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How to make a common species rare: A case against conservation complacency

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Picture: Steve Kuiter

A traditional focus in conservation biology has been on rare species as they are often those most at risk of decline or extinction. However, we argue in this paper that some kinds of currently common species also can be susceptible to decline. Those at particular risk are species that are specialized on widespread environmental conditions. Such specialization may make such species vulnerable to a range of drivers of envi- ronmental change, placing them at risk of significant decline or even local extinction. We illustrate this with a case study of the arboreal marsupial the Greater Glider (Petauroides volans) in south-eastern Australia.