A graphic showing the biggest threats to over 8000 endangered species.

A graphic illustrating the biggest threats faced by over 8000 species. Originally published in (Maxwell et. al, 2016)

 

Paper Title: Biodiversity: The ravages of guns, nets and bulldozers

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Paper Summary:

Climate change is a hot topic (pun intended) but it is vital to not narrow our focus and disregard the other problems facing the natural world. There is a tendency for news reports and media outlets to focus on how climate change is threatening biodiversity, but a paper published in Nature in 2016 showed that there are other, even larger threats. Researchers analysed data about over 8000 different species and found that the biggest drivers of biodiversity decline are overexploitation and agriculture. Over exploitation is when species are harvested from the wild at rates that cannot be compensated for by their rate of growth and reproduction via activities such as deforestation, over-hunting, and over-fishing. Agricultural activities are the production of food, fodder, fibre and fuel crops, including livestock farming, aquaculture, and the cultivation of trees. It is crucial that world leaders, and society in general, ensure that it is not solely climate change that is considered as a cause of global biodiversity declines, and instead understand that there could be more immediate problems that need to be solved. 

Authors: Sean L. Maxwell,Richard A. Fuller,Thomas M. Brooks, & James E. M. Watson

Journal: Nature

Year: 2016

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