Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss

Tim Doherty, Alistair S. Glen, Dale Nimmo, Euan Ritchie, Chris Dickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

339 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian
predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to
considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global
metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive
predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile
species extinctions—58% of these groups’ contemporary extinctions
worldwide. These figures are likely underestimated because
23 critically endangered species that we assessed are classed as
“possibly extinct.” Invasive mammalian predators endanger a further
596 species at risk of extinction, with cats, rodents, dogs,
and pigs threatening the most species overall. Species most at risk
from predators have high evolutionary distinctiveness and inhabit
insular environments. Invasive mammalian predators are therefore
important drivers of irreversible loss of phylogenetic diversity
worldwide. That most impacted species are insular indicates that
management of invasive predators on islands should be a global
conservation priority. Understanding and mitigating the impact of
invasive mammalian predators is essential for reducing the rate of
global biodiversity loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11261-11265
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume113
Issue number40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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