New maps show where humans are pushing species closer to extinction

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Logging, Amazon Rainforest, Amazon River, Amazon Soy, Amphibians, Animal Behavior, Animals, Apes, Avoided Deforestation, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Birds, Cats, Cattle Ranching, Certification, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Conservation, Dams, Deforestation, Earth Science, Ecology, Ecosystems, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Fragmentation, Frogs, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Herps, Hunting, Illegal Logging, Impact Of Climate Change, In-situ Conservation, Invasive Species, Invertebrates, Iucn, Logging, Mammals, Mining, Natural Capital, Palm Oil, Parks, Peatlands, Poaching, Primary Forests, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforest Agriculture, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Ecological Services, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Reptiles, Research, Rivers, Roads, Saving Rainforests, Saving Species From Extinction, Saving The Amazon, Threats To Rainforests, Threats To The Amazon, Timber, Trees, Tropical Forests, Tropical Rivers, Wcs, Wetlands, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A new study maps out how disruptive human changes to the environment affect the individual ranges of more than 5,400 mammal, bird and amphibian species around the world.Almost a quarter of the species are threatened by human impacts in more than 90 percent of their range, and at least one human impact occurred in an average of 38 percent of the range of a given species.The study also identified “cool” spots, where concentrations of species aren’t negatively impacted by humans.The researchers say these “refugia” are good targets for conservation efforts. Animals around the globe are losing ground to farming and ranching, and their numbers are dwindling at the hands of human hunters. But the question of where to direct precious resources to protect that biodiversity remains vexing.This week, a team of researchers published a new study with the potential to aid that calculus, for the first time mapping out how disruptive human changes to the environment affect the individual ranges of more than 5,400 mammal, bird and amphibian species around the world.“We’ve provided a framework that conservationists can now use to work out what specific actions they need to be doing in each place,” James Allan, the study’s lead author and a conservation scientist at the University of Queensland in Australia, said in an interview.Clearing for agriculture in Niassa Reserve in Mozambique. Image by James Allan/University of Queensland.Allan and his colleagues began with related research that mapped the “human footprint” around the globe that used a set of eight of “the most harmful pressures humans exert on nature,” they write. These pressures encompassed human population density, ranches and farmland, and roads and railways.The team then plotted out these threats in places where they’re known to diminish the ability of a species to survive in 30-by-30-kilometer (18.6-by-18.6-mile) grids. In all, the scientists looked at 5,457 animal species classified as near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered by the IUCN.The analysis, published March 12 in the journal PLoS Biology, reveals that 84 percent of the land on Earth has at least one of these threats. For 23 percent of species — more than 1,200 types of animals — these threats occur in more than 90 percent of their range. And for 7 percent of the species, deleterious human impacts are present throughout the entire area they inhabit. If we don’t move to protect these species, the authors caution, they’re likely to disappear completely.Cumulative human impacts on threatened and near-threatened terrestrial vertebrates. Image courtesy of Allan et al., 2019.The study flags key “hotspots” where conditions for many resident species are dire, as well as “cool spots” where lots of species live unencumbered by human impact.Nearly two decades ago, research published in Nature first identified “biodiversity hotspots” in places where wide ranges of species were losing substantial chunks of their habitat. Building on that “incredibly important piece of work,” this new study allows scientists and conservationists to probe more deeply into a broader range of threats, such as “the insidious hunting that occurs below the canopy,” Allan said.The results showed at least one human impact occurred in an average of 38 percent of the range of a given species. In general, the most threatened animals — those tagged as critically endangered by the IUCN — faced threats across higher proportions of their ranges.Giraffes walking near an oil rig. Image by Paul Mulondo/The Wildlife Conservation Society.Piero Visconti, an ecologist at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, who was not part of the study team, said it was “remarkable” that the current paper matched the 2000 Nature study in identifying critical hotspots where lots of species face threats, including the rainforests of Southeast Asia and parts of the Brazilian Amazon.