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The need for ‘smarter’ biodiversity targets

  • by JW

Conservation measures may not be failing; it’s just too early to see the progress that’s being made.


Nature is facing huge pressures:

Species shift: climate change and habitat loss

And so we need to be giving a helping hand:

Woodlands for climate and nature

Some of these conservation projects are yielding great results:

On the River Otter: successful rewilding of the beaver


“Forest Research is Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree related research and is internationally renowned for the provision of evidence and scientific services in support of sustainable forestry.”

It has produced a report:


Research suggests benefits of conservation efforts may not yet be fully visible

The time it takes for species to respond to conservation measures – known as an ‘ecological time lag’ – could be partly masking any real progress that is being made, experts have warned.

Global conservation targets to reverse declines in biodiversity and halt species extinctions are not being met, despite decades of conservation action.

Last year, a UN report on global biodiversity warned one million species are at risk of extinction within decades, putting the world’s natural life-support systems in jeopardy. The report also revealed we were on track to miss almost all the 2020 nature targets that had been agreed a decade earlier by the global Convention on Biological Diversity.

But work published today in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution offers new hope that in some cases, conservation measures may not necessarily be failing, it is just too early to see the progress that is being made.

Led by Forest Research together with the University of StirlingNatural England, and Newcastle University, the study authors highlight the need for ‘smarter’ biodiversity targets which account for ecological time-lags to help us better distinguish between cases where conservation interventions are on track to achieve success but need more time for the conservation benefits to be realised, and those where current conservation actions are simply insufficient or inappropriate.

Research suggests benefits of conservation efforts may not yet be fully visible |