Biodiversity hotspots have been variously defined in terms of species richness, endemic species or imperilled species. The use of imperilled species to locate priority areas is particularly problematic, because an area that hosts a large number of imperilled species is likely to be under severe threats, making less effective conservation efforts. A possibly way to answer this problem is to assess species threats at two spatial scales. Then, areas which host concentrations of species that are imperilled at the larger scale, but not at the smaller scale, can be considered as priority areas where conservation efforts are expected to be more effective. An application of this procedure to the European butterfly fauna with the Biodiversity Conservation Concern index calculated with two IUCN red listings (European and national) allowed the construction of a four-celled model that reflects different types of conservation priority. This combined use of international and regional red lists may be a tool to make practical decisions (e.g. allocation of funds or legislative actions) to preserve imperilled species.
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