Only between 2% and 3% of the Earth’s land surface can still be considered ecologically intact

According to a new study published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, only 3 percent of drylands remain untouched.

Considering the loss of species from intact habitat, as well as the reduction in species populations, this percentage is considerably lower than previous assessments, which have estimated it to be between 20% and 40%.

The intact habitat is increasingly lost

As Andrew Plumptre of the Key Biodiversity Areas Secretariat in Cambridge, lead author of the study, explains:

We know that intact habitat is increasingly lost and that intact habitat values ​​have been demonstrated for both biodiversity and people, but this study found that much of what we consider to be intact habitat are lost species that have been hunted by humans or that have been lost. due to invasive species or disease.

However, there is hope. The authors say that up to 20% of the earth’s land area could be restored to wildlife integrity by reintroducing only a few species into the remaining intact habitat.

Intact habitat has been shown to have significant benefits for both wildlife and humans and, therefore, should be a key focus of the ongoing negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity following the global biodiversity framework. 2020. it needs the recognition of those special places in intact habitat, where full functional integrity exists, and plans to focus restoration in areas where ecological integrity could be restored.

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