Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 1659–1682

Using taxonomically unbiased criteria to prioritize resource allocation for oceanic island species conservation

  • José L. Martín
  • Pedro Cardoso
  • Manuel Arechavaleta
  • Paulo A. V. Borges
  • Bernardo F. Faria
  • Cristina Abreu
  • António F. Aguiar
  • José A. Carvalho
  • Ana C. Costa
  • Regina T. Cunha
  • Francisco M. Fernandes
  • Rosalina Gabriel
  • Roberto Jardim
  • Carlos Lobo
  • António M. F. Martins
  • Paulo Oliveira
  • Pedro Rodrigues
  • Luís Silva
  • Dinarte Teixeira
  • Isabel R. Amorim
  • Nídia Homem
  • Berta Martins
  • Mónica Martins
  • Enésima Mendonça
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-010-9795-z

Cite this article as:
Martín, J.L., Cardoso, P., Arechavaleta, M. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2010) 19: 1659. doi:10.1007/s10531-010-9795-z

Abstract

Oceanic islands have been the grand stage of documented extinctions. In view of limited resources, efficient prioritization is crucial to avoid the extinction of taxa. This work lists the top 100 management priority species for the European archipelagos of the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands), taking into account both their protection priority and their management feasibility. Bryophytes, vascular plants, molluscs, arthropods and vertebrates were scored by species experts following two sets of criteria: (i) protection priority, including ecological value, singularity, public institutions’ management responsibilities and social value; (ii) management feasibility, including threats knowledge and control feasibility, external socio-economical support for management and biological recovery potential. Environmental managers weighted the same criteria according to their management importance. Final species scores were determined by the combination of both species valuation and criteria weighting. Vascular plants dominate the Top 100 list, followed by arthropods and vertebrates. The majority of listed taxa are endemic to one archipelago or even to a single island. The management feasibility criteria did not dictate that all taxa must be eminently endangered, as for most of the species it should be relatively easy to control threats. The main advantages of this process are the independent participation of scientists and conservation managers, the inclusion of criteria on both protection priority and management feasibility and the taxonomically unbiased nature of the process. This study provides a potentially useful biodiversity conservation tool for the Macaronesian archipelagos that could be readily implemented by the respective regional governments in future legislation.

Keywords

Azores Biodiversity management Canary Islands Conservation priority Macaronesia Madeira Ranking criteria Risk assessment Threatened species 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • José L. Martín
    • 1
  • Pedro Cardoso
    • 2
    • 9
  • Manuel Arechavaleta
    • 1
  • Paulo A. V. Borges
    • 2
  • Bernardo F. Faria
    • 3
  • Cristina Abreu
    • 4
  • António F. Aguiar
    • 5
  • José A. Carvalho
    • 6
  • Ana C. Costa
    • 7
  • Regina T. Cunha
    • 7
  • Francisco M. Fernandes
    • 6
  • Rosalina Gabriel
    • 2
  • Roberto Jardim
    • 6
  • Carlos Lobo
    • 6
  • António M. F. Martins
    • 7
  • Paulo Oliveira
    • 8
  • Pedro Rodrigues
    • 7
  • Luís Silva
    • 7
  • Dinarte Teixeira
    • 3
  • Isabel R. Amorim
    • 2
  • Nídia Homem
    • 2
  • Berta Martins
    • 2
  • Mónica Martins
    • 7
  • Enésima Mendonça
    • 2
  1. 1.Servicio de Biodiversidad, Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación Territorial, Gobierno de CanariasCentro de Planificación AmbientalSanta Cruz de TenerifeEspaña
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciências Agrárias, Azorean Biodiversity Group-CITAAUniversidade dos AçoresAngra do HeroísmoPortugal
  3. 3.Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais-Direcção Regional do AmbienteRua Dr. Pestana JúniorFunchalPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Biologia/CEMUniversidade da MadeiraFunchalPortugal
  5. 5.Laboratório Agrícola da MadeiraNúcleo de EntomologiaCamachaPortugal
  6. 6.Jardim Botânico da MadeiraFunchalPortugal
  7. 7.Departamento de BiologiaCIBIO (Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources) - Pólo Açores, Universidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal
  8. 8.Parque Natural da Madeira/CEM, Quinta do Bom SucessoFunchalPortugal
  9. 9.Smithsonian InstitutionNational Museum of Natural HistoryWashingtonUSA

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