Deforestation threatens lots of animals with extinction: Australian research

May 2, 2017 - 8:06 PM
Xinhua file photo

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA | Australian scientists called for action on Tuesday, as new research shows deforestation has driven lots of the world’s animals to the brink of extinction.

Researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney warn species ranging from butterflies to frogs and lizards are all at risk.

“The amount of expected extinction is really high, I think the scientific community should find the result disturbing,” Associate Professor John Alroy told Xinhua Tuesday.

“Previously, research has focused on a local extinction, but what is new about this research is that it’s not about a local or small forest but about complete extinction globally.”

Tropical forests are home to the majority of all plant and animal species, and according to the findings, disturbing their ecosystem could have a severe impact.

“A mass extinction could have happened right under our noses because we just don’t know much about the many rare species that are most vulnerable to extinction,” Alroy said.

More than half of the world’s species are found in tropical forests, even though they only make up 10 percent of the earth’s land surface, so according to Alroy, the solution is to “create more areas that are protected from deforestation.”

“A lot more field work needs to be done in the tropics and the time to do this is now,” he said.