Gap species

analysis of 11,000 mammalian, amphibian and bird species shows major gaps in conservation practices. At least 709 bird, mammalian and amphibian species, threatened with extinction, currently have no protection whatsoever within their habitats, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the world's protected area system. In addition, many existing protected areas are so small in size that they are virtually ineffective for conservation purposes, placing another 943 species at risk.

The analysis was conducted by the Washington dc-based Centre for Applied Biodiversity Science (cabs) in collaboration with the Switzerland-based World Conservation Union's World Commission on Protected Areas. Based on the work of thousands of scientists and dozens of institutions across the world, scientists from cabs compared a map of all protected areas with maps of more than 11,000 habitats of the three groups (birds, mammals and amphibians). They then identified places where species live without any protection. Tropical areas and islands stood out as the most unprotected zones.

Of the 4,734 mammal species analysed for the study, 260 are