Enhanced categorization of species aiding conservation efforts

Lar gibbon in Laos resting on a tree branchThe King’s College of London, on behalf of the PLuS Alliance organization, hosted a workshop to develop ecosystem typologies for the new Global Red List of Ecosystems in April 2017. This initiative was born from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Although many typologies of species already exist in the world, most are based on biogeographic and bioclimatic data. These are useful features, but they present limitations to endangered species conservation efforts by lacking representation of “ecological processes, especially those that operate at the scales of landscapes and seascapes,” explained Professor David Keith from the Center of Ecosystem Science at the University of New South Wales. The ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes (CBO) has been supporting enhanced categorization efforts as part of its partnership with IUCN. In September 2016, CBO joined the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as one of its eleven global partners. CBO Associate Director of Research, Beth Polidoro, has been spearheading the IUCN collaboration and was present during the recent workshop in London. “As this is a unique global collaboration between ASU, Kings College, the University of New South Wales and IUCN, we are hoping for more PLuS Alliance opportunities in the future to support this initiative” said Polidoro, "the results of which will produce a number of high-impact publications and partnerships, as well as a new classification system to assess the risk of collapse for the world's terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems."