Friday, May 16, 2008

BIODIVERSITY OF VERTEBRATES DROPPED BY NEARLY A THIRD IN LAST 35 YEARS

NEW SCIENTIST The latest data on the global biodiversity of vertebrates shows that it has fallen by almost one-third in the last 35 years. But experts say it may still underestimate the effect humans have had on global species counts. The Living Planet Index follows trends in nearly 4,000 populations of 1,477 vertebrate species and is said to reflect the impact humans have on the planet. It is based on a wide range of population datasets, such as commercial data on fish stocks and projects such as the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring scheme.

New figures show that between 1970 and 2005, the global LPI has fallen by 27%. This suggests that the world will fail to meet the target of reducing the rate of biodiversity loss set by the 2002 Convention on Biological Diversity.