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May 1, 2020

Together with an international team, Senckenberg scientist Uwe Fritz described a new species of mata mata turtle based on genetic analyses. Until now, it had been assumed that the genus Chelus only contained a single species.

Use of surrogate species to cost-effectively prioritize conservation actions

Conservation efforts often focus on umbrella species whose distributions overlap with many other flora and fauna. However, because biodiversity is affected by different threats that are spatially variable, focusing only on the geographic range overlap of species may not be sufficient in allocating the necessary actions needed to efficiently abate threats. We developed a problem-based method for prioritizing conservation actions for umbrella species that maximizes the total number of flora and fauna benefiting from management while considering threats, actions, and costs.

The commonness of rarity: Global and future distribution of rarity across land plants

A key feature of life’s diversity is that some species are common but many more are rare. Nonetheless, at global scales, we do not know what fraction of biodiversity consists of rare species. Here, we present the largest compilation of global plant diversity to quantify the fraction of Earth’s plant biodiversity that are rare. A large fraction, ~36.5% of Earth’s ~435,000 plant species, are exceedingly rare. Sampling biases and prominent models, such as neutral theory and the k-niche model, cannot account for the observed prevalence of rarity.

WCS PNG - 2018 Annual Report

The WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society Program) is the longest established international conservation NGO within PNG, and has been undertaking conservation work in the country since the 1970s. The vision of WCS PNG is: “Gutpela sindaun, gutpela solwara, gutpela bus”, which translates to, “Empowered people with healthy forests and seas”.