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Testing a global standard for quantifying species recovery and assessing conservation impact


Grace, MK and Akcakaya, HR and Bennett, EL and Brooks, TM and Heath, A and Hedges, S and Hilton-Taylor, C and Hoffmann, M and Hochkirch, A and Jenkins, R and Keith, DA and Long, B and Mallon, DP and Meijaard, E and Milner-Gulland, EJ and Rodriguez, JP and Stephenson, PJ and Stuart, SN and Young, RP and Acebes, P and Alfaro-Shigueto, J and Alvarez-Clare, S and Andriantsimanarilafy, RR and Arbetman, M and Azat, C and Bacchetta, G and Badola, R and Barcelos, LMD and Barreiros, JP and Basak, S and Berger, DJ and Bhattacharyya, S and Bino, G and Borges, PAV and Boughton, RK and Brockmann, HJ and Buckley, HL and Burfield, IJ and Burton, J and Camacho-Badani, T and Cano-Alonso, LS and Carmichael, RH and Carrero, C and Carroll, JP and Catsadorakis, G and Chapple, DG and Chapron, G and Chowdhury, GW and Claassens, L and Cogoni, D and Constantine, R and Craig, CA and Cunningham, AA and Dahal, N and Daltry, JC and Das, GC and Dasgupta, N and Davey, A and Davies, K and Develey, P and Elangovan, V and Fairclough, D and Febbraro, MD and Fenu, G and Fernandes, FM and Fernandez, EP and Finucci, B and Foldesi, R and Foley, CM and Ford, M and Forstner, MRJ and Garcia, N and Garcia-Sandoval, R and Gardner, PC and Garibay-Orijel, R and Gatan-Balbas, M and Gauto, I and Ghazi, MGU and Godfrey, SS and Gollock, M and Gonzalez, BA and Grant, TD and Gray, T and Gregory, AJ and van Grunsven, RHA and Gryzenhout, M and Guernsey, NC and Gupta, G and Hagen, C and Hagen, CA and Hall, MB and Hallerman, E and Hare, K and Hart, T and Hartdegen, R and Harvey-Brown, Y and Hatfield, R and Hawke, T and Hermes, C and Hitchmough, R and Hoffmann, PM and Howarth, C and Hudson, MA and Hussain, SA and Huveneers, C and Jacques, H and Jorgensen, D and Katdare, S and Katsis, LKD and Kaul, R and Kaunda-Arara, B and Keith-Diagne, L and Kraus, DT and De Lima, TM and Lindeman, K and Linsky, J and Louis, EJ and Loy, A and Lughadha, EN and Mangel, JC and Marinari, PE and Martin, GM and Martinelli, G and McGowan, PJK and McInnes, A and Teles Barbosa Mendes, E and Millard, MJ and Mirande, C and Money, D and Monks, JM and Morales, CL and Mumu, NN and Negrao, R and Nguyen, AH and Niloy, MNH and Norbury, GL and Nordmeyer, C and Norris, D and O'Brien, M and Oda, GA and Orsenigo, S and Outerbridge, ME and Pasachnik, S and Perez-Jimenez, JC and Pike, C and Pilkington, F and Plumb, G and Portela, RCQ and Prohaska, A and Quintana, MG and Rakotondrasoa, EF and Ranglack, DH and Rankou, H and Rawat, AP and Reardon, JT and Rheingantz, ML and Richter, SC and Rivers, MC and Rogers, LR and da Rosa, P and Rose, P and Royer, E and Ryan, C and de Mitcheson, YJS and Salmon, L and Salvador, CH and Samways, MJ and Sanjuan, T and Souza Dos Santos, A and Sasaki, H and Schutz, E and Scott, HA and Scott, RM and Serena, F and Sharma, SP and Shuey, JA and Silva, CJP and Simaika, JP and Smith, DR and Spaet, JLY and Sultana, S and Talukdar, BK and Tatayah, V and Thomas, P and Tringali, A and Trinh-Dinh, H and Tuboi, C and Usmani, AA and Vasco-Palacios, AM and Vie, JC and Virens, J and Walker, A and Wallace, B and Waller, LJ and Wang, H and Wearn, OR and van Weerd, M and Weigmann, S and Willcox, D and Woinarski, J and Yong, JWH and Young, S, Testing a global standard for quantifying species recovery and assessing conservation impact, Conservation Biology, 35, (6) pp. 1833-1849. ISSN 0888-8892 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/cobi.13756


Recognizing the imperative to evaluate species recovery and conservation impact, in 2012 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for development of a "Green List of Species" (now the IUCN Green Status of Species). A draft Green Status framework for assessing species' progress toward recovery, published in 2018, proposed 2 separate but interlinked components: a standardized method (i.e., measurement against benchmarks of species' viability, functionality, and preimpact distribution) to determine current species recovery status (herein species recovery score) and application of that method to estimate past and potential future impacts of conservation based on 4 metrics (conservation legacy, conservation dependence, conservation gain, and recovery potential). We tested the framework with 181 species representing diverse taxa, life histories, biomes, and IUCN Red List categories (extinction risk). Based on the observed distribution of species' recovery scores, we propose the following species recovery categories: fully recovered, slightly depleted, moderately depleted, largely depleted, critically depleted, extinct in the wild, and indeterminate. Fifty-nine percent of tested species were considered largely or critically depleted. Although there was a negative relationship between extinction risk and species recovery score, variation was considerable. Some species in lower risk categories were assessed as farther from recovery than those at higher risk. This emphasizes that species recovery is conceptually different from extinction risk and reinforces the utility of the IUCN Green Status of Species to more fully understand species conservation status. Although extinction risk did not predict conservation legacy, conservation dependence, or conservation gain, it was positively correlated with recovery potential. Only 1.7% of tested species were categorized as zero across all 4 of these conservation impact metrics, indicating that conservation has, or will, play a role in improving or maintaining species status for the vast majority of these species. Based on our results, we devised an updated assessment framework that introduces the option of using a dynamic baseline to assess future impacts of conservation over the short term to avoid misleading results which were generated in a small number of cases, and redefines short term as 10 years to better align with conservation planning. These changes are reflected in the IUCN Green Status of Species Standard.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:conservation action; green status of species; IUCN; recovery categories; red list
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
ID Code:152826
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Research Performance and Analysis
Deposited On:2022-08-25
Last Modified:2022-09-13

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