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The state and conservation of Southeast Asian biodiversity


Sodhi, NS and Posa, MRC and Lee, TM and Bickford, D and Koh, LP and Brook, BW, The state and conservation of Southeast Asian biodiversity, Biodiversity and Conservation, 19, (2) pp. 317-328. ISSN 0960-3115 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10531-009-9607-5


Southeast Asia is a region of conservation concern due to heavy losses of its native habitats. In this overview, we highlight the conservation importance of Southeast Asia by comparing its degree of species endemism and endangerment, and its rate of deforestation with other tropical regions (i.e., Meso-America, South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa). Southeast Asia contains the highest mean proportion of country-endemic bird (9%) and mammal species (11%). This region also has the highest proportion of threatened vascular plant, reptile, bird, and mammal species. Furthermore, not only is Southeast Asia’s annual deforestation rate the highest in the tropics, but it has also increased between the periods 1990–2000 and 2000–2005. This could result in projected losses of 13–85% of biodiversity in the region by 2100. Secondary habitat restoration, at least in certain countries, would allow for some amelioration of biodiversity loss and thus potentially lower the currently predicted extinction rates. Nonetheless, urgent conservation actions are needed. Conservation initiatives should include public education, sustaining livelihoods, and ways to enhance the sustainability of agriculture and increase the capacity of conservation institutions. Furthermore, these actions should be country-specific and not ignore areas heavily populated by humans, as they can also harbour high numbers of threatened species. We urge that cooperative conservation initiatives be undertaken and support (e.g., capacity-building) be given by more developed countries in the region and beyond.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:extinction, habitat loss, endangered species, deforestation, species-area relationship
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:116064
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:353
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2017-05-01
Last Modified:2017-09-04

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