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Nature. 2005 Mar 3;434(7029):45-9.

A biodiversity intactness index.

Author information

1
CSIR Environmentek, PO Box 395, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa. bscholes@csir.co.za

Abstract

The nations of the world have set themselves a target of reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Here, we propose a biodiversity intactness index (BII) for assessing progress towards this target that is simple and practical--but sensitive to important factors that influence biodiversity status--and which satisfies the criteria for policy relevance set by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Application of the BII is demonstrated on a large region (4 x 10(6) km2) of southern Africa. The BII score in the year 2000 is about 84%: in other words, averaged across all plant and vertebrate species in the region, populations have declined to 84% of their presumed pre-modern levels. The taxonomic group with the greatest loss is mammals, at 71% of pre-modern levels, and the ecosystem type with the greatest loss is grassland, with 74% of its former populations remaining. During the 1990s, a population decline of 0.8% is estimated to have occurred.

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PMID:
15744293
DOI:
10.1038/nature03289
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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