Quantification of habitat fragmentation reveals extinction risk in terrestrial mammals

The Extinction Chronicles

  1. Kevin R. Crooks et al
    Abstract

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/06/26/1705769114.abstract

    Although habitat fragmentation is often assumed to be a primary driver of extinction, global patterns of fragmentation and its relationship to extinction risk have not been consistently quantified for any major animal taxon. We developed high-resolution habitat fragmentation models and used phylogenetic comparative methods to quantify the effects of habitat fragmentation on the world’s terrestrial mammals, including 4,018 species across 26 taxonomic Orders. Results demonstrate that species with more fragmentation are at greater risk of extinction, even after accounting for the effects of key macroecological predictors, such as body size and geographic range size. Species with higher fragmentation had smaller ranges and a lower proportion of high-suitability habitat within their range, and most high-suitability habitat occurred outside of protected areas, further elevating extinction risk. Our models provide a quantitative evaluation of extinction risk assessments for species, allow for identification of emerging threats in…

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One thought on “Quantification of habitat fragmentation reveals extinction risk in terrestrial mammals

  1. We appear to be becoming wise a bit too late, when the damage has been done, and when we all have been fully aware of the consequences of habitat fragmentation for years.

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