Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rediscovery of disappeared species: Truly back from the brink?

Date:
August 17, 2011
Source:
National University of Singapore
Summary:
Extinction is a focal issue among scientists, policy makers and the general public. Each year, numerous species which are thought to have disappeared are rediscovered. Yet, these rediscoveries remain on the brink of extinction.

The distribution of rediscovered mammal species globally. Qualitative trends for amphibians, birds, and mammals are presented as those ecoregions that overlap with species ranges.
Credit: Courtesy Scheffers et al, PLoS One, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022531.g002

Extinction is a focal issue among scientists, policy makers and the general public. Each year, numerous species which are thought to have disappeared are rediscovered. Yet, these rediscoveries remain on the brink of extinction.

Related Articles


A first-ever study conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), University of Adelaide and Princeton University on the full extent of amphibian, bird and mammal species rediscoveries globally has found that over the past 122 years, at least 351 species which are thought to have disappeared have been rediscovered. The rediscovery of these once-missing amphibians, birds, and mammals occur mostly in the tropics.

However, despite many rediscoveries, 92% of amphibians, 86% of birds and 86% of mammals are highly threatened, independent of how long they were missing or when they were rediscovered.

Under the current trends of widespread habitat loss, particularly in the tropics, most rediscovered species remain on the brink of extinction.

According to the lead researcher, Brett R. Scheffers, who is from the Department of Biological Sciences at NUS, most rediscovered species have small range size, which is the main driver in species extinction globally. "Rediscoveries, without aggressive conservation, likely represent the delayed extinction of doomed species and not the return of viable populations. In short, there is hope but we must step up rapid conservation efforts," he said.

To make matters worse, the average number of years a species went missing is 61 years. This long duration makes conservation planning for missing species very difficult, particularly in areas that are of high value to humans. For instance, the protected areas that have been put aside for a particular species that has not been seen for numerous years could have be converted for agricultural use.

Findings from the study, which was published in PLoS One in July, are indicative of the limited knowledge of biological diversity in the poorly known tropics. Scheffers elaborated, "We still have much to discover and these results indicate that it may not be too late for many species that have gone unseen for many years."

"We support and encourage more biodiversity surveys in the poorly known tropics. This is particularly important as many museums are experiencing shortened budgets or event budget cuts," Scheffers added.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Brett R. Scheffers, Ding Li Yong, J. Berton C. Harris, Xingli Giam, Navjot S. Sodhi. The World's Rediscovered Species: Back from the Brink? PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (7): e22531 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022531

Cite This Page:

National University of Singapore. "Rediscovery of disappeared species: Truly back from the brink?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110812091809.htm>.
National University of Singapore. (2011, August 17). Rediscovery of disappeared species: Truly back from the brink?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110812091809.htm
National University of Singapore. "Rediscovery of disappeared species: Truly back from the brink?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110812091809.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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