According to a new study published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change , only 3 percent of dry land remains intact .
If the loss of species from intact habitat is taken into account, as well as the reduction of species populations, this percentage is drastically lower than previous evaluations, which estimated it to be between 20% and 40%.
Intact habitat is increasingly being lost
As Andrew Plumptre of the Secretariat for Key Biodiversity Areas in Cambridge, lead author of the study, explains:
We know that intact habitat is increasingly being lost and intact habitat values have been demonstrated for both biodiversity and people, but this study found that much of what we consider intact habitat are lost species that have been hunted by people or have been lost due to invasive species or disease.
However, there is hope . The authors say that up to 20% of the planet’s land area could be restored to wildlife integrity by reintroducing only a few species into the remaining intact habitat.
Intact habitat has been shown to have significant benefits for both wildlife and people and, as a result, should be a critical objective of the ongoing negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity after the 2020 global biodiversity framework. it needs recognition of these special places within intact habitat, where there is full functional integrity, and plans to focus restoration in areas where ecological integrity could be restored.