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Sérgio
Henriques
HenriquesS
2015
Biodiversity and Ecology
PhD Research

Protecting the unknown: Streamlining the Sampled Red List Index approach to assess trends of extinction risk in megadiverse groups

The IUCN Red List is the most comprehensive evaluation of extinction risks of the world’s biodiversity. However, Red List assessments are costly, time consuming and logistically complex. With current extinction rates, many species may even become extinct before we are able to assess them. Time is therefore of the essence and a pragmatic approach that speeds up the assessment process and provides general trends of extinction across a wider range of taxonomic groups is an urgent endeavour. The Sampled Red List Index (SLRI) has been proposed as a solution to many of these issues. However despite being a sampled approach our knowledge is still skewed towards better-known groups, often with reduced species diversity. My project will overcome these biases by empirically investigating how to derive the best possible sampling regime to allow Red List assessments to reflect patterns across a number of megadiverse taxa, and establish general trends in the extinction risk over time. I will assess the applicability of the current sampling regime of the SRLI using data from a number of completely assessed species groups and use predictive modelling to assess the feasibility of applying this process to megadiverse taxa with limited data availability, such as arachnids.
Robin Freeman
IOZ
Ben Collen
UCL
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