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Tag: extinction

Extinction: Meet the new poster animals of conservation

Extinction: Meet the new poster animals of conservation

Science
Ever heard of the gnu goat, the red-eared guenon or the Gila monster?They could be the future icons of conservation, according to a study. Scientists say these little-known animals are key to raising money for protecting vulnerable ecosystems.The likes of tigers and elephants, which appeal to the masses, are often selected for fundraising campaigns. But this approach has been criticised for neglecting many other species that need our help. "It's time for us to put some science behind the species we use to market and fundraise for conservation - rather than framing our approach around what's popular or seen as 'cute' by the public," said Dr Hugh Possingham, chief scientist at conservation NGO, The Nature Conservancy. ...
Extinction: A million species at risk, so what is saved?

Extinction: A million species at risk, so what is saved?

Science
A decade-long project to save one of the world's most endangered birds has finally found success, with the birth of two chicks. But with an estimated one million species at risk across the world, and nothing like the money and resources to save them all, how do conservationists choose the few they can save?"You have to wear one of these I'm afraid," Tanya Grigg says sympathetically, handing me a distinctly unflattering blue hair net. "Any stray hairs could wrap around the birds' legs and injure them; they're so delicate." Tanya has a soft voice and gentle manner that I can imagine putting the most skittish of birds at ease. She shows me into a large aviary. There are just two, nervous-looking birds inside - both with miniature, shovel-shaped bills and spi...
A third of tropical African plants face extinction

A third of tropical African plants face extinction

Science
A third of tropical African plants are on the path to extinction, according to a new assessment.Much of western Africa, Ethiopia, and parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the hardest hit regions, standing to lose more than 40% of their richness of plants. Species at risk include trees, shrubs, herbs and woody vines.Threats include deforestation, population growth and climate change, the scientists said."Biodiversity provides countless benefits to humans and losing diversity jeopardises our future," said lead researcher Dr Thomas Couvreur of the French National Institute for Sustainable Development. Loss of biodiversity will be particularly problematic in tropical Africa, "a region of incredible diversity...
More than a quarter of UK mammals face extinction

More than a quarter of UK mammals face extinction

Science
More than a quarter of mammals are facing extinction, according to a detailed and devastating report on the state of the natural world in the UK.It also said one in seven species were threatened with extinction, and 41% of species studied have experienced decline since 1970.Providing the clearest picture to date, the State of Nature report examined data from almost 7,000 species.It drew on expertise from more than 70 different organisations. These included wildlife organisations and government agencies.The report said 26% of mammal species were at risk of disappearing altogether. A separate report outlined the picture in Scotland, where the abundance and distribution of species has also declined.Scotland saw a 24% decline in aver...
‘Alarming’ extinction threat to Europe’s trees

‘Alarming’ extinction threat to Europe’s trees

Science
The conker tree has been put on the official extinction list.Ravaged by moths and disease, the horse chestnut is now classified as vulnerable to extinction.The tree is among more than 400 native European tree species assessed for their risk of extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).About half face disappearing from the natural landscape.Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the IUCN Red List unit, described the findings as "alarming"."Trees are essential for life on Earth, and European trees in all their diversity are a source of food and shelter for countless animal species such as birds and squirrels, and play a key economic role," he said. ...