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Socioeconomic correlates of global mammalian conservation status

Polaina, E., Gonzalez-Suarez, M. and Revilla, E. (2015) Socioeconomic correlates of global mammalian conservation status. Ecosphere, 6 (9). pp. 1-34. ISSN 2150-8925

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1890/ES14-00505.1

Abstract/Summary

The main causes of biodiversity decline are related to human use of resources, which is ultimately triggered by the socioeconomic decisions made by individuals and nations. Characterizing the socioeconomic attributes of areas in which biodiversity is most threatened can help us identify decisions and conditions that promote the presence or absence of threats and potentially suggest more sustainable strategies. In this study we explored how diverse indicators of social and economic development correlate with the conservation status of terrestrial mammals within countries explicitly exploring hypothesized linear and quadratic relationships. First, comparing countries with and without threatened mammals we found that those without threatened species are a disparate group formed by European countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with little in common besides their slow population growth and a past of human impacts. Second, focusing on countries with threatened mammals we found that those with a more threatened mammalian biota have mainly rural populations, are predominantly exporters of goods and services, receive low to intermediate economic benefits from international tourism, and have medium to high human life expectancy. Overall, these results provide a comprehensive characterization of the socioeconomic profiles linked to mammalian conservation status of the world's nations, highlighting the importance of transborder impacts reflected by the international flux of goods, services and people. Further studies would be necessary to unravel the actual mechanisms and threats that link these socioeconomic profiles and indicators with mammalian conservation. Nevertheless, this study presents a broad and complete characterization that offers testable hypotheses regarding how socioeconomic development associates with biodiversity.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:51699
Publisher:Ecological Society of America

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