Protected areas can “double” imperilled species populations

7 September 2020

A University of Queensland-led research team has revealed that many endangered mammal species are dependent on protected areas, and would likely vanish without them.

Professor James Watson, of UQ and the Wildlife Conservation Society, said despite the success of protected areas, their popularity as a go-to conservation tool has started to wane.

The scientists compared current distributions of 237 threatened terrestrial mammal species from the 1970s to today, measuring changes in species’ ranges, then overlaid them with the protected area network.

Professor Watson said mammals were retreating into protected areas and more than ever, protected areas were vital to protecting the world’s biodiversity.

The research has been published in Conservation Letters (DOI: 10.1111/conl.12748).

The team included members from UQ, the Sapienza University of Rome and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

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