One Quarter of Earth’s Mammal’s Face Extinction
The baiji dolphin is functionally extinct, orangutans are disappearing and even some species of batsâ€”the most numerous of mammalsâ€”are dying out. A new survey of the world’s 5,487 mammal speciesâ€”from rodents to humansâ€”reveals that one in four are facing imminent extinction.
“Mammal species that are just declining, not necessarily near extinction, that’s 50 percent,” says conservation biologist Jan Schipper of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps the Red List of Threatened Species. “And 836 speciesâ€”especially rodents and batsâ€”we determined they are threatened but we don’t know how threatened, because we don’t know enough about them.”
Schipper and more than 1,700 scientific colleagues spent the past five years surveying the state of the world’s mammals. The results, published in Science to coincide with IUCN’s conference on biodiversity this week, reveal that 1,139 mammals around the globe are threatened with extinction and the populations of 52 percent of all mammal species are declining.
South and Southeast Asia are home to the most threatened mammals, from monkeys to rare rats. And many mammals in the species-rich tropical Andes Mountains of South America, Africa’s Cameroonian highlands and Albertine Rift as well as the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are also in trouble. Deforestation, along with hunting or gathering food are the prime causes of the rapid declines in land mammals, such as elephants in Asia; most endangered marine mammals, like the vaquita in Mexico’s Gulf of California, are killed by fishing nets, ship strikes or pollution.
Only one-quarter?Â SWEET! Does this include NeoCons?Â I’m just asking, I’m not, like, hoping or anything.
The photo above is a map of predicted extinction hotspots from 2006.Â More info can be found here.Â PS. yes, it’s a kid’s site.Â Can you handle the truth, I ask?