Biases, gaps, and opportunities in mammalian extinction risk research

Verde Arregoitia, Luis D. (2016) Biases, gaps, and opportunities in mammalian extinction risk research. Mammal Review, 46 1: 17-29. doi:10.1111/mam.12049

Author Verde Arregoitia, Luis D.
Title Biases, gaps, and opportunities in mammalian extinction risk research
Journal name Mammal Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2907
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1111/mam.12049
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 46
Issue 1
Start page 17
End page 29
Total pages 13
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. A subdiscipline of conservation science involves the study of differences between threatened and non-threatened species. The relevance of multispecies analyses of extinction risk to conservation practice has been questioned, but there has been no synthesis of the allocation of research effort to different regions and groups of mammals to assess whether or not sufficient knowledge is available to support conservation science where it is most needed.

2. I reviewed 68 comparative studies of mammalian extinction risk to test whether existing research reflects our concern for threatened species. Additionally, I examined the variables used and various methodological issues that can lead to uninformative results.

3. Known spatial and taxonomic biases in conservation science persisted in extinction risk research, leaving large proportions of globally threatened taxa unstudied. Primates and carnivores had more dedicated studies, whereas small mammals such as rodents and the Eulipotyphla (true shrews, talpids, solenodons, gymnures, and hedgehogs) lack research effort despite their high diversity, threat, and extinction record. Except for the Australian mammal fauna (a clear priority given the number of threatened, extinct, and endemic taxa), most areas of conservation importance remain underrepresented in these types of studies.

4. Detailed country-level analyses can provide applicable results for understudied regions. I propose Southeast Asia and the Caribbean for further research, given their high levels of extinction, threat and endemism, and their unique biogeographic histories. Finally, I offer suggestions for general methodological improvements to avoid problems with missing data and statistical circularity in order to maximise conservation relevance.
Keyword Bibliometric
Threat status
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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