How is misclassification partly to blame for the endangered status of Europe’s flapper skate?



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    In 1926, the flapper skate and blue skate were declared to be the same species, known as the common skate. The common skate continued be fished (and accidentally caught as bycatch) until it was critically endangered. Since morphological and genetic data now shows that it they are, in fact, two species, it follows that both species have a lower number of individuals than the “common skate” did, and are therefore more critically endangered. The flapper skate’s numbers are especially low, and the species is on the brink of extinction.

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