MAN is set to drive 1,700 bird and animal species towards extinction by 2070 by taking over their habitats, a study warns.
As we expand into new areas we push other species out, say ecologists at Yale University, US.
In 51 years, 1,700 species will be at greater risk of extinction after losing 30 to 50 per cent of their present habitats.
Yale’s Map of Life website charts the likely fate of species including 886 amphibians, 436 birds and 376 mammals.
Creatures in central and East Africa and central and South America will lose most habitat.
Among them are species whose fates will be particularly dire, such as the Lombok cross frog in Indonesia, the Nile lechwe in South Sudan, the pale-browed treehunter in Brazil and the curve-billed reedhaunter found in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
All of them are predicted to lose around half of their present day geographic range in the next five decades.
The projections and all other analysed species can be examined at the ‘Map of Life’ website.
Study co-author Dr Ryan Powers, a former postdoctoral fellow in the Jetz Lab at Yale, said: “The integration of our analyses with the Map of Life can support anyone keen to assess how species may suffer under specific future land-use scenarios and help prevent or mitigate these effects.”
But Prof Jetz cautioned the global public against assuming that the losses are only the problem of the countries within whose borders they occur.
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He added: “Losses in species populations can irreversibly hamper the functioning of ecosystems and human quality of life.
“While biodiversity erosion in far-away parts of the planet may not seem to affect us directly, its consequences for human livelihood can reverberate globally.
“It is also often the far-away demand that drives these losses – think tropical hardwoods, palm oil, or soybeans – thus making us all co-responsible.”
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