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Language barriers in global bird conservation

Negret PJ, Atkinson SC, Woodworth BK, Corella Tor M, Allan JR, Fuller RA & Amano T (2022) Language barriers in global bird conservation. PLoS ONE, 17, e0267151.

Multiple languages being spoken within a species’ distribution can impede communication among conservation stakeholders, the compilation of scientific information, and the development of effective conservation actions. Here, we investigate the number of official languages spoken within the distributions of 10,863 bird species to identify which species might be particularly affected by consequences of language barriers. We show that 1587 species have 10 languages or more spoken within their distributions. Threatened and migratory species have significantly more languages spoken within their distributions, when controlling for range size. Particularly high numbers of species with many languages within their distribution are found in Eastern Europe, Russia and central and western Asia. Global conservation efforts would benefit from implementing guidelines to overcome language barriers, especially in regions with high species and language diversity.

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