Drivers of extinction risk in African mammals: the interplay of distribution state, human pressure, conservation response and species biology

M. Di Marco, G.M. Buchanan, Z. Szantoi, M. Holmgren, G. Grottolo Marasini, D. Gross, S. Tranquili, L. Boitani, C. Rondini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although conservation intervention has reversed the decline of some species, our success is outweighed by a much larger number of species moving towards extinction. Extinction risk modelling can identify correlates of risk and species not yet recognized to be threatened. Here, we use machine learning models to identify correlates of extinction risk in African terrestrial mammals using a set of variables belonging to four classes: species distribution state, human pressures, conservation response and species biology. We derived information on distribution state and human pressure from satellite- borne imagery. Variables in all four classes were identified as important predictors of extinction risk, and interactions were observed among variables in different classes (e.g. level of protection, human threats, species distribution ranges). Species biology had a key role in mediating the effect of external variables. The model was 90% accurate in classifying extinction risk status of species, but in a few cases the observed and modelled extinction risk mismatched. Species in this condition might suffer from an incorrect classification of extinction risk (hence require reassessment). An increased availability of satellite imagery combined with improved resolution and classification accuracy of the resulting maps will play a progressively greater role in conservation monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20130198
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological sciences
Volume369
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • protected areas
  • population declines
  • tropical forest
  • human footprint
  • time-series
  • land-cover
  • strategy
  • deforestation
  • 21st-century
  • ecosystem

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Drivers of extinction risk in African mammals: the interplay of distribution state, human pressure, conservation response and species biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this