The aim of the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) is to identify sites requiring priority conservation attention and to take actions in order to prevent species extinctions.
The AZE group focuses on animal and plant species facing a high risk of extinction, either because their last remaining habitat is being degraded at a local level, or because their restricted distribution ranges make them particularly vulnerable to external threats.
The AZE group uses the following criteria to identify priority sites (one site has to qualify for each criteria):
- Endangerment : a site has to hold at least one Endangered (EN) or Critically Endangered (CR) species, as listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- Irreplaceability : a site must be the sole area where an Endangered or Critically Endangered species occurs (contain more than 95% of the global population), or contain the overwhelmingly significant known population for one life-history segment (e.g., breeding or non-breeding) of the species.
- Discreteness : a site must have a definable boundary, within which habitats, biological communities, or management issues share more in common with each other than they do with those in adjacent areas.
Based on the AZE critetria, 10 sites have been identified in French Polynesia (15% of the sites in the Austral-Oceania region).
All these sites contain one endangered or critically endangered endemic terrestrial bird species. For now, no site qualifies for other animal or plant species.