In this post, Sarah M. Durant and Roseline C. Beudels-Jamar write about their article ‘Developing fencing policies for dryland ecosystems’, which is the first Policy Direction article for the Journal of Applied Ecology. Policy Directions are a new article type relating to policy implementation and decision making. The focus of these articles is to inform and improve policy over a wide range of subjects by providing a broader policy context for the topic and relating it to the wider issues around constrained decision making.
You can also read a post from the Executive Editor of the Journal, Marc Cadotte here: ‘To fence or not to fence, that is the question’
The Serengeti plains packed with calving wildebeest during their wet season migration is an unforgettable sight for those lucky enough to experience it. The Serengeti migration is the world’s largest remaining large mammal migration, with nearly 2 million animals making an annual perambulation across an ecosystem that is nearly 30 000km2 – substantially larger than one Wales Unit. Now rare, large mammal migrations are thought to have once been a much more widespread feature of the world’s dryland systems. Fencing and human encroachment have resulted in a dramatic reduction in these wildlife spectacles. However, as the Serengeti shows, those migrations that still remain are able to lure flocks of wildlife tourists from across the world, demonstrating their appeal to our human emotions. While we can only speculate as to why these migrations continue to fascinate us, we can be certain of their importance in the productive functioning of dryland ecosystems.