Global correlates of terrestrial and marine coverage by protected areas on islands

Type Article
Date 2020-09
Language English
Author(s) Mouillot David1, 2, Velez Laure1, Maire Eva1, 3, Masson Alizée1, Hicks Christina C.3, Moloney James4, Troussellier Marc1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, MARBEC, Montpellier, France
2 : Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811, Australia
3 : Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
4 : College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811, Australia
Source Nature Communications (2041-1723) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2020-09 , Vol. 11 , N. 1 , P. 4438 (12p.)
DOI 10.1038/s41467-020-18293-z
Abstract

Many islands are biodiversity hotspots but also extinction epicenters. In addition to strong cultural connections to nature, islanders derive a significant part of their economy and broader wellbeing from this biodiversity. Islands are thus considered as the socio-ecosystems most vulnerable to species and habitat loss. Yet, the extent and key correlates of protected area coverage on islands is still unknown. Here we assess the relative influence of climate, geography, habitat diversity, culture, resource capacity, and human footprint on terrestrial and marine protected area coverage across 2323 inhabited islands globally. We show that, on average, 22% of terrestrial and 13% of marine island areas are under protection status, but that half of all islands have no protected areas. Climate, diversity of languages, human population density and development are strongly associated with differences observed in protected area coverage among islands. Our study suggests that economic development and population growth may critically limit the amount of protection on islands

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