Yusefi GH, Brito JC, Soofi M, Safi K


The negative impacts of human activities on biodiversity are well documented. However, extinction risk studies incorporating direct human threats particularly direct killing remain limited. Here, we evaluate the potential role that direct killing through hunting and persecution, indirect human threats via land-use change, and environmental and species traits such as reproductive rate and trophic level among others, may play in driving mammal species to extinction. Based on data for 156 mammal species from Iran, we applied generalized linear models to investigate correlates of extinction risk for: (1) all mammalian species, (2) large- and (3) small-bodied species. We show that hunting vulnerability is the most important predictor to affect extinction risk across all species. We also found that the small-bodied species are impacted by indirect human influence, whereas large species are highly affected by direct killing. Overall, the extrinsic environmental factors and intrinsic species traits had lower importance in our models. Our study gives insight into the dominant role of direct killing on mammal species decline and extinction, emphasizing the need to account for the different sources of threats when analysing the correlates of extinction risk.


Journal: Scientific Reports

Link: 10.1038/s41598-022-22238-5