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The value of rapid biological surveys for biodiversity conservation.
ALONSO, LEEANNE*,1, 1 Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Washington, DC
ABSTRACT- Rapid biological surveys provide valuable data to determine regional and local conservation priorities, to establish baseline biodiversity information for longer-term monitoring, and to provide the basic biological information needed to plan appropriate conservation activities. Since 1990, the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) of Conservation International has carried out 36 rapid biodiversity surveys in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. The results of recent terrestrial RAP surveys and their conservation impacts will be presented, illustrating the value of this method to conservation planning and local scientific capacity building across the globe. A RAP survey in southern Cote d'Ivoire brought 28 scientists from five West African and four other countries together to determine the best design for a forest corridor between Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia; RAP scientists surveying the Eastern Kanuku Mountains of Guyana collected data to help determine the borders of a proposed protected area; and survey results from a RAP expedition to the Mamberamo region of Papua, Indonesia established a baseline of biological information and provided justification for further conservation efforts in the area.
KEY WORDS: biodiversity , assessment, conservation, capacity building