1 Tahrcountry Musings: World's protected areas are not doing enough

Thursday, July 03, 2014

World's protected areas are not doing enough



 Scientists from James Cook University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Queensland, Stanford University, BirdLife International, the International Union for Nature Conservation, and other organizations have come up with the disturbing finding that the world's protected areas are not doing enough to protect the world's threatened  biodiversity. 85 percent of world's 4,118 threatened mammals, birds, and amphibian species are not adequately protected in existing protected areas.  Dr. Oscar Venter is the lead author of the study.

Dr James Watson, WCS’s Climate Change Program Director and a Principle Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, and senior author on the study said "The problem is that countries tend to favour land that is cheap to protect when establishing new parks, instead of focusing on land that is important for wildlife.”

Professor Hugh Possingham of the University of Queensland adds “By formalizing the interdependence of protecting both wild terrestrial areas and threatened species, we can greatly increase the chances of maintaining Earth’s biological diversity for future generations. When these goals are combined, countries are much more likely to create new parks in biologically threatened areas, which will lead to long-term dividends for global conservation.”

The authors of the study are: Oscar Venter of James Cook University and the University of Queensland; Richard Fuller of the University of Queensland; Daniel B. Segan of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland; Josie Carwardine of CSIRO Ecosystem Science; Thomas Brooks of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the University of the Philippines, and the University of Tasmania; Stuart H.M. Butchart of BirdLife International; Moreno Di Marco of the Global Mammal Assessment Program, Sapienza Universit√° di Roma; Takuya Iwamura of Stanford University; Liana Joseph of the University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society; Damien O’Grady of James Cook University; Hugh P. Possingham of the University of Queensland and Imperial College London; Carlo Rondinini of Global Mammal Assessment Program, Sapienza Universit√° di Roma; Robert J. Smith of the University of Kent; Michelle Venter of James Cook University; and James E.M. Watson of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland.

The details of the study appears in the latest issue of journal PLOS Biology

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