A kangaroo taking a break at the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra, Australia

(IANS)

Australian researchers have identified more than 60 animal species that might face extinction within 20 years.

In a study published on Tuesday, a team from Charles Darwin University (CDU) identified 63 vertebrates they believe are most likely to go extinct by 2041, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, they found that even limited conservation efforts could save at least 47 of the species, including 21 fishes, 12 birds, six mammals, four frogs and four reptiles.

“We know who they are, where they are, what threatens them and have a good idea of how to save them. It just needs commitment,” Stephen Garnett, a conservation biologist and co-author of the study, explained to the Australian Associated Press.

About half the habitat of the 47 species are in existing nature reserves, meaning small, targeted conservation efforts would be possible and relatively inexpensive.

Other species like the King Island brown thornbill and the swift parrot, on the other hand, would require new habitat safeguards. In a 2018 study, the Thornbill was named the Australian bird most likely to become extinct in the next 20 years.

Five reptiles, four birds, four frogs, two mammals, and a fish that haven’t been seen in a long time will be the most difficult to conserve, according to the researchers.

“These are the biggest worry,” Garnett said. “If you can’t find something, you cannot help it. But we need to make really sure they are gone before we give up.”

Four more species have been determined to be extinct, including a frog, fish, lizard, and a shrew.

A separate study released on Monday by CDU, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and Conservation International also concluded that 21 per cent of reptile species worldwide are endangered.

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The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.

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