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Tag: mammals

One in five UK mammals at risk of extinction

One in five UK mammals at risk of extinction

Science
The red squirrel, the wildcat, and the grey long-eared bat are all facing severe threats to their survival, according to new research.They are among 12 species that have been put on the first "red list" for wild mammals in the UK.The Mammal Society and Natural England study said almost one in five British mammals was at risk of extinction.Factors such as climate change, loss of habitat, use of pesticides and disease are to blame, the report said.It said the hedgehog and water vole have seen their populations decline by almost 70% over the past 20 years.However, it is good news for the otter, pine marten, polecat and badger, which have all seen their populations and geographical range spread. The report is described as the first ...
Humans have shrunk the planet's mammals

Humans have shrunk the planet's mammals

Science
April 20 (UPI) -- Humans have been altering the course of mammalian evolution for thousands of years, according to new research.Even before humans migrated out of Africa, early human populations had begun to influence animal size and diversity. The latest study, published this week in the journal Science, suggests size-selective extinction is not a natural product of evolution but a trademark of human activity."One of the most surprising finds was that 125,000 years ago, the average body size of mammals on Africa was already 50 percent smaller than on other continents," lead author Felisa Smith, a paleoecologist at the University of New Mexico, said in a news release. "We suspect this means that archaic humans and other hominins had already influenced mammal diversity and body size in the ...
New map identifies vulnerable mammals, conservation priorities

New map identifies vulnerable mammals, conservation priorities

Science
Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Scientists have published a new map identifying areas of priority for the conservation of vulnerable mammals. Researchers prioritized threatened mammals with the fewest close relatives, such as Australia's echidnas, or spiny anteaters, and Madagascar's lemurs.The team of ecologists analyzed the habitats of thousands of vulnerable and threatened mammal species to find areas of overlap, where targeted conservation projects will benefit several species.They published their results of their mapping effort this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B."Scientists have often focused on the number of species in a protected area, but studies like this one consider the degree to which the family tree of life is well represented," Dan Rosauer, biologist at Australia Na...