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Gaps and weaknesses in the global protected area network for safeguarding at-risk species

Zeng, Yiwen; Senior, Rebecca A.; Crawford, Christopher L.; Wilcove, David S.

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Authors

Yiwen Zeng

Christopher L. Crawford

David S. Wilcove



Abstract

Protected areas are essential to biodiversity conservation. Creating new parks can protect larger populations and more species, yet strengthening existing parks, particularly those vulnerable to harmful human activities, is a critical but underappreciated step for safeguarding at-risk species. Here, we model the area of habitat that terrestrial mammals, amphibians, and birds have within park networks and their vulnerability to current downgrading, downsizing, or degazettement events and future land-use change. We find that roughly 70% of species analyzed have scant representation in parks, or occur within parks that are affected by shifts in formal legal protections or are vulnerable to increased human pressures. Our results also show that expanding and strengthening park networks across just 1% of the world’s land area could preserve irreplaceable habitats of 1191 species that are particularly vulnerable to extinction.

Citation

Zeng, Y., Senior, R. A., Crawford, C. L., & Wilcove, D. S. (2023). Gaps and weaknesses in the global protected area network for safeguarding at-risk species. Science Advances, 9(22), https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adg0288

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 1, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 2, 2025
Publication Date 2023-06
Deposit Date Feb 8, 2024
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2024
Journal Science Advances
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 22
DOI https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adg0288
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2230303

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