The Not-As-Great Outdoors: Loss of biodiversity bad news for humans

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Last month, to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, an international team of 17 ecologists published a scientific consensus statement in the journal Nature. After scouring more than 1,000 studies conducted in the past 20 years, they’ve confirmed that the loss of Earth’s wild species is compromising ecosystem services that are essential to human health and prosperity, such as food, water, fodder, fertile soils, and protection from pests and disease.

“We believe that ongoing loss of biological diversity is diminishing the ability of ecosystems to sustain human societies,” says co-author Andrew Gonzalez, Associate Professor with the Department of Biology and the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science at McGill University.

In other words: We need to get busy slowing the loss of species and diversity. Read more about this study here.

This research was supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the National Science Foundation in the United States.

Photo: © Jakob Radlgruber –

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