Ben Collen

Ben Collen
University College London | UCL · Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE)

PhD

About

166
Publications
147,889
Reads
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23,995
Citations
Additional affiliations
November 2007 - April 2013
Zoological Society of London
Position
  • Head of Indicators & Assessments Unit

Publications

Publications (166)
Article
Full-text available
threatened with extinction, resulting in a sampled RLI of 0.914 for all species, 0.968 in marine and 0.862 in freshwater ecosystems. Our sample showed fishing as the principal threat for marine species, and pollution by agricultural and forestry effluents for freshwater fishes. The sampled list provides a robust representation for tracking trends i...
Article
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Global biodiversitytargets require us to identify species at risk of extinction and quantify status and trends of biodiversity. The Red List Index (RLI) tracks trends in the conservation status of entire species groups over time by monitoring changes in categories assigned to species. Here, we calculate this index for the world’s fishes in 2010, us...
Article
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Mammals are important components of biodiversity that have been drastically and rapidly impacted by climate change, habitat loss, and anthropogenic pressure. Understanding key species distribution to optimize conservation targets is both urgent and necessary to reverse the current biodiversity crisis. Herein, we applied habitat suitability models f...
Article
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With the biodiversity crisis continuing unchecked, we need to establish levels and drivers of extinction risk, and reassessments over time, to effectively allocate conservation resources and track progress towards global conservation targets. Given that threat appears particularly high in freshwaters, we assessed the extinction risk of 1428 randoml...
Article
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Silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) represent a major component of global shark catch, both directly and as bycatch, and populations are declining as a result. An improved understanding of their movement ecology is needed to support conservation efforts. We deployed satellite and acoustic tags (2013-2018) and analyzed historical fisheries recor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Global biodiversity targets require us to identify species at risk of extinction and quantify status and trends of biodiversity. The Red List Index (RLI) tracks trends in the conservation status of entire species groups over time by monitoring changes in categories assigned to species. Here, we calculate this index for the world’s fishes in 2010, u...
Article
Full-text available
Link to PDF: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1bj9-_9CgRSfa Assessing protected area (PA) effectiveness is key to ensure the objectives of habitat protection are being achieved. There is strong evidence that legal protection reduces loss of natural vegetation, but biodiversity loss can still happen without significant changes in vegetation cover. He...
Article
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Global biodiversity indices are used to measure environmental change and progress towards conservation goals, yet their fitness for purpose is poorly understood. Few indices have been evaluated comprehensively for their capacity to detect trends of interest, such as declines in threatened species or ecosystem function. Using a structured approach b...
Article
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The efficacy of large marine protected areas (MPA) for the conservation of mobile pelagic species is widely debated. Here, we quantified spatial and temporal trends in standardized catch per unit effort (CPUE) of two target pelagic species, yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) in the Indian Ocean to analyze the impact of t...
Article
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Large-scale biodiversity changes are measured mainly through the responses of a few taxonomic groups. Much less is known about the trends affecting most invertebrates and other neglected taxa, and it is unclear whether well-studied taxa, such as vertebrates, reflect changes in wider biodiversity. Here, we present and analyse trends in the UK distri...
Article
Aim To quantify global latitudinal patterns in the distributions of alien bird species to assess whether these species conform to Rapoport's rule (i.e. show a positive latitudinal gradient in latitudinal range extent), and to test whether where species are introduced, and where species fail to establish, may help to drive observed patterns. Locati...
Article
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Given the current biodiversity crisis, pragmatic approaches to detect global conservation trends across a broad range of taxa are critical. A sampled approach to the Red List Index (RLI) was proposed, as many groups are highly speciose. However, a decade after its conception, the recommended 900 species sample has only been implemented in six group...
Article
Human land use has caused substantial declines in global species richness. Evidence from different taxonomic groups and geographic regions suggests that land use does not equally impact all organisms within terrestrial ecological communities, and that different functional groups of species may respond differently. In particular, we expect large car...
Article
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The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include economic, social and environmental dimensions of human development and make explicit commitments to all of life on Earth. Evidence of continuing global biodiversity loss has, at the same time, led to a succession of internationally agreed conservation targets. With multiple targets (even within on...
Article
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Multi-species biodiversity indicators are increasingly used to assess progress towards the 2020 ‘Aichi’ targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, most multi-species indicators are biased towards a few well-studied taxa for which suitable abundance data are available. Consequently, many taxonomic groups are poorly represented in cu...
Article
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p>In the version of this Article originally published, grant no. 2015/20215-7 for C.N. was omitted from the Acknowledgements section. This has now been corrected in all versions of the Article.</p
Article
