Publications by authors named "John Lamoreux"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Meeting the Aichi targets: Pushing for zero extinction conservation.

Ambio 2017 05 31;46(4):443-455. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, School of Science & The Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints Building, All Saints, Manchester, M15 6BH, UK.

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.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-016-0892-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5385670PMC
May 2017

Determinants of bird conservation-action implementation and associated population trends of threatened species.

Conserv Biol 2016 12 24;30(6):1338-1346. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

American Bird Conservancy, P.O. Box 249, 4249 Loudoun Avenue, The Plains, VA, 20198-2237, U.S.A.

Conservation actions, such as habitat protection, attempt to halt the loss of threatened species and help their populations recover. The efficiency and the effectiveness of actions have been examined individually. However, conservation actions generally occur simultaneously, so the full suite of implemented conservation actions should be assessed. We used the conservation actions underway for all threatened and near-threatened birds of the world (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species) to assess which biological (related to taxonomy and ecology) and anthropogenic (related to geoeconomics) factors were associated with the implementation of different classes of conservation actions. We also assessed which conservation actions were associated with population increases in the species targeted. Extinction-risk category was the strongest single predictor of the type of conservation actions implemented, followed by landmass type (continent, oceanic island, etc.) and generation length. Species targeted by invasive nonnative species control or eradication programs, ex situ conservation, international legislation, reintroduction, or education, and awareness-raising activities were more likely to have increasing populations. These results illustrate the importance of developing a predictive science of conservation actions and the relative benefits of each class of implemented conservation action for threatened and near-threatened birds worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12757DOI Listing
December 2016

Quantifying the relative irreplaceability of important bird and biodiversity areas.

Conserv Biol 2016 Apr 21;30(2):392-402. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

WCPA-SSC Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 64 Juniper Road, Chelsea, Quebec, J9B 1T3, Canada.

World governments have committed to increase the global protected areas coverage by 2020, but the effectiveness of this commitment for protecting biodiversity depends on where new protected areas are located. Threshold- and complementarity-based approaches have been independently used to identify important sites for biodiversity. We brought together these approaches by performing a complementarity-based analysis of irreplaceability in important bird and biodiversity areas (IBAs), which are sites identified using a threshold-based approach. We determined whether irreplaceability values are higher inside than outside IBAs and whether any observed difference depends on known characteristics of the IBAs. We focused on 3 regions with comprehensive IBA inventories and bird distribution atlases: Australia, southern Africa, and Europe. Irreplaceability values were significantly higher inside than outside IBAs, although differences were much smaller in Europe than elsewhere. Higher irreplaceability values in IBAs were associated with the presence and number of restricted-range species; number of criteria under which the site was identified; and mean geographic range size of the species for which the site was identified (trigger species). In addition, IBAs were characterized by higher irreplaceability values when using proportional species representation targets, rather than fixed targets. There were broadly comparable results when measuring irreplaceability for trigger species and when considering all bird species, which indicates a good surrogacy effect of the former. Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has convened a consultation to consolidate global standards for the identification of key biodiversity areas (KBAs), building from existing approaches such as IBAs. Our results informed this consultation, and in particular a proposed irreplaceability criterion that will allow the new KBA standard to draw on the strengths of both threshold- and complementarity-based approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12609DOI Listing
April 2016

The importance and benefits of species.

Curr Biol 2015 May;25(10):R431-8

International Union for Conservation of Nature, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.

Humans depend on biodiversity in myriad ways, yet species are being rapidly lost due to human activities. The ecosystem services approach to conservation tries to establish the value that society derives from the natural world such that the true cost of proposed development actions becomes apparent to decision makers. Species are an integral component of ecosystems, and the value they provide in terms of services should be a standard part of ecosystem assessments. However, assessing the value of species is difficult and will always remain incomplete. Some of the most difficult species' benefits to assess are those that accrue unexpectedly or are wholly unanticipated. In this review, we consider recent examples from a wide variety of species and a diverse set of ecosystem services that illustrate this point and support the application of the precautionary principle to decisions affecting the natural world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.041DOI Listing
May 2015

IPBES ≠ IPCC.

Trends Ecol Evol 2014 Oct 29;29(10):543-5. Epub 2014 Aug 29.

Biodiversity Research Center and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA; Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Delegación Tlalpan, DF 14010, México.

The characteristics of the physical science basis and mitigation of climate change lend themselves well to a science-policy interface focused on global assessment-the function of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). By contrast, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) needs three additional functions of knowledge generation, capacity-building, and policy support, in addition to traditional assessment, and the same is true for climate change adaptation. These functions are included in the work program for IPBES, but their total share of the budget, currently less than a third, is inadequate. For climate change adaptation they are delivered by mechanisms like the Nairobi Work Programme and the Adaptation Committee, which should similarly receive greater attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2014.08.004DOI Listing
October 2014

Protecting important sites for biodiversity contributes to meeting global conservation targets.

