Priority areas for conservation of Old World vultures

Andrea Santangeli, Marco Girardello, Evan Buechley, Andre Botha, Enrico Di Minin, Atte Jaakko Moilanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The prosperity and well-being of human societies relies on healthy ecosystems and the services they provide. However, the biodiversity crisis is undermining ecosystems services and functions. Vultures are among the most imperiled taxonomic groups on Earth, yet they have a fundamental ecosystem function. These obligate scavengers rapidly consume large amounts of carrion and human waste, a service that may aid in both disease prevention and control of mammalian scavengers, including feral dogs, which in turn threaten humans. We combined information about the distribution of all 15 vulture species found in Europe, Asia, and Africa with their threats and used detailed expert knowledge on threat intensity to prioritize critical areas for conserving vultures in Africa and Eurasia. Threats we identified included poisoning, mortality due to collision with wind energy infrastructures, and other anthropogenic activities related to human land use and influence. Areas important for vulture conservation were concentrated in southern and eastern Africa, South Asia, and the Iberian Peninsula, and over 80% of these areas were unprotected. Some vulture species required larger areas for protection than others. Finally, countries that had the largest share of all identified important priority areas for vulture conservation were those with the largest expenditures related to rabies burden (e.g., India, China, and Myanmar). Vulture populations have declined markedly in most of these countries. Restoring healthy vulture populations through targeted actions in the priority areas we identified may help restore the ecosystem services vultures provide, including sanitation and potentially prevention of diseases, such as rabies, a heavy burden afflicting fragile societies. Our findings may guide stakeholders to prioritize actions where they are needed most in order to achieve international goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalConservation Biology
Volume33
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1056–1065
Number of pages10
ISSN0888-8892
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • African-Eurasian vultures
  • biodiversity benefits
  • ecosystem balance
  • ecosystem service
  • scavenger conservation
  • Zonation software
  • balance ambiental
  • beneficios de la biodiversidad
  • buitres africanos - euroasiaticos
  • conservacion de carroneros
  • servicio ambiental
  • software Zonation
  • (sic)(sic)-(sic)(sic)
  • Zonation (sic)
  • (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)
  • (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)
  • (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)
  • ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
  • BIODIVERSITY LOSS
  • RENEWABLE ENERGY
  • SCAVENGERS
  • POISON
  • BENEFITS
  • WILDLIFE
  • HUMANS

Cite this

Santangeli, Andrea ; Girardello, Marco ; Buechley, Evan ; Botha, Andre ; Di Minin, Enrico ; Moilanen, Atte Jaakko. / Priority areas for conservation of Old World vultures. In: Conservation Biology. 2019 ; Vol. 33, No. 5. pp. 1056–1065.
@article{de751daeea97430e8a232010dfeb5b2a,
title = "Priority areas for conservation of Old World vultures",
abstract = "The prosperity and well-being of human societies relies on healthy ecosystems and the services they provide. However, the biodiversity crisis is undermining ecosystems services and functions. Vultures are among the most imperiled taxonomic groups on Earth, yet they have a fundamental ecosystem function. These obligate scavengers rapidly consume large amounts of carrion and human waste, a service that may aid in both disease prevention and control of mammalian scavengers, including feral dogs, which in turn threaten humans. We combined information about the distribution of all 15 vulture species found in Europe, Asia, and Africa with their threats and used detailed expert knowledge on threat intensity to prioritize critical areas for conserving vultures in Africa and Eurasia. Threats we identified included poisoning, mortality due to collision with wind energy infrastructures, and other anthropogenic activities related to human land use and influence. Areas important for vulture conservation were concentrated in southern and eastern Africa, South Asia, and the Iberian Peninsula, and over 80{\%} of these areas were unprotected. Some vulture species required larger areas for protection than others. Finally, countries that had the largest share of all identified important priority areas for vulture conservation were those with the largest expenditures related to rabies burden (e.g., India, China, and Myanmar). Vulture populations have declined markedly in most of these countries. Restoring healthy vulture populations through targeted actions in the priority areas we identified may help restore the ecosystem services vultures provide, including sanitation and potentially prevention of diseases, such as rabies, a heavy burden afflicting fragile societies. Our findings may guide stakeholders to prioritize actions where they are needed most in order to achieve international goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.",
keywords = "1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology, African-Eurasian vultures, biodiversity benefits, ecosystem balance, ecosystem service, scavenger conservation, Zonation software, balance ambiental, beneficios de la biodiversidad, buitres africanos - euroasiaticos, conservacion de carroneros, servicio ambiental, software Zonation, (sic)(sic)-(sic)(sic), Zonation (sic), (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic), (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic), (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic), ECOSYSTEM SERVICES, BIODIVERSITY LOSS, RENEWABLE ENERGY, SCAVENGERS, POISON, BENEFITS, WILDLIFE, HUMANS",
author = "Andrea Santangeli and Marco Girardello and Evan Buechley and Andre Botha and {Di Minin}, Enrico and Moilanen, {Atte Jaakko}",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1111/cobi.13282",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
pages = "1056–1065",
journal = "Conservation Biology",
issn = "0888-8892",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111)",
number = "5",

}

Priority areas for conservation of Old World vultures. / Santangeli, Andrea; Girardello, Marco; Buechley, Evan; Botha, Andre; Di Minin, Enrico; Moilanen, Atte Jaakko.

