Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hundreds of threatened species not on official U.S. list, research shows

Date:
December 14, 2011
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Many of the animal species at risk of extinction in the United States have not made it onto the country's official Endangered Species Act list, according to new research.

The critically endangered Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris).
Credit: Photo by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Many of the animal species at risk of extinction in the United States have not made it onto the country's official Endangered Species Act (ESA) list, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Related Articles


National "red lists" are used by many countries to evaluate and protect locally threatened species. The ESA is one of the best known national lists and arguably the world's most effective biodiversity protection law.

A study -- now published in the latest issue of Conservation Letters -- has compared the ESA list of endangered species with the world's leading threatened species list, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

The study has found that of the American species included on the IUCN Red List, 40% of birds, 50% of mammals, and 80-95% of other species such as amphibians, gastropods, crustaceans, and insects, were not recognised by the ESA as threatened.

This amounts to approximately 531 American species on the IUCN Red List that have not made the ESA protection list. These include bird species such as the critically endangered Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris), the endangered ashy storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa), and the vulnerable cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea).

"The ESA has protected species since its establishment in 1973, and it may have prevented 227 extinctions. However, the implementation of the ESA by successive US governments has been problematic, including poor coverage of imperilled species, inadequate funding, and political intervention," says study leader Bert Harris, a native of Alabama who is undertaking his PhD with the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute and School of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

"Vague definitions of 'endangered' and 'threatened' and the existence of a 'warranted but precluded' category on the ESA list are also contributing to the gap in species classification," he says.

Mr Harris says a detailed evaluation of the ESA's coverage of the IUCN Red List was "well overdue."

"The ESA is a powerful environmental law but its impact is limited. With many species being overlooked, this does not bode well for the ESA's ability to mitigate species decline before they become critically imperilled.

"The IUCN Red List is imperfect, but it is the leading global threatened species list. It involves collaboration of many scientists, and regular refinement of its categories and criteria," Mr Harris says.

The study was conducted in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Cruz, the National University of Singapore and the University of Gφttingen, Germany.


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. J. Berton C. Harris, J. Leighton Reid, Brett R. Scheffers, Thomas C. Wanger, Navjot S. Sodhi, Damien A. Fordham, Barry W. Brook. Conserving imperiled species: a comparison of the IUCN Red List and U.S. Endangered Species Act. Conservation Letters, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00205.x

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Hundreds of threatened species not on official U.S. list, research shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212132632.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2011, December 14). Hundreds of threatened species not on official U.S. list, research shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212132632.htm
University of Adelaide. "Hundreds of threatened species not on official U.S. list, research shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212132632.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. 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:

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