Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




FLORA AND FAUNA
Extinction fears 'alarmist': study
by Staff Writers
Wellington (AFP) Jan 25, 2013


Fears that most of the Earth's species will become extinct before they have even been discovered by science are "alarmist", according to an international study released on Friday.

Researchers set out to examine estimates that there were 100 million species globally and they were dying out at a rate of five percent every decade, meaning many would disappear before scientists had a chance to discover them.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers from New Zealand, Australia and Britain said the estimates were based on a massive over-estimation of how many species were still unknown.

They said about 1.5 million species of animals and plants had already been catalogued and statistical modelling showed the total number in existence was closer to five million than 100 million.

The study, released Friday, also put extinction rates at less than one percent a decade, one-fifth the level of previous estimates.

"Our findings are potentially good news for the conservation of global biodiversity," lead author Mark Costello from the University of Auckland said.

"Over-estimates of the number of species on Earth are self-defeating because they can make attempts to discover and conserve biodiversity appear to be hopeless. Our work suggests this is far from the case."

He said the research raised the prospect that all of Earth's species could be identified within the next 50 years, particularly since the number of taxonomists, scientists who describe new species, was increasing.

"Naming a species gives formal recognition to its existence, making its conservation far easier," Costello said.

The paper conceded that Earth was in the midst of a "human-caused mass extinction phase" but reached more optimistic conclusions on biodiversity than other researchers, such as those at the California Academy of Sciences.

In 2011, the academy said: "Despite intensive efforts to document life on Earth, scientists estimate that more than 90 percent of the species on this planet have yet to be discovered.

"In the face of large-scale habitat loss and degradation, many of these species are disappearing before we even know they exist."

Costello and his colleagues said any meeting of biologists or conservationists was "hardly complete" without similar worries being raised.

But they said the development of science in biological hotspots such as Asia and South America meant more researchers than ever were working to identify new species.

"Some people despair that most species will go extinct before they are discovered," the study said.

"However, such worries result from over-estimates of how many species may exist, beliefs that the expertise to describe species is decreasing and alarmist estimates of extinction rates."

.


Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FLORA AND FAUNA
Treat illegal wildlife trade as serious crime: CITES
Geneva (AFP) Jan 24, 2013
Illegal trade in wildlife products like ivory and rhino horn must be treated as a serious crime in order to end the devastating poaching of protected species, the head of UN wildlife trade regulator CITES said Thursday. "This is serious crime, and you need serious resources and serious penalties" to address it, CITES Secretary General John Scanlon told reporters in Geneva. Speaking ahead ... read more


FLORA AND FAUNA
Kerry urges 'fresh thinking' to tackle global woes

Philippines typhoon victims need more help: UN

Canada to resettle up to 5,000 Iranian, Iraqi refugees

China factory fire hidden by thick smog: media

FLORA AND FAUNA
New information on binding gold particles over metal oxide surfaces

Researchers Create Method for More Sensitive Electrochemical Sensors

Phoenix Rising: New Video Shows Advances in Satellite Repurposing Program

Novel sensor provides bigger picture

FLORA AND FAUNA
Melting glaciers threaten water resources

Water restored in Chile capital after day-long cut

Water shut off to Chilean capital: official

Cotton with special coating collects water from fogs in desert

FLORA AND FAUNA
Chile expands Antarctica presence

Unprecedented glacier melting in the Andes blamed on climate change

Penguin head-cam captures bird's eye view of hunt

Melt ponds cause the Artic sea ice to melt more rapidly

FLORA AND FAUNA
Pesticides killing amphibians, says study

15,000 crocs escape from South African farm

Bacterial supplement could help young pigs fight disease

USDA Studies Confirm Plant Water Demands Shift with Water Availability

FLORA AND FAUNA
Mozambique floods hit power exports, displace 70,000

Twenty rescued as floods sweep northeast Australia

Warning raised for New Zealand volcano

Massive earthquakes came as surprise

FLORA AND FAUNA
Outside View: Building a secure Somalia

S.Africa court freezes military transfer to Zimbabwe

Eritrean troops besiege mutineers in Asmara

Mugabe calls for peace as VP Nkomo buried

FLORA AND FAUNA
Bindi Irwin slams Hillary Clinton editors over essay

A relative from the Tianyuan Cave

Four-stranded 'quadruple helix' DNA structure proven to exist in human cells

Geneticist wants to revive Neanderthals




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement