Navigation Links
Size matters: Preventing large mammal extinction

Saving large mammals such as elephants and rhino from extinction could be made more effective by focusing efforts on individual species as well as their habitats.

Scientists at the Zoological Society of London's Institute of Zoology (IoZ) and Imperial College London have identified fundamental new approaches to improve the success of large mammal conservation. Published today in the journal Science, the largest study of its kind analyses key factors linked to the extinction of mammals.

"Conservation biologists have always known that large bodied mammals are at greater risk of extinction," comments Professor Georgina Mace of the IoZ, "Now we understand the mechanisms, we are able to tailor conservation programmes dependant on size, to ensure they're more effective."

The study showed that extinction risk in smaller mammals, below approximately 3kg (about the weight of a small domestic cat), is determined primarily by the size and locations of their distributions, and the human impact to which they are exposed. Larger mammals have the additional pressure of biological disadvantages such as long gestation period and late weaning age to contend with, significantly increasing their susceptibility to extinction.

"In a world dominated by people, being big is substantially more of a disadvantage than we realised, which implies that the conservation of large mammals should assume a particular urgency," said Dr Marcel Cardillo of Imperial College London.

"From a conservation policy angle, the message would be: small may be conservable but it is a little trickier for the larger mammals," commented Dr Andy Purvis of Imperial College London.

The research findings suggest smaller species, of around less than 3kg, would benefit from conservation of their habitat area, whereas, larger bodied animals require a different approach, focusing upon the specific species, their biology and their habitat.

"This understanding enables us t o predict what species are most at risk in the future," said Dr Purvis. "That provides a way for conservationists to go on the front foot rather than wait for accidents to happen. We can try to work out which species are the ones we can do something for, and do some pre-emptive conservation planning. Of course, prevention is always cheaper than cure."

The research means large bodied mammals such as ungulates (which include rhino and zebra) and many primates are more likely to be predisposed to decline and extinction.

Biological traits such as low population density, slow life history, late weaning age and extended gestation in mammals above a certain size means they are evolutionarily disadvantaged in the face of human impact, compared to species of smaller size. Large mammals may therefore need a more complex conservation strategy, which takes into account their biology in combination with the external threats they face.


'"/>

Source:Imperial College London


Related biology news :

1. Space matters: Estimating species diversity in the fossil record
2. Undesirable expatriates: Preventing the spread of invasive animals
3. Preventing a pandemic: Study suggests strategies for containing a flu outbreak
4. Scientists discover unique microbe in Californias largest lake
5. Worlds largest rainforest drying experiment completes first phase
6. NASA study finds snow melt causes large ocean plant blooms
7. New project aims to make large-scale lobster farms feasible
8. Butterfly migration could be largest known
9. Amazon symposium to address large-scale conservation
10. Inhaling large amounts of salt can cause hypertension
11. Carnegie Mellon University research reveals how cells process large genes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/15/2016)... , Nov 15, 2016 Research and ... Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... ... USD 16.18 Billion by 2021 from USD 6.21 Billion in 2016, ... Growth of the bioinformatics market is driven by the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... BETHESDA, Md. , June 22, 2016  The American ... by Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of ... Summit on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in ... based on the highest percentage of growth in each of ... number of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil ... investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after exhaustive ... the final acceptance by all three (3) Department ... (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts for ... October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless device ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... and biotechnology industries is anticipated. Nanotechnology will be applied at ... delivery to diagnostic applications in clinical trials. Many of the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 ... ... the US Computational Science Symposium (CSS) and the popularity of US Single Day ... will take place in early Summer 2018, in Raleigh, NC. Topics of the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, ... ... (ETC), a consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing ... companies interested in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious disease tests, introduced the ... Pharmaceutical Association members. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) ... ... , , bioLytical ... (KPA) to introduce the INSTI HIV Self Test to 350 pharmacy representatives in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: