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How many bird and mammal extinctions has recent conservation action prevented?


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Bolam, FC, Mair, L, Angelico, M, Brooks, TM, Burgman, M, Hermes, C, Hoffmann, M, Martin, RW, McGowan, PJK, Rodrigues, ASL, Rondinini, C, Westrip, JRS, Wheatley, H, Bedolla-Guzman, Y, Calzada, J, Child, MF, Cranswick, PA, Dickman, CR, Fessl, B, Fisher, DO, Garnett, ST, Groombridge, JJ, Johnson, CN ORCID: 0000-0002-9719-3771, Kennerley, RJ, King, SRB, Lamoreux, JF, Lees, AC, Lens, L, Mahood, SP, Mallon, DP, Meijaard, E, Mendez-Sanchez, F, Percequillo, AR, Regan, TJ, Renjifo, LM, Rivers, MC, Roach, NS, Roxburgh, L, Safford, RJ, Salaman, P, Squires, T, Vazquez-Dominguez, E, Visconti, P, Woinarski, JCZ, Young, RP and Butchart, SHM 2021 , 'How many bird and mammal extinctions has recent conservation action prevented?' , Conservation Letters, vol. 14, no. 1 , pp. 1-11 , doi: 10.1111/conl.12762.

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Aichi Target 12 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) contains the aim to ‘prevent extinctions of known threatened species’. To measure the degree to which this was achieved, we used expert elicitation to estimate the number of bird and mammal species whose extinctions were prevented by conservation action in 1993–2020 (the lifetime of the CBD) and 2010–2020 (the timing of Aichi Target 12). We found that conservation action prevented 21–32 bird and 7–16 mammal extinctions since 1993, and 9–18 bird and two to seven mammal extinctions since 2010. Many remain highly threatened and may still become extinct. Considering that 10 bird and five mammal species did go extinct (or are strongly suspected to) since 1993, extinction rates would have been 2.9–4.2 times greater without conservation action. While policy commitments have fostered significant conservation achievements, future biodiversity action needs to be scaled up to avert additional extinctions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Bolam, FC and Mair, L and Angelico, M and Brooks, TM and Burgman, M and Hermes, C and Hoffmann, M and Martin, RW and McGowan, PJK and Rodrigues, ASL and Rondinini, C and Westrip, JRS and Wheatley, H and Bedolla-Guzman, Y and Calzada, J and Child, MF and Cranswick, PA and Dickman, CR and Fessl, B and Fisher, DO and Garnett, ST and Groombridge, JJ and Johnson, CN and Kennerley, RJ and King, SRB and Lamoreux, JF and Lees, AC and Lens, L and Mahood, SP and Mallon, DP and Meijaard, E and Mendez-Sanchez, F and Percequillo, AR and Regan, TJ and Renjifo, LM and Rivers, MC and Roach, NS and Roxburgh, L and Safford, RJ and Salaman, P and Squires, T and Vazquez-Dominguez, E and Visconti, P and Woinarski, JCZ and Young, RP and Butchart, SHM
Keywords: biodiversity, Aichi biodiversity target 12,Convention on Biological Diversity, Delphi method, extinction risk, species conservation, IUCN Red List
Journal or Publication Title: Conservation Letters
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 1755-263X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/conl.12762
Copyright Information:

© 2020 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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