Great whites more threatened than tigers
Saturday 20 February 2010
The number of great white sharks may have fallen below the number of tigers, one of the world's most endangered terrestrial species that benefits from a huge effort to save it from extinction.
Like tigers, great whites are a top predator and, like tigers, they have suffered in recent years from habitat destruction and hunting. But unlike tigers, great white sharks get little public sympathy, said Dr Ronald O'Dor, senior scientist at the Census of Marine Life, a 10-year study into ocean wildlife.
"We hear an awful lot about how endangered tigers are but apparently great white sharks are pretty close to the same level. Some people say, 'I don't care, they eat people', but I think we have to give them a little space to live in," Dr O'Dor told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego.
"Australia now has a system where they put tags on great whites and they have receivers on the beaches so when one comes into the bay the receiver makes a cell phone call and tells the guy in charge to close the beach. So we can co-exist with marine life," he said.
Based on the understanding on populations, scientists can estimate how many sharks there are in the world. "Until recently, people thought sharks were bad and there was no urge to save great whites. Now people are beginning to understand that they are rare and that they are a wonderful species," Dr O'Dor said.
The convention on the trade in endangered species, CITES, estimates the number of tigers in the wild at 3,500. Estimating the number of great white sharks is more problematic but studies using tagged sharks suggest that there may be just a few thousand left.
Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Rare birds return to remote South Georgia island after successful rat eradication programme
Polar bears will die out if global warming is not reversed, US report finds
The Eastern Cougar will be officially listed as extinct — almost 80 years after last sighting
Killer plants: A handy guide to the hidden dangers in your garden
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 Amber Roof: Sister of Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof launches fund-raising appeal for wedding and honeymoon
- 3 Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
- 4 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 5 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...
£14500 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are contractors to...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of packag...