Global Species Programme

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Global Species Programme

Cambridge, United Kingdom
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PubMed | National Parks Board, Private Researcher, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Global Species Programme and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

We present the first global assessment of extinction risk for a major group of freshwater invertebrates, caridean shrimps. The risk of extinction for all 763 species was assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria that include geographic ranges, habitats, ecology and past and present threats. The Indo-Malayan region holds over half of global species diversity, with a peak in Indo-China and southern China. Shrimps primarily inhabit flowing water; however, a significant subterranean component is present, which is more threatened than the surface fauna. Two species are extinct with a further 10 possibly extinct, and almost one third of species are either threatened or Near Threatened (NT). Threats to freshwater shrimps include agricultural and urban pollution impact over two-thirds of threatened and NT species. Invasive species and climate change have the greatest overall impact of all threats (based on combined timing, scope and severity of threats).


PubMed | University Grenoble Alpes, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research, University of Western Australia and Global Species Programme
Type: | Journal: Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology | Year: 2016

Despite a long-standing debate about the utility of species-centered conservation approaches (Roberge & Angelstam 2004), surrogate species remain popular by providing useful-or even necessary-shortcuts for successful conservation programs (Caro 2010). Flagship species, as one prime example of surrogates, are primarily intended to promote public awareness and to raise funds for conservation (Verssimo etal. 2011). In contrast, the protection of umbrella species is expected to benefit a wide range of co-occurring species (Roberge & Angelstam 2004; Caro 2010). Accordingly, the main criteria for selecting flagships should be based on socio-cultural considerations, whereas umbrellas are principally chosen based on ecological criteria (Caro 2010; Verssimo etal. 2011; see Table 1). Since these two concepts are often confused or mistakenly used interchangeably, Caro (2010, p. 248) coined the term flagship umbrellas for those species that explicitly integrate both functions. Indeed, Li and Pimm (2016) recently demonstrated that the classic flagship species, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), can simultaneously act as an umbrella species, as its protection benefits many co-occurring endemic mammals, birds and amphibians. This challenges the often held views that: (i) the umbrella concept has to be abandoned as it is not efficiently working at local scales (Caro 2015); (ii) most flagship species are weak predictors for efficient reserve planning (Caro 2010); and (iii) ecosystem- or landscape-based conservation approaches should consequentially be favored over species-based approaches whenever feasible (Roberge & Angelstam 2004; Caro 2010). Further commotion in the discussion is the increasingly demanded paradigm shift in conservation strategies to specifically target hidden or neglected biodiversity for its intrinsic value and its contribution to ecosystem processes (Dougherty etal. 2016). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Garcia R.A.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Garcia R.A.,Copenhagen University | Garcia R.A.,University of Évora | Araujo M.B.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Climate change can lead to decreased climatic suitability within species' distributions, increased fragmentation of climatically suitable space, and/or emergence of newly suitable areas outside present distributions. Each of these extrinsic threats and opportunities potentially interacts with specific intrinsic traits of species, yet this specificity is seldom considered in risk assessments. We present an analytical framework for examining projections of climate change-induced threats and opportunities with reference to traits that are likely to mediate species' responses, and illustrate the applicability of the framework. Location: Sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: We applied the framework to 195 sub-Saharan African amphibians with both available bioclimatic envelope model projections for the mid-21st century and trait data. Excluded were 500 narrow-ranging species mainly from montane areas. For each of projected losses, increased fragmentation and gains of climate space, we selected potential response-mediating traits and examined the spatial overlap with vulnerability due to these traits. We examined the overlap for all species, and individually for groups of species with different combinations of threats and opportunities. Results: In the Congo Basin and arid Southern Africa, projected losses for wide-ranging amphibians were compounded by sensitivity to climatic variation, and expected gains were precluded by poor dispersal ability. The spatial overlap between exposure and vulnerability was more pronounced for species projected to have their climate space contracting in situ or shifting to distant geographical areas. Our results exclude the potential exposure of narrow-ranging species to shrinking climates in the African tropical mountains. Main conclusions: We illustrate the application of a framework combining spatial projections of climate change exposure with traits that are likely to mediate species' responses. Although the proposed framework carries several assumptions that require further scrutiny, its application adds a degree of realism to familiar assessments that consider all species to be equally affected by climate change-induced threats and opportunities. © 2014 The Authors Journal of Biogeography Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Randriamamonjy V.C.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Keane A.,University of Edinburgh | Razafimanahaka H.J.,Madagasikara Voakajy | Jenkins R.K.B.,Global Species Programme | Jones J.P.G.,Bangor University
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

