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Texas A&M University becomes key player in global study to save Earth's endangered species

Texas A&M University is one of 10 international partners involved in the global conservation study and subsequent scientific paper, "The Impact of Conservation on the Status of the World's Vertebrates," that is scheduled to be published in Science, the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Thomas E. Lacher, Jr., Texas A&M University's wildlife and fisheries sciences department head at College Station, Texas and a coauthor, said the report reviews the current status of thousands of species in light of the 2010 target of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Lacher said the findings reveal that worldwide efforts have fallen short of the targeted goal. He said 50 species move closer to extinction each year, but the situation would be worse were it not for ongoing global-conservation efforts.

The announcements of the results of the study and its subsequent inclusion in the journal Science, were made Oct. 27 by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) during the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan.

The convention during which the announcement was made, runs from Oct. 18-29. Results of the study are set to be published online in Science Express Oct. 26, followed by publication in the journal Science several weeks hence.

The IUCN, headquartered in Gland, Switzerland, is the study's lead organization, but Texas A&M University is a major collaborator in this global conservation effort, Lacher said.

The IUCN's purpose is to find solutions to pressing environmental and developmental challenges by supporting scientific research that brings governments and other entities together to develop policy, laws and best practices.

The eight other partners joining IUCN and Texas A&M University in the study are: BirdLife International, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Conservation International, NatureServe, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Sapienza Universita di Roma, Wildscreen and the Zoological Society of London.


Contact: Dr. Thomas Lacher
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

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