Safeguarding imperiled biodiversity and evolutionary processes in the Wallacea center of endemism

Matthew J. Struebig, Sabhrina Gita Aninta, Maria Voigt, Alessia Bani, Henry Barus, Selina Brace, Zoe G. Davies, Karen Diele, Cilun Djakiman, Rignolda Djamaluddin, Rosie Drinkwater, Alex Dumbrell, Darren M Evans, Marco Fusi, Leonel Herrera Alsina, Djoko Iskandar, Jamaluddin Jompa, Berry Juliandi , Lesley Lancaster, Gino LimmonMichaela Lo, Pungki Lupiyaningdyah , Molly McCannon, Erik Meijaard, Simon Mitchell, Sonny Mumbunan, Darren O'Connell, Owen Osborne, Alexander Papadopulos, Joeni S. Rahajoe, Stephen J. Rossiter, Himmah Rustiami, Ulrich Salzmann, Endang Sukara, Johny S. Tasirin , Aiyen Tjoa, Justin Travis, Liam Trethowan, Agus Trianto, Tim Utteridge, Maria Voigt, Nurul Winarni, Zulianto Zakaria, David Edwards, Laurent A F Frantz, Jatna Supriatna, Maria Beger, Maarten De Brauwer, Lindawati, Rugaya, Sheherazade, I Made Sudiana , Rosaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wallacea—the meeting point between the Asian and Australian fauna—is one of the world's largest centers of endemism. Twenty-three million years of complex geological history have given rise to a living laboratory for the study of evolution and biodiversity, highly vulnerable to anthropogenic pressures. In the present article, we review the historic and contemporary processes shaping Wallacea's biodiversity and explore ways to conserve its unique ecosystems. Although remoteness has spared many Wallacean islands from the severe overexploitation that characterizes many tropical regions, industrial-scale expansion of agriculture, mining, aquaculture and fisheries is damaging terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, denuding endemics from communities, and threatening a long-term legacy of impoverished human populations. An impending biodiversity catastrophe demands collaborative actions to improve community-based management, minimize environmental impacts, monitor threatened species, and reduce wildlife trade. Securing a positive future for Wallacea's imperiled ecosystems requires a fundamental shift away from managing marine and terrestrial realms independently.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1130
Number of pages13
Issue number11
Early online date19 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • conservation
  • evolution
  • interdisciplinary science
  • tropical ecosystems
  • applied ecology


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