Forest fragments suffer species loss


tapir_lr.jpgResearch shows fragments of tropical forests left by deforestation suffer species extinction

New research by the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows how small fragments of tropical forests left behind after deforestation tend to suffer extensive species ‘extinction’.  Published this month in PLoS ONE journal, the research focused on Brazil’s Atlantic forest and included the region’s largest and least disturbed old-growth forest remnants.

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The study’s results showed that these remaining habitat fragments were virtually empty of their forest wildlife.  Wild boar such as the white-lipped peccary had disappeared completely.  Typical larger forest animals like tapir, jaguar, giant anteaters and woolly spider monkeys have become virtually extinct in these areas.

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The report appears to confirm the widely debated contention that the conservation value of small forest fragments is much lower than that for larger areas and fragments connected by wildlife corridors.   The study also found that the protected areas retained the most species-rich forest fragments in the region and one of the authors, Dr Canale, suggested the implementation of new strictly protected areas, such as National Parks and Biological Reserves, including forest fragments containing populations of endangered, rare and endemic species.

Source: Science Daily

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