Biodiversity and Conservation

, 18:2017

Key Neotropical ecoregions for conservation of terrestrial vertebrates

  • Rafael D. Loyola
  • Umberto Kubota
  • Gustavo A. B. da Fonseca
  • Thomas M. Lewinsohn
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-008-9570-6

Cite this article as:
Loyola, R.D., Kubota, U., da Fonseca, G.A.B. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2009) 18: 2017. doi:10.1007/s10531-008-9570-6
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Abstract

Conservation planning analyses show a striking progression from endeavors targeted at single species or at individual sites, to the systematic assessment of entire taxa at large scales. These, in turn, inform wide-reaching conservation policies and financial investments. The latter are epitomized by global-scale prioritization frameworks, such as the Biodiversity Hotspots. We examine the entire Neotropical region to identify sets of areas of high conservation priority according to terrestrial vertebrate distribution patterns. We identified a set of 49 ecoregions in which 90, 82 and 83%, respectively of total, endemic and threatened vertebrates are represented. A core subset of 11 ecoregions captured 55, 27 and 38% of these groups. The Neotropics hold the largest remaining wilderness areas in the world, and encompass most of the tropical ecosystems still offering significant options for successful broad-scale conservation action. Our analysis helps to elucidate where conservation is likely to yield best returns at the ecoregion scale.

Keywords

BrazilBiodiversityConservation planningEcoregionsExtinctionHotspotsPopulation declinesPrioritizationProtected areasVertebrates

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael D. Loyola
    • 1
  • Umberto Kubota
    • 1
  • Gustavo A. B. da Fonseca
    • 2
    • 3
  • Thomas M. Lewinsohn
    • 1
  1. 1.P. G. Ecologia, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Global Environment FacilityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil