By the year 2070, thousands of species of amphibians, birds and mammals will be in danger of becoming extinct due to the advance of the agricultural frontier over their territories.
A new study by ecologists from Yale University (USA), published in the journal Nature Climate Change, warns that 1,700 species, including 886 amphibians, 436 birds and 376 mammals, will be at risk of extinction due to the expansive human use of land, depriving animals of more and more places to live,
In 50 years, the natural habitat of some species around the globe will be reduced by up to 50% according to scientists.
Among the most threatened species are the Oreophryne montícola frog (Indonesia), the Nile cobo ―a species of antelope from South Sudan―, the Ticotico cejipálido (a Brazilian bird) and the Pajonalera piquicurva, which flies through Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. It is estimated that all of them will be left without almost half of their territory.
The most affected areas for the animals will be Central and East Africa, Mesoamerica, South America and Southeast Asia due to economic development, population growth, changes in land use, etc.
Consequences for all
"Losses in species populations can irreversibly hamper the functioning of ecosystems and the quality of human life," said Walter Jetz, one of the study's authors.
“While it may seem that the erosion of biodiversity in remote parts of the planet does not affect us directly, its consequences for human subsistence may resonate around the world. It is also often distant demand that drives these losses - think of tropical woods, palm oil or soy - and in this way makes us all jointly responsible, "he added.
The projections of the study can be consulted on the web page of Map of Life, a tool to "assess how species may suffer in future specific land use scenarios and help prevent or mitigate these effects" according to Ryan P. Powers, a former fellow in the Jetz lab at Yale.
With information from: