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      The Loss of Species: Mangrove Extinction Risk and Geographic Areas of Global Concern

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          Mangrove species are uniquely adapted to tropical and subtropical coasts, and although relatively low in number of species, mangrove forests provide at least US $1.6 billion each year in ecosystem services and support coastal livelihoods worldwide. Globally, mangrove areas are declining rapidly as they are cleared for coastal development and aquaculture and logged for timber and fuel production. Little is known about the effects of mangrove area loss on individual mangrove species and local or regional populations. To address this gap, species-specific information on global distribution, population status, life history traits, and major threats were compiled for each of the 70 known species of mangroves. Each species' probability of extinction was assessed under the Categories and Criteria of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Eleven of the 70 mangrove species (16%) are at elevated threat of extinction. Particular areas of geographical concern include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America, where as many as 40% of mangroves species present are threatened with extinction. Across the globe, mangrove species found primarily in the high intertidal and upstream estuarine zones, which often have specific freshwater requirements and patchy distributions, are the most threatened because they are often the first cleared for development of aquaculture and agriculture. The loss of mangrove species will have devastating economic and environmental consequences for coastal communities, especially in those areas with low mangrove diversity and high mangrove area or species loss. Several species at high risk of extinction may disappear well before the next decade if existing protective measures are not enforced.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide.

          The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.
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            The status of the world's land and marine mammals: diversity, threat, and knowledge.

            Knowledge of mammalian diversity is still surprisingly disparate, both regionally and taxonomically. Here, we present a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status and distribution of the world's mammals. Data, compiled by 1700+ experts, cover all 5487 species, including marine mammals. Global macroecological patterns are very different for land and marine species but suggest common mechanisms driving diversity and endemism across systems. Compared with land species, threat levels are higher among marine mammals, driven by different processes (accidental mortality and pollution, rather than habitat loss), and are spatially distinct (peaking in northern oceans, rather than in Southeast Asia). Marine mammals are also disproportionately poorly known. These data are made freely available to support further scientific developments and conservation action.
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              One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts.

              The conservation status of 845 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species was assessed by using International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria. Of the 704 species that could be assigned conservation status, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction. Declines in abundance are associated with bleaching and diseases driven by elevated sea surface temperatures, with extinction risk further exacerbated by local-scale anthropogenic disturbances. The proportion of corals threatened with extinction has increased dramatically in recent decades and exceeds that of most terrestrial groups. The Caribbean has the largest proportion of corals in high extinction risk categories, whereas the Coral Triangle (western Pacific) has the highest proportion of species in all categories of elevated extinction risk. Our results emphasize the widespread plight of coral reefs and the urgent need to enact conservation measures.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                8 April 2010
                : 5
                : 4
                [1 ]IUCN Species Programme/SSC/Conservation International Global Marine Species Assessment, Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, United States of America
                [2 ]Center for Global Trends, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America
                [3 ]School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom
                [4 ]Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia
                [5 ]Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [6 ]School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
                [7 ]New England Wild Flower Society, Framingham, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [8 ]Department of Forest Biological Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños College, Laguna, Philippines
                [9 ]Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai, India
                [10 ]Faculty of Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
                [11 ]Faculty of Liberal Art, Department of Regional Management, Tohoku-Gakuin University, Sendai, Japan
                [12 ]Department of Biological Sciences and Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, United States of America
                [13 ]Faculty of Forestry, Nong Lam University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
                [14 ]Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
                [15 ]Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines
                [16 ]College of Agriculture, Central Luzon State University, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
                [17 ]Center for Oceanological Research and Development, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jakarta, Indonesia
                [18 ]College of Ocean, Shandong University, Weihai, China
                [19 ]Natural Sciences and Science Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore
                Stanford University, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: BP KEC SRL. Performed the experiments: BP KEC NCD AME JCE EF ESF KK NK SRL TM GEM VNN JEO JHP SGSI JS SS YW JWHY. Analyzed the data: BP LC JS. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: LC NCD AME JCE EF ESF KK NK TM GEM VNN JEO JHP SGSI SS YW JWHY. Wrote the paper: BP.

                Polidoro et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Pages: 10
                Research Article
                Ecology/Community Ecology and Biodiversity
                Ecology/Conservation and Restoration Ecology
                Ecology/Marine and Freshwater Ecology
                Ecology/Plant-Environment Interactions
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences/Conservation Science



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