PLoS One 2012 21;7(3):e32529. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

BirdLife International, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Protected areas (PAs) are a cornerstone of conservation efforts and now cover nearly 13% of the world's land surface, with the world's governments committed to expand this to 17%. However, as biodiversity continues to decline, the effectiveness of PAs in reducing the extinction risk of species remains largely untested. We analyzed PA coverage and trends in species' extinction risk at globally significant sites for conserving birds (10,993 Important Bird Areas, IBAs) and highly threatened vertebrates and conifers (588 Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, AZEs) (referred to collectively hereafter as 'important sites'). Species occurring in important sites with greater PA coverage experienced smaller increases in extinction risk over recent decades: the increase was half as large for bird species with>50% of the IBAs at which they occur completely covered by PAs, and a third lower for birds, mammals and amphibians restricted to protected AZEs (compared with unprotected or partially protected sites). Globally, half of the important sites for biodiversity conservation remain unprotected (49% of IBAs, 51% of AZEs). While PA coverage of important sites has increased over time, the proportion of PA area covering important sites, as opposed to less important land, has declined (by 0.45-1.14% annually since 1950 for IBAs and 0.79-1.49% annually for AZEs). Thus, while appropriately located PAs may slow the rate at which species are driven towards extinction, recent PA network expansion has under-represented important sites. We conclude that better targeted expansion of PA networks would help to improve biodiversity trends.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0032529PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3310057PMC
August 2012

The changing fates of the world's mammals.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2011 Sep;366(1578):2598-610

IUCN Species Survival Commission, Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.

A recent complete assessment of the conservation status of 5487 mammal species demonstrated that at least one-fifth are at risk of extinction in the wild. We retrospectively identified genuine changes in extinction risk for mammals between 1996 and 2008 to calculate changes in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Index (RLI). Species-level trends in the conservation status of mammalian diversity reveal that extinction risk in large-bodied species is increasing, and that the rate of deterioration has been most accelerated in the Indomalayan and Australasian realms. Expanding agriculture and hunting have been the main drivers of increased extinction risk in mammals. Site-based protection and management, legislation, and captive-breeding and reintroduction programmes have led to improvements in 24 species. We contextualize these changes, and explain why both deteriorations and improvements may be under-reported. Although this study highlights where conservation actions are leading to improvements, it fails to account for instances where conservation has prevented further deteriorations in the status of the world's mammals. The continued utility of the RLI is dependent on sustained investment to ensure repeated assessments of mammals over time and to facilitate future calculations of the RLI and measurement against global targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140737PMC
September 2011

The impact of conservation on the status of the world's vertebrates.

Science 2010 Dec 26;330(6010):1503-9. Epub 2010 Oct 26.

IUCN SSC Species Survival Commission, c/o United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK.

Using data for 25,780 species categorized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, we present an assessment of the status of the world's vertebrates. One-fifth of species are classified as Threatened, and we show that this figure is increasing: On average, 52 species of mammals, birds, and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. However, this overall pattern conceals the impact of conservation successes, and we show that the rate of deterioration would have been at least one-fifth again as much in the absence of these. Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1194442DOI Listing
December 2010

Warfare in biodiversity hotspots.

Conserv Biol 2009 Jun 19;23(3):578-87. Epub 2009 Feb 19.

Human Ecosystems Study Group, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-1133, USA.

Conservation efforts are only as sustainable as the social and political context within which they take place. The weakening or collapse of sociopolitical frameworks during wartime can lead to habitat destruction and the erosion of conservation policies, but in some cases, may also confer ecological benefits through altered settlement patterns and reduced resource exploitation. Over 90% of the major armed conflicts between 1950 and 2000 occurred within countries containing biodiversity hotspots, and more than 80% took place directly within hotspot areas. Less than one-third of the 34 recognized hotspots escaped significant conflict during this period, and most suffered repeated episodes of violence. This pattern was remarkably consistent over these 5 decades. Evidence from the war-torn Eastern Afromontane hotspot suggests that biodiversity conservation is improved when international nongovernmental organizations support local protected area staff and remain engaged throughout the conflict. With biodiversity hotspots concentrated in politically volatile regions, the conservation community must maintain continuous involvement during periods of war, and biodiversity conservation should be incorporated into military, reconstruction, and humanitarian programs in the world's conflict zones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01166.xDOI Listing
June 2009

The status of the world's land and marine mammals: diversity, threat, and knowledge.

Science 2008 Oct;322(5899):225-30

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Programme, IUCN, 28 Rue Mauverney, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.

Knowledge of mammalian diversity is still surprisingly disparate, both regionally and taxonomically. Here, we present a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status and distribution of the world's mammals. Data, compiled by 1700+ experts, cover all 5487 species, including marine mammals. Global macroecological patterns are very different for land and marine species but suggest common mechanisms driving diversity and endemism across systems. Compared with land species, threat levels are higher among marine mammals, driven by different processes (accidental mortality and pollution, rather than habitat loss), and are spatially distinct (peaking in northern oceans, rather than in Southeast Asia). Marine mammals are also disproportionately poorly known. These data are made freely available to support further scientific developments and conservation action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1165115DOI Listing
October 2008

Putting beta-diversity on the map: broad-scale congruence and coincidence in the extremes.

