Learning from Citizen Science approaches to map threats to wildlife globally and inform conservation policies

Understanding where threats to wildlife are greatest is important for prioritising and planning responses. This project will use methodologies from citizen science to analyse threats to thousands of vertebrate species assessed in the IUCN Red List and develop spatial maps based on the IUCN classification of threats. These maps will be validated against remotely-sensed data. The outputs from this project will be of high relevance for conservation planning and will have an impact on conservation on the ground, as well as informing policy and conservation responses at a global level.

Project Aims

The primary aim of this project is to advance our understanding of the spatial distribution of threats to species, potentially their changes over time, and to enhance the understanding of the interactions between multiple threats to species using the IUCN Red List. Specifically, we hope to identify threat-hotspots as well as predictors of these, in order to help guide effective actions towards reducing pressure on biodiversity.

Key Activities

We will develop a series of maps across taxa and types of threats, displaying the probability of threats occurring. These maps will be the basis for one or more scientific publications highlighting the distribution of threats, the location of threats hotspots, and potentially elucidating drivers of the observed patterns.

We also aim to present these results at the 2019 CBD CoP in Egypt as a side-event for policy makers.

Conservation Impact

The ultimate impact would be that these maps are widely adopted – further developed - and used in conservation policies, planning and practices that affects conservation delivery on the ground.

A further measure of impact for the collaboration effort would be to further position the CCI environment as one of the leading hubs of expertise on pressures to biodiversity.


This project will deliver four outputs.

  1. New maps showing the spatial distribution of different threats to species, based on IUCN Red List data.
  2. A paper that describes and analyses in unprecedented detail the distribution of threats to biodiversity worldwide.
  3. An information paper (‘inf.doc’) for relevant CBD and other MEAs COP and other COP preparatory meetings where we also plan to present this work at a side event.
  4. A policy paper with recommendations that address drivers of biodiversity loss to inform CBD post-2020 biodiversity targets.

CCI partners Involved

BirdLife International is a strategic global partnership of conservation organisations in over 100 countries, working to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, and to promote...
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental...
The Department of Zoology carries out wide-ranging work in ecology and conservation including conservation science, aquatic ecology, pathogen evolution and evolutionary ecology. Research of the...
IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network. It helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment...

Related Resources

Resource Title Description Type
Threats to seabirds: A global assessment We present the first objective quantitative assessment of the threats to all 359 species of seabirds, identify the main challenges facing them, and outline priority actions for their conservation. We... Journal articles

Project blog posts

30 Sep 2018
The following blog is written by Jonas Geldmann, Research Fellow, University of Cambridge (Project lead for the CCI Collaborative Fund project ‘Learning from Citizen Science approaches to map threats...