In a recent publication, we discovered that efforts to monitor genetic diversity in Europe are incomplete and need to be extended to account for potential climate change impacts on species of conservation interest.
One in five species included in the list of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS, to which Spain is a party) is in danger of extinction. These are data from the first global monitoring report on these species published by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, a branch of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This figure rises to 97% for fish species. The authors warn that the situation has deteriorated in recent decades due to "intense levels of anthropogenic pressure". The presentation of the report coincides with the start of the COP on the conservation of these species in Uzbekistan (COP14).
Research published in PNAS has analysed the conservation status of 5,400 terrestrial vertebrate genera, comprising 34,600 species, between the years 1500 and 2022. The authors found that 73 genera have become extinct since 1500. Birds suffered the greatest losses, with 44 extinct genera, followed by mammals, amphibians and reptiles. The results reveal that the extinction rate was 35 times higher during this period than the average extinction rate over the previous million years. According to the researchers, the genera lost in the last five centuries would have taken 18,000 years to become extinct without human impact.
Invasive species cause great damage to ecosystems, the economy and human health, but their impacts are underestimated. These are the main conclusions of a report published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Three researchers who participated in the document explained their results in an informative session organized by the Science Media Center Spain.
Reactions: the fire ant, one of the most invasive species, is already in Europe and may arrive in Spain
One of the world's most invasive species is Solenopsis invicta, an ant native to South America with a painful sting. In an article published in Current Biology, experts confirm the first official sighting of this species in Europe: 88 nests spread over five hectares near Syracuse in Sicily, Italy. The ants could soon spread across the continent, causing serious environmental, health and economic problems. The study is led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) of the CSIC and the UPF.
Reactions: Invasive alien species an underestimated threat, says most comprehensive international report on them
According to a new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), human activities have introduced over 37,000 exotic species to regions around the world. The document highlights that more than 3,500 of these are harmful invasive exotic species that are often overlooked until it's too late.
Reaction: genomic sequencing of hundreds of primates reveals clues to identify disease-causing mutations such as cancer
A special issue published in the journals Science and Science Advances shares for the first time the genomes of hundreds of primates, representing 86% of known genera. One of the papers -co-led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and the Pompeu Fabra University- analyzes the relationship between the genes of these animals and the risk of suffering from certain diseases such as cancer in humans.
A study led by the University of Montpellier (France) and with the participation of CREAF has analysed the causes of the decline in bird populations in Europe. To do so, they have compiled data on 170 bird species in 28 countries, including Spain, over 37 years. The overall decline is 25 %, and the decline in populations in agricultural areas is around 60 %. The main cause in both cases, according to the research, is intensive agriculture, although climate change is also an important factor. The results are published in the journal PNAS.
Reactions: scientists warn of the critical state of Doñana in the face of the proposed law on the extension of irrigation systems
The Participation Council of Doñana has analysed this Monday in an extraordinary meeting the bill presented in the Andalusian Parliament that aims to extend the legal irrigation in the area. The Andalusian Government maintains its support for the new regulation, which will begin its parliamentary debate tomorrow, Wednesday, with the proposal to take the bill into consideration. For his part, the director of the Doñana Biological Station, Eloy Revilla, in his speech to the Council warned of the general deterioration of the lagoon system and pointed out that "the current exploitation of the aquifer is not sustainable". "Spain has been condemned by the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with its obligations under the Water Framework Directive and the Habitat Directive," he said. The Ministry for Ecological Transition has warned that it will take the law to the Constitutional Court.
The deadline passed and after two marathon nights of meetings, the delegations of the UN member states have managed to reach an agreement to make the so-called Oceans Treaty - or BBNJ Treaty, Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction - a reality. New York City has seen the fifth session of this conference bear fruit with an agreement on the wording of the text, seventeen years after the talks began and with negotiations stalled last August due to a lack of agreement. The Treaty aims to protect and regulate the use of areas beyond national jurisdiction, which account for more than 60% of the oceans, or almost half of the planet. Marine genetic resources and how to share these benefits has been one of the main stumbling blocks.