Extinct Species Get Rediscovered

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | October 1, 2010 | Comment Now

The two centuries that have gone by are said to have witnessed accelerated rates of extinction of certain animal species. There has been endangerment that has taken place alongside the industrial progress and there has been rapid growth of the human population.

Naturally speaking, the concept of ‘background extinction’ has been in play for a very long time now. However, it is estimated that the extinction rates in current times are said to be about 1000 times the background extinction rates that were known earlier.

Most of this animal extinction can be relegated to two causes – human demand for animal resources; or human demand for natural resources which may contain the habitat of certain animals.

The Latest Buzz:

Australian biologists claim that animals that were feared to be extinct are, in many cases, rediscovered at a later stage. The conservation efforts, too, should actually be focused on such species, that have some hope of being rediscovered.

The Study:

A study that was conducted by Diana Fisher and Simon Bloomberg from the University of Queensland has appeared in the journal titled Proceedings of the Royal Society B. These researchers studied and examined 187 species of mammals that had been thought to be extinct since the year 1500. Of these 187 species around 67 are said to have been rediscovered.

The Distinction:

According to Fisher, mammals whose habitats had been partially destroyed may be found by the world after a while again. This is because they might have found other habitats that were pseudo-viable for them to live in; and they survived.

Mammals that were killed off by diseases, introduced predators or human hunting are less likely to be found again, and may well be lost in the darkness of obscurity. Fisher claims that the factors causing the extinction of the species are what will be important when it comes down to understanding the likelihood of saving the threatened species. The thylacine or the Tasmanian tiger is said to be one such example of a species that there is almost no hope of finding again.

Rescue Efforts:

It might actually be fruitless to put in a lot of effort into finding a species that has been declared extinct quite some time back. Such charismatic and big animals are less likely to be found, or their spotting would have made the rounds by now. Better conservation outcomes can be derived from focusing efforts on conserving species that may have some hope of being found.

Focus On Animals Whose Habitats Have Been Cleared:

Such animals may have gone on to live in other areas. They may still persist. But it is important to remember that they may not be able to hang on there forever if they do not get rescued at the earliest.

The bridled nailtail wallaby is one such example of an animal that got rediscovered around 40 odd years after it was declared extinct.

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