As people expand land use, less and less territory is left for animal life. There is a risk that by 2070, due to human activity, 1,700 species of amphibians, birds and mammals will be on the verge of extinction.
These conclusions were made by environmentalists from Yale University, whose article was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. In this paper, scientists combined information on the current geographical distribution of about 19,400 species worldwide with changes in the Earth associated with human activities, and designed various paths of development. These potential paths represent the expectations of specialists regarding future events in global society, demography and economy.
The study shows that if the trend in human land use persists, the risk of extinction of about 1,700 species in the next 50 years is likely to increase: animals will lose about 30-50 percent of their habitat by 2070. The list of disturbing species includes 886 amphibians, 436 birds and 376 mammals.
Species in Central and Eastern Africa, Mesoamerica, South America and Southeast Asia will experience the greatest habitat loss and increased risk of extinction. However, experts warned against the false assumption that this is a problem exclusively for those countries in whose territory such processes take place.
“Losses in species population can irreversibly hinder the functioning of ecosystems and the quality of human life. Although the decline in biodiversity in remote parts of the planet may not have a direct impact on us, its consequences for human activity may affect the global level. These losses are often caused by certain human needs, such as tropical hardwoods, palm oil, or soybeans, which makes us responsible” says tells the Yale University scientist and one of the study authors Walter Jetz.
Thus deforestation to create plantations is considered one of the threats to animals. For example, the high demand for durians in China has caused a new wave of Malaysian forest felling, and the number of palm plantations is increasing to produce cheap palm oil.