A strategy for the next decade to address data deficiency in neglected biodiversity

Hochkirch, A., Samways, M., Gerlach, J., Bohm, M., Williams, P., Cardoso, P., Cumberlidge, N.,  Stephenson, P.J., Seddon, M., Clausnitzer, V., Borges, P.A.V., Mueller, G., Pearce-Kelly, P., Raimondo, D.C., Danielczak, A. & Dijkstra, K.-D. (2021) A strategy for the next decade to address data deficiency in neglected biodiversity.

Conservation Biology, 35(2), 502-509. DOI:10.1111/cobi.13589 (IF2019 5,405; Q1 Ecology)
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  • Apr, 2021


Measuring progress towards international biodiversity targets requires robust knowledge of the conservation status of species, which is provided by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, data and capacity are lacking for most hyperdiverse groups such as invertebrates, plants and fungi, particularly in megadiverse or high‐endemism regions. Conservation policies and biodiversity strategies aimed at halting biodiversity loss by 2020 need to be adapted to tackle these information shortfalls in the post‐2020 period. Here, we propose an eight‐point strategy to close existing data gaps by: (1) reviving explorative field research on the distribution, abundance and ecology of species; (2) linking taxonomic research more closely with conservation; (3) improving global biodiversity databases by making the submission of spatially explicit data mandatory for scientific publications; (4) developing a global spatial database on threats to biodiversity to facilitate IUCN Red List assessments; (5) automating pre‐assessments by integrating distribution data and spatial threat data; (6) building capacity in taxonomy, ecology, and biodiversity monitoring in countries with high species richness and/or endemism; (7) creating species monitoring programmes for lesser‐known taxa; (8) developing sufficient funding mechanisms to reduce reliance on voluntary efforts. Implementing this strategy within the post‐2020 biodiversity framework will help to overcome the lack of capacity and data regarding the conservation status of biodiversity. This will require a collaborative effort between scientists, policy makers and conservation practitioners.