Global protected areas seem insufficient to safeguard half of the world's mammals from human-induced extinction

David R. Williams, Carlo Rondinini, David Tilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

SignificanceProtected areas are vital for conserving global biodiversity, but we lack information on the extent to which the current global protected area network is able to prevent local extinctions. Here we investigate this by assessing the potential size of individual populations of nearly 4,000 terrestrial mammals within protected areas. We find that many existing protected areas are too small or too poorly connected to provide robust and resilient protection for almost all mammal species that are threatened with extinction and for over 1,000 species that are not currently threatened. These results highlight that global biodiversity targets must reflect ecological realities by incorporating spatial structure and estimates of population viability, rather than relying simply on the total area of land protected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e2200118119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume119
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 14 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • extinction risk
  • gap analysis
  • land-use change
  • mammals
  • protected areas

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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