Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


An index of intactness

The global community is committed to reducing the rate of loss of biodiversity, but how can progress be measured? A novel system to tackle the problem may also identify key factors behind the changes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Measures of biodiversity.


  1. The Royal Society Measuring Biodiversity for Conservation (The Royal Society, London, 2003).

  2. Scholes, R. J. & Biggs, R. Nature 434, 45–49 (2005).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Convention on Biological Diversity (2002).

  4. Balmford, A. et al. Science 307, 212–213 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Mace, G. M. et al. in Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Framework for Assessment Vol. 1 (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Ser., Island Press, Washington DC, 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Luck, W. G., Daily, G. C. & Ehrlich, P. R. Trends Ecol. Evol. 18, 331–336 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Balmford, A., Green, R. E. & Jenkins, M. Trends Ecol. Evol. 18, 326–330 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Balmford, A., Crane, P., Dobson, A., Green, R. E. & Mace, G. M. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B (in the press).

  9. Loh, J. & Wackermagel, M. Living Planet (WWF Int., Gland, Switzerland, 2004).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Butchart, S. H. M. et al. PLoS Biol. 2, e383 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Brooks, T. & Kennedy, E. Nature 431, 1046–1047 (2004).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Convention on Biological Diversity (2004).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mace, G. An index of intactness. Nature 434, 32–33 (2005).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing