Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists have new measure for species threat

Date:
April 10, 2011
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
A new index has been developed to help conservationists better understand how close species are to extinction.

According to the authors of the SAFE (Species Ability to Forestall Extinction) index, conservationists with limited resources may want to channel their efforts on saving the tiger, a species that is at the 'tipping point' and could have reasonable chance of survival.
Credit: Copyright Juliane Riedl

A new index has been developed to help conservationists better understand how close species are to extinction. The index, developed by a team of Australian researchers from the University of Adelaide and James Cook University, is called SAFE (Species Ability to Forestall Extinction).

The SAFE index builds on previous studies into the minimum population sizes needed by species to survive in the wild. It measures how close species are to their minimum viable population size.

"SAFE is a leap forward in how we measure relative threat risk among species," says co-author Professor Corey Bradshaw, Director of Ecological Modelling at the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute.

"The idea is fairly simple -- it's the distance a population is (in terms of abundance) from its minimum viable population size. While we provide a formula for working this out, it's more than just a formula -- we've shown that SAFE is the best predictor yet of the vulnerability of mammal species to extinction."

Professor Bradshaw says SAFE is designed to be an adjunct to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, not a replacement.

"Our index shows that not all Critically Endangered species are equal. A combined approach -- using the IUCN Red List threat categories together with the SAFE index -- is more informative than the IUCN categories alone, and provides a good method for gauging the relative 'safety' of a species from extinction," he says.

Of the 95 mammal species considered in the team's analysis, more than one in five are close to extinction, and more than half of them are at 'tipping points' that could take their populations to the point of no return.

"For example, our studies show that practitioners of conservation triage may want to prioritize resources on the Sumatran rhinoceros instead of the Javan rhinoceros. Both species are Critically Endangered, but the Sumatran rhino is more likely to be brought back from the brink of extinction based on its SAFE index," Professor Bradshaw says.

"Alternatively, conservationists with limited resources may want to channel their efforts on saving the tiger, a species that is at the 'tipping point' and could have reasonable chance of survival."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gopalasamy Reuben Clements, Corey JA Bradshaw, Barry W Brook, William F Laurance. The SAFE index: using a threshold population target to measure relative species threat. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2011; 110330054251016 DOI: 10.1890/100177

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Scientists have new measure for species threat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110407101615.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2011, April 10). Scientists have new measure for species threat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110407101615.htm
University of Adelaide. "Scientists have new measure for species threat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110407101615.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
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