News Round-Up

Biodiversity: we can map the biggest threats to endangered species in your local area


Since 1993, 15 species of bird and mammal are thought to have gone extinct, including China’s Yangtze river dolphin and the Pernambuco pygmy owl from Brazil. But these recent examples are a tiny fraction of what scientists estimate could disappear in the lifetimes of people living today. One million species spanning the full diversity of life on Earth are at risk of extinction.

Trying to comprehend this scale of loss can make the problem seem insurmountable. Having a plan of action can help overcome that sense of powerlessness, and in new research, we’ve created one.

We developed a tool that can help governments, businesses and even members of the public discover how to halt wildlife extinctions. We worked with an international team of more than 80 conservationists to produce the Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) metric – a number that measures how much certain actions are likely to help reduce the extinction risk for local species. MORE

Header image: An unusual place to spot seabirds: a kittiwake colony on the Tyne Bridge. Credit: Nature Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo.