Thanks to a new study done by researchers from North Carolina State University it has been brought to light that there are only two untouched forests in the world today. Most forests across the world are so severely fragmented that they cannot be considered wilderness.
Urban, suburban, and agricultural development is recklessly destroying large sections of almost every single forest across the globe. We have completely ruined tons of habitats and ecosystems. Diversity in both plants and animals have been reduced by anywhere between 17 percent to 75 percent. This is the reason why, how can we hope to preserve anything when we’ve already destroyed everything?
“It’s no secret that the world’s forests are shrinking, so this study asked about the effects of this habitat loss and fragmentation on the remaining forests,” said Nick Haddad, one of the co-authors of the study and a biologist at N.C. State.
If we intend to save the rest of the species living in these forests we must do something about this issue now. According to this research, the only two big patches of intact forest left are the Congo and the Amazon. We have yet to see the full extent of what we are doing to the forests of the world but if we don’t stop soon I am sure we will all see.
“The initial negative effects were unsurprising,” Haddad said, adding, “But I was blown away by the fact that these negative effects became even more negative with time. Some results showed a 50 percent or higher decline in plant and animals species over an average of just 20 years, for example. And the trajectory is still spiraling downward.”
If we are going to preserve and protect the remaining species in these environments, it is important that we act quickly. Haddad suggested that we begin preserving chunks of land and install wildlife corridors as mitigation options. This should help ensure that the species and ecosystems within these areas are not permanently destroyed and lost forever.