A new study published in Conservation Biology reveals that a survey of 583 conservation scientists believes that the extinction crises that many species face today will continue and will result in an unprecedented loss of major species.
The study asked 583 scientists who had published papers to answer a series of questions about the scope of declining biological diversity around the world. Scientists were asked about a variety of topics including why people should care about conservation science, where to target conservation efforts and what action should be taken in the future.
According to the survey at least 99.5% of responders believe that a serious loss of biological diversity is either "likely", "very likely" or "virtually certain". Respondents who answered that the loss is "very likey" or "virtually certain" ranged from 72.8% of scientists based in Western Europe to 90.9% for those in Southeast Asia.
Tropical coral ecosystems were perceived as the most affected by loss of biological diversity. About 88.0% of the respondents believe that there will be serious loss to coral ecosystems.
The survey also reveals the scientists feel that humans played a big role in the loss of biological diversity. In this survey, 79.1% of respondents stated that acceleration of the loss of biological diversity by human activities is virtually certain. In the other survey, by comparison, 61.9% thought climate change was underway, whereas 55.1% believed it to be accelerated by humans.
As for conservation efforts round 50.3% of the scientists agreed that there should be a criteria for conservation triage. This method which is controversial among conservation scientists, is a way for conservationists to spend limited resources. Some scientists are suggesting spending resources on saving species with few relative and rare genetic lineages and leaving out other species to save money.
"Understanding the degree of consensus within the scientific community will help policy makers to interpret scientific advice, improving the likelihood of successful of conservation initiatives," concluded Rudd. "The extremely high level of consensus demonstrated by these results underlines the urgency of preventing further damage to the natural world."
Scientists have been warning the world at large about the rising levels of extinction among other species but this survey proves that conservation scientists are all unanimous in expecting a rise in the extinction rates of other species. Conservation efforts can't account for all of the species threatened with extinction. The IUCN Red List gives information about the world's most endangered animals. Here are seven animals the IUCN lists in its most endangered category.