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THIS Is Biodiversity’s Biggest Threat, Not Climate Change





It is no secret that the Earth is no longer the blue-green planet that could host a widely diverse population of animal and plant species. Certain species of animals have gone extinct or are nearing that stage because of several man-made problems including global warming. But contrary to popular belief, global warming is not the biggest killer of biodiversity on the planet.

According to an analysis conducted by a team of scientists led by University of Queensland doctoral student Sean Maxwell, the biggest and more urgent threat to the decreasing animal and plant species are traditional activities like hunting, logging, and farming.

In their report, Maxwell and his team opposed media reports that pinpoint climate change as the main reason why flora and fauna are being driven into extinction. In fact, they provided what the Huffington Post deemed as “a much-needed dose of perspective” on the matter.

Biggest Biodiversity Killers

Biggest Biodiversity Killers

Source: Nature

According to Maxwell and Co., agriculture and overexploitation of animal and plant resources are still the biggest threats to biodiversity on Earth based on a quantified study on thousands of species in a stud featured in the Nature journal.

In their report, Maxwell and his team wrote that 72 percent of 8,688 species listed by IUCN are threatened or near-threatened by human activities such as fishing, farming, logging, and hunting. Because of this, Maxwell recommended that respective governments of different nations should make use of the following approaches to alleviate the negative effects of man’s gathering and hunting activities:

• Development and governance of sustainable harvest regimes;
• Enforcement of hunting regulations and no-take marine protected areas;
• Maintenance of international policy mechanisms;
• Public education (for instance, on where ivory comes from) to reduce demand.

While they noted that the abovementioned human activities are the current biggest threats, they did not remove climate change from the picture.

“Climate change will become an increasingly dominant problem in the biodiversity crisis.”

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