Threatened and endemic species: are they good indicators of patterns of biodiversity on a national scale?
Article first published online: 7 NOV 2002
Volume 5, Issue 6, pages 733–741, November 2002
How to Cite
Bonn, A., Rodrigues, A. S. L. and Gaston, K. J. (2002), Threatened and endemic species: are they good indicators of patterns of biodiversity on a national scale?. Ecology Letters, 5: 733–741. doi: 10.1046/j.1461-0248.2002.00376.x
- Issue published online: 7 NOV 2002
- Article first published online: 7 NOV 2002
- Editor, A. Y. Troumbis Manuscript received 14 June 2002 Manuscript accepted 16 July 2002
- Complementary networks;
- conservation planning;
- peak abundance locations;
- species richness;
Endemic and/or threatened species are often targeted to set conservation priorities. It is tempting to assume that a reserve network focusing on these species will be an effective umbrella for overall species richness of a country. For South Africa and Lesotho we tested whether complementary networks selected for threatened and/or endemic bird species satisfactorily represent all bird species, both in terms of capturing areas where other species are present or areas where they are more abundant (and, presumably, more viable). We found that areas selected for threatened and endemic species perform considerably better than areas selected at random. However, they do not guarantee the representation of overall bird species diversity, particularly not in peak abundance locations. Although nationally threatened and endemic species are important conservation targets, our results indicate that reserve networks focusing solely on these species may not be sufficient to preserve overall species diversity in a country.