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Identifying the possibilities and pitfalls of conducting IUCN Red List assessments from remotely sensed habitat information based on insights from poorly known Cuban mammals.

Duncan, C; Bohm, M; Turvey, ST; (2021) Identifying the possibilities and pitfalls of conducting IUCN Red List assessments from remotely sensed habitat information based on insights from poorly known Cuban mammals. Conservation Biology , 35 (5) pp. 1598-1614. 10.1111/cobi.13715. Green open access

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Abstract

The International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species (RLS) is the key global tool for objective, repeatable assessment of species’ extinction risk status, and plays an essential role in tracking biodiversity loss and guiding conservation action. Satellite remote sensing (SRS) data sets on global ecosystem distributions and functioning show exciting potential for informing range-based RLS assessment, but their incorporation has been restricted by low temporal resolution and coverage of data sets, lack of incorporation of degradation-driven habitat loss, and noninclusion of assumptions related to identification of changing habitat distributions for taxa with varying habitat dependency and ecologies. For poorly known mangrove-associated Cuban hutias (Mesocapromys spp.), we tested the impact of possible assumptions regarding these issues on range-based RLS assessment outcomes. Specifically, we used annual (1985–2018) Landsat data and land-cover classification and habitat degradation analyses across different internal time series slices to simulate range-based RLS assessments for our case study taxa to explore potential assessment uncertainty arising from temporal SRS data set coverage, incorporating proxies of (change in) habitat quality, and assumptions on spatial scaling of habitat extent for RLS parameter generation. We found extensive variation in simulated species-specific range-based RLS assessments, and this variation was mostly associated with the time series over which parameters were estimated. However, results of some species-specific assessments differed by up to 3 categories (near threatened to critically endangered) within the same time series, due to the effects of incorporating habitat quality and the spatial scaling used in RLS parameter estimation. Our results showed that a one-size-fits-all approach to incorporating SRS information in RLS assessment is inappropriate, and we urge caution in conducting range-based assessments with SRS for species for which habitat dependence on specific ecosystem types is incompletely understood. We propose novel revisions to parameter spatial scaling guidelines to improve integration of existing time series data on ecosystem change into the RLS assessment process.

Type: Article
Title: Identifying the possibilities and pitfalls of conducting IUCN Red List assessments from remotely sensed habitat information based on insights from poorly known Cuban mammals.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13715
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13715
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10116301
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