How does the inclusion of Data Deficient species change conservation priorities for amphibians in the Atlantic Forest?

Trindade-Filho, Joaquim; Carvalho, Rodrigo; Brito, Daniel; Loyola, Rafael
September 2012
Biodiversity & Conservation;Sep2012, Vol. 21 Issue 10, p2709
Academic Journal
Current knowledge is not sufficient to define extinction risk of Data Deficient (DD) species, and conservation planners may keep them out of conservation assessments and planning. However, systematic conservation planning may benefit with the inclusion of these species because they lead to more comprehensive conservation actions. Here, we investigated how the inclusion of DD species alters the spatial configuration of protected areas networks, using Atlantic forest amphibians as a case study. To investigate the influence of DD species inclusion, we developed three spatial conservation planning scenarios aiming to represent: (1) all threatened species; (2) all threatened species plus all DD species; and (3) all threatened species plus 30 % of DD species, following the proportion of threatened amphibian species worldwide. Our results show that the inclusion of DD species alters the spatial configuration of protected areas networks. Furthermore, there is a pattern with most cells in both planning scenarios for DD species being concentrated in the northern region of the Atlantic Forest. These cells are congruent with localities with recent description of DD species and might indicate sites with high potential for new species discoveries. The inclusion of DD species in systematic conservation planning may help to preserve important ecological traits and evolutionary features of biodiversity and indicate sites with high potential for future assessments and surveys. The use of DD species in conservation planning may help us to defy the Linnean shortfall and improve our knowledge about biodiversity.


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