Stuart H. M. Butchart's research while affiliated with BirdLife International and other places

Publications (394)

Article
Area of habitat (AOH) is a deductive model which maps the distribution of suitable habitats at suitable altitudes for a species inside its broad geographical range. The AOH maps have been validated using presence-only data for small subsets of species for different taxonomic groups, but no standard validation method exists when absence data are not...
Article
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Conservation practitioners are increasingly interested in the lessons gained through failure. While other sectors have made significant progress in learning from failure, there is currently limited consensus on how a similar transition could best be achieved in conservation, and what is required to facilitate this. One of the key enabling condition...
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Ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global biodiversity crisis. In this study, we estimate the minimum land area to secure important biodiversity areas, ecologically intact areas, and optimal locations for representation of species ranges and ecoregions. We discover that at least 64 million square kilometers (44% of terrestrial ar...
Preprint
Area of Habitat (AOH) is ‘the habitat available to a species, that is, habitat within its range’. It complements a geographic range map for a species by showing potential occupancy and reducing commission errors. AOH maps are produced by subtracting areas considered unsuitable for the species from their range map, using information on each species’...
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There is an urgent need to quantify the potential for conservation interventions to effectively manage the impacts of climate change on species' populations and ecological communities. In this first quantitative global assessment of biodiversity conservation interventions for climate change adaptation, we identified 77 peer-reviewed studies, includ...
Article
We present an overview of the global spatiotemporal distribution of avian biodiversity, changes in our knowledge of that biodiversity, and the extent to which it is imperilled. Birds are probably the most completely inventoried large taxonomic class of organisms, permitting a uniquely detailed understanding of how the Anthropocene has shaped their...
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We present an overview of the global spatiotemporal distribution of avian biodiversity, changes in our knowledge of that biodiversity, and the extent to which it is imperilled. Birds are probably the most completely inventoried large taxonomic class of organisms, permitting a uniquely detailed understanding of how the Anthropocene has shaped their...
Preprint
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One of the biggest stumbling blocks for global environmental agreements is how higher-income and lower-income countries share the costs of implementing them. This problem has become particularly acute as biodiversity and climate ambitions have increased across recent COPs (Conferences of Parties). Here, we estimate the likely distribution of costs...
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Species-specific population estimates are fundamental for many aspects of ecology, evolution, and conservation, yet they are lacking for most species. Aiming to fill this gap, Callaghan et al. (1) estimated global bird population sizes by modeling the relationship between eBird reporting rates and independent estimates and extrapolating globally. W...
Article
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is central in biodiversity conservation, but insufficient resources hamper its long-term growth, updating, and consistency. Models or automated calculations can alleviate those challenges by providing standardised estimates required for assessments, or prioriti...
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Accurate maps of species ranges are essential to inform conservation, but time-consuming to produce and update. Given the pace of change of knowledge about species distributions and shifts in ranges under climate change and land use, a need exists for timely mapping approaches that enable batch processing employing widely available data. We develop...
Article
We present the results of our 13th annual horizon scan of issues likely to impact on biodiversity conservation. Issues are either novel within the biological conservation sector or could cause a substantial step-change in impact, either globally or regionally. Our global panel of 26 scientists and practitioners identified 15 issues that we believe...
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The Anthropocene is characterized by unparalleled human impact on other species, potentially ushering in the sixth mass extinction. Yet mitigation efforts remain hampered by limited information on the spatial patterns and intensity of the threats driving global biodiversity loss. Here we use expert-derived information from the International Union f...
Article
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Area of habitat (AOH) is defined by Brooks et al. (2019) as the “habitat available to a species, that is, habitat within its range” and is calculated by subtracting areas of unsuitable land cover and elevation from the range. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Habitats Classification Scheme provides information on species...
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Despite their importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, wetlands are among the most threatened ecosystems globally. The conservation of many migratory waterbirds depends on the conservation of a network of key sites along their flyways. However, the suitability of these sites is changing under climate change, and it is important that mana...
Chapter
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The chapter "Implementing and Monitoring Global Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals" presents how are Key Biodiversity Areas used in Global Biodiversity targets and the Sustainable Development goals, and their future potential. This chapter is published in the book “Key Biodiversity Areas”, which is the 28th edition of the Nature...
Preprint
Full-text available
Area of Habitat (AOH) is a deductive model which maps the distribution of suitable habitat at suitable altitudes for a species inside its broad geographical range. AOH maps have been validated using presence-only data for small subsets of species for different taxonomic groups, but no standard validation method exists when absence data are not avai...
