Biodiversity data gap impedes research and conservation efforts
June 9, 2008

Biodiversity loss is occurring at an alarming rate around the world. Species are found in the greatest numbers in the tropics and as these areas are impacted by an increasing intensity of human pressure, the status of animal and plant life within them is in many cases in severe decline. International legislation, such as the 2010 Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity, requires countries to measure trends in biodiversity, and also monitor progress towards lowering the rate of biodiversity loss.

Writing in the June issue of Tropical Conservation Science, Ben Collen and colleagues from the Zoological Society of London examined the coverage of four different global biodiversity data sets and found a large gap in data availability in tropical countries, limiting the effectiveness of conservation measures.

"Limits to biodiversity data coverage limits capacity to make informative measures of biodiversity change, particularly at a national level," said the authors. "It is therefore vital that biodiversity information for the tropics is increased so that better representation of global biodiversity is obtained. Targeted monitoring programs must be established."

Collen and colleagues say that new indicators and methods of measuring biodiversity change currently being developed may be more suitable for countries in the tropics to adopt in the short term, which will allow these nations to monitor trends in nature more effectively in the future. The study is published in the June issue of Tropical Conservation Science, an open-access online journal.

Ben Collen, Mala Ram, Tara Zamin and Louise McRae (2008). The tropical biodiversity data gap: addressing disparity in global monitoring. Tropical Conservation Science Vol.1(2):75-88, 2008.

CITATION: (June 09, 2008).

Biodiversity data gap impedes research and conservation efforts.