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纽约时报双语:大熊猫真的是其他野生动物的“保护伞”吗?

大熊猫真的是其他野生动物的“保护伞”吗?
For Shielding Endangered Neighbors, Pandas Make Flimsy Umbrellas
RACHEL NUWER
2021年2月26日
纽约时报双语:大熊猫真的是其他野生动物的“保护伞”吗?

Like many undergraduate biology students, Fang Wang was taught that pandas are a prime example of an umbrella species — a charismatic, well-known and usually endangered animal whose protection benefits an entire ecosystem and all the wildlife that lives there.

像许多生物学专业的大学生一样,王放曾学到大熊猫是伞护物种的典范——魅力非凡、广为人知且通常濒临灭绝,对这种动物的保护会使整个生态系统和生活在该生态系统中的所有野生动植物都受益。

In fact, the story is much more complex, according to findings that Dr. Wang, now an ecologist at Fudan University in Shanghai, published last month in Biological Conservation. Refuting years of assumptions about the universal benefits of panda conservation, Dr. Wang and his colleagues report that a number of other threatened species are not being shielded by the panda umbrella.

实际上,根据王放博士——现在是上海复旦大学的一位生态学家——上个月发表在《生物保护》(Biological Conservation)上的研究结果,情况要复杂得多。王放及其同事驳斥了多年来关于保护大熊猫的普遍益处的假设,他们报告说,其他许多受威胁的物种并未受到大熊猫保护伞的庇护。

“The key point is that a single umbrella will inevitably have gaps and holes,” Dr. Wang said. “It’s time to move forward from focusing on just one species to focusing on the whole animal community.”

“问题的关键是单个保护伞不可避免地会有缝隙和漏洞,”王放说。“现在应该从只关注一种物种转向关注整个动物界的时候了。”

Panda conservation, on its own, has been a success. In the 1980s, pandas had very little protection in the wild and were thought to number around just 1,100 individuals. In the 1990s, China began to actively conserve wild populations, eventually establishing 67 panda-specific protected areas representing 70 percent of the species’ range. By 2014, a government census tallied more than 1,800 wild pandas.

大熊猫保护本身已经取得了成功。在1980年代,大熊猫在野外受到的保护很少,据信大约只有1100只。在1990年代,中国开始积极保护野生种群,最终建立了67个大熊猫保护区,占该物种生存区域的70%。到2014年,政府普查统计了1800多只野生大熊猫。

All of these efforts focused solely on China’s national animal, however, not on other species. As Dr. Wang said, “Everything was about pandas.”

所有这些努力都只针对中国的国宝动物,而非其他物种。正如王放所说:“一切都与大熊猫有关。”

Dr. Wang began to question the umbrella species narrative when he noticed that droppings, tracks and other signs of forest musk deer and Asiatic black bear had declined in the years since he started conducting research as an undergraduate at field sites in central China. Following up on this observation, he and colleagues from Michigan State University established a monitoring network of more than 1,000 infrared cameras in and around eight panda nature reserves in the Qinling and Minshan Mountains.

王放在中国中部的野外进行本科生研究以来的几年里,他注意到林麝和亚洲黑熊的粪便、痕迹和其他迹象有所减少,这时他开始质疑伞护种的叙事。根据这一观察结果,他和密歇根州立大学(Michigan State University)的同事们在秦岭和岷山的八处大熊猫自然保护区及其周围建立了一个由1000多个红外热像仪组成的监测网络。

After three years of data collection, they determined which types of habitat were preferred by nine species of mammals, including pandas. They then used satellite data to examine whether ideal habitat had increased, decreased or stayed the same for each of the species over the preceding 10 years.

经过三年的数据收集,他们确定了包括大熊猫在内的九种哺乳动物都偏爱哪种类型的栖息地。然后,他们使用卫星数据检查了在过去10年中,每个物种的理想栖息地是否增加、减少或保持不变。

Most panda reserves consist of bamboo forests at high elevation, which is not ideal for all wildlife. The researchers found that two threatened species, Asiatic black bears and forest musk deer, actively lost key habitat in the most intensively protected panda areas. And in places where habitat changed for the better for forest musk deer and Asiatic black bears, as well as for two other cloven-hoofed species, Chinese serow and Reeve’s muntjac, it changed for the worse for pandas. “Now we know that when we’re protecting pandas, we’re losing Asiatic black bears, musk deer and probably many other species,” Dr. Wang said.

