Nav: Home

Analysis: World's protected areas safeguard only a fraction of wildlife

June 05, 2019

NEW YORK (June 5, 2019) - A new analysis published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment shows that the world's protected areas (PAs) are experiencing major shortfalls in staffing and resources and are therefore failing on a massive scale to safeguard wildlife.

The analysis looked at more than 2,100 protected areas around the world and found that less than a quarter report having adequate resources in terms of staffing and budget. The authors then looked at nearly 12,000 species of terrestrial amphibians, birds, and mammals whose ranges include protected areas and found only 4-9 percent are represented within the borders of the adequately resourced PAs.

"This analysis shows that most protected areas are poorly funded and therefore failing to protect wildlife on a scale sufficient to stave off the global decline in biodiversity," said Dr. James Watson of WCS and the University of Queensland, and one of the study's co-authors. "Nations need to do much more to ensure that protected areas fulfill their role as a major tool to mitigate the growing biodiversity crisis."

The authors acknowledge that countries are on target to fulfill a global commitment of setting aside 17 percent of terrestrial areas and 10 percent of the marine realm as PAs by 2020 (known as Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity). However, the findings show that protected areas are grossly under-funded, and that simply measuring the amount of area protected is insufficient in conserving biodiversity.

The authors recommend the use of a restricted set of simple, robust indicators that capture the essence of effective PA resourcing and management. These indicators should be used for reporting toward international targets, prioritizing conservation actions, and achieving new PA standards, such as the IUCN's Green List.

Said Watson: "While continued expansion of the world's protected areas is necessary, a shift in emphasis from quality over quantity is critical to effectively respond to the current biodiversity crisis. If metrics of management effectiveness are not included in measurements of progress toward target 11 before 2020, we risk mistakenly reporting success in achieving Target 11, and sending a false message that sufficient resources are being committed to biodiversity protection."

Protected areas provide the core of the last remaining strongholds for nature on planet Earth. If our efforts to hold on to these last intact natural areas remains inadequate, life as we know it will be threatened. Emphasis needs to be placed on building capacity, increasing and sustaining financial resources, scaling up conservation interventions, and improving overall effectiveness.
-end-
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world's oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.

Wildlife Conservation Society

Related Biodiversity Articles:

Researchers solve old biodiversity mystery
The underlying cause for why some regions are home to an extremely large number of animal species may be found in the evolutionary adaptations of species, and how they limit their dispersion to specific natural habitats.
Biodiversity offsetting is contentious -- here's an alternative
A new approach to compensate for the impact of development may be an effective alternative to biodiversity offsetting -- and help nations achieve international biodiversity targets.
Biodiversity yields financial returns
Farmers could increase their revenues by increasing biodiversity on their land.
Biodiversity and wind energy
The location and operation of wind energy plants are often in direct conflict with the legal protection of endangered species.
Mapping global biodiversity change
A new study, published in Science, which focuses on mapping biodiversity change in marine and land ecosystems shows that loss of biodiversity is most prevalent in the tropic, with changes in marine ecosystems outpacing those on land.
What if we paid countries to protect biodiversity?
Researchers from Sweden, Germany, Brazil and the USA have developed a financial mechanism to support the protection of the world's natural heritage.
Grassland biodiversity is blowing in the wind
Temperate grasslands are the most endangered but least protected ecosystems on Earth.
The loss of biodiversity comes at a price
A University of Cordoba research team ran the numbers on the impact of forest fires on emblematic species using the fires in Spain's Doñana National Park and Segura mountains in 2017 as examples
Biodiversity and carbon: perfect together
Biodiversity conservation is often considered to be a co-benefit of protecting carbon sinks such as intact forests to help mitigate climate change.
The last chance for Madagascar's biodiversity
A group of scientists from Madagascar, UK, Australia, USA and Finland have recommended actions the government of Madagascar's recently elected president, Andry Rajoelina should take to turn around the precipitous decline of biodiversity and help put Madagascar on a trajectory towards sustainable growth.
More Biodiversity News and Biodiversity Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Uncharted
There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 2: Every Day is Ignaz Semmelweis Day
It began with a tweet: "EVERY DAY IS IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS DAY." Carl Zimmer – tweet author, acclaimed science writer and friend of the show – tells the story of a mysterious, deadly illness that struck 19th century Vienna, and the ill-fated hero who uncovered its cure ... and gave us our best weapon (so far) against the current global pandemic. This episode was reported and produced with help from Bethel Habte and Latif Nasser. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.