Even within the same species, animals differ among themselves in adapting to their environments, and some of them develop different strategies for survival, how the organism divides its resources and energy between its survival, reproduction, and growth, but the threat of extinction threatens unique species more than others.
Reasons behind destruction
revealed Research New research led by the University of Oxford has found that highly endangered turtles and crocodiles are unique species whose loss could have wide-ranging impacts on the ecosystems they live in because they carry out processes critical to many species.
Published by York Alert.EurAlertAccording to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), turtles and crocodiles are two of the most endangered groups of animals in the world, and there is an urgent need for us to become better informed. about these species of animals and the reasons behind their extinction, with the aim of strengthening the efforts of conservation organizations to save them.
The research results, published in the journal Nature Communications, dealt with the greatest threats to wild populations of turtles and crocodiles, and showed that the most endangered species, turtles and crocodiles, have developed unique survival strategies. Researchers used models to simulate extinctions as a result of threats, human-caused, and to evaluate observable effects on species with different life strategies.
“The key finding is that threats do not affect all species equally,” lead researcher Rob Salguero-Gomez of the University of Oxford’s Department of Biology said in a press release.
Important environmental effects
The most important search results are summarized as follows:
- According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, if all species of currently endangered turtles, tortoises and crocodiles were to become extinct, 13% of their unique survival strategies would be lost.
- Habitat loss is a major threat to all species of turtles, tortoises and crocodiles worldwide.Habitat loss has the potential to cause twice the loss of functional diversity (the range of activities that organisms perform in ecosystems) than any other threat. Climate change and trafficking are major threats affecting all species.
- Species that have developed unique livelihood strategies are particularly vulnerable to unsustainable domestic consumption, disease and pollution.
Species with “slow” life histories (characterized by delayed maturation and a low number of offspring) are particularly vulnerable to threats from invasive species and diseases, for example in Sumatra, a major threat to the false karial / Domistoma schlegellii is feeding on its eggs. By a wild boar introduced to its environment.
Threats from pollution are particularly relevant to species with high reproductive output, such as freshwater turtles and saltwater crocodiles. For example, the three-striped turtle (Badagur thongoka) is highly susceptible to major hydrological projects and their effects on river flow dynamics, nesting beaches and water pollution.
Domestic consumption was a particular threat to species with high reproductive output and long lifespans. For example, the Asian long-lived giant tortoise (Manoria emis) is immediately killed and slaughtered for meat when encountered by local hunters, and collected for export for East Asian consumption.
The results are alarming
What is most puzzling about these results is that these unique species of turtles, tortoises, and crocodiles serve important functions in ecosystems, some as useful seed vectors, others as habitats by creating traps for other species, and others as predators that help maintain balance. In the ecosystem..
After these species have performed these functions for millions of years, these functions are closely related to the unique and varied life strategies that these species have developed, which have a very attractive personality like the “Greek Tortoise”. Mediterranean basin, North Africa and Eastern Europe.
“The main threat to the survival of these reptile groups is habitat loss and degradation, which is typical of species living in the Northern Hemisphere,” says lead author Dr Roberto Rodríguez, from the Department of Biology at the University of Oxford. “The disappearance of wetlands has increased. Urbanization, and the development of intensive agriculture, which already has tangible impacts, will continue to negatively affect these species and their ability to survive in the medium and long term.
All kinds of threats
On the other hand, other types of threats have had both general and specific impacts, and co-author Dr Molly Grace, from the University of Oxford’s Department of Biology, explains, “The continued use and trade of wildlife can sometimes benefit the conservation of species. The continued trade of animals or their parts threatens reptiles around the world, which they created. Regardless of livelihood strategies. Poaching and trading of turtles is common, and crocodile skin is of commercial importance – for example – despite restrictions on trade, the crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) is still poached illegally for its skin in Pakistan”.
The findings of this study highlight the urgent need for effective conservation management programs to protect species that have typically developed unique life strategies. Incorporating functional diversity into conservation policies for these most vulnerable groups may be a promising approach to help prioritize conservation. Efforts to address current threats and future ones.
“The IUCN Red Lists of Threatened Species include information relevant to the specificity of work and help managers make local decisions that more efficiently affect global conservation,” says Dr. Gomes.
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