NCEAS Product 22159

Burgman, Mark; Regan, Tracey. 2006. Main causes for discrepancies in species classifications. (Abstract) (Online version)


Decisions about species conservation status have critical implications for allocation of public and private funding, land use planning decisions, and regulatory actions. A broad range of methods are used to classify species conservation status at a variety of geographic scales (e.g., local, national, international). Different methods produce very different results, yet there is no rationale or benchmark for judging their adequacy or appropriateness. Existing systems also are incomplete because they lack rules that allow decisions to be made when the data are uncertain. These tables were part of a NCEAS working group's analysis of these classification methods. The three classifications protocols that these tables look at are: The IUCN Red List criteria, The Heritage method and the Millsap method. They use 18 different assessors that interpret the same data and look at the main causes for discrepancies in species classifications. These tables are part of Tracey Jane Regan's thesis titled, "Evaluation Methods for Estimating Extinction Risk" that was submitted to the School of Botany, January 2004. Tracy was a member of the NCEAS working group titled "Developing and testing methods for classifying species conservation status and estimating risk".