Mining can have serious biodiversity consequences and many mining operations take steps to mitigate their impacts. Evaluating their success poses a significant challenge because appropriate counterfactuals (what would have happened in the absence of the mine) are often unavailable. We aimed to estimate the effects of education and enforcement measures carried out by a large mine in eastern Madagascar on local consumption of illegal bushmeat. We adopt a quasi-experimental approach and use an interview technique designed to reduce sensitivity biases to compare levels of consumption amongst mine employees and people living within the mine's intervention area with those of statistically matched control groups, and to relate differences to respondents' knowledge of relevant wildlife laws. Consumption was lower, and awareness of the law higher, amongst mine employees and those living in the mine's intervention area. However caution should be applied in interpreting these results as evidence of the effectiveness of anti-bushmeat efforts by the mine due to potential confounding factors: for example abundance of bushmeat species may vary between the study areas, and our method may not have completely removed the sensitivity of questions about illegal consumption. This illustrates the challenges of evaluating conservation impacts. We highlight the low level of understanding of wildlife laws, including among mine employees, and suggest better communication of these laws, as part of an education programme, could be a useful first step towards reducing illegal hunting. © 2015 .


Foden W.B.,Global Species Programme | Foden W.B.,University of Witwatersrand | Stuart S.N.,Species Survival Commission | Stuart S.N.,United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Center | And 17 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Climate change will have far-reaching impacts on biodiversity, including increasing extinction rates. Current approaches to quantifying such impacts focus on measuring exposure to climatic change and largely ignore the biological differences between species that may significantly increase or reduce their vulnerability. To address this, we present a framework for assessing three dimensions of climate change vulnerability, namely sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity; this draws on species' biological traits and their modeled exposure to projected climatic changes. In the largest such assessment to date, we applied this approach to each of the world's birds, amphibians and corals (16,857 species). The resulting assessments identify the species with greatest relative vulnerability to climate change and the geographic areas in which they are concentrated, including the Amazon basin for amphibians and birds, and the central Indo-west Pacific (Coral Triangle) for corals. We found that high concentration areas for species with traits conferring highest sensitivity and lowest adaptive capacity differ from those of highly exposed species, and we identify areas where exposure-based assessments alone may over or under-estimate climate change impacts. We found that 608-851 bird (6-9%), 670-933 amphibian (11-15%), and 47-73 coral species (6-9%) are both highly climate change vulnerable and already threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List. The remaining highly climate change vulnerable species represent new priorities for conservation. Fewer species are highly climate change vulnerable under lower IPCC SRES emissions scenarios, indicating that reducing greenhouse emissions will reduce climate change driven extinctions. Our study answers the growing call for a more biologically and ecologically inclusive approach to assessing climate change vulnerability. By facilitating independent assessment of the three dimensions of climate change vulnerability, our approach can be used to devise species and area-specific conservation interventions and indices. The priorities we identify will strengthen global strategies to mitigate climate change impacts. © 2013 Foden et al.


Collen B.,UK Institute of Zoology | Whitton F.,UK Institute of Zoology | Dyer E.E.,UK Institute of Zoology | Dyer E.E.,University College London | And 7 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Global-scale studies are required to identify broad-scale patterns in the distributions of species, to evaluate the processes that determine diversity and to determine how similar or different these patterns and processes are among different groups of freshwater species. Broad-scale patterns of spatial variation in species distribution are central to many fundamental questions in macroecology and conservation biology. We aimed to evaluate how congruent three commonly used metrics of diversity were among taxa for six groups of freshwater species. Location: Global. Methods: We compiled geographical range data on 7083 freshwater species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crabs and crayfish to evaluate how species richness, richness of threatened species and endemism are distributed across freshwater ecosystems. We evaluated how congruent these measures of diversity were among taxa at a global level for a grid cell size of just under 1°. Results: We showed that although the risk of extinction faced by freshwater decapods is quite similar to that of freshwater vertebrates, there is a distinct lack of spatial congruence in geographical range between different taxonomic groups at this spatial scale, and a lack of congruence among three commonly used metrics of biodiversity. The risk of extinction for freshwater species was consistently higher than for their terrestrial counterparts. Main conclusions: We demonstrate that broad-scale patterns of species richness, threatened-species richness and endemism lack congruence among the six freshwater taxonomic groups examined. Invertebrate species are seldom taken into account in conservation planning. Our study suggests that both the metric of biodiversity and the identity of the taxa on which conservation decisions are based require careful consideration. As geographical range information becomes available for further sets of species, further testing will be warranted into the extent to which geographical variation in the richness of these six freshwater groups reflects broader patterns of biodiversity in fresh water. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Tisseuil C.,French Natural History Museum | Cornu J.-F.,French Natural History Museum | Beauchard O.,University of Antwerp | Brosse S.,CNRS Biological Evolution and Diversity Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Animal Ecology | Year: 2013

