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Title: Persistent and novel threats to the biodiversity of Kazakhstan’s steppes and semi-deserts
Type: JournalArticle
Year: 2016
Journal Name: Biodiversity and Conservation
Volume: 25
Pages: 2521–2541
Catalog Number: 72885


Kamp, Johannes
Koshkin, Maxim A.
Bragina, Tatyana M.
Katzner, Todd E.
Milner-Gulland, E J.
Schreiber, Dagmar
Sheldon, Robert
Shmalenko, Alyona
Smelansky, Ilya
Terraube, Julien
Urazaliev, Ruslan


Ranking Threats to the Biodiversity of Kazakhstan’s Steppes and Semi-Deserts

A large proportion of the world’s remaining near-natural grassland is in Kazakhstan, which harbors a large number of species of conservation importance, including birds of prey, large ungulates such as saiga antelope, and native plant communities. Scientists from Europe, Asia, and the USGS collaborated to assess current and emerging threats to steppe and semi-desert biodiversity in Kazakhstan and evaluate conservation research priorities. They used an approach called horizon scanning to compile a list of 45 potential threats, and ranked them according to perceived severity and the need for research. The highest-ranked threats were related to changes in land use such as agriculture leading to habitat loss, disturbance of wildlife, and rapid infrastructure development. The authors noted that increasing collaboration, funding and opportunities for protected area management, and wildlife monitoring and threat assessments would aid in more effective steppe and semi-desert conservation in Kazakhstan.

Full Citation

Kamp, J., Koshkin, M.A., Bragina, T.M., Katzner, T.E., Milner-Gulland, E.J., Schreiber, D., Sheldon, R., Shmalenko, A., Smelansky, I., Terraube, J., Urazaliev, R., 2016, Persistent and novel threats to the biodiversity of Kazakhstan’s steppes and semi-deserts: Biodiversity and Conservation, v. 25, p. 2521–2541,

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