Hotspots of human impact on threatened terrestrial vertebrates

PLOS Biology
Allan, James R.; Watson, James E.M.; Di Marco, Moreno; O'Bryan, Christopher J.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Atkinson, Scott C.; Venter, Oscar
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Total Pages18 pages
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Tagsmammals; species diversity; amphibians; vertebrates; birds; biodiversity; conservation science; roads
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Publication DateMarch 12, 2019
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AbstractConserving threatened species requires identifying where across their range they are being impacted by threats, yet this remains unresolved across most of Earth. Here, we present a global analysis of cumulative human impacts on threatened species by using a spatial framework that jointly considers the co-occurrence of eight threatening processes and the distribution of 5,457 terrestrial vertebrates. We show that impacts to species are widespread, occurring across 84% of Earth’s surface, and identify hotspots of impacted species richness and coolspots of unimpacted species richness. Almost one-quarter of assessed species are impacted across >90% of their distribution, and approximately 7% are impacted across their entire range. These results foreshadow localised extirpations and potential extinctions without conservation action. The spatial framework developed here offers a tool for defining strategies to directly mitigate the threats driving species’ declines, providing essential information for future national and global conservation agendas.
Created: 4/10/2019 3:08 PM (ET)
Modified: 4/10/2019 3:08 PM (ET)
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