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Three-quarters of insect species are insufficiently represented by protected areas
 

Chowdhury S, Zalucki MP, Hanson JO, Tiatragul S, Green D, Watson JEM & Fuller RA (2023) Three-quarters of insect species are insufficiently represented by protected areas. One Earth, 6, 1-8.

Insects dominate the biosphere, yet insect populations are plummeting worldwide. Massive conservation efforts will be needed to reverse these declines. Protected areas (PAs) could act as a safeguard against extinction, but documented coverage of insect representation across the PA estate is limited. Here, we show that 76% of 89,151 insect species assessed globally do not meet minimum target levels of PA coverage. Nearly 1,900 species from 225 families do not overlap at all with PAs. Species with low PA coverage occur in North America, Eastern Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and Australasia. The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework provides a guide to PA designations that require taking account of the needs of insects. Mapping important biodiversity areas must be upscaled to ensure nations capture insect diversity.

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