Introducing the global Threatened Island Biodiversity database (TIB).
The TIB is the world’s best compilation of Threatened species (as classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or IUCN), invasive animals, and islands. The database can be viewed here: http://tib.islandconservation.org/
A special conservation need. Islands represent less than 5% of the earth’s land area yet harbor 80% of known species extinctions since 1500 (Ricketts et al. 2005), and 39% of today’s IUCN Critically Endangered species (TIB Partners 2012). Invasive vertebrates are a leading cause of insular extinctions and remain a critical threat to endangered island species today (MEA 2005).
A special conservation opportunity. Proven techniques to protect island biodiversity exist, including more than 1,000 successful island eradications of invasive vertebrates worldwide, often followed by remarkable recoveries of endangered species and ecosystems (Keitt et al. 2011). The challenge now is to increase the scale and application of these proven restoration tools to reverse this tide of island extinctions.
Prioritizing conservation for threatened island biodiversity. The Threatened Island Biodiversity database is the most comprehensive global review of IUCN Threatened Species breeding on islands and at risk from invasive vertebrates. Our goal is to help guide where conservation intervention can prevent island extinctions. To date the TIB database includes almost 2000 islands for 1300 threatened species, collated from 1800 scientific literature sources and the contribution of more then 500 experts.
TIB partners who will maintain and expand the database over time include Island Conservation, University of California at Santa Cruz – Coastal Conservation Action Laboratory, BirdLife International, and the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Threatened Island Biodiversity Database Partners. 2014. The Threatened Island Biodiversity Database: developed by Island Conservation,University of California Santa Cruz Coastal Conservation Action Lab, BirdLife International and IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group. Version 2014.1 <www.tib.islandconservation.org>. Downloaded on December 2015.
IUCN. 2013. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
Keitt, B., K. Campbell, A. Saunders, M. Clout, Y. Wang, R. Heinz, K. Newton, and B. Tershy (2011). The Global Islands Invasive Vertebrate Eradication Database: A tool to improve and facilitate restoration of island ecosystems. Pages 74-77 In C. R. Veitch, M. N. Clout, and D. R. Towns, editors. Island invasives: Eradication and management. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
MEA 2005. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Biodiversity Synthesis. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.
Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, T. Boucher, T.M. Brooks, S.H.M. Butchart, M. Hoffmann, et al. 2005. Pinpointing and preventing imminent extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102: 18497-1850.