Arthropods, invertebrates including insects that have external skeletons, are declining at an alarming rate. While the tropics harbor the majority of arthropod species, little is known about trends in their abundance. We compared arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest with data taken during the 1970s and found that biomass had fallen 10 to 60 times. Our analyses revealed synchronous declines in the lizards, frogs, and birds that eat arthropods.
Since European settlement, over 100 species have been lost here. These include plants and animals that are extinct and extirpated, and species that are considered historic (no one has seen them in Canada for a long time). The number of lost species varies between different regions of the country. In the Great Lakes region of southern Ontario, there are extinct species (passenger pigeon), extirpated species (paddlefish) and historic species (Eskimo curlew). There are also species that have vanished from this landscape but still exist elsewhere in Canada.
Conservationists are sounding the alarm about turtles in Ontario, warning all eight species in the province are now in trouble. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), a body of wildlife agents from governments, Indigenous and non-profit entities, designated the midland painted turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) as a special concern in April. The designation means these types of turtles may soon become threatened or endangered.
Bees tend to get the most attention as pollinators critical to the survival of plant species. But lizards, mice, bats, and other vertebrates also act as important pollinators. A new study finds that fruit and seed production drops an average 63 percent when vertebrates, but not insects, are kept away from plants.
When Lonesome George died in June 2012, it was the end of an entire species. He was the last surviving Pinta giant tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii), a Galapagos conservation icon who had lived for more than 100 years. But Lonesome George was not alone in his fate. More than 50 percent of the world’s 356 known species of tortoises and turtles are currently threatened with extinction, or are nearly extinct, a new report warns.
Most Britons remain blithely unaware that since the Beatles broke up, we have wiped out half our wildlife. Yet we are not alone. Last week, the French woke up in a dramatic way to the fact that their own farmland birds, their skylarks and partridges and meadow pipits, were rapidly disappearing: Le Monde, the most sober of national journals, splashed the fact across the top of its front page.
During the latter half of the 20th century, it was noticed that global amphibian populations had entered a state of unusually rapid decline. Hundreds of species have since become categorized as “missing” or “lost,” a growing number of which are now believed extinct. Amphibians are often regarded as environmental indicator species because of their highly permeable skin and biphasic life cycles, during which most species inhabit aquatic zones as larvae and as adults become semi or wholly terrestrial. This means their overall health is closely tied to that of the landscape.
A 2015 study co-authored by Paul Ehrlich, professor emeritus of biology, and colleagues showed that Earth has entered an era of mass extinction unparalleled since the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago. The specter of extinction hangs over about 41 percent of all amphibian species and 26 percent of all mammals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains a list of threatened and extinct species.
Three species of reptile on Christmas Island in Australia have been declared extinct in the wild, according to a study released on Tuesday. Lister's gecko (Lepidodactylus listeri), , the blue-tailed skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) and the Christmas Island forest-skink (Emoia nativitatis) were downgraded from "critically endangered" to "extinct in the wild" in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) latest report. "The extinctions ...
Mit rund 25'800 bedrohten Tier- und Pflanzenarten sei im zu Ende gehenden Jahr ein neuer dramatischer Höchststand erreicht worden. Ein Jahr zuvor waren es noch 24'000 bedrohte Arten. "Wir Menschen verursachen das grösste Artensterben seit Ende der Dinosaurier", resümierte Eberhard Brandes, Vorstand des WWF Deutschland. Auch in der Schweiz gingen die Bestände einiger Arten merklich zurück. Mehr als 40 Prozent der Insektenarten in der Schweiz gälten als bedroht, darunter Bienen und Schmetterlinge, sagte WWF-Sprecherin Perrette Rey in Lausanne auf Anfrage.