Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mammals - Tremendous decline

Mammals are declining much faster than expected, in fact one in two mammal species on Earth are in decline, according to a new scientific study that was carried out by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Scientists predict that number of threatened mammals could be as high as 36 percent which is very alarming to say the least. One in four mammal species is threatened with extinction, and the condition is especially worrying in South and Southeast Asia with 79 percent of primate species threatened with extinction, mostly because of habitat loss.

If current decline continues by the end of this century we could lose hundreds of mammal species. Climate change and habitat loss could change the structure of many ecosystems around the world, especially given the fact that there is not enough time for ecosystems to adapt to this fast pace of different new nature changes.

Current conservation efforts are not enough and both governments as well as the conservationists will have to work much harder in order to stop this tremendous decline. Situation is particularly worrying in poor countries of the third world that have both limited funds and limited environmental conscience needed for successful conservation. This is where rich countries should step in and make the difference with both their funds as well as the knowledge.

Conservation is not an impossible task as some believe it is, and there were already some examples that showed how the targeted conservation efforts can stop decline of many species. The recent case was with African elephant population that declined because of poaching by 25 percent from 1979 to 2007 and was listed as "vulnerable". However recent targeted conservation efforts helped and African elephant population increased very shortly, changing status from "vulnerable" to "near threatened".

Targeted conservation efforts made the difference in recent increase of African elephant population

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