大多数大熊猫保护区都由高海拔的竹林组成,这并不是所有野生动植物的理想选择。研究人员发现,在受到最密集保护的大熊猫地区内,亚洲黑熊和林麝这两种受到威胁的物种正在丧失重要栖息地。在栖息地变得更适合林麝和亚洲黑熊以及其他两种偶蹄物种(中华鬣羚和小麂)的区域,栖息环境对大熊猫变得不利。王放说:“现在我们知道,当我们保护大熊猫时,我们将失去亚洲黑熊、林麝和其他许多物种。”

The findings echo research published last summer by some of Dr. Wang’s colleagues, which found that panda conservation had not helped large carnivores in China, like leopards, wolves and snow leopards.

这一发现与王放的一些同事在去年夏天发表的研究结果相吻合。他们的研究发现,对大熊猫的保护对中国的大型食肉动物没有帮助,例如豹、狼和雪豹。

David Lindenmayer, a conservation biologist at the Australian National University in Canberra, who was not involved in the research, said the new panda findings reinforced ongoing concerns about the umbrella species approach to conservation. While pandas and other high-profile species are great for fund-raising and campaigning, rare animals usually have very specific habitat requirements. Efforts to conserve an entire ecosystem seldom align with the needs of these more charismatic species, Dr. Lindenmayer said.

位于堪培拉的澳大利亚国立大学(Australian National University)的保护生物学家戴维·林登迈尔(David Lindenmayer)说,关于大熊猫保护的这一新发现(他未参与这项研究),进一步加深了人们对伞护物种保护方式的担忧。虽然大熊猫和受众人瞩目的物种非常适合筹款和倡导运动,但稀有动物通常具有非常特殊的栖息地要求。林登迈尔博士说,保护整个生态系统的努力很少符合这些更吸引人的物种的需求。

“There is a need to be very sober in making decisions about what species are selected and why, and what species can and cannot work as useful surrogates,” he said. “Otherwise, serious mistakes get made.”

“对于选择哪种物种以及为什么选择这些物种,以及哪些物种可以或不可以作为有用的替代品,人们需要非常冷静地做决定,”他说。“否则,就会犯下严重的错误。”

In China, reception to the panda findings has been mixed, Dr. Wang said. “Some people said it’s just common sense that species need their own habitat, but others asked me why I wrote an article in English criticizing our great success in panda conservation.”

王放说,在中国,人们对关于大熊猫的这一发现的反响不一。“有些人说物种需要自己的栖息地是常识,但是其他人问我为什么用英文写一篇文章来批评我们在大熊猫保护方面的巨大成功。”

Dr. Wang was concerned that the government would be displeased, but so far, he said, the response has been mostly positive. “They’ve started to talk about incorporating a multispecies monitoring network in the new Giant Panda National Park” in Central China, he said. “They may not be happy about this finding, but I think they’re moving forward to avoid similar results being repeated.”

王放担心政府会感到不满,但到目前为止,他说,反应大多是积极的。“他们已经开始谈论在中国中部新的大熊猫国家公园中纳入一个多物种监测网络,”他说。“他们可能对研究结果不满,但我认为他们正在努力避免重复类似的结果。”

Some change is already happening on the ground. World Wide Fund for Nature-China, for example, which works with the Chinese government, recently added snow leopards to its conservation strategy.

一些变化已经在发生。例如,与中国政府合作的世界自然基金会中国办事处(World Wide Fund for Nature-China)最近在其保护策略中加入了雪豹。

“Giant pandas cannot take care of all animals,” said He Xin, manager of WWF-China’s giant panda program. “We hope that snow leopards can also hold up a big umbrella, alongside existing panda conservation efforts.”

“大熊猫不能照顾到所有的动物,”WWF中国办事处大熊猫计划的负责人何欣(音)说。“我们希望雪豹在现有的大熊猫保护努力之外,也能撑起一把大伞。”

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