In 2010, 193 national signatories of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) made a global commitment to increase the world’s protected areas. Despite this historical increase in protected land, a recent study found that expansions are not adequately protecting vulnerable wildlife.

Researchers found that 85 percent of world’s 4,118 threatened mammals, birds, and amphibian species are not protected in existing national parks, leaving these animals vulnerable to extinction.

James Watson, WCS Climate Change Program Director and a Principle Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, a senior author on the study, explained, “The problem is that countries tend to favor land that is cheap to protect when establishing new parks, instead of focusing on land that is important for wildlife. Cheap is easy, but we show that it doesn’t do much for conserving imperiled species.”

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