USING REEF FISH MOVEMENT INFORMATION TO IMPROVE MARINE RESERVE DESIGN IN POHNPEI, MICRONESIA
Designing reserves must be adequate to ensure the persistence of focal species. Guidelines recommend that minimum reserve size be informed by species' home ranges. We used recently published information on the home ranges of coral reef fishes to inform the design of marine reserves in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Key species of interest were identified at an initial stakeholder workshop. Communications products illustrating which species were likely to be afforded protection within existing reserves were used to facilitate discussions about the efficacy of the reserve system with stakeholders. Combined with information on management effectiveness, this information was used to identify which reserves should be prioritised for improving design and/or management. Almost all reserves were found to be too small to adequately protect key species of interest. Though legislation makes it difficult to change the boundaries of existing reserves, recently proposed reserves are larger, and afford greater protection to key species. Furthermore, communities are considering other mechanisms to improve reserve design, for example through larger seasonal closures. Previous approaches to determining marine reserve size have been a trade-off between a conservation mantra of “bigger is better” and social acceptability, with resource users preferring smaller closures. Our approach of using movement patterns of locally important species to determine appropriate reserve sizing resonated more with resource users and better engaged them in the design process.
Eugene Joseph, B., Conservation Society of Pohnpei, Federal States of Micronesia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Terk, S., The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Micronesia, Federal States of Micronesia, email@example.com
Rebecca Weeks, R., ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 302 A/B
Presentation is given by student: No