Authors: Brendan Costelloe, Ben Collen, E.J. Milner-Gulland, Ian D. Craigie, Louise McRae, Carlo Rondinini and Emily Nicholson
Source: Conservation Letters (published online, 25 MAR 2015)
Brief summary of the paper: Global biodiversity indicators can be used to measure the status and trends of biodiversity relating to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) targets. Whether such indicators can support decision makers by distinguishing among policy options remains poorly evaluated.
We tested the ability of two CBD indicators, the Living Planet Index and the Red List Index, to reflect projected changes in mammalian populations in sub-Saharan Africa in response to potential policies related to CBD targets for protected areas (PAs).
We compared policy scenarios to expand the PA network, improve management effectiveness of the existing network, and combinations of the two, against business as usual.
Both indicators showed that more effective management would provide greater benefits to biodiversity than expanding PAs alone. The indicators were able to communicate outcomes of modeled scenarios in a simple quantitative manner, but behaved differently.
This work highlights both the considerable potential of indicators in supporting decisions, and the need to understand how indicators will respond as biodiversity changes.