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Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 3;9(1):4052. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06579-2.

Combined impacts of deforestation and wildlife trade on tropical biodiversity are severely underestimated.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore, 117543, Singapore. wsymes@u.nus.edu.
2
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.
3
Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP), National University of Singapore (NUS), 10 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore, 119076, Singapore.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore, 117543, Singapore.

Abstract

Tropical forest diversity is simultaneously threatened by habitat loss and exploitation for wildlife trade. Quantitative conservation assessments have previously considered these threats separately, yet their impacts frequently act together. We integrate forest extent maps in 2000 and 2015 with a method of quantifying exploitation pressure based upon a species' commercial value and forest accessibility. We do so for 308 forest-dependent bird species, of which 77 are commercially traded, in the Southeast Asian biodiversity hotspot of Sundaland. We find 89% (274) of species experienced average habitat losses of 16% and estimate exploitation led to mean population declines of 37%. Assessing the combined impacts of deforestation and exploitation indicates the average losses of exploited species are much higher (54%), nearly doubling the regionally endemic species (from 27 to 51) threatened with extinction that should be IUCN Red Listed. Combined assessment of major threats is vital to accurately quantify biodiversity loss.

PMID:
30283038
PMCID:
PMC6170487
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-06579-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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