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Letter. Implications of bias in conservation research and investment for freshwater species

Darwall, William R.T., Holland, Robert A., Smith, Kevin G., Allen, David, Brooks, Emma G.E., Katarya, Vineet, Pollock, Caroline M., Shi, Yichuan, Clausnitzer, Viola, Cumberlidge, Neil, Cuttelod, Annabelle, Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe, Diop, Mame D., García, Nieves, Seddon, Mary B., Skelton, Paul H., Snoeks, Jos, Tweddle, Denis and Vie, Jean-Christophe (2011) Letter. Implications of bias in conservation research and investment for freshwater species Conservation Letters, 4, (6), pp. 474-482. (doi:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00202.x).

Record type: Article


Human population growth and economic development threaten the integrity of freshwater ecosystems globally, reducing their ability to support biodiversity and provide ecosystem services. However, our knowledge of freshwater biodiversity is fragmented due to bias in conservation research toward primarily terrestrial or charismatic taxonomic groups. Here, we utilize the most comprehensive assessment of freshwater biodiversity for an entire continent to examine the implications of this shortfall. Results indicate that groups that have been the focus of most conservation research are poor surrogates for patterns of both richness and threat for many freshwater groups, and that the existing protected area network underrepresents freshwater species. Areas of highest species richness and threat are congruent with areas where reliance on ecosystem services by humans and pressures placed on freshwater ecosystems are high. These results have implications for targets to reduce biodiversity loss and safeguard associated ecosystem services on which millions of people depend globally.

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Published date: December 2011
Keywords: freshwater, biodiversity, africa, surrogates, poverty, livelihoods, threatened, red list, protected areas, key biodiversity areas
Organisations: Centre for Biological Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 335372
ISSN: 1755-263X
PURE UUID: 4ce3a8dd-5b90-4ee9-b051-a79ccc9fa772
ORCID for Robert A. Holland: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 13 Mar 2012 10:50
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:10

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Author: William R.T. Darwall
Author: Kevin G. Smith
Author: David Allen
Author: Emma G.E. Brooks
Author: Vineet Katarya
Author: Caroline M. Pollock
Author: Yichuan Shi
Author: Viola Clausnitzer
Author: Neil Cumberlidge
Author: Annabelle Cuttelod
Author: Klaas-Douwe Dijkstra
Author: Mame D. Diop
Author: Nieves García
Author: Mary B. Seddon
Author: Paul H. Skelton
Author: Jos Snoeks
Author: Denis Tweddle
Author: Jean-Christophe Vie

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