The threats of old are still the dominant drivers of current species loss


In an article appearing in Nature this week, Sean Maxwell and colleagues examine the causes for species decline through the analysis of IUCN Red List data in “Biodiversity: The ravages of guns, nets and bulldozers.”

According to Maxwell et al, the top big killers are attributable to overexploitation including logging, hunting, fishing, plant gathering and agricultural activities including crop farming, livestock farming, timber plantations, and aquaculture. Other contributors to species decline: urban development; invasion and diseases; pollution; system modification (fire and dams); climate change; and human disturbance.

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