The need for increased protection of Antarctica's inland waters

Hawes, Ian; Howard-Williams, Clive; Gilbert, Neil; Hughes, Kevin A. ORCID:; Convey, Peter ORCID:; Quesada, Antonio. 2023 The need for increased protection of Antarctica's inland waters. Antarctic Science, 35 (2). 64-88.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access)
©The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Antarctic Science Ltd. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
the-need-for-increased-protection-of-antarcticas-inland-waters.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Protection of Antarctica's biodiversity and ecosystem values is enshrined in the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which provides for the designation of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) to areas with outstanding values. Concern has been raised that existing ASPAs fail to prioritize areas to maximize the likelihood of ensuring the long-term conservation of Antarctic ecosystems and biodiversity. The absence of systematic and representative protection is particularly acute for inland aquatic ecosystems, which support a disproportionate amount of inland biodiversity. This paper promotes the case for overt inclusion of inland waters as a critical component of a representative protected area framework for Antarctica, thereby addressing their current underrepresentation. We set out a structured approach to enable the selection of representative freshwater systems for inclusion in the ASPA framework that, with modification, could also be applied across other Antarctic habitats. We acknowledge an overall lack of information on the biogeography of inland aquatic diversity and recommend increased use of remote data collection along with classification tools to mitigate this, as well as the need for the consideration of catchment-scale processes. Changes that accompany contemporary and anticipated climate change make the need for the conservation of representative biodiversity increasingly urgent.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0954-1020
Additional Keywords: biodiversity, biogeography, environmental protection, conservation, limnology, aquatic ecology
Date made live: 24 Apr 2023 12:35 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...