New research indicates that the world’s wildlife is more at risk than scientists estimate due to a lack of data on a large number of species around the world. Due to lack of data, these species were not included in the index that tracks endangered and threatened species.
The researchers said these species classified as ‘data deficient’ routinely mislead practitioners due to their uncertain risk of extinction and, as a group, may in fact be more threatened than the species for which the data is weak. sufficient.
Research published in the journal Nature indicates that 85% of data-deficient amphibians are likely to be at risk of extinction, along with more than half of DD species in many other taxonomic groups, such as mammals and the reptiles.
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While scientists have assessed the status of more than 1,47,000 plants and animals, there is still a huge data gap. For this reason, these species are not on the list updated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The researchers said that among these undervalued species are the toothy predator of the ocean, the killer whale, as well as the Argentine pink fairy armadillo and nearly 200 species of bats worldwide.
Two grey-headed flying fox bats roost atop the trees, where they will spend most of their day, at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. (Photo: Reuters)
“Measuring current threats and anticipating potential threats is key to preventing damage to the natural world, which involves detailed knowledge of the current state of biodiversity. The sheer amount of known and unknown species in the world, nature threat and trend dynamics, and the limited human resources to undertake such Red List assessments turn this critical undertaking into a Sisyphean task,” the paper read.
According to a team of international scientists who used data on environmental conditions and human threats to map patterns of extinction threats among assessed species, the lack of data itself is a red flag – suggesting that the species can be difficult to find as its population has declined.
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The researchers analyzed 7,699 undervalued species and estimated that around 56% faced conditions that likely put them at risk of extinction as well.
The IUCN published its Red List last month which indicates that of the 147,517 species listed, 41,459 are threatened with extinction. “To preserve nature’s rich diversity, we need effective and equitably managed protected and conserved areas, as well as decisive action to combat climate change and restore ecosystems. In turn, biodiversity conservation supports communities by providing essential services such as food, water and sustainable jobs,” said IUCN Director General Dr Bruno Oberle.
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