Ecologists Have Called the Exact Number of Endangered Species
OREANDA-NEWS More than 600 species of animals, not included in the Red Book, are still on the verge of extinction, scientists have calculated, published an article in the journal Conservation Biology.
"When experts from the international Union for nature protection update the Red Book, they do not always have enough time for high-quality data processing for all 90 thousand species. Often this information is outdated or simply of poor quality. This inevitably leads to the fact that they do not notice a significant part of the endangered species," says Luca Santini from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands).
About five thousand species of plants and animals included in the Red book are under direct threat of extinction. This number is usually constantly growing, but sometimes the efforts of environmentalists and authorities lead to the fact that some species leave the list.
For example, two years ago, environmentalists found that the number of tigers and snow leopards in Russia and Asia has grown several times due to the protection of habitats of large cats and active fight against poachers. On the other hand, every year several species of birds, invertebrates and amphibians completely disappear from the face of the Earth.
Santini and his colleagues noticed that the condition of many animal species, which they actively studied, was often underestimated by the red book. Despite the dramatic downsizing and reduction of habitat, they were brought into the category of "vulnerable" species at risk minimum risk of extinction.
Scientists have decided to use computer models to calculate the probability of extinction of a representative of fauna and flora by how changing habitat, abundance and that prevents the spread.
In General, the "extinction ratings" formulated by experts of the international Union for conservation of nature almost completely coincided with the predictions of Santini and his colleagues. At the same time, calculations have shown that the Red Book significantly underestimates the total number of endangered species — they were six hundred more.
The absence of a number of species in the list is related to two things. First, the Red Book is updated quite rarely, and animals in recent years have begun to die out faster. Secondly, the statistical methods of experts of The international Union for conservation of nature, scientists believe, are already outdated.
For this reason, Santini and his colleagues hope that the environmentalists working on the list will soon adopt their methodology. According to the press service of the Red Book, its experts agree with this idea and plan to start using computer and satellite maps of animal habitats in the near future.