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Biologists recording populations could be missing species

Cara J

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The methods biologists currently use to examine biodiversity could need some tinkering, according to new research. When there’s an absence of recent biodiversity from an area, often researchers assume a species is no longer found there, according to Phil McGowan, a senior lecturer in biodiversity and conservation at Newcastle University and an author of a recent study published in Biology Letters. “But there could be a number of other possible reasons for this lack of data,” McGowan said in a release. “It could be that its habitat is inaccessible — either geographically or due to human activity such as ongoing conflict — or perhaps it’s simply a case that no one has been looking for it.” As a result, the study authors say that wildlife researchers need to change the way they record sightings or the lack thereof. The study used a database of more than 150,000 bird sightings of European and Asian galliformes, which include quails, pheasants and grouse, across the world from 1727 to 2008. They found that post-1980, data on the birds was lacking at 40 percent of the locations in which they had previously been found. “One scenario is that populations have been lost from these [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/biologists-recording-populations-could-be-missing-species/

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