"Plant, Animal Extinctions Often Exaggerated: Study"

"A projected spate of extinctions of animals and plants this century may be less drastic than feared because the most widely used scientific method can exaggerate losses by more than 160 percent, a study said on Wednesday.

'Extinctions caused by habitat loss require greater loss of habitat than previously thought,' two experts, based in China and the United States, wrote in the journal Nature.

Despite that good news, the report also endorsed past findings that human activities are wrecking habitats from the tropics to the Arctic, threatening the worst losses of species since the dinosaurs.

'Our results must not lead to complacency about extinction due to habitat loss, which is a real and growing threat,' Fangliang He and Stephen Hubbell wrote."

Alister Doyle reports for Reuters May 19, 2011.


"Extinction and Its Discontents" (Dot Earth)

"Scientists Clash on Claims Over Extinction 'Overestimates'" (Greenwire)

Source: Reuters, 05/19/2011