Detecting Extinction Risk from Climate Changeby IUCN Red List Criteria

David Keith, Michael Mahony, Harry Hines, Jane Elith, Tracey Regan, John Baumgartner, David Hunter, Geoffrey Heard, Nicola Mitchell, Kristen Parris, Trent Penman, Ben Scheele, Christopher Simpson, Reid Tingley, Christopher Tracy, Matt West, Resit Akcakaya

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Anthropogenic climate change is a key threat to global biodiversity. To inform strategic actions aimed at conserving biodiversity as climate changes, conservation planners need early warning of the risks faced by different species. The IUCN Red List criteria for threatened species are widely acknowledged as useful risk assessment tools for informing conservation under constraints imposed by limited data. However, doubts have been expressed about the ability of the criteria to detect risks imposed by potentially slow-acting threats such as climate change, particularly because criteria addressing rates of population decline are assessed over time scales as short as 10 years. We used spatially explicit stochastic population models and dynamic species distribution models projected to future climates to determine how long before extinction a species would become eligible for listing as threatened based on the IUCN Red List criteria. We focused on a short-lived frog species (Assa darlingtoni) chosen specifically to represent potential weaknesses in the criteria to allow detailed consideration of the analytical issues and to develop an approach for wider application. The criteria were more sensitive to climate change than previously anticipated; lead times between initial listing in a threatened category and predicted extinction varied from 40 to 80 years, depending on data availability. We attributed this sensitivity primarily to the ensemble properties of the criteria that assess contrasting symptoms of extinction risk. Nevertheless, we recommend the robustness of the criteria warrants further investigation across species with contrasting life histories and patterns of decline. The adequacy of these lead times for early warning depends on practicalities of environmental policy and management, bureaucratic or political inertia, and the anticipated species response times to management actions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)810-819
    Number of pages10
    JournalConservation Biology
    Volume28
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    extinction risk
    Red List
    extinction
    climate change
    climate
    biodiversity
    environmental policy
    environmental management
    threatened species
    signs and symptoms (animals and humans)
    risk assessment
    frogs
    biogeography
    life history
    population decline
    inertia
    frog
    timescale

    Cite this

    Keith, D., Mahony, M., Hines, H., Elith, J., Regan, T., Baumgartner, J., ... Akcakaya, R. (2014). Detecting Extinction Risk from Climate Changeby IUCN Red List Criteria. Conservation Biology, 28(3), 810-819. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12234
    Keith, David ; Mahony, Michael ; Hines, Harry ; Elith, Jane ; Regan, Tracey ; Baumgartner, John ; Hunter, David ; Heard, Geoffrey ; Mitchell, Nicola ; Parris, Kristen ; Penman, Trent ; Scheele, Ben ; Simpson, Christopher ; Tingley, Reid ; Tracy, Christopher ; West, Matt ; Akcakaya, Resit. / Detecting Extinction Risk from Climate Changeby IUCN Red List Criteria. In: Conservation Biology. 2014 ; Vol. 28, No. 3. pp. 810-819.
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    abstract = "Anthropogenic climate change is a key threat to global biodiversity. To inform strategic actions aimed at conserving biodiversity as climate changes, conservation planners need early warning of the risks faced by different species. The IUCN Red List criteria for threatened species are widely acknowledged as useful risk assessment tools for informing conservation under constraints imposed by limited data. However, doubts have been expressed about the ability of the criteria to detect risks imposed by potentially slow-acting threats such as climate change, particularly because criteria addressing rates of population decline are assessed over time scales as short as 10 years. We used spatially explicit stochastic population models and dynamic species distribution models projected to future climates to determine how long before extinction a species would become eligible for listing as threatened based on the IUCN Red List criteria. We focused on a short-lived frog species (Assa darlingtoni) chosen specifically to represent potential weaknesses in the criteria to allow detailed consideration of the analytical issues and to develop an approach for wider application. The criteria were more sensitive to climate change than previously anticipated; lead times between initial listing in a threatened category and predicted extinction varied from 40 to 80 years, depending on data availability. We attributed this sensitivity primarily to the ensemble properties of the criteria that assess contrasting symptoms of extinction risk. Nevertheless, we recommend the robustness of the criteria warrants further investigation across species with contrasting life histories and patterns of decline. The adequacy of these lead times for early warning depends on practicalities of environmental policy and management, bureaucratic or political inertia, and the anticipated species response times to management actions.",
    author = "David Keith and Michael Mahony and Harry Hines and Jane Elith and Tracey Regan and John Baumgartner and David Hunter and Geoffrey Heard and Nicola Mitchell and Kristen Parris and Trent Penman and Ben Scheele and Christopher Simpson and Reid Tingley and Christopher Tracy and Matt West and Resit Akcakaya",
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    Keith, D, Mahony, M, Hines, H, Elith, J, Regan, T, Baumgartner, J, Hunter, D, Heard, G, Mitchell, N, Parris, K, Penman, T, Scheele, B, Simpson, C, Tingley, R, Tracy, C, West, M & Akcakaya, R 2014, 'Detecting Extinction Risk from Climate Changeby IUCN Red List Criteria', Conservation Biology, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 810-819. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12234

