Global distribution and conservation status of ecologically rare mammal and bird species
|Author(s)||Loiseau Nicolas1, 2, 3, Mouquet Nicolas1, 4, Casajus Nicolas4, Grenie Matthias3, Gueguen Maya2, Maitner Brian5, Mouillot David1, 6, Ostling Annette7, Renaud Julien2, Tucker Caroline8, Velez Laure1, Thuiller Wilfried2, Violle Cyrille3|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Univ Montpellier, MARBEC, CNRS, Ifremer,IRD, F-34095 Montpellier 5, France.
2 : Univ Savoie Mt Blanc, Univ Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, LECA,Lab Ecol Alpine, F-38000 Grenoble, France.
3 : Univ Paul Valery 3, Univ Montpellier, CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS,EPHE,IRD, Montpellier, France.
4 : Inst Bouisson Bertrand, FRB CESAB, 5 Rue Ecole Med, F-34000 Montpellier, France.
5 : Univ Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA.
6 : IUF, F-75231 Paris, France.
7 : Univ Michigan, Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA.
8 : Univ N Carolina, Environm Ecol & Energy Program, 3202 Murray,Venable Hall,CB 3275, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA.
|Source||Nature Communications (2041-1723) (Nature Research), 2020-10 , Vol. 11 , N. 1 , P. 5071(11p.)|
Identifying species that are both geographically restricted and functionally distinct, i.e. supporting rare traits and functions, is of prime importance given their risk of extinction and their potential contribution to ecosystem functioning. We use global species distributions and functional traits for birds and mammals to identify the ecologically rare species, understand their characteristics, and identify hotspots. We find that ecologically rare species are disproportionately represented in IUCN threatened categories, insufficiently covered by protected areas, and for some of them sensitive to current and future threats. While they are more abundant overall in countries with a low human development index, some countries with high human development index are also hotspots of ecological rarity, suggesting transboundary responsibility for their conservation. Altogether, these results state that more conservation emphasis should be given to ecological rarity given future environmental conditions and the need to sustain multiple ecosystem processes in the long-term. There are many available ways to rank species for conservation prioritization. Here the authors identify species of mammals and birds that are both spatially restricted and functionally distinct, finding that such species are currently insufficiently protected and disproportionately sensitive to current and future threats.