Key Biodiversity Areas in the Indo-Burma Hotspot: Process, Progress and Future Directions

A.W. Tordoff, M.C. Baltzer, J.R. Fellowes, J.D. Pilgrim, P.F. Langhammer


Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) provide geographic targets for the expansion of protected area coverage, and identify sites for urgent conservation action. Identification of KBAs in the Indo-Burma Hotspot was undertaken during 2003, for a region of analysis comprising Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and Vietnam, plus parts of southern China. The starting point was information on 282 Important Bird Areas identified by BirdLife International and collaborators. These data were then overlaid with point locality data on globally threatened mammals, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fish and plants, with additional KBAs identified as required. Through this process, a total of 438 KBAs were identified, covering 258,085km2 or 11.5 percent of the region of analysis. Only 58 percent of the KBAs are wholly or partly included within protected areas, suggesting that there may be a need for further expansion of protected area networks, particularly in Myanmar and Vietnam. The criteria for KBA identification are triggered by 812 species, of which 23 are believed only to occur at a single KBA globally. The KBAs have proven to be a useful conservation priority setting tool in Indo-Burma, helping to guide investments by various donors and application of environmental safeguard policies by international financial institutions. There are fewer examples of KBAs being used to guide expansion of protected area systems in Indo-Burma. In large part, this is because the period of rapid expansion of protected areas in most hotspot countries predated the KBA identification process, and political support for further significant expansion is currently limited.

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Copyright (c) 2012 A.W. Tordoff, M.C. Baltzer, J.R. Fellowes, J.D. Pilgrim, P.F. Langhammer

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The Journal of Threatened Taxa is an open access and print, peer-reviewed, monthly, international journal on conservation and taxonomy. The aim of the Journal is to promote wildlife research and conservation action worldwide at no cost to authors, no subscription or membership cost, and no hidden cost, on a regular basis without compromising on ethics, standards and pre-requisites of scientific publications.





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