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Full-text available
Abstract More species in the world are threatened with extinction today than at any other time in recent history. In 2005, the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE; https://zeroextinction.org/) released its first inventory of highly threatened species (i.e., those listed as Critically Endangered or Endangered on the IUCN Red List) that are effectively...
Preprint
Full-text available
Area of Habitat (AOH) is a deductive model which maps the distribution of suitable habitat at suitable altitudes for a species inside its broad geographical range. AOH maps have been validated using presence-only data for small subsets of species for different taxonomic groups, but no standard validation method exists when absence data are not avai...
Article
Full-text available
Nature provides many benefits for people, yet there are few data on how changes at individual sites impact the net value of ecosystem service provision. A 2002 review found only five analyses comparing the net economic benefits of conserving nature versus pursuing an alternative, more intensive human use. Here we revisit this crucial comparison, sy...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we review evidence available for assessing progress towards meeting major international objectives related to nature and NCP. We focus specifically on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and relevant SDGs, as well as relevant objectives of other agreements. This includes an assessment of both regional and distributional patterns as well...
Preprint
Full-text available
Area of Habitat (AOH) is defined as the habitat available to a species, that is, habitat within its range and is produced by subtracting areas of unsuitable land cover and elevation from the range. Habitat associations are documented using the IUCN Habitats Classification Scheme, and unvalidated expert opinion has been used so far to match habitat...
Article
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In 2018, the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted a decision on protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). It contains the definition of an OECM and related scientific and technical advice that has broadened the scope of governance authorities and areas that can be engaged and recognised...
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The Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will probably include a goal to stabilize and restore the status of species. Its delivery would be facilitated by making the actions required to halt and reverse species loss spatially explicit. Here, we develop a species threat abatement and restoration (STAR) metric...
Article
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Climate change presents a particularly complex challenge in the context of flyway scale conservation of migratory bird species as it requires coordinated action by multiple countries along these species’ migratory routes. Coordinating conservation responses requires understanding the vulnerability of species and their habitats to climate change at...
Article
Species are fundamental to biology, conservation, and environmental legislation; yet, there is often disagreement on how and where species limits should be drawn. Even sophisticated molecular methods have limitations, particularly in the context of geographically isolated lineages or inadequate sampling of loci. With extinction rates rising, method...
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Two of the principal responses of species to recent climate change have been changes in range and abundance, leading to a global reshuffling of the geographic distribution of species. Such range changes may cause species to disappear from areas they currently occupy and, given the right conditions, to colonize new sites. This could affect the abili...
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Underlying sociopolitical factors have emerged as important determinants of wildlife population trends and the effectiveness of conservation action. Despite mounting research into the impacts of climate change on nature, there has been little consideration of the human context in which these impacts occur, particularly at the global scale. We inves...
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Species monitoring, defined here as the repeated, systematic collection of data to detect long‐term changes in the populations of wild species, is a vital component of conservation practice and policy. We created a database of nearly 1,200 schemes to review spatial, temporal, taxonomic and methodological patterns in global species monitoring. We es...
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In 2010, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 to address the loss and degradation of nature. Subsequently, most biodiversity indicators continued to decline. Nevertheless , conservation actions can make a positive difference for biodiversity. The emerging Post-2020 Global Biod...
Preprint
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Stopping human-induced extinctions will require strong policy commitments that comprehensively address threats to species. In 2021, a new Global Biodiversity Framework will be agreed by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Here we investigate how the suggested targets could contribute to reducing threats to threatened vertebrates, invertebrates,...
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Aim Global declines in the populations of migratory species have been attributed largely to climate change and anthropogenic habitat change. However, the relative contribution of these factors on species’ breeding and non‐breeding ranges is unclear. Here, we present the first large‐scale assessment of the relative importance of climatic conditions...
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Extensive ecosystem restoration is increasingly seen as being central to conserving biodiversity1 and stabilizing the climate of the Earth2. Although ambitious national and global targets have been set, global priority areas that account for spatial variation in benefits and costs have yet to be identified. Here we develop and apply a multicriteria...
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Increased efforts are required to prevent further losses to terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides1,2. Ambitious targets have been proposed, such as reversing the declining trends in biodiversity³; however, just feeding the growing human population will make this a challenge⁴. Here we use an ensemble of land-use and bi...
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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. He...
