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Aichi Target 12 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims to 'prevent extinctions of known threatened species'. To measure its success, we used a Delphi expert elicitation method to estimate the number of bird and mammal species whose extinctions were prevented by conservation action in 1993 - 2020 (the lifetime of the CBD) and 2010 - 2020 (the timing of Aichi Target 12). We found that conservation prevented 21-32 bird and 7-16 mammal extinctions since 1993, and 9-18 bird and 2-7 mammal extinctions since 2010. Many remain highly threatened, and may still become extinct in the near future. Nonetheless, given that ten bird and five mammal species did go extinct (or are strongly suspected to) since 1993, extinction rates would have been 2.9-4.2 times greater without conservation action. While policy commitments have fostered significant conservation achievements, future biodiversity action needs to be scaled up to avert additional extinctions.

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