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CREO - IBOY Book Project


A proposal by CREO and Systematics Agenda 2000 International to produce a new survey of recently extinct species has been accepted as part of DIVERSITAS 2001 program: International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY).

Book Description

We have proposed the production of a book that will include comprehensive inventories of recent extinctions. This volume will present extinction data that have been reviewed critically according to a CREO-developed extinction criteria. It will therefore be the most comprehensive and reliable reference book available on recent extinctions.

This volume will provide a listing of recently extinct species for as many different taxonomic groups as can be extensively surveyed within the next year; subsequent editions will be increasingly comprehensive as more survey work is completed. Vertebrate groups will be covered completely in the CREO-IBOY publication. Extinctions in some plant and invertebrate groups are difficult to document, therefore we will focus on those groups for which extinctions data can be realistically assimilated and assessed.

All information included in this volume will be assimilated and peer reviewed by specialists on CREO Advisory Panels, ensuring that this new survey will be the most comprehensive and reliable summary of data on recent extinctions.


Book Contents

As currently planned, this publication will be divided into six main sections:

  • Part 1 - General Introduction and Explanatory Essays

    This section will include the following information:

    --credits, including names and institutional affiliations of contributing specialists and collaborating conservation organizations
    --scope, including information about the major taxonomic groups covered and the time span covered
    --essay on how and why the CREO system of extinction criteria and categories was developed and how this system is particularly useful for understanding extinctions
    --essay on the use of empirical extinction surveys and predictive models of extinction
    --essay on the significance of this survey for applied studies in conservation and evolutionary biology, as well as conservation policy

  • Part 2 - Taxonomic Lists of Extinctions

    This section is to be the main part of the publication. Data will be collected and evaluated according to the criteria that we have developed, and species will be organized into categories according to criteria met. Species placed in the "Resolved" and Unresolved" categories will be secondarily grouped according to taxonomic classification (phylum,class, order, family, genus, etc.). The following data fields will be provided for each species listed, along with citations to all relevant sources of data (author or information source, and date of publication):

    --species' taxonomic information
    --frequent synonyms and misidentifications (not a complete list of synonyms, only those for which there is the greatest chance of confusion)
    --common name (if any)
    --taxonomic status (well established, disputed, not formally named and described, etc.)
    --hypodigm (the number of collected specimens that are known to represent the species)
    --effective extinction date (this is usually noted as the period between the date of last observation or collection of the species, and the date when it was first noted as absent and presumed extinct)
    --habitat
    --former range
    --surveying notes
    --factors presumed to have contributed to the species' decline and demise
    --notes and references

    See example.

  • Part 3 - Tables, Graphs, and Maps

    This section will include graphics (tables, graphs, and maps) that are based on the data provided in Part 2 of the book. These graphs will depict trends in the survey data, and will include a discussion about the level of confidence we can have in the accuracy of these depicted trends. Graphics to be depicted include:

    --taxonomic distributions of extinctions (arranged hierarchically: kingdom; phylum; class; order; family)
    --geographic distributions of extinctions (arranged hierarchically by country, continent, or ocean basin for oceanic islands)
    --distributions of extinctions by habitat type
    --historic distributions of extinctions
    --putative causes of extinctions over time (arranged by descriptors of known causes and counting each contributory cause for a species' extinction, in the cases where the extinction appears to have been caused by various factors)

  • Part 4 - Analysis of Results

    This section will consist of short essays describing extinction trends for the taxonomic groups included in Section 2 of the book. Each essay will include information about:

    --size of the taxonomic group, including numbers and distribution of extinctions
    --quality and quantity of data for the group
    --notable taxonomic, geographic, historic extinction trends and possible causes (these data will correspond to the tables and graphs in Section 3)
    --recommendations for where further fieldwork/research is needed

  • Part 4 - References

    All publications or other sources of information cited in sections 1-3 will be included in this section.

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