Encyclopedia of the World's Biomes: Desert Conservation and Management: Biodiversity Loss

Elsevier, Encyclopedia of the World's Biomes, 2020, Pages 193-200
Jennifer E. Smith and Nathalie Pettorelli

This article provides a comprehensive introduction to desert ecosystems and the many challenges their conservation poses to human societies. The first section focuses on highlighting the unique biodiversity capable to cope with the extreme environmental conditions that characterize deserts. We then briefly review current desert conservation policy and its effectiveness, describing some of the frameworks in place to protect desert ecosystems and the millions of people that depend upon them. The third section identifies the main anthropogenic threats to desert wildlife and discusses how climate change may substantially alter the functioning of these ecosystems. The final section details current and potential conservation strategies that may help secure this unique biodiversity in the near future.