Repository logo

Effectiveness of protected areas in conserving tropical forest birds

Published version

Change log


Princé, Karine 
Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste 
Butchart, Stuart H. M.  ORCID logo


Abstract: Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstones of global biodiversity conservation efforts, but to fulfil this role they must be effective at conserving the ecosystems and species that occur within their boundaries. Adequate monitoring datasets that allow comparing biodiversity between protected and unprotected sites are lacking in tropical regions. Here we use the largest citizen science biodiversity dataset – eBird – to quantify the extent to which protected areas in eight tropical forest biodiversity hotspots are effective at retaining bird diversity. We find generally positive effects of protection on the diversity of bird species that are forest-dependent, endemic to the hotspots, or threatened or Near Threatened, but not on overall bird species richness. Furthermore, we show that in most of the hotspots examined this benefit is driven by protected areas preventing both forest loss and degradation. Our results provide evidence that, on average, protected areas contribute measurably to conserving bird species in some of the world’s most diverse and threatened terrestrial ecosystems.



Article, /631/158/672, /704/158/853, article

Journal Title

Nature Communications

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Nature Publishing Group UK