Identifying anomalous reports of putatively extinct species and why it matters

Roberts, David L. and Elphick, Chris S. and Reed, J. Michael (2010) Identifying anomalous reports of putatively extinct species and why it matters. Conservation Biology, 24 (1). pp. 189-196. ISSN 08888892 (ISSN). (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01292.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01292.x

Abstract

As species become very rare and approach extinction, purported sightings can stir controversy, especially when scarce management resources are at stake. We used quantitative methods to identify reports that do not fit prior sighting patterns. We also examined the effects of including records that meet different evidentiary standards on quantitative extinction assessments for four charismatic bird species that might be extinct: Eskimo Curlew (Numenius borealis), Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), Nukupùu (Hemignathus lucidus), and �ahu �Alauahio (Paroreomyza maculata). For all four species the probability of there being a valid sighting today, given the past pattern of verified sightings, was estimated to be very low. The estimates of extinction dates and the chance of new sightings, however, differed considerably depending on the criteria used for data inclusion. When a historical sighting record lacked long periods without sightings, the likelihood of new sightings declined quickly with time since the last confirmed sighting. For species with this type of historical record, therefore, new reports should meet an especially high burden of proof to be acceptable. Such quantitative models could be incorporated into the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List criteria to set evidentiary standards required for unconfirmed sightings of "possibly extinct" species and to standardize extinction assessments across species. © 2009 Society for Conservation Biology.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: PY - 2010/// [EPrints field already has value set] AD - Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Royal Botanic Gardens, Richmond, Kew, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Center for Conservation and Biodiversity, University of Connecticut, 75 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06269, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Biology, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] JA - Conserv. Biol. [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Critically endangered, Data quality, Extinction, IUCN Red List, Museum specimens, Sighting record, Species persistence, bird, conservation status, endangered species, extinction, museum, persistence, rare species, Red List, animal, article, bird, species extinction, Animals, Birds, Extinction, Biological, Aves, Campephilus, Campephilus principalis, Hemignathus lucidus, Numenius borealis, Paroreomyza maculata
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2014 15:05 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 08:21 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/33822 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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