    Detecting Extinction Risk from Climate Changeby IUCN Red List Criteria. / Keith, David; Mahony, Michael; Hines, Harry; Elith, Jane; Regan, Tracey; Baumgartner, John; Hunter, David; Heard, Geoffrey; Mitchell, Nicola; Parris, Kristen; Penman, Trent; Scheele, Ben; Simpson, Christopher; Tingley, Reid; Tracy, Christopher; West, Matt; Akcakaya, Resit.

    In: Conservation Biology, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2014, p. 810-819.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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    AU - Baumgartner, John

    AU - Hunter, David

    AU - Heard, Geoffrey

    AU - Mitchell, Nicola

    AU - Parris, Kristen

    AU - Penman, Trent

    AU - Scheele, Ben

    AU - Simpson, Christopher

    AU - Tingley, Reid

    AU - Tracy, Christopher

    AU - West, Matt

    AU - Akcakaya, Resit

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    N2 - Anthropogenic climate change is a key threat to global biodiversity. To inform strategic actions aimed at conserving biodiversity as climate changes, conservation planners need early warning of the risks faced by different species. The IUCN Red List criteria for threatened species are widely acknowledged as useful risk assessment tools for informing conservation under constraints imposed by limited data. However, doubts have been expressed about the ability of the criteria to detect risks imposed by potentially slow-acting threats such as climate change, particularly because criteria addressing rates of population decline are assessed over time scales as short as 10 years. We used spatially explicit stochastic population models and dynamic species distribution models projected to future climates to determine how long before extinction a species would become eligible for listing as threatened based on the IUCN Red List criteria. We focused on a short-lived frog species (Assa darlingtoni) chosen specifically to represent potential weaknesses in the criteria to allow detailed consideration of the analytical issues and to develop an approach for wider application. The criteria were more sensitive to climate change than previously anticipated; lead times between initial listing in a threatened category and predicted extinction varied from 40 to 80 years, depending on data availability. We attributed this sensitivity primarily to the ensemble properties of the criteria that assess contrasting symptoms of extinction risk. Nevertheless, we recommend the robustness of the criteria warrants further investigation across species with contrasting life histories and patterns of decline. The adequacy of these lead times for early warning depends on practicalities of environmental policy and management, bureaucratic or political inertia, and the anticipated species response times to management actions.

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    U2 - 10.1111/cobi.12234

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    Keith D, Mahony M, Hines H, Elith J, Regan T, Baumgartner J et al. Detecting Extinction Risk from Climate Changeby IUCN Red List Criteria. Conservation Biology. 2014;28(3):810-819. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12234