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Alternate Species Concepts as Bases for Determining Priority Conservation Areas

A. Townsend Peterson and Adolfo G. Navarro-Sigüenza
Conservation Biology
Vol. 13, No. 2 (Apr., 1999), pp. 427-431
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2641486
Page Count: 5
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Alternate Species Concepts as Bases for Determining Priority Conservation Areas
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Abstract

Analysis of geographic concentrations of endemic taxa is often used to determine priorities for conservation action; nevertheless, assumptions inherent in the taxonomic authority list used as the basis for analysis are not always considered. We analyzed foci of avian endemism in Mexico under two alternate species concepts. Under the biological species concept, 101 bird species are endemic to Mexico and are concentrated in the mountains of the western and southern portions of the country. Under the phylogenetic species concept, however, total endemic species rises to 249, which are concentrated in the mountains and lowlands of western Mexico. Twenty-four narrow endemic biological species are concentrated on offshore islands, but 97 narrow endemic phylogenetic species show a concentration in the Transvolcanic Belt of the mainland and on several offshore islands. Our study demonstrates that conservation priorities based on concentrations of endemic taxa depend critically on the particular taxonomic authority employed and that biodiversity evaluations need to be developed in collaboration or consultation with practicing systematic specialists.

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