Amazon Due for Numerous Species Extinctions
When species lose their natural habitat to deforestation and other causes, they don’t immediately disappear. Instead, they gradually die off over several generations, racking up an “extinction debt” that must eventually be paid in full. New research shows that the Brazilian Amazon has accrued a heavy vertebrate extinction debt, with more than 80% of extinctions expected from historical deforestation still impending.
While the results are alarming, this deathly time lag provides a conservation opportunity to save some of the disappearing species, scientists said, stressing that actions taken in the next few years are critical.