More than 40 percent of Madagascar’s freshwater life sliding toward extinction, IUCN finds

first_imgIn an assessment of 653 freshwater plant and animal species living on Madagascar and nearby islands, biologists found that 43 percent are threatened with extinction or there isn’t enough information to assess how well they’re doing.Nearly 80 percent of endemic plants examined in the study face extinction.The team lists unsustainable farming practices, deforestation, dam construction, mining and the overuse of natural resources, such as overfishing, as causes for the widespread declines. Madagascar is known as an ark for biodiversity that’s found nowhere else on the planet. Unfortunately, it’s also known for the bevy of threats that those distinctive species that live in its rainforests, woodlands and wetlands face. Now, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reports that many of the plants and animals living in the island’s freshwater habitats, as well as those of other southern Indian Ocean islands, are also being pushed closer to extinction.A team of biologists compared known data on 653 freshwater species, ranging from fish and crabs to dragonflies and aquatic plants, and they found that 43 percent were either threatened with extinction or else scientists didn’t have enough information to assess how well they were doing. That’s more than double the proportion of threatened freshwater species on the African continent, according to a 2011 IUCN biodiversity survey.A rice paddy in Madagascar. The authors of the report pointed to unsustainable agricultural practices as a primary driver of species declines. Photo by Mike Averill, courtesy of IUCN.More than 150 dragonfly species that the scientists looked at are endemic to Madagascar, meaning they’re found nowhere else in the world. Other endemics include a genus of freshwater snails that bear live young. Two of the species, Madagasikara madagascariensis and Madagasikara johnsoni, are classified as endangered.The authors identified unsustainable farming — which they write includes the traditional slash-and-burn technique used by subsistence farmers around the world — as the most serious threat, particularly when it involves the drainage of wetlands to increase the amount of arable land. Deforestation, dam construction and mining also play a part in fouling bodies of freshwater, which in turn puts pressure on the plants and animals that live in them.The authors said the overuse of natural resources, as in the case of overfishing, was a significant catalyst in driving down the numbers of some species. That finding is particularly concerning for the Malagasy people of Madagascar, said Laura Máiz-Tomé, an IUCN program officer and one of the report’s editors.A blue-faced featherleg damselfly (Proplatycnemis pseudalatipes), which scientists have found only in Madagascar. Photo © Allan Brandon, courtesy of IUCN.“Given the poverty levels in the country, the Malagasy people depend heavily on freshwater species for their livelihoods, through fisheries or the use of plants to make baskets for example,” Máiz-Tomé said in a statement. “To halt this dramatic decline, capacity building for conservation of these environmentally and economically valuable species should be made a priority.”The 23 percent of plant and animal species that fall into the “data deficient” category highlights an important void in our understanding of Madagascar’s biodiversity, said William Darwall, who leads IUCN’s freshwater biodiversity unit and who edited the report.“We urgently need more research to effectively conserve species in this hotspot for global biodiversity,”Darwall said in the statement.Freshwater crayfish (Astacoides granulimanus), endemic to Madagascar, for sale at a market. Photo © Christian Ranaivoson, courtesy of IUCN.The research revealed that aquatic plants found only in Madagascar are particularly threatened, said Sylvie Andriambololonera, a coordinator with one of the partners in the study, the Missouri Botanical Garden. Nearly 80 percent of endemic plants examined in the study are creeping toward extinction. But as with the animal species, the findings exposed how little we know about Madagascar’s freshwater plant life.“Many [plant] species had not been recorded in the 50 years preceding this study, highlighting a need for more continuous field assessments,” Andriambololonera said in the statement. “Up to date assessments reduce gaps in our knowledge and ensure we can prioritise species for conservation.”Banner image of a dragonfly in Madagascar by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannonCITATIONMáiz-Tomé, L., Sayer, C. and Darwall, W. (eds) (2018). The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands hotspot. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. viii+128pp.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forestry, Forests, Freshwater Animals, Freshwater Ecosystems, Freshwater Fish, freshwater turtles, Insects, Iucn, Mangroves, Mass Extinction, Mining, Molluscs, Plants, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Ecological Services, Rainforest Mining, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Research, Saving Species From Extinction, Sixth Mass Extinction, Slash-and-burn, Sustainable Development, Threats To Rainforests, Trees, Tropical Forests, Wetlands, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img

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