Paris. More than half of the species whose conservation status cannot be assessed due to lack of data are likely threatened with extinction, according to a study published Thursday in the scientific journal Communications Biology.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which draws up a global red list of threatened species, currently has data on 150,000 plant and animal species, of which around 41,000 are threatened with extinction, that is, 28 percent of the total.
This represents 41 percent of amphibians, 38 percent of sharks and rays, and 27 percent of mammals.
But for thousands of other species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lacks data to assess their conservation status, which can range from “least concern” to “critically endangered” or even “extinct.”
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology used a machine learning algorithm to come up with estimates for 7,699 species for which data was lacking.
Alert about rate; could be higher
From them, it follows that 4 thousand 336, that is, more than half, would probably be in danger of extinction.
“We see that in most land and coastal areas around the world, the extinction rate could be higher including species for which we do not have data”, concern of the study’s lead author, Jan Borgelt.
This research also highlights some regions where the risk is higher, such as Madagascar, which has a unique fauna, or southern India.
A report from the United Nations Organization that was published in 2019 warned that a million species are threatened with extinction in the medium and long term. This situation is due to habitat loss, climate change, invasive species and overexploitation.
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