To demonstrate its utility at a local scale, STAR was used to measure the potential impact of removing threats across an 88,000-hectare commercial rubber company in central Sumatra, Indonesia. By tackling threats such as habitat loss and hunting, the company could report having reduced extinction risk by 0.2% across Sumatra, 0.04% across Indonesia and 0.003% globally. This would be due in part to safeguarding the area’s populations of tigers (Panthera tigris; Endangered) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus; Endangered), as well as the leaf-nosed bat Hipposideros orbiculus, assessed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and only found in this region.
At a country scale, STAR scores show how governments can plan their policy to deliver on post-2020 global biodiversity framework commitments, for example by increasing protected areas, incentivising sustainable agriculture or developing reporting and disclosure requirements. Use of STAR can also help governments to fit corporate commitments into their national targets.
Currently STAR uses extinction risk and threat information on birds, amphibians and mammals. This will soon be augmented by marine and freshwater species as well as plants and reptiles. In due course, the STAR methodology will be extended to apply to genetic diversity and to ecosystems, the latter likely drawing from the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria.
The proposed post-2020 global biodiversity framework includes a target for safeguarding sites of particular importance to biodiversity through protected areas or other area-based conservation measures. Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) correspond to such sites, and so far cover 8.8% of land surface but capture 47% of the global STAR threat-abatement score for vertebrate species. Protecting KBAs account for large proportions of some national STAR threat-abatement scores: >70% in Mexico and Venezuela, and >50% in Madagascar, Ecuador, the Philippines and Tanzania. This indicates the particularly strong contribution that tackling biodiversity threats in KBAs would have to conserving global biodiversity.