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Pages 10-16

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From page 10...
... Over the past half century, monitored populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians fell by nearly 70%, on average.38 These local population declines can cause drastic ecosystem impacts even if the species on the whole does not go extinct. Earth appears to be on the brink of a massive loss of biodiversity, with some 1 million species today under some threat,39 along with well-documented declines in genetic diversity, habitats, and ecosystems -- unraveling the fabric that is biodiversity.
From page 11...
... = times faster than in pre-human times.41 68% decline 1 between 1970 and 2016.42 At least million species are currently threatened with extinction.41 25% of animal and plants studied to date are considered threatened.41 Loss of large species = ecosystem function loss Large animals help control vegetation, suppress wildfire, transport nutrients Officially Extinct: The ivory-billed and seeds, and keep other species' woodpecker is one of many species populations in check.42 declared officially extinct in 2021. Biodiversity loss hot spots The International Union for Conservation of Nature compiles a Red List of Threatened Species that is the world's most comprehensive inventory of global conservation status.
From page 12...
... Achieving equitable access to resources for all people without worsening overexploitation and ecosystem degradation is a challenge of monumental proportions. Changes in the Use of the Land and the Sea Humans have been a major shaper of Earth's features, altering much of the planet's ice-free land surface.46 The clearing of land for farming and raising livestock has been one of humanity's biggest impacts, taking up a full 50% of habitable land today.47 At the local scale, natural environments have been altered or disturbed by the building of cities, roads, and other infrastructure, and by extractive processes such as fishing, logging, mining, and oil and gas activities.
From page 13...
... Draining Indonesia's vast peat swamp forests to create palm oil plantations exposed carbon-rich peat soils that are highly flammable -- fueling large, nearly inextinguishable fires that harm the species living there, generate heat-trapping carbon emissions, and pollute the air across Southeast Asia.51 Government incentives often favor expanding economic activity with little consideration of the harm it may cause to people or biodiversity. In fact, government subsidies for activities that exploit nature for energy, raw materials, agriculture, water, and fisheries carry an estimated price tag of $6 trillion each year.52 The economic activity supported by these incentives is often conducted for the benefit of businesses and consumers far away while the consequences of the associated ecosystem exploitation are felt by many rural and forest-dwelling households that rely on productive local ecosystems (e.g., small-scale farms and fisheries)
From page 14...
... Catastrophic wildfires are now an annual threat in parts of the United States and many other places; the 2020 Australian bushfires -- which burned 186,000 square kilometers, an area the size of some entire countries -- are estimated to have killed 3 billion animals.57 Polluting the Planet Humans are spreading vast quantities of pollutants around the world, moving natural products such as metals to new places and creating synthetic products that have never before existed. Globally, humans generated more than 6 billion metric tons of plastic waste between 1950 and 201558 -- an amount roughly equivalent to just over half of the total biomass in the world's oceans.59 The vast majority of this waste will linger in landfills, the oceans, and other natural environments for the foreseeable future -- harming seabirds, turtles, and marine mammals.
From page 15...
... The brown tree snake, accidentally introduced to Guam after World War II, has eliminated 10 of 12 native bird species found there.64 Without birds, efforts to regenerate Guam's forests are failing. Roughly 142 bird, mammal, and reptile species around the world have gone extinct due to invasive predators; an additional 596 species are con sidered Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered.65 Accidentally introduced to Guam after World War II, The damage from invasive species is estimated to triple the brown tree snake has eliminated 10 of 12 native every decade.

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