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Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates

Citation

Rodrigues, ASL and Brooks, TM and Butchart, SHM and Chanson, J and Cox, N and Hoffmann, M and Stuart, SN, Spatially explicit trends in the global conservation status of vertebrates, PLoS One, 9, (11) Article e113934. ISSN 1932-6203 (2014) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113934

Abstract

The world's governments have committed to preventing the extinction of threatened species and improving their conservation status by 2020. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed across space, and neither are the drivers of its decline, and so different regions face very different challenges. Here, we quantify the contribution of regions and countries towards recent global trends in vertebrate conservation status (as measured by the Red List Index), to guide action towards the 2020 target. We found that>50% of the global deterioration in the conservation status of birds, mammals and amphibians is concentrated in <1% of the surface area, 39/1098 ecoregions (4%) and eight/195 countries (4%) Australia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States. These countries hold a third of global diversity in these vertebrate groups, partially explaining why they concentrate most of the losses. Yet, other megadiverse countries most notably Brazil (responsible for 10% of species but just 1% of deterioration), plus India and Madagascar performed better in conserving their share of global vertebrate diversity. Very few countries, mostly island nations (e.g. Cook Islands, Fiji, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tonga), have achieved net improvements. Per capita wealth does not explain these patterns, with two of the richest countries United States and Australia fairing conspicuously poorly. Different countries were affected by different combinations of threats. Reducing global rates of biodiversity loss will require investment in the regions and countries with the highest responsibility for the world's biodiversity, focusing on conserving those species and areas most in peril and on reducing the drivers with the highest impacts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Conservation and Biodiversity
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:Brooks, TM (Dr Thomas Brooks)
ID Code:98558
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2015-02-19
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:332 View Download Statistics

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