A new study has identified more than 500 “missing” animals that have not been considered extinct but have remained undiscovered for more than 50 years.
The study’s authors suggest: While animal extinctions are expected to increase in the coming years, extinction claims remain uncommon due to difficulties in timing the last individual point of a species that has died.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Animal Conservation, provides the first global assessment of all lost but not extinct terrestrial vertebrate species, determining the total 562 species have been lost (137 amphibians, 257 reptiles, 38 birds and 130 mammals).
Data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species on 32,802 species were examined. Of the lost species identified in the study, 13% (75 species) were listed by the IUCN as “possibly extinct”.
The existence of such species is increasingly problematic, the researchers note, as their presence can create confusion in prioritizing conservation efforts and their understanding. about the rate of extinction.
“We hope this simple study will help make these strays the focus of future searches,” said Gareth Bennett, an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University who was noted. with many data collected in the study said.
The researchers suggest that future survey efforts should focus on the “hot spots” identified in the study, such as Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, where the presence of many specific species is still suspected. .