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Conservation: big data boost in China

Nature volume 540, page 38 (01 December 2016) | Download Citation

I disagree with Aaron Ellison's contention that biodiversity data only rarely drive conservation decisions (Nature 538, 141; 2016). In China, better data are guiding changes in conservation policies and on-the-ground actions.

For instance, huge long-term data sets on species, ecosystems and human activities have enabled China to identify many priority conservation areas for protecting biodiversity and maintaining ecological security (R. Wu et al. PLoS ONE 9, e103783; 2014). Intensive development is prohibited in these areas.

Furthermore, a huge amount of data from hundreds of scientists are used by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection to compile biodiversity 'red lists' (R. Wu Science 353, 657; 2016). And the systematic collection of more and better data is crucial to implementation of the government's nationwide 'Red Lines', which demarcate ecological conservation regions (see W. Sang and J. C. Axmacher Nature 531, 305; 2016).

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  1. Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, China.

    • Ruidong Wu


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Correspondence to Ruidong Wu.

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