Ripple, W.J. et al. – Bushmeat Hunting and Extinction Risk to the World’s Mammals
Shows that bushmeat hunting for mostly food and medicinal products is driving a global crisis whereby 301 terrestrial mammal species are threatened with extinction. Nearly all of these threatened species occur in developing countries where major coexisting threats include deforestation, agricultural expansion, human encroachment and competition with livestock. Proposes a multi-pronged conservation strategy to help save threatened mammals from immediate extinction and avoid a collapse of food security for hundreds of millions of people.
Ventner, Oscar et al. – Sixteen Years of Change in the Global Terrestrial Human Footprint and Implications for Biodiversity Conservation
Uses recently-available data on infrastructure, land cover and human access into natural areas to construct a globally standardized measure of the cumulative human footprint on the terrestrial environment at 1 km2 resolution from 1993 to 2009. Notes that 75 per cent of the planet’s land surface is experiencing measurable human pressures. These pressures are perversely intense, widespread and rapidly intensifying in places with high biodiversity.
Newbold, Tim et al – Has Land Use Pushed Terrestrial Biodiversity Beyond the Planetary Boundary? A Global Assessment
The planetary boundaries framework attempts to set limits for biodiversity loss within which ecological function is relatively unaffected. Newbold et al. present a quantitative global analysis of the extent to which the proposed planetary boundary has been crossed, and find that across 65 per cent of the terrestrial surface, land use and related pressures have caused biotic intactness to decline beyond 10 per cent, the proposed “safe” planetary boundary.
Population Matters – Inequality and Environmental Sustainability
Discusses the inverse correlation between income inequality and environmental sustainability, and considers the role of population stabilisation in alleviating both problems.
Deryabina T.G. et al – Long-Term Census Data Reveal Abundant Wildlife Populations at Chernobyl
Reviews evidence of the long-term effects of the 1986 Chernobyl incident on the surrounding wildlife. Concludes that despite potential radiation effects on individual animals, the Chernobyl exclusion zone continues to support an abundant mammal community.
Dirzo, Rodolfo et al – Defaunation in the Anthropocene
We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss — species and population extirpations and declines in local species abundance.
Barnosky, Anthony D. et al – Approaching a State Shift in Earth’s Biosphere
Reviews evidence that the global ecosystem as a whole can react in the same way and is approaching a planetary-scale critical transition as a result of human influence.
Lenzen M. et al – International Trade Drives Biodiversity Threats in Developing Nations
Shows that a significant number of species are threatened as a result of international trade along complex routes, and that, in particular, consumers in developed countries cause threats to species through their demand of commodities that are ultimately produced in developing countries.
Attenborough, David – Planet and Population
Explores the impact on the planet of the growing human population.
Pimm, Stuart et al – The Future of Biodiversity
Recent extinction rates are 100 to 1,000 times their prehuman levels in well-known but taxonomically diverse groups from widely different environments.