Science Enabled

Moreno, I., J. M. W. Gippet, L. Fumagalli, and P. J. Stephenson. 2022. Factors affecting the availability of data on East African wildlife: the monitoring needs of conservationists are not being met. Biodiversity and Conservation. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-022-02497-4

Understanding the status and abundance of species is essential for effective conservation decision-making. However, the availability of species data varies across space, taxonomic groups and data types. A case study was therefore conducted in a high biodiversity region—East Africa—to evaluate data biases, the factors influencing data availability, and the consequences for conservation. In each of the eleven target countries, priority animal species were identified as threatened species that are protected by national governments, international conventions or conservation NGOs. We assessed data gaps and biases in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the Living Planet Index. A survey of practitioners and decision makers was conducted to confirm and assess consequences of these biases on biodiversity conservation efforts. Our results showed data on species occurrence and population trends were available for a significantly higher proportion of vertebrates than invertebrates. We observed a geographical bias, with higher tourism income countries having more priority species and more species with data than lower tourism income countries. Conservationists surveyed felt that, of the 40 types of data investigated, those data that are most important to conservation projects are the most difficult to access. The main challenges to data accessibility are excessive expense, technological challenges, and a lack of resources to process and analyse data. With this information, practitioners and decision makers can prioritise how and where to fill gaps to improve data availability and use, and ensure biodiversity monitoring is improved and conservation impacts enhanced.

Rodríguez-Villalobos, J. C., A. Ayala-Bocos, L. E. Calderon-Aguilera, and D. Petatán-Ramírez. 2022. Potential distribution of White Syndrome in scleractinian corals in the eastern tropical Pacific. Marine Biology 169. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-022-04037-8

Coral diseases, such as White Syndrome (WS), are characterized by tissue loss and threaten coral reefs worldwide. In the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP), WS is present in Pocillopora species, although no massive mortality events have yet been reported in the region. Nonetheless, understanding the fac…

Ortiz, A. M. D., and J. N. V. Torres. 2020. Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture and Its Trade on Philippine Biodiversity. Land 9: 403. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110403

Many Philippine species are at risk of extinction because of habitat loss and degradation driven by agricultural land use and land-use change. The Philippines is one of the world’s primary banana and pineapple producers. The input-intensive style of plantation agriculture for these typically exporte…

Yusri, S., V. P. Siregar, and Suharsono. 2019. Distribution Modelling of Porites (Poritidae) in Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 363: 012025. https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/363/1/012025

Porites (Poritidae) is one of the most temperature induced bleaching-resistant coral genera. Therefore, their presence is essential for coral reefs to survive when facing the threat of climate change. Species distribution modelling for Porites corals could provide predictive maps of species distribu…

Zhang, X., and A. C. J. Vincent. 2018. Predicting distributions, habitat preferences and associated conservation implications for a genus of rare fishes, seahorses (Hippocampusspp.) M. Beger [ed.],. Diversity and Distributions 24: 1005–1017. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12741

Aim: To identify useful sources of species data and appropriate habitat variables for species distribution modelling on rare species, with seahorses as an example, deriving ecological knowledge and spatially explicit maps to advance global seahorse conservation. Location: The shallow seas. Methods: …