25 Jul '12, 5am

Amazon's Endangered Species to Pay 'Extinction Debt' | Care2 Causes

Amazon's Endangered Species to Pay 'Extinction Debt' | Care2 Causes

A study published in the journal Science this month found that the vast majority of extinctions in the Amazon have yet to come, despite the decline of deforestation and creation of protected areas. “Cutting down trees doesn’t kill a bird directly. It takes a lot of time for those birds to actually die. They’re all crammed into the habitat that’s left. Then gradually you’ll have this increased mortality,” explains Robert Ewers, an ecologist at Imperial College London and the study’s lead author. The deaths of species over a few generations, instead of as an immediate reaction to changes, leads to an ‘extinction debt’ that will, unfortunately, be paid in full. By some estimates, 80 percent of extinctions in the Amazon are still impending due to the damage that’s already been done and species are expected to continue to go extinct for decades even if deforestation is stopped....

Full article: http://www.care2.com/causes/amazons-endangered-species-to...

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