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      Research priorities for bat conservation in Southeast Asia: a consensus approach

      Biodiversity and Conservation

      Springer Nature

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          Global hotspots of species richness are not congruent with endemism or threat.

          Biodiversity hotspots have a prominent role in conservation biology, but it remains controversial to what extent different types of hotspot are congruent. Previous studies were unable to provide a general answer because they used a single biodiversity index, were geographically restricted, compared areas of unequal size or did not quantitatively compare hotspot types. Here we use a new global database on the breeding distribution of all known extant bird species to test for congruence across three types of hotspot. We demonstrate that hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism do not show the same geographical distribution. Only 2.5% of hotspot areas are common to all three aspects of diversity, with over 80% of hotspots being idiosyncratic. More generally, there is a surprisingly low overall congruence of biodiversity indices, with any one index explaining less than 24% of variation in the other indices. These results suggest that, even within a single taxonomic class, different mechanisms are responsible for the origin and maintenance of different aspects of diversity. Consequently, the different types of hotspots also vary greatly in their utility as conservation tools.
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            The role of taxonomy in species conservation.

            Taxonomy and species conservation are often assumed to be completely interdependent activities. However, a shortage of taxonomic information and skills, and confusion over where the limits to 'species' should be set, both cause problems for conservationists. There is no simple solution because species lists used for conservation planning (e.g. threatened species, species richness estimates, species covered by legislation) are often also used to determine which units should be the focus of conservation actions; this despite the fact that the two processes have such different goals and information needs. Species conservation needs two kinds of taxonomic solution: (i) a set of practical rules to standardize the species units included on lists; and (ii) an approach to the units chosen for conservation recovery planning which recognizes the dynamic nature of natural systems and the differences from the units in listing processes that result. These solutions are well within our grasp but require a new kind of collaboration among conservation biologists, taxonomists and legislators, as well as an increased resource of taxonomists with relevant and high-quality skills.
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              Umbrellas and flagships: efficient conservation surrogates or expensive mistakes?

              The use of umbrella and flagship species as surrogates for regional biota whose spatial distributions are poorly known is a popular conservation strategy. Yet many assumptions underlying the choice of surrogate species remain untested. By using biodiversity databases containing spatial incidence data for species of concern for (i) the southern California coastal sage scrub habitat, (ii) the Columbia Plateau ecoregion, and (iii) the continental United States, we evaluate the potential effectiveness of a range of conservation surrogate schemes (e.g., big carnivores, charismatic species, keystone species, wide-ranging species), asking how many species potentially are protected by each scheme and at what cost in each habitat area. For all three databases, we find that none of the surrogate schemes we evaluated performs significantly better than do a comparable number of species randomly selected from the database. Although some surrogate species may have considerable publicity value, based on the databases we analyzed, representing diverse taxa on three different geographic scales, we find that the utility of umbrella and flagship species as surrogates for regional biodiversity may be limited.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biodiversity and Conservation
                Biodivers Conserv
                Springer Nature
                0960-3115
                1572-9710
                February 2010
                September 2008
                : 19
                : 2
                : 471-484
                Article
                10.1007/s10531-008-9458-5
                5244e8ae-67d7-41c6-9a62-bb14589fa4c1
                © 2010
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