Overlapping threats seen as ‘multiple drivers of extinction’
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Global amphibian declines have been well-documented and attributed to a combination of climate change, habitat impacts from development, agriculture and other land-use factory, and the deadly chytrid fungus. Worldwide, about 30 percent of all amphibian species are listed as threatened under International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
In some of the latest research on amphibians, an international team of scientists tried to map the the spatial distribution of these threats and their interactions. Based on overlapping risk factors, the study concluded that the population declines could intensify in the future.
“Our assessment shows that amphibian declines are likely to accelerate over the next decades, as multiple drivers of extinction could jeopardize their populations more than previous, mono-causal, assessments have suggested”, said Carsten Rahbek, from the University of Copenhagen.
“Regions where climate and land-use change have the highest projected impact on amphibians tend to overlap,” said researcher Christian Hof. “By contrast, the threat posed by the fungal disease shows little spatial overlap with the other two threats,” he said.
The researchers also concluded that the most species-rich areas in the world are more likely to be exposed to one or more threats than areas with low species richness:
“Our study shows that more than two thirds of the global amphibian diversity hotspots will likely be strongly affected by at least one of the three threats considered”, says Miguel Araújo from the Spanish Research Council.
“With more than 30 per cent of all amphibian species already listed as threatened by IUCN and many rare species still being discovered every year, our results highlight the need for greater conservation research and action for this highly threatened group,” said Yale University’s Walter Jetz.
Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Denmark: http://macroecology.ku.dk/
Integrative Biology and Global Change Group, National Museum of Natural Sciences, CSIC, Madrid: http://www.ibiochange.mncn.csic.es/
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, Yale University, USA: http://www.yale.edu/jetz/
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming, Summit County news Tagged: | amphibians, biodiversity, Environment, International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN Red List, Summit County News