The range of information on biodiversity currently available via the Internet is reviewed and its accessibility, usefulness and relevance to biodiversity research and to policy decision making assessed. Commercial and non-commercial databases are reviewed. The future of information via the net is also reviewed, in particular the role of the `Clearing House Mechanism' of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Biodiversity Conservation Information System.Resource Type: Journal Papers
How may we improve the quality, accessibility and usefulness of data about the living world? Three examples present themselves: use of new technology to build capacity for biodiversity knowledge management in the developing world; engagement of new sources of data; and harmonization of official data deriving from inter-governmental biodiversity-related treaties.Resource Type: Journal Papers
We briefly review recent global trends in habitat area in as many broadly-defined natural habitats as possible, and in indices of animal populations characteristic of those habitats. The information available indicates continuing declines in habitat area and species, but those data are extremely sparse.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The number of environmental variables used during modelling could affect the outcome, but we found no correlation between these and our estimates of extinction risk in global samples. Although further investigation is needed, it is unlikely to result in substantially reduced estimates of extinction. Anthropogenic climate change seems set to generate very large numbers of species-level extinctions.Resource Type: Journal Papers
We suggest that well-targeted instruments that consider contextual information, such as conservation status, are the most effective and efficient approach to monitoring international wildlife trade for conservation purposes. Where relevant, such instruments could be expanded to include additional species not currently protected, or new instruments could be developed to monitor certain groups as appropriate.Resource Type: Journal Papers
An assessment of impacts on Arctic terrestrial ecosystems has emphasized geographical variability in responses of species and ecosystems to environmental change. This variability is usually associated with north-south gradients in climate, biodiversity, vegetation zones, and ecosystem structure and function. It is clear, however, that significant east-west variability in environment, ecosystem structure and function, environmental history, and recent climate variability is also important.Some areas have cooled while others have become warmer.
Overall, the subregional synthesis demonstrates the difficulty of generalizing projections of responses of ecosystem structure and function, species loss, and biospheric feedbacks to the climate system for the whole Arctic region and implies a need for a far greater understanding of the spatial variability in the responses of terrestrial arctic ecosystems to climate change.Resource Type: Journal Papers
National Parks and other protected areas not only provide a safe haven for biodiversity, they provide benefits to local communities and preserve some of the most beautiful places on our planet. ‘Coverage of protected areas’ is also a specific indicator in the 2010 Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Obtaining the data necessary to monitor trends in protected areas requires a massive effort by national authorities to compile, analyse and then distribute this data to the centralised depository of the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). With a living and growing system of protected areas that now exceed 100,000 sites covering 19 million square kilometres, you can imagine that this is no small task!
Recent climate talks in Bali have made progress toward action on deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, within the anticipated post-Kyoto emissions reduction agreements. As a result of such action, many forests will be better protected, but some land-use change will be displaced to other locations. The demonstration phase launched at Bali offers an opportunity to examine potential outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Research will be needed into selection of priority areas for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation to deliver multiple benefits, on-the-ground methods to best ensure these benefits, and minimization of displaced land-use change into nontarget countries and ecosystems, including through revised conservation investments.Resource Type: Journal Papers
We generated biodiversity surfaces for both present-day and pre-human landscapes to map spatial patterns of change in a diverse ecological community to calculate the combined biodiversity impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation that accounts for the exact spatial pattern of deforestation. Our spatially-explicit, landscape-scale index of community change shows how the fine-scale configuration of habitat loss sums across a landscape to determine changes in biodiversity at a larger spatial scale. After accounting for naturally occurring within-forest heterogeneity, we estimate that the conversion of 43% of forest to grassland in a 1300 km2 landscape in New Zealand resulted in a 47% change to the beetle community.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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