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Old 07-31-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Human activity is driving Earth's 'sixth great extinction event'

Human activity is driving Earth's 'sixth great extinction event'
Population growth, pollution and invasive species are having a disastrous effect on species in the southern hemisphere, a major review by conservationists warns
* Ian Sample, science correspondent
* guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 28 July 2009 19.24 BST

Human activity is driving Earth's 'sixth great extinction event' | Environment | guardian.co.uk
excerpts from above:
Quote:
Earth is experiencing its "sixth great extinction event" with disease and human activity taking a devastating toll on vulnerable species, according to a major review by conservationists.

Much of the southern hemisphere is suffering particularly badly, and Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring Pacific islands may become the extinction hot spots of the world, the report warns.
Ecosystems in Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia need urgent and effective conservation policies, or the region's already poor record on extinctions will worsen significantly.

Researchers trawled 24,000 published reports to compile information on the native flora and fauna of Australasia and the Pacific islands, which have six of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. Their report identifies six causes driving species to extinction, almost all linked in some way to human activity.
Quote:
The review, published in the journal Conservation Biology, highlights destruction and degradation of ecosystems as the main threat. In Australia, agriculture has altered or destroyed half of all woodland and forests. Around 70% of the remaining forest has been damaged by logging. Loss of habitats is behind 80% of threatened species, the report claims.
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