IUCN Global Species Programme

Cambridge, United Kingdom

IUCN Global Species Programme

Cambridge, United Kingdom
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Juffe-Bignoli D.,World Conservation Monitoring Center | Brooks T.M.,International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN | Brooks T.M.,University of the Philippines at Los Baños | Brooks T.M.,University of Tasmania | And 45 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Knowledge products comprise assessments of authoritative information supported by standards, governance, quality control, data, tools, and capacity building mechanisms. Considerable resources are dedicated to developing and maintaining knowledge products for biodiversity conservation, and they are widely used to inform policy and advise decision makers and practitioners. However, the financial cost of delivering this information is largely undocumented. We evaluated the costs and funding sources for developing and maintaining four global biodiversity and conservation knowledge products: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, Protected Planet, and the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. These are secondary data sets, built on primary data collected by extensive networks of expert contributors worldwide. We estimate that US$160 million (range: US$116-204 million), plus 293 person-years of volunteer time (range: 278- 308 person-years) valued at US$ 14 million (range US$12-16 million), were invested in these four knowledge products between 1979 and 2013. More than half of this financing was provided through philanthropy, and nearly three-quarters was spent on personnel costs. The estimated annual cost of maintaining data and platforms for three of these knowledge products (excluding the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems for which annual costs were not possible to estimate for 2013) is US$6.5 million in total (range: US$6.2-6.7 million).We estimated that an additional US$114 million will be needed to reach pre-defined baselines of data coverage for all the four knowledge products, and that once achieved, annual maintenance costs will be approximately US$12 million. These costs are much lower than those to maintain many other, similarly important, global knowledge products. Ensuring that biodiversity and conservation knowledge products are sufficiently up to date, comprehensive and accurate is fundamental to inform decision-making for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Thus, the development and implementation of plans for sustainable long-Term financing for them is critical. © 2016 Adel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

PubMed | Fauna and Flora International, IUCN Global Species Programme, Center for Conservation Science, British Trust for Ornithology and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings. Biological sciences | Year: 2015

Despite increasing concerns about the vulnerability of species populations to climate change, there has been little overall synthesis of how individual population responses to variation in climate differ between taxa, with trophic level or geographically. To address this, we extracted data from 132 long-term (greater than or equal to 20 years) studies of population responses to temperature and precipitation covering 236 animal and plant species across terrestrial and freshwater habitats. Our results identify likely geographical differences in the effects of climate change on populations and communities in line with macroecological theory. Temperature tended to have a greater overall impact on populations than precipitation, although the effects of increased precipitation varied strongly with latitude, being most positive at low latitudes. Population responses to increased temperature were generally positive, but did not vary significantly with latitude. Studies reporting significant climatic trends through time tended to show more negative effects of temperature and more positive effects of precipitation upon populations than other studies, indicating climate change has already impacted many populations. Most studies of climate change impacts on biodiversity have focused on temperature and are from middle to high northern latitudes. Our results suggest their findings may be less applicable to low latitudes.

Ockendon N.,British Trust for Ornithology | Baker D.J.,British Trust for Ornithology | Baker D.J.,Durham University | Carr J.A.,IUCN Global Species Programme | And 14 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2014

Shifts in species' distribution and abundance in response to climate change have been well documented, but the underpinning processes are still poorly understood. We present the results of a systematic literature review and meta-analysis investigating the frequency and importance of different mechanisms by which climate has impacted natural populations. Most studies were from temperate latitudes of North America and Europe; almost half investigated bird populations. We found significantly greater support for indirect, biotic mechanisms than direct, abiotic mechanisms as mediators of the impact of climate on populations. In addition, biotic effects tended to have greater support than abiotic factors in studies of species from higher trophic levels. For primary consumers, the impact of climate was equally mediated by biotic and abiotic mechanisms, whereas for higher level consumers the mechanisms were most frequently biotic, such as predation or food availability. Biotic mechanisms were more frequently supported in studies that reported a directional trend in climate than in studies with no such climatic change, although sample sizes for this comparison were small. We call for more mechanistic studies of climate change impacts on populations, particularly in tropical systems. © 2014 John Wiley Sons Ltd.

Willis S.G.,Durham University | Foden W.,University of Witwatersrand | Baker D.J.,Durham University | Belle E.,UNEP WCMC | And 15 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2015

To accommodate climate-driven changes in biological communities, conservation plans are increasingly making use of models to predict species' responses to climate change. To date, species distribution models have been the most commonly used approach for assessing species' vulnerability to climate change. Biological trait-based approaches, which have emerged recently, and which include consideration of species' sensitivity and adaptive capacity, provide alternative and potentially conflicting vulnerability assessments and present conservation practitioners and planners with difficult choices. Here we discuss the differing objectives and strengths of the approaches, and provide guidance to conservation practitioners for their application. We outline an integrative methodological framework for assessing climate change impacts on species that uses both traditional species distribution modelling approaches and biological trait-based assessments. We show how these models can be used conceptually as inputs to guide conservation monitoring and planning. © 2015.

