Priority-setting for Philippine bats using practical approach to guide effective species conservation and policy-making in the Anthropocene
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Landscape Ecology Group, Centre for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan Province 666303, People’s Republic of China
International College, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, People’s Republic of China
Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan Province 666303, People’s Republic of China
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan 9407, North Cotabato, the Republic of the Philippines
Online publication date: 2019-07-02
Publication date: 2019-07-02
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2019;30(1):74-83
National level approaches to the development and implementation of effective conservation policy and practice are often challenged by limited capacity and resources. Developing relevant and achievable priorities at the national level is a crucial step for effective conservation. The Philippine archipelago includes over 7000 islands and is one of only two countries considered both a global biodiversity hotspot and a megadiversity country. Yet, few studies have conducted overarching synthesis for threats and conservation priorities of any species group. As bats make up a significant proportion of mammalian diversity in the Philippines and fulfil vital roles to maintain ecosystem health and services we focus on assessing the threats and priorities to their conservation across the Philippines. Habitat loss from logging and agriculture and hunting are the main threatening process to over half of the Philippine bats. Using available information on species’ threats, conservation status, and endemism, we developed priority settings for Philippines bats to enable effective future decision making. We determined endemic and threatened species are the highest priority and larger bats are under more intense threat than smaller bats. Our finding further suggests that in order to bolster bat conservation and prevent future species loss, it is important to identify emerging threats and its extent, increase conservation education, develop effective policies, and forge equitable partnerships between scientists and stakeholders towards research and outreach capacity.
This research project is supported by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. U1602265, Mapping Karst Biodiversity in Yunnan), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA20050202), the West Light Talent Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No.Y9XB011B01), the Chinese Academy of Sciences Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Center fund (Grant #:Y4ZK111B01). This work is part of the Doctoral project of KCT supported by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Government Scholarship council, P.R. China.
The authors, also would like to thank Dr. Leonardo Ancillotto (University of Naples Federico II) and the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive comments that benefited in the improvement of the final manuscript.
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