Species are now becoming extinct 1,000 times faster than before humans existed and about 10 times faster than was previously believed, claims biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University. Illustration credit by Clinton JenKins
Above: A map of the distribution of threatened bird species in the Americas, showing their concentration in the coastal forests of Brazil and in the northern Andes. Red means more species.
Pimm is the lead author on a study that focused on the rate, not the number, of species vanishing from the planet. Hailed as a landmark study by many experts, the authors conclude that, though many factors are causing the rapid rate of extinction, the number one reason is habitat loss.
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