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The distributions of amphibians, birds and mammals have underpinned global and local conservation priorities, and have been fundamental to our understanding of the determinants of global biodiversity. In contrast, the global distributions of reptiles, representing a third of terrestrial vertebrate diversity, have been unavailable. This prevented th...
Article
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In this Article originally published, owing to a technical error, the author ‘Laurent Chirio’ was mistakenly designated as a corresponding author in the HTML version, the PDF was correct. This error has now been corrected in the HTML version. Further, in Supplementary Table 3, the authors misspelt the surname of ‘Danny Meirte’; this file has now be...
Article
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Aim Understanding determinants of species' range size is paramount to explaining global ecological patterns and estimating extinction risk of species. Here, we examined whether a sample of 536 snake species exhibits a latitudinal gradient of range size in support of Rapoport's rule, and determined predictors of range size from a set of environmenta...
Article
The world is currently experiencing a period of rapid, human-driven biodiversity loss. Over the past decade, numerous metrics for biodiversity have been used to create indicators to track change in biodiversity. However, our ability to predict future changes has been limited. In this study, we use two very different models to predict the status and...
Article
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The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of prog...
Article
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Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors inf...
Data
The number of species from different biogeographic regions that have been introduced outside of their native range in the historic and modern eras. Prop. historic = the proportion of species introduced in the first quartile of bird introductions (historical era) from each biogeographic region; Prop. modern = the proportion of species introduced in...
Data
Global maps showing the richness of the native ranges of the alien bird species. Global maps showing the richness of the native ranges of the alien bird species introduced during (a) the second quartile (1904–1956AD) and (b) the third quartile (1957–1982AD) of the data (the first and fourth quartiles are shown in Fig 2A and 2C). Cold colours repres...
Data
Diagnostic plots for INLA regression. (a) Histogram of the posterior means of the predictive distribution, with low number of low and high probabilities, (b) regression of observed on fitted values, showing the strong fit between the two. (TIF)
Data
Spatial patterns of residuals from an INLA regression. (a) Residuals with full covariates but without a spatial term; (b) Residuals with a spatially structured random effect. Redder colours indicate more positive residuals and bluer more negative, with yellow closer to zero. (TIF)
Data
The numbers of introductions by country for the first and fourth quartiles of introductions, as ranked by date, and lists of the introduced bird species for these quartiles. (XLSX)
Data
Data on GDP and number introductions by country for the first and fourth quartiles of introductions, as ranked by date. (XLSX)
Data
Hexagonal grid cell data used to plot Fig 2 and S1 Fig. (XLSX)
Data
Univariate relationships to log (1 + Alien Species Richness). (a) log (1 + Colonisation Pressure), (b) log time since first introduction, (c) sqrt distance to historic port, and (d) sqrt native species richness. The coefficients for the relationships are given in S5 Table, and further details of the variables in the Methods. (TIF)
Data
Correlograms to examine the patterns of spatial autocorrelation. Correlograms concern (a) alien bird richness; (b) the residuals of the most likely SARerr model. (DOCX)
Data
The distribution of introduced birds by family. The number of species introduced from a family in the first quartile (historical) and fourth quartile (modern), the total number of species in the family (Total) [46], and the probability (Psim calculated using simulations; see Methods) of observing as many or more introductions (or fewer introduction...
Data
Outputs from single predictor INLA models where log+1 alien species richness is the response variable. S.E. = standard error for the variable. ∑CPO = the sum of the probabilities of each data point given the model. For comparison, fitting an intercept only model gives wAIC = –11,610.6 and CPO = 4,457.5. (DOCX)
Data
Impact of predictor variables included in each of the holdout cross validation INLA models measured in AIC units. The shaded column indicates the selected predictors and values for the minimum adequate model using all of the data. Goodness-of-fit was calculated with Pearson’s correlation coefficients between the response variables and the fitted va...
Data
Spatial correlates of alien bird richness for the minimum adequate model excluding colonisation pressure. Parameter estimates are given fitting a Gaussian random field to the data to approximate the patterns of spatial autocorrelation in a Bayesian additive regression model inferred using INLA. wAIC = –12,449, conditional predictive ordinate (CPO)...
Data
Predicted relationships between alien bird species richness and anthropogenic and environmental variables. The predicted relationship and studies that provide support for each prediction are given. (DOCX)
Data
Details of the anthropogenic and environmental predictor variables selected for use in model building. (DOCX)
Data
Data on number of introductions in different time periods used in Fig 1. (XLSX)
Data
Correlation matrix of all transformed predictor variables. r is above the diagonal and P is below it. (DOCX)
Data
The data frame for the analysis of alien species richness. (XLSX)
Article
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Ensuring that protected areas (PAs) maintain the biodiversity within their boundaries is fundamental in achieving global conservation goals. Despite this objective, wildlife abundance changes in PAs are patchily documented and poorly understood. Here, we use linear mixed effect models to explore correlates of population change in 1,902 populations...
Article
Aim Determining the causes of range size variation in the distributions of alien species is important for understanding the spread of invasive species. Factors influencing alien range size have been explored for some species at a regional level, but to date there has been no global analysis of an entire class. Here, we present such an analysis for...
Article
