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Species loss far less severe than feared: study

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Marlowe Hood
AFP
May 20, 2011

PARIS — The pace at which humans are driving animal and plant species toward extinction through habitat destruction is at least twice as slow as previously thought, according to a study released Wednesday.

Earth’s biodiversity continues to dwindle due to deforestation, climate change, over-exploitation and chemical runoff into rivers and oceans, said the study, published in Nature.

“The evidence is in — humans really are causing extreme extinction rates,” said co-author Stephen Hubbell, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California at Los Angeles.

But key measures of species loss in the 2005 UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report are based on “fundamentally flawed” methods that exaggerate the threat of extinction, the researchers said.

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This article was posted: Friday, May 20, 2011 at 3:52 am





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