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Human impacts and the global distribution of extinction risk

Davies, Richard G., Orme, C. David L., Olson, Valerie A., Thomas, Gavin H., Ross, Simon G., Ding, Tzung-Su, Rasmussen, Pamela C., Stattersfield, Ali J., Bennett, Peter M., Blackburn, Tim M., and others. (2006) Human impacts and the global distribution of extinction risk. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 273 (1598). pp. 2127-2133. ISSN 0962-8452. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3551) (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) (KAR id:7508)

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Understanding the global geographical distribution of extinction risk is a key challenge in conservation biology. It remains controversial, however, to what extent areas become threat hotspots simply because of high human impacts or due to predisposing ecological conditions. Limits to the taxonomic and geographical extent, resolution and quality of previously available data have precluded a full global assessment of the relative roles of these factors. Here, we use a new global database on the geographical distributions of birds on continents and continental islands to show that, after controlling for species richness, the best predictors of the global pattern of extinction risk are measures of human impact. Ecological gradients are of secondary importance at a global scale. The converse is true for individual biogeographic realms, within which variation in human impact is reduced and its influence on extinction risk globally is therefore underestimated. These results underline the importance of a global perspective on driving spatial patterns of extinction risk, and the key role of anthropogenic factors in driving the current extinction crisis.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3551
Additional information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 078LL Times Cited: 5 Cited Reference Count: 38 Davies, Richard G. Orme, C. David L. Olson, Valerie Thomas, Gavin H. Ross, Simon G. Ding, Tzung-Su Rasmussen, Pamela C. Stattersfield, Ali J. Bennett, Peter M. Blackburn, Tim M. Owens, Ian P. F. Gaston, Kevin J.
Uncontrolled keywords: extinction risk, global biodiversity, human population, species, richness, threatened species, human population, species diversity, conservation, endemism, threat, biodiversity, carnivores, richness, islands, people
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: C.G.W.G. van-de-Benderskum
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2008 09:29 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:45 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Bennett, Peter M..

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