Upcoming Scientific Communications

Article 29.1 of the Grant Agreement stipulates an obligation to inform all beneficiaries 45 days in advance, and that any other beneficiary can object within 30 days of being notified. As agreed by the Supervisory Board, whenever you submit a paper or an abstract to a conference or any other type of scientific dissemination of results, please inform Pauline. This information is then added here as Pauline receives it.


Article submission: A habitat class to land cover translation model for mapping Area of Habitat of terrestrial vertebrates

(submitted to Methods in Ecology and Evolution on 14th November 2020)

Authors: Maria Lumbierres, Prabhat Raj Dahal, Moreno Di Marco, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Paul F. Donald, Carlo Rondinini


1. Area of Habitat (AOH) is defined as the ‘habitat available to a species, that is, habitat within its range’ and is produced by subtracting areas of unsuitable land cover and elevation from a species’ geographic range. Habitat associations of species are documented using the IUCN Habitats Classification Scheme, and expert opinion has been used so far to match habitat classes to land-cover classes for the purposes of creating AOH maps.  The reliance of this method of unvalidated expert opinion has been a source of uncertainty in AOH maps produced to date.

2. Here we develop a data-driven method to match IUCN habitat classes to land-cover classes (from both the CGLC-LC100 and ESA-CCI) based on point locality data for 6,986 species of terrestrial mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. To assign IUCN habitat classes to land-cover classes, we modeled land-cover classes at point localities as a function of the IUCN habitat class(s) each species was assigned to, using logistic regression models. The resulting odds ratios were used to assess the strength of the association of each habitat class with each land-cover class.

3. The results show that some habitat classes (e.g. forest and desert) could be more confidently assigned to land-cover classes than others (e.g. wetlands and artificial habitats). We calculated the association between habitat classes and land-cover classes as a continuous variable, but to map AOH, which is usually in the form of a binary presence/absence map, it is necessary to apply a threshold of association. This can be chosen by the user according to the required balance between omission and commission errors.

4. This approach allows greater flexibility in the use of the results but also allows errors to be quantified and ensures standardization and repeatability. Our models allow an objective, data-driven translation of habitat classes into land-cover classes and represents a significant and novel improvement in the production of AOH.


Article submission: COMBINE: A Coalesced Mammal Database of Intrinsic and Extrinsic traits

(submitted  to Ecology on 3rd October 2020)

Authors: Carmen D. Soria, Michela Pacifici, Moreno Di Marco, Sarah M. Stephen and Carlo Rondinini

Abstract: The use of species’ traits in macroecological analyses has gained popularity in the last decade, becoming an important tool to understand global biodiversity patterns. Currently, trait data can be found across a wide variety of data sets included in websites, articles and books, each one with its own taxonomic classification, set of traits and data management methodology. Mammals, in particular, are among the most studied taxa, with large sources of trait information readily available. To facilitate the use of these data, we did an extensive review of published mammal trait data sources and produced COMBINE: a COalesced Mammal dataBase of INtrinsic and Extrinsic traits. Our aim was to create a taxonomically integrated database of mammal traits that maximized trait number and coverage without compromising data quality. COMBINE contains information on 54 traits for 6,234 extant and recently extinct mammal species, including information on morphology, reproduction, diet, biogeography, life-habit, phenology, behavior, home range and density. Additionally, we calculated other relevant traits such as habitat and altitudinal breadths for all species and dispersal for terrestrial non-volant species. All data are compatible with the taxonomies of the IUCN Red List v. 2020-2 and PHYLACINE v. 1.2. Missing data were adequately flagged and imputed for non-biogeographical traits with 20% or more data available. We obtained full data sets for 21 traits such as female maturity, litter size, maximum longevity, trophic level and dispersal, providing imputation performance statistics for all. This data set will be especially useful for those interested in including species’ traits in large-scale ecological and conservation analyses.

