Extinction is a natural process. But scientists point out that humans have sped that process up. A new study maps out the places on Earth where species are in the greatest danger of going extinct. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams reports:
Extinction is a natural process, but scientists point out that humans have
sped that process up. A new study maps out the places on earth where
species are in the greatest danger of going extinct. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Rebecca Williams reports:
Conservation biologists are most concerned about endangered animals and
plants that are confined to just one location on earth, such as one
mountaintop, one lake, or one farm.
A new study finds there are close to 800 endangered species worldwide that
are found in single remaining sites.
Taylor Ricketts is the lead author of the study published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He says historically, most
extinctions have been on islands, but the species at risk now are found more
often on the mainlands.
“And I think that’s because our footprint on the mainlands has just grown,
and our habitat conversion of a lot of these places has intensified so much
that even the not particularly susceptible species are beginning to be
threatened with extinction.”
Ricketts says two thirds of these isolated sites don’t have full legal
protection. He points out it’s hard to protect species that are on land
with competing uses, such as agriculture, timber harvest or houses.
For the GLRC, I’m Rebecca Williams.