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Threat of global extinction may be greater than previously thought

Washington, Jul 26 (Prensa Latina) Amid increasingly dire headlines foretelling a grim outlook for the Earth’s biodiversity and environment, results of a new survey conducted among more than 3,300 scientists show the extent of extinction might be even worse than previously thought.

If current trends continue, this figure could rise to as high as 37% by 2100. However, with speedy and extensive conservation efforts, such a figure may drop to 25%.

The study -published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment- also pointed out that major factors in biodiversity loss are climate change, pollution, change in land and sea use and overexploitation of natural resources.

There was consensus that the global biodiversity loss is likely to limit nature’s functioning and contributions to humans.

“The loss of biodiversity is one of our greatest environmental challenges globally, probably more important than climate change,” the experts stated.

According to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, about 5,200 animal species are currently in danger of extinction.

Furthermore, broken down by class, 11% of birds, 20% of reptiles, 34% of fish, and 25% of amphibians and mammals are threatened with extinction.

There are multiple reasons why these animals may be on the verge of extinction.

Reasons may be particular to each species, but in general terms, among the greatest threats is the destruction and fragmentation of their habitats; climate change; illegal hunting and trafficking; as well as the introduction of exotic specimens.


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