10 Most Endangered Species
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Northern hairy-nosed wombat
Scientists in Australia have created what they say is the world’s first index listing those species most in danger of becoming extinct.
The Species Ability to Forestall Extinction (SAFE) index was established in the hopes it will save some animal populations from vanishing.
The creators of the SAFE index examined 95 species of mammals from around the world and discovered that nearly 20% were close to extinction.
The 10 species most at risk are:
1. Javan rhinoceros (Indonesia)
2. Kouprey (Cambodia)
4. Iberian lynx (Spain)
5. Northern hairy-nosed wombat (Australia)
6. Sumatran rhinoceros (Malaysia and Indonesia)
7. Ethiopian wolf (Ethiopia)
8. Addax (Sahara Desert)
9. Dibbler (Australia)
10. Riverine rabbit (South Africa)
Cold-hearted as it may seem, the index is intended to help scientists and governments decide which species are worth saving and which are too far reduced to be savable. According to researchers, if a species has less than 5,000 individuals, it is difficult to save, and if it numbers only in the hundreds it has little chance of recovery. Corey Bradshaw, the director of ecological modeling at Adelaide University's Environmental Institute, told The Australian that “If an animal is so rare and it's going to take a lot of money and resources and could be impossible to restore because the habitat is not there, like the Javan rhinoceros, it might not be worth saving.” There are only 40-60 Javan rhinos left.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Extinction Index to Help Save Species (by Verity Edwards, The Australian)
Endangered Species Conservation May Be Helped by a New Index (by Kimberley Pollock, Digital Journal)
Your Number Is Up: Species Doomed by Mathematics (by Kathy Marks, The Independent)
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