Whereas global patterns and predictors of species diversity are well known for numerous terrestrial taxa, our understanding of freshwater diversity patterns and their predictors is much more limited. Here, we examine spatial concordance in global diversity patterns for five freshwater taxa (i.e. aquatic mammals, aquatic birds, fishes, crayfish and aquatic amphibians) and investigate the environmental factors driving these patterns at the river drainage basin grain. We find that species richness and endemism patterns are significantly correlated among taxa. We also show that cross-taxon congruence patterns are often induced by common responses of taxa to their contemporary and historical environments (i.e. convergent patterns). Apart from some taxa distinctiveness (i.e. fishes), the 'climate/productivity' hypothesis is found to explain the greatest variance in species richness and endemism patterns, followed by factors related to the 'history/dispersion' and 'area/environmental heterogeneity' hypotheses. As aquatic amphibians display the highest levels of congruency with other taxa, this taxon appears to be a good 'surrogate' candidate for developing global freshwater conservation planning at the river drainage basin grain. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society.


CITES called on Mozambique and Tanzania – both of which have lost more than half their elephants since 2009 – to take critical steps against ivory trafficking before its next meeting in September. Meanwhile, the committee recommended that Angola, Laos and Nigeria should face sanctions on trade in CITES-listed species for their failure to report on progress under their national ivory action plans. Viet Nam, which is the largest consumer of rhino horn, is required to demonstrate greater commitment to stamping out the illegal trade and report back its progress. Mozambique is also required to report back on the progress of its action plan to save rhinos, and could be sanctioned if sufficient improvements are not made. "The CITES Standing Committee meeting took some tough and welcome decisions this week that will boost the global fight against the illegal ivory and rhino horn trade," said Carlos Drews, WWF Director, Global Species Programme. "Considerable progress has been made by many countries in recent years, but Mozambique, Tanzania and Viet Nam are still not doing nearly enough." Mozambique was urged to enforce its new wildlife law, which has languished for the past 18 months, allowing trafficking kingpins to continue to act with impunity and undermining presidential promises to combat wildlife crime. Meanwhile, Tanzania must enact CITES legislation in its autonomous territory of Zanzibar. "WWF supports the committee's demand for action on Zanzibar since we have long been calling for the territory to be covered by CITES rules just like the rest of Tanzania," said Colman O Criodain, WWF Wildlife Trade Analyst. "Zanzibar has become a trafficking hub not only for ivory but also for precious timbers – and will remain so until it is subject to CITES regulations." Much of the illegal timber passing through Zanzibar comes from Madagascar, which was required by the committee to carry out an inventory of its stockpiles of ebonies and rosewoods – many of which are currently leaking into illegal trade. A host of other measures were endorsed that will benefit numerous endangered species including totoaba fish, tigers, great apes and pangolins. CITES also took steps to address the laundering of wild-harvested animals as captive bred. "This was the busiest ever CITES Standing Committee meeting and WWF is relieved that it was able to maintain the international momentum to tackle the illegal wildlife trade that has built up over recent years," said O Criodain. Explore further: Treat illegal wildlife trade as serious crime: CITES


Carrizo S.F.,Global Species Programme | Smith K.G.,Global Species Programme | Darwall W.R.T.,Global Species Programme
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2013

The 15750 valid described species of freshwater fishes comprise around 25% of living vertebrate species diversity, and are a key economic and nutritional resource for people globally. However, information on the conservation status and distribution of freshwater fishes in The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ (Red List) has been extremely limited until recently. Over the last 10 years, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Species Programme Freshwater Biodiversity Unit has made significant progress to fill this information gap. From a base of only 660 freshwater-fish species assessed on the Red List in 2002, a further 5125 species assessments have now been completed. As of 2011, 60 freshwater-fish species are thought to be Extinct, eight are Extinct in the Wild and 1679 are threatened with extinction. This information, combined with new work to identify important sites for freshwater fishes, will help the world's zoos and aquariums identify potential targets (species or areas) for in situ and ex situ conservation programmes. © 2013 The Zoological Society of London.

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