Research Paper

Mapping winter waterbird biodiversity hotspots for conservation prioritization: Bridging gaps using citizen science data

Wan-Jyun Chen, An-Yu Chang, Ruey-Shing Lin, Pei-Fen Lee

Published on: 08 June 2024

Page: 266 - 274

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2024.69.266


Declining waterbird populations and increasing overlapping habitats with human activities necessitate the identification and conservation management of biodiversity hotspots to ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources and preservation of biodiversity. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of an eBird dataset, a global citizen science initiative, to systematically assess the winter waterbird biodiversity hotspots at a 1-km grid scale throughout Taiwan. This assessment considered five criteria: species richness, abundance, and national, regional, and local importance values. We identified 994 grids as hotspots, with 132, 154, 137, 205, and 366 grids meeting all five, four, three, two, and one of the five criteria, respectively. The hotspots are located in the coastline region, and only 32.60% are located within the protected areas, implying that winter waterbird hotspots extend beyond the protected areas and significantly overlap with anthropogenic activity area. Our findings highlight the limitations of traditional protected areas in effectively conserving winter waterbird hotspots, thereby demanding the adoption of more proactive and strategic management approaches to promote sustainable coexistence between humans and nature. By analyzing the crowdsourced scientific data, this study fills spatial gaps and provides a systematic method for rapidly assessing biodiversity distribution, generating up-to-date information for biodiversity management that aligns with the current status.

Keyword: Citizen Science, conservation management, environment protection, spatial conservation planning

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