Extinction News -- ScienceDaily Extinction of animals and plants. Read scientific research on the dinosaur extinction, future mass extinctions, and endangered species. What can be done?

  • Europe's lost forests: Coverage has halved over 6,000 years
    on January 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Research shows more than half of the forests across Europe have been lost over the past 6,000 years. […]

  • Solving Darwin's 'abominable mystery': How flowering plants conquered the world
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Researchers have found that flowering plants have small cells relative to other major plant groups, made possible by a greatly reduced genome size, and this may explain how they became dominant so rapidly in ecosystems across the world. […]

  • Protecting corridors is critical to preserving genetic diversity in tigers, and mizimising...
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Tigers have lost 95% of their historical range, and what remains is highly fragmented. According to a new study, high traffic roads and densely populated urban areas are a severe impediment to tiger movement between fragments. Unplanned development in the future will result in loss of connectivity and an increased possibility of extinction for several tiger populations. To ensure future persistence, tiger populations need to be managed as a network of protected areas connected by corridors. […]

  • Spider eat spider: Scientists discover 18 new spider-hunting pelican spiders in Madagascar
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Scientists examined and analyzed hundreds of pelican spiders both in the field in Madagascar and through study of pelican spiders preserved in museum collections. Their analysis sorted the spiders studied into 26 different species -- 18 of which have never before been described. The new species add to scientists' understanding of Madagascar's renowned biodiversity, and will help scientists investigate how pelican spiders' unusual traits have evolved and diversified over time. […]

  • Rising temperatures turning major sea turtle population female
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Scientists have used a new research approach to show that warming temperatures are turning one of the world's largest sea turtle colonies almost entirely female, running the risk that the colony cannot sustain itself in coming decades, newly published research concludes. […]

  • New hope for critically endangered Myanmar snub-nosed monkey
    on January 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Eight years after the discovery of a new primate species in Myanmar, scientists have released a new report revealing how the 'snubby' is faring. […]

  • Why did the passenger pigeon die out?
    on January 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    The passenger pigeon was once among the most numerous species on Earth. The last passenger pigeon died in the Cinncinati Zoo just over 100 years ago. How did it all go so wrong? […]

  • Hiding from a warmer climate in the forest
    on January 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Global warming threatens forest plants adapted to cooler temperatures. An international team of scientists have unraveled where these species could survive within colder spots in the same forest. The findings can help to understand the effect of climate change on forest biodiversity and what we can do to protect it. […]

  • In 'pond scum,' scientists find answers to one of evolution's which-came-first cases
    on January 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    A team of scientists report on new evidence that primitive moths and butterflies existed during the Jurassic period, approximately 50 million years earlier than the first flowering plants, shedding new light on one of the most confounding cases of co-evolution. […]

  • The ecological costs of war: Conflict a consistent killer of African megafauna
    on January 10, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Researchers report that war has been a consistent factor in the decades-long decline of Africa's large mammals. But the researchers also found that wildlife populations rarely collapsed to the point where recovery was impossible, meaning that even protected areas severely affected by conflict are promising candidates for conservation and rehabilitation efforts. […]

  • Life on land and tropical overheating 250 million years ago
    on January 10, 2018 at 2:49 am

    One of the key effects of the end-Permian mass extinction, 252 million years ago, was rapid heating of tropical waters and atmospheres. How this affected life on land has been uncertain until now. New research shows how early reptiles were expelled from the tropics. […]

  • Mass extinctions remove species but not ecological variety
    on January 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Though mass extinctions wiped out staggeringly high numbers of species, they barely touched the overall 'functional' diversity -- how each species makes a living, be it filtering phytoplankton or eating small crustaceans, burrowing or clamping onto rocks. […]

  • Dead trees are alive with fungi
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    So far, little research has been conducted on fungi that live on dead trees, although they are vital to the forest ecology by breaking down dead wood and completing the element cycle between plants and soil. Soil biologists have now discovered that the number of fungus species inhabiting dead trees is 12 times higher than previously thought. Once trees die they are also colonized by different fungal communities depending on their species. […]

  • Amazon biodiversity hotspot to suffer even more losses after contentious law passed
    on January 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    In August 2017, the Bolivian government passed a contentious law that paved the way for construction of a new 190-mile road cutting through one of the country's most iconic and biodiverse protected rainforests. But a new report shows that the Isiboro-Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (or TIPNIS) has been subject to alarming levels of deforestation within its borders for many years, a reality that is too often overlooked. […]