Article submission: Non-native species in the vicinity of protected areas influence the community of non-native species within them

(submitted  to Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution on 2 November 2020)

Authors: Kathrin Holenstein, William D. Simonson, Kevin G. Smith, Tim M. Blackburn, Anne Charpentier

Abstract: Protected areas (PAs) are a key element of global conservation strategies aiming to protect habitats and species from various threats such as non-natives species (NNS) with negative ecological impacts. Yet little is known about the mechanisms by which PAs are colonized by NNS, and more specifically the role of colonizing events from surrounding areas. Here, we compared terrestrial and freshwater non-native plants and animals recorded in Norwegian PAs and in 5-km belts around them, using the database of the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre Species Map Service. Our analysis included 1,602 NNS and 623 PAs. We found that NNS were recorded in only 23% of the PAs, despite the fact that 90% of the 5-km belts were colonized by at least one NNS. A Zero-inflated negative binomial regression model showed that the number of NNS in the 5-km belts was a strong explanatory variable of the NNS richness inside PAs. Other significant variables included the surface area of the PA, mean human population density in the PA, main type of habitat and accessibility of PAs. We also observed similarity in the species in and around the PAs, with, on average, two thirds of the NNS present in a specific PA also present in its 5-km belt. Furthermore, NNS were recorded in PAs on average 4.5 years after being recorded in the 0-5 km belts, suggesting a dynamic of rapid colonization from the belts to the PAs. Invasive NNS represented 12 % of NNS in the belts but 40% in the PAs. This difference was related to the higher abundance of invasive NNS in the belts. Our results highlight the necessity of expanding the focus of NNS management in PAs beyond their boundaries, in particular to prevent incursions of NNS with high negative ecological impact.


Conference presentation: Measuring change in protected area coverage over time: a methodological comparison and implications for South America

(Society for Conservation Biology-LACA conference due on November 2020)

Oral presentation: Scott Ford

Abstract: Protected areas are a key intervention in combating contemporary biodiversity loss. Developing successful protected area systems depends partly on our ability to monitor past trends in protected-area coverage and associated metrics. Existing approaches for documenting these trends utilize the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). Two predominant existing approaches, the status-year and temporal approaches, suffer from flaws that prevent accurate assessments of protected-area dynamics at the global scale. These flaws include the inability of the status-year approach to show loss in protected-area coverage over time and the susceptibility of the temporal approach to data inconsistencies between different WDPA versions and the time lag in reporting new protected areas to the WDPA. Using GIS tools and multiple historic versions of the WDPA, we developed a novel approach (corrective approach) to address the flaws of existing approaches and produce a more accurate documentation of historic trends in protected-area coverage. To highlight the utility of our novel approach, we documented historic trends in protected-area coverage in South America between 2010 and 2019 using the corrective, status-year, and temporal approaches respectively. Both the status-year and temporal approaches vastly underrepresented terrestrial protected-area coverage in earlier years compared to the corrective approach. Accordingly, the existing approaches reported an overall increase in terrestrial protected-area coverage in South America between 2010 and 2019, whereas the corrective approach reported a net loss. The three approaches produced similar time-series representing trends in marine protected-area coverage. The results show that the choice of method for documenting historic trends in protected-area coverage has great consequence on the results, especially in contexts where losses in protected-area coverage have been prevalent. The corrective approach has the ability to produce a more accurate understanding of protected-area dynamics than existing approaches, and is therefore a useful tool for understanding past protected-area interventions and designing new ones.


Conference presentation: Conserving Antarctic penguins: identification of critical foraging sites in support of the Antarctic MPA network

(International Marine Conservation Congress due on August 2020)

Oral presentation: Marie-Morgane Rouyer

Authors: Rouyer et al.

Abstract: For the conservation of species and biodiversity, it is imperative to identify sites that will contribute significantly to their global persistence. Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are a recognised conservation tool, based on global criteria, to locate such sites. While terrestrial IBAs have been described for the four penguin species breeding in Antarctica - Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae), chinstrap (Pygoscelis antarcticus), gentoo (Pygoscelis papua) and emperor (Aptenodytes forsteri) penguins -, marine IBAs (globally aligned criteria to help identify the most important marine sites for seabirds) have yet to be delineated. Using a modified foraging radius approach with a distance-decay function and abundance estimates from 768 breeding colonies, we identified some of the most important marine sites for chick-rearing penguins throughout Antarctica (those holding > 1% of a species’ global population, IBA criterion A4). We identified 63 marine IBA sites throughout Antarctica for all four species and found that adopting the proposed MPAs would increase by between 49% and 100% the permanent conservation of these high-quality sites, depending on the species. Our results support the implementation of the MPA network envisioned for Antarctica and spatial planning needs, for the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). These MPAs will be critical in meeting global marine conservation targets such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets 6 and 11, and UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.


