Map shows new patterns of extinction risk

Nov 06, 2006

British researchers said geographical areas with high numbers of endangered species from one group don't necessarily have high numbers from others.

The study by Imperial College has broad implications for conservation groups and their decisions about where to concentrate their dollars, scientists said. Previously these decisions were based on the assumption that one area, or hotspot, with a high number of an endangered species meant that other species were endangered as well.

In the decades-long study, researchers created a comprehensive worldwide map of all species of mammals, birds and amphibians, the London university said. Researchers divided the planet into grids and all non-plant life was counted combining existing data.

Researchers could see the differences between reality and assumptions about "the global biodiversity of endangered species," said researcher Ian Owens.

Different factors affect mammals, birds and amphibians differently, which could explain the discrepancy in geographical hotspots, Owens said. For example, endangered bird species may be at risk because their habitats are being destroyed, but other species could be in danger because of disease.

"It's really important not to assume that there are simply a number of hotspots ... where everything living there is endangered," Owen said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Adventurous bacteria

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Making dams safer for fish around the world

Apr 14, 2014

Think of the pressure change you feel when an elevator zips you up multiple floors in a tall building. Imagine how you'd feel if that elevator carried you all the way up to the top of Mt. Everest – in the ...

Recommended for you

Adventurous bacteria

5 minutes ago

To reproduce or to conquer the world? Surprisingly, bacteria also face this problem. Theoretical biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have now shown how these organisms should ...

Japan lawmakers demand continued whaling

1 hour ago

Japanese lawmakers on Wednesday demanded the government redesign its "research" whaling programme to circumvent an international court ruling that described the programme as a commercial hunt dressed up as ...

Revealing camouflaged bacteria

2 hours ago

A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogen Salmonella within the cells. The so cal ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Revealing camouflaged bacteria

A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogen Salmonella within the cells. The so cal ...

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...