MONGABAY | As the mammal tree of life suffers hits, should we prioritize which species to save?

Red panda
The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) occupies one of the most precarious branches of the mammal tree of life. If it goes extinct, we will lose 31 million years of mammal evolutionary history. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.)


December 2018

The current mass extinction is eliminating whole branches of the mammal tree of life, which will take millions of years to replace, according to a recent study. Some researchers suggest focusing our conservation efforts on mammal species that sit on the tree’s most distinct and precarious limbs.