Gardner T.A.,University of Cambridge | Burgess N.D.,University of Cambridge | Burgess N.D.,Copenhagen University | Aguilar-Amuchastegui N.,WWF U.S. Conservation Science Program | And 19 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

The UNFCCC mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) represents an unprecedented opportunity for the conservation of forest biodiversity. Nevertheless, there are widespread concerns surrounding the possibility of negative environmental outcomes if biodiversity is not given adequate consideration throughout the REDD+ process. We propose a general framework for incorporating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes based on well-established ecological principles and experiences. First, we identify how biodiversity distribution and threat data, together with data on biodiversity responses to forest change and management, can be readily incorporated into the strategic planning process for REDD+ in order to identify priority areas and activities for investment that will deliver returns for both carbon and biodiversity. Second, we propose that assessments of changes in biodiversity following REDD+ implementation could be greatly facilitated by paralleling, where possible, the existing IPCC architecture for assessing carbon emissions. A three-tiered approach is proposed for biodiversity assessment, where lower tiers can provide a realistic starting point for countries with fewer data and lower technical capacities. Planning and assessment of biodiversity safeguards for REDD+ need not overburden an already encumbered UNFCCC process. Immediate progress is already possible for a large number of developing countries, and a gradual, phased approach to implementation would minimise risks and facilitate the protection of additional biodiversity benefits from REDD+ activities. Greater levels of coordination between the UNFCCC and CBD, as well as other agencies and stakeholder groups interested in forest conservation are needed if biodiversity safeguards are to be fully adopted and implemented. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Ficetola G.F.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rondinini C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Bonardi A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Katariya V.,IUCN Global Species Programme | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Maps of species ranges are among the most frequently used distribution data in biodiversity studies. As with any biological data, range maps have some level of measurement error, but this error is rarely quantified. We assessed the error associated with amphibian range maps by comparing them with point locality data. Location: Global. Methods: The maps published by the Global Amphibian Assessment were assessed against two data sets of species point localities: the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and a refined data set including recently published, high-quality presence data from both GBIF and other sources. Range fit was measured as the proportion of presence records falling within the range polygon(s) for each species. Results: Using the high-quality point data provided better fit measures than using the raw GBIF data. Range fit was highly variable among continents, being highest for North American and European species (a fit of 84-94%), and lowest for Asian and South American species (a fit of 57-64%). At the global scale, 95% of amphibian point records were inside the ranges published in maps, or within 31 km of the range edge. However, differences among continents were striking, and more points were found far from range edges for South American and Asian species. Main conclusions: The Global Amphibian Assessment range maps represent the known distribution of most amphibians well; this study provides measures of accuracy that can be useful for future research using amphibian maps as baseline data. Nevertheless, there is a need for greater investment in the continuous updating and improvement of maps, particularly in the megadiverse areas of tropical Asia and South America. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Burgess N.D.,UNEP WCMC | Malugu I.,WWF Tanzania Country Programme Office | Sumbi P.,WWF Tanzania Country Programme Office | Kashindye A.,WWF Tanzania Country Programme Office | And 11 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2016

We present an analysis of changes of state, pressures and conservation responses over 20 years in the Tanzanian portion of the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa biodiversity hotspot. Baseline data collected during 1989–1995 are compared with data from a synthesis of recently published papers and reports and new field work carried out across the region during 2010–2014. We show that biodiversity endemism values are largely unchanged, although two new species (amphibian and mammal) have been named and two extremely rare tree species have been relocated. However, forest habitat continues to be lost and degraded, largely as a result of agricultural expansion, charcoal production to supply cities with cooking fuel, logging for timber and cutting of wood for firewood and building poles. Habitat loss is linked to an increase in the number of species threatened over time. The government-managed forest reserve network has expanded slightly but has low effectiveness. Three forest reserves have been upgraded to National Parks and Nature Reserves, which have stricter protection and more effective enforcement. There has also been rapid development of village-owned forest reserves, with more than 140 now existing; although usually small, they are an important addition to the areas being managed for sustainable resource use, and also provide tangible benefits to local people. Human-use pressures remain intense in many areas, and combined with emerging pressures from mining, gas and oil exploration, many endemic species remain threatened with extinction. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2016

News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.bbc.co.uk

The first comprehensive assessment of Europe's crickets and grasshoppers has found that more than a quarter of species are being driven to extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the insect group is the most threatened of those assessed so far in Europe. Europe harbours more than 1,000 species of grasshopper and cricket. If we don't act now the sound of crickets could become a thing of the past, said the IUCN. Crickets, bush crickets and grasshoppers - a group known as Orthoptera - live on grassland. They are an important food source for birds and reptiles, and their decline could affect entire ecosystems. Their habitat is being lost due to wildfires, intensive agriculture and tourism development. Jean-Christophe Vié, deputy director, IUCN Global Species Programme, said to bring these species back from the brink of extinction, more needs to be done to protect and restore their habitats. "This can be done through sustainable grassland management using traditional agricultural practices, for example," he said. "If we do not act now, the sound of crickets in European grasslands could soon become a thing of the past." The assessment took place over two years and involved more than 150 scientists. Axel Hochkirch is chair of the IUCN invertebrate conservation sub-committee and lead author of the report. "If we lose grasshoppers and other Orthoptera like crickets and bush crickets, we will lose diversity," he told BBC News. "They are very good indicators of biodiversity in open ecosystems." The experts are particularly concerned about species that occupy small ranges, such as the Crau plain grasshopper, which lives only on the Crau plain in the South of France. Some populations are also being lost through wildfires, particularly in Greece and on the Canary Islands. "The results from this IUCN Red List are deeply worrying," said Luc Bas, director of the IUCN European Regional Office. The report recommends the setting up of a monitoring programme across Europe to obtain information on population trends.

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