Research led by Queen’s University Belfast has found that the risk of extinction among amphibians – the most endangered animals on the planet – increases for species of smaller body size as their females produce fewer babies per birth.
Biologists have long believed that animals of larger body size are more vulnerable to extinction – an idea supported by the widespread endangerment faced by iconic large-sized animals such as rhinos or whales. This study is the first to suggest resetting the theory to focus on reproduction levels of animals rather than on body size when calculating extinction risk.
The research has been published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography and was conducted in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, Tel Aviv University, Exeter University and the University of Lincoln. MORE
Header image: Queen’s University Belfast.