Disappearing snakes and the biodiversity crisis

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A Michigan State University- and University of Maryland-led study should sound alarm bells regarding the “biodiversity crisis” or the loss of wildlife around the world.

The loss of any species is devastating. However, the decline or extinction of one species can trigger an avalanche within an ecosystem, wiping out many species in the process. When biodiversity losses cause cascading effects within a region, they can eliminate many data-deficient species — animals that have eluded scientific study or haven’t been researched enough to understand how best to conserve them.