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WILDLIFE HABITAT, FAUNA

 
 
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Author Solivagant
Partaker
#31 | Posted: 13 Dec 2015 04:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Colvin:
so I suppose those who have been to both parks would have a better idea as to which site is preferable.

Hi Colvin,
I have enjoyed your informative selection lists over the past week - I will try to get round to addressing some of them now we are back after a few days travelling!
Regarding Manas v Kaziranga. We visited both in Feb 13 - My reviews on this Web site cover some of the factors I would take into account.

Manas certainly covers a transitional area bringing in both Indian and Himalayan fauna/flora. However the lack of the Bhutanese element does detract somewhat from that aspect. Also it is rather degraded following insurrection/poaching etc.
Kaziranga provides a far better chance of seeing the species which visitors want to see. As regards the comparison of landscape - my memory/impression is that Kaziranga actually provides a more "varied" one than does Manas in its current boundaries. The significant "hills" of the Manas area only really start most visibly at the Butanese frontier!! This geographical change was presumably a major factor in how Britain determined those borders?. Manas extends to the river which forms the frontier with Bhutan but is largely fairly level forest. Kaziranga is far more varied including of course a large "riverine" aspect.

I guess we need to have some discussion about some of the factors we can/should take into account for selecting our top 400. (I exclude the issue of the "Top 200" which it appears is going to be a totally "personal" choice (and nothing wrong with that! People can decide for themselves how much to "listen" to the "top 400" arguments and how much to go totally their own way). How should we handle the following issues when determining our "Objective" Top 400?

"Iconic Species"
In pure "animal rights" terms the protection of, say, the La Gomera Giant Lizard (I use this example as I have just been investigating it, but I could choose any of hundreds of endangered non iconic species which are present in many WHS!) is as important as the protection of the Bengal Tiger. But we can't choose every WHS which happens to be the last viable habitat of some species or another whilst, at the same time trying to reduce the List to c400 sites. The World Heritage scheme doesn't even try to encompass every site with an endemic or highly endangered species- and other schemes are more concerned with that aspect. OK - the Nomination of every natural site tries to "big up" its endemism (even incorrectly - as I have just discovered with Garajonay!) but most are presented on a balanced score card (Just a few are really present simply because of just one species - but even that is questionable on the same arguments as here). So - how do WE decide how much importance to give to the preservation of different species - does the poor unloved "Pygmy Hog" get it or the majestic world famous "Rhino"?? Perhaps we have to explain to our "Little Green Man" that we humans decide which animals to "love" more than others on some rather illogical factors - e,g size and "looks" (especially "cuddliness"!). So the Giant Panda wins hands down because of its appealing looks and the Tiger because -?? Well we consider it "magnificent" (because it kills other animals?!!) and are somewhat afraid of it and.... well you can add some more reasons why it is "Iconic"!! Even if one wants to be "scientific" and bring in arguments about the Tiger's importance in the food chain as the "top predator" etc we have to answer why, for instance, the Vulture which carries out a very important job isn't "loved" at all!
I think it is also important to recognise/accept that, just because we exclude from our list of 400 a site which is doing a grand job to preserve a non iconic species, doesn't mean that we think that work or that species to be unimportant. We are not suggesting that ONLY 400 sites should be preserved -we recognise that all the others will stay on the full list and that there are also other lists and means of preserving species.
Finally on this subject- I would suggest that preservation of a "Race" is less significant than the preservation of a "Sub-species" etc through "Species" and "Family". There is a tendency to try to categorise sub species as species to improve their importance. A creature like the Okapi for instance is one of only 2 members of the Giraffidae family, For that reason I would "up" the importance of the Okapi compared with some other species - not a "clincher" but another "factor" for consideration?

