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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 39:105-114 (2019)  -  DOI:

Threatened vertebrate species: associations between conservation actions, funding and population trends

David Luther1,*, Katherine Gentry2

1Biology Department and Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr. MS3E1 Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
2Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: There are more species threatened with extinction now that at any point in recent history. However, resources for species conservation can be limited, and awareness of gaps in knowledge and conservation action implementation is important when allocating funds and planning conservation efforts. Here, we explore the relationships between conservation action implementation, funding allocation, and population trends for all vertebrate species listed under the US Endangered Species Act. The same core suite of conservation actions (monitoring, habitat protection, and educational awareness) was implemented for most species. Our assessment of the effectiveness of funding and implemented conservation actions was impeded, however, because population trend information was lacking for many species. For instance, we found that marine species received 3 times more annual funding on average than continental species and 10 times more annual funding than species that live on islands, yet the population trends for the majority of marine species are decreasing or unknown. Furthermore, the number of marine species with increasing population trends is not significantly higher. Thus, we conclude more monitoring and reporting is needed to improve population trend information before the appropriateness of funding allocation and efficacy of conservation actions can be properly assessed.

KEY WORDS: Threatened species · Funding · Conservation actions

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Cite this article as: Luther D, Gentry K (2019) Threatened vertebrate species: associations between conservation actions, funding and population trends. Endang Species Res 39:105-114.

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