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Visconti P.,Microsoft | Bakkenes M.,PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency PO Box 303 3720 AH Bilthoven The Netherlands | Baisero D.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Brooks T.,University of Tasmania | And 12 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2015

To address the ongoing global biodiversity crisis, governments have set strategic objectives and have adopted indicators to monitor progress toward their achievement. Projecting the likely impacts on biodiversity of different policy decisions allows decision makers to understand if and how these targets can be met. We projected trends in two widely used indicators of population abundance Geometric Mean Abundance, equivalent to the Living Planet Index and extinction risk (the Red List Index) under different climate and land-use change scenarios. Testing these on terrestrial carnivore and ungulate species, we found that both indicators decline steadily, and by 2050, under a Business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, geometric mean population abundance declines by 18-35% while extinction risk increases for 8-23% of the species, depending on assumptions about species responses to climate change. BAU will therefore fail Convention on Biological Diversity target 12 of improving the conservation status of known threatened species. An alternative sustainable development scenario reduces both extinction risk and population losses compared with BAU and could lead to population increases. Our approach to model species responses to global changes brings the focus of scenarios directly to the species level, thus taking into account an additional dimension of biodiversity and paving the way for including stronger ecological foundations into future biodiversity scenario assessments. © 2015 The Authors Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Butchart S.H.,BirdLife International Wellbrook Court Cambridge CB3 0NA UK | Clarke M.,BirdLife International Wellbrook Court Cambridge CB3 0NA UK | Smith R.J.,University of Kent | Sykes R.E.,University of Kent | And 36 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2015

Governments have committed to conserving ≥17% of terrestrial and ≥10% of marine environments globally, especially "areas of particular importance for biodiversity" through "ecologically representative" Protected Area (PA) systems or other "area-based conservation measures", while individual countries have committed to conserve 3-50% of their land area. We estimate that PAs currently cover 14.6% of terrestrial and 2.8% of marine extent, but 59-68% of ecoregions, 77-78% of important sites for biodiversity, and 57% of 25,380 species have inadequate coverage. The existing 19.7 million km2 terrestrial PA network needs only 3.3 million km2 to be added to achieve 17% terrestrial coverage. However, it would require nearly doubling to achieve, cost-efficiently, coverage targets for all countries, ecoregions, important sites, and species. Poorer countries have the largest relative shortfalls. Such extensive and rapid expansion of formal PAs is unlikely to be achievable. Greater focus is therefore needed on alternative approaches, including community- and privately managed sites and other effective area-based conservation measures. © 2015 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology. Source

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