“It means that all the conservation interventions that have been going on — it was well-invested money,” Visconti told Mongabay. “But clearly there is need for more because if they’re still ‘hot,’ it means that we haven’t done the job.”He called the new analysis by Allan and his colleagues that identified these hotspots “valuable” and “insightful,” and added, “In terms of informing conservation interventions, this is probably a first step to identify which places just have a lot of species that are impacted.”Roads and railways were among the threats included in the analysis. Image by Richard Moller.The researchers also found that the ranges of more than one-third of the species in the study were not impacted by the eight threats, though the scientists caution that that they may still be affected by other human activities. In certain “cool” spots, high concentrations of these unaffected species turned up.Several of these cool locations made sense: the temperate forests of North America, for example, or the Arctic tundra. But much of the island of Borneo, as well as other parts of Indonesia and peninsular Malaysia — areas that are also home to many species that are impacted by humans — show up somewhat perplexingly as cool.The authors explain that these places are packed with high numbers of species in general, and threats affect different species differently. A fence might be “catastrophic” for a small mammal or an amphibian, Allan said, but that alone wouldn’t likely affect a migrating bird.Slash-and-burn agriculture in Mozambique. Image by James Allan/University of Queensland.Visconti voiced concerns — shared by other scientists, if Twitter is any indication — about how cool locations might be interpreted by decision-makers working out where to direct conservation efforts or looking to place new infrastructure developments. Would they make the assumption that the cool locations are also places with intact habitat? That might be the case in some spots, but not in others.“It’s not clear to me exactly what you do, especially in places that are both at the same time a cold spot and a hot spot,” Visconti said.To Allan, the cool spots are a reason for “optimism.” They act as refuges from human impacts (at least for some species), making them promising targets to proactively protect from human impacts, he said.“That’s the simplest, most effective way to do conservation,” Allan said. “We know it works.”Wildlife killed on a road in India’s Western Ghats. Image courtesy of Conservation India.The places where hot and cool overlap, he added, are prime places for both reactive and proactive conservation to simultaneously address the threats already having an impact on species as well as staving off the incursion of new threats.The analysis also revealed that none of the threats is a “game breaker,” Allan said, a sentiment echoed by co-author and University of Queensland ecologist James Watson.“All the threats we mapped can be stopped by conservation action,” Watson, also director of science and research for the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in a statement. “[W]e just need the political will and funding to do it.”A bulldozer in a forest in Indonesia. Image by Bill Laurance.Conservationists also need to focus on improving the available data on threats and species, said Lucas Joppa, a computational ecologist and chief environmental officer at Microsoft, who was not involved in the research.“Overall, this study represents an important step forward in understanding threats to species,” Joppa said in an email, adding that it brought “more clarity to this issue.”“There’s still so much work to be done, though, because we have such limited data on both species and threats,” he added. “[E]ven the best global datasets on threats represent only a small fraction of known threats.”Allan said that, as new research becomes available detailing the problems that species face, the team’s research can be updated and applied in new ways.“We’re really open to talking to anyone about it,” he said, “so hopefully others take it in weird directions I can’t even imagine.”Banner image of an African bush elephant in Rwanda by John C. Cannon. John Cannon is a Mongabay staff writer based in the Middle East. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitationsAllan, J. R., Watson, J. E. M., Di Marco, M., O’Bryan, C. J., Possingham, H. P., Atkinson, S. C., & Venter, O. (2019). Hotspots of human impact on threatened terrestrial vertebrates. PLoS Biology, 17(3), e3000158. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000158Myers, N., Mittermeier, R. A., Mittermeier, C. G., Da Fonseca, G. A., & Kent, J. (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature, 403(6772), 853.Venter, O., Sanderson, E. W., Magrach, A., Allan, J. R., Beher, J., Jones, K. R., … & Levy, M. A. (2016). Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservation. Nature Communications, 7, 12558.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img

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