Cull invasive mammals to save island species, experts urge

Move ‘would save 10% of all endangered birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles’

Nearly 10% of the world’s bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile species currently on the brink of extinction could be saved by killing invasive mammals such as cats and rats on 169 islands, according to a new study.

Islands comprise just 5.3% of the Earth’s landmass yet have experienced 75% of known bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile extinctions since 1500. More than a third of species currently classified as “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List are found on islands, with many particularly vulnerable to just eight species – including feral pigs, dogs, goats and mongooses – introduced by humans.

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