A strategy for the next decade to address data deficiency in neglected biodiversity

Axel Hochkirch*, Michael J. Samways, Justin Gerlach, Monika Böhm, Paul Williams, Pedro Cardoso, Neil Cumberlidge, P. J. Stephenson, Mary B. Seddon, Viola Clausnitzer, Paulo A.V. Borges, Gregory M. Mueller, Paul Pearce-Kelly, Domitilla C. Raimondo, Anja Danielczak, Klaas Douwe B. Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Measuring progress toward international biodiversity targets requires robust information on the conservation status of species, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species provides. However, data and capacity are lacking for most hyperdiverse groups, such as invertebrates, plants, and fungi, particularly in megadiverse or high-endemism regions. Conservation policies and biodiversity strategies aimed at halting biodiversity loss by 2020 need to be adapted to tackle these information shortfalls after 2020. We devised an 8-point strategy to close existing data gaps by reviving explorative field research on the distribution, abundance, and ecology of species; linking taxonomic research more closely with conservation; improving global biodiversity databases by making the submission of spatially explicit data mandatory for scientific publications; developing a global spatial database on threats to biodiversity to facilitate IUCN Red List assessments; automating preassessments by integrating distribution data and spatial threat data; building capacity in taxonomy, ecology, and biodiversity monitoring in countries with high species richness or endemism; creating species monitoring programs for lesser-known taxa; and developing sufficient funding mechanisms to reduce reliance on voluntary efforts. Implementing these strategies in the post-2020 biodiversity framework will help to overcome the lack of capacity and data regarding the conservation status of biodiversity. This will require a collaborative effort among scientists, policy makers, and conservation practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-509
Number of pages8
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aichi targets
  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • IUCN Red List
  • biodiversidad
  • biodiversity
  • capacity building
  • conservation status
  • indicators
  • monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology


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