PLoS Biol 2007 Oct;5(10):e272

Curriculum in Ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America.

Beta-diversity, the change in species composition between places, is a critical but poorly understood component of biological diversity. Patterns of beta-diversity provide information central to many ecological and evolutionary questions, as well as to conservation planning. Yet beta-diversity is rarely studied across large extents, and the degree of similarity of patterns among taxa at such scales remains untested. To our knowledge, this is the first broad-scale analysis of cross-taxon congruence in beta-diversity, and introduces a new method to map beta-diversity continuously across regions. Congruence between amphibian, bird, and mammal beta-diversity in the Western Hemisphere varies with both geographic location and spatial extent. We demonstrate that areas of high beta-diversity for the three taxa largely coincide, but areas of low beta-diversity exhibit little overlap. These findings suggest that similar processes lead to high levels of differentiation in amphibian, bird, and mammal assemblages, while the ecological and biogeographic factors influencing homogeneity in vertebrate assemblages vary. Knowledge of beta-diversity congruence can help formulate hypotheses about the mechanisms governing regional diversity patterns and should inform conservation, especially as threat from global climate change increases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2001212PMC
October 2007

The value of the IUCN Red List for conservation.

Trends Ecol Evol 2006 Feb 2;21(2):71-6. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, Washington, DC 20036, USA.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive resource detailing the global conservation status of plants and animals. The 2004 edition represents a milestone in the four-decade long history of the Red List, including the first Global Amphibian Assessment and a near doubling in assessed species since 2000. Moreover, the Red List assessment process itself has developed substantially over the past decade, extending the value of the Red List far beyond the assignation of threat status. We highlight here how the Red List, in conjunction with the comprehensive data compiled to support it and in spite of several important limitations, has become an increasingly powerful tool for conservation planning, management, monitoring and decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2005.10.010DOI Listing
February 2006

Global tests of biodiversity concordance and the importance of endemism.

Nature 2006 Mar 28;440(7081):212-4. Epub 2005 Dec 28.

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, 291 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA.

Understanding patterns of biodiversity distribution is essential to conservation strategies, but severe data constraints make surrogate measures necessary. For this reason, many studies have tested the performance of terrestrial vertebrates as surrogates for overall species diversity, but these tests have typically been limited to a single taxon or region. Here we show that global patterns of richness are highly correlated among amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, as are endemism patterns. Furthermore, we demonstrate that although the correlation between global richness and endemism is low, aggregate regions selected for high levels of endemism capture significantly more species than expected by chance. Although areas high in endemism have long been targeted for the protection of narrow-ranging species, our findings provide evidence that endemism is also a useful surrogate for the conservation of all terrestrial vertebrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature04291DOI Listing
March 2006

Pinpointing and preventing imminent extinctions.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2005 Dec 12;102(51):18497-501. Epub 2005 Dec 12.

Conservation Science Program, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC 20037, USA.

Slowing rates of global biodiversity loss requires preventing species extinctions. Here we pinpoint centers of imminent extinction, where highly threatened species are confined to single sites. Within five globally assessed taxa (i.e., mammals, birds, selected reptiles, amphibians, and conifers), we find 794 such species, three times the number recorded as having gone extinct since 1500. These species occur in 595 sites, concentrated in tropical forests, on islands, and in mountainous areas. Their taxonomic and geographical distribution differs significantly from that of historical extinctions, indicating an expansion of the current extinction episode beyond sensitive species and places toward the planet's most biodiverse mainland regions. Only one-third of the sites are legally protected, and most are surrounded by intense human development. These sites represent clear opportunities for urgent conservation action to prevent species loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0509060102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1311739PMC
December 2005

The Living Planet Index: using species population time series to track trends in biodiversity.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2005 Feb;360(1454):289-95

WWF International, Avenue du Mont-Blanc CH-1196, Gland, Switzerland.

The Living Planet Index was developed to measure the changing state of the world's biodiversity over time. It uses time-series data to calculate average rates of change in a large number of populations of terrestrial, freshwater and marine vertebrate species. The dataset contains about 3000 population time series for over 1100 species. Two methods of calculating the index are outlined: the chain method and a method based on linear modelling of log-transformed data. The dataset is analysed to compare the relative representation of biogeographic realms, ecoregional biomes, threat status and taxonomic groups among species contributing to the index. The two methods show very similar results: terrestrial species declined on average by 25% from 1970 to 2000. Birds and mammals are over-represented in comparison with other vertebrate classes, and temperate species are over-represented compared with tropical species, but there is little difference in representation between threatened and non-threatened species. Some of the problems arising from over-representation are reduced by the way in which the index is calculated. It may be possible to reduce this further by post-stratification and weighting, but new information would first need to be collected for data-poor classes, realms and biomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2004.1584DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1569448PMC
February 2005
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