Protecting just 4 percent of the ocean would protect 84 percent of marine mammals worldwide
Marine mammals could benefit from targeted conservation efforts.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Targeted conservation efforts could pay off for marine mammals like blue whales and sea otters, according to researchers with Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, who identified areas off the coasts of Baja California in Mexico, eastern Canada, Peru, Argentina, northwestern Africa, South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand as critical for protecting ocean biodiversity.
The nine key sites could protect critical habitat for 84 percent of all marine mammal species on Earth, the scientists found. That’s because those nine locations have very high species richness, providing habitat for 108 of the existing 129 marine mammal species. The scientists identified the areas by overlaying maps of where each marine mammal species is found. About 25 percent of marine mammal species are facing extinction.
Altogether, the study identified the 20 conservation sites based on three main criteria: how many species were present, how severe the risk of extinction was for each species and whether any of the species were unique to the area. The scientists also considered habitats of special importance to marine mammals, such as breeding grounds and migration routes. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, Summit County news | Tagged: biodiversity, conservation, Conservation biology, endangered species, Environment, marine mammals, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Paul Ehrlich, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stanford University, Summit County News, Vaquita | 1 Comment »