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Conservation priorities for freshwater biodiversity: the key biodiversity area approach refined and tested for continental Africa

Conservation priorities for freshwater biodiversity: the key biodiversity area approach refined and tested for continental Africa
Conservation priorities for freshwater biodiversity: the key biodiversity area approach refined and tested for continental Africa
Freshwater ecosystems represent one of the most threatened broad habitat types globally. Despite containing around a third of all vertebrates, area-based approaches to conservation planning rarely include freshwater species as an explicit target for conservation. Here we describe and apply a globally applicable methodology comparable to those for other groups (i.e. Important Bird Areas) to identify river and lake catchments that represent, or contain, freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas. We discuss the rationale behind the methodology and propose appropriate definitions and quantitative threshold values for the selection criteria. Thresholds are developed through spatial analysis of species information for four comprehensively assessed freshwater taxonomic groups in continental Africa, comprising 4203 species, as recently assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. To illustrate application of the methodology freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas are identified across continental Africa, and conservation planning software used to prioritise a network of catchments that captures 99% of the total species complement within catchments covering ca. 20% of the total land area. Within these prioritised catchments only 19% of river length falls within existing Protected Areas suggesting that, given the high connectivity within freshwater ecosystems and their dependence upon catchment management for effective conservation, modification or expansion of the protected area network is required to increase effective conservation of freshwater species. By applying this methodology, gaps in the coverage of freshwater species by existing Protected Areas can be identified and used to inform conservation policy and investment to ensure it is inclusive of, and effective for, freshwater biodiversity
key biodiversity areas, protected areas, freshwaters, africa, red list, conservation, conservation planning
0006-3207
167-179
Holland, R.A.
9c245e65-06bb-4b0e-8214-2b00ad2a47df
Darwall, W.R.T.
edd028b2-df8a-4aaa-ab6f-42945449fc29
Smith, K.G.
cec742bb-e14c-4645-b0d9-4241f9ea6fe3
Holland, R.A.
9c245e65-06bb-4b0e-8214-2b00ad2a47df
Darwall, W.R.T.
edd028b2-df8a-4aaa-ab6f-42945449fc29
Smith, K.G.
cec742bb-e14c-4645-b0d9-4241f9ea6fe3

Holland, R.A., Darwall, W.R.T. and Smith, K.G. (2012) Conservation priorities for freshwater biodiversity: the key biodiversity area approach refined and tested for continental Africa. Biological Conservation, 148 (1), 167-179. (doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2012.01.016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Freshwater ecosystems represent one of the most threatened broad habitat types globally. Despite containing around a third of all vertebrates, area-based approaches to conservation planning rarely include freshwater species as an explicit target for conservation. Here we describe and apply a globally applicable methodology comparable to those for other groups (i.e. Important Bird Areas) to identify river and lake catchments that represent, or contain, freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas. We discuss the rationale behind the methodology and propose appropriate definitions and quantitative threshold values for the selection criteria. Thresholds are developed through spatial analysis of species information for four comprehensively assessed freshwater taxonomic groups in continental Africa, comprising 4203 species, as recently assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. To illustrate application of the methodology freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas are identified across continental Africa, and conservation planning software used to prioritise a network of catchments that captures 99% of the total species complement within catchments covering ca. 20% of the total land area. Within these prioritised catchments only 19% of river length falls within existing Protected Areas suggesting that, given the high connectivity within freshwater ecosystems and their dependence upon catchment management for effective conservation, modification or expansion of the protected area network is required to increase effective conservation of freshwater species. By applying this methodology, gaps in the coverage of freshwater species by existing Protected Areas can be identified and used to inform conservation policy and investment to ensure it is inclusive of, and effective for, freshwater biodiversity

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 16 February 2012
Published date: April 2012
Keywords: key biodiversity areas, protected areas, freshwaters, africa, red list, conservation, conservation planning
Organisations: Centre for Biological Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 335398
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/335398
ISSN: 0006-3207
PURE UUID: 204b3795-2c0f-4806-a34b-5bf2ba593c94
ORCID for R.A. Holland: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3038-9227

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Mar 2012 12:33
Last modified: 26 Nov 2019 01:37

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