Biodiversity blues

Published: Monday 15 January 1996

-- No one disagrees that biodiversity is under increasing threat from "development" Habitat loss accounts for 76 per cent of the pressure on mammal and 60 per cent of the pressure on bird biodiversity. This awareness has forced nations worldwide to declare an increasing percentage of their geography as protected area - currently it covers about 5 per cent of the earth's area. But creating protected areas is not enough; we still know very little about what is happening to this biodiversity - changes in species distribution and population, for instance. So, for any conservation strategy to be successful, it is absolutely essential to create inventories of this biodiversity.

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