Energy News  





.
FARM NEWS
One fifth of world's plants threatened by extinction: study

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Sept 29, 2010
More than a fifth of the world's plant species faces the threat of extinction, a trend with potentially catastrophic effects for life on Earth, according to research released on Wednesday.

But a separate study cautioned that extinction of mammals had been overestimated and suggested some mammal species thought to have been wiped out may yet be rediscovered.

Stephen Hopper, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, said the report on plant loss was the most accurate mapping yet of the threat to the planet's estimated 380,000 plant species.

"This study confirms what we already suspected, that plants are under threat and the main cause is human-induced habitat loss," Hopper said at the launch of the so-called Sampled Red List Index.

The study, carried out by Kew with the Natural History Museum in London and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), set a "major baseline" for future conservation efforts, he said.

"We cannot sit back and watch plant species disappear -- plants are the basis of all life on Earth, providing clean air, water, food and fuel. All animal and bird life depends on them, and so do we," Hopper added.

The study comes ahead of a meeting in Nagoya, Japan, from October 18 to 29, where members of the UN's Biodiversity Convention will set new targets to save endangered wildlife.

Craig Hilton-Taylor of the IUCN said he hoped the Nagoya meeting would set the goal of preventing the extinction of any known threatened species by 2020.

"We want to make sure that plants will not be forgotten," he said.

In their study, researchers assessed almost 4,000 species, of which 22 percent were classed as threatened, especially in tropical rain forest.

Plants were more threatened than birds, as threatened as mammals and less threatened than amphibians or corals, it said. Gymnosperms, the plant group including fir trees, were the most threatened.

The greatest peril came from man-induced habitat loss, mostly the conversion of natural habitats for crops or livestock. Human activity accounted for 81 percent of threats, said Kew researcher Neil Brummitt.

Meanwhile, a study by two Australian authors said Tuesday that fewer mammal species than believed may be extinct, especially those animals threatened by habitat loss.

Diana Fisher and Simon Blomberg of the University of Queensland said they had identified 187 mammals that have been "missing" since 1500, 67 species of which had subsequently been found again. Their paper was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, a journal of Britain's de-facto academy of science.

"Extinction is difficult to detect," the study said. "Species with long gaps in their sighting records, that might be considered possibly extinct, are often rediscovered."

Mammals hit by habitat loss were "much more likely to be misclassified as extinct" than those affected by introduced predators and diseases or by overhunting.... Hence impacts of habitat loss on extinction have likely been overestimated, especially relative to introduced species."

The authors said efforts to hunt extinct mammals should be diverted away from often fruitless attempts to rediscover "charismatic" species such as the thylacine, a stripy, carnivorous marsupial, the last known example of which died in 1936 in Tasmania.

Last week, conservationists announced that two species of African frog and a Mexican salamander feared to have become extinct last century had been found again after teams explored remote places, sometimes at great risk to themselves.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
FARM NEWS
At snail's pace, nudging the world towards better food
Rome (AFP) Sept 28, 2010
For more than two decades, Carlo Petrini has been gently nudging the world towards "good, clean and fair" food, signing up 100,000 people in 163 countries to his Slow Food movement. "Philosophically, finding slowness again is essential. We need to take a small, homeopathic dose of it every day, to come back to a life rhythm that is more bearable," the 61-year-old Italian told AFP in an inter ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


FARM NEWS
U.K. company plans survey satellite fleet

NASA Awards Contract For JPSS-1 Spacecraft

NASA's MODIS And AIRS Instruments Watch Igor Changing Shape And Warming Over 3 Days

A Growing La Nina Chills Out The Pacific

FARM NEWS
Geotagged Photos Help Prioritize Oil Spill Response In Gulf

Rush Trucking Selects SkyBitz To Increase Security And Asset Efficiency

E-Shirt Improves Physical Exercise

Cuba May Link Up To Glonass System

FARM NEWS
World's oldest trees under threat

The Amazon Rainforest - A Cloud Factory

Pristine Rainforests Are Biogeochemical Reactors

Highway plan would destroy Serengeti: biologists

FARM NEWS
Searching In The Microbial World For Efficient Ways To Produce Biofuel

Successful Sludge-To-Power Research Demonstrated

Indonesia's palm oil giant faces sanction from industry body

S.Africa's Sasol flies first fully synthetic jet fuel flight

FARM NEWS
Calif. in aggressive push for solar power

Italian towns profit from green energy

Half of German solar firms could go under

SunRun And Toll Brothers Unveil New Solar Home Models

FARM NEWS
Spanish windmill makers tilt overseas

US Wind Energy Project Nets Billions

Britain opens world's largest offshore wind farm

Spanish wind turbine firm Gamesa to triple China investments

FARM NEWS
China bans mine bosses from sending assistants down shafts

Australia minister reassures coal industry

Tough road ahead for trapped Chile miners

Trapped miners in Chile are alive after 17 days

FARM NEWS
China says jailed dissident not right for Nobel Peace Prize

China gender gap fuelling global human trafficking: report

Chinese let loose on government 'feedback' website

Prominent Chinese activist freed: rights groups


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. 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 SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement