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Over half of threatened species require targeted recovery actions to avert human-induced extinction

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rike Bolam, Dr Louise MairORCiD, Professor Philip McGowan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022 The Authors. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Ecological Society of America. Averting human-induced extinctions will require strong policy commitments that comprehensively address threats to species. A new Global Biodiversity Framework is currently being negotiated by the world’s governments through the Convention on Biological Diversity. Here we explored how the suggested targets in this framework could contribute to reducing threats to threatened vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants, and assessed the importance of a proposed target to implement recovery actions for threatened species. Although many of the targets benefit species, we found that extinction risk for over half (57%) of threatened species would not be reduced sufficiently without a target promoting recovery actions, including ex situ conservation, reintroductions, and other species-specific interventions. A median of 54 threatened species per country require such actions, and most countries of the world hold such species. Preventing future human-induced extinctions requires policy commitments to implement targeted recovery actions for threatened species in addition to broader efforts to mitigate threats, underpinned by transformative change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bolam FC, Ahumada J, Akcakaya HR, Brooks TM, Elliott W, Hoban S, Mair L, Mallon D, McGowan PJK, Raimondo D, Rodriguez JP, Roe D, Seddon MB, Shen X, Stuart SN, Watson JEM, Butchart SHM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Year: 2023

Volume: 21

Issue: 2

Pages: 64-70

Print publication date: 01/03/2023

Online publication date: 18/07/2022

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 12/08/2022

ISSN (print): 1540-9295

ISSN (electronic): 1540-9309

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/fee.2537


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Newcastle University