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USGS - science for a changing world

Dov F. Sax

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Infectious disease is listed among the top five causes of global species extinctions. However, the majority of available data supporting this contention is largely anecdotal. We used the IUCN Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species and literature indexed in the ISI Web of Science to assess the role of infectious disease in global species loss. Infectious disease was listed as a contributing factor in <4% of species extinctions known to have occurred since 1500 (833 plants and animals) and as contributing to a species' status as critically endangered in <8% of cases (2852 critically endangered plants and animals). Although infectious diseases appear to play a minor role in global species loss, our findings...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Conservation organizations must adapt to respond to the ecological impacts of global change. Numerous changes to conservation actions (eg facilitated ecological transitions, managed relocations, or increased corridor development) have been recommended, but some institutional restructuring within organizations may also be needed. Here we discuss the capacity of conservation organizations to adapt to changing environmental conditions, focusing primarily on public agencies and nonprofits active in land protection and management in the US. After first reviewing how these organizations anticipate and detect impacts affecting target species and ecosystems, we then discuss whether they are sufficiently flexible to prepare...
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