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Current protected conservation areas do not represent enough of existing global biodiversity, despite increases in the amount of protected land worldwide, researchers are warning.

A new analysis by an international group of researchers published in this week's Nature suggests that more than 300 critically endangered species have no conservation protection in any part of their ranges.

Currently, 11.5 per cent of the Earth's surface is protected — 1.5 per cent higher than the 10 per cent target agreed at the 1992 World Parks Congress. The researchers argue that a shift in conservation planning is needed to take into account patterns of species diversity, and not just the proportion of land covered.

Link to BBC Online news story

Link to research paper in Nature by Ana S. L. Rodrigues et al

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