Despite considerable effort, and some wonderful success stories, it is widely acknowledged that global conservation targets to reverse declines in biodiversity and halt species extinctions by 2020 will not be met.
Significant and rapid declines in insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish are increasingly being reported from many parts of the world as a result of human activities. Last year, the most thorough assessment of the world’s biodiversity to date was published. This estimated that a million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. That’s 25% of the planet’s species, based on the best estimates.
Much work has gone into identifying, protecting and managing important habitats and ecosystems over the past decades, but conservation action has often focused on large, charismatic animals such as pandas, elephants and gorillas. And there are problems with this approach. MORE