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Extinction From Habitat Loss Exaggerated

We almost missed this surprisingly balanced report from the Agence France-Presse:

One fifth of world’s plants threatened by extinction: study

Tue Sep 28, 2010

LONDON (AFP) – More than a fifth of the world’s plant species faces the threat of extinction, a trend with potentially catastrophic effects for life on Earth, according to research released on Wednesday.

But a separate study cautioned that extinction of mammals had been overestimated and suggested some mammal species thought to have been wiped out may yet be rediscovered.

Stephen Hopper, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, said the report on plant loss was the most accurate mapping yet of the threat to the planet’s estimated 380,000 plant species.

"This study confirms what we already suspected, that plants are under threat and the main cause is human-induced habitat loss," Hopper said at the launch of the so-called Sampled Red List Index…

The study comes ahead of a meeting in Nagoya, Japan, from October 18 to 29, where members of the UN’s Biodiversity Convention will set new targets to save endangered wildlife…

Would it be too cynical to question the timing of this report?

In their study, researchers assessed almost 4,000 species, of which 22 percent were classed as threatened, especially in tropical rain forest…

The greatest peril came from man-induced habitat loss, mostly the conversion of natural habitats for crops or livestock. Human activity accounted for 81 percent of threats, said Kew researcher Neil Brummitt.

Meanwhile, a study by two Australian authors said Tuesday that fewer mammal species than believed may be extinct, especially those animals threatened by habitat loss.

Diana Fisher and Simon Blomberg of the University of Queensland said they had identified 187 mammals that have been "missing" since 1500, 67 species of which had subsequently been found again. Their paper was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, a journal of Britain’s de-facto academy of science.

"Extinction is difficult to detect," the study said. "Species with long gaps in their sighting records, that might be considered possibly extinct, are often rediscovered."

Mammals hit by habitat loss were "much more likely to be misclassified as extinct" than those affected by introduced predators and diseases or by overhunting…. Hence impacts of habitat loss on extinction have likely been overestimated, especially relative to introduced species."

Last week, conservationists announced that two species of African frog and a Mexican salamander feared to have become extinct last century had been found again after teams explored remote places, sometimes at great risk to themselves.

This second report is good news that will get none of the attention that the first report gets. Certainly, the United Nations will ignore it.

Of course none of us want to see any species disappear — with the possible exception of mosquitoes, socialists and other blood suckers.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 30th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Extinction From Habitat Loss Exaggerated”

  1. proreason says:

    Another nail in the coffin of objective science.

    The nails already outweigh the coffin itself.

  2. TerryAnne says:

    Stuff you’ll never see the MSM report:

    A 2008 study by the Arizona State University International Institute for Species Exploration reported 16,969 new species of plants and animals described in 2006 alone (not including new species of microbial life), which amounts to some 1 percent of Earth’s 1.8 million known species.

    While insects accounted for more than half of these newfound species — “We’re finding them at a pace about twice the overall historic average,” says the Arizona Institute’s director, Quentin Wheeler — the total included 2,000 plants and 1,000 vertebrates, among them 185 mammals, 196 reptiles, 108 amphibians, and 37 birds. (http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2129)

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    If those darned animals won’t stay extinct and give the eco-freaks an excuse to make our lives miserable, they will just have to be eradicated.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      Funny you should say that. Generally when a species is targeted for eradication it is becasue it effects an “eco system”. Now who talks about eco systems?

      Frankly, the eco-system theory is a bunch of malarky anyway. The world didn’t change drastically when we lost the dodo or those stupid pigeons. THe condors, owls, snail darters and delta smelt won’t end us either. Furthermore, if evolution is to be considered scientific fact, isn’t it kind of essential that stuff goes extinct from time to time? And what about the way “eco systems” always seem to adapt around foriegn species instead of being wiped out? Sure, it makes some ripples on the pond to introduce a new species, but eventually it figures it’s way into Mufasa’s circle of life. Except humans, of course.

      Science has officially lost all credibility. It has been replaced with dogma. Remember when we didn’t know what killed the dinosaurs? Well, even though no new evidence has arisen, we have now just accepted that it was a meteor. Why? Because this helps support a number of other theories that have just grown to be fact without being able to stand up to any true objective scientific scrutiny. I’m looking at you, Darwin.

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