Global priorities for national carnivore conservation under land use change

Welcome to our visualisation and data download pages! These pages allow you to explore the results of our recent analysis on global carnivore conservation. Here, you can explore the results of our analyses through interactive graphs and maps. You can also download our results as spatial data and statistics. The site is organised as follows:

  • Carnivores at risk: An essay describing the challenges and importance of conserving carnivores
  • The story: Our results in brief, a slide show
  • Priority maps: Interactive maps for exploring the priorities for global carnivore protection
  • Country maps: Interactive maps for exploring the risk of human-carnivore conflict at a country level
  • Graph comparison: Interactive visualisations of the representation levels of carnivores in the priority areas
  • Data download: The results of our analysis in handy zip files 

The analyses were based on several open data sources: PantheraIUCN Red ListWorld Database on Protected Areas, and land use models developed at the University of Amsterdam. The analyses were carried out at the Conservation Biology Informatics Group of the University of Helsinki, using the Zonation software. Carnivore illustrations on this site: © Priscilla Barrett from A Field Guide to Carnivores of the World from Bloomsbury. Carnivore pictures by Enrico Di Minin. This web site was created by Open Science and Research Initiative AVAA team and Enrico Di Minin and Tuuli Toivonen from the University of Helsinki

A separate global protected area network expansion analysis was published in December 2014. See the interactive results here.

Article abstract: Global priorities for national carnivore conservation under land use change
Mammalian carnivores have suffered the biggest range contraction among all biodiversity and are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation. Therefore, we identified priority areas for the conservation of mammalian carnivores, while accounting for species-specific requirements for connectivity and expected agricultural and urban expansion. While prioritizing for carnivores only, we were also able to test their effectiveness as surrogates for 23,110 species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles and 867 terrestrial ecoregions. We then assessed the risks to carnivore conservation within each country that makes a contribution to global carnivore conservation. We found that land use change will potentially lead to important range losses, particularly amongst already threatened carnivore species. In addition, the 17% of land targeted for protection under the Aichi Target 11 was found to be inadequate to conserve carnivores under expected land use change. Our results also highlight that land use change will decrease the effectiveness of carnivores to protect other threatened species, especially threatened amphibians. In addition, the risk of human-carnivore conflict is potentially high in countries where we identified spatial priorities for their conservation. As meeting the global biodiversity target will be inadequate for carnivore protection, innovative interventions are needed to conserve carnivores outside protected areas to compliment any proposed expansion of the protected area network. 


Reference to the article:
Di Minin, E., Slotow, R., Hunter, L., Montesino-Pouzols, F., Toivonen, T., Verburg, P., Leader-Williams, N., Petracca, L., Moilanen, A. 2016. National priorities for global carnivore conservation under land use change. Scientific Reports 6:23814, doi: 10.1038/srep23814.