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There are many different ideas about what qualifies as an important site for nature. Should we focus on globally threatened species on the IUCN Red List? Should we be concerned about those species with small ranges, which are more susceptible to extinction due to habitat loss? Should we instead focus on untouched wildernesses or threatened ecosystems? What about places where hundreds or even millions of animals come together for breeding or for food, often creating an incredible spectacle? Or the most irreplaceable and unique sites?

These are all important targets for conservation, but until recently were not considered collectively. In 2016, all that changed when the global conservation community came together and agreed on a common approach to identifying important sites for nature – Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), whose criteria capture all of the different ideas mentioned above.

Once this approach had been developed, 13 of the world’s leading conservation

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