Conservation Programs Help Prevent Extinction of 48 Species

Since 1993, approximately 48 mammalian and bird species have been saved from extinction through acts of conservation.

According to researchers’ models, these concerted actions have prevented the rate of mammalian and avian extinctions from reaching levels of 400%.

Researchers from Newcastle University utilized four criteria to measure the effectiveness of conservation initiatives, and compared the number of species listed as extinct in the wild or critically endangered, to the number of known extinctions from the periods—1993-2020 and 2010-2020.

The co-author of the study, Dr. Rike Bolam of Newcastle University told the Guardian, “It is encouraging that some of the species have recovered very well. Our analyses provide a strikingly positive message that conservation has substantially reduced extinction rates for birds and mammals.”

In a survey of all the rescued species, the largest numbers of birds saved were in New Zealand (6) and Brazil (5), and the largest number of mammals was in China (5) and Vietnam/U.S. (3).

Additionally, researchers found divergent rates of effectiveness among conversation strategies based on the family groupings of species. Specifically, birds benefited more from invasive species control and habitat protection, while mammalian species were more effectively preserved through zoo reintroduction programs.

During the scope of the study there were two major international understandings on the importance of biodiversity: the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Aichi Conservation Targets, adopted by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010.

The Convention on Biological treaty states, “[The parties,] conscious of the intrinsic value of biological diversity and of the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic values of biological diversity and its components [resolve to pursue] the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.”

The Convention on Biological’s 2010 Aichi Conservation Targets were set for review in 2020, and include such ambitious goals as preventing the extinction of known threatened species, while simultaneously improving their conservation status.

Source: Good News Network