Up to 48 bird and mammal extinctions have been prevented by conservation efforts since a global agreement to protect biodiversity, according to a new study. The Iberian lynx, California condor and pygmy hog are among animals that would have disappeared without reintroduction programmes, zoo-based conservation and formal legal protections since 1993, research led by scientists at Newcastle University and BirdLife International found. The study, published in the journal Conservation Letters , estimates that extinction rates for birds and mammals would have been three to four times higher over that period, which was chosen because 1993 is when the UN Convention on Biological Diversity came into force. Since then, 15 bird and mammal species have become extinct or are strongly suspected to have disappeared. But researchers say that between 28 and 48 bird and mammal species were saved. An endangered Puerto Rican amazon parrot near the Rio Abajo Nature Preserve, in Puerto Rico. Photograph: Tanya Martinez/AP They include the Puerto Rican amazon, a small parrot that had dwindled to only 13 wild individuals in 1975, and was saved from extinction by a reintroduction programme in a state park on the Caribbean island. The original group was wiped out by hurricanes […]

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