Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More than 700 threatened species remain completely unprotected, new study shows

11.09.2003


Analysis of 11,000 mammal, amphibian and bird species shows major gaps in global coverage



At least 223 bird, 140 mammal and 346 amphibian species threatened with extinction currently have no protection whatsoever over any part of their ranges, according to the most comprehensive analysis of its kind of the world’s protected area system.

In addition, many existing protected areas are so small in size as to be virtually ineffective in conserving species, placing another 943, and probably many more bird, mammal and amphibian species, at risk. Without an immediate and strategic expansion of the protected area system, scientists expect a major wave of extinctions within the next few decades.


The "global gap analysis" provides an overview of how well the world’s species are covered by the global network of protected areas. The study was released by the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International (CI) in a joint project with the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN/WCPA).

"This analysis clearly shows that there are severe gaps in the protected area system," said Gustavo Fonseca, CI’s Executive Vice President for Programs and Science. "Nevertheless, by identifying the most urgent priorities that require protection and acting strategically and quickly, we still have a chance to save the vast majority of these species."

The analysis builds upon the work of thousands of scientists and dozens of institutions around the world. Based on their work, CABS scientists compared a map of all protected areas for which reliable information was available to maps of more than 11,000 species ranges from three species groups. They then identified places where species live without any protection, and analyzed where the highest priority gaps in protection existed. In total, 1,183 threatened bird species, and 4,734 mammal and 5,254 amphibian species, were included.

Tropical areas, specifically rainforests, and islands stood out as particular concerns for immediate conservation action. Of the areas identified as urgent priorities for the creation of new protected areas, fully 80 percent of the land area falls within the tropics. Islands, which constitute only 5.2 percent of the planet’s land surface, hold 45 percent of all species analyzed, of which more than half are endemics not found on continents.

"The single most effective way to conserve species is to maintain their natural habitats," said Mohamed Bakarr, Vice President for Research for CABS at CI and Deputy Chair of IUCN/WCPA. "The results of this analysis must be used to identify those places on Earth where we need immediate protection. By doing so, we still stand a good chance of conserving these species."

Of the 4,734 mammal species analyzed for this study, 260 are "gap species," meaning that they have no protection over any part of their ranges. Of those, fully 54 percent, or 140, are threatened. Still, of the three groups studied, mammals have the best coverage, due in part to their larger average range size. Critically Endangered mammals currently unprotected include one of the rarest fruit bats in the world, the Comoro black flying fox, (Pteropus livingstonii) found in the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean and the Handley’s slender mouse opossum (Marmosa handleyi) from Colombia.

Of the 5,254 amphibian species analyzed, 825 are gap species. Of those, 346 are threatened. As a group, amphibians have significantly less coverage than mammals or birds, mainly due to their small ranges, but also because they have received much less conservation action. Critically Endangered amphibians without current protection include the Bernhard’s mantella (Mantella bernhardi) from Madagascar and the Wuchuan Frog (Rana wuchuanensis) found only in a cave in Guizhou, China.

The world’s 1,183 threatened bird species, mapped and assessed by BirdLife International, were also analyzed, revealing 223 gap species. Though birds are the best-studied group, close to 20 percent of threatened species have absolutely no protection. The largest concentration of unprotected birds is found in the Andes and Indonesia. Critically Endangered bird species without current protection include the yellow-eared parrot, (Ognorhynchus icterotis) which has fewer than 150 known individuals remaining and is found only in the Colombian Andes, and the Caerulean Paradise-flycatcher, (Eutrichomyias rowleyi) of which less than 100 individuals are known to exist, only on Indonesia’s Sangihe Island.

Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable are categories defined by IUCN for the assessment of each species’ extinction risk, and published in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The analysis found that by adding a small percentage of the Earth’s land area to the world’s existing protected area system, a disproportionately large number of species could be brought into protection. For example, adding just 2.6 percent of the world’s land area would bring approximately two-thirds of unprotected species into the protected area system. However, scientists urge caution in interpreting the results of the study.

"The global gap analysis should be regarded as a useful tool to guide the worldwide allocation of conservation spending, but cannot be regarded as the final word," said Ana Rodrigues, Research Fellow with CABS at CI. "More detailed analyses using more comprehensive data will reveal numerous additional areas and species groups not highlighted by this study that also need urgent protection."



The protected area system map used data provided by the World Database on Protected Areas Consortium. Distribution maps for the three species groups used data provided through the IUCN Red List partnership.

The Center For Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) based at Conservation International, strengthens the ability of CI and other institutions to accurately identify and quickly respond to emerging threats to Earth’s biological diversity. CABS brings together leading experts in science and technology to collect and interpret data about biodiversity, to develop strategic plans for conservation and to forge key partnerships in all sectors toward conservation goals. Read more about CABS at http://www.biodiversityscience.org.

WCPA’s international mission is to promote the establishment and effective management of a worldwide representative network of terrestrial and marine protected areas, as an integral contribution to the IUCN mission.

Brad Phillips | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.conservation.org
http://www.birdlife.org/news/pr/index.html.

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>