Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biodiversity: Measuring Up To The Loss

Date:
November 2, 2004
Source:
Public Library Of Science
Summary:
Researchers describe a new way to generate an index that can measure trends in extinction risk for complete classes of organisms, starting with the world's 10,000 bird species.

Rufous-collared Kingfisher Actenoides concretus, one of the species contributing to the Red List Index because its status has deteriorated as a result of deforestation in South East Asia.
Credit: Photo Jacob Wijkema / Courtesy of BirdLife International

Species are disappearing faster than biologists can identify and document them. Mindful of this crisis, nearly 200 countries (under the Convention on Biological Diversity) agreed to staunch the loss of biodiversity by 2010. However, to meet this goal, biologists need reliable metrics to monitor global trends in biodiversity. In the open access journal, PLoS Biology, Stuart Butchart from Birdlife International, Cambridge, UK, and others from Conservation International, IUCN and the Institute of Zoology, London, describe a new way to generate such an index that can measure trends in extinction risk for complete classes of organisms, starting with the world's 10,000 bird species. Their "Red List Index" measures changes in overall extinction risk over time for all bird species worldwide and shows "a steady and continuing deterioration in the status of the world's birds between 1988 and 2004," with "particularly steep declines" in recent years for Asian birds--resulting from massive deforestation in Indonesia--and for seabirds such as albatrosses and petrels, which drown on the hooks of commercial long-line fisheries.

Related Articles


Butchart et al. focus on evaluating trends in changes in threat status (extinction risk) by tracking the shift of individual species between the categories developed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List. Species are placed in categories on the Red List ranging from extinct to "least concern," according to criteria that take into account their population size, population trends, and range size. Thousands of scientists from around the world feed these assessments, which have been widely used to measure the degree of degradation of biodiversity.

Butchart et al. argue that Red List Indices complement indicators based on population trends, because although the indices show coarser temporal resolution, they have much better geographic representation; they're based on nearly all species in a group worldwide rather than on a potentially biased subset. The Red List Index therefore provides a reliable baseline to track progress toward the 2010 target, not only for birds but for all groups of organisms.

###

Citation: Butchart SHM, Stattersfield AJ, Bennun LA, Shutes SM, Akçakaya HR, et al (2004) Measuring global trends in the status of biodiversity: Red List Indices for birds. PLoS Biol 2 (12): e383.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library Of Science. "Biodiversity: Measuring Up To The Loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030153752.htm>.
Public Library Of Science. (2004, November 2). Biodiversity: Measuring Up To The Loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030153752.htm
Public Library Of Science. "Biodiversity: Measuring Up To The Loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030153752.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins