Biodiv Sci ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (5): 583-590.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015115

Special Issue: 中国自然观察专题

• Special Feature: China Nature Watch • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A rapid approach for assessing the conservation effectiveness of the most concerned endangered species in China

Lei Gu1,2,*(), Cheng Wen1,2, Mei Luo1, Hao Wang1,2, Zhi Lü1,2   

  1. 1 Center for Nature and Society, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    2 Shanshui Conservation Center, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2015-05-06 Accepted:2015-09-20 Online:2015-09-20 Published:2015-10-12
  • Contact: Gu Lei


By establishing a set of grading standards, conservation effectiveness was assessed rapidly for 174 of the most concerned endangered species in China, including all the Category I National Protected plant and animal species, and avian species defined as CR and EN by the IUCN Red List. Based on the data from published research articles, satellite remote sensing, field surveys and information collected by citizen scientists, the assessment was obtained by grading population dynamics, information perfections, potential habitat changes and protected area coverage of simulated distributions. Results show that the overall conservation status deteriorated during 2000-2013. The average grades of all four indexes were negative. The conservation status of 26 species improved, while 32 species maintained their status and 116 species worsened. We also investigated the trends of 9,338 published research articles in reference to 746 threatened species during 2000-2013. The numbers of studied species and research articles increased every year, but less than 1/3 of the total threatened species had been studied in any single year. Research concentrated on the star species and the species with economic value, for example, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) contributed to 11.33% of all research articles. On the other hand, scientific research and basic information were lacking in most other threatened species.

Key words: threatened species, conservation effectiveness, grading standard, literature review