Global priorities for national carnivore conservation under land use change.

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Di Minin, Enrico 
Slotow, Rob 
Hunter, Luke TB 
Montesino Pouzols, Federico 
Toivonen, Tuuli 

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.

Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Carnivory, Conservation of Natural Resources, Ecosystem, Endangered Species, Extinction, Biological, Human Activities, Humans, Mammals, Reptiles, Research, Species Specificity
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
E.D.M., F.M.P., T.T., and A.M. thank the ERC-StG Grant 260393 (GEDA) and the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence Programme 2012–2017, Grant 250444, for support. We would also like to thank CSC-IT Center for Science Ltd. for its support and high-performance computing services.