New Study Pinpoints Epicenters of Imminent Extinction
Alliance for Zero Extinction Findings Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (12.12.05)
Safeguarding 595 sites around the world would help stave off an imminent global extinction crisis, according to new research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Conducted by scientists working with the 52 member organizations of the Alliance for Zero Extinction, including NatureServe, the study identifies 794 species threatened with imminent extinction, each of which is in need of urgent conservation action at a single remaining site on Earth.
The study found that just one-third of the sites are known to have legal protection, and most are surrounded by human population densities that are approximately three times the global average. Conserving these 595 sites should be an urgent global priority involving everyone from national governments to local communities, the study’s authors state.
The United States ranks among the ten countries with the most sites. These include Torrey Pines in California, a cave in West Virginia, a pond in Mississippi, and six sites in Hawaii. The whooping crane and the recently rediscovered ivory-billed woodpecker are two spectacular American species that qualify for inclusion. Particular concentrations of sites are also found in the Andes of South America, in Brazil’s Atlantic Forests, throughout the Caribbean, and in Madagascar.
Also available are a site map and a report that details the actions required to save these sites and species. These items, along with a searchable database of sites, can be found at: http://www.zeroextinction.org/press.htm.
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