Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

November 29, 2021


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Countries that protect wildlife

Which countries are doing the most to conserve its wildlife? A group of biologists led by Peter A. Lindsey of South Africa pondered that question and decided to find out via a study of 152 countries. Their findings were recently published in Global Ecology and Conservation. Ninety percent of the countries in North and Central America, and 70 percent in Africa, were considered above-average performers; 25 percent of the countries in Asia and 21 percent in Europe were identified as underperformers. The focus of the study was “megafauna,” adult carnivores weighing 15 kilos or more, adult herbivores or omnivores 100 kilos upwards. These are the animals that attract tourists and are most likely to be protected: Three things were considered: the proportion of land occupied by megafauna in a country; the percentage of the megafauna habitat that’s strictly protected; the percentage of the GDP devoted to funding for domestic and international conservation efforts. Canada and the US scored well. Surprisingly, Australia did poorly. Here are the 10 best and worst of the rankings. For the entire study:

Countries with the highest scores:
1. Bostwana
2. Namibia
3. Tanzania
4. Bhutan
5. Zimbabwe
6. Norway
7. Central African Republic
8. Canada
9. Zambia
10. Rwanda

Countries with the lowest scores:
143. Iraq
144. Oman
145. Liechtenstein
146. Uruguay
147. Yemen
148. Qatar
149. Libya
150. Syria
151. UAE
152. San Marino

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