When all life counts in conservation
Species counts drive conservation science and policy, and provides the basis for major public announcements on the state of the Earth. Yet a major component of biodiversity is excluded from conservation data: nonnative species. A University of Technology Sydney led study focused on Australia's nonnative vertebrates who were brought in and out of Australia by humans. The international team of conservation biologists asked the question "What would the world look like when all wildlife were included in conservation data?"
The researchers found that formal conservation accounts underestimate global ranges; that introductions surpass extinctions in Australia; and that Australia provides a lifeline to many species threatened in their native ranges.
The scientists also found that conservation is the stated motivation for killing most nonnative wildlife.
Lead author, Dr. Arian Wallach from the UTS Centre for Compassionate Conservation said that discussions about "inclusive biodiversity data can open up dialogue on the ethical and empirical assumptions underlying conservation biology."
The researchers say that "inclusive conservation data could help enhance humanity's moral concern for all life on Earth".
Authors include scientists from Oregon State University, California State University, Victoria University of Wellington (NZ), Nelson Mandela University (SA), University of California Davis, The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales Sydney, and the Greater Wellington Regional Council (NZ).