share broadly similar environmental conditions and natural communities; as such, they make more sense for priority-setting efforts than do political units such as countries or provinces.

Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific offers a comprehensive examination of the state of the Indo-Pacific's biodiversity and habitats, moving beyond endangered or charismatic species to quantify for the first time the number of mammal and bird species, including endemics, in each ecoregion.

The book begins with a discussion of the background and basis for ecoregion delineation and definition of the objectives and approach used. Following that, chapters describe the biological distinctiveness and conservation status of ecoregions, quantifying the amount of habitat remaining, how it is distributed, and how much is protected. The analysis concludes with a set of ecoregions that deserve immediate attention and also highlights ecoregions that are still in relatively pristine condition. Substantial appendixes offer detailed descriptions of each ecoregion, including information on:

unique features of the ecoregion that set it apart from others its biological distinctiveness, threats to habitats and wildlife, and important sites for conservation an agenda and recommendations for where conservation efforts should be concentrated .

Short essays by regional experts -- including Derek Holmes, Tony Whitten, Indraneil Das, Walter Erdelen, John Seidensticker, Joyotee Smith, Kathy MacKinnon, and others -- address special topics relating to finer-scale conservation issues or ecological processes that are typically overlooked in a regional-scale analysis.

Author Notes

Eric Wikramanayake is affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund.

Eric Dinerstein is affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund.

Colby Loucks is affiliated with the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This large resource book comprehensively overviews the unique biodiversity of the vast Indo-Pacific region. It will serve admirably as a source of information for researchers of taxa ranging from plants to land vertebrates. The focus of the volume is to assess conservation issues throughout the region, with a strong emphasis on biodiversity. There are seven chapters, each quite detailed, along with ten appendixes, a glossary, and a thorough literature cited and consulted list of 23 pages of double-column references. In addition there are 22 "special essays," written by different authors, each on a particular aspect of conservation biology within the region. This book brings together a sweeping amount of information on a region where biodiversity is highly threatened and where sound conservation policies must be employed if wide-scale extinctions are to be avoided. The book will interest all conservation biologists and will be greatly useful to those who focus on tropical regions. A vast source of information, very well organized. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. J. C. Kricher Wheaton College (MA)

Table of Contents

List of Special Essaysp. xiii
List of Figuresp. xv
List of Tablesp. xix
List of Boxesp. xxi
Acronymsp. xxiii
Forewordp. xxv
Prefacep. xxvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxix
1. Nature's End or a New Beginning?p. 1
Assessment Overviewp. 3
Structure of the Bookp. 7
2. Assembling the Ecological Jigsaw Puzzle: The Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacificp. 17
Delineation of Ecoregions and Geographic Scope of the Studyp. 17
Geographic Scopep. 18
Themesp. 19
Delineating Bioregionsp. 21
Delineating Biomesp. 24
Delineating Ecoregionsp. 25
Representation of Ecoregions and Biomes in the Indo-Pacific Regionp. 26
3. Representation or Triage? Approaches to Setting Conservation Priorities in the Indo-Pacific Regionp. 39
Biological Distinctiveness Index (BDI)p. 39
Conservation Status Index (CSI)p. 41
Threat Analysisp. 44
Integrating Biological Distinctiveness and Conservation Statusp. 45
Guidelines for Using the Integration Matrixp. 46
Use of Proxies to Develop Indicesp. 46
Biodiversity Representation or Triage?p. 47
4. Where Is Biodiversity Distributed?p. 61
Broad Patterns in Biological Distinctivenessp. 62
A Closer Look at the Indo-Pacific's Natural Wealthp. 65
Ecoregions, Hotspots, and EBAs: Concordance and Overlapp. 85
Concordance of Biological Priorities: The Overriding Importance of Indonesian Ecoregionsp. 89
5. Where Is Biodiversity under Greatest Threat?p. 99
Snapshot Conservation Status: How Much Habitat Remains in Indo-Pacific Ecoregions?p. 100
Threat-Modified Conservation Status: Projecting Future Integrity of Ecoregionsp. 109
Overarching Threatsp. 109
Degradation Threats: Human Population Density and Distributionp. 111
High-Intensity Threats: Logging Concessions and Habitat Lossp. 115
Final Conservation Statusp. 118
6. What to Save First? Setting Priorities for Biodiversity Conservationp. 139
The Priority-Setting Matrixp. 140
Regional and Bioregional Trendsp. 140
The Priority Portfoliop. 140
Summaryp. 158
7. Solutions to the Biodiversity Crisis Facing the Indo-Pacific Regionp. 165
Big Conservation: The Next Frontierp. 165
Conservation Planning and Action at the Ecoregion Scalep. 165
Landscape-Scale Conservationp. 168
Innovative Mechanisms to Achieve Conservation Gainsp. 173
Reevaluating Existing Mechanisms in a New Lightp. 175
Bold Leadership: Who Will Be the Next Indira Gandhi of the Indo-Pacific?p. 177
Nature's End or a New Beginning?p. 177
A. Details on Ecoregion Delineationp. 193
B. Terrestrial Biome Descriptionsp. 203
C. Methods for Assessing the Biological Distinctiveness of Terrestrial Ecoregionsp. 209
D. Methods for Assessing the Conservation Status of Terrestrial Ecoregionsp. 213
E. Summary of Ecoregion Scores for Species Richness, Endemism, and Biological Distinctiveness Indexp. 219
F. Summary of Ecoregion Scores for the Conservation Status Index and Integration Matrixp. 225
G. Habitat Types by Ecoregionp. 231
H. Near-Endemic and Strict Endemic Mammals by Ecoregionp. 243
I. Near-Endemic and Strict Endemic Birds by Ecoregionp. 255
J. Ecoregion Descriptionsp. 281
Glossaryp. 601
Literature Cited and Consultedp. 607
Authorsp. 631
Contributorsp. 633
Indexp. 637