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August 10, 2017. Life / A Gift of Nature

Biodiversity Hotspots

A Biodiversity Hotspot is a biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction

Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D, Nigel J.Collar, Dr. Tracy Farrel, Bárbara Goettsch, Vance Martin, Roderic Mast, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Cristina Goetsch Mittermeier, Russell A. Mittermeier, Fabian Oberfeld, Trevor Sandwith, Dr. Jane Smart, Dr. Richard Sneider, Gregory S. Stone & Michael P. Totten

Unseen and unknown to most, life on Earth faces a historic crisis. Unsustainable consumption, expanding agriculture, and urbanization and industrialization, are fragmenting natural environments; pollution is disrupting Earth’s climate cycles; hunting, overfishing and international wildlife trade are decimating populations of large number of species.

The most serious aspect of the present crisis is mass extinction. Although extinction is a natural selection process, the human impact has increased its rate by at least a thousand times and we are about to witness an episode that has not been seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago.

The biodiversity crisis is very complex. With so many challenges, the question is: what do we need to do and what are our priorities? These issues were a great concern in the 1980s and the subject of many discussions among scientists and conservationists until the Biodiversity Hotspots concept was introduced in 1988, which was extremely influential from its appearance and continues until now.

 

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Conservation Series Book A GIFT OF NATURE (2012)

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A Gift of Nature

Twenty Years of Conservation & Photography

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