Manuscript submission: Global political responsibility for the conservation of albatrosses and large petrels

(submitted to Nature Communications on 29 June 2020)

Authors: Martin Beal, Maria P. Dias, Richard A. Phillips, Steffen Oppel, Carolina Hazin, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Josh Adams, David J. Anderson, Michelle Antolos, Javier A. Arata, José Manuel Arcos, John P.Y. Arnould, Jill Awkerman, Elizabeth Bell, Mike Bell, Mark Carey, Ryan Carle, Thomas A. Clay, Jaimie Cleeland, Valentina Colodro, Melinda Conners, Marta Cruz-Flores, Richard Cuthbert, Karine Delord, Lorna Deppe, Ben J. Dilley, Herculano Dinis, Graeme Elliott, Fernanda De Felipe, Jonathan Felis, Manuela G. Forero, Amanda Freeman, Akira Fukuda, Jacob González-Solís, José Pedro Granadeiro, April Hedd, Peter Hodum, José Manuel Igual, Audrey Jaeger, Todd J. Landers, Matthieu Le Corre, Azwianewi Makhado, Benjamin Metzger, Teresa Militão, William A. Montevecchi, Virginia Morera-Pujol, Leia Navarro-Herrero, Deon Nel, David Nicholls, Daniel Oro, Ridha Ouni, Kiyoaki Ozaki, Flavio Quintana, Raül Ramos, Tim Reid, José Manuel Reyes-González, Christopher Robertson, Graham Robertson, Mohamed Salah Romdhane, Peter G. Ryan, Paul Sagar, Fumio Sato,  Stefan Schoombie, R. Paul Scofield, Scott A. Shaffer, Nirmal Jivan Shah, Kim L. Stevens, Christopher Surman, Robert M. Suryan, Akinori Takahashi, Vikash Tatayah, Graeme Taylor, David R. Thompson, Leigh Torres, Kath Walker, Ross Wanless, Susan M. Waugh, Henri Weimerskirch, Takashi Yamamoto, Zuzana Zajkova, Laura Zango, & Paulo Catry

Abstract: Migratory marine species cross numerous political borders and enter the high seas, where the lack of an effective global management framework for biodiversity leaves them vulnerable to threats. Herein, we combine 10,108 tracks from 5,775 birds at 87 sites, and data on breeding population sizes, to estimate the relative importance, year-round, of national jurisdictions and high seas areas for 39 species of albatrosses and large petrels. Breeding populations from every country made extensive use of the high seas, indicating the stake each country has in the management of biodiversity in international waters. While in the high seas, albatrosses and large petrels in each ocean basin spent the most time within the areas of competence of the five tuna regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). By making explicit the relative responsibilities that each country and RFMO has for the management of shared biodiversity, this work provides invaluable information for the conservation and management of migratory species at the appropriate scale in the marine realm.

Conference presentation: Updated Area of Habitat models to map global biodiversity of terrestrial mammals and birds

(GeoBon Conferences due on July 2020)

Oral presentation: Maria Lumbierres

Authors: Maria Lumbierres, Prabhat Raj Dahal, Paul F. Donald, Carlo Rondinini

Abstract: The current rate of biodiversity loss is over 1,000 times higher than background levels, therefore, finding mechanisms to identify where species’ suitable habitat is located is an urgent matter to direct conservation action. Conservation depends on accurate mapping of species distributions. At the global scales, the most comprehensive assessment of species distributions are the IUCN Red List geographical ranges, however, they usually contain areas inside the range that are not occupied by the species, and thus suffer from commission errors (false presence). Area of habitat (AOH; previously known as extent of suitable habitat; ESH) is the ‘habitat available to a species, that is, habitat within its range’ and is an attempt to reduce commission errors in range maps. The AOH maps are produced by removing the unsuitable habitat from the distribution ranges. To determine the suitable habitat, we used the information on habitat preferences from the IUCN Red List. To map habitats, we developed a novel data-driven crosswalk between the IUCN Red List Habitats Classification Scheme and the Copernicus Global Land Service Land Cover, using a logistic regression model. We presented an updated version of global AOH maps for terrestrial mammals and birds, at 100m resolution. These maps allowed us determining the global distribution of mammals and birds at a finer resolution than what could be obtained using ranges. Having fine-resolution distribution maps can help us to guide conservation action worldwide. AOH maps can be used for site-based conservation and protected areas identification. Moreover, having a clear view of the relationship between habitat and land cover helps us to understand the impacts of land-use change on species.

