Study Finds Key To Protecting Endangered Species May Be A Matter Of Location

Study Finds Key To Protecting Endangered Species May Be A Matter Of Location

10:15am Sep 04, 2018
A glittering starfrontlet hummingbird. Researchers at Duke University say that smaller, unique animals and areas should get more attention from conservation efforts. Photo Credit: Luis Mazariegos, courtesy of Duke University.

A new study led by Duke University says focusing conservation efforts on the right places – but not all places – is key to protecting endangered species.

When it comes to conservation, bigger is not necessarily better. That’s according to research that suggests that large land mass protections, like national parks, shouldn’t be our only focus.

The study is in part a reaction to the ‘Half Earth’ principle, which says protecting fifty percent of the planet may be key to avoiding extinction.

But which half? That’s the question that Duke University professor Stuart Pimm raises. He’s concerned that remote, arid spots are too often chosen for protection because we’re familiar with the animals.

“There are a lot of other species there," says Pimm. "There are a lot of unique things that are beautiful and interesting, and part of our natural heritage. I think they need protection too. We should be looking after our rivers, we should be looking after the unique animals and plants that occur in different regions.“

The study is a collaboration with researchers in China and Brazil, who are also identifying which small habitats and species may be at risk.

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