Washington: A new study has revealed that protecting key regions that comprise just 17 percent of Earth`s land may help preserve more than two-thirds of its plant species.
The researchers from Duke, North Carolina State University and Microsoft Research used computer algorithms to identify the smallest set of regions worldwide that could contain the largest numbers of plant species.
"Our analysis shows that two of the most ambitious goals set forth by the 2010 Convention on Biological Diversity-to protect 60 percent of Earth`s plant species and 17 percent of its land surface-can be achieved, with one major caveat," Stuart L. Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at Duke`s Nicholas School of the Environment, said.
"To achieve these goals, we need to protect more land, on average, than we currently do, and much more in key places such as Madagascar, New Guinea and Ecuador.
"Our study identifies regions of importance. The logical-and very challenging-next step will be to make tactical local decisions within those regions to secure the most critical land for conservation," Pimm said.
The findings are published in the journal Science.