The Role of Vegetated Coastal Wetlands for Marine Megafauna Conservation

Last modified: 
June 4, 2019 - 3:35pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: In Press
Authors: Michael Sievers, Christopher Brown, Vivitskaia Tulloch, Ryan Pearson, Jodie Haig, Mischa Turschwell, Rod Connolly
Journal title: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
ISSN: 01695347

Habitat loss is accelerating a global extinction crisis. Conservation requires understanding links between species and habitats. Emerging research is revealing important associations between vegetated coastal wetlands and marine megafauna, such as cetaceanssea turtles, and sharks. But these links have not been reviewed and the importance of these globally declining habitats is undervalued. Here, we identify associations for 102 marine megafauna species that utilize these habitats, increasing the number of species with associations based on current InternationalUnion for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) species assessments by 59% to 174, accounting for over 13% of all marine megafauna. We conclude that coastal wetlands require greater protection to support marine megafauna, and present a simple, effective framework to improve the inclusion of habitat associations within species assessments.

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