Visiting Experience
When we visited Manas we met some bird watchers who were spending time there because they felt it was better for seeing the Bird species they wanted to see. They weren't bothered with Tigers or Rhino! The majority of people however are going to find Kaziranga a better experience (despite the fact that it is much busier). Rhino are guaranteed and even Tiger is quite likely. Should this be a factor when showing our World to our "Little Green Man"? The definition of a good "visit experience" obviously can't/shouldn't take into account any personal factors or requirements but should be based on how good the viewing of what the site is primarily on the WHS list for is likely to be. There is a "problem" with sites where visitors can't "see" anything!! I think of the Indian Sundarbans where no visitors are allowed inside the core area - a reason in my view for selecting the Bangla Desh site!! Conversely of course there may be just soo many visitors that the visit experience (and the site itself?) is degraded. In that case. all other things being equal, I would choose a less visited alternative site on this factor if there were one. The "little green man" needs to know that "preservation" comes ahead of "visiting" but that ability to and quality of visiting isn't unimportant for the WHS scheme.

Condition
The suggestion that "Endangered sites" should not be selected has been rejected (and I don't disagree with that) but I do feel that a site's general "condition" should be taken into account - not as the sole factor, but as a means of discriminating between 2 otherwise fairly similar sites.

Classification/Representation
I have just looked at the IUCN list of "Habitats" - it has 18 major categories and over 100 sub categories! And there are other systems of classification of Natural sites too - the "Udvardy Classification of Biogeographical Provinces of the World", The WWF system etc etc. As with endangered species we just can't ensure the representation of every type of "habitat"/"biome" within a selection of 400 and have to find some basis on which to discriminate. We should try to ensure that each of the "Highest level" of classification is covered but we just can't grind too small. Those sites which cover a range of zones/habitats should perhaps be given a degree of priority because of that fact. It could be said that, as a "transitional area" Manas covers 2 zones - but the Himalayan is going to be included anyway isn't it? Very small zones could be regarded as dispensible simply because they don't cover a very large part of the Earth - on the other hand, because they are small, they can be "unique" - I think of the Cape Floral Zone. It then comes down to their relative significance. The Cape Floral zone is pretty "high up" the classification scheme and deserves to be represented on that basis. i.e "types" should be given priority over "sub types"? (The same arguments apply to e.g Architectural Styles - I see that there is some argument for "Art Nouveau" architecture in the form of the Horta houses" - I would tend to regard that as a sub type which doesn't justify inclusion simply to give it a representative. In any case some of the "Cities" will adequately cover that style of architecture on their own)

To return to the specific Manas v Kaziranga issue - I choose the latter on the basis of the above factors
a. Better for "iconic" species (however illogical!)
b. Better visit
c. Better condition
d. Manas "transition" aspect not so important given other selections

Author Colvin
Partaker
#32 | Posted: 13 Dec 2015 13:44 
Welcome back! Your post hit on some of the factors I was using when trying to identify sites in this fauna section. The two main ones I was using were representative biomes and, in general, a diversity of fauna (with added weight being given to the greater number of unique species). In some cases the diversity of flora also played a background role, since I'm trying to choose natural sites that can showcase a variety of selection criteria. Since it sounds like the transitional zone of Manas is really better represented across the border in Bhutan, then maybe Kaziranga would be the better choice for this region of South Asia.

Author Assif
Partaker
#33 | Posted: 28 Jan 2016 16:15 
This category is a challenge to sum up. Maybe someone could volunteer?

Author Colvin
Partaker
#34 | Posted: 28 Jan 2016 23:44 | Edited by: Colvin 
OK -- since this is the site I spent the most time researching, I can volunteer to summarize. With the nine members who voted in this forum, I'm highlighting in bold the sites chosen by 6 to 9 members and italicizing the sites chosen by 2-5 members. Does that seem reasonable?

