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Meeting the Aichi targets: Pushing for zero extinction conservation

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ABSTRACT

Effective protection of the ~19 000 IUCN-listed threatened species has never been more pressing. Ensuring the survival of the most vulnerable and irreplaceable taxa and places, such as those identified by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species and their associated sites (AZEs&s), is an excellent opportunity to achieve the Aichi 2020 Targets T11 (protected areas) and T12 (preventing species extinctions). AZE taxa have small, single-site populations that are especially vulnerable to human-induced extinctions, particularly for the many amphibians. We show that AZEs&s can be protected feasibly and cost-effectively, but action is urgent. We argue that the Alliance, whose initial main aim was to identify AZEs&s, must be followed up by a second-generation initiative that directs and co-ordinates AZE conservation activities on the ground. The prominent role of zoos, conservation NGOs, and governmental institutions provides a combination of all-encompassing knowhow that can, if properly steered, maximize the long-term survival of AZEs&s.

No MeSH data available.


EDGE species amongst AZE mammal, bird and amphibian taxa. The EDGE score estimates evolutionary distinctiveness, thus irreplaceability, jointly with conservation status (Isaac et al. 2007). It increases with the degree of irreplaceability and conservation threat. EDGE species are the 100 highest-ranking amphibians, birds and mammals, respectively. Amongst AZE animals, mammals have the highest proportion of EDGE species (orange) and birds the highest proportion of non-EDGE species (green). EDGE data from Isaac et al. (2007) and the Zoological Society of London (2016)
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Fig1: EDGE species amongst AZE mammal, bird and amphibian taxa. The EDGE score estimates evolutionary distinctiveness, thus irreplaceability, jointly with conservation status (Isaac et al. 2007). It increases with the degree of irreplaceability and conservation threat. EDGE species are the 100 highest-ranking amphibians, birds and mammals, respectively. Amongst AZE animals, mammals have the highest proportion of EDGE species (orange) and birds the highest proportion of non-EDGE species (green). EDGE data from Isaac et al. (2007) and the Zoological Society of London (2016)

Mentions: The main justification for pursuing AZE species conservation is an ecocentric approach, in which nature’s intrinsic value is central (Butler and Acott 2007). However, it is possible to invoke additional arguments. In a comparison between ecosystem services in AZE sites and randomly selected sites, Larsen et al. (2012) found that the protection of AZE sites would result in the maintenance of ecosystem services, in turn generating direct human well-being benefits. Additionally, there are potential economic benefits from climate change mitigation at these sites. These benefits exceed the management cost of conserving AZE sites, delivering a disproportionate value for at least one ecosystem service in 89% of the sites (Larsen et al. 2012). Likewise, AZE species may contribute to the provision of potential future services e.g. new pharmaceuticals and other products (Gascon et al. 2015). Thus, if AZE species become extinct, this potential vanishes. Not only are the AZE species unique by definition, but a substantial number of AZE species are also listed as Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species (Isaac et al. 2007). A total 35% of all AZE species (amphibians 25%, birds 13%, mammals 90%) are also EDGE species (Fig. 1). EDGE identifies species that have a disproportionate amount of unique evolutionary history. They have few close relatives, who are often the only surviving member of their genus, and sometimes the last surviving genus of their evolutionary family.Fig. 1


Meeting the Aichi targets: Pushing for zero extinction conservation
EDGE species amongst AZE mammal, bird and amphibian taxa. The EDGE score estimates evolutionary distinctiveness, thus irreplaceability, jointly with conservation status (Isaac et al. 2007). It increases with the degree of irreplaceability and conservation threat. EDGE species are the 100 highest-ranking amphibians, birds and mammals, respectively. Amongst AZE animals, mammals have the highest proportion of EDGE species (orange) and birds the highest proportion of non-EDGE species (green). EDGE data from Isaac et al. (2007) and the Zoological Society of London (2016)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5385670&req=5

Fig1: EDGE species amongst AZE mammal, bird and amphibian taxa. The EDGE score estimates evolutionary distinctiveness, thus irreplaceability, jointly with conservation status (Isaac et al. 2007). It increases with the degree of irreplaceability and conservation threat. EDGE species are the 100 highest-ranking amphibians, birds and mammals, respectively. Amongst AZE animals, mammals have the highest proportion of EDGE species (orange) and birds the highest proportion of non-EDGE species (green). EDGE data from Isaac et al. (2007) and the Zoological Society of London (2016)
Mentions: The main justification for pursuing AZE species conservation is an ecocentric approach, in which nature’s intrinsic value is central (Butler and Acott 2007). However, it is possible to invoke additional arguments. In a comparison between ecosystem services in AZE sites and randomly selected sites, Larsen et al. (2012) found that the protection of AZE sites would result in the maintenance of ecosystem services, in turn generating direct human well-being benefits. Additionally, there are potential economic benefits from climate change mitigation at these sites. These benefits exceed the management cost of conserving AZE sites, delivering a disproportionate value for at least one ecosystem service in 89% of the sites (Larsen et al. 2012). Likewise, AZE species may contribute to the provision of potential future services e.g. new pharmaceuticals and other products (Gascon et al. 2015). Thus, if AZE species become extinct, this potential vanishes. Not only are the AZE species unique by definition, but a substantial number of AZE species are also listed as Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species (Isaac et al. 2007). A total 35% of all AZE species (amphibians 25%, birds 13%, mammals 90%) are also EDGE species (Fig. 1). EDGE identifies species that have a disproportionate amount of unique evolutionary history. They have few close relatives, who are often the only surviving member of their genus, and sometimes the last surviving genus of their evolutionary family.Fig. 1

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Effective protection of the ~19 000 IUCN-listed threatened species has never been more pressing. Ensuring the survival of the most vulnerable and irreplaceable taxa and places, such as those identified by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species and their associated sites (AZEs&s), is an excellent opportunity to achieve the Aichi 2020 Targets T11 (protected areas) and T12 (preventing species extinctions). AZE taxa have small, single-site populations that are especially vulnerable to human-induced extinctions, particularly for the many amphibians. We show that AZEs&s can be protected feasibly and cost-effectively, but action is urgent. We argue that the Alliance, whose initial main aim was to identify AZEs&s, must be followed up by a second-generation initiative that directs and co-ordinates AZE conservation activities on the ground. The prominent role of zoos, conservation NGOs, and governmental institutions provides a combination of all-encompassing knowhow that can, if properly steered, maximize the long-term survival of AZEs&s.

No MeSH data available.