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
UNEP-WCMC has been providing technical support to the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on biodiversity and climate change. We carried out three reviews of the recent scientific literature and these fed into the deliberations of the CBD’s Second Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Biodiversity and Climate Change. These reviews, entitled Links between Biodiversity and Climate change: Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation, have now been published as no 42 of the CBD Technical Series. This publication complements the main report from the CBD AHTEG which appears as CBD Technical Series No. 41 Connecting Biodiversity and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.Resource Type: Reports
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
There is an urgent need to evaluate the status of groups of species for conservation purposes. A species' status is indicated by both its distribution and abundance, and the rate at which these components are changing. This information is scarce for many tropical forest species. We produced four measures of status based on locality and habitat data for 25 partridges and pheasants of Southeast Asia.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Ruff breeding populations have declined widely and in all habitats across temperate Eurasia. Of an estimated population of 2.2-2.8 million birds, 98% are now confined to habitats in the Arctic tundra.
The emerging picture is that the population has shifted northwards and eastwards and has retreated from the wet grassland habitats formerly occupied along the southern edges of its range. It is suggested that the causes are probably of a global nature and may be linked with climate change. It is unclear whether the total population has declined or only shifted north and east. More co-ordinated and systematic monitoring of breeding and wintering populations will be necessary before a full understanding of these changes can be reached.Resource Type: Journal Papers
A reduction in forest area should result in a reduction of its number of species and, moreover, do so in a characteristic way according to the familiar species-area relationship. Brooks, Pimm & Collar (1997) applied this formula to the losses in forest area in the Philippines and Indonesia. Independently derived totals of the number of endemic bird species that are threatened with extinction broadly agree with these predicted losses. In some cases, however, predicted losses overestimate or underestimate the actual numbers of threatened species.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
Datasets Available from UNEP-WCMC: Excluding WDPA
Access to UNEP-WCMC datasets is provided on the understanding that you read and consent to be bound by the Terms and Conditions attached. For the purposes of this Agreement the “Data” comprise any of the spatial data and associated attribute data downloadable from the UNEP-WCMC website, excluding the World Database on Protected Areas.
To provide a global context for a discussion of mountain forests, it is first necessary to define the locations and types of mountain forests, and this in turn requires a definition of mountains or mountain areas. Altitude and slope and the environmental gradients they generate are key components of such a definition, but their combination is problematic. Simple altitude thresholds both exclude older and lower mountain systems and include areas of relatively high elevation that have little topographic relief and few environmental gradients. Using slope as a criterion on its own or in combination with altitude can resolve the latter problem, but not the former. The mountains dataset shows the location of mountain land estimated from a digital elevation model using criteria based on elevation alone (the upper three classes: > 2 500 metres) and at lower elevation, on a combination of elevation, slope and local elevation range. This is an update of the Mountain's of the World 2000 and was produced for the UNEP-WCMC publication Mountain Watch, 2002.
The mountains dataset has been overlayed with a global data set on percent tree cover taken from MODIS 1-km resolution percent tree cover data, courtesy of University of Maryland Global Land Cover Facility. Species richness, density and forest height tend to reduce with increasing altitude; the boundary between forest vegetation and more open ground cover at higher elevation 'the treeline' is an ecological marker signifying the transition to more extreme climatic conditions.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
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
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