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      Catastrophic extinctions follow deforestation in Singapore

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      Nature
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          The looming mass extinction of biodiversity in the humid tropics is a major concern for the future, yet most reports of extinctions in these regions are anecdotal or conjectural, with a scarcity of robust, broad-based empirical data. Here we report on local extinctions among a wide range of terrestrial and freshwater taxa from Singapore (540 km2) in relation to habitat loss exceeding 95% over 183 years. Substantial rates of documented and inferred extinctions were found, especially for forest specialists, with the greatest proportion of extinct taxa (34-87%) in butterflies, fish, birds and mammals. Observed extinctions were generally fewer, but inferred losses often higher, in vascular plants, phasmids, decapods, amphibians and reptiles (5-80%). Forest reserves comprising only 0.25% of Singapore's area now harbour over 50% of the residual native biodiversity. Extrapolations of the observed and inferred local extinction data, using a calibrated species-area model, imply that the current unprecedented rate of habitat destruction in Southeast Asia will result in the loss of 13-42% of regional populations over the next century, at least half of which will represent global species extinctions.

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          Mammal population losses and the extinction crisis.

          The disappearance of populations is a prelude to species extinction. No geographically explicit estimates have been made of current population losses of major indicator taxa. Here we compare historic and present distributions of 173 declining mammal species from six continents. These species have collectively lost over 50% of their historic range area, mostly where human activities are intensive. This implies a serious loss of ecosystem services and goods. It also signals a substantial threat to species diversity.
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            Time Lag between Deforestation and Bird Extinction in Tropical Forest Fragments

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              Reflections on the tropical deforestation crisis

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                July 2003
                July 2003
                : 424
                : 6947
                : 420-423
                Article
                10.1038/nature01795
                12879068
                c49bab8b-f24d-4d56-929d-46fa80f4a495
                © 2003

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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