“Hotspots of human impact on threatened terrestrial vertebrates”

Published: March 14, 2019

Recently, a study titled “Hotspots of human impact on threatened terrestrial vertebrates” published in the journal PLOS Biology has reported that human impacts on species occur across 84% of the earth’s surface. A team of scientists led by James Allan (University of Queensland) found this when they mapped the distribution of 8 human activities — including hunting and conversion of natural habitats for agriculture — in areas occupied by 5,457 threatened birds, mammals and amphibians worldwide. Malaysia has been ranked first among the countries with the highest number of impacted species (125), followed by Brunei and Singapore. India ranks 16th in such human impacts, with 35 threatened species impacted on average. The Southeast Asian tropical forests including those in India’s Western Ghats, Himalaya and north-east — are among the ‘hotspots’ of threatened species. These affected areas are also ‘cool-spots’ (the world’s last refuges where high numbers of threatened species still persist). They could be result of protection or because of intact habitat.