Multinational evaluation of genetic diversity indicators for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

Alicia Mastretta-Yanes, Jessica M. da Silva, Catherine E. Grueber, Luis Castilo-Reina, Viktoria Koppa, Brenna R. Forester, W. Chris Funk, Myriam Heuertz, Fumiko Ishihama, Rebecca Jordan, Joachim Mergeay, Ivan Paz-Vinas, Victor Julio Rincon-Parra, Maria Alejandra Rodriguez-Morales, Libertad Arredondo-Amezcua, Gaelle Brahy, Matt DeSaix, Lily Durkee, Ashley Hamilton, Margaret E. HunterAustin Koontz, Iris Lang, Maria Camilla Latorre-Cardenas, Tanya Latty, Alexander LLanes-Quevado, Anna J. MacDonnell, Meg Mahoney, Caitlin Miller, Juan Francisco Ornelas, Santiago Ramirez-Barahona, Erica Robertson, Isa-Rita M. Russo, Metztli Arcila Santiago, Robyn E. Shaw, Glenn M. Shea, Per Sjögren-Gulve, Emma Suzuki Spence, Taylor Stack, Sofia Suarez, Akio Takenaka, Henrik Thurfjell, Sheela Turbek, Marlien van der Merwe, Fleur Visser, Ana Wegier, Georgina Wood, Eugenia Zarza, Linda Laikre, Sean Hoban

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Under the recently adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, 196 Parties committed to reporting the status of genetic diversity for all species. To facilitate reporting, three genetic diversity indicators were developed, two of which focus on processes contributing to genetic diversity conservation: maintaining genetically distinct populations and ensuring populations are large enough to maintain genetic diversity. The major advantage of these indicators is that they can be estimated with or without DNA-based data. However, demonstrating their feasibility requires addressing the methodological challenges of using data gathered from diverse sources, across diverse taxonomic groups, and for countries of varying socio-economic status and biodiversity levels. Here, we assess the genetic indicators for 919 taxa, representing 5271 populations across nine countries, including megadiverse countries and developing economies. Eighty-three percent of the taxa assessed had data available to calculate at least one indicator. Our results show that although the majority of species maintain most populations, 58% of species have populations too small to maintain genetic diversity. Moreover, genetic indicator values suggest that IUCN Red List status and other initiatives fail to assess genetic status, highlighting the critical importance of genetic indicators.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14461
Number of pages19
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • biodiversity indicators
  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • COP15
  • effective population size
  • populations maintained
  • Red List


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