Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 235–244 | Cite as

Threatened species and the spatial concentration of humans

Original Paper

Abstract

Public policies that encourage high-density human living arrangements have been predicated explicitly on the assumption that certain spatial distributions of a fixed-size human population are less environmentally damaging than others. We examine the empirical validity of this assumption across 127 countries by analyzing whether the concentration of human presence in each country is related statistically to the percentage of species that were on the IUCN Red List in 2004. Our findings indicate that concentration of the human population is associated with reduced imperilment among amphibians but increased imperilment among reptiles, and birds.

Keywords

Gini coefficient Imperiled species Spatial concentration of humans 

References

  1. Arrow K, Bolin B, Costanza R, Dasgupta P, Folke C, Holling CS, Bengt-Owe J, Levin S, Maler KG, Perrings C, Pimentel D (1995) Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment. Science 268:520–521CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bowyer JL (2001) Environmental implications of wood production in intensively managed plantations. Wood Fiber Sci 33(3):318–333Google Scholar
  3. Brown R, Laband DN (2006) species imperilment and spatial development patterns in the U.S. Conserv Biol 20(1):239–244CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cincotta RP, Engelman R (2000) Nature’s place: human population and the future of biological diversity. Population Action International, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Cropper M, Griffiths C (1994) The interaction of population growth and environmental quality. AEA Papers and Proceedings 84(2):250–254Google Scholar
  6. Czech B, Krausman PR, Devers PK (2000) Economic associations among causes of species endangerment in the United States. Bioscience 50:593–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Damgaared C, Weiner J (2000) Describing inequality in plant size or fecundity. Ecology 81:1139–1142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Bruyn SM, van den Bergh JCJM, Opschoor JB (1998) Economic growth and emissions: reconsidering the empirical basis of environmental Kuznets curves. Ecol Econ 25:161–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dixon PM, Weiner J, Michell-Olds T, Woodley R (1987) Bootstrapping the ginni coefficient of inequality. Ecology 68:1548–1551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Environmental System Research Institute (2002) ArcGIS 8.3. Redland, CAGoogle Scholar
  11. Grossman GM, Krueger AB (1995) Economic growth and the environment. Quart J Econ 110:353–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hettige H, Lucas REB, Wheeler D (1992) The toxic intensity of industrial production: global patterns, trends, and trade policy. AEA Pap Proc 82(2):478–481Google Scholar
  13. Hilton FG, Levinson A (1998) Factoring the environmental Kuznets curve: evidence from automotive lead emissions. J Environ Econ Manage 35(2):126–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Keilman N (2003) The threat of small households. Nature 421:489–490CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kerr JT, Currie DJ (1995) Effects of human activity on global extinction risk. Conserv Biol 9:1528–1538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Klein MW (2002) Mathematical methods for economics. 2nd ed. Pearson Education Inc, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  17. List AJ, Gallet CA (1999) The environmental Kuznets curve: does one size fit all? Ecol Econ 31:409–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu J, Daily GC, Ehrlich PR, Luck GW (2003) Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity. Nature 421:530–533CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. McKinney ML (2002) Why larger nations have disproportionate threat rates: area increases Endemism and human population size. Biodivers Conserv 11:1317–1325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McKinney ML (2001) Role of human population size in raising bird and mammal threat among nations. Anim Conserv 4:45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McPherson MA, Nieswiadomy ML (2005) Environmental Kuznets curve: threatened species and spatial effects. Ecol Econ 55(3):395–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rothman DS (1998) Environmental Kuznets curves: real progress or passing the buck? A case for consumption-based approaches. Ecol Econ 25:177–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sedjo R, Botkin D (1997) Using forest plantations to spare natural forests. Environment 10:15–20, 30Google Scholar
  24. Seldon TM, Song D (1994) Environmental quality and development: is there a Kuznets curve for air pollution emissions? J Environ Econ Manage 27:147–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. South DB (1999) How can we feign sustainability with an increasing population? New Forests 17:193–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stern DL, Common MS, Barbier EB (1996) Economic growth and environmental degradation: the environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development. World Dev 24:1151–1160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Suri V, Chapman D (1998) Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve. Ecol Econ 25:195–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Thompson K, Jones A (1999) Human population density and prediction of local plant extinction in Britain. Conserv Biol 13:185–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Forest Sustainability and Forest Policy Center, School of Forestry & Wildlife SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

Personalised recommendations