Paper Summary
Antarctic Protected Areas

Paper Title

A snapshot of biodiversity protection in Antarctica

Year

2019

Author Team

Hannah S. Wauchope, Justine D. Shaw, Aleks Terauds

Antarctica is one of the Earth’s last spans of intact wilderness, but protection of Antarctic biodiversity lags behind the rest of the world. Though Antarctica is generally designated as a place for peace and science, the biodiversity isn’t automatically protected to the degree it might need. This is especially so on the mainland, where, despite the amount of ice, there is a lot of life. Ice free areas in dry valleys and on mountain tops (called Nunataks) hold communities of organisms, many of which have highly unique genomes. To ensure these species are protected, we first need to understand what the current state of protection is. We worked to answer some basic questions, such as which Antarctic species live within Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs, the name for what are essential Antarctic nature reserves) and more importantly which species do not occur in any ASPAs. The full paper can be found here, and here's a summary of our findings:

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Penguins on Floating Ice