09 May '12, 9am

Biodiversity and Language Diversity Hotspots Overlap & We're Losing Both

Biodiversity and Language Diversity Hotspots Overlap & We're Losing Both

© Bruce Beehler/Conservation International Man in native dress at the celebration of the YUS Conservation Area dedication in the Teptep village, Papua New Guinea. An interesting new study looks at biodiversity hotspots around the world and compares them to places where there's great language diversity, finding that there's a great deal of overlap between them, as well as significant threats. The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , shows that 70% of the world's languages occur in the world's 35 biodiversity hotspots and in 5 wilderness areas, with a total area less than one-quarter of the Earth's land mass. As far as the threats, in the hotspots roughly 1553 languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people and 544 are spoken by less than 1000 people. In the wilderness areas the numbers are roughly similar, with 1251 languages spoken by less ...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/biodiversity-h...

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