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Alien Plants and Animals Are Driving Our Native Species to Extinction

There have been a number of small to medium-sized Australian mammals now extinct because of these predators (Image:  Dwight Sipler via
There have been a number of small to medium-sized Australian mammals now extinct because of these predators (Image: Dwight Sipler via flickr/ CC BY 2.0 )

Whether accidentally or deliberately introduced, certain species have now become the second most common threat associated with recent global extinctions of animals and plants.

A new study conducted by the University of Adelaide and UCL in the U.K., has found that since transnational shipping started in 1500 AD “alien species” have now spread beyond their natural locations by both deliberate and accidental human intervention, with many having a significant negative environmental impact.

Professor Tim Blackburn, Professor of Invasion Biology at UCL and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of Adelaide and the study leader, said:

According to the University of Adelaide:

Cassey said:

In Australia, the “classic cases” of introduced mammalian species that impact biodiversity, and are causing extinctions, are generally herbivores such as rabbits, goats, pigs, and camels, with the predators being feral cats and foxes.

“There have been a number of small to medium-sized Australian mammals now extinct because of these predators,” Cassey adds.

The study published in the journal, Biology Letters, assessed how common alien species were listed as drivers of recent extinctions in plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, using data from the IUCN Red List.

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