In: Conservation Biology, Vol. 33, No. 5, 10.2019, p. 1056–1065.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Priority areas for conservation of Old World vultures

AU - Santangeli, Andrea

AU - Girardello, Marco

AU - Buechley, Evan

AU - Botha, Andre

AU - Di Minin, Enrico

AU - Moilanen, Atte Jaakko

PY - 2019/10

Y1 - 2019/10

N2 - The prosperity and well-being of human societies relies on healthy ecosystems and the services they provide. However, the biodiversity crisis is undermining ecosystems services and functions. Vultures are among the most imperiled taxonomic groups on Earth, yet they have a fundamental ecosystem function. These obligate scavengers rapidly consume large amounts of carrion and human waste, a service that may aid in both disease prevention and control of mammalian scavengers, including feral dogs, which in turn threaten humans. We combined information about the distribution of all 15 vulture species found in Europe, Asia, and Africa with their threats and used detailed expert knowledge on threat intensity to prioritize critical areas for conserving vultures in Africa and Eurasia. Threats we identified included poisoning, mortality due to collision with wind energy infrastructures, and other anthropogenic activities related to human land use and influence. Areas important for vulture conservation were concentrated in southern and eastern Africa, South Asia, and the Iberian Peninsula, and over 80% of these areas were unprotected. Some vulture species required larger areas for protection than others. Finally, countries that had the largest share of all identified important priority areas for vulture conservation were those with the largest expenditures related to rabies burden (e.g., India, China, and Myanmar). Vulture populations have declined markedly in most of these countries. Restoring healthy vulture populations through targeted actions in the priority areas we identified may help restore the ecosystem services vultures provide, including sanitation and potentially prevention of diseases, such as rabies, a heavy burden afflicting fragile societies. Our findings may guide stakeholders to prioritize actions where they are needed most in order to achieve international goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

AB - The prosperity and well-being of human societies relies on healthy ecosystems and the services they provide. However, the biodiversity crisis is undermining ecosystems services and functions. Vultures are among the most imperiled taxonomic groups on Earth, yet they have a fundamental ecosystem function. These obligate scavengers rapidly consume large amounts of carrion and human waste, a service that may aid in both disease prevention and control of mammalian scavengers, including feral dogs, which in turn threaten humans. We combined information about the distribution of all 15 vulture species found in Europe, Asia, and Africa with their threats and used detailed expert knowledge on threat intensity to prioritize critical areas for conserving vultures in Africa and Eurasia. Threats we identified included poisoning, mortality due to collision with wind energy infrastructures, and other anthropogenic activities related to human land use and influence. Areas important for vulture conservation were concentrated in southern and eastern Africa, South Asia, and the Iberian Peninsula, and over 80% of these areas were unprotected. Some vulture species required larger areas for protection than others. Finally, countries that had the largest share of all identified important priority areas for vulture conservation were those with the largest expenditures related to rabies burden (e.g., India, China, and Myanmar). Vulture populations have declined markedly in most of these countries. Restoring healthy vulture populations through targeted actions in the priority areas we identified may help restore the ecosystem services vultures provide, including sanitation and potentially prevention of diseases, such as rabies, a heavy burden afflicting fragile societies. Our findings may guide stakeholders to prioritize actions where they are needed most in order to achieve international goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

KW - 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

KW - African-Eurasian vultures

KW - biodiversity benefits

KW - ecosystem balance

KW - ecosystem service

KW - scavenger conservation

KW - Zonation software

KW - balance ambiental

KW - beneficios de la biodiversidad

KW - buitres africanos - euroasiaticos

KW - conservacion de carroneros

KW - servicio ambiental

KW - software Zonation

KW - (sic)(sic)-(sic)(sic)

KW - Zonation (sic)

KW - (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)

KW - (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)

KW - (sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)(sic)

KW - ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

KW - BIODIVERSITY LOSS

KW - RENEWABLE ENERGY

KW - SCAVENGERS

KW - POISON

KW - BENEFITS

KW - WILDLIFE

KW - HUMANS

U2 - 10.1111/cobi.13282

DO - 10.1111/cobi.13282

M3 - Article

VL - 33

SP - 1056

EP - 1065

JO - Conservation Biology

JF - Conservation Biology

SN - 0888-8892

IS - 5

ER -