Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carnivore species are predicted to be at increased extinction risk from human population growth

13.07.2004


Research published online today reveals that many of the world’s carnivores are at greater risk of extinction than previously thought. Close to a quarter of the world’s mammals are already at high risk of extinction. Any chance of reversing this trend depends on understanding what makes some species vulnerable and others resilient. And that depends on being able to predict extinction risk.

Now, a new model based on a phylogenetic analysis of the mammalian order Carnivora, described online in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, could help focus conservation efforts by predicting which species face greatest risk. The model predicts risk based on the density of local human populations combined with various traits of different species of carnivores, such as their population density, gestation length, and habitat range. The research, by Marcel Cardillo and other conservation scientists from London, Virginia and the IUCN, finds that combining data on species’ biology with that on human population densities yields better predictions of extinction risk than either set of data can alone. For example, a species with a long gestation period that lives close to densely populated human areas are at greater risk than species with similar gestation periods that live near sparsely populated areas. When under heavy pressure from people--whether hunting or habitat loss--species with long gestation periods can’t repopulate fast enough and become endangered.

Based on projected human population growth, the researchers predict that many carnivore species will join the list of endangered species list by 2030. Most of these species live in Africa, where human populations are growing faster than the global average. Based on the researchers’ projections, some species currently considered low conservation priorities--such as members of the weasel-like viverrid family--could soon become endangered.



Altogether, these results indicate that as human population pressures increase, it becomes ever more important to take account of each species’ biological traits to best predict which species will become most vulnerable. While most conservation efforts focus on damage control, Cardillo and colleagues argue for interceding before a species reaches the brink of extinction. "There is no room for complacency about the security of species," the authors warn, "simply because they are not currently considered threatened."

Catriona Maccallum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk
http://www.plos.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Elucidating cuttlefish camouflage
18.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung

nachricht Sensory Perception Is Not a One-Way Street
17.10.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Goodbye, silicon? On the way to new electronic materials with metal-organic networks

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany) together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain) have now developed and characterized a novel, metal-organic material which displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. The material which can easily be fabricated at room temperature could serve as a replacement for expensive conventional inorganic materials used in optoelectronics.

Silicon, a so called semiconductor, is currently widely employed for the development of components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips. High purity...

Im Focus: Storage & Transport of highly volatile Gases made safer & cheaper by the use of “Kinetic Trapping"

Augsburg chemists present a new technology for compressing, storing and transporting highly volatile gases in porous frameworks/New prospects for gas-powered vehicles

Storage of highly volatile gases has always been a major technological challenge, not least for use in the automotive sector, for, for example, methane or...

Im Focus: Disrupting crystalline order to restore superfluidity

When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.

We are all familiar with such control of the freezing transition, as it is an essential ingredient in the art of making a sorbet or a slushy. To make a cold...

Im Focus: Micro energy harvesters for the Internet of Things

Fraunhofer IWS Dresden scientists print electronic layers with polymer ink

Thin organic layers provide machines and equipment with new functions. They enable, for example, tiny energy recuperators. In future, these will be installed...

Im Focus: Dynamik einzelner Proteine

Neue Messmethode erlaubt es Forschenden, die Bewegung von Molekülen lange und genau zu verfolgen

Das Zusammenspiel aus Struktur und Dynamik bestimmt die Funktion von Proteinen, den molekularen Werkzeugen der Zelle. Durch Fortschritte in der...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Conference to pave the way for new therapies

17.10.2018 | Event News

Berlin5GWeek: Private industrial networks and temporary 5G connectivity islands

16.10.2018 | Event News

5th International Conference on Cellular Materials (CellMAT), Scientific Programme online

02.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Elucidating cuttlefish camouflage

18.10.2018 | Life Sciences

Robot-assisted sensor system for quality assurance of press-hardened components

17.10.2018 | Trade Fair News

Sensory Perception Is Not a One-Way Street

17.10.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>