Amazon extinctions to slow

About 1 percent of the region_s tree-dwelling an...

About 1 percent of the region_s tree-dwelling animals were driven to extinction as of 2008 and that figure may rise dramatically as deforestation spreads in Brazil, Robert Ewers, a senior lecturer at Imperial College in London and the article_s lead author, said in an interview.

Ewers evaluated the region by dividing it blocks of 2,500 square kilometers (965 square miles), and found that at the current rate of deforestation, an average of nine species in each block will be gone by 2050 and 16 more will be too close to extinction to be saved. That may be slowed with improved land- management policies, he said.

_Development has to happen, but development doesn_t have to happen everywhere equally,_ Ewers said. _What we can do is maybe try and push to use land better. Instead of clearing land, using it, and then abandoning it, maybe we can keep using that same land._

Extinction of a species often trails deforestation by years, or even decades, he said. The study focused on the extinction of vertebrate species, animals with backbones.

_In the south and the east of the Amazon we_ve already lost a lot of species,_ Ewers said. _Given the decisions that are being made in Brazil, this is a really important time. You start to see that the decisions you make today result in different futures._

President Dilma Rousseff on June 25 signed a law that reduces the size of three national parks, three national forests and one federally protected area to allow for building dams and reservoir runoff.

By Justin Doom

Top
We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…