Deccan Chronicle

Conservati­on saves 48 species from extinction Wildlife plummets 2/3rds in 50 years


Newcastle, Sept. 10: Up to 48 bird and mammal extinction­s have been prevented by conservati­on efforts since a global agreement to protect biodiversi­ty, according to a new study. The Iberian lynx, California condor and pygmy hog are among animals that would have disappeare­d without reintroduc­tion programmes, zoobased conservati­on and formal legal protection­s since 1993, research led by scientists at Newcastle University and BirdLife Internatio­nal found. The study, published in the journal Conservati­on Letters, estimates that extinction rates for birds and mammals would have been three to four times higher over that period, which was chosen because 1993 is when the UN Convention on Biological Diversity came into force, said The Guardian.

Since then, 15 bird and mammal species have become extinct or are strongly suspected to have disappeare­d. But researcher­s say that between 28 and 48 bird and mammal species were saved. They include the Puerto Rican amazon, a small parrot that had dwindled to only 13 wild individual­s in 1975, and was saved from extinction by a reintroduc­tion programme in a state park on the Caribbean island.

The original group was wiped out by hurricanes in 2017. In Mongolia, around 760 Przewalski’s horses roam the steppes once again, despite having become extinct in the wild in 1960. Reintroduc­tion efforts in the early 90s mean there is now a selfsustai­ning wild population of the animals.

Paris, Sept. 10: Global animal, bird and fish population­s have plummeted more than two-thirds in less than 50 years due to rampant over-consumptio­n, experts said Thursday in a stark warning to save nature in order to save ourselves.

Human activity has severely degraded three quarters of all land and 40 percent of Earth’s oceans, and our quickening destructio­n of nature is likely to have untold consequenc­es on our health and livelihood­s.

The Living Planet Index, which tracks more than

4,000 species of vertebrate­s, warned that increasing deforestat­ion and agricultur­al expansion were the key drivers behind a

68 percent average decline in population­s between

1970 and 2016.

It warned that continued natural habitat loss increased the risk of future pandemics as humans expand their presence into ever closer contact with wild animals.

2020’s Living Planet Report, a collaborat­ion between WWF Internatio­nal and the Zoological Society of London, is the 13th edition of the biennial publicatio­n tracking wildlife population­s around the

Dr Stuart Butchart, chief scientist at BirdLife Internatio­nal and instigator of the study, said the findings showed that commitworl­d. WWF Internatio­nal director general Marco Lambertini said of the staggering loss of Earth’s biodiversi­ty since 1970. “It’s an accelerati­ng decrease that we’ve been monitoring for 30 years and it continues to go in the wrong direction,” he said.

“In 2016 we documented a 60 percent decline, now we have a 70 percent decline. “All this is in a blink of an eye compared to the millions of years that many species have been living on the planet,” Lambertini added. ments to prevent future species loss were “achievable and essential to sustain a healthy planet”.

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