Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mangrove-dependent Animals Globally Threatened

Date:
July 7, 2009
Source:
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Summary:
Extinction looms for amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds restricted to declining mangrove forests. Substantial numbers of terrestrial vertebrates are restricted to mangrove forests. Many of these specialized species are listed as threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Prospects for mangrove-restricted animals are bleak, because more than two percent of mangrove forests are lost each year.

Mangrove swamp in Florida.
Credit: iStockphoto/Johann Helgason

Substantial numbers of terrestrial vertebrates are restricted to mangrove forests. Many of these specialized species are listed as threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Prospects for mangrove-restricted animals are bleak, because more than two percent of mangrove forests are lost each year.

More than 40 percent of a sample of amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds that are restricted to mangrove ecosystems are globally threatened with extinction, according to an assessment published in the July/August issue of BioScience. The study, by David A. Luther of the University of Maryland and Russell Greenberg of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, was based on an extensive literature search and expert consultations.

The conclusions emphasize the vulnerability of animals that are dependent on a habitat rapidly being lost or degraded through coastal development, overexploitation, pollution, and changes in sea level and salinity.

Mangroves, which are salt-tolerant woody plants concentrated along coastal margins, generally in warm regions, have long been known to support many species of animals. Hundreds of vertebrates are sometimes found in mangroves, but Luther and Greenberg concentrated on the 69 terrestrial vertebrate species and subspecies that seem restricted to mangroves: 48 birds, 14 reptiles, 6 mammals, and 1 amphibian. These include several species with striking adaptations, such as specialized glands to excrete salt. The ground foragers among them feed primarily on crabs, but many of the birds feed on insects. For unclear reasons, mangrove-restricted species and subspecies are concentrated in Asia and Australia.

Between the early 1980s and 2001, between 19 and 35 percent of the world's mangrove forest area was lost. At this rate of loss--about 2 percent each year--mangroves could be extinct in 100 years. Only 27 of the terrestrial vertebrates that are dependent on mangroves have been assessed by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), and 13 of those are classified as threatened on the IUCN Red List, Luther and Greenberg report. They urge research aimed at predicting how continuing changes to mangrove forests are likely to affect the species found there: such information could guide attempts to conserve these specialized ecosystems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David A. Luther and Russell Greenberg. Mangroves: A Global Perspective on the Evolution and Conservation of Their Terrestrial Vertebrates. BioScience, July/August

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Mangrove-dependent Animals Globally Threatened." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701082905.htm>.
American Institute of Biological Sciences. (2009, July 7). Mangrove-dependent Animals Globally Threatened. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701082905.htm
American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Mangrove-dependent Animals Globally Threatened." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701082905.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

AFP (July 22, 2014) As part of the 14-ship convoy that will accompany the Costa Concordia from the port of Giglio to the port of Genoa, there will be a boat carrying experts to look out for dolphins and whales from crossing the path of the Concordia. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins