In 1992, global leaders gathered at a United Nations summit in Rio de Janeiro to sign the landmark Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to promote sustainable development. Eighteen years later, at a summit in Aichi, Japan, representatives of 193 countries followed up on the CBD with a 20-goal commitment to reduce global pressures on the natural world by the end of 2020. Number 12 on this list of Aichi Biodiversity Targets calls for preventing the extinction of endangered species, particularly those with declining populations, and improving their conservation status. To understand whether this commitment has been achieved as the time for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets expired, and to what extent, an international team led by scientists at Newcastle University in the U.K. conducted a survey to find out how many bird and mammal species have been saved from extinction thanks to conservation efforts. “We wanted to identify how many extinctions have been avoided since 1993, when the Convention on Biological Diversity came into force, and since 2010, when the latest targets relating to it were adopted, including that on prevention of extinctions,” said Rike Bolam, lead author of the study published in the journal Conservation Letters. “Our goal was to know how the policy has impacted these numbers.” The study focused only on birds and mammals because they’re the most studied groups of animals, with the largest amount of global data available. Only species with an IUCN Red List conservation status of “extinct in the wild,” “critically endangered” or “endangered”…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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