Link to the conference


Poster presentation submission: Permeability of Protected Areas to Non-Native Species

(submitted to Neobiota 2020, 11th International Conference on Biological Invasions, 15-18 September 2020, Croatia)

Authors: Kathrin Holenstein, Will Simonson, Kevin Smith, Anne Charpentier

Abstract: Protected areas (PAs) are a key element of global conservation strategies with the aim to protect important habitats and species from various threats, including non-natives species (NNS). But how effective are they at resisting NNS incursions? In this study, we investigated how the presence of NNS in close proximity to PAs influence the community of NNS present in PA. We compared the composition of terrestrial and freshwater non-native plants and animals present in Norwegian PAs and belts of 5 km width around them. We found that NNS were present in only 23% of the PAs despite the fact that 90% of the belts were colonized by at least one NNS. When a NNS was present in a PA, the probability of its presence in the belt was in average 0.63. Of those present in both, the PA and belt, 59% were recorded earlier in the belt, suggesting a time lag of NNS introductions into PAs. Further, we highlighted that 40% of the NNS present in PAs, and only 12% of the NNS present in the belts, were associated with severe or high ecological impact and were listed in the Norwegian Black List 2012. This study is the first one looking at relationships between NNS present in PAs and in the immediate vicinity of PAs. We emphasize NNS presence circumjacent to PAs is a potential indicator for NNS presence in PAs. We underline the importance of our results for the early detection and prevention of NNS incursion in PAs.

Article submission: A counterfactual approach to measure the impact of wet grassland conservation on UK breeding bird populations

(submitted to Conservation Biology on 7 April 2020)

Authors: Sean Jellesmark, Malcolm Ausden, Tim M. Blackburn, Richard D. Gregory, Mike Hoffmann, Dario Massimino, Louise McRae & Piero Visconti

Abstract: Wet grassland wader populations in the United Kingdom have experienced severe declines over the last three decades. To help mitigate these declines, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has restored and managed lowland wet grassland nature reserves to benefit these and other species. However, the impact that these reserves have on bird population trends has not been experimentally evaluated, as appropriate controls to compare with the treatment do not exist. In this study, we compare population trends of five bird species on these nature reserves with counterfactual breeding trends using matched breeding bird survey observations and loglinear models. Our results showed positive overall effects of conservation interventions for all four wader species that the conservation interventions on these reserves aim to benefit: Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew and Snipe. There was no positive overall effect of conservation interventions on reserves for Yellow Wagtail. Our approach using monitoring data to produce valid counterfactual controls is a broadly applicable method allowing large-scale evaluation of conservation impact.

Article submission: The Natura 2000 network and the ranges of threatened species in Greece

(submitted to Biodiversity and Conservation)

Authors: Konstantina Spiliopoulou (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4636-4905), Panayiotis G. Dimitrakopoulos (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8374-4392), Gabriela Kelaidi, Kaloust Paragamian, Vassiliki Kati (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3357-4556), Anthi Oikonomou (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2537-8846), Dimitris Vavylis, Panayiotis Trigas, Petros Lymberakis, Maria Th. Stoumboudi & Kostas A. Triantis (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2737-8890)

Abstract: Global environmental goals mandate the expansion of the protected area network to halt biodiversity loss. The European Union’s Natura 2000 network covers 27.3% of the terrestrial area of Greece, one of the highest percentages in Europe. However, it remains critical to assess how well it protects Europe’s biodiversity, especially in biodiverse countries like Greece. Here, we evaluate the country’s Natura 2000 network overlap with all the species assessed as threatened on the IUCN Red List present in Greece. Natura 2000 overlaps on average 47.6% with the mapped range of threatened species, while Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation (non-exclusive subsets of Natura 2000 sites) overlap 33.4% and 38.1% respectively. This overlap far exceeds that expected by random networks. Crete and Peloponnese are the two regions with the highest percentage of threatened species, with Natura 2000 sites overlapping on average 62.6% of the threatened species’ ranges for the former, but only 23.6% for the latter. The ranges of all threatened species listed in the Birds and Habitats Directives are overlapped by the network, but only 18% are fully overlapped. The ranges of twenty-five threatened species (5.9%) are not overlapped at all. Results presented herein can inform national policies for the protection of biodiversity beyond Natura 2000 sites

