Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside protected areas worldwide

The recent study on protected areas that I carried out whilst based at the University of Sussex and in collaboration with the PREDICTS team has recently been published and received some great coverage.

We found that the species richness and abundance of communities at sites sampled within protected areas was higher than that at unprotected sites. However, we found no difference in rarefied species richness (the number of species present once abundance is accounted for) or the endemicity of the species sampled (where higher endemicity means more species with small ranges).  Our results also indicate that stronger protection may result in even higher local species richness and abundance, although more data from within strongly protected sites and more detailed information on management approaches is needed to confirm this. Nevertheless, overall our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas for halting the global extinction crisis.

Our findings have been covered in the Guardian, on the London Natural History Museum website, by the Conservation ALERT team, the Wildlife Society, ITV News, the International Business Times, Eureka Alert and by British Telecom.