Scientists from the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have for the first time developed a global map showing countries that are still wild animals untouched by industrial activity.
So how many wild animals are there? The answer is small.
Studies show that, with the exception of Antarctica and the large seas, more than 77% of the land and 87% of the oceans have been replaced by human activities. This means that now only 23% of the land can still be considered wild and untouched nature.
"These results are nothing more than a terrible story about the last corner of the wildlife of our planet," says James Watson, a researcher at the Center for the Study of the Biodiversity and Conservation of the University of Queensland.
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Researchers have developed global mapping to determine who is responsible for preserving the rest of the wildlife. And the results are incredible. It turns out that 97% of wildlife occurs in just over 20 countries.
And Russia, Canada, Australia, the United States and Brazil are the five countries where the predominant part of the wildlife remains. These countries will have to play an exclusive role in preserving wildlife in the future. And if it does not – the consequences will be difficult to find.
These wilderness areas not only provide shelter for many species of animals and plants but also absorb most of the carbon dioxide. And this is an extremely important issue in the fight against climate change.
However, the conservation of these areas will be difficult as countries will have to limit the development of infrastructure and the massive development of mining, forestry, agriculture, aquaculture and industrial fisheries.
"Wildlife conservation worldwide will only be guaranteed if these big nations take leadership and lead," said one of the co-authors of the study, WCS vice president for global storage, primateologist John Robinson. – We've lost so much now. We need to understand this and use this opportunity to keep the last wildlife remnants until they disappear forever.
Reuters / Scanpix Photo / Canada Nature
The authors of the study demand an "international political system," which is 100%. protect the rest of the wild. They also call on officials to include unprotected ecosystems in the United Nations Strategic Plan for Biological Diversity and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, thus protecting the wildlife. "Loss of wildlife must be treated in the same way as complete extinction," says Watson. – The process is not right as soon as the first step is taken (vulnerable wild animals) and that (The wild nature) we lose forever. "
The results of the study are published in the scientific journal Nature.