Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Current efforts will not save the world's most endangered cat

Date:
July 21, 2013
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Almost 100 million euros has been spent so far on conservation efforts for the last 250 remaining Iberian lynxes in the wild. But the charismatic species is likely to go extinct within 50 years because the current management plans do not account for the effects of climate change. If they did, the population might increase instead concludes a new international study. The study highlights the importance of integrating climate models in management plans for biodiversity.

Iberian lynx are the most endangered cats in the world.
Credit: © Ivan Montero / Fotolia

Almost 100 million euros has been spent so far on conservation efforts for the last 250 remaining Iberian lynxes in the wild. But the charismatic species is likely to go extinct within 50 years because the current management plans do not account for the effects of climate change. If they did, the population might increase instead concludes a new international study with participation from the Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen. The study highlights the importance of integrating climate models in management plans for biodiversity.

"Our models show that the anticipated climate change will lead to a rapid and dramatic decline of the Iberian lynx and probably eradicate the species within 50 years, in spite of the present-day conservation efforts. The only two populations currently present, will not be able to spread out or adapt to the changes in time," explains Miguel Araújo, a researcher with the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, and with the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen.

"Fortunately, it is not too late to improve the outlook for the endangered lynx, if the management plans begin to take account of climate change."

The Iberian lynx is threatened by poaching, road kills, habitat loss and lack of prey following a series of disease outbreaks in the rabbit populations. Therefore, significant investments are currently made to relocate rabbits, prevent diseases, reduce threats and improve the lynx's natural habitat. Unfortunately it is not enough, show new models that investigate how climate change will influence the availability of prey and quality of natural areas in the future.

Carefully planned reintroductions can increase population

The scientists also modeled two other scenarios for the Iberian lynx, both based on a future prospect for releasing individuals from breeding programs into wild areas. They paint a more optimistic picture for the lynx's survival, but the models clearly show that release programs also need to account for future climate change in order to achieve the best possible result.

While Spanish policymakers are considering releasing lynxes evenly across the country's autonomous regions, the scientists' models predict the most suitable areas to be in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula. These areas could ultimately deliver both prey abundance and habitat connectivity in spite of climate change. According to the models it may increase the population up to nearly 900 individuals by 2090. In comparison, the geopolitical strategy will at best maintain the population around the current 250 individuals.

The study, recently published in Nature Climate Change, is the first of its kind to clearly demonstrate the importance of modeling climate change, prey availability and their interactions in the development of management plans.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. D. A. Fordham, H. R. Akçakaya, B. W. Brook, A. Rodríguez, P. C. Alves, E. Civantos, M. Triviño, M. J. Watts, M. B. Araújo. Adapted conservation measures are required to save the Iberian lynx in a changing climate. Nature Climate Change, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1954

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Current efforts will not save the world's most endangered cat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130721161720.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2013, July 21). Current efforts will not save the world's most endangered cat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130721161720.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Current efforts will not save the world's most endangered cat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130721161720.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. 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