Conservationists should be acting now to protect mammals such as North American reindeer which risk extinction in the future as the human population grows, according to research published today.
The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals areas with the potential to lose species that are not presently in danger. Species in these hotspots have a latent risk of extinction; that is, they are currently less threatened than their biology would suggest, usually because they inhabit regions or habitats still comparatively unmodified by human activity.
The new research shows that over the next few decades, many species currently deemed safe could leapfrog those deemed high risk to become highly threatened. The comprehensive Red List, prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources, classifies species according to categories of threat running from extinct to least concern.
Laura Gallagher | EurekAlert!
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