Geographic Distribution of Endangered Species in the United States

We examined the associations between the density of endangered species in each state, the intensity of human economic and agricultural activities, and the climate, topology, and vegetative cover of the state

A. P. Dobson; J. P. Rodriguez; W. M. Roberts; D. S. Wilcove

2002

Scholarcy highlights

  • Geographic distribution data for endangered species in the United States were used to locate “hot spots” of threatened biodiversity
  • The extent to which endangered species are concentrated in hot spots of potential extinctions and the extent to which hot spots for different groups overlap will influence the strategies we adopt to avert species extinctions and the impact of those strategies on other human activities
  • A sorting algorithm based on the principle of complementary subsets was used to evaluate the extent to which endangered species are clustered into hot spots
  • Reptiles, and mammals, the sequential selection of counties on the basis of the unique species they contain leads to a steady increase in the number of populations of each endangered species already included in the counties sampled
  • When Hawaii is included in the analysis, its high density of endangered species and extreme values for several independent variables combine to yield trends that are unrepresentative of the continental United States
  • More than 50% of endangered species are represented within 0.14 to 2.04% of the land area
  • As the geographic distributions of many endangered species do not overlap more than a single county, this is likely to be less of a problem for species groups with restricted ranges than it is for birds and mammals

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