Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Common animals reflect rare species' response to global change
The critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle.

Researchers say an overall decline in amphibians makes them a priority for conservation efforts.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have concluded that common animal species are just as likely to rise or fall in number in response to global change as those of rare species.

Scientists say their findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggest a need to look beyond only rare animals in a bid to improve global biodiversity conservation efforts.

Until now, critically endangered animals were thought to be at greater risk of decline than common species. However, this new research reveals a 'wide spectrum' of population changes.

The findings suggest that numbers within the most common animal species are as likely to increase or decrease, as rare ones. Species with a smaller number, however, were found to be more likely to change from year to year, potentially increasing their risk of extinction in the long term.

Study leader Gergana Daskalova, said: “We often assume that declines in animal numbers are prevalent everywhere. But we found that there are also many species which have increased over the last half of a century, such as those that do well in human-modified landscapes or those that are the focus of conservation actions.”

In the study, researchers analysed nearly 10,000 animal populations recorded in the Living Planet Database between 1970 and 2014. These records include mammals, reptiles, sharks, fish, birds and amphibians.

The team found that 15 per cent of all populations declined during the period, while 18 per cent increased and 67 per cent showed no significant change. Amphibians were the only group in which populations decreased, while birds, mammals and reptiles experienced increases.

Scientists say the overall decline in amphibians makes them a priority for conservation efforts, as their loss could have knock-on effects in food chains and wider ecosystems.

Study co-author Dr Isla Myers-Smith said: “Only as we bring together data from around the world, can we begin to really understand how global change is influencing the biodiversity of our planet.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Tickets on sale for horse welfare conference

News Story 1
 Tickets are now on sale for the 'Welfare and Performance of the Ridden Horse' conference, due to take place at Nottingham University on Saturday, 11 December 2021.

World-renowned researchers, including Prof. Hilary Clayton and Dr Sue Dyson, will deliver the latest research updates. There will also be interactive Q&A sessions throughout the day, interactive polls and a fun evening of entertainment.

Organisers say that in the event of further coronavirus restrictions, day tickets will be transferred to livestream tickets. For more information about the conference and to book your place, click here.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SRUC to host virtual parasitology event for vet practices

Veterinary practices across the UK are being invited to an online CPD event hosted by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC). The event will include a 30-minute discussion on parasitology by Professor Neil Foster, head of the department of veterinary and animal science in SRUC's North Faculty.

The event takes place via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, 16 September (6-7 pm). Certificates of CPD attendance will be provided, and a questionnaire will be distributed following the event with ideas for future events and courses. Click here for more information and to book a place.