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Tag: extinction

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. ...
Extinction: Last chance to save ‘rhinos of the oceans’

Extinction: Last chance to save ‘rhinos of the oceans’

Science
Conservationists say a key wildlife summit could be the "last chance saloon" for saving sharks and rays pushed to extinction by the shark fin trade.About 100 million sharks are estimated to be killed each year for their fins and meat.On Sunday, countries will discuss giving more species of sharks and rays protection under wildlife trade rules.These include mako sharks and the little-known "rhino rays".Wedgefish and guitarfish are collectively known as "rhino rays", because of their elongated snouts. They are now the most endangered marine fish group, according to a recent scientific assessment. "With this new science just come out, fresh in everyone's minds a month ago, on these wedgefish and guitarfish, it's clearly last chance ...
Extinction: Humans played big role in demise of the cave bear

Extinction: Humans played big role in demise of the cave bear

Science
The arrival of human ancestors in Europe some 40,000 years ago coincided with the downfall of the cave bear, scientists have revealed.New evidence suggests humans hunted the bear and drove it from caves, putting it on the road to extinction.The fate of the species was sealed by other pressures, such as the onset of the last Ice Age, and shrinking food resources.The bear eventually died out 24,000 years ago."We see this dramatic drop in the population of the cave bear starting from 40,000 years ago, which coincides with the arrival of anatomically modern humans in Europe," said Prof Verena Schuenemann of the University of Zurich, who led the study."It is the clearest evidence we have so far that humans might have played a big role...