Article submission: A global map of terrestrial habitat types

(submitted to Nature Scientific Data on 13 February 2020)

Authors: Martin Jung (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)), Prabhat Raj Dahal (Sapienza University of Rome), Stuart Butchart (BirdLife International), Paul Donald(BirdLife International), Xavier deLamo (UNEP-WCMC), Myroslava Lesiv (International Institute for AppliedSystems Analysis), Val Kapos(UNEP-WCMC), Carlo Rondinini (Sapienza University of Rome), and Piero Visconti (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA))

Abstract: We provide a global spatially explicit characterization of 47 terrestrial habitat types, as defined in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) habitat classification scheme, which is widely used in ecological analyses, including for assessing species’ Area of Habitat. We produced this novel habitat map by creating a global decision tree that intersects the best currently available global data on land cover, climate and land use. We independently validated the map using occurrence data for 1413 species of vertebrates (50267 point plus 6538 polygonal occurrences) and 3797 sampling sites. Across datasets and mapped classes we found on average a balanced accuracy of 0.77 (∓ 0.14 SD) at Level 1 and 0.71 (∓ 0.15 SD) at Level 2, while noting potential issues of using occurrence records for validation. The maps broaden our understanding of habitats globally, assist in constructing area of habitat (AOH) refinements and are relevant for broad-scale ecological studies and future IUCN Red List assessments.

Conference abstract: Identifying Key Biodiversity Areas: The case of Greece

(submitted to Early Career Biogeographers Conference due on April 2020 - postponed to May 7-9 2021 due to covid-19 )

Author: Konstantina Spiliopoulou

Abstract: On the rise of environmental exploitation and destruction, the need for acute and cost-effective responses are relevant more than ever. Global environmental goals push for the expansion of the protected area network to halt biodiversity loss. However, the designation of new sites needs to be thoroughly planned and the existing sites need to be evaluated in order to accomplice favorable conservation outcomes. Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) is a recent tool that can inform these actions. KBAs represent the globally most important sites for the persistence of biodiversity, and their importance has already been recognized, as their coverage by protected areas is an indicator to track progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is one of the first attempts worldwide to identify KBAs at the national level using the “Standard for the Identification of KBAs”. We present the potential KBAs of Greece, and a methodology to identify KBA! s using multiple terrestrial and freshwater taxonomic groups (birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, orthoptera, odonata, fish, 2 plant families and cave fauna). We show that using multiple taxonomic groups and especially invertebrates, adds new sites to the existing important sites identified using bird species only. We also show that many of these sites are partially or completely outside protected areas. We finally discuss that KBAs, in combination with other tools, can guide protected area designation and resources allocation for conservation actions in Greece, and they can help increase our chances to safeguard globally important biodiversity as more countries identify and update their KBAs.

Link to the conference


Conference abstract submission: Don’t just cover it up: Questions of Effectiveness in Relation to Conservation Targets

(submitted to IUCN World Conservation Congress, talk due to 14 June 2020 )

Authors: Lewis, Clare & Spiliopoulou, Konstantina

Abstract: Despite the great efforts to meet conservation targets, the vision of the Convention of Biological Diversity to “halt biodiversity loss” is not being fulfilled. There is widespread agreement that conservation action needs to become bolder and more ambitious in response. However, a better understanding of the effects of conservation interventions could be the answer, so that future actions have maximum long-term impact on biodiversity. Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) are tools that can be used to explore the effects of conservation interventions and improve our understanding on conservation effectiveness. These outputs can inform future conservation target-setting and improve assessment of the status of biodiversity.



Article submission: Deforestation leakage undermines conservation value of tropical and subtropical forest protected areas

(submitted to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on 20/1/2020)

Authors: Scott Alan Ford, Martin Rudbeck Jepsen, Naomi Kingston, Edward Lewis, Thomas M. Brooks, Brian MacSharry, and Ole Mertz.

