Sunday, May 10, 2009

Disappearing Life - As Forests Disappear, Biodiversity Does Too

When people first started farming some 10,000 years ago, about two thirds of the world's land were covered within forests.

By 2005, less than one third of the earth's land is forested. As the forests dissapper, so do many of the animals and plants that lived there.

Studies predict deforestation will cause 42% of South-East Asia's land species to dissappear by 2100.

Our oceans are also in trouble. Over-fishing is killing the ecosystems. Since 1950, about 30% of shark, tuna, and cod have recorded a decline in their population. Other seafood species have also declined by more than 90%.

Scientists warn that unless fishing methods change, there will be no seafood left by 2048. Sustainable farming, fishing, and forestry methods can help. Human population control is also vital.

World population hit 6.5 billion on Jan 25, 2006 and is predicted to reach 9 billion in 2050. Scientists say that if world population growth doesn't slow down, 80% of the world's forest will be gone by 2030.

  • South America is the continent with the most forests. About half of its land is covered with forest.
  • Deforestation was once declared a national emergency in the Phillipines, Thailand and India.
  • About 25% of mammals, 12% of birds, 33% of all amphibians and 70% of the world's known plants are listed as threatened.

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