A new study suggests the top-ranked marine species in the world are most at risk from COVID.
Researchers at the University of Florida, in Florida, say the top marine species on the list are the bony fishes, known as barnacles, that live in the deep ocean and the kelp forests of the Great Barrier Reef.
“The number one threat to these species is habitat destruction, and they’re the ones that are most affected by COID-19,” said lead researcher Robert Cauffman.
“Our findings show that these barnacles are particularly at risk because of the potential for severe environmental impacts.”
Researchers used a marine model to estimate how many species of bony fish could be in the future if the threat of COVID becomes a reality.
“We can use this model to determine if we can get these species back to where they were before COVID, to prevent further habitat loss, and to maintain the ability of them to live and breed,” Caufeim said.
Cauffmann said the model predicted that the bollards, kelp forest, coral reefs and other ocean habitats would all be hit hardest by CONV, especially when compared to the current population of bollard reef fishes.
“With the numbers of barnacles and other fish we have seen, it’s really important to understand what species are at risk and how they’re being affected by these conditions,” Caurfman said.
The study was published online last week in the journal Scientific Reports.