Scientists are always innovating and looking for new ways to protect and restore our wildlife and habitats. People work around the clock to bring endangered species back from the brink, but sometimes it can be hard to tell what’s working and what’s not working – or what is the biggest threat to a species when they face multiples.
As a way to solve that problem, scientists came up with the STAR metric.
STAR stands for Species Threat Abatement and Restoration metric. This system is designed to figure out what the biggest threats are to a species and what actions are most helpful to save and protect them.1
This is calculated by looking at a species ranking on the IUCN Red List, to determine their risk of extinction. Then scientists look at what kind of human activity is harming the species. Using that information, they’re able to calculate and give a “STAR score” to the species. If the score is high, they have a greater chance of extinction.2
Through this calculation, the score can guide conservation efforts by dictating what activities need to stop. The score can also change over time, which allows a first-hand look at what efforts are actually working and what efforts aren’t.2 This is a science-based approach that gives science-backed solutions to help the over one million species that are at risk of extinction.1&2
This metric isn’t just for conservationists, but for governments and private companies, too. Governments can use the metric to set goals and measure progress, while private companies can get a look at their own impact and how they’re contributing to the problem. Research is continuing to make the STAR metric work for aquatic ecosystems, so we can gain more insight into those habitats.1
What do you think about this new metric to measure our global impact on species?
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