Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surprise species at risk from climate change

Date:
June 24, 2013
Source:
Wits University
Summary:
Most species at greatest risk from climate change are not currently conservation priorities, according to a new study that has introduced a pioneering method to assess the vulnerability of species to climate change.

Most species at greatest risk from climate change are not currently conservation priorities, according to an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) study that has introduced a pioneering method to assess the vulnerability of species to climate change.
Credit: Image courtesy of Wits University

Most species at greatest risk from climate change are not currently conservation priorities, according to an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) study that has introduced a pioneering method to assess the vulnerability of species to climate change.

The paper, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is one of the biggest studies of its kind, assessing all of the world's birds, amphibians and corals. It draws on the work of more than 100 scientists over a period of five years, including Wits PhD student and leader of the study, Wendy Foden.

Up to 83% of birds, 66% of amphibians and 70% of corals that were identified as highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are not currently considered threatened with extinction on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are therefore unlikely to be receiving focused conservation attention, according to the study.

"The findings revealed some alarming surprises," says Foden, who conducted the study while formerly working for the IUCN Global Species' Programme's Climate Change Unit, which she founded six years ago. "We hadn't expected that so many species and areas that were not previously considered to be of concern would emerge as highly vulnerable to climate change. Clearly, if we simply carry on with conservation as usual, without taking climate change into account, we'll fail to help many of the species and areas that need it most."

The study's novel approach looks at the unique biological and ecological characteristics that make species more or less sensitive or adaptable to climate change. Conventional methods have focussed largely on measuring the amount of change to which species are likely to be exposed.

The new approach has already been applied to the species-rich Albertine Rift region of Central and East Africa, identifying those plants and animals that are important for human use and are most likely to decline due to climate change. These include 33 plants that are used as fuel, construction materials, food and medicine, 19 species of freshwater fish that are an important source of food and income and 24 mammals used primarily as a source of food.

"The study has shown that people in the region rely heavily on wild species for their livelihoods, and that this will undoubtedly be disrupted by climate change," says Jamie Carr of IUCN Global Species Programme and lead author of the Albertine Rift study. "This is particularly important for the poorest and most marginalised communities who rely most directly on wild species to meet their basic needs."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Wendy B. Foden, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Simon N. Stuart, Jean-Christophe Viι, H. Resit Akηakaya, Ariadne Angulo, Lyndon M. DeVantier, Alexander Gutsche, Emre Turak, Long Cao, Simon D. Donner, Vineet Katariya, Rodolphe Bernard, Robert A. Holland, Adrian F. Hughes, Susannah E. O’Hanlon, Stephen T. Garnett, Ηagan H. Şekercioğlu, Georgina M. Mace. Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (6): e65427 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065427

Cite This Page:

Wits University. "Surprise species at risk from climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624075848.htm>.
Wits University. (2013, June 24). Surprise species at risk from climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624075848.htm
Wits University. "Surprise species at risk from climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624075848.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) 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