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Many metrics can be used to capture trends in biodiversity, and in turn these metrics inform biodiversity indicators. Sampling biases, genuine differences between metrics, or both, can often cause indicators to appear to be in conflict. This lack of congruence confuses policy makers and the general public, hindering effective responses to the biodi...
Article
Classifying the status of threatened species using tools such as the IUCN Red List is a critical step for identifying at-risk species, and for conservation planning at global and sub-global levels. The requirement for data on population trends, geographic ranges and population sizes has proved challenging to carry out at the national level, especia...
Technical Report
A dataset of 3,250,404 measurements, collated from 26,114 sampling locations in 94 countries and representing 47,044 species. The data were collated from 480 existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database was assemb...
Article
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The identification of species at risk of extinction is a central goal of conservation. As the use of data compiled for IUCN Red List assessments expands, a number of misconceptions regarding the purpose, application and use of the IUCN Red List categories and criteria have arisen. We outline five such classes of misconception; the most consequentia...
Chapter
This chapter first explores the trends in species populations of vertebrate species in protected areas between 1950 and the present day contained in the Living Planet Index (2012) database. It then provides a practical demonstration of how available trend data can be used for monitoring broadscale trends in abundance by examining an example of how...
Article
Evaluations of wildlife population dynamics have the potential to convey valuable information on the type of pressure affecting a population and could help predict future changes in the population's trajectory. Greater understanding of different patterns of population declines could provide a useful mechanism for assessing decline severity in the w...
Article
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Population trends play a large role in species risk assessments and conservation planning, and species are often considered threatened if their recent rate of decline meets certain thresholds, regardless how large the population is. But how reliable an indicator of extinction risk is a single estimate of population trend? Given the integral role th...
Article
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Unsustainable exploitation of wild animals is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and to millions of people depending on wild meat for food and income. The international conservation and development community has committed to implementing plans for sustainable use of natural resources and has requested development of monitoring systems of b...
Article
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Unsustainable exploitation of wild animals is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and to millions of people depending on wild meat for food and income. The international conservation and development community has committed to implementing plans for sustainable use of natural resources and has requested development of monitoring systems of b...
Article
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Global commitments to halt biodiversity decline mean that it is essential to monitor species' extinction risk. However, the work required to assess extinction risk is intensive. We demonstrate an alternative approach to monitoring extinction risk, based on the response of species to external conditions. Using retrospective International Union for C...
Article
Read the Feature Paper: Setting evolutionary‐based conservation priorities for a phylogenetically data‐poor taxonomic group (Scleractinia); other Commentaries on this paper: Valuing species on the cheap; Regional specific approach is a next step for setting evolutionary‐based conservation priorities in the scleractinian corals and the Response from...
Article
IUCN Red Lists are recognized worldwide as powerful instruments for the conservation of species. Quantitative criteria to standardise approaches for estimating population trends, geographic ranges and population sizes have been developed at global and sub-global levels. Little attention has been given to the data needed to estimate species trends a...
Article
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1.Cost-effective reduction of uncertainty in global biodiversity indicators is a central goal of conservation. Comprising a sixth of the 74,000+ species currently on the IUCN Red List, Data Deficient species contribute to considerable uncertainty in estimates of extinction risk. Estimating levels of risk in Data Deficient species will require large...
Article
To help stem the continuing decline of biodiversity, effective transfer of technology from resource-rich to biodiversity-rich countries is required. Biodiversity technology as defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a complex term, encompassing a wide variety of activities and interest groups. As yet, there is no robust framework...
Article
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Caribbean coral reefs are becoming structurally simpler, largely due to human impacts. The consequences of this trend for reef-associated communities are currently unclear, but expected to be profound. Here, we assess whether changes in fish assemblages have been non-random over several decades of declining reef structure. More specifically, we pre...
Article
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Human activities, especially conversion and degradation of habitats, are causing global biodiversity declines. How local ecological assemblages are responding is less clear[mdash]a concern given their importance for many ecosystem functions and services. We analysed a terrestrial assemblage database of unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverag...
Article
1.Accurate measures of extinction are needed in biodiversity monitoring and conservation management but ascertaining the exact time at which a species became extinct is difficult since a small population may go undetected for many years.2.For little-studied species, often the only information available is historical sighting data. Several statistic...
Article
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Rates of biodiversity loss are higher in freshwater ecosystems than in most terrestrial or marine ecosystems, making freshwater conservation a priority. However, prioritisation methods are impeded by insufficient knowledge on the distribution and conservation status of freshwater taxa, particularly invertebrates. We evaluated the extinction risk of...