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Can the next generation save a species? Using ZIMS to draw more accurate extinction timelines

Asian elephant family walking through the meadow in the morning.

A few weeks ago, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a landmark study demonstrating the power of data curated by Species360 members using the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS).

Today in conjunction with World Endangered Species Day, a study in Journal of Applied Ecology demonstrates how deep reserves of the types of demographic data found in ZIMS help scientists draw a more accurate picture of species generation time, and support assessments of extinction risk for endangered species. Survival rate, reproduction and generation time — aggregated across thousands of species by Species360 members — can change what we know about species and support viability assessments, especially for species about which we know little from the wild. 

Underestimation of generation time leads to an underestimation of extinction risk when scientists assess populations of threatened species. Johanna Staerk et al. (2019)

Coming on the heels of the IPBES report that one million species are in danger of extinction, we are committed to delivering data and analytics to better inform global conservation.

Congratulations Species360 Conservation Science Alliance fellow Johanna Staerk for this important work. Johanna is a postdoc at the Interdisciplinary Center for Population Dynamics, University of Southern Denmark.

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