1/3的曾被预测或宣布已灭绝的动物,它们的生命力比人类想象的要顽强得多,至今仍未灭绝。人类确定的自16世纪以来走向灭绝的哺乳动物有187种。然而有67种曾经从人们眼前消失的动物,又重新露面。

新浪科技讯 北京时间10月5日消息,据国外媒体报道,科学家发现,自然资源保护者高估了灭绝物种的数量。一项最新研究发现,宣布会在过去几个世纪灭绝的所有哺乳类动物中,有近三分之一其实并未灭绝。一些在人们视线里消失了80年,被认为野外种群已经灭绝的动物,在过去4年又突然被发现。

害羞的霍加狓类似于斑马和长颈鹿的杂交产物,1901年首次有人在刚果看到它。后来这种动物越来越罕见,从1959年开始的随后几十年,野外雷达追踪器失去了它的线索,因此人们担心它可能已经灭绝。然而,5年前世界野生生物基金会的研究人员在野外(非洲刚果)又发现霍加狓的足迹。

这些动物的生命力比人类想象的要顽强,仍未灭绝

霍加狓

其他“死而复生”的哺乳动物包括像老鼠的古巴沟齿鼩、圣诞岛鼩鼱、所罗门群岛的瓦尼科罗狐蝠、澳大利亚中部岩鼠和印尼的塔劳利齿狐蝠。这些新发现是世界顶级自然资源保护者为下个月举行的有关生物多样性的联合国最高级会议准备的。很多科学家认为,世界将进入新一轮由人为因素造成的“大消亡”时期。自6500万年前恐龙灭绝以来,现在正在走向灭绝的物种比以往任何时候都多。

据世界自然保护联盟说,全球有22%的哺乳动物面临灭绝危险。英国每年有超过2种植物和动物彻底消失。虽然这份报告无法降低砍伐森林、过度捕捞或栖息地被毁给动物的生存造成的威胁,但它对人类划分动物灭绝的方式产生了质疑。澳大利亚昆士兰大学的戴安娜·费希尔博士汇编了一份由科学家宣布的自16世纪以来灭绝的所有哺乳动物(或者科学论文中认为已经消失)名单。

费希尔在《皇家学会学报B辑:生物科学》里写道:“我们确定的自16世纪以来走向灭绝的哺乳动物有187种。然而有67种曾经从人们眼前消失的动物,又重新露面。有超过三分之一曾被归类为灭绝、可能灭绝或被认为已经灭绝的哺乳动物,现在有人又在野外发现它们。”

她表示,那些失去栖息地的哺乳动物最有可能被宣布为已经灭绝,后来又再次出现在人们面前。那些分散到更大区域的物种,也有可能被误认为已经灭绝。这些错误不能怪罪到原始技术或古老的科学方法上。费希尔说:“20世纪灭绝的哺乳动物数量,几乎是19世纪从人们视线里消失后又被发现的哺乳动物的3倍。”(孝文)

英文原文:

One third of 'extinct' animals back from the dead: Study

A new study has found that one-third of all mammal species declared extinct in the past few centuries have turned up alive and well.

Some of the more reclusive creatures managed to hide from sight for 80 years only to reappear within four years of being officially named extinct in the wild.

The shy okapi — which resembles a cross between a zebra and a giraffe — was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1901.

After repeated rare sightings, it vanished from the wildlife radar for decades from 1959, prompting fears that it had died out.

But five years ago researchers working for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) found okapi tracks in the wild.

Other mammals believed to have become extinct and later rediscovered include the rat-like Cuban solenodon, the Christmas Island shrew, the Vanikoro flying fox of the Solomon Islands, the Australian central rock rat, and the Talaud flying fox of Indonesia.

Diana Fisher of the University of Queensland compiled a list of all mammals declared extinct since the 16th century or which were flagged as missing in scientific papers.

"We identified 187 mammal species that have been missing since 1500,"The Daily Mail quoted her as writing in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

"In the complete data-set, 67 species that were once missing have been rediscovered. More than a third of mammal species that have been classified as extinct or possibly extinct, or flagged as missing, have been rediscovered," she wrote.

Though the new report has not played down the threat from deforestation, over-fishing or habitat destruction, it has raised questions about the way species are classified as extinct.