An estimated 90 percent of the global mammal species is believed to be of human origin, and nearly all are in danger of extinction, according to a new study.
The study, by scientists from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), found that mammals account for over a third of the 1,000 mammal species on the planet, and are a large part of our ecosystem.
The most common species found in the world are the elephants, rhinos, and chimpanzees, but more than 60 percent of them are found only in Africa, Asia, and Europe, the study said.
The number of animals and their habitats is also increasing in the U.S. and Europe.
“These numbers are alarming,” said Dr. Jeanette Llewellyn, UNEP researcher and a co-author of the study.
“The most alarming aspect is the extent to which they are becoming more widespread,” she told AFP news agency.
“That is a fact that is quite shocking, and we need to take urgent action to conserve and protect these animals.”‘
They are wild and wild and not natural’Researchers surveyed over 1,300 mammal species across the globe, with the most popular mammals accounting for 80 percent of all species.
“We are seeing a massive increase in species that are found in tropical and subtropical habitats, and in the rainforest, savannah, savanna, and grasslands,” Dr. Llewelyn said.
They also found that more than half of all the world population of the African elephant and rhino, with nearly one in three of the species on Earth, was believed to have come from the wild.
“It is estimated that approximately 30 percent of African elephant populations are found on the savannahs of Africa and in remote and mountainous regions of South and Central America,” the study added.
“These species are known to use natural means to survive and breed, but they are also very wild and highly territorial, which means that they are very difficult to manage.”
It is also thought that up to one third of all rhinos and elephants are found nowhere else on earth, with most in South America and the Caribbean.
Scientists said they found that the majority of mammals in the wild were found in areas where the population is small and often fragmented.
“Many species are found alone, so there is a great deal of confusion about their presence and behaviour,” Dr Llewyn said.
“They are very hard to identify, and they are difficult to monitor because of their small size.”
In the study, the team also found “extreme” levels of human-related impacts on the biodiversity of animals, including hunting, habitat destruction, and pollution.
“There are a lot of issues with the way we manage the animals in our country, and the environment, and that’s really the root of this problem,” Dr Zsuzsanna Szabo, one of the co-authors, told AFP.
“When the world wants to conserve animals, they need to have more people and more scientists.
We need to work together to address these issues.”
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