  • DNA evidence used to protect the rhinoceros from extinction
    on January 8, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    A new study shows that genetic database now being used in the fight against poaching the rhinoceros. […]

  • A botanical mystery solved by phylogenetic testing
    on January 8, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Researchers used DNA testing to rediscover Dracaena umbraculifera, which was thought to be extinct. […]

  • The window for saving the world's coral reefs is rapidly closing
    on January 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    For the first time, an international team of researchers has measured the escalating rate of coral bleaching at locations throughout the tropics over the past four decades. The study documents a dramatic shortening of the gap between pairs of bleaching events, threatening the future existence of these iconic ecosystems and the livelihoods of many millions of people. […]

  • Three new species of zoantharians described from coral reefs across the Indo-Pacific
    on January 4, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Three new species of zoantharians -- relatives of the better-known hard corals and sea anemones - were discovered in southern Japan. One of them, Antipathozoanthus remengesaui, was named after the current president of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, in honor of his and the nation's support to the authors and marine conservation as a whole. The species can be found widely across the Indo-Pacific. […]

  • Impact of lions living alongside giraffe populations
    on January 4, 2018 at 12:47 am

    New research is calling for an urgent review into how populations of giraffes are managed in the wild when living alongside lions. […]

  • A virus-bacteria coevolutionary 'arms race' solves diversity by 'killing the winner'
    on January 2, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Researchers have shed new light on a fundamental question in ecology, by improving a popular proposed scenario for diversity known as 'Kill the Winner.' Scientists approached the diversity paradox from the perspective of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. […]

  • Invasive tree species: Call for action to tackle threat to a global biodiversity hotspot
    on January 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    An invasive Australian tree is now posing a serious threat to a global diversity 'hotspot' in the natural forests of Jamaica's Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. The tree species, Pittosporum undulatum, known locally as 'mock orange', is threatening many rare and endangered species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Scientists are urging the relevant institutions to prioritise a program of control of this species. […]

  • Charcoal remains could accelerate CO2 emissions after forest fires
    on December 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Charcoal remains after a forest fire help decompose fine roots in the soil, potentially accelerating CO2 emissions in boreal forests. […]

  • Conserving coral communities
    on December 27, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    For years, people have sought to stop the loss of coral reefs by transplanting corals grown in underwater 'nurseries' to damaged reefs, but little work had been done to evaluate how effective such efforts were. A new study, however, suggests those projects have a positive impact on local fish populations, both in the short term and over time. […]

  • Scientists get early look at hurricane damage to Caribbean coral reefs
    on December 27, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Coral reefs off St. John, part of the US Virgin Islands, suffered severe injury during the storms, say the scientists who traveled there in late November to assess the damage -- the first step in understanding the reefs' recovery. […]

  • Scientists should be super modelers
    on December 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Scholars and conservationists want to aim for the right future to preserve biodiversity and plan sustainable environments. One of those scholars is calling for due diligence to make sure the right data, not conventional wisdom, shapes that target. […]

  • Tiny polyps save corals from predators and disease
    on December 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Corals may have unexpected allies in improving their health and resilience. […]

  • Ancient dolphin species Urkudelphis chawpipacha discovered in Ecuador
    on December 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    An extinct dolphin species likely from the Oligocene has been discovered. The fossil is one of the few fossil dolphins from the equator, and is a reminder that Oligocene cetaceans may have ranged widely in tropical waters. […]

  • West African dolphin now listed as one of Africa's rarest mammals
    on December 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    A group of scientists now considers a little-known dolphin that only lives along the Atlantic coasts of Western Africa to be among the continent's most endangered mammals, a list that includes widely recognized species such as gorillas, African wild dogs, and black rhinos. […]

  • Using footprints to identify and monitor giant pandas in the wild
    on December 21, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Footprints left by giant pandas in the wild can be used to identify the individual panda that made them and determine its sex, scientists show. The new identification technique uses an interactive software tool called FIT. […]

  • Political instability and weak governance lead to loss of species, study finds
    on December 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Big data study of global biodiversity shows ineffective national governance is a better indicator of species decline than any other measure of 'anthropogenic impact.' Even protected conservation areas make little difference in countries that struggle with socio-political stability. […]