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Successful bioGENESIS workshop: Phylogenetics, Extinction Risks & Conservation

This workshop held at the Royal Society, UK, on 10-11 March 2014 aimed at obtaining a common view on how to incorporate available conservation data from multiple sources to strenghten conservation efforts.

The much-needed integration of phylogenetics and assessments of extinction risks to provide additional information for conservation planning actions has been advocated for some time, including by the bioGENESIS scientific committee. Different methodologies have been proposed to integrate extinction risk and phylogenetic information, and the debate around these methodologies and how they provide valuable and crucial information for conservation planning is ongoing. The Discussion Meeting “Phylogenetics, Extinction and Conservation” held at the Royal Society on 10-11 March 2014 offered a much needed platform to present the available methods and encourage discussions about the merits and disadvantages of each, as well as presentation of yet newer approaches.

 

Among the participants were representatives of major programmes such as IUCN, the Sampled Red List Index and the EDGE programme, who presented progress made by these projects and their development in the future. Several researchers presented case studies (e.g. Australian eucalypts, European tetrapods, Madagascan legumes) using phylogenetic and extinction risk data to demonstrate the utility of these approaches for habitat and species protection on the ground and how it could revolutionise the way conservation efforts are designed. Potential stakeholders and representatives from various institutions and programmes such IPBES and the Living Planet Index also discuss how this kind of information is crucial for global conservation efforts and how it can be integrated in their respective agenda and policies.

In light of the ongoing global demise of biological diversity and the urgency with which this needs to be tackled, obtaining a consensus or common view on how to incorporate available information acquired from multiple sources and raise awareness of its importance to support conservation efforts is crucial. We hope that this Discussion Meeting at the Royal Society and the resulting special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society will provide such opportunity.

The special issue on Phylogenetics, Extinction Risks and Conservation will be edited by Felix Forest, Mark Chase, Dan Faith and Keith Crandall and it is scheduled to be published in January 2015.

More information here.

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