From: University of York
Published August 2, 2017 10:28 AM

Historical wildlife trends reliable for predicting species at risk

Scientists at the University of York have shown that using historical wildlife data provides a more accurate measure of how vulnerable certain species might be to extinction from climate change.

Some of the methods used to predict at risk species are trend-based – an indicator of what happens gradually over time – while others are trait based, which uses signs of climate change in the current environment.

Mix these methods together, however, and you get an unreliable set of results, scientist have found.

The researchers are calling for guidelines produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the world’s main authority on species that are at risk of extinction, to be updated to include cautionary messages on some methodologies of climate change risk assessment.

Christopher Wheatley, PhD student at the University’s Department of Biology, said: “We looked at 12 methods of assessing the potential risk of climate change on British birds and butterflies.  These methods tend to be used interchangeably to come to an agreement on how much risk is posed by climate change.”

Read more at University of York

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