extinction

Photo by Sean Anderson

A United Nations report revealed that an enormous number of animal and plant species are in danger of extinction because of people, and a researcher says there may be some examples of that on the South Coast.

The UN report found one million species are threatened across the globe. It’s not clear how many locally, but Cal State Channel Islands Environmental Science Chair Sean Anderson cites his road kill surveys that show some animals are becoming increasingly rare, like the American badger.

Photo by Darcy Bradley

A UC Santa Barbara researcher has been studying how scuba diving with sharks – which has become a multi-million-dollar global tourism industry -- impacts the shark population. The findings were surprising.

With a quarter of shark species at risk of extinction, Darcy Bradley, a postdoctoral researcher with the Sustainable Fisheries Group at UCSB, wanted to know if scuba diving influences the behavior and the abundance of shark populations.

“So, our question very simply was:  Do sharks avoid areas that are frequented by scuba divers?” she said.