Conservation Science

Dennis Sizemore and Barbara Dugelby in community meeting, Alto Purús, Peru (Photo: Chris Fagan)

Dennis Sizemore and Barbara Dugelby in community meeting, Alto Purús, Peru (Photo: Chris Fagan)

The breadth of Round River’s science is as diverse as the landscapes within
which we work.

Our scope is defined only by what is required to support place based conservation efforts. To accomplish our goals, it is critical that our science be dynamic and responsive to local needs, and that we continually explore and adopt new approaches. Some times, this requires complex, multi-year endeavors; in other instances, we simply provide technical or logistical support for the collection and analysis of hard-to-come-by field census information.

Traditionally, the measure of success for conservation has been the number of acres saved. As the science of conservation biology has developed, we know now that even the world’s largest protected areas are too small to maintain viable populations of many wide-ranging species, and that whole landscapes are necessary to preserve robust functioning ecosystems. Only through landscape-scale science-based planning can we ensure the survival of our largest and/or carnivorous wildlife.

All but the most remote regions of the world have altered dynamics due to landscape fragmentation. Round River chooses to work in these remote areas because they provide the best opportunities for pro-active, large-scale and ecologically meaningful conservation. This allows us to understand the broader implications of conservation efforts, including both the biological and social consequences of management decisions. To this end, our first scientific effort in a given area is to complete a regional ecological analysis.

Through our early efforts in remote regions, we learned that our local partners often possess a wealth of information. These indigenous residents provide insight into present and past conditions; they understand regional ecological dynamics, and know the locations of valued features such as rare, critical or highly valued habitat. This knowledge not only forms the basis for our regional assessments, but also contributes to our building of positive and respectful relationships with these communities.