Abstract: "The establishment of protected areas is among the most widespread responses to the contemporary biodiversity crisis. While protected areas are often assumed to have conservation benefits, negative impacts have also been documented. One potential negative outcome is leakage, whereby harmful land-use activities are displaced to areas outside of protected areas. This can undermine the effectiveness of protection by accelerating biodiversity loss, limiting ecological function, or skewing judgments of effectiveness. This study assessed the prevalence of deforestation leakage in a pan-tropical/subtropical selection of 120 protected areas. Global Forest Change data were used to assess the average yearly rate of deforestation in protected areas, protected area buffer zones, and statistically matched unprotected control areas. In 55 cases, deforestation rates were higher in buffer zones compared to protected and control areas, suggesting a relatively high prevalence of deforestation leakage stemming from protected areas. In 78.2 % of documented leakage cases, reduced deforestation in protected areas was not sufficient to offset the amount of deforestation experienced in 10 km buffer zones to a level that would be expected without protection. In 90.9% of leakage cases, the irreplaceability of biodiversity in the 10 km buffer zone was greater than that of the PA, implying a negative impact of leakage on threatened species. The results show that protected areas are generally effective at preventing deforestation within their jurisdiction; however, leakage patterns may undermine overall conservation success. We recommend that conservation practitioners account for the possibility of leakage when designing new protected areas and protected area networks."


Article submission: Effectiveness of protected areas in conserving tropical forest birds

(submitted to Nature on 20/1/2020)

Authors: Victor Cazalis, Karine Princé, Jean-Baptiste Mihoub, Joseph Kelly, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Ana S.L. Rodrigues

Abstract: Protected areas are the cornerstones of global biodiversity conservation efforts, but to fulfil this role they must be effective at conserving the ecosystems and species that occur within their boundaries. This is particularly imperative in tropical forest hotspots, regions that concentrate a major fraction of the world’s biodiversity while also being under intense human pressure. But these areas strongly lack adequate monitoring datasets enabling to contrast biodiversity in protected areas with comparable unprotected sites. Here we take advantage of the world’s largest citizen science biodiversity dataset – eBird – to quantify the extent to which protected areas in eight tropical forest biodiversity hotspots are effective at retaining bird diversity, and to understand the underlying mechanisms. We found generally positive effects of protection on the diversity of bird species that are forest-dependent, endemic to the hotspots, or threatened or Near Threatened, but not on overall bird species richness. Furthermore, we show that in most of the hotspots examined this is driven by protected areas preventing both forest loss and degradation. Our results support calls for increasing the extent and strengthening the management efforts within protected areas to reduce global biodiversity loss.


Article submission: Freshwater fish distribution in the Maghreb: a call to contribute

(submitted to OSF Preprints on 13/1/2020)

Authors: Matthew Ford, Amina Brahimi, Lyas Baikeche, Laura Bergner, Miguel Clavero, Ignacio Doadrio, Manuel Lopes-Lima, Silvia Perea, Ahmed Yahyaoui and Jörg Freyhof

Abstract: In order to update the IUCN Red List of all freshwater fish species inhabiting the Maghreb region, comprehensive knowledge of their respective geographic ranges is essential. Here we present site-scale distribution records derived from all known sources for native and alien freshwater fish species distributed in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Corrected data compiled from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility plus author contributions and digitised literature data are presented as GIS maps, and the wider scientific and conservation communities are called upon to help fill knowledge gaps and maximise the value of this new database for a region in which freshwater biodiversity is undergoing a serious decline.


Conference abstract submission: Global political responsibility for large petrels

(submitted to World Seabird Conference due in October 2020 )

Author: Martin Beal

Abstract: The seasonal movements of migratory animals encompass numerous political jurisdictions, creating a challenge for their effective conservation. Marine megafauna face additional management complexity by using the High seas (i.e. Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction) where the lack of an effective management framework leaves them vulnerable to threats, such as incidental mortality (bycatch) in un-regulated fisheries. Here, animal-borne tracking data and  the sizes of the breeding population at each island group are combined in order to estimate the relative importance of jurisdictional areas to 37 species of large petrels. The importance of jurisdictional areas is quantified in terms of their species richness and the percentage of the annual cycle that each population and all of that species, globally, spend therein.. These estimates are then used to highlight the strongest connections between countries hosting breeding communities of large petrels, and the other jurisdictional areas visited throughout the year. Breeding populations of petrels from every country showed a strong link to the High Seas, indicating the stake each country has in the management of international waters. By making explicit the relative responsibility that each country has for the management of shared biodiversity, this work provides invaluable information for developing management strategies for migratory species at the appropriate scale in the marine realm.