New research sees two-thirds of mollusc types only found living by hydrothermal vents added to IUCN’s red list of endangered species

Almost two-thirds of the hundreds of mollusc species that live in the deep sea are at risk of extinction, according to a new study that rings another alarm bell over the impact on biodiversity of mining the seabed.

The research, led from Queen’s University in Belfast, has led to 184 mollusc species living around hydrothermal vents being added to the global red list of threatened species, compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While researchers only studied molluscs that were endemic to the vents (hot springs on the ocean floor), they said they would expect similar extinction risks for crustaceans or any other species reliant on the vents.

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