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Assessing coincidence between priority conservation areas for vertebrate groups in a Mediterranean hotspot

AuthorsEstrada, Alba ; Real, Raimundo; Vargas, J. Mario
KeywordsSpatial modelling
Favourability function
Umbrella groups
Fuzzy logic
Issue Date2011
CitationBiological Conservation 144(3): 1120-1129 (2011)
AbstractThe effectiveness of selecting umbrella species or groups of species to protect other groups is a key and unresolved issue in conservation planning. We detected areas important to the four groups of terrestrial vertebrates inhabiting Andalusia (southern Spain) according to four conservation-value criteria, i.e., richness, rarity, vulnerability, and endemicity. We calculated coincidences between criteria and taxa by the degree of correlation and fuzzy overlap between the different criteria for the same group (intra-group coincidence) and between the different groups of species for the same criteria (inter-group coincidence). For the groups to be appropriate umbrella species, inter-group coincidence should be high. The results showed that intra-group coincidence was high, but inter-group coincidence was low. Thus, zones of importance to each group of species tended to be located in different places compared to the other groups, and therefore none of them should be used as an indicator or umbrella group to protect the others. This result has implications for conservation policy, as the Andalusian authorities should not assume that protecting a site important to one group of species will also be relevant to conserve the other groups. Nevertheless, we identified the areas of relatively high conjoint importance for all the groups, and the best umbrella group in this region, which proved to be reptiles.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.12.031
issn: 0006-3207
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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