A new study has revealed that the world’s forests are more fragmented than ever, meaning that no forest on Earth, expect those in the Amazon and Congo, can be considered wilderness.
Researchers from North Carolina State University calculated that if they were to take an individual to a random set of coordinates in one of the world’s many forests, there would be a 70% chance of that person being within a half-mile of the forest’s edge.
The cause of this deforestation is urban, suburban, and agricultural development. Simply, by recklessly destroying large sections of almost every forest worldwide, we have destroyed environments, habitats and ecosystems.
“It’s no secret that the world’s forests are shrinking, so this study asked about the effects of this habitat loss and fragmentation on the remaining forests,” said Nick Haddad, one of the co-authors of the study and a biologist at N.C. State.
The bio-diversity of the planet is quickly and continuously diminishing, especially in forests, fields, wetlands and the oceans, causing worrying repercussions. As shared by UPI, earlier studies have revealed that the diversity of both plant and animal species have been reduced by anywhere between 13% to 75% as a result of this ecological fracturing.
“The initial negative effects were unsurprising,” Haddad said, adding, “But I was blown away by the fact that these negative effects became even more negative with time. Some results showed a 50 percent or higher decline in plant and animals species over an average of just 20 years, for example. And the trajectory is still spiraling downward.”
If we are to preserve and protect the remaining species in these environments it is paramount that we act quickly. To do this, Haddad has suggested preserving chunks of land and installing wildlife corridors as mitigation options. This will help ensure that the species and ecosystems within these areas are not permanently destroyed and lost forever.
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