Wilderness cuts the risk of extinction for species in half

Plant and animal species living in wilderness areas are less likely to go extinct, a recent study has found. Defined as intact habitats that haven’t been affected by human use on industrial scales, wilderness “buffers” the life it supports against the threat of extinction. In fact, it slashes the risk on average by more than half compared to that faced by species living outside these areas, Moreno Di Marco, James Watson, and colleagues reported Sept. 18 in the journal Nature. Read more here.

Lots of loss with little scrutiny: The attrition of habitat critical for threatened species in Austr

(Photo by Briano, WWF Australia) Australia has one of the worst extinction rates of any nation, yet there has been little assessment of the effect of its flagship environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), to prevent species extinction. By coupling remotely sensed forest and woodland data with the distributions of 1,638 terrestrial threatened species, terrestrial migratory species, and threatened ecological communities, we quantified the loss of potential habitat and communities since the EPBC Act came into force in 2000. We found that over 7.7 million ha of potential habitat and communities were cleared in the period 2000–2017. O

Native birds in south-eastern Australia worst affected by habitat loss

Habitat loss is a major concern for hundreds of Australian bird species, and south-eastern Australia has been the worst affected. More than half of all native bird species have each lost two-thirds of their natural habitat across Victoria, parts of South Australia and New South Wales.That’s the finding by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub study, featuring University of Queensland scientists.A team of researchers looked at how the amount of habitat available for each of Australia’s different land bird species had changed since 1750.Lead researcher Jeremy Simmonds, from University of Queensland, says the research revealed that habitat loss was more prominent in south-east Australia than it w

Research reveals impact of land clearing on native bird habitat

Scientists have revealed that the practice of land clearing has robbed half of Australia's native bird species of almost two-thirds of their natural habitat in some parts of the country, with the most dramatic changes in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. The research also found that it's not just threatened species that are losing their homes, but also common birds, that play a crucial role in many of our ecosystems. Listen here.

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