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The SAFE index: using a threshold population target to measure relative species threat


Clements, GP and Bradshaw, CJA and Brook, BW and Laurance, WF, The SAFE index: using a threshold population target to measure relative species threat, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9, (9) pp. 521-525. ISSN 1540-9295 (2011) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 The Ecological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1890/100177


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List is arguably the most popular measure of relative species threat, but its threat categories can be ambiguous (eg "Endangered" versus "Vulnerable") and subjective, have weak quantification, and do not convey the threat status of species in relation to a minimum viable population target. We propose a heuristic measure that describes a "species' ability to forestall extinction", or the SAFE index. We compare the abilities of the SAFE index with those of another numerically explicit metric percentage range loss to predict IUCN threat categories using binary and ordinal logistic regression. Generalized linear models showed that the SAFE index was a better predictor of IUCN threat categories than was percentage range loss. We therefore advocate use of the SAFE index, possibly in conjunction with IUCN threat categories, because the former indicates the "distance from extinction" of a species, while implicitly incorporating population viability as a variable.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:SAFE index, population, threshold, relative species threat, conservation, endangered, extinction
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Population ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:116010
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2017-04-27
Last Modified:2017-10-31
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