The fossil record provides striking case studies of biodiversity loss and global ecosystem upheaval. Because of this, many studies have sought to assess the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis relative to past crises—a task greatly complicated by the need to extrapolate extinction rates. Here we challenge this approach by showing that the rarity of previously abundant taxa may be more important than extinction in the cascade of events leading to global changes in the biosphere.

When you think of wild animals, you usually think of the country or woodlands far away from human civilization.

Over a quarter of the bird species in the UK are now of "highest conservation concern" according to a new report, Birds of Conservation Concern 4.

Estimates of extinction risk for Amazonian plant and animal species are rare and not often incorporated into land-use policy and conservation planning. We overlay spatial distribution models with historical and projected deforestation to show that at least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened under International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List criteria. If confirmed, these results would increase the number of threatened plant species on Earth by 22%.

The past was a world of giants, with abundant whales in the sea and large animals roaming the land. However, that world came to an end following massive late-Quaternary megafauna extinctions on land and widespread population reductions in great whale populations over the past few centuries. These losses are likely to have had important consequences for broad-scale nutrient cycling, because recent literature suggests that large animals disproportionately drive nutrient movement.

Conservation group IUCN wants Indonesia and international donors to take urgent action to save ‘weirdest of all rhinos’

ABU DHABI // If Charles Darwin had a smartphone he would probably have downloaded the Collector for ArcGIS, a free app being used by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) to help record species of

To biologists’ delight, the Azuay stubfoot toad, believed to be extinct after its last sighting in 2002, has just leapt back to life.

Glacial episodes have been linked to Ordovician–Silurian extinction events, but cooling itself may not be solely responsible for these extinctions. Teratological (malformed) assemblages of fossil plankton that correlate precisely with the extinction events can help identify alternate drivers of extinction. Here we show that metal poisoning may have caused these aberrant morphologies during a late Silurian (Pridoli) event. Malformations coincide with a dramatic increase of metals (Fe, Mo, Pb, Mn and As) in the fossils and their host rocks.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is not plentiful on the planet: In fact, the Dicerorhinus sumatrensis is down to maybe 100 in the wild and nine in captivity, and most of them live in Indonesia.