Aldabra Atoll - example of atoll creation, plus notable bird and tortoise species (4 votes)
Banc d'Arguin - representing the Eastern Atlantic Migratory (Birds) Flyway (3 votes)
Belovezhskaya Pushcha / Bialowieza Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - for its mountain gorillas (2 votes)
Chitwan National Park
Dja Faunal Reserve - rainforest in west-central Africa which includes wildlife like the western lowland gorilla and the forest elephant (4 votes)
Donana National Park
Dong Phayayen - Southeast Asian forest home to elephants, tigers, leopard cats, and the Siamese crocodile (4 votes)
Galapagos Islands - famed for their vast number of endemic species which were studied by Charles Darwin (8 votes)
Garamba National Park - home to the world's last known wild population of the critically endangered northern white rhinoceros (2 votes)
Gulf of California - located in southwestern North America, this marine environment contains almost 40% of the world's total number of marine mammal's species (6 votes)
Kahuzi-Biega National Park - only habitat for the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, plus chimpanzees (4 votes)
Kaziranga National Park - high bio-diversity, including the Indian one-horned Rhino (4 votes)
Keoladeo National Park - important nesting area in South Asia for migratory birds from Siberia and China, including the rare Siberian crane (2 votes)
Komodo National Park - for the iconic Komodo dragon (7 votes)
Lopé-Okanda - home to the western lowland gorilla (2 votes)
Los Katios National Park - Central American park with high biodiversity and high regional endemism (2 votes)
Mana Pools
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Manovo-Gounda St. Floris - park in central Africa, home to the black rhinoceros (3 votes)
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve - spectacular butterfly migration (4 votes)
Ngorongoro - savannah wildlife in a volcanic crater in eastern Africa (7 votes)
Niokolo-Koba National Park
Okapi Wildlife Reserve - home to approximately 1/6 of the world's wild okapi (2 votes)
Rainforests of the Atsinanana - highlights wildlife endemic to Madagascar, including lemurs (4 votes)
Selous Game Reserve - one of the largest fauna reserves in the world, located in southern Tanzania (3 votes)
Serengeti - savannah in eastern Africa that hosts the world's largest annual overland migration of animals (7 votes)
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - home to the giant panda (6 votes)
Virunga National Park - exceptional (bio)diversity, first national park on the continent of Africa, significant number of rare mountain gorillas plus chimpanzees (6 votes)
W National Park of Niger
Wood Buffalo National Park
Wrangel Island - Arctic islands home to polar bears, walrus, grey whales, and migratory birds (3 votes)
Yellowstone - (already in for geothermal), add: Rocky Mountain park home to bison, wolves, and grizzly bears (4 votes)

Brought over from different categories:
Ujung Kulon - Javan Rhinoceros
Tropical Rainforest Sumatra - Indonesian rainforest which is home to the Sumatran orangutan, rhinoceros, elephants, tigers, and Malayan sun-bears (3 votes)

Author kkanekahn
Partaker
#35 | Posted: 29 Jan 2016 00:33 
Well done Colvin. But, we need some site to represent avi-fauna. It is necessary for complete representation of fauna category.

Author elsslots
Admin
#36 | Posted: 29 Jan 2016 01:43 | Edited by: elsslots 
Colvin:
I can volunteer to summarize

Nicely done indeed. I will bring these over to the general list.
P.S.: I notice that I had done that already. Will check if there are changes.
P.P.S.: there are less with "Yes" now than I had in my summary only 3 posts before & without any new voters. I think this isn't a category that we should restrict ourselves too much. On the other hand, the cut-off between 4 and 6 (there isn't one with 5 votes) seems logical.

Author Assif
Partaker
#37 | Posted: 30 Jan 2016 14:58 
elsslots:
P.S.: I notice that I had done that already. Will check if there are changes.

As kkanekahn pointed out some sites which were upgraded on the summary should be updated on the Allbyrank list.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#38 | Posted: 30 Jan 2016 23:19 | Edited by: Colvin 
kkanekahn:
we need some site to represent avi-fauna. It is necessary for complete representation of fauna category.

Unless we want to re-open this topic, I'm not sure what we can do. I would note that we do have avi-fauna sites on the Allbyrank list from other categories, such as the Okavango Delta (Rivers/Lakes), the Sundarbans (Rivers/Lakes), Kenya Lake System (Rivers/Lakes), and Aldabra Atoll (Insular).

