Setting priorities for the conservation of terrestrial vertebrates in Hungary

A. Báldi, G. Csorba, Z. Korsós

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The first step towards the preservation of endangered species is to establish an appropriate ranking system, which assigns different nature conservation priority scores to different taxa. The system developed by Millsap et al. (Wildlife Monograph 1990, 111: 1-57) has been modified and applied to the mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species of Hungary. Three variable groups have been compiled, including eight (measuring biological characteristics), three (features of the Hungarian population) and five (evaluation of research and conservation actions) variables, respectively. In cooperation with several experts, we gave scores to all 379 taxa considered, The most endangered taxon proved to be the Hungarian Meadow Viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis), which occurs only in Hungary with just a few hundred individuals. The species rank depends on the availability and quality of data, so it is urgent to devote more effort to survey and monitoring projects. We present a possible application of the species list, where the taxa are grouped according to their legal status in Hungary (strictly protected, protected, partly protected and not protected), and the validity of this categorisation was tested by applying multivariate discriminant analysis. Only 58.36% of the species were correctly classified. The reasons for stronger than expected protection include popularity, attractiveness, and local rarity, while reasons for lower protection include preference for hunting and control of predators and pests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1296
Number of pages14
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 11 2001



  • Amphibians
  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Nature conservation
  • Prioritisation
  • Reptiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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