Farming and over-exploitation still main drivers of species decline

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Land clearing in the Pilliga forest. Image: Jeremy Buckingham, Flickr

A new study published in science journal Nature shows existing risks from farming, land clearing and over-exploitation of natural resources are still the main drivers of species decline.

Scientists at the University of Queensland examined nearly 9000 species listed as at risk by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and found 72 per cent were at risk because of over-exploitation and 62 per cent by farming.

While acknowledging climate change “will become an increasingly dominant problem in the biodiversity crisis”, the study’s authors argue that human population growth means current problems will continue to increase.

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