Friday, 28 June 2013

New global maps of vertebrate diversity highlight conservation priority areas

To find out how well the planets protected area system encompasses vertebrate biodiversity, a new study has mapped critical areas for vertebrate conservation using newly updated data on >21,000 species of mammals, amphibians, and birds. For each taxon they identified centers of species richness, small-ranged species, and IUCN listed threatened species .

Their maps show that while the priority areas do have more protection than the global average, many of the most important sites are currently without protection. According to the paper, currently only one third of the biodiversity centers are protected, and just 11 percent are under strict protection. The study also showed that small-ranged species encompass 93% of all vertebrate species in just 8% of the worlds land area, suggesting that small-ranged species maps are of high importance to conservation planning.
The authors highlight a need to reassess the global allocation of conservation resources to reflect todays improved knowledge of biodiversity and conservation.

Document available for download: 

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