Washington: Increased human land-use may put 1,700 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals at greater extinction risk over the next 50 years, by shrinking their natural habitats, a study has found.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, combined information on the current geographic distributions of about 19,400 species worldwide with changes to the land cover projected under four different trajectories for the world scientists have agreed on as likely. “Our findings link these plausible futures with their implications for biodiversity,” said Walter Jetz, a professor at Yale University. “It allows us to track how political and economic decisions — through their associated changes to the global land cover — are expected to cause habitat range declines worldwide,” Jetz said.
The study shows that under a middle-of-the-road scenario of moderate changes in human land-use about 1,700 species will likely experience marked increases in their extinction risk over the next 50 years. They will lose roughly 30-50 per cent of their present habitat ranges by 2070, the researchers said.