Technically, with the number of voters we had, some sites that had originally been highlighted should be downgraded to maybe on the Allbyrank list (Banc d'Arguin; Monarch Butterfly Reserve; and Wrangel Island). I'll leave that decision up to Els. Aldabra Atoll and Yellowstone made it onto the list based on other categories. Based on the final votes, though, Gulf of California should be upgraded to a yes on the Allbyrank list.

Author kkanekahn
Partaker
#39 | Posted: 31 Jan 2016 00:42 
Colvin:
I would note that we do have avi-fauna sites on the Allbyrank list from other categories, such as the Okavango Delta (Rivers/Lakes), the Sundarbans (Rivers/Lakes), Kenya Lake System (Rivers/Lakes), and Aldabra Atoll (Insular).

Yes, Great rift Valley (kenya) can be a Representative of Avi-fauna

Author kkanekahn
Partaker
#40 | Posted: 1 Feb 2016 12:46 
Colvin:
Technically, with the number of voters we had, some sites that had originally been highlighted should be downgraded to maybe on the Allbyrank list (Banc d'Arguin; Monarch Butterfly Reserve; and Wrangel Island). I'll leave that decision up to Els. Aldabra Atoll and Yellowstone made it onto the list based on other categories. Based on the final votes, though, Gulf of California should be upgraded to a yes on the Allbyrank list.

What should we do with Banc d'Arguin; Monarch Butterfly Reserve; and Wrangel Island. Going by logic they should be downgraded. Gulf of California should be upgraded to a yes on the Allbyrank list.

Author elsslots
Admin
#41 | Posted: 2 Feb 2016 10:43 
Djoudj is missing from this inventarisation. It did not have a category assigned, but as a bird sanctuary it best fits here I guess.
How do we value Djoudj?

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#42 | Posted: 2 Feb 2016 11:09 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
How do we value Djoudj?

Well there is no doubt that it is an important site for birds on the West African flyway.
As its inscribed history shows it has had and still has a lot of "problems"and is really rather degraded.
It is very close to our other " Flyway" WHS at Banc d'Arguin a bit further north in Mauritania, although , unlike that, it is a mixture of both fresh and saline habitats and has more African local species. Banc d'Arguin is much bigger and includes marine and desert aspects.
The Inscription criteria vary slightly -but not for any great reason I suspect
Djoud is inscribed on criteria vii and x, (vii = "to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;" x = "to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation".
Banc d'Arguin on ix and x (ix = "to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;")

We have no AB Eval for Djoud whilst that for Banc d'Arguin doesn't contain a comparison section.
I know we have looked for an Avifaunal WHS - but we certainly wouldn't want both. I have visited Banc d'Arguin and have been across the Senegal river from Djoud in the Mauritanian equivalent area at Diawling NP https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diawling_National_Park(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik i/Diawling_National_Park ) - This is exactly the same ecosystem etc and is even in the same transborder biosphere reserve but (unfortunately for my "count"!!) Is not inscribed with Djoud itself!! I wasn't there at the best time of year given that it is primarily about migration. I really don't feel able to choose without a possibility of lack of knowledge or bias - though personally feel that Banc d'Arguin is more "Unique" because of its desert/marine situation.

Author kkanekahn
Partaker
#43 | Posted: 2 Feb 2016 14:44 
Solivagant:
though personally feel that Banc d'Arguin is more "Unique" because of its desert/marine situation.

But, I think we can not include Banc d' Arguin in the Yes list as it has only 3 votes. Great rift Valley (kenya) can be a better representative of West African flyway. (No for Djoud )

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#44 | Posted: 2 Feb 2016 15:13 
kkanekahn:
But, I think we can not include Banc d' Arguin in the Yes list as it has only 3 votes.

I never said it should. I was adressing Els's question about Djoud.

Author kkanekahn
Partaker
#45 | Posted: 2 Feb 2016 23:50 
Solivagant:
I never said it should. I was adressing Els's question about Djoud.

No, Banc d' Arguin is included in allbyrank list. I was mentioning that. With 3 votes, it should not be included.

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 WILDLIFE HABITAT, FAUNA

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