New global study spotlights areas most in need of PA status if we want to save half the world's habitat

The Earth is losing species at a rate about a hundred times faster than historical (also called “background”) levels. For specific groups, that number is higher still, with research indicating amphibians are going extinct about 211 times faster than they normally should be. This phenomenon is so widespread and profound that scientists think it may be the beginning of the planet’s sixth mass extinction. And, it seems, we humans are driving it.

But a new study is aiming to provide a bit of hope. Published last week in BioScience along with an accompanying interactive map, the study was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of scientists that analyzed regional ecosystem types (or “ecoregions”), land cover changes, and protected area extent around the world. Their aim was to figure out just how much land needs to be protected – and where protection efforts would best be focused – if half the world’s habitat is to be safeguarded.

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