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Tag: extinction

Colourful songbirds could be traded to extinction

Colourful songbirds could be traded to extinction

Science
Rick Stanley/Gabby SalazarUniquely coloured songbirds are at high risk of extinction, because they are in demand as pets, research has shown. The pet songbird trade in Asia has already driven several species close to extinction, with birds targeted primarily for their beautiful voices.Now a study has revealed that particular colours of plumage put birds at greater risk of being taken from the wild and sold.Researchers say breeding birds in captivity for the trade could help."That won't work for all species," said lead researcher Prof Rebecca Senior, from the University of Durham. "But there's hope that we could shift the sourcing [of some pet birds] - so they're captive-bred rather than caught in the wild."Why scientists are freezing threatened speciesEndangered bird 'has forgotten its son...
Extinction: Elephants driven to the brink by poaching

Extinction: Elephants driven to the brink by poaching

Science
Frank AF PetersensThe ivory trade, loss of vital habitat and a deeper understanding of elephant biology have all combined to reveal a previously underestimated threat to Africa's elephants. African forest elephants are now critically endangered, an update from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reveals. Savanna elephants are also endangered. And "declines over decades" have driven the species into the two highest categories of extinction threat. African elephants were previously assessed as one species on the IUCN's Red List.Genetic evidence showed them to be two distinct species more than a decade ago.But accurate assessments - of populations, trends in their numbers and the threats they face - take many years. Elephants counted from space for conservation Ivory...
Extinction: Freshwater fish in ‘catastrophic’ decline

Extinction: Freshwater fish in ‘catastrophic’ decline

Science
Getty ImagesA report has warned of a "catastrophic" decline in freshwater fish, with nearly a third threatened by extinction. Conservation groups said 80 species were known to have gone extinct, 16 in the last year alone.Millions of people rely on freshwater fish for food and as a source of income through angling and the pet trade.But numbers have plummeted due to pressures including pollution, unsustainable fishing, and the damming and draining of rivers and wetlands.The report said populations of migratory fish have fallen by three-quarters in the last 50 years.Over the same time period, populations of larger species, known as "megafish", have crashed by 94%. The decline of the 'disgusting' burbot' Hedge trimmer' fish facing global extinction'Hedge trimmer' fish facing global extinction'...
‘Hedge trimmer’ fish facing global extinction

‘Hedge trimmer’ fish facing global extinction

Science
Peter KyneThey are the most extraordinary of fish, resembling "hedge trimmers with fins".The sawfish, which is a kind of ray, is also among the most endangered of the fish living in the oceans.Once found along the coastlines of 90 countries, the animals are now presumed extinct in more than half of these, according to a new study. They are vanishing due to habitat loss and entanglement in fishing nets, experts have said.Their "saws", which evolved to sense and attack prey, have now become a liability, making them prone to being caught up in fishing gear."Through the plight of sawfish, we are documenting the first cases of a wide-ranging marine fish being driven to local extinction by overfishing," said Prof Nick Dulvy of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia, Canada.'Time is ru...
Extinction: Conservation success set against 31 lost species

Extinction: Conservation success set against 31 lost species

Science
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