Regional-scale corridors are an increasingly common approach adopted by conservation organisations attempting to ensure the persistence of species and their habitats by maintaining the environmental processes which sustain them. These initiatives must often grapple with proposed linkages across privately owned land, which include multiple fences. Most research on this topic has focused upon the importance of ecological connectivity; however, social connectivity is also an essential prerequisite for effective nature conservation. Human and social capital are important factors defining conservation opportunity, along with conservation values and the vulnerability and economic costs of implementing conservation action. Human and social capital can be considered, respectively, the individual and collective characteristics that positively influence the effective implementation of conservation action. Mapping the human and social dimensions of conservation opportunity provides spatially explicit information on individual land managers and the broader societal context in which conservation initiatives must function. Land managers located within the Fish-Kowie conservation corridor, a priority area identified in the Subtropical Thicket biome of the Eastern Cape, South Africa, were interviewed to identify the human and social dimensions of conservation opportunity in order to support the implementation of conservation action, which would, in turn, improve connectivity throughout the proposed corridor. Evidence indicates that securing the agreement of land managers to remove fences will be a challenge that will require significant investment in activities to build human and social capital, along with innovative conservation approaches offering direct benefits to landowners.
|Title of host publication||Fencing for Conservation|
|Subtitle of host publication||Restriction of Evolutionary Potential Or a Riposte to Threatening Processes?|
|Publisher||Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg New York|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|