Refereed review article in scientific journal (A2)

Biocultural aspects of species extinctions

List of AuthorsLadle Richard J., Alves-Martins Fernanda, Malhado Ana C. M., Reyes-García Victoria, Courchamp Franck, Di Minin Enrico, Roll Uri, Jarić Ivan, Correia Ricardo A.

PublisherCambridge University Press

Publication year2023

JournalCambridge Prisms: Extinction

Article numbere22

Volume number1

Start page1

End page9




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Predicting whether a species is likely to go extinct (or not) is one of the fundamental objectives of conservation biology, and extinction risk classifications have become an essential tool for conservation policy, planning and research. This sort of prediction is feasible because the extinction processes follow a familiar pattern of population decline, range collapse and fragmentation, and, finally, extirpation of sub-populations through a combination of genetic, demographic and environmental stochasticity. Though less well understood and rarely quantified, the way in which science and society respond to population decline, extirpation and species extinction can also have a profound influence, either negative or positive, on whether a species goes extinct. For example, species that are highly sought after by collectors and hobbyists can become more desirable and valuable as they become rarer, leading to increased demand and greater incentives for illegal trade – known as the anthropogenic Allee effect. Conversely, species that are strongly linked to cultural identity are more likely to benefit from sustainable management, high public support for conservation actions and fund-raising, and, by extension, may be partially safeguarded from extinction. More generally, human responses to impending extinctions are extremely complex, are highly dependent on cultural and socioeconomic context, and have typically been far less studied than the ecological and genetic aspects of extinction. Here, we identify and discuss biocultural aspects of extinction and outline how recent advances in our ability to measure and monitor cultural trends with big data are, despite their intrinsic limitations and biases, providing new opportunities for incorporating biocultural factors into extinction risk assessment.

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Last updated on 2024-18-01 at 08:15