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Aichi Target 12 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) contains the aim to ‘prevent extinctions of known threatened species’. To measure the degree to which this was achieved, we used expert elicitation to estimate the number of bird and mammal species whose extinctions were prevented by conservation action in 1993–2020 (the lifetime of th...
Article
Progress towards the Aichi Targets adopted through the Convention on Biological Diversity has been measured globally via indicators linked to elements of targets (the 20 targets consist of 54 elements), and nationally based on reporting by parties to the convention in the 5th (2010–2014) and 6th (2014–2018) National Reports. Here we used selected i...
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We provide a global, spatially explicit characterization of 47 terrestrial habitat types, as defined in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) habitat classification scheme, which is widely used in ecological analyses, including for quantifying species' area of Habitat. We produced this novel habitat map for the year 2015 by crea...
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Migratory waterbirds require an effectively conserved cohesive network of wetland areas throughout their range and life-cycle. Under rapid climate change, protected area (PA) networks need to be able to accommodate climate driven range shifts in wildlife if they are to continue to be effective in the future. Thus, we investigated geographical varia...
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Environmental change is rapidly accelerating, and many species will need to adapt to survive¹. Ensuring that protected areas cover populations across a broad range of environmental conditions could safeguard the processes that lead to such adaptations1,2,3. However, international conservation policies have largely neglected these considerations whe...
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Limiting climate change to less than 2°C is the focus of international policy under the climate convention (UNFCCC), and is essential to preventing extinctions, a focus of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The post-2020 biodiversity framework drafted by the CBD proposes conserving 30% of both land and oceans by 2030. However, the combin...
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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
Birds have been comprehensively assessed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List more times than any other taxonomic group. However, to date, generation lengths have not been systematically estimated to scale population trends when undertaking assessments, as required by the criteria of the IUCN Red List. We compiled i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aichi Target 12 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims to 'prevent extinctions of known threatened species'. To measure its success, we used a Delphi expert elicitation method to estimate the number of bird and mammal species whose extinctions were prevented by conservation action in 1993 - 2020 (the lifetime of the CBD) and 2010 - 20...
Technical Report
This is the species factsheet for Great Slaty Woodpecker (Mulleripicus pulverulentus) compiled by BirdLife International. Text account compilers: Butchart, S., Calvert, R., Derhé, M., Ekstrom, J., Westrip, J.; Contributors: Kumar, R., Inskipp, C., Lammertink, M., Baral, H., Styring, A.
Article
Full-text available
Despite global policy commitments to preserve Earth's marine biodiversity, many species are in a state of decline. Using data on 22,885 marine species, we identify 8.5 million km² of priority areas that complement existing areas of conservation and biodiversity importance. New conservation priorities are found in over half (56%) of all coastal nati...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring trends in the extinction risk of species is important for tracking conservation effectiveness. The Red List index (RLI) reflects changes in aggregate extinction risk for sets of species over time (a value of zero means that all species are extinct, a value of one means that all species are categorized as Least Concern). We calculated the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Protected areas 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. This is particularly imperative in tropical forest hotspots, regions that concentrate a major fraction of the world's biodiversity while also be...
Article
Full-text available
The human impact on life on Earth has increased sharply since the 1970s, driven by the demands of a growing population with rising average per capita income. Nature is currently supplying more materials than ever before, but this has come at the high cost of unprecedented global declines in the extent and integrity of ecosystems, distinctness of lo...
Article
Population decline is a process, yet estimates of current extinction rates often consider just the final step of that process by counting numbers of species lost in historical times. This neglects the increased extinction risk that affects a large proportion of species, and consequently underestimates the effective extinction rate. Here, we model o...
Preprint
Full-text available
More ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global degradation of ecosystems and the extinction of the species that comprise them. Here, we estimate the minimum amount of land needed to secure known important sites for biodiversity, Earth's remaining wilderness, and the optimal locations for adequate representation of terrestrial spe...
Article
Full-text available
The world's forests are crucially important for both biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. New forest status and forest change spatial layers using remotely sensed data have revolutionised forest monitoring globally, and provide fine-scale deforestation alerts that can be actioned in near-real time. However, existing products are restri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite global policy commitments to preserve Earth’s marine biodiversity, many species are in a state of decline. Using data on 22,885 marine species, we identify 8.5 million km ² of priority areas that complement existing areas of conservation and biodiversity importance. New conservation priorities are found in over half (56%) of all coastal nat...